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GUEST POST: And God Belched by Rob Rosen

Hello Because Two Men Are Better Than One readers! If you’re looking for a laugh, for some romance with a bit of heat, for a truly unique book, then I invite you to check out my twelfth (and, dare I say, best) novel, And God Belched, published by MLR Press.

Here’s a little bit about the book:

In this riotously funny romantic adventure, Randy and his younger brother, Craig, find themselves in a different universe, on a strange planet, desperately searching for Milo, a handsome stranger in imminent danger, all while being chased by the heavily armed local authorities. And that’s just the start of this epic journey. But what else does fate have in store for our brave heroes? And can one human save two worlds, the handsome alien he’s fallen in love with, his entire family, and a self-aware watch? Read on, dear Earthlings, to find out!

Feel free to pick up a copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/God-Belched-Rob-Rosen-ebook/dp/B078GG9L4P/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1513737466&sr=8-1

And an excerpt can be read below.

All the best and enjoy!

Rob Rosen

www.therobrosen.com

Author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, and Fierce, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2 and 3.

Excerpt:

It was two days later, two days of utter hell and frustration. It was late, close to midnight. I no longer slept. I was either awake or momentarily passed out. I was twenty-two and looking forty—a pretty forty, sure, but forty nonetheless. I was lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling. “Hang in there, Milo,” I whispered. “We’re coming for you.”

The bed shook a second later. I hopped up and flicked on a light. Craig came barreling in a moment later, a large garbage bag flung over his shoulder. He closed the door behind him and tossed the bag to the pink carpet.

“What is all that?” I asked as he dumped the contents out.

He put his index finger to his lips. “Shh. Working.”

I began to argue, which is how Craig and I did things, argumentatively, but then thought the better of it. Instead, I sat on the bed and watched him assemble the strange apparatus he’d invented. It took shape quickly enough. There was a basin on the floor, a structure of metal beams in the shape of a cube above that, a pan resting above that. There were some tubes running from top to bottom and back again. On the floor sat some sort of small motor. It looked like a…well, I hadn’t a clue what it looked like. It looked like a mess of metal and tubes, like an erector set gone wrong.

“I have no idea what all this is,” I freely admitted when it was at last complete.

He rose to hand me two emptied gallon jugs, now deplete of their milk. “Fill these.”

“The cow went home for the evening.”

He grimaced, eyes, as usual, rolling. “With water, jackass.”

I nodded. “Water. Right. Be right back.”

I raced to the bathroom. I raced as my mind raced. What was Craig up to? What was that apparatus he’d set up? And how would it help Milo? In any case, the jugs filled up quickly, and so back I rushed. I handed them to Craig. He filled the basin with the water, and then passed them back my way.

“Two more,” he commanded.

I sighed. “Really?”

He mock-sighed me in return. “Did Einstein’s assistants question his genius?”

“I doubt Einstein had assistants when he was eighteen, little bro.”

He glared my way. “Don’t doubt; fill.”

Thus again commanded, I tore to the bathroom and filled up jugs three and four. By the time I’d done five and six, I was duly exhausted and even more frustrated. We didn’t have that much time, after all. The portal never stayed open for more than ten minutes, and we were close to that already.

“Please tell me that was the last one,” I said, now breathing hard.

“That was last one.”

“Thank God,” I exhaled as I watched him crouch down to the small motor.

“I’d say pray to him,” he said, flicking the thing on. “Thank him after this is all over with.”

The motor purred. Fortunately, it wasn’t all that loud. Also fortunately, my parents slept on the first floor of our house, while Craig and I slept on the second. I mean, how would I have explained any of this, especially the waterfall Craig had suddenly flicked on in the middle of my bedroom.

“Pretty,” I said. “But, uh, why does it suddenly look like the tropics in here?”

He rose and walked to the mirror. “Like I said a couple of days ago…” He touched the mirror. “Solid.” He pointed to me. “Idiot.” He pointed to the waterfall. “Leaving.”

It took me a few seconds to put all the pieces together. “Wait,” I said. “Water isn’t a solid; it’s a liquid.”

“Eureka,” he said with an exaggerated sigh.

“Now what?” I asked, instantly coming down off my high.

He slid my mirror out of the way and got down on the floor next to the waterfall. He’d put the basin on wheels, and so all the thing needed was a push before it was sitting where the mirror once had been.

“Now this,” he said as he again stood next to me. “Go ahead.”

I gulped. “Go ahead and, uh, what?”

He looked my way, his eyes burning like two tiny stars. I guessed that this is what Justin Bieber looked like just before he went on stage. “Try it out, dude,” he said, then grabbed my hand and placed it in front of the downward flowing water.

“What if it works?” I asked. “What if it works and we’re sucked into space? What if his world doesn’t breathe oxygen? What if it works and we’re trapped over there?”

He nodded thoughtfully. “All surprisingly good questions, dude. But there’s one more: if we don’t do this, what happens to Milo?”

I paused, but not all that long. In truth, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t know what happened to Milo. And no, that wasn’t me being a drama queen, for a change; that was me knowing that I had a connection that had been severed, leaving me very much short-circuited, so to speak. Milo, I’d come to believe, was my destiny. Whether or not rightly so, it didn’t matter; this is what I felt, and so that was all that mattered.

In other words, with just the slightest bit of trepidation, I stuck my hand through the water and promptly winced.

“What, what?” Craig asked, concern washing over his face. “Did it hurt? Is your hand disintegrating?”

I shook my head. “The water is cold.”

He socked me one in the arm as he sharply exhaled. “Fucker.” He then looked behind the waterfall. “Um, dude, just so you know, your hand isn’t back there.” He then locked eyes with me, those stars going all supernova-like. “Your hand, Randy, your hand is in another universe, boldly going where no hand has gone before.”

My gulp repeated. I wiggled my fingers. They, in fact, still wiggled. Meaning, my hand hadn’t, in fact, disintegrated. My hand was also not too cold or too hot, but, like the baby bear’s porridge, just right. And so, I moved my arm further into the water, and further it did go. Which is why, since the body goes where the hand leads, I found myself walking through the waterfall a split-second later, saying through the spray, “Well, here goes nothing.”

Though, of course, here went everything.

 

 

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GUEST POST: Midlife Crisis by Rob Rosen

 

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Guest Post

Many thanks to BTMABTO for the opportunity to present my tenth novel, Midlife Crisis, to its readers. I set out to write a romantic comedy about a man, Jack, who returns to his past in order to find the love that’s missing in his present. I wound up with that, plus a nifty murder mystery that threatens Jack, his family, and his friends. Will Jack find love? Will the murder be solved? I hope you pick up a copy of the book to find out. 
 
Below is a short excerpt from the very beginning, just to wet your whistle. Suffice it to say, zaniness quickly ensues. Enjoy!
 
  “Parsnips?” Greg asked me.
    I looked over at him from the living room couch as he in turn poked his head out from the kitchen. “Um, huh?” I said, wondering if this was some new pet name he’d thought of for me, as he was forever coming up with new ones. Last I checked, I was being referred to as Professor. FYI, I teach business at a local college. My students call me Jack or Mister Nelson. Professor makes me sound a.) old and b.) like a character in a television show. Also FYI, I am neither, though if he had to come up with anything from the latter category, I was rooting for Pepper, a la Angie Dickinson in Police Woman.
    “Parsnips,” he repeated, already looking peeved with me, which was, sad to say, par for the course as of late. Par, bogie and eagle, in fact. Heck, let’s just toss in the entire golfing green, and call it a day.
    In any case, it wasn’t a question or a comment anyone had ever thrown my way. I squinted my eyes as I pondered this. In truth, I hadn’t a clue what a parsnip even was. Had I ever eaten one before? Would I still seem professorial if I asked what the hell one was? Did I even want to ask and risk his wrath, which consisted of him ignoring me the rest of the evening? Greg, you see, hated confrontation―though he loved being a world-class bitch.
    “Just to be clear,” I asked, forcing a smile so as to divert the inevitable kerfuffle, “are you asking me if I want some with dinner?”
    He matched my squint with a scowl. He started to say something, realized a fight of some sort would probably ensue, took his nine-iron and golf ball, and promptly left that aforementioned course. In other words, Professor zero, kerfuffle one. And, yes, we had parsnips with our entirely silent dinner. Yuck.
***
    To backtrack just a bit, Greg and I had been dating for six months. He lived down the hall from me in our high-rise, San Francisco, somewhat-luxury condo. Though in San Francisco, for what you pay, they’re all luxury. In any case, you know that expression: don’t eat where you shit? Well, yeah, I knew it, too, except I’d sadly never paid it much heed. Meaning, while I would’ve loved to have broken up with Greg, I would still have to see him all too often, mainly because luxury didn’t equate to more than one elevator.
    To be fair, my boyfriend hadn’t cornered the market in nonconfrontational skills. Which is to say, no, I didn’t break up with him, much as I would’ve liked to. Then again, I didn’t really have to, seeing as he finally broke up with me, a mere three nights later.
    “Why are we always fighting?” he asked, just before it all fell down like a giant house of cards. And, yes, in San Francisco, even that would have gone for a small fortune.
    “I’d call it silently simmering more than fighting,” I replied, uneager to provoke him―and, okay, perhaps just a bit eager as well. It was an odd dichotomy. Then again, so were we.
    “You know what I mean.”
    I did. Fine. “Thin line between love and hate?”
    “But you don’t love me, and I don’t love you, so what does that leave?”
    I shrugged. “Parsnips?” Sorry, it was the best I could come up with. Largely because I didn’t necessarily hate him, though that aforesaid root vegetable I could’ve forever lived without.
 

Blurb

Jack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he as quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner, and so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t seen in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends, not to mention the family dog and his high school bully, he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger. In this hysterically funny tale, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?

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“If you’re looking for a humorous and intelligent book to read, Rob Rosen’s Midlife Crisis should be on the top of your list. A tale of going back to move forward, as told by Jack, the story’s main character, is full of youthful and gay witty repartee balanced with the poignancy that comes with adult life. It will make you laugh out loud one minute and get teary the next. Oh, and if you like a good murder mystery, there’s that too. Kudos to Rosen for creating some very memorable characters.” – Julian G, Simmons, Narrator,Widdershins audiobook series

“Rob Rosen does madcap gay humor better than anyone else writing today. Midlife Crisis is no exception.” – Neil Plakcy, author of The Mahu Investigations

“Rob Rosen’s Midlife Crisis has laughs aplenty, along with intrigue, romance, sex, and heartbreak. The reader will enjoy the humorous wordplay and snappy dialogue, which, alongside a tale of first love lost and along-forgotten mystery surfacing from the past, carries the story forward to an exciting conclusion.” – T.R. Verten, author of Confessions of a Rentboy

About the Author

RobRosenHeadShotLargeRob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award NominatedQueerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, and Fate, winner of the 2016 TRR Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2.
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GUEST POST: Best Gay Erotica of the Year – Edited by Rob Rosen

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Blurb

You wanted the best, you got the best! Best Gay Erotica of the Year, that is. Hotter than ever and featuring the brightest stars the gay literary galaxy has to offer, this iconic collection never fails to impress. With no themes, no boundaries, BGE encompasses the steamy past, the on-your-knees present and the sweat-soaked future, covering every genre and every kink—plus a few you probably never saw, uh, coming—all with a style and a panache that leave those other anthologies in the fictional dust. And get ready for a stunningly original android story that’s sure to blow your circuits!

Yep, this really is the best. And the best just keeps getting better

Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 takes you across time and space as you follow a variety of men seeking the erotic core of their being. From the ancient past to the distant future, from dusty deserts to rumbling busses to seedy mid-town alleys, each journey ends in discovery―sometimes just in the nick of time―of a soul-mate or a devilish spirit or even an android with remarkably precise techniques. These tales will tickle your imagination, tug at your heart, and probably stretch much more than your imagination.” — Louis Flint Ceci, author of Comfort Me

“This rich collection reminds us of how valuable erotic fiction can be: it gives us worlds far more gratifying and delicious than the realities most of us inhabit. Thanks to Rob Rosen and his stable of talented authors for this libidinous gift!” — Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory and Salvation

Guest Post

Hello, I’m Rob Rosen, author, editor, short story writer and anthologist. I split my time evenly between the four, but it’s the anthologist part that brings me a special joy, not to mention a certain amount of dread. Let me explain both.

Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 is the fifth anthology I’ve been fortunate enough to helm. It’s now in its twenty-first year, though, yes, it has picked up a snazzy new moniker. As to the joy of putting this together, that comes from being able to interact with the amazing talent that a collection like this draws, to read stories that fairly leap off the page, to read, quite literarily, the best of the best. You see, every erotica writer wants to be included in this, which is why it always ends up being such a spectacular anthology, year after year.

Writers from all over the country, and many countries beyond, send in their stories, dozens and dozens and dozens of them. Then it’s up to me to dwindle them down to fifteen or so. That’s the first part of the dread, because for every great story there’s an even better one waiting in the wings for me to get to. Then I have to pick between them all. Plus, I have to have variety within the final fifteen, choosing stories that are strikingly different from one another, so that the end product is unique and, like I said, spectacular. I mean, it’s not called Best Gay Erotica for nothing!

The second part of the dread is when I have to send the rejection letters out. And since these far exceed the acceptance ones, it’s a chore that fills me with a tremendous amount of sadness. Still, the thrill of sending the acceptances out, at reading the elation from the writers when they reply, makes it all worthwhile. Well, that and the finished product. And this finished product is amazing, stretching from the remote past to the distant future, with tales of androids, archaeology, Fidel’s Cuba, Ancient Rome, Colonial Arizona, bus rides, horny ghosts, federal lawmen, and on and on. Yep, the pages are packed full with hot men and even hotter stories.

Obviously, I’m exceedingly proud of this, proud of the writers who contributed to it, and eager to get it into the audience’s hands. I hope you can pick up a copy and hope even more that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it all together for you!

Excerpt

Taken from The Real Thing by Dale Chase

Explaining how it got down to just me is impossible. Suffice to say, it was the worst planetary fuckup of all time. Give the androids control of their own destiny, somebody said. Yeah, right.

So what we have after a very messy couple of millennia is a world full of constructed people. Make more as needed and dispose of the malfunctioning. Efficient and less costly than maintaining humans, which are subject to problems. Except they missed one thing. Like all great ideas implemented before they were thought out, nobody considered how much we liked humans. And how even androids would experience a surprising shift to that mindset.

Where am I in all this? Not a droid, that’s for damn sure. No, I’m probably the last human guy in the world, an oversight to be exact. I’ve been on the run for years because I’m a wanted man—in more ways than one. Illegal, yes, but also possessed of the last real flesh-and-blood cock. And they want it. They won’t admit it, though. They say they brought me in because I’m a renegade, a criminal, living outside society, but the truth is they want what I have. They want to get their hands on it, their mouths on it. They want to spread their cheeks and take it up the ass. I’ve been in this cell for just a week and have lost track of the number of droids I’ve fucked and who have fucked me.

They won’t let me have any clothes, and the cell has a window in the door, so more often than not there are faces peering in. Like now, a good-looking droid is watching me stroke my meat. I play with it so he can watch it get hard, squirt a load, then soften. Theirs won’t do it quite like the real thing. More of a mechanical spring-like inflation and not at all fleshy. Too hard, actually. Unreal. And they never did get the come mechanism right. A droid once confessed that it’s a gentle wave, a kind of ripple, and they greatly covet my pulsing shots and the obvious charge they bring. How on earth the creators could have made coming so mild is beyond me. Who in the hell was in charge?

My ass is also coveted, although droid asses are pretty close to human. Except, of course, theirs are only for sex. They can’t imagine our multi-purpose chute, say over and over again what a disgusting place it is, but when one of them gets near me and hits his arousal switch, he’ll invariably want to get his nose down there for a sniff and maybe even his tongue for a taste. I sometimes think the great droid creator way back when put a few glitches in on purpose, a human failing here and there to maybe soften the perfection.

When I was young, there were three of us left, locked into a controlled environment. It was a perfect life—cultivated humans, our every whim seen to—but when we discovered sex, we were separated, walled off from each other for fear we’d prefer ourselves to them. At nineteen we all escaped, went our separate ways, of necessity, and I know one of the others survived because we met up later, on the run.

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GIVEAWAY and GUEST POST: Rob Rosen

Confessions of a Smut Writer

By Rob Rosen

Hello. My name is Rob Rosen and I am a smut writer—and a highly successful one at that. In fact, I’m also the editor of Best Gay Erotica 2015, the largest, the oldest, and the most esteemed of all gay erotica collections on the planet, now in its twentieth year and due out on January 13th. It’s a rare privilege to be handed the reins of this anthology, especially since I didn’t start out to be a smut writer, let alone the editor of the granddaddy of all gay anthologies.

See, fifteen years ago I was writing mostly standard fiction. Sure, I wrote gay stuff, too, but all of it very PG. In fact, I’d never really read that much erotica, nor did I think I had anything to add to the genre. I mean, I assumed everything on the subject had been written about, every dick and hole configuration already stickily put to the page.

Still, there were a lot of calls for submissions for gay erotica. Turns out, sex sells. Who knew, right? So fine, I tried my hand at it. I mean, my hand knew how to work both the keyboard and the crotch below said keyboard, so why not? And guess what? My story was promptly rejected for publication in a certain print anthology. Bummer. Then again, no harm, no foul. And since I’d already written said story, the aptly named “Go Fuck Yourself,” I resubmitted it elsewhere, to an online M/M erotica site. No money, pretty nice-sized readership. And that’s where my story soon landed.

Now, here’s where fate stepped in, lubed up now that it was. Turns out, the editor of MEN Magazine also read that certain nice-sized site and enjoyed my story—my one and only gay erotica story. That same editor then emailed me and asked if I’d like to write for his magazines, plural, because he also edited Freshmen and [2]. Combined, they had a home subscription base of over a hundred thousand readers. Wait, to rephrase that: A HUNDRED THOUSAND! And that didn’t even include the newsstand sales. So, yeah, despite the fact that I hadn’t a clue how to write gay erotica, I said sure. I mean, I might have been a neophyte smut writer, but certainly not a stupid one. And I could write, right? So why not for him?

And that’s what I did. I wrote for him and all three of his magazines for just over five years, appearing in more than forty issues, until the magazines sadly folded. And by then I’d also written for just about every gay publisher on the planet. Turned out, I did have something new to add to the erotica genre: comedy. Comic romances, in fact. And with some pretty nifty dick and hole configurations, too, if I do say so myself.

Jump ahead to more than several hundred published short stories, most of them nicely smutty, not to mention eight riotously funny novels, and here I now am, the editor of the most nicely smutty of all the gay anthologies. And, yes, I am humbled by the honor, the honor to edit this collection and the honor to work with the biggest and brightest erotica writers in the business. Fate, you see, takes you to unimaginable shores, especially when it’s amply lubed up.

As for Best Gay Erotica 2015, it too is nicely smutty, it too adds something new to the genre. Every editor, you see, has their own style, their own sense of what they deem erotic, not to mention their own predilections for what they like to read. So, yes, there’s more humor in this collection, more dark fiction, more fantasy, but with the same literary acuteness that everyone has come to expect.

So, yes, like I said, I’m a smut writer. And a rather proud one at that.

Thank you fate. Feel free to lube up and step into my life anytime you damned well please. I’ll be here, waiting for you.

Best Gay Erotica

Rob Rosen

Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, and Creature Comfort. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor and Best Gay Erotica 2015. Please visit him at www.therobrosen.com

Blurb

Best Gay Erotica 2015 is filled to the page-turning brim with fantastic tales of fire dancers and TV repairmen, of hunky painters and electricians and magicians, solo sex, duo sex, and sweat-soaked triple onslaughts. Heck, throw in an alien and a priest, and you’ll soon see why this anthology is head and shoulders — not to mention certain other body parts — above the rest, and always with the highest literary quality that readers have come to expect from this esteemed and steamy collection.

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Enter the Rafflecopter. There are 2 PDF copies of Best Gay Erotica 2015 up for grabs. Click here or the image to enter.

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Guest Post from Rob Rosen ☞ Is desire enough?

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Is Desire Enough?

By Rob Rosen

 When I started writing a good 10+ years ago, the gay literary world was a very different scene than it is today. Then again, going back 20 years it was equally as different. Gay bookstores abounded two decades ago, as did gay authors, many of whom typed on a… drum roll please… typewriter or, gulp, by hand. And many of these authors became famous, and remain so today. In fact, walk into any of the few remaining independent bookstores (because good luck finding many gay novels in a chain store) and you’re bound to still find their works on the shelves.

But is that because these authors were so good or because there are so few of us left these days turning out paperbacks? Or any publishers left to even print them? Or anyone even reading books anymore? Better still, if a book falls on a bookshelf and there’s no one around to read it, does it make a literary sound?

And, lastly, is desire enough to even write a novel these days or edit an anthology?

See, when I started writing, it wasn’t to become famous (mostly) or for the money (again, mostly), but it was because I felt like I could be a writer. Felt it down to my very soul, like it was something I was born to do, meant to do. And, judging from my track record, I guess my soul was on the right track, so to speak.

But as I continue to write, as my second anthology, Men of the Manor, is about to fall onto one of those bookshelves, same for my eight novel, Creature Comfort, I pray that someone will hear it as it slams into said bookshelf. Sadly, I watch as, one by one, the gay bookstores close up shop (R.I.P. Outwrite, A Different Light, Oscar Wilde Books, and Lambda Rising) and the gay publishers trickle down to a mere handful. And, though you might be shocked to learn that I actually make more money from a sold ebook than a paperback, it just doesn’t feel the same, like something has been lost in the translation, like a whole culture is slowly dissolving into the ether (or Ethernet, as it were).

I mean, think about it. Who was the voice of our people before we had a voice of our own? Before OUT Magazine and the Advocate? Before Will and Grace and Ru Paul’s Drag Race? Who was letting the gay disenfranchised know that they weren’t alone in the world?

Yep, it was the gay author. And, ironically, how many of them did you ever see on the cover of OUT or the Advocate? Then count how many straight actors you saw instead, and you’ll see the dilemma.

So is the desire all I have left?

If there are no gay bookstores (pray for the few remaining holdouts, please!) and fewer and fewer gay readers, then what’s the point?

To tell you the truth, my very soul aches to write such words.

What’s the point?

Unfortunately, I have no easy answer to the question. Save for one, that is. Yes, desire is enough. I’m still thrilled that my books and short stories are read and enjoyed. That is the purpose of art, after all: to be enjoyed by others, despite the size of the audience, to bring forth something out of nothing, to create, even for creation’s sake.

Still, I’m sad for what’s been lost. And what will still surely be lost. For the joy of standing in a gay bookstore, gazing longingly at shelves and shelves of books that are making literary noise. Sad for all the gay authors who never will be because of all the publishers who are no longer. And for all the gay people out there who have forgotten who their voices were and still are.

So please run to that literary forest, folks. Because we’re all aching to be heard, yearning for our collective noise to reach your ears. And we’re still out there, slamming our books, our very hearts and souls, onto those few remaining bookshelves.

About Rob Rosen

Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, and Creature Comfort. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor and Best Gay Erotica 2015. Please visit him at http://www.therobrosen.com

Blurb

The country estate, masters and servants, mystery and intrigue, sex and money—all go hand in hand in these turn-of-the-century tales of what goes on behind the manor’s closed doors. Does the master lure the butler to the phonograph room for a romp behind the sofa, or does the stable boy have a tryst with the footman while the lord longingly watches on? Does the aristocrat drop his foppish manners when the butler helps him undress? And do the classes exchange more than pleasantries when the lamps are dimmed and the ladies retire for the evening?

Rob Rosen has gathered the hottest stories of romance and sex between wealthy aristocrats and the hard-working estate staff, all with a pre-World War I backdrop, including the fashion and art and the latest inventions of the day. War is years way, the estates are huge and sprawling, the fashionably elite have too much time on their hands, while the toiling underclass are always on the lookout for a means to a brighter future — no matter whose bed they end up in. Think Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, but with enough sex to make the town vicar blush.

Excerpt

Excerpted from “Finsloe” by Xavier Axelson

I knew I loved Master Bryden Massingham when, as boys, he kissed me in the broom closet. He’d stolen a custard tart from the kitchen and entreated me to share his spoils. The tart broke apart, and we slurped custard from our hands.

“You got custard on your chin!” I laughed.

“I do?” Bryden swiped his tongue along his bottom lip.

“How about now?”

I shook my head.

He leaned in close. “Get it for me.”

I smelled sweet custard on his breath.

“Go on, before we’re caught!”

I lifted my finger and brushed it against his chin. Our eyes met. He smiled. I blushed.

He came closer, and when our lips touched, I closed my eyes. The kiss lasted a moment but it haunted me like a hungry ghost. I wanted more, ached to be alone with him. Whenever our eyes met, he smiled as though our secret pleased him.

I’d been in service a year by then. My pa served as butler at Massingham Place. When my ma took sick with fever and died the winter before, he pleaded with Lord and Lady Massingham to oblige his only son.

I did chores, scrambled out of the way of cooks, footmen and maids, but mostly I played with Master Bryden.

The day before Master Bryden left for university, he came to the garret bedroom I shared with Pa and Mr. Prewitt, the underbutler. Collins, the footman, had an even tinier room that adjoined ours, both visible from either side of the space allotted.

I couldn’t sleep, and stared at the shadows on the ceiling and listened to Pa snore.

I hadn’t heard Bryden enter but smelled bay rum. He started wearing the scent when he received a bottle as a gift on his eighteenth birthday. My heart pounded every time I caught a trace of it in the air.

His hand slid under the rough cotton sheet. When his hand grazed my thigh, I trembled. Pa snored louder. My thoughts ranged from fear to disbelief and excited terror. I looked over at Mr. Prewitt and hoped he was asleep.

Master Bryden’s hand crept inside my drawers and fondled my cock. It stiffened in the wisdom of a sure hand. I turned my face from the shadows on the ceiling and breathed heavily against the flat pillow beneath my head. My cock grew wet, slick with urgent expectancy. His hand stroked faster until I whimpered. I couldn’t hold back. My body shook, quivered, undulated until I cried out, my cock ejaculating. Drenched like a sailor tossed from his ship, I was sprayed with the hot, pungent stuff. I sighed as it trickled down my thighs.

It all ended as suddenly as it had begun.

Mr. Prewitt didn’t move. My pa continued to snore.

The next morning, Master Bryden was gone.

Two years later, just short of my twenty-first birthday, Pa died in service to the Massingham family. Mr. Prewitt took Pa’s place as head butler, Collins moved up to underbutler, while I moved up from page to footman.

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Anthology: Dr. Feelgood

Dr. FeelgoodDr. Feelgood

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Whether they’re paramedics, nurses, therapists, doctors, or even actors who play them on TV, the men in the medical profession must contend with job stress and long hours that can make finding love a challenge. These dedicated professionals aid patients from the severely injured to those just needing some help with a bath, and along the way find creative ways to release some tension, reconnect with past partners, and even forge something that might last a lifetime.

Injuries, huge workloads, dedication to duty, self-doubt, and fear of coming out of the closet are only some of the obstacles standing in the way of the men committed to easing pain and those in need of treatment. But with hard work, some humor, some steamy on- and off-the-job trysts, plenty of patience, and open hearts, doctors and patients alike can find the healing they need, whether it comes from a lifelong commitment or a quickie in the staff room.

The men in this anthology are looking for relief, and they’re in luck—the doctor is in.

So what did I think?

Overall I enjoyed this anthology. I rated all stories 3 and above which was great. It took me a while to get through because my approach with anthologies is to read a story on those nights when I want a quick read before bed but don’t want to get sucked into a long novel. This was perfect and I ended many a night with a little bit of Dr. Feelgood. Overall rating 3.5.

Right-hand Man by Rob Rosen
Basically this is one quick – albeit very hot and sexy – scene as Alan gets a bath from his friendly and helpful neighbour Brad (we all need good neighbours like Brad!) Alan has a broken arm and luckily Brad is a medical professional who likes to do good deeds. There are witty lines and amusing banter with lots of sex. These guys are not shy, basically going at it from the moment they meet. 3 stars.

Mend What Is Broken by Fils Preis
I liked the realism of the traumatic experience. The descriptions took me right into the scene – the slipping in and out of conciousness, the confusion etc. I would have liked the story to continue for one or two more chapters to give more of a taste of the characters together but I guess you can’t have it all in a short story! 3 stars.

Doctor in the Desert by S.C. Wynne
This had some cute moments and the characters were really likable. I loved their date where they were feeling each other out – gay? not gay? just good at acting straight? The emotional connection between them was super-fast and the characters even acknowledge this so I wasn’t the only one thinking it! 🙂 My only puzzlement was how a doctor could have had such a bad time bottoming in the past as surely he would understand the need for prep so why not ask for it? Luckily he doesn’t have to ask his gorgeous policeman! 3.5 stars

Iron Man by Meg O’Brien
I loved Aiden and Bryan and I appreciated the author’s descriptions of the blind experience but I adored mom – she was wonderful and kind and funny. 4 stars

First and Last by Sara York
Love a story with a reunited men and I loved tat Jeffery didn’t hold a grudge about the past. I adored the father and son relationship between Trevin and Burt. 4 stars

Differential Diagnosis by Anna Martin
This was a cute story of life imitating art when lead characters on a soap opera play the part of lovers. I was really getting into it when it ended – unfortunately! The ending just seemed too abrupt. 3 stars

In My Own Skin by Thea Nishimori
This story was definitely different, given its focus on an illness that impacts Chris’ ability to meet men and engage in physical activity. His everyday living is obviously impacted as well as his chances at romance. It is nice that the author is providing a sense of realism and information on a condition that no doubt affects many, including herself but at times I thought it maybe a bit too descriptive – maybe I just think this because I’m thinking it doesn’t fit with ‘romance’. Anyway, it has nice potential for Chris to get his happy ending. 3 stars

Rx for Sex by Bru Baker
4 stars for a hot little sex scene in the on-call room! I loved the dirty talk, I loved Charlie’s cute prescription for Barr. I’d really like to hear more about these two.

Kind by Samuel Scott Preston
3 stars. Unlikely (I’m not sure that Derek would have really spent his recuperation with this team physical therapist) but it was sweet.

Hero Worship by Kris T. Bethke
I loved this story as it was but it would have made a great longer story. I loved all the characters including the sister/best friend. A bit of humour, nice sex, emotional soul searching and a happy ending. 5 stars

Tourniquet by Kaye P. Hallows
4.5 stars. I loved this story – heroes, the Dr House references, Kane’s personality and his persistence going after Weston and taking chances. “I want you to saw off that damn tourniquet around your heart and let me bring you back to life. I want your devotion, your respect, and your trust. I want you, all of you, not this watered-down version that makes you feel safe. I wany you to love the shit out of me without fear or reservation.”

Pain Management by Brigham Vaughn
A little niggle of inappropriateness but really who cares in a sweet short story involving a massage therapist and a patient with a chronic migraine. It’s amazing what a good massage (one very hot one, in particular) can do! 3.5 stars

Night Shift by Casey O’Neill
4 stars because I like drama and happy endings – plus there were cops! There’s no sex but that impact my enjoyment of the story which focused on a long term couple who are married but separated, struggling with accepting the risks that come with the job of a detective.

To The Next Level by Laura Mathews
A nice story with a military touch as Cameron goes through rehabilitation while falling for his therapist. A little flirtation but no boundaries crossed. It was sweet. 3.5 stars

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Buy Dr Feelgood from Amazon

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Now for something different! Zombies! Check out the Excerpt

Regular readers of my blog will know that zombies are not usually my thing. But this one has come to my attention – zombies and drag queens!

Queens of the Apocalypse by Rob Rosen – bonus points for that title and check out the cover!

Queen's of the Apocolypse

So what’s it about?

Take three fierce drag queens, plus their undead drag sister, a massive solar flare, and a few billion hungry zombies, toss in the remnants of the U.S. Army and a hysterically funny, frequently-poignant cross-country trip, add a spicy dash of sizzling romance and a helping of mystery and suspense, and what you wind up with is the deliciously campy Queens of the Apocalypse.

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Check out the EXCERPT – it sounds great, doesn’t it! 🙂

“That bitch!” shouted Blondella as a silver can whizzed by me.
 “Which bitch?” I asked with a heavy sigh, Lee Press-ons held up for close inspection as the can rolled around the floor before coming to a rest against my fabulous Jimmy Choos. Knock-offs, yes, but the guy on the corner promised me that no one would know the difference. Or at least no one past the first few rows—when the lights were dimmed, of course. And who could possibly spot the glue that held the heels on anyway? From past the fourth row, I mean.
 “Which bitch?” came her world-weary reply. “Kit. Bitch used up all my hairspray yet again.”
 I turned and glanced her way. Blondella Bombshell had her hair jacked up so high it was a wonder she didn’t topple over. Then again, drag queens frequently wobble, but they never fall down. When they’re sober, at any rate. Which, thankfully, we rarely were. “One errant match,” I made note in reply, pointing at her platinum hive, “and KAPOW!” Then I turned back to the mirror and began my daily moisturizing routine.
 She chuckled as she rummaged around for a second can. “Be that as it may, Destiny, it was mine, not hers, and she is, as I said, a bitch.” The second can was promptly found, another coat applied to the towering, temporarily inferno-less mess that sprouted dangerously above her head like a garden desperately in need of a good pruning.
 I nodded. “She’s only a bitch when she’s low on sugar.”
 The chuckle repeated as the heady aroma of jasmine-infused aerosol wafted my way, an ozone hole seemingly widening above our heads. “And exactly what year was Miss Kit Kat low on sugar? She practically owns half the M and most of the & with a lease on the second M as it is.”
 Blondella had a point. Still, who was I, Destiny St. James, to cast the first stone? Or in Kit’s case, boulder, because one measly stone would barely leave a dent in all that girdle-encased rotundity. Yes, though far be it from me to say it—to her face, as opposed to behind her wide expanse of back—Kit looked like a cross between Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson, pre-Weight Watchers. And by “cross” I mean take Aretha and take Jennifer and mash ’em together, and voila, you get Kit in size, color, and diva-demeanor. Seriously, she should’ve been counting her blessings that the music at the club was so blaringly loud, because otherwise, she’d be lip-synching to nothing but the squeaking floorboards beneath her size twelve feet all night long.
 In any case, in she walked, or at least waddled, a few moments later, the steel door shutting behind her. And yes, I said steel. See, the dressing room had once been a meat locker back in the day, the club itself a converted restaurant located just outside The Castro. Pretty to look at, but, like my shoes, only in dim lighting and from a distance. Or if you weren’t sober. Then again, like us, our patrons rarely were. Thankfully. Because tip ratio equates to drink ratio. In other words, the drunker they were, the better we looked and the more do re mi dough (hairspray, moisturizer, candy bars) for all of us.
 “Bitches!” Kit shouted in cheery greeting, a Snickers bar waved like a wand above her head.
 “Yes,” said Blondella icily. “We already covered that.” She gave Kit the onceover—twice.
 “Girl, you look like ten pounds of potato in a five-pound sack.”
 “Says the queen in her fifties wearing the fifteen-year-old’s dress,” came the snarky reply as Kit took her squeaking seat in front of her makeup mirror. “Was there a rummage sale down at the high school, hon?”
 “Thirties,” came the teeth-gritted reply. “Not fifties.”
 Kit turned and squinted at the ever-shellacked Blondella. “If you say so.” Then she giggled and turned back to the mirror, lipstick tube momentarily replacing the Snickers bar.
 In truth, none of us knew exactly how old Blondella was. None of us, after all, had ever seen her out of drag, out of makeup, or out of her monstrous expanse of wig. If she had a driver’s license, it was about as well-hidden as the pores on her face. Best guess, though, I’d say forties. High-end. Low in the dim light. And yes, there wasn’t anything above fifty watts within the club’s walls. Mandatory. Drag queens’ law. Enacted and brutally enforced by all ten of us girls. Well, boy-girls. Um, men-bitches, really.
In any case, terms of endearment at an end, we went back to work on our faces. With the club opening in a few hours, we barely had enough time to prepare. Especially once the other performers arrived and war promptly ensued. Because ten of us and six makeup mirrors made Vietnam look like a night at Disney.
 So before all hell broke loose, we eagerly primped and preened and glossed and coated and sprayed and glued and—groan—tucked merrily away.Though, of course, all hell did in fact break loose soon enough.
Seriously.
SERIOUSLY!
All hell and a good part of Oakland, for that matter. BOOOOM! we heard first, with a couple of extra vowels thrown in the middle for effect. Then the floors shook, the steel screeched within its brick encasing, and Kit’s belly Jelloooed, again with a couple of extra vowels in the middle.
And then the three of us shrieked, very unlady and certainly unmanly like.
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Rob Rosen
Author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, and Vamp
To find out more about Rob Rosen aand his books visist his website.