Author Archives: Stuart

About Stuart

I live with my husband and our boxer dog in the beautiful Hudson Valley. If only I loved nature as much as I love a good book!

Third Night


NP third nightTitle: Third Night                             
Author: Neil Plakcy
Cover Artist: Deana C. Jamroz
Publisher:  MLR
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary
Length:  7,000 Words

Rating:  1.75 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Stuart

Review Summary: The great Orthodox Hanukkah story remains to be written.

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Title: Xylophone
Author: K. Z. Snow
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Buy Link: BUY
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel/162 pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Stuart

Review Summary: Xylophone is an amazing work of compassion and terror, delicacy and brutality, wonder and pain. If you can handle its subject matter, you will be well rewarded.


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We’re All Hanukkah Candles


‘Tis the season, and every year I ask a “volunteer” to write a post celebrating the holidays. This year Stuart drew the short straw and he was nominated by me to share his memories of Hanukkah on this, the 8th day.  Here’s his very heartfelt essay.


I spent part of my childhood in Oklahoma City and was the only Jew in my class at school.

When Hanukkah rolled around, the teacher would call me up to the front with the following words: “And now Stuart, the class Jew, will come to the front and tell us about Hanukkah.” She wasn’t being mean or prejudiced, she wanted to expose the homogeneous class to someone different and I was the lucky guy. After my nervous explanation, I would return to my seat and the boys around me would flick the back of my head or ears and whisper, “Christ killer, Christ killer.” I’d harshly whisper back, “you can’t kill someone who never existed,” and wish the school day was over. Ah, the spirit of the holiday season!

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Eight Days


Title:  Eight Days   
Author: Cardeno C.
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Buy Link: Buy
Genre: Contemporary/Holiday
Length: Novella/80 pages
Rating: 1 star out of 5

 A Guest Review by Shlomo (Stuart’s cousin from Brooklyn)

 Review Summary: Oy, this limp latke of a Hanukkah story completely fails to engage its own premise.

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The Nothingness of Ben


Title:  The Nothingness of Ben
Author: Brad Boney
Cover Artist: L. C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel/248 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Stuart

Review Summary: The Nothingness of Ben is a fun, humane, and witty romantic comedy, populated by wonderful characters. The novel’s effectiveness is undermined by themes of grief and mourning, never successfully integrated into the novel’s theatrical tone.

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Day of the Dead


Title: Day of the Dead
Author: Erik Orrantia
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Buy Link:  Buy
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 206 pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 A Guest Review by: Stuart

 Review Summary: Day of the Dead is a profound and beautiful novel exploring how places shape our lives and define our choices and whether love can help us transcend these constraints.

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Is Male/Male Romance Fundamentally About Men?


Most of you remember Stuart who, some years ago, questioned many of the constructs and tropes used by male/male authors in their novels.  I used his questions as the basis for a few articles which were so popular that the hits keep coming even today. We reconnected a few weeks ago and after a lot of persuasion and bribes  :grin: Stuart agreed to become a reviewer and guest contributor for the site. I’m really happy he decided to join us because his “voice” is like a breath of fresh air. This is his first post which as usual is hard-hitting, but also asks some valid questions that need to be posed. I hope you will comment after you read Stuart’s article.

Marcos Chaljub, 29, and Freddy Zambrano, 30. The first male couple in New York State to legally marry on July 25, 2011


A few weeks ago my husband came home from work, tired, grimy, and horny from protecting and serving the people of New York City. Yeah, I married a cop and am living the dream. Seeing lustful gleams, crouching like wild beasts in his gold-flecked, hazel eyes, I gave myself completely to the demands of his love. Stripping, I looked into those masculine, yet profoundly tender, policeman’s eyes, and said, “Need.” He grunted unhappily, a bear disturbed while seeking a hive rich with man-honey, and said, “Stu, why have you suddenly stopped using pronouns? You always use pronouns.” (It’s true, proper syntax defines me as much as my improperly sinful body.) I hesitated for a second, a blush slowly spreading up from my sweaty chest to burnish my smooth cheeks. I knew this delicate pink, yet powerfully masculine, blush heightened my desirability and I would not be deterred from having him.

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Pine Tar and Sweet Tea


Title and Link: Pine Tar and Sweet Tea
Author: Kerry Freeman
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde
Publisher URL: Loose-id
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella/121 PDF pages
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Stuart

Review Summary: A journeyman effort undermined by clichés, including a SHOCKING SECRET that ruined the book for me.

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