Guest Post: Liv Rancourt with Lost And Found

Greetings!

It’s not often we get an M/M historical set in swoon-worthy 1920s Paris, but my good friend Liv Rancourt has written a romance befitting such a worthy setting. I invited her to the blog to tell you all about it. Read on!

Thanks so much, Selina, for inviting me to your blog! I really appreciate the chance to share Lost & Found with your readers!

It’s been a while since I released a new book and while my promo skills were a little rusty, I’m finding my way. Self-publishing has so many moving parts it can feel like juggling plates with one almost always ready to crash.

I’m definitely going to need a vacation after this. 😊

And given that it’s the setting of Lost & Found, the top vacation spot on my list is Paris. Writing a book about a city I’ve never visited was either very brave or a fine example of questionable judgment. I love the idea of Paris, though, so visiting in my mind was better than nothing at all.

I did a lot of reading – the history of Paris, a book about Montmartre, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast – and I scrolled through tons of old photos. (You can check out my Pinterest page here. The page is under the story’s original name, L’Ami Mysterieux.) I could have done more research – I never watched Chocolat, for example, although it’s set in France at about the same period.

Ah well. I’ll save that for the sequel.

I also made a sincere effort to resuscitate my high school French. Duolingo and Babbel were my new best friends. I had a free hand with adding French phrases to the story and though I did my very best, my Parisian beta reader made a number (!!) of corrections.

Selina, someday I’m going to take you up on your offer to help me practice – for the next book! [SK note: Je suis à votre service, chérie.]

I love Paris because the whole place was designed with an eye to beauty and romance. Practicality was and is lower on the list. One of the main reasons I haven’t ever visited is that when I go, I’m going to want to stay for six months or a year, for long enough that I feel like part of the scene. I want to get to know the city’s nooks and crannies, the places that rarely make a tourist’s itinerary.

Until then, I’ll stick with the Paris in my mind. While I haven’t started the sequel yet, I have ideas for how it should go, so I know I’ll be back.

I hope you’ll visit with me! Lost & Found is on sale for $2.99 from now until the end of GRL on 10/20/19 at all ebook retailers, and it’s also available in paperback. Check out the excerpt here, and be sure and enter my rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 gift card. Happy reading!!

Buy Links

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Lost & Found Blurb

A dancer who cannot dance and a doctor who cannot heal must find in each other the strength to love.

History books will call it The Great War, but for Benjamin Holm, that is a misnomer. The war is a disaster, a calamity, and it leaves Benjamin profoundly wounded, his mind and memory shattered. A year after Armistice, still struggling to regain his mental faculties, he returns to Paris in search of his closest friend, Elias.

Benjamin meets Louis Donadieu, a striking and mysterious dance master. Though Louis is a difficult man to know, he offers to help Benjamin. Together they search the cabarets, salons, and art exhibits in the newly revitalized city on the brink of les années folles (the Crazy Years). Almost despite himself, Benjamin breaches Louis’s defenses, and the two men discover an unexpected passion.

As his memory slowly returns, Benjamin will need every ounce of courage he possesses to recover Elias’s story. He and Louis will need even more than that to lay claim to the love – and the future – they deserve.

About the Author

About Liv Rancourt
Liv Rancourt writes romance of all kinds. Because love is love, even with fangs.

Liv is a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and loves history just as much, so her stories often feature vampires or magic or they’re set in the past…or all of the above. When Liv isn’t writing she takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether she’s at work or at home. Her husband is a soul of patience, her kids are her pride and joy, and her dogs – Trash Panda and The Boy Genius – are endlessly entertaining.

Liv can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at her website (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). She also blogs monthly over at Spellbound Scribes (https://spellboundscribes.wordpress.com/). For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for her mailing list or join the Facebook page she shares with her writing partner Irene Preston, After Hours with Liv & Irene. Fun stuff!

Giveaway

Below is the rafflecopter html for a $25 gift card. Giveaway ends 10/31/19.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1f1867a736/?fbclid=IwAR3Oa299I_mWmN7gn1PD9kaOmL6GmU4tT0W4dwf0zcvFD51IGQ4MrOFmWGo

Excerpt:

M. Richard was wise to have sent me straightaway. By the time I strolled down the Boulevard de Magenta to Le Marais, found the street and the shop, and had an extensive fitting, I barely made it home in time to meet Louis. I was putting the finishing touch on my tie—the Windsor knot gave me trouble—when he knocked on my door.

Bonjour, I’ll be…” All I could do was stare. Never a shabby dresser, tonight the exquisite cut of his suit made the most of his broad, lean body, and his precise hairstyle brought out the dramatic lines in his face. “One, um, one moment.”

I backed away, gesturing for him to come in. Even his cane had been replaced by an elegant black walking stick with a gold handle.

He paused a moment before responding to my request. “Double breasted? Where have you been hiding this? You look superb.”

I busied myself collecting my wallet, murmuring the name of the shop.

“In the Marais Quarter?” He spoke with a hint of amusement. “You traveled far.”

Collecting myself, I moved toward the door. “M. Richard sent me.”

He smirked. “Good thinking on his part.”

The evening was warm and clear, the memory of sunset only an aqua light in the western sky. In the half-light, I brought myself to broach the possible awkwardness between us. “I was surprised to hear from you.”

“I find myself drawn to your plight.”

“You do?”

Absolument.”

I couldn’t tell if he was laughing or not. “Regardless, I do appreciate the invitation.” We smiled at each other through the twilight. “Now, should I rely on you to speak for me?”

That earned me a raised eyebrow.

“My accent.”

Louis laughed. “My friend tells me that most of the other guests share your particular malady, so you’ll feel at home.”

At home? “Perhaps.”       

His chuckle dispelled what was left of my distress, and we walked on in comfortable silence. Navigating the narrow stairs to the Métro proved a challenge for Louis, so once we were on the platform, I took the initiative. “Someday, you should let me look at that.” I waved in the direction of his leg.

“Someday, I would like you to do more than just look.”

Louis met my surprise with bland amusement, though when it became apparent I was too flustered to respond, he changed the subject. “The train won’t come for a while. Tell me more about your friend Elias. I need to know the kind of man he is, to know whom I should talk to tonight.”

“What kind of man?” Looking to the past was safer than dealing with the gentleman standing next to me, so in the concrete cave, under the harsh fluorescent lights, I told him a story. “Elias is always up to something, you know? Like…” A particular memory made me smile. “Do you ski?”

Un peu.” He indicated a small distance with thumb and forefinger.

“Okay, so one night, he knocked on my window after I’d gone to bed. There was about three feet of snow on the ground, but the moon was out, and he wanted to ski.”

I’d dressed as quickly as possible. Outside, the air was so cold, ice crystals formed with every breath. “He followed me to the barn, where I saddled up our old gelding Rocky. Elias didn’t have skis of his own, so he grabbed mine and climbed up behind me on the horse. The moon was huge that night, and so bright we could see just fine.”

“We rode up along the ridge behind our house, four, maybe five miles until we got to the crest. Our plan was he should ski, and I’d ride down to meet him, and then we’d switch. Rocky was stable enough even for Elias to ride.”

His expression neutral, Louis nodded at me to continue. A rumble started from far off. The train must be coming.

“Well, what we didn’t figure was there was ice underneath the snow. Things had warmed up just enough to melt a little, then we’d had a hard freeze, followed by another dump of snow. Elias got himself buckled into the skis, and right as he’s about to take off, he hollers to the heavens.” And with the moon behind him, he’d looked like some forest spirit come to life. “That yell stirred things up, and the snow started sliding.”

The rumble grew, and a pinpoint of light appeared in the tunnel ahead of us. “He’d set off an avalanche.” Though miles and years away from that moment, my heart still skipped a beat. The noise of the train echoed the roar of the snow in my mind. “I thought, God, he’s done. He’ll be buried in snow, and I’ll never find him.

“I brought Rocky as close to the edge as I dared, but all I saw was snow and ice and torn-up trees. We raced down the ridge, faster than I’d ever seen that horse move, through the valley to the place where we usually met up. I figured Rocky and I would do better climbing up to find Elias rather than trying to get down from the top. And you know what?” Full of the one moment I’d never forget, I barely looked at Louis. “He skied up like nobody’s business. He’d stayed just ahead of the snow, said he’d never skied so fast in his life.” I looked toward the ceiling, blinking fast. Elias had made it, his face burned from the cold. His eyes, though. His eyes had been full of stars.

“Come.” Louis took my arm, leading me back to the present as much as onto the train. We fell silent, settling side by side on one of the wooden bench seats. When Louis spoke, the sound of his voice startled me.

“I think your friend has a very big soul.”

I kept my gaze fixed on the window, though all I could see was the gray cement wall of the tunnel. “Big soul? Yes.” And a bigger heart.

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TORONTO LGBTQ+ ROMANCE EVENT ON OCT 19TH!

Announcing the first ever LGBTQ+ romance event in Canada! Some fellow authors and I are having a signing/meet-and-greet in October in Toronto at Glad Day Bookshop and would love to see you there! Come for the great books, stay for the tasty beverages, snacks, prizes, and great conversation with authors like RJ Scott, Keira Andrews, Vicki Locey, Noah Steele, and Kat Cassidy

Details below! Check out our event page on Facebook for all the latest info!

Very excited to see you there!

Selina

In Wild Lemon Groves, Now Available for Pre-Order

In Wild Lemon Groves HIGRES_FINAL

Greetings, friends!

Very excited to announce the imminent release of my new contemporary M/M romance set in Amalfi, Italy, In Wild Lemon Groves! For Valentine’s Day, why not escape the winter blahs for your very own Italian vacation! (In book form, alas.)

IWLG will be released on February 8th, with more details about the blog tour to come. The eBook version is now available for pre-order from the following vendors (beneath the blurb). Print will be released on the 8th! I can’t wait for you to fall in amore with Seb and Andrea…

Blurb:

A telltale knock on a quiet winter night is a sound no husband wants to hear. 

Sébastien Osaki has spent the past three years surviving the loss of his beloved Henry. When Seb lands in Amalfi, Italy, for their would-have-been tenth-anniversary trip, he’s haunted by the memory of the man he loved. Following Henry’s notebook leads him to some breathtaking coastal views but also right back to his despair. Seb’s there to get his groove back, not let the past wrong-foot him at every turn.

Enter Andrea Sorrentino, chauffeur, part-time pet whisperer, a Bernini statue in a soccer tee and tight shorts. From the moment Andrea picks Seb up from the airport, he knows just how to soothe Seb’s case of the sulks. But Seb isn’t sure he’s ready for Mr. Right Now, let alone a potential Mr. Right, in a part of the world where all roads lead back to Henry.

Can sun, sea, and eating your weight in pasta mend a tragedy-stricken heart? Will wine-soaked Amalfi nights and long walks through lemon groves work their magic on Seb’s wounded soul? Or will he slink back into the shell of his grief once his grand Italian adventure is over?

Buy links:

Amazon

Kobo

B&N

Also available on the Tolino, which I cannot link to as a Canadian. 😉

Apple iBooks (coming soon!)

Spotlight on #WOC in #LGBTQ+ #Romance: Kendall Morgan!

Welcome to my new monthly feature, a spotlight on the work of writers of color in LGBTQ+ romance. The lovely ladies at The Ripped Bodice did an amazing informal survey on the state of racial diversity in romance publishing, and the results were deeply depressing. Especially from LGBTQ+ romance publishers–which surprised me a lot. I find it very short-sighted to promote diversity in sexual orientation and not diversity in race.

With those staggering stats in mind, I’ve decided to open my blog to writers of color in the LGBTQ+ romance community with a monthly spotlight. So if you’re a #WOC in #LGBTQ+ #romance interested in being featured, send me an email! I would love to promote your work.

I’m thrilled to welcome Kendall Morgan to the blog for the inaugural spotlight. Kendall has been in the LGBTQ+ romance game since the ’90s, so she’s a firsthand witness to social change when it comes to both diversity and LGBTQ+ acceptance in the romance world. She writes hot as H-E-double-hockey-sticks contemporary romance, often involving a bear/twink dynamic. Her most recent release is Spooky Ginger Love (anything with the word ‘ginger’ in the title is an auto-buy for me), and she has two series going, the Pacific Palms Resort series and the Bearland Tales series. Details and Amazon buy links for three of her books are below!

Dark spooky forest with silhouette of a man walking

Spooky Ginger Love

Keith Norwood, a handsome African-American gay bear, came to Camp You-Mee’s Bears Haunted Halloween Boo-Nanza Extravaganza for some cheesy holiday thrills and a little ass. A fan of the one-night stand, he thought all he wanted was to get laid. The camp’s cute assistant manager with a fantastic butt was Keith’s first choice.

Instead, he loses his way in the haunted woods. He finds his way and himself with the help of Ronnie Gans, a big, friendly, hairy redhead, who is unlike any one-night stand Keith has ever had.

Buy it here!

Twinks in Bearland - Amazon

Twinks in Bearland

The friends of pretty blue-eyed Dustin Garber are about to find out that he has a secret. He loves bears, big hairy gay men. None of them know it, but he’s just booked them all into the annual Gay Bear Ski week.

Craig, beautiful, black and Jewish, is initially indifferent to the fact that he is spending a week with big hairy men. He already has a hook up planned of his own, although that man turns out to have a bizarre secret.

Patrick and Ethan, two bear-hating twinks who have been secretly in love with each other for years, take much longer to come around to the idea that bears can be good guys too. Dustin isn’t so sure his friendship with them will survive the trip.

And then Dustin meets Nate, a big blond bear who is forever single but ready for something a little different. Nate’s friends, Casey and Ryland, are fighting about Ryland’s porn career. Nate’s friend Gil is busy with a Canadian couple, but together Dustin and Nate get lost on a backcountry trail. Deep in the snow away from everyone they may just find the love they’ve been seeking and the understanding they didn’t know they needed.

Twinks in Bearland is the first book in the Bearland Tales series, but each book can stand alone. This gay contemporary love story includes graphic sex and is intended for adults only.

Buy it here!

Keeping Score Amazon

Keeping Score

Brandon Stephenson is a YouTube star and former fat kid looking to rest, relax, and get laid at Pacific Palms Resort, a very gay and very expensive tropical paradise.

A lazy blow job on the beach from one man leads to sex in the sand with a hunky Sri Lankan the next day. But, in order to get what he really wants and fall in love, he’s going to have to realize that he’s not a fat kid any more. He’s a hunky adult. Placing wagers on people’s lives is not a good idea.

And if he really wants Julian Bailey, the resort’s Jamaican director of fitness with rock hard abs, he’s going to have to go and get him.

Keeping Score is the first book in the Pacific Palms Resort series, but each book can stand alone. This gay contemporary erotic romance love story includes graphic sex and is intended for adults only.

Buy it here!

Kendall Morgan Bio

I started writing gay male erotic romance stories in the early ’90s, but only gay male porn magazines would publish them. I’m so glad things have gotten more respectable and the readership more broad. I am a lesbian in an interracial same-sex marriage, and I love writing interracial romance stories. I love flipping stereotypes and challenging myself to write characters that are ever further from who I am. I hope you enjoy my stories. I certainly love writing them.

If you would like more info about Kendall’s books, check out her Romance IO and her GoodReads pages.

Are you a writer of color who specializes in LGBTQ+ or het romance? Would you be interested in having your work featured in one of my spotlight posts? Contact me at selinakray@hotmail.ca. I would love to have you!

Five Historical Romances I’m Loving Right Now!!

If you’re like me, end of summer sloth is starting to take over. That time of year when the air is sweet, the sun golden but sets earlier every evening, and nothing beckons louder than your backyard/balcony lounge chair. Maybe you’re on holiday. Maybe holidays are done and you, like me, want to recapture that lazy feeling on your weekends. At this time of year, there’s no luxury like a good book, a fruity drink, and an afternoon to relax through.

In Romancelandia, the sunny season had seen published an unusual amount of LGBTQ+ historical romances, and I, for one, am not complaining. Five of the most talented authors around have put out incredible books, and so it’s time to give my fellow historical writers some love in one of my favorite features, Five Things I’m Loving Right Now (Historical Romance Edition).

So take advantage of the last days of summer to soak in a few rays and travel back to far more adventurous (and repressed, it must be said) times. After you’ve read Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo, of course. 😉

Aqua Follies by Liv Rancourt

AquaFollies

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. And this cover is not only gorgeous, but a perfect reflection of the story inside. I’d read paranormals by the wonderful Liv Rancourt, but her historicals were new to me. Boy, am I glad I dove into this one! A rare historical set in the 1950s, Mrs. Rancourt brings the era we think we know through movies and TV brilliantly to life. You will fall as hard for Russell and Skip as they do for each other, and be bedazzled by the dialogue and period detail. A must-read for any historical romance fans.

A Gathering Storm by Joanna Chambers

GatheringStorm

The author of the astounding Enlightenment series journeys to Porthkennack, a Cornish seaside town with a moody beauty and a stormy atmosphere. Especially when it comes to its newest and most inscrutable resident, Ward, a disgraced scientist chasing the ghost of his dead brother. Salt of the earth Nicholas is blackmailed into helping him with his experiments into weather and spirits, and gets more than he bargained for when sparks fly between them. Need I say more? A master of the genre at the top of her game.

Spectred Isle by KJ Charles

SpectredIsle

The shadow world encroaching on 1920s London was never so beguiling as in the hands of Mrs. Charles, who expands her world of occultists and invisible entities established in The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, but a generation later. As always, the period detail and the level of research into folklore is gold-standard–you will learn ridiculous amounts of the most fun kind of information reading this book. But the deep emotion with which she imbues her characters, wounded Saul and sardonic Randolph, are what makes this so glommable.

The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

RuinRake

Mrs. Sebastian is my favorite new discovery this year, earning one-click status with her first book A Soldier’s Scoundrel and my undying devotion with her second, The Lawrence Browne Affair. This gem concludes her trilogy, but is hopefully not the last historical we get from her golden pen (or, er, keyboard). Courtenay, who has the reputation of a Cassanova thanks to someone publishing a book of his exploits, is the titular rake. He finds his foil in Julian, an ultra-proper man with dark secrets. Together, they try, and fail, to resist their best instincts and the lust that burns between them. Much to the reader’s delight.

The Bones of our Fathers by Elin Gregory

BonesFAthers

Okay, so I’m cheating a bit with this one. It’s a contemporary, but it involves a museum curator and the discovery of an ancient burial cist, so I hope I’m forgiven. It’s also bloody fantastic. The lovely Mrs. Gregory doesn’t get enough love or attention, despite being an incredible author, so do yourself a favor and pick up this treasure about… well, the power struggles over some ancient treasure in the form of two intertwined male Bronze Age skeletons. Mal, the curator, and Rob, a local boy with an unfortunate nickname and hidden depths, also find their lives intertwined, in the best and sometimes most difficult ways possible. Wit, warmth, and welcome are the hallmarks of this book–don’t miss it.

Happy reading!

Selina

We’re All Still Queer As Folk – With Some New, Tasty Fruits

Queer-as-Folk2_3170662c

The year I spent studying abroad in the UK was a series of firsts. First time on my own, away from the house I’d lived in for 23 years. First time visiting England, still the place I consider to be my spiritual home (needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed). First exposure to people who hadn’t just grown up differently than I did, but who came from a globe-spanning cross-section of countries and nationalities, some of whom I lived in very close quarters with as housemates in one of the international residences on campus. First gay flatmate, in the form of T., a teddy bear of a man from Taiwan who came out to us in halting tones that first night in our cottage. First time living through a mini-cultural revolution.

The historic vote in Ireland, the prominence of Aiden Gillen’s Littlefinger on Game of Thrones, and the viewing of Russell T. Davies’ two new series, Cucumber and Banana, have all intersected in my mind like a synaptic Venn diagram, charting my path from naïve Pollyanna graduate student to proud author of M/M romances. A time-travelling direct line can be plotted from present day to that distant, if dearly held, transformative year to being on the front line of the first LGBTQ-related controversies in the UK, i.e. the premiere of RTD’s Queer As Folk.

A broadcasting miracle on par with the advent of HBO and that classic episode of Maude, the airwaves were full of condemnation and threats in the weeks before the show’s premiere, which pretty much guaranteed that everyone would watch it. The usual accusations of perversion and moral degradation were lobbed at the producers, the actors, and Channel Four in the weeks that followed, as the series became more and more popular. It helped that nothing like it had ever been seen on television before, a boisterous, groovy, and sexually frank depiction of the life and loves of a trio of gay men in Manchester, anchored by the close friendship between voracious Stuart and adorkable Vince. (If you haven’t seen it yet… well, what are you waiting for?)

Every week, T. and I would curl up on my springy cot in front of my crappy little 10-inch, twitching like meth addicts as we waited for our weekly dose of cool. Like Vince, I was mad about Stuart. I loved his aloofness, his bravado; we used to mimic his signature slinky strut as we walked down the street. T., on the other hand, fell hard for the virginal but bold Nathan, and would later become embroiled in an ill-fated and unrequited romance with his own lithe blonde boy-nymph. But the thrill of it wasn’t just watching a great show—though there was that—but the sense that you were watching something unprecedented, revolutionary. It was the televised epitome of Cool Britannia.

I hesitate to call RTD’s return to Manchester and the LGBTQ scene a bookend to his career, because I hope he continues to write great shows for a very long time, but there definitely is a sense of coming home and a return to form with Cucumber and Banana. For a while, RTD was threatening to emigrate to America, but allegedly his efforts there amounted to nothing but frustration. No surprise, if this is the kind of daring, provocative, and addictive show he wants to make. RTD is still breaking new ground in terms of LGBTQ visibility on television, and it has been a treat to watch.

CLIFF (Con O'Neill), DANIEL (James Murray), LANCE (Cyril Nri), HENRY (Vincent Franklin). FREDDIE (Freddie Fox), DEAN (Fisayo Akinade), ADAM (Cel Spellman), CLEO (Julie Hesmondhalgh)

CLIFF (Con O’Neill), DANIEL (James Murray), LANCE (Cyril Nri), HENRY (Vincent Franklin). FREDDIE (Freddie Fox), DEAN (Fisayo Akinade), ADAM (Cel Spellman), CLEO (Julie Hesmondhalgh)

RTD, like many a good M/M author, excels at basing his narrative around an impromptu family of interconnected people, some of whom have known each other for years and some of whom have ended up together through a series of unfortunate events. After breaking up with Lance, his partner of nine years, middle-aged Henry moves in with two much younger co-workers, Freddie and Dean. Recurring characters include Henry’s sister Cleo, a single mum, her son Adam, and a blokey co-worker of Lance’s who he very awkwardly tries to court. Henry is your classic anti-hero; he comes off as a deeply reprehensible human being in the first episode, but as the layers of the onion slowly peel off, you sympathize with him, while never forgetting his inescapable flaws. Lance is more genial and likeable, but is saddled with his own issues, and it’s hard to completely fall under his spell when he breaks it off with Henry for reasons I find very closed-minded (and sort of cruel). Freddie, meanwhile, is both Henry’s object of lust and a classic RTD aloof bisexual dynamo in the Stuart mode, though he, too, is humanized as the drama unfolds. Dean is a young flibbertigibbet who doesn’t stop long enough to take in what’s happening to him, or indulge in some much-needed self-examination. Oh, and he’s something of a pathological liar. But the genius of RTD is that you have great fun in their company, and you can’t wait to see what crazy things happen next.

RTD productions always zoom from scene to scene at a breakneck pace, quips and quails coming at you in expertly edited montages set to propulsive dance tracks. Who can forget Queer As Folk’s use of the song “Sexy Boy” by Air at the beginning of the second episode? I certainly will take the images of Nathan stomping down the school hallway and Stuart’s playful smoulder across the table at a co-worker to my grave. But RTD’s usual chaos and melisma never drowns out the character moments, and he never, ever blurs the uglier sides of his characters. These are flawed, complicated humans who regularly give in to their baser urges and exercise spectacularly poor judgment. And we as viewers are the better for it.

Banana is a companion piece to Cucumber, featuring some of the same characters in minor roles and fleshing out side characters from the mothership. It’s a far more poignant series exploring emotional topics not covered on the main show. Each episode is a vignette, a peek into the romantic life of a side player, more often that not with the aim of tugging on the heart strings. One thing that I find exceptionally appealing about an RTD production is that he always tries to assemble the most diverse cast possible. Though Cucumber revolves mainly around a cast of racially diverse gay/bisexual men, Banana tells stories about people of all sorts of sexual orientations. In both series, there is not a topic or aspect of modern sexual mores that isn’t covered, some more superficially than others. But like Dean, the series doesn’t often stop long enough to say something profound, possibly because, like Freddie, it’s too cynical to assume those kinds of questions have answers.

Sixteen years after the debut of Queer As Folk, Russell T. Davies has brought me back to that special time in my life, once again offering a slice of Manchester life with universal themes, and pushing the boundaries of what aspects of LGBTQ life can be discussed on television. We’re both more seasoned and—ostensibly—mature, but aren’t above getting off on a little slap and tickle.

So check out Cucumber and Banana. They’ll change the way you go grocery shopping forever.

The Twelve Smutty, Geeky Treasures of Xmas!! Happy Holidays!!

Friends,

Thank you one and all for making this one of the most intense and interesting years of my life. I hope it was an equally eventful one for all of you! I hope this holiday season is whatever you wish for it to be, whether cozy and relaxing, or exhilarating and full of adventure, or a flurry of social activity with family or friends. However you choose to celebrate, make your own list of all the good things in your life. We are luckier than we think, and to me, remembering that is the real spirit of the season.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little decadence to go along with it. So along with a very Happy Holidays, I wish you…

Twelve sexy gingers from the Red Hot 100 calendar to indulge your every whim!

The Eleventh and best Time Lord to whoosh you off to the far reaches of the galaxy/time period of your choice!

Ten episodes of Fargo, an ice-hearted, atmospheric delight, to binge on!

Nine (okay, a lot more, but just go with it) amazing LGBTQ-related charities that could definitely use a bit of help in this season of indulgence!

A box of Eight grand cru chocolate sticks from Valrhona, the best chocolatier in the world!

The Seven movies in cinemas now actually worth your valuable dollars and time: Selma, Birdman, Nightcrawler, Whiplash, Gone Girl, The Theory of Everything, and Inherent Vice! (People, it’s Christmas. Google them!)

Six exceptional holiday shorts, some free, some not, from the best M/M authors out there: Joanna Chambers, Harper Fox, L.B. Gregg, Josh Lanyon, Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles.

Five new Christmas codas from the exceptionally generous Josh Lanyon!

Four incredible restaurants that will revolutionize your taste buds if you ever visit Montreal, Quebec: Au Pied de Cochon, Joe Beef, Hostaria, Satay Brothers.

A riveting Three-book series that plunges you into an indelible world and shows the moral and personal consequences of magic, by Lev Grossman!

Two interconnected superhero shows, Arrow and The Flash, that you won’t regret watching for a second!

One very grateful author and blogger who can’t wait to see what the new year brings, and is so thankful to have all your scintillating insights and disparate opinions to read and react to. Keep it coming in 2015!!

Much love,

Selina