Archives for 2014
We’ve already seen life through the eyes of the elementals Chris, Gabriel, and Hunter. In the latest book in the Elemental series, Secret, it’s finally Nick’s turn to tell his story – and a complicated one, it is. Nick certainly ended up being a much more complex character than I had originally thought.
Now I will warn you upfront – this is one of those books that is very difficult to put down. In fact, I read the entire book in one sitting, staying up until almost dawn. Hmm..I remember that happening the last time I read a book in the Elemental series.
Nick has a Secret
Nick is the good twin, the reasonable one, the well-behaved one. But he has a secret….a HUGE secret that is eating him alive so much so that’s he’s broken. He is crippled by stress, worried sick, can’t sleep and, although once being a star A student, is now flunking exams at school.
Since Nick’s secret was revealed in Breathless, I’m not giving away any spoilers when I tell you what that secret is: He is struggling with his sexuality and is having one hell of a time coming to terms with his attraction to Quinn’s dancing partner, Adam – and Adam’s attraction to him.
But how is Nick supposed to “come out” in a testosterone-filled household of his three brothers and Hunter, a former guide? And moreover, how will Gabriel, his macho, volatile twin brother react if – or when – he finds out?
And So Does Quinn
In this book, we delve a little more into the world of Quinn who is Nick’s pretend girlfriend. I really warmed up to Quinn in this novel and loved the fact that the author presented her story as sort of a sub-story to Nick’s.
Her world is falling apart quickly and her home life goes from bad to worse to deadly. Being the saucy, snarky young lady that she is, she tells nobody about her predicament, determined to manage on her own – except the fact that she’s spending nights out in the woods, too afraid to go home.
But help does come….and from the arms of a most unlikely source, much to the chagrin of the Merricks.
Adam Has Secrets Too
While Nick is trying to come to terms with his feelings for Adam, we learn that Adam has a dark, disturbing past of his own and is still trying to come to terms with it….and not always very successfully. One bad decision on Nick’s part tears Adam away from him and their budding relationship ends before it barely begins. Can Nick fix it? Or are Adam and Nick both too emotionally messed up?
And Then There’s the Guide
What would be the point of an Elemental book if there wasn’t somebody out trying to kill the Merrick boys? In that aspect, this book doesn’t disappoint. Right in the midst of everyone’s home and personal drama, a new guide comes to town and he’s worse than the last one (remember Shadow?). He’s ruthless, unfeeling and completely detached from humanity – and he won’t rest until each and every one of the Merrick’s are dead.
The author did a masterful job in her characterizations, plot development, attention to detail as well as illustrating the complicated relationships between the characters. This novel just isn’t about a bad man* trying to kill the Merrick brothers. It also touches on matters of self-discovery, friendship, brotherhood, family dynamics, judgement of others, using others and even romance.
Secret is a solid, fast moving, emotional roller-coaster of a story. If you haven’t yet read this series, start out with Spark, told from Nick’s twin brother Gabriel’s point of view. If you’ve read all of the other Elemental novels, then this one is not to be missed. This might be my favorite Elemental novel thus far, although I enjoyed all of them immensely.
This is my “Saturday Roundup” post where I wrap up the week’s events. provide links to some interesting posts that I came across on the Web during the week and perhaps even throw in a photo or two.
On a Personal Level…
I once again stuck to my writing goal of 2,000 words a day – a continuous streak since January 1st. Being that we are still in the full throes of winter here in Wisconsin, I had no problem with productivity – too darn cold to do much of anything else! So I’m working my butt off this winter with the hopes of slowing down a bit when summer finally makes an appearance.
This week, I completed the third book in my new series featuring sixteen year-old Nick, a high school tarot card reader who can see ghosts – and have begun outlining the fourth novel in the series. I’ve also made quite a bit of progress editing the second draft of the first book. Getting closer and close to publication.
Was hoping to see the new Wes Anderson movie “Grand Budapest Hotel” but it has still not made it to Milwaukee. It’s been out in other cities for over a week already. I’ll be bummed if it doesn’t make it here.
On the Web
Andrew Sullivan posted a short video of Edward Snowden speaking to a South by Southwest audience via Google Hangout, during which he stressed the need for consumers to start encrypting their data, which led to an interesting discussion on the blog. Snowden also Skyped into South by Southwest. You can watch the hour long video HERE.
If you enjoy photography, then you might want to check out these 50 Photography Quotes to Inspire You, posted at the Petapixel blog.
Filmmaker Tatia Pilieva did an experiment during which he asked 20 complete strangers to make out. See the video HERE
Another film by a Seattle artist memorializes his gay grandfather who came out at 90.
Are you a Golden Girls fan? This week, the Towleroad blog posted some of the best gay moments from the Golden Girls. It was fun to see these clips again.
I also came across an interested video in which a photographer tried to get a video of a supposed cougar in urban Hollywood. He succeeds.
Feeling stuck in your writing? Then check out [Alexandra Franzen’s post](http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2014/03/02/what-should-i-write-about/] featuring 33 prompts get your writing going again.
If you’re looking for reasonably priced cloud storage, then you might be interested to learn Google has slashed the cost of Google Drive to $2.99 a month for 100 gig. That might be the cheapest cloud storage I’ve seen.
Microsoft also was in the news this week. Come spring, the company will begin offering a Personal Office 365 subscription for $6.95 a month.
Kevin Truong is the creator of The Gay Men Project, his own idea to photograph as many gay men as he possibly can all over the world. Great into video to the project – looking forward to seeing a lot more from him.
From the Cape Gazette come a unique take on an obituary. This guy had a great sense of humor!
Are feeling a tad needy? Then you might want to check out Leo Babauta’s article entitled Becoming Emotionally Self-Reliant
And for a good chuckle, check out this video during which two gay dad’s meet the neighborhood “oversharer”. Warning: Not family friendly or for those with a prudish disposition.
And…that’s a wrap!
This is my “Caturday Roundup” post where my buddy Leo (the adorable kitten pictured to the right) helps me wrap up the week’s events and provide links to some interesting posts that I came across on the Web during the week.
On a Personal Level…
I stuck to my writing goal of 2,000 words a day – a continuous streak since January 1st. I started second edits on my series featuring sixteen year-old Nick, a high school tarot card reader who can see ghosts. So far, I’ve completed three books in the series with three more planned out. I’m hoping the first one will be released within a month. Keep an eye out for my sexy werewolf novel coming soon as well.
As we’re still in the throes of winter here in Milwaukee, I’ve been focusing mainly on work – there will be plenty of time to play in the summer. Although every time I walk past my motorcycle in the garage, I get a little weak-kneed, waiting for spring to arrive.
On the Web
Andrew Sullivan posted a short film (only 4 min.) that was inspired by the work of H.G. Wells. A beautiful, poetic work.
If sexy, shirtless French Firemen are your cup of tea, then you might want to check out this video. It features an entire fire department lip syncing to “Call Me Maybe” (the poor young men got into hot water for it too).
Another fun French video features two brothers (or brother-in-laws) who call themselves “Les Beaux Frères” and perform an incredible routine on French TV wearing only ….um… A towel.
Queen Elizabeth made the news this week. For the first time ever, according to this article, she publicly acknowledges gay people. Who wudda thunk it?
In the literary world, Anne Rice signs a petition to protest bullying of authors on Amazon.
Another author, Sarah Madison, wrote a wonderful piece entitled “Why a Middle-Aged Woman Identifies with “Frozen”. I saw this movie recently and fell in love with it! I can relate to many aspects of the film that the author mentions in the article And if you really like Frozen, check out the Spanish Version of the movie’s feature song “Let It Go” along with the words here.
For my photographer friends, how about a public restroom shaped like a compact camera? It’s true and you can read about it here.
And just for fun, Andrew Sullivan of the Dish posted Adam Baran’s video entitled Jackpot which depicts a teenager’s quest to acquire a treasure trove of gay porn magazines (the movie takes place in 1994, when Internet porn wasn’t so accessible).
And…that’s a wrap!