For the Heart of Phillip and This Time Around

For the Heart of Phillip

Get ready for a wild, non-stop-drama, sexy ride!
Follow 13 arduous, confusing, wonderful years of Phillip’s life as he tries to decide on his love for two men.
Will it be his best friend since childhood Andy who’s stuck with him through thick and thin?
Or the hot wild card Robert who’s been in love with him since he was 16?
Both men love their Phillip and will stop at nothing to keep him.
Who will win the heart of Phillip?

Available at Amazon, Smashwords, and many others

#coming-of-age, #firstlove #friends-to-lovers #unrequitedlove #mmromance #drama #romance #gayromance


REVIEW

“Deepening”.

Some stories have it, many don’t.

It’s not easy to define. It’s certainly easy to identify a story that doesn’t have it.

For the Heart of Phillip has it, in buckets.

The story engaged me on a level that is more than surface experience.

Look at novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, thrillers like Lost Light by Michael Connelly and The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, The Hunger Games and yes, even the Harry Potter series, there is much more going on in these books than their counterparts.

In deep storytelling, as in For the Heart of Phillip, there is a resonance.

The pleasing last note that lingers.

Keeps readers coming back for more.

None of it is easy, if it were, first drafts would be all we needed to write and typing would be the most important aspect of the craft.

The story digs far deeper.

Flourishes below the surface.

Questions.  I imagined you asking the plot questions.  Characters hounded down and forced to give answers. Hundreds of them, and letting the imagination provide the answers. Then you looked for the next answer.

So many times writers settle for the first thing that comes to mind, or the familiar.

It’s the unfamiliar we are looking for.   The deepening.

Three people tied up in each other’s lives looking for one thing only. LOVE.

The emotional rollercoaster in this story is overwhelming. I was gripped by what was going on inside Andy and Rob and Phillip. The insecurities within each of them. Your ability to transfer emotional intensity to almost every scene in the story, is perfect.  The action from scene to scene, chapter to chapter, is not the same, but the feeling is replicated with justifications in each character.

Three people who love and then LOSE love. LOSS.

The intensity of each of them losing the person each one loves, moved me beyond words.

You write about FEAR.

In all the characters there is this deepening: “THAT”S NOT JUST WHO I AM…THAT”S WHO THE HELL I AM” This is a line from the Broadway musical, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, maybe you remember it.  Phillip knows who he is and what he’s about. Same with Andy.  Same with Rob. They know what they want and have a hard time getting it,  but in the end they get it. Maybe with the exception of Rob and David.  You write about the consequences of one’s actions.  Like a death in the family; it affects the whole family.  Sometimes the effects are short lived, other times the effects are permanent.

Another deepening that flustered me (a good fluster) is the conflict.  Conflict fear. Conflict love. Conflict joy.

Three people who love and lose love, and FEAR becoming a GHOST to each other.

Neither Phillip nor Andy will allow this ghost to haunt them.  They simply need each other. Nothing will kill that. They are unable to live without each other. They have become one unit. Like Siamese twins, any attempt to separate them will end in tragedy.  Although we are all products of an infinitely complex web of experiences, in fiction one can simplify for a purpose.  And the purpose is a deeper connection to the main characters.

I identified and moved to tears when Phillip and Andy came together for the first time, when they admitted their true feelings for each other, when they broke up, and in the end, when they came together again.  This story would be complete without sex thrown in.  However, I did enjoy the eroticism that both Phillip and Andy resurrected.  I was filled with joy when they laughed together.  I was filled with angst whenever Rob was in a scene.  In fact, I hated Rob for his “better than thou attitude” which you did not overdo. Andy’s attitude is in retaliation of Rob’s attitude. The conflict screamed.

This is a story that I will celebrate by reading repeatedly in the years to come. The reason is simple. It is passionately, and compassionately written. And

there is deepening.  LJH


This Time Around 1
This Time Around Blurb

This is the sequel to ‘For the Heart of Phillip’. This book was called ‘Refugees’ but this re-release has been edited, a new cover, and a new title. The outcome is the same (for any Refugees fans out there)…

I’m excited to present this and hope you pick up a copy and love it!

Available at Amazon

Also available at other outlets

Review (from previous edition)

Home again. Getting ready to write a blurb for one of my favorite authors, S.L. Danielson for the work, “The Refugees.” Loved reading this to the point where I hated to see it end.

I’ve come to enjoy certain aspects of S.L Danielson’s work, which includes the way she treats family situations in her fiction, the way she freely refers to long term gay relationships as marriages, and the way she makes gay life look so effortless and yet complicated at certain times. It’s the kind of positive, well written escapism I love when I’m reading a romance. And “Refugees” didn’t disappoint me. It’s is a structured inter-mingling of gay men and their relationships, with details about their careers, their lives, and their inner-most thoughts. It’s life. And I think it’s the kind of lgbt fiction that not only offers positive role models without working too hard to get the point across, but is also making it’s mark as an overall social statement in an ever-changing world. I read The Refugees in one sitting but I have a feeling the characters, especially David, are going to remain with me for a very long time.