All posts by Rachael

4 Stars for Highly Strung (Food of Love #1) by Justine Elyot #MMF #Musicians @JustineElyot @PridePublishing

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Title: Highly Strung (Food of Love #1)
Author Name: Justine Elyot (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 11, 2012 – 208 pgs

Synopsis

ook one in the Food of Love Series If music be the food of love, no wonder orchestral life is so passionate. The new violinist with the Westminster Symphony Orchestra knows she shouldn’t have a crush on its glamorous leader, Milan Kaspar, but Lydia just can’t help wanting a piece of the arrogant Czech virtuoso. Capturing his attention by refusing to play along with his plans for the orchestra, she soon finds herself drawn into his bed – a bed he shares with lovers of both sexes. But Lydia wants more than wild and inventive sex – she wants to get behind Milan’s sophisticated veneer, to find the man inside the performer. She seems doomed to failure, until a trip to his home country changes everything… Reader Advisory: This book contains menage relationships, bisexual characters and exhibitionism/voyeurism, plus some scenes of angst.

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Review

FourStars

I really liked this book and the inclusion of the world of being a concert violinist.
The plot is fun and a bit twisted. I did feel at times like I didn’t full understand or get the connection or reason behind Milan’s actions. However, I did get part of the attraction and desire between the main characters.
I don’t know at the end of the book that I would particularily want to know more about the characters as I was just at a meh point since it all seemed a bit rushed and disconnected from the build up to that point.
There are certainly some decent naughty scenes in the book, but not as hot as some others I’ve read.
Renee

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Continue reading 4 Stars for Highly Strung (Food of Love #1) by Justine Elyot #MMF #Musicians @JustineElyot @PridePublishing

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100 Days by Mimsy Hale #MM #Romance #NewAdult @mimsyhale

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Title: 100 Days
Author Name: Mimsy Hale
Publication Date & Length: April 7, 2015 – 376 pgs

Synopsis

Jake and Aiden have been friends—and nothing more—since age six. Now college graduates, they take a road trip across the USA, visiting very state in 100 days.

As they start their cross-country odyssey, Jake and Aiden think they have their journey and their futures mapped out. But the road has a funny way of changing course.

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Excerpt

Because anything really could happen, couldn’t it? What if what happened in Philadelphia wasn’t a total mistake, but simply the prelude to Jake finally listening to what his instincts have been telling him for weeks? What if, what if, what if…

“What are you doing? Come see this!” Aiden calls out.

Jake takes a deep breath and steps out of the shadows. Aiden is silhouetted against the fading sun, the light picking out the auburn in his hair, and as he stretches his arms up over his head, one finger hooked through the woven bracelet he bought earlier, he grins out at the horizon. Jake feels as if he’s watching Aiden through brand new eyes; he knows that there is rescue in those arms. Suddenly he wants to fall into them and hold on until he feels safe.

Aiden turns away from the vista, pushes his sunglasses up on top of his head and looks down at Jake, his eyes sparkling with warmth and light. He leans forward and holds out his hand, and he looks… beautiful.

AuthorBio

Mimsy Hale has been a contributing ghostwriter to several bestselling nonfiction books. She is also an established writer in online fan communities, where her stories have hundreds of thousands of reads. 100 Days is her first novel.  She lives in Suffolk, England, with her roommate and four cats.

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A Shot of J&B by Lou Sylvre #MM #Crime #BDSM #Romance @sylvre

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Title: A Shot of J&B
Author Name: Lou Sylvre
Publication Date & Length: March 2015 – 194pgs

Synopsis

Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie’s uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.

When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other’s frequent company. But they haven’t factored in the claim Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.

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Excerpt

“So, anyway, Brian,” he said, ending a not uncomfortable lull in the conversation. “I’m looking forward to the ride to airport. I want to hear more about your work, and London, and whatever. But,” he gestured toward the window, “here comes Sonny and Luki and Bear. I’ll get more coffee on.”

He rose, but before he turned toward the kitchen, he faced Brian and leaned forward, kissed his cheek swiftly and softly. He intended to step away, but Brian caught first one of his hands, and then the other, and held them both in one hand.

“Jackie, thank you for that. But what I’d like even more is if you were to kiss me—” Brian lifted the index finger of his free hand and touched his own lips. “—just here. Will you?”

“Yes,” Jackie whispered, and without any conscious decision to do so, added, “Yes, sir.” He leaned forward and touched his open lips to Brian’s, found them soft when he added a bit of pressure, and sent his tongue darting just inside for a taste. They broke the kiss together, but as it ended, Brian sucked and then nipped at Jackie’s bottom lip.

Brian smiled, and after he let go of Jackie’s hand, stroked once over Jackie’s shoulder and arm—a comforting touch, Jackie thought. “Thank you, Jackie,” Brian said, his eyes sparking with something like mischief. “That was lovely.”

AuthorBio

Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. He (Boudreau) invites readers to give their feedback as well!

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5 Stars for Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection #4) by M.Q. Barber – #MM #Erotic #BDSM @MQBarber

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Title: Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection #4)
Author Name: M.Q. Barber
Publication Date: March 17, 2015 –

Synopsis

From rescue to romance…

Teach a wounded submissive the value of his service. The task ought to be an easy one for an experienced dominant like Henry Webb.

But novice Jay Kress challenges his teacher like no other. Still bearing the bruises of an encounter outside the bounds of safe consensual play, Jay is desperate to submit to the man who saved him—and shamed by his desires.

Henry recognizes the dangers of a relationship built on hero worship. He’ll teach Jay how to stay safe, that’s all. He won’t take advantage of the younger man’s trust. He won’t share his fantasies about his dark-haired, athletic student. He’ll never claim this submissive for his own…

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Review

FiveStars

This book has descriptions of an abusive relationship with BDSM. If this bothers you, do not read.
Jay and Cal have a somewhat dangerous partnership. I wanted to yell and scream when I read how awful Cal was.
Henry was a calm, strong, loving Dom who wanted nothing more than to help Jay find his way in a world that can sometimes harbor posers.
Emma and Victor are great friends throughout the story. I would very much like to have read their story. They sound like they have quite the relationship.
This was a story of finding your true self – harnessing that power and trusting yourself. Both main characters, Henry and Jay have to find it in themselves to trust their true natures.
I love how devious Emma was throughout the story. She made me laugh and I found myself wanting to know what she and Jay would talk about. I really liked how protective she was over all Subs in the club – it didn’t matter than she was a sub herself – she was like a mama bear who would rip anyone apart if they mistreated them.
While I did like that Henry was patient and methodical in how he taught Jay to negotiate and essentially fend for himself, the book was slow at some times.
Overall, this book was very well written. I think it could have gone (or I wish) a little faster in pace, but in the end, it was very enjoyable.
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I am a former Midwestern gal who well knows the joy of flopping down in a field for an afternoon and composing stories about the shapes in the clouds. As it turns out, adulthood doesn’t have to be so different from childhood.

Sharing those stories is a new thing for me. I hope readers will love the characters as much as I do.

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Jewel Cave (#3 in Circles) by Elizabeth Noble – #Mystery #Romance #MM @elizabethnoble1

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Title: Jewel Cave (Book #3 of Circles)
Author Name: Elizabeth Noble
Publication Date: April 2, 2015

Synopsis

Through ten wonderful years Griff Diamond and Clint Bishop weathered good times and bad together. Lately they haven’t spent as much time together as they’d like, and their physical relationship is suffering. Then Clint loses his job at the steel mill. Instead of worrying, he sees it as an opportunity to lean on his steady partner, start his writing career, and rekindle the passion they’ve lost.

But a friendly relationship with another author turns to obsession, putting Clint’s life in danger. Taken against his will to the Jewel Cave system in South Dakota, Clint must rely on the skills he’s learned from Griff to survive.

Fearing the worst, Griff tracks Clint across the country. As a US Marshall, Griff’s always been the man who keeps everyone safe, but he doesn’t know how he and Clint will survive this.

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WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THE BOOK

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It was time to back away from Dylan, what had been a friendship had definitely shifted to territory uncomfortable to Clint. He didn’t want to hurt Dylan’s feelings. He’d tried sending a few emails telling Dylan some of his pictures weren’t appreciated, but it did no good. The guy was either dense or stubborn.

Unlike some of his other friends, Clint knew nothing about Dylan’s family or the people who lived near him. As far as Clint could tell, Dylan was alone in the world, and his sudden attachment to Clint was starting to feel creepy. So, lately, Clint had been taking longer and longer to answer emails and tried to keep subjects of conversation as neutral as possible or focused on writing projects.

The pictures Clint deleted. Griff would flip if he ever knew about those photos, not that Clint would blame him in the least. He would have loved to share some of his other concerns about Dylan’s wellbeing with Griff, but Clint knew the man would turn Dylan into one of America’s Most Wanted in under a minute.

Such was the hazard of sharing his life with a US Deputy Marshal.

He’d made a vow to himself long ago he’d never use Griff’s job or badge unless there was a solid, valid reason. Someone he’d known for a few years all of a sudden annoying him online was not solid or valid in Clint’s mind. Clint kept reminding himself Dylan was lonely and had no family. He was probably merely one of those people who didn’t get the concept of boundaries. That didn’t make him a criminal, just socially awkward.

Clint nearly jumped out of his skin when someone’s strong arm snaked around his waist and pulled him back against a firm body. Warm breath blew in his ear along with the words, “You left the door unlocked again. I could be the neighborhood whack job here to bludgeon you to death after defiling you.”

“You scared the crap out of me!” Clint yelped, trying to squirm away, but it was useless. “You’re the guy on this street with all the big guns.” Behind him Griff chuckled and used one finger to move Clint’s hair away from his neck. He pressed a soft kiss to the spot. Clint glared down at the dogs. “And you two! You need watchdog lessons.”

Griff gave a little jerk forward with his hips and snickered. “And those big guns are all yours.” He let go of Clint, turned him, and shook him by the shoulders for a second. “Lock the goddamn doors. Even if someone smashes through the storm door, you’ll at least hear them.” He raised his eyebrows and leaned away from Clint, letting him go. “For me. Please. ’Cause the only defiling that goes on in this house is done by me.”

Clint burst out laughing. Griff’s blue-gray eyes twinkled, and the corners crinkled in a way Clint loved when Griff smiled. “Sorry, I’m late,” Griff said. He used his free hand to pet the dogs.

AuthorBio

Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming. Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess named Rosie, and two cats, Murphy and Yeti. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives. Two of Elizabeth’s books have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards.

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TWO 5 and 4.5 Stars for Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen (Guest Post)- #MM #Military #Amputee @MelJoyAZ

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Title: Everything Changes
Author Name: Melanie Hansen
Publication Date & Length: March 13, 2015 – 68,029 Words

Synopsis

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

Review

FiveStars
This is my first novel by Melanie Hansen, and I have to say the Prologue grabbed my attention.
This was one of the most profound, heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching, and beautiful journey’s I have read and I read a lot!!!!
Jase and Carey met and became friends when they were officers in the Army. Jase was a medic and when Carey was wounded, Jase saved his life, and the feelings Jase had for his friend were forever, and deeply embedded in his heart. Carey was indebted to Jase but he also wanted to forget everything that happened during the War. They remained friends but it was strained…until Carey decides to take a visit to Jase, in San Diego. And what ensues is a panty-melting page turning seduction that will leave you flushed and breathless. *fans self* Phew!!!
Melanie Hansen has an incredible way of describing so many gut-wrenching and heart-felt moments, you will sob out loud without even realising it, and not care either. I would suggest not reading this in public as the emotions won’t be contained.
Both have very difficult inner battles to overcome. The war did not leave them unscathed. But with each by their side, the battle doesn’t feel so lonely…. Sigh. I devoured this in one sitting, one morning actually, could not put it down!!! That is all I got, and if you are getting the impression that I loved this author, and the story is a MUST READ, then I said enough.
Reviewer: Kimberley
FiveStars

This is truly a beautiful piece of writing.   The enduring friendship between Marine Corey and Medic Jase is forged in the heat of an Afghanistan warzone.  The men are inseparable on deployment until a tragedy leaves Corey badly injured and Jase trying desperately to save his life even if he can’t save his leg.

Both men return from the war deeply damaged, but their friendship is immutable.  What Jase never tells Corey is how much he truly loves his straight best friend.

Hansen’s elegant prose elevates this book beyond the average wounded warrior story.    Her characters are complex and fully developed.  Hansen never shies away from the realities of war or underestimates the strain of civillian life on former servicemen and women.  Her plot drags readers back and forth in time until we have no hope but to fall madly, deeply in love with both of her captivating leading men.

A character in the story explains that “the best kind of love is friendship that has caught fire.”

Hansen captures this love with sensual, sumptuous language.  Corey’s growing awareness of Jase sexually is delectably slow.  The chemistry between Jase and Corey is explosive, delivering moments of almost unbearable desire.   The slow burn attraction between two men who have loved each other for a very long time is painfully sexy.

Highly recommended.

Sarah

FourandHalfStars

Jase and Carey are kind of an odd couple. They had such a close connection while in the army – so close, that they stayed connected even after the tragedy that is war touched their lives.

Carey seems to hold all of his emotions in side. He hides himself away. Hints from his past creep in to the story and the reader can then guess as to why Carey is the way he is. His character was a hard nut to crack – despite his inner dialogue, he was very frustrating at times. I wanted to hit him over the head to get him to really see how he was living.

Jase is much more free spirited. He is much more go with the flow. However, even with that attitude, he was not unaffected by the war and he has his own demons to overcome.

Despite years of loving each other, neither was able to express that love for quite some time. The story of their love is a struggle – it is filled with years of meaningless encounters with other people, sometimes with each character floating through their life, not really living. While I thought the story was slow at times, I really liked how Hansen brought it all together.

One quote that really hit home was “Just give me one more day. And if that’s all you have to give me, it just today, I’ll take it.” I think that is a great way to get through rough times. This story was about survival, love, finding yourself and finding happiness even among the broken pieces of your life. Today is not tomorrow, nor is it yesterday and these characters were able to live in the moment. So many times, people are not able to do that.

So, this story was touching, hopeful and romantic.

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“You keep looking at me like that, this ain’t gonna last long,” Jase growled. Carey smirked, then twirled his finger in a turn-around motion.

“I feel like a piece of meat,” Jase grumbled good-naturedly, but turned in a slow circle. Carey’s mouth watered as he took in Jase’s broad shoulders and muscular back, tapering in a perfect V into slim hips and high, round buttocks. Carey was a little bemused at how looking at another man’s body was revving him up, but it was. It was just… Jase. Carey already knew how beautiful he was on the inside; now he knew how stunning he was on the outside too.

Using his support leg and his arms, he pulled himself to the edge of the bed and sat up, crooking his finger “Come here.”

Jase’s eyes flared hot, and he took the few steps necessary to reach the edge of the bed. Carey reached up slowly and moved his hands onto Jase’s hips, stroking over the hipbones lightly before tugging him forward to stand between his legs.

“I just want to touch you,” he said hoarsely. “Is that okay?”

Jase smoothed Carey’s hair back from his forehead, his fingertips achingly gentle. “Touch me,” he said

AuthorInterview

One of my characters in Everything Changes, Carey Everett, is an amputee due to an injury he suffered in Afghanistan.  The surgery he received to remove his damaged leg is called a transtibial amputation, which means below the knee.  Carey is fortunate in that respect since transfemoral, or above the knee, amputations are more complicated and prosthetic fittings more difficult.  With a transfemoral amputation, an artificial knee is required so the recovery time and mastering the range of motion takes longer.

Prosthetic comes from the Greek word meaning “addition.”  The oldest prosthetic discovered in history was on the mummy of an Egyptian noblewoman dating back 3,000 years ago.  It was a prosthetic toe made of wood and leather and was fully articulated, meaning it could bend and move exactly like a real toe.

Carey wears a prosthetic made of a blend of lightweight plastic, carbon fiber and titanium.  He attaches it to his residual leg, or stump, with a suction socket.  When he dons, or puts on, his prosthetic, he bears down until air is expelled through a one-way valve and a vacuum seal forms.  When he doffs it, or takes it off, he opens the valve to expel the air and break the seal.

Fitting for a prosthetic is a long, arduous process since an amputee’s residual leg is constantly changing due to swelling or shrinkage.  Physical therapy is painful and involved.  Carey was already dealing with a traumatic and life-changing injury, and adjusting to and learning to walk again with an artificial leg was emotionally and physically draining.  Jase’s support and care during this time made all the difference to Carey’s recovery, and it cemented the existing emotional bond between them which eventually turned to love.

AuthorBio

Melanie Hansen has spent time in both Texas and Florida prisons…for work.   She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met.  After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man.  After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student.  She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

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Spotlight: Opposites (Opposites #1) by T.M. Smith – #MM #Romance #Adult #Dystopian @ TTCBooksandmore

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Title: Opposites (Opposites #1)
Author Name: T.M. Smith
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2013 – 199pgs

Synopsis

In the year 2081 our planet survived global warming of an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded Dr. Anthony Smith, one of only a few hundred survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the twenty first century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene. This gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians. A new society is born.

In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the twenty fourth century having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins Aiya and Aiyan are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.

Love is Love.. it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions and boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi that he is matched with and eventually marries. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over two hundred years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites.

*WARNING* Opposites is a majorly M/M New Adult novel that contains explicit sexual content and relationships between gay, lesbian and straight couples.

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Standing outside the door to the room Kaden barely occupied, Aiyan placed his hands on either side of him planting him against the wall. He stared at Kaden for several moments before he smiled, and kissed him. Kaden pulled back and shot a warning glare at him.

“You should go.” Kaden whispered breathlessly. “Goodnight Aiyan.”

Aiyan grinned that crooked smile and planted a kiss on his neck and whispered, “Go where, here?” He moved up and nipped Kaden’s ear lobe with his teeth. “Or here?” he asked. Kaden was beginning to slide down the wall as his legs turned to jelly.

Aiyan stood back laughing, his eyes glistened and he smiled. “Goodnight Kaden, I love you.” Placing a quick peck on his lips, he turned to go.

“And I you.” Kaden said and closed the door behind him before sinking to the floor, no longer able to support himself. He ran the tips of his fingers across his still tingling lips, and smiled.

AuthorBio

A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. She now calls Texas home from her small town on the outskirts of the DFW Metroplex. Most days you can find her curled up with her kindle and a good book alongside a glass of something aged and red or a steaming cup of coffee!

At 42 years young, she’s decided to enter the next phase of her life by adding the title of “author” to her list of accomplishments that includes single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Smith is and outspoken advocate for Autism and equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Her Opposites series is based outside the normal parameters of social acceptability, examining a ‘what if’… What If to be gay or lesbian were the norm? What if to be straight labeled you as an Opposite and made YOU the Outkast?

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