The review site BriefEncountersReviews has just released a review of The Meaning of Vengeance, giving the story a B+!
That makes the fourth review and/or reader feedback I’ve received, giving the story good marks. I can’t say enough how delighted I am that this somewhat dark story seems to have to struck a chord with readers. The Viking Age Iceland setting appears to interest people, at least because it’s unusual. And the slow, careful development of the romance between the two characters has been commented on several times (in a good way).
Last night, despite earlier problems with their website, Dreamspinner Press released my novella, The Christmas Wager. This novella is very different from The Meaning of Vengeance, so I don’t know what kind of reception it will get. It was really written as a fun exercise, to see if I could pull off a Christmas Regency (well, it ended up being Victorian, due to some elements I wanted to include), but with gay characters.
It’s not an original idea. The author, Erastes, had written a gay Regency novel called Standish, which I read and liked a lot, but it was very dark — so dark, in fact, that I had difficulty finishing it. (Ultimately, I went back to it and I’m glad I did.) At Dreamspinner, Connie Bailey and J.M. McLaughlin wrote a short story called Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, which I enjoyed. I’m sure there are others — possibly a large number of others. But at any rate, it was a fun exercise and I enjoyed writing it. I was thrilled when it was accepted for publication.
I’ve received a number of comments (in forums and such) that people are tired of Regencies, so I’m a little concerned about the reception of The Christmas Wager. The same reviewers who like Vengeance might very well consider Wager to be trite and riddled with cliches. I’m dreading a review like, “While his first story showed some promise, this latest offering by…whatever his name is…proves that we should never buy anything this author writes in the future. Ever. In fact, I think I’ll call the publisher right now and have him boycotted from publishing anything in the future.”