Martin, Anna, B. Snow, Blain D. Arden, Kit Mullender, Liam Livings, MJ O’Shea and Tia Fielding. “Bedtime Stories: An Anthology”, Wilde City Press, 2014.
Something for Everyone
How can we ever forget those wonderful times in our youth when we went to sleep at night listening to bedtime stories? There was something magical about lying in bed while someone read to us and now we have the chance to do the same as adults. Seven writers have come together to give us an anthology of stories that remind us of long ago and they range from the supernatural to the classic but there stories are for adults. I understand that this collection was “designed to be read one at a time, at bedtime”. They are “gay romances that are sure to leave you ready for a night of sweet, lingering dreams”.
In “Whiskey Wishes” by Anna Martin we meet Jim who lives in Ireland in a small town where whiskey is distilled. He decided to try his luck in Dublin but things were too expensive and he has returned home to Kilbeggan. He was able to get a job working at the distillery and he loved it but he had a problem with the town’s attitude toward gay people and so he remained closeted. An artist, Aiden, took a room above the pub where Brigitte, Jim’s sister worked. When the two men met, it was magic but Brigitte also had set her cap for Aiden. The two men carried on in secret and they finally moved in together. What makes this story special is the way it is written and we get a look at love as it comes into being.
Tia Fielding’s “Flickers” is all about denial. Benjamin did not want to admit his sexuality and he had his own personal feelings for that. He claimed to himself that he didn’t care for being looked at by other men and he really disliked the way the ghost beside his bed looked at him. He decided to do something about it and with the help of the apparition looked for ways to die. I am not saying anymore about this story so you will just have to read it yourselves.
In “Click Your Heels Three Times” by Blaine D. Arden we get a fairytale about a prince and his lover who have been separated. Prince Theo denied General West’s feeling that he needed to advance politically and personally in the Royal Family. The queen totally trusted him and no one ever considered him to be guilty of betrayal. But Theo learned that was the case when he was sent to the forest and separated from his lover, Wynstan. And there is magic here like all good fairy tales.
MJ O”Shea brings us “Charmed” where we meet Kelly, the head bartender at Cosmic. He is a good worker and totally trustworthy and reliable. He seldom played while on the job and if he had the desire to do so, he waited until his shift was over. He really wanted to be with one special guy and he did not like that his job put him around so many available men that he could not socially react with. He longed for a fairytale romance and had just about given up until he met Luke.
In “Torch” by Kit Mullender we meet Jem, a hard working doctor. He always looks forward to Thursday evenings when he is off and he can relax at home and he could listen to a jazz singer who lived somewhere near him.. Then there was Elias who also is the hospital’s head pharmacist. Elias is good-looking but Jem felt he was a bit too forward was not making things easier. Nothing happened until one night Jem and some friends went to a jazz club and he came face-to-face with the singer.
“Miles to Go” by B. Snow is about Joe whose life seemed to be falling apart around him. When his wife learned that he is gay, she left him and he insists that he is straight. Joe loves his wife and their son and he felt that they all had a great life together. Joe was determined to prove that he is straight and so he agreed to a challenge his wife set up—he had to go on a date with a man chosen by his wife or get a divorce. He chose the date but he knew he had to find a baby-sitter for his son. Whet the sitter, a guy named Danny, walked in, there were sparks but Joe was wallowing in his own problems. His dates with men were awful and he talked to Danny about them and through this, he was able to discover who he really is.
I rarely say that a certain story from an anthology is my favorite but this time I am breaking my own rules and saying that Liam Livings’ “Frangipani Kisses” really stole my heart. In it we meet John who just lost his job as an accountant. He decided that until he was ready to look for another position that he would so some volunteer work at a cancer charity shop and he soon made some new friends through this. Keith, his partner, was there for him and John so appreciated it. However, John did feel the desire to make money and Keith told him to use his skills as best he could—not only was John a good accountant, he was a fine baker. What is so lovely in this story is that we meet two men who love and trust each other. This is a love story but without eroticism and we see here that it is indeed possible to depict love without including sex. One lover helps the other and we see more than just love, we see true friendship.
The stories are diverse and different but they do share the idea that comfort comes from reading and we see that dreams do come true.