“SALAM NEIGHBOR”— A Humanitarian Crisis

salam poster

“Salam Neighbor”

A Humanitarian Crisis

Amos Lassen

Four million Syrians have escaped war and we see by this that it is possible that we can be losing an entire generation of young people as well as destabilizing a region of the world and bringing about poverty and violence.

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This documentary takes us into the world of refugees. Seven miles from war, 85,000 Syrians struggle to restart their lives inside Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp. For the first time in history, two filmmakers, Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple, fully plant themselves in the camp, providing an intimate look at the world’s most dire humanitarian crisis.

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We meet Um Ali, a woman struggling to overcome personal loss and cultural barriers and 10-year-old Raouf, whose trauma is hidden beneath his smile and we hear inspiring stories of individuals rallying, against all odds, to rebuild their lives and those of their neighbors. This crisis should challenge us to become global citizens and neighbors to those who are suffering.

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When a truck pulls up to the Za’atari refugee camp, a place that is spread out across the Jordanian desert we see refugees carrying their bags of food rations, children playing in the sand. We also see Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple, two young Americans pitching their tent and preparing to film their newest documentary, “Salam Neighbor.” Za’atari is the world’s second largest refugee camp and the filmmakers have decided to live there for one month with Syrian refugees.

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We see Ingrasci and Temple collaborating with Mohab Khattab and Salam Darwaza, co-founders of 1001 MEDIA, a production company with roots in the United States and Bahrain that aims to tell stories about Arab communities. The four worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Jordanian government over a 10-month period. The film marks the first time the United Nations has allowed a group of filmmakers to be embedded in a refugee camp and officially registered with a tent.

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What made these young filmmakers so interested in this topic was when they began asking questions about what it is like to leave one’s country and attempt to rebuild after all has been lost. For most of us, we only know what we see on the news and what we see on the news is there because it sells. This means we never get the complete picture from the media. Zach and Chris wanted to know more about the personal aspects of what was happening and what it was like for those fleeing from war.

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We meet a 10-year-old Syrian boy who avoids school while struggling with severe shellshock, a grandmother who lost her sons in the war and now expresses her emotions by writing thoughts on her tent’s walls and weaving art out of old plastic bags, an international relief worker who advocates for women’s rights, a former university student and aspiring French teacher who now advocates for children’s education in the camp, and a single mother of three named Ghoussoon who lives outside Za’atari in the city of Mafraq.

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The stories we see and hear makes us want to stop whatever we are doing and find some way to help these poor people. Refugee camps are not new to me—I saw them in Israel and I then felt connected to the refugees brings you on a heart throbbing/ tear jerking journey but there was nothing I could do. In the media refugees are seen more of a burden than a situation that must be fixed. Here we feel a connection with people hundreds and thousands of miles away.

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By focusing on a few main characters, the documentary lets us develop a good sense of who these people are and realize that they are just like us. Unfortunately they had to deal with a terrible situation in their country. As we watch we get closer to the people we meet and feel what they feel as best we can from afar.

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The Syrians are a resilient people who have literally created “something out of nothing. They loving and generous people and take care of Chris and Zach as if they were their own sons. This is film that will stay with you and hopefully move you enough to make you want to do more to help our global neighbors.

“Girls on Campus”—- A Hot Anthology

girls on campus

Lowe, Sandy and Stacia Seaman (editors). “Girls on Campus”, Bold Stokes Books, 2016.

A Hot Anthology

Amos Lassen

When this book arrived I must say that I was a bit puzzled about how a gay man could review a book of lesbian erotica. I have a rough time with erotica anyway and in the past when I have been asked to review lesbian erotica I used to say no. I guess I can say that although I once read a good deal of gay erotica but I stopped several years ago because it seemed so redundant and familiar. So I am asking you to bear with me as I attempt to review this book.

Have you ever thought about what girls do when they go away to school? Today’s dorms are co-ed but there was a time when….. College has become a coming of age (and for some a coming out) rite. Rules, it seems, are meant to be broken and college is good for breaking rules as well as for feeling free and liberated. Here we see girls in all kinds of activities and where sex can freely can place.

I must say that the girls in this volume have a great time experimenting with sex among themselves are the stories and the girls are hot. However, if you are looking for literature you are in the wrong place. What might have begun as a collection of nineteen stories actually becomes nineteen various sexcapades with the stories taking a back seat to the erotic elements. The plots were lost along the way.

“The Inventor’s Dilemma: The Remarkable Life of H. Joseph Gerber” by David J. Gerber— Inventor, Technologist and Business Magnate

the inventor's dilemma

Gerber, David J. “The Inventor’s Dilemma: The Remarkable Life of H. Joseph Gerber”, Yale University Press, 2016.

Inventor, Technologist and Business Magnate

Amos Lassen

Heinz Joseph Gerber was a twentieth-century inventor, technologist, and business magnate whose was a Holocaust survivor. His early experiences in life shaped the man he would become and whose son, David, so beautifully shares his father’s life story. Gerber was a pioneer in the fields of engineering, electronics, printing, apparel, aerospace, and many other areas. He played an essential and important role in the transformation of American industry.

After enduring the rise of Nazism, Joe Gerber came to the United States with his mother and no money in 1940. Amazingly, some fifty-four years later, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for having pioneered automated manufacturing systems for making cars, clothes, electronics, signs, newspapers, shoes, maps, and eyeglass lenses. 

Arriving in this country with little more than his dreams, Gerber went on to become one of the great American inventors who was to revolutionize industries that were not doing as well as they should have been.

Joe (as he preferred to be called) Gerber was the founder of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company and the recipient of hundreds of U.S. and foreign patents. While his work isn’t as well known others, his contributions are important. He had the unique ability to be able to see problems and chances to make everything better. Not only did he invent products, he also invented systems for producing products.

Gerber was just fourteen-years-old when the Nazis invaded his country, Austria and we read about that evening when the family sat around the radio listening to the Austrian chancellor. The leader of the country signed off with, “God protect Austria,” and was immediately followed Adolf Hitler whose speech began with his addressing Austrians with “Fellow Germans…”  Like so many other Jews who were forced to endure the darkest period of world history, Gerber never really understood why being Jewish had made him a target.

We read how the family was of primary importance in Joe Gerber’s life. When his father became quite ill, Joe was raised by his grandfather who influenced his life in many ways. It was his grandfather and his own terrible experiences during the Holocaust that shaped his life. He developed his qualities of drive and competition during these periods. The fact that Joe’s grandfather was a man of science really influenced him as he was developing into the man he became.

 His grandfather was a man of science. In Austria, innovation did not exist so when he was with his grandfather, Joe (who then went by the name of Heinz) was able to enjoy science and become creative. This was quite different from the real world that existed outside. These two different worlds actually had a profound effect on grandfather and grandson as they learned that there is potential in science and imagination to go do god rather than think about ways of eradicating the lives of people in terrible ways. Joe was able to see technology as a force for good.

Finally Joe and his mother were able to escape Austria and get to America and it was here that Heinz became Joe and he began to build his plans for the future. He and his mother moved to Connecticut where Joe worked in the tobacco fields and raised money to support them. Joe managed to convince the head of the local high school to allow him to enroll as a junior on the condition that he would complete his freshman and sophomore courses on his own time and Jo was able to graduate in just two years. He also took whatever part-time jobs he could get. The principal agreed, provided the boy did not fail any classes.

Joe graduated high school in two years, all the while working at a bakery and taking any other part-time jobs he could get. He caught the eye of Abraham Koppleman, a man who ran the local newspaper and they forged a friendship that influenced them both.

Joe now went to Rensselaer Polytechnic in Troy, New York, with his sights on becoming an engineer. While there, he found a solution to a complex mathematical problem and strange as it may sound, this changed his life. This was the Aero Project that led Joe to finding a new kind of ruler that changed the way math was regarded by many. The

Gerber Variable Scale Elastic Ruler was just what he needed to break into his role as an inventor and when he went back to Connecticut on a school break he shared his invention with his friend Abe Koppleman who told him to get a patent for it. Joe had no money for such an expense and he did not want his friend to supply the funds. They then agreed to be partners and while Joe was still in college, the Gerber Scientific Instrument Company was born. With that birth came many more inventions and Joe was on his way. I could go on and write about so many inventions but that would ruin the read for many and take away the wonderful surprises that await you in the beautifully written book. While this is the story of one man’s life, it is also the story of inspiration and how it changed him as well as so many others.

Joe Gerber was committed to innovation and problem solving thus making life better for us all. It is also the story of a son’s love for his father. At a time when there is so much talk about immigration, we see here how one immigrant to this country strove for success and left behind a legacy that changed the way we live.

“Miss Vera’s Cross Gender Fun for All” by Dr. Veronica Vera— All Identities, All Sexes

miss vera's cross gender fun

Vera, Veronica Dr. “Miss Vera’s Cross Gender Fun for All”, Greenery Press, 2016.

All Identities, All Sexes

Amos Lassen

Dr. Veronica Vera is the founder of that fine educational institution, Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. She maintains that

“Within every man there is a woman; within every woman there is a man” and in this, the first book ever about cross-gender play for people of all identities and sexes, she presents the importance of cross-gender play as a method of self-discovery and growth. Dr. Vera uses both imagination and practical knowledge to the challenge of helping the reader discover the other-sexed person within.

We learn here how to “imagine our ‘second self’, choosing a name, picking clothing and accessories – a little or a lot, communicating that persona, learning how to walk and talk, and finally, if you choose, launching that new person into the world”. Dr. Vera gives us the confident, wise, experienced teacher you need to increase our gender awareness and we learn that the unsung heroes of trans history are the cis women who created safe spaces for us to experiment with gender and who championed our rights. Dr. Vera has been a true feminist ally and has helped many break out of the straitjacket of masculinity have had a safe place to discover a more liberated self.

Vera provides us with a “joyful celebration of gender expression and love”. She shares her decades of experience and her personal brand of “Frock Therapy” in order to liberate the cross-gender spirit in all of us.

“The Grand” by Dennis D. Wilson— Crime and Politics

the grand

Wilson, Dennis D. “The Grand”, Water Street Press, 2016.

Crime and Politics

Amos Lassen

Dean Wister is a federal agent in Chicago who is on forced sabbatical after having been through a rough period with his wife’s death from cancer. He is in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the place where he and his wife first met years prior and where local law enforcement had asked him to be a consultant on a case involving the death of a Chicago mobster in the Snake River. There do not seem to be any clues as to why the mobster was murdered—he was a popular guy and Jackson Hole is a place for the rich and famous where there has not been crime. There is a presidential campaign going on and it might be that the crime is tied to that in some way. As Wister investigates, citizens of the town are worried that secrets might come to the fore and there is the possibility that the murder and its consequences could involve more than just the town of Jackson Hole. There are many suspects and the case takes Wister to Chicago and the nation’s capitol as he continues his investigation. He has not really fully recovered from the death of his wife. She visits him every night and this makes it difficult for him to find closure and forces him to question what is his purpose in life.

I was immediately pulled into the story that begins slowly but that soon had me turning pages as quickly as possible and working along with Wister to solve the crime and mourn his wife.

The plot really gets going when a local real estate agent, Hayden Smith walks in on a couple in the throes of ecstasy as they are having sex. This act sets everything going. Wister who is vacationing there hoped to find a way to get over what he has been through after being commanded to take a three month leave from his Chicago post. We realize just how important his wife was to him as we read about her ghostly visits at night.

Right after the death of a Chicago hit man was discovered as the result of a strange car crash, Hayden Smith is found murdered and another federal agent has disappeared. It is at this point that the local sheriff enlists Wister’s help to solve the case that seems to be the result of foul play. Soon clues point to a wealthy resident, a presidential candidate, a crime lord and a member of the mob from Chicago. Evidence of money laundering and blackmail are also discovered and we are taken on an emotional journey filled with twists, turns and intrigue. We also realize that what at first seemed to be a case of simple murder becomes very involved and complex.

Writer Dennis Wilson has created quite a cast of characters and even though this slows the action a bit, it allows us to know who we are reading about. I found it fascinating how he ties mourning a wife to a mystery and shows that life goes on after a dear one dies and while we need time to find closure, the world is able to provide that by adding a new task to be handled. We also become very aware of the role of politics in daily life. Wilson writes using detail that allows the reader to know exactly where he/she is and I found this to be a very intelligently written mystery that had me guessing all the way through.

“Exiles in Sepharad: The Jewish Millennium in Spain” by Jeffrey Gorsky— One Thousand Years of Jews in Spain

exilesin sepharad

Gorsky, Jeffrey. “Exiles in Sepharad: The Jewish Millennium in Spain”, The Jewish Publication Society, 2015.

One Thousand Years of Jews in Spain

Amos Lassen

One of the most colorful periods in Jewish history took place during one thousand year history of Jews in Spain. Author Jeffrey Gorsky takes us back to the era when Jewish culture was at its height in Muslim Spain and then through the horrors of the Inquisition and the Expulsion. A little fact that many do not realize is that twenty percent of Jews today are descended from Sephardic Jews and it was Sephardic Jews who created significant works in religion, literature, science, and philosophy. They flourished under both Muslim and Christian rule and enjoyed prosperity and power that was unsurpassed in Europe. Their cultural contributions include important poets; the great Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides; and Moses de Leon, author of the “Zohar”, the core text of the Kabbalah.

What is so amazing is that the very same Sephardic Jews had to deal with incredible hardships. They were driven from Muslim Spain to Christian Spain by fundamentalist Islamic. In 1391 thousands were killed and more than a third were forced to convert by anti-Jewish rioters. A century later the Spanish Inquisition began and it accused thousands of these converts of heresy. By the end of the fifteenth century Jews had been expelled from Spain and forcibly converted in Portugal and Navarre. After almost a millennium of harmonious existence, what had been the most populous and prosperous Jewish community in Europe ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula. Yet I find it interesting today that there is a Jewish presence in Spain—-it is small but it exists and today Jews are offered rewards to return to Iberia.

We read of the highs and the lows of Jews in Spain, a place that had once granted the Jews the right to prosper and it is important not to forget that Jews enjoyed a level of prosperity, acclaim and power that was not matched anywhere else in Europe. What really makes this book so very special though is that the author has made it personal and accessible yet it is grounded in fine research and scholarship.

We meet the key personalities and explore the intricate relationship between religious hatred, politics, and economics. Gorsky takes us back to the earliest Spanish civilizations and shows that the central royal authority was being challenged by aristocratic families. For whatever reason, the king might have had to turn to powerful families or other vassals as allies in the struggle. These alliances often required concessions in the form of land or gold. And so there was always pressure upon the royal house to increase its holdings and revenues within its own kingdom. Some of the support of the crown and the nation came from the Jews who lived there and these very same families that once supported and often bankrolled the crown were later expelled because of their religion. I believe it is fair to say that history can often be quite hypocritical.

During the several centuries in medieval Spain Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together like in no other place in Europe. Gorsky focuses on the Jews who occupied a unique place in Spanish society. In the early days of the Muslim tenure in Spain the Jews made themselves useful to the Muslim rulers. Later, as the Christians became ascendant, Jews served Christian kings in much the same way. They played many varied roles in various royal bureaucracies and one of the most important roles was as tax collectors. This and other roles of this nature endeared them to the rulers and kings. On the other hand, the populace did not find them so endearing because they did not want to pay taxes.

We see that when a rival lord or bishop wanted to undermine a particular ruler, the Jews in his employ would be easy targets. Popular uprisings against the Jews often undermined the rulers’ much needed source of revenue that came in the form of tax payments. Many popular myths came about based on lies told by those who would benefit by a ruler’s demise. Lies were part of the popular imagination much longer than any particular political argument of the day.

The Roman Catholic Church persecuted both Jews and Muslims because of its desires to expand and solidify its position. With papal bulls, crusades, and inquisitions of the Middle Ages, it was not a good time to be a non-Catholic. Many Jews were enticed or forced to convert. But even as “Conversos” the former Jews were not exempt from continued persecution. But since these New Christians could not be persecuted on purely religious grounds, these former Jews, or descendants of former Jews, began to be persecuted on racial grounds. Then came the Spanish Inquisition that was aimed at finding supposed secret Jews as well as also attacking those whose blood was tainted by Jewish ancestry.

Gorsky shows the earliest examples of racial discrimination and persecution in Spain. In 1492 the Spanish expelled the Jews entirely. But the worst damage had already been done and not just to Jews but to the Spanish psyche as well. It is important to remember that the year of the expulsion was the year Columbus made his voyage, and the centuries of intolerance instructed the Spanish adventurers in the New World. The slave trade became a racial justification learned from the Inquisition. Spanish society in the Americas was based on an intricate arranging of racial types. Gorsky says that this history is Jewish history, and that attitudes about race quite possibly come originally from medieval Spanish anti-Semitism.

This is an amazing read of fine scholarship and sheds light on the Jewish past. However, it is important to understand that people have suffered horrible fates in the name of religion.

This is well-researched, well-written, and compelling in its reasoning. and no matter one’s religious or cultural persuasion, this volume should be well received by anyone who is serious about knowing the truth about our past. One only needs to be able to read about the horrible things people have suffered in the name of race and religion. What happened to the Jews of Spain is often overlooked historically and we can only hope that this book will contribute to the canon of Jewish history and its study. I remember as a youngster learning about the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry and then forgetting about it for years. We cannot let that happen.

“Homo Superiors” by L.A. Fields— Leopold an Loeb: A Modern Retelling

homo superiors

Fields, L.A. “Homo Superiors”, Lethe Press, 2016.

Leopold and Loeb: A Modern Retelling

Amos Lassen

Noah Kaplan might be considered to be a nerd— he quite thin, enjoys bird watching, he is extremely intelligent and feel that the only one who can match him intellectually is Ray Klein, his best friend. Ray has worked very hard creating his masculine image and by watching other men has developed a certain savoir-faire. He is suave but jaded. He feels superior and is bored with the life he leads. He want to do something really big and this summer is going to be when he does so. Noah, wanting to stay close to Ray, is willing to do whatever Ray says and sends him a text telling him that he has found someone to murder. Both Noah and Ray have placed themselves away from others as if they are too good to mingle. They are both willing to take on a real challenge because they are so sure of their sense of being better than others but neither understood what the crime of murder they wish to commit could do to them and their families.

The story is set in Chicago, the same place that Leopold and Loeb committed their ghastly crime. Noah and Ray are geniuses but they are also very strange and they luxuriate in that feeling. The two met when they were as scholars by their university. They really have nothing in common with the exceptions of being brilliant and Jewish.

Ray is a manipulator who knows how to get what he wants. Noah is his opposite and lacks any sense of style and grooming. Both look to connect with another who shares his intelligence and so they found each other.

By being with Ray, Noah overcomes his fears and he follows Ray when he transfers from the University of Chicago to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Noah initially and eagerly supports Ray’s appetite for adventure by committing small acts of vandalism and from these they move in the direction of bigger crimes that include arson and burglary. Ray understands and accepts Noah’s desire for sexual experimentation. Naturally they both have to deal with being vulnerable and the little problems that each has. Their friendship is solid but neither knows if it will be able to pass the supreme test of perpetrating the crime of murder.

L.A. Fields has done a fine job of creating two characters that are believable and in order to do so, he takes us back to time to his characters’ childhoods and shows us what led up to their desire to commit the “perfect crime”. Fields actually manages to get us to like the characters, as despicable as they are. While this is basically the story of two cold-hearted murderers, it is so much more. Yes, it is the story of Ray and Noah but it is also a look at place and time.

“6+6+6 Eighteen Tales of Textual Titillation (Volume 2)” by Robin Anderson— The Second Volume

6+6+6

Anderson, Robin. “6+6+6 Eighteen Tales of Textual Titillation (Volume 2)”, CreateSpace, 2016.

The Second Volume

Amos Lassen

There is something about irreverent literature that is a turn-on for me and when that is gay irreverent literature it is all the more special. What I love about writer Robin Anderson is his irreverence, satire and irony plus a collection of unforgettable literary characters. I am never sure how to approach reviewing his word because there is so much that I can sat but that if said a wonderful reading experience could be ruined. Therefore I proceed with caution. In this new collection, volume two of “6+6+6”, we get another eighteen stories with such titles as “Schlong of India”, “Well Fuck Me Sport”, “Chop Fooey” and “Peter the Perfidious Plumber”.

Many have said that camp is dead but reading Robin Anderson proves that it is alive and all over his stories.

The stories included are strictly for adults and Anderson is a master storyteller. It seems that with every new book he writes (and there are many), I recommend his work and say that here is a good place to start. In actuality, each of his books is a good place to start and it is never to late to have a great reading experience that will keep you laughing and thinking.

“THE MEASURE OF A MAN”— The Banality of Modernity

the measure of a man

“THE MEASURE OF A MAN” (“Le Loi du marche”)

The Banality of Modernity

Amos Lassen

Stéphane Brizé’s “The Measure of a Man” is a realistic look at a middle-aged man’s experience with unemployment after he is laid off from his job. Thierry (Vincent Lindon) transitions from unemployment to security guard at a supermarket. He is in his fifties and life gets tougher and tougher. He was on unemployment for months and has done everything possible to find a job. His limited welfare benefits are based on him being seen to be active in his search for work, and this is one such way to do just this.

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His wife is silently supportive but they have a teenage child with special needs and the new school that he is about to transfer too is expensive and their welfare checks will not cover the fees. Thierry tries to sell their family vacation home to help the family get by  but is bullied into lowering the price by buyers who sense his desperation. He is patronized by a young bank manager who suggests that he raise funds by selling his home and buying life insurance.   Then suddenly he lands a job work as a security man in a large supermarket on what is called ‘loss prevention’ and he is under great pressure by his bosses looking to cut costs to carefully watch not just the shoppers but also his co-workers for any attempts, no matter how minor, at stealing from the store.  Because he has been a life-long committed Union man, Thierry finds spying on his colleagues, particularly difficult as like him, even with their jobs, they are barely making a living wage.

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Each of the sad small incidents of pilfering that he has to get involved in eat away at his conscience and he sees many and as a result people are fired or arrested.   The film politicizes the effects of economic slumps that have been created by large anonymous corporations and we see that the brunt of the effects are borne by the working population who are just helpless cogs in the wheel. It is therefore no surprise that he will eventually resist in order to keep a hold on to both his beliefs and his dignity. Veteran actor Linden is pitch perfect as the world-weary and laconic Thierry and his performance won him the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.  

 

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The film contemplates just how much an ordinary workingman will compromise his integrity in the name of making ends meet. Director Brize fashions compelling drama out of the most ordinary of circumstance. Basically this is about the life Thierry Taugourdeau (Lindon), a laid-off factory worker who has, when we first meet him, already been out of work for more than a year and is struggling to keep his family afloat on a monthly €500 unemployment check. By day he looks for a job and by night, he tries to be a good husband and father to his wife, Katherine (Karine de Mirbeck), and teenage son Mathieu (Matthieu Schaller), who’s developmentally disabled but bright, self-confident and the object of no one’s pity.

“Triad Blood” by Nathan Burgoine— The Magic of Three

triad blood

Burgoine, Nathan. “Triad Blood”, Bold Strokes Books, 2016.

The Magic of Three

Amos Lassen

Unlike the popular saying, three is not always a crowd. In the case of Nathan Burgoine’s new novel we meet three demons, three vampires and three wizards. However Luc, Anders and Curtis are not nine people but three vampires/demons/wizards. Their bond is based on something special as we soon shall see. The three find themselves amid the politics of Ottawa and not by their own choice. They have to face Renard, a powerful vampire who has some secrets he will not share but he finds the triad threatening and wants them out of the way.

The triad members depend and compliment each other— each had his own reason for being alone and together they are a force and yet they depend upon one another. Curtis is a powerful wizard who has defied “the Families” and instead of forming a coven with two other wizards has instead formed a triad of power with an Incubus Demon and a Vampire. The three did this through a complicated rite of their own that included blood, soul, and magic. Their triad is powerful and a threat to all since no one had ever seen a triumvirate like this before.

To be honest, I am so over the paranormal trend in our literature so when I began to read this, I was sure that I would not finish it. Somehow, in the beginning I found myself hooked and as I continued to read I became more involved in the story than I had thought possible. I believe it was the characters that pulled me in even though I generally stay away from characters of this kind.

Renard challenges Luc and his triad but finds they’re evenly matched. Luc and his boys just want to exist in peace quietly but they are dragged into something that extends beyond anything they could have ever imagined. I felt badly for the three mysterious characters— Curtis, the young wizard who really only wanted to be on his own to perform his magic, Luc, the very handsome and sexy vampire who simply wanted to be able to feed when necessary and bother no one in the process and Anders, a gay sex-loving incubus who has been forced into acting like something that he is not because of his marginalization by others of his kind. Each character is unique and each exudes a charm of his very own. What the three share is that each has been set apart because he is gay but together they find peace and love when they are left to themselves.