by Matt Lubbers-Moore
A friend of mine messaged me the other day almost in tears because an author they love and adore replied to their email in a contemptuous way. My friend is a fan of male/male romances which are very commonly written by straight women for straight women, and the author in question has a very feminine name and looks very feminine, and therefore, my friend made the assumption that the author in question is female. Hell, I made the assumption the author was female.
The author derided my friend for misgendering him and treated him like he was scum of the Earth. My friend is heartbroken because he is very active in the LGBTQ+ community, performs drag shows, raises money for LGBTQ+ causes, hosts community get togethers, and so much else. I was upset that the author would attack my friend. Now, I have friends that are transgender and nonbinary and being misgendered and having your identity questioned can be and is hurtful when intentional, but when it comes out of a place of ignorance, it is a place to correct and move on.
For example, I was at a comic con yesterday, and I heard someone nearby call someone else Ashley, and they corrected the person by saying that they go by Zoe now, the first person apologized, and they moved on. It can be as simple as that.
I am no saint. I have a very good friend who I am having to correct myself when I misgender them. It is a quick correction and move on. It is not spiteful, or intentional, nor a willful refusal to use they/them as singular, it is simply a habit that I have to break so that I can stop hurting my friend.
Back to the author. I am going to make an assumption that could be wrong but perhaps he was having a bad day and had been misgendered at the grocery store, by the clerk at the bank, while having dinner by the waitstaff, and gotten home to find an email from a supposed fan that couldn’t even take the time out of their own day to learn their correct pronouns before sending the email and had enough. I have not seen the email and can only take my friend’s word for the way they were spoken to. Reading text is subjective. While in a bad mood, an email could come off as angry, yet the same email when read in a good mood could be read as helpful or playful.
I will say this, though, as a celebrity with fans, stop, take time before responding to emails, texts, messages, and reviews, and think about how you want to be seen by the world. My friend might never buy his books again, I know that I won’t, and I’m sure I am not the only person my friend told. It only takes one person to bring down your brand, and when in print, it is very easy to spread and difficult to refute.
And fans, do some research before reaching out to your favorite author for basic information. Misgendering, spelling their name wrong, misspelling a favorite character, or getting a plot wrong, can irritate and annoy an author who may chose not to respond to you or send a “Thanks for contacting me but…” email. Accidents happen, especially if we’ve been putting off that email for a long time, and finally worked up the nerve to write it, you type out a super amazing fan letter and only notice after sending it there were tons of typos. Groan!
Ultimately however, my friend should not have made an assumption about the author, and the author should not have made assumptions about my friend. Mistakes were made on both sides, but replying to a fan letter with overwhelming force is never a good idea.
On with the books!
Nothing to Lose: Film is a Four Letter Word and Killing Machine by Julian Grant
Out March 31 and April 1 respectively
Books one and two in the Hollyweird North series.
Book One: While a low-budget alcoholic/drug-addled producer cranks out his latest kickboxing picture, he finds himself battling Eurotrash, drug-dealing, snuff-movie psychopaths, angry local cops, bottom-of-the-barrel crew members, and a has-been cast designed to drive him insane. It doesn’t help that he’s got crippling substance abuse problems, is running the show on his last credit card, and been arrested for two horrific murders he didn’t commit.
Book Two: Pansexual Producer JG is back; fighting, filming, and screwing his way through his latest low budget movie, but not without some big issues. His latest business partner is a lunatic and his office bathroom just got blown up. The bigger problem is he’s being hunted by an arts and craft killer determined to take him off the picture as soon as possible. Forever.
A Kind of Death by Josh Aterovis
Out April 4, 2023, DSP Publications LLC
Cav Crawford has a lot going on. He’s a college student. He has a side gig as a PI. Oh yeah — and he sees ghosts. When four teenage boys disappear while ghost hunting but only one reappears days later (covered in blood and with no memory of what happened), the police point the finger at the boy. The boy’s parents hire Cav to prove his innocence, and it doesn’t take him long to realize he’s in over his head. To complicate matters, Cav unintentionally summons the ghost of his dead boyfriend, who can’t seem to move on. As the investigation deepens, Cav unearths disturbing similarities between his current case and a decades-old murder-suicide. By the time he realizes the power of the dark forces at work, it’s too late. He’s caught the attention of the killer, and he’ll soon learn there’s more than one kind of death.
The Winter Knight by Jes Battis
Out April 4, 2023, ECW Press
The knights of the round table are alive in Vancouver, but when one winds up dead, it’s clear the familiar stories have taken a left turn. Hildie, a Valkyrie and the investigator assigned to the case, wants to find the killer and maybe, figure her life out while she’s at it. On her short list of suspects is Wayne, an autistic college student and the reincarnation of Sir Gawain, who these days is just trying to survive in a world that wasn’t made for him. After finding himself at the scene of the crime, Wayne is pulled deeper into his medieval family history while trying to navigate a new relationship with the dean’s charming assistant, Burt, who also happens to be a prime murder suspect. To figure out the truth, Wayne and Hildie have to connect with dangerous forces: fallen knights, tricky runesmiths, the Wyrd Sisters of Gastown, and a hungry beast that stalks Wayne’s dreams.
Secret Dangers and Lethal Silence by John Preston
Out April 11, 2023, ReQueered Tales
Book One: Psychopathic terrorist targeting gays in Philadelphia.
Book Two: The final adventure of Alex Kane, crime fighter and avenger of gay men.
Heartlines by Shireen Magedin
Out April 15, 2023, AUSXIP Publishing
Doctor Sarah Shah and Agent Tanya Kareem embark on a perilous mission; one that will take them to the edges of their courage and ingenuity. Beginning with a mission to aid earthquake victims, their journey quickly escalates into a whirlwind of action, betrayal, kidnapping, and chases infused with a dash of the paranormal.
Tragic Vol 2 by Dana Mele
Out April 18, 2023, Legendary Comics YA
What was the question? With her head spinning and the ghost of her father continuing to haunt her, Harper’s list of murder suspects grows as she grapples with new revelations about her family. With Talia, Holden, and now Liam by her side, Harper must face the unthinkable as she delves further into the mystery of who killed her father with the suspects all around her… and closing in.
Drew Leclair Crushes the Case by Katryn Bury
Out April 18, 2023, Clarion Books
After breaking school rules the last time she solved a mystery, Drew Leclair has a new mission: get good grades, stay under the radar, and do not get suspended. But, when Drew finds out that there’s a thief breaking into the P.E. lockers and leaving behind cryptic ransom notes, it’s hard to resist cracking a new case. Especially when one of the victims is her best friend Shrey’s crush, and he’s practically begging her to get involved.
Light Carries On by Ray Nadine
Out April 18, 2023, Dark Horse Books
When Leon’s camera unexpectedly breaks, he is forced to borrow a used one from his mom’s antique store. As he snaps the first picture, the ghost of the camera’s former owner is released, and the two are inexplicably linked. After taking Leon’s body for an accidental joy ride, the ghost introduces himself as Cody, a queer punk rocker who died decades ago. Of course, he doesn’t remember how he wound up dead, but the two decide investigating might be the only way to end the haunting.
Chasing Rembrandt by Richard Stevenson
Out April 25, 2023, ReQueered Tales
This is the final title in the Donald Strachey series by Richard Stevenson and completed shortly before the author’s death in 2022. Foreword written by Stevenson’s son Zack Lipez.
Strachey is hired to track down artwork that had been stolen roughly thirty years prior when a Massachusetts woman finds a clue to their current hiding place. Strachey travels the Eastern coast as he investigates and hopes to cash in on the large cash reward!
Other notable releases:
The Rebel Candidate by Isobel Starling; Out March 31, 2023 An MM thriller
The Inspector by Harrison Kitteridge; Out April 4, 2023 A novella in a series of novellas
Of Blood, Bones, and Truth by T. M. Ledvina, out April 4, 2023 A science fiction/fantasy
The Pattagony Puppeteer by Theodore Bradshaw; out April 14, 2023 An MM historical
Defying Logic by Nicky James; out April 14, 2023 Book five in the Valor and Doyle series
Blood Pumping by Rhiannon D’Averc; out April 16, 2023 An MM hard boiled
Justice Prevails by Morticia Knight; out April 21, 2023 An MM police procedural
This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham; out April 25, 2023 A YA zombie-ish thriller
Murder in Shades of Blue and Green by Liz Ripley Hayes, out in April 2023
Editor’s Note: Over on TikTok there is going to be a Trans Rights Readathon next week to raise awareness of trans authors and books and also to raise money for trans charities. Simply search for #TransRightsReadathon
Click on this link to take you to Mysterious Galaxy’s website where you can purchase many of these books & a portion will go to help support KRL:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.