Tag Archives: GLBT or LGBT Issues

Book Review: Shell Shocked by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks

shellshocked Title: Shell Shocked

Author: Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks

Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher: Juniper Gardens Press

Genre: GLBT, Romance, PTSD discussion, Paganism

Length – # OF PAGES: 130

Other: M/M * Light Spanking


Author Pagan & Pagan Elements: Yes/Yes

Card Rating: – 4 Tarots &  **Reviewer Top Pick**

Reviewed by: Jes L’Heureux



About The Book:

Sean Dempsey came home from Iraq with artificial knees, scorched retinas and a lot of baggage. He supplements his disability checks with money made writing romance novels under a female pseudonym, ironic as he has grown very nervous around women since a certain suicide bomber. When he meets Gabriel Herne, legless phone psychic, the sparks startle him. It’s everything he’s written about and never believed.

Swept into a whirlwind romance, Sean has to learn about his newfound bisexuality and his lover’s pagan faith at the same time. And when he has a religious experience of his own, he discovers everything changes in its time, just like the Wheel of the Year.

The Review:

This is an excellent tale woven by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks that focuses on war vet Sean Dempsey who has returned home from Iraq with destroyed knees, eyes and PTSD. Throughout the story, Sean is faced with the challenges of living with PTSD and a severe addiction to Valium, which is lessoned when he adds Gabriel Herne to his life. Gabriel “Gabe” Herne is a paraplegic phone psychic who meets Sean through the same clinic and introduces him back into the world.

The story unfolds as Sean deals with his PTSD and new relationship, learning about his bisexuality and about his lover’s faith. Ms. Sparrow and Brooks creates a very believable world and characters where the reader is learning alongside, as well as feeling Sean’s pain and Gabe’s frustrations as they work through each event in their lives.

What I found interesting about this book is that the story is one that could be happening right now, talking about the mundane day to day that we all go through; the struggles of being poor in this current economy and doing what is needed to survive. The characters are not wealthy, or able to do whatever they wish. They have to save, they struggle, they fight, and they love. This is a very real and touching story I enjoyed, and would recommend to anyone interested in reading what I would call a pagan love story.

Pagan Elements:

This novella has a definite undercurrent of paganism in it as Gabe Herne is a practitioner and as the story unfolds it talks about the coming celebrations, with some spell work and worship throughout. As Sean learns about the practices and worship Gabe goes over a few of the mythos involved. The authors deal with the Wheel and each of the celebrations through the year, showing how someone might practice as both solitary and some in a coven for the larger events.

Cover (Rated 1-10):


I really liked this cover it was intriguing and spoke to the book itself, if it were on the bookshelf I know that the symbol for the horned god would draw my attention over anything else.


Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Book Review: Best Unspoken by Bryl R. Tyne

Title: Best Unspoken

Author: Bryl R. Tyne

Author Site: http://bryltyne.com

Buy Link: http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=59

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing

Genre: Contemporary/GLBT

Length – # OF PAGES: 18

Other: M/M

Card Rating: – 4 Tarots

Review by: Strega

About The Book: Twenty-five year old social butterfly, Levi Finley couldn’t be more mismatched for his middle-aged, introverted counterpart, biomedical tech, Rob Langston. What happens when two so utterly opposite men come together? Besides the hottest sex in Levi’s young life? Throw in one opinionated mother, misunderstanding friends, and one hell of a birthday party at the wildest, gentleman’s gentlemen club in town, and friction, a notch above wild, is bound to ensue. Will Levi allow doubts to destroy their relationship? Not if Rob has any say in the matter. But that might not be as easy as it sounds, considering Rob’s preferred communication is always best unspoken.


The Review:

First off, I have to say that I am a fan of Bryl Tyne’s writing. This author has never disappointed me but when I read Best Unspoken, I wasn’t quite sure I liked what I was reading. Levi is young, has lots of friends, is out going and friendly. His lover, Rob, is middle aged, quiet, almost to the point of being a “well, he was a nice, quiet neighbor, we never would’ve thought he had bodies in the basement” type of character. I truly began to fear for Levi’s well being and had a few flashbacks of my own! The reader can misconstrue the tension between Levi and Rob, just as it is by Levi’s friends, but when the two men are alone, the tension between them is something altogether different.

Best Unspoken is a quick read, only 18 pages, but Bryl R. Tyne has packed this story with enough raw emotion, sex, and heartfelt meaning to keep the reader thinking about Levi and Rob long after the story ends.




Continue reading Book Review: Best Unspoken by Bryl R. Tyne

GLBT Paganism

One of the (many) things I love about paganism and the pagan community, is its acceptance of people who aren’t straight and conentional in their relationships. I’ve met some fabulous gay, bi, transgender and polyamorous folk along the way, and they’ve really inspired me to explore my own identity. But then, Druidry is non-dogmatic, and that includes not having ‘one true way’ for how relationships are supposed to be.

Druidry is very much about connection, for me. Not having any assumptions about what shape a connection ‘should’ have opens up the ways in which we relate to each other, to the land, the ancestors, the gods and the non-human denizens of this world.

Here’s a little something from Enchanted Waters, which follows on from this line of thought.

Precarious though it was, Bracken squatted down, so that she could reach into the pool. She wetted her hand, then rose, sprinkling the water over Catherine.
“Blessings of water, healing and cleansing, washing away the past. Blessings of this place be upon you, and peace be in your heart,” she said.
“Thank you.”
For the first time, they looked at each other properly, standing almost nose to nose on the stone. Bracken saw dark eyes full of melancholy, and a tender, compassionate, wounded spirit. She wanted to reach out and console, but not knowing why this woman suffered, she held back. Some people were victims of their own mistakes, and she didn’t want to support anyone in not dealing with their problems.
“You’re a witch or a priestess of something then?” Catherine asked.
“Priestess and Druid,” Bracken replied.
“Does this sort of thing happen to you a lot?”
“A fair bit, yes. I seem to attract it.” She had a feeling there were things she needed to do here, and tried to find their shape. Words to say. Moves to make. Sometimes all it took was a small gesture or observation to set people on the right path.
Trusting her instincts, she took Catherine’s hands in hers.
“You’ll find a way through this,” she said. “Accept your own feelings, embrace them, work with them. If you understand yourself and your own needs, everything else will be a lot clearer.”
“I know. I just wish I knew where to start.”
“You’ve already started.” Bracken leaned closer, placing a chaste kiss on Catherine’s brow. The woman sighed deeply, tension seeping from her. “You’ll be fine. You’re strong, good and brave. You will find a way through.” With that, she relinquished Catherine’s hands, smiled, and turned away. The time had come to leave, as she still had a few miles to walk.