On October 11-13, a small group of authors, readers and reviewers are meeting in Sydney for the first mm romance conference in the southern hemisphere: OzmmMeet2013.To commemorate the occasion and allow others a glimpse of life down under, six of the attending authors have contributed a short... show more
On October 11-13, a small group of authors, readers and reviewers are meeting in Sydney for the first mm romance conference in the southern hemisphere: OzmmMeet2013.To commemorate the occasion and allow others a glimpse of life down under, six of the attending authors have contributed a short story. The brief: the setting of either Australia or New Zealand must be an integral part of the story.Given such a simple scenario, it’s amazing how the stories are similar yet different. They range in location from shearing sheds in New Zealand to Goth nightclubs in provincial Queensland. From surfers on north coast beaches to sophisticated gallery owners in the heart of Sydney. A paranormal story involving werewolves is set in the Hunter Valley while a ghost makes a startling appearance in the South Island of New Zealand.The minor characters also reflect the diversity that can be found in these two countries from Asian cross dressers to Maori siblings and co-workers.The anthology kicks off with a sparkling debut by Susan Beck. You can almost feel the sand between your toes in “Weekend at Lennox” which brilliantly captures two teenagers being forced to share a bed when a group of surfers spend the weekend in a beach house at Lennox Head.The next story “A Soldier’s Will” is set further down the coast near Newcastle where Jess Buffett gives us a taste of a new series based around a Mangrove Mountain pack. In it, a war weary alpha werewolf returns from stints overseas, to shake up the equilibrium of a non-pack human who has idolized him for years.N.J. Nielsen creates some memorable characters and scenes in her story “By the Way”. In this, a country boy wakes up after a night on the town, wondering why he is decked out in collar, handcuffs and the scariest pair of stilettos he’s ever seen. A more gentle pace follows in Pelaam’s which features an established couple, Ethan and Riley, as they take a romantic holiday amongst the vineyards around the Marlborough Sound and meet “The Rose”.“Home” returns us to Oz, this time to the heart of Sydney where we catch up with some of A.B. Gayle’s characters from “Leather+Lace” and “Caught” and are introduced to two new ones: Jesse a sophisticated art gallery owner and Isaac, a typical boy from the bush.And to round up our anthology, we revisit New Zealand, where we shift into the world of hard-working shearers in Meredith Shayne’s touching story “Cutting Out”. You can almost smell the greasy wool, hear the bleating sheep and see the bulging muscles of Lachie and Shane as they work side by side, forging a bond that can transcend culture and age differences.