Hope and Love Anthology by Various Authors #LGBT #Review

Dawn reviews Hope and Love Anthology by various authors.  The book was published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing on 24th September 2014, and is 371 pages long.

The book was provided free of charge for an honest review

Hope and Love Anthology


 It starts with hope. That’s what LGBTQ Centers all over the world give us, the hope, the community, the care and education we need in a world that is often hate filled, scared of the unknown, and down right scary. When first introduced to community many of us rejoice as it’s often the first time we’re able to be out and be our true selves without fear or shame.

This anthology is for the benefit of one such center, one that touches many many lives, and like others, needs help and nourishment as well. Centers like the MKE LGBT Community Center depend on the love and support of others so that they may help and support us.

Within this collection of stories, you will find hope, family, love, and community. Take a chance on a new author or one of your beloved… read, enjoy, and know that you are helping children, adults, teens, and elderly alike in our greater LGBTQ community!

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to The MKE LGBT Community Center in Milwaukee, WI USA

Stories In The Anthology:

A Change of Heart by Adan DePiaz
The Wrong Numbers by Kameron Mitchell
Blue Eyes by Hope Ryan
Breath of Life by M. LeAnne Phoenix
Camp Kennevan by Donovan Alekzander Crane
Dinner for the Dead by Áine P Massie
Five Down, Three To Go by Victoria Kinnaird
Forte’ by Marcus Maichle
Joey’s Choice by Piper Kay
Letter from Sarah by Aaron Silver
Micah’s Medicine by Tempeste O’Riley
My Book Boyfriend by Elaine White
Sanctuary by Jocelyn Sanchez
Something to Hold on to by Milla V.
The Queen Dethroned by B. David Spicer


I should start by mentioning that 3 of our reviewers at Rainbow Gold Reviews actually participated with stories in this anthology, but I must emphasize that this is still 100 percent charity. I was asked to review this anthology, but did so not knowing which reviewers had stories included, or indeed which ones they had written.  I honestly had no idea of what to expect from this anthology, but I am really glad that I was given the opportunity to read it.  The stories cover a range of topics, from young people being bullied, to actually coming out.

A Change Of Heart by Adan Depiaz

This is the story of Max, who knows what bullying is like, as he has two moms, but  rather than shy away from things, he helps at the community centre that they run.

When Brandt Williams enters the scene, Max believes that he hates him on sight, and this seems justified with some of Brandts actions….. however, appearances can be deceptive……. as Max soon learns.

I have to admit to smiling while reading this story, as Max is gay, but his moms guess before he does, and the person who makes Max realise this is Brandt!!

All The Wrong Numbers by Kameron Mitchell

Ivan is gay and loves nail polish, but is so afraid of being kicked out of the family home, as his father is a pastor.  He sees an advert on the tv one evening, for a helpline and plucks up the courage to call – only to call a wrong number, but he doesn’t realise.

He speaks to Michael, and agrees to meet him and they then start meeting secretly, but somehow someone sees them together and grafetti on Ivans window at home.  Ivan finally confesses at home, and things are exactly as he thought, he is thrown out to live with his gran on his mothers side – but he has one person in his corner, Michael.

Blue Eyes by Hope Ryan

Andy is gay and all alone.  He was thrown out by his parents when he came out to them.

He has been surviving on the friends couches and then the streets, but one day decides to go to a new shelter for food.  There he meets Will.  Will tries hard to get Andy to stay at the shelter, as it is specifically meant for LGBT Youth, but Andy is running scared.

Eventually Will manages to get Andy to listen to him, while he explains about the shelter, about their expectations for who stays there.  Andy has by now reached rock bottom, and tentatively takes the hand Will holds out to him.

Breath of Life by M. LeAnne Phoenix

Christian is a guy who knows what he want to look like, and has his own style.  He meets Jasper, who seems to be the total opposite.  Upon meeting, it seems like they have found their soulmate – although Christian isn’t even sure he is gay!

However, when Christian is attacked, it is Jasper he is drawn to, and together with Christians family (his two gay dads and an aunt), he is helped through a really traumatic time.  He also learns that Jasper has also been the victim of a hate crime, and this seems to bond them closer.

Christian then knows he has feelings for Jasper, and during his recovery Jasper and Christian open up to each other.

Camp Kennevan by Donovan Alekzander Crane

Shane and Scott meet at the camp, where they will be counsellors, and whereas Scott has a body to die for, Shane is the total opposite, well in his eyes.  To help get in better shape, Shane enlists Scotts help, which wasn’t easy as Shane was so drawn to Scott, that he was aroused whenever near him.  It doesn’t help that Scott also has a girlfriend at home.

On a day off together, Shane is shocked when Scott confesses to having feelings for him, but both are afraid of coming out to their fathers.  At the end of the camp, they decide to stay in contact as as soon as he sees his father, Shane tells him he is gay, and is ecstatic when his dad is ok with it all.  Shanes coming out to his family was not as successful, but in the end it was his mom who stood by him, and just accepted him as he was… and given an ultimatum his father was trying to accept how things were.

This story shows how differently two families can react – one so accepting with no question, and the other demanding that therapy was needed to get it out of this system.

Dinner For The Dead by Aine P. Massie

I have not read the House Millar books, so sad to say I was a little lost with this story.

Five Down, Three To Go by Victoria Kinnaird

I have not read The Red Sun Rises Series, so again I was lost with this story.

Forte by Marcus Maichle

Reed is an activist for gay rights and Mark is the opposite.  Reed asks Mark out to dinner, then regrets doing so, as when they talk he realises they are so different.

Reed likes going to rallies to make a difference whereas Mark likes to perform on the stage.  Reed doesn’t see this as being any help to gay rights, until on their way back to the  LGBT Centre, they see one of the boys from the centre being confronted by his father,

Mark does what he does best, before things get out of hand, and starts to sing…… and Reed listens realising that he was wrong and Mark can make a difference.

Joeys Choice by Piper Kay

Music is an escape for Joey, away from the reality that is his life.  He believes that his parents argue because of him, he is always bullied at school for being different…. basically it has been hell for the last five years.

With careful planning, Joey thinks he has found a way to show that he is stronger than everyone around him…..he writes a note on his computer to his mom, but all it says is I’m sorry, and then puts his father’s gun to his head and pulls the trigger.

When he next opens his eyes, he sees a stranger in his room called Luc, who takes him on a journey to show him what happens when his parents and best friend find him, and it is now that Joey realises that he was not as alone as he believed.

Joey is given a second chance, and he now has the courage to be himself and how other thinks he should be.

I will admit to reading this with tears in my eyes, as Joey believed that it was the only choice he had….. but he was given a second chance.

Letter From Sarah by Aaron Silver

Sarah writes a letter to Jen, starting from where she was kicked out of her parents house.  She wanted something to numb the pain, as she believed she could not survive.

That was until Jen found her, and unbeknown to Jen, Sarah was sitting with her hands full of tablets, ready to take the final step to end the hurt.

Jen kissed and hugged Sarah, and Sarah realised she wasn’t alone, here was the one person who hadn’t abandoned her, had never given up on her and who loved her as she was….. in essence Jen saved her.

Micah’s Medicine by Tempeste O’Riley

Micah has a secret from his best friend Perry – he is in love with him, but rather than lose his friendship he keeps quiet.

While out with Perry one day, having taken him to his doctor’s appointment,  Micah sees a LGBT Centre and picks up some pamphlets, which he hides in the glove box of his car.  When Perry returns to the car, he is acting weird but Micah has no idea why.

When they stop for pizza, all becomes clear as Perry actually fancies Micah, but because of where they live, they cannot act on these feelings. However, they are both due to leave for college soon, and will be together there, things will change…..

My Book Boyfriend by Elaine White

Regan wakes one morning to find himself inside is favourite book, and with his most favourite character too named Falcon.

To stay in this world for 24 hours, Regan must fulfil three tasks, but he has no idea what they are.  Regan incorrectly assumed from reading the story that Falcon was stupid, but spending the day with him, he soon realises that he was wrong, Falcon was the most interesting man he had ever met.

Regan then realises that he doesn’t want his dream to end, he then also realises that he doesn’t have a lot of time left here, so he kisses Falcon, and things heat up and adjourn to the bedroom.

When Regan wakes again later, he finds himself back in his own bedroom, and he is devastated .  He rages, cries and then falls asleep again, and when he awakes ago he is back with Falcon.  He learns that he was able to return as unbeknown to him he had completed the necessary tasks…. he accepted that anything was possible, he saw the true Falcon and he also learned to love and appreciate himself.

He was then given the ultimate choice…… to stay in the book with Falcon, or return home to his life alone……. guess what he chose.

Sanctuary by Jocelyn Sanchez

Luke owns and runs Sanctuary, to give all people somewhere to go and be themselves, no facade and most importantly no judgement.

Due to his childhood, Carter believes that he is a worthless person, and the only way to get attention is to do everything he is not supposed to.  He has been let down so often from childhood to adulthood, that he now knows no different.  Carter is forced to go to Sanctuary and at his first session of the art class, he walks out.

He is forced to go back, and arrives early, and Luke questions him as to why he left, and this in turn has Luke asking Carter out to lunch. While out Carter totally opens up to Luke, and they seem to get on well together…… Carter soon realises the importance of Sanctuary, and what Luke is trying to achieve.

Something To Hold On To by Milla V

Jenny has a secret, she is in love with Lucy, but has no idea how to tell her.  Lucy has no idea as she is dating boys, and then when it goes wrong goes crying to Jenny.  They decide to cheer themselves up by going on a picnic, but Jenny’s ex boyfriend makes an appearance and insults both of them, so Jenny punches him and they run away….. Lucy calls her a hero and goes to kiss her cheek but Jenny turns her head so that the kiss lands on her lips. An apology comes straight from Lucy, and Jenny decides to ask what the kiss felt like to Lucy, and is then heartbroken when Lucy tells her the same as it is for boys…….

When they next meet Lucy acts like nothing had happened, and Jenny feels sad at this, as she cannot get the feel of their kiss out of her head.  Lucy asks her to go with her to a party and Jenny agrees, but right at the last-minute realises she cannot go to the party with Lucy and not touch her.  When she tells her that she feels ill and can’t go to the party, Lucy suggests they stay home and watch a movie.  They then have a real heart to heart and although they are only 15 years old, they decide to see what the future hold for them…… together.

The Queen Dethroned by B. David  Spencer

Monica and Ash are a couple, but Monica is afraid of being seen at school with Ash.  Something happens at school that day with Monica, but Ash doesn’t know what… and believes it is with the bully they named Queen Celine – as someone may have seen them kissing earlier.

Ash it beside herself, and she blames herself as she believes Monica was outed by others at school…. which was so not what had happened.

However, Ash decides that she must take on Queen Celine, as she is no better than anyone else, and why should she make other people’s lives a misery….. but this ended up in a fight as Celine decided she must insult Monica’s looks, and Ash obviously took exception to this.

Monica’s mom is not sure how to take it that her daughter is a lesbian, but funnily enough seems to thaw when she hears that Ash got into a fight to defend her daughter’s honour.

It also came across in this story, that the bully seemed to be all-powerful when standing with her “friends”, but as soon as a fight started they just left her alone,…… which ultimately proves that being a bully meant she had no proper friends to back her up.

My final thoughts:

This is one anthology that I believe will get the reader to really think about things.  Most of the events in these stories are very much what happens to people every day now… I will admit that it gave me things to think about, too.  With the exception of the two stories that were part of a series, which I got rather lost on, I really did enjoy the remainder of the stories.  If I was asked to pick a favourite from the rest of the stories, I honestly could not do it, as I loved them all, but for different reasons. One that has stuck with me, though, was Joey’s Choice, as this seemed to give a complete insight of what people left behind feel like when someone takes their own life. This in itself was very thought provoking.





Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Amazon CA


Please click on author name below:

Adan DePiaz
Kameron Mitchell
Hope Ryan
M. LeAnne Phoenix
Donovan Alekzander Crane
Áine P Massie
Victoria Kinnaird
Marcus Maichle
Piper Kay
Aaron Silver
Tempeste O’Riley
Elaine White
Jocelyn Sanchez
Milla V
B. David Spicer

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