‘Never Too Late’ Anthology by various authors #LGBT #Review #Family #Love #GenderQueer #LGBTQIA+ #50+#LateInLife #MM #FF #Trans #Bi

‘Never Too Late’ Anthology. Published December 7, 2017 by Beaten Track Publishing, 131,000 words. Author’s: Caraway Carter, Ofelia Grand, Hans M Hirschi, Laura Susan Johnson, A.M. Leibowitz, Debbie McGowan, Phetra H Novak, J.P. Walker and Alexis Woods.

 

Nine stories about friendship, family and love, featuring LGBTQIA characters aged 50+.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to the reviewer in exchange for an honest review.

Never Too Late is a collection of nine stories featuring characters over the age of fifty – stories of travel, finding your purpose, of friendships past and present, and of love. Never Too Late brings you to a world where gender sees no borders, where the only way you’re identified is by the goodness of your heart.

STORIES:
Trapped by Ofelia Gränd
Ashes and Alms by A.M. Leibowitz
The Palette – A Lifetime by Caraway Carter
Clara by Hans M Hirschi
To Be Sure by Debbie McGowan
Nectar by Laura Susan Johnson
Moving by J P Walker
Cue The Music by Alexis Woods
Ocean of Tears by Phetra H. Novak

 

Where to buy:

Amazon

Beaten Track Publishing

Where to add:

Goodreads

I haven’t read tons of anthologies, but this one is at the top of my list of favorites. As a matter of fact I will be purchasing the paperback copy as soon as I can. Many of the authors are new to me and I am delighted to have found them. This book and its nine stories are about family, love and the lives of LGBTQIA+ people over 50. I can’t say that I’ve ever read a more touching and realistic tribute to a group of people. These people come from a different time and while they may understand and rejoice the rights and freedoms that are available today, sometimes they have difficulty applying it to their own lives. In many of these stories, I found a little piece of myself and a greater understanding of life in general. I will be writing a small thought on each of the stories and endeavor to do them justice.

As a whole, I think this is a brilliant anthology. Some of the stories are sweet, some bittersweet and they cover a big part of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. We aren’t just getting nine stories from a (admittedly diverse) group of people in an age group that is often overlooked, we are getting it from them as they live all over the world. That gives us another unique perspective on them and how they live out these stories. These are all relatively short stories and my reviews on them will be as well so that I don’t spoil anything for you readers. That said, there are over 130,000 words in this book and nine stories, so get yourself a quiet weekend, a glass of the beverage of your choice and a box of tissue and happy reading.

One final thought before I tell you a bit about each story from my eyes… Each of these authors are incredible in their craft. They bring their stories to life and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to review them. I was a happy blubbering mess after reading these stories and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Trapped by Ofelia Grand

This was the first story in the book. It’s a beautiful story of love as it triumphs over the ravages of time and disease. My heart went out to the MC’s. Sometimes in very different ways. I cried throughout the story because it’s one of those ‘If you don’t shed a tear, you’re not human’ kinds of stories.

Ashes and Alms by A.M. Leibowitz

I could relate to a lot in this story. It deals with teens during a time when they are trying to fit in while learning about themselves and how sometimes telling a lie can have long lasting effects and that there is always more than one side to every story. This one is very well written and has religious overtones.

The Palette by Caraway Carter

A story of a lifetime of loving and the lengths that people will go to in order to be safe and appear conforming. This one also deals with the effects of lies by omission. I loved how the author told the story through his characters paintings and the sense of true love that jumped right off the pages.

Clara by Hans M Hirschi

Clara is a senior citizen who is happy enough and accepting of all the things that make up Clara. Clara, is not about labels. This is Clara’s story and that of her childhood friend. It is about love and friendship and how those two things endure for eternity. It’s about reconnecting with your past and the difficulties growing up in a time when being trans or queer weren’t accepted. This author writes strong characters that are true to themselves and realistic. I was deeply touched by this beautifully written story.

 

To Be Sure by Debbie McGowan

This story deals with characters that are from Ireland, deeply religious and trying to blend their love for each other with their Catholic beliefs. It has a great cast of secondary characters that are family and friends and spans some 50 years of togetherness and all they have to do to find and keep that togetherness. I enjoyed watching the characters deal with the challenges all of that implies.

Nectar by Laura Susan Johnson

Oh man! This one comes with trigger warnings and I don’t think I’ve ever read a story that broke my heart so much and then put it back together again with the characters strength and determination. So much love and loss in this one and at times it was hard for me to read. It is a VERY realistic depiction of one girls life and her family. It’s about lost love and what a family endures during the Armenian genocide of the early 1900’s as well as WW1. The hardships they endured in war and peace and what it did to mold them into the people they survived to be. A brilliantly written story that will stay with you for a long time.

Moving by J P Walker

I got lost in this story of a past love and a present love. What happens when the past love dies and the MC is sucked into the memories to the point of letting it take over the present? It is a tough road to try and reconcile a past that didn’t end well and the knowledge that even if you were never going to… you now can never clear the air. Sometimes past memories are clouded by what we want to remember and this story is about a woman as she tries to process her feelings for her lost love before she loses the love she has now.

Cue The Music by Alexis Woods

I love a story that connects feelings to music and this one did that perfectly. I could feel the hurt feelings and the need for apologies and forgiveness. There were a lot of feels in this short story and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. I can’t say much more without giving the story away and I don’t want to take away from your pleasure by doing that. Just read it. It has its serious moments and reminded me that relationships are hard work, but is delivered in a sweet, sexy way.

Ocean Of Tears by Phetra H. Novak

The anthology ends with a sweet angsty May/December romance. I love a story about a broken MC and this one didn’t disappoint. A man who doesn’t think that he has what it takes anymore in life or love, that is until a force of nature who is less than half his age shows up. Like I mentioned, there’s angst, but it’s not overdone and it was the perfect end to an amazing book.

This 10/10 Pots Of Gold is for each and every story as well as the anthology as a whole

Phetra H. Novak

Phetra often refers to herself as the odd man out, the dorky book nerd. She’d rather spend time with a good book or making up fantastic stories with even more fantastic characters, than live in the real world dealing with real people.
The real world is strange, in a very non-humorous way, and people in it complicate it to the point of wearing you out. In the written word world, whether it’s someone else’s words or her own, things might get busy, complicated, and even downright painful, but somewhere along the line, a heroes always on the horizon. He’s probably not a prim and proper, church-going pretty-boy since the author prefers rebellious men and women who don’t follow the protocols of society.
One of her favorite saying is that “Only dead fish follow the stream,” and well she ain’t no dead fish.
Phetra lives with her family—two children, a domestic partner, and their two cats in Gothenburg, Sweden. When reading her books, you’ll notice she always finds a way to bring her own culture into her books.
The joy of reading and writing comes from her childhood and is something she has always loved, and been passionate to share with others. Phetra loves hearing from her readers, even with ideas of what they’d like to come next.
If you are looking for her, the best place to start looking is at home in the quietest corner of the house, where she’ll be curled up with either her Kindle reading or with her laptop typing away.
You can contact Phetra on: http://www.phetranovak.com/

Hans M. Hirschi

Hans Martin Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years. A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and published a couple of non-fictional titles. The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with a much-needed breathing hole and the opportunity to once again unleash his creative writing.

Having little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he simply indulges it and goes with the flow. However, the deep passion for a better world, for love and tolerance are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work.

Hans lives with his husband, son, and pets on a small island off the west coast of Sweden.

Contact Hans through his website at http://www.hirschi.se

Alexis Woods

An avid reader and colorful dreamer, it was only a matter of time before taking pen to paper, literally. Notebooks are filling. She sings under her breath, off tune, taps her toes and swings her hips, much to the delight of her family, coworkers and friends. A firm believer in every song tells a story and every story has a song, each story she writes has a song or theme, oftentimes both, behind it. She freely admits that becoming a romance author is the best mid-life crisis a girl could ever have. So there.

Caraway Carter

Caraway Carter has worn numerous hats. He’s been a furniture salesman, a dresser, a costumer, an actor/waiter, a rabble-rouser, a poet and most recently a writer. He loves words and stringing them together, he loves sex and sexy men, and he writes relationship fiction that reminds you—it’s never too late for love. And he has lived his tagline. He married his husband on Halloween, at the age of forty-nine, and they are the loving parents of an adorable cat named Molly.

A.M. Leibowitz

A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.

Debbie McGowan

Debbie McGowan is an award-winning author of contemporary fiction that celebrates life, love and relationships in all their diversity. Since the publication in 2004 of her debut novel, Champagne—based on a stage show co-written and co-produced with her husband—she has published many further works—novels, short stories and novellas—including two ongoing series: Hiding Behind The Couch (a literary ‘soap opera’ centring on the lives of nine long-term friends) and Checking Him Out (LGBTQ romance). Debbie has been a finalist in both the Rainbow Awards and the Bisexual Book Awards, and in 2016, she won the Lambda Literary Award (Lammy) for her novel, When Skies Have Fallen: a British historical romance spanning twenty-three years, from the end of WWII to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Through her independent publishing company, Debbie gives voices to other authors whose work would be deemed unprofitable by mainstream publishing houses.

Ofelia Grand

Gay Fiction Writer–some stories have a sprinkle of romance, some a dash of horror, some a pinch of paranormal, and some are a mix of it all.

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes contemporary and paranormal, and dreams about one day writing a post-apocalyptic story—if that ever happens we’ll see.

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods. She’s recently discovered the miracle of podcasts and spends her strolls listening to wise people talk

There’s a yellow button up top, click it and you’ll receive an email from Amazon when Ofelia’s next story has been published.

Subscribe to Ofelia’s email list at http://ofeliagrand.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=c080076874c9baaaee71b5ba1&id=75932554a5 and get a free short story.

Laura Susan Johnson

Laura Susan Johnson has been writing since age eleven, cutting her teeth on tales of the family pets. Aside from writing, Laura Susan enjoys quilting, playing around with colorful makeup, clothing and hair colors, web design, and vegan cooking. She resides in California, Idaho, Arkansas, and the northern coast of Oregon.

J P Walker

Greetings from Jem and Debbie: J P (Jem) Walker was born in Norwich and moved to the North West of England to attend university. After graduating with a degree in Social Work Studies, she worked in rehabilitation for patients with acquired brain injuries while writing her first novel, Knights of the Sun. She has since published the sequel (Fighting the Stars) as well as several short stories, including a number of lesbian romances, and a children’s story for the birth children of foster parents to help them understand the important job they do.

Jem lives in Lancashire with her wife and children, and loves spending family time with them.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.