A Chaos Moondrawn Review :A Fluid State by Rob Browatzke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

In the beginning, Patrick is seeing his son Peter for the first time in two years after coming home from Afghanistan. Patrick’s ex-wife Christy really drop kicks Patrick into the deep end, and expects him to adapt and act appropriately without any frame of previous reference for how to deal with his new gender bending, vegetarian, 11 year old son who loves Saturday morning Drag Queen Storytelling at the local library. Of course, the idea that Patrick’s ex is a POC, that he acknowledges the issue for his son, was the only thing that made me give him the benefit of the doubt. Then, it switches to Andrew’s POV: he is lonely and having trouble dating. At first most of his personality is funny and snarky asides, which come from his drag persona Ann. When they meet while Andrew is out of drag, Patrick realizes maybe it’s a good idea to get to know who his son spends time with. If this keeps him from looking like a bigot, then all the better.

Being inside Patrick’s head and listening to what is coming out of his mouth at the beginning is cringeworthy. All anyone has is what they are taught until they know better, then they need to do better, and he does. Patrick’s most important consideration seems to be for Peter be happy, but Peter is still figuring things out and the effects of bullying are difficult to read. I’m not a huge fan of babies or kids in books, but Peter is a huge part of why this all works rather than just an excuse for Andrew and Patrick to get together. I like that Patrick likes Andrew, and isn’t just attracted to Ann. Although that can be hot too when written right, the author is clear that Patrick isn’t ever pretending Andrew is Ann or fetishizing Ann in any way. In many ways Andrew is too good to be true: always patient, kind, understanding, good with kids, and good natured in general.

The timeframe is a bit too short to believe the 180 Patrick does from the beginning of the book to the end because there’s nothing gradual about this, but I remember seeing an episode of a show called Faking It on Channel 4 in the UK in 2002. It was about people who have a complete career change in four weeks and a heterosexual ex-navy officer learns to be a drag queen. Not that Patrick goes that far (lol), but that someone really can learn to have empathy, respect, and integrate into a new way a thinking, a new community, if they make the effort.

As for the bi for you and first time tropes, Patrick reads demisexual to me, having only been in two prior relationships, one of which was his wife. This is a heartwarming story of a father who discovers who he is and what he wants for himself later in life. While it has all the feels and hot love scenes, it’s because I wanted the fairytale, rather than it was entirely realistically fleshed out–it’s an easy read with surprisingly low angst. But, sometimes life does slot into place just like it ought to and those times are magical whether real or on the page.

The cover design is by Alexandria Corza. I think it’s striking, but it doesn’t show the family aspect of the story.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published January 1st 2020
ASINB081LM5SHS

Join the Blog Tour with Excerpt for A Fluid State by Rob Browatzke

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: A Fluid State

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: January 3, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Gay for You/Out for You

Heat Rating: 5 flames  

Length:  70 000 words/272 pages

It is a standalone book.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny

Blurb 

Patrick returns from a tour of duty to find his son very different. Peter is dressing in girl’s clothes, and his hair is too long, and he’s obsessed with drag queens. None of that sits well with Patrick. Patrick then meets the drag queen Ann Moore, and starts to hang out with them.

Andrew is one of River City’s best drag queens. As Ann Moore, he dazzles adults and children alike. When one of those children’s fathers wants to find out more about what his son is enjoying, Andrew is happy to guide him. It doesn’t hurt that Patrick is ridiculously hot. Hot and straight though.

The friendship that forms is unlikely, and even more unlikely, Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny.

 

 

Excerpt 

“So,” Andrew said, when they were relocated back to the couch, sitting facing each other, beers in hand. 

“So.”

“First off, let me, well, set you straight on something. Kent and I aren’t dating, so don’t feel bad about that.”

“Good,” Patrick said. “I’d hate to have some gay guy come at me for hitting on his boyfriend.”

“Is that what it was? You hitting on me?”

Patrick looked away. “Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Well, what’s going on in that head of yours?”

“You,” he said. “You’re going on in my head. You and only you. Ever since we met. I thought it was all about Peter, but no, it’s about me. You’ve gotten under my skin, Andrew, and I don’t know how to get you out of me.” Their eyes locked. “And honestly, I’m not sure I want you gone.”

“But you’re straight.”

“I’ve always thought that. I’ve never been attracted to a guy before this.”

“Never? Not even in school? Some guys experiment, you know.”

“Never. I’ve looked back and there’s never been anything to make me think I’d ever be into a guy.”

“So you’re into me?”

Patrick’s face turned pink and he looked away. “I don’t know. Yes. Yes, I am.” He swallowed hard and looked back at Andrew. “Look, I know this is out of the blue, and I know what you said at the pool, and-”

“What did I say at the pool?”

“That, you know, that you’re not attracted to me.”

It was Andrew’s turn to blush and look away. “Well, since you’re being honest, I guess I should be too. Patrick, of course I’m attracted to you. You… well, look at you. I just said that to set your mind at ease. I was enjoying hanging out. I am enjoying it. I didn’t want you to freak out thinking I found you attractive or worried that I was going to try to jump you.”

“And it ended up being me that jumped at you.”

Andrew looked at him and grinned. “Seems that way.”

“So.”

“So.”

“Here we are then, both attracted to each other. What do we do now?”

 

About the Author  

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and you’ll always find his love for his other career permeating the stories he tells. Rob is now 9+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake. 

Rob loves the growing market for gay fiction and m/m romance. There are some incredible authors out there, and it’s important to be able to see in print (or on the screen) stories about people just like us. Coming out, our relationships, the issues we face, we all have stories to tell. And this book is just one of the stories coming out of Wonderland. 

Feel free to stalk him online. He’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @robbrowatzke.

 

Author Links

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter @robbrowatzke  | Instagram @robbrowatzke

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

A Caryn Review: Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

You know that line from the old poem, “when she was good, she was very very good, and when she was bad, she was horrid”?  I think that expresses my thoughts about this book perfectly, and that made it very hard to rate.  The first 80% was shallow and boring – at least the characters were – and then it got very intense, very fast, and made me think about recent real world events in a much deeper and more personal way than I ever had before.  I was glad I finished the book, but have to admit that if I wasn’t reading for a review, I would have quit very early on.

The story is told from multiple points of view, from each of a very close group of friends who regularly party together at (and in the case of Brandon and Aaron, work at) the club Wonderland.  This is the third book in a series, and though I did not read the first two, it clearly works as a stand-alone.  Two couples – Jesse and Colton, and Steve and Alex – bartender Brandon, drag queen Aaron, club owner Chess, and a few other side characters each speak in chapters (fortunately titled by character so you can keep track of who’s speaking, which would otherwise be difficult) in a roughly chronological narrative.  At first, it seems to be random musings of good-looking, oversexed, shallow, alcoholic party boys, and I was completely turned off.  I couldn’t even say it was porn with plot, because there is minimal explicit sex, and there didn’t seem to be much plot.

The basis of the book is that Wonderland, the iconic gay club of River City that was founded by Chess and his partner Jack a generation ago in the early 90s, is finally closing its doors.  There are only 4 weeks, 4 final Saturdays, before this landmark of the gayborhood (a term used very frequently that to me is like nails on a chalkboard) will be no more.  It is the end of an era, and for this group of friends, it almost seems like the end of their lifestyle – because where else will they get blackout drunk and pick up random gorgeous guys to fuck?  It caused the men to examine not only the current way they were living, but also to realize that they really didn’t have any particular plans for the future, and that maybe they should, and maybe there was more to life than the next shot of tequila or the next hot threesome.

The only character that I really connected with was Chess.  The decision to close Wonderland was a difficult one for him – he reflected on what the world was like for gays and lesbians when they first opened, when a gay dance club was a safe place for them to gather and be themselves.  When society was more homophobic, when AIDS was the “gay plague”, when nothing about being gay was mainstream.  How ironic it was that as society became more accepting, that places like Wonderland were becoming unnecessary and irrelevant.  That the dream of acceptance that his generation fought for was beginning to come true, but diminished the importance and meaning of his club, his baby.  I found that whole discussion quite poignant, and resonant.

There is no way to discuss the events that changed how I felt about the book without giving extensive spoilers, so I won’t do that.  Suffice to say, circumstances shocked these shallow party boys into something a little more mature.  The way they experienced the suffering and pain of those events redeemed them to some extent for me, but I found myself again not really connecting to them, but to the collective emotion of the situation.

I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the book, but it had its moments.  Not enough that I would go back and read the first two in the series though….

Cover art: Alexandria Corza.  It’s eye catching, yet retains enough dark elements that run through the novel.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Paperback  |  Amazon UK

Book Details:

Buy for $6.99 or try Kindle Unlimited to read over a million titles
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published August 4th 2019
ASINB07TKR3JGW

Dont Miss the Blog Tour for Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke (excerpt)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Paperback  |  Amazon UK

 

Last Call Is Coming

Blurb 

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

 

 

Excerpt 

Brandon Sweet’s first thought on waking up was this isn’t my room.

His second thought was oh god, who is this?

He rolled over, facing away from the stranger next to him, in this strange bed in a strange room. He hadn’t even had that much to drink really. At least, not compared to a weekend night.

It’s the tequila, he thought. I need to stop with the tequila.

“Morning,” the twink next to him said with a moan.

Brandon rolled back over and took him in: brown curls and blue eyes and a smooth slender torso with a whisp of hair on abs that disappeared into the white sheets tangled around his waist. Whoever he was, he was certainly Brandon’s type.

“Morning,” Brandon said, sitting up in bed, letting the sheet drop to his lap. He looked down at his own body, comparing it to the twink beside him. Not bad, for thirty-one, but oh, to be twenty-one again! When he was twenty-one, he could’ve handled twice the tequila he’d had last night, and woken with half the headache. He knew he could have, because he had done just that. Week in, week out, for a decade.

Too early for that train of thought, he told himself.

“I had a really good time last night,” Twink said.

“Me too, me too. Hey, where’s my phone?” He looked on the floor for his clothes.

“Other room. You stripped off as soon as we got here,” Twink said with a smile. “So hot.”

“Hey, what can I say? I know what I want.” Don’t know your name, mind you, but I do remember how badly I wanted to get laid.

He did love a good Thursday night fuck.

“I can’t believe I finally got to fuck THE Brandon Sweet.”

Brandon smiled at him as he stood up. “Hope it was everything you expected.”

Twink reached across the bed to run his hand over Brandon’s abs. “And more!”

Brandon smiled again. “I’m going to get dressed then. Work night.”

“I’ll walk you out.” The twink stood up and yes, Brandon remembered that impressive appendage. Young, hung, and hard – check, check, check.

Had they gone to Brandon’s last night, if he’d woken up with home turf comfort, he’d be pushing Twink back into the bed and climbing aboard to go again. Here though, in a room he didn’t know, with a guy he didn’t know, he suddenly felt vulnerable.

Once he’d slid back into underwear and jeans, it was a bit better. But his phone had 3% power, 32 notifications and it was halfway through the afternoon. He had to get home.

“Hey, my phone’s dead. Can you call an Uber for me?” He hated to ask but…

“Really?” Twink asked. “You said last night you only live a couple blocks away.”

That rang no bells, but Brandon was professional. “Oh yeah, I remember now,” he said, pulling his shirt over his head. “Will you be out later?”

“It’s Friday,” Twink said. “Of course.”

As Twink walked him to the door, Brandon took in the apartment, trying to find something to jog his memory. It was simple, sparse, and wholly unfamiliar. Luckily, as he bent down to tie his Converse, he happened to glance at the fridge, where a photo radar ticket was held by a magnet. With his name in black and white.

“Ok, well, I’ll see you later then, Billy,” he said.

Twink laughed. “You don’t know my name, do you?” he asked. “Billy’s my roommate.”

Fuck. Brandon swallowed and smiled. “Sorry. Tequila. What was it again?”

“Derek.” Twink grabbed Brandon by the belt and pulled him closer, taking his hand and guiding it down. “You’ll remember this at least,” he said.

Brandon smiled again, kissed Derek’s cheek, and bolted out the door.

 

About the Author 

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake. 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke 

 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Check out the Release Blitz for Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Paperback  |  Amazon UK

 

Last Call Is Coming

Blurb 

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

 

 Excerpt 

Jesse Sterling liked dick.

There was no denying that. If there was a twelve-step program, he’d be standing there saying, “My name is Jesse Sterling and I’m a cockaholic,” and he would have been saying it proudly.

Jesse sucked his first dick at thirteen, and he was hooked. All those after school specials about drug dealers who gave new customers that first hit for free? That was Jesse with dick. He was hooked from the first time a guy’s hard dick touched his lips.

He liked all dick: big ones, small ones, cut ones, uncut, curved, straight. He even liked soft ones because he knew they wouldn’t stay that way for long. Not around him.

Through his teenage years, he got his hands (and mouth, and ass) on as much dick as possible. He got them out, got them hard, and got them off. Nothing made him as happy as discovering a new dick and what made them cum. Every dick was unique in how they liked to be stroked or sucked or ridden, but one thing they all had in common…. they were all beautiful.

Well, not all, he sometimes reminded himself. There’d been one that was just…just not good. That had been long ago though, and there’d been dozens of dicks since to wash the taste out of his mouth. Literally.

And then he had met Colton.

Colton Wainford was perhaps the only other man on earth who loved dick as much as Jesse. And Colton’s dick? Perfection. Perfect length. Perfect girth. Perfect rigidity. Simply, perfect.

That they had found each other, that of all the gay bars in all the world, they had walked into the same one on the same night, and paused to take in each other’s sculpted bodies before stumbling and tumbling into a bathroom stall to appreciate each other’s dicks, that was also pretty perfect.

That bar had been Wonderland, nearly a decade earlier, and that’s why, when Brandon texted with the news of pending closure, Jesse had thrown his phone onto the couch, and exclaimed loudly. “Fuck! That sucks dick!”

“What does? Who does?” Colton called from the bedroom. “And do I get some too?”

 

 

About the Author 

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake. 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

➜ Sign up to become a tour host here

 

A Lucy Review: A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This is a modern retelling of a Christmas Carol, with Pride being the celebration in question rather than Christmas.  The narrator does speak to the reader in first person as in Christmas Carol and it starts with the same type sentence.  “Jake was dead.”  The Jake in question was co-owner of a gay bar, Good Judy’s, with his ex-love, Ben. “They met while working there, had started dating while working there.”  When the boss retired, they took the leap and bought it. They were so happy for so long, then Jake left Ben and two years later, Jake died.  The joy of Pride has left Ben and he keeps Good Judy going and it’s successful.  But there is no happiness in it for him and he is very “meh” about the whole idea of Pride.  There is nothing of Jake left in their office (and how horrible did that have to be, sharing an office with the man you still love who doesn’t want you back) except for the ashes on the shelf.  He tries to deny it but he thinks of Jake all the time.

As in Christmas Carol, he wakes one night to his ex-partner’s ghost standing at the foot of his bed. “Ben didn’t believe in ghosts, or God, or much of anything anymore really.”  But he believes what he is seeing is the ghost of Jake, who warns him he will be visited by three more ghosts this night and showing the chains he carries through eternity because of how unhappy he made Ben.

“My happiness wasn’t much of a concern when you left me…” Ben said.”  Jake died in a car accident while drunk.  “That wasn’t about you, you know, or the club, or the break-up, or anything.  I was just…lonely.”  But because we are never told why Jake threw Ben away, it didn’t make sense to me.  Later, in a visit with the other Marsha, ghost of Pride past, Ben brings up that “All Jake had wanted to do was to leave Ben.”   She tries to show him that Jake loved him or why would he “…have come here, back to this plane, wearing all those chains, because he wanted to leave you?” I was left confused because he HAD left Ben, two years before he died. 

The ghosts follow the idea of Pride Past, Pride Present and Pride Future.  The other Marsha shows Ben memories of meeting Jake and falling in love with him, working Good Judy’s and realizing that Jake “…was my everything.”  More than he wanted to admit to this ghost, who had such a tragic past.  I wanted to cry for Marsha and what she had been through.  Ben decides his mother was right, that being gay makes for a lonely life. 

The ghost of Pride Present, Marc, is a god-like vision who shows Ben (obviously) what is happening with all the people of Good Judy’s and the community as related to Pride.  Ben doesn’t celebrate,

The third ghost, Avenir, is a gender/racial/ethnic fluid sort of thing, which I liked the most of all of them. More than Ben’s future, the possible future presented by Avenir was terrifying.  “Make America Straight Again.”  It is what we might become in real life and it’s frightening.

Ben is so sure that Pride and maybe gay bars altogether are no longer needed that he doesn’t believe there is a reason for keeping on.  Some parts of this came across as a lesson to us, the reader, as opposed to adding to the story, while this is being explained. Some parts came across as a reminder that we are nowhere near where we need to be.  “Some found solace in the bottle, some in the needle.  Some never found solace at all but succumbed to self-harm. Some were beaten to death by strangers.  One was left to hang on a fence and changed a nation.  Some were gunned down in their sanctuary but we still feel their spirit’s pulse.”   But Micah and his parents give me hope. 

The ending is, as the title suggests, Pride Anthems.  So many of the songs I love are on this list and there were some new to me.  Anthems for Pride.

Cover art: Alex Bischoff.  Eye-catching.

Sales Links:

Amazon US  

Paperback

Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 55 pages
Published May 10th 2018
ASINB07CZTRNF

Book Blast – A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: A Pride Anthem

Author:  Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alex Bischoff

Genre/s: Literary queer fiction

Length:  20 000 words    

It is a standalone book.

Heat Rating: No sexual content.

Add on Goodreads 

Blurb

Three spirits. One night. One last chance.

Jake is dead. Ben knows that. But when Ben wakes up to see Jake standing over him, he is forced to face his feelings not only about Jake’s death, but about the direction of his life. In a big gay Christmas Carol style night, Ben is visited by more spirits, and Pride will never be the same.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  

Paperback

Amazon UK

Excerpt

“So what if I do?” Ben screamed, even as Ben-on-the-couch cried. “So what if I want to leave? No one will care.”

The clock struck nine and the office faded away, to be replaced by… the office again. Ben sat up on the couch. Had he been sleeping? Dreaming? Regardless, it was true. He had known for a long time that none of it – bar or community or Jake – none of it really mattered.

“And that’s where I come in,” said the smooth-bodied blond muscle hunk in glittery gold booty shorts that suddenly appeared at the foot of the couch. “I’m the Ghost of Pride Present, but that’s a bit of a mouthful.” Ben couldn’t help but glance down, at what was also a mouthful. A very impressive mouthful. The ghost saw, and smirked. “You can call me Marc.”

“I’m done,” Ben said. “This whole nocturnal spiritual journey is over.”
“It’s just beginning,” Marc said.

“It ends now. If I don’t go, you can’t make me.”

“Oh, that’s her rule, not mine.” Marc reached down with a meaty hand and yanked Ben off the couch. “Besides, there’s not a gay man alive or dead who doesn’t want to come with me. Happy Pride!” Marc said, and he kissed Ben on the cheek.

About the Author  

Rob Browatzke is a writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, proud teller of stories and thrower of parties.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter:  @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke 

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