Beth Brock has recently started blogging, but that doesn’t mean her reviews are anything below great. Her blog spans from reviews of all types to daily events in her life. If you’re looking for a blog that has a lot to read, check out this blog.
Tell us about you and your blog. Where can we read it?
Hey Jamie, thanks for the interview. About me? I’m short, sassy, and an avid reader and writer.
My blog is titled, “Books, Reviews, and Bent Bunk” and that’s pretty much what it’s about. I mostly do reviews on MM Romance, but I’ll write about any LGBTQ book I like.
My web address is bethbrockbooks.com
How often do you post m/m reviews?
My blog is very new, but I have posting about one or two a week.
What makes you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
My first MF romance novel was given to me by my mother when I was in high school, but she told me that it was a mystery novel. I still haven’t forgiven her. To me, there was something about MF Romance that was lacking. It wasn’t until last year that I discovered MM Romance by reading “Love Match” by Keira Andrews. Blew my mind. Now I’ve read over sixty MM romance titles and counting.
Set gender roles make me feel…restrained and profoundly uncomfortable. In every MM relationship, the two people are forced to make up their own rules as they go, because there aren’t any to follow. What a sensible practice!
I write specifically about MM Romance books, because there isn’t a lot of FF available right now. I tried a few titles, but I wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it’ll get better. Maybe I’ll write one.
When did you first start blogging?
About a month ago. laughs
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs. What would you say makes yours unique compared to others?
When I do a review, I write about what strikes me. I’ll rarely summarize the book – people can read the blurb. Sometimes I’ll focus on the characters, style, message, or even the author themselves.
I also use profanity and unabashedly talk about sex in my reviews. I don’t have a “heat” scale or anything, but I’ll give my general impressions. I think that’s how “bunk” came into my blog title. There’s a lot of bunk in my work, and I recognize that what I write isn’t for everyone. Don’t take me too seriously. I don’t.
What are some of the best m/m books that you’ve read all year?
“Meatworks” by Jordan Castillo Price. The characterization of Desmond Poole is one of the best protagonist pieces I have read. He’s such an asshole – laughs – and I love him. Everything I have read of Price’s is so refreshingly nontraditional. I can’t say enough good things.
“Dark Space” by Lisa Henry also comes to mind; great science fiction, crazy tension, angry protagonist, and a truly sweet story. I love her work, and this book is my favorite – it’s also probably one of the least dark of her novels. She isn’t for everyone, but her “voice” is engaging and she’s brilliant.
I liked “Training Season” by Leta Blake. The protagonist, Matty, is a figure skater (think Jonny Weir, glitter, and strawberry lip gloss). I read books to get into someone else’s head, because I get tired of my own, and the psychic distance in this book is so close, it’s easy to become Matty. He’s different than I am and I think that’s why I like it. Also, the romantic action is continuous, and it has the hottest sex scene I have ever read. Hoo boy. Seriously.
Is there anything that you would like to see more of in m/m literature that you don’t see now?
I lean toward more nontraditional MM romances. I don’t like perfect sex. Real life sex is awkward, gritty, and funny as hell, and I think that fictional sex should be too. I like Price’s horror/paranormal/science fiction romance genre for that reason. A MM Horror Romance, you say? What? Trust me, her work is amazing, and I’d love to read more stuff like hers.
I am a part of a critique group run by J. Scott Coatsworth, and I like what I’m seeing there too. People are writing fantasy and science fiction stories where the characters just happen to be somewhere on the spectrum. Most of these stories aren’t romances. As I am fond of saying, if one in ten people are gay, then shouldn’t one in ten books be gay as well? I’ll bet the numbers aren’t anywhere near that.
I’d like to do away with the MM and FF tag system eventually (notice that MF books aren’t tagged). I can see its usefulness now, but I think that these tags unnecessarily call out attention to the sex of the characters. Shouldn’t people be reading books because they’re good, and not based on what sex or gender the characters are? Ideally this would steer more straight people toward LGBTQ novels. Ideally.
Do your readers prefer: excerpts, interviews, cover reveals or reviews?
I’m not sure if anyone reads my blog – laughs – but I’m mostly doing a mix of blog posts and reviews right now.