I love books, I love to read, I love the written word and I love to read in a lot of different genres. I read everything from classics of Kafka, Brontë, Austen, Shakespeare, to horror or crime such as John Grisham and Dean R. Koontz and so on and so forth to contemporary romance novels. There’s not much I don’t read, or many genres I can’t find authors to love.
However, there's one thing I’ve noticed with the LGBTQ community of authors, including myself, is that very few just write books. Books for the masses books about people who just happen to be something other the standard straight, white, christian. This thing we call sexual orientation is very important in the quest of not having it be so important. Mind you now I’m not saying this is always a bad thing, talking about matters will defuse them and eventually whatever made a hype out of one thing will be gone and commonly accepted, I’m just claiming it is how many people in MY oppinion write . Nothing wrong with it it’s just how it is.
With Debbie McGowan’s books, sex and sexual orientation is something distant, it’s not this huge statement or discussion, sex is something everyone has so it's like "knock yourself dead" and sexual orientation, it’s who you are no matter what that is so what's there to discuss. I am not saying it isn’t important factor in McGowan books but she has a way of wording things that makes them so acceptable that you just sort of nod and goes along with whatever she says. It's all the norm.
In the Wag and the Scoundrel Debbie McGowen’s characters are diverse but yet familiar that it doesn’t matter what their sexual orientation is or gender or color of their skin or political views they could all be you in one way or another. Gray, the widower, Rob the soon to be divorced, Will, the animal rights activist and ex banker gone surfer, Aaron and Naomi are so freaking brilliantly done I might actually have whooped a little; but they are all regular dudes and dudettes with very much of the same type of problems. Debbie McGowan is one of a small group of authors I'm currently reading that truly know how to make, all those things we all want to be non issues, into just that a non issue. That is a gift in itself.
When it comes to The Wag and the Scoundrel it’s a suspense and crime story, and I love those kind of stories, I prefer them when reading in a way, or rather I prefer stories that are about more boy meets boy or girl, I like stories about real life. Just like John Grisham, McGowan, focuses the drama on the actual case of “who’s done it” instead of the act of violence of seeing the crime being committed. That doesn’t just cause the story to become more of a suspense story because she as a writer can focus on more calm details in the investigation instead of the hard quick actions in the crime moment.
What I like most about this particular book are two things, one, the flow between keeping the pace of the actual case of investigating the murder going, so it doesn’t stagnate and sort of just flimsy out around in the course of getting people together as couples or sorting their personal lives out. The story is the crime committed that involves a lot of people whose life are intertwined. That is the second thing I love about this book, all the different characters that we get to follow and their personal lives as a side story to the crime investigation. It is a nice side step from the crime story, to say it lightens it up maybe a bit over exaggerated because damn these people got issues the size of a small European country, I am not jealous but we get to follow them on their personal journeys as well and I liked that a lot. I can tell you this I usually don’t spend too much time dwelling on who will end up with who, because let’s face it most romances are pretty easy to figure that one out, but since this isn’t a romance and that was pretty clear from get go I was muttering quite a lot and was ready to kick ass if Gray didn’t get his head out of his arse.
In all, Debbie McGowan write books for the masses, they are not simply LGBTQ books, well they are but I hate labels, books are books, and if I want a crime I look there and there’s where this book fits in. The Wag and the Scoundrel will have you turning that page after page till you come to the last one, because you just want to know who one done it and what the heck happens to everyone and I’ll tell you Debbie is goooood at keeping you on your toes! Finally what I have to say is move over John Grisham there’s a new crime author in town!
You can find Debbie at:
Beaten Track Publishing
When Skies Have Fallen by Debbie McGowan was my first book by this author and it won’t be my last one that is for sure. When picking up this book I was very curious about, one because it been so highly recommended but also because I met Debbie before reading any of her books and because I had done so it is always fun to see if you can find some of the persons essences in their writing.
When Skies Have Fallen takes place during end of the WWII, where men were men and women were women, or at least where a small part of society decided what a man and a woman were, a world where being gay was considered to be a crime and you could actually be put in jail for taking part in so-called homosexual acts.
I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to find the right words to describe this book because to make it fair it is not a love story, it is not without it but the moral of the story isn’t will there be love, the moral of the story is how far will you go to be free to love your partner so the world knows. To not live a life in fear and all that, how long will you go to make sure someone else will have those rights too and will you give up trying if fighting for that right will kill you?
This story made me think of something I often ponder in regards to romance stories, as they are so aptly called, we make fun of it about being romance authors, some even feel shame in saying they write romance(ish) stories as if saying so is admitting to picking your nose or worse. To me, it is so funny that we put so much shame into something that is something that we all (including me even if I am about as romantic as a dirty gym sock) is to be loved. OK, it doesn’t mean having to be IN love but to be loved and accepted for who we are, no matter who that is (unless it is the chainsaw slayer, Luca’s dad or someone equally horrible). But the idea of love is somehow what keeps us all going and moving forward.
This book is full of love, in love, deep friendship love, sibling love, love for thy country, love for thy neighbor and so on and so forth. This story is the beacon of love and hope, that we all live in a world that we all have the possibility to help change to the better for ourselves as well as thy neighbor. That there are people out there willing to fight battles that might not be their own but are willing to bend over backwards and then some because in doing so they help someone else be free, free to love the person that is the world to them in When Skies Have Fallen this is Jean and Charlie, better and truer friends than them you have to look for and they are someone how just as important for this story as the two lead men, Jim, and Arty, if that is what you want to call them. Because even though the battle of the story is theirs there wouldn’t have been the strength and hope or even possible for them to go through what they did and come out as well as they did on the other end without their friends fighting right there, side by side with them.
So, if you want to read a story out there that is a hope bringer and a wake-up call giving you a glimpse on how far we come, but how we do not want to become again and therefore have to keep fighting all these battles of hate no matter what they are for, then you have to read When Skies Have Fallen. Thank you Debbie for this amazing story of love and hope!
You can find and connect with Debbie at the following social medias:
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.