Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)
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Book Discussion & Recommendation > LGBT Inclusion Month

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message 1: by Reus (last edited Apr 24, 2015 11:57AM) (new) - added it

Reus Ōno (onoreus) After last month's book and the genderless supporting character we found in Hyrek, it got me thinking that there hasn't been a month dedicated to novels with an LGBT individual as the main character.

Considering October - which is LGBT History Month - also coincides with Halloween and is therefore usually reserved for the more spooky stories, I figured that it was worth a try to give us some recognition and spice up the book choices.

EDIT: It has come to my attention that I failed to remember Tipping the Velvet and Swordspoint, but that was almost two years ago so the idea is still relevant where the community is concerned.

For my picks, I didn't exactly stick with a single genre, so anybody can feel free to comment with their own suggestions.

What I think should be read as the main male-on-male book is Captive Prince: Volume One, which has also been described as slave erotica. Don't let that deter you, though, it's incredibly written and the characters and world are fleshed out wonderfully. Read the blurb on its page to see if you'd maybe want to take it for a spin. They're relatively short books, so maybe incorporating all three parts would be your best bet.

Another one I'd enjoy seeing reviewed, in a vlog or otherwise, is The Magpie Lord, which is set in Victorian England so it's more historical fiction compared to the high fantasy of Captive Prince. I highly enjoyed both, however.

For the female-centric side of things, I realize that Jacqueline Carey's works have been featured in two sessions now, but I have to give her Santa Olivia series a shout-out because she has no trouble immersing herself in every world possible and doing a bang-up job of it.

Love Spell by Karen Williams is another lesbian romance that definitely took hold of me. It features a nice blend of supernatural elements, compelling characters, and an unpredictable plot that makes for a great time. It ain't easy being green.

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any transgender fantasy novels out there, but those are four picks of mine that are kind of all over the place. I hope that we can eventually see some novels pop up that aren't heteronormative with the romance element, because that would be a nice change of pace. And that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed watching (and reading when I can find the time) along with the ladies through their literary journey.


message 2: by Serendi (new)

Serendi We did Tipping the Velvet a while back.


message 3: by Reus (last edited Apr 25, 2015 12:55AM) (new) - added it

Reus Ōno (onoreus) I did fail to take that into account, and Hannah Hart had some great commentary to offer. I suppose I may be suggesting too much given the reminder, but I feel as though another foray into the subject would be a nice refresher.


message 4: by Serendi (new)

Serendi Okay, actually looking back (I'm on my desktop instead of my tablet, which makes it easier...) We did Tipping the Velvet as our main in July 2013, and Swordspoint as the alt. That's close to two years ago.

This is in the nature of info, not direction. I'm half-asleep.


message 5: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments Having done it once doesn't mean we won't do it again. :) It's more just that with so many of us wanting to see so many catagories of things, it takes awhile to come around again. Last time both picks were pretty well received, so I'm sure most of the group would be up for another round. Here's a couple of the threads from the past with recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

And a link to our listopia where I'm sure I've seen some LGBT books popping up, among lots of other recs.

Keep in mind too, that Felicia and the other ladies try to keep the picks as available to as many of us as they can, so things like the number of formats it's available in, or whether it's available world-wide will affect the chance of something getting picked also.

Maybe this thread will help it along, especially if we vet our our own suggestions for criteria like that first?
Why make Felicia do all the work of checking when we can crowdsource it! :) So theres a challenge for us folks, come up with a short list of potentials that: fit the LGBT theme; are available in all of ebook, paper, and audio; and are available in a wide portion of the world. We can do this! Then when our leaders are ready to slot in this theme again, there's a prepped short list ready and waiting. I'm off to do some research now! Everyone, join in!


message 6: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments Oops didn't actually link to the listopia. Here it is! https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7...


message 7: by Reus (new) - added it

Reus Ōno (onoreus) Thank you, Sanasai! You've certainly lifted my spirits, and I didn't mean to sound pushy in any way with my suggestion. I just felt as though it had been a while (clearly, as I hadn't even remembered it was covered before) but, then again, my memory fails me quite a bit.

I will certainly do some research into picks I've heard about/read to see if they're available to all in every format and add them to the listopia, which I should have done more research to find out existed. Sorry, it was my first post in the forums. Forgive me for all the mistakes I've made ahead of time.


message 8: by Rae (new)

Rae | 8 comments Second this idea and also Santa Olivia!

My recs:

I really liked Death by Silver. It has interesting world building and mystery, and the two main characters are gay. And also Dying for a Living which has a bisexual main character and she's super kick ass!


message 9: by Neohgirl (new)

Neohgirl | 68 comments Suzanne Brockmann has regularly used LGBT characters in her books, with some even as leads, and she has recently gotten into the urban fantasy genre. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 10: by Erin (new)

Erin Franklin (shibasandshelves) | 4 comments Yesssssssss Santa Olivia! I love it so dearly.


PointyEars42 | 476 comments Keep your eyes open for the second in Courtney Milan's new series (due for release sometime this year). Sadly its her experiment with a contemporary setting and not her ass-kicking historicals, but...

Hold Me (Cyclone, #2) by Courtney Milan (Trans woman heroine PLUS the hero isn't white. Or a duke. Or, I think, a billionaire.)


message 12: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments No worries, Clint, it's a big big group and it's easy to lose track of things. I just figured the topic of inclusion pops up often enough, maybe it's time for some volunteer prep-work. ;)

So here's my suggestions - I haven't read any of them all the way through, but I looked at the samples after checking availability.

Most widely available were VF-mystery category Cut & Run and VF-shifter Change of Heart (the cover on this one scared me a little - his butt-cheeks look like they're going to walk off without the rest of his body any minute now.)

Both of these are available in EB/AD/PB, list spanish/french/german/italian translations, so should hopefully have a decent presence outside the states, and still show up when I tried visiting amazon .uk, .ca, .au ect. So I *think* the books are available there, although if someone properly linked to those markets wants to double check me, that'd be great.

After those, there's VF mystery Somebody Killed His Editor, VF Contemporary Faith & Fidelity, and for Fantasy any of the Malinda Lo books. Don't get too excited by the series title Holmes & Moriarity on Somebody Killed, it's not actually *that* Holmes and Moriarty. Couldn't tell by the sample how "inspired by" they were, author might have just been being cute with the names.

Those are all available in EB/AD/PB as well, and I was seeing them on the uk/ca/au amazon as well (although again, double check me on that). They don't list any foreign translations though, so I'm not sure how available they are (even in English) in European or other markets - that's harder for me to tell.

Also, most of them ended up being from around 2008/2009 so in theory they should be recent enough not to have gone out of print, but old enough to be at least somewhat available used or at libraries.


message 13: by Reus (last edited Apr 26, 2015 05:59PM) (new) - added it

Reus Ōno (onoreus) Great ideas, guys! I'm really, really liking this.

After some searching, I also found a few selections available in audiobook, e-book, and print formats which I've added to the listopia.

Half Bad is the book I'm currently reading, a contemporary fantasy set in an alternate version of modern-day England consumed by the war between black and white witches. (Also available in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Latvian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. I wasn't able to find the print version of this on Amazon in Australia, but it is available at Booktopia.)

I know how much Bonnie loves age gaps, so I'm happy to also be able to add Luck in the Shadows to the list, a high fantasy novel available in all formats despite its original publication date of 1996. (Also available in Czech, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. Book is completely absent on Australian Amazon, but paperback is again available at Booktopia. UK Amazon also doesn't seem to have the Kindle edition available.)

I'm also going to mention Euphoria, because I love the premise, a historical fiction set in the '30s where a passionate love triangle brews between three young anthropologists. (Also available in Dutch and Turkish. Booktopia is again the prime source of the paperback for Australians, though Amazon does carry the Kindle edition of this book.)

The paperback edition of Euphoria was only released a few days ago on the 23rd, so finding it in a local library could possibly be taxing, though it is available in hardcover as well. Both of my other picks should be easier to locate for the frugal folk, as Half Bad was published more than a year ago.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm bumping this back on VF's community radar.

I haven't kept up with the recent picks so I'm not sure if there was an LGBT pick somewhere in there.

But if there wasn't, I'd love if we had another LGBT pick.


message 15: by Malaraa (last edited Oct 29, 2015 04:25PM) (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments Good idea to give this a bump :)

Since my last post, I got around to reading Cut & Run and I'll re-affirm my endorsement of it. It's got a decent amount of smut, yet it balances that nicely so the plot isn't simply an excuse to reach the next sex scene. The killer was easily suspected, and confirmed beyond my doubt about halfway through, but I'm OK with that. I've read a lot of mysteries, and the ones I don't guess early tend to have a cheap trick used at the end. Guessing is better. Also really liked the eventual reveal on the method, which was better hidden than the identity.

Edit: also noticed that Rae's suggestion above, Dying for a Living, is currently available for free as a kindle book, so I'll try that one too.


message 16: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh | 108 comments I recently read and really enjoyed The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Its a YA (although i think reading it it feels more Adult in areas) re-telling of the story of Persophone and Hades
Heres the blurb..
hree thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth. Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want--except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice. Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny. But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself.


message 17: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments And...yes, Dying for a Living was indeed fun. The villainy could stand to be a little more complexly drawn, it's a bit 1D, but the concept was very interesting, and it was enjoyable to read. Also, the kindle edition is free right now, so it's a good time to check it out.


message 18: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments So, I happened across the Patreon for Amanda Downum, whose 2nd book The Bone Palace had a significant trans character named Savedra. Turns out she's working on a new story with Savedra as the main character! She's calling it The Poison Court, and since there aren't a lot of books out there with main characters who are trans, thought it was worth a mention. She's still writing it, so it'll be awhile before it's purchasable. I really enjoyed the first three books she wrote in this world, and Savedra was a great character, so I'm definitely planning on checking it out when I can.


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments I think I posted these under another topic before (forgive me, I'm on my tablet and it's making it a pain in the butt to scroll through the threads with tons of posts.) but here are some books by indie authors that have LGTB elements in them: Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner and The Pyramids of London by Andrea K Host. Romance is not the focus of either book, but it does play a part.

Overall I didn't love Ice Massacre, but it was an interesting and fun take on mermaids, and the romance was perfectly woven into the story as a natural, organic thing, not forced at all, not like the point was to try to unlock the "feature an LGTB romance in one of your books" achievement.

Andrea K Host usually builds fantasy/sci fi worlds in which same-sex relationships and/or relationships made up of more than 2 people are commonplace and just how those societies work. Pyramids of London is her first novel I'm aware of in which it is the main character (two of them, actually) who develop romantic feelings for members of the same sex. It is the first book in a trilogy, though, and the only one yet released, and neither of those potential relationships go anywhere just yet.


message 20: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments Also, pretty much any book by Clive Barker will feature LGTB relationships.

One of his characters in Imajica is not really male or female, but appears as whichever each person expects him/her to be. The first time we see this character in the book, it's through the eyes of a character who perceives him as male, and so he is referred to as a 'he' throughout the book, but others see him as a her.

Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley - a lot of people love the book, although I kind of hated it. But one of the interesting characters is someone who periodically changes sex, not by will but biologically that's just how he/she is. The rest of the society in the book is supposed to be flipped from out own world, with men as 'the weaker sex'. The way the author tried to execute this, though, was just kind of in poor taste, IMO.

And then there's Ancillary Justice, where the main character is not human and her language does not differentiate between the sexes, and so she refers to everyone in the book as "she", so it's always kind of a guessing game if you feel the need to know who is male or female.

Those books are not really romances, but I guess I was just thinking of different books that turn the usual sexual norms on their head.


Text Mess (textmess) | 1 comments Luck in the Shadows was mentioned but my favorite by Lynn Flewelling is her trilogy, the Tamir Triad which features a trans-woman in a dark fantasy setting. It wouldn't specifically work well for the group, because the fist book, The Bone Doll's Twin, the protagonist is only a child and only grows up and develops a romance with one of the other male characters slowly over the course of the last two books. But it's definitely a trilogy I want to thrust into anyone's hands who want some more LGBT fantasy.

Also a classic, to me, is Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald-Mage trilogy starring Vanyel. A little over the top on the tragic melodrama at times, but super satisfying and some of the first of it's kind to feature a lead gay character that actually has a fully realized romance in a fantasy setting. It was published in 1989.

You can always depend on Tanya Huff, too. My favorite from her is her Quarters series because LGBT relationships are commonplace without any shame involved, but her Blood Ties series is her most popular. They even adapted it into a tv show.


message 22: by Ju (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ju Transcendancing (transcendancing) I really appreciate Laney Cairo's work for queerness and diversity in a bunch of ways. She's written about trans characters, lots of gay romance, and most recently some awesome poly romance. It's light and romantic, speculative, a little on the eco-fantasy/dystopia side and there are happy endings. http://laneycairo.com/ (links from here to either torquere press website or amazon depending on your preference). (note: am friends with the author irl but that's true of several friends who are authors and I rec them as it seems appropriate to people, this just seemed liked the right kind of time and place for this rec).


message 23: by Michele (new)

Michele | 128 comments I recently read A Rational Arrangement and I think it fits here nicely - M/M/F, and some really hot sex scenes.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't posted here yet, but I want to share a book, The Story of Teddy and Eddie by James Halat. A "coming out" story about a young gay man that has so much truth in it, truth about people, that it spoke to me as an older straight woman about how I look at my own relationships.

I can't recommend it enough. My review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I hope someone will find it as inspiring as I did.


message 25: by Sheva (new)

Sheva Bree (shevabree) | 2 comments James Osiris Baldwin
is a trans author and his most recently published book Blood Hound by James Osiris Baldwin
is SO worth the read. I devoured it in two days. Probably would have finished faster if I wasn't sick. It is definitely Urban Fantasy but grounded in a harsh reality. I felt well and truly immersed in the story from beginning to end.


message 26: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new)

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
Great suggestions, we def need to get to this category, and lots of wonderful books here to pick from, thanks guys!


message 27: by Ju (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ju Transcendancing (transcendancing) Ju wrote: "I really appreciate Laney Cairo's work for queerness and diversity in a bunch of ways. She's written about trans characters, lots of gay romance, and most recently some awesome poly romance. It's l..."

Specific books to rec from Laney. Most recent book is a polyamorous fantasy romance about saving the world: Fountain of the Worlds

And also Circle of Change (which is about to get a print release for the first time!) It's a trans* coming of age story. Circle of Change


message 28: by Sean Lookielook (last edited Jan 26, 2016 10:41PM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
I took the suggestions from a couple of different threads plus the GLBT bookshelf and put them all together into one Listopia - LGBT* Vaginal Fantasy . You can find a bunch of suggestions there, vote up your favorites, and add new titles.


message 29: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new)

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
Sean wrote: "I took the suggestions from a couple of different threads plus the GLBT bookshelf and put them all together into one Listopia - LGBT* Vaginal Fantasy . You can find a bunch of suggestions there, vo..."

THANK YOU SEAN!


message 30: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
YOU'RE WELCOME FELICIA!


message 31: by Ju (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ju Transcendancing (transcendancing) The shelf is awesome!


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