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Torqued Tales M/M Anthology

Author(s): Nash Summers, Rob Rosen, Darren Endymion, Nicole McCormick

 The fairy tales that call to us are those with morals that are as valid in the modern world as they were when the stories first rose to popularity -- lessons like: Choose wisely whom you love; respect your elders; anything worth having is worth striving for; beware hubris; and real beauty is in the soul. This collection brings together five romantic and erotic re-imaginings of much-beloved fables (with a gay twist!) for your entertainment and amusement, while keeping intact the core themes that have ensured they've survived the ages.

In "A Different Dance" by Nash Summers, Casey needs to find his Happily Ever After before the stroke of midnight. In "The Wolf in the Woods" by Nicole McCormick, Malachi has been cursed until he can bond with a human, and Seamus might just be that human. In Darren Endymion's "The Snow Queen," Gavyn must confront the secrets of the world and his own heart to retrieve his lost love. In "Catching the Gingerbread Man" by Christopher West, Gregory the thief is trying to escape arrest, but the airship captain he's hired may decide the reward money the police are offering is a better deal. In "The Prince and the Frog" by Rob Rosen, a not so ordinary frog makes for an extraordinary tale.


 The low moon cast pale light across the endless expanse of London rooftops, high above the streets where the amber glow of gas lamps would chase it away. A young man sat precariously at the edge of a towering boarding house. The worn heels of his shoes pressed against the patchwork of tin plates that served as a roof though it kept out neither rain nor the summer heat. Below, he could see the cannery yard and the rough industrial walls of the factory that turned fish from the river into shreds of meat in neatly sealed tins. The machines slept for now. It would be close to dawn before the workers roused from their beds below him and marched in an orderly line to begin a new day of work. Most would not see the sun except through the factory windows. The young man smiled as he thought of being far, far away when those noisy machines awoke.

The sharp clip of polished boots on brick echoed through the streets. Terse shouts and the shrill blast of whistles bounced up the mortared walls to the rooftop where the young man sat and silently waited. The noise passed. He slowly counted to ten.

London had become a machine, an entire city of clockwork powered by gaslight and steam. People were nothing here except spokes on a cog. Turn the machines on, turn the machines off, be grateful for what they provide. Do your work and be glad to have it. Others aren't so lucky as you.

The streets were silent and still. He cautiously descended from his perch, climbing down a drainage pipe bolted fast to the side of the boarding house. His feet touched the paving stones and sharply turned, picking up a hurried pace around the corner and down the shadowed side of the street. He'd learned the layout of this twisted city well enough that navigating it hardly took any thought at all. He even turned down a few side streets and narrow passages that could scarcely qualify as alleyways where it was prudent to avoid possible attention.

Less than four blocks along, he passed his first publicity. It was on the wall beside a shop called the English Gentleman's Barber, which touted a new electrical scalp treatment that could cure everything from hair loss to gout foot. The handbill was one of dozens that had been pressed out and littered over this district. "Wanted!" it proclaimed in large, blocked letters. The bill listed a number of offenses -- larceny, burglary, and civil disobedience being just a few -- attributed to a criminal rather cleverly named the Gingerbread Man. The bill described a man of about twenty years, with ginger hair, freckled face, and slender build. A suitable reward was promised for any information leading to his capture.

The young man grinned and pulled his cap down over his brow. "Run, run, as fast as you can," he hummed.

-- from "Catching the Gingerbread Man" by Christopher West

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-61040-742-7
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 04/23/2014
Publisher: Torquere Press

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