Welcome to the Blak Rayne Blog, where I post articles, author interviews, book and movie reviews, as well as anything else that sparks my interest!



Friday, March 24, 2017

The Cost of Overwhelming Your Audience #article #amwriting #gayromlit #climax

The Cost of Overwhelming Your Audience

Lately, I’ve read a number of stories that have taken “climax” to a whole new level. What I mean is: how much turmoil can the main characters put each other through before the plot loses focus and the resolution is hindered? As with any romance, I love a good climax, that point of no return, where the final decision can make or break the lead couple's relationship. But when the first climax is overridden by yet another more intense climax and, even another, in somewhat quick succession, I find my emotions can’t handle it, and I begin to shut down. I hate to say it, but once that happens the initial impact of that first climax rapidly fades, and I lose interest in the characters and the reason they’re together. I no longer care.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a well-crafted story, one with a perfectly placed climax, and if it’s a series of books about the main couple's ongoing life together, I understand and appreciate the natural highs and lows they undergo. But to butcher a more-or-less stand-alone story that starts off okay with more tension than necessary, it becomes an unpleasant read.
One such book is Jazz by author Maeda Sakae and artist Takamure Tamotsu, released in 2000. I know some people will disagree. They will claim this is the one of the best yaoi manga they’ve read. And I say, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. However, I’m of the view that the author gave the characters too many painful dilemmas to overcome, and the whole thing seemed rushed to me. And even at the end, I didn’t feel any real gratification. Perhaps part of the problem was a lack of significant character development. Usually, in romance novels, we expect the central characters to grow, to show more emotion either verbally or through his or her actions without altering their core personality. In the case of Jazz neither man seemed to grow, the older Doctor Narusawa continuously lived in the past and had no balls, and the younger of the pair, his patient Naoki, after no emotional response actually digressed. Plus, the way their relationship began wasn’t pleasant either. “I raped you, so now you’re going to automatically love me.” Which is one yaoi theme I hate for the simple fact it’s unrealistic.
Narusawa and Naoki overstep the bounds of their doctor-patient relationship. Instantly attracted to Narusawa, Naoki will stop at nothing to be with him, even if it means forcing the man to love him. Narusawa can’t own up to his own feelings and constantly caves to Naoki's advances. Which, of course, creates a highly volatile and turbulent relationship.
The doctor-patient theme is fine, but how it was executed leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps if the author Maeda Sakae had placed more of a gap between each climactic event, it wouldn’t have felt like an avalanche had hit me. A tumultuous relationship can make for an excellent read, but it’s all in the timing of the scenes. I don’t hate Jazz, but I can’t say I’m thrilled with it either. 2 Stars.

Happy Yaoi Hunting!
Blak Rayne

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Destiny's Favor - Orlosian Warriors Bk. 2 #promotion #erotic #romance #paranormal

Destiny’s Favor (Orlosian Warriors Bk. 2)
Destiny’s Favor synopsis
His world shifted the moment she was born. Now, nothing can stop him from making her his…
Imagine a man who looks like an angel, wings and all. What would you do if you met such a man, and he told you that he exists for only one purpose, to claim you and only you?
Destiny Carter is a feisty, take-charge, Rubenesque beauty with a tough façade. She finds herself caught in that age-old quandary of always being the bridesmaid but never the bride. A string of lackluster relationships leaves her hopeless and ready to settle for whatever comes along, until she meets Japheth, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend. Japheth’s arrival is heralded by an attack on Destiny’s life, but somehow, from some instinct deep within her, she knows this is only the beginning.

Born more than 200 years ago, Japheth looks like an angel, but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even to drink human blood, if it means having the one that he believes is meant for him alone. When he meets Destiny, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for. To claim her, though, Japheth will have to betray a friend, risk his life, and, perhaps hardest of all, humble himself enough to win her love.

**Only $0.99 for a limited time**

Dariel Raye

Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. A classically trained vocalist and pianist, she plays over 11 musical instruments. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). She is also a Netflix paranormal TV series binger.
Dariel is currently writing two series: “Dark Sentinels” (wolf shifters), and “Orlosian Warriors” (Vampire-like Nephilim. For more about Dariel, follow her blog or visit her website. She also publishes a new release newsletter. If you enjoyed this book, please post a review on review sites. You can also follow her or contact her on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Dariel on the Web

Blog: http://www.pendarielraye.com 
Website: http://darielraye.com

VIP Readers' Club Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/tHPKb         

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pendarielraye

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authordarielraye

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/darielraye

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8640181-dariel-raye      

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Release! Jack the Anthropophagite #promotion #mustread #gayromlit #newrelease

Jack the Anthropophagite, book 3 in my Reapers series is available now at Amazon!
Five Star Reviews!

Direct Purchase Link: Amazon JTA

I can write dark, and have, but Brody and Zeus have led me down a darker path than I would normally take. It started with Kiss the Reaper then I added Maximum Kill. I wanted to write something different from my usual romance. And I love drama, especially with a psychological aspect--characters that are in desperate need of redemption. And I think I've achieved that in this series so far. There will be two more stories added to the roster, and then I will move on to my next project. I hope you enjoy JTA as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Tags: #guns #love #sex #dark #dark romance #assassins #killers #orphan #new release #must read #gayromlit #prostitution #killing #murder #twisted #Jack the Anthropophagite #farm #futuristic #gay #adult fiction #blak rayne #reaper #reaper series #book 3 #older man #seeking revenge #spring #prairie

Jack the Anthropophagite (Reaper Series Book 3)

Jack will eat no fat but will devour lean.’


While drifting from town to town, Zeus and Brody meet Mr. McMurty, a generous widower in need of help. In exchange for a place to stay, they agree to do odd jobs around his farm.
Then one rainy night, Zeus notices a man standing outside the bathroom window. Brody searches the property but finds no trace. Zeus is certain of what he saw, and he’s certain their peaceful stint is about to come to an abrupt end.


We returned to the farmstead, showered and put on clean clothes, and packed our duffel bag. It was still raining when we left, and the daylight had sunk into a murky haze. Brody exited the house first, and I don’t know why, but again a real uneasy feeling filled me. As I reached back to pull the door shut, a loud bang echoed off the house and blood exploded from Brody’s left shoulder. The subsequent chain of frightening events happened in slow motion: the impact twisting his torso unnaturally, blood flying past his fingertips.
I couldn’t expel any noise from my throat, and I couldn’t move.
For a fraction of a second, time froze.
Then everything began to move at normal speed once more; Brody grabbed his shoulder, ducking for cover, and hollered, “Run!”
I instantly sprang to life, my heart pounding. I dropped the duffel bag and jumped over the veranda rail to land on the uneven ground below. And that’s when I saw Jack standing in the meadow in front of the McMurty house. Rifle aimed, the pasty scarecrow fired another shot. I cringed, covering my head. Brody dove for the veranda and counter-fired with one of his M9s.
I couldn’t go back inside the house. I had to get to the truck like we’d planned. The main highway ran through the town ten miles away, and it was our only means of escape. Thirty yards dead ahead, nestled on a slope, was the barn—a creosote-stained wood structure commonplace on the prairies.
Soon as I heard Brody shout “Don’t stop!” I sprinted in that direction past the shed, fruit trees, and chicken coop. The daylight was almost gone as I came to a halt at the side of the barn. The gunfire had ceased. The only noise was that of the falling rain. Panting white into the air, I peered around the edge of the building. Cold droplets fell into my eyelashes and slid down my nose. I began to shiver.
Mr. McMurty’s truck was an additional thousand yards away—a dangerous distance where I’d be left wide open to a bullet. And where is Brody? Staring at the blackening sky, I bumped the back of my head against the wall with clenched teeth. Damn it, think!
I sighed in defeat. With no other option, I had to make a run for it. All I could hope was that the encroaching night would camouflage my movements. I zipped my jacket to conceal my bright red T-shirt. But just as I went to run, someone clamped a hand over my mouth, giving me the scare of my life.

Author Bio:

Blak Rayne is an author of gay romance. She loves to write and believes it’s one of the greatest forms of self-expression. What better way to see inside the human soul? Blak Rayne resides in Canada, and yes, she is a woman, wife, and mother. She’s been writing and drawing since elementary school, and she loves anything that involves the arts. As for family, her daughter is her toughest critic and greatest support!

Blak Rayne
‘Taking erotic to a sinful new level.’

Visit her online!

Direct Purchase Link: Amazon JTA
Amazon: Blak Rayne


Friday, March 10, 2017

What's Your Yaoi? List 25 #tearjerker #gayromlit #manga #mustread

What’s Your Yaoi? 

Welcome to BRB, everyone!  Several years ago, I started to post my favourite yaoi based on my own unique list of sub-genres, which includes everything from the bizarre to the cliché. Anyway, so here’s the next sub-genre on my list. Enjoy!


25. The Tearjerker:

God knows how many of these are there. Thousands? Millions? Gazillions? Just about any story that can make you laugh, frown, cry or cringe has made that all-important emotional connection. I mean that’s the whole point of writing and why we read. Not only is the novel you’re holding a source of escapism, but it’s also a jump-starter for your mental and emotional health. It can help develop vocabulary, ignite the imagination as well as provide knowledge. The more you read, the more you learn, and I read every day. Setting aside traditional books, what I find so amazing about a manga or comic is how an image can trigger such a strong emotional response, which no other source of reading material can do, at least not in the same way. A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s true. With mangas, there’s no need to describe the setting, what the characters look like or the characters’ feelings. Dialogue and pictures hold the entire story together. I love to create the author's world in my mind, but sometimes it’s nice to have the visual stimulus instead so I can focus on the conversation.
So, getting back to the “tearjerker”, I had a hell of a time trying to decide which stories to use, because as we all know a dramatic romance usually has a tragic element. And the more tragic the scenario, the more dramatic the story is. In the end, I narrowed the hundreds of choices down to a precious four. 

You Can't Call it Love

1. Koi to wa Yobenai or You Can’t Call it Love by Eda Yuuri and Machiya Hatoko
A caring and average guy Ei walks home from work one evening to find a man huddled in a ball outside his apartment; it’s Christmas Eve, he’s just been dumped, and it’s snowing. He ignores the man and goes to the store. When he returns, the man, Junpei, still hasn’t moved. Then he discovers Junpei isn’t alone; there’s a kitten stashed inside his jacket. Ei takes both of them in for the night. Eventually, Junpei gets better, and he ends up staying indefinitely and becomes a great friend to Ei. Both men have serious baggage, which is what makes their personalities three-dimensional, lending credence to the problems that arise.
This yaoi is a dramatic romance, and it takes time for the story to build momentum, but once it did, there were moments my heart sank, and I cried. But no matter how much it upset me, I couldn’t stop reading because I had to know how things would end. You Can’t Call it Love is emotionally gripping and beautifully illustrated. I found it refreshing for a change to read about a pair of honest men who prevailed over their mistakes. No abuse. No stupidity. And no airhead uke. At one point, the story could’ve veered off in a whole other direction, but thankfully it didn’t. The author is a superb storyteller, and the artist did an excellent job.

Porno Superstar

2. Porno Superstar by artist and author Nanami
Now, I’m not going to lie and say: “Hey, this yaoi is hilariously fabulous!” far from it. Although well written with deliciously attractive characters, Porno Superstar will make you cringe, cheer and cry, and almost all at the same time. Yamashita is a twenty-six-year-old gay virgin, and it’s his internal dialogue—how he views himself and his personal history—that sends the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. I couldn’t help but feel for him as he slowly dragged me deeper and deeper into the depths of his despair. Lonely, introverted and desperate for affection, Yamashita isn’t your typical uke. He’s unique in the fact he’s quite intelligent, but he just happens to make a bad judgment call because he’s star struck (well he views it that way in the beginning).
The other main character Asaoka is the twenty-three-year-old son of the vice president of the company where Yamashita works. And I know if you read this yaoi you will want to pummel this guy for his, and there’s no other way to say it, shitty and deplorable attitude. But, don’t write him off immediately. Even though he’s the complete opposite of Yamashita, aggressive and a bully, and he can never seem to find the right words, he also becomes the answer to Yamashita’s prayers. Asaoka has his own private issues to deal with, and near the end, he shows a truly wonderful romantic side.
I won’t bother with a synopsis because this yaoi takes off from the very first page, but what I will recommend is take the time to read Yamashita’s thoughts. I don’t know any personal history about the mangaka artist, but this plot was one of the most tragically realistic I’ve read in a long time. Yamashita’s fears literally tugged on the old heartstrings. As for the art, it was quite beautiful. If you like this yaoi the spin-off Shiny Star is a must read.

Goodbye, My Dear Friend
3. Goodbye, My Dear Friend by artist and author Enzou is a touching story about one man who tries to bring another out of his awkwardly cold shell. Tatsuo is a makeup artist for a fashion photographer. He’s a friendly guy that gets along with everyone, except Hajime, the new hair stylist, a man who never smiles and never has anything nice to say. One morning, a model runs out of Hajime’s room crying, so Tatsuo has a long talk with him. He tells the hair stylist that he’s rude and antisocial and it isn’t right to act that way, especially with fellow employees or the woman he’s supposedly dating. As they talk, Tatsuo realizes Hajime hasn’t got any social skills; he doesn’t know how to treat others or act appropriately, and he doesn't have any friends. Being kind-hearted, Tatsuo decides, come hell or high water, he will become Hajime’s friend.
Aside from the unique art style and a simple but enticing plot, what I really like about this yaoi is the dialogue. Tatsuo is an unbelievably tolerant and understanding man, who graciously makes an effort to get to know Hajime. No matter how rude the guy is, he sticks around until he realizes his feelings have developed into more than friendship. Hajime is good-looking and super intelligent, but thanks to a lousy upbringing, he distances himself from everyone. Which means, he isn’t the typical uke. He certainly isn’t whiny, bitchy or a crybaby, and he isn’t a gullible pushover. On the contrary, he’s blunt and doesn’t ask for anything until he begins to see how valuable their friendship is, and what Tatsuo’s companionship means to him.
I liked the honesty between the main characters. When Tatsuo is told to back off, he does without question even though he's dying on the inside. And once Hajime sorts out his feelings, he doesn’t waste time. With a touching story, great characters, pretty art and candid dialogue Goodbye, My Dear Friend is a must read.

Out of Control
4. Out of Control by Bbong
Out of the hundreds of manga I’ve read, Out of Control is what I’d call an “unforgettable read”. It’s one of those stories that left a mark. The reason I say this is because the humiliation, segregation and bullying the main characters suffered twisted my stomach into a knot and caused my heart to race to the point I was actually scared to read the next page. I had no idea what would happen next. Honestly, I felt anxious even though I wanted to see the couple triumph in the end.
Similar to His Most Favourite by Tanaka Suzuki, Out of Control follows the lives of Yuri, the most handsome guy in school and, Jaerim, one the ugliest; how they get together and the consequences of their strange union. Both teens are emotionally and, even physically, tormented by some of the other students. However, once Yuri gets to know Jaerim, who is actually a willful but dependable guy, he discovers love has nothing to do with sex or looks. By the end, they’re stronger, happy and they’ve earned the respect of their classmates.

I can’t tell you which of these tearjerkers is the best because each one is awesome. But what I can tell you is that each is worth reading.