Monday, June 16, 2014

M/M Monday Author Spotlight ~ Suicide Ride ~ E. Llewellyn

Title: Suicide Ride: The Platinum Man
Author: E. Llewellyn
Length: 293 pages
Release Date: September 29, 2013


Are you straight? Are you sure? What would you do if you were down-and-out and desperate? What would you do—how far would you go—for FAME? 

Find out just how far, and just how low, Johnny Gellis is willing to go in SUICIDE RIDE: THE PLATINUM MAN. 

You hitch your lift with this man
You'll have your blood on your hand …


Norman Dimond is the Silver Man, an over-the-hill LA-based rock 'n roll record producer who has seen better days. A set-for-life bisexual with a hard spot for younger men, he squanders his nights hustling cash-strapped gay-for-pay desperadoes who swagger into his den on the Sunset Strip, looking for one-off love in all the right places. Lonely and at loose ends, he longs for a worthy dance partner, but despairs of finding him … Until one night, when he least expects it, in waltzes … 


Johnny Gellis is the Platinum Man, a beautiful straight wreck who needs fixing—and who wants exactly what Norman Dimond has to give: a platform, a stage. But does he want it badly enough? Desperate to outrun his demons, he's driving himself crazy, and is heading straight for the edge. Can Norman save him, before it's too late? 


When Norman meets Johnny, their heavy-metal fenders bend, sending the male-on-male sparks flying. Johnny's number-one-with-a-bullet hit "Suicide Ride" blows Norman's mind, while his number-99-with-an-anchor tattoo pricks up more than just his ears. And though this hell-bent, cliff-hanging headbanger is the man-boy of his dreams, keeping him on course turns out to be a waking nightmare. Can Norman do it? Can he put him on top while stopping him from breaking down and destroying them both? The deeper Dimond digs, the darker it gets; and as the secrets and suspense multiply, so, too, do the lies. Johnny is hiding something, that much Norman is sure of; and what's worse, he begins to feel the tug of even darker and ever more violent undertows—sinister, malevolent drags that Gellis himself cannot spin-rinse away



What is someone supposed to say when they've read the best of a genre? Somehow "OMG! I LOVED IT!" feels paltry and weak in comparison to how rich the experience was for me as a reader. It took me a long time to come up with words to describe how I feel about Suicide Ride: The Platinum Man since I wanted to put it out there from the perspective of someone who genuinely, truly, honestly loved every decadent detail involved in the work.

I was stunned when I found this was a debut novel.

That's a place to start.

Debut novels typically have a variety of issues which plague them; I forgive almost all of those since they are debut novels. Everyone starts somewhere. Even the best writers had a first book---and it most likely was not their best work.

I started reading The Platinum Man expecting a typical May/December gay-for-you queerlit piece which might be hot or might be not. It was one of those books I'd heard about. I had seen it around. It'd hit the charts a few times on Amazon. It had amazing reviews. The cover art was striking. I love May/December stories period so I snagged it on sale.

The moment I started reading it I was there. I was rolling along with Johnny Gellis as he traded in one life for another, no idea where the road was really leading but not willing to stop to ask for directions because men don't do that, right? Men go in guns blazing, shooting first, asking questions after, and it was as if I were doing the same thing while reading this book. I was hooked.

It was decadent reading in a way I haven't experienced in so long I can't fully describe how it felt to finally feel as if I were reading real prose again. Some people don't want that style. Some people prefer fade-to-black or simplicity in action. Me? I want it all. I want it as rich, as thick, as heavy, and as hard as you can give it to me because I want to feel raw all over when the ride is over otherwise?

There are other books I could be reading.

I read this one and then I read it again.

That's how good this ride was for me.

I wanted Norman to fall in lust/love with me. I wanted Johnny to be a man who'd do anything to change, to get his dream, to ride the ride. I never wanted it to end.

If Quentin Tarantino didn't write his own scripts? I'd personally petition him to hire E. Llewellyn to do his next movie because he's the only director on the planet who could handle her and that's questionable. This work makes his movies look tame.

It is fiction unleashed. It is lyrical madness. This? This is not a book. This is literature.

E. Llewellyn can keep writing forever as far as I'm concerned because she'll always have a fan in me. I think she's an unstoppable force of nature and I'm the kind of madwoman who wants to say she lived through the experience of having taken the Suicide Ride with her. ~Shandra Torbett


Title: Suicide Ride: The Fix
Author: E. Llewellyn
Length: 261 pages
Release Date: January 8, 2014


“You got a problem? We’ll fix it. That’s what I am: I’m your Mr. Fix-It. I’m your Daddy." ~ Norman Dimond 

SUICIDE RIDE: THE FIX continues the saga of Johnny Gellis and Norman Dimond begun in the first book of the SUICIDE RIDE series, THE PLATINUM MAN. 

Johnny Gellis is straight, obscenely beautiful, and musically gifted. He's made a shambles of his life in Atlanta, and has landed in L.A., where he hopes to make a fresh start in the music business. There, he meets the charismatically sexy Norman Dimond, a mostly gay, semi-retired, record label owner. In spite of some initial antagonism, the two hit it off. Right away, Norman wants to sign Johnny to a record deal. But before he can, Gellis falls apart in his hands. 

By now, Norman has fallen hopelessly, lopsidedly, in love. But Johnny is hiding something, running from a past so dark even he isn't fully in touch with its peaty, macabre underbelly. Norman's task is to save him—from himself and the black web of Southern Gothic intrigue woven into his DNA long before he was born. And beyond that, he must school him in the byzantine art of homoerotic love: daunting tasks all. 

But if Norman Dimond isn't up to the challenge, no mortal man is. What Johnny lacks in homosexual inclination, Norman more than makes up for in love—and determination. 

Find out what secrets lie buried in the spook yard of Johnny's past—and whether Norman can restore his foundling's soul. Will his unconditional love be enough to bring this lost boy home? And will it win his heart? And where his heart goes, can his body follow? 

Unravel the mystery in SUICIDE RIDE: THE FIX. 



Some debut novels are hard-hitting, balls-to-the-wall, no-holds-barred brilliance in action only for their successors to fall flat on their faces because how does anyone top what has already come before? If the author has already thrown it all out there, what else is there to give?

There was this hesitance in me to read The Fix because all I could think was: There is no way this will be as good as the first one.

I was wrong.

All the questions I thought I was sitting alone in my corner pulling at my hair wondering why I didn't get any answers? I got all of the important ones answered in this book and then the ride just kept going and going and going. I felt as if I were on one of those suspended roller coasters where my limbs were dangling as I depended on nothing more than the assurance of the ride maker I would make it safely through the end as the coaster whipped me around hairpin curves, turned me upside down, looped me over and over, and then dead-dropped me into an ending I wasn't prepared for except there I was---ride over and I survived somehow in spite of my doubts. 

That's a lot of words, right?

Language is this heady thing to me where more is more is more and if one is truly a bibliophile one has a fixation on words which can only be satisfied with the right combination of them.

For me? E. Llewellyn is one of those writers who can decimate all barriers of language to expose a rich, seedy underlayer of literature no one else has dared to tackle. She's fearless. She's fierce. Her work is a manic masterpiece of lush descriptions, rich, haunting characterizations where those who are depicted don't have to be the good guys all the time! Magically enough? We, the readers, are allowed to see these characters have flaws! They have their own depravities, faults, and failures. They are not simple "nice guys" or "alphas" who tell their "boys" to get in line. They are men! Tough, rough, sexual, sensual men who don't fit into the standard molds because this author doesn't feel the need to pigeonhole her characters into generic boxes to satisfy a generic audience.

When I read these books, I don't feel as if the author is pandering to a reader base to sell more copies; I feel as if I am strapped into the ride right beside her as we scream together, neither of us knowing if we're going to live or die until it's all over for us both. 

This series isn't a book series for me. It's an experience. It's a breath-taking, eye-opening, thrilling experience which I feel unimaginably grateful to be able to take with the author and her cast of characters which only gets more enticing as the series goes on.
I want to find out more about everyone: Johnny (Naturally! Who doesn't want more of him? He's a sex god with a mysterious past which only becomes more mysterious the more we learn of him.), Norman (Who, seriously, can be as intense, demanding, and fierce as he wants because I will tell you I'd call him 'Daddy' or 'Bob the Builder' if it meant I'd get to feel what it was to be someone's dream for even one day.), Johnny's parents, and absolutely everyone else whether I've met them or not yet in the series.

HIT ME! I've got my seat belt fastened and I'm ready to continue the ride! ~Shandra Torbett




E. LLEWELLYN is an American-born essayist, poet, and author of the Hollywood-based neo-noir M/M series SUICIDE RIDE, including THE PLATINUM MAN, THE FIX, and the forthcoming sequel, THE HIT (2014). She splits her time between London and Berlin.



Top 10 Films from E. Llewellyn

My Top 10 List of Films:

  1. Sunset Boulevard
  2. Anonymous
  3. Hamlet (1990 Version Starring Mel Gibson)
  4. Splendor in the Grass
  5. Nijinksy
  6. Death in Venice
  7. Water for Elephants
  8. Sling Blade
  9. Transamerica
  10. Boogie Nights

A NOTE FROM ELLE : : A word about my choices:  I literally LOVE dozens and dozens of films, which is why I loathe Favorite and Top 10 Lists!  My preferences vary over time, depending on what I’m currently into.  So this is my list at present.  That said, certain of my choices are non-negotiable and will not budge off the list, though their positioning might change.  Those would be nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5.

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  1. Shandra, thank you again for putting together this sleek and stunning author spotlight page! And your reviews! I hardly know what to say except thank you - again! Truly I'm flattered and humbled by them. They just make me want to work that much harder to be the best I can be. Readers like you are the reason I write. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, and thanks also to Tiffany and the rest of the team at This Redhead LOVES Books. This brunette LOVES this blog! Hugs, Elle <3

  2. Great reviews! I've added them to my goodreads list. :D

  3. Thank you, Carly Rose! :-)

  4. Excellent reviews Shandra! I have read the books and feel the same way as you. She is a force of nature :)

    1. Thank you so much, Lorraine! Wow, today's my day to be feted! And I ain't gonna lie: it feels GREAT! :-D