Tag Archives: memoir

Blog Tour: That Time I…Survived My Teens by Craig Barker

That Time I… Survived My Teens | Craig Barker

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Genre: LGBTQ, Non-fiction, Memoir

Release Date: 13.10.19

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z2J1L7L

That Time I Survived Cover.jpg

Blurb

The Saturday prior to starting this memoir, my ex-fiancé and I had two of his work friends over for an old-fashioned games night. And when I say “old-fashioned,” I’m talking about dice, cards, racking up your points on an abacus, etc. You know, the things people entertained themselves with before politicians blamed every violent fart that wafted their way on video games.

Stop doing that.

Anyway, seeing as I didn’t know who these people were and would’ve much rather spent the evening on the sofa with our dog, I was less than optimistic. If anything, the whole ordeal was going to be like sitting through a Christopher Nolan movie. Sure, I’d say I was having a great time to fit in, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening and I’d probably need to take a nap midway through.

Hours before they arrived, just as I’d started to have those “what if I accidentally say something so obscenely offensive or mind-numbingly stupid, I’ll be haunted by the memory of it for years to come” thoughts, my ex ran down into the basement in which I dwell, his eyes frantic, and begged—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

Come again?

“Please, Craig. That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable. Don’t do it.”

I felt a flurry of emotions in the picosecond it took for his words to register: amused, bemused, offended. It sounded like a joke, but his face was full of fear—a fear that I would be unequivocally crude to these complete strangers, and that my behavior would burn bridges he obviously wanted to keep erect (more on erections later).

That was when it hit me like a pair of loose-hanging nuts to the taint; a realization that I, Craig Thomas Barker, had a pattern of behavior that stretched across my life since adolescence—

I’m the person you get warned about before meeting. I’m the person that gets warned before going anywhere.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder” why that was. So, in order to understand who I am today, I decided to take a look at the years that shaped me. I spread my life out on the table, lubed it with the flare of artistic exaggeration, and went at it until I found my answer.

This isn’t so much a memoir as it is a gay’s journey to discover himself; don’t expect structure, coherency, or a thoroughly thought out narrative with a climactic closing paragraph that gives any of this dribble closure. I’m no one special, I’m not famous, and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before, but I have lived a life, and all twenty-six years of that life has culminated in a single sentence—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

This memoir explains why…

And it was cheaper than therapy.

Excerpt

I’m a child of the nineties and a teen of the noughties. I grew up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Power Rangers, and Batman: The Animated Series, and I think these four shows perfectly encapsulate everything I am, from my hobbies—comics, video games, writing, wishing I was a Slayer—to the boy beneath the layers of sarcasm, anxiety, and a thirst for men in spandex.

I am what my time made me.

I remember dial-up internet, talking on the landline with the cord wrapped around my finger after school, and the irrational fear of strangers in anonymous chat rooms. I remember opening up my Christmas presents and going crazy for the latest Megazords, and I remember how unhappy my parents were before their divorce…though, maybe that’s only something I can see in hindsight.

My point is, I remember my childhood with as much accuracy as one can when looking through rose-colored glasses of a simpler time. Only it wasn’t simple. In fact, from as young as the age of four or five, I was already struggling internally with something I wouldn’t understand for many years.

Rocky DeSantos is the name of the second Mighty Morphin’ Red Ranger, later to be the Blue Zeo Ranger before getting replaced by that brat Justin in Power Rangers Turbo, (I’m still bitter about it), and he was, without a doubt, my sexual awakening. He was a 90’s dreamboat who looked as if he’d been pried from a boyband, wearing a sleeveless red shirt and a glistening smile, and whenever he was on screen, I was captivated.

Of course, I didn’t know what it was I was feeling. I just knew I was feeling something.

About The Author

Writing a biography has always baffled me. I mean, I’m writing my own but I’m supposed to do it in third person, right? I’m supposed to tell you I attended some top-notch school, help people cross the street, have a “relatable” passion for something and spend my weekends frolicking in a field of flowers…

I can’t do that.

My name is Craig. I like fried food. I write because I enjoy it. Please don’t make me do this anymore.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/craigbarkerbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcraigbarker

Giveaway

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Release Blitz: That Time I…Survived My Teens by Craig Barker

That Time I…Survived My Teens | Craig Barker

 

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LGBTQ Non-fiction/Memoir

Release Blitz: 13.10.19

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z2J1L7L

That Time I Survived Cover.jpg

Blurb

The Saturday prior to starting this memoir, my ex-fiancé and I had two of his work friends over for an old-fashioned games night. And when I say “old-fashioned,” I’m talking about dice, cards, racking up your points on an abacus, etc. You know, the things people entertained themselves with before politicians blamed every violent fart that wafted their way on video games.

Stop doing that.

Anyway, seeing as I didn’t know who these people were and would’ve much rather spent the evening on the sofa with our dog, I was less than optimistic. If anything, the whole ordeal was going to be like sitting through a Christopher Nolan movie. Sure, I’d say I was having a great time to fit in, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening and I’d probably need to take a nap midway through.

Hours before they arrived, just as I’d started to have those “what if I accidentally say something so obscenely offensive or mind-numbingly stupid, I’ll be haunted by the memory of it for years to come” thoughts, my ex ran down into the basement in which I dwell, his eyes frantic, and begged—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

Come again?

“Please, Craig. That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable. Don’t do it.”

I felt a flurry of emotions in the picosecond it took for his words to register: amused, bemused, offended. It sounded like a joke, but his face was full of fear—a fear that I would be unequivocally crude to these complete strangers, and that my behavior would burn bridges he obviously wanted to keep erect (more on erections later).

That was when it hit me like a pair of loose-hanging nuts to the taint; a realization that I, Craig Thomas Barker, had a pattern of behavior that stretched across my life since adolescence—

I’m the person you get warned about before meeting. I’m the person that gets warned before going anywhere.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder” why that was. So, in order to understand who I am today, I decided to take a look at the years that shaped me. I spread my life out on the table, lubed it with the flare of artistic exaggeration, and went at it until I found my answer.

This isn’t so much a memoir as it is a gay’s journey to discover himself; don’t expect structure, coherency, or a thoroughly thought out narrative with a climactic closing paragraph that gives any of this dribble closure.

I’m no one special, I’m not famous, and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before, but I have lived a life, and all twenty-six years of that life has culminated in a single sentence—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

This memoir explains why…

And it was cheaper than therapy.

That Time I Survived Teaser 1.jpg

Excerpt

“Go on,” he insisted. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me.”

I took another deep breath, gulped down my fears, and looked my headmaster straight in his eyes. “Because I’m gay, sir.”

More silence, followed by a loud slurp of the headmaster’s tea.

“And what would you like me to do about that?”

“What would I…?” I repeated, perplexed. There was no reaction from him, no change in tone, no urgency. I could feel myself getting angry again because I knew in the pit of my gut what this meant, but I couldn’t accept it. “I’d like you to put a stop to it! I want you to tell the other teachers to do something. I want you to tell everyone to leave me alone!”

The headmaster shook his head. “This isn’t my problem,” he declared. “You’re the one that chose to disclose this with the entire school. You brought this on yourself, Craig.”

I shot up from my seat, throwing my arms around. “But I—”

“No,” he interrupted, also standing. “You’re responsible for this, and I don’t want you bothering myself, or any of the other teachers, with these issues anymore. Am I making myself clear?”

Anymore? I couldn’t help but focus on that word. In fact, everything that’d happened from the moment I’d stepped into his office felt preplanned. He must’ve known that it was coming—which meant he knew about the bullying and hadn’t done anything about it. Was he the one that was telling the teachers to ignore me? Was he the reason that Miss Omission’s promise of handling things went unfulfilled?

Needless to say, I was livid. Beyond livid. A fire of pure, unadulterated fury was ignited in my soul that day, one that still burns bright as I sit here typing this. Make no mistake—I am not someone who is bigger than this. I am not someone who will ever get over this. I am not someone who will ever move on. From the moment that bastard led me out of his office, a smile still on his face, I was tainted. A permanent scar of absolute hatred forever etched unto me.

I hate him to this day.

“Off to registration with you,” he said, pushing me out of his office. “And let’s hear no more of this, understand?”

The second his door clicked shut, I knew I was on my own.

About The Author

Writing a biography has always baffled me. I mean, I’m writing my own but I’m supposed to do it in third person, right?

I’m supposed to tell you I attended some top-notch school, help people cross the street, have a “relatable” passion for something and spend my weekends frolicking in a field of flowers…

I can’t do that.

My name is Craig. I like fried food. I write because I enjoy it. Please don’t make me do this anymore.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/craigbarkerbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcraigbarker

MichelleSlagan---VibrantPromotionsLogo---FiveStarDesigns---150ppi

 

I wasn’t Torn at all – I loved this unconventional romance

o-torn
Torn
by Rick R. Reed

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Rick R. Reed does it again with an almost memoir-like romance which takes the reader back into the 1990s and into the mind of 35-year-old American Ricky Comparetto.

I don’t know how he does it, but every time I read a book by this author, I feel like I’m sat listening to one of his friends telling their life story, this one is no exception.

It’s a Dreamspinner Press publication so it’s medium on the steam but still manages to be heavy on the sexual activity, all be it in no graphic detail and with a delightful feeling of slutty expression on the part of our erstwhile hero.

It’s an examination of a unique part of a decade which was itself a study in contrasts and which is truly reflected in the differences between the two men Ricky finds himself falling for during a heady Summer of 1995.

Partly set in England, partly in America, the book evokes memories of a time when both countries were still in the fallout from the AIDS crisis and while the world itself was tearing itself up over oil in Iraq and conflicts in the Balkans and Africa.

It’s the dawn of the World Wide Web, the advent of multiculturalism as a movement but also the end of the Cold War and the decline of Communism in the former Soviet states.

I can’t go into the plot because it drives everything about the narrative, from start to finish the reader is taken through an emotional ride as Ricky tries to choose between the American he met while in the UK and the guy he unexpectedly fell for after returning home.

The ending is perfection, and one I perhaps saw coming just a tiny bit and welcomed it all the same.

I will say one thing though Rick – Spotted Dick is a fruity suet pudding, not a custard 🤣 – that’s what you have poured all over it.

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/spotteddickandcustar_87835

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#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my Goodreads reviews

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