Our favorite  MM authors a.k.a. castaways are asked, what books, songs and luxury item would they take to a desert island?

This is a monthly series inspired by LezReviewBooks.com’s ‘Desert Island Books’, which in turn is based on BBC’s ‘Desert Island Discs’.

The rules are fairly simple:

List up to ten books, a playlist and one luxury item that you couldn’t do without on a desert island.

Any type of book can be selected, but I ask that at least half are LGBT+ books. Choices should be justified in a paragraph or two. Any number of songs and any type of music is allowed. The luxury item must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.

Let’s welcome our January castaway, Jackie Keswick!


The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley: I write about endings that are new beginnings and characters who feel they don’t fit in and have to work out what to do with the gifts they’ve been given. This book fits the bill to a T. Also, Corlath, Luthe, and the realisation that one can be a “bridge with visions.”

The Osman Tetralogy by Johannes Tralow: I discovered this series of historical novels when I was twelve. Managed to buy them when I was a student. They’ve followed me to England and still have pride of place on my shelf. I can “read” whole sections just by looking at the spines, but I still find something new in them every time I re-read them.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin: Another book I can read without opening the covers. I love the premise of this book. The imagery is stunning, and even now I can’t read large parts of it without tissues and liquid courage. Most of all, Estraven is top of my fantasy dinner party invite list. I have questions.

Running Blind by Desmond Bagley: Because it has one of my favourite opening paragraphs ever. And it’s set in Iceland. ’nuff said.

Hearts under Fire by Kelly Wyre: This is the first mm romance I ever bought after stalking the author on Lifejournal for months. And I’m still a Clark fangirl.

Spectred Isle by KJ Charles: Of all her books, this is my absolute favourite. Flawed, vulnerable characters, plenty of endings that are new beginnings, plus intrigue and a satisfying mystery make this a wonderful diverting read. Knowing that she’s not going to continue the series breaks my heart.

Last Summer, Early Spring by Patricia Correll: My go-to book when I need a hug. It’s set in Edo-period Japan, beautifully imagined, quiet, and unassuming – it never fails to make me feel better. It also has *the* most wonderful, offhand declaration of love I can imagine.

Melissa Scott’s Astreiant series: I’m taking the box set and I’m not sorry! I’m a total pushover for imaginative worldbuilding, reluctant characters, and understated love stories. And these books have all that in abundance. Plus… truly jaw-dropping ways to commit murder!

And talking of reluctant characters and understated love stories, I’m taking Cat Sebastian’s Page & Sommers books, too. I just wish there were more of them to take!

Choosing the last book was just going to be impossible. I had a “shortlist” of 72 books left, so I decided to stop here without making a choice. The authors and their characters are with me anyway… and with a bit of luck, I’ll never end up marooned on a desert island. Or, at least, I won’t have time to plan for it.


I’m not sure I should start this topic, because we might be here all week. I’m a music magpie and proud of it. If I had to choose between bringing music or books to the desert island, music would win – because the books are with me, anyway, and the music helps me create more.

I listen to music to inspire me, to cheer me up, and to relax. I write with music, too, and making me choose songs for a playlist – especially one for me rather than one of my characters – is like asking a mum which of her kids she’d leave behind. So I’m reasonably proud that I’ve managed to put something of a list together, though I’d be hauling a lot more onto the island.


Is that a trick question? If I have books and music, I’d say I’m set for survival. For that touch of luxury, though, I’d bring the biggest notebook I can fit – probably one from Paperblanks – with a pen that never runs out. That way, I don’t have to memorise ALL the stories I’m going to make up while hunting for food, keeping signal fires burning, or digging giant SOS signs into the beach.


Jackie Keswick writes a mix of suspense, action adventure, fantasy and magical realism. She loves stories with layers, plots with twists and characters with hidden depths. She adores friends to lovers stories, tales of unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

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A big thank you to Jackie Keswick for joining us on this month’s Desert Island Castaways!

Check out our other Castaways:
Natalina Reis
V.L. Locey
 J.P. Jackson
A.E. Wasp
Elle Keaton.
Elouise East
J.K. Jones
Colette Davison
B.A. Tortuga
Casey Cox
Amanda Meuwissen
A.M. Johnson
Becca Seymour
Alexa Piper
Rick R. Reed
C.P. Harris
K.L. Hiers
A.E. Lister
S. Rodman
Kaje Harper
M.A. Church
Karenna Colcroft
Aiden Ainslie
J. Hali Steele
Kristian Parker
H.L. Day
D.K. Girl

Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to check out next month’s Castaway.

What books would you take with you to a desert island?
What’s on your desert island playlist?
Who would you like to be the next Castaway?

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