BLOG TOUR: “Till Death do us Part” by Dieter Moitzi

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Till Death Do Us Part (Poireaut & Di Angeli, Book 1)

Author: Dieter Moitzi

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Dieter Moitzi

Genre/s: Cozy Murder Mystery

Trope/s: M/M romance, enemies to lovers, slow-burn, HFN, holidays

Themes: painful past, Egypt, cozy, slow romance, holidays

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: approx. 101 750 words/approx. 305 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Come on board the Queen of Egypt and discover this new murder mystery full of witty dialogs, funny situations, and blooming love! Already short-listed for the French Gay Book Award 2020!

Blurb

When Auntie Agathe invites Raphaël Poireaut, a young Parisian bartender, on a Nile cruise, he isn’t really thrilled. To stare at old stones together with a bunch of old codgers—why, thanks for the gift. Unsurprisingly the trip starts off badly enough. Not only does Raphaël have an unnerving confrontation with a handsome but standoffish and haughty Italian guy, but he has barely stepped on board the cruise ship when he stumbles upon a tourist… who has been stabbed to death.

The young Venetian Stefano di Angeli agrees to spend his vacation in Egypt with his best friend Grazia. He hasn’t had holidays for six years. But his first encounter with a young, angel-faced, curly-haired Frenchie brings back painful memories. Besides, what could be worse to start a Nile cruise than to discover a murder has been committed on board? Cazzo—fate seems to bear him a grudge!

While the Egyptian police led by Colonel Al-Qaïb are investigating the murder, Raphaël and Stefano find themselves swept away by the events… and by the blooming feelings that inexorably draw them closer. Will they manage to sort out the truth from the lies and find the murderer? Will they be able to resist this mutual attraction that seems to overwhelm them against their wills?

A new, funny and light adventure by the author of “The Stuffed Coffin”, the French version of which has won the French Gay Murder Mystery Award 2019.

Excerpt

The young guy hears my quiet steps, or he senses my gaze. He turns around.

Oh, hel-lo, man! My heart does a backwards flip. In my job I meet handsome guys aplenty. But this one is a class of his own. His face could be that of a male model, I kid you not. As if one of those unreal guys had stepped out of the glossy pages of Vogue Homme or GQ. Manly features, sensual mouth. Square chin, Roman nose, neatly trimmed designer stubble. His forehead is bare, his dense hair styled backwards and falling behind his left ear in a natural, lazy wave as if doing it spontaneously.

Alas, my immediate interest isn’t shared. On the contrary, he reacts as if suddenly facing a monster. He should be thankful the rail in his back prevents him from moving too far back and falling into the Nile.

Quite a boost for my self-esteem.

The handsome cretin pulls himself together at the last moment and scans me from head to toe. His cold gaze hovers over my naked chest, and he frowns, his eyebrows bushy but perfectly drawn. I notice that his whole body-language exudes barely concealed distance and aversion.

Despite his hostility, I murmur, “Hi”. Somewhat coolly perhaps, but still. I was raised like that. All right, I add “Asshole!” in my head, because, hello?

The young man answers with a nod. A black lock falls over his eyes, he puts it back in place. He seems to hesitate, then turns his back on me again.

Okay, asshole. Go ahead, continue your moody brooding, I don’t care. I don’t need no mens, even if they’re handsome as fuck.

HALF AN HOUR LATER, THE sun has started its race across the pristine sky for good; the heat has risen as well. The hipster slash asshole is still sulking in his corner when I sit on a shady deckchair. Our meeting was unpleasant, but he and the guy in pink belie my initial prognosis, and that’s a good start. We’re at least three on this boat to contemplate our sixties from below.

With the back of my hand, I wipe off the sweat trickling down my chest and soaking my chest hair. I realize I’m thirsty. There’s a bottle of water in the fridge in my cabin. Let’s go get it. You always need to stay hydrated, as Auntie would say. Granted, she means drinks, as in alcoholic beverages, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

The man in the pink tracksuit has apparently seen enough, too. When I get to the top of the stairs, he’s on the last step.

He’s waiting downstairs, holding the door for me.

“Thank you,” I say.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” he remarks in an affable tone.

I look up in surprise. His beautifully low voice doesn’t match his puny physique and the mousey face. He makes an affected hand movement. “The landscape, I mean. The light.”

Automatically, I think, Oh. Family. “Very beautiful indeed,” I reply. “And ‘splendid things gleam in the dust’…”

Recognizing the Flaubert-quote, he laughs good-heartedly.

The swinging door closes behind us. Another door slams softly somewhere down the corridor. In the first cabin, I hear a woman say heatedly, “… I think he got it. He won’t bother you anymore, tweety.”

Tweety! Smirk. I really wouldn’t want to be pet-named tweety.

We pass other cabins; the vague noises of conversations, no more than murmurs, drifting out. I can hear showers running as well. The ship is waking up. A nice smell wafts through the corridor, a woody, leathery perfume for men that strikes me as familiar. The pink, mousey guy in front of me must have sprinkled himself with it.

A few doors before mine, the young man stops. “See you later,” he says.

“See you later,” I reply. When I pass behind him, I get a whiff a his pronounced citrus perfume, very fresh, very pungent. Oh. He’s not the source of the leathery perfume smell…

He turns the key and opens the door. “Mon chéri—are you awake?” he asks. The door closes behind him.

I was right. Mon chéri, not ma chérie. He is family. I’m not the only gay guy on this ship.

I walk to my door while rummaging in my shorts pockets. Let’s see… mobile… pencil… notepad… h-m. Where have I put my keys? Did I take them? Damn—don’t tell me I locked myself out…!

And then—

Suddenly—

A YELL. “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”

I JUMP, turn around, gaze down the empty corridor. What was it? Who was it? Where was it? What am I supposed to do?

“MY GOD! MICHEL!”

Michel?

A bad feeling bubbles up in my guts.

For a longer excerpt, please visit my author page: http://dietermoitzi.com/till-death-do-us-part

About the Author

Born in the early 70s, I grew up in a little village in Austria. At the age of 18, I moved to Vienna to get my master’s degree in Political Sciences, French, and Spanish. Today, I’m living in Paris, France, with my boyfriend and work as a graphic designer.

In my spare time, I write, read, cook fancy recipes, take photos, and as often as I can, I travel (Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Egypt, the UK, and many more places). My literary tastes are eclectic, ranging from fantasy, murder mysteries, gay romances to dystopian novels, but I won’t say no to poetry or a history book either. I’m more a hoodie/jeans/sneakers kind of guy than a suit-and-tie chap.

So far, I’ve published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. My first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on January 6, 2019 and is also available in German and French. The French version has won the prestigious French Gay Murder Mystery Award 2019 (Prix du roman policier – Prix du roman gay 2019). You can also find me on Rainbow Book Reviews, where I write book reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude (for French reviews, have a look at my review site livresgay.fr).

Author Links

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BOOK BLAST: “Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon” by Andy V. Ambrose

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon

Author: Andy V. Ambrose

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: September 2, 2019

Genres: Contemporary, Literary/Genre Fiction

Theme: Older gay man searching for love

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 62 100 words/292 pages

It is a standalone story.

Warning: references to non-consensual situations, no HEA or HFN

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Buy Links

Nine Star Press

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon recounts the adventures of Viktor, a fifty-year-old gay man in New York City trying to get back into the land of the living after the breakup of a twelve-year relationship. The novel examines the lives of a group of middle-aged gay men, exploring new facets of their sexuality while dealing with all the changes middle age brings.

Excerpt

SATURDAY AFTERNOON—FLOUNDERING

My erections aren’t what they used to be.

Well, Dr. S told me to write about the first thing that comes into my mind, so it’s what I’m doing. “Don’t think. Just write,” he said. “Stop censoring yourself, Viktor. This will help you in your therapy too, Viktor.”

Okay, okay. If that’s what the shrink ordered, let’s see if this works. We’re supposed to listen to our shrinks, right? That’s their job, right? They know how to get us out of whatever fucking funk we’re in, right?

So here we go. I’m writing about the first thing that comes to my mind and it’s my erections. Here it is, a lovely Saturday afternoon, sun shining, snow melting, spring a’coming, a perfect time to enjoy life. And what am I doing? Sulking in my apartment obsessing about my cock.

Hell of a problem to have on a day like today, isn’t it? Shit, be honest, Viktor. You’re supposed to be honest with this writing thing, aren’t you? That was Dr. S’s other directive, wasn’t it? Honesty. He was full of directives last session, wasn’t he? Oh well, maybe I need some directives.

So where was I? Oh yes. Gorgeous day, shitty mood, focusing on my cock when I should be enjoying life.

Oh, come on. It’s not just about my cock. I know that. After all, I did my share of screwing around when I was younger. Not that I was the biggest stud around in my heyday, but during those few glorious weeks my sex life got going, I learned how to have a good time. Yes, I did! But then I met Gio and fell in love. And he fell in love with me. And we had twelve years of bliss—more or less—until he left me last year.

“And I’ve been floundering ever since. Floundering? Ha! Flopping around is more like it. So I’ve been seeing Dr. S—ahem, Dr. Singsirinavin—I’ve been seeing him to help me out of this predicament. Seems like a nice enough guy, serious, quiet, with a scrawny body and a bit of an accent, though I’ll be damned if I know from where exactly. These shrinks never tell you anything about themselves, do they? I’ve been seeing Dr. S for a year already, and you would think by now I’d have an idea, but I don’t. To tell the truth, I don’t have much of an idea about anything, including whether he’s helping me.
But I’m trying. Goddamn it, I’m trying, you’ve got to give me that. Didn’t put all my eggs in one basket, either. Went to my primary-care guy too, to complain about my cock. Dr. Agnostulopolini. Different accent, different mystery country. Had to change doctors when my cheapo company switched insurances and I had to find someone new.

“And I’ve been floundering ever since. Floundering? Ha! Flopping around is more like it. So I’ve been seeing Dr. S—ahem, Dr. Singsirinavin—I’ve been seeing him to help me out of this predicament. Seems like a nice enough guy, serious, quiet, with a scrawny body and a bit of an accent, though I’ll be damned if I know from where exactly. These shrinks never tell you anything about themselves, do they? I’ve been seeing Dr. S for a year already, and you would think by now I’d have an idea, but I don’t. To tell the truth, I don’t have much of an idea about anything, including whether he’s helping me.

“And I’ve been floundering ever since. Floundering? Ha! Flopping around is more like it. So I’ve been seeing Dr. S—ahem, Dr. Singsirinavin—I’ve been seeing him to help me out of this predicament. Seems like a nice enough guy, serious, quiet, with a scrawny body and a bit of an accent, though I’ll be damned if I know from where exactly. These shrinks never tell you anything about themselves, do they? I’ve been seeing Dr. S for a year already, and you would think by now I’d have an idea, but I don’t. To tell the truth, I don’t have much of an idea about anything, including whether he’s helping me.
“But I’m trying. Goddamn it, I’m trying, you’ve got to give me that. Didn’t put all my eggs in one basket, either. Went to my primary-care guy too, to complain about my cock. Dr. Agnostulopolini. Different accent, different mystery country. Had to change doctors when my cheapo company switched insurances and I had to find someone new. He doesn’t know anything about me and doesn’t seem to care, either. Every time I ask a question, the side of his face twitches like he’s having a stroke. “Doctor,” I said last time, “my libido seems to have disappeared.”
“You know, it does fall off with age,” he says. Translation: you’re getting old.
“But not this suddenly, Doctor. Could it be the new blood pressure medicine you prescribed?” Translation: Fuck you. Don’t give me that you’re-getting-old shit. I’m fifty. That’s not old.”

About the Author

Andy V Ambrose grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, wearing many hats: Editorial, Copyediting, Proofreading, and Production. This is his first novel featuring Viktor, a fifty-year-old gay man trying to get back into the world of the living after the end of a twelve-year relationship. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel. He’s only made it to three continents so far but hopes to visit the rest soon. He lives in New York City.

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REVIEW TOUR: “A Bit of Me” by Kent Lowe

REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: A Bit of Me

Author: Kent Lowe

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Hocking Design Solutions Ltd

Release Date: March 27, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary, LGBT Fiction, Coming of age, Bisexual, Humour, Own voices

Trope/s: Enemies to friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, bisexual awakening, friendship, young love, gay for you.

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 88 000 words/316 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

Wiping the sweat from his top lip, he tried to breathe in something other than stranger’s body heat. It was thick. Solid. Like the air had been stuck in the carriage for years. And he knew as the doors beeped shut behind him, the five-fifty-two to London was going to be one bastard of a journey.

‘Close one, Georgie boy.’

‘I know.’ Wheezing, George slipped into the seat next to Alfie and sucked in mouthfuls of the staleness. ‘Got held up at work.’

Truth was, it had nothing to do with his job. Being late wasn’t something George Taylor was good at. He was the fucking champion. Tell him where and when to meet and he’d be there. Twenty minutes after everybody else.

Dripping with sweat, he dragged the back of his wrist over his brow then yanked the neck of his T-shirt in an attempt to cool his clammy skin.

Sitting on the chav wagon for an hour was hell for him. The thought of being sat amongst thirty-odd strangers, most of whom had no idea of personal space, gave him full on anxiety. Actually doing it, made him want to vomit. But it was worth it. Nothing could bring him down. Not even a soap dodger with an allergy to antiperspirant. He was on his way to see Ellie. And that was all that mattered.

‘Babes, please tell me you’re not wearing that tonight.’ Aimee momentarily glanced away from her phone and winced at his muddy top. ‘Ells will actually kill you if you turn up in that.’

‘Course not. I’ve got my going out gear in here.’ George unzipped his torn rucksack to prove he’d packed a fresh set of clothes that morning. He hadn’t needed the reminder that Ellie would disapprove of his work gear. ‘I didn’t have time to change.’

‘Or wash by the smell of you.’ Aimee turned her nose away. ‘You look like you’re covered in-’

‘Shit!’ Alfie jabbed his elbow into George’s side. He was gawping at a blonde who had just boarded the train in a tight figure-hugging blue dress. ‘Look at the bounce on those things.’

Never one to encourage Alfie’s ogling of anyone with breasts, George made a point of rolling his eyes. He couldn’t help but notice the impressive chest on the blonde himself though.

‘She is hot.’ Alfie whistled, manspreading into George’s space.

Aimee peered up from her phone to give the woman the once-over. Possibly the twice-over by her look of disdain. She was one of the nicest, sweetest girls on the planet but other attractive females brought out the monster in her. ‘What? No way. She’s so basic.’

‘I don’t care if she’s basic, I’d motorboat the fuck out of those things,’ Alfie beamed, following it up with a wink George’s way.

‘The way you objectify women is gross.’ Aimee huffed, pulling at her neckline to show off her own bronzed and perky assets. ‘Besides, you can tell she’s a total bitch, just look at her eyebrows.’

George and Alfie shrugged in unison as Aimee continued to glare at the woman. Like she was sizing her up for a coffin. George had no idea what the woman’s eyebrows had to do with her being a bitch, but by the grimace plastered on her face, Aimee seemed adamant about it. She always insisted that she had a way of knowing those sorts of things, but George had yet to see any proof.

About the Author

“My English teacher in Year 11 once said that I’d either be a rent boy or a writer. I wasn’t successful at the first so thought I’d try the latter.”

Kent Lowe grew up in East London, spending most of his youth in Dagenham, before moving to Essex.

Being a daydreamer and somewhat of a loner, he found art and literature to be the perfect medium for his endless imagination. After finishing college, Kent went on to study a Fine Art degree where he moved from canvas to installation which reared his love for both visual and literary storytelling.

Kent has always had an affinity with animals, and growing up with a menagerie of creatures, he now has fish, an orange cat and four adorable dogs that make his chaotic world just that little more harmonic.

As an artist and writer, all of Kent’s works delve into humour, love and friendship.

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR: “T.A.G. You’re Seen” by A.G. Carothers.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: T.A.G. You’re Seen

Author: A.G. Carothers

Publisher: Independently published

Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Release Date: February 5, 2020

Genre: BDSM, contemporary, mystery/thriller, suspense

Trope/s: Age Difference, Criminals & Outlaws, First Time, Forbidden Love, Hurt / Comfort, Interracial Relationship, May/December, Rescue, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Thrill of the Chase, True Love

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes

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Buy Links

Audible US | Audible UK

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Attention: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting assassins and not so innocent professors. There are depictions of masochistic masturbation, male chastity, breath play, watersports, humiliation, and torture by eighties hair bands with ginger sprinkles on top.

Phew! Now, that’s out of the way, Hi. I’m Mr. No, your friendly communications agent for The Assassins’ Guild AKA T.A.G.

I’ve been authorized by the head honcho himself, Mr. H, to release approved records from the agent files.

Agent Code Name Mr. W was recovering from a near death debacle by way of an easy assignment in a small mountain town. Red flags sprang up immediately around the seemingly innocent English professor. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery Jacob Peters presented, Mr. W made plans to do what he did best, watch , wait , and then capture and interrogate.

But even the best laid plans can go awry…

Find out what brought Mr. W to his knees in this first release from the archives of The Assassins’ Guild.

About the Author

A.G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Romance and Urban Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you.

A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.

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BOOK BLAST: “2037: The End of Tolerance” by Luke Mauerman

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: 2037: The End of Tolerance

Author: Luke Mauerman

Publisher: Beekman Place Editions

Cover Artist: Mark Anderson

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Genre/s: Gay, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Trope/s: When Gay Becomes Illegal

Themes: Culture War, Future Dystopia, Gay Love, Technology

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 235 pages

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

When Gay Becomes Illegal

Blurb

A novel about life in a United States gone mad, where the government falls apart, California secedes from the union, and Liberals and Conservatives finally battle each other in the streets. It’s the Culture War, and it’s coming. Find out what to do when men and women start to get caged up just for being gay; when climate disasters unfold and wreck the economy; when the world falls apart once and for all. It’s ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ but in reverse.

Stephe Stafford, embroiled in this conflict, hopes to preserve his sanity—and even finds love along the way. In 2037 we watch Stephe, orphaned in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 2022, grow up and even blossom into his own.

New technologies and old politics weave together to form amazing possibilities and hopes—and certain dangers, too. Read about the fate of America as we move into a chilling new future. Find out what can we do when the world goes awry.

Excerpt

Republican President Mitch Kellum, elected in 2028, urged calm, but the damage was done. Calls for the election to be overturned sprang from all parts of the country. Kellum denied any wrongdoing. It was the Russians and the Chinese, he claimed, determined to destabilize the U.S.

Democrats had lost all remaining political power and the conservative U.S. Supreme Court upheld the election in predictable fashion, six to three.

It was like a bomb had gone off. Protests turned to riots. Far-right fundamentalists took to the streets in support of the election, and faced off with teeming hordes of furious liberals. A nation that had been savagely divided, blue against red, liberal against conservative for the past thirteen years, would eventually fall into violence. It finally happened in Philadelphia on November 9, 2030. Rioting liberals clashed with Freedom Fighters, neo-Nazis, and Proud Boys on Market Street at the beautiful Philadelphia City Hall building. Fisticuffs, brawls, burning cars. Shots rang out. The police, caught in the middle, fell apart; each officer defected to his or her side of the political divide and joined the fight.

The Culture War had begun.

Battlements were hastily built in the streets of Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, and Minneapolis. It was bedlam. The streets became littered with bodies as street fights broke out: Red versus Blue, Conservative versus Liberal.

People fled the cities only to find skirmishes in the suburbs. Ikea parking lots were battle zones. A Home Depot in Enid, Oklahoma, was burnt to the ground. Fires started everywhere.

The country spasmed in violence, hand to hand, block by block. After thirteen years of political loggerheads, the center could no longer hold. Any attempt at civil discourse fell on deaf ears. It was us against them, everywhere.

A typical confrontation would be as follows: Unarmed Liberals vastly outnumbered armed Freedom Fighters. They’d go toe-to-toe in the streets, yelling and waving signs in confrontation. Fist fights would break out. But then someone would get mad, grab their gun, and start shooting. Others would join in and the unarmed protesters would flee back behind barricades of cars, buses, dumpsters and buildings, leaving the dead and wounded in the street. It was like a form of trench warfare—and this was played out in cities and towns across the country. Attack and retreat. Attack and retreat. And anger—people were incredibly angry. They fought tooth and nail, neighbor against neighbor, family member against family member.

In San Francisco the tens of thousands of liberals lining Market Street day after day eventually found themselves being bludgeoned by Freedom Fighters. Skirmish lines fell into place along the main street and shots were fired. Freedom Fighters were hopelessly outnumbered though and, despite having guns, were quickly overpowered by the throngs of San Franciscans. They fled.

Stephe was there with Nicole. They’d come up from Harrison Street to take part in the demonstration that day. Nicole wound up hitting a neo-Nazi with her shoe, bloodying his face while Stephe—feeling nothing but cold rage—just took his rifle and hit him with it.

The National Guard had to be mobilized to quell the riots, and still it wasn’t enough. The U.S. Army and the Marines were added and took to the streets with water cannons and tear gas.

Finally the main fights in the bigger cities were quelled by force. After six bloody days the spasm ended. Thousands were dead. Many more thousands were arrested by the military and taken to separate camps, red and blue, for disturbing the peace and inciting violence.

Thus began a new Cold War as Americans could no longer speak to one another.

About the Author

Luke Mauerman is a former columnist for Bear and 100% Beef Magazines, and is well into his trilogy of books on time travel. He majored in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and currently resides in Palm Springs.

Author Link

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BOOK BLAST: “Earnest Ink” by Alex Hall

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Earnest Ink

Author: Alex Hall

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Published: October 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: Queer Spec Fic, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense

Trope/s: Found family

Themes: Mystery/adventure

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Orientation: Asexual, Pansexual

Identity: Cisgender, Trans

Warning: Depictions of Trauma, Blood, Violence, Murder,

Eating disorders, Body hatred, Transphobia, PTSD, War

Length: 72 100 words/244 pages

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long. Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens into wielders of strange and specific strands of magic.

Hemingway’s particular brand of magic has made him a household name. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally.

When NYC’s most infamous serial killer—the East River Ripper—abducts Hemingway’s best friend, Grace, he has only days to save her. Hemingway teams up with his stoic cop roommate to hunt for the killer and rescue Grace before she becomes the Ripper’s latest victim. But as the duo chase clues to the serial killer’s identity, Hemingway begins to fear the magic he and the Ripper share might eventually corrupt him too.

Buy Links

NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

Excerpt

Earnest Ink

Alex Hall © 2019

All Rights Reserved

I work without speaking because that’s the way I prefer it. The vibration of my machine, the softer buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead, the tap of my foot on the pedal—it’s the best music in the world.

When I hit a ticklish spot, the girl I’m working on gasps, jolting in my chair.

“Don’t move,” I say. And then, with a salesman’s false cheer: “Almost done!”

The girl is sweating down the crook of her neck. She’s got silver glitter paint on her eyelids and cheeks, a new fashion trend I just can’t quite get behind. Under my lights the mix of perspiration and makeup looks like a blurry constellation.

She wanted a bee inked onto her collarbone, one of those tiny honeybees you find on good tequila bottles. Easily done, and she met the cash requirement. She’s eager, nervous, and breathing in and out in little puffs.

I can’t remember her name, but that’s fine. Customer relations is Eric’s job.

There’s another kid leaning over my glass counter, watching eagerly as I work. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “When the magic happens?”

The bee’s fat yellow thorax wriggles from side to side as it begins to wake, fighting the pressure of my needle, hungry for life.

“It looks like it hurts,” the kid says. I ignore him.

One minute more and—thanks to my peculiar magic—this bee will fly free.

I’m perched on a swivel stool, a wet paper towel in my hand to wipe away ink. It’s too hot in my studio, even with the industrial fans whirling overhead and the door propped wide open. Evening light slants in through the door and the north-facing, floor-to-ceiling window panes that look out onto West Forty-Sixth. It’s muggy, too warm for New York in October, and all of Hell’s Kitchen is wilting, including my client.

“What does it feel like?” the kid demands. He’s leaving greasy fingerprints on the surface of the glass as he strains to get a better look at what I’m doing. I study him out the corner of my eye, wiping sweat off my nose with the back of my wrist before it drips on my customer. He looks like one of the street punks who have taken to running in packs near the cruise terminals, sleeping in old, abandoned cargo containers and panhandling up and down the marina.

He’s skinny and tall, hair dyed an unsettling violet and styled into spikes all over his head. He’s got a silver ring in his septum and more hoops in his ears; his eyelashes are coated with purple mascara to match his hair. Green glitter paint sparkles on his lids. His T-shirt and jeans are torn and dirty, and he’s got a pack of black-market cigarettes rolled into one sleeve against his upper arm.

About the Author

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek.

Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

Author Links

Blog/Website| Twitter: @sarahremywrites

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Continue Reading BOOK BLAST: “Earnest Ink” by Alex Hall

RELEASE BLITZ: “Shinigami” by Xia Xia Lake”

REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: Shinigami

Author: Xia Xia Lake

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Genre/s: LGBTQ fantasy, Gay fiction, Historical fiction (it’s NOT MM romance)

Trope/s: Friends to Lovers

Themes: Mythology; gods; supernatural

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 71 440 words /220 pages

Add on Goodreads

Nothing is what it seems.

Blurb

A coming of age love story between the heir of the richest family in the Land of Yamato and an orphan. The human world meets the yōkai world in a power struggle for the fate of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu. While he battles to find his own path in life, Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will first become his secret friend, then his salvation, then, as they become adults together, the love of his life.

The story is set during the Nara period of ancient Japan and will expand over a period of 25 years (715-740).

Buy Links

Book 1Kogitsune.

It’s a 40-page short story and is FREE on Smashwords.

Book 2 – Shinigami

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt

Chapter 1: Kagerō
Kagerō: The quivering appearance of the mist rising from the hot surface of the ground”

On the day Fujiwara no Hirotsugu was born, Mount Kasuga was covered in golden shimmering kagerō rising from the ground to cloak the mountain in mist. The uguisu sang from dusk until dawn, and a crane appeared in the palace garden and didn’t leave for five days.

It was late May, close to the final days of planting the rice. These were the days when finishing the paddy field work was paramount, lest next year’s crops be affected. Yet in celebration of Hirotsugu’s birth, his father, Umakai, sent an order to his bailiff to decree half a day off for all workers. Servants from the palace went down the mountain to offer rice, fish, and sake to the poor in Heijo-kyo.

Gifts poured through the gates for weeks, coming not only from the greatest families living in the land of Yamato, but also from as far away as Silla and Tang. Even the old Empress Genmei, who had no love for the Fujiwara clan, sent Hirotsugu a gift fit for royalty: a sword replica modeled after Kusanagi the Grass Slasher, the sacred imperial heirloom of the Yamato Emperors. Since it was forbidden for anyone except the reigning monarch and the High Priest of the Ise Grand Shrine to lay eyes on the real Kusanagi, no one could actually tell how good the replica was. But neither could they deny that the sword Hirotsugu received was of exceptional workmanship and extraordinary value.

The greatest gift of all came from Hirotsugu’s grandfather, Fujiwara no Fuhito. The leader of the Fujiwara clan made a secret pact with Crown Prince Obito that on the day Hirotsugu turned twenty, he would marry Princess Abe, Prince Obito’s firstborn child.

Upon Hirotsugu’s birth, the Fujiwara clan made great plans for his future, and I watched from my throne of skulls behind the kagerō veil and laughed and laughed and laughed.

SPRING

Chapter 2: Uguisu
Uguisu: The Japanese nightingale

In spring, nature was at its most beautiful at dawn, when Amaterasu’s robe touched the hills and dyed them red, and the blooming cherry trees turned a vibrant pink. Hanging from the eaves of every Fujiwara castle were tendrils of purple wisteria, their blooms awakening to welcome the Sun Goddess. The white clouds above resembled boughs of cherry flowers.

When night approached, the birdsong gently shifted from cheerful to forlorn. The uguisu went to sleep in its pot-shaped nest, and the brown-feathered night thrush—recently returned from wintering in Tenjiku—took its place and claimed the night. Now and then, a deer would call and a fawn would answer back.

The day Hirotsugu was born, a young god wandered up and down the high-forested slopes of Mount Kasuga, tired from the day he’d spent blessing the fields and the future harvest. He would have gone home to Mount Kurama in Kibune, but something was amiss with the yōkai living on Kasuga and he’d come to investigate.

At twilight, he found a group of kodama and an old kappa gathered underneath the budding leaves of a giant plum tree, transfixed by its beautiful red blossoms. When he entered the clearing, they were trying to touch the blossoms, but as soon as a hand came close, the tree would raise its branches out of reach.

“Don’t touch it,” the god commanded. His voice was calm, but it came like the snap of a whip and took them out of their reverie. “It’s a ghost tree. It’s not really here.”

The kodama stumbled backward, frightened.

“When did it appear?” the young god asked.

“This morning, Inari-sama,” the kappa answered. “When the baby was born.”

“Baby?” Inari frowned. “Come closer, child, don’t be afraid. Which baby do you speak of?”

About the Author

Xia Xia Lake is an Otaku & Slytherin that used to cosplay at every comic con she attended, until a kid asked if he could take a picture with the “old lady.”

She decided a couple of years ago that she wanted to spend her free time writing stories and partying with vampires.

She lives in Transylvania with her fiancé and is a big fan of Romanian cuisine.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Twitter | Instagram

Pinterest | Goodreads

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “Shinigami” by Xia Xia Lake”

RELEASE BLITZ: “Last Call in Wonderland” by Rob Browatzke.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK

Last Call Is Coming

Blurb

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

Excerpt

Jesse Sterling liked dick.

There was no denying that. If there was a twelve-step program, he’d be standing there saying, “My name is Jesse Sterling and I’m a cockaholic,” and he would have been saying it proudly.

Jesse sucked his first dick at thirteen, and he was hooked. All those after school specials about drug dealers who gave new customers that first hit for free? That was Jesse with dick. He was hooked from the first time a guy’s hard dick touched his lips.

He liked all dick: big ones, small ones, cut ones, uncut, curved, straight. He even liked soft ones because he knew they wouldn’t stay that way for long. Not around him.

Through his teenage years, he got his hands (and mouth, and ass) on as much dick as possible. He got them out, got them hard, and got them off. Nothing made him as happy as discovering a new dick and what made them cum. Every dick was unique in how they liked to be stroked or sucked or ridden, but one thing they all had in common…. they were all beautiful.

Well, not all, he sometimes reminded himself. There’d been one that was just…just not good. That had been long ago though, and there’d been dozens of dicks since to wash the taste out of his mouth. Literally.

And then he had met Colton.

Colton Wainford was perhaps the only other man on earth who loved dick as much as Jesse. And Colton’s dick? Perfection. Perfect length. Perfect girth. Perfect rigidity. Simply, perfect.

That they had found each other, that of all the gay bars in all the world, they had walked into the same one on the same night, and paused to take in each other’s sculpted bodies before stumbling and tumbling into a bathroom stall to appreciate each other’s dicks, that was also pretty perfect.

That bar had been Wonderland, nearly a decade earlier, and that’s why, when Brandon texted with the news of pending closure, Jesse had thrown his phone onto the couch, and exclaimed loudly. “Fuck! That sucks dick!”

“What does? Who does?” Colton called from the bedroom. “And do I get some too?”

About the Author

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “Last Call in Wonderland” by Rob Browatzke.

NEW RELEASE: “Alexis vs. the Afterlife” by Marcus Alexander Hart

I discovered a new author, Marcus Alexander Hart, and this is his first book in the world of LGBT Fiction. This man is kind, charming, and above all, funny!

“Alexis vs. the Afterlife” is an urban fantasy comedy, which features a lesbian protagonist. 

AUTHOR BIO

Marcus Alexander Hart is a novelist, karaoke star, and default awesome dude. His credits include Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place and Disney XD’s Lab Rats. Marcus has been a roller-derby skater, a real-life quidditch player, and an undercover water-gun assassin. He once won a long-distance road rally driving a fake ice cream truck.

Follow his adventures at OldPalMarcus.com.

BLURB

Alexis McRiott is a foul-mouthed guitar goddess with a passion for hair-metal and groupies of the fairer sex. You’d never recognize this strung-out Hollywood dirtbag as the squeaky-clean kid wizard she used to play on TV.

And that suits her just fine.

But when Alexis is killed in a freak accident, her sitcom past comes back to haunt her. On her first day as a ghost she destroys a rampaging poltergeist using a hex from her old show that, for some reason, actually works.

Impressed by her powers, a deceased medieval prince tries to recruit Alexis in his crusade against otherworldly evil, but she refuses to be his clichéd “chosen one” magical heroine. That is, until she meets his sister-in-arms—a smokin’ hot Chinese railroad worker duty-bound to protect the living from supernatural threats.

Pursued by soul-collecting reapers, this motley crew must stop a paranormal apocalypse that Alexis might have been kinda, sorta, completely responsible for unleashing. But can two dead lesbians and a seven-hundred-year-old tween save the world with sitcom magic?

They don’t stand a ghost of a chance.

 

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

I slouch on a stool at the end of a dive bar, feeding a sticky tumbler of peach schnapps to tomorrow’s hangover. Lucky for me, nobody ever cards in this part of Hollywood. Or maybe I just look more burned out than any nineteen-year-old girl has a right to be.

A twee pop duo are ukulele-and-tambourining their way through their set on a stage behind me. The assembled drunks try their best to tune them out, but the singer’s piercing warble refuses to be ignored. Six acts are performing here tonight, each of us getting twenty-five bucks to show off our talents. Most are being grossly overpaid.

I shoot the rest of my drink and signal the bartender—a rough-edged minx with a shirt cut so low it could double as a tip jar. She shakes her head as she refills my glass. “You might wanna cut back a little, chica. Your bar tab is about to eclipse your gig payment.”

I shrug. “Eh. No money, no problems.”

She raises a pierced eyebrow. “Tell you what, how ’bout I hold onto a few bucks and grab a little something special for you?”

My heart races at her wry smile. Is she . . . flirting? Holy shit, she’s flirting! I sit up straighter and smile back. “A gift, eh? What do you have in mind?”

“Some deodorant. Girl, you smell rough.”

Not flirting. Definitely not flirting. But she’s actually talking to me, so I go for broke. “Well, you know what they say: Girls who smell rough feel the best on your muff.”

The bartender shakes her head. “Hard pass. I’m not into the whole ‘vagrant chic’ thing. Or vaginas. Or, you know, you.” Wow, straight and vicious. I can really pick a winner. “Besides, you already have a girlfriend.”

She nods at the empty stool beside me.

“Um, what?”

“Your date. Alexis.”

“I, uh . . . what?”

She leans over and points at my guitar propped against the next barstool. It’s an abused old Strat-type thing I stole from a yard sale when I was a kid. A previous owner slathered it in crappy yellow house paint which I’ve spent the past decade covering with stickers—bands I like, banana labels, poison warnings I picked off bathroom cleansers. One night, after a deep and introspective heart-to-heart with a bottle of Baileys, I thought it would be a good idea to scratch my name into it with a screwdriver. You know, so nobody would steal it. Deep black gouges in the wood now scream “ALEXIS.”

“Oh! No. I’m Alexis,” I say. “Alexis McRiott.”

“Why does that name sound familiar?” She sucks a breath and snaps her fingers. “Wait! You’re Sierra Specter!”

Just hearing the name tenses my shoulders and tightens my jaw.

“Uh, no. I’m Alexis McRiott.” I slide my finger along the scrapes in my guitar. “Say it with me now. A-lex-is.”

The bartender hoots and gives her hands a sharp clap. “Oh man! I can’t believe it. Come on, you gotta say it for me. Give me a ‘sheerio bluzdink!’

Heat bristles through my scabby cheeks as I look away and pick at my guitar’s strings. Apparently it isn’t enough for her to just shoot me down and step on my heart. She has to take a big steamy dump on me too.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I mutter.

“Yeah you do. Don’t lie. It was your catchphrase. You were that wizard kid on That’s My Boo.

I shrug. “Is that like, a TV show or something?”

“Ugh. Really? You gonna make me bring YouTube into this?”

She taps at her phone then holds the screen in front of my eyes, showing a video bootlegged off an old Whimsy Channel broadcast. Some kind of giant octopus-werewolf thing attacking a thirteen-year-old girl in a purple leather jacket. The kid throws out her hands and screams sheerio bluzdink, and the monster vanishes in a lavender flash.

The bartender holds the phone up next to my face. “The eyes are a dead giveaway. Purple? Come on. That’s you.”

I sigh. There’s no denying it. The kid on the screen and I have the same purple eyes. But besides that, I look nothing like her anymore. Her hair is in perfect blonde ringlets. Mine looks like it’s been used to mop up a gas station bathroom and then stuck out a car window to dry. Her round face is flawlessly camera-ready. My gaunt features are pitted with zits and acne scars. And I’ve long since traded that purple leather jacket for a few regrettable tattoos.

I shove her phone out of my face. “Fine. You got me. In a past life, one million years ago, I used to play a sorceress on a dumb kiddie sitcom. Does that earn me a free drink?”

“Uh, no. I think a big TV star can afford her own drinks. I bet those big Whimsy paychecks got you set up for life down in Malibu. Am I right? Or are you a Beverly Hills gutter punk?”

“Surfridge, actually.”

“Never heard of it. Westside?”

I sip my drink and nod. “It’s a very exclusive community.”

On stage, the twee boy solos on a vintage kazoo while the girl yodels like she doesn’t care if anyone’s listening. The bartender winces and scratches a note on a clipboard.

“Ugh. Jimmy & Sprinkles are officially on my blacklist.” She reaches for the TV hanging over the bar and mashes her thumb on the volume-up button in an attempt to drown them out.

“—unveiling of a new treasure at the Hayes Tower Casino.”

I squint up at the screen. The eleven o’clock news is on, showing some gala event at a Las Vegas casino full of priceless art treasures. So much bling. I feel it calling out to me. Begging me to steal it. My old court-appointed psychologist used to call this the impulse. He said it just like that. In italics. Like my kleptomania is an unspeakable parasite in my brain, forcing me to do evil things.

On the TV, camera flashes flicker against an old guy in a tuxedo. He whips a cover off a podium, revealing a ring with a gemstone the size of a golf ball. The light glints and dazzles off its surface like something Ryan Seacrest should be dropping over Times Square on New Year’s Eve. My guts simultaneously tighten and twist, wringing cold sweat from my pores.

The ring.

I shake my head. Don’t be an idiot. It isn’t the ring. It’s a ring. The ring is locked up somewhere in Nebraska. And so is the guy who gave it to you. It’s all ancient history, but my hand still trembles as I take a steadying swig of my drink.

“This dazzling gemstone has not made a public appearance since it was entered into evidence during the Simon Fax murder trial three years ago.”

I cough peach schnapps through my nose. It is the ring. The fuse on the bomb that blew That’s My Boo to smithereens. And I had been the one who lit it.

The TV drones on. “With the appeals process closed, the ring went up for public auction, where it was purchased by billionaire casino magnate Cooper Jackson Hayes for one-point-seven million dollars.”

I just stare, frozen. My drink dribbles down my chin and onto my tattered T-shirt.

One. Point. Seven. Million.

A thousand what-if scenarios explode through my mind. What if I hadn’t turned in the ring? What if I’d sold it? That thing would have bought enough studio time to record an album. To record ten albums! I could have bought back everything they took from me. And more. If I hadn’t run to the cops like a little bitch.

I clench my eyes and remind myself I did the right thing. There had been a very good reason to turn over that ring.

And there are one-point-seven million good reasons to have kept it.

The unfairness of it all pulls the pin on a rage grenade deep inside me, and I know there’s only one way to diffuse it. I shoot the rest of my drink, grab my guitar, and jump on stage with the manic pixie dream band. The girl stops mewling and gapes at me.

“Hey! We’re not done yet!”

“Yeah, you are.” I snatch her tambourine and fling it into the crowd like a Frisbee. She squeaks and runs after it, followed by her dainty boyfriend. I plug my busted-up guitar into the bar’s busted-up amp, releasing a piercing squeal of feedback.

“Hey, I’m Alexis. Doing the right thing sucks. Here’s a song.”

Fury surges from my fingers, through the guitar, and out into the world as I grind out the chords of my newest jam, “Champagne (Make it Rain).” My eyes close and the vocals rip through me.

 

You think you’ve got a good deal, then they tear off the seal.

You’re gonna reach the top, but then the cork goes pop.

You fall down, the bottle breaks. The party turns into heartache.

But I’m not gonna kill myself. Gonna climb right up to that top shelf.

Then I’m gonna make it rain.

Gonna turn my pain to champagne, champagne, champagne!

 

My set takes on a life of its own, a frenzied blur of noise and sweat and catharsis. I don’t think about what happened before or what happens next. I am here. I am now. My guitar is a shield against all the bullshit of the world, and as long as I keep playing I am safe.

No, I am invincible.

I become aware of barflies whistling and clapping and generally rocking out around me. No big shock. The manic screech of my guitar is a grease fire of ecstasy that scalds everyone in earshot. In this moment I’m not a has-been child star. I’m a goddamn metal goddess, living loud and kicking ass. High on music. High on life.

This high never lasts.

 

Continue Reading NEW RELEASE: “Alexis vs. the Afterlife” by Marcus Alexander Hart

New Release: “A Body in the Bath House” by Brad Shreve

 

Author

I’d like to introduce a new author, Brad Shreve, an LGBT Fiction Author. Although, I typically feature Gay Romance novels, his book, “A Body in the Bathhouse” is of crime and mystery, which I am a huge fan of, featuring gay characters and theming. Mystery and Gay combined! I’m onboard and I had to feature his book.

Blurb:

This is a private investigator whodunnit mystery novel.

On the verge of bankruptcy private investigator Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall. After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to running his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break. A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, playful bathhouse operator Trent Nakos enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

This is a mystery novel.
While there is an element of romance it is definitely of the slow burn variety.

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N7MFV8V

Website: https://bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve/

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

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“This case will be good for both of us,” Eve said. “If we get my client off, we look
like heroes. If we don’t, he’s just another Mexican in prison who’ll be
forgotten.”

“You’re one cold-hearted bitch.”

“Just honest, Mitch.”

Attorney Eve Aiken and I had worked together twice before. Once, I took pictures of a drug-abusing father in a custody battle. The second case involved a Pomeranian and suspicious bite marks.

“He’s probably an illegal. That’ll make it harder for us.” She pulled her gray suit jacket off, revealing a low-cut, black shell top. The skin above her breasts and down her arms was rough, wrinkled, and splotchy, making her look far beyond her fifty years. “I’ll give you the quick and dirty.”

I cocked my head and smirked. “Quick and dirty is the way I like it.”

She glared. “You probably know about the murder at that gay bathhouse yesterday.”

“It may surprise you to know there is no gay underground to disseminate information.”

“Don’t you watch the news?”

Before I could answer, a bell on the main door handle jingled. I rolled my desk chair to see the front of my store, Eye Spy Supplies. My twin sister, Josie, was showing up for work an hour late.

My desk, tucked in the corner of the cramped storeroom, is one of those heavy-as-hell, gray metal types the government used for decades after World War II. I placed my arm back on it, bumping a pile of paperwork to the floor where it mingled with more papers sorted in no particular order.

Eve scowled as she combed my shabby storeroom office with its dimmed fluorescent lighting and dark wood paneling. Stacked boxes slanted, ready to fall at any moment. A stool next to the desk barely balanced a mountain of bills on top, all stamped “past due.” I casually took a book off my desk and placed it on the pile. I had opened the store to be my own boss and get out of detective work. My plan was failing miserably. I still didn’t make enough from the store to stop being a private investigator, and I didn’t make enough as an investigator to close the store.

“You were saying?” I urged Eve on.

“A man was killed yesterday morning at the Club Silver Lake bathhouse,” she said. “Familiar with it?”

Familiar? It had been almost five years since I’d been inside, but I would never shake the lure of sheer self-indulgence that consumed my life after I left the army.

“I’ve heard of it. What happened?”

“A man by the name of Victor Verboom had his throat slashed while in a steam room. They have a suspect in custody—Ernesto Torres, a jilted lover who swears he didn’t do it. I’m defending him. That’s why I need your help.”

“Given your feelings towards ‘the gays,’ it’s surprising you took the case.”

“I work with you, don’t I? Anyway, it doesn’t matter which way the wind blows, as long as the cash is green.” She slid forward on my turquoise thrift-store couch and leaned toward me.

“They found Verboom’s body at 3:00 a.m. Apparently, he has a huge house in the hills, but he was known to sleep at the bathhouse several nights a week. Can you imagine

I could but didn’t say so. “What’s his story?”

“He was a staff writer for some TV comedy I don’t watch. It’s in the file.” She opened a manila folder that was in her lap. “Let’s see, it’s a show called Don’t
do That!
You ever see it?”

“I don’t watch much TV, but I can’t imagine you watching sitcoms. Is it even possible for you to crack a smile?”

Eve’s lips turned down, and she furrowed her brow. In an attempt to lean back, she forgot she was seated too far forward, which caused her to slump on the couch flailing her raised hands. Grunting and clearly embarrassed, she scooched up in her seat and straightened her gray, stained skirt. I was forced to grit my teeth and look away to maintain self-control.

She brushed aside a strand of her thin, black hair and crossed her arms. “Do you want this job, O’Reilly?”

“I’ll quit with the witty banter.”

“Witty? Don’t flatter yourself.”

Continue Reading New Release: “A Body in the Bath House” by Brad Shreve