Connor is out. Liam is the secretly gay football player. Together they must navigate a hush-hush relationship while working together to solve the murder of Liam’s sister.
17-year-old Connor doesn’t believe his best friend’s death was an accident. Falling down the stairs was random, and Connor can’t help but wonder if someone might’ve pushed her… Determined to find out the truth, Connor starts his own investigation. Along the way, he discovers Evelyn’s affair with a married man and thought she was pregnant before she died. Connor thinks he’s found her killer, but an airtight alibi forces him to look in a new direction. Perhaps closer to home. Complicating the situation more is Connor’s own secret – an unexpected hook up with Evelyn’s twin brother, Liam, at a party the previous spring. Afterward, Liam goes on a homophobic rant and punches Connor, leaving him confused. His confusion deepens when, after Evelyn’s death, Liam apologizes and they start to hook up secretly. Liam is trapped between his attraction to Connor and his abusive father. Connor struggles with his growing attraction for Liam. Their secret rendezvous are fun, but if Connor is going to have more with Liam, he’ll have to be honest about his feelings and his suspicions on who killed Evelyn. Will either survive the truth coming out?
I left the hair salon the following evening.
A faint chill permeated the air, and the waxiness of the full moon glinted against the ground, providing extra lighting while I walked to my Mercedes.
Normally, I wouldn’t have picked a 7:00 P.M. appointment, but it was all the hair salon had had on such short notice.
“The fuck you doing at a hair salon?” someone called.
I whipped my body around. Liam stood about ten feet from me.
“I’ve gotta go.” I pulled out my car keys, then grabbed the car door handle.
“Please don’t leave,” he pleaded.
I looked over my shoulder, meeting his eyes. “Why would I do you any favors?”
“Because I wanted to apologize.”
Wow. Lucky me, getting two surprises in less than a week. First Evelyn’s death, now this. The only difference was that there was a chance this surprise would be wanted.
About the Author
Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing) and his YA Paranormal Romance novel DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, Chris had several other books released in 2020, including his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA). Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.
A young gay man has a near death experience that forces him to go through therapy and recount the events of his abusive past that led to his excessive drinking and depression.
The Emancipation: Dion’s Baptism is a fictional story about a young man who has a near death experience and ends up going to therapy, forcing him to dig up painful memories from his past and discover what is the real cause behind his depression and his excessive drinking. He not only finds the answers he’s looking for but also the strength to forgive all the people who have hurt him.
“It’s something I don’t normally tell people about because I don’t want them blaming my sexuality on that. With me being gay, I feel that people in my life always look for an explanation as to why I’m gay or how I “became” gay. It’s not like it was one particular incident that made me like guys, I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. As a child I didn’t really know a name for it or a label to attach to it, I just knew I was always attracted to men. I don’t care too much about how anyone else feels about it, this is part of who I am.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, what people in your life did you feel wanted an explanation from you about your sexuality?”
“Everyone, at least that’s the way it felt. Close friends, family members. They all wanted to know why I’m like this; they treated it like it was a disease. I remember people in my family asking me if I had been molested by someone in the family or saying that I turned out like this because I used to carry my grandmother’s purse to her car for her before she went to work. People tried to find every explanation for something that didn’t need one. It’s like I’m asking me why I’m black. Who cares as to why I’m this way, I just am.” Dion doesn’t look Cathy directly in her eyes when talking about him being gay and feeling rejection.
“Seems like you felt the pain of rejection a lot in your life.”
“More than you know, in some ways I think rejection is the very reason that I’m in this office talking to you in the first place.”
“What is your earliest memory of being rejected?”
“Ouch. I need to take another drink before I tell you this one.”
“Is it that bad?”
“Not sure if bad is necessarily the right term to use–more so painful.”
August 5th, 2001
“DJ, what are you doing?” Kesiah asks in a slightly critical tone.
“Singing duh, I love to sing.”
“You do? Since when?” She rolls her eyes.
“Since always, I always sing in my plays at B.C. Cook.” Dion expresses with a child-like excitement
“Well you need to stop singing.”
“Because you aren’t good at it. Momma used to always say that ‘if you ain’t gone sing a song right then don’t sing it at all.” Keisha walks away, leaving Dion’s eyes full of tears that he silently lets out.
Present Therapy Session
“Keisha is your sister, correct?
“Yeah.” Dion twiddles his thumbs showing his anxiety from talking about his sister.
“When she told you that you couldn’t sing, how old were you?”
“I was seven, I looked at my sister at that time as my best friend. I looked to her for encouragement and support.”
“In that moment, do you feel like she failed you by crushing your expectations of her?”
“I did feel that way, wisdom and time has helped me to forgive her and understand that she wasn’t really trying to hurt my feelings. She was a thirteen-year-old girl who was still hurting from the death of her mother, our mother. And she didn’t fully know how to process the things that were going on in her life at that time. Looking back, I actually feel bad for not being more understanding about the pain she was in. I held that against her for a long time.
“I know you said that you forgave your sister but what about the effect of what she said? Do you still want to become a singer?”
“Not really, I mean she wasn’t entirely wrong in what she said. She wasn’t entirely right either. I did love singing and my elementary school was a performing arts school so I got to do every area of performance whether I was good at it or not. I decided that my real passion lies somewhere between not just performing but also creating.”
“So you want to be a music producer? Or a singer-songwriter?”
About the Author
Dijon McIntyre is an Author/Actor/Director amongst many other things. He was raised in the beautiful sunshine state of Florida which has had a profound effect on his writing and his artistic performances. Getting into acting at the young age of 6, he is familiar with many different types of performing including acting and music but he attributes his love for all of these things to his undying love for God. Raised as a Christian and now identifying as a “follower of Christ”, Dijon has a vision to use his publishing/production company FreedomArtz to open up opportunities for the people who want to make their dreams come true while still maintaining a liveable wage doing what they love. You can find any of his three books on Amazon, Google Books, or any major online retailer.
Trope/s: Anti-gay conspiracy, intolerance, corrupt legal system
Themes: Cost of unconditional love
Warning: References to rape
Heat Rating: 3 out of 5
Length: 121 070 words/ 355 pages in PB; 274 in HC
Is it a standalone book? Somewhat. Jake Blaine is the MC in this book, and it’s a semi-followup to Rape in Holding Cell 6, a book I wrote with his lover, Antony, as the MC…but it’s not absolutely necessary you read that book to follow this one (tho’ it might help, at the beginning).
When his uncle disappears, Jake goes to Palm Springs to find out why only to get caught in a web of fear, hate, betrayal … and what looks more and more like murder … with Jake targeted as the next victim.
Was it murder? Suicide? Or did Owen Taylor vanish to avoid prosecution for rape? Everyone had their own idea, but the only note he left behind was sent to his nephew, Jacob Blaine, in Denmark … which was crazy, because Owen knew Jake was currently living in the States. Of course this happened at the worst possible time for Jake. He was helping his lover, Antony, fight bogus criminal charges; his estranged, anti-gay mother was battling cancer; his job in Copenhagen wanted him to return there — now; and worst of all … Antony was pushing him away. It was tearing him apart. But Uncle Owen had backed him up through some rough times, so Jake made what he thought would be a short trip to Palm Springs, to see if he could find out what happened. He re-connected with Dion, his first true love, and then he discovered other men had also disappeared. On top of that, an organization called PSALMS was spreading hate and distrust of the gay community as part of their plan to turn back gay rights. The more Jake dug into Owen’s disappearance, the more he found lies, deceit and treachery by members of the police force, people in the DA’s office, and even some of Owen’s friends. And behind it all was someone who would do everything they could to keep their true motives hidden. Even have Jake vanish, as well.
This is from the end of Book 1, Part 4, where Jake has Antony and their techie-roommate, Matt, do some research:
They read the message and Matt did some cross-referencing on his diamond-sharp laptop as I spoke, popping in with, “Okay, got that here,” and, “It fits.” He also found a chart showing Warren Philby had a ninety-five percent conviction rate and was talking about running for Riverside District Attorney in the next election. As a Republican with a Tea Party bent.
Already I hated the prick.
That’s when I noticed Tone looking at me with his quiet, wary expression, so I snarled, “You don’t believe my uncle’d molest a kid, do you?”
“No.” He frowned like he was insulted I’d even asked him that question.
“I dunno. It just doesn’t line up with…well, your father called your mother, asking about your uncle’s condos and — “
“Condos? He had more’n one?”
“Four. One he lived in; three he rented out. He also owns some other property.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, how d’you know my father called mom?”
“She…she told me.”
I nearly fell off the chair. “My mother called you?”
Tone blinked and looked away. “Uh…looking for you. I…I told her you were…you were out of the country.”
“Day before yesterday.”
Man, I should’ve gone to see her the second I got back.
“What’d she say to you, Tone?”
He sighed. “She knows why you’re here. And she…she said stuff like, That’s just like you, to let people drag you down. Then she gave me her number and address — “
“I know that shit,” I said. “I’m goin’ straight over.”
“She’s moved, Jake,” said Matt.
“She sold her townhouse? She loved that place.”
“Just telling you what she told me,” Tone said. He gave me a slip of paper with a phone number and address.
“This is south side,” I muttered.
Tone shrugged. He wouldn’t know, but my mother was one of those types who only want to live around acceptable people. In her eyes, Southside was…borderline…at best.
“Matt, we’ll be right back.” I went around the counter, took Tone by the arm and guided him up into the bedroom, then closed the door, sat him on the bed and kneeled before him, looking hard into his eyes.
“Y’know, I had lunch with Mira. Is there anything you want to tell me?”
He hesitated then looked straight back at me, his eyes sharp as cut diamonds. “That therapist I’m seeing…that the state’s making me see. I…I asked him to talk with her. Told him she’s a psychologist and has a clinic in Paris and…and I wanted her to know everything that happened was on me. Not you.”
“She already knew that.”
“…Maybe. This verified it.”
“And you talk about me not tellin’ you things?”
“I…uh…I didn’t think she’d let you know.”
“Great defense. So what’s in those notes?”
He looked away. “You already know everything in them.”
I took a deep breath. “Tone…what. The fuck. Is goin’ on, here?” He just stared at the wall. No expression. I took his face in my hands and made him look at me. “Okay, whatever it was that my mother said to you — keep in mind…that bitch kicked me out of her home when I was seventeen. I haven’t seen her since, so what she knows about me and who I am is zero. Zip. Nada. Anything she says is just her messin’ with us.”
He shrugged me off and said, “But she’s right. You wouldn’t be here except for me.”
“You’re right, you little shit — I wouldn’t. I’d be fresh out of jail. Or still livin’ in Nana’s house. Barely existing. I’d never have met my brothers and sisters in Paris, or gotten to work with my Uncle Ari, or become a Danish citizen. I’d be an ex-con. But I’m here, alive, because of you. So what. Did. My mother. Say. To you?”
“Just…just what I told you.”
“Bullshit!” No response. I sighed and sat cross-legged on the floor. “You don’t wanna talk, don’t. But this is a woman who told her only child that she hates him bein’ queer.”
“Maybe…maybe you shouldn’t go see her…“
“I got to. Somethin’ is goin’ on with my uncle and the only way to get the truth of what she knows is a face-to-face.”
He ran his hand through my hair. God, I loved it when he did that. Then he whispered, “Should I stock up on alcohol?”
I sighed from the emotion in his voice and nodded. “Twelve-pack. No, fuck it — Tequila.”
“I’ll get some mixers and we’ll make a nice queeny night of it. A Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew had a party…“ He snorted. “Sounds like the setup for a joke.”
I made him look at me. “Hey, I’m half Catholic.”
His hand whispered over my cheek and his eyes grew hurt, again. “My all-American mutt.”
All I could think to say was, “Don’t let mom mess with us, Tone.” He ruffled my hair then got up and left the room.
I leaned against the bed. He’d lied to me. My mother’s crap comments weren’t bad enough to rip him up. There was definitely something else going on in his head, and he’d used them as a wall to hide behind.
Well…sitting on the floor wasn’t getting anything done. I got up, got dressed, and headed over to the insurance company where she worked. I wanted a professional environment around us, in case things got nasty, because she was damn well going to explain to me what the hell she was pulling.
Only it turned out she hadn’t worked there in nearly three years.
Man…I had a lot of catching up to do, with her.
About the Author
Kyle Michel Sullivan is a writer and self-involved artist out to change the world until it changes him…as has already happened in far too many ways. He has written books that range from sunshine and light (“David Martin”) to cold and dark (“How To Rape A Straight Guy”, which has been banned a couple of times) to flat out crazy (“The Lyons’ Den”) to mainstream (“The Alice ’65”). He has now ventured into SF-Horror-Suspense with “The Beast in the Nothing Room” and taken Capitalism to its logical extreme in “Hunter”. He is currently working to complete “A Place of Safety”, his Irish novel; “Darian’s Point”, a gothic horror story set in Ireland; and “Dair’s Window”, about an artist trying to rebuild his world after the death of his lover.
Kyle uses Tolstoy as his guide, and is trying to build characters as vivid and real as possible. He has a lot of fun doing it mixed with angst, anger, and amazement… but that’s the lot of a writer.
Drones lie at the heart of this mystery facing Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil, four men who live in North-East England.
A spate of art-related burglaries and a series of horrific kidnaps have occurred. The freedom of the quad, and that of Nick, their special friend, is threatened by involvement in both cases. They are suspected of one and Mike is a victim of the other. The officer in charge is the quad’s old enemy, the homophobic Chief Inspector Fortune. Should the quad set aside their distrust and tell him what they know?
Meanwhile, Nick has issues of his own to consider. Compromises are needed, but how many?
This is the sixth tale in the County Durham Quad series. Background is included to aid new readers.
From Chapter 1
(The whole chapter, read by the author with aerial footage of the setting, is available on YouTube. Link below)
A new sound had been added to the rustic ones that normally formed the backdrop to life in the Durham hills. Instead of the bleating of sheep, there was a whirring—and it came from the sky. The quad’s new video channel was up and running, and Raith, plus drone, was filming everything and everyone. He was, as he liked to put it, “Doing the rounds.”
“Doin’ my head in,” was how it seemed to Mike and, right then, there was a danger of that actually happening. Mike was responsible for nearly all the quad’s maintenance work. He was sitting astride a rooftop, replacing the flashing on one of Tunhead’s chimneys. Tunhead was the little hamlet where the quad lived. It was the seat of BOTWAC, the Beck On The Wear Arts Centre, and the video channel was designed, in part, to promote the artisans’ wares.
“Watch what you’re doin’ with that bloody thing!” Mike yelled from his perch.
“It’s alright, Mike. I’m in full control,” Raith yelled back.
“Not from where I am, you’re not! I thought you weren’t supposed to fly it over buildin’s!”
Raith made the drone whizz round in a circle and shouted, “Well Tunhead doesn’t really count as buildings, does it? I mean, twelve tiny houses, my studio and a disused church. It’s hardly buildings.”
“It felt like buildin’s when Ross and I were refurbishin’ it all, and it felt like buildin’s three years ago when I knocked the walls through to next door just to give you leg room.”
“That’s building, Mike, not buildings.”
Sometimes, there was no answer to Raith’s logic. Mike swore softly, sighed and decided to wait until tea-time, when all the men would be home together. They’d discuss Raith and his drone then. First things first. He continued repairing the chimney.
In Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary’s new Tyneside police station, another drone-related conversation had caused heated words that day. The woman making a complaint was angry.
“Look,” she said to the officer on the front counter, “this is the third time it’s happened in a fortnight. I ignored the first invasion of my privacy. The second time the blesséd thing was hovering overhead, I telephoned. I was told that someone would contact me. Nobody’s done so, and this morning it happened again. I want something doing. I feel I can’t go into my own garden and I’m bothered that whoever’s doing this is spying on me and my children. It’s horrible and it shouldn’t be allowed.”
The woman had good reason to feel harassed. She lived in what had once been the lodge of a large country estate. That is, she occupied the house that lay at one end of a long, tree-lined drive. The drive led, through parkland with trees and an ornamental lake, to a substantial eighteenth century property. On three occasions recently, the peace of the surroundings had been broken by the whirring of a drone. More importantly, she felt intimidated by the drone’s presence. As she said, she felt she was being spied on. Surely that was a crime?
It was, the official told her. At least two different offences connected with drone misuse might be invoked on the woman’s behalf, but, in a case like hers, invoking them was problematic. Even if an incident should happen again and a patrol car could reach her while the drone was still visible and airborne, there was little that officers could do. Firstly, they would need to locate and identify the flyer. If they felt that a harassment offence had been committed, they could instruct the flyer to land the drone. However, there was no power of seizure and, indeed, no power to even view the footage unless there was suspected terrorist activity—unlikely in this case. The woman had to be content with an apology and a promise that an officer would definitely come and visit her. In fact, a detective called a few days later, but not specifically because of her case. By then, the big country house had been burgled, and thousands of pounds of silver, porcelain and artwork had been stolen.
About the Author
Jude Tresswell lives in south-east England but was born and raised in the north, and that’s where her heart is. She is ace, and has been married to the same man for many years. She feels that she understands compromise. She supports Liverpool FC, listens to a lot of blues music and loves to write dialogue.
George thinks he’s a real man…until he is seduced by an American serviceman on duty in New Zealand during WW2.
Neddy, the son of Lebanese migrants, marries a peasant girl in an attempt to overcome his attraction to men.
Garth, an intellectual, working-class Catholic boy, escapes to Mexico but eventually returns to reveal a painful secret.
Set in New Zealand, Lebanon and Mexico between 1942 and 1986, SUCKING FEIJOAS follows the lives of gay men and how, with ingenuity, courage and love, they managed their lives – despite the odds. Now in its third edition, this deeply engaging story about sexuality, class, race and the culture wars that surrounded them, is as relevant as ever. SUCKING FEIJOAS is riveting storytelling, gay history, empowering.
George was ecstatic that the party was going to be held in what he now referred to as his apartment. ‘Flat’ was definitely out as a term of reference to his abode now that he had such wonderful and sophisticated friends as Garth Griffin and Neddy Berdawni. He looked around his living room, a haven of peace and loveliness, which would soon be the scene of the wild party he’d planned in honour of the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.
‘All’erta! All’erta!Abb’etta zingara! he sang in a falsetto accompaniment to the opera blasting from his stereo. ‘All’erta.’ He lifted the needle from the record and put it back a few grooves so that he could again hear the soprano rejoicing in his favourite refrain from Il Trovatore. ‘All’erta! All’ertd! Abb’etta zingara!’
Food was displayed on the Formica table in his kitchen. It looked glorious, the madeira cake and the stuffed mushrooms. But best of all was that fabulous Arabic concoction with the name he had the same difficulty in pronouncing as the frantic refrains from the opera.
‘All’erta!’ he sang as he sniffed Neddy’s hummus. ‘Amazing,’ he said, ‘it feels so good to be able to sing opera without thinking it might get me arrested. Us poor, poor queens, for so many centuries denied our pleasures!’
On the wall in front of him was a picture of Mount Taranaki, which he stared at as he reached into a cupboard for the bottle of sherry. The huge, handsome flanks of that monstrous mountain. So many decades of admiring it. So many tortures endured in its presence, each like the ice axes that climbers stuck in the flanks of that wily old mountain.
‘And there you still are.’ He saluted the mountain. ‘And me too,’ he said as he downed a mouthful of the deliciously sickly sherry. ‘Still alert, still surviving.’
He bent over the table and stuck his finger in the delicious dip he’d come to adore since Neddy had first made it for him. ‘Hmmmm, hmmiss, homos, oh something or other,’ he said in a pickled hiss. He licked his finger with the creamy substance smeared over it and closed his eyes in satisfaction.
“The Smile of the Dispossessed” is a love story and a political thriller set in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Indonesia. The novel tells the story of Fadhi and Adam who flee Baghad in the final days of the Saddam Hussien regime when they are ‘outed’ as being gay and accused of being enemies of the state. Despite having been lovers for many years, under the pressures of being refugees, they separate and go their own ways, both men hoping to find freedom in a country that will accept them for who they are. “The Smile of the Dispossessed” demonstrates the enduring requirement to maintain faith in humanity and the power of love.
The music had changed again from disco to house and that beat was what Adam wanted, the newness of it, the complete modernity, the throb of what was the latest from Ibiza and Paris.
“You will not defeat me,” he said. He took the last swig from his bottle and went by himself to the dance floor. In his tight white tee shirt and blue jeans and white sneakers with his hair cut short and three days of beard, he knew he was the centre of attraction as he moved his body to the steady beat.
“I’m the handsome Arab,” he thought. “I’m the male they all want.” In the soap opera the music would now be reaching a crescendo as the main character found himself powerful and showed the world that when you are strong you get what you want and not what you de-serve. For a while in Baghdad there had been a fabulous Brazilian soap played on national television but the dancing and the partying had been too much for the authorities and it was eventually banned. Adam felt as if he had reached Sao Paulo now and that he was in it at last, that thing he wanted so much, that space he deserved. It was the vacuum left by the Brazilians, it was the magazine where the Paris models looked glamorous and led a life of luxury and fun. And at that moment on the dance floor he knew what his life was: he was a handsome and slightly crazy Palestinian and people desired him for that. Dancing there he saw his persona and was satisfied. The soaps were life and life was the soaps. He was in the midst of this felicitous conundrum when the blond squeezed amongst the dancers and started moving rhythmically next to him.
The blond had powder blue eyes, the colour of tropical oceans. His smile was as easy as his movements on the dance floor. They didn’t speak. There was no need to as they danced through two sets of the music. It was just like the soaps had ordered. A new sequel had begun and the audience was being led into it willingly and with abandon. The first thing the blond said to Adam sounded as if it had been scripted in a studio, the writers working in participation for the exact line of introduction: “I thought about you all day and all night.”
A vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history. Set in 1918 the novel explores what it was like to resist political oppression and at the same time, face a global pandemic.
It is late 1918 and in Wellington, New Zealand, four years of world war and the ravages of the Spanish flu are taking their toll on the inhabitants.
All are not for King and Country. The members of the Te Aro book club: queer, feminist, bohemian, disgruntled, are accused of sedition for reading Crime and Punishment and drawing from it the roots of the problems facing the world. The more intently they read, the more the crazed characters of the book appear to manifest themselves in Wellington.
Intrigues deepen: Cecil and Sybil Meatyard, who work the crowds to a frenzy of patriotism in the streets of Wellington for the New Zealand Women’s Anti-German League, disappear. Their diatribes about war shirkers, spies and Pansies have upset a lot of people. The sinister Crawford Denton, detective and sensualist, follows the case. A 1918 MeToo Movement begins as the influenza pandemic takes hold.
This vibrant, entertaining, often darkly Gothic story is filled with passion, love, pathos, farce and humour. Pansies’ Revenge lays bare the political, social and cultural fabric of New Zealand society at a pivotal time in the nation’s history.
Alexander Powderham, fortyish, handsome, bohemian, limped his way up Cuba Street. His left leg, having been crippled from infantile paralysis, was supported by a steel brace. He was dependent also on canes, of which he had an impressive collection, and on this occasion, he was using one intricately carved by Aroha Raharuhi, his longtime lover.
The air was unseasonably warm for mid-September Wellington, which heightened the smell rising from the mounds of horse ordure left from the morning’s military parade. Outside the Duchess Tea Rooms, Alexander paused and rested on his good leg while he adjusted his recently tailored jacket, smoothing down the Irish linen with his hands, delighting in its texture and colour of golden flax. Then he adjusted his silk tie, cream coloured with charcoal flecks, loosening the knot a little at the undone top button to ensure that rakish look, which was one of casual elegance. The white, Egyptian cotton shirt had also been crafted especially for him by the clothiers Munster & Munster who, through four years of war, had survived patriotic vandalism by hanging a large sign across their shop windows, WE ARE NOT HUNS: WE SUPPORT KING AND COUNTRY. Alexander’s chocolate brown, wide-brimmed hat with a duck’s feather poking from the green woven band was also avant-garde, of a high-quality felt and based on a design he had seen in a fashion weekly from London.
About the Author
Jeffrey Buchanan was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to a Lebanese – New Zealand family. For thirty years, including a decade with the United Nations, he worked in multiple countries in education, the promotion of human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women. He was based for several years in the Middle East. For his Doctorate, he researched the structural, cultural and ideological components of Islamic education. Now he follows the warm weather with his husband Stuart, reads and writes fiction, and daydreams.
Hunger Strike, The Road of Bones drops you two centuries into the future. The moon has been sheared in two, much of the Earth is a wasteland, and the world is ruled over by witches and sorcerers with cruelty and indifference. When the town of Endly is threatened by the tinkerer and his army of animorphs, sixteen-year-old Hunger Strike, alongside his best friend, Winda, and his adopted brother, Denver, devises a plan to move thousands of its residents across the treacherous wilds, in the hopes of finding a new home within the borders of a strange land far to the west, known only as The Weird Wood.
Winda is the adult in the room. Always. She approaches challenges logically. Where I’m a bumbling mess of emotions, Winda has a way of removing emotion from any given situation, and then, with a clear head, she begins to formulate a plan of action.
So, I relate every detail of the past couple of hours to her, ending on a sour note with the impending invasion, and then I sit back, fold my arms across my chest, and I watch the gears spinning behind Winda’s eyes, a flickering candle between us.
A minute passes. Two. Three.
“The beasts!” she shouts suddenly, jumping to her feet and kicking the leg of the table. Next, to my horror, she pulls her machete from its sheath and, in one lightning fast motion, she stabs its tip into the table, plants her hands, locks eyes with me, grits her teeth and she spits; “Well, I’m not going down without a fight, you hear?? We’ll certainly die, but we’re damned well going to take a few of them bastards down with us, and we’ll bathe in their blood together before our glorious deaths!”
I knit my eyebrows together. Clearly, someone has taken my Winda and they’ve replaced her with a person who delights in taking baths in other folks blood. I, however, do not. Where’s the adult in the room? The lack of emotion? The clear-headed plan? We really are screwed if even Winda can’t wrap her head around this thing and spit out a strategy other than bathing in blood and glorious deaths – a duo of rather unappealing options in my less-than-knowledgeable opinion on the subject.
“Um – I don’t like that plan, Winda,” I whisper, painfully aware that Denver is in my bedroom and probably listening to every word we say.
“What else is there??” she spits back at me, once again taking her seat.
I furrow my brow. “Running?”
“Leave – all these people to be slaughtered?” Winda hisses across the table at me. “Is that what you’re suggesting, Hunger?”
“No, Winda, that’s not what I’m suggesting,” I say.
“We take them with us,” I say.
There’s a pause while Winda looks across the table at me like I’ve just grown a hideous extra head or two. “There are – thousands of people living in Endly, Hunger.”
“Two thousand, three hundred and thirty-seven,” a raspy little voice says.
I glance over my shoulder. Denver is peeking into the kitchen from the hall.
Winda sneers at him.
Denver has always been quite anxious around Winda. It might be her machete, or the pistol, or the fact that he overheard us discussing how she had accidentally murdered her pet cat, Mr. Wiggles. Or all three.
About the Author
T.J. Pike has been writing since splashing down on this tiny blue marble in late 1986, when a native of the planet observed what a brilliant liar he was. “You should either write a book or go into politics,” the woman was heard to say. Having been a VIP guest at the White House several thousand times over the past hundred years, he chose the former. Hand cramps, cold feet and early mornings soon inspired him to invent the computer, wool socks and coffee, though not in that order. Pike is currently number one on the Epsilon Delta Bestsellers list, and if you visit the Planet Arkon, you can find a bronze statue of him in the alleyway behind Smirk’s Liquor Mart, just to the left of the dumpster. Dubbed the most prolific story-teller of his time by Deckon-the-deceiver, Pike currently resides in New England, where he spends his days in the clouds, atop his dragon, Dinky, only stopping to allow her to feed on the occasional villager or two.
Paperback – US addresses only (includes FREE shipping)
In this newest story collection from award-winning writer, Daniel M. Jaffe, red-blooded American men make mischief while vacationing abroad. They encounter a serial killer in a Munich bathhouse, a gay Holocaust ghost in Prague, a shape-shifting seductress in Mexico City, a desperate prostitute in Seville, a closeted Catholic school administrator in Dublin, and many others. These stories will transport, titillate, intrigue, and tug at your heartstrings.
Bill understood Quinn to be whispering “dirty,” but in the raspy, heavy brogue, the word came out as “dehrty”: “Yer a dehrr-ty, dehrr-ty man.” Quinn flicked out his tongue and sucked it in, frog-like. With a thurping sound: “You’re a dehrr-ty, dehrr-ty man,” thurp thurp thurp.
A journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Bill had arrived in Dublin this morning to write a human interest story on the upcoming gay marriage referendum. Polls anticipated Ireland becoming the first country to authorize gay marriage by public vote. Traditional, Catholic Ireland.
Not having slept on the plane—and his body reminding that he was older than he used to be—he spent the day napping in his Jury’s Inn Christchurch hotel room, studying local newspapers and webzines, making notes and listing questions for his article. He supped in his room on take-away from the “great wee chipshop” around the corner, Leo Burdock Fish & Chips—greasy, salty, thick-crusted smoked cod accompanied by more fries than he could possibly consume. Later on, he trimmed his gray beard, donned jeans and a button-down blue shirt that showed off his squarish pecs without appearing too obvious—his decades-old uniform whenever scoping out a new city’s gay life. Bill always enjoyed these forays most of all, surveying the terrain before his newspaper’s photographer arrived and hovered, thereby preventing Bill from conducting his most enjoyable background research.
Passionate encounters with locals were the secret to Bill’s success as human interest story writer—even in his late 50’s, he could still get laid with fair enough regularity, especially as exotic foreigner. Few journalists’ articles contained the under-the-skin insights Bill’s did, revelations feeling like disclosure to a trusted confidant. Bill’s interviews read like intimate pillow talk because that’s precisely what they were.
Bill put little stock in ethical baloney about maintaining journalistic distance: if you want to get an inside story, you need to get inside. Repressed countries were Bill’s specialty because they burst with scared horny locals who had few other bed partner options. Want a journalist to cover police harassment of Russian gay activists? brutality against gays in Iraq? death-threats against gays in Uganda? Send Bill with a pack of condoms to ferret out the under-cover(s) scoop. Only a matter of time before he’d win a Pulitzer. He sure was having fun trying.
Bill headed out in the cool evening for George, the nightclub touted on all Irish gay websites as Dublin’s primary gay hangout. He’d undoubtedly find some trick to “interview.”
Strolling down Dame Street—odd, he thought, how historically grand the word “Dame” sounded in Ireland, whereas in American ears it came across as outdated Al Capone cheap. He walked the narrow sidewalk past restaurants, pubs, cafés, repeatedly bumping shoulders with those walking toward him until he realized that the Irish walked the way they drove—on the left, unlike on-the-right Americans: head-on collisions were inevitable.
A scan around the cobblestone courtyard of Dublin Castle, a mix of red brick Georgian palace, gray medieval fortress, and white-gray Gothic revival chapel. A quick look-see at City Hall with its white-gray granite columns and triangular pediment. On the corner of South Great George’s Street, a main shopping avenue, he faced an enormous mural covering the entire side of a gray building: two young men, one in white sweater, the other in black, snuggling in romantic embrace. Larger-than-life gay love, four stories high. And tacked to a lamppost on the corner beneath it—a bold, green-lettered “Yes For Marriage Equality” poster sporting a rainbow flag. All this smack in the center of Catholic Dublin. A more in-your-face public display than he could recall having seen in Chicago’s Boystown.
That must be the place, with the rainbow flag over the entrance and a thick bouncer staring into Bill’s eye. He nodded at the guy and stepped inside. A low-lit cavernous space with stairs to the right—the upper level looked closed…well, it was a Sunday. The music was fast-paced and louder than he liked. Bill walked to the far end of the long bar with men and women in their 20’s chatting, noted the stage behind the bar, empty now of the drag acts he’d read about. He grabbed a black leather barstool, asked the muscular barman for a pint of Guinness, one of those touristy must-do’s. He savored the thick molasses foam, the mix of bitter and heavy sweet, then turned to the lean young man beside him, a handsome fellow with close-cropped blond hair, and introduced himself, knowing that his accent would lead at least to a where-are-you-from conversation. Bill slapped on his personae of naïve visitor: “All I basically know about Ireland is leprechauns and four-leaf clovers.”
“And all I know about America is that you all carry guns and shoot black teenagers when you’re strung out on crack.”
About the Author
Daniel M. Jaffe is an award-winning writer whose short stories and personal essays have appeared in over half a dozen countries and several languages. He has been profiled in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, and his work has been taught in college and university courses. Daniel is author of the novels Yeled Tov, The Genealogy of Understanding, The Limits of Pleasure, and the short story collection, Jewish Gentle and Other Stories of Gay-Jewish Living. He lives in California with his husband, the writer and professor, Leo Cabranes-Grant.
But while he doesn’t want to be there, a change of heart may be just what he needs…
The oldest translation of a Gospel is returned to the world by a secret society long dedicated to its preservation. In it, Jesus explicitly condemns bigotry and homophobia. In a new world in which LGBTQ passengers receive preferential boarding for flights and the United States has elected its first lesbian President, Pastor Rick Harris is stalwart, closeted preacher who doggedly holds onto his increasingly unpopular convictions.
When an incendiary sermon goes too far and offends an influential family, Rick makes a painful choice to keep his job: He attends an atonement camp run by drag queens for society’s most unrepentant and terminally incurable homophobes.
Atonement Camp is immersion therapy for Pastor Harris, and it might be working. An open bar with pedicures, a devastatingly attractive roommate and an endless supply of glitter help him manage to make new friends. Soon, Rick and his cohorts learn the camp may hold its own secrets. Amid the smiling faces and scantily clad pool boys who staff the camp, a clandestine group plots to discredit the New Revelation and everything it stands for.
If Rick has the conviction to confront his own hypocrisy, he might be able to uncover the conspirators with help from his adopted flock—and find new truths within himself.
It was just after sunrise. The call to prayer from the nearby city’s rooftop loudspeakers receded as Dr. Michael Donahue’s driver left a familiar road for the makeshift trails that led deep into the desert. One faith bridged to the next, he thought. Before long, he wouldn’t need the light jacket, but he wore it anyway. It was a mysterious quest, and he tugged the jacket tight around his chest.
The jeep bounced over the rough terrain as Dr. Donahue carefully poured hot water from his thermos over his yerba mate leaves. His second mate would be less bitter than the first. Each time he made a fresh tea, the leaves lost more of their bitterness to the boiling water. The same leaves could be used again and again any given morning. It reminded him of his profession. Archeology was the sober study of the forgotten—people who lived, laughed, suffered, and died, their history diluted by each passing year. Dr. Donahue was determined to learn as much as he needed to reanimate their past with subtle detail, adding context to what would otherwise be merely more than a list of dates and details for his undergraduates to memorize before a test.
As promised, a man stood by the still-empty dig site. He was dressed in a Western style—no keffiyeh or other head dressing. With short sleeves and rugged boots, his attire was more practical than fashionable. Dr. Donahue always appreciated utility and function above much else. He acknowledged that his estimation of the man’s credibility was thus-far unearned, but he nonetheless felt more comfortable in the company of the familiar.
The site had been Dr. Donahue’s home for most of the past year. His team would return after Ramadan. Dr. Donahue’s research specialization centered almost primarily around the early Christian era. He took a certain guilty pleasure in casually admitting his atheism each semester to the newest crop of freshman at his university in Washington, D.C. Like all things, he saw it as a learning opportunity. One is not excused from understanding something just because they don’t agree with it, he’d remind them. The site itself was an early Christian refuge under the Roman Empire. Forgotten by time, but now rediscovered. Painstakingly, he and his team would uncover artifacts and consider what stories they told about the people who made them. Dust from the jeep’s tires made a gritty fog that enveloped the air. Dr. Donahue squinted, his eyes already dry. He coughed and plodded through the sand to the man silently awaiting his arrival.
“Dr. Donahue.” The professor extended his hand to the stranger.
The man took his hand and smiled. “Thank you for coming. Your research associate mentioned your name last year when he worked with us, and we immediately knew we needed to meet with you.”
Dr. Donahue fanned the remaining traces of the sand from his face. “We?”
The man flashed a half smile. “Consider us like yourself, Professor. Archeologists.”
“I would assume, but that doesn’t answer my question.”
The man chuckled. “By the end of the day, I expect that to change. Come. Follow me,” he beckoned.
Still confused, the professor followed the man down the makeshift stairs to the dig site.
“We’re not certain where it was found,” the man said, waving his arm over the site, “but this is likely close and as good a spot as any.”
“What, exactly, was found?”
The man frowned. “Technically, it was never lost. Let me be more precise. This is where it will be rediscovered.”
The professor felt his frustration growing. “What, and by whom?”
The man turned to face the professor, still smiling. “The oldest copy of the Gospel of Mark ever discovered. I’m what we refer to as a Custodian—a group of people committed to protecting this draft as we have done for more generations than our history may account for.”
The professor’s jaw dropped. He looked for answers in the man’s eyes to questions he could not manage to formulate.
“Every truth has its season, professor,” the man said, lowering himself to sit next on an empty crate near an assortment of digging tools. “This region has been plagued with war. We fear that if the artifact is not returned to the world now, it may never be.”
If his research associate hadn’t already vouched so strongly for the meeting, the professor was certain he would have already left the madman in another cloud of obscuring sand. Instead he asked: “Why have you kept it in the first place?”
“It contains a passage not found in any modern text. What’s the American expression? ‘One man’s waste is another man’s treasure’? That’s how our forefathers saw it. They saw something worthy of protection until the world was ready for the message. That time is now.”
Dr. Donahue smiled. His birthday was the following week, and the realization that his research associate might have set this up as an elaborate practical joke began to seem like the most likely explanation. It wouldn’t be out of character for him, he thought.
“So, where is it?” he asked, playing along.
The man pointed to a black chest. Taking the bait, Dr. Donahue carefully lifted the lid, expecting some puppet to pop out and exclaim “Happy Birthday!” Instead, the heavy lid creaked open to reveal a scroll bound in plastic and wound over on itself. His smile faded. Even without the aid of his radiocarbon dating equipment, he could tell the document was old. Very, very old.
About the Author
Evan is a member of the LGBTQ community who fancies himself as a playboy socialite, living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between work and lucid moments of sobriety, he writes a little. His debut novel is a light-hearted work that still manages to confront religious hypocrisy and contemporary LGBTQ struggles to balance their loss of culture with new-found civil rights. His friends say the book is great! Hopefully, you will as well.
I run because I don’t have a choice. I run for those who can’t, for those inside me.
The Three Faced God should have chosen my Fate, should have molded me according to the needs of my fellow Malthusians, but some assume they are above even God. I should have been at least a beta, hopefully an alpha, but never this. They thought changing my body would change my soul, that I’d be a compliant omega while they used and experimented on me. Others die, others submit, and say its their Fate. I know different. A malthusian caused this, one of my own kind. They think they’ve won, but I’ll win, simply by living another second, another day. But can I survive alone? Adult content, a gritty, alternate universe storyline, including genetic engineering, captivity, torture, domestic abuse, forced pregnancy, and murder. Alpha, beta, and omega genderfluid characters.
Sunlight streamed through the windows. People were doing chores, inside and outside. How could the betas go about their normal routine as if nothing had happened? Because it doesn’t matter to them, SHE didn’t matter to them. There was a replacement on the way. Life would go on for the Grabars as if Ma had never been here. Well, Tav would remember her.
A cheerful whistle came from below. One moment Tav stood in the bedroom, the next they were hurtling out the front door, launching themselves at the surprised beta, screaming, punching, ripping at clothes. The beta fell backward, letters flying up in the air. Tav landed on top of the stunned beta, who only tried to defend their face from the hysterical assault of a child.
“Tav? Tav, what the hell? It’s just the post-beta,” Sayen shouted as the older beta tried to pull the struggling, nightshirt-clad youngster off their victim.
Strong hands grabbed Tav’s upper arms. Tav left the ground and stared into Pa’s bloodshot eyes. His bare, hairy chest, beard, and musky scent enforced his identity.
“You will not embarrass her by behaving like a wild animal. You and your siblings are her legacies. Act like it.”
Without another word, he placed Tav back on his feet, growled, ‘Deal with it’ at his sibling who had arrived, breathing hard.
Telish strode back into the house, wearing only his formal kilt, not looking back at his devastated child. Tav stood there, the anger gone, watching Ma’s mate, the alpha who had put her aside, had killed her, walk away because he had more important things to do than take time to comfort or explain why Tav no longer had a Ma. Tav didn’t matter, any more than Ma had mattered.
Sayen shooed the rapidly growing crowd away as Daven led Tav by the arm to the stone steps of the porch. Daven sat Tav down and put their jacket around the child’s shivering shoulders. The house stretched out on either side of them, the autumn flowers in the window boxes Ma had planted moved to and fro in the cold wind.
In a week, the weather had turned; Tav’s world had turned. Soon, everything would die as winter took hold. Somehow, it felt right that the whole world would soon suffer like Tav suffered.
They sat side by side, untie and nibling, silently watching the normal goings on of the estate for a good ten minutes. The estate went on as normal. Tav didn’t understand.
Not even the post-beta looked at them as they came out of the house after Sayen treated the scratches. They grabbed their bicycle and pedaled back toward the main road.
“What did the post-beta do?” Daven asked.
Tav didn’t have a logical answer, so they shrugged. A long, heavy arm draped over Tav’s shoulders and squeezed. Tears prickled Tav’s eyes. Daven might not say it, but they did care, at least a little. Unlike Telish.
“Come on, Tav, there must have been something. I’d expect that sort of thing from Zep, but not you.”
Tav stiffened, insulted and a little afraid of the implications. “Why? Don’t you think I can be aggressive? I’m not an omega; I don’t blindly accept everything.”
Daven squeezed again. “Oh, I know that, pup. Although I’ve known omegas who packed quite a wallop before they manifested. I remember a certain scamp called Per who threw an apple at me after I stuck my tongue out at them.”
Tav turned wide eyes to Daven. “Ma did that?”
Daven chuckled. “She, or rather they at the time, most certainly did. The lump on the back of my head lasted a week. Now, what did the postie do to warrant a beating by Tav the Terrible? Because if I agree, I’m going to chase the offender down and punch them myself.”
“They were whistling.” It sounded ridiculous to Tav as soon as the words left their mouth.
Daven heaved themself off the porch, pulling up their sleeves. “Right, that’s it, bloody nose time.”
Tav jumped up and grabbed Daven’s arm, the post-beta didn’t deserve a bloody nose.
“No, don’t,” Tav giggled.
“I’ll have to take it out on you then,” Daven said and swung Tav up into their arms. After reducing Tav to a gasping wreck by tickling them to within an inch of their life, Daven turned Tav to face them. Tav’s brief happiness crashed.
Oh God, I laughed, I actually laughed, and Ma isn’t even cold yet.
Daven’s smile disappeared too. “She wouldn’t want you to be sad. It was her time, part of the Almighty’s plan. Your Pa’s right, the best thing we can do to honor her is to carry on and be the best we can, but don’t think any of us aren’t upset. We all are, and although I wear kilts, not dresses, I promise I’ll be here for you, ok?”
Tav blinked back stinging tears, and Daven put them down. “That’s the brave Tav I know. Go get dressed then start on your schoolwork; I’ll be in later. Try not to attack any more delivery betas, even if they are whistling. They didn’t know, ok?”
Drawing up every ounce of courage, Tav nodded and went back inside to make Ma proud.
About the Author
Emma was destined to be a little quirky after being born as an unexpected twin in Hungry Bottom (Yes, it’s a real place).
Known as the Queen of Angst because she loves putting damaged, often sweet and funny characters through hell before letting them have a HFN or HEA ending.
She blames her rebellious muse (who looks like Chris from the Paint Series) for the erotic aspects tickling the angst and the humour climbing into bed with the erotic.
When not writing or reading in leafy Sussex, England, she herds Birman cats and sons; both groups argue that there are too many of the other sort.
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!
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.
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…!
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?
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).