Wednesday, 30 September 2015

ON THE RUN by Michael Mandrake: Blog Tour with Guest Post and Excerpt

I’m delighted to welcome Michael Mandrake to The Way She Reads today to tell us all about On The Run. Enjoy the quest post, information about the book and the series it’s part of, as well as an excerpt.


For me, writing stories is fun, especially when you have inspiration to draw from, and in my case that could be anything. Current events, something that happened in my life, a picture or two I found on the net, sports, music lyrics, you get the picture. So, I’m saying basically ANYTHING could inspire me to write something and for this story, On the Run, it was a news report.

Since I love baseball, I pay special attention to the ongoing stories about players using steroids or performance enhancing drugs. If you’re familiar with Barry Bonds, you know he broke the home run record over a decade ago, and later it was revealed he might’ve been using steroids at the time.

So, you may ask, how did this become a story? Well, over a year ago, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez was caught and suspended by major league baseball for using performance enhancers or better known as PED’s. A report on 60 minutes came out about his supplier and how he was possibly targeted by Alex Rodriguez and threatened if he came forward about his involvement. Naturally, my brain started crafting a story based on that, and before I knew it, I was taking notes and researching for the story.

Now, months later, it’s about to be released and I’m stoked about people reading this tale. It’s a story of catch and chase with some m/m romance and a saucy female sidekick. I’d like to think James Bond with a gay main character and le gasp, he just happens to be a black englishman. This story starts a collection of books I call PROTEKT where all the characters are good guys and gals who get the job done, playing by their own rules.

I hope you’ll check it out. It’s up for pre-order and releases October 6th.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.


Book One of the PROTEKT SERIES

Living a double life is very dangerous…

Even more so when higher authorities and military agencies are envious of the position you hold and the money you make.

In the life of a PROTEKT agent, intelligence is key and the knowledge of guns must be second nature. Their sole mission—to get the job done swiftly with little mistakes. They’re paid well to handle all situations and hired to do things their own way, often disregarding the laws. Chief Wes gives them this freedom because being ruthless is usually required to finish the job.

When the world’s governments have run out of options, they request the assistance of PROTEKT to handle the situations no one else is able to solve. Only one thing could stand in the way of the agents success—his or her own desires for permanent companionship.

Tagline: Who would’ve thought that a British hit man would fall in lust at first sight with an American felon? This desire could become deadly for both.


Aiden Moriarty is a Florida ‘herbalist’ who developed a performance enhancing drug many athletes have used. One of them is baseball star Ivan Salerno, who was caught using the drugs and is now on the brink of getting suspended. Because of Ivan’s connections with a rogue mob boss, Aiden is taken into a witness protection program, working along with baseball higher ups until he testifies.

The mob boss, Augustine Ora, has hired former British military officer and his best hitman, Devlin ‘Brit’ Crawford, to do the job. Ora has instructed Devlin to go to Miami, kidnap Aiden and take him to the local airport to be transported to Havana ,Cuba, to be executed by Ora’s top officers.

However, when Devlin receives the email, the pictures of the blue-eyed felon catch his eye and he is moved to go in a different direction. Instead of delivering Aiden to the airport, he has thoughts of taking him away and saving him from Ora’s wrath.

This move puts him, Aiden, as well as his assistant Miranda Ashley in huge danger. Will Devlin keep Aiden safe despite the odds or will he fail, causing Ora and his men come after him?
Pride Publishing               Amazon                 Barnes and Noble


“Um.” Aiden cleared his throat, hoping Miranda didn’t have a quick trigger finger. “I know it’s a risk what you’re doing—a huge one—but I can make it worth your while. I really can. And, uh, after the talk we had in the car—”
“You were thinking we could have something, hmm?”
Aiden swallowed hard and looked down at his feet. He clasped his hands together as if he was praying for something. “We could if you don’t deliver me to Ora.”
“Aw, isn’t that so cute, D? The American is begging you to spare him. He’s so adorable. Don’t let that overweight sonofabitch win, yeah? You need someone and hell, you’ve been saying how much you’ve wanted to get away from Ora for a while.”
“True, very true. See, Aiden? It’s not really all about you. My bird is right when she says I need a chap in my life. However, my reason for keeping you away is more about being a rebel. I haven’t been happy with the way Ora does things for quite a while. Additionally, I’d like to see that cheater Salerno go down in flames, because I don’t really like cheaters.”
“Neither do I,” Aiden responded.
“But you helped these men get ahead with drugs so, obviously, you take no real issue with it.”
“Yeah I do.” Aiden laughed nervously. “I just wanted to do something different and make some cash.That’s all. Hey, if you keep me alive, you can help me expose him and Engel, too. I’ve got no doubt the guy may be working for Ora—or even Salerno.”
“You might be right there, but the question still remains…” The man walked closer to Aiden, still mostly naked. He dragged his finger over Aiden’s forehead and twirled one of his curls around the tip. “Is the cause to bring a cheater down and have a good-looking American on my arm worth my life and the money Ora has offered me?”
Aiden’s eyes met his kidnapper’s deep brown gaze. His breath caught in his chest while he got lost in the man’s heated stare. His heart thumped against his ribs and his cock, already hard, strained in his underwear.He stuttered, “I-I’d say, yeah.”
He raked Aiden’s hair away from his eyes. “Of course you would.”He flashed a pearly white smile and swiped his tongue over his lips.
Dear God!
Watching Brit’s sexy gesture, Aiden’s erection grew more. If this man didn’t have a pistol pointed at his temple, he’d grab Brit and plunge his tongue down his throat.
“Miranda, let the man take a bath and get ready to move. We’ll be going to Miami very soon.”
Just that statement caused Aiden’s erection to deflate, and his heart sank. The thought of his impending doom made his gut twist in ways he couldn’t explain.
Miranda clicked her teeth and frowned. “But, D?”
Now, Miranda. No buts, right? This is my life on the line for someone I don’t even know. Like I said, I can get a real nice bang at home for what he’s paying me. And you never know—something real might come out of that, hmm?”

Monday, 28 September 2015

THE MINIATURIST by Jessie Burton

THE MINIATURIST by Jessie Burton
Pages: 424
Date: September 27, 2015
Grade: 4-
Details: Reading Group Read
Paperback / Own

The blurb:

"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed..."

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

My thoughts:

The book starts with the funeral of an unnamed but, according to the narrator, unpopular person as observed by an unnamed woman who, after other attendees have left, leaves a miniature of a house at the grave before deciding she has to leave.

When the story proper start it is 1686, about three months prior to the funeral described in the prologue and what we get of course are the events leading up to that hasty funeral, be it they’re no longer narrated from the same perspective. The full story comes to us courtesy of Petronella Oortman – Brandt, who arrives in Amsterdam to join her new husband, full of hopes and dreams only to soon discover that reality doesn’t live up them. Nobody in her new family is exactly who or what she expected to find and it’s only a matter of days before her expectations are drowned in realities and secrets.

The gift of the miniature house is strange in and of itself. Nella would rather welcome her husband to their wedding bed – as much as the idea scares her – than be given a toy. But as soon as the miniatures to fill the house start arriving it becomes clear to both the reader and Nella that something mysterious is going on. The person making the miniatures seems to know things about the inhabitants of the house on the Herengracht which nobody should be able to know. What’s more, the miniatures are foreshadowing events in a most macabre way. It isn’t long before Nella is torn between obsession and repulsion, both of which are fuelled by the fact that the miniaturist remains elusive while apparently present everywhere.

What follows is a rather sad tale of what happens when social mores are in conflict with personal preferences, especially during a time in which religion more or less determined how people could and couldn’t behave. It is more than that though, this is also the story of Nella’s coming of age – as her new life falls apart around her ears Nell has to learn new skills, find new strengths and reassess many of the preconceptions she grew up with.

For me personally the most fascinating part of this book was spending time in Amsterdam in the 17th century. So much and yet so little has changed. You could walk through Amsterdam’s city centre today with this book as your guide and the canals and roads would still be more or less as described on these pages. I also learned one or two things about the history of Amsterdam I hadn’t been aware off. For example, I didn’t know that in the past personal addresses were distinguished by markings on the houses – such as a sun for the miniaturist.

I also liked that the story deals with topics that were (and for some still are) controversial up until recently. I don’t want to go into exactly what those topics are because that would give away too much of the story, but it was fascinating, if difficult, to look at them from an historic perspective.

I find myself a bit torn about the way language was used in this book. While the formal way in which the story was told made it feel more authentic and period appropriate, it also became a bit overwhelming. And while I personally had no issues with the use of (old) Dutch words and terms in the book, I can easily imagine that it might be tiresome for non-Dutch speakers to have to refer to the glossary at the end on several occasions.

I did have one huge issue with this book and that’s the way it ended. While this book was well written, mesmerising and intriguing, the ending left me unsatisfied. I always enjoy it when a book allows me to embroider on the story after the last chapter. This book however left me with too many unanswered questions. I had no idea what the future might look like for any of the characters or how they might be able to pull any sort of future off for themselves. Not to mention that the main mystery in this book never really got resolved. Again, it’s impossible to say more without resorting to spoilers, so I won’t, but it did leave me feeling disappointed.

My overall verdict therefore is as follows. This was a well written, well research and fascinating story, although not always easy to read. It also left me feeling somewhat short changed by the time the story ended, which is a shame because until that point this book was heading for a solid five star rating.

Monday, 21 September 2015

SUMMER HEAT by Tantalus

SUMMER HEAT by Tantalus

Pages: 21
Date: September 20, 2015

The blurb:

“Pete and his hunky bear of a neighbour, Damon, are always competing about something. So when Damon makes a bet on the outcome of their next poker game, Pete is up for it, even if the terms are a little…unusual. 

If Damon wins, he gets to do Whatever. He. Wants. 

Only thing is, Pete has no idea that Damon has a dark side…”

My thoughts:

Summer Heat is more of a scene than a book, but boy, as scenes go, this one rocks.
As the blurb states, if Damon wins, he gets to do ‘Whatever. He. Wants.’ It won’t surprise anyone to hear that Damon does indeed win and that ‘Whatever. He. Wants.’ is not at all what Pete expected; or rather goes way beyond anything Pete might have imagines. And Damon’s dark side isn’t the only surprise Pete is in for after he loses his bet. Maybe he didn’t know himself quite as well as he thought either.

I really don’t want to say anything else about what happens on these twenty-one steaming hot pages. This is erotica at its finest. There is just enough background story and dialogue to give the reader an idea of who these men are but both of these are neatly and cleverly packaged in the sexy scene these two men perform.

The writing is smooth and the descriptions are graphic and enticing making this book the ideal read if you happen to be in the mood for a quick sexy read.

I can only hope Summer Heat is the first of many encounters between these two men. Seems to me Damon has a lot more in store for Pete and I would love to be present for each and every one of Pete’s steps as he makes his way towards the ‘dark side’. 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Submitting to the Darkness by K.C. Wells


Pages: 278
Date: September 19, 2015
Details: No. 3 Island Tales       
             ARC received from the Author

The blurb:

Three weeks after being diagnosed with acute glaucoma, Adam Kent lost his vision. Two months down the line, and he’s left behind his life in London as an author of political history books and retreated to the Isle of Wight, to live in the house he inherited in Steephill Cove. But that’s not all Adam’s left behind him: the trappings of his life as a Dom are packed away into three boxes and stored in his attic. After all, he’s never going to need them again, right? Who’d want a blind Dom anyway?

Paul Vaughan is employed to be a live-in companion to Adam, but his new employer makes it very clear he wants to be left alone. Paul can see Adam is hurting and struggles to help him, even though Adam resists him at every turn. Thankfully, Paul’s friends Taylor, Mark and Sam are there to lend an ear when he needs to vent – and also to try setting him up with a guy or two. It’s not that Paul doesn’t appreciate their efforts, but the guys they keep sending his way are way too… nice. A chance visit to a club had already shown Paul a side to him he’d never expected: maybe his tastes are a little kinkier.

Two events occur to rock Paul’s life: he discovers his boss isn’t as straight as Paul had thought, and he takes a peek into a box….

My thoughts:

My second book by K.C. Wells in as many weeks and it is another winner. Unlike First, Submitting to the Darkness doesn’t quite reach the levels of ‘extra special’ for me, but it sure comes close.

This book gave me two characters I could relate to. Paul Vaughn is kind, good hearted and not altogether sure of himself. While he may be curious about submission and playing with the thought that he might to explore that, he is nobody’s pushover and stands up for himself and what he knows is right just as easily as he’ll push his own needs away when he feels somebody else’s needs are more urgent. All of these qualities make him the perfect caregiver for Adam Kent.

When the book starts Adam is the polar opposite of Paul. Cantankerous, easily irritated and angry with his body and the unfairness of life in general, he just wants to be left alone so he can wallow in his depression. This might have made him a horrible character, except that his feelings and reactions make perfect sense. Of course Adam is upset and angry. He lost his eye-sight over the course of three weeks and as far as he’s concerned, the rest of his life went with it. How can he be independent, a writer or a Dom if he can’t see? He’s made up his mind that he’s better off on his own and determined to make sure nobody sticks around to try and take care of him. Of course, he wasn’t prepared to come up against a force named Paul.

I loved the way Paul’s quiet determination slowly but carefully coaxed Adam out of his depression. Maybe Adam has to push his way through anger before he can start on the road to recovery, but Paul is prepared for that – even if knowing what is happening and why doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to deal with unreasonable outbursts or the conflicting signals Adam is sending him.

I loved the process these two men went through. I hurt for them when they thought they were wrong for each other while I, the reader knew, exactly how perfect their fit was. And I adore the way that particular issue was resolved.

I should probably say something about the title, because I think it was rather cleverly chosen. Paul has caught a glimpse of the world of BDSM and thinks he might be interested in a closer look at what he privately calls ‘the dark side’. So, does the title refer to his journey down that particular road? Or does the title reflect Adam’s very literal need to submit to the darkness which has surrounded him ever since he lost his eyesight? I won’t tell, of course, but I will say that I liked the way this title and all its nuances played out in the book.

And then there is something I’ve loved in most if not all of K.C Wells’s books This lady is a genius when it comes to giving the reader angst which is neither contrived nor drawn out. In fact, in this book it wasn’t the conflict itself that had me on the edge of my seat but rather the certainty that conflict was coming - and knowing exactly why - while not knowing what form it would take and how long it might take Adam and Paul to fix the issue. For me, who isn’t a huge fan of angst, it was a perfect scenario.

And then I come to the heat levels in this book. I’ve read plenty of hot books in the past. This has been the first time ever I’ve felt the need to contact the author mid-read and have the following conversation (and this is an exact copy from Facebook messages):

Woman, that book of yours needs to come with a health warning. Js


I'm sure I don't know what you mean.....

Let's put it this way. Yesterday afternoon, flying back to Ireland ad reading Submitting to the Darkness I had a thought I've never had before; as in, 'just as well I'm not a man and don't have a cock'.


That would have been very uncomfortable. Especially since I was wearing tight trousers.

So yeah, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had to take my time reading it because of other commitments but knowing the story was waiting for me gave me something good to look forward while I went about my business. In K.C. Wells I may have found the M/M romance writer who comes closest to my personal set of reading requirements, which makes me a very lucky, happy and satisfied reader.


Friday, 18 September 2015

PAINT THE SKY by Lily G Blunt: Audio Book Promotion

Paint the Sky



Lily G Blunt

Narrated by Joel Leslie

Paint the Sky audible Cover

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Listening Length: 6 hours and 4 minutes

Program Type: Audiobook

Version: Unabridged

Publisher: Lily G Blunt Release Date: 3 Sept. 2015

Language: English

Not an Audible member?

If you sign up to Audible for at least two months and Paint the Sky is your first purchase
my narrator and I will receive a bonus payment.

Currently you can receive one month's membership with 1 FREE credit.

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A love of art... 

 A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment. 

 Starry, starry night... 

 Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest... and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas. 

 But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads. 

 Hold tight to your dreams... 

 Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

Paint the Sky E-Book Cover

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About the Audiobook Narrator

Joel Leslie was a pleasure to work with throughout.

I love his narration of my story and the way he brought the various characters to life.

Check out his others works here.

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Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I'll paint you.” 

  As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.

Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver. 

  Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch. 

  And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.

This was the beginning of something special.

Paint the Sky Facebook Cover Art copy


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I'm offering a choice of either a signed paperback copy of Paint the Sky, an A5 or A6 notebook with a Paint the Sky cover to three lucky winners.

To enter the giveaway please comment on the post on Lily G Blunt's blog saying which of the three gifts you would prefer.

Three winners will be randomly chosen on 3rd October when the
Paint the Sky Audiobook Blog Tour has finished.

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Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon. She later published short stories with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing. Lily is excited about joining Pride Publishing for her upcoming story, The Handyman Can.

Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all. She was recently a steward for Pride in London.

Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney.

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Thursday, 17 September 2015

An Interview with Michael Ampersant, Author of Green erotic novel (sort-of).

Michael Ampersant: Green Eyes --- an erotic novel (sort-of)

Amazon link:

I featured Michael Ampersant before, in our series about bilingual writers, and there he is again, having now published his first novel, the GREEN EYES.


Is there anything wrong with your book?


Your “sort-of” in the title, why is that?

It’s M/M romance, trust me. At least, it’s constructed as M/M romance. Expectation are met. There’s a pure HEA ending, with John and Alex, the main protagonists…

…spoiler-alert, spoiler-alert…

…embracing in front of the crowd of the gay beach of Georgia Beach, GA, people applauding, it’s a bit over the top, in fact.


My aim was to make the reader really happy. Most readers of M/M romance will be used to happy endings, we can assume…


and so we had to do something special, I felt. When you watch the crowd leaving the cinema, having just finished watching a good action comedy, say---those are the best when it comes to happy endings---the crowd leaving the cinema, there’s a victorious, lustful simper on each face. The feel-good that underlies these simpers, that’s what I’m trying to achieve.


Yes, feel-good, unapologetically.



The “sort-of,” in the title what does it mean, then?

The book is a bit untypical in someother respects.

The high-low voice in which it is written?

Yes, that’s perhaps the most important aspect. A stand-up artist could speak like this into his mike. I hope. Most parts of the text.

You did this intentionally?

No, it seemed the natural way to position John, the narrator, in some convicing way, create some sense of double-sense.


Or irony. John is really stricken, stricken with Alex, the main object of desire, but also stricken with his destiny, the way he bumbles along, seredipitously, always on the edge of sheer slapstick, and yet, he’s serious, and the story is serious, people really get killed, ditched, there’s a lot of hurt, not less than in any bona-fide romance without “sort-of” in the title.

How about sex?

We’re covered. Six percent of the text is explicit sex. That’s roughly the percentage of time people spend per day thinking about sex.

Heat level?

We’ll let me say it this way. Tom of Finland, the erotic drawsman, his principle was: if it doesn’t arouse, it’s no good.

So, you write to arouse.

Sure, people wanna have fun, don’t they.

It’s pure M/M.

No-no, John starts his own excort service, having been inspired by an chance encounter with two desperate housewives. Motto: “Consenting adults, unite.”

So it’s what, M/M/F?

In Part I, the book we’re talking about, the m/f thing is just sex, escort work. But we’re anticipating Part II of the series already, where we’ll have at least one story line of Romeo-Juliet proportions, emotionally, played out by two characters surprisingly called Romeo and Juliette. The first part, when it comes to emotional engagement, it’s M/M/m or M/M/m/m, because John is trolling. He can’t help it.

Anything else?

Anything else what?

Non-standard, “sort-of”?

There’s a political angle. John’s a liberal, in the American sense of the word, and we have a cameo-appearance of Paul Krugman, the leading thinker of the American left.

Paul Krugman is real?

Yes, Nobel prize of Economics, New York Times columnist. And we have the Tea Party. John’s father turns out to be a member of the Tea Party. John and his father exchange 
views about the gov’ment.

The gov’ment?

Yes, the gov’ment. If you didn’t know, the “gov’ment” is the problem.

Why not goVERNment.

We’ll John’s Tea-Party father manages to quote an entire page---with some  editorial modifications---an entire page of the book of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s book, a tirade of of Huck’s redneck father against the gov’ment and against the n’s of course.


Yes, the people to which the N-word was appliedthen (and still is).


The point being that this whole thing about “the government is the problem”---it’s usually attributed to Ronald Reagan these days, but it goes back much further. It has been a classical redneck position, even during the 19th century, when typical rednecks would come out in support of slavery and what not. There’s a lot of continuity there.

Mark Twain?

I read Tom Sawyer twenty times as a boy. If there’s a writer who has influenced me, it would be Mark Twain.

You do have literary pretensions?

Depends what that means. I make an effort, style-wise, the reason being that I’m very impatient.


The concept of a page-turner, you know, for me it’s not enough that the plot keeps me going, I need constant stimuli to continue reading, more than a plot---any plot---could provide. The additional stimuli, that’s style, a good turn of phrase, a clever simile, something funny. I revise endlessly. I love revising. It’s my favorite activity, always has been.

But this is your first novel?

Yes, but not my first book. I’ve been an academic, I wrote academic books.

Why the switch to fiction?

I didn’t intend to write this book, in fact. I started a new blog, on Blogger, the Google platform, and converted it to the then-new Dynamic View. And then blog froze (it’s in Chapter 19 of the Green Eyes). Three months later, I tried again, and the blog unfroze, and first thing, I posted a picture by Joe Phillips, “Latino Boy,” the picture on the cover of the book. And then I thought, let’s add a story to the picture. That became Chapter 1. It ended on a cliffhanger, the story. So I had to continue, wrote another short piece, which also ended on a cliffhanger. I soon realized I had the material for a book. Everything was sheer coincidence. The book is set in Georgia because of the Palmetto trees on Joe’s picture, and so on.

But now you are working on Part II?

Yes, because I fell in love with the characters. I distributed my personality over John, Alex, and a third guy, Maurice, and then embellished them, the characters, made them smarter (Alex in particular), younger, better looking (much better looking), and voila. And now they have sex all the time, and fall in love, and so on. It’s fun. It’s fun to write about sex.

How far are you with Part II?

Well, we need another spoiler alert here…

…spoiler alert…

Alex labors under a clinical depression, intially, and he will attempt suicide. He’s saved, of course, and when he wakes up with amnesia, his personal memory is gone, including the memory of his depression. He feels so relieved, he develops the theory that he has succeeded suicidally and arrived in heaven. “This Is Heaven” is the title of the second part. But it’s a fairly special kind of heaven. In particular, it’s a vampire festival, the yearly jamboree of Georgia Beach themed to the undead at this occasion. Alex and John get involved in this festival.

Alex and John will stay together?

Yes, sure, but John will continue to troll.

This could go on for quite some time.

Yes, hopefully. Alex will morph into a neo-neo Sherlock Holmes, bodily fluids will continue to flow, etc.

Any other projects?

I’ve started a Young Adult novel, set in a non-standard future.

Non-standard again?

Yes, because in my future, Einstein’s natural laws still hold. There won’t be much intergalactic space travel because of the limits that the speed of light imposes on acceleration; we won’t even have laser swords. But we have robots. They’ve become so smart, the robots, there’s nothing left to do for humans. We look at a world society that is extremely rich, leasurely, and decadent. There’s one dissident corner of the planet, however, that hasn’t kept up with the general progress, the United States under God, located somewhere in the Middle East. My hero, Xandara, a 16-old girl, has somehow escaped from the USG, and been adopted by “The Senator,” a member of the World 
Government. She misses her brother. You see it coming.

A last word?

I’d suggest people should read the blurb of the GREEN EYES. If they arrive at the end, they’ll like the book.

Michael’s web site:

Author revising the manuscript

The blurb:

Alpha males, delicate souls, and a killer-psychopath hit it off in an impossible scramble for the last happy ending.

Yes, the GREEN EYES take you on a roller-coaster ride of gay romance (“When bipolar John meets mesmerizing Alex in the cruising area of Georgia Beach, little does he know about Alex’s haunted past…”). And, yes, the book is about lithe, tapered bodies, perfect abs, and outsized male organs. It’s about love. And hurt. And murder. And redemption. Glands fire. People talk during intercourse. There’s a hilarious supporting cast. Expectations are met.

Yet we do more. We have Nobel laureates. We have an even-handed discussion of the orthographic skills of the Tea Party (“No pubic option”). We have educational content about the mysteries of vasocongestion. We have neologisms (“Ikea moment,” “Armani minimum”).You learn about the 302 neurons that constitute the brain of a microscopic worm---and how this all relates to the IQ of John’s hated, child-abusing father.

You participate in an in-flagrante masterclass. You get a hitchhiker’s guide to gay sex.You learn about the unheard-of provisions still on the Georgia books prohibiting all but intra-marriage intercourse (Title 16, Ch. 6). You hear about Torre’s observation (“The other line is moving faster”). You’ll be amazed by our avant-garde art and music, or by the voracious appetites of two desperate housewives (“Consenting adults, unite”). We have secret drugs, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Albert Camus, Mark Twain, and countable near-death experiences. Pizzas are undercooked. Our bears (hairy middle-aged homosexuals) are ticklish. And there’s a table of contents.

Are you still there? Then you will like the book.