EXCERPT: Murder at the Green Lantern – A Gay Mystery/Thriller by Alex Morgan

MURDER AT THE GREEN LANTERN

by Alex Morgan

Release date: 9 July 2014

ISBN: 978-1-925180-13-8

Sub-Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Series, Short Story/Novella, Thriller/Horror,

Length: 41,700 words

Formats available: e-book only

Blurb:

After a fetish party at a gay bar in Washington, DC, a young man is murdered and left nailed to a St. Andrew’s cross. Paranormal gay sleuth Corey Shaw thinks someone has passed a divine judgment on him, and may be sending a signal to other gays in the city. The mystery leads him on a trail from a leather bar in the nation’s capital, to Boston, and to the hallowed halls of the U.S. Senate.

Following on from his first mystery Breathless, Corey Shaw returns for more erotically-charged thrills and steamy suspense.

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Excerpt:

As Corey looked into the room beyond, his breath caught in his throat at the horrific scene just a few feet inside the glass. The young man nailed to the St. Andrew’s cross was naked and blood from a huge gash in his throat drenched the lean muscular body. Nails had been driven through this wrists and feet, which were also bloodied. Corey sickened at the sight of the poor soul.

“We’re calling the night crew to see if they saw or heard anything when they closed,” the detective said when Corey returned to the first floor. “Maybe someone remembers him from last night.”

“I saw him.”

Detective Nash whirled around on him. “You did?”

“For a while,” he answered. “I remember him very well. He was flirting with everyone, including me. Asking for drinks and suggesting that he may reciprocate, if you get my drift.” That memory now seemed to be years ago and the fresh face of the young man was a stark contrast to the ghostly white specter he just saw.

“Not really.”

“Buy him a drink and he may go home with you.” Corey turned to face the detective squarely in the eyes. He understood. This was no mere wallflower. The victim made himself an easy target. If he teased someone and then rejected him, that could provoke a murderous ire in some people.

“Did you buy him a drink?”

Corey glanced at him sharply. That was an inappropriate remark from one law enforcement officer to another. But the detective’s expression showed Corey that he meant no disrespect. Just curiosity. Or was it something else? His earlier question about the Psionic Corps’ interest in the case hinted that he may have misgivings about Corey’s paranormal abilities.

That’s it, Corey thought. Since by his own admission at being at the scene of a crime shortly before it occurred, the detective considered him to be a suspect. He was not offended, because he would be suspicious if the positions were reversed.

“He was so plastered by the time he made it to me, he could barely stand up. I’m not picking up a drunk no matter how cute he is.” Corey spoke matter-of-factly so Nash could get the point. He could tell by the slight change in the detective’s posture and the tone of his voice, Corey thought he did. Even after his stout denial, he didn’t look placated.  “But plenty of other guys did.”

“If he was so drunk, why didn’t you offer to take him home instead of having him drive?” Detective Nash asked in a mean voice.

“I’m not a taxi service, detective. He wasn’t showing any indication he wanted to leave, certainly not unaccompanied. I knew he’d find a ride. In more ways than one.”

“Maybe he did but with the wrong person,” Nash grumbled.

Now he’s shifting his anger and judgment to the victim, Corey thought. “He may not have found someone at all.”

“I doubt if they would’ve closed up if there were still customers in the bar, so he must’ve left with someone, who brought him back here and murdered him.”

“It’s too soon to be jumping to conclusions like that,” Corey said, surprised that Nash made the comment.

“So you think it wasn’t someone here at the Green Lantern?” the detective snapped.

“I’m just saying we can’t limit our search to the guys that were here last night, detective.” Corey responded.

The interrogation of Chauncey was finished and he stood behind the bar as Corey approached. He hurried over, extending his hand. “Hi, I’m Chauncey Avant the manager of the Green Lantern. Did I see you here last night?”

Corey introduced himself and Chauncey’s eyes grew wide in surprise when he heard the Psionic Officer title.

“Do you recognize the victim?”

Chauncey shook his head. “I didn’t see his face.” He shuddered at the recollection. “As soon as I saw…him, I ran out of the room and dialed 911.”

“Remember the skinny twink wearing only red gym shorts and the Celtic knot work tattoo around his right bicep?”

Chauncey searched his memory.  “You mean Aiden?”

“Maybe. He didn’t introduce himself to me. Are there many other guys that come in here dressed like that with that tattoo?” Corey gave him a minute.

“It’s gotta be him then.” The manager choked a little as he lowered his head.

“I take it he was a regular?”

“Almost every weekend.” Chauncey pulled himself together. He wasn’t trembling any more.

“Did you know him well?”

“Not outside of the Green Lantern. I only knew him as Aiden. I’m sure there are plenty of guys that know him better.”

Of that, I have no doubt, Corey mused. “I noticed that he was very popular.” He emphasized the last word with raised eyebrows.

“If you mean ‘slut’, yes. He was always bragging about how many men he slept with,” Chauncey said sneering. “I don’t think he ever brought money with him. He always wore those skimpy shorts that obviously didn’t have a place for his wallet. He could get anyone to pay for his drinks. All he’d do is rub that flat stomach and his crotch up against them and he got what he wanted.”

“Did he ever return the favor? Like he intimated to me?” Corey wasn’t ready to admit he almost fell for Aiden’s game.

Chauncey brushed some imaginary crumbs off the bar. “Yes and no. Aiden liked to tease the older guys, the uglier ones, the ones he thought didn’t have a chance in hell of getting picked up. He’d make them think they could take him home, but usually he went after the young, good-looking guys. The muscular, beefy men. Those were the ones he left with.”

Purchase at Wilde City Press:

http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-erotica/murder-at-the-green-lantern/#.U9O_qzd0zIU

 

Murder at the Green Lantern is the second novel in the Corey Shaw mystery series by Alex Morgan

http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-erotica/breathless/#.U9PDKTd0zIU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debut Author, Rafe Haze, Discusses his Influence Writing the Gay “Rear Window”

Interviewed by Jon Michaelsen  © 2014

 

Rafe, thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for members of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook group. 

Let’s start off with, where do you live?

I live on the West side of New York City – right off Times Square.

RafeHaze

Without getting too personal, would you share a little about your home life?

Raised as a Christian Scientist in the San Francisco Bay Area.  My father died when I was young.  My older brother died when I was a little older.  My twin brother and I were pretty rambunctious, imaginative kids.  The entire length and breadth of Berkeley Tilden Park was our playground – and we fully explored ever nook and cranny of that park.  We had eight cats and three dogs.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? 

What first comes to mind was teaching six years of Meisner Technique of Acting.  The surprising accomplishment was in finding my ability to help others find their truths.  I think my life and my awareness was at its most pristine and expansive, and I always view it as a pinnacle period of my life.

You’ve probably answered this question a hundred times, but please indulge as our readers and fellow writers would like to know; Do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing or plot out your storylines?

I love improvisation when I write – but first I need the structure of a good skeletal plot to hold it all together.  Once that’s solidified, I can ride the wild ride of spirals within spirals and flumes of improvisation.  But let’s be honest, I’ve only written one novel so I’ve no repeated process at all!

After your books(s) are released featuring MCs who are gay, have you ever had to deal with homophobia and/or bigotry? In what form(s)?

No homophobia in my world, thankfully.  What I have had to deal with is my own heterophobia. I’ve misjudged straight friends as too conservative or straight to appreciate gay subjects, characters, and eroticism.  But what I’ve found is that so many straight folks today are far more open than the ones I grew up with – men and women.  It’s a good lesson to learn.

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Your debut novel, “The Next” is best described as a mystery, thriller, yet the suspense is palatable. How does it feel to be getting so much attention for your first novel?

I wrote “The Next” as a process of digging myself out of an emotional hole I was in.  I was going to complete it whether or not it ever got published.  Once I got out of that hole, I felt like I’d woken up from a dream.  I hardly remember having written it.  All the talk and buzz is thrilling, but I feel like I’m in the audience hearing all the applause for someone else on stage.  Another person is in the lights taking a bow.   I hear this commonly the feeling a lot of authors feel.

Readers have gushed about “The Next”, with reviews via Amazon proclaiming; “Best Book I’ve Read this Year!”, “Stunning”, “Deceptively, deliciously complex”, “Dark Addictive Read”…and so on. Even ultra-popular reviewer, Amos Lassen, claimed, “Not only is it a clever plot, it is masterly written”. When did you first have the plot worked out and how long did it take you to write the novel?

Fortunately, the movie Rear Window spelled out the major plot framework.  However, once I decided that my MC was going to be incapacitated by depression rather than a broken leg, it opened up plot developments and flashbacks that informed and intensified the suspense.  This, in turn, personalized the story and energized the writing exponentially.  Thus the flow started gushing and then became a torrent.  I started in January 2013, and finished in June 2013.

The cover says “A gay Rear Window on a caffeine overload”. I’ve heard mentioned more than once, your novel reminds readers of the Alfred Hitchcock directed film from 1954, “Rear Window”, starring James “Jimmy” Stewart; Did the film have any influence on you penning “The Next”?

Aside from a similar plot framework, I mostly turned to Rear Window for comfort.  It’s always been my “sick” film – the movie I pop in when I’ve got a cold or a flu.  For my first novel, I asked myself, “Why not make the writing process a little more enjoyable and easier by referencing something you love?”

The protagonist featured in “The Next” is an agoraphobic in New York City who we never get to know by name, yet his story is told in first-person, so readers get an intensely personal account of what it’s like to be him. Was the MC difficult for you to write? Are any of the MC’s personal struggles and challenges culled from your life experiences or someone you know?    

To be concise:  the MC was easy to write BECAUSE it was culled from so many of my personal life experiences.  To protect my family, I won’t go into detail here.  But I will say that the process of being truthful for this particular novel and the particular evolution of this MC is an integral part of what gives the “The Next” its power, vulnerability, and heart.

RafeHaze2

Last question; can you share with us a little about your current release and/or WIP?

I’m writing “Sky on Fire” – a romance that takes place in the world of urban country dancing.  Because this f**cker is also intensely biographical and because I’m the son-of-a-bitch that I am, it will not fall into all the traditional strictures of pure Romance with a capital R.  There’s a lot in this book that readers may never have experienced before – at least not in romances I’ve yet read.

On behalf of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook Group, thank you so much for sharing your time with us and answering questions fans of the genre would like to know.

 

Find Rafe Haze on the web:

www.rafehaze.com

 

 

 

 

Light, Fun & Entertaining Mystery Series; Author Haley Walsh has got you covered!

Interviewed by Jon Michaelsen  © 2014

 

Haley, thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for members of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook group. 

Thank you so much for having me!

Let’s start off with, where do you live?

I live in the Inland Empire of southern California, not too far from where my protagonist, Skyler Foxe lives. It’s one of the more conservative areas of southern California and to set an LGBT mystery in this region allowed me to poke at some of the right wing attitudes I find so prevalent and so distasteful.

Without getting too personal, would you share a little about your home life?

I am a heterosexual woman married to the love of my life. My son is grown and out of the house and we are happy empty-nesters. My hubby reads everything I write and loves Skyler as much as I do (he’s a very naughty boy). I also write a series of medieval mysteries and you can see that here: www.JeriWesterson.com. I’ve got two cats, a tortoise, and a bevy of bees (yes, we are accidental beekeepers). Hubby and I love to do gourmet cooking, and he is a winemaker and award-winning homebrewer. In fact, we just tore out our water-thirsty front lawn and put in vineyard. There’s a story in the local paper about it here: http://www.myvalleynews.com/story/79012/

I used to have more hobbies—wood carving, painting, building birdhouses—but I don’t really have time for it anymore. We do a lot of camping and love to travel.

foxetail

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? 

My son is pretty great, so he’s quite an accomplishment. Instead of a real job he is working on being a screenwriter and he’s very good. But I can only take so much credit for that. I supposed getting published in two different genres is awesome. (Now I’m working on a third, urban fantasy http://www.jeriwesterson.com/booke-of-the-hidden) It took me over a decade to get that contract and it’s still a struggle to keep publishing. But there are all sorts of venues open to authors now and I am a happy hybrid, going traditional as well as self-publishing.

You’ve probably answered this question a hundred times, but please indulge as our readers and fellow writers would like to know; Do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing or plot out your storylines?

Being a woman of a certain age, I find that I can’t remember things like I used to. If I don’t write it down right away the Muse will leave the building. So I write everything down I can think of. I outline, chapter by chapter, just a paragraph of the main things that need to happen per chapter. And yes, I diverge from it all the time. I also keep a little spiral notebook of each novel where I keep research, notes, bits of dialogue, and scene ideas, as well as using it as a brain storming platform to argue with myself on points of plot. It’s a great tool suggested to me by Sue Grafton. (Yes, I know her. Wish I knew her better!)

After your books(s) are released featuring MCs who are gay, have you ever had to deal with homophobia and/or bigotry? In what forms?

No, but ironically, sometimes I get a little grief from gay men for being a het woman and writing about gay men, as if a woman writer can’t get into the head of, well, anyone not herself. And yet it’s never much of an issue in any other genre. With my mainstream medieval mysteries, my protagonists are also men, but few suggest that I can’t get into their heads. In fact, men enjoy the writing and don’t complain that the characterizations are unrealistic. This can be the subject of a very long interview, but the argument that women have no business writing about LGBT characters is ludicrous. Personally, I don’t judge my reading choices on the gender, race, or sexual orientation of the author. As long as the voices are authentic in the story, there’s no beef.

Readers know you best from your very entertaining, light and fun mystery series known as the Skyler Foxe Mysteries series; Starting in 2010 with the debut novel, “Foxe Tail”. In four short years, the series has amassed a loyal following – did you ever expect the series to become so popular?

I hoped it would. I wanted to write something fun and funny and more light-hearted than a lot of LGBT novels out there. Isn’t there enough angst in our real lives? And because my medieval mysteries are darker and so dense with prose with a lot of time spent on deep research, I just wanted to write something light and entirely different. My gay friends encouraged me, pretty much telling me they wanted something fun with some happy endings. People who have met me always wondered aloud why I didn’t write something funny. Here’s my answer.

I’ve read a couple of the Skyler Foxe series (#2 and #3) and have to say, the plots involving High School English Lit teacher, Skyler Foxe, remind me of reading the Tom Mason (Tom & Scott) mysteries all those years ago by Mark Zubro, a pioneer in the genre. Like Tom Mason, Skyler is a High School teacher who stumbles into sleuthing. However, all similarities end there. How do you feel about being compared to Zubro?

It’s a tremendous compliment! Mark’s been writing these a long time when even mainstream publishers had LGBT imprints. No more! When I began devising Skyler, I was working with kids and teens in my day job and I wanted him to be a teacher, and the only thing I felt I knew well besides history was English Lit, so that’s what he became. I was able to incorporate what I knew then of teen life into the books. My son was also in high school at the time and most of the main plot ideas came right out of what was happening at his school! Really!

Being honest here, after I started writing Skyler, I heard about Mark’s books but I decided not to read them. I didn’t want to be unduly influenced by them or their plots. Any similarity is completely coincidental.

An amateur sleuth series is a tough thing. Why would anyone who isn’t a cop investigate a murder? It’s not logical. But it is a beloved subgenre of mystery and it is up to the writer to find a probable reason for the amateur to do the sleuthing. Perhaps there is a little suspension of disbelief on the behalf of the reader, but if we are all in on it, it can be a fun ride.

Outfoxed

If the Skyler Foxe Mysteries series were to become an HBO mini-series, who would you want to play Skyler Foxe? Coach Keith Fletcher?

I would so love that to happen! Heck, I’d even take Starz! And believe it or not, I haven’t got a clue as to who should play them. Any ideas from reader would be great.

With four and a half books published to date in the Skyler Foxe Mysteries series, what does the future hold for Skyler and Keith? Will they ever get married?

I started writing the first book in 2005, but put it aside to concentrate on writing and marketing my medieval mysteries (it being with one of the now Big 5 publishers), but I really wanted to see it published, so I dusted it off, gave it a sprucing up, and got it out there with MLR Press. So technically, the series is still set in 2010. This is before marriage equality in California. But it’s getting difficult keeping track of things in the so recent past, so I am just sort of creeping it up into the present, even though it’s still within the same timeline. It’s fiction. Go with it.

I’m working on the next in the series, DESERT FOXE where Skyler and the gang go to the White Party in Palm Springs and get mixed up in illegal activities in the local Indian reservation. And following that will be a summer vacation novella, FOXE DEN 2, along the lines of FOXE DEN that had no mystery, but was just a bunch of related stories of “DVD extras.” After that, we’ll see. In my mind they get married, but as to whether I will keep writing the series, I don’t know. They are fun to do, but since I might have two other series a year to write, those might have to take precedence.

Last question; can you share with us a little about your current release and/or WIP?

In the latest release FOXE FIRE, Skyler Foxe is now out and proud, even though a few months ago he had no intention of being so. But since the cat is now out of the bag, he embraces it as well as his boyfriend, head football coach, Keith Fletcher. But who is that good-looking gay parent hanging around Keith, causing mischief at the school as well as in Skyler’s private life? And then someone from Skyler’s past returns, stirring up trouble. Add to that a firebug and suddenly everyone seems up to no good, especially when a smoldering corpse is found outside of the local gay bar. Skyler can’t help himself and he gets up to his old sleuthing tricks once more.

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My WIP, DESERT FOXE, which I hope will get finished in time for a 2014 release, deals with Skyler and the gang going to the annual Palm Springs White Party. But there’re boy troubles of all kinds. One of the SFC might be going solo, Skyler encounters unexpected and unwelcome participants at the party, there’s a murder on the dance floor, and Skyler and Keith are drawn into investigating more than murder in a deep FBI undercover inquiry. How’s that for light and funny?

On behalf of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook Group, thank you so much for sharing your time with us and answering questions fans of the genre would like to know.

Thanks a whole bunch for having me!

 

Find Haley Walsh on the web: http://skylerfoxemysteries.com/

And friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/skylerfoxe.mysteries