CHANGES to DRAWINGS for FREE, SIGNED COPIES of MYSTERY novels; 4-Year Anniversary Celebration Continues!

WE’RE CHANGING IT UP TO HELP CELEBRATE the 4-year Anniversary of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction group, autographed copies of selected Gay & Lesbian mystery novels will be offered up to our devoted members who each will have a chance to win via drawing! Twenty authors and Matthew Moore’s, Buy More Books, contributed over 50 books to give away FREE!!

word murder written with an old typewriter

How Do I Enter to Win?

Easy – just watch for a notice posted in the group to enter and win a SIGNED Copy of one of the titles being offered in the drawings.

Enter – to enter the drawings, simply provide a COMMENT WITH THE TITLE of the mystery novel you want a chance to win FREE. (Likes, etc., will not be considered as entering the drawing since some folks simply like to acknowledge their appreciation for the novel/author featured, etc.)

It’s that simple!

How Long Before Winner Announced? 

That depends. There are over 50 novels to be given away, so I want to give every member in the group a chance to see the drawing, so usually about three-five days depending on activity.

A few rules:

  • Only members of the group can enter the drawing; all members are eligible, including authors – they are readers/fans, too!
  • Members can enter as many drawings as you like, but keep in mind, the goal is to award as many members as possible, so multiple-winning members ay be avoided unless participation in the drawings dictate otherwise.
  • Please do not forward this announcement of the drawings to non-members as they are not eligible at this time. Though I welcome new members to the group, this 4-year birthday celebration is to thank all the current, loyal members of this group.
  • Non-USA contiguous & Canada will receive e-book alternative due to postage costs. Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction is a non-revenue, fan-based group and does not have the funds for the additional postage.
  • Substitutes may not be available, but not guaranteed.

If participation is low, remaining books will be held for later in the year. Any remaining books I have in my possession will be donated to the library of Lost-N-Found Youth, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to take homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths up to age 25 off the street and transition them into more permanent housing.

BOOK PROVIDED BY BUY MOORE BOOKS – (Matthew G. Moore)

Jackson Square Jazz – Greg Herren 

(2) Mardi Gras Mambo – Greg Herren

Bourbon Street Blues – Greg Herren

Murder in the Rue Delphine – Greg Herren 

Flight Dreams – Michael Craft

Bitch Slap – Michael Craft 

Shock to the System – Richard Stevenson

Third Man Out – Richard Stevenson

Death Trick – Richard Stevenson

Why Stop at Vengeance- Richard Stevenson 

(2) Lat Your Sleeping Head – Michael Nava

Assault with a Deadly Lie – Lev Raphael

An Echo of Death – Mark Zubro

Filmed to Death – Meg Perry 

No Escape – Nancy Sanra 

ALL OTHER BOOK TITLES; 

 (2) Pretty Boy Dead (A Kendall Parker Mystery) – Jon Michaelsen

(1) Time’s Rainbow: Writing Ourselves Back into American History (Volume 1)– ed; Lori L Lake & Christopher Hawthorne Moss

Death by Pride – Mark McNease

The Couple Next Door – Rick R. Reed

Criminal Gold Mystery series – Any one of copy of the series – Ann Aptaker

The Laconic Lumberjack (A Nick Williams Mystery – Book 4) – Frank W Butterfield

Hidden Identity – (The Jimmy McSwain Files – Book 1) – Adam Carpenter

Calvin’s Head – David Swatling

(2) A Very Public Eye (Book Two in The Public Eye Mystery Series) – Lori L. Lake

You Can Never Walk Away – Edward Kendrick

Body on Pine – Joseph R. G. DeMarco

Cited to Death – Meg Perry

Stacked to Death – Meg Perry

Researched to Death – Meg Perry

Boystown: Three Nick Nowack Mysteries – Marshall Thornton

Lay Your Sleeping Head – Michael Nava

Fever in the Dark: A Jane Lawless Mystery – Ellen Hart

(2) False Confessions (Doug Orlando Mystery – Book 1) – Steve Neil Johnson

(2) Final Atonement (Doug Orlando Mystery – Book 2) – Steve Neil Johnson

Alien Quest – Mark Zubro

Alien Home – Mark Zubro

Alien Victory – Mark Zubro

A Conspiracy of Fear – Mark Zubro

Pawn of Satan – Mark Zubro

Black and Blue, and Pretty Dead, Too – Mark Zubro

Another Dead Republican – Mark Zubro

Gentle – Mark Zubro

Dying To Play – Mark Zubro

Dying for a Thrill – Mark Zubro

 

Exclusive Excerpt of author Greg Herren’s newest Scotty Bradley Mystery; Garden District Gothic

Garden District Gothic 

by 

Greg Herren

Blurb:

The city of New Orleans was rocked to its very shaky foundations when the body of six-year-old beauty queen Delilah Metoyer was found, strangled, in the carriage house behind her family’s Garden District mansion. The crime was never solved, and the Metoyer family shattered in the aftermath of the crime. Thirty years later, Delilah’s brother asks Scotty to finally find his sister’s killer…putting Scotty and his friends and family into the crosshairs of a vicious killer.

Exclusive Excerpt:

You know you live in New Orleans when you leave your house on a hot Saturday morning in August for drinks wearing a red dress.

It was well over ninety degrees, and the humidity had tipped the heat index up to about 110, maybe 105 in the shade. The hordes of men and women in red dresses were waving handheld fans furiously as sweat ran down their bodies. Everywhere you looked, there were crowds of people in red, sweating but somehow, despite the ridiculous heat, having a good time. I could feel the heat from the pavement through my red-and-white saddle shoes, and was glad I’d decided wearing hose would be a bad idea. The thick red socks I was wearing were hot enough, thank you, and were soaked through. They were new, so were probably dyeing my ankles, calves and feet pink. But it was for charity, I kept reminding myself as I greeted friends and people-whose-names-I-couldn’t-remember-but-whose-faces-looked-familiar, as we worked our way up and down and around the Quarter.

Finally, I had enough around noon and decided to call it a day.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so hot in my life, and I grew up in Alabama,” my sort-of-nephew, Taylor Wheeler, said in his soft accent, wiping sweat from his forehead as we trudged down Governor Nicholls Street on our way home.

Garden District Gothic

“It hasn’t been this hot in a while,” I replied, trying really hard not to laugh. I’d been forcing down giggles pretty much all day since he came galloping down the back steps the way he always does and I got my first look at his outfit. “But the last few summers have been mild—this is normal for August, usually.” It was true—everyone in town was complaining about the heat like it was something unusual. But we hadn’t had our usual hellish summer weather in a couple of years.

Last summer had not only been mild but dry, with little humidity and practically no rain—which was unheard of. Usually it rains every day around three in the summer, when the humidity has gotten so thick it turns to rain.

“I don’t even want to think about how much sweat is in my butt crack,” he complained, waving the fan he picked up somewhere furiously, trying to create a breeze.

I gave up trying to fight it and just gave in to the laughter.

Taylor is even taller than his biological uncle, my longtime partner Frank. Frank is six two, but while Taylor claims he’s only six four—I think he’s taller. He’s definitely more than two inches taller than Frank. He’s very self-conscious about being so tall, always slouching so he seems shorter. The slouching drives me crazy. I’m constantly telling him to stand up straight and to work on his postue, to embrace being tall since there’s no changing it.

It’s not working so far.

He’s also maybe one hundred and seventy pounds tops—despite eating everything in sight, he never seems to gains any weight. Also like his uncle Frank, he has a high metabolism. Long and lean, with enormous hands and feet, he looked absolutely ridiculous in the University of Alabama cheerleading uniform he’d bought on-line for the Red Dress Run. The top was intended to be a midriff shirt, but he was so tall it looked like a red and white sports bra with Bama written in script across his chest. The pleated red-and-white skirt barely covered his ass. He hadn’t shaved his legs or arms or stomach, either, so almost all the exposed, golden-tanned skin was covered with white-gold hair that glistened in the sun with sweat.

Taylor hadn’t originally wanted to do the Red Dress Run, an annual event that raises money for local New Orleans charities. Everyone who participates pays a registration fee and of course, you have to wear a red dress. There’s alcohol, food, great music and everyone has a really good time.

When I originally asked him if he wanted to do the Red Dress Run, he looked at me like I’d lost my mind or had heatstroke or something. “I have to wear a red dress?” he gave me that oh-so-typical teenaged eye roll I was getting to know far too well. “Why would anyone want to do that? In public? And it’s not Halloween?”

“New Orleans has a fine tradition of men wearing drag at all times of the year. Not just Fat Tuesday or Halloween,” my mom replied before I could splutter out something that would have only made him more resistant. “It’s for fun, Taylor, you know what that is, don’t you? You don’t live in Alabama any more, Taylor. Loosen up.”

I smothered a laugh as his face turned beet red.

Leave it to Mom. She knew how to handle him far better than I ever would.

It didn’t hurt that he worshiped her.

And that was all it took. Once he decided he was going to do it, he dove in head first. “My dress is a secret,” he said when I asked him if he wanted to go dress shopping with me. “You won’t see it till that day. I want it to be a surprise.”

I couldn’t have been prouder. New Orleans was good for him, as I knew it would be. He was adapting very quickly. Soon he’d out-local the natives.

So, I went shopping for my dress all by myself in the unbearable heat of a July afternoon. Colin was out of the country on another job for who knew how long, and Frank would be wrestling in Jacksonville the Friday night before the Red Dress Run, and there was no way he could get back on Saturday in time unless he drove all night. My best friend David was making his dress—he and some friends were doing a group costume, spoofing those reality shows about rich, botoxed shrieking women by going as the Grande Dames of Chalmette. I liked the idea, but I can’t sew so that was out. I didn’t find anything I liked in the shops on Decatur Street, so I moved on to Magazine Street in Uptown. At a consignment store I found a gorgeous red Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress that required just the tiniest little bit of alteration, and the store had a seamstress there on site. All in all, it was a steal at $60, which included the tailoring.

Excerpt: The Orion Mask – a new novel by author Greg Herren

The Orion Mask

by

Greg Herren

Blurb:

Heath Brandon’s mother died when he was barely three years old. His father never spoke about her, or her family. So when her family reaches out to him after his father’s death, Heath decides to make the trip to Louisiana to get to know the only family he has left.But he soon learns that there was a lot more to his mother’s death than he ever knew…and the beautiful old mansion on the Mississippi River has many secrets, secrets someone would kill to protect.And the key to everything that happened when he was a child just might be hidden in his own memory

 

Excerpt:

The Runway Bar was weathered and old, and had gone through many different iterations and name changes over the years. Someone had told me it had been built during Prohibition, when Bay City was a popular destination for rum runners smuggling contraband liquor into Florida from Cuba. Located a block or so away from the airport entrance, it was a popular after work watering hole for airport employees. The icy air conditioning blasted me in the face when I opened the door and walked inside. Some of my co-workers were there, sharing a couple of pitchers of beer in their uniforms. An old Garth Brooks tune was blaring from the jukebox. I saw Jerry Channing sitting at a small table back in a corner, nursing a Corona with a wedge of lemon floating inside the bottle. I walked back to where he was sitting and sat down across from him. “All right,” I said. “I’m here. What is this about?”

“I’m interested in your mother.” He tilted his head to one side and narrowed his eyes. “What did your father tell you about Genevieve?” He said it familiarly, like he’d known her, as he picked up the bottle and took a drink.

“He refused to talk about her, so he didn’t tell me anything.” I replied, ordering a bottle of beer from the waitress who’d materialized while I was speaking. Once she moved away, I shrugged slightly. “So I don’t really know much about her, other than what I could find on-line. She was a painter. She killed herself. That’s pretty much it.” And the one time my father talked about her, he said she was an evil woman. But you don’t need to know that. “Did you know her?”

“She lived and died before the Internet,” Jerry said with a shake of his head, ignoring my question. “Believe me, if the Internet had been what it is today when she died, there would be plenty about her for you to find. Although your grandfather did a really good job keeping it all quiet, and out of the papers. That must have cost him a pretty penny, but I imagine he thought—still thinks—it was worth it. The Legendre name is damned important to him.”

The waitress set my beer down on the table, and he paid for it. Once she left, I asked, “Why was it such a big deal to keep it out of the papers? Was it because she was a Catholic? And suicide was a sin?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Are you telling me you don’t even know how she died?”

“She committed suicide when I was three years old.” I sipped my beer. “Big deal.”

The Orion Mask 300 DPI

“She committed suicide?” He took a deep breath and stared at me, a puzzled look on his face. “I—you know, maybe I was wrong, and this isn’t such a great idea. I mean, I thought you at least knew some of this. I don’t know if I should be the one to tell you the truth.”

“The truth? There’s more?” I heard my father’s voice, shouting in my head again, you mother was an evil woman. “I told you my father refused to talk about her. He got angry if she was ever mentioned, so how would I know anything other than what I can find on-line?”

He watched me as the jukebox switched from Garth Brooks to Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar.” He took another drink, almost draining the bottle empty. “Your mother was—it was more than just a suicide, Heath. Your mother was having an affair. She was cheating on your father. She killed her lover and took her own life.”

No wonder Dad didn’t want to talk about her! I saw the pain on his reddened face again as he shouted those words at me. Your mother was an evil woman!

I shook my head, hoping my shock didn’t register on my face. “All he told me was she killed herself, that she didn’t love either him or me enough to go on living. He didn’t say anything about an affair.” I said, picking the label off my beer. The amber bottle was covered with condensation. I felt oddly numb, and even more sympathetic for Dad. How awful that must have been for him!

“And you’ve never met any of your mother’s family?” His face was unreadable, and he was speaking in a professional monotone.

I stared at him. “I—“ I stopped myself from finishing the sentence. “No. All I know about the Legendres is what I’ve read on the website for their estate. Chambord.” I raised my chin. “They’ve never once tried to reach out to me. Not once, in all the years since she—since she died. They don’t care about me, so why should I care about them? The Legendres can go to hell.”

My words were strong, were what I’d always believed, yet I could feel doubt forming, creeping in. Are you sure? Dad didn’t tell me everything. Maybe there’s more to the story…

“Are you sure?” His facial expression didn’t change. “Family is everything to your grandfather—and your mother was your grandparents’ favorite child. I can’t believe your grandmother Nina died without ever trying to see you, to see Genevieve’s only child.” He leaned towards me. “Are you sure they never reached out to you? From everything I’ve been told, your father was really angry when he left Louisiana—not that I can blame him, given what happened. Maybe they tried and he wouldn’t let them?”

I stared at him, remembering how angry my father had been when he told me the truth. He’d been angrier than I’d ever seen him. He wasn’t a man with a temper, he rarely got angry, and he had a lot of patience.

Your mother was an evil woman.

 

Got a Fave? Scott Bradley or Chanse MacLeod; Chatting with Author Greg Herren

Interview by Jon Michaelsen

Greg, thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for members of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook group. I could literally ask you a ton of questions, having been a fan of your writing for years – but I’ll keep to just ten questions.

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

I live in the lower Garden District neighborhood of New Orleans.

greg-headshot1-300x232

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

I generally get up around seven every morning, even on the weekends, and spend the mornings writing, editing, writing my blog, cleaning my kitchen, and answering emails. I have a full time job in addition to writing and editing, and my partner and I have been together for going on nineteen years. Our gym is right around the corner from where we live, and we both workout as frequently as we can. Paul has a very stressful job—he’s the executive director of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, so he has to write grants, raise money, program, etc. etc. etc.—its five days of theater, food and music events in addition to literary master classes and panels and parties. Usually by the time we’ve both finished our days and had dinner we are pretty worn out, so we generally spend what little leisure time we have relaxing in the living room and binge-watching TV series. We just finished watching the third season of Suits, and are also streaming a guilty pleasure—Pretty Little Liars. Paul’s about to go visit his family for a week, and while he’s gone I’ll be watching the original Jonny Quest show, because I am writing an essay about its influence on my writing.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date? 

Maintaining my very shaky hold on sanity.

How did you get started in writing? Getting published?

 I started writing when I was very young; I think I wrote my first Hardy Boys rip-off when I was about eight years old or so. I’ve pretty much written all of my life, whether it was some sort of fiction or simply daily entries in a diary. I kept a diary from age ten till I was in my late thirties; although I started blogging when I was forty-three and that’s a sort of public diary, I suppose.

My first gig getting paid to write was when I lived in Minneapolis in 1996, and I got a job as the sports columnist for a local publication called Lavender Lifestyles, which I believe has morphed into a glossy monthly called simply Lavender now. When I moved to New Orleans later that year, I started writing book reviews and a fitness column for the local gay paper, IMPACT News, which sadly is no longer around. As time passed, I started writing freelance for more publications, adding national ones to the local ones I was already writing for. I sold my first fiction short story, an erotic wrestling story, to an Alyson anthology in 1999; I was trying to find an agent for my first novel at the same time. After having no success with any agents, I pitched the book to my editor at Alyson; it turned out the anthology editor was also the editor-in-chief, and six weeks after I sent it to him, they made an offer and I accepted. That was Murder in the Rue Dauphine; I signed the contract in the fall of 1999 and the book wasn’t actually released until January 2002. It was a very long wait.

I still don’t have an agent to this day.

Do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing or plot out your storylines?

It depends. I wrote an outline for Murder in the Rue Dauphine and stuck to it religiously. I tried outlining my second novel, Bourbon Street Blues, but it just didn’t work. I eventually realized that Chanse novels had to be outlined because Chanse was a very rigid character; the Scotty books couldn’t be outlined because Scotty was such a free spirit he wouldn’t stick to the outline– so outlining those books was an utter and complete waste of time. As I’ve written more and more books, I tend to have the general idea of what the story is and how I’m going to get there in my head now by the time I sit down to start writing it, so I really don’t feel like I need to outline anymore. I generally now will only sit down and write out a plan for a novel whenever I get stuck, or can’t think of how to continue. Sometimes when I get stuck I go back to the beginning and start revising, and how to get out of the spot I’m in will come to me. I wouldn’t recommend my system to anyone.

I will say that when it comes to the Chanse books, I’ve noticed that rarely, if ever, does the killer change; the Scotty books the plot, story and who the killer is change from day to day as I write them. I always laugh when people tell me that the Scotty books are always full of surprises—because they are for me, too.

Orion_2

Readers most know you from your two longest running mystery, suspense/thriller series; the Chanse MacLeod mysteries (six books) and the Scotty Bradley mystery/thrillers (six books). How are you able to slip into the vastly different characterizations of Chanse and Scotty so easily?

Early in my career I used to say that Chanse and Scotty were opposite sides of the same coin. I’ve always thought that Scotty was the person I would have been had I been raised the way he was; that he was the positive, happy-go-lucky, ‘always expect the best out of everyone’ side of me while Chanse was the other side of my personality; distrustful, kind of dark and pessimistic, always expecting the worst to happen.

I don’t think that’s true anymore, to be honest. Both are fictional constructs with elements of myself in them; but neither one of them is me. I just know them both so well know that it’s very easy to slip into their voices and their heads when I am writing them—and Scotty’s head is a much more pleasant place to be than Chanse’s.

It was very important to me when I started the Scotty series that he be as different from Chanse as possible; otherwise there was no point in writing about him. If they were going to be the same voice, basically the same person, there wasn’t a point in writing two different series.

I wasn’t taken very seriously early in my career—not that I am taken all that seriously now—but I wanted to do something that I didn’t think had been done before; I wanted to write a dark, serious, hardboiled style series and a light, funny one, and alternate between them. I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in doing that, but I also don’t go back and reread my books once they are in print. Once the galleys are proofed, I generally don’t read the book again unless I need to verify some continuity—and now that I have e-copies of them, I can just do a word-search for whatever I’m looking for, so I don’t have to try to remember where in the books the little piece I need to review and reread is.

I suppose that you’re asking the question shows that I have somewhat succeeded at making the two characters, and the two series, different from each other. I still worry about that.

Murder_in_the_Arts_District_300_DPI

Which of your novels/series have fans responded to the most? (My favs are the Chanse MacLeod mysteries);

Early on, I got more response from the Scotty books than the Chanse ones; now I’d say it’s about the same. I always assumed it was because Scotty was so much more fun and more accessible than Chanse; Scotty is the guy you’d want to hang out with. The Scotty books also used to outsell the Chanse books—now Chanse has caught up, and I hear from readers equally. I’m not sure why that is, to be honest.

Within the mystery, suspense/thriller genres, you’ve written several YA novels with gay characters, including my favorite “Sleeping Angel”. What was your inspiration for writing novels aimed at a younger audience? (Full disclosure – I think these novels appeal to all readers, regardless of age!)

Thank you! That’s very kind of you to say, and incredibly nice to hear, because I did intend for them to appeal to adults, too. I always wanted to write books for teen readers, and I consider myself to incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to get them published.  I actually wrote my first three y/a novels (Sorceress, Sleeping Angel, Sara) in the early 1990’s. I wrote first drafts of each and then just stuck them in a drawer. The published versions of Sorceress and Sara didn’t deviate much from the stories I originally wrote; Sleeping Angel was completely overhauled. I don’t think of them as books for teenagers; I think of them as books about teenagers. Initially, I worried about writing for teens and found that I didn’t like what I was writing, and finally decided to focus on telling the story and exploring the characters without worrying about the readers. I leave that to my editor, and I am very fortunate to have a very good one.

I’ve always wanted to step outside the series box and write stand-alones; it just so happens that the first five or so I’ve done (under my own name) have been about teenagers and are marketed/labelled as y/a fiction. (Timothy was called ‘new adult.’) The fun of writing a stand-alone novel is that I don’t have to worry about continuity; it’s a whole new world every time I write one, and I can stretch and try things with them that I can’t do in a series novel. Ironically, they are all kind of linked; the heroine of Sorceress is from the small town in Kansas where Sara is set, and some of the characters in Sara were mentioned in Sorceress. Likewise, the town where Sorceress takes place is the same town where Sleeping Angel is set; some of the minor characters cross over from one book to the other. Mouse in Timothy was from that same region of Kansas, only the county seat rather than the small town in the north part of the county. Scotty in Lake Thirteen is from the same suburb of Chicago that Glenn in Sara was from.

I’m hoping to keep doing the young adult/new adult books. In the most recent Scotty, Baton Rouge Bingo, Frank’s college age gay nephew comes to live with them in New Orleans. It might be fun to give him his own series, or at least his own adventure—and to see Scotty, Frank and the rest of the gang from a new perspective! (Incidentally, Frank’s nephew is from the same small town in Alabama that the protagonist of Dark Tide, my next young adult being released this September, is from. I can’t seem to help connecting all of my books together.)

dark tide

With six books published to date in the Chanse MacLeod mystery series, I’ve read recently that you plan to end the series with the next and final installment; say it isn’t so! Will Chanse finally get to ride off into the sunset with that special man by his side?

Sorry, no spoilers! You’ll just have to read Murder in the Arts District to find out. It’ll be out in October. (Jon-Grrr!)

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

I’m writing a romantic suspense murder mystery called The Orion Mask. It might be coming out after the first of the year; I’m not really sure. I’m very excited about it; I think it’s being called a ‘new adult’ novel because the main character is in his early twenties. It’s my homage to the great women writers I read when I was a teenager: Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. My main character’s father has recently died, and he’s been contacted by his mother’s family, whom he doesn’t know and his father has kept him away from. His mother died when he was very young, and when he comes to visit and get to know his mother’s family, who live on a gorgeous estate just outside of New Orleans, he discovers that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident—she murdered her lover and killed herself. At least, that’s the story…and he begins to realize the ‘accepted’ story isn’t the truth…and there’s still a murderer out there.

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 Greg Herren on the web:

www.gregherren.com

scottynola.livejournal.com

Twitter: scottynola

 

 

26th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced – “Pretty Boy Dead” makes the cut

 

The 26th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists were announced on March 6th 2014. My novel, “Pretty Boy Dead” was shortlisted as a finalist in the Gay Mystery category.  To see the finalists for all categories, click on the link below:

LammySeal-actualsize_2013-e1377558848107

http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/06/26th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/

PRETTY BOY DEAD –

Blurb:

A murdered male stripper. A missing go-go dancer. A city councilman on the hook. Can Atlanta homicide detective Sergeant Kendall Parker solve the vicious crime while remaining safely hidden behind the closet door?

When the body of a young man is found in a popular midtown park, police and local media quickly pin the brutal killing on a homeless gay kid with AIDS. But Homicide Detective Sgt. Kendall Parker isn’t convinced, even when the suspect is accused of assaulting a police detective with a deadly weapon.

City leaders want the heinous murder solved yesterday and they jump at the chance to pin the crime on the drug-craving teen. Besides, it’s an election year and remaining in office is their top priority, even at the sacrifice of the young man. Sgt. Parker isn’t easily persuaded and is determined to prove Hopper’s innocence, despite protest from his colleagues and the great citizens of Atlanta. And all threatens to expose the deep secret Parker has carefully hidden from his comrades for years.

PrettyBoyDead_cvrFINAL_FINAL

Reviews:

Pretty Boy Dead

A murdered male stripper. A missing go-go dancer. A city councilman on the hook. Can Atlanta homicide detective Sergeant Kendall Parker solve the vicious crime while remaining safely hidden behind the closet door?

Named one of Jessewave’s Top Picks 2013!

Pretty Boy Dead is a well-written police procedural with an engaging plot and well-developed characters.” – Jessewave

“…the writing is solid, the book is well executed from cover to edits…” – author Ryan Field

“The author has written a gritty crime drama that is exciting…” – Rainbow Book Reviews

“Highly recommended for those who like swift, compelling stories.” – Chris Beakey, author of Double Abduction, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award

The characters are well drawn and I really believe that they propel the story and of course, it helps that the book is so well written.” – Amos Lassen

“…offers an intriguing look into the thought process, personal demons, peer pressure and bureaucratic nightmares that can plague a homicide detective working on such cases.” – Bob Lind, Echo Magazine   

“If you are looking for a great mystery, you can’t go wrong with Pretty Boy Dead. – The Novel Approach

“Jon Michaelsen has written a tense, entertaining, and believable crime novel.” – David Sullivan, author and retired 29 year veteran of the San Jose Police Department.

“Overall, a good read…a murder mystery with a lot of flawed characters.” – On Top Down Under Reviews

WHERE TO PURCHASE “PRETTY BOY DEAD” –  

Wilde City Press: http://tinyurl.com/PrettyBoyDead

Amazon

eBook: http://tinyurl.com/PBD-ebook

Print: http://tinyurl.com/PBDprint

Print UKhttp://www.booksamillion.com/p/Pretty-Boy-Dead-Kendall-Parker/Jon-Michaelsen/9781925031607

Amazon India: http://www.amazon.in/Pretty-Dead-Kendall-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00H9VAM5Q

(Europe) Junglee.com: http://www.junglee.com/Pretty-Boy-Dead-Kendall-Mystery/dp/1925031608

Barnes & Noble –

eBook:

Print: http://tinyurl.com/PBDBarnesandNoble

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What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means To Me: Rainbow Blog Hop

What writing GLBTQ literature means to me.

When I heard of the opportunity to participate in the highly anticipated RAINBOW BLOG HOP, hosted by Rainbow Book Reviews August 24-26, 2012, in honor of launching the Rainbow Book Reviews website (http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/index.php), I jumped at the chance to participate with fellow writers. Below is information posted via the website in the “about us” section for those unfamiliar with the new GLBTQ book review site:

“Rainbow Book Reviews is a site dedicated to GLBTQ-related books, reviews, and authors who write about topics of interest to us and our friends.

We have a wide range of activities for you to check and participate in, if you wish. Feedback is always welcome. We publish new releases on a daily basis, have a team of reviewers who try to help you understand what to expect from a book, we publish monthly author interviews, and have author pages with in-depth information. You can also find out about the many great publishers who publish GLBTQ-related books.

We want to make sure the site offers what YOU (the reader!) want to see, so please contact us with any ideas or feedback at info@rainbowbookreviews.com. For individual staff members, please see the overview below.”

As a participant in the RBH, I was given the task to describe what writing GLBTQ literature means to me. Right off the bat (does this date me?) I am asked to reveal my thoughts about referencing very complicated questions. I will be as totally honest and forthwith in order that you – the reader – may glean some sense of what makes me tick; why I write at all.

I have been writing stories most of my life, beginning around age seven or eight, I’m not really sure. What I do know, however, is the person who first influenced my writing and encouraged me to further explore my “active imagination”, my beloved grandmother, who I affectionately named “Mana” when very young. It was my attempt at mimicking my mother who called her mother, Momma. When she readied for bed each night, I would sit on the side of her bed reciting the stories I had dreamed up – she never once questioned the reasons or motivation driving my need to create make-believe, fictitious imagery of people or animals of whom became characters of my words. I’d jot a few pages longhand on paper while at school during lunch or recess to read to Mana during our nightly ritual. Those times spent with my grandmother are my most treasured memories even today after having lost my best friend three years ago at the young age of seventy-nine years old.

So, getting back to what writing gay literature means to me: at first glance, it’s an opportunity to share ideas, historical or current happenings of circumstance. My earlier pre-teen stories covered popular genres of the day based largely upon what I was reading at the time (I was a voracious reader in elementary school – even winning the coveted “top reader” award each year at the local library during summer break) or had watched on television, which influenced my imagination. I remember the one book and movie that was the catalyst pushing me to start writing my first story: To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, originally published in 1960 (my birth year) and adapted to screen in 1962 (starring Mary Badham and the legendary Gregory Peck), the novel won the Pulitzer Prize and the movie earned Gregory Peck an Oscar for his supreme performance. I didn’t see the movie until I was older (my mother had worried the film was too “heavy” for a young, impressionable boy) and read the book as an assignment for school. I knew then I wanted to write stories. In fact, my first quasi-serious attempt putting pencil to paper was a hysterical fantasy titled “The Ship”, about a pirate ghost ship off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. I even named the main character of the story Atticus, the same as Gregory Peck’s character.

At second glance during my formative years, many stories flowed from my pencil, encouraged both by my grandmother and teachers in school. Born and raised in the south of Georgia, USA, my family could not afford to purchase books for me (I come from a blue-collar family that worked in the cotton mills on the Chattahoochee river) so I lived in the school library checking out as many books as allowed. I read everything from fiction to non-fiction, biographies, and history. I couldn’t get enough. I wrote fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and thriller stories during those years and always wrote for the love of telling a story, which I shared with my family and some teachers. My favorite memories of grade school were each spring when English or History class teachers would read books to us the final week of school. One mesmerizing novel I recall was titled “Island Of The Blue Dolphins”, by Scott, O’Dell, about a young Nicolero Indian girl stranded on an island off the coast of California for eighteen years. The story remains with me even today; the power of the written word is unmatched.

I didn’t realize I was “gay” until later in my teens (this was the late ‘70s), so writing gay stories wasn’t yet a priority. Majoring in English when I went off to college was a no-brainer, even minoring in Broadcasting (go figure!). While seeking my undergraduate degree, I wrote fictional stories for the campus newspaper, often turning them into serials that had attracted a decent readership. I finally came out during my second year in college, and my writing began to steer toward gay characters in the main roles, considered risky in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s here in the south. The first homoerotic novel I ever read is “Good Times/Bad Times” by James Kirkwood. The novel detailed the close relationship between two young men in boarding school and affected me deeply, and I began seeking out other gay-themed novels since finally realizing they even existed, perusing the bookstore’s shelves for hours on end, simply too embarrassed to ask the store clerks for assistance.

I came across the cover of a paperback novel featuring a cute young man sitting on the bench in what appeared to be a high school locker-room. The book was none other than the groundbreaking classic, “The Front Runner”, by Patricia Nell Warren. That novel became the catalyst for my writing gay-themed stories. Going forward, I devoured every novel I came across written by Ms. Warren, even moving on to other gay-centric novels. So important to me during those early years of adolescents, my emerging sexuality, was in reading fictional stories that resembled people like me, what I was all about, or could become. I relied on these stories for self-discovery, unable to speak to my parents or other family members about my being gay.

Fast forward thirty years and third glance; I have been writing stories for several years that have always featured a gay protagonist, concentrating mainly in the mystery/suspense, thriller genres, many with romantic tendencies. But, it wasn’t until as recently as 2008 that I began to submit my stories for publication. Though frightened and unsure, I wanted to share my writing with others besides my family and friends. I am a gay author and I write stories of mystery/suspense and romance novels where the main characters are gay. I don’t feel this fact defines or limit my characters, but more often provides excellent opportunities for exciting plots. Many diverse writers have influenced my written style, such as David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Michael Crichton, along with the groundbreaking gay novelists Patricia Nell Warren, Michael Nava, and Felice Picano. Some of my current favorites and influencers are gay mystery writers Greg Herren, David Lennon, and John Morgan Wilson – and many more.

Finally, writing GLBTQ literature means being true to the gay culture, to create realistic, (in my case, fictional) characters that represent the gay community correctly. Knowing some readers just coming to terms with their sexuality might be reading my stories, I research meticulously to ensure accuracy and strive to present positive role models within my writing even as my characters face bigotry and intolerance, dating, falling in love…and usually, murder! My characters must grow through challenges and experience, be representative of the gay community, whether negative or positive and not all my stories end with a HEA.

I will continue to write as long as I enjoy creating stories, and I am happy to be able to share my writing with others. Recently, I released an erotic thriller, False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1 – the first novella of a two-part murder-mystery. I am currently writing a gay, murder-mystery, police-procedural, featuring closeted Atlanta Homicide Detective, Kendall Parker, which I hope to get published sometime in 2013. I am also a Juror for the 2012 GLBT Rainbow Awards sponsored by Elisa Rolle, (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/tag/rainbow%20awards%202012), which I am greatly enjoying.

Links to my titles:

Amazon Purchase Link:

LYD :

PRIZES, PRIZES, PRIZES!

Click on the link below to read more about prizes and give-aways for the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop:

http://rainbowbookreviews.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-rainbow-book-reviews-blog-hop-is-here/

In celebration, of the Rainbow Blog Hop, I am giving away two (2) copies of my latest novella, False Evidence. Just respond with your name to be entered into a random drawing set for Saturday, Sept 1, 2012.

I would love to hear your thoughts and what reading/writing GLBTQ literature means to you!