Exclusive Excerpt: Lethe Press presents: Prince of the Sea by Jon Michaelsen

I thought I’d offer a taste of the thriller/suspense aspect of Prince of the Sea for those who’ve not yet read my latest novel. This excerpt has never been seen before, so I hope you enjoy!

Short blurb:

Island myth or guarded secret?

Jonathan Lemke thought spending two weeks with his partner, Paul, in a beachside cottage on Tybee Island would rekindle the lost passion of their ten-year union, but a vengeful assailant intent on exposing the island’s secrets soon sets his sights on Jonathan and his mysterious childhood friend.

PrinceoftheSea_800x1200_dpi300_LRG

Exclusive Excerpt:

Jonathan approached the northern tip of the island before dusk for his rendezvous with Lucius. Climbing onto the boulders of the breakwater, he sat and watched the waves at his feet lap the jetty. Sea foam churned through the crevices, bubbling up through the breaks in the rocks. The ocean smelled of salt and seaweed and a hint of fish. He watched the broad beam from the lighthouse sweep the gloomy surface in rotary precision.

Inhaling the ocean’s scent, Jonathan loosened his shoulders and arms, letting the gentle breeze brush against his skin through his open shirt, trying to relax before his friend arrived. Not long after as Lucius appeared beside him like a chameleon from the shadows.

They made small talk for a while, reciting memories from their childhood together, hours of carefree adventures and the many misadventures of note, both glancing out into the abyss when Lucius asked an unexpected question.

“Are you happy, Jonathan?”

Had Lucius sensed his argument with Paul? he wondered. Happy? How does one respond to such a question? Sure, Paul had pissed him off, but he didn’t want to think about it as he hugged his knees and contemplated an answer of his happiness. Had he rushed to judgment before giving Paul a chance to explain? His partner likely had a very good reason for lying, for not wanting to come to the island in the first place. Ten years was a long time with the same person. At least in gay years, he thought.

“Yes…I am happy.” Jonathan flashed a smile that held a moment. He plucked a shell caught between the rocks and rubbed its inner surface between his fingers. “I’m only thirty-two, so I’d like to think there’s much more ahead to achieve in life.”

Tybee Beach2

Lucius appeared dour as he gazed out to sea. Same as last night, he’d shown up wearing white cotton chinos rolled to the calves and nothing else, the fabric fluttering in the breeze like his hair. The glow of the moon bathed his caramel skin in a luminescent sheen, a striking ruddiness that summoned the god of light.

Hugging his knees and turning his head, Jonathan admired the sheath of corded muscle layering his friend’s broad shoulders. Lucius’s back flared like a manta ray, wide at the top and narrow at the waist. Jonathan moved his eyes over the gentle giant, appreciating the sculpted body earned from sheer physical exertion, and not from some gym stocked with high-tech gear or a syringe. The kind of labor required to perfect such a physique eluded Jonathan as he clutched his knees tighter to disguise his growing approval.

He’s fucking gorgeous.

Lucius turned his head and flashed a heart-melting grin. Warmth spread through Jonathan’s cheeks as his embarrassment ignited. If what Lucius had said about reading each other’s emotions and thoughts was true, then Jonathan felt incredibly self-conscious. He struggled to suppress his grin like a goofy teenager out on his first date.

He felt young and virile again when he was with Lucius, livelier than he’d been in a very long time. In fact, his manner bordered on euphoric while they perched on the boulders of the breakwater shoulder to shoulder. They sat in the darkest region of the island near North Beach beneath the light of a thousand stars, glistening like tinsel hanging from the sky. Lighted structures sprinkled the shoreline for miles inland on either side of them.

The giant eye of the lighthouse swept across the water for miles.

“What about you, Lucius?” Jonathan asked. He spoke in a hushed tone, a soft melancholy settling over him. “Have you achieved all you’d hope?”

Lucius frowned, bringing his large hands together. “Jonathan, I have something to acknowledge, an important part of me I should have shared with you long before fate has brought us together again.” He swallowed hard, and Jonathan sensed a tightening in his chest, felt the pain of his friend’s confession.

IMG_4896

“I should have revealed my secret when we were young pups still in the care of our elders, but I feared the anguish learning my secret would have caused you at the time. I am sorry to have betrayed your trust.” Lucius blinked away the moisture in his eyes. “I yearned to share my secret with you, Jonathan, to open my soul like a weeping siren caught on a jagged rock. Alas, my immaturity prevailed.” He swallowed. “You should understand, in my youth I feared my own shadow, unaware of my condition, of my own heritage.” He turned and the moonlight caught a flash of green in his eyes. “Selfish yes, but I feared losing your friendship should I disclose my secret.”

Jonathan listened quietly, the torment of his friend’s words like a mallet to his heart. Lucius had said they could read each other’s thoughts, and yet he felt nothing beyond the misery and despair of his friend. Listening to Lucius spill his truth made Jonathan want to pull the man into his arms and forever soothe his worries. Nothing Lucius could reveal would ever alter Jonathan’s love for the man. He was sure of it.

“Once I matured, my desires grew ever stronger, tougher still.” Lucius turned away and stared ahead. The muscles tensed in his thick neck. “I avoided revealing my troubles to my family. I should have gone to them sooner, but I didn’t understand what I was going through.” He lowered his chin to his knees. “I needed to unburden my heart, and confiding the truth eventually to my family helped banish my soul of its burden.”

Jonathan placed his hand on his Lucius’s shoulder, a gesture of comfort that produced a spark singeing his arm. “It’s okay,” he offered, grinning wide to reassure Lucius. Still, the sensation trailing his arm lingered. “Relax, will you? I think I know what you’re going to say.”

“Do you?” Lucius turned toward Jonathan with brows furrowed, fear and anguish shaping the features of his angelic face.

A spark flashed from behind them. Jonathan started a second before the rock nearest him spit bits of gravel and dust into the air. The next crack sent something sailing past Lucius as it split the water with incredible speed.

Did somebody just shoot at us?

Jonathan didn’t have time to react before Lucius hooked him under the arms and chucked them both into the waves with the speed of a harpoon. The shock of cold water biting his skin paled in comparison to the power now propelling them through the ocean at incredible speed. He had not grabbed enough air into his lungs before plunging beneath the surface and fought to hold onto to the precious little oxygen he had.

What the hell?

***

Fuck. Damn. Shit-fire!

Billy Wayne dove behind the pillars supporting the boardwalk. The walkway led out to the jetties from the public lot at the end of Gulick Street. His back flush against the rough, weathered wooden supports, he sucked the blood oozing from the wound on his hand. The rifle’s trigger had nicked his skin and jammed before he fired off another shot at the two men sitting on the jetty. No matter, he’d seen what he came for.

img_4900

After taking a couple of wild shots at the men, the larger of the two, the darker skinned, long haired one, had pulled both men into the ocean with unbelievable agility. They had quickly disappeared beneath the water. Despite the pain pulsing through his hand, Billy Wayne grinned and savored the thought of getting the proof his daddy never got

He’d never doubted his old man, not one bit, but Billy Wayne had needed to see the abomination with his own eyes. All his life he’d heard about what could happen when they were provoked, and now he’d seen it with his own eyes. No human could have leapt from the boulders with such lightning speed and sprinted through the water like a barracuda.

Billy Wayne had to confirm his father’s legacy more than ever. He peered beyond the boardwalk, out toward the jetty. The two men hadn’t surfaced as he’d figured. He zippered his rifle in its gun case and trotted back to his old Ford truck. Pumping the gas pedal, he started the engine after a couple of turns of the key. He slammed the vehicle into first gear and shot out of the lot, fishtailing onto Gulick Street then taking a left onto Meddin Drive. He sped past several cross streets, hung a right onto U.S. 80, the island’s main thoroughfare, and then headed for Tybee Island Marina.

The dock crawled with deckhands in from the days’ haul when he arrived. They were weighing their catch as captains of the boats barked orders. Billy Wayne made his way to a small runabout boat moored in a slip far away from the chaos of the larger vessels. He was known to troll the waters for clams and shrimp to sell to the town’s restaurants, so no one paid him any mind. He glanced over and grunted toward the men working. Most had simply ignored him over the years, fingering him as the senseless offspring of the town crazy. He often arrived at all hours of the day and night, so his appearance after midnight tonight went unnoticed.

Billy Wayne checked out the pouch containing the harpoon gun and several stainless-steel-barbed rods. He sat down hard on the ragged cushion at the stern of his boat and pulled the crank-cord. The motor sputtered to life in a burst of blue smoke when the engine caught and he clicked it into gear. Passing Cockspur Lighthouse at Lazaretto Creek, he headed out the mouth of the Savannah River to the wide shadowy ocean. He was intent on proving once and for all the ancient island myth that had haunted his family for years was real.

Author T.A. (Tom) Webb Discusses His Writing Influences & Future Projects

Interviewed by Jon Michaelsen

Tom, thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for members of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction facebook group. Glad to be aboard! Thanks.

 Let’s start off with where are you from and live now? I know you live in my city, HOTlanta, but am unsure what area.

I was born and raised here in the big city—in Doraville, then moved to Norcross when I was three. I’ve lived in the area (it’s a suburb north of Atlanta) ever since, except for a six month period I was in San Diego.

cityknight

As you probably know, writers rarely like to toot their own horns…lol, but what would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far? 

Huh. You’re right, I don’t really like to call attention to what I’ve done, but it’s one of those things you have to do to get noticed. LOL. I’d have to say the Pulp Friction series that Laura Harner, Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows and I started last year. We each write a novella every two months, alternating, and bring in each other’s characters. For the finale, we co-wrote a rather explosive story that brought all the loose ends together. It was fun, original and hugely successful.

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

Sure. I have a home in Norcross, which I share with my ex-partner. I have a rescue dog, a Boston Terrier-chihuahua mix; I had three others that I raised since they were pups, but lost them all in the past eight months (they were all 13+ years old). Right now, I’m writing full-time, having some health issues that make working full time impossible. I’m single, always looking for someone that can put up with my grouchy self, and love love LOVE reading.

You are relatively new on the writing scene as I understand, but have quickly made your mark. What inspires and challenges you most in your writing? 

I think I’m most inspired by the new voices that keep showing up in the genre. So many people pooh-pooh those of us who choose to write gay romance, or gay mystery/action/adventure, but I have been very much impressed by the talent I’ve seen. It pushes me to be better, and to stretch outside the box with my next project.

And I have a small group of really good friends who challenge me every day. Will Parkinson and Laura Harner hunt me down and make sure I’m putting at least a paragraph down on paper. Even on those days I want to just watch Judge Judy, they make me think, and that’s the most important thing for me.

CityKnightComplilation

You have released a very thrilling mystery/thriller series set in Atlanta known as the “Knight” series. In the first book, City Knight, ex-cop Marcus, who buried his heart years ago, is working the streets to keep them safe when he meets, Ben, who is also working the streets; selling himself for money. Both men collide very early on in a whirlwind suspenseful thriller that I could not put down. What influenced you to create such damaged characters as Marcus and Ben?  

It’ s funny—I had no idea what I was going to do as my part of the Pulp Friction series, and the four of us I talked about above had a conference meeting and hashed out the big picture. The series was to be set in Atlanta, it would feature cops, and they would all know each other. When I sat down to write, Marcus came through loud and clear. Then I started typing and Ben was there. He was young, a smart ass, but hurt so badly he’d shut himself off from love. Then Marcus was there, watching him and something in Ben called out to Marcus. Their backstories were there in the next moment—seriously—and they practically screamed in my head to be put together. I got criticized a little for how quickly they fell in love, but it had to happen that way. They sparked, then they had to get to know each other and the love held them together when their pasts tried to pull them apart.

You have also published the first in a planned series, The Broken Road Café, taking the story out of the big city and to the mountains of Blue Ridge, Georgia. What was your inspiration for such a gorgeous setting?  

My parents used to take my little brother and me up to Helen and into the mountains every fall for picnics. Then I started renting cabins in Blue Ridge during the summer, and I just love the area. Laura asked me one day when I was griping about my frustrations with my job—what would you do if there weren’t any barriers? I’ve always wanted to own a restaurant, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to set it in the mountains where the people would have different kinds of mysteries and secrets? I started BRC the next day.

Can you provide readers an update on the next Broken Road Café installation?

Absolutely. I am about half-way through it, and working on it every day. I had surgery on my right hand and couldn’t type, and am healing up nicely and able to get back to work, so I am planning on a May release, June at the latest.

Have had you ever had to deal with homophobia after your gay novels are released, and if so, what form has it taken?

No, I haven’t. I’ve always tried to work with gay-friendly agencies, and the friends I have are very supportive of my writing. My first novel, Second Chances, is semi-autobiographical, and a lot of my family read it. I have seven brothers and sisters, and they sometimes are uncomfortable with my homosexuality, but I’ve learned to deal with it. At my age, and being the next to the youngest of eight, I tell them to fuck off and they do the same when we disagree. Then we hug it out. So it’s all good.

I know which living actor I would chose to portray the hunky protagonist, Marcus, from your Knight series in a movie – who would you pick? What about Ben?

I picture Clive Owen or George Clooney for Marcus. That look is just him. Although I could see Daniel Craig there too. For Ben? Hmm. Ryan Reynolds. Or Chris Evans. *sighs*

BrokenRoadCafe

Last question; With the Knight series and now The Broken Road Café series, you have chosen to end each novella with a cliffhanger, clearly a successful move for you. Have you had to deal with much backlash? (Such as the time I waited with baited breath for City Knight to release and when the last page was done, fired off an email to you demanding the next installment? J)

Oh yeah. People say they won’t buy the books until the whole series is out. Some of the reviews on Good Reads have been brutal. But for every one of them, there’s another person who says, God I hate you but I love Ben or Marcus or Dan, and I have to know NOW what happens. Broken Road Café actually had a very different ending, but I was threatened with bodily harm if I did what I wanted to do.

But seriously, I try to keep my readers engaged. I leave things open so they can play with my characters in their own minds. Most go Ah when the next installment does come out, and they are happy with what I do.

On behalf of the Facebook Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Group, thank you for giving us a little of your time today, answering questions fans of the genre want to know.

Thank you!!!

 

Find T.A. Webb on the web:

email AuthorTAWebb@aol.com, visit him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authortawebb, tweet him on Twitter @TomBearAtl, or visit his blog at www.tom-webb.blogspot.com

Award Winning author Josh Lanyon Discusses his Gay Mystery/Thriller Novels

Author Josh Lanyon interviewed by Jon Michaelsen

Josh, 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 in sunny Southern California. So Cal is pretty much its own world. You have the extremes of Beverly Hills, the movie industry, and then very remote, redneck areas — which is where I live now.

Armed and Dangerous

As you probably know, writers rarely like to toot their own horns, but what would you say is your greatest accomplishment? 

I think my greatest accomplishment is simply being able to support myself comfortably as a writer of fiction. That’s actually pretty rare, even these days. I’m able to do what I love for a living and I’m my own boss. How many people can say that? And on top of that, I’m successful enough at it to be able to help out my parents and family when they need it. That means a lot to me.

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

I have a very patient and very supportive SO. Mostly my life revolves around work. I pretty much work all the time. Even my vacations are based on places I plan to write about. When I’m not writing, I’m dealing with all the other stuff: translations, audio books, the details of publishing, marketing, promotion. My work is my passion. That said, I’m trying to be better at taking evenings and weekends off.

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

martiniglass

I plan things out, but not in detail. I like a general outline. It keeps the story focused and on track. But the details change because the story naturally evolves as it grows. The best part of storytelling is giving yourself over to that tide of imagination, letting it sweep you along. I love that creative rush. But I still like to keep an eye on the coastline.

Have had you ever had to deal with homophobia after your gay novels are released, and if so, what forms has it taken?

I get the occasional piece of hate mail, and I’ve been turned down for a few projects, but I use a pen name so my personal and professional life stay separate. I have more trouble with stalkers than anything.

fatalshadows

Which novel and/or series was the most fun to write?

Well, they all have their pleasures and their pains. The Adrien English series was the first series I wrote, and so there was a beautiful freedom in not having a clue about what I was doing. Plus I feel a sentimental attachment to Adrien and Jake. The Holmes & Moriarity stories are classically structured mysteries, so that’s fun and intellectually satisfying. And the Dangerous Ground series is very much pulp fiction action-adventure. Those are the easiest to write because of their high octane episodic nature and the focus on emotions and sex.

The Adrien English mystery series is by far what fans have come to know you for. Why did you choose to end the series with the release of The Dark Tide?

This is where keeping an eye on the coastline is useful. J  All the major character arcs and plot lines are resolved by the end of The Dark Tide. For me, that’s the signal to bring a series to a close. I wanted to go out on a high note.

It’s not easy though, which is why most writers wait too long to pull the plug. We all come to love these characters and the worlds we’ve created. It’s tempting to stay just a while longer. But the danger of waiting too long is that sales start to decline, and there is actually less interest in your new projects because you’ve already started to lose the attention of all but your most fanatical readers.  It’s tricky because it takes a while to build interest and readership for a series, so it can be hard to tell whether you’re still growing or whether interest is already slipping!

You are a stunningly prolific writer, with several ongoing series, stand-alone novels and short story releases? How do you manage both writing and self-promotion so seamlessly?       

See above — in particular, that part about not having a home life. J  You can’t have it all. For me, it’s the personal stuff that gets shortchanged.

Fair Game is my favorite mystery/thriller novel you’ve written. (You knew I’d have to ask since I’ve bugged you before!) Is there a sequel in the works with ex-FBI agent Elliot Mills?

fairplay

Yes, indeed. Carina Press is publishing Fair Play, the sequel to Fair Game, in November of this year. (JM-OMG! I can’t wait; I so loved Fair Game and always felt it needed a sequel.) Have you considered a serial with Elliot Mills?

I never really thought about Elliot Mills as a series character. He didn’t have much in the way of unresolved issues at the end of Fair Game — and his relationship with Tucker Lance is pretty straightforward. But I loved the story possibilities of his father’s radical past, and so that’s what drives Fair Play. Also Tucker’s background seemed like it might have some interesting possibilities. But I think after Fair Play, that will be it.          

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

I’ve got an M/M romantic suspense novel coming out from Carina Press on May 5th. It’s called Stranger on the Shore, and it’s about a young reporter who is invited to a decaying Long Island estate to investigate a long-ago kidnapping. Most of the family does not want him poking around — and someone is willing to do pretty much anything to stop him.

On behalf of the Facebook Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Group, thank you for giving us a little of your time today, answering questions fans of the genre want to know.

Thanks for inviting me, Jon! 

Find Josh Lanyon on the web:

Website: http://www.joshlanyon.com/

Blog: http://joshlanyon.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @JoshLanyon

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Josh-Lanyon-Fan-Page/107401402656849?ref=hl

Ryan Field’s New Release – Something For St. Jude

New Release from loveyoudivine by author Ryan Field:

http://www.loveyoudivine.com/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=26&products_id=1011

Every man has that one special moment he’ll never forget.

Blurb:

Jude Franklin lives a quiet conservative life in a small town in Wyoming. He’s head librarian, lives at home with his aging mother, and is terrified he’ll wind up like his spinster aunt…Poor Patty Ann. Though it’s too late for Jude to be considered a virgin, he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life alone. The trouble is the one guy in town he’s attracted to is a handsome young library patron who also happens to work on a ranch on the edge of town. Only Jude knows he can’t have him, so he makes a drastic move and books a summer vacation on one of those gay cruise ships he’s read about millions of times. Little did he know love was waiting for him in the most unusual place, and he had to travel halfway around the world to figure it out.

Sexy, Romantic Roman Centurion Vampire…

I’m about halfway through the new book, Ink

Ink

It’s a novel expanded from the original novella INK, about a Roman centurion named, Dominic, who hasn’t lived as a human since the time of Hadrian. In the life of a vampire in the centuries since, he’s witnessed much change in the world, but finds himself captivated with a young tattoo artist in Melbourne, Australia. A very alluring, seductive novel of desire between vampire and his male object of attraction.

My thoughts so far is this is an elegant m/m paranormal (vampire) romance – classic centuries old vampire falls for a young, sexy and funny, male mortal in modern Australia…more to come!!!