Monday, October 15, 2018

BIGGER LOVE, Now Available for Preorder, is Already Getting Raves!


Booklist:
"A tone of authentic tenderness and yearning, completely without artifice, suffuses Reed's engaging Appalachian tale of high-school gay love."

Coming out worldwide on November 13. BIGGER LOVE dares to challenge notions of gender conformity and romance in a small-town high-school setting. #ownvoices

Respected and widely-read librarian book review publication BOOKLIST says:

"A tone of authentic tenderness and yearning, completely without artifice, suffuses Reed's engaging Appalachian tale of high-school gay love. Truman's self-confident demeanor, complete with makeup and glitz, masks his fear of more ridicule and beatings. He longs for the big city, where "he could be the person he was meant to be . . . with bright lights, skyscrapers, and . . . cosmopolitan people," even though he keeps busy, directing the senior play. When a gorgeous young man, Mike, boards the school bus, Truman is drawn to him, then discovers that his single mom's suitor, George, is this mysterious stranger's dad. Reed beautifully conveys the loving mother-son bond, an unusual facet in romance novels, to great effect as Truman, though jealous of George, struggles to become a man, support his mom in their "run-down house," and develop a meaningful relationship with Mike. A romantic coming-of-age struggle that succeeds on many levels." (Whitney Scott)

PRE-ORDER

Monday, October 1, 2018

BIG LOVE and the Characters Who Bring that Love to Life

Big Love contains three of characters I think I’ve fallen in love more than any characters in any book I’ve ever written. I think that favoritism comes from the fact that:
  1. My main characters, two high-school school teachers and a pivotal student, are capable of inspiring deep emotion but at the same time, they’re flawed human beings with whom I think we can all identify to an extent.
  2. They’re all, at least in part, me at different stages of my life and my coming out process. Big Love is not autobiographical, but I believe every writer leaves a personal stamp on each of his or her characters (and they on him!).
So, in this post, I want to get you up-close-and-personal with three brave men whom I believe you'll love as much as I do and tell you about their relationship with me and with the delicate process of coming out.

 Our first character is Dane Bernard. Dane’s a little older than your average character in a gay romance, in his forties, and living a very settled life as a high school teacher, with a wife and two adolescent children, a boy and a girl. To look at him, you’d think he had the perfect, settled life. The American dream, the source of contentment. But look closer and you’ll see a man who’s hiding his most essential self under a mound of shame and secrets. See, Dane is in the closet and thinks that, because of the people he’d hurt if he were honest about his orientation, he can never come out of that closet.

Circumstances unlock the closet door, tragic circumstances (as you’ll see when you read Big Love), but nonetheless Dane has no longer got a reason to keep his gay self a secret. Tentatively, he begins to come out. The events in the book force him to come out quicker than he might have wanted or felt comfortable with, but once he’s out and on the other side, he finds the air there is very much worth breathing and very liberating.

I was Dane at one point in my life. As far as I knew, no one knew I was gay. I was married to a woman, had a wonderful little boy, and was living the perfect suburban lifestyle. No one could see that I wore a mask every day and in my darkest hours felt that no one, not friend or family knew who I was. And if they did, my greatest horror was that they would no longer love me. Like Dane, I eventually emerged from my closet and as it was for Dane, it wasn’t always easy. Like Dane did, I found more people stuck by me and still loved me than I thought would, but some did fall away. So I understood Dane’s pain, his anguish and secrets when I was writing. I also understood how a gay man could successfully function—at least for a time and relatively speaking—as a husband and dad. But most of all, I understood and brought to you, dear reader, the joy Dane eventually found in loving himself and that one special man who comes into his life right when he needed him most.

Our second character is Seth Wolcott. Seth’s what I consider the perfectly evolved gay man. Although he’s not perfect, by any means! He’s still smarting from a recent breakup and he’s prone to falling on his ass, in more ways than one (as you’ll see when you read Big Love). But I said Seth was perfectly evolved and that’s because he’s my counterpoint to the other two characters in the book, Dane Bernard and Truman Reid, who, despite a vast age difference, are both dealing with coming out for the first time.

Seth is the character I wrote who demonstrates what it can be like when you love yourself and live your life openly and honestly. With Dane, who’s facing the potential of his first romantic involvement with another man, Seth is not only an object of affection and desire, he’s a role model—one he can and does fall in love with. For Truman, our bullied freshman, Seth is somebody he can look up to and see that by embracing who you are with no shame, you can lead a normal and happy life.

Like Dane, our married, closeted man, I think I also have aspects of Seth. Like Seth, I’m now pretty settled in my gay existence. I’m actually neither proud nor ashamed. I just am. It’s kind of like my height or the fact that I have green eyes. It’s no big deal and yet it’s everything. It’s simply a fact of life.

So it is for Seth.

So it is for me.

Our third character is Truman Reid. It’s no accident that Truman and I share the same last name (albeit spelled differently). My teenage self and Truman have in common a lot of the same heartache growing up. It’s also no accident that Truman shares a first name of a celebrated gay author, Truman Capote. See the picture of the young Capote? In my head, my Truman looks very much like the beautiful young man Capote was at the time his first book, Other Voices, Other Rooms, came out.

Truman is the character I love most in the book. He’s a mess in some ways and in others, one of the most evolved characters. Like Truman at the start of the book, I endured teasing and bullying throughout most of my junior high and high school years. I know his pain. And when you read the opening scene of the book at the first-day-of-school-assembly and how Truman is terrorized, know that I was recreating something that happened to me when I was Truman’s age.

The difference between Truman and me is that I took a lot longer to deal with my shame and conflict over who I was than he did. I didn’t have his teachers, Dane Bernard and Seth Wolcott, to help me accept myself. I didn’t have Truman’s wonderful mom, Patsy, who said to him:

  “God made you just the way you are, honey. Beautiful. And if you’re one of his creations, there’s nothing wrong in who you are. You just hold your head up and be proud.” 

Although make no mistake—I did have a wonderful mom. She just wasn’t as evolved in her thinking as the fiercely loving Patsy. I suspect—and hope—that you will love Truman as much as I do. And I hope that you will help cheer him on his journey from being a bullied victim to an out-and-proud kid who loves himself fiercely and accepts no less from others.

BLURB
Teacher Dane Bernard is a gentle giant, loved by all at Summitville High School. He has a beautiful wife, two kids, and an easy rapport with staff and students alike. But Dane has a secret, one he expects to keep hidden for the rest of his life—he’s gay. But when he loses his wife, Dane finally confronts his attraction to men.

And a new teacher, Seth Wolcott, immediately catches his eye. Seth himself is starting over, licking his wounds from a breakup. The last thing Seth wants is another relationship—but when he spies Dane on his first day at Summitville High, his attraction is immediate and electric.

As the two men enter into a dance of discovery and new love, they’re called upon to come to the aid of bullied gay student Truman Reid. Truman is out and proud, which not everyone at his small-town high school approves of. As the two men work to help Truman ignore the bullies and love himself without reservation, they all learn life-changing lessons about coming out, coming to terms, acceptance, heartbreak, and falling in love.

BUY 
Dreamspinner Press ebook
Dreamspinner Press paperback
Amazon paperback (buy the hard copy and get the ebook for .99!)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Guest Post: Joe Cosentino on Holiday Tales from Fairyland


My Two Favorite Things: Holidays and Fairytales
Tales from Fairyland by Joe Cosentino

I’ve always loved fairytales, ever since my older sister first read them to me before bed eat night. I was totally entranced by peasants becoming princes and princesses and finding true love. The quaint locations, wit, wonder, drama, and happily ever after endings filled my young mind like fairies in an enchanted forest. I wanted to live in those palaces, meet the charming princes, and bring financial equality to those kingdoms. However, I was always dismayed that LGBT people didn’t ever inhabit those kingdoms and stories. So, I wrote The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland/Tales from Fairyland Book 1, published by Dreamspinner Press with an audiobook performed by Joel Leslie. Readers and listeners raved about my gay, comic, romantic twists on Cinderella, Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, and The Snow Queen.

When readers begged for more, I decided to return to Fairyland, at my favorite times: the holidays for Holiday Tales from Fairyland/Tales from Fairyland Book 2. On Halloween in story one, Ichabod Crane, a young schoolteacher, has a boner over sexy and muscular farmer Brom Bones. When the residents of the homophobic Sleepy Hollow aren’t happy about it, the headless horseman rides into town. Will Ichabod fall off his horse into Brom’s strong, rescuing arms, teaching the town folk a lesson in acceptance they’ll never forget? The second story is a take-off on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. At Christmastime, hunky Cavalier P.I. receives a visit from a new client, handsome young Fritz. Somebody strangled Fritz’s sister Clara with the ribbons of her toe shoes, and Fritz is the top suspect. But he seems more interested in the bulge in Cavalier’s tights than in getting himself off the hook. When Cavalier turns sweet on Fritz, it’s time for the private investigator to question his old dance partner the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara’s husband the Nutcracker, Fritz’s other sister Louise, and Fritz’s Godpapa Drosselmeyer to save his intended, and find out: Who Killed Clara? Finally, at Winter Solstice, young Vasily falls in love with a mysterious, handsome man who rides by his orphanage each morning, noon, and night. Upon following him, Vasily discovers the man is a prince under the powers of Baba Yaga. Can Vasily rescue his tortured Prince Anton from the witch’s conversion therapy and dance around his pole on May Day?

You can enjoy these holiday fairytale stories in an e-book: Holiday Tales from Fairyland, or along with The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland in the paperback anthology: Tales from Fairyland Collection. I hope you read and enjoy these funny, sexy, heartwarming, romantic fairytales. They will no doubt bring you back to better, joyous times. I also hope the movie studio producing those amazing animated fairytales finally realizes that fairytales should include everyone—including the boy in love with his nutcracker doll!

HOLIDAY TALES FROM FAIRYLAND
the second Tales from Fairyland e-book novella
by JOE COSENTINO
$2.99 pre-order sale until October 1
http://mybook.to/HolidayTales
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/886272
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holiday-tales-from-fairyland-joe-cosentino/1129229032?ean=2940155760795
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/holiday-tales-from-fairyland

It’s holiday time in Fairyland. On Halloween, Ichabod Crane, a young schoolteacher, has a boner over sexy and muscular farmer Brom Bones. When the residents of the homophobic Sleepy Hollow aren’t happy about it, the headless horseman rides into town. Will Ichabod fall off his horse into Brom’s strong, rescuing arms, teaching the townsfolk a lesson in acceptance they’ll never forget? On Christmas, hunky Cavalier P.I. receives a visit from a new client, handsome young Fritz. Somebody strangled Fritz’s sister Clara with the ribbons of her toe shoes, and Fritz is the top suspect. But he seems more interested in the bulge in Cavalier’s tights than in getting himself off the hook. When Cavalier turns sweet on Fritz, it’s time for the private investigator to question his old dance partner the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara’s husband the Nutcracker, Fritz’s other sister Louise, and Fritz’s Godpapa Drosselmeyer to save his intended and find out: Who Killed Clara? At Winter Solstice, young Vasily falls in love with a mysterious, handsome man who rides by his orphanage each morning, noon, and night. Upon following him, Vasily discovers the man is a prince under the powers of Baba Yaga. Can Vasily rescue his tortured Prince Anton from the witch’s conversion therapy and dance around his pole on May Day?

and

THE TALES FROM FAIRYLAND ANTHOLOGY
The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland paperback
by JOE COSENTINO
$12.99
http://mybook.to/FairylandAnthology

 Welcome to Fairyland, a magical place where your favorite fairytale characters come out on the other side of the rainbow. Poor and beautiful Cinder offers his clothes to a naked prince in the woods in a twist on the classic Cinderella tale. Eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three irresistibly burly men on Bear Mountain. Romance ensues between that stringy guy with a growing appendage and the character with a thing for giants. A handsome but cold-hearted prince bewitches young Kieran into being his captive. Can Gaelen thaw the ice palace and save his love?
Then it’s holiday time in Fairyland. On Halloween, Ichabod Crane, a young schoolteacher, has a boner over muscular farmer Brom Bones. When the residents of Sleepy Hollow balk, the headless horseman rides into town teaching the townsfolk a lesson in acceptance they’ll never forget. Somebody strangled Fritz’s sister Clara with the ribbons of her toe shoes, and Fritz is the top suspect. When hunky Cavalier turns sweet on sweet Fritz, it’s time for the dancing private investigator to question everyone involved with Clara and the Nutcracker to find out who killed Clara? At Winter Solstice, can orphan Vasily rescue a tortured prince from Baba Yaga, releasing him from the witch’s conversion therapy, and dance around the prince’s pole on May Day?

Praise for The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, the first Tales from Fairyland novella, published by Dreamspinner Press:
“This is a brilliant work, filled with imaginative twists and sly asides. This is adult literature, overflowing with sometimes gentle but often biting humor, and these fairy tales take on a new edginess without ever losing the morality underpinning each story. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland gets my highest recommendation! If I could give it more than 5 Stars I would. Bravo, sir, bravo!” GGR Reviews
“Sometimes you are lucky enough to find an author that ticks every box you want as a reader, today I’m that lucky reader….a great saucy, fun collection and highly recommended.” Three Books over the Rainbow

“the stories are all well done and smart, engaging, funny and sweet.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“The Naked Prince and Other tales from Fairyland is a fun, hilarious collection of stories. Joe outdid himself taking old favorites from our childhood and putting a grown-up spin on them….If you like gay princes, sexy bears, giants, reporters, fairy tales, comedy, suspense, and, sweet, fun man-sex, this is for you.” Cathy Brockman Romance
“If you haven’t read anything by Cosentino, you don’t know what you are missing. His humor and penchant for drama bring these old favorites a new life as he ventures deep into Fairyland….If you love fairytales, you’ve got to read the naughty versions – they are even better!” Joyfully Jay Reviews
“I was most surprised by the author’s sense of humor and his ability to get me to not only laugh out loud, but actually to “belly laugh.” I highly recommend this to audiobook lovers, and especially to those who loved fairy tales in their childhood.” Hearts on Fire Reviews
“In this wickedly entertaining take on classic fairy tales, Joe Cosentino gives us four short stories full of all the characters you remember from storybooks – Cinderella, Pinocchio, Goldilocks, Captain Hook, Jack and the Beanstalk, Prince Charming and many more – but fair warning: This ain’t your childhood Cinderella. Welcome to a world where it isn’t Pinocchio’s nose that grows when he tells a lie. Goldilocks discovers three sexy daddy bears in the woods and ‘someone’s been sleeping in my bed’ takes on a whole other connotation. Jack is ‘very nimble’ but sadly also ‘amazingly quick’ and Prince Charming dons ‘palace protection’ for hot sex with Cinder. Extra bonus points for this wonderful quip: ‘I always suspected he had more down his throat than a frog.’” Gay Book Reviews
Joe Cosentino is the author of six novellas published by Dreamspinner Press: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Open Skye Book Reviews Audiobook of the Month); the In My Heart series: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; and the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel; the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Favorite LGBT Mystery), Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity; the Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press): Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention/TBR Pile Book of the Month), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, and Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings; and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college professor/department chair residing in New York State. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Excerpt of Holiday Tales from Fairyland, Tales from Fairyland Book 2, by Joe Cosentino

Comfortable as always in my white tights and gold jacket, I leaned back in my chair and focused on my captivating young caller. He spoke in a velvety smooth voice. His eyes seemed to penetrate my soul. Believe me, the decorated Christmas tree next to my gold fireplace wasn’t the only thing rising. “I’m sorry about your sister.”
“Me too. The Dance Village Dance Captain thinks I did it.”
“Did you?”
“I want you to prove my innocence.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
He sighed. “It doesn’t matter what I say. Nobody seems to believe me.”
I rested my elbows on the desk lined with figures of ballet dancers doing pirouettes. “I’d like to believe you.”
His handsome face softened. “And I’d like you to save me.”
I wanted to wrap my arms around him and protect Fritz from the world. “Then how about you tell me everything you know about this?”
“That may take some time.”
“I have nowhere else to go.”
“On Christmas Day?” He smirked. “Don’t you have anyone in your life, Cavalier?”
I met his gaze. “I could ask you the same question.”
“My parents are dead, and my sister has just been killed. What’s your excuse?”
“I pry into other people’s lives. It doesn’t leave me much time for a life of my own.”
“Lucky for me.” He smiled.
I’d never been that attracted to anyone before in my life. “How old are you?”
“Old enough to be tried in the Dance Village Square as an adult.”
“Meaning?”
His ruby lips parted, forming an intoxicating smile. “I’m legal, Cavalier. Twenty-one next month. And you?”
“I’m a decade older than you. So behave, or I’ll have to put you over my knee.”
“You’ll have to catch me first.” He winked. “And I’m not easily caught.”
The kid was driving me crazy. I wanted to assemblĂ© over the desk and have my way with him. Trying to maintain my professional persona, I said, “Let’s start with you telling me about this from the beginning.” Readying a pad lined with dancing snowflakes, I wrote on top, “The Case of: Who Killed Clara?”
Fritz tented his long thin fingers—and I wanted to devour them. “As kids, my sisters and I lived in a mansion. My parents weren’t around much, so the three of us spent most of the time in the playroom with our toys.”
I couldn’t resist. “Which was your favorite toy?”
“My soldier doll. He was strong and courageous. I slept with him every night.”
I couldn’t believe I was jealous of a doll. “And your sisters?”
Louise fussed over her Madame Charette doll, obviously exhibiting early lesbian tendencies. Clara loved her Nutcracker doll. Our godfather, Judge Drosselmeyer, gave it to her.”
Writing, I asked, “Can your godfather, the judge, assist you with your case now?”
He shook his head, and golden shafts formed a halo around his face. “He thinks I did it too. The patch over Godpapa’s eye isn’t the only thing keeping him from seeing clearly.”
“Let’s go back to the playroom when you were kids. How did the Nutcracker come to life?”
He did a double take. “You know about that?”
“I ran into your sister and the Nutcracker Prince when they were on their honeymoon in the Land of Sweets.”
“How sweet.” His dimples were like craters of honey.
I wanted to lick them dry. “I’m waiting for an answer to my question.”
“It’s quite a story. If I tell you, I doubt you’ll believe me.”
“Try me.” I moved my legs into third position to conceal my obvious arousal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

An #NSFW excerpt from OUT ON THE NET


Out on the Net: A Love Story in Blog Form is all about a small-town young guy’s tentative steps toward self-acceptance and finding true love. Below is one of the saddest—and most hilarious—of those tentative steps.


BLURB
Ray Tolliver has bad timing. Cold feet? It doesn’t get much worse than accepting you’re gay twenty minutes before your wedding to a woman, yet that’s just what happens.

Join Ray as he recounts in his blog the hilarious and touching events that lead him on a journey toward true love. Although he originally starts looking for love in all the wrong places, will he eventually find another man who wants more than just quick sex? A man who appreciates romance, hearts, and flowers? Or will he find that self-acceptance and bliss do not always go hand-in-hand?

And what of Alice, Ray’s lovely, jilted fiancĂ©e? Will she find it in her heart to forgive the man who left her at the altar?
These questions and more are answered in this unique love story, told in the form of blog entries. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but you’ll come away with a renewed appreciation for the power and difficulties of loving not only others, but yourself…

Get your $1.99 copy at Amazon (or FREE if you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber)

EXCERPT: A VISIT TO "Lollipop Park"
Oh, I know what you’re going to say when you see the title of this entry. You’ll roll your eyes and probably think that things are going to get juicy and scandalous.
Because everyone in Summitville knows what goes on at that little rest stop just north of town, on the way to the highway. There’s a reason people snicker about it and call it “Lollipop Park.”
Are you rolling your eyes and hoping in every sense of the phrase that I will not go there?
Hang on to your hats, boys and girls, because I did go there. Sordid. Seedy. Shameful. I know. I went there in real life and I’m going there now on paper. Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
But I didn’t yet tell you why I drove out there just a couple of weeks after the disaster that was to have been my wedding day. And I haven’t yet related what happened there, so just hold your horses on your judgments, Mary. I am trying to learn to talk as I imagine a gay man would and it’s not coming easy. Case in point—calling you “Mary.” So stupid.
Anyway, Summitville, PA has no gay bars, no gay clubs, no gay newspaper. To the untrained eye, one might even claim the little riverside town has no gay people, but discerning minds know that in a town of 12,000, that can’t be true. If you take the more or less accepted rule of thumb of one in every ten people is gay (don’t ask me where I got that statistic; I’ve heard it all my life), that would mean there are at least 1200 people here just like me, or at least like me in that they prefer sausage over pie or vice versa.
I digress. Why did I stop by the rest stop, when I neither needed to rest, nor to pee? What made me go to that shadowy, stinking-of-excrement, gravel-fronted little rest stop with the obscene graffiti and lone men lingering too long in parked cars? What would possess a nice, clean, upstanding guy like me to wander out to a place known for anonymous sexual encounters?
Curiosity. Don’t give me that crap about killing the cat, either. It was curiosity. Because, you see, even though I knew now that I was a gay man, I had no idea what gay men did, where they went, how they met. Maybe if I lived in that big city to the west, Pittsburgh, with its gay bars and clubs, I would have a better idea. But here in Summitville, where when people think of “cornholing,” they think of a summertime game played with beanbags and slotted boards, I just hadn’t had much opportunity to know much about gay life—the ins and outs of it (yes, I hear you snickering…shut up!).
Ergo the rest stop, rest area, Lollipop Park, whatever you wanted to call it. It was my only frame of reference for where gay men met up. I had driven by many times, on my way to the mall, and had heard the whisperings and jokes about the place, had even pretended to find the idea of such a locale humorous. But when I was alone, I put the humor aside and toyed with the rumors I’d heard—that men sucked each other off in the woods nearby and sometimes even right there in the stalls; that guys picked each other up and went back to each other’s home for God knew what. Parcheesi? Root beer floats? I don’t think so. These ideas made me feel paradoxically sick and weak and, at the same time, queasy with desire.
So I decided that my first act as a gay man should be to meet another one. And my very limited frame of reference left this as my only option. The idea of driving up to Pittsburgh or down to Steubenville and setting foot in one of the gay bars there filled me with terror. I was so not ready to mingle with my more urban, and sophisticated, gay brethren.
So I was stuck with this seedy and unseemly choice. I pulled into the gravel parking lot, where several other cars were already sitting, and shrugged. What would be the worst that could happen? Okay, okay, I could be fag bashed or arrested…that would be the worst. But if I was careful, maybe I would come out of this at least knowing someone else like myself and maybe, oh God, just maybe, I would have my first sexual encounter with a man.
Whoa there, boy, you’re getting ahead of yourself! I quieted the lustful thoughts and the rising erection that both seemed to arrive of their own accord, with no prompting from me.
I sat in my car and looked around the little parking lot. It was around nine o’clock, dusky. A few fireflies danced in the air over the grassy area just ahead of our cars, where the Summitville park district had kindly put out a pair of decrepit looking picnic tables. Who would want to picnic here? And what was on the menu?
Shut up with the weenies comment, please!
Because of the dying light and the setting sun reflecting off car glass, it was hard to see any of the other occupants of the three other vehicles in the lot. One thing was for sure, though: from the silhouettes, I could tell that a lone male occupied each car. One of them was smoking; I could see the glow of the cherry at the tip of his cigarette as he brought it to his mouth and drew in.
What was I supposed to do now? I didn’t know, so I just sat in my car, the butterflies dancing in my stomach, for what seemed like hours, but was, in reality, only about fifteen minutes or so. I drew in a deep breath and gathered up my courage. Someone had to start something.
I rolled up my car windows and exited my Kia Soul, closing the door softly behind me. I used the remote over my shoulder to lock the car up as I headed to the little cinder block structure to my left. Even from here, the word, “MEN” beckoned in white on a blue background.
Promising.
I went inside and thought of uttering that old Bette Davis line, “What a dump!” and then chastised myself for being such a queen.
But the shitter, er, the restroom was not exactly a sight for sore eyes. It was dingy and dark, the only illumination came from a bare, low-watt bulb hanging from the ceiling. The paint-peeling industrial green walls looked like they would be damp to the touch. Flies buzzed around, obviously delighted with the luxurious accommodations. Cigarette butts and toilet paper littered the floor. Twin pieces of reflective metal, trying hard to find their motivation as mirrors, had been affixed to the wall above a pair of old, dripping, and rust-stained sink. On one wall was mounted a dispenser out of which one could get a condom for just a quarter. What was that doinghere? The whole place stank of urine and shit.
Isn’t it romantic?
If this was gay life, perhaps I should crawl back to Alice on my hands and knees and beg for forgiveness.
But, as the saying goes, “in for a penny, in for a pound,” I thought I should at least check out the rest of the place. See what some witty scribes had written on partition walls…
I headed over to the two toilet stalls and, after wiping the seat with a piece of single-ply toilet paper, I nervously sat down. Even though I had wiped the seat, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to lower my cargo shorts.
The first thing I spied was some graffiti that said, “10-4 good buddy, this is the place, pull down your pants and fuck my face.”
Charming!
I wondered what poet wannabe had written those lines on the wall and if any burly trucker had ever heeded its siren call. I searched in vain for more rhyming couplets, but none of the other graffiti matched its poetic flair. In fact, the rest of it was downright crude, exhortations to suck and be sucked, to fuck and be fucked, penis sizes, and messages left by people who cared so little about their privacy that they left phone numbers.
I could not imagine calling one of those numbers…or what kind of person would be hanging out on the other end of the line.
I stiffened—and not in a good way—as I heard footsteps. It was then that I noticed the hole drilled into the partition wall. It was just the right size to fit a hand—or, oh my Sweet Jesus, another part of the anatomy—through and positioned at waist height.
Did people really use that hole for what I thought they did?
Was there no romance in the gay world?
The footsteps neared my stall, and because there was no front door, I locked eyes with my new restroom buddy. He stopped in front of my stall and stared at me. I didn’t know what to do. Even though my shorts were up, I placed my hand over my crotch.
He had his hand over his crotch, too, and was rubbing it suggestively. He squeezed and I could see the outline of an erect cock beneath the denim.
Suddenly, my mouth felt dry and my heart was beating at double its usual rate. Good Lord, when had it gotten dark outside?
I eyed the man and he met my stare almost with a challenge in his eyes. He was about my age, but had long, stringy blond hair. He was too skinny and his bare arms (he was wearing a grimy wife-beater) were tattooed up and down their sinewy lengths. A hoop earring dangled from one ear, peeking in and out from the strings of his platinum locks as he glanced down at his own crotch, as if making sure it was still there.
My mouth was dry and I wanted to lick my lips, but was afraid of giving the wrong idea. I was learning fast that the language spoken here was with the eyes and not-so-subtle gestures.
Finally, he smiled at me and I saw he had what my mom used to refer to as “summer teeth.” Some are here. Some are there.
Suddenly, he reached for my crotch, as if to give it a neighborly squeeze. I swung my legs around to ensure his intended was out of his reach.
He sighed impatiently and ducked quickly into the stall next to mine. For a long time, there was silence and I dared not hazard a peek through the hole in the wall to see what my new buddy was up to.
But finally, I could stand the suspense no longer. I leaned forward a little, positioning my eye so it was level with the hole.
Boy, did I get an eyeful. Mr. Summer Teeth had had no compunction about dropping his drawers and working himself up into a frenzy. A huge cock, what I would estimate to be between eight or nine inches, rose up from between his tanned thighs. He worked it hard and there was a drop of precum poised at the slit in his head.
I have to admit it. My mouth wasn’t so dry anymore.
I watched. I think I was a little in shock. All kinds of things were running through me, making me feel both nauseous and lustful. I wanted that thing. I needed to get the hell out of here now.
He must have noticed me peering through the hole because the next thing I knew that big missile was coming right through it. Hey, buddy, watch it! You could take out someone’s eye with that thing!
Suddenly the cock was right in front of my face, dripping precum. With just a slight lean forward, I could have the pleasure of tracing a bulging purple vein with my tongue.
Did I touch it? Did I take it in my mouth?
Are you crazy? I ran out of there as fast as I could and if it didn’t mean being labeled as a drama queen, I would have said I rushed out screaming into the night.
As I drove away, tires sending up a spray of gravel behind me, I wondered if I would ever make a very good gay.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Guest Post from Author Laury A. Egan: When a Funny Guy Comes to Visit


When a Funny Guy Comes to Visit
by Laury A. Egan

Rarely does a writer have fun creating a book. Yes, there are special scenes, a bit of humorous dialogue, or a serendipitous turn of phrase that please, but mostly our job is hard work. Long hours sitting in front of a computer, long nights dreaming about what we’ll write the next morning on the computer, and clusters of notes around the computer that require eventual insertion. Most of what we do requires grit, tenacity, and a large dollop of obsessive-compulsive behavior. However, in stark relief from my previous novels, Fabulous! An Opera Buffa, was wicked fun from the beginning.
One summer day, while I was sitting on the deck, gazing serenely on the ocean, Gilbert Eugene Rose flew in for a visit, rather like Peter Pan arriving in the open window of the Darling house.

Immediately, Gil made me giggle. He was arch, charming, sweet, irresistible, nor would he be ignored, so I set down my iced tea and rushed to the keyboard, wherein he acted like a greyhound let off the leash. After telling me of his psychic reading by Madame Clara, in which he was informed, “It’s just a matter of time,” Gil explained this meant he would achieve his goal of singing in a professional opera production and finding his one true love.

Well, with Gill, things are never easy, and he soon finds himself hired for a soprano lead in a Mozart opera and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, with a lesbian mobsterette, La Donna, requiring Handel in between. His madcap adventure—changing wigs and identities—becomes more complicated when La Donna reignites a dangerous feud with the producer of one of his operas. This lands Gil in the middle of Mobster Boulevard and me holding my hat, trying to keep up with his zippy tale. And there is also romance brewing with the hunky Hank—of course there is romance!

Where did Gilbert come from? This gay guy who sings opera and performs the occasional drag show? I have absolutely no idea except to say that the process was akin to channeling (either that or I have multiple-personality disorder in addition to obsessive-compulsive issues). Regardless of his origins, Gil made me laugh and provided a much needed antidote to our depressing times and serious relief from my literary endeavors. I hope readers will enjoy visiting with him as much as I did.

Laury A. Egan is the author of The Outcast Oracle, Jenny Kidd, and Fog and Other Stories. Her poetry has been issued in limited-edition collections: Snow, Shadow, a Stranger; Beneath the Lion’s Paw; The Sea & Beyond; and Presence & Absence. Her website: www.lauryaegan.com

Paperbacks and eBooks are available from Tiny Fox Press:
http://tinyfoxpress.com/product/fabulous/
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your bookstore.