Friday, May 18, 2012

Next Amazon .99 KDP Release: "Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street"

Now that I've finally finished the contracted book with the pen name I've been working on, I can finally dig into edits with "Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street." Whenever I'm contracted to do a book, that contracted book comes first because I not only have a legal obligation, but also an ethical obligation to fulfill. But now that the pen name book is finished, I'm not contracted with anyone to do anything at the present time.

But I will still keep releasing short e-books with I'm going to get more into suspense m/m erotic romance with the next story I do with them. But LYD doesn't contract me ahead of time. They give me the freedom, which I love, to write something and submit it to them without having to work on deadlines. And I'm also writing several short stories for Cleis Press anthologies. But with Cleis, the deadlines aren't until next fall.

So now I can focus completely on getting out the next .99 Kindle e-book. Yes, I'm going to keep the price at .99 right now because I've had more than a few readers contact me with feedback about how much they appreciate this. "Chase of a Lifetime," the first .99 Kindle e-book, will remain priced at .99 as well. And, after I release "Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street," I'll be getting into a sequel to "Chase of a Lifetime." I've had a few people ask about it and after having enough distance from the characters, I've had a few interesting ideas that I think will push those characters forward.

Of course this now means that I'll be driving Tony crazy until the release of JSoDS, because I not only edit in word, but also in PDF and in HTML when I'm publishing myself. To say it gets intense would be an understatment. And with e-books, it's all about formatting. HTML is a language in itself. Which is why it's better to keep it as simple and concise as possible.

Frankly, I'm loving all aspects of self-publishing. In spite of the fact that I still see snide comments and remarks about self-publishing I think it's a way for authors to really do what they want. I understand the remarks and comments in some cases, but in other cases I just have to wonder. A lot of the snide remarks I see about self-publishing come from people who either don't know much about publishing or they don't research authors ahead of time. Because in my case alone, I have more experience in publishing than a lot of the new e-publishers who are out there. I've been around twenty years, and I have the old hard copy published stories to prove it. If technology disappeared tomorrow, I'd be one of the few left who could go back to my typewriter and continue to work without any disruption at all. And I'm proud of that experience. It wasn't easy to get.

Here's a *raw* excerpt from JSoDS, and the blurb. I've always wanted to write about Delancey Street in New York because it's one of my favorite places in the city. The photo above is 77 Delancey Street and there's an old warehouse not far away that reminded me of the New York loft where I set a good deal of the book.

Jonah Sweet has a secret need to be dominated and punished, with whips and chains and leather cuffs. He also has a graduate degree in puppetry from a good university, but can’t find a job and is still with his mom and dad in Queens. So he signs up for cooking school, hoping to learn a trade. But it’s nothing like he thought it would be and he winds up flunking everything from cutlery to hard-boiled eggs. The only other skill Jonah has is the ability to read other peoples’ thoughts, which he knows isn’t going to get him very far.

On the day of an important cooking exam, Jonah meets David Abernathy, the owner of the cooking school and a billionaire who owns restaurant chains, casinos, and real estate. The harder Jonah tries to impress David the worse it gets. But handsome David Abernathy sees something in Jonah. With no explanation at all, David sets Jonah up in an office, buys him a brand new wardrobe, and brings him into his unusual home on Delancey Street.

Though Jonah is stunned by all this, he’s even more stunned by the fact that he can’t read David Abernathy’s thoughts. But Jonah is in no position to turn any offers down. He takes the job in spite of David’s rude, nasty disposition and his erratic rants. From there they enter into an unusual relationship filled with bondage and discipline and more love than either one of them could ever have imagined.

When David introduces Jonah to a little boy in a wheel chair and explains his past, Jonah only falls deeper in love with David. He discovers a gentle side of David no one knows about. But will intense love and exotic sex be enough to compensate for David’s complicated personality and his vicious need to control everything? And will Jonah ever learn how to put up with David’s public outbursts and his violent moods?

When Jonah Sweet enrolled in cooking school, he had a different vision of what he would be doing. He imagined creating wonderful, colorful dishes with delicate baby asparagus and rich golden sauces. He pictured himself arranging perfect little rounds of filet mignon around haricot vert salad with truffles and pine nuts. He would drizzle a rich red wine reduction sauce over a large square white plate so thin he could almost see through it. He would serve his culinary creations to well-dressed men and women who sat around tables covered with starched white linens.

He never thought he’d wind up chopping onions, boning slimy old chickens, and boiling eggs all day. Just touching raw chicken caused a pull in his stomach; he kept forgetting to turn the damn hard boiled eggs off on time and wound up with cracked shells and green yolks. He’d only enrolled in cooking school because he couldn’t find a real job with his college degree: a master’s in puppetry from the University of Connecticut.

After a year without any luck at all in his job searches, his mom and dad suggested he should learn a trade. They thought cooking school would be something that might suit him. His mom said, “It’s either cooking school or you join the goddamn circus with those puppets.” His dad said, “We’d like to retire and move to Florida but we can’t while you’re still so needy, Jonah.”

They’d been talking about moving to Florida for the past four years. Jonah didn’t know what else to do; he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life working part time at Donutland in Queens. So he agreed to enroll in the Abernathy College of Cookery in Manhattan and stopped looking for work with puppets.

At night, when most people his age were out with friends having fun in Manhattan, Jonah was home in his childhood bedroom in Queens working on his puppets. They brought him to a secret wonderful place where nothing could ever harm him. They took him away from stank onions, raw chicken, and greasy faced cooking instructors who sneered at him no matter what he did. Some of Jonah’s secret puppets weren’t like any other puppets in the world. These puppets were all beautiful gay men with chiseled bodies and nice cocks. He named them and kept them categorized according to dominant and submissive. He designed outfits of black leather and lace, with handcuffs, masks, and boots. They had whips and chains, and shackles and clamps. He even designed a tiny little paddle so one of his favorite puppets could enjoy a good spanking every now and then.

On the spring morning he was supposed to be learning how to melt chocolate properly, the cooking instructor he liked the least stood over him and frowned. Jonah thought he’d followed directions; he’d even written them down just to be sure. But he turned up the heat too high and wound up with a dark gooey mess that took on an unusual burnt aroma. Instead of rich, creamy melted chocolate like the guy next to him, Jonah’s appeared cracked and separated. He tried his best to cover up the mess he’d made. He knew the instructor was watching and he didn’t want to look like a complete idiot. So he started whipping the chocolate faster to see if he could smooth it out. The faster he whipped the more it separated and the worse it smelled. The people on either side of him moved farther away and turned their heads. The instructor folded his arms across his chest and closed his eyes.

Then Jonah dropped the wire whisk on the floor and everyone in the class flung him a look. When he bent down to pick it up, he accidentally wiped his forehead and left a smear of chocolate above his eyebrow. Without thinking, he scratched his nose and left a dark smudge above his lips. The guy behind Jonah poked the guy next to him and they exchanged a glance.

At the end of class, the instructor stood in front of everyone and smiled at his favorite students. He praised them for doing an excellent job and congratulated them on mastering the art of melting chocolate to absolute perfection. He didn’t say anything aloud to Jonah about his chocolate debacle. But Jonah knew what he was thinking. Jonah’s only other talent than puppetry was the ability to read minds, and the weaker the mind the easier they were to read. He heard everything the instructor was thinking as if he were speaking aloud. He sent Jonah a condescending glance and thought, “I hope you know how to use that hot little ass, you fucking idiot. Because there is no fucking way you’re ever going to make a living cooking as a real chef in a real restaurant unless you melt a little chocolate on someone’s cock and suck it all off with those sweet lips.”

Jonah usually ignored people with these vulgar thoughts. But that day he glanced up at the instructor and smiled. Jonah knew his limitations, too. He knew he’d never be a great chef and he didn’t want to be a great chef. He just didn’t want to fail and disappoint his mom and dad. They were already talking about Florida and how they wanted to move as soon as Jonah graduated from cooking school and got a decent job. So he smiled at the instructor and licked his lips in an obvious way. Then he turned, bent down to get his backpack, and arched his back a little. Although he was a virgin in every sense of the word, he knew how to flirt with older men to get what he wanted. Sometimes, if he concentrated hard enough, he could send his thoughts to someone else without them even knowing it.


Jon Michaelsen said...

Ryan - this sounds very interesting - and, you know I love mystery/suspense. I'll be awaiting this release for sure...

ryan field said...

Thanks, Jon. I had a good time writing it.