Friday, January 31, 2014

Russian Actor Sued; Pink Poodle Attack; Free Gay Excerpt

Russian Actor Sued

When I posted about Russian sitcom actor, Ivan Okhlobystin, calling for gays to be burned alive, I had a feeling there would be some kind of follow up coming soon. In this case the actor is now being sued by a gay activist in Russia, Nikolay Bayev. Bayev seems to want justice more than money. He's asking for Okhlobystin to apologize and for what basically amounts to around $900 US dollars.

Okhlobystin made the comments during a speech to fans in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in December – also adding that he wanted ‘faggots’ stripped of their voting rights because they are a ‘psychical anomaly.’

You can read more here.

What really shocks me the most is the way any sane person can ask for any group to be burned alive knowing what happened during the Holocaust.

Pink Poodle Attack

Evidently, a gay couple was out walking their pink poodle and they were attacked by a man with a crowbar. And now the man's wife has been found guilty in connection with the attack because she lied to police and said her husband was hiding in Target, and she continued to change her story. Her attorney claims she lied because she couldn't live without this gem of a husband. She now faces up to 20 years in prison.

 David Beltier, the 26-year-old victim, was with his boyfriend Jeremy Mark walking their pink poodle ‘Beauty’ when he was hit.

 After the attack, according to KATU, he said he was lucky to be alive.

You can read more here.

I'm surprised the poodle was so calm during the attack...unless I'm not getting the full story. We have two poodles and one is far more aggressive than the other and his bite is far worse than his bark. I have seen him go after people for just looking at me the wrong way.

Free Gay Excerpt

When you write genre fiction it's different from the way other mainstream fiction writers work because you have a readership that tends to expect and want more books a year. And sometimes writers get busy working on current projects and they don't always talk about all their books in as much depth as they should. So I'm posting this excerpt from When Harry Met Sal, today because it's one of the books I didn't talk about too much. It's also a good example of the kind of parody I used to do more often but have strayed away from doing because it seems to ruffle so many feathers. The interesting thing is that the main association with my book and the film, When Harry Met Sally, is the parody of the title. The rest of the book is completely different from the film and you can see this just from reading the blurb. One main character is a professional poker player and the other is a semi-famous interior designer. There's also a pet pig in the story, a quirky old housekeeper, and a few more surprises I won't get into now. But my point is that even though the title is a parody, the book is very little like the film.

You can find it here, and here. This book does not have tons of reviews on Amazon. In fact, the one review it has reads like a fake review from a bully who just wanted to slam me and the book for their own self-pleasure and to harm my book sales back in 2010. I wouldn't have discussed this back then, but I don't feel awkward talking about it now. And we all know by now how often this happens on Amazon. Unfortunately there's nothing an honest author can do about it. I could pay for twenty or more good reviews to balance that one out like other sleazebag authors do. But in the end I think most readers know that reviews like this aren't real and no one really pays attention to them anymore. If you want to read a good cross-section of reviews for this book, check out this link at Goodreads.com. All the GR reviews I believe are honest and real, the good and the bad. I know a lot of authors have complained about goodreads, but so far I've never had any issues there and I've always thought my reviews were accurate.

Excerpt...from original manuscript in raw form:




Chapter One

 

It seemed like the entire university was packing to leave on the day Harry and Sal first met.

Harry was loading his little red mini cooper on a warm Sunday afternoon in June of 2004. He’d just graduated and he was driving to New York to start a new life. The Stanford campus…a sprawling example of California architectural design, with magnificent Spanish style buildings and modern masterpieces intermingled on neat little roads lined with lush palm trees…rocked with a sense of excitement and urgency that day. Harry was double checking his bicycle. It was attached to one of those roof racks where the bike stood up straight and looked as if it was being held in place by a pair of invisible hands. When he lifted his arms up to make sure the bike was secure, his red T-shirt rode up and exposed the small of his naked back. He had a deep, natural arch that curved in. His jeans were loose and fell low on his hips and you could see the waistband of his white briefs. A small silver convertible slowed down and a good looking guy with thick blond hair leaned forward to check out his body.

Harry’s boyfriend, Mark, moved closer and gave the blond guy a dirty look. Then he lowered his eyebrows, put his hand on Harry’s ass, and squeezed it a few times so the guy would get the hint and move on.

The guy in the convertible shrugged and hit the gas, and Harry jerked forward and said, “What are you doing, man?” His arms were still up high; his flat stomach was pressed against the window. And Mark’s hand was still on his ass.

Mark smiled. “I’m letting that guy know that you’re with me,” he said. “He was staring at you and he was licking his lips.” He stood straight and squared his broad shoulders. Mark was a football player and he lifted weights daily.

Harry sighed. “Well you can let go now. He’s gone.” When they first started dating two years earlier, Mark’s possessive nature made him laugh. But now he only forced a smile and tried hard not to roll his eyes at Mark’s childish behavior.

A few minutes later, the bike was secure and Harry was ready to leave. He leaned forward and kissed Mike good-bye. The tiny car was filled with boxes and suitcases and books. The back end loped down and you couldn’t see out the rear window. He grabbed Mike’s bicep and kissed him on the lips. “I’ll call you later from the road,” he said. “Be good.” He hated long good-byes and he didn’t want to drag this out longer than necessary.

But Mike grabbed Harry by the shoulders and put his massive arms around his waist. He pulled him close, shoved his tongue into his mouth, and kissed him hard. Then he said, “I want more than just a peck on the lips. I’m not going to see you for a while.”

Harry gently ran his fingers up Mark’s arm and said, “I just feel weird kissing this way out in public, is all. It’s kind of tacky.” It wasn’t because he was gay. If he’d been straight he would have felt the same way about kissing a woman in public. The campus was mobbed; they were in front of Branner Hall.  People were carrying foot lockers, loading cars, and dragging suitcases all around them. He didn’t want to put on a show.

 But that didn’t stop Mark. He was one of those overly affectionate types that loved to hug and grope in public. When they were alone, he barely touched him. But for some reason that Harry couldn’t understand, Mark couldn’t wait to feel him up in public.

He slipped his large hand down the back of Harry’s jeans and squeezed his flesh so hard Harry bit his bottom lip and rolled his eyes. “I don’t give a damn,” Mark said. “I’m going to get one more handful of that hot ass before you leave and I don’t care who is watching.”

Harry didn’t pull away. Mark was good with his hands. He knew where to put them and how to use them. So Harry put his arms around Mark’s shoulders and kissed him again. While they kissed, a couple of guys passing on bicycles slowed down; an older man in a seersucker blazer almost tripped on his own feet. But when Mark tried to put his other huge hand down Harry’s pants, the button popped open and the zipper went down. Harry stepped back fast and Mark’s hand slid out. He pulled up his pants and fastened them, hoping no one was watching.

Then he pulled his car keys out of his pocket and crossed to the other side of the car. “I’ll call you later,” he said. “And I’ll see you in New York in a couple of months.” He’d already rented a studio apartment on East 24th Street in Manhattan. Harry was starting graduate school in the fall. His undergraduate degree was in fine art, and he’d been accepted into a graduate program at a New York school to study interior design. Mark was moving east in late August to start law school in Connecticut. He could have gone back with Harry, but he was from San Francisco and he had a summer internship lined up with his father’s law firm.

When Harry got into the car and switched the engine, Mark tapped the roof hard and shouted. “Drive safe, baby.”

He pulled away from the curb and threw his arm out the window. While he waved, he looked into the side mirror and saw Mark standing in the middle of the street. He was grinning and nodding his head up and down. His strong legs were spread wide and his right arm was up. He didn’t wave; he just lifted his palm and held it there. Harry hit the gas pedal and sighed so loud that it sounded as if a huge stone had been lifted off his back.

After that, he drove to The Fire Truck House to say good-bye to a very good friend. Her name was Marla and they’d both been fine art majors. He’d met her on the first day of class four years earlier, and they’d been best friends since then. She was standing in front of the building waving her arms. Her newest boyfriend was standing next to her. Harry had heard about him, but he hadn’t officially met him yet because she’d only been dating him for two weeks.

The Fire Truck House was a cream colored gem, with a red tiled roof, that dated back to l904, where Harry had spent a great deal of time in the LGBT community resource center. He’d already said good-bye to Marla a hundred times, but he wanted to hug her again just once more.

He parked slantwise and jumped out of the car. Marla loped toward him and threw her arms around his shoulders. Her long blond hair fell over her shoulders in thick clumps, and her black camisole hung from her thin body. She hugged him hard and said, “I’m going to miss you so much.”

Then she stepped back and stood beside a swarthy young guy with short, black hair and large, dark sunglasses. He was wearing a tight black T-shirt and loose fitting jeans that look about an inch too long. His black leather shoes were shiny and pointed. There was a heavy gold wristwatch on his left arm that looked out of place for someone so young. Marla grabbed the guy’s arm and said, “This is Sal Sorentino. Sal, this is Harry Beckham.”

Harry tilted his head and extended his arm. He shook his hand and said, “It’s nice to meet you, Sal.” He noticed a black leather suitcase beside him. His torso was long and lanky and his forearms were covered with an even layer of black hair.

Sal didn’t remove his sunglasses. He didn’t smile. He shook Harry’s hand and said, “You too, buddy.” His voice was deep, with a hoarse, raspy quality.

Marla smiled at Sal and grabbed Harry’s arm. She pulled him to the other side of the car and said, “I have a small favor to ask.” She lowered her eyes and pouted.

Harry’s eyebrows went up. He knew her well enough to know that her tone suggested that she wanted a really big favor, not a small one. He smiled. “What now?”

“Sal needs a ride to New York,” she said. “He got a call this morning about a job offer. He just graduated with a degree in Math, and this is a good offer.”

“Why doesn’t he fly?”

She shrugged. “He can’t afford it. He worked his way through school, and he has a ton of student loans to pay off. He was planning on staying out here and getting a job, and then this offer came up out of the blue. I offered to loan him the money for the air fair, and he flatly refused. He has a lot of pride and he won’t take hand outs.”

Harry looked over at Sal. He was standing there quietly, with his hands in his pockets and his head pointed down. The thought of driving cross country with a total stranger in the car made his stomach turn a few times. And if Mark found out that he was traveling with a strange guy, Mark would lose his mind. “I don’t know,” Harry said. “It could be awkward. I don’t even know the guy. And this car is so small.”

“He can pay for half the gas,” she said. Then she reached for his hand and smiled. “He’s a nice guy, and he’s too stubborn to take any money from me. Besides, you’ll have company all the way to New York. I hate the idea of you driving all that way alone.”

Harry had always admired that kind of pride. He wouldn’t have taken money from anyone either. So he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’ll do it. But Mark can’t find out about this. He’ll really freak out.”

Marla took a deep breath and frowned. She’d never been a huge fan of Mark’s. She didn’t like the way he took control of Harry’s life, and she didn’t like the way Harry let him do it. “What Mark doesn’t know, won’t hurt him,” she said. Then she lifted her arm and shouted to Sal, “You’re going to New York today.”

Sal lifted his head, but he didn’t smile. Then he reached down for his bag and loped toward the car. He walked on the balls of his feet, with a light, carefree bounce. He crossed toward them and said, “Thanks, buddy. I really appreciated this. I’ll pay for half the gas, too.”

Harry waved his arm and said, “Don’t worry about it. I was going to pay for the gas anyway.”

But Sal lifted his sunglasses and looked him in the eye. “I insist,” he said. “It’s the least I can do. You’re doing me a huge favor, and I really appreciate it, man.”

Harry nodded and said, “That sounds fair. And you can help with the driving, too.”

While Harry found a place in the back seat for Sal’s suitcase, Marla put her arms around Sal’s shoulders and kissed him good-bye. It was a fast kiss, without much passion, and nothing like the sexy scene that Mark had created back at Branner Hall. Then she stepped away from him and hugged Harry again. “I’ll see you in the fall,” she said. She was moving to Los Angeles that week to start a new job as an assistant art director with a film company. And she was planning a visit to New York in October.

And as they pulled away, she shouted, “Call me.”

When Harry looked into the side mirror, he saw her standing with her elbow in her hand and two fingers pressed to her lips. He sighed and said, “I’m going to miss her most of all. I don’t know what I’m going to do in New York without her.”

Sal shrugged his shoulders and adjusted his seatbelt. Then he spread his legs wider and slapped Harry on the thigh. He smiled and said, “She’s great. I’m gonna miss her, too.”

Harry’s eyes opened wide, and he looked to the right without moving his head. Sal had slapped him hard; it stung and he wanted to rub his thigh. But he bit the inside of his mouth and said, “If you want to listen to music, feel free to put on anything you want.”

Sal lifted his arms and yawned. “Naw,” he said. “I like the quiet.” Then he adjusted his seat to a backward slant and rested his head against the leather. He was still wearing the dark glasses, so you couldn’t see if his eyes were open or closed.



No comments: