I'm posting another excerpt from my newest release, Chase of a Holy Ghost. It will be out this weekend...maybe today...and I'll update with links as soon as I get them. It's a 65,000 word full length novel and it's part of the Chase series, with Jim and Len Mayfield. I've brought back some older minor characters, and I've given them more detailed descriptions than in previous books. I also introduced some new faces. It's still a western romance set in Chatsworth, Ca. And the only small thing I did a little differently this time was I added a farcical suspense plot that is designed to be a little serious and a little ridiculous at the same time. The book is erotic romance and I wanted to keep things on the lighter side of escapism.
Smashwords Link Chase of a Holy Ghost
Anderson Cooper Snark
This week I posted a few times about a local Texas TV personality, Amy Kushnir, and her rant about the Michael Sam kiss and how she stormed off the set during a panel discussion...while live on the air. She grabbed her purse, books, and pens and walked off. In Amy Kushnir's quest to go down in history as the Anita Bryant of this century, she believes that kids shouldn't be subjected to even the most innocent kiss of love and affection between two men.
Anderson Cooper made a few amusing comments:
“If you’re not in the Dallas area you are missing out on a spectacular morning show called The Broadcast,” Cooper said without a hint of sarcasm in his voice, “and an incredible moment last week when they veered away from springtime pizza recipes and how to slim down your fat pets, to weigh in on this: Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend while ESPN cameras were rolling after Sam became the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL.”
“Amy Kushnir has every right to express her opinion,” Cooper said. “She just wants us to think of the children. And she has a point, if we don’t take action, TV could become a Bacchanalian free-for-all complete with half-naked men and indiscriminate kissing.”
That last comment about half-naked men was in reference to a segment Amy Kushnir did with male strippers prior to the show where she walked off the set. I posted about that here.
Duck Dynasty Again
Phil Robertson recently went on another homophobic rant filled with hate...in church, during church services were people are supposed to be praying. (Am I the only one who sees irony in that?)
In it he compares gay people to thieves, drunkards and swindlers and complains about how he was treated over his former comments.
‘They were mad at me … because instead of acknowledging their sin, like you had better do, they rail against me for giving 'em their truth about their sin,’ Robertson says in the video
The man's a wing nut.
RuPaul on Tranny Word
The word tranny continues to create controversy wherever it's used. I've posted several times about it, here. RuPaul and TV show RuPaul's Drag Race were recently criticized for use of the word tranny, and now RuPaul is speaking up about it in a very vocal way.
‘Does the word tranny bother me? No. I love the word tranny,’ Charles said.
‘It’s not the transsexual community who’s saying that. These are fringe people who are looking for storylines to strengthen their identity as victims. That is what we are dealing with. It’s not the trans community. ‘
’Cause most people who are trans have been through hell and high water. And they’ve looked behind the curtain at Oz and go, “Oh, this is all a fucking joke.”
‘But some people haven’t and they’ve used their victimhood to create a situation where, “No! You look at me! I want you to see me the way you’re supposed to see me!”
Charles added: ‘If your idea of happiness has to do with someone else changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a fucking hard-ass road.’
I'm not transgender and not part of the transgender community. But I don't use the word tranny, consciously. I find it interesting that RuPaul would mention those on the fringes, because I stated that once in a blog post on this topic thinking I was being objective and I received several comments from disgruntled readers that weren't fit for publication. They were downright obscene, and I loved each one. But I couldn't publish them without breaking my civil comment rule.
In any event, I actually don't like the word tranny, I don't use it, and I think all words are important and have meaning. And if just ten people are going to be offended by one word I'm not going to be associated with that kind of hurt. I've learned as a writer that one word can change the context of a sentence...just one simple word. Imagine what it can do to someone's life and well-being.
It's a lot easier to not use the word tranny than it is to use it.
RuPaul is a bit of a wing nut, too.
You can read more here.
Excerpt from Chase of a Holy Ghost
Before Jim woke Culum, he jumped into the shower. He washed fast and didn't bother to shave. He put on his favorite pair of dark skinny jeans, a tight black T-shirt, and a pair of loafers without socks. Although he often obsessed about his looks, getting dressed rarely took him longer than fifteen minutes.
After he woke Culum and helped him dress for school, they went downstairs and Jim tried to explain to Culum hot dogs weren't good for breakfast.
"But daddy," Culum said. "I'm dying for a hot dog." He looked at Len and pouted. "Please, grandpa." He called Len grandpa instead of dad because Len was his biological grandfather. They'd never hidden anything from Culum about his adoption or his biological parents. They'd already told him his biological father, Cain, was Len's son, and that they'd adopted him because they'd loved him and wanted a child. They didn't tell him the part about how his mom had wanted to abort him. But they didn't speak meanly about her either. They just said she was a busy lawyer in San Francisco and left it at that, hoping that one day she might want to be part of Culum’s life.
Len and Jim exchanged a look. This was another one of those weird coincidences Jim often had a problem dealing with. All through childhood, and through all the years Jim had known Cain, Cain’s favorite breakfast had been hot dogs.
Len shrugged. "I don't see anything wrong with it. He wants a hot dog." In this one instance the resemblance to Cain didn’t seem to bother Len at all. He seemed to find it amusing.
Jim frowned. "I'm not sure that's a balanced breakfast for a preschooler, Len. There’s an obesity problem in America."
Len looked at Culum and laughed. "The kid's not obese. He's a toothpick. If anything, he's underweight."
Jim rubbed his chin. Culum, like his father, Cain, had been when he was a kid was stick thin. "But the experts don’t think we should be giving kids unhealthy foods like hot dogs." Jim felt awful saying this. He enjoyed a big juicy hot dog, too, every now and then, especially the extra-long ones.
Len made a face. "Well, I agree about eating right for the most part, but not all the time. So let the experts eat boiled cabbage, prunes, and organic bran toast for breakfast. We're giving Culum a great big old fashioned hot dog with mustard this morning."
Culum clapped his hands and said, "Yes. With mustard."
Jim turned to the refrigerator to get the hot dogs and smiled. "I guess it can't hurt once in a while. But tomorrow morning he has cereal and organic fruit. No questions asked."
When Jim's back was turned, Culum must have made a face and said something to Len about the fruit and cereal. Jim overheard Len whisper, "Don't worry, buddy. We'll deal with tomorrow when it comes."
While Culum was eating his hot dog…and dropping bits and pieces of it on the floor for Clinger…Len rustled the newspaper and said, "Wait until you see this."
Jim was wiping the original wooden counter that had been there since the old house had been built. "What?" They had made minor renovations to the kitchen in the old mission style house, but Jim and Len had both insisted they keep as much of the original features as possible. Instead of ripping out all the wood counters for granite, they left most in place and added two counters in white marble. Instead of tearing up the old handmade tiles on the floor, they had them cleaned and polished by a professional. And instead of putting in new cabinets, they still used the old fashioned free-standing cupboards and mission style kitchen furniture that had been there for over a hundred years. They'd always considered themselves blessed that someone hadn't bought the house in the 1970's and ruined all the original features with vinyl and Formica.
Len stood up and brought the newspaper to Jim. He obviously didn't want to mention it in front of Culum. "Read this."
Jim stopped wiping and looked down at the paper. His eyes bugged when he read the headline. "Beverly Hills Realtor May Be Missing." As he read more, it mentioned that someone had been listening to one of Hal's webisodes and had phoned 911 to report something unusual. But when the police arrived they found nothing, not even Hal. It would be an ongoing investigation that could last a long time.
“At least it’s not on the front page,” Jim said. They’d buried the story about Hal in the back.
Len glanced over at Culum to make sure he wasn't listening. Culum was still feeding Clinger and neither of them made an attempt to stop him like they normally would have. "I have to get moving," Len said. "Let me know if you get any calls today."
Jim jerked sideways. "Calls? What kind of calls?"
"I have a feeling the police are going to want to talk to you about this," Len said.
"Oh shit," Jim said. "Why me? I know nothing about it."
Len kissed him goodbye. "I'm sure they know you're the one who called 911 last night. Trust me; you're going to be questioned. That's why I didn't want you to make that call last night and why I prefer not to get involved in things like this."
After Len kissed Culum goodbye and left for work, Jim strapped Culum into the backseat of the Tahoe and drove him to school. Len worked full time now from the downtown Los Angeles offices of Branson Communications. Len's mother, Doris, would have preferred if Len and Jim had moved to Connecticut and live in the family estate, and after what Jim had read in the newspaper that morning he was starting to think Connecticut looked good. Even Harold and Mitshu who owned the Over the Rainbow Tots pre-school had read about Hal Robertson in the paper that morning and they'd asked Jim if he’d seen it. Jim said he knew nothing about it and he brushed it all off. Then he kissed Culum goodbye and got out of there as fast as he could. He knew how those two liked to gossip.
On the way home, the phone rang in the car and he answered thinking it was the police calling to question him. It was Jim's mom in Texas, Helen, calling to tell him that she and Jim's dad, Radcliff, were coming to Los Angeles in a few days.
They saw each other often and Jim and Len had a wonderful relationship with Jim's parents. It hadn't always been that way. When Helen and Radcliff found out Jim was having an affair with their best friend, Len, they didn't speak for over one full year. It took time and a good deal of nurturing for them to reach the point where they could all even be in the same room and remain civil.
Jim hated talking on the phone in the car, even with Bluetooth. "I'm driving, mom. Can I call you back when I get home?"
"No need, honey," Helen said. "There's nothing important to say. We'll be there in a few days."
"Why are you coming?" Jim asked. He knew his parents well enough to know they always planned trips like this well in advance. The next scheduled visit was Fourth of July weekend. This was only May.
"It's kind of business," Helen said. "It's nothing important."
Jim knew her better than that. He frowned and said, "Tell me the truth."
"Okay," she said. "But I don't want you getting all upset. I know how you are. You're dad has to see a specialist in LA. We're getting second opinion. But I don't want you worrying. It's nothing all that serious."
This wasn't adding up. If it wasn't all that serious why did they need a second opinion in Los Angeles? But Jim knew how well his mom could avoid topics she didn't want to discuss and he figured he would get more out of her later. For him to push the issue at that point only would have frustrated him into a temple pounding headache. "Just let me know when you're arriving so I can come get you," he said.
"I'll call you later," Helen said. "How's my grandson?"
"I just dropped him off at school," Jim said. "He's great. He'll be thrilled when he hears you're coming."
"Love you, honey," Helen said, and then she hung up before Jim could ask her any more questions.
By the time he reached the entrance to COAL Ranch, the phone rang again and this time he didn't recognize the number. He didn't answer it. He decided to let it go to voicemail. But when he pulled up to the house and saw two men waiting for him in the driveway, he got a sick feeling deep in his gut because he knew deep down those men hadn't come to pay him a social call.