Here's an excerpt, at the bottom of this post, from When A Man Loves A Man, another book in the Glendora Hill series. It's being released sometime this week and I'll post more links and info when I get it from the publisher. I would imagine sometime next week.
Strip Tennis with Rafael Nadal
Yes, this is pure clickbait. Yes, it's stupid. But it's also fun and life is short. Besides, another gay celebrity made headlines with a rant about politics and I'm staying as far away from that sort of thing for the next year as I possibly can.
I like things like this a lot better these days.
Rafael Nadal is having a bit of a moment (as if 14 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal haven’t been enough) as the new face (and body, mostly body) of Tommy Hilfiger underwear.
You can check this out here. I wish I could share the photos here, but I don't have permission and bloggers can't take those chances anymore unless they do have permission.
Vestor Flanagan Alleged Male Escort
Vestor Flanagan was the real name of Bryce Williams, the disgruntled employee who shot and killed two innocent people who worked at a TV news station in Virginia. This article alleges that he once worked as a gay male escort. It's already been established that he was gay.
Now, People is reporting that before his career in television news, Flanagan “exchanged sex for money in the mid-1990s.” Sources say Flanagan worked as a male escort during a period of unemployment between 1995 and 1997, when he was in his early 20s.
You can check that out here, with a photo of Flanagan from what appears to be his escort days.
The comments are varied. A few people slammed Queerty for this article but I'm on Queerty's side with this one. It's creepy, it's painfully sad, but also newsworthy. If Flanagan had been straight and he'd worked as a straight male escort that would have made the news, too.
Venice Mayor Banning Gay Pride
The mayor of Venice, Italy, Luigi Brugnaro, would like to ban gay pride events. His reasons aren't as homophobic as you might think...but they are a little unusual and many are upset over it. In other words, I don't think he's anti-gay...at least I hope not...but it's not totally clear.
“There will be no gay pride in my Venice,” Luigi Brugnaro told La Repubblica newspaper, before describing the event as both farcical and kitsch.
The rest is here. Of course there was a reply from gay activists.
And here's the excerpt from When A Man Loves A Man...
On the way home, he checked his phone again and there was nothing from Bobby Joe, not even a little smiley face text, which he often did when they were both at work. This wasn’t usual for Bobby Joe. The truth was Bobby Joe had always been the one who tended to be jealous and overly possessive of Clayton.
The more he walked, the harder he thought. He wound up running again, wondering how long it would take him to get to Glendora Hill. He’d never even heard of the place, and as a country western singer he’d traveled through a good deal of Texas by then. He knew Austin fairly well, and he knew the roads that would lead him into the general direction of Glendora Hill. He could find his way to the little town with GPS on his phone, and ask for directions to the Marshall Ranch in town when he arrived.
He decided Will was right. There was no good solid reason why he shouldn’t show up at the Marshall Ranch that weekend and surprise Bobby Joe. He would tell the family they were just good friends and he was in the area and stopped by to say hello. He didn’t even plan on spending the weekend. He only wanted to meet the family and show Bobby Joe it was okay to be seen together in front of them. No one ever knew he was gay unless he mentioned it aloud. If anything, other people usually could tell Bobby Joe was gay so his family had to suspect something.
So he went home, showered, and dressed so fast he left the wet towels on the floor and shaving stubble in the sink. He put on his newest white shirt, his cleanest jeans, and his black cowboy boots with new heels. He didn’t plan to stay at the ranch for long, but he packed a vintage brown valise Bobby Joe had given him last Christmas with a few things just in case they asked him to stay. Then he turned out the lights, grabbed his cowboy hat from a hook near the door, and went downstairs to his truck.
As he started the truck, he realized it was even hotter outside and he didn’t want to show up in Glendora Hill looking like a mess. The truck was old, a green 1962 Studebaker Champ he’d inherited from his grandfather when he’d turned sixteen. In spite of its age it only had 42,000 miles on the odometer. He drove it all over Houston and people constantly asked him about it. Some made him offers to sell it. His grandfather hadn’t driven it much, and Clayton never actually had to commute any long distances daily in his life. When he played his music in other cities he usually just rented a small car. It was cheaper and he didn’t have to worry. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to rent a car that day, which is what he would have preferred to do. He had to use the old truck and it didn’t have air conditioning.
So he removed his white shirt and set it neatly on the passenger side of the bench seat. As he pulled away from the curb he noticed the two younger men who had been standing around the warehouse flirting with him the night before. They saw him pull off without his shirt. He glanced in their direction and one of them smiled and gave him two thumbs up. He wasn’t sure if they were a couple or just good friends. He’d started seeing a lot of younger gay men traveling in pairs and groups lately, more so than when he’d been in his early twenties. When he smiled at them, he clutched the steering wheel tighter, thinking about what Bobby Joe was doing to him with this family business. If he’d just been more like Will his life could have been so simple. He could have invited the two young guys up to the loft, played with them all afternoon, and kissed them goodbye forever at the end of the day. But he had to fall in love with Bobby Joe. He had to have morals and ethics. At times like this he wondered if he wasn’t doing everything all wrong.
Music calmed him as he drove. The only thing he’d changed about the old truck was the radio. He had a newer system installed, with Bluetooth, so he could listen to his favorite country western bands. And sometimes, even though he would never admit this aloud to his brother or another living soul, he played show tunes from Broadway musicals just because they put him in a better mood.
On the highway, he received a fair share of attention from truckers and others who passed and noticed the classic old pick-up and his naked torso. He paid them no mind; he focused on the road and never glanced sideways to acknowledge them once. For most of the trip to Glendora Hill he remained focused on his anger, and how frustrated he was about not meeting Bobby Joe’s family yet. He even imagined all the worst scenarios, one of which included images of Bobby Joe leading a double life and having a girlfriend in Glendora Hill so his straight, uptight, homophobic family would never guess he was gay.
When reached the Austin city limits, something interesting happened. As he grew closer to Glendora Hill realizing he would see Bobby Joe again his anger turned into anticipation and he thought more about his appearance and giving Bobby Joe’s family a good first impression. He stopped at the last rest area before he had to exit and went into the bathroom to put on his shirt and check his hair. It felt cooler there, and not as oppressive as it had been in Houston when he’d set out on his road trip. At least he wouldn’t show up a sweaty mess.
He climbed back into the pick-up and turned off the music. He’d checked a few maps of Texas and he had a basic idea where he was going. He also entered Glendora Hill into his GPS system on the phone, hoping he would keep a signal. Unfortunately, he lost all signals a few miles after he exited the highway and he had to stop off at a small service station to see if they had an old-fashioned paper map, or if they could give him directions to Glendora Hill.
After he filled the gas tank, he went into the service station and found an older man sitting behind a gunmetal desk piled so high with papers and junk he could only see the man’s head. The old man glanced up at him and said, “What can I do for you?” He didn’t have a tooth in his mouth and it looked as if his chin could touch his nose if he tried hard enough.
Clayton smiled and said, “I’m looking for a little town, Glendora Hill. Do you have a map I could buy?”
The older man laughed and rubbed his extenuated chin a few times. “Don’t have no maps here, fella. But I can tell you where to go. It’s about as simple as simple gets.” He spoke with a heavy country accent, this kind Clayton hadn’t heard in years.
“I’d appreciate that,” Clayton said. “I’ve never been there before.”
The man laughed louder, with one hand on his chin and the other on his stomach. “Then you’re in for a real treat. There’s no place like it.”
Clayton didn’t ask him to elaborate, and the older man didn’t seem to mind. He went into a short but detailed explanation of how to get from there to the center of Glendora Hill barely stopping at the end of each sentence.
It sounded simple enough to Clayton, and he didn’t ask for paper or a pen to write anything down. He thanked the older man and offered him a twenty-dollar bill for his help. But the older man lifted his palm and said, “No, thanks, fella. It’s on me.”
When Clayton returned to the pick-up truck, he pulled out of the station and followed the man’s directions and made a right. This led him to an intersection about four miles away, where he made a left onto a narrow winding road with hills and valleys that never seemed to end. He drove along that road for another half hour until he reached an intersection where he had the stop sign. When he stopped he glanced up at a wooden road sign that pointed to the left and read, “Glendora Hill.” It was one of those old signs made of wood that had been around since the Second World War. The paint was chipped and he could hardly read the writing. He’d seen them before in other parts of Texas, which made him wonder what Glendora Hill was really like. The last time he’d seen a sign like this it led him to a small town that resembled a ghost town in an old western movie, complete with a dirt road. He wondered if this is what the older man at the service station had been referring to when he’d mentioned Clayton was in for a surprise with Glendora Hill.
He looked at his cell phone again and noticed he was getting a signal now. So he checked the GPS to see if he was headed in the right direction, and then made a left at the intersection onto the road that would lead him into the heart of Glendora Hill.
After he’d left Houston the sky had become overcast and it looked as if it might rain. It had remained this way for most of the road trip, until he reached the road that would lead him to Glendora Hill. As he drove toward the Main Street, the road grew more winding and narrower and the trees thicker. He also noticed the sky getting bluer and there wasn’t a hint of humidity or a single cloud. In fact, he’d never seen the sky so blue, and it even felt cooler. He thought this was because he he’d been driving uphill since he’d left the last intersection.
The narrow winding road eventually gave way to a wider stretch. The trees disappeared and there were green meadows on both sides. A few miles after that, he noticed buildings and a few more trees. He figured this must be Glendora Hill, and his suspicions were confirmed a few minutes later when he passed a sign that read, “Welcome to Glendora Hill, Texas.”
The Rainbow Detective Agency Book 6
The Scottish Duke