I've been remiss about posting excerpts from my books, and I often get lost in new projects I'm working on and I tend to forget something the moment it gets published. I know that's not the best way to promote, but the truth is it's not easy to find a balance between too much promotion and not enough. I think I get paranoid because I see so many who over-promote themselves.
So I'm posting an excerpt from my latest release, Uncertainty, below...with a few links. It's available as an e-book or you can get it in print.
Here's the blurb:
When Gus Baldwin realizes that his gay dad is serious about marrying a much older man for safety and security instead of love, he concocts a plot that he hopes will change his dad's mind. Even though his other dad has been dead for over a year, Gus wants his surviving dad to find love and happiness someday with a new husband. However, their financial situation is about as bad as it gets and they're on the brink of losing their grand old Victorian home, and everything about their perfect lives is threatened. So Gus winds up putting his own marriage on hold with the guy he's been in love with since high school. It's so bad he's even thinking of quitting college to help support his dad and his younger brother just so his dad won't have to marry the older man. After Gus convinces his dad to take a road trip in their vintage 1950s station wagon to their getaway cabin in the mountains, along with his younger brother, his future husband, and their nineteen year old dog named Special, their lives change in ways none of them ever anticipated. And even though the future is still uncertain in some respects, they discover a few things about themselves on this trip they never could have predicted.
Angry Fans Chase Gay Artist Off Social Media
This is disturbing because I see it all the time. Once they gang up on someone it becomes a form of online mob culture and there's no turning back.
A gay storyboard artist for the children’s TV show Steven Universe has deleted her Twitter after being harassed by fans.
They accused Zuke of ‘queer-baiting’ them with a same-sex relationship on the show, according to the Daily Dot.
You can check out the rest here. The article goes into more details that you might find surprising.
Cher On Donald Trump and Gays
Before I even start his part of the post, I'll say it again. I only post these things in an objective way. I'm not taking sides or offering opinions. So if you are an LGBT Trump supporter, don't take it out on me. I respect everyone's opinion, I don't force my opinions on anyone, and I try to remain fair and balanced here on the blog at all times.
With that said...
When Donald Trump promised to protect the LGBTQ community in his fear-mongering speech at the RNC this year, only the most gullible fell for it. Count Cher as among those smart enough to know a conman conning when she sees one.
You can read the rest here.
First Responder To Orlando Massacre
This is very painful to read, but I think it's important to never forget, and to see how some people are still dealing with what happened in Orlando.
Two months since the attack, Realin tells The Orlando Sentinel that he still sees “all the red.”
Realin was one of seven members of the Orlando Police Department’s hazmat team assigned the horrible task of removing each body from the nightclub; a duty he says they carried out with “dignity.”
He's now dealing with PTSD from that night and he's not sure if he will be able to work.
You can check this out here.
FREE Gay Excerpt: Uncertainty
As they rounded the corner and approached the house, Gus glanced at the "For Sale" sign on the front lawn and frowned. This had been the only home he'd ever known, and now Henry was forced to sell it because of all the liens Roberto had put against the house to keep the restaurant going. Gus wasn't sure where they would move either. The only viable alternative at that point would be to rent a small boxy condo in a subdivision on the edge of town called The Hunter's Run.
Gus's family home was the largest, grandest, and oldest on Buckleberry Street, with a white picket fence and neatly manicured boxwoods. It had been built in the late 1800s by a Doctor Palmer, who was one of the original descendants of the Palmer family who had founded the town of Palmer Hill. Roberto and Henry had purchased it in complete disrepair and renovated it to what it had once been. As with everything he did, Roberto spent more money than he actually had at the time. At a glance the house resembled a Victorian castle, with tower rooms, turrets, and second floor balconies. The clapboards and scalloped shingles were a combination of white and dark red, with more bright white trim than a Christmastime gingerbread house. To the right of the tall house, a long cobblestone driveway led back to a two car garage that had been built in the mid-twentieth century out of local stone.
When they reached the front gate and Gus realized that their dog, Special, wasn't barking he got a sick feeling in his stomach. Special was a pure white west highland terrier, with huge black button eyes and short squatty legs. She was over nineteen years old and she'd been diagnosed with what the vet thought was canine congestive heart failure. The vet only thought that's what it was, because he claimed it wasn't wise to spend thousands of dollars testing a dog that was nineteen years old. So he treated her for the symptoms, as if it was congestive heart failure, and she seemed to respond well to the medications…for the most part.
However, there were bad days, and Gus had a feeling this was one of them. He didn't say anything because he didn't want to alarm his brother, but when he pushed the front gate open and looked down, poor Michael screamed so loudly it hurt Gus's ears. There was poor Special, lying on her back, with her short little legs sticking up in the air, her head tilted sideways, and her tongue hanging out of her mouth.
Michael screamed again and pointed. "Gus, she's dead. Look, she's dead. Do something."
Craig rubbed his jaw and said, "Oh, holy shit on a stick."
Gus patted Michael on the shoulder and said, "Let me check her out. It could just be another one of her spells." Special had these unusual spells every once in a while where she would totally black out for a minute or two, and then bounce back to life again is if nothing had ever happened.
Michael started to cry. "She can't be dead. Don't let her be dead, Gus."
"Just stay calm," Gus said.
While Michael stood there shaking and crying, and Craig continued to rub his jaw, Gus kneeled down next to Special and tapped the right side of her head. For some reason no one could explain, tapping her head gently seemed to bring her back to life.
He tapped her head once and nothing happened.
Craig put his arm around Michael and said, "It's okay, buddy."
Then Gus tapped her again and her nose wiggled. She glanced at him as if she didn't know where she was, barked three times, and then she bolted up and took off to greet Michael near the gate as if nothing had happened.
Michael wiped his eyes and went down on his knees to grab her. "She's alive. Look, she's not dead after all."
Gus felt a huge wave of relief pass through his body. The last thing they needed that weekend was a dead dog.
While Michael hugged Special, Gus stood up and he glanced at Craig. He rolled his eyes and said, "We got lucky once again," because he knew it was only a matter of time before she didn't wake up from one of these spells. The vet had told them that's how she would eventually die. He knew they were lucky to still have her at nineteen years old.
Craig reached down to pet Special and said, "Come on, Michael, let's go inside and get ready for dinner. Your dad will be home any minute."
Michael stood up and looked at Gus. "Can we give Special a fortune cookie?"
Gus smiled. They kept her on a strict low sodium diet. "You can give her whatever you want. She's had a rough day." He saw no point in restricting her diet that night. She'd been eating human food since she'd been a small puppy and putting her on a restricted diet that night, at her advanced age, made no sense at all. She was nineteen; they were lucky she was still alive and functioning.
Michael and Special headed toward the house first. No one in Palmer Hill ever locked their doors unless they were leaving for an extended period of time. Craig put his arm on Gus's back and said, "Let's go inside. I'm starved and I have to get out of these underpants." He was always starved. Gus had never seen anyone who could eat so much and never gain a pound.
"I'll be right in. You go upstairs and leave my underwear on the bed. I want to hose off the sidewalk." When Special had one of her spells, she lost control of her bladder and left a huge puddle wherever it happened.
Gus took the hose from the side of the house, rinsed off the sidewalk, and then returned the hose to the neat little hose container next to a juniper bush. Henry liked things organized and arranged a certain way, and both Gus and Michael had learned at an early age how to clean up after themselves. One of Henry's favorite old mottos was, "If it doesn't look good, don't put it on the front porch."
As Gus turned to climb the front steps, he heard voices and he glanced at the sidewalk. Henry and Clive Bunsen were heading toward the front gate, talking and laughing in a way that sounded awkward and forced to Gus.
Gus climbed the stairs fast so they wouldn't see him. He didn't want to say hello to Clive again, but he did want to hear what they were saying. He stood off to the side next to a white column, behind a large potted palm his dad kept on the front porch in the warmer months. From what Gus had been told, the palm tree was older than he was and it dated back to the early years of Henry and Roberto's marriage…back when gay couples weren't allowed to get married legally.
Henry and Clive stopped at the front gate and Henry said, "Thanks for walking me home. I had a nice time this evening." He smiled at Clive the way a man might smile at his neighbor from three doors away, or a distant relative.
Clive lingered for a moment without saying a word. He looked down past his large stomach, put one hand in his pocket, and scratched his chin with the other. When he finally did look up, he glanced into Henry's eyes and said, "You know I'm very fond of you, Henry."
Henry smiled. "And I'm fond of you, Clive."
"I mean, I'm very fond of you, Henry." He winked.
Then he reached down to take Henry's hand and Gus pressed his palm to his chest.
As Clive lifted Henry's hand higher, he cleared his throat and said, "I think we would be good together, and you'd never have to worry about money again. I would see to that. I think we could have a nice life, you and myself."
Henry smiled and said, "I think we could, too, Clive. But I'm not sure about the boys. Michael is a handful."
Clive smiled. "I love Michael, and Gus is almost out of the house anyway. And there's plenty of room at my place. The house is huge and I think Mother would get used to a little more life around the house."
That comment made Gus want to punch the palm tree. He'd only met Clive's elderly mother once, and it wasn't a fond memory. They'd run into her at a town function last fall, back when Clive started to seriously pursue Henry. She knew what Clive was doing and she clearly expressed her dislike for it by remaining silent and sending vicious glances in Henry's direction.
"I don't think your mother likes me very much," Henry said. He smiled, as if trying to make a joke about it.
Clive laughed. "Don't pay attention to mother. She'll get used to the idea, and so will the boys."
Henry smiled again and said, "You're a good, decent man, Clive. And I think you're right. We could have a nice life together. So let's start making plans as soon as possible."
Gus couldn't dispute the fact that Clive was actually a good, decent man. He just didn't want his dad to marry anyone under these circumstances. He wanted his dad to fall in love again and marry for the right reason, not for money and security. And he knew deep down there was nothing he could do, because Gus also knew that they were going to lose the house soon if Henry didn't do something fast. Henry was not the kind of man who would marry for money either, not unless he was absolutely forced into it. He was, however, the kind of man who could talk himself into doing the most practical thing for the sake of Michael and Gus.
When Henry and Clive hugged, Gus crept into the house so Henry wouldn't know he'd been eavesdropping on such a private conversation. It was bad enough he knew Henry would announce the news to them and he wouldn't even know how to respond. As he crossed through the huge main hall, he heard Craig and Michael laughing about something. He didn't want to ruin the evening by mentioning what he'd overheard a few minutes ago, because Michael still didn't even understand why they had to put the house up for sale in the first place. He seemed to grasp the gist of their financial situation, but he kept hoping that something would happen to make everything okay again. Gus wasn't as optimistic, and he knew life didn't always work out that way. His only goal at that point was to keep Henry from making the biggest and worst decision of his life, and he wasn't quite sure yet how he would do that.
Later that night after Craig went home, Henry cleaned up the kitchen while Gus helped Michael get to bed. They didn't normally eat that late and everything felt different for some reason. Gus couldn't stop worrying about the conversation he'd overheard between his dad and Clive, and it felt as if the entire family had reached one of those pivotal moments in their lives where everything could change overnight. The fact that it was the last day of school and Henry wouldn't be collecting a pay check until September again made their situation even more serious than before. Even though Henry would never go into detail about how serious things were, Gus could see the worry all over his face.
After he checked in on Michael one last time to make sure he was sleeping, Gus headed downstairs again to check on Special. She'd been crate trained as a puppy and she'd been sleeping in the same crate for the last nineteen years. Of course they left the door to the crate open at all times and they hadn't locked her up on the crate since she'd been six months old. When he walked over to a corner in the kitchen and saw her sleeping soundly, he resisted the urge to reach into the crate and pet her. He didn't want to startle her, not with her heart condition.
He glanced around and noticed the kitchen was perfectly clean, as if no one had ever eaten there. Henry didn't just keep that house immaculate because of a sense of duty. He loved it so much he couldn't wait to clean it make everything perfect. Gus figured Henry must have gone up to his bedroom, so he turned out the kitchen lights and headed for the main staircase in the front hall. After Roberto's sudden death, Henry had moved into one of the smallest guest rooms on the third floor. He kept his clothes and most of his things in the master bedroom, but he slept in the guest room. He never gave any of them an explanation; he made no grand announcement. One night Gus noticed Henry sleeping in the guest room and the next day he noticed that Henry had moved some of his personal things out of the master bedroom he'd shared with Roberto and put them all in the guest room. There was no need to ask Henry about it. Gus understood, and he made a point of telling Michael not to mention it aloud.
On his way upstairs, Gus noticed the front door was open, so he crossed the hall to close it. As he reached for the handle he glanced outside through the screen door and saw Henry sitting in a white rocking chair on the front porch staring at a photo of Roberto. It was a headshot of Roberto from the days when he'd done a little modeling in New York while still in law school. He resembled one of those dashing silent films tars from the 1920s, with his slick dark hair and penetrating smile.
Gus didn't go out on the porch. He wasn't sure he wanted to disturb Henry. So he remained in the hallway and said, "Are you outside, dad?"
Valley of the Dudes Contest At Erie Gay News
Enter to win Valley of the Dudes e-book from Riverdale Ave Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form below between August 19 and September 9.
Unabated Create Space In Print