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Archive for September, 2008

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines a voyeur as 1. A person who derives sexual gratification from observing the naked bodies or sexual acts of others, especially from a secret vantage point.

Voyeur is also a very hot and stylish story of romance and obsession by Jon Michaelsen, a wonderful new author. The story can be found in the MEN anthology on the Loveyoudivine His and His Kisses imprint from loveyoudivine Alterotica. 

The story follows Kevin, a gay accountant, who lives a rather mundane life before discovering a man in an adjacent high-rise that could well be his dream man. But what begins as an entertaining diversion, and a rather harmless fantasy soon spirals out of control to become a full-blown obsession. Along the way there is romance and steamy love to be found and enough Hitchcockian twists to make the master proud. (For fear of spoiling some of the suspense I am keeping the details rather vague). 

Voyeur is set in modern day Atlanta and Jon does a splendid job of evoking one of the most wonderful cities in America. Jon’s descriptive pictures make one feel as if they are truly there, cruising down Peachtree Street on a warm spring afternoon, the peach blossoms turning everything pink. (Having lived there for several years in the 1990s I was reminded of such diverse things as kudzu vines, the Allman Brothers Band at the Fox Theater, the Underground, MARTA, and going up to Seeger’s in Buckhead for one of the best meals ever!)

Jon Michaelsen is one of the exciting new voices in the all male romance genre, and will next year have his first gay detective novel published by loveyoudivine. I am predicting that Jon is poised to break out as one of the premier romance writers in the field of gay fiction, as well as the author of suspense novels that will not only keep readers in suspense, but will keep them anxiously awaiting his next book. I can highly recommend Voyeur along with the rest of the MEN anthology that I have read (which is admitedly only two other stories).

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It is certainly hard for me to believe that The Angel Singers is the twelfth book in the Dick Hardesty mystery series. It doesn’t seem that long ago that The Butcher’s Son kicked off this wonderful series with a tale of arson and mayhem, and introduced us to one of the most endearing, not to mention enduring gay investigators, Dick Hardesty.

The Angel Singers takes us into the world of a gay men’s chorus (and by the way gives quite good information and insight into that particularly fascinating world) and introduces us to a particulary nasty man named Grant Jefferson who happens to be sponsored by one of the choral group’s benefactors. It is not long however until Grant is scattered far and wide by a car bomb which lets the reader know there was some serious dislike for Mister Jefferson. Due to his nastiness there is no shortage of suspects for Dick to sift through on the way to revealing the somewhat surprising solution of this murder. 

However as entertaining as the solving of the crime is, it is in making the characters come to life that Grey really shines. Just like an elegant merlot chablais, this series has gotten better with time and age, each novel seeming to improve on the last to create a rich tapestry of not only Hardesty’s professional life, but also his home life.  Dick, Jonathan and the adorable Joshua are characters we have come to love and to really care about, and I find the home and family life is every bit as entertaining as the mystery. Grey is a master at writing tongue-in-cheek wit, and there is plenty of that to be found in The Angel Singers.

If you already love the Dick Hardesty series, as I do, you will love this one too, and if you have never read a Dick Hardesty book (and shame on you if you have not) this is as good as any of them as a place to start.

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As Robbie Burns wrote in his poem regarding the mouse turned up by the plough (To A Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest, With The Plough), “the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men aft gang agley”. Many years ago (i.e. the mid 1970s) as a very young writer, armed with a B.A. in Journalism, I began what I hoped would be a career in writing.  And while there were early successes such as a volume of short stories published and two volumes of poetry published in addition to short-stories placed in various publications, the writing career was diverted by the intervention of life. The particular “plough” that disturbed my sod was a chance at careers in both music, and in the corporate business world, neither of which I can honestly say I regret.  However a devastating and debilitating illness intervened to put an end to the music career as the hands upon the instrument would no longer cooperate with what the brain was coaxing them to do,  and through a set of circumstances the Multiple Schlerosis also put an end to the business career.

There followed many years of searching for direction, and the feeling that somehow my particular muse had taken permanent flight, before somehow arriving at the place where I made the decision that it is (past) time to jumpstart the writing career again.

It came to me that after the ploughing comes the planting. So applying the seed of ideas to the fertile soil of the imagination, I found the ideas were indeed still there. To that end, I have at least three projects in various stages of completion  which I will talk about soon, two being novels and one a short-story I am working on for an anthology. Now if the hands will only cooperate to tell the story my imagination is growing.

At any rate this blog will be a place where I will not only discuss my own writing projects, but it will serve as a place to discuss the works of some of my writer friends and maybe do a fun interview or two of some of the writers I truly admire. (The B.A. in Journalism needs to be used occasionally afterall,)

I also want to hear from you good folks that take time out of your busy day and kindly come by to peruse my words. If there is something you think should be here that is not please feel free to let me know, and if you like what you see here let me know that too.

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