• The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

    Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie’s support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship. On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a long-time performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance. Luke reluctantly agrees to help his new-found friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in the process, put themselves in danger.

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  • Aucune Bonne Action

    La veille de Noël, en 1966, Philip Potter, un conservateur du Smithsonian au grand cœur, termine ses achats de dernière minute. Au même instant, James, son compagnon depuis plusieurs années, s’ôte la vie chez eux. Inconscient de ce qui l’attend, Philip dépose des cadeaux à un refuge pour sans-abris, un acte généreux qui fera plus tard de lui un suspect dans le meurtre d’un prostitué. Après la mort choquante de James, deux hommes entrent dans la vie de Philip… et tous deux conduisent une Continental jaune. L’un d’eux, toutefois, est un tueur avec le sang de six prostitués sur les mains. Et tous deux cachent quelque chose. Comme Philip est sur le point de le découvrir, aucune bonne action ne …

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  • Equality: What Do You Think about When You Think of Equality?

    In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Stride Toward Freedom and Malala Yousafzai’s, I Am Malala, Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? presents thought-provoking and compelling personal essays that probe a concept professed to be the very foundation of our democracy—a concept that may even be more vital today than in the past. From international bestselling author, Anne Perry who asserts we must look within ourselves to our emotions, experiences, and beliefs before we attempt an honest and truthful answer, to Dennis Palumbo, psychotherapist and author, who claims diagnostic labels used in treating mental illness often stigmatize and dehumanize the patient causing clinicians to view their patients in terms of their diagnosis rather than …

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  • No Good Deed

    On Christmas Eve in 1966, Philip Potter, a kind-hearted Smithsonian curator,  wraps up his last-minute shopping. Meanwhile, his lover of several years takes his own life back in their home. Unaware of what awaits him, Philip drops off gifts at a homeless shelter, an act of generosity that will later make him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute. Following James’s shocking death, two men enter Philip’s life—and both drive yellow Continentals. One of them, though, is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. And both are hiding something. As Philip is about to discover, no good deed goes unpunished. (Originally released by MLR Press in 2013 as After Christmas Eve)

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  • Whippersnapper

    Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver. Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of …

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  • Happy Independence Day

    Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. Little does he know the world is already changing, and his part in it won’t be what he expects. A prelaw student at Columbia University, Terrence’s interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie, the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn. Too bad Cameron bolts whenever Terrence looks his way. College dropout Cameron McKenzie left tiny Paris, Kentucky with dreams of a career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he prostitutes himself to survive. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes. He’s in over his head with no way out—at …

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  • The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain

    Recently single Jeremy Jenkins is an average guy working hard as a landscape designer in the mountains of Tennessee. At a conference in DC, he meets gorgeous Donald Matthews, who says the strangest things—like how he thinks Jeremy is hot and wants them to spend the rest of their lives together. This story is part of A Taste of Honey, a Dreamspinner Press Anthology. Other stories in the collection: The Bear Fetish, by John Amory The Bear Next Door, by Jack Byrne The Bear at the Bar, by J. Scott Coatsworth Barefoot, by Lillian Francis Just Breath, by John Genest Bear Chasing, by Renae Kaye Golden Bear, by G. P. Keith Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy …

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  • Until Thanksgiving

    Josh Freeman knows his best days are behind him. After his partner of seventeen years has an affair with a younger man, Josh buries himself in takeout boxes, half-smoked joints, and self-pity until his best friend gently kicks him in the ass and encourages him to try out a new job in Washington DC—at least until Thanksgiving. Though DC has its share of troubles, specifically in the form of a murderer targeting gay men, Josh soon discovers its charms as well. Unlike his old home, DC is crawling with men who want to date him—apparently he’s not as overweight, out of shape, or over the hill as the man he once loved made him believe. In particular, Josh would love …

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The Crotchety Old Man

May 13, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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Field Research: Could He Be … THE ONE?

Technology has changed dating — gay and straight — forever. Some of you may have used a computer to meet the love of your life, the second or third time around, anyway. But for most readers of this blog, any phone involved in meeting a love interest more likely involved a rotary dial than a touch screen. Before I plunge into a discussion about hook-up apps, here’s a little background to bring my long-married readers up to speed. No matter your sexual preference, meeting someone datable is tricky stuff. Back in the day, alcohol played a critical role. Waking up with a hangover next to the apparent man of my dreams, my first thought was more often,”What the hell was I thinking?” than …

May 09, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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Birth Control?

I’ve come to believe that babies and contracts for first novels should come with detailed instructions. I feel like a thirteen year-old who got pregnant on purpose. Contrary to our expectations, birthing the little darling wasn’t the hard part. Conceiving the story is wicked fun. There’s nothing like the wild, reckless, and lusty passion of a first-time encounter with an intriguing story. Infatuation’s siren call compels me. I can’t stay away. Sparks fly as I pound away on my keyboard exploring, discovering, and forging an electric connection with the heart of my digital story. Sweating and gasping for air, we fight to become one. Frenzied fingers fly as I rush toward completion. Yes! YES! Y E S ! ! The story has been conceived and …

May 06, 2013
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Be My Alien

Today I’ve handed my blog over to writer pal M.A. Church to talk about Be My Alien, her new collaboration with Julie Lynn Hayes. The idea of co-authoring intrigues me, and one of these days, I’m going to have to give it a try. But first, let’s see what M.A. has to say about writing as a team. To co-author or not to co-author Well now, that *is* the question, isn’t it, lol? When I first started writing, I really didn’t get the whole co-authored thing, and I also had dozens of questions on how it would work. *shrug* I dismissed the whole concept, actually, as something that wasn’t for me. Then I met Julie Lynn Hayes, lol. Julie and …
May 02, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The Writing Life: Field Research

Not too long ago, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Sexual acts between two men, even consenting adults, were illegal in all fifty states. Institutionalized homophobia and the risk of physical harm combined to make meeting someone a challenge. Out of necessity, gay dating practices evolved to fly beneath the radar. Imagining this reality is difficult for straight people. Staring at an attractive member of the opposite sex across a crowded room rarely leads to an ass-whupping. Whether or not the object of your affection feels the same way about you is one thing. Worrying he might beat you up or even kill you if he knew is something all together different. Being straight gives you the opportunity to select a life partner …

Apr 29, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Friends

Through second grade, I didn’t have friends who weren’t also kin. Before you shake your head and think, “Poor Michael,” you should know my parents came from large families. I have fifteen blood aunts and uncles plus spouses, and nearly all lived in Lexington. Never mind all the seconds, greats, and grands around at the time. Until I moved to DC in 1996, I’d always lived within easy walking distance of another relative’s home. My thirty first cousins range in age from five years older than me to ten years younger. From the time I started school through graduation, I never went to school without a cousin in my grade. Unless I was in the highest grade, there were always older …

Apr 25, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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Gotta Dance

I don’t know about everyone else, but dancing is in my genes. No, I’m not talking about an inherited ability to trip the light fantastic. I can hold my own on the dance floor, thank you very much, but would never win any contests. My lack of talent, however, in no way diminishes the joy I feel when dancing to a favorite song. Dancing is behind three major weight loss episodes in my life. After a string of part-time jobs working around food, my activity level had dropped just as my caloric intake shot through the roof. Young people beware! Free Cokes as a fringe benefit are just a sneaky way to hook up new addicts. I remember getting up to …

Apr 22, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Raising the Bar: Consistency

When I started blogging in 2008, the hard part was coming up with an idea. After that, the writing came easy. I could knock out a post in an hour — two at the most. Those days are gone. Now I agonize over a post for hours, even days in come cases. Okay. Agonize might be a little strong. But writing a post does take a lot longer. My intention, when I started this post, was to lay all the blame at the feet of my status. I’m a published author for christ sake. I can’t just crap something out now. People expect more. My posts should be clever, beautifully constructed, thought-provoking, informative, poignant, and amusing. As I pondered my way …

Apr 18, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Backyards

Outdoor spaces where I’ve lived haven’t been all that functional. I blame myself. Once the gardening bug bit me, I viewed every residence before moving in more for garden potential than anything else. I fell in love with plants and, as I’ve been known to do, went overboard — three times, including in a duplex I rented — cramming each new variety I couldn’t live without anywhere I could find a spot. Other than mowing, checking out all the different kinds of flowers has been pretty much the only thing to do in any yard of mine ever since. The garden I just abandoned contains more than 600 varieties. Sixteen years ago when I bought the place, I visualized a …

Apr 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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Me and My Telephone: A Love Story

I started my long-term relationship with the telephone back in elementary school. Things got serious in fifth grade when I went steady with Vicky Thompson — my very first girlfriend. I don’t remember how long she wore my ID bracelet. Outside of school, I may have seen her twice, at most. The lion’s share of our tender love story played out over the phone in nightly, hours-long calls. My family kept the phone lines hot. Mom touched base with her sisters, sisters-in-law, high school classmates, and others via the wall-mounted phone in the kitchen every morning while she drank her coffee. After she’d cleaned up around the house, decided what to cook for dinner, and ironed as she watched her …

Apr 10, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Addicted!

Exercise has never really been my cup of tea. In the past, there may have been activities I enjoyed that happened to be good exercise. The dance floor at Johnny Angel’s kept me thin through my early twenties. Trust me, my interest in dancing had nothing to do with exercise. With each passing year, the activities I enjoyed burned fewer and fewer calories. After a bunch of health problems hit all at once in my late forties, I vowed to do better. I started riding my bicycle, weather permitting, and when conditions were right, even enjoyed it. I lost some weight, felt good about myself, and over the winter, gained two pounds back for every one I’d lost. Nearly two …

Apr 04, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Coming Soon: After Christmas Eve

The folks at Dreamspinner Press, publisher of Until Thanksgiving, have been wonderful. When I finished After Christmas Eve (the prequel), I sent it to them, ignoring the part in their submission guidelines about the story having to be a romance. By ignoring, I don’t mean that I read and then disregarded the words. I never really looked. My reaction to the rejection I got from them a few months later, “Doh!” The rejection still felt like a kick in the gut. I knew it wasn’t personal — they like me well enough. But the story wasn’t the kind of story they publish. My bad. So I do what writers do when they get a rejection email: sent a whiney message …

Apr 02, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Carbon Copies, Typewriters, & Dot-Matrix Printers

Technology moves so fast, it’s easy to forget how we used to do things. Back in the 1980s, a Ph.D. student from Ohio State University paid me to type her dissertation. She’d finished her coursework and was living in Lexington, commuting back to Columbus as needed to meet with her committee. Experiencing the process with her was enough to keep me from ever pursuing a Ph.D of my own. Volkswriter had just replaced WordStar as the word processing software of choice. Each of the dissertation chapters was saved on a separate five-inch floppy disk. I’d print out drafts on the dot matrix printer for her to ship to her professors.  She’d come back a month or so later with a …

Mar 31, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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A Time for Planting

Easter weekend kicks off the gardening season here in Athens. Although freezing temperatures are possible for another couple of weeks, the risk is slim. And yesterday, with sunny skies and a high near seventy, folks throughout my neighborhood were out adding new plants and spreading bags of mulch. Spring snuck up on me this year. The exceptionally mild winter we’ve had is partially to blame. Running shirtless in December, January, February, and into March prevented much of my annual winter angst and the related longing for spring. But I didn’t see spring coming because I haven’t been gardening. Clocks and calendars determine when spring is supposed to arrive. But the proof is in the garden. I have a special fondness for those harbingers of …

Mar 30, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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An Impatient Patient

A dear friend and mentor said recently that impatience is my number one challenge. Truer words have rarely been uttered. He was referring to something specific to writing. But his words have broader application in my life. No matter how you frame it, I’m not a very patient person. What does patient mean? Merriam-Webster offers four pertinent definitions. Someone else might spend more time looking at other definitions. But in my desire to get this done, I didn’t. Hey, at least I looked up the word instead of winging my own definition. Let’s take a closer look at each of the four options. Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. Nope. Not me. Ask anyone whose had the pleasure …

Mar 26, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Bitch Wanted: Inquire Within

I ain’t rich yet, but at 55, there’s still time for me to die a wealthy man. Inheriting a ton of money remains a possibility. Mom buys lottery tickets, and if she ever wins, well… I’ll be rich. If I wasn’t too cheap to buy a ticket, I could win the lottery. It could happen. My cheapness is a defining characteristic. This is not the same as being thrifty. Nope. Huge difference. A thrifty person doesn’t waste money. Someone who is thrifty knows the $100 model is sometimes a better buy than the $19.95 model I always prefer. I’m cheap, not thrifty. I’m too cheap to pay someone to do things I’m perfectly capable of doing myself. Of course, things …