• 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

Jul 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Like Thinking in French

Like Thinking in French

I took French in junior high and high school and plodded through three semesters of Russian in college. I never learned enough to think in either language. I was too busy in college. High school is a different story. Five years is a lot of time to have learned so little. I  should have been thinking in French. Becoming a good writer is like learning to think in French. The more you practice, the better you get. Eventually, good writing becomes second nature. Then the writer’s mind is free to focus on more interesting elements–like pacing, plot and character development. With experience, these things become second nature, too, and the focus turns to new ways to improve the writing. I’ve …

Jul 02, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Undeterred

After five weeks of waiting, today the message I’ve been waiting for appeared in my mailbox. The publisher that’s been reviewing Until Thanksgiving has finally decided. “Unfortunately, your story is not a fit for us at this time.” This rejection is not a failure. The first query I sent out resulted in a request for the full manuscript. That’s progress. The message wasn’t a form letter. The editor offered some additional comments to give me an idea of why. She said, “For contemporary fiction, we’re especially seeking manuscripts with very tight and focused plot lines to match the quick and demanding pace of today’s contemporary reader. Especially with an upscale urban setting like NorthWest DC and a murder sub-plot, the …

Jul 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Movie Review: Magic Mike

Last night my partner and I joined a group of our girlfriends from the gym to see Magic Mike. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater. Every few years, I have to go again just to be reminded why I wait for the DVDs. Last night was no exception. We arrived thirty minutes early. My partner had purchased our tickets online, via Fandango. We still had to wait in the long ticket line, but it was nice not having to worry about running out of tickets from a sell-out crowd. Inside the theater we joined an even longer line for refreshments. I didn’t bring my glasses with me and couldn’t read the prices. Figuring …

Jun 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Daddy Wants New Shoes

Some people seem destined for certain careers and occupations. They’re somehow born knowing what they want to do until they die or retire.  For them, instead of a place to hang out with friends or an escape from the drama at home, school is a road to their dreams. No wonder they did so well. I was never one of those people. Uncertainty dominated my extended adolescence–a stage ending somewhere in my late twenties. I tried on various jobs and college majors like Imelda Marcos in a shoe store. I’d wear my new selection around to check the fit, eventually tossing it onto the ever growing heap of rejects that littered my resume. Settling on a field of study for …

Jun 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Another Award!

The nice lady at Floating With the Breeze has nominated my blog for a Reader Appreciation Award. Wow! That’s the second award my blog has been nominated for in as many days. Thank you so much! As before, these nominations come with stipulations. There are certain questions I must answer. And with me, most the time all you really need to do is ask. What is my favorite color? Depends on what you’re talking about. I like clear red flowers, turquoise water at a white sandy beach, the rich green of Kentucky Bluegrass in the spring, and black pants because my ass doesn’t look quite so big. What is my favorite animal? A little five-pound, long-haired Chihuahua named Toodles. She …

Jun 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured

I Win!

Today I’m sending a million billion hugs and kisses to Vikki over at The View Outside. Thanks to her, I’ve (finally) received my very first nomination for a blog award–Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award. Isn’t it gorgeous? As a  nominee, I’m required to answer a number of questions about myself. You know how I hate to talk about myself. But as it’s required, I’ll do my level best to answer the questions with candor, honesty, and the dignity they deserve. Describe myself in seven words. Seven? Seriously? But I’m so damn complicated… What keeps me up at night? In no particular order: too much coffee, thinking about various and sundry aspects of my work in progress, restless Chihuahuas, body functions, …

Jun 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on And We’re Off!

And We’re Off!

Nearly two weeks ago, I submitted a blurb, synopsis, character profiles, and chapter summaries for my next novel, After Christmas Eve, for critique by the writers in my group. I’ve never known enough to be able to put those pieces together without first having finished writing the book. I couldn’t wait to hear what they would say. Saturday night I got the verdict. The general consensus was that everything sounded okay. However, the devil is in the details the barebones outline didn’t provide–a fact that somewhat limited the kind of feedback they could provide. Everyone agreed that the story is chocked full of cliche characters, plot twists, and conventions. For the uninitiated, that is NOT a good thing. To some …

Jun 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Touched

Yesterday’s post ended with me saying I’d have to figure out whether or not to visit my dying father all by myself. I was wrong about having to do it by myself. The comments I received here, on my Facebook page, and in dozens of email messages helped immensely. Thank you. That so many would take the time to offer encouragement and support touched me deeply. Turns out, I’m not the first to have an awkward parental relationship. Lots of people have had less than ideal relationships with a parent–especially the father. Several of the emails made me cry. Maybe I haven’t had things so bad after all. I made my hotel reservations today for a trip to Lexington next month. …

Jun 21, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Torn

We’ve never had what you’d call a close relationship. Truth be told, we’ve barely had much of a relationship at all. For years, I never knew the difference. You can’t miss what you haven’t had. During the many years we lived together, we barely spoke. We weren’t mad or upset. The unfortunate truth is that we just didn’t have anything to say to each other. We’d walk by each other like strangers in an airport, hardly acknowledging each other at all. Fond memories? Not so much. Yeah, there are moments here and there. But mostly I hoped he wouldn’t notice me. Because when he did, it usually meant I was in trouble. I can’t remember him praising me, telling me …

Jun 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ruined

Except for a brief hiatus when my vision started failing, I’ve always been a big reader. I’ll read anything that keeps me turning the pages. Any genre, fiction or nonfiction–makes no difference to me. A good read is a good read. Though I’ve often been a voracious reader, I never knew or cared much about the technical aspects of the story. Ignorance is bliss. If I found it entertaining, it was a good book. A lot of so-called great books weren’t that entertaining to me. That’s fine. To each his own. Now and then I’d run across a book that failed to keep my interest. I’d set it aside without giving too much thought to the reasons why it failed to …

Jun 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Little Gratitude

Today I’d like to give a shout out to some blogs. The writers of these blogs are brilliant and/or have excellent taste, as they’re all followers of my blog.  Check a few out. I have to say it’s a diverse and eclectic group. A tip of the hat to… 4 Dudes Relationship Advice Adopting James Airports Made Simple anauthor’slife Chicks with Ticks Coco J. Ginger Says The Coevas Official Blog Faithfinding FicFaq The Five Reflections Fix it or Deal Floating with the Breeze Goodbye Whoopee Pie Health DeMystified Heaven 4 Earth I Am Zion Inside Nana Bread’s Head Mary Louise Eklund My Look on the World ooamerica A Portia Adams Adventure Placeholder for a new title Robotic Rhetoric Sean Lynch’s …

Jun 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Gearing Up

This weekend I’ve been immersing myself in the 1960s. No, I didn’t watch a Mad Men marathon or vintage shows on the TV Land network. I’m gearing up to write my second novel, After Christmas Eve, set in 1966/1967 in Washington DC. I’m not trying to catch the nostalgia wave generated by the success of Mad Men–not that I’d mind. The exact date for the story was dictated by a seemingly insignificant detail that I wrote into Until Thanksgiving. Setting this sucker in the 60s poses all kinds of challenges. The devil is in the details. The fully formed idea for a prequel around that little detail came to me in a flash. I wrote down my thoughts and in a couple …

Jun 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Remember When Facebook Was Fun?

Remember When Facebook Was Fun?

I forget how long I’ve been on Facebook. I just know it’s been long enough that updating my status and checking my wall are now fully integrated into my lifestyle. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is the subject of another blog post. Today I want to talk about how much my Facebook experience has changed. I’m sure you’ve been annoyed more than once at sudden unexpected changes to the Facebook experience. Countless campaigns to repeal various and sundry changes fall on deaf ears. Before I’ve really adjusted to the last change, something new comes along that pisses me off even more. I adjust to the changes because I really don’t have any choice. But I can’t think …

Jun 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Waiting Games

Three weeks ago today I submitted a query, synopsis, and the first twenty pages of Until Thanksgiving to a publisher. Three days later, I received a response to my query: a request from the publisher for the full manuscript. I sent the manuscript within thirty minutes and have been dancing off the ceiling ever since. Waiting is not my forte. Years ago I learned two ways to eat up waiting time. Sleep, or stay busy. Long-term sleeping really isn’t an option. Since I couldn’t sleep past seven if my life depended on it, I’ve been trying to stay busy. Some would spend more time running and going to the gym. Not me. I still try to do something for thirty …

Jun 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on In My Defense…

In My Defense…

I need to talk about the photograph that showed up on my Facebook page late yesterday afternoon. The emails I’ve received, the comments people made on the original Facebook post, and the things people have said to me since they saw the photograph demand a response. Today I’m here to offer my defense. People want to know what’s in the bowl. It’s ice cream (Neopolitan, so of course I had to have some of all three flavors) drizzled with chocolate syrup (Hershey’s. Is there another kind?), covered with whipped topping, dusted with sprinkles and peanuts, and finished with just a little more chocolate syrup. I spent my first two years in the workforce dipping ice-cream, so I know a thing …