• 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

Feb 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Personal Trainer

Before last year, other than for Physical Education classes when I was in school or to watch an athletic event, I’d been in a gym exactly once. Hated it. Didn’t have the first clue what I was supposed to do, did too much, and after suffering for the next week, vowed I’d never set foot in a gym again. My decision to join a gym last September stemmed entirely from a desire to save money. I’d been going to Zumba three or four times a week and paying by the class. A gym membership was cheaper and gave me other workout options. Given my prior experience, I decided to go with a plan that allowed me to see a personal …

Feb 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Bound for Blindness

This morning I had yet another appointment with the retina specialist for my macular degeneration. We’ve seen each other every four to six weeks for nearly a year. On all of those visits but one, he has given me an injection in my left eye. Macular degeneration is a swelling between the layers of the retina. I have it in both eyes, but the left eye is worse–a lot worse than ninety percent of macular degeneration cases. The swelling in that eye has advanced to the degree that it blocks my vision and interferes with my ability to see details. The first few months, he used Avastin for the injections to shrink the swelling. It seemed to work. The swelling …

Jan 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Gym Woes

The main reason I’ve never joined a gym before, aside from the fact I mostly hate to exercise, is a strong desire to avoid getting entangled in the kind of financial nightmare I’ve seen among people I’ve helped with their finances. Dealing with the gyms is always a nightmare. I’ve often felt that their business plan revolves more around ripping people off than helping people get healthy. But circumstances evolved to where joining a gym was the most cost effective way to keep doing Zumba–one of the few forms of exercise I truly enjoy. So back in September, I finally joined the Omni Gym, just down the street from where I live. Regular readers may recall my post about how …

Jan 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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5K #2

Today I ran in my second 5K race. My goal was to improve on the 40 minutes and 36 seconds it took me to complete the first one. Toward that end, I’ve been training for the last few weeks. This week, my plan was to run four miles on both Tuesday and Thursday. I had a hard time with my Tuesday run. Dreary weather and painful shins really slowed me down. In fact, I put in my worst time ever–nearly an hour to run the full four miles. Wednesday evening, I participated in a Zumbathon fundraiser for a local organization that fights child abuse. Having missed my regular Zumba classes on Sunday and Monday to attend a conference in Savannah, …

Jan 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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What on Earth Did I Do?

Since the first of the year, I’ve been running like crazy. Seems like there’s never a spare moment to just kick back and relax. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I sure don’t have the kind of downtime I had just a few years ago. Four years ago, we didn’t have any dogs. It’s not that our little chihuahuas are terribly demanding. About all they require this time of year is a few trips a day outside. They really need daily walks, but it’s dark by the time we have the chance, and Toodles is afraid of the dark. In truth, even in bright daylight, she’s afraid of practically everything. So during the short days of winter, Tico and Toodles …

Jan 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Goodbye Home Economics

The field of Home Economics was established many years ago to improve economic well-being and quality of life for families through research-based education in the domestic arts. Topics included nutrition, food preservation, food safety, money management, clothing construction, the use and care of fabrics and household equipment, parenting, household management, and more. In short, knowledge for real life. To achieve the goal of improving quality of life required home economics teachers. Schools of home economics opened across the country to train primarily women for this important work. Graduates of these programs became public school teachers and Home Demonstration Agents with the Cooperative Extension Service–the outreach arm of land-grant universities nationwide. Home economics information was available to everyone; through schools for …

Jan 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Revisions: Round Two

Today I spent a few hours working on revisions to Glass Houses. Having completed line edits, I’m now reading every word from the beginning again, and thinking more about how it all fits together. It’s a complete immersion process–the kind of task that requires focus and concentration. Once I get rolling, revisiting the manuscript is quite enjoyable. When I finished writing the initial draft nearly a year ago, the idea of fixing all the issues, both major and minor, was frankly overwhelming. The manuscript and the time period covered were too big for me to wrap my head around. So to be enjoying the revision process is a welcome surprise. My tendency in writing Glass Houses, since it’s a memoir, …

Jan 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Just Doing It

The long break between Christmas and New Year’s seriously messed with my training regimen. Except for my thrice weekly Zumba classes, I quit working out, stopped running, and gained fifteen pounds. Going into the break, I thought the time off from work would enable me to exercise more. Instead, I lost all momentum and spent the majority of my time off on the sofa watching television. After Christmas,the idea of the 5K I’ve signed up to run ten days from today filled me with dread–similar to what I felt a couple of years ago in anticipation of rectal surgery I had to have. I thought about giving up, but had already spent my $23.95 to register for the race. I’m …

Jan 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Longest Year

The older I get, the more quickly each year seems to pass. Unless of course, it’s an election year. It’s a long, long, time until November, and between now and then, we’re going to be inundated with nasty and mostly untrue attack ads. Liberal and conservative are not just names hurled from one end of the political spectrum to the other. They represent different points of view about how to solve problems and move our country forward. There are real and significant differences between these opposing points of view. Neither end of the continuum is always right or always wrong. Real problems require solutions that draw upon the best ideas from both ends. Compromise is an essential ingredient to solving …

Jan 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Learning Curve

I bought my first personal computer back in the mid 1990s. The only software I used was America Online for e-mail and internet access, and because it came preloaded, Microsoft Money. At the time, I questioned whether or not the purchase was worth the money or the space the set-up required in my little Washington DC apartment. By the time it died a few years later, I could no longer live without a computer at home. I ran out and bought another desktop, and when it bit the dust, another. I dropped AOL when I got internet access via my cable provider. For the most part, I still only used the Microsoft Money and the internet. I spent huge percentages …

Jan 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Progress!

I spent the better part of last year writing Addicted, my first novel. For much of that time, a freelance editor was working her magic on my memoir, Glass Houses. Though she sent me her recommendations and suggestions back in November, I decided to finish the novel before turning my attention to revising the memoir. The writer’s group reviewed the last section of Addicted on December 17th. I spent a few days making revisions before sticking a fork in it, calling it done, and shipping it off to the same editor who worked on the memoir. At long last, I was ready to tackle revisions to Glass Houses. The first step was to review everything I got back from the …

Jan 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Experience: The Second Best Teacher

I recently sent Addicted (my first novel) to someone who’d read Glass Houses (my first book–a memoir). In the accompanying email message, I said she would likely notice a big improvement in my writing because of what my great friends in the Athens Writers Workshop have taught me about writing.  She replied that she’d love to know more about what I’d learned. This got me to thinking about everything I’ve learned since I joined the group ten months ago.  Sure, just the experience of writing a novel taught me quite a bit. But the real education came from comments and suggestions the other writers made about what I had written.  Here are a few of the more important things they …

Jan 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Potty Mouth

The use of colorful language is not foreign to me. In certain settings I may occasionally use words that would, were I fifty years younger, result in certain punishment.  My parents were more likely to spank me and send me to my room for an extended time-out than to wash my mouth out with soap. Mostly this taught me not to cuss in front of them. Using foul language is rarely attractive. I say rarely because I learned a long time ago never to say never. In certain circumstances, cussing can make a difference. When you stub your toe really hard, blurting out a nasty word somehow lessens the pain. Otherwise, gutter talk reflects poorly on the speaker. When I …

Jan 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Welcome Sight

Winter is the time of year I most appreciate living in the Deep South.  Today the temperature was in the upper sixties. The forecast calls for similar highs well into next week with lows only in the middle forties. It’s the one time of year I don’t mind temperatures here being twenty degrees warmer than much of the rest of the country. When I lived in Kentucky, crocus were typically the first flowers of the season. Snow crocus typically bloomed in mid- to late-February, but sometimes bloomed as early as late January. They were followed a few weeks later by giant crocus, which preceded the bright yellow blooms of daffodils. Daffodils bloom weeks–sometimes even months–before crocus here in Athens. Last …

Jan 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Out With the Old, In With the New

Resolutions have never really worked for me.  If you were to read entries from late December and early January in the journals I’ve kept for thirty years, you’d see me resolving to give up essentially the same bad habits every year. The amusing part is my certainty, each and every year, that THIS year I’ll finally keep my resolutions. I like the idea of resolutions.  Coming up with them is like doing a performance appraisal on myself and my ability to handle life.  Resolutions are things I need to do differently or areas in need of improvement. Despite my lack of success in keeping them, I make resolutions every year. Sometimes I call them priorities instead of resolutions.  Changing what …