• 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

Nov 19, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Educator of the Year

Regular readers know I spent most of the past week at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education conference in Jacksonville, Florida.  I’ve been a  member since 1989, spent several years on the  Board of Directors, and served as President in 2000.  It’s a great group of which I am proud to be a member. Yesterday at the awards luncheon, I received the Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year Award.  I thought those of you who know me as a writer, dieter, and exerciser might enjoy learning a bit more about my day job. For your reading enjoyment, here is the write-up that appeared in the program for the awards luncheon. As major professor and mentor at the …

Nov 17, 2011
By Michael Rupured

A True Convert

This week I’m attending a conference in Jacksonville,  Florida.  Earlier in my career–back when flying was a pleasant and enjoyable experience–I wouldn’t have even considered skipping.  But the last few years its been held in locations too far for me to reach by car, so I stayed home. It’s great catching up with colleagues I haven’t seen for several years.  Time marches on. Everyone looks at least a little older.  Like most of the rest of America, quite a few have gained weight, too. Travel completely disrupts my new healthy lifestyle.  Eating out once or twice a week when I’m at home makes it hard to lose weight.  Eating every meal out is a recipe for disaster. As with my …

Nov 14, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Slow & Steady

Slow & Steady

I’m happy to report that the bathroom scale shows I lost a pound and a half this week. That’s still about a pound and a half more than six weeks ago when I hit my low weight.  Still, after a month of gaining a pound or so every week, I’ll take it. Coincidentally, I joined the gym about six weeks ago. Even though my percent body fat has only dropped by point-seven percent (0.7) since then, the timing suggests the weight gains are the result of an increase in muscle from all the exercise I’ve been doing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It’s an easy case to make. I haven’t done anything even vaguely resembling exercise since …

Nov 11, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Cool Running

As you know, for the last eight weeks I’ve been using the Couch to 5K (C25K) app on my Android to run three times a week. My partner did the same program on his iPhone. I’m not totally up to speed on the differences between the two versions, but it’s obvious to me that the iPhone app is vastly superior to the one I have on my Android. For reasons I’ll never understand, I have to limit the number of apps I download to my Android to avoid running out of room. I had to delete several apps to add C25K. The Weight Watcher’s app is too big for my phone, no matter what else I delete. Consequently, I keep …

Nov 09, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Time Change to Believe In

Last weekend we switched back to Standard Time. Few things mess with my head more than a time change. This year has been especially hard because I can’t figure out how to move the clock on the stereo in my car back an hour. Consequently, I’m always thinking it’s an hour later than it really is. Frankly, setting the clock up or back does little more than piss me off.  Everyone talks about gaining or losing an hour. Whatever. In the end, we still have just twenty-four hours in a day. No matter how you cut it, that’s just not enough time to get everything done. Forget shifting things around an hour. I’m ready for a time change I can …

Nov 08, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Confession Time

Yesterday I had an appointment with my regular doctor. Because of cholesterol medications, I see the doctor about every six months to make sure my liver is okay.  For the math impaired, my last appointment was in May. Regular readers know I’ve made quite a few rather significant lifestyle changes since May.  Back then, I was riding my bike at least three times a week and had just joined Weight Watchers.  I hadn’t yet started running, gone to a Zumba class, or joined the gym. My doctor is absolutely wonderful. In fact, I love her. Seriously. She’s that good, especially when compared with the two I fired before I found her. She’s either a tremendous actress or sincerely cares about …

Nov 05, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Just Do It!

Just Do It!

For the last fifteen years, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on my ass. I blame my desk job, the weather, television, genetics, my partner, friends, pets, the way I was raised, and the crime rate–just to name a few. Coming up with good excuses is my true gift, as easy for me as breathing. Besides my ability to craft a great excuse, I’m also extravagantly thrifty.  I blame a decades-long period of self-inflicted poverty.  I’ve never minded spending, even when I didn’t have money to spend (hence the self-inflicted poverty).  But when I do buy something, I tend to use the hell out of it. After wringing every cent of value from my purchase, I toss it in …

Nov 02, 2011
By Michael Rupured

On Motorized Shopping Carts

Last week I ran into a coworker I don’t see all that often. He’s lost more than twenty pounds since I saw him last. We stopped to talk and complimented each other on our slimmer waistlines. We talked about our motivation. Like me, he’s dealing with minor health issues that will either improve or go away all together if he just loses some weight.  He also admits that while better health is a good reason, the real motivation for his change in eating and exercise habits is a desire to avoid becoming one of the people you see riding those motorized carts at Walmart. I’m also motivated by the folks I see at Walmart. However,knowing some of those riders have …

Nov 01, 2011
By Michael Rupured

The Zumba King

Honestly, there are few things I dislike more than exercising.  One of them is sweating. Getting hot enough to sweat is another. As you might imagine, these dislikes pose quite a challenge to my desire for an active lifestyle. In truth, I abhor an active lifestyle. If I had my druthers, I’d spend every available hour on my ever-expanding ass in front of the television eating pizza, fried chicken, and every imaginable flavor of ice cream.  But alas, after giving that lifestyle my best shot for a number of years, I discovered it wasn’t really working for me. I’ve tried to be more active before. Riding my bicycle has been the only form of exercise I could even pretend to …

Oct 28, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Stuck!

Three weeks ago, I all but finished writing Addicted, my first work of fiction. The main elements of the story are finished. All that’s left is to write a chapter or two to wrap things up. I would have finished it three weeks ago, but I couldn’t figure out how to get from where I was to where I wanted the book to end. It’s not a case of writer’s block. If it was, I wouldn’t even be able to blog. I’m just stuck. I’ve been stuck like this before. The first time was early in the process of writing Glass Houses.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to advance the story. After reading a draft, …

Oct 26, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My Chihuahuas

About this time three years ago, my partner finally convinced me that we needed a dog. Having had cats and tropical fish for most of the previous three decades, I was enjoying a pet-free existence. Having always had a dog, my partner felt differently. After five years of him begging to get a puppy, being the sweet man you all know me to be, I finally relented. The only dog he’d ever heard me speak highly of was Fuzzy, a black, long-haired Chihuahua my godmother had when I was growing up. Fuzzy was the cutest little dog I’d ever seen. He died young, somehow the result of having knocked up a Labrador Retriever. My godmother kept his progeny, Simmy (an …

Oct 23, 2011
By Michael Rupured

On Becoming A Gym Rat

I never saw it coming. Nobody who knows me or who has ever known me would have predicted it, either. I have become a gym rat. According to the Urban Dictionary, a gym rat is: One who spends entirely too much time partaking in muscle building, strength training, cardiovascular, or aerobic activity. Specifically, one who does so at a health club or gym. Believe it or not, I now hit the gym six days a week. Sometimes it’s just for a one-hour class. Today I spent almost three hours at the gym. And no, smartass, I’m not just watching the men lifting weights. My personal trainer, Armand (pronounced with the accent on the first syllable so that it rhymes with …

Oct 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured

DeFriending Prevention

When I first got onto Facebook in April of 2009, I accepted and sent friend requests to anyone and everyone. This wanton love for my fellow man ended up being a big mistake. Turns out, one should never friend certain people. In March of the following year, I spent several hours defriending more than seventy people. Although the process of removing “undesirables” from my list of Facebook friends was enjoyable, the fall-out was intense. I learned that defriending is an extreme act. Unless you intend to sever all contact forever and ever amen, one should avoid it unless and until it becomes absolutely necessary. Since the Great Defriending, I’ve tried to be a lot more selective about sending and accepting …

Oct 20, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Magazine Overload

In college I majored in consumer studies and family resource management. Rather than a textbook, many of my professors compiled packets of articles from academic journals and weekly news magazines that we had to purchase from Kinko’s. Nowadays they make this kind of information available to students online. All the weekly news magazines were represented in these packets. But for some reason, the articles in U.S. News & World Report appealed to me more than articles from Time or Newsweek. Within a semester or two, I paid for a subscription to U.S. News & World Report which I continued until last year when they stopped printing magazines and switched to an online format. Staying up on current event is important …

Oct 19, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Prodigious Produce

Now that we eat healthy all the damn time, a weekly trip to the grocery store is woefully inadequate. Despite a major shopping trip on Sunday, we often need to return at least once or twice a week for additional fresh produce.  I went to the store yesterday to pick up more fruit and vegetables. I only needed a few things: bananas, blueberries, a tub of lettuce, Oil of Olay (for my beautiful complexion), and deodorant (because I work out every damn day and don’t want to stink). In fact, my list was so short I didn’t even bother writing it down. Since I didn’t have a list, I really didn’t need my glasses so I left them in the …