• 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

Oct 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Grateful

Grateful

Floods, fires, tornadoes, terminal illnesses, and other ugly events have recently impacted the lives of more than a few dear friends. My heart goes out to them. Their misfortune reminds me  just how lucky I am. Yeah. I said lucky. So I’m slowly going blind, recently lost someone very close to me, and am dealing with a diabetic chihuahua. There are far worse things. So much good luck has fallen my way I consider my life to be charmed. Sure, I’ve worked hard, but — subject to change without notice — bad luck has mostly passed me by. Any adversity in my life has largely been the result of my bad choices. I hit my low in the early 1980s. After …

Sep 17, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Orchid Redux

Since purchasing the first in 2012, my orchid collection has grown. I’ve bought a few. Friends have given me orchids they gave up on too. The result is a kitchen table overflowing with them. I blogged about my success with orchids late last year. You can see that post here. It even has pictures! Bragging is asking for trouble. Problems appeared almost right away. In addition to the wrinkled leaves I’d seen in the past, leaves on a few plants had turned black in the center. Root rot may have been the cause. Inconsistent watering may also have played a role. On rainy days I’ll sometimes drag all my plants outside. They may not care, but I feel like the fresh …

Sep 11, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Crotchety in the Classroom

Everyone I know has heard all about the class I’m teaching. My colleagues — most of whom have taught for years — know as much about my class as their own. I’m guessing they find my enthusiasm more amusing than tiresome — for now, anyway. I’m grateful for heir sage advice and helpful suggestions. I glanced over the required text before agreeing to teach the course and used the table of contents to create the syllabus. I never got around to reading the text before school started. The publisher provided presentations for every chapter. Except for the teaching, my work was done. [Pauses until experienced teachers all over the world stop laughing.] Sticking to the script doesn’t work. Many of …

Sep 03, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Southern Heritage

I grew up in Kentucky and have lived in Georgia for twenty years. My ancestors have lived in the South for centuries. By any standard, I am a a bona fide Southerner. Pride for our Southern heritage is universal in my family, but stories about the Civil War weren’t part of my upbringing. I heard we’re kin to Robert E. Lee and John Wilkes Booth, but nobody in the family has any old photographs, letters from the battlefield, or other Civil War memorabilia. My DNA results shattered the myths I’d believed all my life. We are not related to Lee or Booth, and records linked to my family tree reveal ancestors who fought for the Union, but none who sided …

Aug 27, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Family Tree

Several years ago I joined Ancestry.com, and for months clicked on leaves like they were going out of style. My mistake was accepting as gospel every tidbit of information I found. The resulting family tree dates back a thousand years, but is too riddled with errors, duplicates, and other problems to be believed. I learned a lot about my family, but my research raised more questions than it answered. Two branches came to an abrupt end — I never found my mother’s maternal grandfather or my father’s paternal grandfather. Missing two of eight great-grandparents leaves huge bare spots in the tree. In January I sent some spit to Ancestry DNA for analysis. Found out weeks later the sample didn’t work …

Aug 20, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Teaching without Fear

When I taught class in grad school, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I outlined the text, read the outline to my students, and lived in fear they’d discover how little I knew. Somehow, I pulled it off. Thirty-plus years of experience has made me a better teacher. The kind of teaching I’ve been doing is different, but teaching is teaching. To prepare for the first* class I’ve taught since grad school, I spent the summer going over the required textbook. Two weeks before school started, I found out the textbook I’d planned the course around was no longer in print. Fortunately, the tables of contents for the 15th and 17th editions are identical. Shew. Switching …

Aug 13, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Dinner Time

After the ex and I split up, we still got together for dinner at least three or four nights a week — almost every night the last two years of his life. He did nearly all the cooking. His menu selections weren’t always the healthiest and he had a (delightful) bad habit of baking sweets after dinner, but I never complained. Beggars can’t be choosers. He enjoyed cooking (usually), put a lot of effort into it, and took pride in every dish. I cooked occasionally, but we both preferred his cooking over mine. You would too. In the early weeks of fending for myself, I relied heavily on familiar fast and easy options. Then I tried a lot of frozen, ready-made …

Aug 06, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Novel Experience

Lots of people tell me they hope to write a book. Many say they’ve written the first few chapters — often for several stories. Starting a book is easy. Finishing is the hard part. Writing a novel is a HUGE challenge — especially the first time around. Getting to “the end” takes hours and hours of work over many weeks, months, or even years. Whether the finished product gets published or not, devoting that much time to something is a sure way to get better at it. Going through the publication process is also a learning experience. Three different editors go over every story with a fine-toothed comb. I always learn from their comments, questions, and suggestions. Reviews are helpful …

Jul 30, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Shorter Summers

Students in one Georgia county returned to school this past Friday. The last day of class for them was June 25th. Hope they enjoyed their summer — all five weeks of it. Why bother starting on a Friday? Returning to school on a Monday or Tuesday makes for too long of a first week back. Wednesday I can understand, or even Thursday. Maybe I’m missing something, but starting on Friday is crazy. Like them or not, the research on summer breaks is clear. The longer the break, the more kids forget. Summer learning loss negatively impacts success in school, college, and life — especially for students from low-income households. Shorter breaks are the obvious solution. Smarter summers are another option. Keeping …

Jul 23, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Next Project

A lot of thought goes into selecting my next project. Writing a novel is a HUGE commitment. Unless I’m head over heels in love with the idea, I’ll never make it to “the end” of the story. No amount of love can save a flawed idea. I’ve wasted hours and hours trying. All I got in return was heartbreak and a folder of abandoned manuscripts. Each abandoned manuscript suffers from the same problem: A tragic lack of understanding about the role of the main character. I’ve written extensively about figuring this out in previous posts, so I’ll spare you the details here.The point is, I finally got it. #SlowLearner Portions of The Case of the Missing Drag Queen were salvaged from …

Jul 16, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Reviews: Case of the Missing Drag Queen

Several reviews have come out in the weeks since DSP Publications released The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. Some authors ignore reviews of their stories or only read the good ones. Not me. I read all I can find. A number of web sites provide reviews for gay fiction. Romance is often the focus — some will only review romances — but a few review any genre with gay main characters. Here is a sampling of “official” reviews for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. Rainbow Book Reviews: I enjoyed the novel for its “nostalgic” sense of what the world was like before laptops, cell phones, and the internet. But I digress – aside from the accurate setting, this mystery …

Jul 09, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Staycation

Today I return to work after my longest vacation in more than a decade. Usually, I use a day or two of vacation time around weekends and holidays to keep my work from piling up overmuch while I’m away. This year, that just wasn’t possible. For sixteen glorious days, I didn’t think about work. I did check email and  voicemail occasionally, but received very few messages. The weeks around Independence Day are a good time to take off because things slow to a crawl. What did I do? Exercised. I worked out at my new gym almost every day. The 24/7 access makes a difference. The one time I did run, I was able to workout first — the tendinitis …

Jul 02, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 10

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 10

I love drag shows almost as much as I love Broadway musicals. Except for the number of cocktails involved, they’re not that different. Costumed performers dance, sing (or lip-sync), and otherwise entertain a live audience. From the first season, RuPaul’s Drag Race has been must-see TV for me. Like live drag shows, it’s cheesy, a little raunchy, and often hilarious. Some seasons have been better than others. Season 10 is the best yet. Experience helps. The challenges gets better with each season. Thanks to the success of the show, production values have steadily improved too. But what makes the show, of course, is the cast. Keeping up with who’s who in and out of drag the first few episodes is …

Jun 25, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Three Gym Memberships

I belong to three gyms. I joined the first in 2011 because membership was cheaper than paying by the class for Zumba. Aside from all the beef on display, the weight room didn’t interest me. I opted for a pricey membership that included regular sessions with a personal trainer. The guy who worked with me for the next eighteen months was smart, very kind, and always extremely professional. His encouragement and support kept me coming back. Didn’t hurt that he was super hot. Outside of grueling sessions with him, my workouts have never been particularly strenuous. Better too little than to overdo it and hurt myself. The main goal has been at least thirty minutes of strength training two or three …

Jun 18, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Release Day Eve

Shortly after midnight, DSP Publications will release The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. Readers who preordered the e-book will wake up tomorrow to find a copy in his or her inbox. Paperbacks should reach readers in the next week or two. As release day nears, I’m like a child awaiting Christmas. Imagining happy endings goes with being an author. Will my fifth novel be the one? Experience has tempered my expectations. Oprah isn’t going to mention The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. Nor will NPR’s Terry Gross reach out for an interview. Andy Cohen won’t fall madly in love with me after reading my book either. That’s okay. Fame and fortune would mess with a strong desire to simplify …