Boystown 10 Gifts Given Now Available

In the tenth installment of the award-winning Boystown Mysteries, it’s Christmas 1984. Nick is busy juggling a couple of cases in the midst of the bustling holiday season. Sugar Pilson has decided to marry and has asked Nick to check up on her fiancé. Meanwhile, he’s hired to investigate a shady financial planner at Peterson-Palmer. When the two cases start to have too much in common, Nick searches for the link—only to discover that the link might be him.

Get it here!

 

 

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Night Drop: A Pinx Video Mystery releases September 15, 2017. Presale open now.

Pinx Video #1 ebook

It’s 1992 and Los Angeles is burning. Noah Valentine, the owner of Pinx Video in Silver Lake, notices the fires have taken their toll on fellow shopkeeper Guy Peterson’s camera shop. After the riots end, he decides to stop by Guy’s to pick up his overdue videos, only to find Guy’s family dividing up his belongings. He died in the camera store fire—or did he? Noah and his charmingly meddlesome downstairs neighbors begin to suspect something else might have happened to Guy Peterson. Something truly sinister.

The first in a new series from Lambda Award-winner Marshall Thornton, Night Drop strikes a lighter tone than the Boystown Mysteries, while bringing Silver Lake of the early 1990s to life.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

New release!

Aunt Belle’s Time Travel & Collectibles

aunt belle's final_edited-1

Where would you go if you could travel to any part of your past? That’s the question Terrance faces on his 45th birthday—and right away, he knows. He wants to go back to 1992 and not meet Mr. Wrong. But what begins as a journey to change the past becomes a trip to find the future. From the writer of Femme comes a story of best friends, time travel and falling in love.

Available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and other outlets.

Two-For-One Thriller Duo

Thriller Duo_edited-1Two thriller novels from Lambda Award-winning author, Marshall Thornton, for the price of one! Includes:

Desert Run

Palm Springs, 1973. On the lam after killing a mobster’s son in a bar fight, Don Harris hides out as a piano player in a Palm Springs restaurant until he’s accidentally found out. Broke and desperate, he walks into an unfamiliar bar where he meets…

Harlan, the secret lover of a well-known movie star. Stashed away in the sleepy resort, Harlan is bored and often alone which is why he’s spending the afternoon at his favorite gay bar.

When the two meet, Don thinks he’s using Harlan for a place to hide out but slowly realizes he’s falling for the kid. Don knows he shouldn’t get involved but can’t help but step in when Harlan gets into trouble. To save himself, Don’s got to save Harlan.

Full Release

Studio accountant, Matt Latowski orders an erotic massage on the one-year anniversary of a bad break-up but is surprised when the masseur calls him a couple weeks later to ask him out on a date. Unable to say no to a freebie, Matt begins a journey that eventually leads to his becoming a murder suspect.

As the police close in on him, Matt is left with no choice but to turn the tables and become an erotic masseur himself in order to find the murderer. Along the way, he meets Detective Aaron Tripp. Sparks fly as Matt wonders whether the detective might be the murderer, or worse, the murderer’s next victim?

Only available until August 15th, 2017

 

Buy it here.

New Nick Nowak Novella coming soon…

Little Boy Afraid

It’s winter 1980, private investigator Nick Nowak gets one of his first jobs working for an openly-gay senate candidate. Allen Grimley has been receiving death threats, a lot of them, and it’s Nick’s job to keep him alive until the election. As he protects Grimley from increasing dangers, his friendship with bartender, Ross deepens. Prequel to the Lambda Award-Winning Boystown mysteries

The story is available for free at instafreebie.com. Just follow the link.

Writing Satire in the Age of Trump

Back in 2010, I published The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood, which was basically the silliest, sexiest book I could think up. It also included a hefty dose of satire, both political and cultural. Over the years fans have asked if I was going to write a sequel. For a long time, I answered maybe. I had originally planned to write two more of the books, the second set in Las Vegas for which I had notes, and the third to be set in Washington. Other projects kept taking precedence and eventually I began answering the question of a sequel with no. Then last summer, I was asked the question again and I said, “No” but then reflected and added, “Unless, of course, Trump wins. Then I may have to.” Of course, I thought this was incredibly unlikely and forgot all about it.

Then, the election happened. Like a lot of the country I was truly shocked and in the subsequent weeks depressed. In fact, I had trouble writing anything since I was so focused on the disaster that had just happened. Until, I remembered that conversation and thought, “Why not? Why not write another Praline book?” and so I began working on Praline Goes to Washington, or the Erotic Misdeeds of a Newly Native Californian in our Nation’s Capitol.

Satire is the art of making comedy by heightening reality to the level of absurdity, in the process exposing the hypocrisy and imagined intentions of individuals or types of individuals. That’s my definition. Miriam Webster’s definition is simpler and, at the same time, less clear: “a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn.” What I found interesting about writing a satire contemporaneously to the events I was satirizing is that, in this case, Trump and his new administration would either match or exceed the over-the-top heightened reality I was creating. A couple of times, after I’d written something I thought completely absurd it would appear on the news.

In the new book, instead of getting into the whole Russia thing I brought back the tiny (and fictional) principality of Malvania. Helmut Dump’s wife, Melanoma, is Malvanian and so Malvania spreads a lot of fake news to help his campaign. When I wrote that, I knew that Russia has likely involved in the hacking of the DNC and the subsequent distribution to Wikileaks. That they were also involved in spreading fake news stories did not come to light (or at least to my attention) until well after I had had Malvania do exactly that.

Another weird and incredibly disturbing coincidence is that in my book, Helmut Dump is quoted as saying, “Don’t listen to what I say, listen to what I mean.” Later, Dump’s assistant Keely Angst in an interview says, “You shouldn’t listen to what Mr. Dump says. You should listen to what I say he says. And I’m telling you the president-elect did not say any of the things you heard him say.” Both of these moments are eerily similar to something Kellyanne Conway said when she accused the media, “You always want to go by what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart.”

Some of my friends have worried that I might face legal action over the book. Satire is protected speech under the first amendment. No president in our history has gone un-satirized. It comes with the territory. There is a libel case that the Trumps are pursuing, but it’s in England where the libel laws are looser (and more to Trump’s liking) and the case is about the reporting of events that may or may not have happened as true. Satire is not journalism. None of what I’ve written is true or presented as true. I don’t have any information that we’re not all reading in the news every day.

And speaking of the news, oh-my-God. Every day it becomes more and more bizarre. I have to say it’s a challenge to write satire when those you’re satirizing keep becoming increasingly over-the-top themselves. Suddenly, the most absurd things I could think of are part of the news cycle. And every day it becomes more and more apparent that the people leading our country are more dangerous than any caricature I, or anyone else, could write. I wish that none of this was true. I wish they we still lived in a time when Chevy Chase’s big joke about Gerald Ford was that he was clumsy, or when we joked about Jimmy Carter’s Southern accent and what he might be lusting about in his heart. Gradually, we’ve moved into a time when we have to joke about politicians who are mean, corrupt, ill-prepared, traitorous and dangerously erratic. That can be a hard thing to make jokes about. But I think we have to. No matter how bad things get, laughter will lighten our load.

And finally, I know that some people might say that satire doesn’t serve a purpose, that it’s nothing more than preaching to the choir. It’s true that I don’t expect a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump to pick up my book and miraculously change their minds. But the thing is, I think the choir does need to be preached to, at least occasionally, if only to remember why they’re singing.

Originally published at Lambda Literary