Monday Release: Rough, Naked, and in Love

Monday is the release day for my new novel, ROUGH, NAKED, AND IN LOVE. I’ve posted an unedited version of the back cover copy below, and I’ll post more about it next week, but I wanted to at least get something down now before it gets really busy again…or before I go off on another tangent with a different topic.

This novel is a little different than past novels I’ve written. I depended a lot on back story this time throughout the book, which is something I’m not fond of doing. I think depending on back story too much is lazy writing. But I did it this time because a good deal of the main character’s present situation is so dependent on his past there really wasn’t any other way to handle it without writing two novels. But I made the back story short and sweet, and I hope as interesting as possible.

When Carter decides to build a new relationship with dependable, knowledgeable Jeff, he tries to put aside his past and forget the ten magical years of gay marriage he had with his deceased husband, Domenic. He wants to let go of the grief and all the painful emotions, including the imaginary conversations he has with his dead husband when no one else is around.

But when Carter and Jeff move from Los Angeles to New York to begin their new lives as a couple, Carter notices a few basic flaws in their relationship. And when they both begin to realize it’s impossible for two submissive gay bottoms to have a satisfying sex life, Jeff brings home a powerful sex machine he hopes will solve their problems. At the very least, they won’t have to argue anymore over whose turn it is be on top.

For a short time, things calm down and both seem satisfied. Jeff enjoys his new work in New York and he becomes best friends with the neighbor across the hall, a classic fag hag named Celeste. While Jeff is busy working hard and going bird-watching with Celeste, Carter is busy with his new job teaching sculpting classes at The School of Visual Arts. Carter is happy to be back in New York, near his colorful mother again, teaching in the same place where he once went to school.

But when Carter finally wears out the powerful motor in the sex machine and Jeff decides not to replace the machine with another, Carter quietly replaces the sex machine on his own, with frozen zucchini and exhibitionist fantasies on his terrace. He even starts having more imaginary conversations with his dead husband, Domenic. And although these conversations help him deal with his problems, he eventually finds comfort with his new best friend, Bruce, who just happens to be Celeste’s handsome young husband from across the hall.

Though Bruce is seven years younger than Carter, and an ex-professional boxer, they both seem to have two important things in common: they are trapped in sexless, hopeless marriages and both crave emotional affection. But while Bruce is trying to come to terms with his feelings for Carter, Carter is still trying to let go of the horrible events of his past. And as things become even more complicated thanks to a few unexpected life-altering events, neither one of them is sure what the future holds. Or if the strong, emotional love they’ve discovered will be enough to build a lifetime of substance.

New Release by Michael Russell: FIRST FLOOR ON FIRE

Elisa Rolle has been doing an author survey for a while now, discussing what authors read and how these books inspire them. I still haven’t submitted anything to her because my tastes are so eclectic as a reader I’m not sure what to submit.

However, I’m reading FIRST FLOOR ON FIRE right now and I’m enjoying it. It’s not a m/m romance and it’s nothing I’d write myself, which is probably why I’m enjoying it so much. Books like this keep me grounded and connected to the real world. I’m from the Philadelphia area and I know the setting in this book well. And though I love reading m/m romances as much as I love writing them, once in a while I need a good dose of reality, too.

So check this out on amazon. If you’re a fan of the TV show, “The Wire,” or the movie, “Precious,” you’ll enjoy this book by Michael Russell. And remember, you saw it here first.

Here’s the blurb and the link:

First Floor on Fire is a conflicted love letter to dangerous outcasts and misfits.Imagine a Greek tragedy in the North Philly inner city. First Floor on Fire has a passionate anger and emotional complexity that could appeal to audiences who loved Sapphire’s Push (the book Precious is based on) or season four of The Wire. The story centers around Nevaya Briggs, a strong, fragile, complex African-American teenager who must fight a predatory principal who thinks he’s saving her, an abusive mother, a collapsing school system and a violent classmate. Her ally is her openly gay brother Donyair, who must also battle a bigoted world while hiding his affair with his older brother. A seasoned teacher, Ms. Dee, tries to protect Nevaya, but Nevaya has learned to never trust adults. When she rejects her principal’s advances, he manipulates Nevaya’s enemies to exact revenge, and the consequences are disastrous. Every adult in Nevaya’s life has let her down, and she will fight anyone to save herself from getting hurt even more deeply.