the bachelor

Review: The Bachelor

I almost always hesitate to post my own reviews here on the blog. It’s one of those things a lot of authors hate to do, but know they have to do it.

So I’m going to concentrate on thanking the reviewer, Michele Montgomery, instead of on the actual review. I think this particular review site is one of the most helpful tools for all readers of mm fiction. I’ve been watching it and following it for along time and it’s constantly evolving. When I have a question about a book a want to buy, I check out web sites like this for more information.

I know how hard it is to keep a blog going and work on my own writing deadlines, and I can’t even imagine the kind of work that goes into maintaining a book review site.

Here’s the link…please check out the entire site. You’ll enjoy it.

The Bachelor: Book Description



Here’s a quick book description of The Bachelor, which was recently released.

I’ll post an unpublished excerpt later this week. And if anyone wants to read a published excerpt check out this link. (I’m a big fan of the way ARe does product details.) It’s all right here. Or, the publisher’s link, here.

Jim Johnston has been trying to break into show business for seven years, and now he has a chance to audition for a new reality show called The Gay Bachelor. But he missed the Hollywood auditions, so he has to travel back home to the deep rural country of Southern New Jersey and audition in Philadelphia.

Jim arrives at his parents’ old brick plantation style house for the first time since he graduated high school. When he sees how much they’ve aged since he’s been gone, it tugs at his heart and he is determined to make things right again so it doesn’t take another seven years for him to return.

But this doesn’t stop Jim from having a quick affair with his mother’s maid’s strapping nephew while his mother and father are at church. And it doesn’t stop him from falling hopelessly in love with one of the producers of the new reality show, The Gay Bachelor, when he auditions in Philadelphia.

With all the obstacles Jim faces before the audition, he discovers a few things about himself he didn’t know. In spite of the disappointments…and a few awkward moments with a chocolate cupcake…he’s determined to concentrate more on love than on casual sex. Even though he’s not sure how it’s all going to work out in the end, he’s ready to take his chances for the sake of love.

The Bachelor: Release Day



If you recall, we weren’t sure whether or not this would be The Gay Bachelor, or The Bachelor. We (the publisher and I) decided on The Bachelor in the end mainly because it worked so well with the cover. And the two guys almost kissing should be a clear indication this isn’t about a straight bachelor.

It’s also a play on words in a sense. For years, many gay men all over the world have been referred to as bachelors because being openly gay has always been so taboo. And for those who don’t realize it, this is still happening today as I write this blog post. And I wanted to make a small statement about it in this book.

It’s a full length novel, about 75,000 words. You can find it here and in most places where e-books are sold, including amazon, kobo, and google. And if anyone has any questions about it before I post more next week, please feel free to e-mail me.

Sometimes You Just Have To Trust the Author…Salem County, NJ

This is my 964th post, so I’m heading toward 1,000 very soon. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to do anything grand for the 1,000th post. But if I do I’ll post about it soon.



Recently, I received the copy edits for my new book, The Bachelor. I’m on record for saying that I never argue with copy editors and I usually let them have the last word. I like the collaboration, and I like the small touches they add to the book. And there have been a few cases when they’ve questioned something I wrote and they’ve been right.

But this time the copy editor questioned the validity of a setting in the book. It was done nicely, and I do understand why the setting was questioned. The Bachelor starts out in Los Angeles, and then moves to Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia because the main character missed the LA auditions and he has to travel back to where he grew up to catch the Philadelphia auditions.

A good deal of the book is set in south western New Jersey, Salem County, to be exact. Of course when most people think of New Jersey, they think of the urban areas close to New York and Philadelphia. But that’s not what Salem County is like at all. In fact, there’s more of a southern influence than a northern influence because so many people who moved there after the civil war came from the south. According the the US south cenus, Delaware is considered southern and it’s only five or ten minutes away from a few towns in Salem County. And the difference between North Jersey and South Jersey is like the difference between Maine and Florida. But, mainly, rural southern New Jersey in these parts is not like the New Jersey most people think they know.

I know this because I was raised in Salem County, in Penns Grove, the same town where Bruce Willis grew up. I even knew him when I was a kid. I’m much younger than Bruce Willis, but I remember the day he “streaked” through Penns Grove High School. (Always looking for attention.) I think his family still lives there. And my family still lives there, too. It’s two hours away from where I’ve been living for the past twenty years, in Bucks County, PA. But I’m still down there at least once a month for various reasons. So I know what I’m talking about when I write about Salem County, NJ. It’s not research I had to look up. It comes from personal experience. I’ve even been to the Muskrat Festival in Lower Alloways Creek.

But the copy editor didn’t get this, which made me wonder how readers are going to feel when they read the book. I had to explain it to the copy editor, and I still don’t think she gets it. And then I had to wonder why people don’t trust authors when it comes to these things. I know, there are a few bad books out there where authors don’t get it right. I’ve read a few myself and I’ve been more than disappointed. But most of the time the author does get it right, and it’s a shame that we have to suffer because of a few idiots who don’t know the correct distance between Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA. And didn’t even bother to look it up.

The Bachelor is one of the few books I’ve ever set in Salem County, NJ. And it might very well be the last. But I always try to set my books in places I know at least fairly well. The odds of me ever setting a book in Michigan or Iowa are pretty slim. I’ve never been there and know nothing about either of these places. In Pretty Man, I wrote about the New York I know and love, because I lived there, too. And the scenes about Greenwich Village came from my own personal experience, not from wiki. And you can be damn sure that if I do write about a character living in Michigan or Iowa, I’m going to do the research and get the facts right. Settings are extremely important to an author. They create the overall feel of the book and help define the characters.

So sometimes you just have to trust the author. When he or she writes about the New Jersey you don’t know about, they are probably doing it for a reason and they are basing what they write on their own personal experiences. And Salem County, NJ, is not the New Jersey you know from what you’ve heard on TV. In fact, it’s so unusual there’s not much written about it on the web…at least not the real Salem County…and unless you’ve actually lived there, you’ll never really know what it’s like. The best I could do was describe it from my own personal experience.