December 10, 2012
A Present for Daddy is now available from my website!
Six months after his wife leaves him, Bob Jansen finds himself spending the holidays with his parents in the town where he grew up. With him is his seven year old daughter, Jenna, who sometimes seems to be handling her mother’s absence better than Bob is himself. But he’s worried that, in her letter to Santa, Jenna has asked the jolly old elf for something Bob knows he can’t pull off. He’s afraid she wants her mother back for the holiday.
While shopping for his daughter’s Christmas presents, Bob runs into Dave Knarr, an old friend. They used to be best buds in high school, before Julia, Bob’s soon-to-be ex-wife, came between them. The two men catch up over drinks, and before the evening ends, Dave makes his real feelings for Bob known.
If Bob is shocked to learn Dave has always been attracted to him, he’s more surprised by his own reaction. Even if he’s willing to take another shot at romance, what will his daughter think of his old friend?
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December 9, 2012
My latest e-book release is a gay romance novelette entitled A Present for Daddy.
Some of my favorite stories to write are those about best friends who feel more than friendship for each other, but for whatever reason, don’t act on those feelings. In this story, Bob and Dave were very close growing up, and Dave felt they might eventually have a bond stronger than friendship. He hoped they might … at least, until Julia entered the picture. She interrupted their friendship senior year of high school when Bob fell for her, and Dave took a back seat to the couple’s budding relationship. Unfortunately after graduation Dave lost touch with Bob completely, and it’s only through a holiday coincidence they meet up again years later.
When they do, Dave is a successful ad-man at a local mall in the city where they grew up, and where Bob’s parents still live. Bob’s marriage with Julia went south — she left him six months prior to the story, and served him divorce papers the day he left to visit his parents for Christmas. In tow is Bob’s 7-year-old daughter Jenna, whose letter to Santa this year asked for something special Bob’s afraid he won’t be able to give her.
The connection between Bob and Dave is as immediate — and as powerful — as it was all those years ago. The two men spend the night catching up with each other, though the painful subject of his ruined marriage leads Bob to drink more than he should. Instead of driving home, he decides to visit Dave’s apartment, where one things leads to another and …
Well, here’s an exclusive excerpt from the story that tells it a little better!
Excerpt from A Present for Daddy:
December 7, 2012
Very rarely do I ever “see” a story completely when the idea for it comes to me. Usually I get a scene or two stuck in my head, maybe a quick character sketch, and after thinking about it for a while, the elements start to gel together into something that wants to be written. That wasn’t the case with The Man Next Door, a short story I released earlier this year under my young adult pseudonym, J. Tomas.
I was lying in bed one evening, on the verge of falling asleep and trying not to think of anything in particular, when the entire story came to my mind in a flash. It stemmed from my interest in reading a lot of survivors’ stories about the Holocaust, I’m sure, and included some of my own prejudices and concerns. I wanted to write a story about my experiences learning about the Holocaust, and I felt a young adult tale would be best suited for the task.
I know most people don’t know where the pink triangle now used as a symbol of gay pride came from — even a lot of gay people don’t know. Many don’t realize the Nazis persecuted anyone other than Jews. I didn’t until college, when the Holocaust museum was created in D.C. and there was an extensive article about the concentration camps in a popular magazine, Time or Newsweek.
The triangle symbol is something I feel everyone should know about, if only to prevent something similar from happening ever again. I have it tattooed on my left arm, and when someone asks about it, I tell them the origin of the symbol (I’m sure they regret asking after that). Putting it into a story seemed to be a great way to spread that same message to my readers.
When fifteen year old Jake Allister learns the new neighbor in his apartment complex is an elderly man from Germany named Mr. Wagner, he fears the worst. The guy’s old enough to have survived World War II, and to Jake’s young mind, that makes him suspect. Because Mr. Wagner isn’t Jewish, Jake assumes the man must have been part of the Nazi regime who tortured and killed millions before he was born.
Jake isn’t religious, by any stretch of the imagination, and neither is his mother. He had to learn about the Holocaust at school; now he distrusts anything German, including Mr. Wagner. Then he sees the old man watching him and his boyfriend Thad make out in the parking lot. Jake just knows the guy is a Nazi.
But when he finally gets invited into Mr. Wagner’s apartment, Jake discovers Jews weren’t the only ones who suffered during the Holocaust. For the first time, he begins to grasp the scope of the tragedy that unfurled during the war … and what it meant to be Jewish — or gay — in Nazi Germany.
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