Thanks, Michelle, for allowing me to show off the cover for my upcoming release from Dreamspinner Press on your blog. By far, the most exciting part of the publishing process—at least for me—is seeing the cover for the first time. For my next novel, to be released August 20th, artist Christy Caughie created a gorgeous cover. To celebrate, I’m conducting a giveaway. Keep reading for details.
Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.
Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.
Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.
New York City in 1969 is the setting for much of the action in Happy Independence Day. What was the legal environment then for NYC homosexuals?
By the middle of the twentieth century, a relatively large homosexual population had fled to New York City to escape persecution, discrimination, and limited opportunities in rural and small town America. Ironically, New York had more laws on the books targeting homosexuals than just about any place in America. Cross dressers of either gender were arrested unless they wore at least three articles of clothing for the gender listed on his or her birth certificate or driver’s license. The New York State Liquor Authority had determined the mere presence of homosexuals defined a drinking establishment as disorderly, and hence, would evoke the liquor license. Entrapment, extortion, and other crimes were committed against homosexuals with impunity by police, organized crime, and opportunistic thugs. The atmosphere in the summer of 1969 was especially tense because of Mayor John Lindsay’s crack down on vice to clean up the city as part of his campaign for re-election in November.
To give you a reason to visit the other blogs helping me celebrate my new cover, I’ve come up with a Giveaway and a quiz about the Stonewall Inn and the 1969 uprising that made it famous. Find the answers on the blogs participating in my cover reveal and giveaway (links below). Comment on my post on any of the participating blogs by midnight, July 31, 2014 for a chance to win a signed copy of the prequel, After Christmas Eve (U.S. residents only; ebook available for international winners—one winner per blog).
What is the Stonewall Inn?
Who owned the Stonewall Inn?
What made the Stonewall Inn a magnet for homosexuals?
What happened at the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 28, 1969 to cause the uprising?
Who/what started the Stonewall riots?
How long did the Stonewall Uprising last?
Find out what Michael’s up to by visiting his web site (http://rupured.com), following him on Twitter (@crotchetyman), or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).