Many thanks to BTMABTO for the opportunity to present my tenth novel, Midlife Crisis, to its readers. I set out to write a romantic comedy about a man, Jack, who returns to his past in order to find the love that’s missing in his present. I wound up with that, plus a nifty murder mystery that threatens Jack, his family, and his friends. Will Jack find love? Will the murder be solved? I hope you pick up a copy of the book to find out.
Below is a short excerpt from the very beginning, just to wet your whistle. Suffice it to say, zaniness quickly ensues. Enjoy!
“Parsnips?” Greg asked me.
I looked over at him from the living room couch as he in turn poked his head out from the kitchen. “Um, huh?” I said, wondering if this was some new pet name he’d thought of for me, as he was forever coming up with new ones. Last I checked, I was being referred to as Professor. FYI, I teach business at a local college. My students call me Jack or Mister Nelson. Professor makes me sound a.) old and b.) like a character in a television show. Also FYI, I am neither, though if he had to come up with anything from the latter category, I was rooting for Pepper, a la Angie Dickinson in Police Woman.
“Parsnips,” he repeated, already looking peeved with me, which was, sad to say, par for the course as of late. Par, bogie and eagle, in fact. Heck, let’s just toss in the entire golfing green, and call it a day.
In any case, it wasn’t a question or a comment anyone had ever thrown my way. I squinted my eyes as I pondered this. In truth, I hadn’t a clue what a parsnip even was. Had I ever eaten one before? Would I still seem professorial if I asked what the hell one was? Did I even want to ask and risk his wrath, which consisted of him ignoring me the rest of the evening? Greg, you see, hated confrontation―though he loved being a world-class bitch.
“Just to be clear,” I asked, forcing a smile so as to divert the inevitable kerfuffle, “are you asking me if I want some with dinner?”
He matched my squint with a scowl. He started to say something, realized a fight of some sort would probably ensue, took his nine-iron and golf ball, and promptly left that aforementioned course. In other words, Professor zero, kerfuffle one. And, yes, we had parsnips with our entirely silent dinner. Yuck.
To backtrack just a bit, Greg and I had been dating for six months. He lived down the hall from me in our high-rise, San Francisco, somewhat-luxury condo. Though in San Francisco, for what you pay, they’re all luxury. In any case, you know that expression: don’t eat where you shit? Well, yeah, I knew it, too, except I’d sadly never paid it much heed. Meaning, while I would’ve loved to have broken up with Greg, I would still have to see him all too often, mainly because luxury didn’t equate to more than one elevator.
To be fair, my boyfriend hadn’t cornered the market in nonconfrontational skills. Which is to say, no, I didn’t break up with him, much as I would’ve liked to. Then again, I didn’t really have to, seeing as he finally broke up with me, a mere three nights later.
“Why are we always fighting?” he asked, just before it all fell down like a giant house of cards. And, yes, in San Francisco, even that would have gone for a small fortune.
“I’d call it silently simmering more than fighting,” I replied, uneager to provoke him―and, okay, perhaps just a bit eager as well. It was an odd dichotomy. Then again, so were we.
“You know what I mean.”
I did. Fine. “Thin line between love and hate?”
“But you don’t love me, and I don’t love you, so what does that leave?”
I shrugged. “Parsnips?” Sorry, it was the best I could come up with. Largely because I didn’t necessarily hate him, though that aforesaid root vegetable I could’ve forever lived without.
Jack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he as quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner, and so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t seen in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends, not to mention the family dog and his high school bully, he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger. In this hysterically funny tale, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?
Barnes and Noble
“If you’re looking for a humorous and intelligent book to read, Rob Rosen’s Midlife Crisis should be on the top of your list. A tale of going back to move forward, as told by Jack, the story’s main character, is full of youthful and gay witty repartee balanced with the poignancy that comes with adult life. It will make you laugh out loud one minute and get teary the next. Oh, and if you like a good murder mystery, there’s that too. Kudos to Rosen for creating some very memorable characters.” – Julian G, Simmons, Narrator,Widdershins audiobook series
“Rob Rosen does madcap gay humor better than anyone else writing today. Midlife Crisis is no exception.” – Neil Plakcy, author of The Mahu Investigations
“Rob Rosen’s Midlife Crisis has laughs aplenty, along with intrigue, romance, sex, and heartbreak. The reader will enjoy the humorous wordplay and snappy dialogue, which, alongside a tale of first love lost and along-forgotten mystery surfacing from the past, carries the story forward to an exciting conclusion.” – T.R. Verten, author of Confessions of a Rentboy
About the Author
Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award NominatedQueerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, and Fate, winner of the 2016 TRR Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2.