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GUEST POST: This Is Heaven by Michael Ampersant

Blurb

Alpha males, delicate souls, and the Undead hit it off in a new scramble for the last happy ending.

A billionaire dies a suspicious darkroom death in Georgia Beach’s only gay haunt. The Vampire Festival is about to start. A professor of quantitative metaphysics predicts Armageddon for Thursday. Her sister, Juliette, falls in love with street-smart Romeo. Elsa, author of heat-level romance, meets ravishing Ben, progenitor of erotic techniques. Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Enid Blyton, Mark Twain, and many other writers appear in cameo. Corpses pile up. Alpha-hunk Alex recovers from a suicidal overdose—with amnesia—and can’t remember his sexual orientation. John, his oversexed lover, is losing it. Is Alex still gay? Is John is still trolling? (Yes.) Will their partnership survive the End-of-the-World?

Explanation:

This Is Heaven is a satirical combination of sex (gay and straight), crime, politics, and culture (both high and low). Set in the (fictional) town of Georgia Beach, GA, the book relates how John and Alex, the anti-heroes of the Green Eyes, manage to hijack the resort’s Summer Festival despite overwhelming adversity from many quarters, including metaphysical ones.

The title is a sequel to Ampersant’s first work, Green Eyes, which was a finalist of the prestigious Lambda Literary Awards of 2015.

Prologue

Readers, the first chapter of this book describes a casual encounter of three men in the dunes behind the gay beach of my town. It does so in fairly graphic language—language that could discomfort or even harm you. So, I have decided to relegate the chapter to an appendix and replace it by a flat summary of the events related there—events triggered by the all-too-happy-ending of the first part of our story, Green Eyes.[1]

My name is John Lee. I live in Georgia Beach, GA, and teach French at Southern Georgia College. I met my destiny, Alexander Iglesias, seven days ago, under the same questionable circumstances that open this volume.

In a significant departure from gay cruising protocol, Alex and I then met again, and we fell in love, or at least I did. Boy meets girl, or boy meets boy, or whatever’s your shtick, that’s basically the story—it’s the usual story, and ours ended half an hour ago here on the beach.

Why this sequel then? Because ours is also an erotic thriller, and there are loose ends left dangling. So, I need to share my backstory while respecting your attention span. I’ll keep it simple then with an annotated list of characters that made it into this, the second part:

(a) Alex Iglesias, the green-eyed lead character. He’s alpha dog, big brother (when he’s in a good mood), and much more. He’s also very smart. We’ve been together for seven days now (under a very generous interpretation of ‘being together’);

(b) John Lee (me). Lazy, bipolar, shy, self-centered, unable to finish my Ph.D., slow-witted under duress but given to fits of secondary cockiness. Occasionally I’m lucky. Alex calls it serendipity;

(c) Maurice Dymond, visiting Brit and the third party to our al-fresco last week. Maurice managed to get himself arrested afterwards—and then assaulted—by passing lecherous cops, and in particular by a certain Officer Richard Benson, a closet-psychopath whose later attempts to eliminate the witnesses of his crime drove the story so far;

(d) Dr. Alice Sandeman, head of the ER of the local hospital where Alex worked as a paramedic;

(e) Godehart Wagner, a recent addition to Georgia Beach’s chattering classes, German by origin, somehow-descendent of Richard Wagner (the composer), and ex-in-law of Alice on account of her lesbian relationship with his now-deceased wife of convenience, Eleanor. He runs a Wagner-memorabilia company and owns a self-steering SUV, the first autonomous vehicle registered in the State of Georgia;

(f) John (“Ben”) Fletcher, a ravishing black guy who—even though my relationship with Alex was already on—ended up in my bed before I ended up in his, whence we revisited a sexual technique invented by the historic Knights of Malta. Ben is the youngest son of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther Fletcher and his lovely wife Gracelyn. He studies engineering at Georgia Tech;

(g) Ray Mayang, a long-time darkroom acquaintance of Malay origin;

(h) Trevor Howard, assistant district attorney for vice;

(i) Neill Palmer, local real-estate magnate, pure rice queen, and AIDS patient;

(j) Jane Trumpleton, desperate housewife, whom I enjoyed in the company of her friend Muffy, al fresco as usual, on Muffy’s afternoon porch. This event inspired the Georgia Beach A-level escort service, of which I’m the founder and CEO;

(k) Amy-Lou, deputy head nurse of the IC unit at the hospital, and occasionally in bed with Alex. More to the point, she stole Alex from me yesterday evening—this is only 12 hours ago—fucked him twice, and then returned him because she had some business with her girlfriend, Gretchen;

(l) Jack Horn, local homme à tout faire, photographer by training, whose claim to fame rests on his time spent as facilitator next to the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel. He also invented a nuclear time machine;

(m) Nick, owner of Nick’s Restaurant, the largest restaurant of Georgia Beach (if not the world), and my fuckbuddy once removed via Jane T;

(n) Luke, owner of a convenience store nearby;

(o) the Blue Moon, the town’s principal gay club;

(p) the washed-up scriptwriter, the resident deus ex machina.

This being an erotic thriller, the lead character labors under a haunted past, which, in Alex’s case, entailed clinical depression and a suicide attempt last week. He was saved by yours truly, but when he had recovered from his overdose with serious amnesia, not only his depression but also his sexual preferences were somehow ‘forgotten’. His other cognitive skills appear untouched, however, and he feels entitled to believe—or to pretend—that he’s in heaven now.

How did we achieve a happy ending then, with his sexuality in jeopardy? Thanks to this heaven-thing, Readers: I am the only angel who wants his love, and wishes are fulfilled in heaven, and so I get it, his love—that’s how he put it half an hour ago. And then a certain Albert resurfaced (whom I owed), and accompanied us to the dunes, champagne flutes in hand, whence Albert’s wishes were fulfilled as well—that’s how we got entangled in this threesome of which I’m withholding the details. Let it be said that I don’t owe Albert any longer.

We’re skating on thin ice here in heaven, you understand, thin enough to propel our heartbreaking, murderous, yet ultimately fortuitous story into uncharted territory—especially in tropical southern Georgia during the third week of July 2014—I mean the thinness of the ice—this sentence will end in tears…

Hold on. Weren’t the Green Eyes set in July 2012? A gap in space-time must have occurred, but that’s just a minor twist to this saga.

[1] Green Eyes—an erotic novel (sort of). LustSpiel Books, Paris and New York (2015).

Buy links

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074D5GSZP?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

https://www.createspace.com/7402890

 The ebook will be free from Aug 29 – Sept 2

Author Bio

In his previous life, Michael Ampersant founded the Applied Logic Laboratory of the University of Amsterdam. He moved to the Cote d’Azur in France where he writes half-serious prose and edits the webzine LustSpiel. His first book, Green Eyes, the prequel to This Is Heaven, was a finalist of the prestigious Lambda Literary Awards last year.

Links:

Michael Ampersant website:

http://morefreedomfries.blogspot.ch/

Michael Ampersant FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/Michael-Ampersant-1726960144238117/

Michael Ampersant Twitter Account:

https://twitter.com/MichaelAmpersan

(Previous) Publications

Novels:

Green Eyes—an erotic novel, (sort-of). Lustspiel Books, 2015.

This Is Heaven—Green Eyes, Part II. Lustspiel Books, 2017.

Novellas/Short stories:

Active Duty. 2013 EtherBooks.

Astral Engineering. A retelling of Jules Verne’s “Voyage to the Moon” from the (gay) point of view of Michel Ardan. 2014. Unpublished.

La Corniche d’Or. 2014. Temptation Magazine.

The Fountain of Geneva. 2014. The Bear Review.

Jamie 1.0. 2015. Gay Flash Fiction.

Jennifer. 2016. Gay Flash Fiction.

There Is so much Sex Going on in the World. 2016. Lustspiel Books.

Rilke’s Ghost. The author and his partner Chang vanquish the ghost of Rainer-Maria Rilke. 2016. Unpublished.

Le Trayas Station. The author meets a sluggish, pretty, Arab youth, whose brother is a terrorist. 2016. Unpublished.

Florence. 2017. Gay Flash Fiction.

It’s Immoral. 2017. Bunbury.

John Is a Great Guy. 2017, forthcoming. Gay Flash Fiction.

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