Author: Andrew Q Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: 6 October
Edition: Second (Re-written, re-edited, new cover)
Genre: Paranormal, Gay Fiction
Forty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.
Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2013.
As they walked up the stairs, Gar’s mind demanded to know why he’d talked to this total stranger. Long ago he’d given up on trying to meet people. Love was hollow, meaningless. He couldn’t share who he was or what he did, so why get involved, only to see them leave?
More inexplicable, the kid was smiling as if he enjoyed Gar’s company. But Gar knew there was nothing likable about him anymore. Dour, quiet, brusque, and blank were words that described him. He purposely kept his demeanor guarded and gruff to keep people away. Yet he was walking with “him” to the upper platform. Not “him,” Gar kept reminding himself. The kid is not David.
David had been tall and Mediterranean, an Italian boy from South Philly. Back when Gar still felt passion, that was his type. An athlete, David was, in a word, amazing. He turned heads when he walked into a room, but it was his eyes, those beautiful brown eyes, that held Gar’s soul.
The kid was average, unremarkable, though not unattractive. But he had David’s eyes. More than once, Gar looked at them and swore they were the same, as if someone had preserved David’s and given them to him. Him? Gar didn’t even know his name.
His step faltered for a moment as he realized he was thinking about the life he’d abandoned all those years ago. How long had it been since he’d thought of David, remembered how it felt to be with him?
Quietly, they waited on the semicrowded platform. A couple of hours before midnight, and the crowds were starting to head north to the city’s nightlife. Mostly young professionals, but Gar noted the thugs mixed in. They were not going for the music and booze but to prey on those who indulged too much in both.
The Red Line arrived. Almost full, now that the small crowd got on with them. Fortune smiled on them as they found an empty pair of seats.
“At the risk of being rude…,” the kid started, but his confidence faded. When Gar nodded, he continued. “What’s your name?”
“Gar.” It wasn’t his real name. Who named their kid Gar?
“Gar?” His confused look quickly switched to embarrassment.
“Family name,” Gar said. His predecessors were his only family, in a twisted way. The last dozen or so “hosts” had used it, so when he abandoned his old life, he started to use it too. “Yours?”
Gar detected a note of hesitancy. His words weren’t a lie, but something more was there. When Ryan’s hand crept closer to Gar’s leg, he understood.
Rather than let things go where it seemed they might, Gar changed topics. “Are you hungry?” He knew Ryan was, but would he admit it? “I need to get something to eat. I could use the company. My treat for keeping someone as scary-looking as me company.”
This time, Ryan laughed a real laugh. It made him less broken. “Um… well….”
Ryan was hungry and scared. No doubt, if Gar read his mind, he would find he had almost no money. He was desperate enough that he was going to that part of town to find “work.” A flash of anger filled him. Anger? When he bit down on it, he realized it felt like David was sitting there talking about it.
“Seriously, no strings. Order what you want. I’ll pay.” Checking to see if anyone could see, Gar pulled out a thick wad of bills he had taken from the guilty. “I just got paid.”
At the sight of the money, Ryan’s eyes got slightly wider. Whether he knew it or not, Ryan licked his lips. The small reaction made Gar laugh, enough for Ryan to realize what he’d done.
“I’m sorry,” he stammered, refusing to look over. “Thanks, I’m fine.”
Cursing his lack of social skills, Gar grabbed the first bundle of bills he found in his coat pocket. “Here.” He took Ryan’s hand and shoved the money into his palm. “Don’t sell yourself tonight.”
First Prize: $25 Giftcard to Dreamspinner Press
Second Prize: Autographed Paperback copy of Purpose
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6 Oct – Elin Gregory and Jessie G Books
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Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads and ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting to the times, he now writes with a shiny new MacBook that he sets on the same desk as his manual typewriter and vintage adding machine.
Long a fan of super heroes, wizards and sports, Andrew’s works include high fantasy, paranormal spirits, magic as well as contemporary fiction. He is still trying to find the perfect story that will include all his favorites under one cover.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and occasionally sleeping.