Author Submissions

for Consideration

Here are some books that authors have personally contacted the Book Group and asked to be considered as possible Selections by the Group.

Active Book Group members, please send an email to
if you are interested in any of these titles as a Future Selection for the
Big Gay Book Group

Big Gay Book Group Home Page

Dear Authors:
Have a book you would like to submit for consideration?
 Your book must be available both in print and as an ebook to be considered.  Some of our members are ereaders and some members still prefer to read bound copies of books.

Please submit one or two copies of your BOUND book for our
review committee's perusal.  Thank you.

Send to:

Robert Starner
8509 Paxton Court
Berwyn Heights, MD 20740


Also, send an email to
with information about your book.
Your book will be listed here for Book Group
to review and consider for possible Selection
as a book for discussion by the Book Group.

Jazz Moon cover image 

Jazz Moon
by Joe Okonkwo

On a sweltering summer night in 1925, beauties in beaded dresses mingle with hepcats in dapper suits on the streets of Harlem.  The air is thick with reefer smoke, and jazz pours out of speakeasy doorways.  Ben Charles and his devoted wife, Angeline, are among the locals crammed into a basement club to hear jazz and drink bootleg liquor.  For aspiring poet Ben, the swirling, heady rhythms are a revelation.  So is Baby Back Johnston, an ambitious trumpet player who flashes a devilish grin and blasts jazz dynamite from his horn.  Ben finds himself drawn to the trumpeter – and to Paris where Baby Back says everything is happening.

In Paris, jazz and champagne flow eternally, and blacks are welcomed as exotic celebrities, especially those from Harlem.  It’s an easy life that quickly leaves Ben adrift and alone, craving solace through anonymous dalliances in the city’s decadent underground scene.  From chic Parisian cafes to seedy opium dens, his odyssey will bring new love, trials, and heartache, even as echoes from the past urge him to decide where true fulfillment and inspiration lie.

This book will be released on May 31, 2016.
Posted March 2016

Bohunk's Big To-Do cover image  Bohunk's Big To-Do
by Julian Jones

A Midwestern Gothic Wagon Ride

Bo Mickey’s wanted to run away from home ever since his mom married his boyfriend, two months back.  First time out of Arizona, though, and damned if they’re not both along for the ride.  Worse yet, one too many sightseeing stops puts Bo in Kansas too late for a deathbed introduction to the dad he’s never met.

The other Mickeys – his dad’s second family – put Bo and his lot up in the R.V. in the driveway to wait out the funeral.  That’s mighty close quarters to share, though, with the drug-damaged party girl who raised him and her new groom, a know-it-all castoff from Arizona foster care who can’t share dirty thoughts of Bo and won’t keep his hands to himself.

The way, too, how, the second Mrs. Mickey breaks glass and whatnot up against the walls inside her house, the mean streak that oldest daughter’s got; it’s near about impossible to pass the time in any sort of vacation-minded way.

When a little yellow notebook sends Mom into hysterics, Bo decides now’s as good a time as any to make his escape.  But he doesn’t want to go it alone.  Who will he take with him: the man he lovers or the woman who loves him?  While he makes up his mind, changes it, and decides again, the choices of his father's past come together in hints and whispers all around him.  But will Bo notice in time to make the right choice himself?

Bohunk’s Big To-Do is the story of a young man’s struggle against the power and vulnerability of his own conscience.  Telling with stringent honesty, the story that is most import to him – the only one he sees – Bo Mickey’s attention for the circumstances of his bizarre love triangle quickly evolves to distraction.  Past clues he fails to notice, refuses to admit, or simply does not understand, Bo moves ever closer to a life-changing decision.  Ultimately, the secret of Bohunk’s Big To-Do is at once shameful and heartbreaking but, in its oversight, perhaps merciful too.

Posted March 2016

The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House cover image 

The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House
by John Whittier Treat

Seattle, 1983.  Frightened by the growing epidemic that has stricken his friends, Jeff flees New York for the Pacific Northwest, only to realize AIDS has a foothold in his new home.  As he distracts himself with alcohol and one-night stands, Jeff meets Henry, an alluring younger man with a weakness for heroin.  Despite the jarring contrasts in their personalities and backgrounds, the two are drawn inexorably together.  But as their love develops, so do numerous complications.  In an effort to halt their freefall into addiction, Jeff and Henry move in with Nan, a middle-aged divorcee who has turned her home into a sanctuary for gay men in crisis.  The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House revisits the early years of AIDS in the Northwest with vivid detail, unrelenting honesty, and a profound compassion for a generation lost to the plague.

A 2016 Lambda Literary Award Nominee

Posted March 2016

Spinoza in Love cover image Spinoza in Love
by Martin Skogsbeck

Who was Spinoza?  The famous philosopher’s ideas are well documented but little is known of the man behind them.  What was he like as a person?  What events shaped the course of his life?  Was he ever in love?  

Spinoza in Love gives answer to these questions. Building on the few historical facts available, the novel weaves a colourful fictional story of passion, drama and deceit, carefully researched to be utterly plausible.  

But there is more to this book than a gripping love story from 17th century Holland.  Along the way, Spinoza’s philosophy is presented and rendered both intelligible and engaging.  By the end of a compelling tale, the reader will be familiar with the ideas of one of the greatest thinkers of western philosophy.

Posted March 2016
Running in Bed cover image Running in Bed
by Jeffrey Sharlach

Josh Silver is an ambitious young college grad who’s just landed his first job at a prestigious Madison Avenue advertising agency. He’s given his own office, his own secretary, and a decent salary. Everything in his life is working out just fine—except for one nagging problem: although he assumed that once he got out in the real world his feelings would change, he finds he still can’t stop dreaming about men.

Josh seeks professional help to reprogram his sexual desire but in 1977 New York is the glimmering Emerald City at the end of the Yellow Brick Road and Josh finally succumbs to its lure.  He moves quickly to make up for lost time in the post-Stonewall years when sex is quick and easy.  But that’s not enough; Josh wants to be in love.  He finds it unexpectedly just as the new decade begins but the growing spread of disease brings the free spirit of the 70s to a crushing end and Josh is forced to navigate the turmoil of an era where beauty, youth, wealth and life itself seem unimaginably fragile. 

Author Jeffrey Sharlach paints a brilliant picture of life in New York for a gay man at that moment in history. Running in Bed encapsulates the highs and lows of being true to oneself at a time when homosexuality was often considered a disease from which one could be cured.  From the New York club scene to summers on Fire Island to the dawn of AIDS, Sharlach writes with humor, poignancy, and charm, and presents characters who are universal in their appeal. Running in Bed’s incomparable, evocative images will resonate with readers, regardless of their personal persuasion.

Blown Covers book cover image Blown Covers
R. D. Thomas

When All-American Quarterback David Fisher moves to Chicago, he's ready to enjoy a laid-back gap year before Harvard. But when he opens the door of his beautiful new Buena Vista bachelor pad, his dreams are crushed by the reality of his new coworkers and flatmates - the Spanish playboy Cristiano and the uptight, overachieving German Lena. Confronted by cultures and customs they hardly understand, tensions run high. However, as secrets are revealed and livelihoods are put at stake, what will they find when the dust settles?

Told from each character's perspective with full English translations, prepare to be taken down an emotional roller coaster of Millennials trying to make sense of where they fit in a modern world that defies what they were taught.

Posted June 2015

Rainbow Plantation Blues cover image Rainbow Plantation Blues
Robert L. Sheeley

In 1850, Jonathan Thomas, a young, personable, and aristocratic Southern gentleman, has returned to his antebellum home from an Ivy League school in the North. His father is dying and Jonathan is sole heir to the family's lavish prosperous, and renowned Rainbow Plantation. While up North, two major revelations had seriously shaken his self-image. His exposure to Northern abolitionism had permanently shaken his outlook on slavery, the South's peculiar institution. Worse, he had begun to believe he might be a sodomite, a most wretched creature reviled by the customs of nineteenth-century American society.

When he tours the plantation grounds for the first time in years, he sees that his boyhood playmate, a slave named Kumi, has matured into a black Adonis. Jonathan is instantly captivated. Now he is convinced he is a sodomite, and even worse, he is hopelessly smitten over a slave.

As he grapples with his sexual proclivity and the peculiar institution, he befriends Steven Wentworth, a social non-conformist living an esoteric lifestyle, who has a deep, hidden connection to him. Under Steven's progressive influence, and from another unlikely source-the Bible-Jonathan is able to unravel his demons and triumph in the end. 

Hadrian's Lover cover image Hadrian's Lover
by Patricia Marie Budd

What if you lived in a world where homosexuality was the norm and all forms of heterosexual behavior were illegal?

In the near future the human population has grown to such excess that the earth is no longer able to sustain humanity's astronomical numbers. Poverty, starvation, and disease are rampant. Only the country of Hadrian seems able to defend itself against the ravages of overpopulation by restricting its growth and encasing its country behind a defensive wall. Procreation does not happen by chance in Hadrian. There are no unwanted pregnancies. No accidents. All pregnancies occur through in vitro fertilization, and every citizen is responsible for rearing one of Hadrian's children.

Heterosexuality is deemed the ill that has led humanity to the brink. In Hadrian, no one dares to express interest in the opposite sex; to do so would result in exile or reeducation.

Hadrian's Lover tells the story of Todd Middleton, a teenage boy struggling to keep the secret of his heterosexuality. Read on, and feel with him as he suffers the indignities of a society determined to "cure" him of his plight.

An Unusual Love cover image An Unusual Love
E.B. Hawkins

In his first book, An Unusual Love, E.B. Hawkins explores the elements of love and loss through his characters. Because the heart wants what it wants, love can form in the most unlikely places, and with the most unusual people, and sometimes in the most unusual situations, it takes an author like E.B. Hawkins to tell the story of these unusual loves. From youth to manhood, Bradley Smith opened his heart and life to many different people thinking they would cherish the love he gave. He travels down a long road of pain, hurt and loss both physical and emotional. Until he meets a person that he knew he could never fall in love with and finds himself in an unusual love affair. But he is not alone in this tale of unwelcome love, his close friend and lawyer for all Bradley’s companies, Tracy, also found herself entangled in a similar love affair with a person she thought could never win her heart, but through some intervention by Bradley he did win her heart and soul. As the two very different couples battle their way through an unusual love affair that neither of them understand, they are confronted with many other trials between work, family and the law. E.B. Hawkins was born in Gross Point and received a Bachelor degree in psychology from Troy State University in Montgomery, Alabama.
Thoreau in Love cover image Thoreau in Love
by John Schuyler Bishop

In 1843, a repressive puritanism still hangs over Concord, Massachusetts, and Henry Thoreau, twenty-five years old, wants out. When his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, gives him an opportunity to move to New York City, the lively center of the growing nation, Henry leaves Concord with no thought of ever returning.

In his journals, the 250-some pages about his trip to New York have been ripped out, the only substantial number of pages missing from the forty-seven journal volumes. What was so scandalous that Thoreau-or, more likely, his literary executor-decided no one should see it?

And why did Thoreau stay only six months in New York?

Thoreau's biographers go out of their way to convince us that the writer was heterosexual, although he never married and wrote freely in his journal about the beauty of men. His poem "Sympathy," one of the few published in his lifetime, is a love poem to a boy who was his student. About that poem, one celebrated biographer went so far as to say, "When he wrote 'he' Thoreau really meant 'she,' and when he wrote 'him,' he really meant 'her.'" When in his journal Thoreau wrote, "There is more than maiden modesty between us . . . I have no feature so fair as my love for him," that same biographer said, "There is little doubt that 'her' was meant. . . . There are, indeed, many passages . . . where Henry's emotional experiences with women are memorialized under a camouflage of masculine pronouns."

By denying Thoreau's real sexuality, scholars have reduced him to a wooden icon. But this sexuality can humanize the man.

"Thoreau in Love" imagines the time of the missing pages, when Thoreau emerged from his shell and explored the wider world and himself before he returned to Concord, where he fearlessly lived the rest of his life and became the great naturalist and literary giant.

An Impossible Dream Story cover image An Impossible Dream Story
by J.V. Petretta

An accomplished, aging man is preparing for yet another dream-to conductthe first known bicycle-book tour (which will require peddling both miles andbooks.) Who will believe 2,500 miles is possible for a man with gravely seriousmedical issues-at age sixty-five? Witnessing the lifetime spiritual journey ofVinny Pirelli, starting at age six with his very first bicycle, you track hisdevelopment of being the only boy among many siblings, through growing painsof adolescence and teen years. He struggles with, and represses homosexualtendencies, putting his emotions into bicycling and writing songs. As a youngadult, Vinny proves successful at whatever he attempts-even in building a familywith the first girl he had sexual feelings for. As a ten-year Army leader, he learns hard lessons of losing friendships, love and trust, with the ultimate betrayal of his own father.

Crime Scene Sex Scene cover image Crime Scene/Sex Scene
by K.O. Johnson
(Please Note: This book is only available as an e-book at this time.  The link goes to the page for this author, this title appears in that list.)

The problem with innocence is that there is always someone willing to corrupt it. While Harlan Powers’s innocence and lack of sophistication are two things new wife Lauren loves about her handsome husband, they are also qualities that make him vulnerable.

When a murder is committed outside Harlan and Lauren’s New York apartment, Harlan finds himself the object of Crime Scene Investigator Manny Barron’s infatuation. Propositioned by the openly gay cop Harlan is offended, while Lauren, the savvy New Yorker, finds the situation amusing. 

Harlan, fighting writer’s block, uses the offensive little detective as a character in his new novel, including Barron’s words, “Perversion is the new normal.” Ignorant of detective work, or man-on-man sex, Harlan meets the worldly and exotic Augustine Polo in Central Park. Augustine finds a willing pupil in Harlan and, under the pretense of helping him research his novel, introduces him to the dark, sordid side of the park. Undertaking an erotic transformation for the sake of ambition, Harlan puts his marriage and life in jeopardy. What are Barron and Augustine’s interests in Harlan, or has Harlan sold his soul to the devil? 

Harlan didn’t set out to write a pornographic novel, a novel that would end up on the New York Time’s Best Seller list, he was just documenting the events as they happened to him.

One Last Lie cover image One Last Lie
by Rob Kaufman
(Cover image is from a previous edition.)

Philip and Jonathan have had the perfect life together for ten years - fulfilling every dream except that of having a child.  Along comes Angela, Philip's college friend who apparently conquered her old demons of obesity and manic-depression.  After reaquainting and becoming good friends, the three decide to have a child together through artificial insemination of Jonathan's sperm.  From that point, Philip and Jonathan's idyllic life begins to unravel.  Angela's mask of deceit gradually slips as her pregnancy awakens psychological and physical problems, leaving Philip and Jonathan regretting ever allowing her into their lives.

Told from an elderly Jonathan's hospital bed, Angela's tangled web unwinds into heartbreak, deception, legal battles, and finally murder - with a surprise ending no one could have ever imagined.

Why Homosexuals Deserve Equality Rights cover image Why Homosexuals Deserve Equality Rights
An Empowerment Guide

by B.L. Fowler

(Please note the link goes to the ebook version of this title.)

Ideally, all U.S. citizens are guaranteed the same equality rights; after all, this is what the United States Constitution was enacted for.  Yet unfortunately, many Americans do not believe homosexuals should be granted equal rights and sadly, in some instances this belief derives from religious traditions.

However, same-sex couples are gaining leverage to marry in many states even though such marriages are only respected in the states they marry in.  Meanwhile, countless, U.S. citizens remain divided on this controversial issue.  Therefore, certified paralegal and gay activist B.L. Fowler, developed this compelling guide in an effort to empower homosexuals around the United States and educate others on why uniting is the best alternative for America to regain peace.

Inside the Vortex cover image

Inside the Vortex
by Justin Hernandez

The foundation of your life was based on abuse, denial, cover-ups, and secrecy?  How would that affect your decision making process?  These are the questions Justin Hernandez asks himself as he reflects upon his existence.  From his upbringing in New York to a cross-country move to Los Angeles for a dance career, every tumultous episode of his life is examined in this confessional memoir.  Inside the Vortex is the story of one man's journey that is filled with deception, abuse, addiction, sex, and stripping.  At times, all the elements intersect, other times, they collide.  (Posted September 30, 2012)

(The links go to the 2nd edition on

Patriarch image only

My Extraordinary Journey from Man to Gentleman

H.L. Sudler

What have you learned from your life? What will you take with you when you die? Will it be all the lessons you have learned, all the pain you remember? Romances, milestones, regrets, eras? Through this heartfelt, humorous, inspirational, and oftentimes brutally honest collection of essays, PATHS Humanitarian Writing Award winner H.L. Sudler embarks upon a journey of self-discovery in his quest to define what it truly means to be a patriarch in the wake of his father's death.

Searching for answers among tales of love and war, triumph and losses, religious awakening, personal evolution, suicide attempts, and closure surrounding the fragmentation of his family, Sudler poses to himself: How long does it take for a man to become a patriarch? What are the requirements? Need he necessarily be the eldest male member of a family, its core? Or can he merely stand like the first inhabitants of the planet and say I was there; I lived through this...? Examining issues both personal and topical, Sudler begs the reader to gaze deeply into themselves and beneath fears, flaws and anger, and across borders. For him, from man to gentleman and ultimately to patriarch. (Posted September 30, 2012)

Sin and Celluloid:
A Tale of Hollywood

James Steiner

He's on the lam!
Debt-ridden drifter Waylon Boyd fakes his own death. He reinvents himself as Duncan Seaver, leaving a neglected wife and stacks of unpaid bills behind in Token Creek, Arkansas. After landing in Los Angeles, Duncan finds that his good looks and sex appeal make him a "star" in the seedy world of blue movies.

Her career's on the skids!
Out-of-work actress Madeline Vaughn needs a job, now! Fifteen years have passed since her hit series "Hollywood Crime Scene" was canceled. She's forced to hit the streets of Los Angeles to land that one juicy part that will put her back into the spotlight.

He's unlucky in love!
Madeline's neighbor, vintage furniture dealer Bradley Fontaine, has given up on finding the right guy. But after meeting Duncan, he's renting him his vacant pool house. Duncan's ability to manipulate both Madeline and Bradley propels him deeper into an ambitious vortex of money, power and notoriety.

She's got a gun!
Once Duncan's abandoned wife Rhonda suspects her "dead" husband isn't really dead after all, she scams her way west, following his trail of lies and deceit. In a town where image is everything, Rhonda's search for the truth comes at a higher price than she ever imagined.

Posted Aug 2011


The Invisible Moon

J. Robert DiFulgo

Bryan thought he knew who he was, and what he believed in. Joining the Navy and fighting in Vietnam would shatter all his beliefs, yet make him a stronger person than he could ever have realized.

But it is not until more than twenty years later that he can begin to relive the ordeal in order to dispel the ghosts and horrors of the past. Constant Greg, likeable Radnor, enigmatic Tuyet... Love, death, war... some memories will never fade. Is there an answer out there for him, or is everything as hidden as The Invisible Moon?

Posted Aug 2011



Shattered Wings

Bryan Healey

John holds the American dream: A man he loves, a beautiful little girl, a suburban home and a well-paying job... And then a sudden layoff brings about unexpected financial and emotional strain. As he struggles to find new work, a growing sense of despair triggers a relapse into alcoholism and causes him to face his demons of addiction, discrimination, and regret as he tries desperately to recover before it's too late...

How had it come to this?

I had a good job and a good home and a beautiful little baby girl who loved me unconditionally. And I had Charlie, my sweet Charlie; he cared for me and supported me and wanted me to succeed, even when I so earnestly didn't deserve his affection. It should have been more than enough to keep me moving, to keep me right, to keep me sane, to push me forward.

It should have been enough...

I don't know why I didn't let him be there for me when I needed him most, when he was able to help me, when there was something from me worth saving. I don't know why I failed them so completely. I don't know why I let myself become what I now am.

...what have I done...

Posted Aug 2011  (The cover image is from a previous edition.)



Sex, Drugs
& A Lobster Roll

Brett Melillo


You want mayhem and fast-paced adventure? Up late last night? Have a hangover today… at your desk? Is the woman to the left giving you flashbacks of this morning?

Welcome to Fat-Bitch-ology, where "fat bitch" is a state of mind, not a physical condition. Make your way to the Melillo kitchen; there's insanity, hilarity and even a few chalk outlines.

Sex, Drugs & A Lobster Roll is your bible to bring to Christ's second coming. Inside, AMAZIN recipes await you, all ready and served up with some pretty fabulous stories for good measure!

We all are wondering whether sex is better with drugs while eating a lobster roll, but your going to have to crack this book to find out!

Posted Aug 2011

Well With My Soul

Gregory G. Allen

Jacob and Noah Garrett are brothers harboring a lifelong resentment towards each other while dealing with their own compulsive obsessions. One is a liberal gay man who forsakes his family and moves to New York City from Tennessee to make his mark on the world. The other is a southern conservative who is left at home holding the proverbial family bag. The story follows their loosely intertwined lives through the wild times of the late seventies and the restraint of the Reagan years in which one brother ends up becoming a minister and preaching his doctrine while the other believes there are some things people are born with and not meant to change. Well With My Soul is told through the perspective of both brothers and shows how misguided choices can drastically affect those around you for years to come; and family may be all that one has when looking for peace to stifle the embers that smolder beneath the surface.

Visit the author's website at: http:// for additional information about the book and the author.

Posted Aug 2011

Possession of Truth

Alex Anderson

Eben Foster, a seasoned FBI agent, is after a cruel and sadistic serial killer with a lust for torturing and murdering gay men. All of the victims are former patients of Dr. Randy McQuaide, a prominent psychologist practicing sex therapy on Anteros Island, and all had accused the doctor of sexual misconduct. Agent Foster goes undercover on the island. As the investigation progresses, Eben finds himself drawn to the handsome man and, against his better judgment, he begins to doubt the doctor's guilt. Caught in a battle between his heart and his mind, will Eben become the killer's next victim?

Visit the author's website at: for additional information about the book and the author.

Please note: Mr. Anderson has indicated that he is offering Book Group members a 20% discount for his book whether or not the Book Group decides to choose his book as a Future Selection..

Posted Aug 2011


Let The Faggots Burn
The UpStairs Lounge Fire

by Johnny Townsend

On Gay Pride Day in 1973, someone set the entrance to a French Quarter gay bar on fire. In the terrible inferno that followed, thirty-two people lost their lives, including a third of the local congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church, their pastor burning to death halfway out a second-story window as he tried to claw his way to freedom. A mother who'd gone to the bar with her two gay sons died alongside them. A man who'd helped his friend escape first was found dead near the fire escape. Two children waited outside of a movie theater across town for a father and step-father who would never pick them up. During this era of rampant homophobia, several families refused to claim the bodies, and many churches refused to bury the dead. Author Johnny Townsend pored through old records and tracked down survivors of the fire and friends and relatives of those killed to compile this fascinating account of a forgotten moment in gay history.

Visit the author's website at

Posted March 27, 2012


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