Affairs of Men's Hearts
Yellow Silk Dreams Publishing
Released June 2015
Yellow Silk Dreams Publishing
Released June 2015
Today I have the distinct honor and pleasure of featuring my friend, a very special author, a peer, a co-author at Yellow Silk Dreams Publishing, a confident, advisor and my brother-from-another-mother, Pablo Michaels, to my 'house' to share his latest release. I love this book and was privileged that Pablo asked me to read and review his latest, most intimate work. Let's have a peek inside this wonderful book.
Enjoy ~ ☼ღஜ ﾚo√乇 ¸.☆¨¯`*.✿.*˜"*° ♥
These are four stories linked together by the common thread of men striving to love other men. From the playful, anxious times of young men’s infatuations with high school buddies in Growing Up in My Hometown and Then and Now, to experimenting with other men who share the same fantasies of having sex with another man fueled by that strong testosterone driven urge to explore each other’s bodies intimately, as in The Slumber Party. Seeking a commitment is the common goal with each character in each story. In Pagan Knights of Cambria, the main character strives to find that inner peace forging him ahead to build on the relationship he has with his long-term companion.
The question always arises, “Will he always love me?”
There is a depth of feeling throughout the entertaining stories in this book that is woven
through and between them that ties all of these stories together in a very compelling and thought-provoking way. I loved this book.
The collection of stories read more like a biography than fiction.
The sensitivity, understanding and soul-searching questioning, the search for sympathetic self-acceptance, and love is wrenching. Each story reads with an undeniable humanity
and could well reflect the stages of personal growth in a man-loving-man’s love life.
I found it charming, well-paced, beautifully written and engaging.
A tender retrospective from a gay middle-aged man’s hard fought pursuit of the
ever illusive happiness.
Excerpt from Then and Now
After failing at finding love with other men for many years, I found a comfortable, more content life; attaining a sustained love with Timothy. I reflected on the many times I fell in love as a young man. The memories were more like sentimental journeys. But I also remembered the excessive pain. I wondered what it would’ve been like if I had found lasting love earlier in life with my devoted Timothy.
Like a fallen leaf from a stately tree, Timothy dropped into my burrowed bed, enabling me to mend my disabled ways in love and rekindling the passionate fire of sexuality. We built our love on trust, honesty, and a bond of camaraderie where we rejoiced in fun. We acted out our sexual fantasies we’d both kept suppressed for too many years.
Timothy was a late bloomer- disguising his sexual orientation in a heterosexual relationship and raising a family. As for me, I looked for love in the most forced situations in places most people would never go. I was bent on abusive anonymity in bars like the Capri, Stud, and Toad Hall, bathrooms and glory holes like those at Harmon Gym in Berkeley, the beaches at San Gregorio and Devil’s Slide, and the bushes in parks, like Alta Plaza and Buena Vista. I sought romantic love in the wrong places, receiving instant gratification, and then becoming lost in disappointing loneliness. If only I‘d found love with a man like Timothy in my youth. Why did I, as do so many young men, look for love with each other, so cruelly blind?
Looking back, my sexual urges soared in high school to heights I could barely comprehend.
At seventeen I lived life like I expected; attempting to date the prettiest, most intelligent girls in school. But my real intentions were bent on impressing the guys I desired. Dating these girls made me cool and suave. Then I could be the best buddy of the guys I worshipped. I made a few of them more than best of friends. Feeling challenged by my peers, I dated younger girls to seek the friendship with the boys surrounding them. I dated Shelley, who became bait for building a friendship with a boy she knew. He stimulated my libido. Sadly, I could only enjoy him in my fantasies, alone.
I was, mistakenly enrolled in eighth period in gym, the session reserved for boys on sports teams. When showering, I tried to conceal my new, youthful growth of my chest hair. Most of the guys were smooth-chested, including the older seniors. In gym one day, I befriended Barry. He resembled a young Robert Redford. I smelled his scent afar, not recognizing those arousing male hormones until I became an older, more experienced gay man. He was two years younger, and the star quarterback on the junior varsity football team. I secretly spied on him when we showered, dressed and undressed, inhaling and languishing in his masculine perfume.
One day he confided his romantic interest in another girl, Sue. She was friends with Shelley my current girlfriend. Barry and I met for lunch every chance we had, sharing our romantic pursuits.
Not athletically inclined, I wondered why he wanted to share these intimate stories with me. I assumed he’d rather associate with jocks, than me, as a student enrolled in an advanced academic program. Most friends and acquaintances were quick to categorize me. “You’re so smart; you’re a brain.” That usually implied social ostracism. But Barry admired my intellect, not ridiculing my sole achievement. He made my fantasies leap to voracious heights when we sat together.
Kids in high school attended varsity football games but rarely watched junior varsity. My unwavering intrigue with Barry convinced me to observe the junior varsity practices and games. He was pleased by my attendance.
After football season came to an end and living in close proximity, we walked home together. While walking one day, Barry requested my help to write a poem for Sue, one with romantic flair.
I shared books of literature from the Romantic period, like the works of Emerson, Thoreau, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Poe. Their poetry flowed through my veins, motivating me to create a closer, dangerous relationship with Barry. Late each afternoon, after walking home, we spent time in his bedroom writing poetry while my frustrated desires swelled inside. At times I wished I was able to express, I love you. I want you more of you. Can’t you feel it too?
Many of those afternoons, while composing poetry, he looked at me with those clear, sparkling blue eyes, asking me to respond to his inspiration. When I hoped he’d utter a phrase of affection or attraction, he asked, “Do you think this is too flowery?”
Befuddled I replied, “No but look closer at one of the poems we read. I think it was Byron’s.” While he reread the poem, I studied the masculine bone structure of his face until felt my dick rising beneath the denim of my Levis.
After spending afternoons with Barry, l lay in bed at night imagining his presence. My penis was hard and aroused. Closing my eyes, I imagined his sun bleached, blond tipped brown hair, and his powder blue eyes lighting up the sky like Fourth of July sparklers. I envisioned his well-toned body, his chiseled chest covered with sprouts of darker brown hair, firm buns forming half-moons spotted sparsely with short brown hair, and then his cock. I couldn’t control my visualizations and fantasies any longer. I masturbated, hoping the reality of us making love would be realized and soon.
Lying on my bed, content, I wished he was next to me snuggling his head on my chest and wrapping his legs around my waist. “If we were free enough, we would be happy. I yearn to be close to you. You’re my constant obsession. Do you feel that way about me?” I whispered these words, hoping he was reciprocating similar words while in his own bed.
When spring’s days lengthened into summer vacation, I acquired my driver’s license. I used one of the family’s cars, so we could double date with our girlfriends. But those nights were politely tame. When we went to the drive-in movies, Shelley was in the front with me, while Barry and Sue nestled into the backseat. We pursued the usual petting and foreplay conservatively. Occasionally, my eyes drifted back to Barry. His eyes alertly open. He glanced at me, the sparkle of romance glimmering at me. Then he winked, making me feel extra special.
This very enjoyable collection of stories is a chronicle of growth and
love in a gay man’s life from high school to middle age. The author is articulate and
a skilled wordsmith. From Growing Up in My Hometown, not knowing where a
flowering sexual identity might lead, to Pagan Knights, where years of anguished sexual experiences finally deliver a forever love, this author describes the challenges of a gay man’s agonized anonymity and
self-doubt touchingly. He lays bare the road to happiness and a fulfilling life in love with clarity,
compassion, understanding and humanity. For those that strive for little more than
love and partner passion, the price is greater than most of us would ever know.
You will find this book powerful yet touchingly thoughtful with an artistic simplicity and compassion. I loved this book and gladly recommend it with 5-star enthusiasm.
About the Author:
Pablo Michaels disguised himself as a shy, friendly heterosexual during his adolescence, fantasizing other males. Falling in love with another man his first year in college, he followed him to another university to maintain their platonic love, while he continued in his in studies. When he had his first sexual encounter with another man, just beforeturning twenty-one,he exploded into gay life with lust and anger. He attempted to live his new life naturally, seeking love, ignoring the statistics of the books he read on homosexuality in high school, and proving what he had read was wrong.
He wrote poetry and stories since third grade. When he turned twenty-one, he moved to San Francisco to work and write, experiencing more of gay life. In the 1980's he wrote every chance he had, trying and failing miserably at publishing mainstream fiction. He published his first story in 1986 in a literary magazine.
After writing plays, short stories, poetry,and two novels, he began writing gay genre stories, since he had more knowledge and experience with gay lifestyle. Trying to publish, he went to a library seminar hosted by two published authors. Inspired by the gay writer, Scott Kemble he connected with him on the internet site for The San Francisco Bay Area Literary Arts Newsletter and Review, which published four of Pablo's short stories.
Feverously writing since 2004, he published his first e-book,"Pagan Knights of Cambria"with Life of Riley Productions in London. Soon a mainstream story, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again Hooray", published also. In 2012 Pablo self-published his first novel, "Catnip, Rosemary, Rage and Time", combining mystery and humor in a gay, erotic romance. He continues to write more episodes in his next novel, The Deer in the Forest The plot spreads over several decades, about a man's attempts to adapt to the world he lives, all with love, heartache, history and survival at no cost.
His latest article, Why Gay Men Retire to Palm Springs, was just published in the very popular SimplySxy.com online magazine. You can read the insightful article here.
Catcher in the Rye, The Odyssey, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Bent, The Fifth of July, The Stranger, The Thin
I was blown away by this book. It drew me in of the life of a man and how he dealt with society of coming out as a gay man. I loved how Pablo entwined these characters and made them come off the page.
I could feel my own emotions coming forward while I read the book.
My heart ached and yet jumped with happiness as the emotions flowed through the book.
The ups and downs of the main character and of the time period as well as trying to be accepted when so many people looked down upon those who are gay.
I give Pablo 5 stars because this drew me in and I could relate in a way of trying to be accepted
and wanted, and loved. I was kept hooked the entire time I read this amazing book,
and never once did I feel like I was left wondering as there was always more to read.
By the way I loved the main characters little dog. ;-)
Pablo did an amazing job bringing together a life and adventure of a man that struggled with his feelings of being gay. I highly suggest people to read this. They will not be disappointed.
The detail through out as I have mentioned made everything so clear and real to me as I read through.
High 5's all around.
More Books from Pablo Michaels:
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