Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Peek at the Next Book: Redesigning Max

What Fredi Zimmer, main character in Redesigning Max, might wear to work
Here's a tiny excerpt of the next Foothills Pride story, Redesigning Max, coming from Dreamspinner Press in July 2015:

I swish. I sway. Occasionally I lisp. Sometimes, it’s even an act. These days gay sells, and I’m not above selling my design services with a lot of swish, sway, and lisp.

Oh, I’m a twink. I freely admit it. And sometimes twink works and sometimes, well, twink just queers the sale, for this designer.

Some days I just need to forget trying to impress another potential client for a few minutes, be my introverted dreamer self, and relax. I’ve fought hard for the extrovert shell, which all my friends well know, but as I pass from my workaholic twenties into the abyss of my unknown thirties, I wonder which Fredi Zimmer is going to emerge triumphant.

Some days I can barely lift my hands for another “Oh. My. God! Look. At. You. Girl!” Some days my inner bitch claws to get out. Some days I wonder if any of us can possibly be sane enough to cross the street by ourselves.

When I’m working, my life is all about the mental game while I juggle up to five multimillion dollar projects at a time. So taking a minute to let all the balls rest is essential to my mental health.

I stretched as I got myself comfortable in one of the plush chairs in the reading area of Penny’s Too. I’d designed the remodel of this mid-1880s brick bank building into a coffee bar for my friends Jimmy and Felicity. We’d decided on a modern take on an Old West men’s club, which fit beautifully into the Old Town area of the foothills community of Stone Acres, California. I hadn’t done a half-bad job, if I do say so myself.

I sat back and took a sip of my namesake drink, Fredi’s Feast, an interesting mix of cinnamon and cardamom with a heady dollop of whipped cream. It was foamy and frothy, but lusty underneath. I was a little surprised at how my best friend Jimmy Patterson saw me, or at least which flavors he’d used to translate my personality into a drink. Lusty? Just the word made me tingle.

True, I’m an out-and-proud gay man, having declared myself in junior high, and my wardrobe since then has proclaimed my love of color and often hints at my undeniable sense of originality and whimsy.

Today, however, I was dressed in work clothes—a vintage 1940s three-piece teal sharkskin suit. With a fire-engine-red shirt and antique-ivory lace tie, I was looking my sartorial best.

As I sat in Jimmy’s coffee house, I let myself relax. It was about time I took some real R&R to find myself a big boy with benefits, something I hadn’t done in, well, what seemed like forever. I had the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon just to sit, sip, and imagine my dreamboat. Maybe the hunk of my imagination would walk in and romance me.

Before I got completely lost in this improbable fantasy, who should walk in but the most gorgeous hunk of man I’d seen since moving here from San Francisco? He ordered and then, wonders of wonders, sat down in the club chair next to me. My, my, the day was definitely looking up. Who’d have thought one little dream would turn real so quickly?
To read the first Foothills Pride story, What's in a Name?, go to

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