Saturday, April 21, 2018

FREE: April 21st & 22nd at Amazon Kindle Store: THE SAPPHIRE ASTONISHMENT - A NICK FIRESTONE MYSTERY by Edward C. Patterson

The Sapphire Astonishment — a Nick Firestone Mystery
by Edward C. Patterson

Night fell on Ashbury Street as surely as the rain. The Painted Lady embraced its tenants (and a guest) and, although they were as dry as the situation permitted, the wind made for a damp companion — a chilled-to-the-bone companion. Garments were shod immediately and draped over towel racks and windowsills. Still, despite the weather’s relentless presence, Nick Firestone and friends managed to install themselves in their hospitable warren for the evening. There had been no further discussion — the race home silently stifled by tender considerations. Nor did the conversation blossom once they were in the loft — John quietly retreated to his room, while Nick slung the backpack on the bedroom chair. Still locked in his soul’s confusion, his heart rose when he saw Amy head for bed — in her nightie. No pajama slumber party this evening. Nick grinned, tried to put his troubles behind him and disrobed to his tighty whities, which were damp. But he knew they’d be gone soon after diving under the sheets.

Lust has a way of erasing, even for a moment, life’s quandary. No matter what brand of sexual indulgence on the mattress, the world flew to a zone devoid of heartaches and fears. That worry’s tidal wave would return after the primal urges were satisfied held no doubt, but at least they would wash up on a different shore — a shared margin where the honeyed waters’ sleek glistening anointed knotted breasts and loitered loins. It was neither love nor a lofty totem. Animalistic, it represented naught but a dash in time unless meant to produce a legacy, which in this case it was not. Still, erasing tension with an indelible memory was as fine a thing as could be imagined and, if it became a blister in the aftermath, could always be renewed on some future beach head.

Also Availble on KindleUnlimited

254 pages

What Readers say:

"The spirit of the Jade Owl Series next generation!!! With our older friends included!!! An amazimg start of a new series featuring Nicky F irestone and his friends." - ellen

"The Pricilla Queen of the Desert type romp over the Golden Gate Bridge in a convertible 1967 Cadillac was priceless." - S. M. Reaves

"This is a terrific way to fill a day! I purchased this book right after finishing the fifth book of The Jade Owl series. I really enjoyed reading about Nick Firestone along with John and Amy Gray in this new mystery series. I'm lookinf forward to reading the next book about Old Friend Cane." - Nancy.

Book Description
The last time we encountered Nick Firestone (in The People’s Treasure and In the Shadow of Her Hem - Book 4 and 5 of The Jade Owl Legacy) he was a five year old scamp, precocious and filled with the spirit of adventure. Now he’s all grow’d up, as Simone DeFleurry would say, and itching for an occupation worthy of the scratch. It’s 2025 in San Francisco (post-earthquake of 2020) and things have changed for the adventurer as he wakes up to the sparkle of a rare relic – a Chinese hat-pin called The Sapphire Astonishment.

This first Nick Firestone mystery will take you on a wild ride through the city by the bay as young Firestone seeks the provenance of the curious hat-pin and its secrets. Many want this prize, including characters familiar to the readers of The Jade Owl Legacy series, but you won’t need that story to enjoy this one. So, slip into your eShirts and hold on to your gillifrickers for a ride down the hills of San Francisco into the world of the youngest China Hand. Your GlimmerGlasses will never feel the same.

This book is dedicated in Memory of Timothy Mulder — eBook author and pioneer.

Also available on Amazon
Old Friend Cane - the Second Nick Firestone Mystery on the Kindle and KindleUnlimited.

The Sapphire Astonishment — a Nick Firestone Mystery

Sunday, March 4, 2018

My Call to Chinese History

 "Within these halls, the relics told their tales and slipped their secrets."

So I wrote in The Jade Owl, a short snippet of an undulating paragraph about the tales historic artifacts tell. And back in 1971, I first heard the cuckoo sing history's sweet song from the podium. First from the leader of the Hungarian Revolution, Bela Kiroly, and then from Mary Giles, a consummate lecturer on Ancient history, a woman who brought the old Roman threadbare jargon to life. Sumerians glowed; and I remember doing a paper on Hathor's mirror, which sat on a velvet drape at the Brooklyn Museum. Within these halls, the relics told their tales and let slip their secrets. Yessum. It was history for me.

And then there was Professor Hyman Kublin, who specialized in Japanese history. Ah! Japan.. The land of The Mikado (not really), but I was hooked forever . . . well not forever. Until Prof Kublin introduced me to a larger well—CHINA. Her blossoming fathomless sea of rich history, relics, lore, customs and immovable presence. I couldn't get enough of her . . . never have . . . never will.

Destiny knocked, and I cared little for the practicality of making a living as a Sinologist. I was still with a company that kept me fed (and would so 'til this day). I had scant notion of the job market or the glut of Sinophiles (unemployed ones). Still, China dominated all, including my writing. Suddenly hundreds of story possibilities came my way. So what did I do? I took a western-style tale and bent it a la Chinese. But it was an important tale. It was called Vagrants Hollow . It was my first mature novel. It concerned a Sung dynasty student and bureaucrat; and the death of his teacher - a murder mystery in 12th Century China. Why not? It had action, obsession and a twist ending (so twisty, it defied logic). Most important, it gave birth to my oldest fictional companion, Li K'ai-men (the scholar-official), whose story I tell. Little did I know then that Li and his ilk (his descendant Little Cricket figures heavily in later work), would burst through several works for the next forty years.

I also scrawled a few Chinese themed short stories, one of whichLaughing Dog reflected my knoledge as a Sinologist. It was sort of the Papago Wedding for the Chinese set. It also figured in the scheme of my writing, the basis for my play (1999) Fishing With Birds and the first sections of my novel (2002) Nan-ya, which has since become the Southern Swallow series (The Academician).

Yes, these were fecund times. I also was writing papers, the real work of the historian. I committed to it. I would walk in the wake of Marco Polo. I would do it, because . . . because the relics told their tales and slipped their secrets. I would tell the world. Finally, a reason for a writing life. And then, after 5 Jade Owl novels and 4 (soon to be 5) Southern Swallow works, Master Wu's Bride was born. Yes, a reason for living . . . to provide a voice to a woman from the past to today's women in this age of #MeToo.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Author Edward C. Patterson Urges Resistance

Well, at 70 I won't see the final crash and burn. But I am resolved to be a voice, a pen, a quill, and this will be my last Hurrah, since I can't repeat my trips in the 60's for Civil Rights, or serving my country in the military again like I did in the late 60's, or march against Nixon and protest at college in the 70's, or go into he field to aid the dying during the AIDS crisis, or march on Washington as I did in the 90's as a Gay activist. The 21st Century gives me only my voice and this wonderful social media extension.
I lived in the business world for how many years? I've been in it and still in it after 52 years. Applying business acumen to government by a bunch of billionaire vultures who probably have not even read the Constitution is not my idea of the vision of the Founding Fathers. Their vision was a WHITE only (even Native Americans were specifically proscribed in the Declaration of Independence) democracy where their special interests were served. We have grown from that narrow definition in the context of a liberally interpreted document. Remember - we are the great experiment, and perhaps the experiment has failed, especially when we managed to let a narcissistic sociopath slip into the executive position.
My dedication to diversity and an America as a beacon of hope for the entire world may be naive and fraught with idealism, but living here is not all beans and potatoes. It's breathing in the many cultures that have changed us. We have had a governmental system which has worked despite of its Byzantine attributes. Tearing it down will not restore us to the vision of the founding fathers, because that vision was myopic. It's the generations between that have made America great.
We evolve. We do not implode.
Thus, with the gifts I have - a voice, a pen, publication, social media - I will continue to inspire, piss-off and otherwise egg on those who can still march, shout, bray and shore up what we have rather than to replace it with a beehive of fascist uniformity. That is what history has taught me - European, Chinese and American History. And here I thought my legacy would be living out my days in quiet reticence. Nope.
"Do not go gentle into that good night."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Coming Out - Reversing the Lie

For National Coming Out Day and dedicated to PFLAG - Here's my little award winner.

No Irish Need Apply
a Novella by Edward C. Patterson 

“ This book is multi-faceted in that it describes in great detail the impact this love story has on all of the characters in the story. ” 
“ This is a great book if you want to get a perspective on what it would be like to be so different in high school; you're more than alone but estranged. ” 
“ In his novel No Irish Need Apply, Mr. Patterson breathes life into the characters and the dilemmas they face. ” 

No Irish Need Apply on the Kindle
also on the Nook, Sony, Kobo, Dieselbooks and the Apple iPad

available in Paperback on Amazon
and at Barnes & Noble

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fishing the Ocean Dry

"Some days the fish bite and the fisherman is happy. Some days they laugh at him, and he sits on the shore and pouts. But no matter how many fish he catches, there is always more laughing from beneath the waves. So he sighs and whistles and baits the hook again, casting with his best lure. Flounders dream — dreams flounder."
- Edward C. Patterson (me) from Extempore Thoughts of the Day included in - A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Imagination Runs Wild

When I was in the Army, I was stationed in Grafenwöhr, Germany and there was this woods - as spooky as you can imagine just outside the town - Hansel and Gretl spooky. When I would walk through it, my imagination would run wild with every Grimm story that my active mind could conger. So it should come as no surprise I would encapsulate those spooky mind roves with authobiographical material into a novel - and with 9 5-star reviews, and the Halloween holiday approaching, let me get your mind juices flowing too.

The Road to Grafenwöhr

from the author of Surviving an American Gulag, No Irish Need Apply, Look Away Silence and The Jade Owl Legacy series.

PFC Quincy Summerson begins his military adventure in 1968 in Bavaria realizing that his presence stirs the paradigm - the thin line between twilight and night. His hyperactive imagination gets the better of him, and soon the world enlists him for a predestined purpose - to travel on the road to Grafenwoehr, where the wood is alive with myth and folk lore.

Set in a tense Cold War atmosphere during both the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Vietnam call to arms, The Road to Grafenwoehr is one man's emotional journey to square nature's justice with humankind's disregard for it. It’s a summons for a least likely and reluctant champion. But those called to service rarely choose where they serve. They just answer it, ripening to their purpose. For Quincy Summerson, a hero’s life is not his choice, but can he ignore the call? Can he stay off the road once the twilight snares him?

The author writes: "The Road of Grafenwöhr owes its existence principally to my own good fortune to be stationed in Germany and that bustling Bavarian town between 1967-68. Although the work is far from autobiographical, most of the events of a historic and pictorial nature (and even some used for the fantasy) are recounted from my direct experiences. Such is the web we weave.

During the last days of authoring this work, my father passed away. Therefore, this work is dedicated to his memory and also to the memory of all the brave heroes who — from Bastogne to Peleliu — have made our world possible through their sacrifice."

“ The plot is very tight and the storyline moves. ” Todd A. Fonseca

“ "Road" is a fascinating mix of reality and fantasy woven together with writing that can turn lyrical or gritty with the twist of a phrase. ” Dana Taylor

“ The added specter of Vietnam during the era of this book gave it another layer. ” Doug DePew

Monday, July 9, 2012

PRESS RELEASE - In the Shadow of Her Hem

The Final Installment of The Jade Owl Legacy Series Is Published

Edward C. Patterson has released the fifth and final installment of his epic fantasy series The Jade Owl Legacy

In the Shadow of Her Hem (The Jade Owl Book V)
In the Shadow of Her Hem (The Jade Owl Book V)
PRLog (Press Release) - Jul 09, 2012 -
Just published, In the Shadow of Her Hem, the fifth book and last installment of Edward C. Patterson's epic fantasy on Chinese cultural themes - The Jade Owl Legacy.
598 pages ISBN - 1478203064.

“China Hands! To Me!”  A green fog has engulfed the Wei River Valley. The First Emperor’s tomb is mysteriously rumbling. The Big Goose Pagoda is glowing like a lighthouse. And to blame? A bunch of Americans stranded in the consulate at Bei-jing, who, at the end of the last installment, came bursting through a portal in the People’s History Museum. “China Hands! To Me!” With that command, Rowden Gray has summoned his forces to return to the action - to the Dragon’s Pool in the shadow of Her hem, where the Jade Owl’s overlord commands an army of creatures, engineering the end of the world; or at least, the world, as we know it.

In this last book of The Jade Owl Legacy, our mixed bag of adventurers face their greatest challenge. They must negotiate the perils of the People’s government, the mysteries of the Palace of Broken Dreams, the dangers of the Ghost Lands and the mythic realm of the Classic of Mountains and Seas. Their odyssey delivers them to the final showdown — the Battle of the Full Moon, where all mysteries are revealed and every threat is settled. What began as a Sinologist’s dream converges on everyone’s nightmare. The Jade Owl calls you, but so does the muster to arms. Heed them both, but answer only one. “China Hands! To Me!”

The Jade Owl Legacy is a five book series. The first book (The Jade Owl) introduces a peculiar quest led by Professor Rowden Gray and a rag-tag team who follow a mysterious thread of instructions to thwart an ancient Chinese prophesy. Instead, they managed to set off events, igniting the crisis. Two demons, which possess a relic known as the Jade Owl, each in turn, after eons of imprisonment, test their land legs among the living. In The Third Peregrination, the Destroyer takes his turn with wrath and fire. In The Dragon’s Pool, the Great Marshal takes his spin, preparing the way for a curious ritual that will restore the world to a prehistoric state. To combat these spirits, our heroes acquire extraordinary powers in an attempt to thwart destiny’s course. However, destiny is not easily thwarted. In The People’s Treasure, all hell breaks loose as our heroes are manipulated to serve destiny’s course to fulfill the prophesy. However, In the Shadow of Her Hem, they bounce back against insurmountable odds and fight to save life from ultimate destruction. From San Francisco to New York, from Florence to China with her many faces, the Jade Owl proclaims an ancient evil that intends to triumph. This is the story of the brave hearts who rise to the challenge to tangle with the dark forces of yin.

AVAILBLE at for the Kindle -
(Paperback) -

The entire series (kindle links, but available in paperback and at all major eBook sites)

The Jade Owl
The Third Peregrination
The Dragon's Pool
The People's Treasure

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Writing for Just One Reader

As an author, I have a mighty responsibility. I must engage a reader, who has taken his or her time to invest in my story. Therefore, any story I write must be relevant and find its way into a reader’s imagination. The world bustles around us and reading is an escape.

Therefore, all my books have an element of fantasy, and like all fantasies, they must deliver the truth encapsulated in lies. Whether I take the reader to ancient China, a gay bar in Greenwich Village or a suburb in the wilds of New Jersey, they get there in the minds and hearts of my characters, who provide a view of my world through my eyes.

All my novels have a gay theme. However, they are not gay books. Sometimes I explore current and past gay community issues, and every novel has gay characters, but while I am gay, my reader is ... a reader. I make no assumptions that my audience is gay and looking for hot steamy sex scenes or political discussions or equality discourses. When it comes to creating a novel, I’m only seeking a reader.

Enough of the abstract. My novels are about the human condition, reality as I see it ~ in short, like any author, I’m a liar. I have a scholastic background in Chinese History. Therefore, I write Chinese fantasy works filled with drag queens, Cherokee warriors and wacky paranormal relics. I have written historical novels based on 12th century, homosexual Chinese scholar-officials.

Then there’s a suite of gay-themed social novels ~ the usual stuff. NOT. A gay murder mystery mixing an original edition of Moby Dick and internet strippers (of course); a Boyz in the Band-esque gay activist gathering that dissolves into a general round of back stabbing; a stint in the U.S. Army before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; a little tale about a ghost and a priest and a computer programmer; a domestic drama about teenage love and widowhood. The usual mix. NOT.

One of my latest work takes on the AIDS crisis of the 90’s from Act Up to the NAMES Project. In short, I write on a range of topics that transcend genre, but I guarantee you this. All are written for that one person out there looking for hours of engaged reading and who doesn’t mind seeing the world ... through my eyes.

Edward C. Patterson

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Fish Out of Water

I recently had an e-mail from a reader who asked where I get my inspiration for my stories, especially Turning Idolater, which seemed unique to her — genre defying and yet satisfying genre need. In Turning Idolater, I literally take the protagonist, a young internet stripper who is yearning for something indescribable, and beach him in a world that makes him squeamish. The sleaze of the porn world smashed into the preciousness of the literary world creates a tsunami for all the characters. That the two main characters are as noble as Ishmael and Queequeg, taken from Moby Dick, grounds Turning Idolater in a genreless world, despite the echoes of gay-themed and whodunit. Is it a murder mystery? Is it slice of life? Is it a gay romance? Is it a romance, period? Yes. Like tofu in a pot, this novel is meant to appeal to every imagination it infects. A fish out of water in every genre in which it swims.
However, this doesn’t answer the prime question. Where do I get my inspiration? Well, here’s a state secret. I imagine a story that interests me, perhaps topically; perhaps it’s the character development possibilities. I think on that story and its possibilities and then I lay it out in a plank — simple and direct; an anchor for my writing. It stays with me for a long time — years perhaps. THEN, and this is the Patterson family recipe, I add an element diametrically oppose to the simple line; a kettle of fish out of water. Thus, a study of gay activist meetings becomes a satirical comedy on human frailty (Cutting the Cheese). A love story teaming with deceit becomes a super-charged ghost story (Bobby’s Trace). A simple coming out tale becomes a contemporary poster for prejudice (No Irish Need Apply). A memoir of the gay experience in the military in 1967 becomes a marathon run by a fat man (Surviving an American Gulag). A simple porn boy meets snob man romance becomes a high-powered murder mystery (Turning Idolater). A quest story becomes a Dickensian epic (The Jade Owl). A sedate exposition of a Chinese official’s life in the twelfth century becomes an historic epic (The Academician and Swan Cloud – the two parts of Southern Swallow). What happens when you tell a prosaic military tale set in Germany during the 60’s and smash it up again the Brothers Grimm? You get The Road to Grafenwoehr. Mix time travel and alternative worlds with the history of the Cherokee nation and you get Belmundus. How about gay discrimination in the workplace mixed with a cocktail of the biblical triad — Jonathan, David and Saul. That would be Green Folly. And it goes on and on in my works.
Take a fish out of water and let it swim in snow and everyone will want to know whether the snow is cold enough to preserve the fish, or the fish large enough to swallow the snow. Nothing is ever too simple to be riveting or too complex to repel.
Happy reading, dear readers.
Edward C. Patterson

Friday, March 23, 2012

Artifacts and Revision Ghosts

reprinted from Kindleboards:

by Edward C. Patterson

Recent threads continue the KB tradition of discussions about editing (poor or otherwise) and frustrations from readers and authors concerning books let out to pasture as thoroughly edited yielding errors nonetheless. At the risk of preaching to the choir, I'd like to talk about a post-editing phenomena called "Revision Artifacts" and "Editing Ghosts." One is bad, but the other is good — and sometimes really, really good.

While typos and other misdemeanors can be the result of poor editing (read: author apathy), artifacts are the result of the opposite — author devotion and diligence toward perfection. Any software programmer will tell you that when you open a program for changes, you need to test it, because to monkey around with it usually breaks something else. This is what happens with revision and the application of duly found edits. The author applies the edit or pursues revisions and thus leaves an artifact.

There are two classes of artifacts — passive and active. Active artifacts occur at the site of the change. They are usually an extra word or letter OR a missing word or phrase. Sometimes the original(or a portion of the original) is left alongside the change making for a bumpy read. A frequent offender is possessive conversion IE. the queen of the May converted to May's queen of. Whoops. It is quite easy to delete too much when highlighting in word processing or not enough. Joining two sentences and leaving the period or the opposite leaving the comma followed by a capital, is frustrating to an author who is confident their work was published unblemished.
Passive artifacts are caused to other parts of the sentence or paragraph apart from the change scene. Change a verb and you need to change pronouns perhaps. Change a tense, other areas of the paragraph may need adjustment. Omit an adverb and perhaps the remaining noun takes an "an" instead of an "a." In all instances, the artifact remains after the majority of revision and editing is accomplished.

The remedy is simple (obviously). Last revisions and editing applications should be approached with care, Double check each. Spell-check the entire chapter after a revision (Spell checkers may be notorious as the sole tool of dependence, but in this case, it's invaluable). Finally, use a computer read back program such as Natural Speech or Kindle's text-to-speech to read back your entire manuscript as the final go through. You'll be surprised at how good these are finding both active and passive artifacts.

Revision Ghosts

Unlike artifacts, revision ghosts are good things. The more you author and the less you write, ghosts help support subtext and tone. When you're in the ZONE and spilling story down furiously without any regard for redundancy or refinement, some of the best stuff that you'll be cutting emerges on the page. During this act, all your words hug and embrace each other forming a bond. During revision you refine your work, adding and cutting and trimming and changing. However, despite your best efforts, the original bond between the original and the final remains. Cut sentences and paragraphs form an invisible hole, which the surviving sections still resonate. This resonance is called ghosting and is important to the mix, lingering unspoken but felt in the fabric of the work. I believe that one of the more important reasons for revising your manuscript is to leave these accidental ingredients. Much like artifacts, which detract, revision ghosts enhance a work. Writers (I say writers, because no author would consider a work finished without at least one revision) who rush to publication without revisions miss out on this perk.

Well, I've babbled enough. The reason for it is to demonstrate that sometimes a critic, reviewer or blogger will take offense with an error and press it home, and although nothing exonerates the author's responsibility for any blight upon art's face, caring authors leave artifacts because they have tried hard, but just short of the goal — but in compensation they have enhanced the reading experience with revision ghosts that linger with a reader who just can't put their finger on it.

Edward C. Patterson
Readers Rock