Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Jade Owl (Book I)

The Jade Owl

In China they whisper about the Jade Owl and its awful power. This ancient stone, commissioned by the Empress Wu and crafted by a mineral charmer, long haunted the folk of the Middle Kingdom until it vanished into an enigma of legend and lore. Now the Jade Owl is found. It wakes to steal the day from day. Its power to enchant and distort rises again. Its horror is revealed to a band of five, who must return it to the Valley of the Dead before the laws of ch’i are set aside in favor of destruction’s dance. Five China Hands, each drawn through time’s thin fabric by the bird, discover enchantment on the secret garland. Five China Hands, and one holds the key to the world’s fate. Five China Hands. Only one Jade Owl - but it’s awake and in China, they whisper again.

Professor Rowden Gray has come to San Francisco following a new opportunity at the East Asian Arts and Culture Museum, only to find that the opportunity has evaporated. Desperate, he means to end his career in a muddle of pity and Scotch, but then things happen. He latches on to a fascinating young man who is pursuing a lost relic that Professor Gray has in fact been seeking. Be careful for what you seek - you may just find it. Thus begins a journey that takes the professor and his companions on a spirited adventure across three-thousand miles of Chinese culture and mystery - a quest to fulfill a warrant long set out to ignite the world in myth and legend. The Jade Owl is the beginning of a series - a legacy that fulfills a terrible truth; and in China, they whisper again.

A Finalist in the 2009 RAINBOW AWARDS

Review from Rainbow Reviews
Sinologist Professor Rowden Gray receives the opportunity of his professional lifetime, a curator position at the fabled San Francisco East Asian Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture, which houses the collection of his late mentor, "Old China Hand" John Battle. Battle's great work had been discredited due to his insistence on the Jade Owl, a mysterious missing artifact commissioned by China's only Empress. When RG arrives, he immediately discovers the position has been rescinded, he encounters a strange young man who proves to be Battle's prodigal son, and learns the Jade Owl really exists. Plunging into a drama worthy of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler, the soon-boon companions and several others are off on a life-and-death chase through San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong as the portal into China.

The Jade Owl is a nonstop, don't miss page turner and only the first in a quintology, The Jade Owl Legacy series. Readers, run, do not walk to your nearest book outlet and grab this intriguing gay mystery with its fully realized characters, gay and straight and bi, roller-coaster plotting, and paranormal fantasy elements. The Jade Owl is a true winner.

Review from Aricia Gavrial's Book Reviews:
In this novel, the artifact is an ancient Chinese object, a six inch piece of Jade carved in the likeness of an owl -- and it's actually a key that opens a box known as the Joy of Finches. What's in the box? That would be telling! But everybody wants the key.

The first thing that impressed me about Jade Owl was how knowledgeable about Chinese antiquities the writer is, and about China itself. Shanghai and Beijing are described with the same amount of detail and enthusiasm as San Francisco -- and never having been to either China or the USA myself, I really appreciated the "local color." Many writers, when setting their plots in London, New York, what have you, seem to think that everyone's been there and knows intimately every secret of the city. Not true. So, the first level where Jade Owl succeeds is in "selling me" San Francisco, which is the setting for the first long segment of the book.
Jade Owl is a real treat, on a par with the top-notch writers who sell in the gajillions. The Jade Owl is an extremely good read.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Irish Need Apply

No Irish Need Apply

Kevin Borden has a secret, and that secret is about to shake the world around him - a tame and suburban world ruled by his widowed mother, Sarah and peppered by his study-mate, Louis. Teenagers sometimes do the darndest things, but in Kevin and Louis' case, it's a stroke of wisdom wrapped in fool's gold. In a time not so long ago, in the days of JIM CROW and NO IRISH NEED APPLY signage, the world made hate clear to those regarded as the fringe. "Stay away." To those who know no better - or perhaps know best, such lines are only meant to be crossed, or why else would they be drawn.

No Irish Need Apply is dedicated to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), an organization that has guided many youth across that line into the loving arms of those listening to their hearts; those shattering those hateful Jim Crow signs. Come visit with the Bordens and the Lonnegans as they take that journey across the line.

Revised for 2010.

Winner of the Red Adept Annual Indie Award (2010)Selected as 2009 June Book of the Month by Booz Allen Hamilton's Diversity Reading Group.

Review from Rainbow Reviews:
"No Irish Need Apply by Edward C. Patterson is light homoerotic contemporary romance.
Kevin and Louis may know what prejudice feels like, but otherwise their childhoods are vastly different. Kevin has always gotten along fine at school where as Louis has always been treated with disdain and thought of as gay. They saw each other at school, but never really met until Louis is assigned as Kevin’s study partner. Louis has always known that he is different and he hopes that Kevin is that way too. Kevin has always done what is expected until he meets Louis and begins to have strange feelings for Louis.

As Kevin begins to explore these feelings, they both realize that slogan No Irish Need Apply relates to their situation more than they care for. Neither Louis or Kevin are truly out of the closet about how they feel for one another or their sexuality. Will they find the strength of will to acknowledge their feelings out in the open or will they like many people be doomed to deny their true selves?

Mr. Patterson has created an incredible story by linking it with prejudices that happened earlier in the century. By using this analogy that many understand from their study of history, it allows the reader to see how modern day prejudice effects people in the same manner it did years ago. I think that Kevin and Louis were very brave to stand up for themselves and in doing so they may have helped other young people in their same situation. I find this story very compelling and a must read for anyone who doesn’t understand how bigotry can effect people. I will be looking for other stories by Mr. Patterson."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson

Look Away Silence

Martin Powers wanted an ironing board for Christmas. Instead, he got . . . Matthew Kieler, a non-returnable gift, but a gift that kept on giving. Chance encounters are sometimes the ones that most change our lives. He sold Matt a tie, but got more in the bargain - more than most people would want and more than anyone deserved. Although these lovers may not have had the pink American dream, they had it better than most, even as they faced a crisis that would change us all. Look Away Silence is a romance set in the time of AIDS, when ignorance could spell trouble and often did. It encompasses the author’s experiences in volunteer community service and personal friendships during a tragic period in American history. The novel is dedicated to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, the NAMES Project and to the author’s own fallen angels. "Mothers, do not shun your children, because you never know how long you have to revel in them."

PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: Review from Rainbow Reviews This is an intensely emotional story about a young couple that falls in love, only to face the AIDS crisis instead of matching pink rockers on the porch. At a time when the government was refusing to acknowledge the crisis and the immortality of youth cast a protective pall over young gay men, this couple must cope with a horrible disease and the ramifications within their family and larger community. A very intensely moving story that packs an incredible punch, the last half left me crying all the way through it and beyond for some time. This is not a light-hearted tale but combines several important themes and a deeply romantic and fulfilling, yet heart breaking relationship that will resonate and stay with the reader for some time. Martin Powers meets Matt, a shy blue-eyed cowboy on Christmas eve and although Martin expects the relationship to barely last to New Year’s, it turns into a permanent partnership. Their happiness in each other create a small bubble around their love and world that is all too soon popped when the horrible specter of Matt’s dead lover and the crisis of AIDS invades their world. All of a sudden Martin is confronted with issues and problems he has never imagined and struggles with the intense emotions that come along. The writing is instantly engaging and engrossing as Martin’s character is likable and relatable. The pacing is well done and the book is incredibly easy to read, even for all the intense emotion elicited. Martin is a wonderful character as he is first introduced through his love of laundry and cleaning attachments through his surprising affection and love for a small, blue eyed cowboy that loves snow. Martin’s maturity, humor and intelligence are at odds with his young age, only twenty years old. Martin is not perfect and struggles through the story with his jealousy, fears, manipulation, and selfishness. His dysfunctional childhood has changed the way he views relationships and although he can look back on his faults, he makes numerous mistakes. However, for all his faults he truly and deeply loves Matt and that love is returned, creating the first solid and meaningful relationship young Martin has ever had. As Martin matures and finds strength and courage where he fears none exist, it’s easy to forget that he is only twenty three by the end of the story, and Matt was only twenty five. These are incredibly young men who should have been able to grow old together but instead live a full, loving life as best they can. Woven into the romance between the men are multiple themes about the gay community and the impact AIDS has upon the country and various individuals. Several couples from past works by the author make brief cameos in this story, although the focus never waivers from Martin and Matt. The depth of the characters and their story is an important tale that transcends gender and race. This is one story that will resonate for a very long after the incredibly beautiful final page.