Sunday, 19 August 2012

Promo Sunday: Richard S. Charles

Welcome Creatures of the Night to The Crypt once again and today I am pleased, and honourred to bring you a promo featuring a very talented author from the UK.

Richard S. Charles Raines writes GLBT novels. As R.S. Charles, he pens stories where gay and straight characters intermingle in exotic mysteries 'with a liberal sprinkling of racy romance'. His alter-ego, Charles Raines, concentrates on m/m erotic romance.

“Palms Of  Persuasion.”           

In the aftermath of the raging storm, the intriguing community on the remote Caribbean island desperately struggles to regain some kind of normality. But what is ‘normal’ in paradise? Tragedy has dared to encroach, tarnishing the glitz and glamour of the treasured, tropical hideaway. For the affluent inhabitants, determined to jealously guard their privacy and anonymity, life now offers an uncertain and uncomfortable future. 
Secrets best left buried in the mists of time have been uncovered. Sleeping skeletons have been dragged out of closets. Rumour is rife. And scandal looks inevitable. Then, one step too far: a threat to expose the island to the world. Now everyone has something to lose. So everyone has a part to play. The idyllic isle must remain forever incognito. Whatever it takes.
As the palm trees whisper in the lazy breeze, unexpected European visitors become more than just a casual nuisance, unwittingly confronting the well-being of the exotic hideaway. Convenient and casual assignations challenge love and loyalty. Truth and trust give way to lies and betrayal. Seduction is a versatile weapon and blackmail is everyone’s friend. Once again, the island is helplessly drawn into an erotic web of mystery and suspense as a trail of prophecy and persuasion points a fickle finger towards fate and fortune.

by Charles Raines.

An opinionated young linguist signs a six month contract to translate a ‘Bestseller’ from English into French, on the condition that he can do the job in France. He has nothing but contempt for the book’s author, hates the dull, routine work he has to do, and despises the banality of his own life. Something is missing. Hesitant and frustrated, his ambivalent sexual desires are untapped, but always bubbling below the surface. Feeling like an outsider, the only way to cope is to find a distraction, try to blend in, and strive to fully embrace the French way of life.
The local cemetery offers shelter and serenity, and the backstreets of Marseilles offer danger and excitement. Balancing the two, he meets a succession of men and has a series of erotic encounters which gradually mould him into exactly the man he secretly always wanted to be.

Passion, Posturing and Premonition on Paradise Isle

With a sultry setting and the glitz and glamour of the rich and anonymous, allow R.S.Charles to indulge you in a captivating adventure of interwoven lives, loves, lusts and desires played out in a privileged society which devotes itself to rumor, insincerity, self-indulgence and above all, revenge. 

Immersed in a history of folklore and intrigue, a remote, idyllic island in the Caribbeanprovides the backdrop for this tale of mystery and suspense. The secluded, exotic isle is a hideaway for some, a home for others, but everyone has a past and everyone has a reason to be there.,.

Relationships are fleeting or complex, conventional or convenient, and all the strengths and frailties of human nature rise visibly to the fore. Prepare to be caught up in gossip and speculation, secrets and innuendo, with blackmail lurking menacingly in every corner, as R.S.Charles weaves his tropical web of excitement and uncertainty.

"Stranger In Translation"
On the Streets of Marseilles
Review From Amos Lassen
Signing a six month contract to translate a bestselling book from English to French brings our linguist to Marseilles. The problem is that our translator does not like the author of the book and he really is bored with the whole business. What makes things so bad is that he is also totally dissatisfied with his own life. He knows that his life is missing something but he is sexually ambivalent even though he is sexual beneath the surface. He decides to find something to distract him as he tries to reconcile himself with the French way of life.  Discovers the back streets of Marseilles, the danger there excites him. He meets many men and he finds that these anonymous sexual couplings are allowing him to become the man he has wanted to be.
In contrast with the danger on the streets of Marseilles is the peace and quiet he finds at the cemetery. When he is alone, he feels an emptiness that seems to be filled only when having sex with a stranger or while pondering the nature of life as he sits on a cemetery bench. The only relief he seems able to achieve comes when men offer him sexual fulfillment.
He is lonely even when with other men. He gives private English lessons to a teenage boy and these cause passions to swell. When he walks the streets of Marseilles, he finds sex easily, especially in the Arab quarter. He channels all into the physical enjoyment of the flesh yet feels empty afterwards.
The story is related to us through his point of view; the first person narrator and while the adventures that he embarks upon are indeed sexual, the author presents them in lush, beautiful prose and the pleasure we receive from reading the book is not sexual but intellectual. Here is proof that sex can indeed be rendered in ways that stimulate the intellect and not just the libido. While the quest for sex is basic and primal, we see it here as beautiful. Although our man’s search is for immediate gratification and release, it is presented in such a way that there is nothing about it that is “dirty”. This may seem to some to be an oxymoron; I take it as a sign of a man who can paint with words. We indeed get the feeling that he is moving from lust to love and from love to fulfillment and personhood.
So you may ask if this story is erotic and I would have to say that it is indeed but it is not the kind of erotica that we usually get. I love that Raines stimulates the most erogenous of all zones—the mind and in doing so, he presents a new kind of erotica. We read of flirtation, of lust and of love and we gain an insight into love between men. Hopefully this is the trend that will continue in literature and sex will be written about as more than a physical act but as a total bodily and intellectual experience.

Raines Writes STRANGER IN TRANSLATION (recommended gay romance)

A song from the musical FANTASTIKS was entitled TRY TO REMEMBER, and a line in the song refers us to remember “…when you were a young and callow fellow….”   Charles Raines writes a nearly lyrical novel about such a young and callow fellow…living in Marseilles where he’s translating a “best seller” into French.  The young Englishman is dapper, attired in suit and tie daily, but has an emptiness within that drives him out to sit in a cemetery on a bench where he meditates on his life’s need for peace and love.  A man comes along….  In other scenes our hero actively seeks contact with other males for relief from the tensions building in his vibrant youth.  Poignant bittersweet English lessons to a petulant adolescent boy transform into  exquisite arousal and passion.  Walks in the Arab quarter lead to sudden explosive sensual encounters.  The whole time the main character is relating from an intimate first person point of view all the surging and swirling emotional needs and reactions to his world slowly moving toward a climactic resolution which leaves the reader breathless and heated up grandly!  Available on Amazon STRANGER IN TRANSLATION is a clearly written delightful novel. The love making is tastefully presented yet rises to the standard of stimulating the reader to pleasurable visceral responses.
I believe this book is so tastefully and well written that it would be suitable for mature adolescents, especially those who are aware of their sexual orientation and in need of positive images of gay life, not sorrid exaggerations of sexuality.  Charles Raines is like a kind counselor as he takes you into his vision of male-male love and he paints a very hopeful portrait of our future as gay men.
I would say that Charles Raines will be swept up in a whirlwind of popularity with younger gay readers.  Such a long time waiting for the answer to this need in the gay community.
Check it out at STRANGER IN TRANSLATION at AMAZON.COM. The novel is about 80 pages long, a crisp read.

Smashwords book reviews by Michael Looman

Stranger In Translation on June 11, 2012 

star star star star star 

Erotic Encounter Charles Raines has given readers of gay erotica a storyline that musters the senses to seek the thrill of living in a foreign city. With each experience or encounter, anticipation leads to desire, and desire leads to physical contact with someone new. And as the story develops, every time this reader read a chapter, I wanted to have an affair with that someone. That is the provocation Raines' writing gives me. Exciting!!! And do you know, I loved that thrill and the ability he uses to instill that passion in me. Erotic passions are the letters of the author's keyboard as he weaves the strands of the main character's life on the streets of Marseilles. The tension between the characters is so real, the reader senses the moment of arousal as the English translator meanders through dangerous backstreets and forbidden alleys. As in real life, there are 'highs' juxtaposed with 'lows' that anyone trying to fit in as a local in a foreign culture would experience. The reader is never disappointed when the conquest of the stranger is consummated. And the beauty is that the author's wordpictures are so well crafted they bring vivid sensual imaginery to mind throughout his short story. I wholeheartedly recommend "Strangers in Translation" to everyone who enjoys passion stirred deep inside oneself. McLooman

  "Whispering Palms"

An Elegant Mystery
Review From Amos Lassen
Set on a secluded Caribbean island. “Whispering Palms” is a mystery that looks and human behavior and its strengths and weaknesses. We visit a place of glamour and luxury which is populated by a diverse group of characters—the aristocratic rich, bohemians and tourists. It seems that most of the characters have a secret and as the plot progresses we see their interaction and watch their reactions as they deal with lust, greed, romance and envy as well as blackmail.
A warning—before you start reading make sure you clear a large block of time as this is a page turner that keeps you reading and guessing. There are twists and turns on almost every page and while you may think you have the mystery solved, you discover that you are far from the truth. Each character wears a mask of some kind to hide truth and fear and no one seems to be innocent here. As the story progresses, lifestyles fall apart as secrets are revealed. Charles writes with wonderful emotion and he certainly knows how to hand the reader a surprise.
This is the first book I have read by Charles and am looking forward to reading more. His style is tight and incredibly interesting.

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