Aug 31, 2014

The Power of Disillusionment – by MFRW Feature Author of the Month Lloyd A. Meeker






 For years, I had a quote pinned up on the wall of my work-place cubicle attributed to congressional historian Daniel J Boorstin: “The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance, but rather the illusion of knowledge."


I'd like to share with you something of my enthusiasm for disillusionment – the loss of illusion. Discovery is an essential part of any plot, from clues in a murder mystery, to trust (misplaced, real or withheld) in a romance, geographic exploration in an adventure, or finding inner strength in the Hero’s Journey. While the need for discovery is always present in our stories, the context for the discovery is infinitely changeable.


Perhaps the most important variable is the protagonist’s own attitude toward discovery. That could be the beginning of his character arc: he may be certain he doesn’t need to change, or that he is as self-sufficient as his reputation says he is. He may be convinced a situation is hopeless. He may believe he is not worthy of love. This is where the story gets really interesting! How the hero handles that discovery is a crucial revelation of his character. What is he really made of? What he does when a cherished illusion is dispelled will show it in spades.


The classic example is an altruistic young person who, full of optimism and naïveté approaches the world of commerce as if everyone were as honest as she is. That person soon finds out that altruism, if it is to be a kind influence in a person's life must be tempered with realistic caution.


While I rhapsodize about the profound value of cognitive dissonance, I don’t enjoy the pain and sadness (or embarrassment!) I can feel when a cherished belief proves to be false. I believe emotional pain is probably the worst teacher of reality – certainly the harshest. The problem is that so often it’s the only teacher left to us because we’ve rejected kinder, less cataclysmic ones. We can be so damn stubborn or blind about what we’re certain is true – the illusion of knowledge.


In the case of Shepherd Bucknam, the protagonist in my new novel The Companion, disillusionment is a great but pain-inducing ally, in two particular instances. When the story begins, he doesn’t see any need for him to change. Privately, he carries a bitter disrespect for his dead alcoholic mother, believing that she didn’t really love him. He is also afraid that a recurring nightmare foretells his violent death.


In both these matters he discovers that what he thinks is true is not true at all, and the shock of discovery opens him to new experience and real growth as a human being. What happens next? Well, you’ll have to read the story to find out!


And I sincerely hope you do… :D




 


Blurb for The Companion


Shepherd Bucknam hasn’t had a lover in more than a decade, and doesn’t need one. As a Daka, he coaches men in the sacred art and mystery of sexual ecstasy all the time, and he loves his work. It’s his calling. In fact, he’s perfectly content—except for the terrors of his recurring nightmare, and the ominous blood-red birthmarks on his neck. He’s convinced that together they foretell his early and violent death.

When Shepherd’s young protégé is murdered, LAPD Detective Marco Fidanza gets the case. The two men are worlds apart: Marco has fought hard for everything he’s accomplished, in sharp contrast to the apparent ease of Shepherd’s inherited wealth—but their mutual attraction is too hot for either of them to ignore.


Shepherd swears he’ll help find his protégé’s killer but Marco warns him to stay out of it. When an influential politician is implicated, the police investigation grinds to a halt. Shepherd hires his own investigator. Marco calls it dangerous meddling.


As their volatile relationship deepens, Shepherd discovers his nightmares might not relate to the future, but to the deadly legacy of a past life—a life he may have to revisit before he can fully live and love in this one.








Buy Links, Social Media:


At Dreamspinner:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5243


On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Companion-Lloyd-Meeker-ebook/dp/B00M28O24S/



www.lloydmeeker.com

https://twitter.com/LloydAMeeker

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/MBe1gp

https://www.facebook.com/lloyd.meeker







In this excerpt, Shepherd is a suspect in the murder of his friend and protégé Steven Lewis. Detective Marco Fidanza, who is soon to be Shepherd’s lover, has called Shepherd to the police station for more questioning.




I DIDN’T see any visitor parking at the police station, so I took a meter on the street and reported to the desk. Five minutes later, Fidanza appeared and steered me to what could only be an interrogation room. Two chairs and a metal table with a welded bracket in the middle—for restraints, I guessed. Not even a wastebasket. That was it. The air smelled of pine disinfectant, but I didn’t want to think of why the place might have needed disinfecting.

He pointed to a chair. “Have a seat.” He put a recorder on the table and sat across from me. He spoke in a brusque monotone into the recorder: date, time, people present, case number, murder of Steven Lewis.

Using the same voice, he read me my rights and asked if I understood them. I said yes, and my attorney was waiting for my call if needed.

He studied the open file in front of him as if he hadn’t heard what I’d said or its warning. But then I’d threatened to call my lawyer yesterday. He probably heard that all the time.

“You say you were a friend of the deceased.” He sounded nonchalant, even bored. Even without Juergen’s warning, he didn’t fool me for a second.

“Yes, I was.”

“How close a friend?”

“I was his mentor. We were intimate friends.”

“Physically intimate?”

“Certainly. Once a month, sometimes more often. For his lesson.”

Fidanza looked up, and his lip curled. “A lesson in sex.”

I shook my head. “A lesson in sexual intimacy.”

“Come on, Bucknam. You’re saying he didn’t know how to do it?”

“Can you sing Happy Birthday, Detective?” I smiled. “I’ll bet you can.”

He scowled. “On the right occasion. What’s that got to do with this?”

“Dmitri Hvorostovsky can sing happy birthday too. Even though he sings the same notes you do, I think you’d agree it’s a very different song when he sings it.”

I leaned forward on the table and stared into Marco Fidanza’s glare. “Most men know the melody of sex and can stumble through it, pretty much in tune. I teach them how to sing their sexual intimacy like Hvorostovsky sings opera. At least as far as they can go, and as far as I can take them.”

The air crackled between us. I could tell I’d gotten to him, and it was clear he didn’t like being bested on his own turf. A small ragged vein on his temple pulsed, and his lips pressed to a thin line. I sat back in my chair.

“Very clever,” he grumbled. “So you were teaching Lewis to sing sexual opera.”

I nodded. “He was incredibly gifted—a natural—but still dangerously naïve.” I fought a lump in my throat. “We were working on that too.”

“Yes, I’m sure you’re not naïve in the least, Mr. Bucknam.” He was good. I folded my arms and replied with silence. “Did you introduce him to customers?”


“Yes, a few. He had no trouble finding his own, though.”

He drew some rectangles in a corner of his notepad. “Did you get a cut of that action?”

“No. He offered, I refused.”

“His car had no loan. Was that your doing?”

“Everyone in LA needs a reliable car, Detective. We agreed it would be a loan.”

“What about him using your, ah, studio?” “What about it?”
“Did he pay you for its use?”

“Detective, you seem fixated on money issues. That may make sense in other investigations, but it doesn’t in this one. We didn’t have any money issues. I would have covered all his costs without a thought, if he’d let me.”

He looked up, searching my face for something. “But he didn’t.”

“He was a free spirit. He didn’t like being fenced in.”

Fidanza nodded. “Were you trying to fence him in?”

“Not deliberately. And he had no trouble telling me when he felt like I was.”

He went back to his doodling. “How did you stay in touch?”

“Phone mostly. Sometimes a text.”


“What did you do together besides your, um, opera lessons?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Not very much.” Then I wanted to cry. The truth was that we hadn’t done anywhere near enough together. We could have done so much more.

“He loved his independence, as I said. We’d eat together once a week, maybe twice. Occasionally, we’d attend a wine tasting or some other event. One weekend, we went to a gay rodeo in Palm Springs. He loved that.”

He glanced at the papers in front of him. “So part of your, ah, mentorship included cosigning his lease and holding a key to his apartment.”

“Yes. He’d arrived in LA with nothing. No credit, almost no cash reserves. Sometimes, he was sleeping in dangerous places. He needed a place of his own. I wanted him to stay safe.”

“Right,” he said, his voice cold and dry. “That worked out well for him, didn’t it?”

“How—” I gasped, blindsided by the deliberate cruelty. “I suppose you say that to the children of every officer killed in the line of duty. You must be a real hit at police funerals.”

“I thought that might get a reaction from you.” He looked up, smug. “I was right.”

“Brilliant. You get a reaction by hitting someone with a sledgehammer. Such sophistication. Such finesse.”

My heart hammered against my ribs as I leaned forward, hating that he’d found where I hurt most. “Maybe I could have done more to protect him. I wish I had. But if you think I didn’t want the best for Stef, you are wrong, Detective. Very, very wrong.”

He shrugged, unrepentant. The door opened and a heavy-set Hispanic man, probably early fifties, with a tired, fleshy face and a soft middle came in, half dragging a chair. He parked it facing the table, sat, and sighed as if his feet had hurt all day and he’d just discovered the solution.

Fidanza cocked his head at him. “This is my partner, Detective Tomás Alvarez. He’s here to make me behave.” He picked up the recorder and turned it off before stuffing it in his pocket.

I smiled tightly at Alvarez, still stinging. “You’ve arrived too late for that, I’m afraid.”

He lifted his shoulders an inch, clearly used to the failure. “I do what I can.” He looked at his partner. “Malena called. Nicki’s over, and the little one is sick. If I want to eat, I’ve got to buy stuff at the store on the way home. I want to eat.”

“You go ahead. Mr. Bucknam and I have one more task,” Fidanza said as he closed the file and stood. He stared down at me, and I could tell he was watching for something. “I need you to identify the body, down at the Coroner’s Office. You can ride with me, if you like.”

Sweat pricked along my neck. I didn’t want to see Stef’s body. Then I surprised myself. Yes, actually I did. I wanted to say good-bye. We both deserved that. What if I got sick again? Then I got sick, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t going to try to get out of it. That’s probably what Fidanza was hoping for.

There was no way I was going to ride in his car, though. He would just try to nail me again to see how I squirmed. I shook my head. “Give me the address. I’ll meet you there.”

Repost.Us

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Labels

#excerpt #MFRWAuthor #Thursday 13 #Thursday13 1001 Nights Press A. Catherine Noon A.B. Gayle A.C. Arthur A.D. McLain Abbie St.Claire AC Katt Adam Mann Adele Downs Adelle Laudau Adera Orfanelli Adite Banerjie Adriana Kraft Aidee Ladnier Aileen Fisher Aithne Jarretta Akaria Gale Alethea Williams Aletheia von Gottlieb Alice Orr Alison McMahan Allison Knight Ally Shields Amber Kallyn Amber Polo Amy Quinton Ana E Ross Andrea Cooper Andrea Parnell Angela Benedetta Angela Benedetti Angela Drake Angela Quarles Angela Scavone Angela Smith Anita Philmar Anna Alexander Anna Durand Anna James Anne Ashby Anne Carrole Anne Kane Annemarie Brear anthology Ashley Ladd Ashley York Author Interview Author Spotlight Autumn Piper Ava Martell Avalon Alexander Avril Ashton Ayla Ruse Azure Boone BA Tortuga Barb Caffrey Barbara Donlon Bradley Barbara Edwards Barbara Lohr Barbara Meyers Barbara White Daille bdsm Ben Tanner Berengaria Brown Berkley Heat Bet Trissel Beth Barany Beth Caudill Beth Rhodes Beth Yarnall Betty Jean McLain Bev Irwin Black Opal Books Blaine D. Arden blog hop Blushing Books book bundle Book Hooks book party Book Spotlight BookStrand Romance Boroughs Publishing Brannan Black Breathless Press Brenda Jernigan Brenda Novak Brenda Sparks Brenda Whiteside Brina Brady Brita Addams Bruce Jenvey Brynna Curry C.C. Marks C.R. Moss Calisa Rhose Campbell Hill Publishing Candace Sams Cara Carnes Caridad Pineiro Carina Press Carly Carson Carmen Stefanescu Carmen Webster Buxton Caroline Clemmons Caroline Warfield Cassandra Carr Cat Grant Cat Johnson Catherine E. McLean catherine gardiene Cathie Dunn Cathy Perkins Catrina Barton Cecilia Tan Celine Chatillon Cera duBois Champagne Books Changeling Press Chanta Rand Chantilly White Charmaine Gordon Chelle Cordero Cherise Sinclair chick lit chris redding Christi Williams Christian Phillips Christian Romance Christina Routon Christina Tetreault Christine Fairchild Christine Young Christmas Cinsearae S. Clare Dargin Coleen Kwan contemporary romance Contest Entry Cora Blu Cora J. Ramos Crimson Romance Cupid Publishing Cynnara Tregarth Cynthia Cynthianna D Dominik Wickles D.X. Luc Dahlia Dewinters Dani Wade Dariel Raye Dawn Montgomery Dax Varley Dean Pace-Frech Debra Andrews Decadent Publishing Delaney Diamond Denise Devine Denise Patrick Denyse Bridger Desert Breeze Publishing Desiree Holt Dev Bentham Diana Rubino Diane Burton Donna Gallagher Donna June Cooper Donna Maloy DP Denman Dreamspinner Press Dystopian Eden Winters Ednah Walters eKensington EL Esch Elaine Cantrell Elise VanCise Elizabeth Kolodziej Ellora's Cave EM Lynley Emerald Emily Ryan Davis Entangled Erika Kelly Erin McRae Erin O'Quinn erotic romance erotica Etopia Press Evernight Publishing eXtasy Books fantasy Fated Desires Featured Author of the Month Flame Arden Flossie Benton Rogers Frances Pauli Gail Olmsted Gail Roughton Branan Gale Stanley Georgie Lee Gerri Bowen Ginger Simpson giveaway GLBT Glenn Maynard Greta Buckle Guy Ogan Gwenna Sebastian H. Lewis-Foster Hachette/Forever Harlequin Heartspell Media Heather Curley Heather Long Heaven O'Shey Helen Ellis Helen Henderson historical romance holiday romance Holley Trent Hywela Lyn Indie Published Ines Johnson inspirational romance interracial Irene Preston Iris Blobel J.C. Conway J.F. Jenkins J.L. Sheppard Jackie Leigh Allen Jacquie Biggar Jami Gray Jana Richards Jane Leopold Quinn Jane Toombs Janet Mullany Janie Franz Jannine Corti Petska Jasmine Hill Jaymi Hanako Jean Joachim Jeanne Barrack Jenna Storm Jennette Green Jennifer Britt Jennifer France Jennifer Lynne Jerri Hines Jerrie Alexander Jerry Race Jessi Gage Jessica Cale Jessica E. Subject Jianne Carlo Jill Blake JJ DiBenedetto JJ Keller JM Maurer JM Stewart JMS Books Jolie Pethtel Joselynn Vaughn Joyce Holmes Joyce Palmer Juli Revezzo Julia Talbot Julie Eberhart Painter Juliette Springs June Kramin June Shaw Jupiter Gardens Press K. Lynn K. Starling K.A. M'lady K.E. Saxon Karen Blake Karen Cino karen cote Karen Lopp Karen McCullough Karen Michelle Nutt Karenna Colcroft Kathleen Rowland Kathryn R. Blake Kathy Kulig Katya Armock Kay Dee Royal Kayelle Allen Kaylin McFarren KC Klein Kelley Heckart Kendra James Kenra Daniels Kensington Keta Diablo Killarney Sheffield Killian McRae Kim McMahill Kimberly Dean KindleUnlimited Kingsburg Press Kissa Starling kristen ethridge Kristina Knight Kryssie Fortune L.A. Remenicky L.A. Sartor L.C. Chase L.C. Giroux Lace Daltyn Lauren Linwood Laverne Thompson Lazy Day Publishing Lee Rowan Leta Blake Libby McKinmer Liese Sherwood-Fabre Limitless Publishing Linda Banche Linda Bond Linda Hoover Linda McLaughlin Linda Mooney Linda Rae Sande Lindsey R. Loucks Liquid Silver Lis Anne Harris Lisa Carlisle Lisabet Sarai Livia Quinn Lizzi Tremayne Lizzie T. Leaf Lloyd A. Meeker Loose Id Lorelei Confer Louisa Masters Louise Lyndon Luanna Nau Luanna Stewart Lucy Francis Lynda Bailey Lynda Coker Lynda Kaye Frazier Lyndi Lamont Lynette Sofras Lynn Cahoon lynn crain Lynn Gale Lynn Montagano Lyric James Lyrical Press M.K. Gilher M.S. Kaye M.S. Spencer Mackenzie Crowne Madeline Archer Madeline Pryce Mae Clair Maggi Andersen Mahlee Ashwynne Malia Mallory Marci Boudreaux Marcia James Mardi Maxwell Margaret Fieland Margay Leah Justice Margery Scott Margo Bond Collins Maria Alexander Maria-Claire Payne Marianne Rice Marie Harte Marion Webb-De Sisto Martha O'Sullivan Mary J. McCoy-Dressel Mary Montague Sikes Mary Morgan Matthew Lang Meg Benjamin Megan Kelly Melinda Curtis Melissa Fox Melisse Aires Melody Jerva menage Mercedes King Meredith Bond MFRW Author Banner Day Mia Frances Michael Monaghan Michaela Rhua Michelle Roth Mickie Sherwood Miguelina Perez military romance Miriam Newman ML Skye MLR PRess Molle McGregor Mona Karel Multicultural Romance Musa Publishing Muse It Up Publishing N.N. Light Nancy Corrigan Nancy J. Cohen Nancy Marie Bell Naomi Bellina Neil S. Plakcy New Adult New Release Nicky Penttila Nicole Graysen Nicole Hurley-Moore Nicole Zoltack Normandie Alleman North Shore Press Notion Press novella P.A. Estelle P.J. Dean P.J. MacLayne P.S. Singer P.T. Macias Paisley Brown Paloma Beck Paranormal Romance Patricia Preston Patricia Yager Delagrange Pauline Baird Jones Peggy Jaeger Pender Mackie Penny Estelle Phaze Books Pippa Jay PJ Fiala R Costelloe R. Ann Siracusa R.E. Mullins R.M. Sotera Rachael Slate Rachel Haimowitz Rachel Wilder Racheline Maltese Rae Renzi Raven de Hart Reana Malori Rebecca Hunter Rebecca J. Clark Rebel Ink Press Reet Singh regency romance Renee Michaels Renee Reynolds review Rhonda Hopkins Rhonda Jackson Joseph Rianna Morgan Robert Costelloe Robin Glasser Rolynn Anderson romantic comedy Romantic Mystery Romantic Suspense Rosalie Redd Rosanna Leo rose anderson Roz Lee Rue Allyn Ruth Casie Ruth Kaufman Sabrina York Sadie Grubor Samara King Samhain Publishing Sandy Nachlinger Sapphire Phelan Sara Walter Ellwood Sarah Jae Foster Savannah Chase Savannah Morgan scifi romance Secret Cravings Publishing Selena Illyria Self Published Shannyn Schroeder Sharon Clare Shashauna P. Thomas Shauna Knight Shauna Roberts Shelley Munro Sheri Fredricks Sherry Ewing Shirleen Davies Silver Publishing Siren Publishing SKN Hammerstone Sloane Kennedy Snap Dragon Press Soul Mate Publishing Sourabh Khanna spanking romance Stacey Brutger Stacy Eaton Stacy Juba Starla Kaye Steampunk Stephanie Queen Stevie Woods Stormy Night Publications Sultry Summers Susan Behon Susan Frances Susan Jaymes Susan Sofayov Suz deMello Suzanne Rock Suzzana Ryan Sydney Jane Baily Sylvia McDaniel Synithia Williams Tamara Hoffa Tami Brothers Tara Lain Tarah Scott Tasarla Romaney Teagan Oliver Tena Stetler Teresa Reasor The Wild Rose Press Thea Dawson thursday13 Tiffany Daune Time Travel Romance Tina Donahue Tina Gayle Tmonique Stephans Toni Noel Torquere Press Totally Bound Trevann Rogers Tricia Schneider urban fantasy Ursula Sinclair Ute Carbone V.S. Tice Vicki Batman Vicky Burkholder Victoria M Noxon Victoria Pinder Vijaya Schartz Viola Ryan w. lynn chantale W.M. Kirkland Wendy Lynn Clark Wendy Soliman Western Romance Whiskey Creek Press Wild Child Publishing Willa Blair women's fiction Yolanda Ashton Young Adult Zeenat Mahal Zrinka Jelic