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A sample of my new book, Into the flames…

I’ve never done this before, but I think this could give you an idea of the voice and tone and overall feel of my new book coming this August…Hope you like it.

The blurb:

There are those we’d run back into the flames to save.
Jamie spends his days counselling patients who suffer from anxiety disorders. To his patients, he is Dr. Jamie Scarborough—a brilliant psychiatrist. Yet secretly, Jamie is losing his own battle against an acute panic disorder. Ever since Basil—his lover of five years—left him, Jamie has been in misery. Still hopelessly in love, he’s faced with a choice: heal or lose Basil for good.

Then after a particularly revealing session with Dance Young—Jamie’s most challenging patient—Dance disappears without a trace. For the last two years, Jamie has been trying to crack the compulsive liar’s hard candy surface, but to no avail. When Dance’s identical twin, a trans woman who calls herself September, comes out of seclusion to ask for his help, Jamie can finally shed light on the Young twins’ tragic past. But as he and September begin to collect the pieces of their dismantled lives, a few streets away, captive of a mentally unstable firefighter, Dance is fighting for his own life. And to find Dance, Jamie will have to confront all of his monsters…

Including those he unknowingly helped create.

The excerpt:

Jamie sat in his leather armchair, cross-legged, studying Dance Young’s ravishing, but well-hidden face. “How long has she been this way?” he asked the boy.
They’d been discussing Dance’s sister for nearly twenty-minutes, but Jamie had yet to understand what the urgency was. September was moody, Dance explained. Perhaps depressed.
They weren’t getting anywhere. The only thing the boy seemed to be interested in, was the plate of falafels Marie-Miel had had the presence of mind to offer him. Dance ate with a voracious appetite, forgetting to chew.
“You mean, anorexic?” Dance asked, his mouth packed with the last of the meal.
Jamie stole a look at his notes. He’d jotted nothing about an eating disorder. “You didn’t use that word.” He uncrossed his legs and leaned in to gather the empty plate. Dance had practically licked it clean. “Is this your diagnostic or―”
“It doesn’t take a medical degree to figure my sister out.”
“I see.” Jamie rose and brought the plate to the sink. “And how about you? How are you doing?”
Dance burped into his fist and flashed a smile. Killer, of course. The boy was as slick as black ice. “I’m just dandy, Doctor. How you been? By the look of your hands, you’re still trying to catch up to Howard Hughes.”
Jamie decided to let that one go. Though Dance made an effort to come off as nonchalant, his body language told a different story. He’d never seen Dance so fidgety. The food had been a temporary distraction, but now that there was nothing to keep Dance’s hands occupied, he was beginning to chew his nails.
“Not in a retaliative mood, Doctor?” Dance leaned back into the seat, cap pulled down low over his steely eyes.
Jamie seated himself in his chair once more. He hadn’t used the hand sanitizer since their session began and he planned on staying clear from it, though subtly, intrusive thoughts tickled the side of his mind, making it difficult to focus. “Have you been sleeping well?” he asked Dance, determine to steer the boy back to their on and off therapy. He’d been seeing Dance Young for close to two years, one of the dozen cases he took for the Bunker, pro bono, but he knew little of Dance still. The boy’s file was the size of a phone book, yet, all of the information Jamie had collected on the elusive liar was irrelevant. This case was a challenge, and though Jamie tried to convince himself that he was wasting his time, he relished the idea of cracking Dance’s hard candy surface.
“My sister needs help,” Dance said, dodging another question. “And I think you’re the only one who can help her.”
Flattery was also one of Dance’s gifts. Jamie had fallen for it on numerous occasions, but not today. “If your sister suffers from an eating disorder, I’d be happy to refer her to―”
“Forget the eating disorder, okay?” Dance sat up straight, flustered. “You specialize in Post-Traumatic Stress and anxiety disorders, and that’s what my brother has.” Dance eyed him furiously, his gaze blazing under the long bangs. “So, are you gonna hear me out here?”
“First, you should start by getting the facts straight, no? One moment you say sister, the next he’s your brother. Which one is it exactly?”
Dance darted his stare to the floor, nibbling his lower lip. “September was my brother for a few years, and now he’s my sister.”
Jamie remembered the timbre of September’s voice. “I think I understand,” he whispered, relaxing back into his chair. Dance was telling the truth on this one. Or some of it. “Dance, I still don’t think I’m the right man for this case. I don’t deal with gender disorders either.”
“She doesn’t have a fucking gender disorder.”
“I don’t mean to offend you. That’s the clinical―”
“You’re not listening to me,” Dance snapped, sweeping his hat off. He was truly breathtaking, with finely chiseled features, almost feminine. “September’s problem isn’t in her shorts. It’s the eating disorder. She needs to talk to someone about how much she hates herself.” His voice sunk. “And me.”
“Why do you think she hates you so?”
“Search me.” Dance shrugged again. Typical adolescent behavior. The boy refused to grow up.
Jamie decided to try another approach. “If I agree to see her, I would be going out of my way for you. Have you seen my waiting room? Taking on another patient, with the complexities this case seems to―”
“You want me to suck your dick.”
Jamie’s jaw unhinged, and for a moment, his tongue sat useless in his mouth. “There’s no call for that,” he said at last. “You don’t need to insult me.” He clung to the note pad, hoping he’d have the self-restraint not to throw it at Dance’s cocky face.
“How’s me asking if you want me to give you head, insulting?”
“Because, all I’ve been with you, is cordial and professional, and bringing this conversation down to that level is not only insulting, but completely detrimental to your emotional health.”
Dance processed the words silently.
“All right,” Jamie said. “Permit me to be frank.” Gently, he set the note pad down on the coffee table. “We’ve been going through the steps of this very well executed choreography for nearly two years, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve reached a plateau. You either decide to commit to this―”
“I know what you want and I’m gonna give it to you if you help my sister.” Dance flipped his cap back on. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you. But you don’t listen.”
“And what is it that I want?” Jamie smiled, though he was not at all amused.
Dance held his probing stare, his gray eyes, unreadable. “You want a backstage pass to my mind.”
The boy’s challenging manner, his well chosen words, all of it, sent a jolt of excitement through Jamie, even as he tried to keep his face neutral. Yes, a peep inside.
It could be no less than fascinating.
“So, if you help my sister, if you call her tonight and make her come here to see you, and I don’t give a shit how, I’ll come here every week, sit in this ugly, uncomfortable, tacky vintage chair and tell you every thing you wanna know.”
No. Out of the question. It was against his oath. He could not lure a patient using another as bait. Heart racing, Jamie watched the fantastically complicated young man sitting across him.
“Come on, Doctor Scarborough, you might be my sister’s only chance.”
Inside his pocket, Jamie’s fingers pressed the bottle of sanitizer hard up against his palm. “I want you to send me an email,” he said. “I’ll need as much information as you can give me on September.”
“I don’t have a computer.”
“Then go to the library.” Jamie rose, his legs wobbly. A mistake. This was a mistake. “And make sure you don’t leave anything out.” He looked down at the boy.
Dance’s eyes flickered, and he nodded. “Deal.” He got to his feet and tucked his notebook deeper into the waist of his tattered jeans. “
“And I want to read that as well.”
Dance winked, regaining his usual caustic way. “Maybe later.” He moved to the door, leaving Jamie, flushed and confused. What had he just agreed to?
“Oh and Doctor,” the boy said, plucking the door open, “I wouldn’t have sucked your dick. I’m straight.”

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About Mel

Montreal queer fiction writer.

One response to “A sample of my new book, Into the flames…

  1. Debra Low ⋅

    Looking forward to your new book…and good luck at the Lammys.
    See you in July at the London Pride Festival Literary Night

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