I’ve been recommending The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater. It was written to provide a sensory and emotional reading experience, along with illustrating how a man’s sexuality plays such an integral role in his life, enthusiastically reviewed by those who have read it.
The novel is available in Kindle or paperback form on Amazon, for your Nook at Barnes & Noble, or for just about any other reading device or your computer at Smashwords. Give it a try and then let me know your thoughts. It will make my day to hear from you.Pin It
Looking For An Intriguing Summer Read?
Kindle and Nook prices have been reduced on three of my books to help introduce them to more readers. If you identify with the philosophy of Enlightened Male, you’ll identify with the tales I write. They are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble paperback and ebook form, and at Smashwords for all other ebook readers.
“I thoroughly enjoyed The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater. Savannah (Georgia) and Kenya come alive in author Martin Brant’s descriptions. The diverse cast of characters is compelling, and the suspense is built-in by the multi-sensorial descriptions of a haunted house filled with a range of unsettling beings, and by the question of what kind of intriguing “debauchery” Johnny will be coerced into next!
Johnny stumbles into a sticky web of relationships between his wife Marilee, the otherworldly siblings Julian and Cassandra, and his new friend Brian. Ultimately he realizes an important difference–love–between the nature of his relationship with Brian and that of his relationship with Julian. Marilee opens up to her body and its responses thanks to Johnny, and Johnny finally learns the reason for Cassandra’s revenge.
The ending is a terrific wham/bam whirl, with one surprise after another in the last few pages, including a main character’s deus-ex-machina solution, very nicely done.
The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater is a portentous and philosophical novel, not to be confused with barely-sketched characters ripping each others’ pants off. Sure there’s sex: the erotic massage scene is riveting, and the leather “heathen” sequence appropriately disgusting yet compelling! But beyond this, Brant’s writing expertly explores the “haunting” of bisexuality: a phantom sex hovering in the wings, an obsession never completely conquered in the heft and smell of remembered flesh. At times the novel seems to confirm the common perception that bisexuality is merely the mid-life crisis of married men who realize they’re gay. But at other times, we read and understand the circumstances of characters for whom bisexuality is not a transitional phase, but a way of life. Highly recommended, suspenseful, beautiful writing.”
Review by Logunede Jones on Amazon
“Martin Brant sure knows how to put a good story together, and he’s done it again in Copperas Cove. With the main character, Jonathan Scott, challenging his inner urges, readers are also left with a few challenges…be they where we all stand in the full spectrum of human sexuality or our attitude to racial discrimination. Set in the USA deep south in the mid-nineteen-fifties, the tale is gripping/surprising/enlightening, and a whole lot of other “ings” which all amount to fascinating, and damn good reading. One hopes that Martin can keep going with more of his stories, and I for one wait with eager anticipation.”
Review by Douglas Gellatly.
“In the far far-away recesses of our souls, behind all those cobwebs of yes’s and no’s, do’s and don’ts, and alleged transgressions we picked up along the way, our hearts may feel a featherlike caress of an erotic thought. Is it a desire, never acknowledged, never admitted and, more likely, never acted upon with anyone?
Then, too, there are those of us who live out our erotic dreams. However, our tastes along these lines are as varied as winter snowflakes. Mr. Brant’s book is an anthology of his short stories that cover the gamut of human fantasy or delight. “For those Enlightened Minds” at least one of the stories might be an injection of adrenaline into a not so intimate relationship…a map to try something new.
His description of ordinary/out-of-the-ordinary sexuality (reliant on the reader’s fantasy) is excellent. From his other two books, one knows of the quality of Mr. Brant’s distinction as a writer.”
Review by Alain GastonPin It
Take this one the beach, lake or desert with you. Pull up a chair or blanket and enjoy. I could not put it down. Perfect reading for the summer or anytime. Thank you, Martin!
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Five Married Men is first-rate literary entertainment, and much more. If you are looking for summer reading that grabs your attention, this is it. This novel has believably likable characters, intricate plot development, romance, sex, drama, suspense, humor, and action. There’s something for everyone. More importantly for me, Five Married Men is an honest discussion of male bisexuality. As a bisexual married man who has just recently come out of the closet, I found this book heart-breaking in its accurate portrayal of the challenges that face men like me and their wives. I can’t say how much Martin Brant writes from experience, from thorough research, or from an incredible imagination. But I can say, from MY experience, that his fictional characters are as real as the men I’ve met in support groups, chat groups, and bars. The emotional conflicts, the clandestine meeting arrangements, the fear of discovery that are described in the book are happening all around us every day. Male bisexuality is marginalized in this country. Today’s pop psychologists tell us that there is no such thing as a bisexual man. Even the GLBT community struggles to understand us. It’s high time a book like Five Married Men was published. Maybe it will start some discussions that are overdue. Believe me, there are a lot more bisexual men walking around than you can imagine. If we all came out of the closet at once, the whole gay/straight dichotomy would go the way of the dinosaur. Don’t think for a minute that this book is all gloomy and depressing. It is also very provocative. Because Mr. Brant develops the characters so well, the sex scenes are much steamier than typical gay or straight erotica. If the text doesn’t turn you on, you’ll at least feel empathy for the lovers. Five Married Men is a novel that reassures bisexual men they are not alone, and educates the rest of society.
Five Stars … FIVE MARRIED MEN DELIVERS
I read Martin Brant’s first book A SONG IN THE PARK a year ago. That novel was excellent. Now I have to say that Martin has topped that one with FIVE MARRIED MEN. The new novel is an erotically charged action adventure, love story with page turning suspense. I found myself caring about what happened to all five of these men as they form a sort of on the down-low club. A secret group. Some bonding stronger than others, but all becoming closer to each other than most men would dare. As with all secrets, the truth comes out. The shattering and thought provoking conclusion left me wanting a sequel. I have to say the reading of this novel was time well spent.
Five Stars … Complete range of emotions!
Having been married to a woman and gay, I identified with the emotions, desires and choices these men made. I like how the author played out the stories of each man and his individual journey. I will look for more from this author!
Five Stars … IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO MISS OUT ON NOT READING THIS ONE
THE STORY WAS LITTLE BIT HARD TO GET MY HEAD AROUND AT THE START, BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD A BOOK MOVE ME THE WAY THIS STORY HAS MOVED AND UPSET ME LIKE IT DID. I EVEN REREAD THE LAST SEVERAL CHAPTERS TO HOLD ON TO THE MEN IN THE STORY JUST A LITTLE LONGER.
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THE ONLY BOOK THAT I THOUGHT WAS BETTER THAN THIS IS ‘FIVE MARRIED MEN’ AND ‘A SONG IN THE PARK’. THIS AUTHOR HAS A WAY OF MAKING YOU FEEL ALL THE EMOTIONS HIS CHARACTERS FEEL.
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I DOUBT THERE IS A BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR THAT WOULD NOT BE WORTH BUYING.
Five stars … A Song In The Park Original and Revised Copy
This was a wonderful and well written love story. I couldn’t put it down until I finished it because it was so good! Love is love no matter what your sexual preference is and this story more than proved it! Great book Mr. Brant! Review for the revised copy below. I read the original story in 2006 and loved it and I love this one too. This one adds a new twist to Michael’s character and it is a situation that not only could happen but has happened to gay men. If you have read the original book you will see that this adds to the storyline with the added details of how, why and when it happened. As I stated in my review from when I read the original book, love is love no matter what your sexual preference is. This is a great story about love, friendship, understanding, being understood, forgiveness, acceptance and tolerance.Pin It
***** – Copperas Cove – November 27, 2011
By R. A Rippy “rarippy” (Shelbyville, Tennessee United States)
This story takes place in 1954 during the segregated era. One man is on a journey to get away from his hometown and impending divorce to start a new life. His car breaks down near a small town in Mississippi (Copperas Cove) and he ends up staying there and his life takes a whole new turn. The racial divide is high and he ends up changing the way people think about Blacks by breaking down barriers and stereotypes that still lingered in the town despite it being the time of the demise of segregation. This book has it all that occurred during this era with lynching, beatings, murder and being falsely accused of a crime due to the color of your skin. There is romance and even a hint of homosexuality but as trademark of Martin Brant, it was tastefully done. I am Black and it hurt to read about the injustices done to my people during that time but it did happen and the sad part is that it is still happening today. Due to Martin’s outstanding writing style, while reading this book you will feel as if you are actually there while reading each page. Despite the subject matter, I really enjoyed this book and did not put it down until the last page. Some may be offended about the subject content of this book but it happened so it is what it is.Pin It
Review by: Douglas Gellatly on Nov. 07, 2011, on SMASHWORDS:
Martin Brant sure knows how to put a good story together, and he’s done it again in Copperas Cove. With the main character, Jonathan Scott, challenging his inner urges, readers are also left with a few challenges…be they where we all stand in the full spectrum of human sexuality or our attitude to racial discrimination.
Set in the USA deep south in the mid-nineteen-fifties, the tale is gripping/surprising/enlightening, and a whole lot of other “ings” which all amount to fascinating, and damn good reading.
One hopes that Martin can keep going with more of his stories, and I for one wait with eager anticipation.
When Jonathon’s marriage crashes around his head, pictures in a travel magazine inspire him to leave Pittsburgh to start a new life on the Gulf coast. Followed by phantoms from the past, he sets out envisioning the bliss of solitude and long lazy Saturdays on warm southern beaches. Maybe he can find a drugstore in Biloxi that needs a pharmacist. Maybe, if he meets the right woman, he can get these misguided notions about men out of his head.
The generator on his ’48 Ford coupe goes out fifty miles south of Tupelo, a long hot three mile walk to the next town, an isolated hamlet called Copperas Cove. Temporarily stranded, he finds himself having a hamburger at Rexall soda fountain, unaware that his destiny is taking shape in the mind of a young woman three stools down. Betty Marie, the quixotic town flirt, has taken an interest in him. Jonathon soon learns, if he’s looking for a job as a pharmacist, he came to the right place. Old man Peterson, the Rexall’s ancient pharmacist, has been wanting to retire for years Betty Marie quickly points out, that other than a beach, they don’t have anything in Biloxi he can’t find right here in Copperas Cove.
Simpler times in another era. An exiled husband facing life-changing events. An age old dilemma. A small town in the deep south. A brutal rape and murder. The bigoted dramas of 1950’s Mississippi … Ingredients all for a witches brew of emotion, mystery and intrigue. Copperas Cove weaves an unpredictable thread through the lives of all concerned, a thread that changes Jonathon’s life forever.Pin It
To stretch my legs, I get up from behind the desk to check on Corley. He doesn’t hear me walk in, immersed the way he is in his writing. Plugged into the wall in the linen room, the extension cord lays on the floor across the aisle and into his cell. He now has a small lamp on his table, along with a pitcher of water and empty glass. Since he has no windows, I’ve left the fan back here. Nevertheless, these hot summer days are unbearable; he has taken to leaving his shirt on the wall hook and going shirtless. His shoes remain under the cot, which he leaves unmade.
For a moment I stand there and watch him, his broad sinewy back tapering gracefully toward his impossibly narrow waist, his mind totally absorbed in the work before him. I find myself wondering why a young man like him doesn’t have a girlfriend.
“You hungry yet?”
He turns with a start.
“Uh, Tommy Lee’s suppose to be back around noon with your lunch. I put him in charge of your meals. Any complaints about food are his department.”
I see the hint of a smile in his eyes.
“Anything you need?”
“Haven’t had a shower in three days.” he says.
“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” I say, reaching for the cell key.
He leaves his jeans crumpled on the floor outside the shower room. I sit down on the bench across the aisle and lean back against the wall facing the door to the front office. Almost as if I’m compelled, my head turns toward him. He’s standing beside the spray, adjusting the water temperature. I find myself staring, wondering if all men secretly compare their penises to other men’s. That’s something men don’t talk about, but I can’t think of a really good reason we shouldn’t. Seems like it would be fun to walk over there, drop my pants and the two of us compare, maybe see which one stretches further. There are some obvious differences. For one thing the color: his is so much darker than mine, and it seems to hang a bit lower, probably compliments of this heat. But there are also similarities. Like mine, his is darker than the rest of his body, almost tar black, where mine’s kinda ruddy brown, not to mention they serve the same purpose. Wonder he’s compared mine to his—he’s seen it enough times out at the lake, what little there is to see once it hits that cool water. His doesn’t recede into his body like mine, it just hangs gloriously between his legs.Pin It
From the third chapter . . .
“The ninth gate? I … “ Johnny stopped mid-sentence, frustrated. He felt gullible, like an innocent boy. Cassandra Mott, obviously a woman of the world, was saying things that flew right over his head.
Her quick smile took on a hint of mischief and her eyes shifted to her brother. “Perhaps Julian would be willing to show you the ninth gate.”
Like a lost lamb cowering between them, Johnny turned his gaze to Julian. Their eyes locked. Unnerved, he felt as if he were being looked at caged and unclothed. Staring into the crystal blue eyes, he saw something he could not identify, not wicked, not threatening, but puzzling. He drew from them a premonition, a kinship on some obscure level, and the feeling it caused ran through him warmly. His curiosity ran wild. He recognized an urge to know more about him, to hear his thoughts.
Johnny watched him come to his feet. His eyes followed Julian’s hands to the buttons on the white linen shirt. When Julian lifted it from his shoulders and laid it on the sofa, Johnny realized that he intended to disrobe. He sat spellbound, his gaze fixed on the twitch and flex of a masculine chest. Mired in disbelief, he watched Julian’s hands move to the front of the white linen pants and unfasten the buttons one at a time, while Cassandra remained attentive to Johnny’s unsuspecting reaction.
A different kind of unease came over him. He tried to deny the sudden desire welling inside, a desire to see Julian’s body. Feeling stimulated by this was wrong. A man undressing should be perceived with indifference, though the promise of Julian’s nudity was unfolding before his eyes as a visual treasure. Facing the laws of right and wrong, he should be indifferent, yet, against his conscious will, he had become eager for it to happen, as if a long dormant urge had been lying in wait. He wanted to see Julian undressed, to see his body, his male form, all of him. But why? Why all of a sudden? Why these long forgotten urges between his legs and across the pores of his skin? Why this sharp desire that he had so easily denied all these years?
The pants slid fluidly down Julian’s legs. He stepped out of them, naked, his skin bronze, his forearms and legs and chest swept lightly with golden blond hair, his genitals inflamed and pendulous between muscular legs. Julian walked around the low table, looking down at his guest, the guest that had become a taut mass of anxiety and nerves.Pin It
You’d like to find a thoughtful, well-written novel about like-minded men (or like-minded boys in this case). You don’t want two naked men on the cover because you might want to read it in a restaurant or on an airplane.
Andre Aciman has written one I highly recommend. It’s rare when you find yourself involved in the muscle and grit of a character’s innermost emotions, including desire that you’ll probably identify with and feel on the tips of your fingers. This is one you’ll want to read twice; perhaps not right away, but the day will come you’ll want to relive this story.
From School Library Journal
Seventeen-year-old Elio faces yet another lazy summer at his parents’ home on the Italian coast. As in years past, his family will host a young scholar for six weeks, someone to help Elio’s father with his research. Oliver, the handsome American visitor, charms everyone he meets with his cavalier manner. Elio’s narrative dwells on the minutiae of his meandering thoughts and growing desire for Oliver. What begins as a casual friendship develops into a passionate yet clandestine affair, and the last chapters fast-forward through Elio’s life to a reunion with Oliver decades later. Elio recalls the events of that summer and the years that follow in a voice that is by turns impatient and tender. He expresses his feelings with utter candor, sharing with readers his most private hopes, urges, and insecurities. The intimacy Elio experiences with Oliver is unparalleled and awakens in the protagonist an intensity that dances on the brink of obsession. [...] His longing creates a tension that is present from the first sentence to the last. -Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Have you read this book, or another you recommend? Post a comment to let us know what it is.Pin It