Tag Archives: Rodney Ross

The Old Man at My Door by Rodney Ross

OUT NOW! The Old Man at My Door by Rodney Ross

A winter storm warning blanketed the local news stations before the blizzard itself. This blustery Saturday was going to be sweatpants, banana bread, and a Golden Girls binge for Renata Todd. But at her farmhouse door, already flocked with fresh snow, comes an unexpected knock: Albin Lawrence, an old man who grew up in the house in the 40s and 50s.

Renata’s caution yields to common sense as she welcomes him in for a tour. What danger could a shaky man over eighty, who has only one arm, represent?

Albin’s reluctant to leave and eager to talk. As Renata welcomes him into the kitchen to, he takes a barstool to tell his story … his stern parents’ suspicions of his homosexuality; the day he fled with his parents, never to return; navigating the decades of secret bars, marginal jobs, free love, questionable choices, and AIDS; and a relationship truncated by social pressure and tragedy.

As the episodes turn darker, Renata begins to uneasily suspect something more is afoot.


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Smoking with Didi by Rodney Ross

OUT NOW! Smoking with Didi by Rodney Ross

At his older sister Didi’s request, Pete Garhart makes a reluctant trip from Miami to small-town Ohio for his father’s funeral. Beyond the sun, he leaves little else behind. Alcohol has drained any momentum from his culinary career as a chef, and he’s been reduced to line cook at Applebee’s. His string of failed relationships have begun to resemble a line-up of wooden soldiers, all with great guns and the same fade haircut. And, now in his late 40’s, he’s painfully aware of enroaching invisibility in his own community.

Back in his hometown, he’s battered by flashbacks of an anxious adolescence and his father’s rejection of a queer son, yet also finds the house he grew up in renovated and the town itself shorn of other memories. But bigger revelations are yet to come, including an unexpected hot tub reunion with a straight high school crush and a road trip back to Florida with Vantage Blue-loving Didi. She has a few things she wants to get off her chest about their own sibling alienation, but the surprise may be hers when Pete opens a floodgate of his own admissions.


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Bended Knee by Rodney Ross

OUT NOW! Bended Knee by Rodney Ross

When restaurateur Hugh Neumann rebukes Oliver Nicholas’s very public proposal to his boyfriend during a Valentine’s Day dinner, the diverted Cupid’s arrow strikes Hugh not in the heart, but in the ass.

After a media storm of commentary, ironically pro and con, gains national steam, what Hugh begins to refer to as his personal “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” begins to affect home life with his partner, Dominick Brodie.

Was Hugh’s overreaction pandering to his largely heterosexual clientele? Or did the incident trigger his own panic about same-sex marriage? Will the public scrutiny threaten his decade-long commitment to Dom?


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The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross

OUT NOW! The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross

The mid-40s are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to Sansabelts. But when Barry Grooms’s partner of twenty years is killed on Barry’s forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.

After navigating through the surreal conveyor belt of friends and family, he can’t eat another casserole or swallow much more advice on what constitutes grief. Still numb, he leaves his homestore and design business in the care of others as he escapes to Key West, then New York. There he gets a thankless new job working for a crazy lady in a poncho, then has too many drinks with a narcissistic Broadway actor. Next it’s a nude exercise class that redefines flop sweat, and from there he’s on to a relationship with a man twenty years his junior.

Yet no matter how great the retreat from the man he used to be, life’s gravity spins Barry back to the small town where he grew up for one more ironic twist that teaches him how to say goodbye with grace.


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