Into The Stars is about a man who struggles with the twists and turns life throws at him through points of elation and heartbreak.
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Is it better to have loved and lost or to have never loved at all? Let me explain. I just moved to New York City with my daughter, Arianna, to direct a play I had written to get over my ex, Derek. He left me ten years ago. Because of my friend, Sekoya, I have to smile at the images of how things should have gone between Derek and me.
However, my move to the city wasn’t a complete mistake. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have met Angelo, the hunky father of Arianna’s classmate. He’s showing signs of interest, but I’d been badly hurt by Derek, I don’t know if I can trust someone with my heart again.
I have to remember that he is not Derek, though. He’s kind, considerate, and…Did I mention attractive? Am I misreading his signs? Is he the man that will help me forget about Derek and love again? I’d love to believe that’s true, but I can’t help but feel that heartache is right around the corner.
My name is Orlando. This is my story.
FINDING MR. RIGHT
Everyone seemed to agree that I needed to find someone. My brothers even went so far as suggesting setting me up with a man they both worked with.
“What makes you think he’s my type?” I asked them.
“Because he’s a guy,” Denver responded.
“He’ll take him,” Arianna threw in.
“And?” I pushed further.
“Because he’s gay,” Houston added.
“He’ll take him,” my daughter continued.
“And because he’s a guy and he’s gay.”
“Come on,” I moaned. “You’ve got to do better than that. Look at Boston and Graham. You didn’t set them up because he’s a guy and straight. You set them up because they have a lot in common.”
“Yeah, but the only people I know that you have things in common with are women,” Denver laughed before flipping his hand back to a limp wrist to act like a flaming gay man. He then spoke with a lisp, “And with all of your characteristics, I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
Philadelphia Gay News
James is a first-time novelist from the Allentown area who has crafted an intricate story of family, friends, relationships and work with “Into the Stars.” Orlando “Lan” Lafayette is a songwriter who moves to New York when his former employer gives him the opportunity to direct his first musical. Having had no luck with life or love since his ex Derek left him for someone else 10 years previously, Lan needs this opportunity to turn his life and luck around.
Lan’s best friend is Sekoya, who is also the biological mother of his daughter, Arianna. Arianna’s classmate Leo and his father Angelo become the double-dating pair for Orlando and Arianna. A cat named Caleb with a translator microchip implant that allows humans to understand his thoughts seems a bit far-fetched — even for a story set 25 years in the future — but eventually Caleb becomes believable and integral to the storyline.
Lan and his family and friends learn about each other through book-reading meetings with school parents, rehearsals, family gatherings and surprise appearances by exes, but James surprises the reader at nearly every plot turn. And nothing will prepare the reader for how everyone and everything ties together to bring this story within a story to an unpredictable crescendo.
Humorous, clever and poignant, “Into the Stars” will at various times leave the reader breathless, light-hearted, angry, amused, romantic and sad, but never bored. This is a great summer beach read and will keep you up into the wee hours to find out what happens next. Fortunately for us, a sequel with Orlando’s nephew is already in the works.
Read more: PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News. Phila gay news. philly news - A summer reading rainbow
Kage Alan, author of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation and Andy Stephenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins
Orlando has had fairly rotten luck with Derek, the love of his life who he's never quite gotten over. It's fortunate then that an opportunity to pursue his dreams presents itself in the form of an offer to move to New York to direct a production of a musical he wrote many years ago. And he's not alone. There's his teenage daughter (Arianna), best friend and mother of his child (Sekoya) and also the hunky single father, Angelo, of his daughter's schoolmate.
That's the set-up and to get into more of the plot would do a disservice since it gets fairly involved. Suffice to say that most debut novels tend to be extremely telegraphed and cliched in the storytelling and plotting. Author Thomas James avoids these problems and took me by surprise a number of times, including a huge punch to the gut I did not see coming. It's an imperfect world, people are imperfect beings and he uses these flaws to his advantage.
The book jacket states that he is working on his next book and I'm looking forward to reading it when it's available. Readers would be wise to do the same.
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