We’re so pleased to have author Jon Michaelsen joining us today to celebrate the re-release and new cover art for his mystery Prince of the Sea, also out in audiobook and narrated by Philip Church. Jon is sharing an excerpt from the book with us today, and he’s also offering up the chance for three lucky readers to win a copy of the book in the winners’ choice of eBook or audio format.
About the Book
Island myth, or guarded secret…destiny lures Jonathan home.
Jonathan’s ten-year relationship with Paul has lost its spark, so in a last-ditch effort to rekindle the passion they once shared, Jonathan rents a seaside cottage in his boyhood hometown; Tybee Island, Georgia, a quaint, tiny coastal islet he abandoned more than a decade or so ago.
But, the romantic surprise backfires royally when his partner rushes off to woo a high-profile client in Chicago, leaving Jonathan alone and broken-hearted. While killing his pain with loads of alcohol the afternoon of his arrival on the beach, nothing seems to ease the gut-wrenching pain.
That’s when Jonathan notices a swimmer caught in a riptide, desperate to stay afloat. Without hesitation, the west coast transplant races to the water’s edge, trudging through seawater before diving headlong into the raucous surf. Soon, he too, falls victim to the fierce undertow, struggling to reach the surface and fearing the worst.
How did Jonathan get to shore?
What happened to the drowning man?
And, who is the mysterious old woman gaping at him from afar?
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Jonathan arrived at the northern tip of the island for his rendezvous with Lucius before dusk. Climbing onto the boulders of the breakwater, he cautiously maneuvered his way across the boulders, chose a spot to wait and watched the waves lap the jetty at his feet. Sea foam churned and snaked through the crevices of the jagged rocks, bubbling up. The ocean smelled of salt and seaweed and a hint of fish. He watched the broad beam from the lighthouse sweep the gloomy surface in rotary precision.
Closing his eyes and tipping his head back, Jonathan inhaled the ocean’s scent, loosening his arms and shoulders. He savored the gentle breeze brushing past his face and grazing the exposed skin of his unbuttoned shirt, concentrating on his breathing and trying to relax before his friend arrived. Soon, Lucius appeared beside him like a chameleon stepping out from the shadows.
They made small talk for a while, catching up since their time apart, before drifting into the decade past, reminiscing their childhood; the hours of carefree adventures, and misadventures. Laughing, grinning, and reflecting on their time together. Jonathan found himself swept away with remembrances, back to his geeky ten-year-old self and sneaking glances at the fascinating boy who filled his heart.
After quietening for a while, staring off into the abyss, Lucius asked an unexpected question.
“Are you happy in life, my friend?”
Happy? Did Lucius sense the result of his argument with Paul? How does one respond to such a question? Of course, Jonathan was pissed at Paul, anyone would be under the circumstances, but had he rushed to judgment? What if his partner had good reason for lying and not wanting to join him on island? Ten years was a long time living with the same person, right? At least in gay years, but he didn’t want to think about it at the moment, so he hugged his knees tighter and contemplated his answer.
“Yes,” Jonathan said, offering a smile he hoped held the moment. “Happy indeed.” He plucked a shell caught between the rocks and rubbed its inner surface between his fingers. “I’m only thirty-two, so I’d like to think there’s much more to achieve in life.”
Lucius seemed dour as he gazed out to sea. Same as last evening, he wore casual beach pants rolled midcalf, and nothing more, the white fabric fluttering in the breeze along with strands of his dark hair. The moon’s glow bathed his caramel skin in luminescent sheen, a striking ruddiness which summoned the god of light.
Hugging his knees and turning his head, Jonathan admired the sheath of corded muscle layering his friend’s broad shoulders. The upper back of Lucius flared like a manta ray, wide at the top and narrow at the waist. Jonathan moved his eyes over the gentle giant, appreciating a sculpted form achieved from physical exertion an not a gym or hypodermic needle. The effort required to perfect such a spectacular physique escaped Jonathan, and he clutched his knees tighter to disguise his approval.
He is fucking gorgeous, he thought.
Lucius turned his head and flashed a heart-melting grin. Warmth traveled up Jonathan’s throat and into his cheeks. If what Lucius said of them knowing each other’s thoughts and sensing each other’s emotions, then Jonathan felt more self-conscious than intuitive as he struggled to suppress a grin like a goofy teenager on his first date.
Jonathan felt young and virile again with Lucius by his side, livelier than he felt in a very long time. His manner euphoric as they sat perched on the boulders of the breakwater, shoulder to shoulder beneath billions of stars glittering like tinsel against the blacken sky. Lighted structures sprinkled the shoreline for miles inland on either side of them.
The giant eye of the lighthouse swept across the water for miles.
“What about you, Lucius?” Jonathan asked. He spoke in a hushed tone, a soft melancholy settling over him. “Have you achieved all you’d hope?”
Lucius frowned, bringing his large hands together. “Jonathan, I have something to acknowledge, an important part of me I should have shared with you long before fate has brought us together again.” He swallowed hard, and Jonathan sensed a tightening in his chest, felt the pain of his friend’s confession.
“I should have revealed my secret when we were young pups still in the care of our elders, but I feared the anguish learning my secret would have caused you at the time. I am sorry to have betrayed your trust.” Lucius blinked away the moisture in his eyes. “I yearned to share my secret with you, Jonathan, to open my soul like a weeping siren caught on a jagged rock. Alas, my immaturity prevailed.” He swallowed. “You should understand, in my youth I feared my own shadow, unaware of my condition, of my own heritage.” He turned and the moonlight caught a flash of green in his eyes. “Selfish yes, but I feared losing your friendship should I disclose my secret.”
About the Author
Jon Michaelsen is a writer of fiction in the mystery, suspense and thriller genres.
A born southerner born near the Chattahoochee River, his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when he was a young boy; where he remains today. His debut mystery novel, Pretty Boy Dead, was selected as a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Mystery. He is currently writing the second Kendall Parker Mystery, The Deadwood Murders, expected in early 2019.
He lives with his husband of 32 years and two monstrous terriers.
Find Jon Michaelsen on his Website, Blog, and on Facebook. Contact him at Michaelsen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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12 thoughts on “Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: Prince of the Sea by Jon Michaelsen”
That truly is a great cover! Congratulations on the re-release. A cover like that won’t fail to bring readers running to enjoy your book.
Thank you so much, Helen! Dawne Dominque w/DusktilDawn Designs creates all of my covers these days; I think she’s fabulous! (and a fine writer, too!). https://www.facebook.com/dawne.dominique
I love that cover!
Thank you, Susana! I’m in love with it, too!
Great cover! Sounds good!
love the cover! so intense!
Thanks, Lee! I agree; the cover is intense, just as some of the scenes in Prince of the Sea. I had so much fun writing the story, and now have plans to to write the second part (of a three-part series), after finishing my latest Kendall Parker Mystery, The Deadwood Murders.
Congrats on the re-release! It looks wonderful!
Love the cover, it sounds gread!
Thank you, AnnMarie! If you don’t happen to win, Prince of the Sea e-book is included in Kindle Unlimited for Free. Enjoy!
Yes it’s a fine cover, very sexy guy.
Thank you, Neil. I agree; Dawne Dominique designed an awesome cover for the 2nd Edition (btw, she also designed the original cover when first released)