Love NonFiction and Romance? Check out the Blog Tour and Giveaway for SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life Healing by Kerry Ashton

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Book Title: SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life 

Healing from the Shame of Religion, Rape, Conversion Therapy & Cancer

Author: Kerry Ashton             

Publisher: Lynn Wolf Enterprises

Cover Artist: Kerry Ashton

Release Date: April 17, 2019

Genres: A Gay Memoir featuring M/M Romance & some hard core sex

Tropes: Forbidden love, Rape, Mormon Religion

Themes: Coming out, Forgiveness, Overcoming Religion, Rape, Police Surveillance & Arrest, Conversion Therapy including Electric Shock Treatments, and a 16-year battle with rare cancer

Heat Rating:  5 flames

There are many erotic passages—most are hardcore, erotic and explicit passages, all M/M. Many deal with scenes of sexual humiliation, degradation, group scenes, S&M and/or the gay male leather scene.

Length: 120 000 words /348 pages incl. 14 pages of B&W photos from author’s private collection.

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“A TRIUMPHANT MEMOIR!”  Clarion Books

Blurb                       

The first paragraph of Kerry Ashton’s new memoir explains a lot: “I told this story once as fiction in the 1980s, but this time I tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo fashion, about being violently raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife held to my throat—a secret I kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40 years. The rape, like other experiences I endured while a student at Brigham Young University, where I came out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on my later life. But this story is not so much about my rape or my coming of age at BYU, as it is about the lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how I internalized and inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but also how I eventually unshamed myself. It is about the journey of a lifetime, finding spiritual growth, self-discovery and healing along the way, while encountering many miraculous events that pushed me forward through darkness toward the light.”

Telling about his experiences during his four years at BYU—the rape, falling in love for the first time, police surveillance, harassment and arrest, while enduring three years of conversion therapy and electric shock treatments—provide the structure of Kerry’s memoir. But intermittently, the author shares memories from his childhood, growing up Mormon in Pocatello, Idaho, and later from his adulthood, as well as from his professional career as an actor and writer, both in L.A. and NYC, describing encounters with Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Julie Harris, while detailing his experiences with Tennessee Williams and his brief affair with Stephen Sondheim. Lastly, he talks about the 12 years he spent in therapy, about his 16-year battle with cancer, how he eventually rid himself of the shame internalized from his Mormon youth, sharing glimpses into his sexual journey from his innocent youth through S&M and the gay leather scene in mid-life to the loving monogamous relationship he now enjoys.

Buy Links

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Indie Bound

Excerpt                             

READ PART ONE  HERE

The Holy War, as I have come to think of it, began on a hot day in early September 1971, the day I left Pocatello to drive four hours south to Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young University. As in all wars, whether holy or unholy, it would not be without its casualties.

I spent the morning packing things in my ‘56 Chevrolet, parked in the spot on the lawn where our driveway would have been had my parents ever had the money to pave it. A yellow-and-bronze, two- door coupe with cream interior, a huge cream steering wheel, and black dashboard, the car had class, which is why I named it Oscar— after the Academy Awards I hoped to win one day.

As I packed Oscar full of boxes, Dad worked under the hood of the car. Once Oscar was filled with boxes, I sank down on our front lawn. Knowing this would be my last day at home, I tried to capture everything I saw and felt around me: The red of Mom’s roses framing our side porch, the hazy blue of the late morning sky, the large pine tree at the front of our corner lot, and the blue-grey crag of Scout Mountain in the distance, where I had always imagined Santa’s sleigh flew over on Christmas Eve.

Hearing Mom humming in the kitchen as she prepared lunch, everything seemed right in my Latter-Day-Saint world.

Getting up from the grass, I walked over to where Dad was still working under Oscar’s hood. “Everything look okay, Dad?” I asked.

“Oh, sure,” Dad replied in his folksy way. “I just wanted to make sure everything’s good with your car. I don’t want you stranded on the highway.”

Though I had fulfilled every church obligation, I was not the mechanic that Dad had hoped each of his three sons would become. I left mechanical jobs to Dad or to my two older brothers, both married by then.

“I love you, Dad,” I said suddenly. He stopped tinkering with the spark plugs and looked up at me. “I love you, too, son,” he replied, embracing me with a greasy hug.

Mom came out on the side porch just then. Wiping her hands on her apron, she called out to us, “Okay, you two! Lunch is ready!”

I washed my hands at the kitchen sink and let Dad wash his hands in the bathroom. Then I joined Mom at the kitchen table while we waited for Dad.

“Kerry Lynn,” she whispered, stroking my dark brown hair as she often did, “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”

Now a grown-up, or so I thought, I bristled at her calling me by both my given names as it sounded so girlish. But since it was my last day at home, I chose to ignore it.

“With all the kids married,” Mom continued, “and you going off to college, this house is going to feel awfully empty without you.”

“Maybe you and Dad will finally get some peace and quiet,” I kidded. “Maybe now you two can finally go on that second honeymoon you’ve talked about.”

“Maybe,” she said, laughing as she reached out to hold me. “I

love you, Kerry.” As she held me tight, I never wanted to let go. Once Dad joined us at the table, he said a blessing on the food, as we always did in our home.

After the blessing, we tore through the food. Mom had made some of my favorites: Her wonderful potato and egg salad, savory burgers with all the trimmings, and delicious corn-on-the-cob bought fresh from the farmer’s market.

After lunch, we went into the living room where Dad anointed my head with oil, laid his hands upon my head, and gave me a sacred Father’s Blessing—the blessing of a Melchizedek Priesthood Elder— warning me to be “mindful of the Adversary.”

Before I left that day, Dad took a photograph of me standing in front of Oscar. Barely 18 and dressed neatly, at 6’3” and 190 pounds, I was the very image of a conservative, clean-cut, LDS young man who loved his Mormon family, the LDS Church, and his Heavenly Father.

I arrived at Salt Lake City three hours later. From there, it took me another hour driving south on Interstate 15 before I arrived in the city of Provo.

Taking my first glimpse that day of Provo through Oscar’s wide windshield, I could see the white LDS Temple huddled against the Wasatch Mountains, its golden steeple gleaming in the late afternoon sun. Further north, Mount Timpanogos reached heavenward, while a sign at the main entrance to the BYU campus read: “The World Is Our Campus.” In reality, the campus became my world.

Driving north past the immense Cougar Stadium, and then into the foothills just beyond the BYU campus, then turning east and heading toward the mountains, I came to the huge Marriott Sports Arena under construction on my right, and stopped at the light. Once the light turned green, I made a left turn onto Sumac Avenue, climbing dramatically into the foothills, before pulling into the driveway in front of my new off-campus apartment.

About the Author

Raised in Pocatello, Idaho as a Mormon in the heart of Mormon Zion, Kerry attended BYU in the early 70s, where some of the most dramatic events recounted in his memoir took place.

Always interested in pursuing a career as both an actor and writer, Kerry wrote his first play, BUFFALO HEAD NICKELS at the age of 17, and published it at 18. Since then, he has published several works, among them most prominently THE WILDE SPIRIT, a one-man play with music, in which Ashton starred as Oscar Wilde, and also wrote the play’s book, music and lyrics. The play won Kerry critical acclaim for both his writing and performance, and three 1977 L.A. Civic Star Awards for Best Actor, Play and Direction. The play ran for three consecutive seasons in Provincetown, MA from 1990-1992, and was produced Off-Broadway in 1996, winning Kerry a National Award of Merit from ASCAP. The author now makes his home with his partner Victor Ramirez in South Florida. For more info, visit www.KerryAshton.com.

Author Links

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Book Blast for The Loss of Self – An Intimate Autobiography by Alek Martin (excerpt)

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An Intimate Autobiography

Book Title: The Loss of Self

Author: Alek Martin

Publisher: Alek Martin

Cover Artist: Guillaume Beauchamp created the cover but isn’t the Photographer

Alek Martin is the guy on the picture and holds all the rights

Length:  54 549 words/ 288 pages

This is an intimate autobiography not fiction.

 

About The Loss of Self: My path of Self-Destruction to the point of total humiliation

A very private and intimate Autobiography of the last seven years, my fall from “Grace,” as I like to describe it.

Death, Sex, lots of absurd, artificial

An appalling Break-up, which was the Catalyst to it all.chemed-Sex.

H.I.V., Bankruptcy, Almost-Suicide, Meth and so much more!

I lost faith in humanity

I lost myself.

I always had rules, goals and boundaries which I lived by endearingly, but after the Death of my beloved Grandmother, I started a Path of Self-Destruction to the point of total shame.

Do you know what it feels like to be standing on the Edge of a building, you have nothing to lose, and the only thing that keeps you from jumping is to return to an abusive Boyfriend who has nothing else to offer you, but to lie to you, to control you and to take the next puff of the Meth pipe!

Would you go back?

I did!

Back to the gay Lifestyle I never asked for.

To a Lifestyle where I ended up having Sex for Cash, me of all people?

Why, one must wonder, why?

I kept on punishing myself.

I accepted that my own boyfriend brought guys home and had sex with them in front of my face, looking me straight in the eyes.

And his eyes were saying:

“ I’m going to break you, and you will accept everything I am going to give you ”, and I did with little resistance.

I enforced his behaviour by overeating and

I lost my body.

Why did I let this happen?

What is my problem?

Why on earth would I who was successful in business and Life, always had monogamous, and highly Moral Relationships accept all this?

After 44 years on this earth, I finally discovered why!

My “Core Problem” wasn’t the people I met,

they were merely clones that I choose very distinctively yet totally unaware.

I recreated the worst of all relationships, the one I never had,

The one I never understood.

The relationship between my mother and myself!

It’s about the fact that she never fought for me,

she never placed me first, and that behaviour made me feel not worthy, not good enough.

She never chose me!

But you have to fight and understand your

“Core Problem”

and deal with it, as harshly and honestly as you can!

It will hurt, and sacrifices will have to be made,

but the pain isn’t anything compared to the pain that you will encounter if you don’t!

 

 

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

EXCERPT FROM THE LOSS OF SELF BY ALEK MARTIN

The Miami Moment

Menintogear was down the drain; the official news came in from my accountant!

I was officially broke!

My investors drove me crazy,

and I was totally and utterly financially dependent on Georg.

I had sold everything.

This was the first time in my grown-up life that I was dependant on someone else.

His ways were worse than ever, careless, drunk and high all the time.

His drunken abusiveness became more frequent, targeting only me!

He screamed,

he threw things around,

I couldn’t take it anymore!

Yes, I went back to him even after the Boston incident.

That is what this book is about co-dependence at its best.

The weather here in Miami was Stormy and flooding was everywhere.

I didn’t know anymore what to do, how to get myself out of this situation, where to turn and I had no one to talk to.

I was estranged by my fault with all my friends, as they were sick and tired of listening to me about the same story over and over.

I was in this mess all by myself.

Georg had to be conquered, but I just didn’t know how to.

Georg made all the money and kept it very well hidden.

My desperation was immense.

My primary investor was infuriated with me, as he believed it was my fault that the Project Menintogear went down the drain.

But it wasn’t. I still felt tremendous guilt.

Could I have done more? No, but yet again my trust in the wrong people broke this wonderful project.

I understood him very much, as I would’ve been mad as well, But what was I supposed to do?

Kill myself?

And for the first time in my life, the Idea of killing myself became a daily thought, and I was starting to worry about my safety very much.

The situation was simple; I was broke,

except for the 15000 Euros from Georg, which he wasn’t gone pay me back,

I was homeless, and I refused to Escort,

I had to vomit when I thought about it and got extremely depressed and mad when he did it, even now, after I no longer loved him, it still bothered me.

The day came where physical violence took over, and he and I went at it.

It was terrible, and it started with the fact that I told him to please stop doing chems with his customers, as I wanted to have a break from it all,

a well-deserved break as I needed to make better decisions so staying sober and focused was key.

And let me tell you that Georg without Chems was rather boring but high he was a terror a fucking horror,

but Georg on chems and alcohol was unbearable!

Either I would strike him that he would die and I would end up in jail for the rest of my life, or I needed to escape, but how and one of a sudden the idea of suicide was the only way out, and it was calming me tremendously.

So the day came

It was a very stormy outside, and I love those days, if I am happy and content, which haven’t been now in 2 years and six months.

I looked out the window and had no idea what I thought about. I was staring at whatever without any thoughts! I was empty!

I got dressed looked at the flat and saw this mess of a man,

in bed sleeping,

which was the only time I had peace of him, and I left the flat, sometimes I just sat there feeling the peacefulness of the situation, and that became my sanctuary.

The flat was about 200 meters away from the Ocean, which I walked towards.

The waves that normally calmed me were wild and tempered.

I couldn’t relax as my back was against the wall.

I didn’t see the solution, so I walked and walked until I ended up on some building, I don’t know how many floors up, but it was as high as I’ve ever been!

I stood on the edge and looked around being almost blown off.

And here are my thoughts:

I’m alone,

My grandmother is gone,

My mom the person that raised me,

my family and I don’t talk anymore since,

I lost my business, my car, my dignity,

my belief system and

I am raping myself over and over.

I am afraid of Georg, so much that at times I can’t breathe,

I am broke,

Menintogear which was a chance to get out of this mess,

is down the drain,

not because it was a bad idea but because I got framed, yet again

and I have no one to talk to,

My investors might eventually sue me.

I felt no way out and slowly, but surely the thought of leaving life was making me feel relaxed and chilled, and I moved towards the edge.

I stood there for hours, and then a thought hit me:

“What about my sister, how will she feel, when she gets the news of my suicide and what about my beautiful little niece?”

And then and there the fighter within me arose back to life.

I told myself:

I’m not jumping because I don’t have the guts, but because I’m not done with this life,

and no Georg will send me to hell.

If so, I will decide and no one else.

“You will go back to this horrible and unbearable situation and take all,

all you can handle,

and when that moment arrives, you will exit this hell.”

And so I did!

I walked back to him, and his degrading, immoral Lifestyle.

I went into the house, and he was awake, high already, the pipe loaded with meth and the GHB bottle next to it.

But I didn’t care anymore.

Something within me knew what to do, and I can be very persistent.

I looked at him, went into the bedroom and for the first time locked it and put my headphones on, and longed for the day when it was all over.

That was the day where I started to plan my Exit!

 

About the Author

“I used to lie and embellish, so I could somehow function and deal with my life, my family! I dared to face the truth and since then I’ve been able to rebuild and found the real meaning of my life!”

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January 15

Blazing Zane Book Blog, Love Unchained Book Reviews,

Book Review Virginia Lee, T.N. Nova Author,

Sur l’étagère, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings,

Rainbow Gold Reviews, Gay Book Promotions

January 16

Valerie Ullmer,  Stories That Make You Smile,

MM Good Book Reviews, Lily G Blunt

January 17

Books Laid Bare Boys,

Bayou Book Junkie

January 18

OJ He Say!

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Tangents and Tissues, Louise Lyons,

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