Special Effect

by Russell J. Sanders

Special Effect - Russell J. Sanders
ISBN: 1627989129
Pages: 180

Graduating senior, theater lighting wunderkind, and closeted gay, Nick Fortunati volunteers with The Streetwise Players in the dark corners of The Laughton, a creepy old movie palace decorated in Grand Guignol style.  But his father wishes Nick would use his intellect and his scholarship to become a biotech engineer and earn a prosperous living for his future family. Nick loves his dad and wants to please him, but he dreams of a career in theater. And he wants a male lover. Unfortunately, his homophobic father won’t approve of either.

When Nick’s at his loneliest, out of the corners of the theater and into his life comes trouble-laden Steve Stripling, a man with little memory of his past other than his name. Meanwhile, Nick’s introduced to the dashing Wash Vitek and is torn between the two men. His situation is further complicated because he doesn't know if Wash is gay.

Nick resolves to solve the mystery surrounding Steve and help the young man recover his memories, even though by doing so, he risks losing the first love he’s ever found.

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Reviews:Brandilynn on Prism Book Alliance wrote:

One day teenagers will not have to worry about what their parents’ reaction to who the love will be. Yes, I have a dream. Until then, stories such as Special Effect, by Russell J Sanders, will remain imperative in our culture. Special Effect is not a tale of coming out; it is a tale of self-acceptance, standing up for yourself, and putting others first. All this wrapped up in a little mystery and drama.
Nick is a nerdy theater geek just trying to make it to graduation and then through 4 years in a major that does not interest him in the least. Why go for that major? Because his otherwise “perfect” dad wants him to, of course. What does he want to do? Theater. Theater lighting to be exact. One day while working along at an old theater, Steve shows up and sweeps Nick off his feet, literally. They become almost inseparable… as long as they are alone. As it turns out, Steve has a few secrets of his own that Nick wants to help unravel.
As Nick works to free Steve from his secrets, he discovers more about who he is, what he wants and how to get it along the way. Those methods are not always 100% honest, but the end justifies the means, right? Well, maybe not. He has to decide who is more important, himself or those he loves. He has to decide just how much of the truth should be revealed. He has to decide how much his father’s approval means to him. He has to grow up and become his own person. He has to sacrifice and love and live.

About the Author

Russell J. Sanders is a life-long devotee of the theater. He’s a singer, actor, and director, winning awards for his acting roles and shows he has directed. As a teacher, he has taught theater arts to hundreds of students, plus he’s also taught literature and writing to hundreds of others.

Russell has also travelled the world, visiting Indonesia, Japan, India, Canada, the Caribbean, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Florence, and Venice—and almost all the US states. His friends think he’s crazy, but wherever he goes, he seeks out Mexican restaurants. The Mexican food in Tokyo was great, he says; in Rome, not so good. Texans cut their teeth on barbecue and Mexican food. Russell’s love for enchiladas led him on a quest to try them wherever he can find them, and he has found them in some very out of the way places. And good or bad, he’s delighted to sample his favorite food.

Most importantly, Russell is an out and proud Gay man, living in Houston with his husband—a relationship that has lasted almost twenty years. He hopes that his novels inspire confidence and instill pride in his young Gay fans, and he also hopes others learn from his work.

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