When I first wrote PAINTING WITH WINE, it was for an exercise in Stephen King’s book ON WRITING. My manuscript was just a few short pages. I set it aside for about a year or two and then, as I was going through my old archives, I stumbled upon it. “It’s not bad,” I said. “In fact, with just a few tweaks this thing could be killer!”
I developed Jon, the main character, a bit more. I built upon his attachment to his former husband. And then there’s Mark, Jon’s new boyfriend. It’s a complex dynamic but so is life.
It’s explicit in spots but if you’ve read FIFTY SHADES OF GREY it’s tame by comparison!
A friend of mine, a PhD in American Literature—who also happens to be my development editor and best Beta reader—read it and loved it! In fact, he fell in love with it—especially one of the characters. Through many phone calls he listened to me as I worked out a subtle but very powerful subplot. You’ll have to read it to find out. Let me just say, if you love art (hint: especially a very famous Rembrandt) you will be floored by the ending.
Another thing I love about this book, is it’s quick. People have told me it’s one of those page turners that you quickly consumed.
One reader said, “I was so caught up in it that I finished the book in one go.”
Another claimed, “This is a very thought provoking short novella. It is well written, plotted, and edited.”
If you read it, shoot me an email at rick.bettencourtATgmail.com and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you. And if you don’t read it, shot me an email anyway! I loved to hear from you.
Here’s a little sample to whet your appetite:
“Back door ajar,” welcomed the security system. He punched the code into his keypad and from the display saw the alarm was on battery backup. “The electricity is out.”
The cat slunk between his legs. “What’s going on, Bootsy?” he asked without looking down at her. A shiver went up his spine. But what he felt wasn’t cold. He felt scared. For some unknown reason, he felt as if the blood had just drained from his face and he imagined he looked chalk-white with fear.
He shook his head, trying to pass it off. Flash memory. Yet he thought of that night, now more than five years ago, when Richard lunged at him with the kitchen knife. The blood. Mine or Richard’s? Both. Richard had been so crazed with debt. His psychiatrist had changed his medicine to try to stabilize his mood swings. He hadn’t been sleeping. “He wasn’t himself,” he said in the courtroom, as if that were justification.
He stood in the hallway. “It’s nothing,” he said to the cat, and then out of habit walked over to the kitchen area, flipped on the light switch, and chuckled when nothing happened.
Then in the middle of the kitchen, he stopped. His Doc Martens felt as if they were glued to the stone-tiled floor. Did he really smell the faint scent of Burberry London, Richard’s favorite cologne?
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