"Sawdust Confessions," the campiest comic mystery novel you'll likely ever read, is here now!
You may also purchase Sawdust Confessions on Amazon.com. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/Sawdust-Confessions-pleasures-disappears-campground/dp/1450553036/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265478465&sr=1-1
It's also available from other major bookseller sites, including BarnesandNoble.com. And, of course, you may order it from your favorite brick & mortar bookstore by ISBN #1450553032.
HERE ARE A FEW REASONS WHY
YOU'LL LOVE SAWDUST CONFESSIONS
At a time when imaginative, humorous and credible stories about gay, lesbian and transgender people are few and far between, this breezy, conversation-driven novel delivers -- for all kinds of readers. Set at Sawdust Pines, a seemingly bucolic gay campground and trailer resort in Florida's Green Swamp, Sawdust Confessions features a spirited collection of zany but loveable characters who propel the novel's fast journalistic pace.
The action centers on the disappearance of the campground’s resident diva, Dusty Rose, for whom the process of complicated gender-reassignment surgery has been less disruptive than her ever-more-volatile relationship with Diana DeLight, the social director who lured her to camp in order to manipulate her many talents. The friction between the rivals boils over during a musical “duel of the divas” which Diana has promoted for the eve of Dusty’s surgery. Dusty vows to get even by presenting Diana a special souvenir of her former manhood during bingo night.
When Dusty vanishes, suspicion quickly falls upon the trailer-dwelling residents of Grape Court, particularly newcomer city boys Philip and Franklin, whose EZ-Go golf cart (with its anatomically erect Statue of David hood ornament) is implicated in a possible crime by ever-suspicious former nun Mary Angelique (partner to demure former convent mate Mary Agnes).
Known as "the Sour Grapes," Philip, Franklin and their neighborhood pals on Grape Court have good reason to keep the cops away from the campground, and they strive to move heaven and earth to conceal critical information from a handsome but befuddled sheriff's deputy assigned to the case.
The Grapes are inadvertently abetted in their efforts to misdirect the authorities by the arrival of a tent city of faux police (men who love men in uniforms) who have gathered for their annual “pig roast.” The real cops are flummoxed by what they experience, and the tension – sexual and investigative – builds to an uproar… It's madcap mayhem as the real cops, the fake cops, the former nuns, and Philip and Franklin's campground pals probe the fate of the diva while dodging discovery of their own dubious activities. Only Father Jack Hoff, the unofficial campground chaplain who hears late-night confessions in his patio toolshed, appears to have a clue to the outcome.
This may be the funniest -- and queerest -- mystery story you've ever read. So let's head out to Sawdust Pines, and let the Sawdust Confessions begin...
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A few of the folks you'll meet at Sawdust Pines
Philip Snowden and Franklin Ford: a young urban couple and the campground’s newest residents, who had no idea of what was in store for them, particularly after they decorated their golf cart with an anatomically erect Statue of David, and Philip launched a cottage business with an ice-cream cart.
Jack Hoffman, a.k.a. Father Jack Hoff, a one-time seminarian who learns many of the camp’s secrets through the confessional he operates in his backyard tool-shed chapel.
Diana Delight: the camp’s social director whose combative relationship with diva Dusty takes a turn for the worse when Dusty decides to follow through with her change of gender identity.
Security Sal Minella: Sawdust’s chief of security. He doesn’t carry much of a weapon but rarely misses a trick.
Chet and Dale: the campground’s hopped-up trash collectors who burn vinyl furniture to keep their campfire blazing 24 hours a day as they perpetually replace the 9,853 holiday bulbs that light up the trees above their trailer.
Mary Angelique and Mary Agnes: former nuns who left the convent to openly express their love for one another but who drift apart when Mary Angelique becomes obsessed with the sinful practices of the campground males.
Hal Holdenberg: a pharmacist with a social conscience – and a need for some extra cash. Ken: Hal’s boyfriend, a beer-guzzling handyman with a habit of disappearing into Frederick Forest all night.
Ego and Id, actually Edgar and Irwin, aka “the Twins,” who take the art of dressing alike to a new plateau and who turn up evidence of foul play in the disappearance of Dusty when Iddy, deep in the forest, steps on a nail – two of them in fact – both bloody fingernails.
Neil Porter, aka Nell Portly: a gentle if flabby man who loves Liberace but finds it difficult to navigate the muddy trails of Frederick Forest in his silver sequined flip flops.
Miranda Farmer: Diana’s young office assistant, who keeps one lustful eye on her boss and the other on man-hating former nun Mary Angelique.
Nick Delgado: President of the Sawdust Bears and a local taxidermist who will gladly stuff anything for a buck.
Sneak Peak: Chapter One of Sawdust Confessions
(Copyright 2010 by William A. Sievert)
Father Jack was hot under the collar as his final penitent of the night rushed out of the Rubbermaid storage shed that served as his backyard confessional. Midway through the confessant’s intense act of contrition, a portable generator empowering the six-by-six-by-six-feet hut’s “tropical-wind” fan had run out of juice – and seconds later the young man was kicking open the double doors. “I know I’m a wimp,” he said remorsefully as he pulled up his boxers, “but I just can’t breathe in here...”
“It’s not your fault,” his confidante said comfortingly. “It’s mine. I should have checked the fuel yesterday. If you’ll just hold on a minute, I’ll run a cord from my trailer.”
But it was too late; Father Jack had lost another soul.
“Mea culpa, my ass,” he mumbled, extinguishing a votive cup with his fingers. “What a Nancy boy!” Back aching, he lifted himself slowly from his stool and stepped from the windowless Roughneck™ onto a small brick patio surrounded by an easy-to-grow garden of ferns and elephant ears. A sliver of sunshine poked through the branches of the live oak trees, but the first light of day was no match for the flaming Tiki torches that illuminated a hand-stenciled sign welcoming “all comers” to “Father Jack Hoff’s Tool Chapel of the Rubber Maidonna.”
The camp clergyman – “ex officio,” he would explain, “by virtue of my position” – immediately ripped the tight white band from his flabby neck and tugged at the armholes of his black tank top in a futile attempt to stir a breeze in the direction of his pits. Already, the August morning was as sticky as Jack was – the way it was every day in summer along the creeks and riverbanks of Florida’s Green Swamp. That’s why Jack tried to limit the time he spent inside his poorly ventilated shed to the slightly less stifling hours of pre-dawn. Fortunately for him, that’s also when the bad boys who dropped by the Tool Chapel were most eager to make atonement. His ministry was especially tempting to those who had not succeeded in finding indulgence by other means during the night while strolling nearby Frederick Forest around Veronica Lake.
Father Jack was among 323 “perms” – or full-time residents – of the Sawdust Pines Campground, Mobile Home Resort & Wildlife Preserve. Five years earlier, the one-time logging center turned fishing camp had been transformed into Central Florida’s “great gay escape,” as the advertisements billed it, “200 acres of paradise, preserved exclusively for the GLBT community and other indigenous life forms.”
“We comprise a tasty sandwich of diversity here – a big old gay BLT,” Jack Hoff (nee: Hoffman) enjoyed telling first-time visitors to the rural enclave. “Might you want to share a bite?”
At 220 pounds, the unofficial chaplain certainly could down a Dagwood with the best of his fellow bears, but food wasn’t a factor among his current priorities. “Dear Lord, I could kill for a shower!” he moaned.
Weighing whether to hop into his E-Z Go golf cart for a short ride to the camp bathhouse or to exhaust the contents of his trailer’s five-gallon hot-water tank, Jack decided he required the instant gratification of a quick, cold dousing. He grabbed his garden hose, adjusted the nozzle and – in a rapturous voice – urged his instrument: “Wash over me, sweet Jesus!”
But for the second time since dawn cracked, his appeal to a higher power went unanswered. The liquid emanating from his patio pipeline was disagreeably tepid – and just a trickle at that. He hurled the hose to the ground and cursed like the truck driver he used to be.
“You performing another baptism out there, Padre?” asked a voice from the bedroom window of the Airstream next door; at Sawdust, the trailers were set so close that one inhabitant’s mild bout of irritable bowel could rattle the residences of half a dozen neighbors. “It sounds like someone doesn’t think his shower is so golden.”
“Well, good morning, Fabulous Philip. There’s no water pressure again. It’s because they’re letting in too many perms, and when you add the temps, the lousy well’s runnin’ dry.”
“So, as newcomers, it’s our fault – or maybe it’s just that knot in your hose.”
“Oops, sorry. Did I rouse you?”
“No, you roused Franklin, and he roused me. Or, I should say that cute dude who hightailed it out of here a few minutes ago aroused Franklin. What’s his story, anyway?”
Jack raised a finger to his lips. “What goes on in my Confessional is strictly confidential, as you should be aware by now.”
“Strict, yes; confidential, I’m not so sure.”
“Suffice it to say, it was a rough night.”
“Same old, same old,” Philip teased. “You didn’t happen to run into Miss Dusty during your hours of darkness, did you?”
“Dusty Rose? Why do you ask?”
“Security Sal called here at some god-awful hour and said that Dusty hadn’t shown up for her midnight show at the Lucille Ballroom. He said it’s not like her to leave the crowd clamoring for more – especially on her anniversary.”
“I caught part of her first set, but I slipped out during the intro to ‘I Will Survive.’ If I never hear that song again, I’ll die a happy man.”
“Amen to that.” Philip slid open the screen and stuck his sandy blond Beatle-banged head through the small opening. “You know, last night when Dusty launched into her standard rant about the importance of being an independent woman: ‘At first I was afraid, I was petrified…’”
Thrusting his arms through the window in an Evita-like pose, Philip continued to warble the lyrics.
“Please, Lord, make her stop!”
Finally, one of Jack’s prayers was answered. Philip’s performance was abruptly terminated when his cell phone, suspended from the window by a long tether, began ring-toning to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Dangling Conversation.”
Upon their arrival at Sawdust two months prior, Philip and Franklin had quickly discovered that – because of the camp’s rural setting and their residence’s metal walls – interior cellular reception did not convey with the purchase of their 1977 Sovereign. So, each night before turning in, just in case of an emergency, Philip would dangle his mobile phone out their bedroom window by its charging cord. The result was some of the more reliable reception in the campground. Now, whenever camp management wanted to spread a late-night message about a storm warning or send some other bulletin to the residents of Grape Court, they would try Philip’s cell first.
While Philip yanked his cord and fielded this latest call, Jack unraveled his twisted garden hose and pretended not to eavesdrop.
“No… No kidding… I already asked Jack, and he hasn’t seen her either… Sure. Will do…”
“That was Security Sal,” Philip immediately reported to his neighbor. “Nobody can find Dusty, but her pickup truck’s still parked in front of her cabin.”
“Oh, she’s probably bedded down in some camper’s tent.”
“Maybe, but – according to Sal – after the first show she told Miranda Farmer she was just running out to the parking lot to check on something. Sal has an APB out for her this morning; he’s asking us all to keep our eyes open.”
- ▼ 2010 (4)
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Comment 7-29-08 from Diana:
wow bill, i loved the excerpt of your novel and the photos look great too. only one thing gave me pause: Diana the Dust Bunny ?..............hmmm
Response: As you will soon learn, Diana is a most intriguing and important character. The Dust Bunnies are Dusty Rose's backup singers, and Diana (who doesn't like to back up anyone) becomes their most prominent member.
Read Bill's CAMPtalk columns at camprehoboth.com
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
-- Bill Sievert
Friday, March 19, 2010
In this reading from his new comedic mystery novel Sawdust Confessions, author William Sievert recounts the night that former Sister Mary Agnes, partner to ex-nun Mary Angelique, discovers the joy of cosmetics -- then races in fear deep into Frederick Forest.
In this scene from the comical mystery novel "Sawdust Confessions," writer Bill Sievert visits the day that Franklin and Fabulous Philip move into their tiny Airstream at Sawdust Pines.