Publisher: MLR Press (October 1, 2012) Category: GLBT Romance, Hollywood ISBN: 978-1608207749 Tour Date: January, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 332 Pages
ABOUT THE BOOK
His world-view shaped by retro movies and TV series, small-town boy, Grant Jackson, moves to Hollywood, in pursuit of television stardom. Grant Jackson is a small-town guy, with the world-class, big city dream of becoming a network television star. But how do you make the dream come true when your resources are scant, and your frames of reference are retro motion pictures and the television series? Determined to find out, Grant moves to Hollywood. But can he remain focused on his big dream, or will Grant be swept away in the anything goes world of gay West Hollywood - including its adult film and male
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Praise for 'Frame of Reference': "Christopher Stone, a new name on the GLBT romance scene, makes a memorable debut with FRAME OF REFERENCE. In this case, the titular frame of reference happens to be American television and the prologue takes us through the main character's life in vignettes showing how the medium shapes his past, present, and future. The book is a good example of how to create an extremely sympathetic character and how to tell a story with simple, unadorned prose that rises above the page to create true imagery where it belongs: in the readers' mind. I was enchanted with the book and read it from cover to cover in just a few hours, happily coming along on the main character's journey toward self-actualization and, ultimately, love. I'm sure that a romance reader seeking the elusive "happily ever after" will be quite enchanted with this work by an important new author."-Rick R. Reed, AmazonVine Voice
"This book is definitely not in a genre I ordinarily read, so when a friend recommended it to me, I was admittedly a little skeptical. Skepticism, however, soon turned into genuine delight. Using an almost Christopher Isherwood, I-am-a-camera-like precision, Stone expertly evokes the world of a young gay man from a small town who struggles to establish himself as an actor in Hollywood. Written vividly and wryly, the book is by turns touching, exciting, erotic and dark, and is always compelling. The characters were full-bodied (in more ways than one!) the dialogue was realistic, the situations off-beat and interesting. When I finished the book, my first thought was, "Bring on the sequel!" I can give "Frame of Reference" no higher praise than that!"- Robert J. Van Dusen, Amazon Reviewer
"This book was recommended by one of my gay friends and I must admit, as a straight lady, I wasn't sure it was something I would be interested in reading. Glad I took the plunge. Interesting characters, in an interesting Hollywood setting that the writer is very familiar with. I loved the references, by the main character, to all the TV. and movies. Clearly, Mr. Stone has done his homework. The sex scenes, (while a bit too much information for me!) will be much appreciated by the appropriate audience - in other words, quite hot! Still, no romance novel is worth its salt without a good story line. Again, Mr. Stone has shown his mettle. The characters are well developed and the story interesting as a young man fights his way to the top of the heap. Bring on the next book, sequel!"- Sharyn St.Clair, Amazon Reviewer
"I stumbled on Frame of Reference at the nail salon. A lady was reading it and would read passages to the entire shop. So, I bought the book. What an eye opener into the world of gay young men. Being raised in Hollywood as a non-gay, I had no idea about this vibrant subculture. Being mature and growing up in a movie family, I understood all the references to movie stars, TV shows, and cinema. Do read it, you won't be able to put it down!"- Dee Lewis, Amazon Reviewer "Stone is at home in this world and he is an excellent writer with a touch of sardonic wit and his erotic scenes are very hot. I was totally amazed at the way he pulled me into his story especially since this is his first novel. His prose is simple but just right and Stone tells us a tale that allows us to draw mental pictures of what we read."-Reviews by Amos Lassen About Christopher Stone:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Fresno, California, Christopher Stone’s early years were dominated by school, watching television and motion pictures, bicycling, skating, and reading avidly. Summers were spent swimming, and doing whatever it took to survive the oppressive San Joaquin Valley heat. But he also remembers fondly the yearly summer trips to New York, to visit family and friends – and to see Broadway shows. Christopher left Fresno, for Hollywood, California, during his college years after being accepted into the Writers Guild of America’s Open Door Program, a two-year, scholarship, training ground for aspiring screen and television writers. As it happened, rather than a teleplay or screenwriting gig, his first professional writing job was in journalism – as the Los Angeles Editor for Stage Door, at that time, Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. entertainment trade weekly, Variety. Christopher would later use his Writers Guild of America training to co-author and sell the original screenplay, The Living Legend, with Jon Mercedes III, to the Erin Organization, and later, and also with Mercedes, to write two seasons of The Party Game, a Canadian TV game show. As a young freelance entertainment journalist, he contributed to many Los Angeles-based publications, among them The Advocate, for which he wrote a breezy film column, “Reeling ‘Round,” and the Los Angeles Free Press. During this time, he became a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Christopher dipped his toes into the world of motion picture advertising and publicity, as assistant to the West Coast Director of Advertising and Publicity for Cinerama Releasing Corporation, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, he also did special advertising and publicity projects for 20th Century-Fox. Christopher went on to become an Account Executive for David Wallace & Company, a public relations firm specializing in entertainment accounts – and located on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip. Returning to his first love, writing, Christopher became a full time freelance contributor to national consumer publications including Us, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, McCall’s, In Cinema, and The National Enquirer, among others. Many of his stories were syndicated worldwide by the New York Times Syndication Corp. Another important area of endeavor for Christopher Stone was Re-Creating Your Self. A Blueprint for Personal Change that he first developed for himself, the journalist went on to teach the principles and processes of Re-Creating Your Self to others – first, in private sessions, later, in workshops and seminars, and, finally, for California State University Extended Education. Eventually, one of his students suggested he write a book version. Re-Creating Your Self was first published in hardcover by Metamorphous Press, and subsequently published in a trade paperback edition by Hay House. It has since been published in Spanish, Swedish and Hebrew language editions. He went on to co-author, with Mary Sheldon, four novellas for a Japanese educational publisher, and then, also with Mary Sheldon, the highly successful The Meditation Journal trilogy of hardcover books. In his private life, Christopher Stone met David M. Stoebner on May 17, 1994, and they have been together ever since. In 2008, they were married in Los Angeles. They share a home with their three pets in Coastal Los Angeles County.
Website: http://christopherstonebooks.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigboxoffice Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christones
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Frame of Reference Excerpt #4
By Christopher Stone
Grant was a chord of contradictory feelings as he walked up to Scotty’s door. On the one hand, he was elated. For the first time, in a long time, he was in love – and this time, it was real, and not an adolescent crush. In truth, he was over-the-moon in love. The man he loved, loved him, too. And that’s as good as it gets.
But Grant’s personal happiness was tempered by what he must tell Scotty – that Bryant had tried to seduce him. He hated being the bearer of bad news, and let’s face it, news doesn’t get much worse than that of a philandering lover.
Grant tapped on the door, dreading what must come.
When Scotty opened it, he was Caspar the Ghost pale. His face was tear-stained, his eyes bloodshot, swollen.
“What’s the matter?” Grant asked quickly, taking his friend’s arm supportively.
As they walked inside, Bryant emerged from his and Scotty’s bedroom, carrying a small television. “Hi,” he said coolly.
Grant shot him an icy look that would have frozen the devil, himself. “Where are you going with that?” Grant asked, the very sight of Bryant making him anxious.
“To quote the great Billy Joel, ‘I’m moving out!’” Bryant breezed past Grant, headed toward the open door.
Turning to Scotty, Grant asked, “What happened?”
Scotty collapsed onto the couch and sobbed uncontrollably. “You heard the man. He’s moving out.”
“But why? What happened?”
Scotty bawled. “He’s a bastard, Grant – an absolute bastard.
“When I got home last night, he was here, in our bed, with some trick he’d picked up at The Abbey. I couldn’t believe it. His dick is still in the guy’s ass, and he tells me, ‘This isn’t what it looks like.’”
Grant sighed and shook his head. Then playing off of what Bryant had told Scotty, he cautioned his friend. “When a guy says, ‘This isn’t what it looks like,’ then it’s exactly what it looks like.”
He crossed the room, knelt beside Scotty, and threw his arms around him. “That kind of guy isn’t for you. You deserve better.”
Even as Grant’s heart ached for his friend, he was flooded with relief. Now, at least, he wouldn’t have to tell Scotty about Bryant’s attempted seduction.
“What’ll I do?” Scotty asked, sobbing onto Grant’s shoulder.
“What you’ve always done. At first, you’ll just survive; in time, you’ll thrive.”
“I don’t know.” Scotty’s weeping continued.
Suddenly, uncontrollably, Grant blurted out, “He’s not worth your tears, Scotty. The guy’s a scum bag – a total scoundrel. Last Saturday, he exposed himself to me, and wanted sex. “
Scotty was shocked. “Oh, my God! You’re right. He’s scum. But I love him.”
The two stared at each other for a long moment, and then they began laughing hysterically, uncontrollably.
As Grant’s hysterical laughter subsided, he said, “I didn’t want to tell you, but I had to.”
Through laughter and tears, Scotty proclaimed: “You were right to tell me. Still, it hurts. I hurt.”
Grant imagined that his friend was feeling similar to the way he had felt when Michael confessed that he was getting back together with Tommy Ames. And so, he tried giving his friend hope for the future.
“Wash your face, Scotty. Enjoy your meal. There’s Tiramisu for dessert.,” he said, hoping to entice his broken-hearted bud with his favorite dessert.
But Scotty wasn’t tempted. “Not now. Maybe, later.”
As he was feeling the wetness of Scotty’s tears through the thin fabric of his shirt, Grant suddenly remembered that he still had one more delivery. Grant glanced at his watch. “Shit! I’ve got to go! I’m sorry, my friend, but I’ve got another delivery: Roger Brownlow. Will you be all right?”
Scotty lifted his head from Grant’s shoulder and brushed away the tears. “Don’t ask me why, because I can’t tell you. But even with your news, I feel better.”
Grant hugged Scotty warmly. “If you need me, just call. In any event, I’ll be back tomorrow.”