Title: Drama Queens with Love Scenes
Series: Actors and Angels, book 1
Author: Kevin Klehr
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: April 17
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Genre: Romance, Literary Fiction, Angels, cisgender, Fantasy, friends to lovers, gay, humorous, Life after death, romance
Close friends Allan and Warwick are dead. They’re not crazy about the idea, so to help them deal with this dilemma are Samantha, a blond bombshell from the 1950s, and Guy, an insecure angel. Allan also has a secret. He has a romantic crush on his friend, Warwick, but shortly after confiding in his new angel pal, his love interest falls for the cock-sure playwright, Pedro. Not only does Allan have to win the heart of his companion, he also has to grapple with the faded memory of how he actually died.
Drama Queens with Love Scenes Kevin Klehr © 2017 All Rights Reserved She looked like Jayne Mansfield without the attributes. Her cherry-colored wide-brimmed hat complemented her black unbuttoned jacket. A low-cut white dress completed the look. She seemed overdressed and would have looked better wearing a casual pink T-shirt and torn jeans, like a pinup girl sparking the imagination of a lusty army boy. Her pleasing smile said she had been waiting to greet us. An angel stood next to her, barefoot in old blue jeans and a ripped-sleeved khaki shirt. While he didn’t have the glam factor of the female, his striking dove-gray wings drew focus. They spanned his height and then some, towering above his head by at least an arm’s length. He rarely made eye contact with us and stood hunched with his hands lightly clenched below his navel. His demeanor implied a vanilla hint of gayness. Just what did we actually get up to last night? My friend, Warwick, and I safely considered this scene from the doorway of our tiny room. A moment ago, we had said goodbye to my uncle and his girlfriend, and now we were facing two strangers on what looked like the set of a Greek epic. Our confused oohs and ahs echoed off the marble black and white tiles, which stretched so far into the horizon they became gray as they met a set of stairs. Each step alternated in color, again black and white. Someone had overdosed on 1980s pop videos when they conceived this design. “What do you make of the red velvet curtains, classic or uninspired?” I asked my friend. “Allan, they’re lush. Just lush.” “Don’t be alarmed, gentlemen,” the Jayne Mansfield look-alike said with an air of whimsy. As we nodded awkwardly, she shot a concerned glance at the angel and whispered, “Don’t smile like that. It doesn’t match the décor.” Discouraged, he rolled his eyes and mislaid his smile. I began biting my thumbnail as my eyes darted between our hosts and the opulent aspects of this room. “A sex kitten and an angel,” I timidly said to Warwick. “Does this mean…?” Warwick stepped through the doorway and addressed the angel. “Those wings? Please tell me they aren’t real.” The angel gracefully flapped them three times before shrugging. I switched my denial into overdrive. In the past week, Warwick and I had left our chaotic beach-town lives for a little break. My dead-end job was getting me down, and my partner in crime suggested a holiday would be the best remedy. Until this point, he was right. All had been going as planned. We’d visited my uncle Bryant and his new love interest in Melbourne before considering a driving trip around Tasmania. Who could have imagined this strange twist in our plotline? Our hosts seemed to study us like a diplomat about to shake hands with a head of state. The angel endeavored to smile again, while the blonde bombshell gave us a moment to gauge our bearings. Then her arms extended in greeting like Jesus in a biblical painting. “My name is Samantha, and this is Guy. We’re here to welcome you.”
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Exclusive excerpt from Drama Queens with Love Scenes by Kevin Klehr
When I focused back on Warwick and our hosts, I noticed that Guy had gone to chat with a handsome man slouched on a formal coffee-colored sofa.
Warwick began moving his hips on the barstool, bopping around like a dazed Eurovision diva. Alcohol had definitely taken hold. Whenever he got like this, I had an evil desire to stick fake eyelashes on him, just to watch them flutter.
Shortly after, Guy returned with his friend. In this informal atmosphere, only Guy looked out of place. Maybe angels were not supposed to surrender to sensual pleasures like music? Before introductions were made, I asked about his deficient jazz gene.
“Why don’t you like Nellie and her band?”
“I like songs,” he replied. “Melodic songs. The band is okay, but they’re not my taste.”
This angel needed an injection of cool, unlike his handsome companion. I was a sucker for polo-neck jumpers, which his friend harmonized with a leather jacket and corduroy jeans. All in basic black. Color-wise, it was a lazy mix-and-match job. But who was I to argue as I was drawn into his hazel eyes and lips that were moist, rosy, and imminently kissable.
“Warwick, Allan, meet Pedro,” said Guy. “You’re going to share the stage with him.”
I examined this man, hoping to share more than just the stage.
“He’s even written the piece you’re going to perform,” said Samantha.
“Obviously, a man of many talents.” I listed his possible abilities in my head.
“It’s just something I’ve been working on,” Pedro said in a faded American accent.
“And how long have you been working on it?” I asked.
“Since the 1920s.”
“Really?” Had I just caught onto the one advantage of our fate? This man was thirty-something surely, while that Roman gladiator still looked buffed. Everyone who ends up here must stop aging. I glanced at Warwick, grinning like a faded movie star who’d found a discount plastic surgeon.
“Yes, the roaring twenties,” explained Samantha. “That’s when this delightful young man stumbled here from New York.”
“Good thing too. I was penniless. I lived with rats in moldy public housing. I even gave gangster names to the two rats that slept by my bedside. Mr. Money and Mr. Death.”
“Come on, Pedro, it wasn’t that bad.”
The writer was embellishing. He recognized he had a captive audience.
“Okay. It’s true about the rats, but I had lots of friends, and lots of friends with cocaine to help me keep my sanity. My string of affairs helped me survive without a blanket. In between real life, I wrote. Mostly one-act plays about cheerful things, like alcoholic street workers and murderous cops. One of my plays was even performed at a chic uptown party.”
“What was it about?” I asked.
“The night Santa was kidnapped.”
“For his toys?”
“Yes. Knife-wielding youngsters set a bear trap down their chimney.” A sinister grin spread over his face. “And Rudolph was served with mashed potatoes and corn.”
“A lovely venison meal.”
“That glowed in the dark. No candlelight needed!”
“You must have found fame after that?” I admired his originality.
“No, not really. It was a Christmas gathering. Mrs. Simpson made sure I was never recommended to any in her circle after she swore I made her die of embarrassment.”
“But you’re about to take the lead in your newly penned work,” announced Samantha.
“What’s it about?” I asked.
“It’s based on the rats I shared my flat with.”
Meet the Author
Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney. From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again. His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author. So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.
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