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A Time Before Me

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Overview

In this poignant coming-of-age novel, a gay teen struggles to find his identity in the contrasting worlds of rural Mississippi and the big city of New Orleans.

Growing up in a small Mississippi town in the early 1990s, shy and inexperienced Mason spends much of his time with his best friend and secret childhood crush, the charming and daring Billy. When a six-pack of beer leads to a passionate encounter between the two teenagers, Mason believes his dreams may have finally come ...

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A TIME BEFORE ME

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Overview

In this poignant coming-of-age novel, a gay teen struggles to find his identity in the contrasting worlds of rural Mississippi and the big city of New Orleans.

Growing up in a small Mississippi town in the early 1990s, shy and inexperienced Mason spends much of his time with his best friend and secret childhood crush, the charming and daring Billy. When a six-pack of beer leads to a passionate encounter between the two teenagers, Mason believes his dreams may have finally come true. Billy's apparent disregard for the incident, however, leaves Mason feeling confused and betrayed.

When Billy slips off to glamorous New York City immediately after high school graduation, Mason fears he's doomed to spend another humid Mississippi summer scooping ice cream. But Mason's life changes dramatically when vivacious Aunt Savannah invites him to live with her in New Orleans and work in the box office of her drag queen cabaret. It's there-in the decadent and liberating French Quarter-that Mason begins to fall for Joey, a strikingly handsome and sweet nineteen-year-old, who may just be ready to open his heart to someone new.

A surprise visit from Billy hints that he may be ready to return Mason's feelings, and Mason faces a difficult choice. With the help of his spirited aunt and a sassy drag queen, Miss Althea, Mason learns that sometimes it's best to roll life's dice and take a chance.

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Editorial Reviews

Gaywired.com
"Michael Holloway Perronne's stunning work, a must own for fans of gay fiction."
Jan. 2006
GayWired.com
Michael Holloway Perronne's stunning work, a must own for fans of gay fiction.
Family & Friends Magazine
For anyone who remembers what it was like coming out or for those who might be contemplating coming out.
Paige Lovitt
Highly recommend.
Reader Views
Books to Watch Out For
...sweet and imaginative...A Time Before Me laces its sentimentality with enough jagged reality to give it an interesting edge.
Kirkus Discoveries Reviews
Debut novelist Perronne presents a believable and engaging cast of characters in this quiet tale of self-realization.
Books To Watch Out For
"sweet and imaginative...A Time Before Me laces its sentimentality with enough jagged reality to give it an interesting edge."
Edition #15
Kirkus Discoveries Reviews
Debut novelist Perronne presents a believeable and engaging cast of characters in this quiet tale of self-realization.
Books to Watch Out For
"sweet and imaginative...A Time Before Me laces its sentimentality with enough jagged reality to give it an interesting edge."
Steve Kluger
"For anyone who remembers what it was like to fall in love for the first time--both the heartbreak and the joy. A sheer pleasure to read."
Gay Wired
"Michael Holloway Perronne's stunning work, a must own for fans of gay fiction."
Family & Friends
For anyone who remembers what it was like coming out or for those who might be contemplating coming out."
Kirkus Discoveries Reviews
Debut novelist Perronne presents a believeable and engaging cast of characters in this quiet tale of self-realization.
Books to Watch Out For
"sweet and imaginative...A Time Before Me laces its sentimentality with enough jagged reality to give it an interesting edge."
Steve Kluger
"For anyone who remembers what it was like to fall in love for the first time--both the heartbreak and the joy. A sheer pleasure to read."
Gay Wired
"Michael Holloway Perronne's stunning work, a must own for fans of gay fiction."
Family & Friends
For anyone who remembers what it was like coming out or for those who might be contemplating coming out."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583484630
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Holloway Perronne is the author of six books: A Time Before Me, Falling Into Me, Starstruck: A Hollywood Sage, Embrace the Rain, Quickie Gay Guide to Cape Town South Africa, and A Time Before Us (Available April 2011). For more information on Michael, please visit the author's website at www.michaelhperronne.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Ever notice how life gives you the answers to the big questions about a day late? That's exactly how I felt as I sat on the front step of his apartment in defeat.  I looked at the bouquet of flowers that I had brought with me. They were already wilting in the oppressive New Orleans heat. They looked like I felt.
Miss Althea, the black drag queen who lived next door to him, walked up carrying three grocery bags from Schwegmann's stuffed to their brims. She wore a knee length yellow sundress, black sandals, and her "church" wig, the shoulder length red one with the curls. She eyed me curiously as she walked up the steps to her apartment.
"Baby, whatcha doin' sweatin' down there with them flowers next to ya?" she asked.
I debated on how much to tell her. There seemed to be three major forms of communication in New Orleans- telephone, telegraph, and teleMissAlthea. Anything you told her you could be sure everyone in the French Quarter would know by morning. They would be discussing it as they drank their chicory coffee, spreading the latest gossip, or bizness, in the neighborhood.
"I had just decided to stop by and see if he was home," I said.
Miss Althea took another look down at the flowers and then back up at me, and she seemed on the verge of dropping her groceries and spilling them all over Rue Burgundy. However, she sensed that there was a story here and she wasn't going anywhere.
"Baby, ain't you done heard?"
"Heard what?" I asked not liking the way that question was phrased.
"That boy done gone. I saw him dis mornin' leaving with his suitcase by his side. He say he was goin' to his auntie's in Shreveport."
"Shreveport!" I exclaimed, standing up and dropping the flowers next to me.
"I'm sho surprised ya didn't know!" Miss Althea said.
She had a look on her face that said she was proud of the fact of being the first one to spread some fresh gossip.
I felt my heart sink into the pit of my stomach when I realized that I was too late, and that my own stupidity had gotten me to this point. Maybe I had just gotten exactly what I deserved?
By now you're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about. I should go back to the beginning, or at least what I would consider the beginning.
It was the day that Billy Harris kissed me.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    How can this book be good?

    How can a book that supports homosexuality be good? Genesis 2:18-24. Read it. Leviticus 18:22. "Man shall not lay with man." What is this world coming to that homosexuality is either accepted or mocked? It is possible to not accept it, but at the same time not mock it. One isn't born with a certain sexuality; God's plan is for, in short, everyone to be straight. Why would He make anyone anything else?

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    View of being gay in a small Mississippi town

    This book gave a very real view of how it is to be gay in a small Mississippi town. Although with no definate ending, i cant say that i loved the entire book, most was very enjoyable and very accurate. I absolutely loved that the main character moved to New Orleans to explore his sexuality and to get a bigger picture of the world in general. I would have loved this book even more if i wasnt hanging on at the end wondering. So for those who want a happy ending you wont get it with this book, but for those of you who dont mind wondering- this is a good read for you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    A Time Before Me

    Michael Holloway Perronne has a sensitive style, and writes with an open, simplistic innocence that tugs the heart. From city twilight in a gloss cover, the story begins with protagonist Mace holding a bouquet of wilting flowers for unfindable Joey. Back in time, we learn about Billy Harris, a dashing sea-eyed blond who spikes Mace's passable life with prospect (following a beer-soaked kiss). Mace is undecided if the tête-à-tête is a one-off triggered by tipple froth and its devious persuasion, or whether there is more to it. Hard to tell, really, given that Billy falls asleep in drunken stupor and remembers none of it the next day. But Mace remembers. Everything. Indecision and choices: all is not surreal. Billy wants out of Mississippi before Mace can explore his new feelings. Before anything can settle, in comes Daniel, soooo gay, who drives like a 'whore escaping Easter service'. Mace needs the quiet and indulgence of Aunt Savannah's New Orleans retreat, where he might tackle head-on his 'coming out'. Chiefly thanks to Miss Althea, a black-assed drag queen with a blond church wig of curls, the position becomes more rational. As normality slips into Mace's awareness, so does Joey. While dialogue could have been sharper, the writing tighter, A Time Before Me is an undemanding read that grasps potential dangers and obscurities of being ¿different¿, of confronting society 'norm', and the novel astonished me with an ending on a high at a gratifying peak.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2005

    A wonderful story

    This is by far one the the best books I have read. Had me the whole way. Looking forward to the sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

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