It's the late 1960s, and life on the land is rough. The last, faint echoes can still be heard of the days of gun-shearers and the drovers who took thousands of head of cattle or sheep across trails that had barely been broken, between half-charted waterholes. The names of the great bushrangers are still oddly near at hand -- it's Australia, a big country, a "real man's" country, where towns can be a hundred miles apart and young couples go courting over the shortwave.
Coopers Crossing is a crossroads where the north-south road and the east-west road intersect. Far to the east are mythical lands like Sydney and Melbourne, beyond the old bushranger country. Not quite so far to the west is Adelaide, "the big smoke," where kids go to school if they want to escape the rural life for a future in the city. Around Coopers it's mostly sheep-grazing country, a checkerboard of massive properties -- the sheep stations. The only way to bring freight in or out is by road, by truck, and the big diesel semis make the runs in to the rural areas, a dozen of them in a day, a hundred in a week.
One of them is a big red long-nosed Mack called 'Stand and Deliver,' and young Sam Thomas is watching out for that truck, because his mate Joey Munro, who just left Coopers to go to school in the city, tells him there's another gay lad on that truck ... someone called Steve.
At sixteen, Sam has rarely been off the Thomas property. He's dying to meet lads himself -- gay, young, hungry. He grew up on the whispered tales of the boy called Will Fairchild, who followed gorgeous Ben Garvey east out of Coopers Crossing into bushranger country, a century before. And he he watches out for 'Stand and Deliver' ... but nothing could prepare him for the reality of Steve Ryan.
And nothing short of a cross between Crocodile Dundee and Brokeback Mountain will prepare you for Coming Out in Cooper's Crossing. Told in Sam's own very Australian words, the story is as hilarious as it's heartwarming. Mel Keegan has described it in these terms: "As triumphant as Brokeback Mountain was tragic, and every word rings true to one who was here at the time. From the first sentence to the last, it has the sound of an epic Paul Hogan monologue ... if Hoges had ever told gay stories, though he never did. Bravo to Jayne Demarco. Five stars."
To assist the tender reader, a glossary of terms is given at the end of the ebook. You'll have endless fun translating language which isn't quite English, and which is as full of piquant diversity as a trip to Paris -- albeit without the champagne and shopping! So polish up your funny-bone and get ready for laugh a minute romance waaaay in the back of beyond!
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About the Author
Jayne DeMarco is still a new(ish) name in the world of m/m publishing, but she has been writing in other genres for many years. She made her m/m debut with DreamCraft in mid-2010, with the short novel Painting Stephen, and later in the year co-wrote the phenomenally successful Umbriel with Mel Keegan. Coming Out in Cooper's Crossing is her third m/m work, and a fourth title is due out in early 2011 -- More Than Human, an SF tale also co-written with Mel Keegan. The author describes herself as an inveterate traveler who has lived in England, Australia, Canada and the US, and is equally at home in any of those regions. This becomes immediately obvious to one who has read her stories. Umbriel is set in England, Painting Stephen in the American northeast, and Coming Out in Cooper's Crossing is the tale of a young lad growing up gay in a flyspeck town in rural Australia. If Jayne has one abition, she says, it would be to stop being the last of the procrastinators, get to work and finish the rafts of her m/m stories, which have been drafted out and are at the moment lying fallow. She's made a good start with DreamCraft in the last year or so, and has plans for some longer works ... in the fullness of time. She like traveling, animals, old TV shows, and has eclectic musical tastes, being as likely to listen to Doctor Hook as Debussy -- depends on the moment. At this moment she lives in South Australia, but has no plans to stay put forever. New Zealand interests her strangely, and upstate Ontario is beckoning. "Mind you," she says, "with the world economy the way it is right now, it might take a little while to get there!" In the meantime, she's working on several more m/m pieces which you'll see issuing from DreamCraft as we cruise through 2011 and 2012.