Monkey Business

Monkey Business

by Carleton Eastlake
Monkey Business

Monkey Business

by Carleton Eastlake


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When William Fox, a TV writer on location in Florida, is dragged by his show’s toxic producers to a “gentleman's club” that’s just appeared outside town, he meets Nicole, a mysterious dancer who claims to be an anthropologist searching for signs of rational life on Earth.

Enchanted by her both playful and serious ideas exploring love, limerence, power, monkey behavior, paintball combat, creativity, and the dilemma of a rational mind compelled to serve an animal’s body by feeding it fantasies, Will falls in love—and his ever more troubled love-struck behavior and the acidly destructive battles among his producers and network executives during the production of his show soon begin to illustrate Nicole’s theories.

Nicole is charmingly romantic on a cruise up the Space Coast, but nothing about her seems authentic. After she warns she’ll soon leave and his producers are humbled by an uncanny encounter with the police, Will begins to wonder, is Nicole staging real world events with him and the producers as her experimental subjects? And if so, can he discover her true identity, learn the lessons she’s trying to teach, and earn her love before he loses her forever?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781636280172
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 05/03/2022
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

CARLETON EASTLAKE graduated from UCLA in political science and psychology and from Harvard Law School with a concentration in law and the social sciences. After a career in public policy and consumer protection law, being hired on Steven Spielberg’s series seaQuest confirmed him as a television writer-producer as well. He has shared in Edgar and Saturn awards and is a former board member of the Writers Guild of America West and a past President of PEN Center USA. His wife Loraine Despres is a best-selling novelist, television writer, and tree-farmer. They live in Los Angeles, California.

Read an Excerpt

Even the hint of a smile would likely have made a regrettable first impression. Smoke as white as when they elect a new pope was still huffing from the ruins; oranges on the nearest trees in the encircling grove had boiled on the branch. Forty firefighters and sheriff deputies had responded to the blaze. When their attention wasn’t drawn to a new burst of embers spiraling into the night sky from the strike of a fireman’s hook, their looks were mostly directed at me.

   All the same, it was hard to keep a straight face. Just hours earlier the sign topping the building had colored the rain drops on my car’s windshield purple and pink from a mile away; now the Club’s tallest feature was a gilded stripper’s pole rising inexplicably—or had Nicole planned this part, too?—but aptly erect from the ashes.

   Although that wasn’t the biggest reason I was fighting not to break into laughter. Nor was it the arson investigator’s questions. Objectively they were perfectly reasonable:

   Had I any idea how and why the fire started? Yes, but I don’t want to share my theories because you’ll place me under a psychiatric hold.

   Where had I been at the time I first suspected a blaze was consuming the club with me inside? In a place nearly everyone told me didn’t exist.

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