Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For Love of Max - a preview

On Saturday, June 4th, the sequel to my first published novel, To the Max, will be released as an ebook, the print version to follow shortly thereafter. This is a milestone for me, my first sequel, so naturally I'm rather excited about it.  I'd like to give you a little background about how the books came to be, and what they're about. Maybe later in the week, we can get Max himself to say a few words.

I met Max Montague in a rather unusual way. He was the voice in my head that was vying for attention. Which, as it turned out, is not typical Max behavior. But I didn't realize it at the time. In fact, all I did realize was that he was a gay werewolf and he seemed very nce, and I felt that he had a lot to say. But at the time I was researching something else, so I patted him on his head, and promised him I'd get to him after that.

Well, that didn't work. He kept on taking up space in my consciousness til finally I said okay, let's just take a few notes here, keep the fellow happy, and get back to them later. I sat down wtih a pad of paper and a pen and began to write what basically became the first chapter. Names of people whom I had no idea who they were, the people in Max's life.

Now I do know where some of the names came from, in the jumbled clutter of the recesses of my mind.  Max - I just liked the name, but not Maxwell as in Maxwell Smart, but Maximillian, as in Maximillian Schell, the actor. My daughter Sarah was reading Romeo and Juliet at the time, so that filtered into my consciousness - which accounts for Montague and Juliet, and the Shakespearean influence extended to Ophelia as well. Sebastian is the name of a character that my friend Kitty once played in a game we were in, an HP game - he was the father of future Hogwarts student Theodore Nott. Kitty herself is represented by Max's friend Catherine, or Cat as he calls her. See?  Kitty - Cat. Richard? I love the name, perhaps it comes from Richard Sharpe, a great Sean Bean series. St. Louis is a no-brainer - I live here, and I used to work in St. Charles, where I put Max's cottage. Terranova Fisher comes from two things - my kids were about to take a test at the time called the Terranova, and Fisher is a play on fisher of men, as in the pope, or a general religious reference, apt for a minister.

Max's story unfolds both in present time occurrences and in flashbacks. I know he meanders and wanders a bit, as the mood strikes him, but there is method to his madness. I don't think he's that difficult to follow, and I do label his flashbacks with dates - I have an entire timeline in order to keep everything straight.

Max is 44, Richard about a year older. Max's mother is more cool with his being a werewolf than being gay, and she likes to set him up on blind dates. Rachel is his best friend, the girl next door. I forgot to mention that she is named after Rachel Weisz, the only female celebrity I've ever roleplayed, and Sheldon comes from the Sheldon Concert Hall here in St. Louis - I hear it has perfect acoustics, but I've never been there.  Yet. Max and Richard have been together for over twenty years, but Richard has a tendency to wander off and disappear at times, without explanation. Max always takes him back when he returns, without question. The first book deals with that, as well as Amy Rose Banneker. I named her after two characters that someone I intensely disliked roleplayed, Banneker comes from House on Haunted Hill, the remake. Amy is an old friend of both Rachel and Max and she has a thing for him, despite the fact that he's gay and always has been - she's the source of great pain and aggravation to Max and Richard. Then Juliet, Max's mother, begins to date a homophobic minister, Terranova Fisher. Makes for some interesting times.

The second book, For Love of Max, begins immediately after the end of the first one.  **********spoiler alert, if you've not read the first one, look away now********************  Max and Richard are engaged to be married, all's right with the world once more, but.... Isn't there always a but just when you think your characters have found happiness? Yep, there is. Max is confronted with someone from his distant past, as well as evidence of a growing prejudice against what he is, and an attempt to throw him out of his lycanthropic closet.

In the first book, Max's lycanthropy is not actually an issue, and we see little of it. There is more in the second book. Unlike a lot of other werewolf heroes of novels, Max is not an Alpha. He's a guy, just trying to get by, and hold on to what he has, particularly his lover. He's older than some too, in his forties. Hey, not everybody is a teenager or in their twenties, you know? Check out this beautiful cover by Reese Dante. Isn't it gorgeous? Max and I are damn lucky to have her.

There is a lot of me in Max - we share a number of things. Yet he is also himself. I love him dearly, flaws and all. Who's perfect, after all?  No one. So I didn't try to create the perfect hero, just a human one. Well, other than the werewolf thing.

For Love of Max is available at Silver Publishing.  I'd love to hear what you think of Max, or the premise of the series, or anything else! Like I said, I'll try to get Max to say a few words, maybe Thursday, since I'm guest blogging elsewhere. I might turn this blog over to him. And for those who are wondering, yes, there will be another book, because I love writing about Max. I hope people love reading about him.

Max says we should have a contest and give a copy away. What do you think? Is anyone up for that? Let me know!

♥  Julie.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Coming soon, from a galaxy far far away

No, it isn't a new chapter in the Star Wars trilogy, or sexology, or whatever they call it now. It's something new   that author Sui Lynn and I are going to do starting soon, on Sundays. We're calling it Sci Fi Sunday!  Catchy name, huh? Check out our spiffy logo!

We are going to post, on each of our blogs, an excerpt every week from an ongoing story we're writing. Right now, it has a working title of Reality Check, but that is subject to change.

It takes place in a distant galaxy, on a a planet named Rhealliticzk (pronounced Reality Check). Hence the working title. Humans came to this planet many years ago, establishing several cities. The King and Queen rule from the capital city, New Harmony. There are people who are indigenous to the planet, the ecologically minded natives, who exist in a matriarchal society. The two peoples exist side by side, although the humans tend to look down up the natives, and the natives think that the humans are ruining the planet because they don't know how to take care of it properly and don't seem inclined to learn.

Besides being a futuristic sci fi story, Reality Check is also a m/m romance story. I won't divulge the details, you'll have to read them for yourself. We should be starting the series soon, both here and on Sui Lynn's blog - http://suidlynn.blogspot.com.

We hope that you follow the adventures of our two heroes, Prince Cailean (Cā-len) Nairne Blommervermogen and Renophoatien (Reno-fo-ateen) Sameeleon (Sam-eel-Leon).

And just for fun, we'll throw in some contests along the way! Maybe even one where one lucky reader gets a character named for him or her!

Stay tuned for further developments!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bad Teacher's Equation, Volume 1 Review

Bad Teacher’s Equation, Volume 1   
Author: Kazuma Kodaka
Publisher: June Manga/DMP
American release date: August 9, 2011
Format/Genre/Length: Manga/Yaoi/350 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Older Teen, 16+
Overall Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Atsushi Arisawa enrolls in Jyogaoka High School just to be near his long-time crush, “Ma-chan”. He has turned down offers from the top five schools in Tokyo to be near him, once he learns that he is the school nurse there. The less than stellar school is co-ed, and has been given the nickname of “Yankee High”. When he first arrives, Atsushi wonders if maybe he’s made a mistake.


To his dismay, Atsushi discovers that his beloved “Ma-Chan” has undergone a complete character transformation, and he does not recognize the loud, brazen man he’s become! Further complications arise in the person of Koji Inagaki. Childhood friends, Inagaki always protected Atsushi from bullies, and had even proposed that they get married, so he could always protect him, a proposal which was sealed with a kiss! Koji still feels the same way about Atsushi. His “girlfriend” Yuriko, sister of one of the coaches, is just a beard; she’s actually a close friend who encourages him to kiss other boys, because she is a voyeur and a fan of boys’ love.

Koji is in great demand by all the sports teams at the school, but he isn’t interested in any of them, only in Atsushi, and he is determined to protect him again, as if their separation during middle school had never occurred. What Atsushi doesn’t realize is that the “Ma-chan” he remembers is Masami Shibata, who is currently on leave from the school, his place having been taken by his brother Masayoshi. A veritable comedy of errors and mistaken identification ensues!

Masami is dating another teacher at the school, Toru Hagiwara, although their relationship is still in the early stages. Hagiwara and Masayoshi are often in conflict with one another over Masami. When Atsushi discovers his error, seeing the real “Ma-Chan”, he transfers his newly discovered affections to Masayoshi, to Koji’s chagrin.

As Koji tries to get closer to Atsushi, Atsushi is trying to get closer to Masayoshi and Higawari to Masami. Koji applies for a job at Club Lush, which is Masayoshi’s club, in order to help out at home. Masayoshi will only hire him if he agrees to join his team at school.  Blackmail, anyone?


Well first off, it’s Kazuma Kodaka. Seriously. I’ve loved her work ever since I started reading Kizuna. This is a wonderfully hilarious tale that begins as a case of mistaken identity and progresses from there. Atsushi loves Masayoshi, Koji loves Atsushi, Toru loves Masami, and Yuriko loves to watch gay men in love! It’s got humor in abundance, and it has very sweet moments too, and romantic ones.  I’m already cheering for Koji to win Atsushi’s heart!

The artwork is vintage Kodaka. Koji actually reminds me of Ranmaru from Kizuna, and sometimes Masayoshi resembles Kei. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because I’m not. She’s laid the groundwork for an interesting series here, one which I look forward to exploring. Her plots are almost Shakespearean in their intricacy. I just know there are lots of fun times ahead for all of these guys!  Another great series from a great mangaka!

If you enjoy Bad Teacher’s Equation, I suggest you check out Kizuna, and Samurai Love, by the same author.

Guest Blogger: SL Danielson

Good morning to you and to my special guest, my friend and co-author SL Danielson. Today we're in Forest  Park, enjoying the view of the Art Museum, and Art Hill, as well as the Grand Basin. This is the site where once upon a time the world came to visit, here at the St. Louis World's Fair. That also happens to be the setting for our novel, My Fair Vampire, which comes out in October, from Silver Publishing.

Today Steph is going to talk about her new release, Refugees. It takes place after the events in For the Heart of Phillip. Steph is generously donating a portion of her royalties from Refugees to the victims of the recent tornado in Joplin, Missouri.  Go ahead, Steph, I'll pour us some coffee while you talk.

Hello, everyone! S. L. (Stephanie) Danielson here...and my new book Refugees.  
If you read the prequel "For the Heart of Phillip" this answers what happened to the two men who lost that particular war, Robert and David.
Will things settle down for them so that they can find friendship and love in their own lives again? Or will there be bitterness so embroiled in their blood that no one can win them over ever again?

To celebrate this new book and help humanity at the same time (namely the victims of the horrific multi-vortex EF5 tornado that decimated Joplin, MO) I am donating 10% of all royalties earned on this book
to relief efforts.

For a LIMITED TIME ONLY...this book is up for 99 cents at www.smashwords.com....only until May 31st.
After that, it will be 2.99.
On other sites, it is 2.99 on Lulu.com ( as well as in paperback for $12.99) there....
and on All Romance Ebooks and Amazon

Thank you for your help! I have relations in Joplin and they saw the storms heading towards town.. .thank God they were OUT of town....
Hug your loved ones... you never know.

Moving words indeed, Steph. Thanks for joining us today!  Here's your coffee, let's walk around the Basin!

Steph will be available to answer all your questions and comments! She can't wait to hear from you! Fire away! Hope you're enjoying the first day of the Memorial Day weekend!

♥  Julie

Friday, May 27, 2011

Guest Blogger Lily Sawyer

Welcome back author Lily Sawyer, if you will, who is going to talk to us today about her writing. Lily, why don't you have a seat in my virtual den, while I get us some refreshments?

There are just some things that you never know you are going to get into.   Take writing for example.   I started writing like many other people, in school for all those assignments the teachers give you.   You know the ones you roll your eyes and whine about, thinking why do you have to do it in the first place?

I actually didn’t mind writing all those reports.  It was math I couldn’t stand.   I could do the basic stuff, but if you asked me to do algebra or any of the higher maths you’d get a deer in the headlights look.

So writing wasn’t the drudgery it might have been for others.    I didn’t think about writing stories until I started to get into fandoms.  My very first fandom was Star Trek.    When I found out fans were writing their own original stories I started reading them.   It was several years before I started to write my own stories, but it was not in the Star Trek fandom.    

Life certainly takes some interesting twists and turns.  After my parents died writing became cathartic for me. 
I never thought I’d be writing gay romance stories, but after seeing the movie “Brokeback Mountain the ending of that movie lit a fire under me.  After joining that fandom I started writing stories where I ‘fixed’ things.   Mainly how it ended.    My fellow writers started writing original stories and were getting them published.    I decided it was time for me try my hand at writing my own stories and see if I could get it published.   In 2009 my first story,  “The Finest Thing” (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_138&products_id=1378   ) was published with Dreamspinner Press.    I was so excited I felt like I was on top of the world.

I wrote a few more stories, but whenever you submit a story there is always that chance it will get rejected.  It’s part of the writing game.    I decided to try submitting to a few other publishers.    My second story,  “Catch of the Day,”(Silver publishing, http://silverpublishing.info/product_book_info/coming-soon-c-2/catch-of-the-day-p-183 ) made me believe in mermen.    It was in no small part to the talents of my cover artist, Reese Dante, who brought my merman, Jaran, to life.   

Most of my inspiration for writing comes from my interests.   I love to travel and see new places and I end up incorporating them into my story.     My latest story, “Love on the East End” takes place on the east end of Long Island.     I am a Long Island girl and I’ve visited the east end several times and set my story in that area.   

Blurb: Gabriel Meyer’ s restaurant is a dream come true, but he gets more than he expected when in the course of his business he meets William Thomas, owner of Rolling Hills Winery. Food and wine more than come together on the east end of Long Island as they discover just how complementary Gabriel and William really are. Their seeming paradise is disturbed, however, when they meet young Ben Stewart—a troubled teen who is being bullied at school over his sexuality. Can they help this young man and fight the intolerance that lies on the east end of Long Island, or will it consume them?

Love on the East End  is available from Wicked Nights Publishing.


 Excerpt: Love on the East End

 Chapter 1

Gabriel Meyers looked at the empty dining room of his brand new restaurant.  He’d just opened the doors two weeks ago and already the place was packed every night.    

While he loved the hustle and bustle of the lunch and dinnertime crowd, he appreciated the quiet the morning hours afforded him.  He used the time to do all the paperwork and phone calls, which were a part of running a place like Maven.

“Gabriel, we have a problem with the wine order.” Pierre came running into the room to inform him.  He was the restaurant’s sommelier, and Gabriel met him at the culinary school in Paris.  He was studying to be a chef and when he decided to open his own place Pierre was one of the first friends he told.

“Oh what now?”  It always seemed to be something, you’d think having your own place on the north fork of the east end of Long Island in the middle of wine country would mean having an endless supply of wine.  Sadly, it wasn’t the case.  Sometimes they had special clients that wanted certain things the restaurant didn’t always have on hand.  Like now they were looking for a special vintage of Riesling to go with the duck being served at a fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, which was happening this weekend.

“The Pindar Winery won’t have any ready for about three weeks.”

“Have you tried the other wineries?”

“I tried the Rolling Hills winery, they said they’d give us a call back.”

“We can’t sit on our hands on this, we need that wine.  I’ll call them again to see if I can make any headway.  Thanks Pierre.”

Gabriel heard the phone ringing and ran back to the office to pick it up.  He wished he’d looked at the caller ID before he answered.



His stomach tied up in knots when he heard the dulcet tones of his ex-wife on the other end.

“Willow,” he said through clenched teeth.  “What can I do for you?”  He wished more times then he could count that he and the blonde with the blue eyes and movie star body had never crossed paths.

“Gabe, you don’t sound very happy to hear from me.”

Truth be told he wasn’t. Their marriage was the biggest mistake of his life.  They’d met in New York City, she was acting at a theater club and he was waiting tables.  They started off as friends, hanging out with friends and family.  Then ended up getting married.

Gabriel knew they had rushed into something that was never meant to be.  He did love Willow, but he was never in love with her.   He was gay; it took him a long time for him to admit it to himself, let alone to Willow.  He finally told her two years after they’d said ‘I do.’  She was stunned at first, then she told him she had a feeling something was different about him, but she hadn’t been able to put her finger on it.

They got a divorce, their story made the rounds with the tabloids.  Fortunately he was able to hide his secret of being gay, he was only too glad they left him alone and glommed onto her.

When one reporter intimated they’d split because Gabriel was gay, he asked an old friend from school if he could hang out with her to make it look like they were dating.  She was only too happy to help him throw them off the scent, even going so far as to make sure they were seen in public, holding hands and walking the streets of Brooklyn having brunch at a restaurant one Sunday morning.

“Willow, I’m kinda busy, what can I do for you?”

“Is that any way to talk to your ex-wife?”

He cringed when she said ex-wife, their divorce hadn’t been as clean a break as he would have liked.  She got nasty when he asked for the house on Long Island.  She had several properties; she barely spent any time there.  Her favorite spot was a condo on the upper east side of Manhattan.

“Well, I’m having a party to honor Chuck Scarborough, you remember my agent?  He’s celebrating thirty years in the business and I wanted to do something special.   He has a home not far from your restaurant and I want to rent out the back deck and hire a DJ and just do it up big.”

“How big?”  Despite how their marriage ended, Gabriel knew Willow could bring him a lot of big business with all the big wigs in the music and entertainment industry she could connect him with.

“About one hundred.”

“When?”  Maven could easily handle that many people.

“Weekend after next.”

It was spring and the weather was getting nice enough so they could start using the deck outside.  The restaurant faced Long Island Sound and on a clear day you could see Connecticut.

“How about I put you in touch with Annie, our party planner? She can iron out all the details. I don’t see any problem having the party here.”

“Thanks, Gabe, I knew you wouldn’t let me down.”

“Sure thing. Thanks for thinking of Maven for your party.”  They hung up.  He’d let Annie know about the party later, right now he had some Riesling to wrangle up.


William Thomas loved wine; there wasn’t anything he didn’t know about it.   His interest started when he took a trip to France and toured the wine country and it was like he finally found what he wanted to do with his life there in the middle of vineyard.   When he got back home he did everything necessary to begin his journey from a beginner everyone in the industry scoffed at to a well-respected wine maker.   Even his family, who were not thrilled with his decision to go into the winemaking business, became his biggest supporters.

Rolling Hills winery was the result of all the blood, sweat and tears.

William loved opening up the winery to tourists and often joined them in the wine tasting room.

Women came on to him all the time, he enjoyed the flirting.  But that was all it was ever going to be.    He wondered what these same women would think if they could see him dancing on the dance floors at one the gay bars on Fire Island.   

He’d never had a serious relationship, content for years to play the field until he hit the big three-O six months ago.  Now he was looking for that special person, but it sure wasn’t easy to find him.  He decided if it was meant to happen it would happen.


Gabriel turned down the long linden-lined drive.   He parked in front of the quaint, Tudor style house at the end. He got out of the car, walked over to the fencing and looked at the rows of grape vines that went on towards the Sound.   There was just something about being out in the open air that made him feel so peaceful.

“Like what you see?”  A deep, sexy voice startled him out of his reverie.

“Oh geeze, you startled me.”  Gabriel put his hand over his beating heart, which beat even faster when he got a good look at the curly blond haired man that had snuck up behind him.

“Sorry,” the blond stuck out his hand.  “I’m William Thomas, owner of Rolling Hills winery.”

Gabriel grasped the proffered hand and gave it a squeeze. “I’m Gabriel Meyers. I own Maven. I called about getting four cases of Riesling.”

“Ah yes my partner Steve told me you’d called.”

Gabriel didn’t know why hearing the word ‘partner’ bothered him, he’d just met William a moment ago and yet it felt like Cupid’s arrow had pierced him in the heart.

“I had them set aside for you.  They’re in the barrel room. How about I give you a tour of the place? I mean if you have the time.”  William flashed his pearly whites at him and Gabriel couldn’t resist the opportunity to spend more time with the tall blond.

William must have been about six-one or six-two.  He didn’t tower over Gabriel’s own height of six feet, but he still had to crane his head just a little to meet the chocolate brown gaze.

“I have plenty of time, the restaurant doesn’t open until noon.”

“Well, then, let me give you the grand tour.” William led him to one of the pickup trucks parked next to the house. They took a drive around the vineyard.  William explained the different varieties of grapes they grew and what kinds of wine were produced from them. He even got a chance to watch one of the grape picking machines at work, carefully picking the fruit off the vine and separating out the stems.

“I can tell you, Gabriel, that is one expensive piece of machinery.  Had to get it imported from Italy.”

“Really? Wow!”  Gabriel was very impressed. He knew about wines, after all you can’t live in Paris like he had and study culinary arts and not learn about them.  He wasn’t an expert like Pierre, but he knew enough to know how to pair them with food and not embarrass himself.

As far as the growing end, he knew little but he sure was getting an education now.

“Has this winery been in your family for long?”   The wineries on Long Island had started up about thirty-six years ago.   No comparison to the centuries old vineyards in Europe but they still had made their mark in the wine making industry none-the-less.

William laughed. “No I’m the only one in my family interested in wine.  My father is a lawyer and my mom is a fashion designer.  My older brother is a screenwriter.   He ‘s worked on a few movies, and he lives out in LA.”

“What made you decide to go into the wine industry?”

“I was going to school in northern California and my friends wanted to spend spring break in Napa Valley.   I just fell in love with wines and wanted to learn the business.  I came back to Long Island and started my own winery.  Rolling Hills is the result.  We’re celebrating our tenth year.”

“Congratulations!  Your family must be proud.”

“Thank.  Well I can’t say they were thrilled, but they saw the passion I have and they’ve been very supportive.”

They parked next to the house and William took him to the barrel room.  One of the workers took the cases of Riesling and put the in Gabriel’s car.

“Do you want to stick around for lunch?”  William offered his new friend.

Just then Gabriel’s cell phone went off. 

“Hello?” Gabriel walked a few feet away from the other man.  “What! No I know I placed that order a week ago, what do you mean they don’t have a record of the order?’  He paused.  “Shit, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”   He shut the flip phone closed.  “Damn.”


“Yeah, I had a champagne order that was supposed to be delivered this morning and they have no record of it.  I need it for an engagement party tonight.”

“I think I can help you out there, just hang out here for a bit.”  After Gabriel told him he needed some Dom Perignon, William went inside the house.  He returned a few minutes later with a smile on his face. “It’s done, I got you the champagne you needed.  It should be delivered to the restaurant in about an hour.”

“How did you manage that?”  Gabriel was surprised.

“I know plenty of people around here. There’s a place on the south fork that carries some wonderful champagne.   I got you a case.  Unless you wanted more?”

“No, a case is fine.   I can’t thank you enough for helping me.”

“Forget it, I was glad to help.”

Gabriel slid into the driver’s seat of his car and started the engine.   “Hey how about coming to our wine tasting event? We’re having it on Friday night at seven thirty.”

“Sure, sounds like fun. I’ll bring a good vintage from our special collection.”

“You can bring your partner if you want too.” Gabriel took off without waiting for an answer from William.  Truth be told he didn’t want him to bring anyone else, let alone his partner.   But it wouldn’t have been polite to invite him without his lover.

‘Why are the good ones always straight or taken?’  He asked himself as he drove, with a heavy heart, back to Maven.

Thanks for being here today, Lily! Got questions for Lily? Comments? Fire away! We're glad you stopped by!

♥ Julie


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Prowler Review

The Prowler  
Director/Studio/Author: Joseph Losey/United Artists/Dalton Trumbo (as Hugo Butler)
Distributor: VCI Entertainment
American release date: February 1, 2011 (original film release 1951)
Format/Genre/Length: DVD/Drama/92 minutes
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: NR
Overall Personal Rating: ☆☆☆

Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) is used to being alone at night in her large Spanish style home; her husband John spends his evenings doing his own radio show for a local station. One night after a shower, Susan spots a man peeking in her window, so she calls the police to report a prowler. Officers Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) and Bud Crocker (John Maxwell) are dispatched to her home to check into the matter.


The policemen look around, but there isn’t much to be seen. The recently cut grass shows no trace of footprints, not even in the vacant lot next door. They reassure the woman that they will keep an eye on the house. Officer Garwood seems particularly interested in the pretty lady, commenting on her to his partner as they leave her home. Later he returns, alone. He says he is simply doing his duty, but his interest in her is obvious. Turns out they both come from Indiana, and once upon a time she watched him play basketball. Now he’s a cop, which he hates. Life cheated him out of his athletic career.

Webb worms his way into Susan’s confidence and into her life, becoming obsessed with the married woman. He visits her in the absence of her husband, and she entertains and feeds him, as if he is no more than an old friend. When he goes too far and makes an advance upon her, she not only rejects him, but she indignantly slaps him and demands that he leave. But he can’t seem to stay away. He returns, in uniform, to apologize, and she ends up falling into his arms.

Now he sees her all the time, her husband’s voice on the radio a bizarre backdrop to their affair. There is something very odd about Webb. He’s a rather bitter man, he hates his job, and it seems as if nothing is ever his fault. A prescription for unhappiness and disaster in the making.

The closer they get, the more tangled the web, until they’re in so deep that they don’t know which way is up or down.


I like old films of all sorts, including film noir, which I believe this qualifies as. It’s in black and white, but that only adds to the noirish quality. Van Heflin—well, I just expected creepiness from him from the beginning, so I guess I was looking for it. You might remember him as D.O. Guerrero from the film Airport. He’s the guy with the bomb. He has a very creepy presence in The Prowler; perhaps it’s his eyes; he delivers a powerful performance as Webb Garwood. His obsession with Susan Gilvray is more than a little eerie, as are the lengths he’ll go to get what he wants. In one scene, he runs out of cigarettes but she doesn’t smoke. However, her husband has a carton, which he keeps locked up. Webb takes a hairpin from Susan’s hair—making the very act of doing so both sensual and unnerving—and picks the lock, helping himself to a pack of cigarettes. And he also eyeballs the personal papers that are there.

While I liked the film, I felt it could have delved more into the psychology of Webb Garwood and why he is like he is. All we know is that he was a starting center on his college basketball team and he was benched after two games. Perhaps we are meant to infer that he did something to bring that about. We also know that he hates being a cop, and that he lives alone in a room at a hotel and shaves himself using an electric razor while lying in bed. Susan Gilvray seems to love her husband at first, but as the film goes on you see the cracks in the façade, which perhaps explains her loneliness and her slide into the policeman’s arms.

There is a great deal of sexual tension in the film between the lonely woman and the dissatisfied policeman. I kept wondering what was going through Susan’s mind that she would allow this strange man into her life, and why she let him back in after he kissed her. It is an interesting psychological study of these two characters.

The film definitely has some twists to it, and sometimes I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go. The ending wasn’t exactly satisfying, and left a lot of unanswered questions, but perhaps that is just meant to show that not everything can be tidied up into neat little bundles and explained away. On the whole, I enjoyed watching it. It isn’t rated, but I wouldn’t recommend it for children, mostly because of the adult themes, and the darkness of the subject matter. Teens and up should be fine. Would I watch it again, given the opportunity?  Probably.

Piece of trivia: Look for Aunt Harriet of TV’s Batman fame in a small role. Also, I'm guessing that Dalton Trumbo wrote this under another name because he was one of the writers blacklisted during the McCarthy era. And producer S.P. Eagle is actually Sam Spiegel.