by William Maltese
ISBN: nt>
Writers Club Press
© 2002
Brad Lexly and Kurt Mann, childhood friends and lovers, rekindle their previous and passionate relationship but know its success, beyond the isolating South American jungle environment, depends upon an acceptable explanation for Sebastian Mann's disappearance. More dangerous people than they seek an answer to that same question and also provide definite possibilities for this expedition ending up just as swallowed by the menacing environment as the doomed expedition gone before it.

"I did my Nazi novel, THE SIEGFREID MATING. I like this one better."
     -Chad Stuart, author MONTANA BOUND

"I've been to the South American jungle wilderness, and I tell you, Maltese has been there, too. Besides his great grip of the setting, and his ability so expertly to paint word-pictures of that verdant world, he provides us with an adventurous romp (sexual and plot-wise) that holds our attention every step of the way. And how refreshing, for a change, to find a gay romance that doesn't come across as syrupy as treacle."
     -Alex von Mann, author SLAVES

"The theory, held by die-hards, being, I suppose, that one spot has to be vulnerable, or the whole purpose of the duel becomes moot?" Marc doesn't sound all that sure. "Besides which, I suspect, it's a general misconception, held by participants, that a facial scar becomes a decided badge of macho."
 "You don't hold with that theory?" Jim asks; I suspect the stew is done but leave it cooking in order for me to continue following the conversation.
 "Can a scar like mine ever make one more attractive?" Marc evades. "Maybe Brad would be so kind as to make that judgement. Brad?" He turns the scarred side of his face toward me.
 I feel awkward and look away. I take hold of the lid on the stew pot and burn my hand in the process. It takes all of my self-control not to cry out from the pain.
 "There you have the answer," Marc misconstrues. "Few beautiful women or beautiful men..." [His inclusion of "beautiful men"...and possibly me in that category...signifies just what, if anything?] "...are really turned on by a man's scars. Why, then, willingly burden oneself with even one such obstacle to courting?"
 Actually, I've been so ill at ease because I don't know how to tell him he might be too beautiful...for a man...without the distraction his scar offers. His features are too perfect, otherwise. His skin is too blemish-free; his tan is too golden. His physique is too much the embodiment of some usually unattainable goal, like the Greek sculptures of Polycleitus that represent not real men but mathematical ideals. Unlike the "Athlete" in the National Museum at Athens, Marc is saved from sterile otherworldliness by his one glaring imperfection.

by William Maltese

an InsightOut Book Club selection
Haworth Press
© 2006
Enter a jungle of passion, greed, and danger. Take a wild trip Beyond Machu and discover high adventure, hot sex, and true love! Two gay men must gather their strength and courage to travel to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, dodging bullets, unsavory villains, and even jaguars—in search of lost ruins and hidden treasure. This thrilling romance gallops from the hotels of Lima, Peru to the exotic once-lost city, and then beyond into the impenetrable South American jungle rife with perils. Will our heroes get out alive? Will they ever find true love together?
“"Why aren't there more books of this calibre? Maybe because there's only one William Maltese. A rousing adventure tale with enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing and steaming with enough sensual eroticism to keep the reader wanting more, The depictions of the Peruvian locales, history and culture are written with the attention to detail you only get from a writer who has been there. Do yourself a favor, READ BEYOND MACHU."
     -Lyle Starkloff, Query Booksellers
"William Maltese has done it again with this SEXY AND SUSPENSEFUL new novel. IT'S INDIANA JONES MEETS ALLAN QUATERMAIN WITH ENOUGH BOY/BOY ROMANCE TO MAKE YOUR TOES TINGLE. From the first chapter, Beyond Machu is jam-packed with mystery, adventure, and intrigue. From the heights of Machu Picchu to the dangers of the South American rainforest, the reader is taken on a chaotic journey that can lead only to death—or riches beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Don't miss this one!”
     -Lori I. Lake, Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“BORN STORYTELLER WILLIAM MALTESE IS IN TOP FORM with this page-turner set in Machu Picchu and the jungles of Peru. Reporter Dan Green thinks he is on a soft assignment writing travel pieces when he finds his footsteps dogged by mysterious and super-hot Sloane Hendricks, and finds himself sharing a green-hell jungle trek in search of a missing airplane. Throw in a man-eating jaguar, piranhas, priceless Incan artifacts, and the author's trademark incendiary sex, and you've got A GUARANTEED I-CAN'T-PUT-IT-DOWN READ. Color me breathless.”
     -Victor Banis, Author of That Man From C.A.M.P.: Rebel Without a Pause
“Once again William Maltese combines mystery, adventure, an exotic setting, hot sex, and tortured hearts in a winning combination that WILL KEEP READERS TURNING PAGES (with perhaps some time out for heavy breathing).”
     -Drewey Wayne Gunn, Author of The Gay Male Sleuth in Print and Film

There was an exceptionally thick mist. Occasional gusts of wind glossed Dan’s face with moisture. To his left, the Hiram Bingham Road was shrouded in fog beyond its first bend. The Urubamba Canyon was filled with fluffy clouds to the extent that neither the Old Mountain nor the New Mountain was visible. Segments of the ruins appeared and, then, disappeared, as if spectral illusions damned forever to materialize and disintegrate at random.
     Dan saw no moon, but one was up there, since the darkness wasn’t pitch-black, despite the hour. That they headed uphill was evident by the way their boots hit the ground. Ever so often, there was a smooth surface underfoot. Bushes and plants dripped within deep shadows. Already, Dan was soaked to the skin, even though his clothes were chemically treated to shed water.
    “Careful,” Sloane instructed. Pathway rocks became dangerously slippery, and Dan began counting his steps. One—two—twenty—one-hundred—two-hundred—a compulsion to count things: arithmomania. Where had he read or heard that?.
    What seemed a good hour later, Dan saw the murkiness lift momentarily to reveal a segment of stone ruin. Confused and disoriented, Dan was sure Machu Picchu should be below him and off to the right.
    Sloane stopped beside large stones neatly fitted together sans mortar. “The upper guard post.”
    Dan leaned against gray blocks, breathing harder than he liked. “Why guards here? Surely, the Incas didn’t expect invaders from the sky? Although, there are UFO fanatics who—”
    “The main roads were all up here. The Incas didn’t reach Machu Picchu by coming up from the bottom of the Urubamba Canyon, as the tourists do today; they traveled the spines of mountains. This same mountaintops highway system took them to other Incan fortresses and settlements: Choquesuysuy, Corihuayrachina, and Runcuraccay.”
    “How long did it take you to get to where you can roll call all those tongue-twister names without a stumble?”.
    Sloane smiled. “Years.” He told Dan to wait there.
    “You’re leaving?” Dan hoped he didn’t sound as frantic as he thought he did. He didn’t relish being alone in a scene deserving of a Dracula movie.
    “Just for a minute. Stay put, or your next step could be a mighty long one!” Sloane slipped into the shifting gloom.
    Dan felt an irresistible urge to follow. He surveyed the fog, trying visually to penetrate it. Looking toward where he thought the hotel should be, he saw nothing. Looking toward where he thought the main ruins should be, he saw nothing. He felt precariously poised on the lip of a void; for all he knew, he was.

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