The One-Hand Read
by William Maltese
Book 1
© 2003
In this, the first book of Maltese's One-Hand Read" series, the author takes a trip down nostalgia lane by catering to his readers' demands for a book reminiscent of those now-classic pulps he produced seemingly non-stop during the late sixties, seventies, and early eighties. With just enough jolly-good plot to prevent any accusations of pandering to purely purient interests (based on a bona-fide English legend about the ravens to be found at the Tower of London), Maltese profusely sprinkles his prose with some hot-Hot-HOT sexual game-play and get-a-rise Brit-Irish political intrigue.
"In A CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS, Maltese proves he's not forgotten those of us whom enjoy far less plot, more nitty-gritty, quick reads, a beer in one hand, something else in the other."
     -Cort Forbes, author, THE YOUNG CRUISERS

"Thank you, William, for not forgetting your many readers who find a hard time getting all that excited about multi-thousand-word epics of others writing in the genre. Your A CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS is just what's needed for our occasional choose-to-spend-the-night-at-home-alones."
     -Joey, author, DIARY OF A HUSTLER

"As a collector of old pulp paperbacks, some of Maltese's early stuff going for three figures, these days, I can tell you that I'm holding on to a couple copies of each and every book that comes out in this series."
     -Jude Lenaux, book collector

Tad Rich thought it amusing that he came all this way across the Atlantic from America only to find that most of his tricks were from the States. He didn't, though, have any complaints. Take this latest guy for instance.
     Brian Wandex was in his early twenties. He had dark brown eyes, a slim build, and dark brown hair that grew as thick and as glossy as prime minks' fur. He had picked this time of the year to visit England, instead of the spring or summer, because he had once been in England during the peak tourist season, and he had left having seen very little. He had quickly tired of battling his way through the crowds in front of Buckingham Palace, seeing nothing for his efforts but the tops of the bear-fur hats as the guards passed by. He'd tired of so many people being in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's that it had been impossible to walk through the buildings, let alone stop to admire the architecture. Last time, there had been so long a line that he had to wait a full day to catch a fleeting glimpse of the crown jewels. At this time of the year, though, it was different. He had waited only five minutes to see the precious gems. That left him the rest of the day to wander through the Tower of London complex and try to remember all that he had read about it in school and in the guidebooks.

    Brian had been standing on the spot where several beheadings had occurred when he first spotted Tad, and vice versa. He thought he was being cruised, but he had checked it off as wishful thinking.
    As it turned out, he was being cruised. Tad, in fact, was so very interested in Brian's exceptional good looks that he didn't waste any time in letting his intentions be known.

The One-Hand
by William Maltese
Book 2
© 2004
Maltese's Book Two of his A One-Hand" Read series carries on in the tradition of his Book One (A CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS), and in the tradition of those now-classic pulp books of earlier years where plot lines are infused with heated sexual encounters that keep the protagonists and the readers simultaneously gasping. In his never-ending and constantly-surprising ability to explore areas concurrently exotic and mysterious to most of us, Maltese, once again, provides just such a voyeuristic peek: this time behind-the-scenes circus where everyone from side-show anomalies to center-ring stars supplement their incomes by performing after hours for and with a discerning, discreet and high-paying cliente. The author providing the extra twist of the sinister "why" behind the tattooed man's body painting and his need for revenge.
"This book made me want to run away to the circus. This book made me want to run away to THIS circus!."
     -Joey, author, DIARY OF A HUSTLER
"A fascinating peek into circus life where more big 'things' are 'going up' than just the big top."
     -Alex von Mann, author, SLAVES
"One-hand reads just don't get better than Maltese's one-hand read" series. This, his second offering, providing readers with even more of the sexy and sensual."
     -Corte Forbes, author, YOUNG CRUISERS

 So-called political correctness saw too many do-gooders thinking that calling someone a freak, merely because of an accident of birth, was exploitation of the worst kind. Any of the old-time circuses, with their sideshow offerings of hermaphrodites and unborn fetuses in pickling jars, would be picketed out of business in a split second. Of course, all the human-rights stuff really did was eliminate one way such unusual individuals had of making a decent living for themselves and for their families. It wasn't likely you'd ever find Dog Boy hired to sit at some company's reception desk to greet anyone incoming. Nor were Tarantula Man's often uncoordinated extra limbs liable to prove any advantage to him, or to some employer, on some assembly line.
    Therefore, the Circus Six Freak Show, in the clandestine format in which it existed, wasn't publicly ballyhooed. Most of its members kept pretty much to themselves, by their own wishes, and came out only for pre-paid "special" perfomances. Otherwise, they preferred socializing with similarly unique individuals and did so within the separate-but-equal accommodations provided them by Robert. It was only those, like Pat Dranliln, who could safely put in double-duty as a clown, or as Gargantuan, the latter appearing not-all-that-big around some of the roustabouts, who allowed themselves to be viewed by the everyday public.

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