Today I'm pleased to host fellow Astraea Press author Frank Borne. He's here to share his recent release, Fame and Misfortune. Frank Borne has authored numerous non-fiction books and short essays concerning Jefferson Parish history and politics, and served as editor of The West Bank Beacon, a good-news community newspaper, for three and a half years.
In 2012, he self-published his first novel, But for the Grace of God, and in 2013, Astraea Press released his novel Fame and Misfortune. Borne serves as Chief Deputy Clerk of Court with the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court's Office in Gretna, Louisiana, where he has been employed since 1994. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor's degree in government and a minor in history. Borne lives in Harvey, Louisiana, with his wife Schlise.
Fame and Misfortune is a book with a very interesting concept. Most body image/weight loss books deal with women, but this book is told from a male protagonist point of view. I'll let Frank tell you how it came about:
The idea for Fame and Misfortune came to me one evening last December as I was about to attend a cocktail party. Years ago, I was very overweight, having grown up "husky" and otherwise fat, and my weight was ratcheting up at least 5 pounds per year. In 1998, however, I changed course, adopting a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, through exercise and wise eating habits, I lost 135 pounds. Fifteen years after losing the weight, I still dwell on what might have been...How heavy would I be today had I not said "enough!"? F&M was originally intended to be told entirely through flashbacks...a thin man reflecting on his accomplishments. As I began writing the book, I developed the story differently, and I am pleased with the outcome.
Readers will note how prevalent food is throughout the book, ironic because the story is about a fitness guru who was successful in losing weight. Food is all around us, however, and for some is an addiction. In the novel I address the fears and insecurities that formerly overweight individuals face.
Despite some heavy moments, readers will enjoy the romantic element, Mika Kalua's infatuation and frustration with her boss; the intrigue between Kevin (the fitness guru) and his business partner and trainer, Johnny Robertson; and Kevin's quest for his ex-wife, who befriended him at age seven.
Last year I self-published my first novel, But for the Grace of God. Previously I had written and published numerous publications concerning local history. I was ecstatic and honored when Astraea Press accepted Fame and Misfortune. There is nothing like being recognized by one’s peers. Several good friends and my family read the book as I completed each chapter. I am so grateful to them for helping guide me through the story.
I’ve got several ideas for new projects, including a May-December—nee—October romance trilogy that takes place in the realm of Mardi Gras here in New Orleans.
Kevin Clayton wanted to be thin, attractive, and wear normal sized clothing. However, after rising to prominence as an accomplished fitness guru following an extraordinary transformation and weight loss of 200 pounds, he finds that happiness remains elusive. His marriage to his childhood sweetheart shattered, his relationship with his daughter destroyed, and unable to trust the countless women who swoon over him because of his new looks, Kevin struggles to find meaning for his remarkable accomplishment and his efforts to teach others how to change their lifestyle and lose weight. Kevin longs for his wife and wants to make amends with his daughter, but his career and staff have other plans for him. Ultimately, he is torn between pursuing his ex-wife, Jennifer, or yielding to the advances of his sexy young assistant, Mika, whose motives are questioned when Kevin discovers that she and a trusted ally, his trainer, may be responsible for altering more than his diet.
The two chatted for about an hour, during which time Kevin's glass was filled several times. Many of the guests had left, and Mika was sitting at the wet bar watching over her boss from the adjoining room.
"Why don't you and I find some privacy?" the woman suggested. "Surely there's somewhere in this huge house where we can be alone," she whispered. She placed her hand on his chest and slowly moved her fingers into his shirt. The two rose from the white leather sofa, and Kevin stumbled, yet managed to recover his balance. He and the woman giggled as she clung to his arm, and together they made their way toward the corridor that would lead them to the stairs to Kevin's bedroom.
"Greg, come with me," Mika directed as she ran into the kitchen. She and the chef rushed along some passageways and managed to intercept the amorous couple before they reached the stairs to the second floor living quarters. Along the way, she dialed her cell phone. The pair exited a small room adjacent to the pantry and stepped out to stop the couple.
"You're going home," Mika said to the woman. "A taxi is on its way to pick you up."
"Excuse me? Who are you, little girl?"
"You're going to bed." Mika frowned at her boss. Kevin's eyes were droopy, and he swayed as he listened to the feisty little Hawaiian lass.
"C'mon, boss." Greg put Kevin's arm over his shoulder. "Goodnight, miss. Our driver will take you to the front gate, where a taxi will get you. The fare is on us."
Kevin's head drooped. The woman stormed off.
Mika and Greg took Kevin to his bedroom. "I guess he's too drunk to remember what that tabloid did to him last time this happened," Mika sputtered.
"Man, he's heavy." Greg dropped his boss onto the bed. "Can you imagine if he was still four hundred pounds? At least now he's two hundred and ten pounds of lean beef."
"Thanks, Greg." Mika sighed. "I can take it from here. Make sure that tart gets in that taxi."
"Yes, ma'am." Greg closed the door and returned to the living area while Mika undressed her boss. She took off his shoes and socks and pulled off his trousers. After experiencing considerable difficulty removing his trousers, she figured it was impossible for her alone to get his shirt off too, so she only unbuttoned it.
Exhausted, she sat on the bed next to him for a moment and watched him sleep. She sighed, and then lifted his head onto a pillow. Mika wiped the sweat from her forehead, and then rose to leave Kevin alone to sleep off the champagne. After pausing at the door, she returned and sat on the bed, then reached out with her left hand to feel his chest, for the first time ever touching his magnificent body. Her hand quivered as she opened his shirt to expose his full torso, and then she ran her fingers along his abdominal muscles and back to his chest. She leaned over and kissed him lightly on the lips, then left the bedroom to find sanctuary in her own living quarters.
To Buy & Other Links
Fame and Misfortune can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Amazon UK, Kobo, and other ebook outlets.