Frame of Reference by Christopher Stone, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have Christopher Stone stopping by with (an oldie but a goody) Frame of Reference, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway. So check out the post and then leave a comment on this post! <3 ~Pixie~ 

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 Frame of Reference

 (Frame of Reference 01)

Christopher Stone

His world-view shaped by retro movies and TV series, small-town boy, Grant Jackson, moves to Hollywood, in pursuit of television stardom.

Grant Jackson is a small-town guy, with the world-class, big city dream of becoming a network television star. But how do you make the dream come true when your resources are scant, and your frames of reference are retro motion pictures and the television series?

Determined to find out, Grant moves to Hollywood. But can he remain focused on his big dream, or will Grant be swept away in the anything goes world of gay West Hollywood – including its adult film and male prostitution scenes?


Everyone knows that West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard is lined with gay clubs, and so Grant drover there, parking curbside near the corners of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights Boulevards. Walking a short distance, he found himself in front of a windowless, black-painted building. A neon sign read: “Whackers – Cocktails.” But the neon spelling “tails” had burned out. And so, what remained illuminated, heralded,  “Whackers – Cock.”

Grant laughed aloud.

With a name like Whackers, this has to be good. And so he slowly, cautiously, opened the heavy wooden door. This was his first time in a gay club that wasn’t in the San Joaquin Valley. And, as regards things gay, Grant knew that there was more separating Hollywood from Selma, California, than two hundred twenty miles.

Stepping inside tentatively, his nose received the first sensory impression. Whackers smelled of stale beer, sawdust, testosterone, and forbidden pleasure. Grant inhaled the mélange, savoring the compound aromas – most especially the one that evoked things forbidden.

Next, his eyes reported that it would take them time to adjust to the club’s dim, bordering on nonexistent, lighting.

When the adjustment had been partially made, Grant was happily surprised by the sheer number of men in the club. Not yet three p.m., several dozen guys were bar-side, enjoying an early “Happy Hour” cocktail.

As the saying goes, somewhere in the world, it must be Happy Hour.

On the dance floor, several dozen men gyrated to a hip-hop version of Smokey Robinson’s “I Second That Emotion,” playing on the jukebox.


Comparisons to the San Joaquin Valley were unavoidable. The gay club at Frank’s Pine Lake Lodge would be lucky to attract a crowd this size on a Saturday night, much less on a weekday afternoon.

As Grant’s eyes further adjusted to the semi darkness, he saw that everyone was West Hollywood handsome – that’s somewhere between strikingly good-looking, and drop dead gorgeous. Closer scrutiny revealed that the men varied in age from barely legal to AARP eligible.

I am going to like it here. Grant recalled a song from Flower Drum Song, a 1960s Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musical that he and Mama had enjoyed on American Movie Classics.

Leaning into the bar, Grant ordered a drink from the shirtless, muscled and tattooed bartender. “A Cajun Dirty Martini, please Three Olives.”

No sooner had he ordered than a whispered buzz replaced the conversation in the club. The jukebox played on, but the dancers froze in place.

Grant saw that everyone was staring in his direction. For a brief moment, he panicked. Had Whackers camera-ready cronies sniffed out a small-town interloper, him, in their midst? Where the regulars about to come after the outsider, him, carrying torches, in the same way the villagers had stalked Frankenstein’s monster? Grant’s panic quickly morphed into relief when he realized that, although everyone was staring in his direction, they didn’t seem to be gazing at him. They appeared to be looking beyond him, and toward the front door.

Seeing that everyone’s eyes were trained on the front door, Grant also shifted his gaze to the entrance, where an exquisitely handsome, no, let’s make that a heart-stoppingly beautiful young man, entered into the club’s darkness. Wearing shorts that set off his tanned, leanly-muscled legs, and a black tank top that showcased exquisite upper torso development, this stunning blond’s looks easily eclipsed everyone else’s. No small feat.

 Grant’s eyes followed the beauty as he slowly made his way to one of the club’s small cabaret tables.

“It’s Cameron Cody. Cameron Cody.” The excited buzz stated echoing throughout the club.

“Are you sure?”


Can it really be?  Cameron Cody was the biggest gay adult film star in the world. Back in Selma, Grant had watched several of his movies on DVD, when his parents weren’t home. More than a porn superstar, Cameron Cody was a gay god. What James Dean had been to his grandmother’s generation of heterosexual youths, Cameron Cody was to the new century’s gay community.

Christopher Stone

About Christopher

Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Fresno, California, Christopher Stone’s early years were dominated by school, watching television and motion pictures, bicycling, skating, and reading avidly. Summers were spent swimming, and doing whatever it took to survive the oppressive San Joaquin Valley heat. But he also remembers fondly the yearly summer trips to New York, to visit family and friends – and to see Broadway shows. 

Christopher left Fresno, for Hollywood, California, during his college years after being accepted into the Writers Guild of America’s Open Door Program, a two-year, scholarship, training ground for aspiring screen and television writers. As it happened, rather than a teleplay or screenwriting gig, his first professional writing job was in journalism – as the Los Angeles Editor for Stage Door, at that time, Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. entertainment trade weekly, Variety.

Christopher would later use his Writers Guild of America training to co-author and sell the original screenplay, The Living Legend, with Jon Mercedes III, to the Erin Organization, and later, and also with Mercedes, to write two seasons of The Party Game, a Canadian TV game show.

As a young freelance entertainment journalist, he contributed to many Los Angeles-based publications, among them The Advocate, for which he wrote a breezy film column, “Reeling ‘Round,” and the Los Angeles Free Press. During this time, he became a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

Christopher dipped his toes into the world of motion picture advertising and publicity, as assistant to the West Coast Director of Advertising and Publicity for Cinerama Releasing Corporation, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, he also did special advertising and publicity projects for 20th Century-Fox. Christopher went on to become an Account Executive for David Wallace & Company, a public relations firm specializing in entertainment accounts – and located on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip.

Returning to his first love, writing, Christopher became a full time freelance contributor to national consumer publications including Us, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, McCall’s, In Cinema, and The National Enquirer, among others. Many of his stories were syndicated worldwide by the New York Times Syndication Corp.

Another important area of endeavor for Christopher Stone was Re-Creating Your Self. A Blueprint for Personal Change that he first developed for himself, the journalist went on to teach the principles and processes of Re-Creating Your Self to others – first, in private sessions, later, in workshops and seminars, and, finally, for California State University Extended Education. Eventually, one of his students suggested he write a book version.

Re-Creating Your Self was first published in hardcover by Metamorphous Press, and subsequently published in a trade paperback edition by Hay House. It has since been published in Spanish, Swedish and Hebrew language editions.

He went on to co-author, with Mary Sheldon, four novellas for a Japanese educational publisher, and then, also with Mary Sheldon, the highly successful The Meditation Journal trilogy of hardcover books.

In his private life, Christopher Stone met David M. Stoebner on May 17, 1994 and they have been together ever since.  In 2008, they were married in Los Angeles.  They share a home with their three pets in Coastal Los Angeles County.


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Praise for ‘Frame of Reference’:

“Christopher Stone, a new name on the GLBT romance scene, makes a memorable debut with FRAME OF REFERENCE. In this case, the titular frame of reference happens to be American television and the prologue takes us through the main character’s life in vignettes showing how the medium shapes his past, present, and future. The book is a good example of how to create an extremely sympathetic character and how to tell a story with simple, unadorned prose that rises above the page to create true imagery where it belongs: in the readers’ mind.

I was enchanted with the book and read it from cover to cover in just a few hours, happily coming along on the main character’s journey toward self-actualization and, ultimately, love. I’m sure that a romance reader seeking the elusive “happily ever after” will be quite enchanted with this work by an important new author.”-Rick R. Reed, AmazonVine Voice

“This book is definitely not in a genre I ordinarily read, so when a friend recommended it to me, I was admittedly a little skeptical. Skepticism, however, soon turned into genuine delight. Using an almost Christopher Isherwood, I-am-a-camera-like precision, Stone expertly evokes the world of a young gay man from a small town who struggles to establish himself as an actor in Hollywood.

Written vividly and wryly, the book is by turns touching, exciting, erotic and dark, and is always compelling. The characters were full-bodied (in more ways than one!) the dialogue was realistic, the situations off-beat and interesting. When I finished the book, my first thought was, “Bring on the sequel!” I can give “Frame of Reference” no higher praise than that!”– Robert J. Van Dusen, Amazon Reviewer

“This book was recommended by one of my gay friends and I must admit, as a straight lady, I wasn’t sure it was something I would be interested in reading. Glad I took the plunge. Interesting characters, in an interesting Hollywood setting that the writer is very familiar with.

I loved the references, by the main character, to all the TV. and movies. Clearly, Mr. Stone has done his homework. The sex scenes, (while a bit too much information for me!) will be much appreciated by the appropriate audience – in other words, quite hot!

Still, no romance novel is worth its salt without a good story line. Again, Mr. Stone has shown his mettle. The characters are well developed and the story interesting as a young man fights his way to the top of the heap. Bring on the next book, sequel!”– Sharyn St.Clair, Amazon Reviewer

“I stumbled on Frame of Reference at the nail salon. A lady was reading it and would read passages to the entire shop. So, I bought the book. What an eye opener into the world of gay young men. Being raised in Hollywood as a non-gay, I had no idea about this vibrant subculture. Being mature and growing up in a movie family, I understood all the references to movie stars, TV shows, and cinema. Do read it, you won’t be able to put it down!”– Dee Lewis, Amazon Reviewer

“Stone is at home in this world and he is an excellent writer with a touch of sardonic wit and his erotic scenes are very hot. I was totally amazed at the way he pulled me into his story especially since this is his first novel. His prose is simple but just right and Stone tells us a tale that allows us to draw mental pictures of what we read.”-Reviews by Amos Lassen

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Win an ecopy of Frame of Reference

 Just leave a comment on this blog post
(Ends 16th January 2015)


Christopher Stone - Frame of Reference  Cover 300X471Title: Frame of reference

Author: Christopher Stone

Genre: Erotic romance

Length: Novel (332 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-60820-7756

Publisher: MLR Press (September 2012)

Heat level: Explicit

Heart rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Heart

Blurb: His world-view shaped by retro movies and TV series, small-town boy, Grant Jackson, moves to Hollywood, in pursuit of television stardom.

Grant Jackson is a small-town guy, with the world-class, big city dream of becoming a network television star. But how do you make the dream come true when your resources are scant, and your frames of reference are retro motion pictures and the television series?

Determined to find out, Grant moves to Hollywood. But can he remain focused on his big dream, or will Grant be swept away in the anything goes world of gay West Hollywood – including its adult film and male prostitution scenes?

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Review:  This is a somewhat interesting story about one man finding fame almost against all odds. While his road there might have been unconventional, having a dream is sometimes enough and the will to follow that dream a winning factor.

Grant is a small town pretty guy who has been fascinated with anything TV since he was a small child. His entertainment was TV guides and every situation in life had its counterpart on-screen in one of many shows, series and movies Grant so avidly enjoyed all his life.

Once he has enough money he jumps right into that world. No experience, both in acting as well as life he pushes down the path he only sees as leading to fame and gets his fingers slapped more than once. Discouraged but not willing to give up just yet, Grant takes it day by day, facing challenges, volunteering for Project Angel Food and having casual sex he so very much enjoys. Because love is not for Grant – he’s been there, got singed and like any good man with half a brain he decided he liked his skin without any burns and his heart whole.

I’ve stumbled on a similar writing style a few times in the past year and while it’s not something I would choose deliberately, I can’t rate a book simply because of my dislike of the writing form. A lot of you will appreciate the amount of TV/Hollywood references, quotes and familiar names. They are appropriate for the moments in the story where they were used, even funny at times, but I’m more into the story itself and less into the wide frames and inserted memories.

This particular time I found something different from what I always look for when picking up an m/m romance. The center of this story is Grant and his path toward fame. The choices he made, curve balls life threw at him and people he met along the way. It’s filled with a somewhat bittersweet world of an aspiring actor, tragedy and only eventually love.

While the adult movie career Grant sort of made for himself and his escorting meets combined, did bring a bit of life, or should I say excitement, into this story, is still felt too slow for my taste. The late arrival of the romance and vague realization of it didn’t make me feel any better and it was with a deep sigh that I finally read the last page.

There are strong points to this story, the main being excellent writing. A few editing mistakes can be forgiven as far as I’m concerned and it is the interpretation as well as the life-like presentation of Grant’s story that most of you will be interested in. The life of a gay man wanting to hit it big starts slowly, but after a while the story picks up and we are shown the many different aspects of life in a big city. Grant is a pretty good character, naïve at times, but with a certain optimistic outlook on life that keeps the story from getting too dark. I must say I liked the porn making part of this book the best. It was not perfect, but there were enough details to keep me going and the author made sure not to repeat Grant’s experiences and approached every new event with a fresh vision in mind.

If you’ve liked The Marrying Kind by Ken O’Neill or Tinseltownby Barry Brennessel you will probably love this book.

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Check out the other blogs on the tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Jan 7 Review & Giveaway
MM Good Book Reviews Jan 9 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway
Inspire to Read Jan 11 Excerpt
Pinky’s Favorite Reads Jan 14 Interview & Excerpt
Paranormal Romance Jan 21 Review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books Jan 22 Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway
Wordsmithonia  Feb 12 Review
Manic Mama of 3  Feb 13 Review
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