List Price: 16.95
Available: April 2014
Saltydog is the chronicle of two families separated not only by geography, but by culture and lifestyle. Matt Bourke and his partner live in Portland, Oregon. They are middle-aged gay men who have been together for many years. Matt is a free-lance writer. He is also an aficionado of cyber play and often visits his favorite video chat site where he likes to think he has a reputation for sizzling hot talk and seduction.
Matt is approached online by “Saltydog,” who claims to be an inexperienced and naïve Navy man. He is stationed in Spain and married to a Spanish woman. They have two young boys. Matt regards all men who play online as liars and Saltydog is no exception. But Saltydog has almost as much flair for hot talk and sexy role-playing as Matt, who becomes obsessed with finding out who the real Saltydog is. After five years of playing online, their fantasies become more intricate and intense. So do the attempts to discover who is telling the truth and who is lying.
While Matt and Saltydog try to bluff each other into revealing facts about themselves, the reader is a fly on the walls of their real lives in the real world. Only the reader knows about Saltydog’s colorful family and upbringing. Only the reader observes the complexities of maintaining a long term relationship. Only the reader knows what is real and what is not.
When Saltydog suddenly disappears; when his email account is closed; when he deletes all his online profiles, Matt and his partner set out on a quest to discover the truth. They discover a great deal… enough to inspire a road trip that climaxes with an in-person meeting between Saltydog and Matt. The confrontation is volcanic and erupts into revelations that will surprise everyone.
Bedlam “Budd” Connor was born and raised in the eastern foothills of the Appalachians. Though not antisocial, he preferred the solitude of forests to the babble of people. In his late teens, Budd moved to Central Oregon and after earning his GED and AA from a community college, attended Oregon State University. There he studied Forestry, and after graduation, took a job with the Forest Service as a fire lookout, isolated for weeks at a time with little to no human interaction. This suited his reclusive nature perfectly. It gave him time to let his imagination go wild, which it did. He put those imaginings into this book, his first novel, Saltydog, which he knows may stir up controversial reactions, but doesn’t quite give a damn. When he is not atop a lookout station on the eastern slopes of the Cascades, he lives a quiet life near Bend, Oregon.