Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Review: 'Summerwind Magick' by Rick Bettencourt

Florida author Rick Bettencourt leaps into a new genre with SUMMERWIND MAGICK - the occult/thriller/suspense arena - and does so quite successfully. Perhaps he is giving a bow to his early years of living in Massachusetts and his favorite city – Salem – as that is where the major action takes place Rick has joined an enlarging spotlight of fellow LGBT writers - a circle stage front that includes such names as David Sedaris, Edmund White, Felice Picano, Robert Rodi, Michael Cunningham, David Leavitt, Alan Hollinghurst, Colm Tóibín, et al - and comes on very strong with his books TIM ON BROADWAY, ONE NIGHTSTAND, MARKETING BEEF and BUILDING US. Though there is much talk about this master of the social media and though he has enjoyed success with his earlier works PAINTING WITH WINE and the collection of stories in NOT SURE BOYS, this novel places him solidly in the company of the specially gifted young writers of gay fiction. All true and building - he now is responsible for publishing some very promising fellow writers. Rick's gift for significant writing continues to swell.

But can he succeed in this new paranormal genre? He already has proved that he can with SOULBOUND, so step aside from doubt and just enjoy this excursion into entertainment, stage fright, and competition married very well indeed to sorcery and covens of witches.

Rick’s synopsis is solid: ‘ A bully’s been tormenting her for years. A witch is the medium. An actress the victim. After Carolyn wrecks her singing career, she and her best friend Michael set out to New England for a spellbinding adventure—a complex brew of suspense, drama, and the supernatural spiced with a dose of humor and fun. Rising talent Carolyn Sohier dreams of breaking into the spotlight and achieving the kind of stardom her father—a deceased hippy-musician—could never realize. But severe stage fright relegates her to singing backup and making cheesy television commercials. Carolyn can’t seem to tap into the energy trapped deep inside her and show her talent to the world. Self-doubt plagues her worse than the demon she vomits up on stage at Radio City Music Hall. Now, the creature follows her around the set of her first feature film—Witches of Salem—being shot on location in New England. Salem resident Rebecca Farney longs for acceptance in the Official Witch of Salem’s coven and recognized as a real witch. Despite the community’s protest, Rebecca can’t pass up a chance to be part of the movie and turn Witches of Salem into a camp hit like her favorite television show Bewitched. Perhaps casting a spell on the film’s actors and crew could win her recognition from the Salem coven…Michael, Carolyn’s best friend, has spent a lifetime protecting the star and bolstering her ego. Yet all the money he and his partner—a software tycoon from Seattle—have, can’t shield her from what’s about to happen…’

And so Rick Bettencourt expands his influence and there naturally is applause! Grady Harp, November 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.