Books by Emory Black

Rock Creek Ranch RoadTripIncident at Zhenbao


Rock Creek Ranch

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Tyler McKay, lost in a New Mexico storm, found an obsession with his rescuer, Cody Montoya, a young father and rancher married to a half-breed Apache, who drew Ty into the dark side of his family in a brewing struggle that haunted their troubled relationships until none of them could take it any longer.

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With a sorry history of DUI’s and wrecked cars, naïve boy-next-door Josh is shocked to find who’s in bed with his fiancée. Desperate to put Arkansas behind him, he tries to steal a truck but is busted by three ex-cons with their own plans for a road trip to California. Kidnapped, cuffed and raped, no one is spared as the gang bares its teeth. Somebody’s got to go. Somebody’s got to die. Somebody’s got to clean up the mess.

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RebeccasReads of Austin
Reviewed: December 2103

Emory Black’s new novel, “Road Trip,” is a plain spoken ride through perdition, a trip wide in scope, tumbling toward a certain kind of redemption. When first encountered by the reader, and it must be said, for a long stretch afterward, the main protagonist, Josh Schiffler, appears to be a lost soul. He is a young man/child only half aware of what and who he is.

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incidentatzhenbao-4Tom Hamilton, kicked out of the family’s Arizona ranch by his Marine step-dad, instantly falls in lust for Mike Kelly when he arrives at prestigious ivy-covered all-male Ridgeston College.

But Tom’s not queer and neither is Mike, his twenty-eight-year-old Dormitory Master and one tough Marine. One misstep at Ridgeston and Tom will find himself drafted into the Vietnam War.

A stunningly handsome swimmer, Tom is hardly cut out for the fast-paced sophisticated life. His fragile innocence is prey for women, his fellow swim teammates, and Jim Bradley who owns him with booze and the lure of secret sexcapades — all things he fights to shun.

Tom, confused and plagued by inner demons, is driven to the brink before he bares his soul to Mike. Both men are brought to their knees and Tom discovers who Mike truly is — a warrior to his very core — in the incident at Zhenbao.



Blue Ink Review Reviewed: September 2012

After finishing Emory Black’s Incident at Zhenbao, you wonder why it wasn’t simply titled Fifty Shades of the Thin Gray Line.

Incident is a gay coming-of-age novel, equal parts sex and angst with Tom coming to terms with himself and his desires and the remainder takes Mike on one last dreaded mission. The book is set in the ‘60s, when suggesting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would’ve gotten you burned at the stake.

Black is a talented writer who occasionally elevates his prose to exceptional… he’s able to zoom in on select characters, say butch-to-a-fault Mike Kelly, and invest them with a level of depth… You care about Tom and his journey.

Clarion Review Four Stars (out of Five)

Emory Black grabs the reader through staccato language, immediately establishing the narrator, Tom Hamilton, as an all-action, focused individual in a tough situation.

Tom is tested in a plot twist that gives the book its title. The “Incident at Zhenbao” becomes a pivot upon which the novel turns, breathlessly bringing the reader along on an unpredictable path.

Tom may not always be having a great time, but the reader certainly will. Scenes run the gamut from hardcore to romantic, and Black proves expert in setting just the right tone to keep the book lively sexually without going over the top.

Additional strength comes from the expertly crafted dialogue, which keeps the action rolling at the same fast pace established on the first page. Each conversation, even if it is about minor events, advances the plot like a rock from a slingshot.

Although Tom’s adventures will strike a chord with anyone who has come out as gay, Black’s narrative draws on universal themes that are likely to resonate with many kinds of readers: Those in military life who are conflicted over their actions versus their duty, those who search for true love but also fear rejection when they find it, and those who try to stand up to authority figures and find personal transformation as a result.

Fast-paced and steamy, with a fantastic plot twist as well, Incident at Zhenbao is definitely a journey worth taking.

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