Palace Dog including Excerpt, Author Guest post & Giveaway – by R.E. Nelson


Book Name: Palace Dog

Author Name: R. E. Nelson



In April 1975, as the government in Saigon is falling, Michael Andrews prepares to make his way back to Vietnam to find the love he was forced to leave.

But Michael’s journey begins four years earlier. He joins the Air Force to keep out of the Army and out of Vietnam, but his first assignment is teaching English in Saigon to members of the Vietnamese military in an Army program called Palace Dog.

As an artist, and a man, before his time in Vietnam, Michael found life lonely and unsatisfying. In the midst of war, Michael searches for direction and meaning. He ultimately finds love and hope with Thao, a young Vietnamese art student, only to have their already uncertain future wrenched from them when he is pulled out of the country.

For Michael, his return in 1975 is inevitable and without question, though the outcome he hopes for is anything but assured.

Categories: Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance



The cyclo had bumped across the bridge, following the curve in the road, then moved quickly down the final straight stretch, past houses and shops, past rows of trees and walls and occasional open spaces, past vendors who lined the street’s edge selling gasoline in glass bottles. Motorcycles, Lambretta mini-buses packed with people, cream-and-blue Renault taxis, pedestrians with baskets and boxes—all crowded the street. Noises, smells, and smoke came from everywhere, and as the driver increased his speed, I smiled, gripping the metal frame tighter and pushing slightly with my feet as the moist wind rushed around me.

Speeding through the streets of Saigon, wearing the green Air Force-issued jungle fatigues, my life of a year ago seemed unreal.

Pages or Words: 206 pages

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Author Bio:

R.E. Nelson was born in Texas and raised in Southern California. He has been writing for as long as he can remember. One of his earliest recollections related to writing is winning an essay contest in sixth grade–something patriotic about the American flag. When he travels, his preference is staying in select areas for an extended period of time and learning about that place. He has lived in both Vietnam (twice, actually) and Saudi Arabia, and also spent time in Egypt, South Korea, Shanghai (his only China visit thus far), and Dubai. Now he is happy to call San Francisco home.

guestpost1Thanks to R.E. Nelson for joining us today with a Guest Post!

You bio says you were born in Texas and raised in Southern California (I was born in So Cal and raised in Texas) and lists quite a bit of travel.  Which have been some of your favorite places to visit and how have these places influenced your writing?  Where would you like to visit for research for another story?

Being sent to Vietnam to teach English for the Army (much like Michael Andrews in PALACE DOG), opened the door to world travel for me.  Before that my travel had been limited to family car trips from California to Texas each summer to visit family, and a major family road trip to eastern Canada to visit  more distant family when I was in high school.

After Vietnam and my time left in the Air Force that was spent in the US, I taught English for two years at the University of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.  This was in the mid-1970’s when Riyadh was a much different place from now.  I’m currently working on a book set during that time and place, tentatively called A PARK IN RIYADH, using a series of short vignettes I wrote at that time.  The story I’m writing now differes from the vignettes considerably, but the short pieces bring me back to what it was like to be there.

In 1981, I visited a friend who was working in Egypt.  I think this was definitely one of my favorite places.  He lived in Cairo, but we drove to Alexandria, then followed the Nile all the way down to Luxor and Aswan and back to Cairo.  It was amazing.  In addition, President Sadat was assassinated while I was there, which definitely added drama to the visit.  The first novel that I wrote (unpublished), was a futuristic fantasy tale set in Egypt based on the Isis-Osiris legends.  It was first called VEIL OF ISIS, but changed to BLOOD OF ISIS—both rather unfortunate titles, I suppose, given the current headlines!  That story definitely came out of my 1981 visit.

My travel over the years has included extended visits to South Korea (Seoul) and China (Shanghai), but no story ideas have come from those visits.

I began returning to Viet Nam on a regular basis in 1991 and have spent considerable time there over the last 20 years or so.  I am rewriting a story I wrote some time ago, A BIRTH OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE, which is a fictional biography of a close friend who has led a very interesting (to me) and somewhat tragic life.  (I also have one other unpublished novel set in Viet Nam during the war, SHADOW CHILD, about a married American soldier who dies after fathering a child by a Vietnamese woman there.)  So Vietnam has definitely had an effect on my writing.

I would love to return to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia to experience them now and see how that might influence the stories I have yet to tell about them.  I would also like to visit other parts of China (I’ve only been to Shanghai).   And perhaps explore Morroco.  There’s really no place that I don’t want to visit.


Where to find the author:

Twitter: @RENelson13

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Cover Artist: Paul Richmond


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