Toby Riester is sixteen, gay, and searching for his first boyfriend. He discovers many potential candidates--Orlando, a cute sixteen year old boy of Latin ancestry who works with Toby at the Phantom World amusement park--C.T., a blond, seventeen year old who is obviously gay--and Spike, a well-built sixteen year old from the internet. Each boy has his own seductive qualities and each is more than his seems. One of them, however, is far more dangerous than Toby ever guessed. Orlando finds himself a girlfriend at Phantom World, but that's only the beginning of his story. When he meets his girlfriend's twin brother, Kerry, his world is turned upside down. Mackenzie Riester is the athletic younger brother of Toby. He has little respect for his queer big brother and joins with his new found friend, Billy, in playing an elaborate practical joke on Toby that becomes more perilous than he ever dreamed. Phantom World is the story of three very different boys--their triumphs, heartaches, and their search for love and acceptance.
From Mark on Phantom World
Phantom World is the first novel in a new branch of the Gay Youth Chronicles. This wonít be a separate series, but will be set in southern Indiana rather than Verona. Some characters will be crossing over, such as Ralph who lives in southern Indiana and others connected to him, such as his boyfriend, Jordan. Iím creating this new branch of stories to open up new possibilities. There is plenty left to explore in Verona, but this new setting will create a new field upon which to play.
The new branch of stories doesnít mark the end of novels set in Verona, but is rather an additional setting. The next novel I intend to release, Masked Destiny, is set in Verona. The following as yet untitled novel will be set in southern Indiana in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s.
Despite the title, Phantom World isnít about ghosts. Itís the name of a newly reopened (and entirely fictional) theme park, not to be confused with Holiday World, the nationís oldest theme park which is located in southern Indiana. You may notice some names connected with Verona in the theme park, most notably the parkís haunted house, The Graymoor Mansion. It isnít specifically stated in the novel, but the Graymoor Mansion in Verona was the model used for the scaled down version in the park.
Iíve always been a lover of theme parks, so Iím excited about Phantom World as a setting for my stories. I donít intend to base all my southern Indiana novels in the park, but it will be a nice place for characters to occasionally visit.