Barry Brennessel — Mystery, Romance, Suspense & Humo(u)r

Novels, Linked Story Collections, Novellas & Anthologies






Finalist, 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

Finalist,  2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards

Honorable Mention, 2011 Rainbow Awards 

3rd Place, 2010 PNWA Literary Contest

Best Surprise of 2013, Boys in Our Books


Micah Malone is just an average college student with an ordinary life and big dreams. And an intense passion for film and TV.  And a Greek Chorus in his head.

His friends create more drama than a soap opera.  His love life needs a laughtrack.

Can Micah ultimately find the direction he needs?

Let the cameras roll. Micah’s quirky story has begun filming.

“Barry Brennessel has written a wonderful novel. He creates a wonderful circle of friends that are imperfect but balance the group. I cried and laughed while reading this book and I look forward to many more novels from Barry.”

Vonda for Top 2 Bottom Reviews

“Micah is actually rather a charming narrator who suffers a little from low self confidence when it comes to looks, and a general apathy about his studies and his life. In other words he’s a bit of a typical college student: rather self-absorbed, easily distracted and fond of socialising. That the author also manages to make him sympathetic and generally likeable is proof of the quality of the characterisation.  I thoroughly enjoyed being taken on the journey of Micah’s road to love. If you want to read something light-hearted and witty with a very likeable hero, then I’d recommend Tinseltown.”

Jenre, Well Read Reviews 

Barry Brennssel’s debut novel, TINSELTOWN, has to be the most quirky, charming romance this reader has read in a long time. Never has a character felt more like a Woody Allen character in print in Mr Brennessel’s laugh out loud, sexy modern romance. The ever-adorable Micah Malone, complete with internal Greek Chorus, struggles to make his way in life and love.   It is well worth the read as the story and characters are just too loveable to not give a chance. Kick back, relax and enjoy the show, TINSELTOWN style!

Jenn for The Romance Reviews

“This novel was a delightful experience, like a cup of chocolate with whipped cream above in a winter afternoon, and I will add also, in front of a fireplace.  The novel reads a lot like one of my every time favourite, Almost like Being in Love by Steve Kluger; the narrative voice breaks the plot in “scenes” and he introduces the characters as “roles”; sometime the same characters directly speak to the reader, giving their own account of the same scene. There is even a Greek Chorus, advising Micah for the best, and 2 different therapists who will sometime bring back Micah on track when he needs to tell the reader is own story; the state of art account of a 21 years old gay boy whose life has not yet routed on the right track. Micah had a more than advantage starting point, a supporting family, a circle of friends who are always there, ready to help and advice, and a set of assets (good looks, creativeness and positive attitude) that will give him the chance to a more than positive future… if he is able to understand what is really important in life and who is the right man for him.”

–Elisa Rolle

“The characters are real and very unique, their sense of humor bursting from each page, but even with all the teasing it was clear that they care. The sad parts of this book made me cry which is not an easy thing to do and I have to say it was done beautifully. This book is very special and I am certain it will find many fans among the readers.”

–Hearts on Fire Reviews

“I was pulled into the book from the very first page because of the character of Micah and also because the book is so well written. This is a bit different from other gay novels as it basically deals with a guy and his friends as they try to maneuver their way through life. The author has drawn some wonderful characters and when he puts dialogue into their mouths, the whole book comes alive.”

Reviews by Amos Lassen

“In Tinseltown, you are taken on a wild ride through the life and mind of film student Micah. As crazy as each piece of the puzzle is, you find yourself caught up in having to know what happens next.  Tinseltown by Barry Brennessel was humorous and sad. But mostly, it was Micah’s story, and told from a unique perspective that makes me want to read more by Mr. Brennessel.”

Jaymes in The Reader’s Roundtable

Micah, the narrator, most enjoyably sprinkles witty references at appropriate points throughout his story. In Tinseltown, they add to the story and advance the plot. And they often made me laugh out loud—literally.

So this amusing story goes in its first half. In the second, though, Brennessel suddenly drops a bomb. I never saw it coming, and I doubt any other reader will. And yet it’s appropriate and meaningful—and through an ‘amazing,’ as they say, number of subsequent pages on my Kindle left me in tears.

And it brings front and center two additional heavy loads (pun not intended, honestly) for Micah to bear. What was a highly entertaining novel becomes profound. Can Micah learn that searching for perfection in a partner, himself, or the world he lives in isn’t the way to go?

I highly recommend Tinseltown to any reader who wishes to savor entertainment and thought in the same delectable dish.

–Ron Fritsch for Rainbow Book Reviews

At its heart, it is the story of Micah Malone — in many ways typical gay young man, but also with a (somewhat/at times) atypical storyline. Micah tends to be quite melodramatic and campy, but that’s what you gotta love about him. He has a very original voice and his film and TV obsession is shown through obscure references throughout the story.

This book had me doubled over laughing.”

–Cole, The Armchair Reader

Tinseltown is very much an encounter with a character and very special.

For my part, it was a puzzling, lively, funny, sweet, sad, cute (Micah’s favorite word) whirlwind that I loved being sucked in.

Sid Love’s Blog