March 7, 2014
Not what you’re thinking … this is my first release and wide-audience blog. Sorry it’s a little late in the day, but got called into work and while I love writing, it doesn’t quite pay the bills … yet.
I’m JR Shelley, author of the newly-released ‘Forever Fantasy.’ It’s my first M/M novella, so I’m kinda nervous at its reception. Thought I’d start off with an except, give you guys a taste of the story.
“I’m just not used to someone wanting to spend time with me and….” Logan paused, running his finger along the rim of his mug.
“And not want something in return.”
RJ put his hand over Logan’s. “I do want something in return.”
Logan stared at him. “What?”
“I want your friendship. I want to help you deal with your demons.”
Logan gave him a half-smile. “Thanks. How about a walk on the beach? I find the ocean very calming.”
“I don’t know much about romance.”
“Simple gestures can be romantic. My favorite is to be surprised with breakfast in bed.” The waiter brought their food out.
“Look, I probably should have asked earlier, but… you have someone waiting on you back home?”
RJ let out a sigh. “No, not anymore. Another reason I came out here. He… he died.”
“I’m sorry. I… I shouldn’t have asked.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s been a little over three months. He was someone I met in the military. He couldn’t… he couldn’t deal with his demons.”
“He treated you to breakfast in bed?”
RJ smiled, even through the sad eyes. “Always on my birthday. And a few times just because.”
“I’ll keep that in mind if I ever, you know, find someone.”
“I hope you do.”
They finished breakfast and headed toward the beach, hand in hand. The skies were turning a bit gray, a hint of rain in the air.
“You sure you want to head out? Looks like the sky’s going to open up.” RJ stopped to look at the clouds on the horizon.
“A little rain won’t kill us. Anyway, isn’t rain romantic?” Logan waggled his eyebrows.
“You can be corny sometimes, you know that?”
“Part of my charm.”
“Okay, Prince Charming, lead the way.”
They got about a half mile down the beach toward the outcropping of rocks when the soft rain started. RJ leaned up against a large boulder, rain plastering his clothes to his skin.
Logan put his hands on either side of RJ’s head, dipping his own head in close, then back out, the lightest of kisses between them as the rain fell. Soon they were exploring each other’s mouths, their bodies touching chest to groin.
Logan was about to give in to the sensation of RJ being so near when RJ pushed him back. “Not now.”
“Being groped on the beach in the rain not doing it for you?” Logan stepped back.
“No, it’s not that. I want more for you.”
Logan wrinkled his brow. “More for me?”
“Not a quick hand job or blow job on the beach. Tell me, what do you feel right now?”
“Honestly, a little tight in the pants and it’s not all because of the rain.”
“No, how do you feel, up here?” RJ tapped Logan’s head.
“What am I supposed to feel?”
RJ looked pained. “God, I’m so sorry.”
“You don’t feel anything? Nothing for me, nothing for the beauty of the moment?”
“I know I want to make you feel good.”
RJ shook his head. “What do you want?”
Logan stepped back even farther, almost like he’d been struck. “Why would it matter what I want?”
RJ pulled him back, wrapping his arms around him. “It matters. You matter to me.” He turned them, with Logan now against the rock. “Feel me. Feel me… loving you.” RJ claimed Logan’s lips, sending him a passionate kiss. “Tell me what you want, right here, right now. Don’t think about me. Just tell me what you want.”
“I… I want you. To feel your lips on mine, your hands on my body.”
“That I can do.” RJ kissed his lips, nibbling down his neck while he slid his hand up under Logan’s wet T-shirt. He gently caressed Logan’s chest. “Just feel. Don’t think about me, be selfish. Enjoy being loved.”
That’s a bit from the story. I hope you like it.
Here is the buy link at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4754
I’ll be back later, hopefully to run a contest to win a copy!
February 18, 2014
Okay, Guess who???
I’m here with the last excerpt and question. Good luck everyone. Remember, don’t posts your answers any earlier then two o’clock, EST. I’ll see you at the cocktail hour with a drink and three winners in hand. For you not familiar with cocktail hour, that’s 5pm EST. This so exciting!!!!
Hank was standing over the stove with a wooden spoon in each hand as the sound of Norah Jones wafted through the house. He was swaying and humming along to Norah’s sultry version of the “Tennessee Waltz” while stirring a pot of yellow cheese grits with one spoon and a sauté pan of jumbo shrimp and Andouille sausage with the other. A thought suddenly hit him, and he turned his head to one side, deciding what to do about it.
He lowered the flame on both burners, picked up his cell phone, and opened his contacts, choosing the contact he’d programmed earlier that day for Garner. While the call connected and started to ring, Hank found himself swaying again to Norah’s soulful sounds.
He stopped when he heard Garner’s voice. “Hey, Hank.” Garner had obviously checked the caller ID before he answered.
“Hey, man, how’s it going?”
“Pretty good. Thompson and I just finished checking in the last arrival, and I’m about to head down to the boat to unwind for a second and then shower.”
Hank felt a wave of panic and looked down at his watch. Six forty-nine. He went over his mental checklist. He still had to finish dinner, set the table, shower, and pick up Garner, and he had just over an hour in which to do it all.
“Yeah, I’m here. Boy, do I need to get a move on, though. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t allergic to shellfish or see if there was anything else I should know about your diet.”
“Nope. No food allergies that I’m aware of.”
“Okay, good. Gotta go! See you at eight.”
“Okay,” Garner said with a chuckle.
Hank ended the call and went back to the stove. He dipped his spoon into the simmering grits and brought the cheesy mixture to his mouth. “Ummmm, perfect. One down.”
He turned off the burner, covered the pot, and turned his attention to the shrimp and sausage mixture.
As he pushed the shrimp and sausage around in the pan, listening to Norah sing “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” he thought about Thompson for some reason. Garner mentioning his name on the phone triggered a couple of memories that had stuck with him all day and he wasn’t sure why. For starters, he’d stopped by the marina midmorning with some bagels for Garner and Thompson. When he’d found the office empty, he’d approached the large window and found them coming up the dock, Thompson’s arm slung over Garner’s shoulder and both of them laughing hysterically. The scene had struck him as odd because ever since Caroline’s death, Thompson had been very reserved and mostly closed off. In fact, Hank hadn’t seen him crack more than a smile for as long as he could remember. But then they’d stopped laughing suddenly, and it looked as though the mood or conversation had taken on a more serious tone. They had continued up the dock looking like each of them had more to say, and, not wanting to get in the middle of anything, Hank had slipped out unnoticed.
Then when he’d come back to the marina on that call, it looked like they were into something heavy again, so not wanting to interrupt this time either, he’d said hello, but chose not to stop and headed right for his boat. But as he was on the water leaving the marina, he saw Thompson throw his arms around Garner, saw Garner make some move to get free, then Thompson’s arm was around Garner’s neck, and they were walking up the dock laughing again. I wonder what is going on with those two? Then it hit him like a ton of bricks. Holy shit! Am I jealous?
Hank realized that he really liked spending time with Garner. He didn’t know where it was headed, but he liked him enough to go along for the ride. He hadn’t felt any type of connection to anyone in such a long time, and he was damned excited about it. Garner was smart, good-looking, sexy as hell, and had a wicked sense of humor. All the traits he liked in a man. Some of the excitement waned a bit with his next thought. Six weeks, Hank! He’s only here for six weeks. Be careful and don’t go getting your heart broken.
The sizzling sound of the food brought him back to reality, and he decided to push the thoughts to the back of his mind for now. Besides, he could ask Garner what was going on between him and Thompson tonight.
Hank tasted one of the shrimp. “Just about done,” he said under his breath. “I think I’ll let them marinate for a while and finish them off right before I serve them.”
He turned off the gas burner, moved about the kitchen getting dishes, silverware, and placemats together, and headed for the dining room. “That Yankee isn’t going to think twice about Thompson Gray when he gets a taste of my famous Southern Shrimp & Grits. A way to a man’s heart through his stomach and all that.”
When the table was set, he stood back and admired his work. He glanced at his watch again. Forty minutes to go. Not bad, Hank. Not bad at all.
Garner was standing outside the marina entrance when he saw the white F150 round the corner. He waved as the truck pulled up and stopped. The power window came down and the driver leaned out. “Hellooo, sailor! Looking for a ride?”
“If you’re going my way,” Garner retorted.
Hank grinned and winked. “Oh yeah, I go your way.”
Hank put the truck in park, hopped out, and stole a quick kiss on Garner’s cheek.
“Thanks,” Garner said. “You look great, by the way.”
Hank was wearing a nicely pressed blue chambray shirt over a bright-orange T-shirt, khakis, and brown driving shoes.
“Thanks. You too.”
Garner felt underdressed in his amber-colored V-neck T-shirt, blue jeans, and blue-and-gold Nikes. He ran his hands down the front of his shirt. “This old thing?”
Hank laughed and opened the door. “Yes, that old thing. I like the way it brings out the blond in your hair. Now get in there, silly.”
Garner watched Hank run back around, jump in, and buckle his seatbelt. He moved with a confident grace and Garner liked it.
As the truck sped up, Hank leaned over and patted Garner’s thigh. “How was the rest of your day? When I came back from my call, Thompson said you were out.”
“Yeah, he asked me to run a marina guest up to West Marine to pick up a replacement bilge pump.”
“God, I love that store,” Hank said. “If I ever sold my business, I would really like to work there. The only problem I can foresee is I’d buy so much shit, I’d owe them money at the end of every pay period.”
Garner nodded in agreement. “Me too. I’m afraid I’d be right there with you.”
The short ride back to Hank’s place was filled with the usual back-and-forth banter they’d become accustomed to in the short time they’d known one another.
In less than ten minutes, Hank pulled into the driveway of a beige bungalow-style home boasting a white wraparound porch with a swing, white wicker furniture, and green-and-white striped upholstery. Dark-green shutters and a pale-yellow door finished off the exterior. Garner thought it looked like something out of a magazine. The landscaping was perfectly manicured and the outdoor lighting was spot on. There was soft lamplight coming from all the windows, and the entire place looked warm and inviting.
“This is absolutely charming,” Garner said, taking it all in.
Hank put the truck in park, rested both hands on the steering wheel, and stared at his house as if he was seeing it for the first time himself. “Thanks, I’ve owned it for about a year and just finished renovating the entire thing.”
Garner opened his door. “Come on, I can’t wait to see the inside.”
Hank hopped out of the truck, apparently as eager to show off his place as Garner was to see it. They walked into a spacious foyer with at least twelve-foot ceilings. There was a round leather-inlaid drum table in the center with a bouquet of fresh flowers and a secretary with a Chippendale chair against the back wall. A powder room was recessed in the back right corner. Garner turned to the left and saw a formal dining room, complete with romantic table set for two. He stepped into the room, admiring one thing to the next. He stopped when he saw a large antique cupboard in the far corner loaded with some type of porcelain. “Everything is lovely, but this piece is spectacular.”
“Thanks. It was my grandmommy Ellen’s, right down to the very last piece of porcelain inside of it. It’s one of my two prized possessions.”
“And the other?” Garner asked.
Hank’s very being seemed to be filling with pride as he took Garner by the hand and led him across the foyer to the formal living room.
“And this is the formal living room,” he said with the wave of his hand.
Garner followed in awe, certain his mouth was hanging open from the sheer beauty surrounding him. There was a royal-blue tone-on-tone striped camelback couch sitting in the center of the room with two tapestry-upholstered Martha Washington chairs flanking a large fireplace. End tables and other accent pieces effortlessly placed here and there donned the room and created a comfortable but elegant feel. There was a hall at the far right, which Garner assumed led to the bedrooms, and closed double french doors across the back wall. But before he could ask where they led, he spotted a triple mahogany chest of drawers with shiny brass pulls against the back wall. “That’s got to be the other piece.”
“Bingo,” Hank said. “You have a great eye.”
He ran his fingers across the top of the long chest, admiring it. “I don’t know about that, but it’s hard to miss this example of fine craftsmans—”
Before he could finish his sentence, Hank’s lips were covering his. It was a long, deep, and slow kiss. Hank’s tongue explored every crevice of his mouth, and when it ended, it left Garner breathless and wanting more.
Hank brushed the side of Garner’s face with the back of his hand. “I’ve been wanting to do that since I saw you early this morning.”
Garner smiled at the compliment. Then something didn’t sit right with that statement. He thought for a second. This morning? I didn’t see him until this afternoon. “You mean this afternoon?” Garner corrected.
“Nope. This morning,” Hank restated with a nonchalant tone.
Suddenly, memories of an earlier time back in New York when he’d had an overzealous admirer that had turned into amateur stalking flooded Garner’s memory. Stop it, Garner. He doesn’t appear to be the stalker type. And besides, if he were really stalking you, would he tell you about it? He pushed those ridiculous thoughts out of his mind, but he must have still had a concerned look on his face that didn’t go unnoticed.
“Don’t worry, I’ll explain over dinner,” Hank volunteered.
Garner opened his mouth to protest, but Hank held up a finger. “It’s really nothing. I promise.”
Question: What color was the camelback couch in Hank’s living room?
February 18, 2014
Good Morning Again,
Scotty Cade here again with your second excerpt and question. Remember, you have to answer questions correctly from all three excerpts to be eligible to win.
Doctor Garner Holt stepped through the companionway of his fifty-five foot sailboat, AquaTherapy, carrying a hot cup of coffee and a plate containing a stale cinnamon bagel and what little cream cheese he could scrape out of the container. “Guess it’s time for a grocery stop,” he said to himself as he examined his breakfast. He balanced the plate and cup, trying not to spill either as he made his way onto the bow and took a seat. There was a gentle breeze blowing out of the east and the sun was now peeking just above the horizon. He looked up out of habit to check his rigging and was amazed how the impending sun was causing the lingering dew to glisten like little diamonds. He caught movement to his left and saw a very regal blue heron perched on an old log along the bank with its long beak hovering just above the water, waiting for breakfast to swim by.
His gaze was interrupted when he heard a splash and turned to see a pelican floating right off the starboard bow with its head tipped up and a lump wiggling as it went down its throat. “Damn, even the bird’s breakfast is fresher than mine,” Garner chuckled, taking a bite out of his bagel and chewing and chewing and chewing. After he swallowed, he inhaled the fresh air and sighed. Despite his breakfast, there was beauty in every direction, and he savored the simple moment. “I could never have seen this stuff from my office window at the hospital,” he mused.
For the last nine years before his early retirement, he’d been the head of psychiatrics for the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Back then he’d been a very career-driven man, working twelve to fourteen hours a day. In the beginning, the grueling schedule had been exhilarating, but over the years it had proven to be very detrimental to any sense of a personal life. His job had always come first, which didn’t leave much time for a healthy relationship, though in the beginning he’d tried to juggle both. One failed attempt after another had convinced him that he just wasn’t cut out for relationships, and eventually he stopped trying. Ultimately, the burnout he’d heard about started to descend on him, and the last two years had been a real struggle. One morning he looked in the mirror and realized he no longer recognized his own reflection. He had deep circles under his eyes. He was pale in color and looked much older than his thirty-six years. That morning, he’d decided enough was enough. In the weeks that followed, he’d resigned his position, sold his apartment and all of his belongings, and started to simplify his life. Growing up, he and his dad had been avid sailors. He’d always enjoyed the isolation and quiet pleasure it brought and had dreamed of sailing off into the sunset one day. The day he bought his shiny new Beneteau Oceanis was his “one day!” That had been almost six months ago, and as he made his way to points south, he’d not once regretted his decision to trade his hectic job for a life of exploration on the water.
Garner looked around again and mentally complimented himself. He’d made a great choice yesterday afternoon when he’d chosen to anchor in this very secluded cove just north of Savannah. He’d been on the water for a few months and recalled his journey, which had started in Manhattan. On his first day out, he’d followed the East River to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, spent a few days on the beaches of the Jersey shore, and then sailed the Atlantic Ocean to Cape May, where he entered Delaware Bay. From there, he’d made his way down to the Delaware River and through the manmade waterway connecting the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay called the C&D canal. He’d taken his time and enjoyed the many great anchorages along the Chesapeake, eventually ending up in Norfolk, Virginia, where he entered the Intracoastal Waterway, or the “Ditch,” as boat captains call it.
His plan would take him along this well-traveled waterway as far south as Biscayne Bay, where he would again venture out into the Atlantic Ocean and head for the Florida Keys. When he was tired of the Keys, he would head east to the Bahamas and eventually the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands.
Garner finished breakfast and rubbed his aching jaw. “I’ve got to get some groceries before my jaw gives out.”
He went down below, stowed his gear, secured the cabin, and headed topside again to raise the anchor and get his day started. He pressed and held the engine heater button for ten seconds, then pressed the starter. The Westerbeke diesel turned over several times, but it didn’t start. What the hell? She always starts immediately.
He gave it a few seconds and then tried again. Still nothing. “Damn,” he hissed. “This day is going downhill pretty fast.”
Garner glanced at the fuel gauge and mumbled to himself, “Half full.” He checked the other gauges. Engine temperature. “Good.” Oil pressure. “Good.” After verifying everything topside, he went down below and opened the engine compartment. He checked the oil and coolant, and both were well within the normal operating ranges on the dipsticks. Next he checked the fuel filter. It appeared to be clear. Lastly he inspected the water intake strainer to make sure it wasn’t clogged, and it was clear as well. He went topside again and gave it one more try. Nothing. The engine easily turned over so he knew it wasn’t the battery.
He put his hands on his hips and stared at the starter buttons, willing the damn things to work. It just doesn’t seem like the engine is getting any fuel.
“Fuck it,” he said as he went down below again and searched his boat files for his membership card. “That’s why I pay a yearly fee for a towing service.”
He unclipped his cell from his belt and dialed the number, requesting a tow to the nearest marina. He gave the guy his name, his boat’s name, and his GPS coordinates, then ended the call.
While he waited for the towboat, he checked his waterway guide and found the nearest marina was the Thundercloud Marina, about three miles north of his present location. He once again retrieved his cell phone and dialed the number from the waterway guide and waited. After several rings, someone answered.
“Thundercloud Marina, this is Thompson.”
“Good morning, Thompson, my name is Garner Holt. I’m anchored off the Intracoastal a few miles south of you, and I’m having some engine problems.”
“Sorry to hear that, Captain. How can I help?”
“I just requested a tow from BoatUS,” Garner shared. “The guy said he would be here in about an hour, and we’re approximately three miles south of you. Do you have a mechanic on site who can take a look?”
“Yes, sir, we do,” Thompson said. “What type engine?”
“A seventy-five horsepower Westerbeke diesel.”
“Got it,” Thompson said. “I’ll have someone standing by when you get here.”
“Thanks, man, I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”
“We’ll be waiting.”
Garner ended the call. Nice telephone voice.
Questions: What horsepower and make was the engine on Garner’s sailboat?
February 18, 2014
My name is Scotty Cade and I’m looking so forward to chatting with you today. I’d like to introduce you to my latest novel, “Sunrise Over Savannah,” which released yesterday over at Dreamspinner Press. Here’s a link if you want to take a quick look. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4716.
This book is very near and dear to my heart and was inspired by a real life person named Thompson and an event that happened at a marina where Thompson worked in Savannah GA. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:
On one of our many October trips down south on our boat, my husband and I, traveling with our best friends stopped in Savannah GA for an overnight stay. The deck hand who greeted and docked us was one of those young, gorgeous, friendly, and charismatic guys you stumble onto every once in a while. He had shoulder length blonde hair, emerald green eyes and a smile that might, if bottled up, finally achieve world peace. Although we had just met him, we were all instantly drawn to him and knew he was the type that you and everyone else wanted to hang out with. He was just that amazing. As I mentioned, his name was Thompson and the best thing about him was that he seemed oblivious to his charm and good looks or the affect he had on the people around him. Now imagine four homosexuals on a boat, Kell and I in our mid fifties and our friends in their mid seventies all making conversation and batting our eyelashes at this kid. He didn’t blink an eye, just smiled and chatted us up for over an hour. I knew immediately that I wanted to write a book about him, the only issue was the plot line.
Much to my surprise, it didn’t take very long for that to present itself either. The next morning just before sunrise. I was awake early, as we were leaving at first light for our next day on the water, and I always checked my charts and the weather, you know, all the nervous nell stuff boat captains do. So I was on the fly bridge of our boat listening to the marine weather loop sipping my coffee and saw a man standing on the edge of the dock holding his own cup of coffee watching the sun peak over the horizon. For most of the time, all I could see was his back and even with my limited view, I recognized his well, defeated stance . His shoulders were slumped and his head was tilted to one side. It wasn’t until he turned and made his way past our boat that I really saw the solum and forlorn expression he was wearing. The sight took my breath away and haunted me for a long timer. The whole thing left me feeling empty and yearning for answers. I asked around a little, not wanting to pry and no one knew the guy or had even seen him, so I never got the answers I sought. But the image of him on that dock watching the sunrise??? It stayed with me and still today, it is as clear as if it happened yesterday. And for anyone who knows me, if something like this stays with me, it will surely end up a novel or at the very least, in a novel of mine. Weighing heavy on my mind, the story unfolded rather quickly, practically wrote itself and I’m very proud of it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Much to my dismay, when we stopped at the same marina on our latest trip, he was no longer working there, apparently chasing an acting career. Go Thompson! See you in Hollywood!
So with all that said, today I will be giving away three copies of Sunrise Over Savannah eBooks and here’s how I’m gonna do it. Over the course of the morning, I will post three excerpts from the story. At the end of each excerpt, I will ask a question related to that particular excerpt. Starting at two o’clock this afternoon, you can posts your answers and everyone who answers all three questions correctly will be entered in the drawing. At five o’clock I will posts the correct answers and announce the winners.
You’ll need to check in multiple times because you have to get all three answers correct to be entered into the drawing.
February 14, 2014
I am sending my hunky waiters around to serve you all some drinks Please enjoy while I share an excerpt from my book – Holding on to Hope.
Leslie felt eyes on her, and she looked across their table. A pair of freakishly blue eyes stared in their direction. They belonged to a man, a bit older in age—probably in his fifties, she guessed—with long gray hair. His face was round and wrinkled, making him look very ugly. He wore a black trench coat over a white shirt and a striped tie. Leslie noticed the big rings on his finger and deduced that he must be some wealthy man. However, his stare was making him appear scary.
When he realized he was caught in the act, his lips curved into a cold smile.
She quickly looked away and tried to concentrate on what her boyfriend was saying. However, Leslie kept getting the weirdest feeling that nothing around her was safe anymore. The worrisome thoughts kept her occupied. An unmistakable panic was slowly settling in.
All because of an old man who was probably innocently looking at the college kids as they sat right across from him and reminiscing about his past!
Leslie shivered. “Guys,” her voice wavered. “I’ll be right back.”
Thankfully, none of the boys noticed the change in her tone, and she quickly made her way to the ladies room. Once she was in, the first thing she did was empty her bladder.
Somehow, the old man had freaked her out so much that she felt the need to pee. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was exactly that triggered such emotions in her. This had never happened to her before.
She splashed some cold water on her face, fixed her makeup once again, and exhaled, feeling a lot better than before. Hoping that the old man was gone, she slowly stepped out.
Her heart felt lighter when she saw his seat was empty, and the smile then came easy to her. At that moment, she even wanted to laugh at herself for having a stupid panic attack.
After all, he was a harmless old man.
She found her boyfriend standing by the counter, buying another coffee for himself. She walked over to him. “I thought you promised me that you’d cut down on your caffeine consumption for a day.” Leslie narrowed her eyes. He looked at her like a deer caught in the headlights and smiled very cutely.
“I told you too much coffee isn’t good for my Patty-pie’s health.”
“I promise this is the last one,” he said and leaned down to kiss her. He obviously wasn’t going to keep his promise. But she let it slip. Pushing the matter wasn’t going to help. Leslie believed that Patrick needed to decide to stop on his own.
However, she couldn’t help but worry too.
When he broke the kiss, she shook her head, giggling slightly, and looked in the direction of their booth. “Where’s Brad?”
Patrick turned to look. “I don’t know. He was sitting right there before you came back out.” They trailed back in the direction of their booth. “Maybe he went to the restroom.”
“Couldn’t have happened.” Leslie shook her head. “Or else I would have seen him when I came out.”
“I don’t understand.” Patrick gazed at her. “He was right here a minute ago, talking to the old dude, and I went to get….”
“Old dude?” Leslie’s heart skipped a beat. “Who?”
“I don’t know who he was, but I guess he was sitting in this booth.” He pointed to the space where the scary old man had once been. “He came over to Brad and was like, ‘Can I talk to you in private?’ So I just left the booth for them to talk.”
“Pat!” Her blood was running cold by then. “How could you leave him alone with a stranger?”
“Baby, overreact much?” Patrick looked around, and Leslie realized that everyone was looking in their direction. “Brad is not a little child.”
“Hey, what’s the matter?” Ian’s voice interrupted them, and Pat tightened his jaw.
Leslie tried to calm herself down before replying. “Brad is… I don’t know… he went somewhere. It’s probably nothing, but Pat says he was talking to this old man before and….”
“Shit, no!” Ian yelled. “Old man? What did he look like?”
There was panic in his eyes, and his voice and fright suddenly found a home in Leslie’s system. “Freakishly blue eyes, wrinkled face, Rings on his fingers.”
“Long gray hair?” Ian asked anxiously.
“Yes!” Leslie was certain something pretty awful had happened to Brad, and she couldn’t stop cursing herself for lack of better judgment. “Ian, do you know something?”
His lip quivered. “I do.” He stepped closer and looked between the two of them. “Brad is in big trouble right now, and there’s only one person who can get him out of it.”
January 15, 2014
I did a short video reading of an excerpt from Dumped in Oz. I like doing readings of my work and since I can’t be there with you, I thought I would do a video reading instead. The scene comes from the end of the first chapter of the story where Lyle and Roger first begin to notice one another. I hope you like it.
Because of an opportunity he’d be a fool to turn down, Lyle Powers transfers to his company’s warehouse in central Kansas. The last thing he expects is to meet another gay man in the small town, let alone one who captures his interest.
Roger Kypers is a recovering alcoholic with a twelve-year-old daughter he only gets to see for part of the summer. Neither Lyle nor Roger is looking for a relationship, and they fumble at the start, yet emotions build as Roger shows Lyle the landmarks of Oz.
But when Roger’s wicked witch of an ex-wife threatens to take his daughter away for good if he doesn’t act “normally,” he’s faced with the challenge of letting her get away with it, or fighting to accept himself and standing up for what he knows is right.
January 13, 2014
To say Kevin, Hugo, and the kids had a bad six months in book two of North Star, Fusion, is an understatement. In Flare, they are coming out of that funk and trying to live again. Hugo has started to take more work because Kevin hired a nanny, Rowan, and insisted Hugo take more jobs… better jobs. That brings about a whole new set of stressors, and Summer wants to help give the guys a break while sharing the great outdoors with the kids.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Ten of Flare.
SUMMER AND Russell had insisted on taking the kids camping up north in the Iron Range. Rowan begged to go along too once she heard where they were headed. They’d be spending a week in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, portaging from one body of water to another, cooking over an open flame, and camping in the wilderness. Kevin had been more than pleased they hadn’t asked him to join them—at thirty-six years old, sleeping on the ground rather than in a bed was not what it had been at sixteen. He also made sure Rowan knew what she was truly getting into before she agreed. Apparently her time in Montana had toughened her up to roughing it, and she was looking forward to a week in the forest.
“There’s been enough crazy, in a bad way,” Summer had said as a way to convince Kevin to agree to their plans. “Now Brooke and Finn need crazy in a good way. They need to see all the beauty that’s out there for them to explore.”
“Says the nature girl who’s gonna wear makeup every day she’s camping.” Hugo teased her despite all the time Kevin had heard him refer to Summer as his Earth Mama.
“Shut it, Cherrie. You love makeup just as much as I do,” she retorted, and Kevin couldn’t help but laugh at the good-natured banter between best friends. It was even funnier when Hugo shrugged, clearly giving the points to Summer on that argument, and then he watched Hugo pull out his pomegranate-raspberry lip balm and dramatically spread it over his lips, then smack them in Summer’s direction. Hugo could be a sassy little tease when he wanted, and apparently right then, he wanted to be. Kevin pulled his head back into the original conversation about camping, pushing out his desire to lick and suck at Hugo’s glistening lips.
“But you’ll be out in the middle of nowhere without cell phone coverage,” Kevin said, airing his fear of not being able to get in contact if something went wrong like a nightmare or injury.
“That’s part of the beauty, Kevin. Kids nowadays are too connected. Getting them away from electricity will be good for ’em. How else will they learn about how hard life is without power? And we’ll take care of everything else. Seriously,” Summer said with such conviction as she held out a complicated compass in her palm as if the antiquated tool should somehow remove all doubt. Kevin relented because he trusted her. Summer was a teacher, after all, taking care of twenty-odd kids on a daily basis. And there were Rowan and Russell as well.
Of course, Kevin had also gone to REI and spent far too much money on camping gear for his kids, demanding the best of everything. Hugo had laughed, reminding him about the time in high school when they had literally slept outside on one of their fishing trips because Kevin had forgotten the tent in his garage beside his dad’s car.
“They’ll survive without GPS and platinum sporks. I promise,” Hugo teased as they waved good-bye to the kids while Russell drove away.
Kevin and Hugo, on the other hand, were spending their second to last week of summer at the lake floating on the water, water-skiing, and trying to make the most of their time together. Lulu lazed about, sunning herself on the dock and then moving to the shady part of the deck, even getting in the water and swimming about to cool herself off.
It had been a trying few months with all the legal bullshit and the time Hugo had spent away from home. Despite his concerns over his kids being in the wilderness, they were with three responsible adults, and he honestly needed to have some time to relax.
As soon as it was dark out, Hugo had stripped, unsurprisingly, and jumped off the end of the dock.
“Always skinny-dipping, aren’t you?” Kevin joked.
“Always following me in, aren’t you?” Hugo looking up at Kevin who was still standing on the dock fully clothed. It was so dark out, just a sliver of the moon and tiny pinpricks of stars dotting the sky. Kevin could barely see Hugo from the nipples down because he was treading water. His pale body floating atop the dark surface was another story altogether, and moments after that thought flew through Kevin’s mind, he was dropping his clothes to the wooden dock.
Kevin jumped in the cool water and swam close to Hugo, then wrapped his arms and legs around his torso so Hugo was forced to tread water for both of them. Hugo drifted closer to shore and was soon planting both feet on the lake bed rather than struggling against the water. He held on to Kevin’s ass, holding him up, pulling him in tighter.
“I am always following you, you know that?” Kevin said.
“I’ve noticed, but why?” Hugo gave him a sly, sweet smile.
“Something about you always knowing where you’re going or some such nonsense.” Kevin smirked as he tugged on Hugo’s North Star pendant.
Nature is a huge part of North Star, and Hugo and Kevin find many ways to relax outdoors: fishing, swimming, ice skating, water skiing, hiking, boating, to name a few. I’ve been many places to relax, and water is one of the best tools to help me feel calm.
Where was the most serene place that helped you truly shed the worries of your world? What was it about that place that made it so relaxing? Or is there a locale you want to visit that you think will be “your spot”?
January 9, 2014
I do love my smut, so of course I’m going to share a ‘naughty’ excerpt of Cupcakes.
(And forgive me if I’m overusing the cover, but I adore it!)
A moment later, Allen hung up and turned to him. “They’ll be about forty-five minutes.”
“So we have forty-five minutes to kill, eh? Whatever shall we do?” Bit grinned at Allen.
“Pool? TV?” Allen’s eyes were dancing.
“Pool has potential. Especially if I need you to show me a move or two.”
“You’re taller than me. You’ll have to show me.”
“As long as we’re snuggled up together, I’m not picky who’s showing who.”
Nodding, Allen moved to the cue rack and picked one out. Bit joined him, standing close. Allen’s tight, tiny ass pushed right up against his cock. Groaning, he pushed right back, let Allen feel him firm up for the man.
“Mmm. B. You’re warm.”
“Getting downright hot, actually.”
That happy little chuckle made him smile, and he slid his hand down to wrap around Allen’s hip.
“Are you going to show me how to play?” Allen asked.
“Mmm. I do believe I am.” Leaning down and over Allen’s shoulder, he rubbed their cheeks together. Allen felt like heaven underneath him, stretching and shifting. Wanting Allen to feel just as good, he let his free hand drift to rub Allen’s belly. “You smell good.”
“Do you think so? It’s just soap and shampoo.”
“And you.” Burying his nose in Allen’s neck, he breathed in deeply.
“Oh….” He felt Allen shiver, ass rocking back against him.
He nodded, licked the neck he’d been sniffing. “God, I want you, Allen.”
“Oh.” His tiny little ass rolled again, Allen rubbing against his cock.
Pressing his hand against Allen’s package, Bit pulled Allen back against him. Hard, heavy in his pants, Allen’s prick pressed toward Bit’s touch.
“Let me touch you,” he murmured, lips moving on Allen’s skin.
“Yes. Yes, please.” Allen nodded, head bobbing. He reached one of his hands down, sliding the zipper open.
After moving his hand long enough to let Allen undo the zipper and pop open his top button, Bit slid his hand into Allen’s underwear, moaning as his fingers connected with hot, silky flesh.
The touch got him a soft cry, the sound desperate and hungry. He was willing to bet no one but Allen had touched this flesh since his lover had died. Wrapped his fingers around Allen’s cock, Bit tugged it out into the air.
Thick, eager, Allen’s cock pushed along his palm. Moaning against Allen’s neck, he rubbed across the tip, revelling in the hot drop that pushed against his thumb and spread around the head. He could smell Allen now, musky and male, wanton.
Licking his way up Allen’s neck to his chin, Bit brought their lips together as his hand slowly worked the velvet flesh in his hand.
The pool cue clattered to the table, but he ignored it and began stroking Allen faster.
“Oh. Oh God. B. B, please….” Sweet, hungry man.
You’ll have to pick up a copy to see how it ends! Cupcakes is here.
January 9, 2014
Cupcakes isn’t my first story published with Dreamspinner, although it is my first stand alone. I do have a short story in the Two Tickets to Paradise anthology called Something Different.
The anthology blurb: A vacation is exactly what these men need to find love in their lives. It may be about looking for a little fun, gaining a fresh perspective after a breakup, or building up the nerve to take the plunge. Whether they travel by plane, train, or automobile, none of them want to go it alone. They’re hoping romance will be the ticket to finding paradise in another man’s arms.
Something Different blurb: Tuscon Andrews is in Las Vegas to celebrate his birthday. Alone. He’s just questioning the wisdom of that move when he runs into Adam Brewster. He and Adam split a long time ago; they’d been good together, but never seemed to have the time for each other. The intervening years don’t seem to have dulled the passion between them any, has anything else changed or is this destined to be a holiday fling?
You can pick the anthology up here.
Something Different excerpt:
Tucson Andrews stepped out of the airport and winced at the wave of heat.
God, what had he been thinking, coming to Vegas in September? He should have just stayed in Denver. Or taken Rick and Bill up on the offer to come to their place in NapaValley. God knew Rick and Bill would have welcomed him for the week, welcomed him into their bed, into some games that would have left him aching and sore and well fucked.
But no. He wanted to gamble. He wanted to dance with the kids. He wanted to celebrate his thirty-fifth birthday in style. He wanted something different.
Tucson looked at the lack of cabs and groaned, then pondered just getting a shuttle to the Mirage. Really, though, that sounded even less fun than standing in line. Maybe he’d just call for a limo. Hell, maybe he’d just walk. It didn’t look that far, right?
While he was standing there, vacillating, someone bumped into him, knocking his shoulder hard. “Shit. Sorry, man.”
He turned to say something, the words dying on his lips as The One That Got Away came into view like a frigging mirage.
He’d be goddamned. His eyes went wide, and he almost lost the handle of his suitcase. Flashes of a life, back in New York, hit him deep in the gut. Two young guys, trying to get ahead, trying to see everything, taste everything, feel everything. Everything.
Adam’s brown eyes went wide as well, almost comically so. “Tuc?”
“Yeah. Yeah, hey. What’s up?” He knew he looked good, but he still sucked in his stomach, made himself taller.
God, Adam had aged well. The dark hair was cut near the man’s scalp now, but there didn’t look like there was a bit of gray in it. There were crinkles at Adam’s eyes when he smiled, but it made him look sexy, not old. The broad shoulders were shown off to advantage by the tight blue T-shirt.
“Yeah. Here to party.” His own hair was longer, now, his ass skinnier.
“Hey, that’s right—it’s your birthday!” Adam grinned. “Happy birthday, Tuc.”
“You remembered.” He was surprised, maybe a little pleased. “Thanks. Getting old, I guess.” He waved toward the taxi stand. “I guess I’m going to catch a cab.”
“You wanna share one?” The question was light, easy.
“Where are you heading?”
“Mirage. I’d like to buy you a birthday drink.”
His lips parted. “The Mirage?” All the hotels on the strip and they were staying in the same one?
“Yeah—you gotta be heading in the same direction, I mean, it’s at the edge of the strip.” Adam’s smile began to fade when he didn’t answer right away. “If you don’t want to, that’s cool, man.”
“No. No, that’s fine. I’m just there too. I was shocked.” Stunned. A little buzzed from the Jack and Coke on the plane.
Adam nudged his arm. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns….”
Tucson chuckled, head ducking. God, he used to love Adam’s sense of humor. “Yeah, no shit. Come on, I’m melting out here.”
“I don’t know. It seems… almost nice.” He got a wink this time, and then Adam was taking charge, managing to hail down a cab and loading their bags into the trunk.
“Thanks.” He slid in and nodded to the cabbie. “We’re going to the Mirage, please.”
“So you’re on vacation. I hope this isn’t the first one since we split.”
“No. I try to go on one a year. I usually spend it visiting friends.” Having a long week of mind-blowing sex, a couple of scenes, long talks, and a lot of wine.
“What happened to your friends this year?” Adam winced as soon as the words were out of his mouth. “I’m sorry, that was rude of me.”
“I just…. They offered. I thought I’d come here. You remember Rick and Bill, right? It’s their fifteenth anniversary.” He didn’t want to interfere with that sort of celebration. Or worry about the long conversations about looking for a local man to give him what he needed, either.
Adam shot him a look that said a lot about remembering the types of things Rick and Bill were into, but he didn’t say anything. Still, Tucson could feel those brown eyes on him as they left the airport.
What was he supposed to say? He wanted that wild, crazy week in Vegas—booze and sex and dancing and insanity.
They were still sitting in silence when the cab turned, the strip opening up in front of them with the MGM Grand leading the call. They zoomed through garages and behind casinos.
“I’ll get the taxi—it’s your birthday after all.”
“You don’t have to, but thank you for the thought.” God, this was painful, this careful small talk.
They got out and headed in, got in line for the front desk. “So you’ll meet me in the bar for a drink later?” Adam asked, though it didn’t sound so much like a question as it did a statement.
“I… I will?” Had they agreed to that?
“Cool. See you at six.” Adam gave him a grin before going to the front desk clerk who was waving him over. God, the man had a good ass.
“At six….” He shook his head, headed to his own clerk. There were at least five bars per hotel. Hell, he’d never even see Adam again. No worries.
Right now he needed a room, a hot shower, and a nice long nap.
January 8, 2014
This is Ashavan Doyon winding down the day of information about I Almost Let You, my brand new (out today!) release from Dreamspinner Press. It’s been great fun chatting with all of you, and I’ll be hanging around for about a little while yet. If you have any questions about the book or about my process or about the characters, I’m happy to answer them (barring spoilers, of course, though those questions can be asked through my webpage, info at the bottom of the post!).
One of the things I really enjoy about I Almost Let You is the way it starts. So as I wind down the release party, I want to leave you with an excerpt from the book:
“PLEASE,” AARON said, looking a little desperate.
Chris kept his hand on the doorknob and glared at him. “I hate you,” he said, almost a snarl, and yanked open the door. “I’m done.” With that, the man strode out the door, pulling it shut with such force that Aaron thought for a moment the glass might shatter.
Aaron couldn’t move. He brought a hand to his mouth and desperately tried to force himself to run, to follow, to plead. His whole body shook, but he couldn’t move forward, only backward, step by step until his back hit a wall, and then he slid, bonelessly, to the floor. He gulped, his eyes fixed on the door. “Chris….”
But Chris was gone. He was gone. The reality sunk into Aaron and seeped slowly into his bones and pores until the raw emotion of it hit him, and he sobbed helplessly, pulling his knees to his chest and burying his head between them.
It took him over an hour to drag his phone out and press the numbers on the smooth screen that would call someone. He knew he had said something into it, screamed something desperate into the phone that couldn’t begin to describe what he felt. Then his phone was discarded carelessly on the floor, and he was screaming, and weeping, and hugging his knees, arms around them tight as if he were holding something precious.
It didn’t take long. There was the sound of a key in the lock, and then rapid footsteps, and then Aaron was wrapped in soft arms, pulling him into the warmth of a soft and ample bosom. Fingers stroked his hair. And he cried.
Thirteen years earlier
AARON WAS held. But he wasn’t held the way he wanted to be. Not by the person he wanted, needed to hold him. After a few moments, she eased away to look at him.
“Better?” she asked.
Aaron shook his head. “Chris hates me.”
“Again?” Jenny asked.
Aaron swatted at her arm half-heartedly. “Stop it,” he said. “I’m being serious.”
“What did you do?” she said.
“It has to be me doing something?”
“Yeah,” Jenny said. “It does.”
“I sorta, maybe, kissed him,” Aaron said, chagrinned at how sheepish he sounded.
“You sorta kissed him?” asked Jenny. “How do you sorta kiss someone?”
“Okay, I really seriously kissed him. With tongue.” Aaron screwed his eyes shut. “He wasn’t ready.”
“Well, duh. Aaron, he’s a track star. Half the girls in the school are after him and his dad is freaking out that the poor guy isn’t dating. Except he is, honey. He’s dating you.”
“I don’t think he understood what that meant,” Aaron said, opening his eyes to look directly at Jenny. “Until today.”
“Hon, you’re worrying too much. Here’s the question, and it’s important. Before it hit him. Before he realized what it meant and how complicated his life was gonna get. Did he kiss back?”
Aaron shut his eyes and smiled at the memory. “Yeah. Yeah he did.”
“And how did that make you feel?”
“Like the world had stopped,” Aaron said. “Like it was just us. Forever.”
“Hon, not everyone is a walking pride parade. He’s still afraid, and his parents don’t know. They can’t. Hell, they hate that he even knows you, much less hangs out with you.” Jenny shook her head. “You’re lucky they haven’t put an end to that too.”
“So what do I do?” asked Aaron, leaning back to stare at the sky, his arms rigid, hands planted against the ground behind him.
“Convince him that you’re worth it.”
Aaron gulped. “What if I’m not?”
Jenny leveled a stare at him.
“What if I can’t convince him?”
“Then you try harder,” Jenny said.
Aaron stared at the sky. “It’s very beautiful out here,” he said.
Jenny set a hand reassuringly on his shoulder. “He’d like this. And you’d be alone.”
“Am I a horrible person to want to do it again? To want to do more?” asked Aaron.
“You’re a teenager,” Jenny said. “We’re supposed to be all hormones, remember?”
Aaron smiled. “I’m going to do it again, Jenny. I’m going to kiss him again.”
I hope this leaves you wanting to know more about Aaron and Chris. Remember, you can use coupon code: DoyonBlog (case sensitive) to get a 25% off discount at the Dreamspinner Press store to all my books. The code is good for one more day, so take advantage of it and pick up I Almost Let You or The King’s Mate today!
And the contest winner is: Trix!
Trix if you can let me know the email you use for the Dreamspinner Press store, I’ll have I Almost Let You added to your bookshelf. You can contact me through my website, here: http://ashavan.weebly.com/contact-ashavan.html or just reply in the comments.
Thank you all for chatting with me this evening! I’m always happy to talk to readers and can be reached at:
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Don’t forget to BUY THE BOOK: I Almost Let You at the Dreamspinner Press store. And feel free to ask questions in the comments!