Outlast the Night by Ariel Tachna
Unemployed and out of luck, Sam moves to Lang Downs and learns life as a gay man isn’t impossible—and Jeremy can be part of it. Outlast the Night by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.
Office manager Sam Emery is unemployed and out of luck. When his emotionally abusive wife demands a divorce, he contacts the one person he has left, his brother, Neil. He doesn’t expect Neil to reject him, but he also doesn’t expect the news of his divorce—and of his sexuality—to be met with such acceptance.
Neil takes Sam to Lang Downs, the sheep station Neil calls home. There, Sam learns that life as a gay man isn’t impossible. Caine and Macklin, the station owners, certainly seem to be making it work. When Caine offers Sam a job, it’s a dream come true.
Jeremy Taylor leaves the only home he’s ever known when his brother’s homophobia becomes more than he can bear. He goes to the one place he knows he will be accepted: Lang Downs. He clicks with Sam instantly—but the animosity between Lang Downs and Jeremy’s home station runs deep, and the jackaroos won’t accept Jeremy without a fight. Between Sam’s insecurity and Jeremy’s precarious position, their road will be a hard one—and that’s without having to wait for Sam’s divorce to be final before starting a new life together.
Sixteen Songs About Regret by J.S. Cook
Simon flees to London to pursue music. When he meets Stephen, their careers take off, but they may be too scarred for a relationship. Sixteen Songs About Regret by J.S. Cook, available from Dreamspinner Press.
Prodigy pianist Simon Duckworth has a dark past. After being violently raped when he was thirteen, he flees to London, ashamed and determined never to tell a soul. He gets a job at a Denmark Street music shop, but it stifles him. At the first opportunity, Simon answers an ad for a musician, an act that changes his life forever.
Stephen Abednego has seen the same ad. He arrives in London with little more than his ambitions and a sheaf of poems, but together, they’re enough to get him hired. Under their new manager’s watchful eye, Stephen falls for Simon—but Stephen is deeply closeted, and Simon may be too emotionally scarred for a mature relationship.
With their manager’s help, their music rises, dragging them into the hectic world of superstardom, but success doesn’t come without a price. Each step out of the ennui and coal smoke of 1960s industrial London must be paid for in regret. With social convention standing between them and the whole world watching, Stephen and Simon discover that finding each other is not as easy as it seems.
Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C.
When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent. Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C, available from Dreamspinner Press.
Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.
Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.
Chateau d’Eternité by Ariel Tachna
The ability to travel through time it’s not without risks—to Russ and to the world as he knows it. Chateau d’Eternité by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.
When Russ Peterson accepts an invitation to an all-expense-paid vacation at a castle in southern France, he doesn’t expect to learn he has the ability to travel through time. For a historian, it’s a dream come true, offering the chance to find answers to the mysteries of the past. But it’s not without risks—to Russ and to the world as he knows it.
After a few short supervised visits, Russ still hasn’t made up his mind about his newfound abilities. Then, on his first extended trip, he meets Quentus Maximus, second in command to the Legate of Nemausus. While learning firsthand about the realities of life in Roman Gaul, Russ is shocked by his reaction to Quentus’s dominant nature. After a week with Quentus, Russ’s vacation is up, and he realizes he wants a chance to see if their relationship can flourish.
Arranging a year-long sabbatical from work to give time to make the decision is easy. Figuring out if he can live with Quentus’s dominant nature long-term, and finding a way to establish a life for himself in Roman Gaul, is an entirely different matter.
Lighting the Way Home by EM Lynley and Shira Anthony
Josh realizes there is more to Micah than his lousy life choices… but that doesn’t mean Josh is ready to forgive him. Lighting the Way Home by EM Lynley and Shira Anthony, available from Dreamspinner Press.
World-class chef Joshua Golden is homesick for Paris before he even arrives in New York, but he’ll endure it—his parents need him to help run the family restaurant while his mother recovers from surgery. Running a place so far beneath his talents is bad enough, but bad turns to worse when Josh discovers his former best friend and lover, Micah Solomon, is living at his parents’ house with his ten-year-old son, Ethan.
For ten years, Josh has done his best to forget how Micah shattered his heart into tiny pieces. Now Micah’s back, fresh out of prison, and helping out at the restaurant. Micah may not be the kind of sous chef Josh is used to, but he is more helpful and supportive than any of the other employees. But Josh finds it hard to keep his distance when, time after time, Micah proves himself a better man than Josh thought. Reluctantly, Josh realizes there is more to Micah than his lousy life choices… but that doesn’t mean Josh is ready to forgive him.
Perfect Match by JJ Ryan
If Trevor and Patrick’s new love is to survive the drama, Patrick will have to own up to what he wants—and fight for it. Perfect Match by JJ Ryan, available from Dreamspinner Press.
Seattle trauma doctor Patrick Quinn has never been in love. In fact, he’s never even had a long-term relationship. In his limited personal life, getting a date is only half the problem. Being able to keep it, despite emergency duties in the ER, is the other. So though he’s interested in Trevor Oneil, a man he meets on a dating site, he decides to take it slow.
Trevor moved to Seattle looking for a fresh start. Recently single and lonely in his new city, he works business hours as an anesthesiologist, hoping a better work-life balance will make it easier to meet someone. Patrick might be just what he’s been hoping for.
Then disaster hits and a severely injured Trevor lands in Patrick’s ER. Unable to work on Trevor, Patrick feels helpless. He wanted to ease into a relationship, but he’s already attached. Then Trevor’s past comes rushing in to take him away from the dangers of Seattle. If Trevor and Patrick’s new love is to survive the drama, Patrick will have to own up to what he wants—and fight for it.
Adenet’s sense of responsibility will not let him take a male mate when the pack so desperately needs children. Lycan Partnership by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.
By the time the alpha of the Morvan werewolf pack approaches l’Institut Marcel Chavinier for help solving his people’s fertility problems, pack numbers have dwindled and the remaining members are desperate. Though the wizards at l’Institut have no experience with werewolves, their lore, or their brand of magic, Raymond agrees to help.
At l’ANS headquarters, Raymond finds Marc Gourlin, a young wizard fascinated with werewolves. Marc agrees to visit the werewolves’ home to study their rituals for the source of the problem. But when he arrives, he finds himself distracted by Adenet Silaire, the pack shaman. The attraction between them is powerful, but though Marc suspects he might be Adenet’s mate, Adenet rebuffs him. Marc is a man, and Adenet’s sense of responsibility will not let him take a male mate when the pack so desperately needs children.
Meanwhile, Jean and Raymond discover the Aveu de Sang allows a vampire’s Avoué to calm his inner beast. For Jean and Orlando, this is wonderful news—but it only convinces Thierry how much Sebastian is missing out on because they cannot form an Aveu de Sang. Determined to give his partner everything he can, Thierry sets out to recreate the bond denied them by Sebastien’s past.
Dreamspinner Press celebrates Halloween in style!
During the month of October, we will be offering the following special discounts.
October 12-14: All Yaoi eBooks and eBooks by our authors who are attending YaoiCon in Los Angeles will be 25% off.
October 15 – 18: The 2008 Advent set will be available for 44.99 through October 31. It will go out of print on November 1, so don’t miss your last chance to get it! All Christmas eBooks will also be 25% off.
October 19-21: All eBooks by authors attending GayRomLit will be 25% off.
Abigail Roux, Aleksandr Voinov, Allison Cassatta, Amy Lane, Ana Bosch, Andrew Gray, Anel Viz, Anne Tenino, Ariel Tachna, Belinda McBride, Brita Addams, Charlie Cochet, Christopher Koehler, Clancy Nacht, Clare London, Damon Suede, Devon Rhodes, Eden Winter, Edmond Manning, Ellis Carrington, EM Lynley, Eric Arvin, Ethan Stone, Felicitas Ivey, Hayley B. James, Heidi Cullinan, Isabelle Rowan, Jacob Z. Flores, Jamie Fessenden, Jana Downs, Jeff Erno, Jackson Cordd, Jonathan Treadway, J.P. Barnaby, Karenna Colcroft, Kate McMurray, KC Burn, Kiernan Kelly, Kim Fielding, Lara Brukz, Lissa Kasey, Lori Toland, Lorraine Ulrich, Marguerite Labbe, Marie Sexton, Michael Murphy, MJ O’Shea, PD Singer, Piper Vaughn, Poppy Dennison, Rhys Ford, Rick R. Reed, Rowan Speedwell, S.A. Garcia, Scotty Cade, Shae Connor, Shira Anthony, SJD Peterson, Sue Brown, T.A. Webb, T.C. Blue, Thursday Euclid, Trina Lane, Venona Keyes, Xara X. Xanakas, Zahra Owens.
I thought I should introduce the main characters (or at least one of them) this time.
Needles. Someone was driving needles into his arm. Chris struggled against the pain, aware only of the need to escape it. Then memory returned with a flash and he bolted upright in bed. “Seth!”
Chris slumped back against the hard mattress, the flat pillows doing nothing to cushion his back, and he gasped as pain lanced outward from his ribs. “Where am I?”
“In hospital,” Seth said, looking small and scared under the fluorescent lights. “I got help. This big guy named Macklin and his boss, I guess, a Yank named Caine something unpronounceable. The Yank owns a sheep station, he said, and he said we should come work for him.”
“Back up,” Chris said. “You aren’t making sense. What happened when you ran?”
“I went to the hotel. It was close and I figured there would be people there. I was right. I begged for help, and almost before I’d finished, Macklin asked me where you were. I told him, and he and three others went to help.”
Macklin must be the man Chris saw before he lost consciousness. “How’d you get from asking for help to a job?”
“Caine, the Yank, wouldn’t let me go back with Macklin and the others. He asked a bunch of questions about where we lived and stuff, and when I was done, he said we should come work at Lang Downs, the station he owns.”
“You didn’t tell him the truth, did you?” They’d been over this. If people knew where they were living and why, they could end up with the Department of Community Services and separated, and that was Chris’s greatest fear. He didn’t have much in his life, but he wouldn’t let anyone take the one thing he did have: his brother.
“I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say. I was too upset and….”
“No worries, Seth,” Chris said with a sigh. “He offered us a job, not to call the cops. Not that I can do much work at the moment.”
“I could probably work your shifts at the restaurant,” Seth offered.
“You need to be in school.”
“I’m not going to be in school on a sheep station either,” Seth pointed out. “At least here we’ll be in town.”
In town where people now knew he was gay. Seth talked about doing Chris’s job, but he wasn’t sure he’d have a job after the confrontation that had led to him being bashed. Even if he didn’t lose his job and Seth worked the shifts until he was well, he could run into those guys again at any time, and Seth might not be around next time to find help.
“Let’s think about it before we make a decision,” Chris said. “I’m too tired to sort it out now.”
A cough in the doorway drew Chris’s attention.
“Oh, Mr. Armstrong,” Seth said, jumping to his feet. “I didn’t see you come in.”
Chris might have chuckled at the awe in Seth’s voice, usually reserved for visiting heads of state or local demigods, but the situation was too serious for laughter.
“Good to see you awake,” the man said, addressing Chris. “Seth, could you maybe find some tea for me while I talk with your brother?”
Seth scampered out of the room like an eager puppy.
“You’ve certainly impressed my brother.”
“He’s just grateful I took him seriously when he asked for help.”
“You saved my life.”
“Probably. Macklin Armstrong.”
“Chris Simms.” Chris held out his left hand. The gesture was awkward, but it was the best he could manage with his right arm in a cast. “Thank you.”
“Glad I could help. So Caine tells me you’ve had a bit of a rough time recently.”
“Nothing we can’t handle,” Chris said defensively. “I’ve got a job.”
“You can cut the bullshit, Chris,” Macklin said. “You have a dead-end job, a flat you can barely afford to keep, and no way to get anything better because you’re trying to take care of your brother. You’re not eating well, even if you’re eating regularly, because you’re both way too skinny. You’re doing your best, and you should be proud of that, but it’s not enough.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Chris demanded. “You think I don’t know how bad our lives are?”
“No, I’m pretty sure you know exactly how bad it is,” Macklin said, “but I wanted you to understand that I know it too.”
“Why? So you can lord it over me?”
“Bloody hell, kid. If you weren’t already in that bed, I’d put you there,” Macklin roared. “I hope I wasn’t as stupidly stubborn as you when Michael Lang found me squatting in one of his drover’s huts. I’ve been where you are. I wasn’t bashed, but I was on my own at sixteen because my father beat my mother and me and spent the rest of his time ranting about pillow biters and queers. The words hurt worse than his fists ever did.”
“You’re….” Chris didn’t finish the sentence because he didn’t know how to do it without offending the other man.
Chris blinked a couple of times, looking the older man over carefully. He was tall, although not obnoxiously so, maybe six feet, with broad shoulders and muscled arms where they were visible beneath the short sleeves of his shirt. His hair was shaggy and his boots were dusty. He was the picture of a masculine stockman. And he was gay.
“And nothing. I was just surprised, that’s all.”
“Surprised that I’d admit it or surprised that I’m gay in the first place?”
“A little of both,” Chris said. “Not a lot of people out here will say it even if it’s true.”
Macklin snorted softly in amusement. “Truer words, but I’m not most people and Lang Downs isn’t most stations. I imagine your brother told you my partner offered him a job.”
“He’s only sixteen,” Chris said. “He needs to be in school.”
“He’ll get his lessons done,” Macklin said. “We’ve got a number of kids on the station, and we make sure they all get their HSC. What they do after they finish high school is up to them. Finishing high school isn’t optional, but we use School of the Air so the schedule is a bit flexible. He can work and go to school at the same time, and you can work in the kitchen until you get rid of that plaster on your arm. Then we’ll see what you’re made of.”
“Why should we trust you?”
“You shouldn’t,” Macklin replied. “You shouldn’t trust anyone but your brother until you know us a little better, but we’re offering you a chance, the same as Caine’s great-uncle offered me when I was sixteen and too stupid to know better. You won’t get a better offer, and if you decide at the end of the season that the station isn’t for you, you can leave when the other jackaroos do in May. What do you have to lose?”
A flop of a flat, a shit job in a dingy restaurant….
“Will the others care that I’m gay? I always heard the stations weren’t, well, kind to people like me.”
“You weren’t listening, were you?” Macklin asked. “Caine Neiheisel, the owner at Lang Downs, is my partner.”
“Oh, that kind of partner,” Chris said as the coin dropped. “I thought…. It doesn’t matter what I thought. I was obviously wrong. So everyone knows about you?”
“It’s hard to hide it when I sleep in the station house at night despite there being a perfectly good foreman’s house down the road,” Macklin said. “I don’t talk about it because it’s nobody’s business, but I don’t hide it.”
“You did save my life. I suppose this could be a way to say thank you.”
“You don’t owe me anything,” Macklin said. “But you do owe your brother the best chance in life he can get, and while I know you’re doing the best you can for him right now, I also know it isn’t enough. He’d have a real chance on Lang Downs, and so would you. Think about it while you’re here. You can tell us what you decide when they let you out.”
Chris had no idea why he was arguing, but it seemed too simple.
“What else would there be?”
“I don’t know. Threats to call DoCS, something to try to make me do things your way?”
“You’re not a child to be bullied,” Macklin said with a shrug. “You’re a man. A young one to be sure, but a man. You can make your own decisions without any pressure from me, and you’ll live with the consequences of your choices, good or bad, without any pressure from me. You proved you were a man when you kept your brother with you and worked to support him. Keep doing what’s best for him and you’ll be fine. We’re going back to the hotel for dinner, but we’ll be by in the morning to see what you decide.”
Seth came running back into the room. “I’m sorry, Mr. Armstrong. I couldn’t find any tea.”
“That’s all right, kid,” Macklin said, ruffling Seth’s hair as he walked toward the door. “I’ll get some at the hotel. Take care of your brother. We’ll come by in the morning to see what you’ve decided.”
Anybody ready for an excerpt? The beginning of the book is a little rough for Chris, but hopefully the end results make the early pain worth it.
“Help me, please. Oh God, somebody help me!”
The shouts of the kid who half ran, half fell into the Yass Hotel drew Caine’s attention away from what should have been a quiet lunch with his lover and partner of three months.
“They’re going to kill him. Please, he’s all I have.”
“Who?” Macklin asked, rising from the table.
“These thugs.” The boy was crying now. “They said he was a poofter and they’d kill him for it.”
Macklin’s expression, never soft to begin with, hardened to stone. Caine swore Macklin’s shoulders grew broader as he approached the boy.
“Where are they?”
The boy had barely finished his answer before Macklin was out the door.
“Yes, boss,” the jackaroo at the next table replied, already on his feet and following Macklin out the door before Caine finished speaking. Ian and Kyle, the other two hands who had come to Yass to help him hire new blood for Lang Downs, followed Neil without being prompted, bringing a smile to Caine’s face despite the seriousness of the situation. He still had trouble believing he had won their loyalty.
“I’m C-c-caine Neiheisel,” Caine said, approaching the boy slowly. His heart pounded in his chest so hard it felt like someone was squeezing his ribs tight, making it hard to breathe. He couldn’t go with Macklin. He was useless in a fight, but that didn’t stop his body’s fight-or-flight response. He took a deep breath, shaking his hands slightly to clear the tingling from the rush of adrenaline. “You w-want to have a s-seat?”
“Shouldn’t we go help them?”
Caine shook his head. “Macklin and the others will t-t-take care of it, don’t worry. Wh-what’s your name?”
“Seth. Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. Macklin won’t stand for that kind of nonsense,” Caine promised, his confidence so profound that he got that sentence out without a stutter, even as upset as he was at the thought of that kind of homophobia in what constituted his own backyard and the danger it presented to Macklin and himself. “Where are you from?”
“Nowhere anymore,” Seth replied, his voice so bitter Caine wanted to pull the kid into his arms and comfort him. He remembered what it had been like to be a teenager, though, and refrained, figuring the embrace wouldn’t be welcome from a total stranger.
“What about your parents?”
“Mum died six months ago, and the no-good bastard she married kicked us out the day after the funeral,” Seth said. “It’s just Chris and me now, if that scary dude can save him.”
“That ‘scary dude’ is Macklin,” Caine said, “or Mr. Armstrong to you since you can’t be more than fourteen.”
“I’m sixteen,” Seth retorted quickly.
He was way too small and skinny to be sixteen. Not that Caine thought he was lying. It was just proof of how hard his life had been.
Caine had already decided that was going to change. His great-uncle, Michael Lang, had made a habit of taking in strays at his station, much to Caine’s good fortune. He wouldn’t have Macklin now if Uncle Michael hadn’t taken the foreman in when he was the same age as this kid. Now Caine just had to convince Seth that coming to Lang Downs would be the right choice for him and his brother. “So where are you staying?”
“We’ve got a room,” Seth said defensively.
Probably some flop in a drug house so cheap they could afford it.
“Are you using?”
That was good. Caine was all for lending a helping hand, but he would not have drugs on his land. He had too much to lose. “Good. Your brother’s clean too?”
“What’s it to you?”
“I don’t hire men with drug problems.”
“If all you’ve got is ‘a room’ and no parents and no one but your brother, that pretty much means no future, at least from where I’m sitting. I run a sheep station north of Boorowa. I thought you might like a job.”
“You’re a Yank!”
“And you’re a brat who is about to lose the best chance to come his way,” Caine retorted. “Ask around if you don’t believe me. I’ve been here all week signing on jackaroos. I’ve got space for two more.”
They didn’t really. They’d hired the last of their crew this morning and planned to head back to Boorowa after lunch to pick up supplies and then drive back to Lang Downs tomorrow morning. Seth didn’t need to know that, though. Caine had already seen enough of the boy’s pride to know he wouldn’t take charity.
It wouldn’t be charity. Seth would work harder on Lang Downs than he had in his life. He’d earn every cent they paid him and his brother. He wouldn’t have many expenses, though, so he could put almost every penny away toward college, if he wanted, or into a savings account against the day he left Lang Downs and pursued a different path in life, and if he chose to stay, he’d have a family to replace the one he’d lost with his mother’s death.
Ariel Tachna here to celebrate the release of my newest book, Chase the Stars. I’m very excited to share some sneak peeks with all of you today. I will be giving away a copy to one lucky participant in the party today. All you have to do is comment on one of the posts to be entered.
Let’s start with the gorgeous cover art by the incomparable Anne Cain. I love all of Anne’s work. She’s a goddess beyond compare, but one of the things I love about this cover in particular is how she’s managed to capture so many of the different elements and feelings in the book. The sheep station, of course, with the tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, the night sky that Chris and Jesse spend more than one evening staring at as they talk, Chris’s youth (he’s only 20) and uncertainty, Jesse’s inability to keep his eyes off Chris, even when he should be looking away… It’s all there in this one amazing image.
So what do you all think? What’s your favorite part about the cover?
The gay bashing that nearly ends Chris’s life could instead be his salvation, if he has the strength to take the offered help. Chase the Stars by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.
Sequel to Inherit the Sky – Lang Downs: Book Two
Twenty-year-old Chris Simms is barely keeping his head above water. After losing his mother and his home, he struggles to provide for himself and his brother. When homophobes attack him, he thinks his life is over, but then he’s rescued by jackaroos from a nearby sheep station. He’s as stunned to be offered a job there as he is to discover both the station owner and foreman are gay.
For Chris, Lang Downs is a dream—one that only gets better when Chris realizes the jackaroo he’s crushing on, Jesse Harris, is gay and amenable to a fling. Everything goes well until Chris realizes he’s falling for Jesse a lot harder than allowed by their deal.
Jesse is a drifter who moves from station to station, never looking for anything permanent. Convinced Chris is too young and fragile for a real relationship, he sets rules to keep things casual. Watching the station owner and his foreman together makes Jesse wonder if there are benefits to settling down, but when he realizes how Chris feels about him, he panics. He and Chris will have to decide if a try for happiness is worth the risk before the end of the season tears them apart.
Series: Lang Downs by Ariel Tachna
Our upcoming releases for the week of September 10, 2012.
Tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, J.P. Barnaby and Ariel Tachna will be at Shindig for a live, interactive video chat. To register for the event, go to EventBrite. We look forward to seeing everyone there!