Saving Sonny James excerpt two: Meet Jesse Douglas–Luki’s sexy ex (yes, really) and another informal poll (decisions…)

October 22, 2013

Poll question: Do you think a spin-off starring Jesse shoud be forthcoming, or is he too… risky? (I’d sincerely like your feedback.)

Long before Sonny James Luki had a bit of a romance with a ginger man named Jesse Douglas. Jesse is sexy, quiet, capable, and a bit of a badass himself. He doesn’t look like Rupert, or Prince Harry, or this:

(Although some of us may wish that he did.)

This little excerpt is the by-chance, surprise meeting after many years between Jesse and Luki, on the plane heading for France, where Luki is determined to rescue his husband from whatever evil has befallen him.

Luki glanced up in time to see a man who had turned in his seat three rows up and across the aisle, looking at him—a man with brilliant green eyes.

For real.

Maybe the eyes distracted him, forcing his attention for no reason except their color. For too long an instant, he didn’t recognize the owner of those startling irises. But the man continued to walk toward him, smiling, and Luki knew him. The real memory finally overcame imagination.

“Jesse,” Luki said when the tall, slender ginger-haired man was close.

“Hey, Luki! Been a long time, eh? Too long.”

Luki couldn’t decide if it was too long or not long enough. Jesse had been part of his life—an anomaly—before Sonny, even before Luki had decided to forego attachments and keep solitary and safe with one-night stands done his way. In his youth Luki had twice tried to have a more significant relationship. One was with a guy in college, Graham Kennedy, whom Luki had dated—for real, dated—for a couple of months until Graham had decided to aim for the Catholic priesthood. Jesse, this mellow and still attractive green-eyed agent standing in the aisle on the flight to France, had been the other. They had trained together at FLETC—the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, in Georgia. Jesse had been a new hire with the State Department, and Luki had been new to ATF. That put them in the minority among FBI newbies and cops from various parts of the country, and they gravitated together when they had downtime. Sharing meals and movies and jokes started them talking. Serious study and skills practice started them touching.

Jesse was a likeable guy, adventurous and sexy. But he’d wanted things Luki couldn’t give. He’d wanted to be equals. He’d wanted to be in love. He’d wanted commitment. Luki couldn’t give any of that, then. And after that he didn’t let anyone get close enough even to think about such things.
Until Sonny. Sonny proved to be the one of a kind, sole contender for Luki’s devotion.

Still, Luki held no ill will for Jesse—he even had good memories, and maybe what he felt could be called fondness. So when his old, once intimate friend came up to him smiling his soft smile, Luki patted his extra, empty seat. “Join me for a bit?”

Jesse accepted the offer, and once he was seated said, “Damn, Luki, you look good!”

Luki started to deny that, then gave himself a mental shake. He did look good—or at least he looked like himself. He was groomed and well-dressed, and his body was in almost top shape. His eyes—he knew—had lost the glazed absent look they’d worn since Umatilla, and he’d gotten enough outdoor air for his skin to look its best, hate-scar down the left side of his face and all. And this man sitting next to him had rather liked that scar, even though—until Sonny—Luki had always thought it made him ugly. So instead of arguing, Luki just said, “Thanks. You too, Jesse. How are you? Still working for State?”

“Yeah, I am—moved out of the field agent ranks, though. Now I’m a pencil pusher.” His smile was wide and sincere, as it always had been, but he’d collected some deep lines around his eyes. His hair had some whitish streaks among the ginger too. It wasn’t a bad look on him. “You’re still with ATF, or no? I’ve heard different things….”

“Yes. I haven’t been working since last summer. I… well, it’s a long story. But I’m active duty now.”

“Are you official, then? I mean, is your trip to Europe connected with a case or something? Seems kind of unusual for ATF.”

Luki recognized the slight shift in Jesse’s voice, the minute narrowing of his eyes. Those little changes told him Jesse had switched from personal interest to professional. He was trying to gauge whether Luki’s visit was going to spell trouble for the State Department. Luki answered to set the man’s mind at ease. “No, Jesse. It’s personal. I’m on vacation leave.” For a change of subject, he asked a question even though the answer was evident. “Your duty station is in Europe?”

“Yeah, gay Par-ee.” He laughed, but it wasn’t entirely in mirth. “Hey, listen. I could see the sparkle off those rings clear over across the cabin. They’re on your left hand. Do they have the usual meaning?” Jesse dropped his gaze and pushed his hair back off his forehead. It changed nothing—the heavy forelock flopped right back down over his brow—but his posture and that nervous swipe of his hair was full of meaning. It told Luki the question held emotional impact for Jesse.

After all this time, Luki mused, but out loud he just said, “Yes.”

“I thought you…. Has it been long?”

“No, not really. We met last year, married this past summer.”

Jesse stared at Luki for a few minutes, as if he were trying to tunnel through his eyes to reach his brain and read what he found there. He tilted his head sideways, shaking it and laughing in disbelief. “You’re in love, Luki Vasquez! I can’t believe it!”

It wasn’t unkind, though faintly colored with old frustrations, Luki thought. He watched his friend, marveling that he could still read his old flame so well. Jesse had leaned forward, elbows on knees and hands clasped, his long, straight spine stretched but his shoulders slightly hunched, fighting with himself over something. Finally, he spoke in a breathy voice that told Luki how hard he had struggled not to ask, not to tread this path. “Have there been a lot of men since me, Luki?”

Luki’s long habit of privacy, of playing everything close to the vest, made him hesitate. But he thought it was a fair question, and Jesse was a good man, and though Luki would never have expected it, apparently for Jesse the end of their brief foray into coupledom remained unresolved. “No,” he said softly, but then he corrected himself. “Well, yes, but out of them all, you were the only one that mattered in any way, until Sonny—my husband.”

Clearly Jesse had been hanging on the words. Immediately he responded, “I mattered.”

Biting back a bit of his own frustration now, Luki spoke as kindly and honestly as he could. “Yes, of course you mattered, Jesse. The time we spent together was fun and sweet for what it was, and you helped me know myself. I remember only good things about you, and after we split I missed you.”

“Why didn’t you ever call?”


“Or even e-mail?”

“Jesse.” Luki let his voice take on a note of warning. As much as he held no ill will for his long-ago lover, he just wasn’t inclined to have this discussion. He’d already gone above and beyond, as far as he was concerned. “Stop,” he said.

Jesse visibly shook off his tension, sat up, and sat back in the seat. “Okay,” he said. “Sorry. Sometimes I get unreasonable.”

Luki said, “Yes, yes, you do. I remember.”

At first it looked as though Jesse was going to take offense at that, but then perhaps memory struck, because he laughed. “I’d bet you’ll never forget,” he said. “But okay, change of subject. Why are you going to Europe? Are you stopping in Paris?”

“Yeah. Paris. I think that’s as far as I’m going.” He allowed himself a sigh as today’s reality sank over him. What to say, though? He wasn’t prone to giving out a lot of information, but it crossed his mind that he had no allies lined up on the far shore, and Jesse might be in a position to help. So, “Um…. Well, it’s where Sonny is, my husband.”

“Do I detect a note of… I don’t know, trouble?”

“Probably. So what do you do, these days—for State, I mean. If it’s not classified.”

“Some classified, but generally I work on various problems around US citizens abroad—they get arrested or stranded or whatever. Why did you ask? Is there something you need help with?”
“Maybe. I don’t really want to lay everything out right here, right now, but Sonny’s sort of… missing.”

Jesse’s whole demeanor changed, taking on his professional persona, which
Luki appreciated. “I take it you’re sure he’s not evading?”

A swift wind of self-doubt swept over Luki—would he want to leave me?—but it passed, leaving him only slightly shaken. Truth was, it didn’t matter. Harold Breslin was anything but trustworthy, and as long as Sonny was in the same country with him, he wasn’t safe. But deep in his heart, he knew Sonny would never walk away from him, from their love, their marriage, their home. Never would he disappear on purpose. “Not evading,” he said.

“In danger?”

“I’m afraid maybe so.”

Saving Sonny James Release Party starts now! Lets began with a little Vasquez and James history…

October 22, 2013

Hello! I’m Lou Sylvre, author of the Vasquez and James books, and I’m baa-aaaack! This time I’m hoping you’ll help me celebrate the recent release of Saving Sonny James, the latest (#4) in the suspense/romance series (which doesn’t count the novella Yes).

Before I do the usual post of the blurb, won’t you join me for a brief ride on the Vasquez and James Romance Roller Coaster.

In previous episodes…

Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James met by chance on the streets of Port Clifton, and shared a cup of oh-my-god-he’s beautiful at Margie’s Cup O’ Gold Café in the early pages of Loving Luki Vasquez(VJ1), managing to flub the opportunity and getting the romance off to a clumsy start. A few days later, the wind blows them together for a surfside kiss, but as fate would have it a hateful man, whose identity detective agent Luki can’t even guess at, threatens their lives and those they love. They survive because Luki’s an extraordinary badass and Sonny’s the very definition of courage, and they both have hearts of gold—and love takes root.

But, before love can grow, it gets stepped on pretty hard when Sonny’s nephew Delsyn, whom he raised, dies as a result of that horror in book one, and an unthinkable new crime by an impossible perp. As a result, when Delsyn’s Blues(VJ2) opens late the following winter, Sonny has driven Luki away in the throes of grief and self-blame. But Delsyn’s murder was really only the tip of an iceberg of horrific crime. Things go from bad to worse, and Luki refuses to let Sonny blame himself or deal with threats on his own. He knows from experience that crimes like murder and gun running require a badass, and he’s qualified. Sonny’s hurting, but he’s not an island, and once he’s secure in Luki’s arms again he knows he doesn’t want to be—so he proposes marriage. While bleeding out from a “flesh wound”, Luki accepts. In the end they beat impossible odds to solve the crimes and overcome ugly challenges to their love, and a Hawaiian wedding is on the agenda.

And book three, Finding Jackie , begins with that beautiful white wedding on sunny, breezy Hawaiian hilltop. Fabulous. Almost perfect. But the honeymoon starts to go awry when Luki’s former informant brings a troubling message—or a threat—from a Mob hit man. Things go from scary to horrific when Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer. The hunt for Jackie and his abductor takes them into leather bars and over dusty desert back roads, and the newlyweds both have to call on every resource to find Jackie before it’s too late.

Now the blurb on the new release:

Vasquez and James Suspense series book four
Sequel to Finding Jackie

Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

By the way, from now through October 31st, get 20% off on Saving Sonny James at the Dreamspinner Store, with promo code SAVESONNY. :)

Who won? Where will Luki and Sonny be tomorrow?

July 18, 2012

Seriously, Luki and Sonny and a couple of fellow characters are going on tour tomorrow… well, very limited tour. There will be another contest, I believe there may be an early review available, and the characters and I will have something to say. (I’m interviewing them again.) The shenanigans will begin at 12 noon Pacific on Thursday and go through Friday night sometime. (Too specific?)

Best to start at
my Goodreads blog.
The rest of the posts will be
at Drops of Ink (Anne Barwell’s page),
at Rhys Ford’s Blog,
at Emotion in Motion (Elizabeth Noble’s site),
and my own WordPress blog,

And, on Saturday, a last bash for Yes at Dreamspinner Groups discussion board.

What about today’s winner? I’ll announce in a comment to this post one hour after the party ends, and post at my Goodreads blog–the link is above.

Thank you everybody for coming to the party, reading, commenting, playing! It has truly been a pleasure.

*Yes*–a steamy excerpt (rated adult!)

July 18, 2012

The image above is a bit of the beautiful land along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If you’ve been following Luki and Sonny, you’ll know that Luki has adopted Sonny’s home as his, and Sonny’s home is situated on the shores of the Strait. Though this is perhaps a rockier shore than Sonny’s, it’s close enough, and beautiful enough, so that we can use it to set the scene for the beginning of this little tidbit, which happens on a day when Luki is feeling lots better than he has for a while…

Sonny walked out of the house carrying an empty basket, planning to take the
sheets and blankets off the line. He had dyed and woven the sheets himself,
heavy winter silk for this time of year, as a gift for Luki, and for himself,
too. He loved them best when the sun shone for a day and he could dry them
outside. They tossed like brilliant flags for hours, and when he put them on the
bed they smelled of the wind. But on the way to his task, he caught sight of
Luki practicing Tai Chi in the wet sand at the edge of the waves. He set the
basket near the door and changed course, heading for his favorite drift log.
Once there he stripped his shirt to feel the sun on his skin and sat to watch
his lover, his partner, his heart’s precious desire dance in the cooling fall

“As beautiful as ever,” he said aloud. Silently he added, as beautiful as
`before’. He steered his thoughts away from defining `before,’ and he didn’t
stop to consider whether, in a physical way, Luki really was just as beautiful.
It didn’t matter. Luki remained the most glorious person alive, for him. And
Sonny wanted him. His nostrils flared at the thought of Luki’s skin sliding
against his own.

He wasn’t starved for sex, by any means. Over the past weeks, on the days Luki
felt okay, they’d made love sometimes. But the feeling, the tone and timbre of
it had changed in some way that was so elusive Sonny couldn’t even weave the
feelings into thoughts. Not that he wanted to. He struggled, in fact, not to
think about it, not to notice that it was always him that initiated sex, that
Luki’s involvement felt subtly like compliance, that though they shared their
bodies, though their orgasms sometimes grew fierce, to Sonny it felt a little
like masturbation.

But when Luki finished the Tai Chi form, stretched up toward the sky, and turned
to catch his eye, Sonny knew something was about to begin, and it would be
different. It would be dangerous and safe and sweet all at once, as only Luki
could make it. Because Luki had that look, that deceptively icy challenge that
was his version of come-hither. A call that always scared Sonny just a little
bit, a call he couldn’t, would never want to resist. The one outward sign of the
heat Sonny knew lay just on the other side of Luki’s eyes was his white teeth
and sweet pink tongue sliding over his lower lip. Luki came closer, stopped a
long two strides outside Sonny’s reach. An outrageously, but oh-so-sweetly cruel
distance, so sensual Sonny’s breath flooded away and left him open-mouthed and

All this before even a touch.

Sonny rose and moved forward locked into Luki’s ice blue eyes, relieved and even
more turned on to see that old, secret smile hiding behind them. Luki gathered
up Sonny’s long, heavy hair, wrapped it around his hand, and pulled Sonny
closer. Luki had done just that very thing the first time they made love, years
ago. Now, as then, it swept Sonny into passion he would have been hard pressed
to control.

Thank the saints no need for that arose. They kissed, inched closer, kissed
harder—tongues twining, lips pressing and sliding. Chest to chest, their hard
pricks pressed together and strained against the clothing that separated them.
Mouths still locked together, Sonny made small, pleading noises in his throat.
And when Luki’s mouth left his to kiss and suck and nip at his neck, Sonny said
it out loud. “Please, Luki?”

Luki kissed his way back to Sonny’s lips then looked him in the eye, separated
only by the length of their noses. “Right here, baby,” he chuckled, “or in the

Sonny, ever practical, realized it was a very good question, took a look around
at the coarse sand, twigs, and splinters. “Yeah,” he said, “in the house, I
think.” As he started to walk that way, though, Luki’s arms, feet, lips, and
other body parts kept interfering, and when he got to the clothesline and the
dry sheets and blankets he’d come out to collect, he tripped into them,
hopelessly tangled. “You did that on purpose,” he said against Luki’s temple.

“Maybe,” Luki answered, and slew all Sonny’s resistance—such as it was—by simply
dragging the flat of his own tongue across Sonny’s open lips.

Thank god for blankets falling from the line to land beneath them, covering the
cool grass. Thank heaven for the low-slung sun painting their skins as they shed
clothes, turning them together into amber sliding over gold. Thank providence
for hand-loomed, winter silk sheets falling from the line, waiting to warm them
as blue twilight snuck up to slip in with its chill.

They sank to the ground, Luki rolling full onto his back and Sonny kneeling
beside him, pulling at Luki’s clothes and then staring openly at Luki’s bare,
hard penis, its shining glans, the sweet orbs of his testes resting below,
sparse, dark curls framing it all. His mouth watered so copiously that he
thought he might literally drool, but he couldn’t stop looking, couldn’t close
his eyes to what seemed at the moment the most scintillating wonder. But then he
glanced up and saw Luki watching him, and the thought evaporated.

“Now, baby,” Luki said, and, meeting no resistance at all, firmly but gently
pulled Sonny’s head down to his erection. Under a cloud of silk, Sonny imbibed.
Delicious. Sweet. Savory. Smooth. Slick. Hard.

Then Luki, still on his back, lifted Sonny’s head away, looked at him with a
soft smile in his eyes, and swiped a thumb across Sonny’s wet lips. He turned
Sonny and pulled him down so that they lay almost on their backs, nearly but not
quite spooned. He wrapped his arms around Sonny, arms still powerful despite his
illness and speaking so loudly of safety that the last little bit of caution,
the bit that Sonny always tried to reserve, fled. “Luki,” he said. “Oh god,

Luki chuckled, sweet in Sonny’s ear. His voice but a rough whisper: “Easy,
baby. Easy. We have lots of time.” He adjusted their positions slightly and
reached both hands around to tease and stroke over the front of Sonny’s body.
“Here,” he said sliding hot hands over Sonny’s belly. “Does that feel good?” He
didn’t wait for an answer. “And here, baby,” he crooned, pinching Sonny’s
already hard, sensitive nipples. “And this … Oh yeah, sweetie, this.” He ran
the flat of his hand down past Sonny’s erection, combed through the thatch of
dark hair to curve his hand under Sonny’s balls and gently squeeze. And then he
stroked up, dragging his fingers along the shaft of Sonny’s penis, so slow and
long it seemed to Sonny almost forever.

Almost forever, but not quite, because there was an after.

Luki touched and teased, caressed, stroked, until Sonny’s breaths came long and
deep, each one an almost-moan of pleasure. Licking across his ear, Luki
whispered. “Sweet man. Sweet, sweet man.”

“Luki,” Sonny breathed.

And then Luki proved once again that he knew Sonny well
and loved him a lot, because he heard Sonny’s worry in that one word, buried as
it was in passionate breath. Luki tightened his embrace a little, briefly. “What is it, baby? What do you

Sonny shivered at the touch of Luki’s breath in his ear. “Oh,” he said, in
surprise. But then, “Oh god, Luki. I want you so much. I want you in me, want
you to take my ass, but damn … damn.”

Luki twisted around now and looked at him, brow crinkled in puzzlement. “What,
sweetie? What is it?”

Sonny rolled over and buried his head in Luki’s shoulder. “Honey, the lube’s in
the house!” Luki laughed right out loud, which was such a rare and wonderful
event that Sonny forgot to be angry about being laughed at, and about the mood
being shattered.

“Sonny,” Luki said once he’d stopped laughing and controlled a light cough.
“Sweetie, you are the best thing that has ever happened to the world. And I love
you. And I’ve got the lube thing covered—it’s almost like I planned it. Where’s
my shirt?” He rooted around under the heavy sheets until he found it, reached in
the breast pocket, and pulled out the tube of high-powered lip salve he got as a
fringe benefit of chemo. “Look baby,” he said, and then when Sonny lifted his
head, added, “Ta-daa!” He laughed again.

Sonny, uncharacteristically grave, said, “But Luki, you need that!”

“No,” Luki said, his voiced once again infused with passion. “A little goes a
long way. See?” Gently chewing his lower lip, he squeezed a dab onto a finger
and reached down to rub it over the head of Sonny’s penis, circling the ridge,
drawing it—still with one finger—down the underside and over the testes’ sac,
sliding like satin all the way. He leaned over to slip his tongue past Sonny’s
open lips, then bit the bottom one lightly and tugged at it. He started up a
rhythm with his hand, moving it up and down Sonny’s hard penis, torturing him
with pleasure until finally Sonny became assertive.

“Give me that,” he said, and grabbed the tube, collected some of the serum on
his fingers and applied it to Luki’s erection, giving the same treatment he got.
They lay together, kissing and tonguing, stroking together until Sonny finally
cried out, “Stop! Fuck me, please Luki. I mean now.”

Stuff about me, Lou Sylvre–author of Vasquez and James including *Yes*, also about my (in)famous cat

July 18, 2012

I’m pretty sure your day would be fine if I skipped right to the part about the cat, nevertheless here’s my standard bio:

Lou Sylvre hails from Southern California but now lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State. When she’s not writing, she’s reading—fiction in nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow. The noise she makes with bagpipes should be outlawed, but she plays guitar okay and loves to sing. She also loves her family, her friends, a Chihuahua named Joe, and (in random order) coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses.

Here’s a couple of extra facts: I’m a civil servant of sorts, a job I do in order to bring in enough money to feed and house my cat. At 17, I hitchhiked across the US in both directions (Long Beach, CA to Woonsocket, RI, then to St. Joseph, Missouri, then back to Long Beach). It wasn’t fun, but it was an experience. I frequently write at Barnes and Noble in the cafe. I know–weird.

Pictures of me? I have none, really.

I do have a picture of Luki and Sonny:

Well, okay, that’s the crocheted version, made by Swallow. Ultra-cute but not quite as sexy as the real thing. I admit.

Pictures of my assistant? Sure! Here you will find him practicing the dark arts (in the basket), endeavoring to help me see the light about my mistaken plot twists, and finally resting from his efforts. His name is Boudreau (he’s French).

*Yes*, the artist, the cover (done large, yummy), the blurb, the contest

July 18, 2012

The cover artist for Yes is Reese Dante, and she’s also done the covers for the other two Vasquez and James books I’ve had published to date.

Loving Luki Vasquez

and Delsyn’s Blues

Those are wonderful covers, right? But now, here’s my favorite, the cover to brand new release, Yes Get ready to feast (your eyes). Here it is:

And now the blurb

Yes: A Vasquez & James Novella

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and textile artist Sonny James have been married for five years, and despite the sometimes volatile mix, they’re happy. From their first days together, they stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.

As Luki’s treatment proceeds, Sonny hovers near, determined to provide every care, control every thread of possibility just as he does when he weaves. But he can’t control the progress of the cancer or how Luki’s body reacts to the treatment regime. Sonny tries, but Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life. With renewed determination and mutual love, the two men emerge from their coldest winter into a new spring day.

And the contest: Simple. Just ask me a question–any question, about me, the book, the characters, as personal or broad, trivial or important as you wish. Ask in the comments here, and you’re in the running for an ebook copy of Yes. Be warned, however, that if I don’t know the answer I reserve the right to make one up. ;)

(Still to come, excerpt(s), author update (also update on my assistant, Boudreau-the-large-grey-cat), some tidbits about Vasquez and James, and maybe another contest…

Vasquez and James *Yes* Release Party (A brief history of Vasquez and James)

July 18, 2012

Hello! I’m Lou Sylvre, author of the Vasquez and James books, including Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella), released by Dreamspinner Press today.

I know it’s standard to start the party by posting the blurb that’s on the website, and I will do that in the next post. Right now I’m going to break with tradition. I’m going to start out by saying: Yes is not about the wedding. Seriously. Read on…

A brief history of Vasquez and James:

Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James met by chance on the street in the early pages of Loving Luki Vasquez, and got their relationship off to a rocky beginning. When a not-quite-sane criminal threatened their lives, they each recognized in the other the “good thing” they might have missed. They survived because Luki’s a badass and Sonny’s the very definition of courage, so naturally they got together for good.

Well… sort of for good. By the time Delsyn’s Blues rolls around, beginning late the following winter, Sonny has driven Luki away in the midst of his own misery about his nephew Delsyn’s failing health and eventual death. But it turns out Delsyn’s death was a murder, and bad things keep happening after that, and of course Luki is determined not to leave Sonny to face this on his own. Circumstances like murders and gun running—yes gun running—need a badass, like, say, Luki Vasquez just for safety’s sake. So their back together, but the relationship is up and down once again. But, by the time Delsyn’s Blues ends, the lovers are fiancés, and a wedding is in the works.

To repeat, Yes is not about the wedding. No It takes place five years after said wedding has occurred. (Tomorrow, the characters might talk a bit about the wedding in their interviews, but expect to attend the wedding in the next V and J suspense thriller, Finding Jackie, still in the creation stages.

Yes is sort of about the cancer in Luki’s lungs. I say sort of, because it’s really not about the disease, but about the struggle Luki and Sonny face in their fight for Luki’s life, how they live with it, love through it. Although authors usually don’t like to give away the end, in talking about Yes, I make an exception. Readers, it is a romance, and the ending is a happy one. But in telling you that, I’ve told you nothing at all about the soul of this story, which lies in the hearts of these two exceptional men.

Final blog post: how to find out if you won, how to get a signed copy of Delsyn’s Blues, how we can stay in touch (please), and thank you for coming!

January 2, 2012

I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to share some bits of Delsyn’s Blues. I certainly hope you enjoyed the reading, and want to read more. If you do, and if you enjoy reading paperback rather than ebook the first 20 paperbacks purchased at Dreamspinner will be signed by me. In addition, if you won a paperback today, I’ll sign your copy, too.

I’ll contact contest winners via the email left here on the comment, or the email you sent your entry with if you sent it directly to me. You can check back here, or check at my Goodreads author blog: That’s also the best place to keep in touch, and I hope you will. Comments and questions are always welcome on the blog or my “chat group” at Goodreads, and I post about my own writing—including what’s coming up for Sonny and Luki—there, more than anywhere else. And, I didn’t get a chance to blog about a couple of things that I wanted to get to today, so that will be coming up on Goodreads, mostly for fun. ;)

Thank you so much for being here today, and huge thanks to Dreamspinner Press genies for hooking me up with this opportunity to blog.

A brief excerpt from Delsyn’s Blues (farther along the twisting plot!)

January 2, 2012

(This is one of the softer, gentler, isles in the San Juans, just at nightfall.)


Climbing over the gunwale, Luki remarked, “Why did you call this a bucket? Looks like a perfectly good boat.”

“Look over the side, back there.” Sonny pointed.

“Melvern’s Bucket,” Luki read. “Oh.”

“So, anyway,” Sonny said. “Off we go to Mack’s Island.”

Luki had already sat down and started to do his routine weapons check. He tended not to be as heavily armed these days as he had been when they first met. But he still had his favorite handgun and two knives, and of course, a supply of ammunition and nylon handcuffs. He
was taking stock now, making sure everything was where and how it was supposed to be, a job clearly requiring that a cigarette hang out of his mouth. He puffed at the damn thing without using his hands, which meant he had to keep his eye squinted like Charles Bronson in The Mechanic and his face scrunched up on one side—the side with the scar. Sonny hated that he looked damn sexy that way.

“It’s not fair,” he said.

“What’s not fair?”

That something can look sexy and kill you at the same time. He shook his head to dismiss Luki’s question, didn’t answer at all out loud.
Besides, there were other things he needed to have his mind on now. And he hadn’t forgotten that one reason Luki seemed lightly armed was because he, Sonny, still had his other gun. Sonny didn’t bring the subject up, but he was pretty sure Luki hadn’t forgotten either.
Sonny set the boat in motion, having a fair idea of the coordinates and a fair sense of direction. Not more than fair, out on the water, just like he only had a fair ability to drive the damn boat. Melvern had insisted he learn, but… well, it just wasn’t a car. He couldn’t remember the first time he’d lain across a hood wrenching on a car engine, but as far as activities go, cars had always been what he loved best—aside from weaving and dyes and that sort of thing. And now, aside from Luki. Everything to do with Luki. Including staring at Luki, watching him smoke his lungs dry and play with guns. Disgustingly, Sonny wanted to weave him like that.

“I hate being on the water,” Luki said.

“Yeah?” It didn’t surprise Sonny; he just didn’t know why.

“I’ve had not so good things happen around water, you know?”

“Like getting beat up and cut and generally gay-bashed?”


“And almost drowning while getting blown up in a river.”

Luki holstered his gun and adjusted the position of the leather accessory, took the cigarette out of his mouth, and looked up at Sonny.

Not smiling. “That too.”

Sonny sighed and stepped over to his lover, letting the Bucket drive itself for a moment. He stood in front of Luki, so close he had to
part his legs to either side, which basically parked his sex in Luki’s face. He wished they had more time, but second best would have to do. He buried his hands in Luki’s curls, forcing him to look up. Then he bent low and eased into a kiss, a long, sweet, sucking and sliding one.

After a moment, he regretfully eased off, kissed Luki’s nose on the way by, and stepped back to the wheel. “Very nice,” Luki said, voice huskier than ever. “But there must be an explanation.”

“Now you’ve had something good happen to you on the water. I hope.”

Luki didn’t answer for a moment—which was okay. He absently patted the big red dog, which had been sticking close to Luki since they’d come on board and now leaned into Luki’s legs and stared with him at the gray planks that made up the deck. There was no way to know if either of them saw what they were staring at. After a moment, Luki looked up, chewing his lip, then he let it slip from between his teeth. “You love me, Sonny.”

Sonny nodded.

Luki said, “I love you back.”

The Story of Sonny James’s Beany–or how readers helped write Delsyn’s Blues (Part 1)

January 2, 2012

As mentioned in an earlier “mini-excerpt”, Sonny James wears a beany and scarf, putting it on to arm himself against weather and grief when Luki coaxes him out for a chilly walk. But when I first wrote the scene, he had on something far more sensilble, but less colorful and less meaningful. Here’s how the change occurred:

Friend and fellow writer Rhys Ford has a friend who goes by the name Swallow when she does her fine amigurumi. Amigurumi is a Japanese textile art creating small, detailed dolls with yarn. Rhys asked Swallow to create Luki and Sonny for me, and when she did, she gave Sonny a beany and scarf. These are so much in the spirit of Sonny that I took the idea and ran with it. Here are the dolls. You can’t tell from the photo very well, but even though Luki is dressed in finery, Sonny’s jeans are pretty stressed… ! Perfect.

By the way you can find Swallow’s fine work here: