Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wednesday Briefs Demon Chapter Thirty Three



There were some lovely prompts this week and I chose this one because it very much fits in with the way I can see this story going. I sense unexpected twists coming up.



The land through which we travel is very beautiful, but I am distracted by the pain in my side which makes breathing difficult. I must try to hide it from my father or he will have Lord Trevithick beaten, or even killed, and that would turn the Counsel against us.
The weather is extremely mild. Even when it rains it is hardly cold. Perhaps it is summer – or spring. It is almost always cold in The Kingdom. This clemency appears to have extended to the land and everything in it. Trees seem greener here, grass smells fresher and the river sparkles in the warm sunshine. It’s almost as if nothing is quite real, that it is an illusion of the best that could be. Strange, but although it seems like illusion, at the same time it is more real than anything in The Kingdom has ever been to me.
A creature darts from the forest, close to the road. It pauses, stares at us ─ at me ─ then turns and disappears back into the trees. It couldn’t be real. Deer-like in shape, with branching antlers standing proud on its head, it is smaller than a hunting hound; no more than two measures high. It’s back would not reach my knee. It’s hide is shimmering white, holding the promise of many colours, almost seen. My eyes burn with the sight of it long after it has gone.
As we progress, I see other animals, most of which are familiar, but some that are entirely alien. I am unsure whether others see what I see, but there is a growing restlessness among our caravan that makes me think they do.
We round a bend in the road and the vision that unfolds before us is almost beyond my comprehension. Why had I ever thought the people of this land, were simple forest folk?
From a slight incline the river spreads out below me. The faint shimmer I had thought was light on the water, is a bridge of glass, barely visible. Near the foot of the bridge, on an island in the middle of a river-bend is a small settlement, dominated by a large building that shimmers in the afternoon sun. Light refracts from many windows, and from a roof that appears to be made of glass. There are many gasps from behind me in the caravan.
I am mesmerised by the glittering towers and crystal rooves of not only the palace but the houses of the village that surrounds it. Light refraction lends colour to the crystalline surfaces and wherever there was no glass there was light stone, which I recognise as that which lies on the bed of the stream and the occasions outcrop we have passed on the road. The entire settlement gives the impression of cleanliness and prosperity.
We pass across a bridge that spans the river to the island. It is barely visible and our animals prance nervously until they find their feet and satisfy themselves the bridge is sturdy. On the far side, we pass under a stone arch and find ourselves in a courtyard paved with pink and white tiles. Grooms dressed in clothing very similar to those of the reception committee who now ride with our convoy. They take the reins of our animals and cheerfully urge us to dismount, which we do. We are left standing in an uncertain group at the center of the courtyard.
My father barks orders and soon, both our men and our animals have been led in different directions leaving a small group of myself, my father, Tian, his father and a small knot of personal guard. Other guards have taken Lord Trevithick, complaining bitterly. My father asked he be treated well, according to his position, but confined until such time as an enquiry can be carried out.
Tian’s father leads us through a clean, wide street in what is clearly a prosperous town. The people who walk the streets, or peep out of windows and doors, are dressed well in soft, pale fabrics and seem curious but unworried by our presence.
At the end of the street the road widens into another courtyard, this time spreading in front of the gates of the glorious palace.
It is not nearly as large as any of our palaces. Little more than a large house, but the elegant lines and pale stone makes it appear larger, and spun from some kind of edible structure. As we cross the courtyard the gates swing open.
I feel very exposed and I know father and our guards are nervous, too. It would be unthinkable, in the Kingdom, for a royal or nobleman to be out in the open like this. How can we be properly guarded? What if attackers should come from the streets surrounding the courtyard? We might be trapped in the middle.
A hand slips into mind and I find myself gazing into my lover’s eyes. His expression brings me calm.
“You have nothing to fear here,” he says and I believe him.
A small knot of people awaits us in the courtyard. Before I have opportunity to examine them closely, a small girl runs forward and holds out her hands to me. In the cupped palms is a tiny plant, two green leaves rising bravely from a bed of rich, brown earth.
Unsure of what is expected of me, I hold out my hands and she carefully transfers her gift with such a solemn expression I can barely suppress and smile.
When the plant is safely in my hands the girl steps back and smiles shyly at me. Before I can respond to her a strange tingle in my palms draws my attention and I gaze in wonder as the plant grows, its stem thrusting upwards and leaves unfolding along its length. At the tip, a bud forms and burst the pure white flower within scattering glittering spores as it opens.


Here are the rest of the briefers this week. Enjoy


Monday, 26 September 2016

Cover Reveal On Fire by Alicia Nordwell

I want to share a big thank you to my host for featuring the cover reveal today for my latest Dreamspinner Press release, On Fire, made by Garrett Leigh. Without further ado...


A fun tidbit: I actually took the picture of the mountain (it was not on fire at the time, lol)

A picture is definitely worth a thousand words when it comes to a cover, and these guys are hot, but I bet you'd like to know more about their story, so here goes!

Blurb:

Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.
Where can you pick up your copy?
On Fire is available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press now!


Contest!!
Because I love my fellow readaholics, I'm giving away a $5 gift card to Dreamspinner Press to celebrate finally being able to share On Fire's awesome cover and my photo inspiration for Jax and Scottie.



About the Author:
The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she's a MM romance author: "Why gay fiction? Why write men when you're a woman?" and her answer is: "Why the hell not!" Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started... Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.

Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she's a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!

She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.



Thursday, 22 September 2016

Flight Anthology Release Day


The 2016 Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction anthology, "Flight", is here, and I have a story in it!

It's a really cool concept: A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written. Queer Sci Fi's Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme.



 "Flight" leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances. Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary.



Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds. The book us available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector's edition with color illustrations (24.99).



Buy Links
Amazon eBook | Kobo | All Romance | Goodreads

Excerpt

What good is flight when there is no from or to; when the ‘from’ is gone and the ‘to’ far too far? Better, perhaps, simply to stay. But what if there is nowhere to stay?

Weary. So weary. Weary of flying and weary of staying. Perhaps, then, better to fall. No! Better to fly; to fly until there is no more flying in me, and then–– Darkness awaits wherever, but I am not one to submit. That’s my curse.

“Wait up.”

Oh no.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday Briefs. Demon Chapter Thirty One


I'm tired. This week is a neverending round of meetings and appointments. I haven't been able to rest properly since I came back from holiday and my body is complaining bitterly. I did a crazy thing the day before yesterday and bought new furniture. It's being delivered on Saturday, right in the middle of the visit of a friend I haven't seen in years. Sigh. I just have to keep in mind that it will all be worth it in the end. In the meantime, here is the next installment of Demon, with even more questions being dredged up. 

This week I chose this picture



“Your bonded is very beautiful,” father says as we ride, side by side along a familiar road.
“Yes, he is. His heart is very pure.”
Father nods, but appears thoughtful, almost pensive. Words hang, unsaid between us and my anxiety increases. I had hoped father would take time to get to know Castien before he formed an opinion, but I should have known better. Father is a perceptive man and makes quick judgements that are rarely wrong.
I glance back to where Castien rides with his father. He seems ill at ease. Is he, too, anxious about his reception in my family and my home.
“What do you know about him?” Father asks, startling me.
“What do you mean?”
“Are you certain of his parentage?”
“What? I don’t understand. There are no doubts I’ve heard expressed regarding his claim to the throne.”
“It’s not his claim that concerns me.”
“Then what does?”
“Have you not sensed it?”
“Sensed what?” Father’s words scare me, but not as much as his expression. His brows are drawn and the tension in his lips betray deep emotion. He cannot be angry with my love; not this soon, so what can it be?
“Tell me all you know about him.”
Puzzled and alarmed though I am, I dare not question – mostly because I am afraid of the answers I might receive. A quickly and concisely as I can, trying to preserve objectivity, I appraise Father of all that I know, which I soon realize is not very much.
“I know he seems…different to the others; smaller and more delicate, but he has suffered ill health all his life. I hoped our healers might discover the cause and assist him to overcome his ailments.”
“What have you felt? You have some skill in healing. Surely you have made some attempt to cleanse him. You must have touched his energies during the bonding. Did you get no sense of where the problems lie?”
I think back. There have been a number of times when energy has flown between us and his has always been golden. I ponder. The energies of The Kingdom generally, are harsh and uncompromising. They are coloured red and purple. Of course, people vary and shades differ, but it is rare that one born and raised among one colour palette bears none of the shades of those around him. True, the queen is not purple and red, but neither is she gold. Come to think of it, I have never come across anyone whose energy is so golden; so…pure.
“I think I understand. Castien is very different to anyone else I have met from The Kingdom. His energy is golden. I have never encountered anyone whose energy is so bright or so pure. His flaws are invisible at that level. Whatever issues manifest externally have no roots in his energies. What does it mean? Everyone has flaws. Why am I not seeing them? And where does his ill health come from?”
“Perhaps your eyes are blinded by your love.” Finally, Father’s face relaxes into one of his warm smiles. “I can see that he is easy to love. Whatever mystery surrounds him does not detract from his sweetness.”
“You will accept him?”
Father’s smile turns sad. “Did you fear I would not?”
“Not until this conversation.”
“Take heart. There is something about your bonded that worries me deeply, but it does not flavour my certainty that he will be a good partner for you and an excellent ally for our people. Your mother will love him as much as you do, from first sight.”
“And you?” My heart thuds. I had not realized quite how important it would be that my father not only approve of, but care about my love.
“He has changed you. Your restlessness is calmed; your spirit shines. I cannot say for sure until I know him better, but my feeling is that he and I shall come to be good friends. Fear not, I will approve your union, and I will care for him as my own.”
Breath hisses from me and sudden weakness causes my hand to shake on the reins. Had I really been so worried?
The River Rede meanders through the wide plain at the heart of Coedwen, as though the Great Mother wrote in water, a word of power in a script long since forgotten. To have followed its banks would have added weeks to our journey. The loops are miles wide and cities sparkle, crouch or bask on the islands that decorate the arcs and curves. Some are large enough for great, sprawling cities, some so small they are inhabited only by small tufts of trees and the graceful birds that flock to the magical waters of the river. Fortunately, there are bridges, and we will soon join the great road that cuts through the centre of the valley. I wonder what they will make of that, as it is made not by man but by magic.
Our visitors may scoff at the existence of magic, but they are in my world now. Long ago, magillium was commonplace, and its properties permeated our lands and contaminated the water. Over centuries this has been diluted but there are few plants or animals here who do not exhibit some small talent in the manipulation of energy that some call magic. I wonder what my prince and his people will think when they first come across such a plant or creature.
So far, we have travelled only the very edge of our country, where magic is at its weakest. My gaze is drawn to the misty horizon where the mountain that shelters my home is visible only as a shadow against the morning sun. We will not reach it today, but we have a palace on the shores of a small island within the next loop. We should reach it within the hour. Here, my prince will receive his first taste of the life we will live; safe from the ridiculous rules and prejudices that have imprisoned his spirit for so long.

Now go check out the rest of our flashers this week



Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wednesday Briefs Demon Chapter Thirty


This week, there is a very tenuous link between the prompt and the story. The image I chose was of what I have decided is a feast, and everyone is invited to a feast at the end of mine so it counts, right.


It hurts to stand and to breathe, but not as much as it hurts that I was too weak to prevent what happened to Tian. Father rages at Lord Trevithick and he rages back. The things he says disgust me.
“Stop.” The sound of my voice surprises me. It is louder and braver than I feel. “You laid hands not only on me but my prince also. Do not forget you are on his lands now. You have no authority here. Father, arrest him and hold him pending investigation. It is the least you can do given his assault on your son, and the possible damage what he has done to Tian might have on our mission here.”
Father hesitates. I understand why he does so. Lord Trevithick was one a friend of his and he holds great sway with the Counsel. However, this time he has gone too far and they both know it. Lord Trevithick blusters, spewing hatred about our coupling and a spear of unease hurts my heart. What if he does some real damage with my father or the Counsel? What if they hurt Tian? No. I cannot allow that to happen.
“Silence.” Again the strength of my own voice takes me by surprise. It hurts a little but I thrust the pain aside. It is fading anyway. “What we did was not wrong. Perhaps leading you to believe Jandra was Tian’s betrothed was wrong, but that was not my idea. I have always wanted honesty and here it is. Tian and I love each other and we will be together whether ignorant old men such as you will it or not.”
“It is an abomination. It is everything that is wrong with this sick alliance.”
“I love Tian and he loves me. There is nothing abominable about that, and this alliance is all that gives your miserable arse opportunity to save its seat in our home. Without it, when the South rises your perverted morals will do you no good against their magic. Do not speak.” I cut him off when he would have protested. A quick glance at Father reveals an almost amused expression. It gives me courage to continue.
“But this is for a later time. We have more pressing issues. Whatever your opinion of the alliance or my bedding habits you assaulted me and committed treason.”
“This is ludicrous. It was an accident. I was defending the honour of the kingdom and the crown as you defiled it with that demon.”
“That demon is my betrothed and crown prince of these lands. You will use his given name or title; or you will not speak of him at all. Your accident was a deliberate blow that caused me injury. There will be no more discussion. Guards, arrest Lord Trevithick and put him under guard on charge of treason.”
“Hold there,” Lord Trevithick blusters. “You have no right. I am a member of the Counsel.”
“Who is not exempt from charges of treason.”
“Still, that is going a little too far.”
I stare at my father in shock. I was not naïve enough to believe my father would approve of my actions but I did not think he would gainsay me. My heard slumps as Lord Trevithick sneers.
“Not at all,” a voice says, drawing our eyes to the raised flap and the handsome man who stands there. “In fact, if you do not arrest this man for treason under your laws, I shall have to do so under mine.”
“What? What are you talking about? Who are you? How dare you enter the royal tend uninvited.”
Without a word, the man moves smoothly into the tent and strikes Lord Trevithick across the face, sending him flying backward, as I had done a short while ago.
“That is for daring to lay hands on the Crown Prince of Coedwen. Had it not been that I respect the alliance I would have killed you for what you did.”
The cold, hard expression falls from the man’s golden eyes as he turns away from Lord Trevithick, with a flick of his hand, instantly dismissing him from his attention. “And this, I presume is the man that has stolen my son’s wits.”
I find myself wrapped in a warm embrace. Stunned, I hesitantly settle my arms around his surprisingly large girth and gaze over his shoulder. Tian beams at me and winks. Men dressed in forest great drag Lord Trevithick out of the tent while our own men watch helpless awaiting direction from my father, which never comes.
After a few moments Tian’s father draws back and scours my face, with a serious expression on his. “Tian has made a good choice,” he says. “For all that he was a damn fool to follow the pull of your bonding without proper preparation, I cannot say I blame him. When his mother’s call came I would have moved mountains to get to her.” His eyes narrow slightly. “You need work, but you will make a fine King.”
I begin to smile, but then his words hit. First; what does he mean need work? Second, and more important; king? True, I am crown prince and therefore set to rule after my father, but I feel that is not what he meant. It hits me. If Tian and I are joined, we are heirs to two kingdoms. I will rule here as he will rule my home. Oh hell.
As if reading my mind, Tian’s father smiles and grips my shoulder. “Details will come. For now perhaps you, and my wayward son, might like to dress. Come Alfric, let us leave our young to their affairs. I have a feast prepared. Partake of wine with me and our sons will follow as they may. I will leave my guard to ensure they are escorted safely to my halls. Your entourage would do well to strike camp and follow as soon as they may. The feast extends to them all.

Now is the time to hurry off and read all the rest of the flashes. There are plenty to partake of this week


Friday, 9 September 2016

Wide Open Spaces by Renee Stevens




A Before B (B before A)

Know what that is? Neither did I, at first. What I did find out, thanks to my editors, is that this is something that I have done numerous times and didn’t even realize it. Luckily for me, they also explained it to me, and now this is one more thing that I can check for before submitting. My senior editor even complimented me on the lack of “A before B” in my States of Love submission, Wide Open Spaces.

So what is “A before B”?  This is how my editor described it: This is a term that refers to explaining the order in which events occur when it is not necessary. It is often, but not always, signaled by the word “before.”  A before B tends to distract the reader, slow the pace of the narrative, and point out with unnecessary constructions an order of events that is otherwise already clear. Another tell I’ve found is the use of the word “after”.
Examples of “A before B”
Before he closed the door, he shut the light off.
After he shut the light off, he closed the door.
He closed the door after shutting off the light.
He shut the light off before he closed the door.
The way to fix all of these, is simple: He shut the light off and closed the door.

Correct Uses
What do you want to do after dinner?
He needed to pick up the toys before someone slipped on them and broke their necks.
Is this something you’ve come across in your own writing? If so, what are some of your “A before B moments?



AVAILABLE NOW

 

WIDE OPEN SPACES
States of Love - Wyoming


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Genre: Contemporary
Length:
35,659 Words
Rating:
Adult/Mature



BUY NOW

Amazon: US I CA I AU I UK I DE





Blurb


Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Excerpt


Devon sank down on his couch as exhaustion swamped him. Most of it was from moving in, but the change in elevation didn’t help. He’d gotten used to being closer to sea level, so going back to the dry air at over six thousand feet was going to take some getting used to.

Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.

He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.

He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.”


About the Author


Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.



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Blog Tour Schedule - More chances to win!!!! 


August 24th: M.A. Church - Nic starr
August 25th: Grace Duncan
August 26th: Anna Butler
August 27th: David Dawson
August 28th: Alicia Nordwell
August 29th: Anne Barwell
August 30th: Antonia Aquilante
August 31st *RELEASE DAY*: Mann Ramblings - Michael Mandrake
September 1st: Julie Hayes - Elyzabeth M. VaLey
September 2nd: Caraway Carter
September 3rd: JC Wallace
September 4th: Caz Pedroso
September 5th: Brynn Stein
September 6th: Lila Leigh Hunter
September 7th: Morticia Knight
September 8th: Charley Descoteaux
September 9th: Cheryl Headford
September 10th: Heloise West
September 12th: Foster Bridget Cassidy

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Ice Fairy by Stephanie Danielson



Ice Fairy 2 is the sequel to the wonderful Ice Fairy, which tells the story of Sam's journey toward competing in the Figure Skating competition at Olympics while struggling with his relationship with sexy hockey player, Brett.

Ice Fairy 2 picks up the story straight afterwards. I would strongly recommend that you read book 1 first. Book 1 can be found here

Blurb

Sam is at a crossroads. At one end he has the defeat of not going to the Olympics; his life’s dream. On the other end however, is Brett; who has taken command of his heart. 

Right in the middle is a myriad of decisions to be made. First and foremost is college or the agonizing option of trying for the Olympics again. Both would be grueling and both would not allow Sam much time with his Brett. 

Will things heat up just to cool off and go down in a blaze of glory for Sam? Or will they stay the course for the young figure skater? 

It’s time to make some decisions. 

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KJ8HBQ8#nav-subnav

Excerpt

Chapter One

"Last one in's a rotten egg!" Brett teased as he raced Sam to the pool. He opened up the French doors, and with his long legs taking their strides, he easily beat his boyfriend to the pool. He tucked up his legs in front of him and wrapped his long arms around them yelling out 'cannonball!' right before he hit the water's surface, sending up a tremendous splash.

When he surfaced, he saw Sam standing on the side of the pool, with his hands on his slender hips, shaking his head. Brett smiled and waded over to gaze up at the young man.

"What?" he teased. "Did I amuse you?" he stuck out his tongue and crossed his eyes.

Sam laughed and smiled, as he lowered himself to his knees and took Brett's face into his soft, small hands.

"You are quite a character, Brett. Dating you sure hasn't been boring." He shook his head slightly, letting his silky hair spill over onto his face.

Brett's fingers cleared away the strands, making sure he felt the lock of hair carefully. He loved Sam's hair, and his face, and his, well, everything. He hadn't seen all of it yet, but they'd talked about it quite a lot lately.

"You're no slouch yourself, baby." Brett spoke a little breathily as he was entranced by Sam's dark eyes giving him that sexy 'come hither' stare. He tried to hold himself still in the water while he brushed his fingers along the face of his boyfriend and they leaned in to kiss a few times. Their kisses had gotten sweeter, and longer, and their hands, well, their hands were taking tours of duty all over each other's bodies. Sam felt so good to touch. He wanted to make their first time together awesome.

Pulling himself away with great hesitation, Brett took Sam's hand and invited him into the water. "Come on, it's like a firepit out here; the water feels great."

Sam nodded and then joked, "You know me, I have to get in a piece at a time." 

It was true. Sam was never one to rush into anything. The way he got into the pool said it all. He watched this familiar ritual that he'd witnessed at least a dozen times so far. First, he put his feet and ankles in, then he leaned forward and brushed his fingers through the water, and if he liked it, he sat up and slid into the water a little deeper, just up to his hairless chest. He'd hold himself up out of the water the rest of the way until he got used to it. Finally, after what always seemed like an eternity, he lowered himself in, but only up to his neck. He didn't ever voluntarily dunk his head underwater. 

Brett found it all entrancing. He must be in deep, and that was more than okay. Being in love, really in love, for the first time in his life felt unbelievably good. He barely spent an hour of any given day not thinking about Sam or their kisses or what he'd look like naked. He was always thinking on what he could do to make Sam happy.
Naturally, this had made for some interesting conversations between himself and his parents. It was prom season after all, and he and Sam were going to go. That meant opening themselves up to more ridicule, but neither really cared. As long as they were safe and didn't instigate anything themselves, that's all that mattered.

But something else was happening too; something that he couldn't quite put his finger on or a name to. As free as they were with their affections, Sam was usually the one who backed away or turned his head to stop the kisses at times. There were even times that he'd curl up into a ball when the kissing or touching started to get too hot for him. Brett was understanding of course, but he wondered what was going on. Maybe today he could find out.

A sweet, familiar voice broke into his thoughts.

"Brett? You look lost in space, baby. What're you thinking about?" Sam wrapped his arms around his boyfriend's neck and looked deeply into his eyes. He could stare at those eyes for a long time for sure, but right now he was focused on what they could tell him instead of just taking in their awesome beauty.

Brett shook his head slightly. "Nothing too heavy, baby." He kissed Sam's flat nose. "Just things about us and the future. We've got a lot of things going on, Sam."

Sam groaned. "That's for sure. Prom, graduation, and then summertime to relax, then off to college in the fall." He bit his lip after the last part of the sentence, which caught Brett's attention.

"It's a lot, I know. Where does skating fit in there for you? Have you decided what you wanna do?" He held Sam’s slim waist and stopped their bobbing motions just slightly.

"I haven't. I don't know what I wanna do about that yet. It's a long time till the next trials. I dunno if I wanna waste my college years with skating and school and not ever see my boyfriend or family."

It'd been a scant five weeks since London, and Sam's big disappointment of not getting to go to the Olympics. He'd given everything he had, and Brett knew that more than anyone. He could tell his boyfriend was disappointed, but at first, it hadn't seemed to bother him. But now it seemed like Sam wasn't interested in pursuing skating much at all anymore.

"You're not giving up on skating, are you?" Brett asked seriously. "Sam, you've given your life to it."

"Yeah. Fat lotta good that got me, huh?" Sam shot back with a tone Brett hadn't heard before. An angry tone. He rubbed his face and let out a groan. "Brett, I don't know what I want right now except to go to the prom, graduate, and then I'll decide from there."
Brett held up his hands in surrender. "Alright, you got it, baby. Whatever you want. No pressure. I just don't want you to be disappointed with your decision."

That was putting it squarely back into Sam's court, and the teen clearly didn't like it.

Sam pointed to his own chest and looked angrier than he'd seen him in a long time. "I'll decide what's best for me, Brett. You may be my guy, but I've got to live with it," he huffed and turned away. 

What the fuck was this all about? Brett waited a moment before smoothing his hand around Sam's bicep and turned him around gently. "Hey, what's going on, Sam? Are your folks pressuring you again? Or that Harry asshole?"

"No, no. It's none of that." Sam faced Brett again. "Let's just enjoy our time together, okay? While we can? If I go back to skating and school, our time together will be brief at best. College is a lot harder than high school."

Brett pursed his lips. "We'd make the time. I'll do anything I can to make it easier, Sam. Anything."

Without another word, Sam smiled lightly and wrapped his arms around Brett's chest. "I'm sorry. I'm just bitchy today, I guess," he joked. "Maybe my man can help me out with that soon." He seemed nervous just talking about it out loud. 

"Sam, when do you want to, or try to?" Brett asked as his lips brushed against Sam's.

They kissed softly a few times, and he felt the soft hands around his chest move south and over his waistband. He loved feeling Sam's touch, but were they ready?

"Not just yet, Brett. I love you with all my heart, but I want to be sure I'm completely ready to be with you and be comfortable enough to do it, especially at your folks' house." He glanced over his shoulder. 

It would be awkward, but they'd be alone. Brett's folks traveled all the time. He was sure a weekender could be arranged ad hoc for them to disappear while they got it on. 

"No worries, Sam. None." He stroked the raven locks that were under his hands. "Our love has grown a lot stronger. I'll wait for you as long as you need me to."

The nervous look dissipated almost instantly, as if it had evaporated from Sam's face. 

"Really? You will?"

Brett nodded. "I've told you that  a ton of times, baby. No pressure. It can be prom night, a weekend, whenever you want it to be. Even graduation or we can wait till the summertime."

Sam seemed pleased with the choices but still a bit hesitant.
"Soon, I promise. Soon," Sam repeated as he kissed Brett's chest.

"I'll wait for you to give us the green light, baby," Brett reassured him as they kissed again and silently floated in the pool for a while.

You can find Stephanie's other books Here and on Kindle Unlimited

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Burning Tracks by Lilah Suzanne

Author Name: Lilah Suzanne
Book Name: Burning Tracks
Spotlight Series Book: Two Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: August 11, 2016
Pages or Words: 224 pages, 62,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance Rom-Com
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Victoria S. 










Blurb: In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss.

Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Special Offer - Get the N'walins Series by Michael Mandrake for only 99 cents until 8/29


The N'awlins Exotica Series books 1-3 is 99 cents until 8/29!


Overall Series Blurb

The N’awlins Exotica/Paranormal series
The city of New Orleans is rich in tradition, diverse, and known for the inspiration it provides. In the “Big Easy” there lies the hunger for the erotic as well as the unknown. The residents here feel that sexual energy and it reveals itself through their various creative activities.

Join the characters as they take a wild ride on the edge, enjoying their town for all it has to offer. There’s a certain magic in the air, an erotic magic that cannot be ignored.

Books 1-3 On Sale 99 Cents


Book 1

Blurb: New Orleans is supposed to be the big easy. One night changes everything for Frankie Choteau. 


New Orleans. A city rich in tradition, diversity, and on the comeback trail from hurricane Katrina. Francois “Frankie” Choteau, a resident of this town, a cop with a hot temper and low tolerance for bs. Kajika Fortier, a transplant from Oklahoma came here looking for a dream and unfortunately it’s turned into a nightmare. On a hot summer night, they meet and cross paths during a very difficult situation. Despite this, the attraction between them is evident and loneliness for both men is a fate worse than death. They’d both like a chance at happiness but will the circumstances and Frankie’s uneasiness prevent their happy ever after?


Read the first chapter here


Book 2

Blurb: Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…

Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end. 

To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers. 

Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.

Amazon
All Romance
Smashwords


Book 3

Blurb: Living in the Big Easy is downright deadly especially if you’re a stripper. When another exotic dancer is found dead in her apartment, the heat mounts on Frankie and his fellow detectives to find the killer. Due to the magnitude of this unsolved mystery along with the LaBoy murders, tension runs high at Nineteen making it hard for all to breathe around the police station and sending everyone into a frenzy.

There’s no denying Frankie’s love for Kajika but in the back of his mind, hot thoughts of the mutual jerk off with Orrin Daugherty loom over his head. Though the feelings are mutual, Orrin wants nothing to do with this and pushes Frankie away. Add in to the mix his fascination with partner Vance Morain along with his severe case of blue balls and you got one hell of a predicament for these for complex and volatile men.

The men at Nineteen are burning with desire for one another and pleasure is beginning to be almost as important as business.

Will the sinful disruptions stop them from finding the killer roaming the streets of the Big Easy?

WARNING: Lots of lewd dialogue and smoldering sex between males.

Amazon
All Romance
Smashwords

* * * *

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

PRIZE All 5 Book of the N'awlins Series 


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Friday, 19 August 2016

Jeremy's Story by Ned Ericsson



Everyone has a story.
Dealing with HIV, high school bullies, and new found feelings.
That is Jeremy’s Story.

Synopsis

Jeremy is a teenager with a terrible past.
He has to live with its consequences for the rest of his life.
There is hope.
He’s found a new family, a new life, and a new school.
Will he be able to find friends? Love?
Or will he let those who would judge him prevail?



Excerpt

He sat in the middle of a row of chairs and looked around while he waited. Secretaries and teachers were all running around trying to get the last minute details sorted. Students were busy getting their schedules. Then the most beautiful boy that Jeremy had ever seen in his life walked in.  

His blond, wavy hair was cut short, and he wore flattering trousers and a fitted blue dress  shirt, with  rolled-up  sleeves  showing  off  his  nicely  developed  arms.  He  went  to  the counter and addressed the head secretary—the woman who had been so nice to Jeremy.  

“Hey, Aunt Susan. Do you have my revised class schedule for me?” The boy turned his head towards Jeremy and leaned forward.  

 Oh my God! I shouldn’t be attracted to that behind. Why am I? Is he moving it that way on purpose?  

The  boy  whispered  something  into  Susan’s  ear. She  responded  by  squinting  and wagging her finger at him, one corner of her mouth turning upward. The boy leaned closer and whispered something else. Susan’s response was to shake her head and dismiss him with a gesture.
  
What did he say?  

The  boy  laughed  aloud,  took  his  papers  from  Susan,  and  turned  around. He walked towards Jeremy and plumped down onto the seat next to him. Their legs actually touched.  

Oh my God! Jeremy tried very hard not to let his blushing show. Why am I feeling like this?  

Pre-order Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/jeremys-story-by-ned-ericsson/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-jeremy039sstory-2074300-145.html
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IDSSU66/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IDSSU66/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01IDSSU66/
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01IDSSU66/

Book Trailer


Giveaway

Prize: $5 WIP Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

After publishing several adult stories under a different name, NED ERICSSON decided to reach deep down inside himself and write a story for which a younger generation, as well as the older ones, might relate. He hopes he succeeded in making people think.
Ned looks forward to writing many more stories to entertain and he hopes provoke some minds into thinking about today’s issues through their telling.
Ned lives in Canada with his husband Ken and their cat, Oscar Wild.
NED ERICSSON can be found at:
Email: nedericssonauthor@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NedEricsson/

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Caught Inside by Jamie Deacon

Author Name: Jamie Deacon Book 

Name: Caught Inside

Series: Boys on the Brink Book: One

Release Date: September 29, 2016

Pages or Words: 83,000

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Young Adult 

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow 






Blurb: 

Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo. It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall.

Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

 Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Wednesday Briefs - Demon Chapter Thirty


I'm still half asleep. Staying up all night doctoring a sick dog is not fun. I'm at the stage where my brain is full of cotton wool and I can't remember what prompt I used. I'm sure you'll find it in there if you look

I fell asleep content and replete in the arms of my lover. I wake to chaos.
Jerked rudely from sleep when the warm furs are torn away, my somnambulant mind struggles with the bright light, raised voices and sudden cold. At first, I can make no sense of what is happening. Then my Prince cries out and I am awake in an instant.
Our small tent is filled with men – at least four of them. They are shouting – at us and each other. One, who I now recognize as a particularly unpleasant Counsel member, grips Castien by the upper arm, having clearly dragged him from our bed. From the way my Prince struggled the man is hurting him. My lip draws back in a snarl and I immediately spring.
I knock the man to the ground and he releases Castien, with a cowardly squeak, as he falls beneath me. He is a weak man; a bully, quick to hurt a small man like Castien but with no fight in him for one such as I. Before I can raise my fist to break his face, arms circle me and pull me roughly to my feet.
“Don’t hurt him,” Castien calls and the man, getting to his feet, sweeps his arm, striking Castien in the face with his open hand. Castien cries out and stumbles back. Catching his foot on the sleeping skins, he falls heavily and is clearly winded. He curls on his side, gasping for breath. At least the Counsel man has the decency to look aghast at what he has done, but his concern is fleeting.
“This is your fault, demon.”
I anticipate the blow when he backhands me and snarl in his face as I struggle hard to free myself. The soldiers do not appear happy about what is transpiring but, at least until Castien is able to stand, they have to take their orders from the Counsellor.
“How dare you lay your sick, perverted hands on our prince? Have you no decency? The King will hear of this, and your betrothal to our Princess will be dissolved forthwith.”
I wish I could spit in his smug, self-satisfied face.
“He was never betrothed to my sister,” Castien gasps. My heart reaches out as he struggles to his feet, clearly in pain. A trickle of blood runs from the corner of his mouth. He wipes it with the back of his hand, running his tongue over the inside of his bottom lip.
I growl, low in my throat and throw myself forward again. He hurt My Prince. He made him bleed. Someone strikes me to the back of my head and stars burst in front of my eyes taking the strength from me.
“Behave yourself, demon,” the Counsellor hisses, “and you just might live.”
“Take your hands off him,” Castien demands. He stands very straight, although it clearly hurts. “Tian was never betrothed to Jandra. He is, and always was, betrothed to me.”
“Ridiculous,” the man snarls. “Men do not have relations between themselves, unless they are sick deviants. The King would never sanction this, and the Counsel most certainly will not.”
“Do not talk to me like that,” Castien snaps. “Remember your place. My father did sanction it, and the Counsel has nothing to do with it. I don’t need your permission to love who I choose.”
“You do when the love is forbidden and reviled. Neither the Counsel nor the people will sanction what I have witnessed this day.”
“If you had not violated the sanctity of my tent you would have witnessed nothing.” Castien turns his attention to the guard. “Get your hands off my bonded,” he growls and the grip on my arms lessen, only to be renewed at a snapped command by the Counsel man.
“You would override a direct order from your Crown Prince?” Castien sounds outraged and I feel a tremor of fear run through the guards who hold me.
“I’d do more than that if I had my way,” the man growls taking a step forward. Castien shrinks back.
A roar from outside heralds the King’s approach. A moment of panic flashes through the eyes of the Counsel man but he quickly recovers. “Take him outside,” he commands. The guards drag me into the harsh sunlight. I’m sure the man was expecting me to be humiliated, being naked in the middle of a waking camp. He couldn’t be more wrong.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Father,” Castien’s voice calls from inside the tent. It appears the Counsel man has prevented Castien from leaving. There is a brittle edge to Castien’s voice and I ache to go to him.
The soldiers drag me further from the tent, into the center of the camp, so I can’t hear the conversation taking place inside. What is clear, is that the king is not happy. If I can’t hear the words I can hear the roar.
“Release the Prince, or die.”
The call takes everyone by surprise. The camp is immediately thrown into chaos, but it dies quickly when it becomes clear we are at the center of a closing ring of archers. The thrum of arrows finding non-living targets cause everyone to freeze and there is no resistance when a small contingent of forest-men stalk into camp and relieve the soldiers of their weapons. The two men who hold me drop my arms, but before I am able to run to the tent I am faced by a tall, imposing figure, dressed in forest green, with a close-cropped beard and golden eyes.
“Exactly what trouble have you got yourself into this time?” he asks, crossing his arms across his chest.
Even though I am desperate to go to my Prince I cannot help the grin that breaks over my face. “I am fairly sure it is trouble you would approve of, Father.”
Father laughs and grips my shoulder in greeting, then we turn together to rescue my love.

 Now go read the rest of the great flashers this week