March 04, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: At Full Speed, #7



Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used this prompt: “Chances are…”

At Full Speed, #7

Jake’s sleep had been interrupted several times by nightmares. Not just simple nightmares, like the ones he usually had, especially when he was wound up. No, these nightmares could be called nightterrors. Around 5 in the morning, Jake gave up on sleep altogether. He trudged over to his sofa, curled up in a corner, and switched on the TV. It took him almost half an hour to stop shaking. When the first rays of sunshine filtered into his small apartment, he breathed in deeply.
“Great, I survived another night. How very awesome,” Jake said, just to hear his own voice. Yup, still there, and it didn’t sound strange. Sometimes, when the nightmares were severe, his voice turned from a normal tenor into a croak. At least he hadn’t screamed so much his voice had suffered.
He glanced at the clock. Still more than two hours to go before Bruce would pick him up. He dragged himself to the bathroom, took a long shower, and made sure his hair was done to perfection. His blond locks were artfully tousled, and he shaved any sign of stubble away, leaving only creamy, smooth skin behind. Satisfied, he inspected his wardrobe. He decided on a pair of dark blue jeans with a light blue shirt that brought out the color in his eyes. To accentuate his slender frame, he pulled out a vest that matched his jeans.
For a moment, Jake turned and twisted in front of the full-length mirror mounted to the left door of his closet. He’d do. At least he hoped he’d do. Some guys were turned off by his height and slightness, though Jake’s body showed finely defined muscles everywhere, whereas others liked it.
“Chances are that Bruce falls into the second category,” Jake told his reflection, mostly to encourage himself. If Bruce didn’t like what he saw, he wouldn’t pursue Jake, right?
With a sigh, Jake turned away from the mirror before he tidied up the bathroom. He still had more than an hour, so he logged into his computer and answered some e-mails. As a freelance artist, he could pick his projects. He loved his job and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Drawing and illustrating was his world. Fortunately for him, he was even modestly successful.
When the door bell rang, Jake jumped. A quick glance at the clock confirmed he’d completely forgotten about the time. He powered down his computer, while he called, “Just a second.”
Moments later, he opened the door, smiling. Bruce stood in front of him, solid as ever, wearing jeans and a leather jacket, and smelling comfortingly of the cologne Jake liked so much.
“Good morning, sunshine.”
“Hey,” Jake greeted. “Let me just grab my wallet and my jacket and we can be on our way.”
“All right.”
Jake snatched what he needed, slipped into his jacket, and locked the door. Bruce took his hand and gave it a squeeze before he pressed a kiss on Jake’s cheek. Bruce’s question took Jake by surprise. “Didn’t you sleep well?”
“What? No, I didn’t. How… how do you know?”
Bruce tucked a strand of hair behind Jake’s right ear. “You just look tired.”
“Oh.”
“Couldn’t you fall asleep? You know that you could’ve called me at any time, right?” Bruce asked as he led Jake down the stairs.
Jake shrugged. “I guess I was too wound up.”
He left out that he’d been close to calling Bruce—twice. The nightmares had been so vivid he’d left the light on after the second. No need for Bruce to know how pathetic he really was. Yesterday’s meltdown was enough.
“Do you want to talk about yesterday?”
“No.” Jake shook his head vehemently. “Absolutely not.”
Bruce regarded him with a strange look. Jake’s gaze veered off Bruce’s face. This way he could pretend nothing out of the ordinary was going on. Nope, he didn’t notice Bruce’s scrutinizing stare. Bruce didn’t press the matter. Instead, he guided Jake to his car, keeping a hand on the small of Jake’s back. Ever the cavalier, he opened the door for Jake, waited until he was seated, then closed the door.
Jake watched him round the car before he climbed into the driver’s seat. “Where are we going?”
“How about Fursher’s? They’ve got a wide variety of breakfast dishes, and the portions are generous.”
“I’ve never been there,” Jake confessed. He’d passed the small restaurant that strictly served breakfast and lunch often but he wasn’t keen on sitting there all by himself.
“Then you’re in for a treat.” Bruce smiled before he pulled into traffic.
Jake bit his lower lip to swallow the remark resting on the tip of his tongue—being with Bruce was a treat already.


March 02, 2015

Julie Lynn Hayes: Crossroads






Blurb

Crossroads: a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences

Clete Deveraux is a little old Southern boy a long way from home, drifting the highways with his abusive boyfriend, Vern. Tal Clark is newly graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, but his plans for a carefree summer have just been derailed and he’s not sure what he’s going to do.

Things happen for a reason…

Clete and Tal’s lives intersect at a rest stop in central Missouri, but sometimes first impressions aren’t the best. And finding the right path isn’t always easy.

Clete and Tal have reached a crossroads… and now they have to decide which way they want to go. And who they want to go with.


Excerpt

As he rounded the corner, he stopped dead in his tracks, his thought not only unfinished, but completely slammed from his head by the sight before him. A figure stood in front of one of the vending machines, slender legs encased in tight blue jeans that led to the most gorgeous ass Tal thought he’d ever seen in his life, a notion that was seconded by his dick, which twitched its agreement.
Genie who?
The girl had fine blonde hair, so pale it seemed almost white, but maybe that was just due to the harshness of the lights. Tal’s heart was beating a staccato tattoo inside his chest at the way she shifted her weight from one leg to the next. His imagination began to run rampant, as he pictured himself placing his hands on those dainty hips, drawing her to him as he nibbled on her neck. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this turned on. A little voice inside his head rejoiced. Genie was wrong—he wasn’t what she’d said he was, and this was proof positive of that. It was all her fault if he found more pleasure in a book than in her bed. See? The proof of his sexuality was here, staring him in the face. Well, her ass, his face.
And then she turned, and in the next moment all his illusions shattered around him.
She... was... a he.
Just damn.
This guy was pretty enough to be a girl, easily, Tal’s confused libido tried to make amends. He wore small hoop earrings in one ear that jingled lightly when he turned his head. His eyes were a blue so pale they almost disappeared into his face, his smooth skin lightly tanned, which only brought out the pinkness of his pretty lips.
Pretty lips? Where had that come from?


Author bio:

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch,  needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Amber Quill Press.

My links:

Twitter @Shelley_runyon







March 01, 2015

Sunday Snippet #23: Ben and Joey

In this week's Sunday Snippet I'm featuring Ben and Joey. They're in a D/S relationship and Joey is a shapeshifter (a black cocker spaniel puppy). These stories are all free and you can find them listed in chronological order here.


Image courtesy of [Paul Martin Eldridge] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The snippet below is from the first story, called "A Handful":

A high-pitched squeak, followed by the clicking and sliding of paws on the wooden floor had Ben rolling his eyes. Suppressing a smile, he called out, “Joey!”
The answering bark guided Ben to the large cupboard in the living room. Ben got down on his knees to peer under it. He was on par with a pair of large brown eyes, staring at him anxiously.
Joey, get out there. Now.”
The small, black-furred spaniel pup curled himself together even tighter and shook his head. Ben moved his head out of sight from Joey, not wanting to see him struggling with his facial expression. It was bad enough for Joey to forget paying their electricity bill but shifting into his other form to evade his punishment—that was a no-go. Still, Ben had a very soft spot for Joey in his shifted form.
Taking another deep breath, he bent back down and tried to cajole Joey out of his hiding place. “Sweetheart, you're just making things worse. Come on, we'll deal with it and everything will be fine again.”
You're going to spank me! Joey wailed telepathically.
Ben jumped and grimaced. “How often have I told you to give me a warning before you talk inside my head? Especially if you're this loud!”
Sorry, Joey replied much more quietly. I meant to pay it. I just forgot!
It's the only task you have to do—”
Joey snorted. Not true! You make me do the dishes all the time, not to mention the vacuuming and—
Joey,” Ben said warningly. “Aren't you in enough trouble already? The electricity is out, and it's getting cold in here. Don't you dare play the poor-me card now. You will get the hang of paying something on time, even if it's the death of me.”

February 27, 2015

Pride Promotions presents: Palace Dog by R.E. Nelson




Book Name: Palace Dog
Goodreads Link: 
Author Name: R. E. Nelson
Author Bio:
R.E. Nelson was born in Texas and raised in Southern California. He has been writing for as long as he can remember. One of his earliest recollections related to writing is winning an essay contest in sixth grade--something patriotic about the American flag. When he travels, his preference is staying in select areas for an extended period of time and learning about that place. He has lived in both Vietnam (twice, actually) and Saudi Arabia, and also spent time in Egypt, South Korea, Shanghai (his only China visit thus far), and Dubai. Now he is happy to call San Francisco home.
Where to find the author:
Twitter: @RENelson13
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond



Blurb:

In April 1975, as the government in Saigon is falling, Michael Andrews prepares to make his way back to Vietnam to find the love he was forced to leave.

But Michael’s journey begins four years earlier. He joins the Air Force to keep out of the Army and out of Vietnam, but his first assignment is teaching English in Saigon to members of the Vietnamese military in an Army program called Palace Dog.

As an artist, and a man, before his time in Vietnam, Michael found life lonely and unsatisfying. In the midst of war, Michael searches for direction and meaning. He ultimately finds love and hope with Thao, a young Vietnamese art student, only to have their already uncertain future wrenched from them when he is pulled out of the country.

For Michael, his return in 1975 is inevitable and without question, though the outcome he hopes for is anything but assured.


Categories: Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance


Excerpt:
The cyclo had bumped across the bridge, following the curve in the road, then moved quickly down the final straight stretch, past houses and shops, past rows of trees and walls and occasional open spaces, past vendors who lined the street’s edge selling gasoline in glass bottles. Motorcycles, Lambretta mini-buses packed with people, cream-and-blue Renault taxis, pedestrians with baskets and boxes—all crowded the street. Noises, smells, and smoke came from everywhere, and as the driver increased his speed, I smiled, gripping the metal frame tighter and pushing slightly with my feet as the moist wind rushed around me.
Speeding through the streets of Saigon, wearing the green Air Force-issued jungle fatigues, my life of a year ago seemed unreal.

Pages or Words: 206 pages


Facts:

21 – What do you wear when you’re writing?  T-shirt and shorts

22 – Do you have any particular music you listen to while you write?  Music related to the topic/year of the book.


Tour Dates: February 27, 2015


Tour Stops:

Sales Links:

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Palace Dog’