December 31, 2012

Happy New Year & Favorite Books in 2012

Image courtesy of [Vlado] / freeDigitalPhotos.ne

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope all your wishes will come true in 2013! How are you going to spend tonight?

We're staying home. I'm gonna chat on Skype with Rosie and hopefully settle on a date for my flight to come to visit her. :)

There are lots of round-up blog posts going on, so it probably doesn't matter much if I add my own, right? XD

If I look back, I have to say 2012 was a very good year. I'm now a published author, which is all kind of awesome. We moved into our own home in November and it's fantastic! Still lots to do though. My youngest kid started school and I'm already missing the times when the kids were little. My friend Rosie visited us in July and we had a blast! :)

Below is a short list of books I've read this year and which made an impression on me.

The biggest impression (without a doubt!) made David Eddings Belgariad series:

The Belgariad 1 - 3
The Belgariad 4 + 5

I'm still loving Rolf and Ranger's Silver Bullet. This whole series is one of my all-time favorites!

Other books that stuck with me (though in no particular order):

Gathering Storm by Lyn Gala

Somebody killed his editor by Josh Lanyon
All She Wrote: Holmes and Moriarty by Josh Lanyon
Mummy Dearest: The XOXO Files by Josh Lanyon

Wrestling with Jesus by Stephen Osborne

The Ghost on My Couch by L.A. Gilbert


What were your favorites in 2012?





December 28, 2012

Winners for the "A Purrfect Match" giveaway

So, the blog tour for "A Purrfect Match" is over. But fear not, the blog tour for "Secret Chemistry" will start soon. ;-)

Image courtesy of [Salvatore Vuono] / freeDigitalPhotos.net


Congratulations to the five winners!

The two print copies go to Sherry and Julie. Sherry, if you read this, please contact me. Your mail-addy isn't working!

The three e-copies go to Cassandra, Juliana and Andrea!











One other small thing: I'm now on Facebook too. I hope to see you there!

December 23, 2012

Michael Rupured: Until Thanksgiving



Please help me welcome Michael Rupured back! His first novel Until Thanksgiving released on Monday. Congratulations again on your release, Michael!



Thanks so much, Chris, for having me back on your blog to talk about my new m/m romance/thriller, Until Thanksgiving. And congratulations on the release of A Purrfect Match. Last time I checked the Dreamspinner Press web site, it was a top-25 bestseller. Woo hoo! You must be on Cloud Nine—which as you may recall, was where I found myself back in September when I last stopped by to say hello.

More than three months later, I’m still riding the same wave. From seeing the cover for the first time to the release, every step in the process of becoming a published author has been more exciting than the one before. And this is just the beginning. Who knows what’s still to come? That I’m here to talk about a book with my name on the cover proves anything is possible.

People often ask how I managed to land a deal for my first novel. I could write another book with my answer. Several successful authors have already done so, and as I set about writing Until Thanksgiving, reading a few of those books was helpful. But my real education started in March 2011 when I joined the Athens Writers Workshop.

My one piece of advice for aspiring writers is to join a good critique group. I’ve heard a million horror stories about writers groups and would guess no two are alike. Lucky for me, the first one I found was a perfect fit—double lucky considering it’s the only one I know about in Athens.

In our group, members submit up to 5000 words of a work in progress. We have about ten days to read all the submissions—usually three or four, but sometimes as many as six or more. At the biweekly meetings, we focus on one submission at a time, going around the table offering our opinions, comments, and suggestions.

From the beginning, that the other writers knew more about writing fiction than I did was abundantly clear. Though we would read the same things prior to our meeting, the comments they made revolved around aspects of writing I’d never even heard of before. I was a sponge, soaking up as much as I could at every meeting.

Eventually, with the encouragement and support of the group, I started Until Thanksgiving and began submitting 5000 words at a time for critique. Being the focus of the discussion is like laying naked on the table as the other members look you over with magnifying glasses, flashlights, and lifting tools to explore various and sundry nooks and crevices. I ain’t gonna lie. Sometimes it even hurts.

The experience is more than a lot of people can take. Knowing that the comments are intended to help me write the best possible book makes it easier to take the criticism. And nearly two years later, the core members of the group—the ones who keep coming back for more abuse—are among my best friends in the world. Without them, I never would have tried to write a novel or been able to get the one I did write published. That’s why I dedicated Until Thanksgiving to the Robot Unicorn Cult, more commonly known as the members of the Athens Writers Workshop.




The blurb:

Josh Freeman knows his best days are behind him. After his partner of seventeen years has an affair with a younger man, Josh buries himself in takeout boxes, half-smoked joints, and self-pity until his best friend gently kicks him in the ass and encourages him to try out a new job in Washington DC—at least until Thanksgiving.

Though DC has its share of troubles, specifically in the form of a murderer targeting gay men, Josh soon discovers its charms as well. Unlike his old home, DC is crawling with men who want to date him—apparently he's not as overweight, out of shape, or over the hill as the man he once loved made him believe. In particular, Josh would love a chance with relocation expert Thad Parker, but Josh is sure Thad is seeing someone, so he looks for love elsewhere. He tells himself he and Thad don't have anything in common anyway.

Then Josh learns Thad really is available. Maybe they can work it out after all. Suddenly the future seems bright again. Of course, Josh doesn't know he's the murderer's next target....

Michael’s web site: http://Rupured.com
Twitter: @crotchetyman
Email Michael at mrupured@gmail.com

******

As a special treat, Chris, the excerpt below is Chapter 3 of Until Thanksgiving. If you like, you can read chapter one here (http://rupured.com/2012/12/17/a-release-party-southern-style/) and chapter two here (http://www.shiraanthony.com/2012/12/meet-michael-rupured/) or here (http://machurch00.blogspot.com/2012/12/welcome-michael-rupured.html).

Chapter 3

Thad Parker stood with a small crowd waiting at Gate 13 for Delta Flight 3313 to arrive from Lexington, Kentucky. Thirteen had always been his lucky number. He had been born at 1300 hours on January 13, 1963, and considered his thirteenth year to have been among the best of his childhood. That was the year he’d realized he was more interested in boys than girls and had gone to spend the summer with his Uncle Philip.
The flight had landed. Thad watched for the Jetway door to open, and when it did, he held up the sign he’d printed off from his computer the day before: Josh Freeman. He knew Mr. Freeman was transferring from the Lexington branch of Walker, Cochran, and Lowe to be the new national communications director, but little else. As the sole employee of the relocation and travel division of the firm, it was Thad’s job to help Mr. Freeman find housing in Washington, line up the movers, and otherwise help with his relocation from Lexington.
He watched the passengers coming off the flight, smiling benignly at the men, knowing one of them would be Josh Freeman. An obviously gay middle-aged man with gray hair and a faded pink golf shirt that almost covered his sizeable paunch looked at the sign Thad held and smiled. Thad smiled back and hoped he wouldn’t be spending the rest of the afternoon fending off the man’s advances. If so, he was in for a very long day.
“Hello. I’m Josh Freeman.”
It took Thad several seconds to realize the voice had not come from the pink-shirted man. He turned toward the source of the voice and gasped. A tall, tan, ruggedly handsome man with thick brown hair smiled and offered his hand.
Thad looked at the hand for several seconds, then along the darkly tanned forearms to the athletic chest and the dazzling smile before he fell into an impressive pair of soulful puppy-dog brown eyes. He reached out slowly and shook hands with the man. A high voltage jolt traveled up his arm, then forked to send a tingling sensation rushing to his scalp, all ten toes, and the fingertips holding the sign bearing the man’s name. He felt his knees go weak, and until he saw the group of girls walk past holding hands and singing, would have sworn he heard a choir of angels.
“Welcome to Washington, Mr. Freeman,” he stammered. “I’m Thad Parker, your tour guide for the next twenty-four hours.”
“Nice to meet you, Thad. Can you call me Josh? Mr. Freeman is my dad.”
Normally Thad would have laughed. Instead, he mumbled, “Okay.” He knew he was staring but couldn’t look away. Something about Josh Freeman had knocked him for a loop. He realized too much time had passed. An awkward silence he was at a loss to fill stretched on because he couldn’t think of a thing to say.
Josh broke the silence. “Any idea where I go to pick up my luggage?”
The question jarred Thad back into reality. “Yes, sir! Baggage claim is right this way.” Thad talked as he walked. “Since it’s too early to check into the hotel, we’ll drop your luggage off at the office before we start checking out apartments. Will that be okay?”
Josh nodded. “You’re the boss. Just tell me what to do.”
Where do you want me to start? A barrage of erotic images flew through Thad’s mind, surprising him. He’d met lots of men, including some real lookers. None, however, had ever pushed his lust button quite the way Josh had managed to do with just one look from his dreamy brown eyes.
Focus!
“I’ve found four apartments that seem to meet your criteria, all within walking distance of the Walker, Cochran, and Lowe office. Would you rather take a cab to the office or ride the Metro?”
Josh practically skipped down the terminal. “Let’s take the Metro. We have cabs in Lexington, but I’ve never ridden on a subway.”
“Then Metro it is.” Thad smiled. Josh’s obvious excitement reminded him of a kid preparing for his first ride on a roller coaster.
Josh retrieved his badly beaten Samsonite suitcase from the baggage carousel. Thad and everyone else in the airport couldn’t help but notice the silver duct tape on all four corners of the olive-green bag.
“Sorry about the luggage. My ex got the good stuff.”
Single. The absence of wheels and a pulling handle made Thad wish Josh had opted for the cab ride. Since he hadn’t, Thad hoped any friends who saw him focused more on the handsome man he was with than the antique bag he carried.
Inside the station, he showed Josh the Metro map and the route they would follow to reach their destination. Thad thought the way Josh asked questions was cute, like he was preparing for a big test.
On the long ride up the escalator from the Dupont Circle Metro station, Thad instructed Josh to stand to the right like a true Washingtonian so people in a hurry could pass, rather than stand in the middle like a tourist. Never mind that anyone seeing Josh’s shabby suitcase wouldn’t be fooled for a minute.
At the top, Thad indicated the direction they needed to go. “We need to cross through Dupont Circle to get to the office.”
As they walked, Thad explained that Dupont Circle was a park, a traffic circle, and a neighborhood. The popular park was anchored by an enormous, two-tiered marble fountain surrounded by benches and a well-landscaped grassy area in the center of the giant, four-lane roundabout that connected Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire Avenues, P Street, and Nineteenth Street. The neighborhood included nearly two hundred acres and extended several blocks in every direction from the fountain that marked its center. As they crossed through one of several sidewalks that dissected the landscaping, Thad pointed out the sidewalk that ran along the perimeter of the park and the old men engaged in intense battles on concrete chessboards. The fountain roared in the background.
Thad gave Josh a tour of the Walker, Cochran, and Lowe headquarters that ended with his new office. Considering he wasn’t an attorney, Josh’s office was nice, with a big leather chair behind a large oak desk, a seating area with comfortable-looking upholstered furniture, and a window overlooking the Dupont Circle fountain. His tattered suitcase was oddly out of place in the luxurious setting.
Over the next few hours, Thad took Josh to see apartments in several properties in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. He listened as Josh peppered the property managers with a thousand questions they couldn’t possibly answer, with a drawl heard more often in the mountains than on any plantation.
Having helped dozens of transfers and new hires relocate to DC, Thad had learned to start with the worst option. Most people came to Washington expecting accommodations similar to that available in the smaller cities they were leaving behind. Checking out two or three less desirable options first made getting them to like his first choice a lot easier. Cute as he was, Josh was no exception.
After Josh signed the lease and wrote the check for the deposit, Thad took him back to the office. He pointed out the CVS drugstore as a landmark for the intersection of Dupont Circle and P Street, two blocks from Josh’s new apartment. Minutes later, they were back in Josh’s office at Walker, Cochran, and Lowe to retrieve his luggage.
“Ready to go to your hotel?” Thad asked.
“Yes, I’m beat.” Josh picked up his shabby suitcase. “I really appreciate you showing me around today. I was afraid I’d have to make another trip up to find a place before the move. The apartment is great.”
Thad talked as they left the building, heading east around the traffic circle. “You’re most welcome. The West Park is one of the best in the area.” He didn’t need to know Thad lived just a few blocks away. Not yet, anyway. “Tonight you’re staying at the Carlyle Suites on New Hampshire Avenue. It’s an old art-deco hotel with a fun atmosphere. I think you’ll like it.”
Thad gave Josh a rundown of his itinerary. “You’re having dinner with the partners at Vidalia—one of my favorite restaurants in the city. They’ll pick you up from the lobby of your hotel at seven o’clock.”
Josh fought back a yawn. “Great. It’s only four now, so I can squeeze in a nap before I get ready.”
“Tomorrow morning, I’ve arranged for a limousine to pick you up from the hotel at eight o’clock to take you to the airport. Your flight leaves at nine thirty. You’ll have plenty of time to get checked in and find your gate.”
Josh smiled. “I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
Be fine? You are totally fine just the way you are. Thad paused for a minute to remember what he’d been talking about. Oh, yeah. “I’ve already lined up a moving company for you. The representative should be in touch with you next week to set up all the details.” He reached into his shirt pocket and handed Josh a business card. “If there’s anything else you need tonight or when you get back to Lexington, don’t hesitate to call.”
Finally they reached the entrance to the Carlyle. Thad fantasized about going in and showing Josh to his room.
Let me get you out of those clothes and tuck you in for that nap.
Focus!
“Well, this is it. You’ll need to check in at the front desk. The reservation is in your name with all the charges direct-billed to the firm.”
Josh took Thad’s hand and shook it. “I really appreciate you showing me around today. You did a great job.”
“Happy to help,” Thad said, releasing Josh’s hand as another jolt shot through his system. “I’m really looking forward to working with you over the next few weeks.” And he meant it too.









December 20, 2012

Secret Chemistry will be released on January 11th

Yes, that's right, I have another release coming up. :) Anne Cain created a marvelous cover:


Blurb:

Not all werewolf societies are created equal. The one Tim Evans grew up in detests those not of “pure blood”—so when Tim discovers his mate is Jay, a male fox-wolf hybrid ten years his junior, it shocks him, to say the least. Too young to claim his mate and too weak to protect him from the rest of the pack, Tim fears for Jay’s life. When a human gets hold of Jay, Tim believes he has lost him forever.

The next eighteen years are hell. Tim devotes his life to his family and running their stable, but anger and depression threaten to consume him. Then fate brings Jay back into his life. Tim knows Jay feels the same attraction he does—mates always do. So why won’t Jay act on it?


The book is already available for pre-order as an e-book and paperback.


Oh, and Christi Snow at Smitten with Reading gave A Purrfect Match an A- rating. :)

December 18, 2012

Winner of the Christmas Blog Hop!

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Congratulations to Shadow!

I'll send you an e-mail in a few minutes. Please reply to this e-mail in the next three days.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by, I hope you all had fun during the hop.

December 14, 2012

Christmas Blog Hop





Looking for the perfect present for under the tree?
Welcome to the Purrrfectly Giftastic Hop! 140+ authors….TONS of goodies to be won. So put on your santa hats and PJs then visit the following authors blogs to hopefully make you holidays a happy one!

STARTS:

Friday, December 14, 2012

ENDS:

Monday, December 17, 2012 @ midnight.


I've always loved Christmas. I grew up in a big family. My parents and I lived in an apartment two floors above my grandparents. All my aunts and uncles and my other grandmother lived close-by. On Christmas Eve everyone would drop in at either my grandparent's apartment or ours. I really loved the business and everyone chatting and laughing. It's one of my fondest memories.

Nowadays, our family is much smaller. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and the first and second Christmas Day. Usually we (my husband, the kids and I) spend Christmas Eve at home. The next day we'll visit one pair of grandparents and the next day the other. It's not as busy but still lots of fun this way. :)


So, in honor of the Christmas Blog Hop I’m giving away one e-copy (winner's choice) of :













Here’s what you do:
Contest:
~ I'd love if you'd join my blog but it's not mandatory to enter the contest.

~Leave me a comment. Tell me what's your biggest wish for Christmas.
~Leave me an email address, so I can contact you.

I’ll announce the winners Tuesday afternoon/ evening by email and on here. Please respond to the email!


Hope everyone has fun during the hop.

Julie Lynn Hayes: The Belgian Chocolate Remedy (Giveaway!)

Please help me welcome Julie Lynn Hayes. Julie's newest book The Belgian Chocolate Remedy released today!

Julie is going to talk about... well, you have to find out yourselves. ;-) Don't forget to enter the giveaway!


What’s one word that’s sure to grab people’s attention, make them perk up, and put a smile on their faces?
No, I don’t mean sex.  Chocolate!  Who doesn’t like… no, I mean LOVE chocolate? I can count on the fingers of one hand the people I know that don’t like this delicious treat, and have fingers left over! So, it’s pretty universal, this love of chocolate. And it isn’t a recent phenomenon. No indeed, it’s been around for a long long time!

Chocolate has been around the Americas for a good three thousand years. It was fermented and used in beverages to take away the bitterness of the cocoa bean.  The Aztecs called it xocolātl , from a Nahuatl word that meant ‘bitter water’.  They also ate chocolate, and used it in religious ceremonies.  Wow, what a great incentive to go to those, right?

It’s only appropriate to discuss chocolate during the holiday season because it makes such a great gift—not just for the people on your gift lists, but for yourself as a treat for running yourself ragged with holiday rituals—cleaning and cooking and shopping and wrapping and decorating, the whole nine yards! 

There are different types of chocolate, and each is determined by the amounts of cocoa powder, chocolate liquor and sugar involved.  


  • ·         Cocoa powder is for baking, and doesn’t taste good on its own. Unsweetened chocolate is also called baking chocolate or bitter chocolate.  It is pure chocolate liquor, made up solely of ground cocoa beans. It’s not meant to be eaten solo, but forms the base of the other chocolates, except for white chocolate. 



  • ·         Dark chocolate has  chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and leicithin, with a cocoa content ranging from 30% to 70-80%. This category also includes bittersweet chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. 



  • ·         Bittersweet chocolate has at least 35% cocoa solids; most contain at least 50% chocolate liquors, some as high as 70-80%. Since there is no regulation on the amount of sugar, the taste can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. 



  • ·         Semi-sweet chocolate contains at least 35% cocoa solids and is primarily an American term, popularized by Nestle and their Toll House morsels. Usually, it’s darker than sweet dark chocolate, but sweeter than bittersweet.



  • ·         Sweet dark chocolate has a high percentage of sugar and is sweeter than other dark chocolates, and might have only 20-40% cocoa solids.



  • ·         Milk chocolate, besides containing cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, must contain condensed milk or dry milk solids. While it’s easier to overheat, it’s a very popular type of chocolate and has a rich creamy taste and texture.



  • ·         White chocolate has cocoa butter but no chocolate liquor or other cocoa products.  Not surprisingly, it has no actual chocolate taste, and may taste like vanilla. It must contain at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and no more than 55% sugar. If you see white chocolate that contains vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter, this isn’t really white chocolate, and won’t taste the same.


I have a new release with Museit Up Publishing, my first with them. It’s just out today, actually and I’m excited to tell you about it. It’s called The Belgian Chocolate Remedy. There’s that chocolate theme again!   Milan is my Belgian chocolatier. He and his brother Ludolf came to America, after Milan had studied hard in Europe to become a chocolatier, and they ended up settling in the Midwest, in a small town in Indiana. The plan was that Ludolf would help fix up the shop where Milan would make the chocolates, and they would make a good life for themselves. But life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. On the other hand, there’s Jesse, who has no interest in his life since his boyfriend dumped him. He lives in St. Louis, but comes to Lafayette, Indiana, at his best friend Reggie’s request (read demand!). They’re going to help her friend Milan get his booth ready for Outfest. Has Reggie got something else in mind?

I hope you like the story, and it wouldn’t hurt to eat some chocolate while you read it, maybe drink some too!

Thanks for having me, Chris!   I’d like to give back to your readers, so let’s have a giveaway! If I get 25 comments or less, I’ll pick a winner to receive anything I’ve written. 25 to 50 comments, there’ll be two winners. Over 50, I’ll give away to 4 readers, and one person will get a $10 Amazon gc! Don’t forget to leave your email addy. No addy – no win!

Here’s the link for The Belgian Chocolate Remedy – enjoy!







The Belgian Chocolate Remedy

Blurb:  Milan, a Belgian chocolatier, has lost his beloved brother. Yet life goes on, and he must ready his booth for Outfest—Ludolf would have wanted him to carry on. Jesse is a rudderless soul, unable to cope with the rejection of his lover. He comes to Lafayette, Indiana at the request of his best friend, Reggie. She inveigles him into helping her friend Milan… a way to pass the time, or something more?

 
Excerpt:   

Milan had gone back to his last batch of chocolate—unscathed and unburned—and removed it from the burner, where it was cooling. “Would you like to brush the molds with chocolate?” he asked.
“Sure, I guess.” Jesse shrugged. It didn’t seem that difficult, at least in theory. “What’s it for?”
“To coat them.” Milan pulled a pastry brush from a drawer. He already set the molds out; they were simply waiting to be used.  “I have some in the freezer already done,” he explained, seeing Jessie’s questioning look.  “This is not all I have.”
“Okay,” Jessie said, “just show me what you want me to do.”
“Here.” Milan carried the pot of chocolate to the center of the work table. “Set a trivet there, will you?”
“A what?”
“A trivet,” Milan repeated, nodding to the counter behind Jessie.  “That blue thing there. I will set the pot on it so it does not burn the surface.”
“Sure.” Jessie laid the round blue object onto the table, as Milan set the pot.  “Take the brush and dip it like this.” He demonstrated just how far into the chocolate he wanted him to go. “Then lightly brush over each mold, like so.”
Jesse admired the ease with which Milan worked, as if he’d been born to do nothing else. He had very nice hands, he noticed. How would those hands feel on Jesse’s cock? Would he touch it with the same care? His breath caught at the thought.
Milan offered the pastry brush to Jessie. He shook himself from his reverie and took it, pushing the forbidden image away. “So you’re selling these tomorrow. At Outfest. Right?”
“That is correct,” Milan replied. “You are coming, yes?”
“I am unless I want Reggie to tan my hide.”
Milan smiled.
“She would, you know,” Jesse continued, “You ever see her get mad?”
“Yes, I have,” Milan admitted, “I would not care to be the object of her anger.”
“Me either.”
“A little lighter, please.” Milan had been watching Jessie work. “Here.” He laid his hand over the other man’s. “Like this. Just enough to coat it. I will fill it in after we put in the fruit.”
Their eyes met and for a moment their hands stopped moving, each acutely aware of the other. Milan broke away first. “I will do this one,” he offered, “then we can do the first freeze.”
“First freeze?”
“Yes. We are forming a shell so it will hold the weight of the candy.”
“Okay.” Jesse thought it made sense, but what did he know. He dipped the brush into the chocolate again, making his strokes lighter, earning a “bon” from Milan. He knew enough French to know that meant good. He relaxed a little at the praise.
Once they had set the molds into the freezer, Milan removed the completed candies that waited there. He showed Jesse how to unmold them, and how to put them into their little paper beds, and into the waiting boxes. Then he let him apply the second coating himself.
“You are doing well,” he encouraged him.
“Thanks.”
A few minutes of companionable silence passed, Jesse concentrating on the task at hand, Milan stealing surreptitious peeks at the brunet. Whether he was willing to admit it to himself, he was glad for his company. Jesse’s presence was pushing the shadows away.
“Milan?”
“Yes, Jesse?”
“This is your place, right?” Jessie encompassed the kitchen with his glance. He couldn’t help but feel a lot of love had gone into making this room the place it was. More than a kitchen, it was Milan’s haven.
“It is, yes. Mine.”
“When are you going to open, then? Reggie said you were going to open your candy store after Outfest, right?”
Milan paused in the act of retrieving a container of raisins from the refrigerator. It was a legitimate question. It’s what businesspeople did—they opened for business. So why was he so hesitant to set a date? Maybe because he didn’t see it ever happening, without Ludolf’s guidance.?
“I do not know,” he mumbled, setting the bowl on the table, not meeting Jesse’s eyes. “There is work that needs to be done, construction work and…and licenses…and I do not know what, I mean I just do not know…”
Jesse reached out his hand without thinking, but Milan had already turned away. Jesse’s heart ached for the other man—he sounded so alone, so lost. Jesse wanted to gather him up in his arms, comfort him, soothe him, stop his tears, and end his pain. And yes, he wanted to get naked with him, too—to touch him, feel him, and lose himself in Milan. He wanted to taste his lips and take away his misery.
His feet moved, as though his thoughts had manifested themselves into action. His fingers brushed across the top of the table as he edged around it, toward Milan. He had no clear purpose he simply needed to be closer to him.
Milan was a few inches taller than Jesse, he discovered, as he came up behind him. Jesse’s lips were at about the level of Milan’s jaw, and he found it hard not to simply kiss him there, to stop his shoulders from shaking, to stem the tears he suspected were falling. He reached up his arms, wanting to hug Milan to him tightly, to take the first step—
The tinkle of the shop bell. Jesse retreated, stumbling back to his side of the table. In his haste, his hand knocked a spoon off the table. It clattered onto the floor. Milan spun around, dabbing at one eye with his right hand.  He left a small smear of chocolate on his cheekbone. Jesse bent to retrieve the spoon, resisting the urge to wipe the chocolate away. The moment passed; he felt like a coward.


Julie's bio:


Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is 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, and MuseitUp Publishing, and she has also begun to self-publish at various places on the Internet.   


You can find Julie here:

Julie's Publishers:
Museit Up Publishing:  http://museituppublishing.com/