June 28, 2013

Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and commented on my blog post. The winner is:

Carolyn!

Carolyn, I've already sent you an e-mail. Please get back to me.

~ Chris

June 26, 2013

Dealing with Disabilities & A Giveaway!

This post was originally a guest post but since it's a topic dear to my heart I'm posting it on my blog too. To make it even more interesting, I'm offering you the chance to win any of my books. Just tell me about your own experiences regarding disabilities.
This giveaway will run from today to Thursday 27th till midnight. I'll pick a winner on Friday and announce it here on my blog. Please be sure to leave me an e-mail address!
Dealing with Disabilities
Disabilities—that's the theme in Attachment Strings. How do different people deal with disabled people, in this case, especially with disabled children? It's a touchy subject, no doubt about it. Opinions vary greatly and emotions can rise quickly.
I'm a special education teacher and I love my job. I love working with children with disabilities, I have no problem accepting children who outwardly might look strange or can't communicate the way we're used to. Neither do I think a nurse should be the one changing diapers or feeding the children who can't eat on their own. But even in my profession I've encountered many people who, for example, didn't want to touch certain kids because they were always wet in the chest area because they can't close their mouths properly.
When I started studying for my teacher's degree it always irked me when other people asked me why I wanted to spend the rest of my life with deformed creatures. Or they claimed they couldn't do this work because seeing those children would make them either sick or sad.
Honestly? I was—still am—at a loss when I talk to someone with those prejudices. Even some of the parents make no secret of their dislike of their own children. Not all parents of course, most of them are devoted to their kids, but the ones that talked about how much their child is a burden and how their life didn't go the way they had planned, worries me.
Taking care of a child with disabilities, especially if they are multiple and severe, is hard work and I always understand why parents are sometimes at their wits end.. Most parents will take offered help even when they didn't want it initially. Often all the hopes they had during the pregnancy or after the birth of their child are destroyed and everything falls apart. It's a normal reaction but I'm glad that most parents will love their children no matter what.
In Attachment Strings, detective Jeff Woods and his partner Parker Trenkins, meet a whole variety of people. Their talks and encounters force them to re-evaluate their own opinions and prejudices. For Jeff it's particularly difficult because he falls in love with Alex Fisher, who is the caretaker of his disabled brother. Will he be able to overcome his prejudices or will his tentative relationship with Alex crumble before it really starts? Find out in:



June 23, 2013

Sexy Snippet #8




Welcome to Sexy Snippets. This is seven sentences (okay, I cheated, it's eight sentences), taken from a work in progress, or published book, and brought to you every Sunday. 

This week's post is from my new release Attachment Strings:

 
I all but fled to the car. Once inside, I tried hard to get a grip on myself. It was a challenge, one I had a difficult time facing. Before I pulled into the street, I threw a quick glance toward Alex’s living room window. For a second I saw his face, but when he pulled the curtain closed, it concealed everything. My heart leaped and my chest didn’t feel as tight as before. Feeling fractionally better, I vowed that I’d find whoever wrote those threatening letters. No matter what was going to happen with Alex and me, if anything should happen—hell, I didn’t even know if I wanted anything to happen—I owed him that much.

 You can still purchase Attachment Strings for 30% off this Sunday:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3951 

June 20, 2013

Free Read: Hard Going ("Seizing It" & "Too Good to be True?")

To celebrate two positive and thoughtful reviews for Attachment Strings and as a small thank you for buying this book, I'm offering you a short story, featuring Kit and Dale from Seizing It and Too Good to be True? Just a warning: This story probably won't make much sense if you haven't read the books.

Enjoy!

Hard Going

Kit!”

Oh, dear. Can I reach the back door without Dale realizing it? Where would I go afterward?

I stood, rooted in the kitchen, both hands covered in flour, when Gracie barked and whizzed out of the room. Her little paws made frantic scrabbling noises as she slid around the corner. I always wondered if she even possessed the ability not to run.

I heard a pleased yip and a playful growl from somewhere close to the front door where Jackson probably greeted her. These two had hit it off, which was something I was very grateful for. Jackson never showed any sign of jealousy, and Gracie? She adored Jackson.

Footsteps alerted me of the fact Dale was coming my way. I quickly added milk to the flour and started mixing everything together with my hands. I couldn’t go anywhere with my hands covered in batter, right? Neither could I leave the batter sitting on the counter for hours. I really needed to bake. Right now.

Kit.” Dale sighed as he came up behind me. He wrapped his arms around me and I leaned back into him, soaking up his warmth.

Hey,” I said, “did you have a good day?”

Yes, I did. What are you doing?”

I'm making cookies. The ones you like so much, with chocolate and raisins.” I tilted my head sideways so I could give him a kiss. Dale had other ideas. He sucked at my lower lip before he pried my lips open with his tongue.

Well, maybe I opened up immediately after he flicked his tongue against my closed mouth but I won't go into semantics here.

Needless to say, I was breathless by the time our kiss ended. I readied myself to turn around in Dale's arms, grind my rapidly filling erection against his leg and suggest we go upstairs, when Dale ruined the moment by saying, “Go, wash your hands or else you'll be too late for your appointment with Dr. Carter.”

I canceled,” I lied.

I'm not one for lies usually, at least not outright lies, but I really didn't want to go today. I didn't feel like being put through the emotional wringer since appointment days always ended up in me having a tantrum of epic proportions or bawling my eyes out in Dale's arms. Seriously, no one should have to go through this once per week. Neither I, nor Dale, Emma, my Dad or Will.

Dale's arms tightened around me before he stepped back, gripped my shoulders and turned me around. I chose to stare at his chest instead of his face. No one could blame me for my interest in Dale's chest. Even through his shirt, you could see the broadness and firmness of it.

Dale laid a finger underneath my chin and tipped my head until I had to look up at him. “Kit, is this the usual pre-appointment game of 'I don't want to go'? Or did you seriously cancel for whatever reason?”
 
I'm baking. Your favorite cookies. I don't have time to go today,” I replied. He had to understand the importance of my task, right?

Oh, kitten, come here.”

Dale pulled me back into his arms, only now I could push my face against his chest and inhale his scent. He rubbed my back in long up and down movements before he pressed a kiss on the top of my head.

Breathe. Do it with me. In and out,” Dale said in such a calm, soothing tone that I lost the rest of whatever self-control I had.

A sob tore free from my throat and my whole body shuddered. Dale tightened his arms around me, fencing me in and sheltering me.

Are you so afraid of going?” Dale asked.

She'll make me think of stuff I don't want to think about, like she always does, and then I'll feel awful, which of course will result in me flipping and you...” I trailed off.

And me? Am I making things hard for you? Kit, you need to tell me if I do something wrong.”

But that's just it! You're awesome and I don't—”

If you say you don't deserve me, I'll be mad. Really mad.” 
 
I opted to sneak a glance at Dale's face to gauge whether he was teasing me or not. He was not. I dove back to his chest and Dale rested his chin on my head. I loved when we stood like this. It felt as if Dale was everywhere. No place could be safer.

I really don't want to go,” I confessed softly.

So, you didn't cancel after all.”

I winced and plastered myself as firmly as possible against him, complete with my sticky hands clutching Dale's shirt.

Kit?”

You know I didn't,” I replied reluctantly.

I assumed you didn't.”

Are you mad at me now?” I sounded like a wimp but I needed to know.

Kit, you've tried to weasel your way out of every appointment so far, and you've come up with some very creative reasons.”

I closed my eyes when heat rose in my cheeks. I hoped he wouldn't bring up the one time I pretended not to feel well and told him I thought a seizure was coming on. I was still ashamed about that one.

I swallowed hard while I waited for Dale to continue. He pushed me from his chest—which totally didn't earn him a pitiful whimper—and cupped my face in his hands. Those powerful hands that could lift me so easily, if it pleased him, but the same hands that gently stroked and patted me when I needed it.

Stop beating yourself up about that one time.” A small smile appeared on his handsome face. I stared up into Dale's blue eyes, still surprised by the affection I always found there.

You were scared and you did suffer from seizures after the first two appointments. Of course you feared that would happen again. Maybe you could talk to Dr. Carter about your fear of going to therapy,” Dale suggested.

Maybe,” I amended. “It's just... it seems to be taking forever for me to get any better.”

Your nightmares have decreased—a lot. I think that definitely qualifies as getting better.”

But it's hard to talk about the things with... you know who.”

Hutch? Yes, I know.”

How can you say his name like this?” I asked.

Oh, I didn't know his name holds any power. If you're more comfortable with it we could name him like they named Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter.”

I gaped at Dale. Right until I saw a muscle in his jaw twitching. After sticking my tongue out at him, I chuckled.

Dale imprinted a heart rate spiking kiss on me then said, “I'll just change my shirt while you put away the batter.”

But I want to bake.”

Yes, and you will. Just later today.”

I hate when you're all reasonable,” I muttered. Nonetheless, I couldn't help but reciprocate the smile.

Dale ran his fingers through my freshly cut red hair before he left the kitchen. I cleaned up and was just putting the bowl with the batter into the fridge when Dale came back. He said nothing, simply held a hand out to me.

Even though my stomach churned and twisted because I feared talking about Hutch, I knew it did me a world of good. Why couldn't it be easier?

I stared at Dale's outstretched hand, and even though it probably took me years to finally put my much smaller hand in Dale's, his hand never wavered and his expression remained compassionate, loving.

Hand in hand, we walked out of the kitchen. Right before we went to the front door, I glanced into the living room to check on the dogs. Jackson rested in front of the radiator, with Gracie sleeping between his forepaws. He gave a short huff, which sounded as if he wished me 'good luck' while Gracie snuffled in her sleep. After squaring my shoulders and clasping Dale's hand tightly, we left the house.

I could do this.

June 17, 2013

Release Day for "Attachment Strings"


Attachment Strings released today! I'm very happy about this--naturally--and hope you'll enjoy this first book about Jeff and Alex.



Here's what it's all about:

Detective Jeff Woods and his partner have a new case. Someone has been making threatening phone calls to the mayor’s daughter, vowing to kill her disabled child. Though there have been accidents at the girl’s school—enough to take the threats seriously—the facts are few, and leads are sparse.

Needing a breather from the burden of the case, Jeff heads to a bar, where he meets Alex Fisher. Alex isn’t his type, but he’s young and cocky and perfect for a one-night stand. Or two. Soon Jeff starts thinking about how difficult and lonely it is being a cop, and that maybe Alex could fill a void in his life. But Alex has his own obligations: a disabled brother who is the target of threatening letters.

Jeff isn’t sure he’s ready to play house or overcome his prejudices, but he begins to think Alex might be worth it. Caught between his growing affection and his inner demons, Jeff struggles to focus on the case and protect Alex and his brother as the danger builds.


Buy links:

Dreamspinner

Amazon

All Romance


June 16, 2013

Sexy Snippet #7


Welcome to Sexy Snippets. This is seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, and brought to you every Sunday. 

This week's post is from my upcoming release Attachment Strings (releases tomorrow!):


I felt him take in a shuddering breath before he hesitantly put his full weight on my thighs. Once there, he tucked up his legs, encircled my waist with a strong grip, and pressed his face against my chest. Baffled, I blinked. My hands kept on stroking his back on their own volition while I processed what just happened.
There is a man sitting on my lap. How weird was that? Of course I had seen other men sitting like this, but so far it had only ever elicited a sneer from me.

June 14, 2013

Facebook Chat on June 15th & Giveaway for "Attachment Strings"

On June 17th Attachment Strings (A Jeff Woods Mystery) will be released by Dreamspinner Press. Tomorrow, June 15th, I'll be chatting on Dreamspinner's Facebook page.

I'll be giving away e-book copies of Attachment Strings and you can also win a book of your choice from my backlist. I hope to see you tomorrow!



June 10, 2013

Free Read: Seventh Year Anniversary ("A Purrfect Match")

This is a short free read, written for Dreamspinner's Sexy Six Years Celebration in May 2013. It's up on their blog but I figured I'll post it here as well.



Seventh Year Anniversary (“A Purrfect Match”)

Oh God!” Tony threw his hands up in exasperation.
What?” Jim asked. He juggled two bags in his left arm, while he fumbled with his key ring, trying to locate his front door key.
Dad's at it. Again!”
Jim stopped searching. He felt a smile tug at his lips when Andrew's voice floated toward him. “Are you really complaining about his singing voice?”
Jim! He's singing love songs! At the top of his lungs!” Tony replied.
The nerve! Love songs. Jim cast an amused glance at his and Andrew's son. At the age of thirteen, Tony had reached the awkward, gangly teenager stage.
What is it? That he's singing so loud anyone can hear him? Or his choice of songs?” Jim asked.
You know I love him but... why does he have to sing Whitney Houston songs? It's embarrassing! The others are starting to look at me strangely when we meet here and Dad forgets we're here.”
Did you tell him?”
Tony shook his head. “No.”
Why not?”
I don't want to hurt his feelings. You encouraged him to sing and he loves it. I just wish he'd tone it down a bit. Could you...?” Tony trailed off. He lifted his head to look at Jim beseechingly. Even though his eyes were hidden behind his glasses, he still reminded Jim too intensely of Andrew to be able to refuse him.
I hate when you do that,” Jim groused.
Tony snatched the key ring from Jim's jacket-pocket, raised up on tiptoes and kissed Jim's cheeks. “You're the best.”
Yes, of course I am.”
Tony flashed him a smile, then unlocked the front door, grabbed their orange-furred cat, Nika, to prevent her from running off, and hollered, “We're back!”
Instantly, the singing stopped. Jim walked in, shut the door with a swift kick, and carried the bags over to the kitchen counter. Andrew was drying the last dish, when Jim said softly, “Hey, babe, having fun?”
Andrew set the dish aside, came over to Jim and wrapped both arms around his waist. With a content sigh, he rested his head on Jim's shoulder, but not without Jim noticing his slightly embarrassed expression. Tony's not happy with me, hmm?”
He's perfectly happy with you, just not with your choice of songs.” Jim dropped a kiss on Andrew's cheek before he began to nuzzle Andrew's throat and face.
You're not Mr. Frosty right now, so stop rubbing against me.”
If I'd be rubbing against you, I'd be doing this.” Jim pressed his pelvis against Andrew's, intent on playing this game for a while.
Guys, please! Easily influenced teenager in the room!”
You're only easily influenced when you have to decide between 'normal' food and fast food,” Andrew replied as he lifted his head from Jim's shoulder.
Are you going to make moony eyes at each other for the rest of the day?” Tony slapped his hand against his forehead in mock-exasperation. “Of course you will, since you're celebrating your seventh year anniversary today, though I really don't get the difference to any normal day at home. There are already hearts dancing and blinking around Jim's head.”
Did he just say something about hearts and moony eyes?” Jim asked in a low voice.
If you're smart, you better run,” Andrew said.
Tony erupted into motion when Jim charged him. He was halfway up the stairs by the time Jim caught up and threw him over his shoulder. Laughing, and hanging upside down, Tony drummed his hands on Jim's back. In between fits of laughter, Tony demanded to be let down while Jim walked back downstairs.
Dad! Do something!”
And what exactly should I do? I think I might be too busy staring at Jim in utter amazement. What with all the hearts putting on a show around his head,” Andrew replied.
No! You're not!”
Are you sure? I could completely lose myself in drinking in the sight of my most wonderful—”
Dad!” Tony's voice grew shriller. “Please!”
You interrupted me in the middle of my description of my wonderful—”
I know he's wonderful and all! Now, could you please tell Mr. Wonderful to let me down? I'll even do the dishes tonight.”
You're not home tonight,” Andrew objected dryly.
That's why I'm offering it.” Seconds later, Tony squeaked because Jim dropped him several inches. “I'll do the dishes tomorrow when I'm back from Joey's!”
Sounds like a plan to me.” Jim gently lowered Tony to the floor. Nika rushed toward her owner and wound around him while she cast suspicious glances at Jim.
She's pissed off because you treated me so badly,” Tony said with a cheeky grin. “You know what that means.”
Jim heaved a long-suffering sigh, which earned him an eye-roll and a grin from Andrew. “Go ahead. Make up with our cat. I'll unpack the bags.”
All right, all right.” Jim shifted into his feline form, stretched every limb to the extreme, then slowly ambled over to Tony, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor. Nika and Jim exchanged a headbutt before Jim draped himself all over Tony's lap. Nika looked at them for a whole minute, then walked away with her head held high.
Jim heard Andrew talk to Nika, who meowed to announce her suffering. Whatever Andrew did seemed to appease her. Jim looked up at Tony, enjoying how deep Tony's fingers dug into his fur to pat and massage.
Jim was dozing off when Tony suddenly lifted him in his arms and whispered, “I want to show you something.”
Tony ascended the stairs with Jim in his arms and carried him to his room. There, he set Jim on the floor and walked to a drawer at his desk. His hand hovered over the drawer's knob for a long time until Jim noticed that Tony's hands were shaking. He hurried over to him and purred but it didn't do the trick.
When it became apparent that Tony needed Jim in his human form, he brought some distance between them, shifted, and then grabbed the throw blanket from Tony's bed to tie around his waist. Walking up behind Tony, Jim laid his hands on his shoulders. “Tony? What's going on?”
Tony shrugged but remained silent.
Do you want me to get Drew?”
No. I... I made something for him. Well, no, it's for both of you but... I'm not as good as you are and I don't know whether I should show it to you and... and I don't want to go to Joey's tonight. I want to be here with you and Dad and celebrate your seventh year anniversary as a couple. I've always been here for this day before, but I know you planned a night for two—”
Tony! Breathe!” Jim interrupted.
Tony tore the drawer open, grabbed something, whirled around and shoved it into Jim's hands. After this outburst, he put as much space between them as possible. Jim watched Tony standing in a corner of his room, for all the world looking as if he'd been caught doing something horrible.
Jim glanced at the self-made book in his hands. Tony had inherited his father's talent, although he didn't see it that way—no matter what Andrew and Jim told him.
He read the book's title aloud. “How Mr. Frosty came into our life.”
The title sucks,” Tony declared, his voice giving away his stress level.
Jim opened the first page and, to his astonishment, he discovered Tony had created a comic book of the events that had brought Jim into Andrew's and Tony's life.
Half an hour later, Jim had looked at each drawing and read every single world. Tony had inched closer to him the more Jim had smiled.
This is incredible,” Jim whispered.
Do you think Dad will like it too?”
Like it? Tony, he'll love it! He's probably going to cry.” Jim chuckled when he imagined Andrew's face.
Ah, I believe I can live with that, since I'll just give it to him before I leave for the night.”
You said you didn't want to go to Joey's?”
Yeah, but—”
No buts. Call him and tell him your parents made you stay at home because there's a family celebration. Go on, sport.”
Tony's face lit up at Jim's suggestion. He hugged Jim before he bounded out of the room to retrieve the phone. Jim left the book on Tony's desk and, still in awe, walked downstairs, where he found Andrew lounging on the sofa with Nika curled up on his lap, purring loudly.
Not that I don't enjoy the view, but aren't you cold?”
Ignoring the question, Jim said, “Change of plans for tonight. Tony's staying with us.”
Andrew's face fell and Jim quickly sat down beside him. After wrapping an arm around Andrew's shoulders, he whispered, “Believe me, it's worth it. Tony has an incredible surprise for us.”
How do you know it's a surprise?”
He showed it to me.”
Then it's not a surprise anymore.”
It is for you.”
Why am I always the last to see surprises?”
Jim chuckled, then lowered his voice. “I promise I'll make your ass tingle surprisingly hotly later tonight. Sound good?”
Yeah.” Andrew laughed, then kissed Jim. “I only got food for the two of us. Guess, I'll have to make something up so it'll be enough for all of us.”
Jim watched Tony walk upstairs, the phone in his hand, while Andrew got up from the sofa. Nika meowed in protest and strode over to her favorite place on the window sill, then began the laborious task of grooming herself. Andrew walked into the kitchen where he stuck his head into the fridge.
Jim smiled. How have I ever gotten this lucky?


After a delicious meal, Jim, Andrew, and Tony sat around their dining table. Jim patted his belly and sighed. “That was good.”
Andrew sent him one of his dazzling smiles; one of those that told Jim all he ever needed to know.
Tony cleared his throat, then said, “I, um, I know you wanted to spend tonight differently, and I promise I'll go upstairs soon.” He paused for dramatic effect. “I'll make sure to put on my headphones, too.”
You better turn the volume up,” Andrew muttered.
That's a first. You telling me to do something that might not be good for my health.”
We all have to make sacrifices.”
Jim and Tony laughed, then Jim reached out for Tony's arm and squeezed. “Go get your surprise, sport. I'll get Drew situated on the sofa so he falls on soft cushions when he faints.”
Tony pushed away from the table. “You just want an excuse to have him on your lap.”
I don't need an excuse. I'll have him sit on my lap whenever I want.”
Right. Could you two not speak as if I'm not around? Thank you so very much. Oh, and I'm perfectly capable of sitting on my own. Whatever it is won't cause me to faint,” Andrew declared. He rose from his chair, walked over to the sofa, and curled up in his favorite corner. Jim watched him stare at Tony's retreating back before he asked in a low voice, “It won't, right? I mean, lead to me fainting?”
I'm not sure about that, but if you don't get teary-eyed, I don't know who you are,” Jim replied. He seated himself next to Andrew, then crooked a finger.
Andrew stretched his legs out over Jim's lap, smiling. Jim pushed a hand between them, under the fabric, and stroked Andrew's calf.
Better?” Andrew asked, amusement clear in his voice.
Much better.”
I never thought you'd be such a touchy-feely guy.”
I'm not. It's you.”
It's me?”
Yes, you corrupted me.”
Andrew choked on a laugh. “Maybe you ought to punish me for that?”
It'll be my pleasure to redden your ass later.”
I'm very much looking forward to it.” Andrew tried unobtrusively to adjust his shirt to conceal his crotch.
Jim couldn't help but grin at the gesture. “I love how receptive you are. Even after seven years.”
It's very addictive.”
Tony descended the stairs in a hurry, almost tripping over his feet at the bottom, which caused Andrew to inhale sharply. Tony skidded to a stop in front of Andrew, holding his gift as if it was a bomb that would go off any second.
Andrew stared at Tony open-mouthed and with growing concern visible on his face.
Dad! You have to take it.”
You're shaking,” Andrew stated. Jim watched the concern shift to fear when Andrew attempted to pull away to get up.
Jim clamped his hands down on Andrew's legs. “Drew, it's just a gift.”
Ow. Stop playing bench vise.”
Jim lessened the strength of his grip, then smiled encouragingly at Tony. “He's going to love it, trust me.”
Andrew's gaze skittered from Tony to Jim and back again. “This is all very thrilling.”
Move over, Dad. I need to sit down. This is making me nervous.”
But—”
Jim cut Andrew's protest short. He lifted him on his lap and ignored Andrew's surprised yelp. “He said to move over.”
I hate when you just lift me and put me wherever you want,” Andrew huffed as he squirmed into a comfortable position.
Dad, even I can tell you're lying. I never thought you'd be such a bad role model.”
I'm what?”
Tony and Jim laughed at Andrew's flabbergasted expression. A moment later, Tony shoved his gift into Andrew's hands.
I wanted to make something special for your anniversary because...” Tony trailed off and shrugged, then gathered his courage to add, “Even though you singing Whitney Houston songs drives me crazy, and Jim hogging all the warm water in the morning makes me grumpy, you still are the best parents in the whole world and I love you.”
Jim swallowed against the lump in his throat while he blinked away tears. Andrew scooted closer to Tony and wrapped him into a tight embrace. Jim couldn't hear what he said, but from Tony's watering eyes he deduced that he fared no better.
Dad, don't cry. I'll never tell you again if it gets you that wound up.”
I told you he'd be crying,” Jim chided.
But only after he's seen the book.”
I'm not crying,” Andrew protested. “I'm just... touched.”
Babe, you're totally crying,” Jim cupped Andrew's chin in one hand after he'd released Tony. “Or, at the very least, you're on the verge of crying.”
It's still not crying.”
Dad!”
Okay, okay!” Andrew rubbed his eyes with his shirt sleeve. Jim let go of Andrew's chin to smother the wild affection that surged up within him into something tameable.
Jim wrapped his free arm loosely around Tony's bony shoulder while he circled his thumb on Andrew's right hipbone. Fine tremors fluttered through Tony and Andrew and, not for the first time, Jim was amazed by the intense love between them.
He felt Tony stiffen underneath his palm when Andrew took the book and gasped. Jim tucked Tony into his side while he waited for Andrew's reaction. His hands became unsteady and shaky the further ahead he got in Tony's book, but he still didn't say a word. Tony barely breathed next to them.
Come on now, Drew. Tell him how awesome this is!
After Andrew had finished with Tony's book, he carefully placed it on the coffee table, then said in a throaty voice, “That's what you spent so much time on lately.”
Tony nodded, which Andrew couldn't see because he was still balancing on Jim's knees with his back turned to them. Jim felt increasingly unsettled by Andrew's reaction to Tony's gift and, from the nervous vibrations he received from Tony, he felt the same way.
Tentatively, Tony asked, “Dad? Don't you like it?”
Andrew whirled around with tears streaking down his face. “What? I love it. I just... wanted to get a hold on me so I couldn't embarrass you.”
All the tension seeped out of Tony and he lunged for Andrew's neck to hug him. “It's okay for today, Dad.”
Andrew leaned into Tony and held him tightly while he—rather incoherently—thanked him.
It took Andrew a few minutes to calm down. Then they all huddled together on the sofa, Andrew and Jim fencing Tony in, with Tony's book open on his lap. Andrew captured Nika before she could paw at it, and they spent the rest of the evening talking about the scenes Tony had drawn, remembering how their family had started.

June 09, 2013

Sexy Snippet #6




Welcome to Sexy Snippets. This is seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, and brought to you every Sunday. 

This week's post is from my upcoming release Attachment Strings:



I stripped off my shirt as I got up, then sat down on the edge of the bed. Alex rose on all fours and crawled over to me. My cock jerked at the sight of him crawling. His eyes were fastened on my crotch, and it took all my patience to wait for him and not to pull him close by his hair.
Without hesitation, he crawled right between my legs and nuzzled his face against the bulge in my pants. He sniffed before popping open the button and undoing my fly. I swore when he mouthed my cock through my boxers. 

June 08, 2013

Nephylim: Christmas In July: A Very Special Edition

Please help me welcome Nephylim, who is talking about a Special Edition of her Enigma series. Don't forget to go to the bottom of this post--you've got the chance to win a free copy of the book and a signed poster!

Christmas in July



On July 1st I will be pleased to present a Special Edition incorporating Book I and II of the Enigma series. The Special Edition will be available for one month only and will contain original artwork as well as a brand new short story Silver’s First Christmas.

Silver is a total enigma, even to me. Snatched of the street at twelve years old he was stripped of him

memories and personality and re-invented as a sex slave. Renown for his beauty and skills as an erotic dancer, he takes the underground world he inhabits by storm. Until he falls in love.

In the shady world of white slavery love between slaves is strictly forbidden; so strictly Silver had to watch his lover beaten to death before he suffers a similar beating that leaves him close to death on the side of a motorway.

Lost inside his own head, Silver is rescued by his carer River and the two begin a journey together that leads them to placed neither could have imagined.

Silver is an amazing character to write. He has a world view different to anyone I have ever met. In some ways he’s so innocent, in others so…not. He’s experiencing so many things for the first time, at least in this incarnation, and he’s so scared he spends a lot of time hiding from the world and the people in it. At the same time, he spreads love around him like a flower spreads pollen, attracting the nickname ‘Sunshine Boy’. He’s certainly my sunshine boy.

Over the years I’ve been writing him I’ve been inspired to write and paint him over and over and yes, I’ve fallen in love with him. 

In Book one we follow his journey from someone who’s so lost inside is head he barely reacts with the world around him, to someone who lights up the world around him. In Book two the journey continues with River and Silver trying to settle down into a peaceful life together. That doesn’t happen and the introduction of River’s twelve year old brother into the mix causes havoc.

I have been wanting, for some time to explore the British child protection system which I work with day to day in my professional capacity as a family lawyer. I’d been wanting for some time to express my feelings of how social workers destroy families. Politically controversial I know but I’ve never shied from that. The experiences River and Silver go through are partly taken from experience and partly pure fantasy but I think anyone who’s worked in this environment will recognise the general structure and attitudes.

The pressures get too much for River who, torn between his brother and his lover sides with Ben, unwittingly causing Silver to believe it’s because he’s ashamed of him and believes he’s a danger to Ben.

Believing himself to be unloved and unwanted, Silver runs away, seeking to return to his past and , instead finding a way to move into the future. We’re introduced to new characters, in particular the boy who is to become Silver’s best friend, and another daemon lover of mine, Ariel

Through his experiences with Ariel and his friends, Silver undergoes a transformation and returns to River a changed man.

And so the journey begins again. In Book III it continues as Silver starts to find his footing in the strange new world and surprises everyone with the direction his emerging personality takes them.

What a journey I went on in writing Silver and his friends. I had never written so much as a sequel before and here I am writing Book V. I don’t think I’m ever going to get bored with Silver. He’s part of my life, like an invisible friend. His portrait is hanging over my fireplace, with that look in his Silver eyes. My muse; my friend; my inspiration.


Excerpt

Are you alright now, sweetheart?” Hester asks gently. I nod, with a hiccup. “You’ve had it rough haven’t you? It’s all happened so quickly. I know you’ve done your best but you just don’t realise what all this has done to Silver. You, of all people, know what he’s like. He’s a beautiful, sweet boy but he doesn’t see the world in the same way we do. He doesn’t understand any of this and all he sees is that you’ve abandoned him and he’s rationalised it by believing he’s done something bad or that he is bad.
He truly believes you’re ashamed of him and everyone’s been lying to him, when they said they love him and don’t care about his past. He’s convinced himself he’s a worthless whore, you’re ashamed of him and everyone else hates him. I think he’s starting to come to believe we’re not going to throw him out in the street but that’s about as far as he can go right now.
He’s tired and sad and confused and it’s making him ill. I don’t want to see either of you hurt and I don’t want to try to force you into doing something you can’t do but...I know you love Silver, I know you do and I know you don’t want to see him hurting like this. River, I’m scared, we’re all scared. One way or another we’re losing him.”
Is it really that bad?”
Just go and see him, River, that’s all. Just see him and talk to him.”
Of course I will. That’s why I’m here.”
I think Sam and Hester realise I’ve had enough because they don’t say another word. It’s awkward but most of that comes from me.
My heart jumps to my mouth when I hear steps on the stairs and my head jerks up, as Julia walks slowly into the room. She doesn’t look like her usual bubbly self, not at all. She’s subdued and serious, but thoughtful. When she notices me staring at her, she smiles a little smile and then hugs me without saying a word.
Is he...? Can I...? Does he...?”
Of course he does. He wants to but he’s scared to. You have to be gentle, River. Don’t shout at him again.”
But I didn’t shout, he....”
I know but right now, whatever happens, he needs you to be there for him, just him and never mind the past. He’s sick, River, sick at heart and he needs lots of healing. He’s hiding in a different way than before and this time I don’t think he can back. I’m scared River. He’s scared too and he doesn’t know what to do to make it better.”
Did he talk to you?”
Of course he did. He always talks to me.”
Will he talk to me?”
I don’t know. He wants to but I don’t know if he can.”
I have to try.”
Oh yes, yes you do.”
My mouth is dry and my heart racing, as I slowly climb the stairs. What will I find? Will he hate me? Will he be...? For the gods’ sake River get a grip. He’ll be what he always was, he’ll be Silver, the man you love.
He’s lying on the bed, curled up in a position I recognise. It’s his safety position, his arms wrapped round himself and his knees drawn up. It’s the position he adopts when he’s scared, in pain. This time I caused it and I feel sick.
I can’t move over the threshold. I can’t bear to look at the evidence of what I’ve done. As I hover, he looks up. His face is so pale, even under the blotchiness of constant weeping, and his eyes.... I watch the emotions fly through the dark, dark eyes: hope, fear, excitement, hope, doubt, pain and finally a dull, hopeless resignation. He lowers his head again and breaks my heart.
I don’t have to think anymore. To hesitate any longer would be unthinkable. What is there to think about? When I take him in my arms, he gasps and tries to pull away but I won’t let him. He doesn’t struggle but he’s stiff and unresponsive. He’s shaking and breathing hard and I have no idea how he’s feeling, what he’s thinking, but it can’t be worse than how I’m feeling.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I swear, I never meant to hurt you. I love you, Silver, I love you more than I can possibly express. You’re everything to me, everything. Please, please don’t hate me. I was such a fool. I didn’t mean any of the things I said, I swear I didn’t. I was being an idiot, letting off steam. Please Silver, please forgive me.”


Links



In all, there are five blog posts celebrating the conception of Christmas in July. On each blog there is a question. If you answer all three questions correctly you will be put in a drawer for a free copy of the book and signed poster. The competition will run until the 1st July and the winner will be drawn at the release party.

Today’s question is – What River’s brother’s name?

Here's the list of participants for the other questions:



 

June 02, 2013

Sexy Snippets #5




Welcome to Sexy Snippets. This is seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, and brought to you every Sunday. 

This week's post is from Too Good to be True? (sequel to Seizing It):

 
Why?” he asked.
He wandered with his hands down my back to my ass, one finger leisurely sliding between my cheeks. My cock filled rapidly, leaving me slightly dizzy.
Because… because it just did. I can’t remember why. The reason fell right out of my mind as soon as you started doing this.” I emphasized my statement by pushing my ass toward his exploring fingers.

June 01, 2013

Cover Reveal: Attachment Strings

This is the cover for my upcoming release "Attachment Strings":


Catt Ford is the cover artist, who did a great job on the cover (especially considering my vague suggestions).


The book isn't on the Coming Soon Page yet but it's supposed to come out on June 17th. I'll definitely do a giveaway for it, so stay tuned. :)

Blurb:
Detective Jeff Woods and his partner have a new case. Someone has been making threatening phone calls to the mayor’s daughter, vowing to kill her disabled child. Though there have been accidents at the girl’s school—enough to take the threats seriously—the facts are few, and leads are sparse.
Needing a breather from the burden of the case, Jeff heads to a bar, where he meets Alex Fisher. Alex isn’t his type, but he’s young and cocky and perfect for a one-night stand. Or two. Soon Jeff starts thinking about how difficult and lonely it is being a cop, and that maybe Alex could fill a void in his life. But Alex has his own obligations: a disabled brother who is the target of threatening letters.
Jeff isn’t sure he’s ready to play house or overcome his prejudices, but he begins to think Alex might be worth it. Caught between his growing affection and his inner demons, Jeff struggles to focus on the case and protect Alex and his brother as the danger builds.