April 29, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: At Full Speed, #11

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used this prompt: make a scene

At Full Speed, #11

Jake’s breath rattled in his chest even though he’d stopped crying a long time ago. Or maybe the rattling sound came from his bones? His whole frame seemed to shake so badly his knees slammed together painfully, no matter how hard he tried to control himself.
There had been people, quite a few actually, who asked if they needed an ambulance, but Bruce managed to decline all their efforts and concern with firmness and kindness. How did he do that?
Jake’s face was hidden against Bruce’s solid chest, which usually would allow him to inhale Bruce’s scent. Just not this time, since his nose was totally clogged. In between some hiccups, Jake said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make a scene.”
“It’s all right, Jake. Think you can get up if I help you?”
Jake nodded. He had no idea if his legs would hold him up, but he’d made enough of an idiot of himself for today. Tomorrow was a different matter. Tomorrow he could start anew and make even more of a fool of himself. Jake’s throat constricted at that thought, and for a second, lightheadedness threatened to overwhelm him.
“Jake, shh, breathe.” One of Bruce’s large hands cupped the back of his head while the other one steadied Jake around the waist.
“I’m so sorry. You must—” Jake bit off the rest of what he’d wanted to say. Bruce had made it perfectly clear he could think for himself.
“I’d like to take you home now. Would that be all right with you?” Bruce asked. His mouth was close to Jake’s ear, his breath warm against Jake’s skin. Jake pushed his forehead deeper into Bruce’s shirt, wanting nothing more than to hide there forever. “Jake?”
“I… will you stay with me? Just for a while?” Jake’s heart pounded so loud it had to be audible to anyone close to him. He didn’t even know if he could stand to be in the same room as Bruce, or if that would send him deeper into panic, but he knew one thing for sure: he needed Bruce. His strength, his compassion and… and maybe even his love.
“Of course I’ll stay with you. Did you honestly believe I’d leave you alone after such a panic attack?” Bruce sounded slightly scandalized.
Jake pried his face off Bruce’s chest, but only far enough so he was able to peer up through his swollen eyes. “I take it that was a stupid question?”
“Not stupid.”
“But?” Jake pressed, immediately regretting his inability to shut up. When would he learn not to force matters?
“But I’d hoped you’d know me better by now.”
“Oh?” Bruce shook his head but he smiled. “What did you think I’d say?”
“I didn’t think you’d say anything at all,” Jake blurted. He froze while his heart rate skyrocketed. A low whimper tumbled over his lips. What the fuck was so difficult for him to understand about the concept of keeping his mouth shut? It shouldn’t be that hard. And even if it was, then he should’ve learned his lesson. He should’ve learned it well.
“What do you mean?”
Jake pressed his lips together and dropped his gaze. He would not say anything. If he refused communication, there was no chance of him upsetting Bruce. Though… what if silence ticked him off? Some guys felt offended by silence, and liked to inflict pain just to get a response.
“Jake, did you by chance mean you suspected I’d hit you rather than try to talk to you?”
Jake’s head snapped up, and he stared at Bruce from wide eyes. A sigh escaped Bruce’s mouth, but fortunately he didn’t comment further. He simply folded his arms around Jake’s shaking form and drew him close.
Jake leaned into Bruce’s body, soaking up the body heat. Belatedly, he realized he’d gone without a fuss, without a thought of Bruce hurting him. Didn’t that mean on a subconscious level he knew Bruce was not like the other guys? The ones that had damaged him beyond repair? He snorted in disgust. How could he lump Bruce together with those bastards that were responsible for all his scars?
“Take me home, Bruce.”


April 27, 2015

Creative Minds presents: Family Jewels by MJ O'Shea

Title: Family Jewels

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Length: 200 Pages

Release Date: 27th April, 2015

Blurb: Corbin Ford, aka the Nightwatchman, named for the antique pocket watches he leaves behind at jobs, has been in the cat-burgling business for years. His father was. His grandfather was. His mother is still one of the most renowned thieves. Corbin likes his high-profile heists, priceless paintings from private collections, artifacts from museums, but his favorite? Jewels. Sparkly, beautiful jewels. If they’re famous, better yet.

Interpol agent Luke Eldridge has one goal and one goal only: to catch the Nightwatchman. Luke’s been after him for months, but getting the slip time and again is getting embarrassing. Luke has never even laid eyes on the bastard, but he’d happily strangle him. And then arrest him.

When Luke meets Corbin, the man of his dreams, he falls hard and fast… only to catch Corbin red-handed with his hand in a jewelry case at the scene of the highest-profile murder that’s rocked the international world in years.

He always felt like a spider, scuttling through the underbelly of the city, unseen until he was nearly gone, an oily black streak in the corner of people’s vision.

Corbin Ford had had a long life of skating along unnoticed by most. It should’ve been something that bothered him. It would bother most people. But he liked it. Liked that the woman who might smile condescendingly at him at the bank, then forget he ever existed, could be the same one he divested of everything of value hours later. It felt like an inside joke, one he never planned to share with anyone. He belonged on the outside looking in. He was comfortable there, had been for thirty-five years.

He was a shadow, and like one, he moved silently through the night.

A taxi drove past and sent a huge spray of water up. He managed to jump out of the way of the plume fast enough he barely got any on his coat. He’d paid enough for the damn thing. Sure, he could afford to replace it and buy ten more, but it didn’t mean he wanted to.

Corbin swore under his breath and moved closer to the buildings.

It was still damn cold for March. Damn cold period as far as he was concerned. He tightened his jacket against the bitter chill and wrapped his black scarf tighter around his neck. Black jacket, black scarf, dark jeans, and black shoes. He fit in in the city. Nobody would notice anything unusual about him.

He shouldn’t have been there, so close to the scene. It was stupid to watch the house swarm with police and agents, but he’d needed more satisfaction somehow. The clink of Lady Dalton’s emerald earrings and the thick, heavy ruby and diamond necklace weren’t enough for him anymore. He’d spent nearly an hour with the jewels earlier, trying to get the same feeling he used to get from a particularly good haul. He’d touched the gems and weighed them in his hand. Even when he’d put them away in a safe far better than the one he’d fished them out of, there was barely a spark. No heavy dark thrill. No excitement. The rest of her things weren’t worth more than a moment’s examination. He’d stolen them for the resale cash, not any particular pleasure. The emeralds were different. So was that necklace. At least it would’ve been in the past.

Corbin felt like he was broken.

In retrospect, that was probably why he’d done it. Why he’d left the watch and the poem for the authorities to find. Interpol was there; they had to be. He hadn’t seen them, but leaving his father’s old trademark was a sure bet to get them called. No more was Corbin “a rash of high-end burglaries.” No. He’d just become a singular and quite important someone. A thief who was supposedly long gone.

A legend.

The little missing thrill, the one he’d tried desperately to get from cold jewels and heavy gold, wound its way up his back when he thought about the Interpol agents finding his little calling card. He smiled into the dark.

DSP Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6318

I’m Mj O’Shea:) I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.

When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.

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April 24, 2015

German Translations of "Seizing It" and "Too Good to be True?"

Today is release day for the German translations of "Seizing It" and the sequel "Too Good to be True?". Seizing It was my very first published book and for this reason alone will always hold a special place in my heart. :)

E-book versions:

Nichts ist Kit wichtiger als seine Unabhängigkeit, die nicht zuletzt durch seine Epilepsie immer wieder gefährdet wird. Als Tierarzt Dale in sein Leben tritt, sieht Kit seine Selbstständigkeit erneut bedroht, doch Dale bleibt hartnäckig. Hin und her gerissen zwischen seinem Misstrauen und dem Wunsch nach Nähe, verstrickt sich Kit in ein Netz aus Halbwahrheiten. Doch bald muss er sich entscheiden: Kann er Dale vertrauen oder soll er auch in Zukunft vor sich selbst davonlaufen?

Drei Monate Beziehung liegen hinter Kit und Dale, doch von Harmonie sind beide weit entfernt. Kits Ausflüchte stehen weiterhin zwischen ihnen und noch immer ist er nicht bereit, seinen Alltag an die Epilepsie anzupassen. Die Lage spitzt sich zu, als Kits Sturheit sein Leben in Gefahr bringt...

Or you can get both books as a paperback:


April 22, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: At Full Speed, #10

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used this prompt: “You’re about to cross a line here…”

At Full Speed, #10

A shudder rippled through Jake’s body. Although he’d started to talk, and a tiny voice inside his head demanded to pour his out heart to Bruce—to let go for once and trust another human being again—his throat felt swollen and impeded further speech.
Bruce gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze before he turned his head and pressed a chaste kiss to Jake’s left temple. Jake gasped, startled by the sudden pressure of firm lips ghosting from his temple over his cheek to the tip of his nose. Through blurred eyes, he gazed at Bruce, the man he wanted to throw all caution away for.
“You’re about to cross a line here, you know,” Jake croaked.
“Are you sure it’s me crossing a line?”
Jake opened his mouth, his answer of ‘Of course, you’re crossing a line, you’re getting into territory that’s ugly’ ready, but he stopped before a single word left his mouth. Shaking his head, he whispered, “No, it’s not. It’s me, and it’s a terrifying thought.”
“Why does it terrify you? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you tell me?” Bruce asked as he rubbed circles with his thumbs on Jake’s shoulder.
Without overthinking his answer, Jake replied, “You’d find out what a worthless piece of shit I am, and run away from me as fast as you can.”
A second later, the blood in Jake’s veins seemed to turn into ice. Coldness prickled underneath Jake’s skin, leaving him shivering and panting. “Oh, God. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to… I know you must think I’m pathetic, but I… I can’t do this!”
Jake jerked out of Bruce’s hold and jumped up from the bench. His feet pounded on the pathway as he fled. Away. He had to get away from Bruce. The pitying looks. Were they even filled with pity? Or were those looks already ones of disgust?
He didn’t wait to find out. He couldn’t wait to find out. He’d seen those looks so many times in his life already, but if it were Bruce’s eyes that conveyed revulsion, it would be his undoing. The man had gotten underneath Jake’s skin too quickly. He didn’t have time to shield his heart.
Jake sped past curious pedestrians, listening to his shoes slap the concrete in a rapidly unsteady rhythm. By the time his lungs screamed murder at him, his thigh muscles denied further assistance, and he slowed to a walk before he gave up the fight altogether. He sat down on the ground, next to a hydrant, and leaned his back against it. Closing his eyes to block out people’s stares, he willed his wheezing to stop when he noticed a presence next to him.
He opened his eyes, hoping whoever invaded his personal space would just leave him alone. “Bruce?”
“Did you expect anyone else, sunshine?”
Gasping, Jake tried to come up with a retort, but his mind remained blank. The only thing he could think of was, “Did you run after me?”
“I did.”
“But you’re not even out of breath.”
Bruce chuckled and winked at him. “I’m in good shape.”
Oh, Jake knew that. And he liked that fact about Bruce—very much. Despite the circumstances, he felt a smile tugging at his lips. “You must think I’m—”
“How about I think for myself?” Bruce cut him off. His eyes showed the same warmth and compassion as always, but his voice demanded Jake’s obedience. Now.
Swallowing hard, Jake said, “I wasn’t trying to—”
“Yes, you were. You’re so afraid you’re making sure you’re telling me how I’m supposed to see you, which is probably the way someone else thought about you. Or maybe not thought about you, but abused you to the point you couldn’t distinguish between reality and cruel fantasy.”
Jake’s protective barriers, the ones he’d so carefully built around his heart for such a long time now, collapsed. His whole body shook with the effort it took him to ward off a complete meltdown, right at the corner of a street he didn’t know, with Bruce kneeling next to him.
Instead of walking away, Bruce slid closer. With great gentleness, he cupped Jake’s face and guided it to his shoulder. “Come on, sunshine, let it out.”
Jake lost the battle. Blindly, he reached out for Bruce’s neck before the first sob tore from his throat.