May 26

Book Blitz: Cinnamon and Cigarettes by Samantha Kate (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Cinnamon and Cigarettes

Author: Samantha Kate

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  June 1, 2016

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: F/F

Length: 88,800 words

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, Bisexual, Lesbian Romance, New Adult

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Synopsis

Sara Clarke, recent college grad, is sweet, demure, and cautious in all things, but especially romance—until she meets Moira Estrada, a bold amateur pilot and patron at the library where Sara works. Their intimacy blooms rapidly as they share everything from a sudden medical emergency to Christmas with the Estrada family. With her dashing new girlfriend by her side, Sara learns to overcome some of her greatest fears, whether they be acknowledging her own bisexuality, flying across the sky in a Cessna, or falling in love for the first time.

But Sara’s fear of confrontation is harder to conquer. When asked about her relationship, she finds herself lying to her family, pretending to date a man so she can avoid conflict with her straight-laced and image-conscious parents. But her attempts to please everyone cannot last forever and could result in far worse than her parents’ disapproval: she might lose the respect of her new friends at the library, or become estranged from her sister—or, worst of all, Sara might lose the only person she’s ever truly loved.

Excerpt

Moira pulled her key-ring out of her pocket, plucking out a large silver key from her collection. “Fasten your seat belt. We’re starting the engine now.”

She inserted the key; the plane gave a small lurch as the engine burst to life beneath Sara’s feet, and the propeller began to spin. This engine was nothing like the smooth start of a car; it ignited with a roar, like a motorcycle gunning to maximum velocity, and within moments that sound was pierced with sharp, rhythmic bursts from the propeller’s increasing oscillation. The sound was cacophonous; Sara put her hands to her ears, to block out a fraction of the din.

Amid the noise, she heard Moira speaking into her microphone. “Fairways Air Control, this is Lamassu. Oil pressure gauge is green, transponder is on. Are you receiving transmission?…Okay, thank you. Requesting permission to taxi to Runway Three…You’re the man, sir.”

Sara smiled faintly at her pilot. Moira’s combination of aviation jargon and casual slang was, admittedly, really endearing. So was the way her eyes widened as she scanned the blinking lights and bright monitors in front of her, grinning gleefully, looking simultaneously mischievous and reverent.

“Hang on,” Moira said, removing one hand from the controller and fumbling around by her feet. “I forgot to give you your intercom.” She withdrew another pair of headphones, handing them over. “These will help with the noise.”

Sara put on her headphones; the cacophony was quelled into the distance, now just a background ambiance. In the forefront now was Moira’s voice, smooth and sanguine, every word spoken directly in Sara’s ears.

“Removing parking brake now,” Moira said, a hand reaching out to pull the brake knob near Sara’s knee. The plane slid forward, and Sara gulped, hoping to keep her stomach from lurching as well. “Beginning taxi.”

They slid along the main “road” at a slow crawl. Sara noted each white stripe that passed by until they’d arrived at one of the runways; they did a slow 90-degree turn until they faced the open road. It was barely wide enough to accommodate the plane’s wings, and the forest was perhaps a mile ahead. Was that really enough space for them to take off? Even in such a small aircraft? Wouldn’t it take a massive amount of acceleration to lift them into the air? Was this even possible? Was it—

“Trim and flaps set,” said the voice in Sara’s ear, shaking her out of her fretting. Moira had a more “official” tone now, like one might hear over an automated line, with measured rising and falling inflections. “Engine temperature normal. Wingtip strobes on. Airspeed indicator reads zero.”

Sara fidgeted with the boom mic on her headphones. “That’s a lot of things to know about,” she whispered into it.

Moira turned her head, smiled, and put one hand on Sara’s knee. “That it is. But I’ve had my license for almost four years now, and if I were a shit pilot, they wouldn’t let me waltz back in those doors.” She grinned. “I’m going to bring you home safe, Sara. I promise.”

Sara nodded slowly.

“Okay,” Moira continued, pulling her hand back and gripping the throttle, “Lamassu departing now.

She pushed the throttle in, gradually but firmly, and they lurched forward, slowly at first, but soon they were gathering speed—the pine trees lining the runway lost the detail of their branches and needles, and soon they were a blur of dark teal and mossy green, punctuated by open field—and Sara’s stomach was shoved down and back into the seat; she felt like where she once had flesh and sinew and blood there was now only a void, an empty space filling itself with nothing but the rush of incoming air—

“Okay, Sara, we’re going to lift off—now!

Sara hadn’t known what it was like to lose the ground beneath her until this moment, when Lamassu’s nose flicked up and an anchor tied around her feet her whole life came undone, evaporated, dissipated into the afternoon sunlight—she realized it existed only when it ceased to exist. Suddenly there was space around her in every direction; she was now bound by nothing. The seat belt wrapped snug around her waist, the windshield ahead, the pane of glass a few inches from her right cheek—they seemed trivial, insignificant, incapable of truly binding her when the space beneath her feet was exponentially expanding.

“You’ve taken flight, dear.”

Soon the white lines beneath them vanished as well, as the runway shrank down, becoming a tiny part of a tiny complex that was quickly passing beneath and behind, no longer required, no longer relevant. She needed nothing in the air, only that constant whir of propeller oscillation, the humming of the engine, and the whipping of wind through the microscopic crack between the window and the fuselage. She almost thought she might float above her own seat, no longer subject to earth’s gravitational force.

“How are you feeling?”

Even Moira’s voice was distant now.

“I’m fine,” she said, in a tone that was half hummed, half spoken. She reached one hand up to the windowpane, tracing random curves along the glass with a couple of fingers. “I…I’m flying.”

“That you are.” Moira dropped her professional tone, her voice wrapping snugly around Sara’s head again. “And how does it feel?”

Even the trees were shrinking away now, becoming indistinct clusters of viridian mixed with a soft palette of mossy and earthy hues, separated by strips of gray asphalt drawing mechanical grids along the earth. She looked ahead, and for the first time took in the sky; its cerulean blue spread out infinitely across the horizon, accented with a few wispy cirrus clouds and an occasional burst of gold light reflecting from nearby lakes.

“It’s liberating.”

“Perfect.” Moira pressed a few more buttons, and the plane gently pitched forward, sliding into a consistent altitude. Within a few minutes they leveled off, thousands of feet above the earth, the bustling metropolis a mere memory behind them.

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Meet the Author

Samantha Kate works as a paralibrarian (that’s library support staff) for her day job. In her free time, she tries to pursue more creative projects than is humanly possible. Cinnamon and Cigarettes is her first novel; her short story, “Bottom of the River,” was published in Torquere Press’ Twisted Fables anthology in February 2016.

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May 24

Book Blitz: Becoming Rory by Ashavan Doyon (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Becoming Rory1000x400Title:  Becoming Rory

Author: Ashavan Doyon

Series Title and Number: College Rose Romances 4

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  6/8/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M

Length: 75K

Genre/Tags:  New Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

becomingrory1400Synopsis

Rory Graeble returns to college determined to reinvent himself. Too many years have been wasted with masks, but becoming a student leader is a step Rory isn’t sure he’s ready for. A new identity takes more than just a new nickname, and Rory knows he has to take the chances that his old self would never risk. When that chance is a party that ends with an anonymous hot skater’s tongue down his throat and a phone number in his pocket, Rory knows what he has to do.

Danny Smits never expected to see stuffy lit geek Rory Graeble trying to be out, trying to be proud, trying to be… Rory. It’s damned sexy, and too much for the entrepreneurial skater to resist. When Rory calls him back the day after the party, Danny knows Rory has changed. But will Danny’s haunted past deter Rory? Or will Rory embrace the chance to experience everything the closet had stolen away? Danny believes in keeping things real, in a brutal honesty he knows means Rory will run screaming.

But this time Rory isn’t running.

Excerpt

It was quiet. Rory knew that wasn’t normal. He gazed out the windows. The angle of the building meant that one side was faced toward the campus, a miniature city full of towering buildings scattered in clumps, the other faced the mountains and woods. Two contrary images. It appealed to his poetic soul. That was a part of Lawrence he had no intention of letting go. It spoke to his core, that love of words.

Rory opened a window against the heat. Wentworth was an older building, and Rory half expected in winter that he’d have to keep the window open just to breathe. For now though, with no air-conditioning and a fan that did nothing except when pointed at bare skin, an open window was a welcome reprieve from the late August heat. There wasn’t enough of what he wanted Rory to be, not yet, for him to be comfortable with naked skin—at least not his naked skin.

His dorm room was taking shape. The books were on the bookshelf, two deep. An index card on the end of each shelf cataloged the books on the back row. They were books he wouldn’t want often, but when he wanted them, they’d be easy enough to find. Each shelf had a theme. On each shelf his favorites were in alpha order in front, and those he’d brought only out of fear his dad wouldn’t… Rory closed his eyes and took a long breath. There were reasons for his rebirth as Rory, and not all of them were here at school.

The boxes for the books were broken down and in the back of the closet. His clothes were hung up or carefully folded and in drawers. They spoke of Lawrence, not Rory, but they were what he had. It would be easy to fall back into wearing these. He’d have to for a little while. Clothes cost money, and for the first time in his life, Rory was not confident a call home would yield any more, not even for clothes. Especially not for clothes. What’s wrong with the clothes you’ve got? It’s what his dad would say. Probably his mom too.

With three beanbag chairs, the chair for his desk and the bed, that meant seating for five, at least. Anything over ten was considered a party. Not that he had any real hope of filling even the five spaces he had. Rory chuckled at himself. He could hope, but it wouldn’t happen. Still, he might get Stacy and Barry to join him. He walked up against the window, pinned between the steady whir of the fan and the tiny breeze from the window. It was comfortable. Well, not yet. Not really. But it would get more so over the course of the semester. He had to believe that.

On the desk next to his laptop, too hard to ignore from where he stood at the window, was his student leadership packet. The college had found some money somewhere. The portfolio wasn’t the cheap paper folder he’d expected. The mock-leather portfolio marked with the school seal—embossed on the cover, not just ink—had come with a lapel pin and a school pen. Okay, so the pads of paper inside were cheap, but that the school had done that for all the student leaders who arrived early? The communications major in him couldn’t help but analyze it for the message, and it wasn’t hard for him to guess. Take this seriously; they want us to take it seriously.

Rory wondered if they knew that the fledgling leaders were coming back in an hour as the sun finished its descent with the makings of a party. He wondered if Barry knew. Bronzed. Fit. Popular. Of course Barry knew. Rory glanced at the door he’d left open. He tried to pretend it was for something as mundane as airflow, but in his heart where the dull ache of the afternoon’s discussion still sat like a leaden brick, he knew better.

“This is where you do something stupid, Lawrence,” he whispered to himself. He knew what he wanted to do. Want is a strong term. Maybe it’s just the only way you know how to deal with it. And your name is Rory, dipshit. Lawrence is dead.

He looked again at the pile of leadership materials. How had Aidan talked him into this again? Oh, right. There was no one else. Aidan and Michael, they were gone. John Simmons was gone. All they had was a scattered and broken community.

Rory looked out at the slowly illuminating lights in the buildings across campus. It wasn’t like it would be when classes started. Right now it was just dots of light here and there. Athletes. Student government. Student organization leaders. It was getting dark. The party would start soon. As a leader, he’d been invited, quietly, with everyone else. Would the athletes be there to make him feel inadequate? Rory let out a breath, slow. Lawrence would never have gone. Maybe that meant Rory needed to.

He sat down at the desk and quickly flipped through the packet. Even on a cursory glance it was clear that the real requirement was to be present for the workshops throughout the week. The administration had scrupulously left the evenings to the students. It was a kindness, he noted, they had not extended to the residence life staff. He’d seen Becky and Barry earlier, making door tags for each of the residents. It would take them hours to do, and he’d wondered at the time why they’d started so early. But if Barry knew about the party… Rory sighed. Why did it matter if Barry was there? He wasn’t interested.

He’s comfortable. I’ll know someone. It’ll be bearable.

Rory closed the portfolio and pushed it away. His thoughts turned to how he could almost see skin under that too thin shirt of Barry’s. Also pretty uncomfortable.

He stood up and walked over to his closet. They were nice clothes, but they all fit into a particular mode. He pushed the hangers aside one by one. White shirt. Blue shirt. Pastel shirt. All of them button fronts. Then cardigans. One after another. Trousers and corduroys. Tweed jackets. Two business suits his parents had bought him for interviews. At least one of them was sleeker and more modern.

“They’re all Lawrence. All of them,” he muttered. He rested his forehead in one hand, massaging his scalp with his fingers to try to stall the oncoming headache. His eyes opened wide. “Maybe…”

He went back to the desk, trying to stay calm, and pulled out his laptop. Two quick searches and he’d found it: what good-looking fashion models could do with a cardigan. It wasn’t Lawrence at all. That was good. But could Rory pull it off? He was no top model.

He looked back at his closet. “Better than locking myself into being Lawrence again all year.” He combed his fingers back through his hair and closed his eyes again. “I can do this. I can choose to be Rory.”

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Becoming Rory SquareMeet the Author

Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.

Ashavan went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, getting his degree in Russian and East European Studies, with a focus in language and literature. He has two incomplete manuscripts from college that he goes back compulsively to fiddle with every so often, but is still not happy with either of them. He still loves fantasy and science fiction and reads constantly in the moments between writing stories.

Ashavan loves to hear from readers and can be reached at ashavandoyon@gmail.com.

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May 20

Book Blitz: Blood Visions by L.J. Hamlin (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Blood Visions

Author: L.J. Hamlin

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: 5/25/16

Heat Level: 4

Pairing: M/M

Length: 68K

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M, Paranormal, Erotic Romance

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Synopsis

Private detective Ronan Bayne is a former cop who now runs his own agency specializing in all things paranormal. After several women have gone missing, Ronan gets called in by the police chief.

Dustin McPherson is a psychic who’s worked with the police in the past. After having a vision of one of the missing women, he meets Ronan. Together, they must solve a case more complicated than either of them expected.

Excerpt

It was too real to just be one of his nightmares. Dustin had learned to tell the difference between his dreams and a vision while he was asleep by the age of twelve, and he is twenty-one now. Dustin sits up in bed carefully, his head swimming a little, his ears still ringing with the girl’s heart-wrenching sobs.

He gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom. He takes some Tylenol out of the cabinet and washes it down with a glass of water. He hopes that will help with his headache, and he won’t have to take the tramadol his doctor has given him.

Dustin looks at himself in the mirror above his sink. He looks pale even for him, and sweaty. His dyed purple hair is matted, some of it slicked down, stuck to his head, and other bits are sticking up wildly. The whites of his bright blue eyes are a little bloodshot, but there is no blood below his nose this time, so that’s something.

Splashing some water on his face to try to wake himself up a little, Dustin dries off his face with a towel, and then heads back to his bedroom. Dustin sits on the edge of his bed and pulls out the sketchbook he keeps there, and the charcoal.

He starts sketching the girl from memory. He can remember what she looked like, but Dustin can’t remember anything about the room she had been in, only that it was dark and cold. She’d been chained up; her wrists were bleeding. Dustin had been able to feel her fear; she’d been terrified.

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Blood Visions SquareMeet the Author

L.J. Hamlin is a twenty-something (getting older every day) author, who has been writing all her life, mainly in notebooks no one else ever saw. Then she discovered M/M groups online and was encouraged by friends to share her stories. After a while (and with a lot of pushing) she grew brave enough to attempt getting published. Now she shares her stories with others and hopes never to stop. L.J. loves cats and pretty much all animals, is a collector of many things, often weird, but most of all books.

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May 19

Book Blitz: No Place Like Home by DC Juris

No Place Like Home Banner Title:  No Place Like Home

Author:  DC Juris

Series Title and Number: Soulmates #2

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kristian Norris

Release Date:  May 25, 2016

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: M/M

Length: 13,822 words

Genre/Tags: M/M Romance, Erotica, Fantasy

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Synopsis

Calliph and Mateo are back! The peace of the shifter pair’s calm, quiet life is shattered by a visit from one of Calliph’s old pack members. Calliph must travel to the town of his birth, Naolassel, to speak on behalf of his twin brother, Rupos, who has been charged with murder. But Calliph’s decision will endanger his beloved kitten…not to mention their relationship. Can Mateo reconcile with who Calliph was–and what he did–during the war, or is the truth of his wolf too much to bear? Previously published by Noble Romance.

Excerpt

Mateo sat next to Calliph as the carriage rolled and bumped along. Calliph held himself rigid and tense, jaw tightly clenched. Across from them was Paular, with his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap. He and Calliph hadn’t stopped staring at each other since the journey had begun. Mateo had tried to make small talk at first, but the wolves’ disinterest had quickly become obvious. Though Calliph had indulged him with a few answers, they had been short and terse, and Mateo had given up.

Outside the snow fell, sticking to the windows and sliding down to collect in an ever-growing ledge of white. Mateo could barely see out the window to his left, but what he could make out alarmed him: high-banked drifts of snow. The carriage moved slower and slower, and by the time the blackness of night had enveloped them, they were forced to stop.

Paular’s human driver dismounted and came to the door, tugging it open with a grunt. “The snow is too thick for the wheels,” he explained, forced to yell over the howling winds. “I’m going to unhook the carriage, and tie the horses under the trees. I’ll stay here. You’ll have to continue on foot if you want to keep going.” He surveyed the three of them. “Or paws, I guess.”

Calliph left the carriage first and helped Mateo down. He unfastened his cloak and slid it around Mateo’s shoulders over Mateo’s own. “You will stay with the horses.”

“No.” Mateo shook his head as he pulled the cloak tight. “I’m going with you.”

“Naolassel is still hours away. It’s a treacherous journey for you.” Calliph took him by his upper arms and looked into his eyes. “And you know why.”

Mateo frowned. All Paular and Calliph had to do was shift and continue — their thick, furry coats would keep them warm. However, unable to hold his panther form for long, Mateo didn’t have such an option. While running wasn’t nearly as strenuous as fighting, he would be able to go only so far until he’d be forced to revert to his human form. And humans didn’t do well in the cold — he was already shivering.

“I’ll send a carriage for you when we reach Naolassel.” Calliph turned and strode away to speak with Paular, who was helping the driver with the horses.

Mateo’s frown deepened. The prospect of spending a frozen night huddled in the carriage with the human, surrounded by the stench of horses wasn’t one he relished. He grabbed Calliph’s arm as the werewolf walked by. “I’m going.”

Calliph stopped and looked down at him. “Kitten…”

“Don’t ask me to stay behind without you.” Playing on something he knew Calliph wouldn’t be able to ignore — his fear of being alone — he leaned into Calliph and laid his head on Calliph’s chest. Manipulation wasn’t a talent he was particularly proud of, but it would get him to Naolassel with Calliph. “Please.”

The tension melted from Calliph’s body and he relaxed into the embrace as he slid his arms around Mateo. He pressed a kiss to Mateo’s forehead. “You’re a manipulative little bastard, you know that?”

Mateo nodded. He went back to the carriage and rearranged their clothing into one bag, had the human strap the bag to his back, and they were off.

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Meet the Author

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

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May 13

Book Blitz: Passion and Penance by Lana Cordova (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Title:  Passion and Penance

Author: Lana Cordova

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  5-18-16

Heat Level: 4.5

Pairing: M/F

Length: 52,700 words

Genre/Tags: Erotica, Romance, BDSM, Fantasy, Contemporary

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Synopsis

Emily Jordan’s life as an English major is about to take an unexpected erogenous turn. In a critical financial pinch, she takes a year off from the university to work as a domestic for the billionaire Blackwood brothers in their lavish Kenilworth estate. She hopes to earn enough money to finish her master’s degree.

She barely arrives when she meets the twin Blackwood brothers who are both instantly attracted to her. Joel relishes in Emily’s every breath. Jackson is the tortured soul for whom passion and penance are synonymous. Joel is a tantric mystic who wants nothing more than to achieve nirvana. Jackson is the dominant brother who shoulders all responsibility for the family’s international industrial contracting and engineering firm. With Joel and Jackson, Emily explores two very different worlds of sensuality under the watchful eye of the abusive head housekeeper who condemns Emily’s every move.

Both brothers have their charms, and Emily finds them attractive, each in his own way. Will she choose passion or penance?

Previously published by Turquoise Morning Press.

Excerpt

I turned to find an attractive man with collar-length, sandy blond hair leaning out of a doorway down the hall. He buttoned his starched white shirt, slowly covering up a well-chiseled chest, and what must have been the remnant of summer’s tan. He flashed a roguish smile and stepped toward me, closing the door behind him.

“Mrs. Parsons as much as promised I wouldn’t last long here,” I answered.

“Don’t worry about Parsons,” he suggested. “You haven’t been here long enough to make a terminable mistake.” He emphasized the word terminable with a spot-on imitation of Mrs. Parsons’s stern voice.

For the first time since I’d accepted the job, I felt a little tension leaving my shoulders. I brushed away a stray spiral that had fallen from my ponytail and smiled back. “Oh, I don’t know,” I mused. “It seems I forgot to bring my uniform with me.”

“Well, I suspect you’ll be working in the nude, then.” His smile flashed with wicked delight as he laughed. Apparently, the thought of me working while naked aroused him.

The gleam in his teasing eyes held me transfixed. I yanked my attention away once I realized I stared like an awkward schoolgirl gawking at the team quarterback. “You realize you’re laughing at my certain demise.” I was only halfway teasing.

“You’ll be fine,” he assured me as he opened a door in the hallway. “This is the staff supply room. They keep uniforms in here.”

The room was a sizeable walk-in closet stocked with fresh linens, towels, and uniforms. “Thanks,” I offered gratefully as I searched the rack for a housekeeper’s black blouse and skirt in my size. Frowning, I glanced at him as I withdrew the uniform parts. “I don’t even know your name.” I looked around and found a starched white apron and cap on a nearby shelf.

“I’m Joel,” he answered and extended his hand.

His grip was warm and strong, making me realize how cold I still was.

“You’re freezing,” he noted with a scant suggestion of concern in his voice.

“No, I’m Emily,” I quipped.

“Oh, I see you’re a feisty one.” He smirked. “I like that in a woman.” He visually assessed me, slowly scanning me from head to toe.

I fought the flush I felt rising up my neck. Don’t blush, I told myself. I walked past him and out of the closet to make my way back toward my room. “Thank you, Joel,” I said in a more collegial tone. “I have to go now. Mrs. Parsons will be waiting.”

“You break my heart, princess,” he cried dramatically, clutching his chest and backing down the hallway.

“I think you’ll survive.” I shot him a forced I’m not buying it for one minute look.

He walked past the door from which he had come.

“You seem to have missed your room.” I remarked with a laugh.

“That’s not my room.” He gave a flirtatious smile and swaggered off as a woman’s muffled laughter came from behind the door. Another woman’s laugh joined from within the same room.

Back in my quarters, I fumed. Why am I always attracted to the bad boys? I was so annoyed with myself. It was as if I wore the romantic equivalent of a Kick Me sign everywhere I went. It was the main reason I’d sworn off relationships for the last couple of years to focus on my studies. The only drama I wanted in my life came from the pens of writers like Hugo, Dumas, and Yeats. I shoved thoughts of Joel’s perfect chest out of my mind as I quickly found my stockings and comfortable black work shoes in my bag. I put on the blouse and skirt. The stiffly starched fabric crackled like sails in the wind as I adjusted the uniform and tried to make it fit more comfortably. At least the knee-length skirt had kick pleats that would enable me to bend and move around quickly and easily to clean and dust.

Checking my appearance in the bathroom mirror, I couldn’t say I cared much for the overall look of the somber traditional housekeeper black outfit with French maid undertones, but it didn’t clash too wildly with my auburn hair. Using my fingers, I combed my stubborn curls into a bun and secured the puffy white cap over it with hairpins. Surveying myself one last time to prepare for Mrs. Parsons’s inspection, I noticed my eyes confessed my sleepless night and early trip this morning. I’d tossed and turned most of the night, apprehension about the new job interrupting my brief moments of rest. Overall, though, I felt I looked reasonably presentable. Mrs. Parsons already had low expectations for me after all.

I hurried back to the foyer where I found Mrs. Parsons waiting with an impatient expression on her face. She scowled at her watch, and I avoided meeting her face. By some means, it felt safer than encountering her head-on.

Beside Mrs. Parsons stood two other uniformed housekeepers and a man whom I presumed to be a butler, complete with black pants, white shirt, vest, and a towel over his arm. Nothing could have prepared me for the jolt I would feel upon seeing the other man with windswept-looking dark brown hair who stood with them. He wore a button down denim shirt, a professorial tweed jacket with elbow patches, and dark brown khakis.

“This is Mr. Jackson Blackwood, the master of the house,” Mrs. Parsons explained.

I looked up to greet Mr. Blackwood, and my breath caught in my throat as the air around us crackled. The attraction I felt for him was instant and undeniable. I noticed familiarity in the piercing green eyes behind his Wayfarer glasses. A flicker of sternness gave way to a softer gaze as he smiled and politely reached for my hand. Our fingertips touched, and I felt my pulse quicken, throbbing loud in my ear. It wasn’t only his strikingly sculpted features that made my throat go suddenly dry and my ears become deaf to anything but the sound of his voice. There was a tangible air of hypnotic virility about him I found irresistible. Something connected deep inside my chest, and I felt as though I finally belonged.

“Welcome, Miss Jordan,” he said. A palpable almost magnetic sensation drew me toward him and at the same time made me feel oddly exposed, as if he knew my thoughts. Our eyes met, and for a fleeting moment, I thought I saw a hint of awareness, a silent communication between us that said he had felt it too. His dark complexion and well-groomed stubble gave him the air of someone who spent much of his downtime outdoors. Though I wasn’t sure why, I somehow felt safer in his presence.

Suddenly, an arm reached around my shoulders from behind and startled me to attention. I turned to see that Joel had quietly sneaked up from the corridor.

“Sorry, Jackson old boy,” Joel addressed Mr. Blackwood, as he squeezed my shoulders. “I saw this one first.” His hand slid down my back and groped my bottom.

Angry and embarrassed beyond words, I almost slapped him. It took all of my resolve to keep from smacking him, but I was determined not to give him the satisfaction of a reaction. I could only imagine what his actions made them think about me. My imagination taunted me. Almost certainly, they would be thinking I was a prick tease, a fool, or both. I struggled to contain my frustration with Joel’s behavior. I dared to glance at the other staff. The butler looked away, tactfully avoiding the scene. The two housekeepers, however, looked at Joel with disapproving stares that seemed to also show a trace of something else. Was it jealousy?

“Mr. Blackwood!” Mrs. Parsons barked with an angry huff. “Do control yourself, sir.”

Confused, I looked from Joel to Jackson. Did she just call Joel Mr. Blackwood?

“I see you’ve met my baby brother Joel,” Jackson Blackwood groaned in an apologetic tone.

“Baby my ass!” Joel snickered. “I can take you any day, and I’m only an hour younger than you.”

I looked questioningly at Jackson.

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Meet the Author

Lana Cordova is a devotee or all things erotic, and she enjoys putting her lovers through their paces conducting research for her books. She enjoys nothing more than bringing sensual escapes to her readers or perhaps raising her neighbors’ eyebrows.

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May 12

Book Blitz: Theory of Love (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Theory of Love BannerTitle:  Theory of Love

Authors: Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten.

Edited by Deelylah Mullin

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  May 18, 2016

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: both M/M and F/F stories

Length: 80,000 words

Genre/Tags

Romance – Contemporary, Erotic Romance, F/F Romance, M/M Romance

Science Fiction – Hard Science, Romantic, Futuristic

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Synopsis

In Theory of Love, we wave our geek flag high! Tales from deep space, sci-fi realities, technology, academia, and cosplay are brought together in this collection. In Dale Cameron Lowry’s Far From Home, long-distance spouses fan the flames of passion while fighting to save humanity. Meat Space by Lynn Townsend, brings virtual space and the real world crashing into a new reality. Asta Idonea’s Captive shows us that love can form in any manner of situations. Beta Tester by Charles Payseur immerses the reader—and the characters—in a virtual reality that brings a friendship to a whole new level. K.S. Trenten’s A Symposium in Space, love is a different meal to every guest. Unexpected Dilemmas by Jessica Payseur long-distance lovers face hijacking and natural disaster to be together. Kayla Bashe’s Medic to the Hivemind a stranded student is saved by a mysterious voice with secrets. Being Jake by Lila Mathews shows readers that smart is sexy. In D.C. Juris’ Torn Apart, love provides the will to survive. Shattered Space by Alain Bell shows how love can grow from destruction. Maia Strong’s All ‘Ships May Sail connects cosplay, fandoms, and something more. Trash and Treasures by M.D. Grimm gives us a deal made in interstellar space that could be more than either party bargained for.

In theory, love is easy.

Excerpt

From Trash and Treasure by M.D. Grimm

Some of the coldness left Ronan’s eyes. He seemed confused again. Why did Tucker seem to confuse Ronan so much?

Then it happened. Ronan nodded. “Deal.”

Tucker barely stopped himself from gaping again. It worked? He was going to have sex? He was going to have sex! He didn’t let himself think about how long it had been since his last partner. It would only depress him. He knew what to do… mostly.

Tucker tossed the ball underhand to Ronan, who caught it with a startled expression.

“What?” Tucker said. “It’s not like you can go anywhere. Your ship’s caput and even if you tried to hack into my navigation system, you wouldn’t get far. My ma designed it and she was the best there was. Just letting you know in case you had a thought of bashing me over the head and commandeering my ride.”

Ronan looked insulted. “I would never do such a thing. I am not a thief or vagabond.”

“Then what are you?”

Ronan’s mouth pulled into a thin line. Tucker shrugged. “Fine. Keep your secrets. Come on, follow me. Let’s both take a well-needed shower.” A blush suddenly crept up his face. “I mean, a shower separately. Let’s take a shower—oh, never mind. Just come on.”

He turned his back on Ronan and called himself an idiot. He dearly hoped he wasn’t making a huge mistake. But he wouldn’t go back on it now. He really, really wanted to have sex.

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May 11

Guest Post & Giveaway: Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan

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Title:  Strong Medicine

Author:  J.K. Hogan

Publisher:  Wilde City Press

Cover Artist: J.K. Hogan (KHD Graphics)

Release Date:  5/11/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: m/m

Length: 97k words

Genre/Tags: Psychological, Dark, M/M Romance

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Synopsis

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work-release at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.

 Excerpt

Jonah was feeling particularly lucid that day. He hadn’t seen any dead relatives, nothing had burned, and he actually felt like he was inside his own body, for once. He knew it wouldn’t last. It was a constant feeling of dancing on the edge of the cliff, just waiting for the one misstep that would send him plummeting into the void again.

He sat in the rocking chair, the one that had become known as ‘Jonah’s chair,’ and watched Harry the groundskeeper shovel snow off the patio next to the picture window. The scoliotic old man bent to sprinkle handfuls of rock salt over the pavers before moving on farther into the courtyard.

As usual, Jonah lost himself in the warmth of the blanket of sunlight, so much so that he was startled when he sensed a presence behind him. It was just a change in the air, a shift of the molecules, and then a new scent—sharp and heady, a mixture of cedar smoke and Old Spice. Jonah had smelled it before, yesterday. He didn’t need to see to know that the sparkly new probie was standing behind him.

And just like that, just picturing the man in his mind with his weird, shaggy blond hair, dark blue eyes, and boyish features, Jonah remembered. He’d been much younger then, the boy on the TV that his mother had sat him in front of when she couldn’t deal with his damning silence anymore. That boy, his sweet face, and even sweeter voice, had saved Jonah more times than he could count, just kept him hanging on for one more day.

Staring unblinking out the window, Jonah breathed deep of that fragrance and addressed the spectral memory of Kyle Chase. “I know you,” he whispered.

The air stilled as the movement behind him ceased, as if the other man had turned to stone.

“I loved you once.”

Footsteps. Soft, padding, staccato beats of leather against linoleum, until Jonah was face to face with his boyhood crush. Well, more like face to chest, since Jonah was seated and Kyle was looming over him. He wasn’t Kyle, of course, not really. Though Jonah strained, digging through layers of memory, he couldn’t extract the boy—man’s real name.

“Excuse me?” Not-Kyle asked, bushy eyebrows raised toward his hairline.

Jonah tried for a rueful smile, and he could practically hear his skin cracking with the effort. “Sorry, probie. It’s well known around here that I don’t make any sense. What I meant was ‘I used to watch your show.’”

“Oh. I, uh… really?”

Jonah half coughed, half grunted, because it was as close as he ever got to a laugh. “That surprises you?”

“Yes—No! I just sometimes forget that the people who used to watch my show are all grown-up now. Most of the time, I still feel like a kid, so it kind of catches me off guard.” He ran a hand through that mop of messy hair—bleached blond like he was still playing a Cali surfer boy on TV—then squatted down so that he was on Jonah’s level.

“I think you’d be the first one to call me a grown-up. I’ve been called a lot of things, but never that. Besides, I’m not as old as I look.”

“Yeah? How old?”

“Twenty-three.”

“Oh. Wow.”

“Yeah, I know. That’s what hard living and insanity will do to you,” Jonah explained without a hint of malice.

“Oh, no. I’m sorry, that came out wrong… You don’t look bad. It’s the opposite, really. You look… yeah, anyway, you’re right, you do just look older than twenty-three. Not in a bad way.”

“Easy there. It’s really okay. I’m pretty hard to insult. Most of the things you could think of to say about me would be true anyway.” Jonah wiped his sweaty palms on his sweatpants and reached on out to him. “Jonah Radley.”

“Cameron Fox.” Cameron took his hand, shook it, lingered just a second longer than was proper.

“I have to admit, I was wrangling for an introduction because I couldn’t remember your real name. I figure you probably wouldn’t want me calling you Kyle.”

Cameron’s laugh was soft, cozy, like a splash of honey in some warm Earl Grey. “No, I guess not. It’s nice to meet you, Jonah Radley. Radley, that’s an unusual name.”

“Indeed it is. Not as unusual as you’d think, but yes… I did have to deal with the well-read students in school calling me ‘Boo’ all the time. But this is rural Appalachia, so it wasn’t always a problem if you get my drift.”

Jonah could see it took Cameron a moment to get the reference, but when he did, he chuckled again. “So what made you decide to join the wonderful world of psychiatric care?” Jonah asked.

Something flashed in Cameron’s eyes, a cloud, a moment of indecision, before he answered. “I got arrested.”

“Ah, you’re one of Rohan’s boys.” Jonah kept his voice neutral, careful not to seem like he was judging, because people in glass houses and all that… “A probie in every sense of the word.”

Cameron lowered his head, studied the ugly, weathered linoleum. “Unfortunately.”

“Hey, we all have pasts. At least you have a future.”

That blond head snapped up, and Cameron gaped at him. “So do you, Jonah.”

Jonah shook his head sadly, then caught sight of a pair of dark, yawning eye sockets peering through the window. One of the dead girls, of course, just when he was starting to feel human again.

He didn’t make eye contact when he spoke to Cameron. “You should go now,” he whispered.

“Jonah…”

“Go!” Jonah shouted it, his voice tinged with desperation. He never cared before, but he didn’t want this man to see him disappear, to see him float. His eyes welled up, something that hadn’t ever happened at Riverbend before, and he felt ashamed. “Please.”

“Probie!” Rohan’s rich tenor rang out across the buzzing air, slicing the tension between them. Cameron tensed, and his feet seemed to obey Rohan before the rest of him caught up. He cast one more sad, sidelong look at Jonah before he was led away.

Once he was alone, Jonah began to shake. Shivering violently though he was burning up inside, Jonah felt tears sear flaming rivulets down his cheeks. He dug the heels of his hands into his eye sockets until they ached, and eventually the tears stopped. Then there was nothing left but smoke.

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Meet the Author

6427555J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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May 09

Guest Post & Giveaway – Freeing Pain: Annex by Lor Rose

Annex BannerTitle:  Freeing Pain: Annex

Author:  Lor Rose

Series Title and Number: Freeing Book One

Publisher:  Thirteen Below Press

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Release Date:  4/7/16

Heat Level: 4

Pairing: MM

Length: 66 pages/38,580 words

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Shifter, Fairy, Fai

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FP Annex_Lor RoseSynopsis

Jude Kash’s life was filled with abused animals and too little sleep. His work at the We Are One Foundation brought him his new devil-dog Teddy Bear and his new obsession: an abused liger named Sampson.

Sampson suffered from poor living conditions and threats with a gun. Jude, or Kash to his friends, witnessed it first hand when he snuck onto Whitman’s, Sampson’s owner’s, property. When Kash and others from the We Are One Foundation finally make a plan to rescue poor Sampson things go terribly wrong.

When Kash finally regains consciousness he awoke to a very handsome and naked man taking care of him. Kash felt a connection with the man he couldn’t explain. The man introduced himself as Maj and explained everything except for one small detail of his life: he was Sampson, a liger shifter.

Kash took the news considerably well except for one problem… that detail wasn’t so small, in fact, it could cost Kash his life.

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Meet the Author

Lor is a snarky, over the top genderfluid polyamorous demipansexual with dark hair and pink highlights. Although, sometimes the color varies. She is almost constantly fighting with her muse, Animus, or referring the fights between Animus and Epicene, her other muse. Lor started reading very questionable M/M fanfiction at a very young age in the closet. Literally. Though that didn’t stop her from getting caught once or twice. This early love of things M/M sparked her writing career. Without a doubt, her Christian high school English teacher Mrs. B didn’t expect Lor to fall into the M/M genre. Mrs. B did know Lor would be a writer someday because when the class had a minimum, Lor had a maximum. It truly was unfair.

Besides writing, Lor may also be found with one of her two horses, the Chihuahua or her cat. Any un-caught typos are courtesy of the cat, who shoves Lor’s things out of the way when it’s her time for cuddles or playtime… Which is about every ten minutes.

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May 06

Book Blitz: Fairest by K.S. Trenten (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Fairest Banner v1Author: K.S. Trenten

Title:  Fairest

Publisher:  Prizm Books (A Torquere Imprint)

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  May 11, 2016

Heat Level: 2

Pairing: F/F, with bits of M/F and M/M in the background

Length: 27,425 words

Genre/Tags: Lesbian Romance, Fantasy, New Adult

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Synopsis

On the eve of my sixteenth year, I’m cursed to prick my finger on spindle and fall into a hundred year sleep. This is what the witch with the snow white skin and haunting dark eyes promised me, as I lay in my cradle. I haven’t been able to get her out of my mind, since. She haunts my dreams, steals into my quiet moments, when I think I’m alone. Everyone thinks she’s my enemy. Everyone thinks I need to be protected from her. I can’t think of her as an enemy, no matter what anyone else thinks. Who is she, truly? The only name she’s ever been given are a few, enigmatic words. The fairest of them all.

Excerpt

My first memory was of her dark eyes. They seemed to capture all the colors of my infant universe, even as they threatened to swallow me. Her eyes should have been terrifying, but they weren’t.

Her blood red lips moved, shaping words I could only dimly recall. My parents remembered them only too well, as did everyone else who’d gathered at the castle for my christening.

“I, too, have a gift for this child. She shall grow up, with all the beauty and promise of the dawn, but her sun will never rise.”

My mother told me she nearly swooned with terror at the look of sheer malevolence the witch gave to the sunbeams, playing about my cradle. She wanted to stop the witch from speaking, as did my father. No one could move, no matter how much they wished to. Everyone stood, still and motionless, spellbound by the witch’s gaze.

“Before the sun sets on the eve of her sixteenth year, the princess shall  prick her finger on a spindle. With the first drop of her blood, a sleep will fall upon her, claiming her for a hundred years.”

My mother tried to call in another witch to remove the curse. My father burned every spindle he could find. However, nothing could lift the curse, for all their efforts. The witch had disappeared into a cloud of green smoke. No one could find her after my christening, despite many attempts to locate her. The only thing she left behind, besides her curse, was the memory of her dark eyes.

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Meet the Author

Writing isn’t just a job for me. It’s a calling.

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May 05

Book Blitz: Growing Strong by BL Dayhoff (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Author: BL Dayhoff

Title:  Growing Strong

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  5/11/16

Heat Level: 2

Pairing: male/male

Length: 47K

Book/Buy Links: (Publisher site, Goodreads, Amazon, etc…):

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M Romance, New Adult

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Synopsis

A chance—and embarrassing—encounter brings Hunter and Chase together, but it’s patience and kindness that keep them there. Through a slow-blossoming friendship and a series of misunderstandings, Hunter finds himself fighting an attraction he thinks isn’t returned. But with the help of his roommate, Tony, he may just be able to make the leap and confess his feelings.

 

But love isn’t Hunter’s only concern. With his sister’s upcoming nuptials, he also must learn to face a family that hasn’t quite disowned him for his sexuality. With Chase by his side, it’s going to take strength for Hunter to stand up for himself and to hold on to what really matters.

Excerpt

Hunter tripped over Tony’s briefcase in his rush to get to the door, cursed, and somehow remained upright. He stumbled a few more steps, caught himself on the kitchen counter, and stopped. Huffing once, he continued, with slightly more competence, the final few feet to the front door. When he opened it, Chase was there with a stack of DVDs in hand. “Hey.”

“Hey, c’mon in. You find the place okay?”

“Yeah, it was really easy and—oh, hi.”

“Yo.”

“Chase this is—Tony! Put some pants on!”

Tony grinned from his boxer-clad position on the couch. “You didn’t tell me you were having a guest.”

He most certainly had. “Well I do, so, pants!”

“Careful, I might take that as an order.” Tony winked, then wagged his butt all the way back to his room.

“Sorry about him. I think his mother dropped him a few times as a child.”

Chase chuckled. “Don’t worry about it. We all have a few in our lives.”

“Tell me about it. So what movies did you bring?” He sat on the couch, tucking himself against one armrest, and was pointedly not disappointed when Chase sat on the opposite side—making himself as far away as possible.

“Um, well, La Belle et la Bête, because it’s so standard, The Bitter Sweet Tears of Petra von Kant, The Four Hundred Blows, Run Lola Run, Rashomon—which is dry but classic—and A Love to Hide.”

“Well,” Hunter chuckled. “I think I’ve heard of one or two of them. How about Lola? Unless there’s one you wanted to watch?”

“No, I just brought a variety so if you get bored, we can switch.” He opened the case, popped the DVD out, and handed it to Hunter, who got up and slid it in the DVD player.

He tracked down the remote, and when he turned around he found Tony sitting in his spot.

Glaring at Tony was equivalent to yelling at the rain, so he dimmed the lights, took the spot between them, and hit play. Lacking an armrest, he folded his arms across his chest and glanced at Tony. What did he think he was doing? Why was he crashing in when Tony had been egging him all week about how Hunter had a second date? Was he trying to make sure nothing happened? Or was he forcing Hunter to sit closer?

He shifted his gaze to Chase, who was watching the previews. With a sigh, Hunter sagged into the couch and skipped the disc ahead so he could stare at the opening credits.

But he couldn’t focus. He wished life was full of do-overs like movies. He had the running down. Or maybe just the running without ever getting anywhere. He woke up in the same bed every morning. Went to the same job. Knew the same people.

Leaning forward, he picked up the remote and paused it.

“Everything okay?” Chase asked.

Tony elbowed him in the side and said, “Dude?”

“I just realized we don’t have popcorn. Do you want popcorn? I want popcorn.” He stood and shuffled into the kitchen.

“Sure, I could eat some popcorn.” Chase followed behind. “Plain?”

“Um.” He pulled the box off the shelf. “Movie theater. So extra buttery, I guess. That good?”

“Yeah.” Chase smiled.

Hunter opened a bag, shoved it in the microwave, entered the time, and started it.

“I was worried that you hated the movie already.”

“No! I mean, it’s fine; it just started. I don’t like to judge things immediately.”

“Good. I know it’s a weird one, but sometimes I swear we only get the weird ones.”

“Ah, well,” Hunter said in his worst European accent, “you crazy Americans love that shit.”

Chase chuckled and leaned back on the counter as the smell of hot butter filled the air, joined by the pop-pop-popping of their snack. “It’s true. America sometimes feels like the redheaded stepchild of the world.”

“Well, least we’re not Canada.”

“Hey, my grandparents were Canadian!”

“Oh, uh… I…”

Chase laughed. “I’m kidding. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.” He tilted his head to the side and flashed a grin. Cute.

Hunter diverted himself by pulling a bowl down and removing the hot popcorn. The comforting aroma rushed out when he opened the bag and poured the popcorn into the bowl.

Chase snuck around him to steal a piece, popping it into his mouth with a satisfied crunch. “First piece is always the best.”

“Right…” He was distracted by the smudge of oil on Chase’s lip and the pink tongue that darted out to clean it up. Averting his eyes to the bowl in his hands, he headed back toward the living room. “So, shall we?”

“Yep!” Chase followed him, plopping down in his previous spot on the now-empty couch.

Hunter hesitated, then sat beside him with just enough room to nestle the bowl between them. He hit play.

Chase glanced down the hall toward the bedrooms. “Should we wait for Tony?”

“No, I don’t think he likes foreign flicks. It’s fine.”

“Okay.”

They settled into the movie, taking turns gobbling up popcorn as the scene unfolded again and again. Hunter couldn’t concentrate. Their hands kept bumping, knuckles grazing and skin brushing, each awkwardly pulling away. Was Chase doing it on purpose? Was it subtle flirting? Hunter couldn’t tell. He knew he wasn’t doing it on purpose—not that he minded—but what if Chase was?

Eventually he just grabbed a large handful and ate from that, leaving Chase what was left. It didn’t matter. Things could just progress naturally. If Chase was interested, he’d say something. He’d have to have seen how incompetent Hunter was. God, he was incompetent. Not that he necessarily wanted to date Chase. Friends first, that was a good idea. So that way they’d have something to base a relationship on. Not that he thought Chase was interested in a relationship. If he was gay—and Hunter was pretty sure he was—it didn’t mean he’d automatically be interested in Hunter.

Hunter was a dork, socially screwy, and God, they’d met when he’d been fucked in an alley, drugged, and was throwing up. Yeah, there was no way in hell Chase was interested in him. He wiped his hand on the leg of his jeans and stared pointedly at the screen. Friends was good. He needed more friends. Tony would argue he needed friends period, but that wasn’t true.

He winced at a loud noise in the movie and sank down into the couch, shifting away inch by inch until he was leaning against the opposite armrest. To distract himself from the man on the other end of the couch, he tried to focus on the movie. When that didn’t work, he pondered if his character Erik would like this kind of movie. He didn’t seem like the type. Too busy with work and school to waste time watching movies when he could be studying or hanging with friends. Half closing his eyes, Hunter composed in his head.

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Meet the Author

Author PicBL Dayhoff is working on coming out of her shell. She’s always had an interest in writing, but only recently has done it for more than just her own personal amusement. She loves to fill her time with too many things, and her initials really are “BL” but unfortunately do not stand for Boys Love. Although maybe her parents knew something about the future…

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