Friday, February 10, 2017

M/M Valentines Giveaway!

Hey, so my book The Clockwork Monk is featured in the MM Romance Valentine’s Giveaway event from 10th to 15th Feb!

Head over to the Event Page to download 34 new stories -- shorts, novelettes, and excerpts from established M/M authors and several new authors. 
We have a wonderfully diverse range of sub-genres on offer: Contemporary, BDSM, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Comedy, and Paranormal. 

 Jump HERE to download as many Freebies as you want!

And if you read Monk and feel inclined to give a review, jump HERE to the Goodreads page. Thanks!!

Jump HERE to download books from these great authors!

Here's some info about The Clockwork Monk...

Trevor Chalmers tells himself he only believes in fine suits, strong brandy, and muscular men.
He’s wrong.


The Clockwork Monk is a mystery the President herself asks Trevor to solve. She wants it, and Trevor’s her spy. An encoded message leads him to the residence of the Archbishop of Chicago, where his undercover role allows him to indulge in fine waistcoats and fancy cravats. Even better, he enjoys the thrill of dodging both anarchists and propriety while engaging in a duel of secrets with the mysterious Father Stephen.
The good Father doesn’t act like a priest. Hell, Stephen may not be his real name. His broad shoulders and dark eyes are intriguing, and though Stephen’s clandestine agenda clashes with Trevor’s, danger just adds to the temptation. Between kisses, Stephen forces Trevor to admit his loyalty goes deeper than cheap excitement, turning a simple burglary into a test of his allegiance.
Interested? Jump HERE to see all the Freebies!

And since you stopped in, my writing partner Irene Preston and I are running a rafflecopter for a $10 gift card. Check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Interview: Jami Gray and Marked By Obsession

So today is kinda special. It's been a long time since I've had an interview on the blog, and there's a bit of karmic justice at work here for this one. See, I've known Jami Gray since we both published with Black Opal Books, and she's one of the first writers I got to be friends with. I love both her series - The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams - and I'm so excited to be able to help her celebrate her newest release. With that in mind, join me in welcoming Jami to the blog!

LR: What’s the most compelling thing about Marked by Obsession, the thing that’s kept your butt in the chair through hours of writing and revising?

JG: For me this is a two part answer—from a professional standpoint and a creative one. Professionally what keeps me writing are: contractual deadlines and my readers. Having a signed contract, complete with a nifty deadline, means that my editors expect a full fledge story in their precious hands by an agreed upon date. If I fail to deliver, I not only renege on my promise to deliver, but I fail my promise to be an author-partner in this business relationship. And then there is the next important group, my readers, who I try very, very hard not to disappoint. I’m a series writer, and I also happen to be an avid reader, so I get how frustrating it is to have to wait for an eternity (okay, a year or more) for the next fix in your reading addiction. I don’t like to leave my readers hanging, but I’m getting ready to juggle three series (one not yet released) so I have to do this nifty dance between my writing projects, editing cycles and release dates to ensure I get at least two books out a year. It ain’t easy, but it’s my thing.  

     That same inability to not finish what I started, keeps me going creatively as well. Again, series writer here, so once I start a series, I want to write the whole shebang. Since the PSY-IV Teams focuses on each team member, I have at least seven books planned, maybe eight if I decide to brave Col. Delacourt.

LR: Oooh! Col. Delacourt would be a handful! ;)  Now, I think each book is a little like a child, with their own personalities and quirks. How does Marked by Obsession compare with the other books in your PSY-IV series?

JG: I so agree with you on that, and like our kiddos, each as a distinct personality. Part of that personality originates with whatever personal challenge I set for myself. For example, the first book, HUNTED BY THE PAST, came about because I wanted to try my hand at weaving paranormal romance with romantic suspense, with a sprinkling of military, and a dash of first person POV. Then Tag’s book, TOUCHED BY FATE, came into fruition because I wanted to explore just how flexible is a person’s moral line when something intrinsic to their lives is at stake. For MARKED BY OBSESSION, my goal was to find out how a normal, introverted woman with no psychic abilities, no military training, could handle being thrown into the chaotic mix of espionage while trying to handle a male of the highest alpha order. And to make it just a bit more fun, she can’t cuss. At. All. 

LR: You wrote a character who didn't cuss? Not sure I could do saw on your website that one of your goals for 2017 is to do a series of blog posts on your favorite authors and series. Care to give us a preview? Who will you be starting with?

JG: I’d love to. Every year I try something different with my blog, just to keep it interesting. Back in 2012 I decided to pull up my big girl panties and reach out to all those fantastically wonderful authors (big names, small names, mid names) I was devouring at an atomic pace, and see if I could lure them to my website to answer a few questions. I kept it up for just over a year and loved every minute of it. (I’ll let you in on a secret, those authors you fan-girl or boy over, they’re really nice and won’t snarl and snap to come visit.) This year, I was trying to figure out how to share my excitement over various books as a reader, because there’s some baggage tied to authors reviewing other authors. I had updated my newsletter to include picks from my Goodreads shelves, but figured my blog would be a great place to get into more detail. So I decided it was time to go back to all those interviews, and update my followers with the latest—am I still reading the series? Why do I like it so much? Any new news on the horizon for this author? And then link back to the original interview so my followers could get a peek at the personality behind the books. The first post goes live Jan. 19th and I’m going to try to follow the order of the interviews. First up is C.E. Murphy who’s the master mind behind a number of awesome series including, URBAN SHAMEN, the first in the Walker Papers. She’s starting a new contemporary romance under Murphy Lawless and RAVEN HEART is the first in her Alaskan Totems Billionaire Shifters series. One of the best things a reader can do for an author is spread the word about their books, so I’m trying to do my part. (And yes, Liv, you’re on the list too!)

LR: Whee! I'm looking forward to it. So - next question - if Hollywood calls and asks for the rights to Marked by Obsession, who would you cast in the lead roles?

JG: Oh these types of questions are the hardest. Hang on…um…okay, as a writer I do use photos for character inspiration. I’ll admit that Wolf’s physical character is drawn from Vin Diesel, and Meli’s is from Ophelia Lovibond (she played Kitty in ELEMENTARY a few years back). But acting wise, I’d have to go with Jeremy Reiner or Tom Hardy for Wolf and yeah, I think Ophelia would have to stay as Meli.

LR: Clutter or quiet? Describe your perfect writing situation.

JG: (giggling) Um, I’m a tad OCD (CDO for those of us in the know), so no clutter can threaten my writing kingdom. Which is much more difficult that you’d expect since I share my office with my Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor who tends to attract chaos. I can do quiet, but I tend to write to music, mainly soundtracks lately. My Mac would have to be there, coffee would be on the sidelines awaiting its cue, and the view…I would love to have a view of forests, but I’m relegated to the cul-de-sac I live in. But my Scrivener background is a beautiful pic of a creek in the mountains.

LR: How to you juggle all your hats (spouse, parent, worker-bee, housekeeper, writer)?

JG: Juggle is a great way to put it. Here’s the thing, as I continue to split my time between a day job, trying to finish raising two teen boys, be a wife to a gamer addict, herder of two fluffy labs, and write, some things tend to have to take a backseat for a bit. I treat my writing like a second job, so time management becomes key for me. Reading will slide to the back when I’m in the midst of a project. Cooking never makes it to the front, so Knight picks up the slack there (thankfully!). The good thing about teens is they’re in the midst of creating their own worlds and when they emerge, I try and jump in to remind them I’m still alive.

LR: What’s your favorite non-writing activity? Like, are you a closet marathon runner? Could you crochet a house-cozy if you had to? Maybe you secretly want to appear on Antiques Roadshow?

JG: If I could squeeze in one more thing, I’d be hitting the pavement and haunting antique shops, especially old bookstores. If I was really courageous and had the time and finances, I’d be trekking my way through all the modern day ruins that dot our country. There’s something about seeing bits and pieces of history that does it for me. I’m a huge history buff. I was so bummed when I finally made it to New Orleans one year for a writing conference, but didn’t have time to do the plantation or swamp tours.

LR: What’s next on your horizon? Describe your current WIP(s) or other upcoming project.

JG: Well, I’m currently doing the last of my writer edits on the fifth Kyn book, SHADOW’S DREAMS, so I can turn it over to my editor by end of January. Once that’s off my desk, I’m diving into my next project, the second book in a planned four book romantic suspense set against a post-apocalyptic background. It centers around four nomadic vigilantes who are determine to hold what’s left of their piece of civilization together against the circling predators focused on tearing it all apart. The first book is currently making its’ way through the submission rounds and facing down editorial reviews, so I’m hoping responses will be forthcoming in the next few months. Book 2 should take up the next four or five months, and then I shall amble around Dublin, Edinburgh, and London for a few weeks with my clan before coming back and starting the next project. If the writing/publishing schedule holds true, the next Kyn book should be out at the end of the year. 

Marked by Obsession, PSY-IV Team #3

Some betrayals hide behind love, others obsession...
The loss of her beloved brother and a series of unexplained events plunges Meli Dwyer into a dangerously unfamiliar reality. Alone and floundering, she turns to the sexy and unsettling Wolf Kincaid, PSY-IV Team’s skilled telepath, for help even as her battered heart whispers to steer clear of a man more dangerous than what hunts her.
Will Meli find the answers to her personal nightmare before one man’s obsession costs her the heart of another?

Available in paperback or e-book at:
Or anywhere books are sold!

Muse It Publishing     -     Amazon     -     B&N     -     Kobo

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothedwith coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head. 

Hunt her down at:      -       Twitter     -     Facebook     -     Goodreads

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Country 'tis of Thee...

My heart is breaking.

I'm 54 years old, and I lived through Reagan's boisterous aggression, Bush Sr's mediocrity, and Clinton's well-intentioned charm. I survived W's stupidity and rejoiced in Obama's leadership.

I thought we were moving toward a better future.

To borrow one of our President*'s favorite words: wrong.

I was born right after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in all of my years on this earth, I've never been so profoundly frightened. I've got two kids, you know? One's going to graduate from high school this spring, and the other one will graduate a year from now. What's going to be left for them?

President* Trump has been in office just 7 days, and I'm appalled by his actions so far, and terrified of what's to come. Will my kids be forced into military service, to fight a war designed to benefit one man above all others?

Do I have enough water and canned goods on hand in case society shuts down completely?

Maybe you voted for the guy, and you're ready to tell me off for being a liberal crybaby. If that's the case, I can only say I've lived through a number of presidential transitions, and this one is exceptional. I try to get my news from credible sources - The New York Times and The Washington Post primarily - and as much as I want our country to succeed, I don't think those reporters are making things up.

What those news stories tell me is, we're very close to being fucked.

This blog is supposed to be an adjunct to my writing, the kind of site where #MySexySaturday is about as deep as it gets. I'm not feeling it right now. I should be promoting my upcoming release, and diving into the ongoing escapades of my favorite vampire monk.

Not feeling that, either.

Instead, I'm going to take the dogs for a walk, say a few Hail Mary's and decide if I want to post this. I mean, either you think I'm crazy, or you're already so scared you don't need to add my fear to your load.

God bless America
land that I love.
Stand beside her
and guide her


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Guest Post: Sanguine Shadows by Erzabet Bishop

Like snarky vampires? Give this girl a try…

Now available from award-winning and international best-selling author Erzabet Bishop! Something stalks the streets of Salem and there’s wild magic in the air…

Sanguine Shadows by Erzabet Bishop. Start your journey into the Curse Worker universe!
99 cents for a limited time and #FREE in KU!

Ball gowns and bite marks…

Mari Di Bartolo was a witch coming back to her roots in Salem. Juggling work and school, she is a woman on a mission until she is attacked one night after work and left for dead. When Mari is about to step through the veil, she is given a choice-become a vampire or fade away. She chooses life. Nevertheless, it’s not her new Sire that holds Mari’s attention, but the strange and enigmatic Fae with the golden green eyes. Full of mischief and mayhem, the night of the Vampire Ball is upon her and all that glitters may just be her teeth in the moonlight.

Darkness lurks in the shadows…

Fenris is the Captain of the Guard for the Queen of the Dark Court. For centuries he’s secured the barrier between the human world and Faery, part of a Protectorate that keeps humans blissfully ignorant of the beings hidden in their midst. But when another rogue wolf attack brings him to a crime scene, he remembers another girl with long dark hair and eyes that spoke to his soul. On a night filled with wild magic, there will be blood and some of it might just be given willingly.
Includes Bonus: Map Of Bones, a prequel short story to Malediction.

Available for #FREE on KU!

99 cents for a limited time!
Tags: shifters, fae, vampires, ghosts, party, Salem

Curse Worker Series:
1. Sanguine Shadows
2. Map of Bones
3. Malediction (pre-order now!) 
4. Arcane (coming soon)

Excerpt from Sanguine Shadows by Erzabet Bishop

Her eyes widened and her lips parted and he caught a glimpse of fang. “I…didn’t know you cared.”

“If I didn’t, why would I have convinced Roark to turn you?” He tugged her closer, the push of her breasts against his chest making it hard to concentrate on mere words. He’d known she was meant for him from the first second he’d seen her but he had to let Roark take her or risk her dying.

“You don’t know me. I was just a girl on the street. A human not worth your consideration.”

Fenris didn’t miss the hurt in her eyes. Perhaps he had been wrong leaving her alone. He’d been convinced he was right letting her assimilate unhindered into her new life. He also couldn’t fault her reasoning. She was right. They had no claim on one another, only an attraction that blazed to life in the most untenable of situations.

But she was wrong on one account. He had noticed her before-just not in a way he might have acted upon. Human and supernatural interaction was forbidden but he was unable to let her die. Not like that.

 He wasn’t able to stop thinking about her and hadn’t since that night.

“I did notice you, witchling. How could I not?” He lifted a finger and traced the side of her face, his cock hardening at the moan that slipped unbidden from her lips. “You burn inside of me. Only I couldn’t act. Not until then. But I had to save you. To do anything else…” He let his voice trail off and watched her reaction.

Mari blinked and reached forward, pressing her lips to his. “It’s like a fire, isn’t it? A fire in the blood.”

“Oh Gods, yes.”

About the author:

Erzabet Bishop is an award-winning and international bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction, Map of Bones, Sanguine Shadows, Arcane (coming soon in the Prowlers and Growlers box set) The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Taming the Beast, Mistletoe Kisses, Surrender, Torment (upcoming), Hedging Her Bets, Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic CafĂ©, Sweet Seductions, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.

Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop.


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Saturday, January 14, 2017

#MySexySaturday - My Sexy Stranger!

Annnnd...I'm back! I hope you all had a lovely holiday break. Me n' the family had some low key, mellow fun, and now we're back to our normal routine.

Which means another week of Sexy Saturday action!

This week's theme is My Sexy Stranger, and the snippet I've chosen is from Change of Heart, my novella that appeared in the NOLA Naughty Nine anthology last summer. The anthology had a limited run, and I'll be releasing Change of Heart in a few weeks. It's set in the same world as Vespers and Bonfire, but it's distant prequel to those stories and historic rather than paranormal.

The romantic pairing is different, too - f/trans-f instead of m/m.

In this snippet, Clara's working as a hat check girl at a nightclub in the French Quarter, and she has a bit of a crush on one of the other waitresses. Vaughn's not exactly a stranger, but they don't know each other nearly as well as Clara would like them to...


Vaughn, one of the cocktail girls, popped off the main floor. She was tall, with auburn hair and the prettiest collarbones I’d ever seen. When I thought about doing bad things, her lovely face often came to mind.

She’d dolled up her black uniform dress with a jade scarf pinned at her throat by a marcasite brooch, and she carried her drink tray lightly no matter how many high balls were crowded on it. “What’s that?” she asked, tipping her head in the direction of the note.

Teasing myself, and maybe teasing her too, I rubbed the edge of the still-unopened envelope against my lips, marking it with a peony pink stripe. “Don’t know.”

“Open it, you nut.” Vaughn barely had to breathe to make my pulse flutter.

Maybe I should have learned a lesson from falling in love with my best friend, but I wanted to kiss her—especially when she smiled from under her bangs, her lips painted ruby red and her brows arched in perfect curves. Sometimes the way Vaughn’s gaze melted into me gave me the notion she shared my interest. I just didn’t know how to ask her.

I flicked the flap with my fingernail. Who would be sending me something? I pinched my lips to swallow the flutter of nerves. “Someone stuck this one down good.”

“Quick. I gotta get out on the floor.” A smile flickered at the corners of her mouth, and her hazel eyes glowed.

I peeled the flap open and slid out a notecard. On the inside of the card, someone had drawn a lovely, very detailed picture.

A picture of me. “Well, I’ll be.” 


Thanks so much for checking out my post! If you're intrigued, Change of Heart is available now through the publication date of 3/1/17 at a preorder price of $0.99! Or, if you're so inclined, it'll be on Netgalley in a week or so. Thanks again!

Supersecret Cover Art
will be revealed on 1/18/17!

Irene and I are running another giveaway, this time to celebrate Change of Heart's cover reveal on the 18th. As long as you're hear, you should totally enter!
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Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.

Also, make sure you check out these other Sexy posts!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

For Ellen: Top Ten Fave Reads 2016

For many of us, 2016 prolly ended up something like this...


It's much easier for me to find the lowlights from this year than the highlights. Well, except when it comes to reading. Losing myself in a book provides respite from the most horrible situations. (If you're interested, here's a post I wrote a few months ago on How Books Saved My Life.) I didn't keep track of how many books I read - probably in the neighborhood of 100 to 150 - but for sure I came across some standouts. There might be ten on this list....or maybe a few more...okay, more like 20, but...

Favorite Holiday: Glass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

So normally I wouldn't expect a holiday read to make a best-of list. Holiday stories are just there to be warm and fuzzy and fun, right? Glass Tidings is all that, plus it's also a damned fine bit of storytelling. The two heroes are real and complicated, and they had to work for their connection. As soon as I finished this book I turned back to page one and read it again. It's that good.

Favorite Historical: The Society of Gentlemen trilogy by KJ Charles

The link will take you to A Seditious Affair, the second book in the trilogy and arguably my favorite of the three. Along with A Gentleman's Position and A Fashionable Indulgence, these books rank as one of the best trilogies I've ever read in any genre, ever. You could probably pick out one of the novels and read it as a stand-alone, but the way the plot weaves between the books makes reading all three so worthwhile. Really brilliant, on so many levels.

Historical honorable mentions... The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian and Kindred Hearts by Rowan Speedwell
These two novels are both Regencies, and in both, one character has recently returned from fighting Napoleon in France. Because they covered the same ground, it was fun to compare and contrast them. The Soldier's Scoundrel is sort of the Glee version of a Regency, where Kindred Hearts is a much more serious historical novel. Both of them had me turning the pages just as fast, though. Good times!

Historical honorable mention...again. (Hey, it's my list, I can have as many as I want.) Rite of Summer by Tess Bowery.
This one is hot enough I almost bumped it to the erotic romance category. Lots of healthy young men doing what healthy young men do...despite the fact they could hang for it. The stakes were SO HIGH in this one I almost had to stop turning pages because I was too tense. Fun stuff!

Favorite contemporary: His Royal Secret and His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace.

When I read the blurb of the first book, I wasn't sure someone could sell me on a gay member of the British royal family, and you know what? The author totally did. These books gave me an insider's look at what it's like to live in a fish bowl, with the whole world watching, and the characters' emotional arc was just as believable. Highly recommend!

Contemporary honorable mention... Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Bend or Break) by Amy Jo Cousins.
Okay, at the risk of coming across as a squeeing fangirl,  the two novellas in this duology are pretty amazing. Love Me Like a Rock and Hard Candy follow two guys who have appeared in earlier Bend or Break novels. Austin and Vincent are forced to move beyond their dysfunctional friends-with-benes relationship, and both earn their happily ever afters. I have to admit Hard Candy resonated with me a little more than the other, but they're both excellent.

Favorite thriller: Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh.

I don't read much romantic suspense, but I thought this one nailed the reality of war when soldiers know they're fighting a losing battle. I was drawn to the main characters, Connor and Nathan, and if the ending felt a little bit too neat, the rest of the story was so good I forgave it.

Thriller honorable mention... Mr. and Mr. Smith by HellenKay Dimon.
This one is slick and twisty and fun, sorta like if James Bond were gay. Lots of action, snappy dialogue, and a solid, fast-moving plot. There's also a sequel - The Talented Mr. Rivers - that I'll definitely be adding to my (towering) TBR pile.

Favorite mystery: Spindrift and A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson.

Well-written and spookier than heck, I burned through these two and wanted more. I found the love story in Spindrift a little more compelling, but the ghost story in Frost of Cares was scarier. Either way, you can't go wrong. 

Mystery honorable mention... Transformed: San Francisco: Quirky Transgender Spy Novels by Suzanne Falter.
This was a great read, in which the gender of the transman MC is part of the story but not exploited or overly dramatized. The plot works, the mystery is intriguing, and the whole thing was a lot of fun. 

Favorite erotic romance: The Dark Collector by Vanessa North.

This book saved my life, or at least pulled me out of a really sucky place. It's a novella, and I read it in one evening, when I really needed to get my mind off whatever crap was happening. It worked so well, I read it again the next evening. The author packs a lot of characterization and emotion in a short space. It's well worth the read.

Erotic romance honorable mentions... The Back Passage by James Lear, Like a Lover by Jay Northcote, and Old School Discipline by Misha Horne.
Like a Lover isn't classified as erotic romance - it's a contemporary about college guys - but wow is it ever hot! The Back Passage is a tongue-in-cheek historical, and Old School Discipline takes on some very naughty high school boys. And yes, in all of them the sex is sexy, you know, but they're also great stories, with strong characters I came to care about.

And the sex is sexy.

Favorite paranormal: Priddy's Tale by Harper Fox

I love Harper Fox's writing style. She so completely captures the harsh and magical reality of life on the coast of Cornwall. The thing I loved most about Priddy's Tale was the gentle fantasy element, the way Priddy's weakness - an accidental overdose has fractured his reality - turns into something good.

Paranormal honorable mention... Death by Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswald.
This story hits so many of my weaknesses! It's a smart mystery set in a Victorian era where magic is real. I read both this one and it's sequel, Death in the Dionysis Club, in quick succession, and then sat around feeling sorry for myself because there's not a third. 

Favorite sports romance: Reading the Signs by Kiera Andrews

I DNFed more sports romances than I actually read this year, mostly because the characters weren't believable, or the reality of their supposed sport didn't work for me. This one made me wish it was baseball season ALL YEAR LONG!

So there you have it, my top ten(ish) list of favorite books for 2016. I hope your holidays were lovely, and that 2017 exceeds all our expectations!
Happy New Year!

(See, Ellen? There are almost as many books on my list as there was yours. :) )

Since you got to the very bottom of the post, check out the rafflecopter giveaway Irene Preston and I are running for January. There's a $10 gift card at stake!

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

#MySexySaturday - Sexy in Space!

Hey! Happy #MySexySaturday! The theme this week is Sexy in Space, which proved to be difficult for me, because I'm not much for science fiction. However, I do have a sexy m/m historical set in 1955 Seattle called Aqua Follies. And Seattle's known for the Space Needle. So yeah, it's loose, but there's a connection. Also, I was playing with the story this week, so the it's fresh in my mind.

This is kind of a long 7 paragraphs, in which our hero Russell sees the man of his dreams. Unfortunately, his soon-to-be fiance Susie is one of the synchronized swimmers performing at the Aqua Follies, and Russell is the coach. Yeah, there are some potential conflicts....

He pressed a kiss on the top of her head. “Yes, dear.”
Their last hurrah. They had two weeks in Seattle, then another run in Detroit. At some point, Russell would give Susie the diamond ring he had tucked in the bottom of his suitcase. He snugged her closer to his side. He’d start his new job, they’d get hitched, he’d buy the house, and she’d give him babies. More importantly, the wedding would give his parents something to be happy about.
The feeling of dread wedged under his sternum had more to do with nerves than anything else.
The director called for the Night at Club Aqua number and counted off a fast tempo. His baton flashed in the floodlights blazing from the edge of the stage. From the orchestra pit, the band hit the opening bars of In the Mood. Susie took off, diving into action with the other Aqua Dears. They spun through the water in a synchronized display, while the dancing half of their traveling troupe, the Aqua Darlings, took the stage dressed in sparkling blue skirts, white blouses, and low-heeled black shoes.
The big band, a dozen musicians playing brass and strings and percussion, romped through the verses twice, their heads silhouetted in the stage lights. Then a lone musician stood, rising into the glare like Gary Cooper on the screen at a drive-in movie. He was tall and lean and handsome, with a curled pompadour and a five o’clock shadow. Curiosity pinned Russell in place. Then the young man put a trumpet to his lips and Russell had to close his eyes.
The music rang out over the lake and bounced off the rooftops in the surrounding neighborhood. The tone was cool but the solo was hot, hitting Russell with the force of a pick-ax. The horn’s voice turned his insides to jelly, but the man – from the swoop of his hair to the curve of his bicep – swapped that jelly for lava.
He tried to tell himself his damp clothes caused the shivers chasing over his skin, but didn’t come close to believing it. He dug his fingertips into the bands of muscle running up the back of his own neck and dragged his gaze back to the swimmers, breathing slow and deep to force the flush out of his face. He’d just been surprised by the man, and exhausted from travel. He’d be fine. Everything was okay.

Seattle's Space Needle
(See? Space! It ties in!)

Russell's got some work to do before his two weeks in Seattle are over, don't you think? Hopefully I'll soon have some good news about Aqua Follies and you can read it for real. In the meantime, Irene and I have another giveaway running to celebrate the release of Bonfire, our m/m paranormal holiday story. If you want to learn more about Bonfire, jump HERE

Thanks so much for visiting!!

Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.