Posted in BlogTour

The Other Man – Paul Alan Fahey

Buon giorno!

I’m so happy to be back with all of you again. I really loved talking to you last time about Bomber’s Moon and the Lovers and Liars gay historical romance series.

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Some News:  I recently discovered Lovers and Liars is a finalist for this year’s Rainbow Awards. I was very surprised as this was very unexpected. Someone somewhere must like my writing. 🙂 Also I want you to know that you can access FREE a very short story, “Words,” in e book format from JMS Books. Here’s the link for the free e book.

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http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=1235

I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it.

I have a pretty active short blog on Goodreads. If you’re a member, come by and say hi. I post every Tuesday.

Here’s the link for the blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452410.Paul_Alan_Fahey/blog

TODAY ONLY DEAL!! JMS Books is offering my 2012 Rainbow Award winning e book, The View from 16 Podwale Street—a lesbian historical romance—at 40% off.

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Hope you’ll enjoy this WWII romance set in Warsaw, Poland, just before the German invasion.

Okay, let’s start.

This time I’ll be talking a little about The Other Man, an anthology of personal essays I edited last year. Some of our best writers are in it. The book was a 2013 Rainbow Award winner for nonfiction.

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We’ll also be doing a giveaway of The Other Man e book, so be sure and comment on the post and join the discussion. We’ll be picking a winner or two or maybe even three.

Okay, let’s start the discussion.

I’m really glad to be back with you!!!

Here’s what The Other Man is about: Short Synopsis

WHO IS THE OTHER MAN?

He’s an accident waiting to happen: the skateboarder round the bend, the smiling barista with the extra hot mocha, the computer geek eager to retool your mate’s hard drive. He’s a relationship gatecrasher bound by no rules and with no sense of fair play. Like Caesar, he comes, he sees, he conquers and leaves behind something akin to a lingering twenty-four hour flu, or at worst, a really bad case of the Black Death.

On the flip side, we can be the other man, charging in and breaking the bonds of a committed relationship without a thought to the pain and misery we inflict on the injured parties. Face it. We’re not all innocent bystanders in these other-man scenarios.

The Other Man is an artistic collaboration by and about gay men and their relationships. If you’ve ever been the other man, had him invade your life, or if you’re just plain curious about this beguiling, sexy and unpredictable creature, then this anthology of personal essays is for you.

Twenty–one of our most acclaimed authors–many Lambda Award Winners and Finalists, such as Rob Byrnes, Jeff Mann, Tom Mendicino, Erik Orrantia, Felice Picano, and David Pratt, write candidly about either being the other man, suffering the other man or having their relationships tested by infidelity.

What we learn from these gifted authors is we must take heart that it does get better and one day our luck is bound to change. We’ll survive the bumps and detours in our relationships and weather the storms, or we resolve to move on. Hopefully, along the way, we’ll meet someone new and simpatico, maybe even our long awaited soul mate, and life is indeed good again. Or is it?

In The Other Man, prominent gay writers tell their personal stories of what it’s like being the other man, suffering the other man or having their relationships tested by infidelity.

In this short excerpt from “WHAT IF,” Jeffrey Ricker reflects on the summer of 2003, when he asked himself “What if I were a big old slut?”

What follows is a candid, personal and very funny account of how he spent the summer.

Short Excerpt:

“WHAT IF” by Jeffrey Ricker

“Online dating was uncharted territory for me. While I wouldn’t call myself a prude, up to that point I’d never given my friends much of a reason to think otherwise. I only started dating guys in my mid-twenties, never very frequently or for very long. (I told myself I was concentrating on my career. In hindsight I can only ask myself, What career?)

All of my attempts at dating tended to fizzle out around the two-month mark. For the longest time, six weeks seemed like the hurdle I’d never get over. By the time the summer of 2003 came around, I’d say I started making up for lost time.

I can’t say that I was very discerning in my selections that summer. I had only two criteria: Potential dates had to be within a fifteen-minute drive and be reasonably attractive. Both of those requirements were negotiable, though. I don’t know why I thought dating in that state of mind was a good idea, but it didn’t seem to be much of a hindrance. Apparently skinny and depressed were the qualities a lot of people found desirable.

Oh, who am I kidding? These guys didn’t really care about my state of mind—at least, most of them didn’t. Not that I cared much either. I had a feeling I was being foolish, but when your head says, “Are ya nuts?” your libido answers, “Yeah, baby!” and your heart says, “Leave me out of this; I’m on sabbatical.”

Guess which one talks the loudest? The dumbest one, of course. That’s how you end up getting it on with more guys in one summer than you have in your whole life up to that point—which still isn’t all that high of a number.

In hindsight (and maybe because the memory is the first thing to go), few of the guys I met that summer remain particularly memorable.”

* * *  *

There’s another, longer excerpt on the buy links at JMS Books. Don’t miss Rob Byrnes’ equally hilarious excerpt from “A Brief History of the Divorce Party.” 

Buy Links:

E book http://www.jmsbooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=38&products_id=798

http://www.amazon.com/The-Other-Man-ebook/dp/B00D2Y86QG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370235432&sr=1-1&keywords=the+other+man

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-other-man-paul-alan-fahey/1115099385?ean=2940016531113

Print

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=52&products_id=799

http://www.amazon.com/Other-Man-Writers-Candidly-Infidelity/dp/1483970965/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370235532&sr=1-2&keywords=the+other+man

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-other-man-paul-alan-fahey/1115099385?ean=9781483970967&itm=1&usri=the+other+man 

Author Website:

http://paulalanfahey.com

Paul’s Good reads blog:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452410.Paul_Alan_Fahey/blog

JMS Author Page:

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=61

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/paul.fahey.52

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/paulfahey12

Short Bio:

PAUL ALAN FAHEY writes for JMS Books. He is the author of the Lovers and Liars gay wartime romantic suspense series—a 2014 finalist for a Rainbow Award—and the editor of the 2013 Rainbow Award-winning anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, &Moving On.

His first LGBT novella, The View From 16 Podwale Street, published by JMS Books, won a 2012 Rainbow Award. Over the years, Paul’s writing has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Byline, Palo Alto Review, Long Story Short, African American Review, The MacGuffin, Thema, Gertrude, Kaleidoscope, and in a variety of fiction and nonfiction anthologies from Carry the Light, Cup of Comfort, My Mom’s My Hero, to Writing on Walls, and Somewhere in Crime.

He lives on the California Central Coast with his husband, Robert Franks, and a gaggle of shelties.

***

What do you think?

I’m here.

 

Paul

Posted in BlogTour

Double Jackson – Raven McAllan

Good morning Raven, and welcome to my blog!

Thank you so much for inviting me here today, to brag about my latest book. Double Jackson.

I’m saying brag, because I’m oh so happy Jack and Coll’s story was accepted. It’s always a nail biting time, waiting and wondering if your babies are loved by someone else as well.

Luckily they were and this is the result…

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Blurb

Jackson Carrick at Tits and Bum Club—gay in more ways than one.

As morning wake up calls go, those damning headlines made for a rude awakening. The renowned actor is a one man guy, thank you very much, so why would a doppelganger set out to discredit him, and more importantly, who is it?

As the mystery unravels and loyalties are tested, Jackson has to rely on his husband, housekeeper, and friends to keep his reputation from swirling down the drain.

Fortunately, Jackson’s husband Collum knows just how to keep his man from worrying. Only one thing to do when you’re stuck inside waiting for news—lots of mind-blowing sex.

 

Now a wee teaser…

Jack pulled his t-shirt and jeans off and threw them into the general direction of the dirty laundry basket. They hung over the edge like a drunk visiting Huey. “I’ll put them in properly in a sec.” He stretched his arms above his head and twisted his body to get rid of some of the aches and pains.

Coll made a noise somewhere between a moan and that of a strangled rabbit.

Jack turned in his direction and smiled wickedly. His cock was erect, and jutted proudly out from his body. Coll salivated and cleared his throat as he worked his mouth to reduce the sudden dryness in it. His own cock was erect to the point of pain, and his pre-cum spread down its length and onto his balls.

“You said something?” Jack about purred the words.

Coll found his voice. “Bags, I dibs to go cocking.”

“Cooking? Feel free.”

Coll sniggered. Jack had taken up an Atlas pose and flexed his muscles. Then he dropped one hand to his cock and stroked it ever so slowly from tip to base, stretching and sliding the skin over the rigid core.

“Depends if you think we can generate enough heat?” Coll kicked the covers back until they landed on the floor and copied Jack’s hand movements on his own cock.

“Cock to cock? Mixing all the ingredients together?” Jack said in a gravelly tone. “Oh, why not. And no spoons are needed. Hands are best for mixing.”

“Tongues add more liquid?” Coll said as Jack crawled up the bed next to him and lay on his side so they were almost cock to cock.

“Definitely. Mind you, I think you might need to be head chef tonight. Except, You have to get up in an hour or so.”

“I’m up now,” Coll said. “Wide awake and waving hello.” He moved his cock from side to side. “I think we better start mixing right away or the er, liquid might leak out and be wasted.”

Jack roared with laughter. What a good idea. I’m knackered. Do you want to direct?” He kissed Coll on the cheek and trailed his tongue downward to lave each nipple in turn.

Coll sighed in pleasure. The tiny sucking action and the nips that followed sent his arousal higher and his pre-cum gathering on his cock faster than before.

“My turn.” He bent his head and Jack held his cock up. “Please, love. Kiss my cock and then fuck my ass. I need to feel you in me.”

“That’s an offer I can’t refuse.” Coll sucked in the end of Jack’s cock and tasted the salty-sweet pre-cum as it coated his tongue. He grazed his teeth along the shaft, tight enough for Jack to hiss and moan. Then he let Jack’s dick slide out of his mouth with a noisy plop.

“On your back, then.” He stretched his hand out and fumbled in the cabinet for lube and condom, as Jack rolled over with alacrity.

It took Coll scant seconds to rubber up and coat the condom and the entrance to Jack’s anus with lube.

“Need you.”

“Need you more.”

Coll inched forward on his knees and pulled Jack where he wanted him.

“Put your ankles on my neck.”

Jack obliged and Coll wasted no time to inch his cock into Jack’s dark and welcoming hole.

“More. I’m ready.” Jack groaned the words and lifted his ass off the mattress. “Fill me, for fuck’s sake, bloody fill me now.

“My … pleasure.” Coll panted the words and pushed past the ring of muscles that guarded the entrance and filled Jack. He withdrew almost to the head of his cock and pressed forward again.

Jack had his cock in both hands and set a hot hard pace as he fisted himself. Coll watched through glazed eyes and matched the rhythm. His cock ached from the need to spill his cum and his body was on fire. As Coll watched, Jack stiffened and his hand movements became even more frenzied. He threw back his head and shouted.

“Co … ll.”

It was enough. Coll let himself go and fell over the edge into a hard fast and fucking climax.

 

***

BIO:

 

Hair july 14

Well what can I say?

I’m growing old disgracefully and loving it.

Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.

Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.

I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I’m often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I’m not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.

Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.

 

 

BUY LINKS

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/double-jackson-by-raven-mcallan/

http://www.amazon.com/Double-Jackson-Raven-McAllan-ebook/dp/B00N6I4W98/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409462034&sr=1-1&keywords=Raven+McAllan

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Double-Jackson-Raven-McAllan-ebook/dp/B00N6I4W98/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409462034&sr=1-1&keywords=Raven+McAllan

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-doublejackson-1612827-149.html
http://www.bookstrand.com/double-jackson-mm
and my web is www.ravenmcallan.com if you want to check out my other books.

Happy Reading,

Love, R x

Posted in BlogTour, Uncategorized

Black Hurricane – Erica Pike

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Black Hurricane – Erica Pike

Genres: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, New Adult, (Rock Stars!)

Blurb:

Twenty-three year old Jasper Jones fell in love with Dean McQueen at fourteen, but after a disastrous relationship, Jazz would like nothing better than to see the rock star choke on his own vomit.

After a catastrophic reunion, Dean seems bent on destroying Jazz’s life. It all started when an impromptu bar performance ended up on YouTube and Jazz became an internet sensation overnight. The name “Jazdean” keeps popping up in headlines and the paparazzi stalk his every move. To make matters worse, Jazz is about to end up on the streets for the second time in his life.

In a desperate attempt to keep his home, Jazz signs a deal with Dean’s band, Black Hurricane, to perform at a couple of concerts. It feels like one of Dean’s feeble attempts to get Jazz back, but painted into a corner like he is, Jazz has no choice.

 

Excerpt:

If there’s anything I thought I’d never ever do in my twenty-three years of life, it’d be sitting in a stifling press conference room waiting for the rock band, Black Hurricane, to arrive. It’s not like I had much choice. My buddy, Eric, pulled out all the sympathy cards to get me to go, including a cute puppy dog pout, bribes of dinner at his and Alex’s, and a whole night of free booze at Clash, the gay night club down in South Boston. I could have said no, but Eric’s cute as hell even without the puppy dog pout, Alex’s cooking is to die for, and I’ll seriously need all the booze I can get after this conference. In the end it was the wages Eric promised me for acting as his photographer. I’m running out of oil paint and I could do with new guitar strings. Taking pictures at this specific conference is one hell of a high price to pay though. I can be such a pushover.

It’s not like I’m going to get up close and personal with the lead singer, Dean McQueen, anyway. Eric and I are sitting in the back with at least ten rows of chairs between us and the platform. It seems like every news agency in Boston decided to show up for this, and no wonder, since the star himself is a purebred Bostonian. Eric’s been buzzing about Black Hurricane—or more specifically Dean—and he’s told me half a dozen times that they’re ending their tour in this city, following up with a couple of charity concerts.

Eric pulls his platinum hair into a low ponytail, sky-blue eyes scanning the empty table on the platform. His white skin looks even paler against the deep-red sleeve of his shirt as he tucks a few strands of hair behind his ears.

“I can’t believe this is happening, Jazz. I’m actually gonna see him,” he says, for the umpteenth time.

I roll my eyes as I slide further down in the uncomfortable plastic chair, fiddling with the sparkly pink tag hanging around my neck that screams Glitter Guys Magazine. Eric has a matching one. He made them this morning when he found out he had to have some sort of a tag from the magazine he’s representing. A magazine owned by Alex and run by Eric. The fact that they’re lovers has nothing to do with Eric landing the job, or so he insists.

The buzz in the room dies down as a couple of people walk out on the platform. A red-haired woman smoothes down her grey pencil skirt before she sits at the far end. The second person, a handsome middle-aged man, buttons his matching grey jacket, the white cuffs of his shirt shining against his tanned skin. I can practically taste the anticipation in the room, but there’s still no sign of Black Hurricane.

“Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod,” Eric whispers, craning his neck to see the open doorway.

“Dude, chill. You’re acting like a fangirl,” I whisper.

“I am a fangirl,” Eric squeals, fingers trembling over his mouth as the leather clad members walk in, one by one.

The middle-aged man sits on one of the two middle chairs while the band members slump into the remaining seats, leaving the second middle one free, supposedly for Dean McQueen who hasn’t bothered to show up on time. The middle-aged man leans forward to the microphone and introduces himself as Jack Coleman, Black Hurricane’s manager.

He clears his throat. “Dean will be with us shortly.”

The room erupts with questions and I wonder how anyone is supposed to be able to hear a single thing to answer out of all the chicken squabble.

“We’ll start when Dean gets here,” Coleman says into the mike.

Eric leans toward me when everyone goes back to talking in hushed tones. “That’s the drummer, Maxime Lefevre.” He points at the African American with long brown hair, muscular body and a smile to die for. “Bass player, Lucas Hut.” He nods to a plain looking white guy with an honest-to-God perm in his blond hair, or maybe his hair really is that curly. “And guitar player, Yin Shaolin,” he says, gesturing to the Asian guy with the black hair spikes and vast eye makeup. “Their keyboard player just quit, they’re borrowing someone for the rest of the tour.”

“Are those their real names?” Who’d name their kid Yin Shaolin?

“Only their first names.”

Eric suddenly grabs my thigh and digs his nails into my ripped jeans. “Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!” he squeals as another band member walks in. He’s wearing a pair of tight leather pants, a crisp white shirt only buttoned in the middle. About my height at five-ten, small hips, thin torso and long legs. His skin is white, but not so white that it’s a stark contrast against the black hair that brushes his shoulders and bangs artfully styled around his narrow face. The confidence oozing from him as he walks is sexy as hell. I wouldn’t mind a half an hour alone with that guy…until I get a really good look at his face and realize it’s him.

Dean fucking McQueen.

The star himself sits his royal ass in the middle, leans forward and speaks into the mike. “Sorry I’m late. Couldn’t find a parking spot.”

The people in the room laugh while all I can manage is a nasty sneer at the lame joke. Then they start asking questions I can’t hear. Nor can I hear the answers. The only thing I hear is that deep voice every time he speaks into the microphone. It’s not that I enjoy listening to him or his music. No way. Every time I hear that voice I want to pick up my guitar and smash it against the wall —not because Dean McQueen inspires me to go nuts with his deep, husky voice and rebellious lyrics. No, it’s because I hate the dude. And I don’t mean just hate; I loathe him. I wish he’d drop dead right this second, preferably choking on his vomit, Jimmy Hendrix style, in front of the press.

“Jazz, take pictures!” Eric pokes me hard in the side with his bony elbow.

I wince and raise the camera, clicking a shot.

“Go to the front, like they’re doing.” He points at the photographers running to the front and clicking madly on their cameras.

Heaving a sigh, I drag my ass off the chair to walk forward. I rake my hand through my hair before I glance back at the monstrosity on the platform. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be in this position. Suddenly oil paint and new guitar strings don’t seem all that important. I just wanna get out, but Eric needs these pictures for the magazine and I’d rather die than let one of my friends down.

My heart thuds when I see Dean looking right back at me as I approach. His brow furrows as if he’s trying to place me. Typical. Of course he wouldn’t remember me. Why would he? My heart hammers a fast beat as my body breaks out in sweat. The inside of my throat thickens, stopping half of the oxygen from reaching my lungs. And still, I’m having the hardest time looking away.

Am I nervous under his green-eyed gaze? Or is it just the hate? It’s been years since I last saw him.

Not wanting to give the wrong impression of an adoring fan, I narrow my eyes and spew out all the venom I feel for this man into one, hateful glare, just before I raise the camera and snap my shots.

Dean’s eyebrows lift. I don’t know if he’s recognized me. It’s doubtful, since I looked so different back then. He leans behind the Asian guy, whatever his name was, to whisper to the woman who stretches toward Dean. She nods and I swallow hard when her brown eyes seek me out. She lifts a piece of paper on her clipboard and writes something down. What the hell was that? Are they going to sic security on me and kick me out? Just in case, I snap pictures like crazy: of Dean being his smart-ass self, acting indifferent to everything; of the Asian guy telling jokes and smiling with his whole face; of the perm-dude barely saying a word; of the African American with the constant smirk on his lips and an “I-just-came-from-an-orgy” look in his eyes; of the red-haired woman scribbling notes, and of the owns-the-world manager shooting his mouth off as if he’s doing twenty questions in less than a minute. Single shots, group shots, and even shots of colorful Eric in the sea of blue suits, with his hand raised for a question.

It all seems to pass in a blur. I can only thank my lucky stars that it seems to end pretty quickly and before I know it I’m heading toward the hotel lobby.

“Jazz, wait!” Eric calls and grabs my arm. I look down into his exhilarated face. “Where are you going? We have the private interview to go to.”

“Private interview?” I hardly recognize my own voice.

“Yeah, come on.” He pulls me toward the back, pushing us through the crowd. “I think Dean might be trying to score points with the gay community, you know, after he got outed last year. He’s been doing a lot of interviews with gay magazines, but I was too late to book one. Didn’t know about this conference until last minute. I couldn’t believe it when the assistant came up to me just now and offered a private interview. She said I should bring you to take pictures.”

Eric is yanked backward by my sudden stop.

“Eric, I didn’t sign up for that. Can’t you just take the pictures?”

“What?” he asks, his voice rising in a pitch. “No way, I have like five minutes in there before it’s someone else’s turn. I didn’t manage to get a single question in during the press conference. I have two hundred and sixteen questions prepared. Two hundred and sixteen!

He clutches a stack of pink stationary to his chest.

“Come on, Jazz. Please. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ll double your pay. Buy you more drinks. Just whatever, I’ll do it.”

Goddamn Eric. Why does he have to be so adorably pathetic when he begs for something? He has this way of looking like someone kidnapped Santa on Christmas Eve. I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose though, like he’s manipulating people or anything. He just has this enthusiasm that infects everyone around him and the world lives or dies with his spirit. It was the first thing that drew me to him.

“Fine,” I mutter after a sigh and push my fingers through my now tangled hair. The light-brown strands are laying in clumps around my cheeks, down to my chin. “Fine, but you owe me drinks. Lots of them.”

“Tonight?” Eric has a huge smile on his face as we continue walking through the less crowded area.

“Not tonight, I’m working.”

“The Flying Frenchmen?”

“Enrique’s Pizza’s,” I reply as we push through an entryway into a long hallway, brushing past the woman in the pencil skirt.

“Oh, tomorrow then?”

“Also working.”

“Enrique’s?”

“The Flying Frenchmen. Come on, I told you this yesterday when you asked about going to Clash.”

“God, how am I supposed to remember? You have like, six jobs or something.”

The red-haired woman guides us into a waiting area full of reporters and photographers.

“They’re just temp jobs. It’s my last night at Enrique’s tonight. At least for now.”

We take a seat in the corner and begin what will probably be the longest wait of my life. Or the shortest. I really don’t want to go see Dean and it seems that every time you don’t want to be somewhere, time passes way too quickly.

The beige wall is cool against my shoulder blades as I close my eyes. It feels like my stomach is being eaten by critters from the inside. Hundreds of questions run through my mind as we wait. Why were we invited? Did Dean recognize me? Is he going to talk to me? What should I say? Maybe I won’t have to say anything since Eric will do the talking.

“Oh, I love this song.” Eric sighs and looks up to the speakers blasting out a deep, husky voice. The music isn’t loud, but now that Eric’s pointed it out to me it’s impossible for me to ignore it. Dean sings rock, almost heavy metal, but in my opinion his voice would be much better suited for ballads. I’ve only heard a couple of ballads by Black Hurricane, though I flick past the radio channels whenever I can. Damn band is so popular that DJ’s play their songs in clubs and they’re even sometimes on store speakers when I go out shopping. There’s really no escaping them.

“God, he has to be the sexiest man alive.” Eric stares up at a big poster I hadn’t noticed. Dean in all his glory: leather pants stretched over the small bump on his backside, a couple of belts hanging on his hips. His torso is bare, with lots of necklaces hanging to his navel and lots of bracelets adorn his bare arms. A black tribal tattoo curls around his left upper arm and stretches over his shoulder and pectoral. His face is contorted as he screams into the microphone with blue lights shining behind, showering his black hair in a blue glow. Some people look ugly when their faces are contorted like that. Dean is beautiful no matter what and I hate it. Hate, hate, hate.

“Sexier than Alex?” I tear my eyes from the poster.

“No, sexiest after Alex,” Eric corrects. “Just wish I’d have met Dean before meeting Alex so I could’ve had a little fun with him, that’s all,” he continues with a wink.

“Well, if Alex doesn’t mind sharing, I have it on good authority that Dean McQueen is a complete slut. He’d definitely take you.”

Christ, just saying that name out loud makes me shudder in the same way the sound of someone dragging their nails across a chalkboard would.

“Alex and I don’t share. It’s relationship rule number one.” Eric reaches forward to search through his satchel.

“Not even if it’s McQueen?” I ask, pinching Eric’s little purple-jeaned butt as he bends further toward the floor.

“Hands off, Jazz. Alex will kill you if he ever finds out you did that.” He sits back with his satchel in his lap.

“Yeah, right. He’s harmless as a hamster.”

“Hey, hamsters bite hard. My cousin Kaleb had one back in Virginia. That nasty piece of lint not only shit everywhere, it also drew blood every time we’d hunt it down to put it back in its cage. Stupid thing kept breaking out.”

“Hardly stupid if it could figure out how to get out, was it?”

Eric snorts as he straightens up and stretches his body, the whole five foot six of it. “Goddamn it, I can’t find my Sprite. Pretty sure I saw a dispenser out in the hallway. We’re not gonna be called in for hours anyway.”

I push myself out of my seat and hang onto the camera bag as we step out into the hall.

“You’re right though,” says Eric as we stop by the dispenser. “That piece of shit hamster was a devious mastermind, so don’t underestimate my boyfriend. He’s smarter than all of us combined.”

“Smart enough not to let you near his money.” I shoot Eric a smirk as he pops some coins into the machine and punches the Sprite button. The can rolls down into the slot.

Eric picks it up before turning around with his hand on his skinny hip. “Hey, I never ask him for money. I make my own.”

“You’re still in college.”

“Yeah, but hello. I’m also the chief editor of Glitter Guys Magazine. I’m rolling in the dough. I’ve turned that sucker around in only five months. It’s one of the hottest selling gay magazines today. We sold out two months in a row and the subscriptions have more than quadrupled. And that’s not including the online subscriptions. We’ve —”

“Okay, okay, you totally lost me at ‘rolling in the dough’. Fine, you make your own money; you are your own man and all that. Still doesn’t mean you’re not spending it. Are those new boots you’re wearing?”

Eric grins and shows off his shiny new black ankle boots. “Hell yeah. Gucci’s. Alex has a closet full of designer shoes. Wish I could borrow, but his feet are way bigger than mine. Besides, his style is different. Speaking of styles… What do you call yours? Hobo chic? You lose a bet or something?”

He eyes my beat-up sneakers, torn jeans and paint splattered T-shirt. Not exactly a conference outfit, but no one stopped me in the doorway to force a jacket on my back.

“I spend whatever money I make on party clothes, bro. No point in wearing them in daylight. They sparkle so much in the sun they’d make people blind.”

“Uh-huh. And what do you think Dean McQueen will do when he sees you wearing that? He’ll look right past you, eyeball my ass and ask for my number, is what he’ll do. Seriously dude.”

“Dean McQueen can go suck my balls.”

“Not with you dressed like that, he won’t.” Eric pops his soda open and quickly skids backward as the soda fizzes out of the hole and dribbles down the can to form a small puddle on the floor. “Shit.”

“Bro, I don’t need clothes to stand out. I have my gorgeous smile and that just-got-out-of-bed hairstyle. That’s all I ever need to get dates.”

I’m not really this conceited; I just like yanking his chain.

“Well, you just got out of bed. That isn’t style, that’s just you being lazy with the comb. Why don’t you —”

“Eric Wesley and Terrance Nihal Adani?” the red-haired woman asks, checking her list and crossing out a line.

What the hell? We haven’t even been waiting for fifteen minutes. With any luck, they’re kicking us out.

“Actually, Terry couldn’t make it, so it’s —”

“Andrew,” I shoot in before Eric can give my name. If Dean hasn’t figured out who I am, I’m not going to help him. I don’t want him to figure out who I am. But still I kinda do, just so he’ll understand where my glares are coming from.

“This way, please,” she says with a smile, gesturing to a room at the far end of the hall.

“Andrew?” Eric mouths as we walk, a deep frown on his face.

“It’s the guy I was with last night,” I whisper back and give him a wink. “He’s why I just got out of bed before I got here.”

Eric shakes his head and adjusts the strap on his shoulder as we walk to a couple of beefy guys on either side of a door. Security? Seriously?

One of them grabs a hold of the doorknob and opens the door. Eric prematurely gasps as soon as he walks into the dark furnished room, looking around for a sign of the band members. There’s no one inside.

Once the door closes another opens and in walks my nightmare. The guy who ruined my life. My nemesis, as my best friend Cal-Al would say. The critters in my stomach start gnawing on my insides at triple speed.

Dean’s green eyes do a quick brush over Eric before they focus on me with the same quizzical look he had on before. No, he doesn’t know who I am. I let out a breath I’d been holding, relieved and annoyed at the same time. This time I’m prepared and manage not to get caught like a deer in the headlights. I avoid his eyes by pulling out the camera and fiddling with it, trying to make myself appear busy. I can still feel his gaze on me, but only glance up when Eric snaps out of his awe.

“Oh my God, Mr. McQueen. I’m a huge fan of yours,” he says, stepping forward with an outstretched arm. Very professional, Eric. He stops a few inches from Dean, as though he’s not sure if he’s allowed to shake hands with his idol. Dean looks away from me to give Eric another once-over.

“Just Dean’s fine,” he says with a damn sexy smirk, and I swear I can hear Eric squeak a little as Dean takes his hand in a firm handshake. He gestures at the brown couches and they sit down on either side of a coffee table. “The others won’t be in on this one.”

I stand firmly in the doorway. Dean’s acting all fake, being nice and polite. No doubt the room he just came from is full of the patented Black Hurricane booze, drugs, and skimpy little fangirls and boys.

“That’s totally fine,” says Eric with a huge smile as he studies Dean from head to toe. “Um, I’m Eric Wesley, Glitter Guys Magazine, and this is…” He looks over his shoulder.

“What?” I ask, going back to polishing the spotless camera lens.

“Andreas?”

“Andrew,” I say in a short tone, just to make it clear that I’m here only to take pictures.

“Yes, Andrew.” Eric smiles back at Dean.

“Nice to meet you, Andrew,” says the deep, husky voice that makes me shudder down to the core. Was that a leer? Is that what this is all about? He wants to get in my pants?

Instead of replying, I start snapping shots of Eric and Dean as Eric puts a tape recorder on the coffee table.

“This okay?”

Dean shrugs, his green eyes seeking me out again. I thin my lips and continue to take pictures.

Eric asks questions from his list, speaking very fast as if trying to get in as many of his two hundred and sixteen questions as possible before the five minutes are up. Dean is laid back with a hint of the “I don’t give a shit” attitude he always portrays. He seems to be looking into the camera whenever I take close-ups, and when it becomes too much I start snapping pictures of Eric instead.

“Jazz, you’re supposed to be taking pictures of Dean,” Eric reminds me with a scowl.

“Sorry,” I mutter with a sigh, turning back to Dean.

“Jazz?” Dean asks, directing the question at me.

I only hesitate a second before I continue clicking. “Jazzman. Andrew Jazzman.” Shit. That was a close one. I wasn’t known as “Jazz” back then, but the nickname is too close to “Jasper” for comfort.

His eyes run over my body like they’ve been doing ever since I came in. Goddamn it. That is what this is all about. He wants to get in my pants. Or more like, get me out of my pants. It infuriates me, but at the same time I feel like smirking. He so chose the wrong dude.

 

Author bio:

Erica lives in Iceland with her adorable little twin boys. She often says that her real name sounds like Klingon to foreigners. Seriously, if “Eyjafjallajokull” looks like a random string of characters it’s nothing in comparison to Erica’s name.

She’s been writing for several years, or ever since reading became an obsession. Aside from a business degree, Erica has taken English courses at the University of Iceland and gulped down anything that might help her in her career as an author. She takes great interest in English, but will break every single grammar rule for the sake of The Voice.

Erica loves hearing from her readers. She’s a friendly, easy-going (if a bit silly) person who doesn’t mind talking about herself in third person.

You can find her at http://www.ericapike.com

 

Buy Links:
MLR Press: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=EPBLKHUR
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Hurricane-ebook/dp/B00EQM5AOE
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-blackhurricane-1271227-149.html
Social Media:

Webpage/Blog: http://www.ericapike.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEricaPike
Twitter: @EricaPike
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5433276.Erica_Pike
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Erica-Pike/e/B006V266ZY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1346175840&sr=8-1

Posted in BlogTour

In the Raw by Nikka Michaels & Eileen Griffin

In the Raw by Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels

9781426899119-COV

Genere: M/M, Foodie Romance
Lunghezza: 84,000 Words
Serie: In the Kitchen
Data di pubblicazione: October 6, 2014
Editore: Carina Press
ISBN:9781426899119
Ebook ASIN: B00KV5ZHD4

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22599510-in-the-raw

BLURB:

If you can’t take the heat…

James Lassiter has had a crush on fellow culinary student Ethan Martin for three years, but has never had the guts to make a move. Putting himself out there is hard, especially when under the thumb–and wallet–of his overbearing parents. Now that bad boy chef Ethan–who is always vying with Jamie for best in class–is struggling with the pastry course, Jamie suddenly has a reason to reach out.

Ethan doesn’t mean to be an ass–okay, so mostly he does–but even though he’s secretly hot for Jamie, he sure as hell doesn’t want help with pastry. Ever since his dad walked out, Ethan has been the one to hold things together and he’s done fine on his own. Except that he can’t get his cake to rise.

Jamie could be the answer to what Ethan’s been missing his whole life–someone to depend on. But with the two competing for the same scholarship, things suddenly get too hot to handle. And if Jamie finds the strength to go for what he wants, he isn’t about to settle for what he needs.

EXCERPT:

I opened the door, shivering when a gust of wind swept through. I pulled my jacket tight around my body, sighing when I saw no cabs waiting at the curb. “Shit.” I could either call information or wait a few minutes for another to drive by. I leaned against the brick wall of the building to wait when I heard the bar’s door squeak open and shut again.

“You could have waited for me, you know?” Ethan’s annoyed voice as he approached had me wondering what I’d done now.

“No worries.” I shrugged, tired from the long day and the confusing mix of emotions hanging out with him seemed to bring. “I didn’t want to rush you because I was ready to leave.”

He stepped closer, his shoulders hunched as he reluctantly admitted, “I wanted to hang out with you. Not Summer or the guys. Just you.”

I stared at him. “What do you want from me, Ethan? Half the time I don’t know whether you hate me or want to be friends. Then you do something like defend me to my father, who incidentally thinks you’re the antichrist. Tell me what we’re doing here.”

Instead of launching into the verbal tirade I expected, a determined look crossed his face and he murmured, “Fuck it.”

He stepped closer and I tensed. As unpredictable as Ethan was, I wasn’t sure what he’d do. I let it out a surprised gasp when his mouth met mine. There was nothing gentle about it. Months of tension, fighting, flirting all igniting when he touched me. Not a romantic kiss by any means…it was bruising, rough, passionate, intense, all the same things I’d come to equate with Ethan Martin. My fingers curled in the fabric of his sweatshirt, tugging him closer as my eyes slammed shut.

Braced between the solidness of his body and the cold wall behind me, I felt my entire body heat. Ethan’s ravenous lips and desperate tongue claimed my mouth, tasting of beer and mint. He slid one hand up to cup the back of my neck, holding me captive as he braced himself against the wall. I kissed him back fiercely, our teeth knocking together with the force of it.

Sounds I didn’t even know I was capable of making left my mouth and I didn’t care we were in public where anyone could see us. I nipped his lip, sighing with pleasure when he moaned into my mouth. He might be an infuriatingly stubborn asshole at times but one thing was for certain: Ethan Martin could kiss. He broke away, breathing hard as he leaned his forehead against mine.

“Wow.” I fought for breath, a smile tugging at my lips. “For once we’re actually on the same page.” As soon as the words left my mouth, he pulled back. His expression changed from needy to terrified as he released me, his hands clenched into fists.

“Ethan?”

“I’m sorry.” He backed away, staring at my face like I’d punched him. “I’m really fucking sorry, Lassiter.”

I swallowed hard and took a deep breath, raising my hands as if I was soothing a spooked animal.

“Ethan?”

He yanked up his sweatshirt hood and took off, leaving me to stare after him in silence. What the hell had happened?

 

BUY/PRE-ORDER LINKS: 

Carina Press  Amazon US   Amazon Universal Link   Barnes and Noble   Kobo

 iBooks  Google Play

 

EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO: 

Eileen Griffin lives in the southwest, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance. Her past published works include: Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Nikka Michaels, Dinner For Two, a M/F romance novella, “Claiming Ayden”, a M/M shifter romance that is part of Evenight’s Alpha’s Claim Anthology: M/M Edition, and “Lost and Found”, a short story written for the M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet: Love’s Landscapes Event. Eileen is currently working on a new M/M series set in a Bed and Breakfast with Nikka Michaels, as well as several other projects both individual and co-authored.

NIKKA MICHAELS BIO:

Nikka Michaels lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story. She currently has several releases out including, Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Eileen Griffin, Christmas with Caden, a M/F romance novella from Cobblestone Press, “Waking up Wolf”, a M/M shifter romance in Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology, and the MM series which includes, Mile High Service, Room Service and Lip Servicefrom Cobblestone Press’ Blue line. She also has a short story, “His Assistant” in Evernight Publishing’s best selling Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition anthology.

EILEEN GRIFFIN SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website and Blog: http://eileengriffin.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eileengriffin77
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/eileen.griffin
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/eileengriffinauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/EileenGriffin
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/eileen-griffin/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Eileen-Griffin/e/B00EOA3Z9A
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Eileen+Griffin

 

 

NIKKA MICHAELS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website: http://www.nikkamichaels.com
Blog: http://nikkamichaels.com/blog/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nikkamichaels
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/Nikka.Michaels
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/nikkamichaelsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7231273.Nikka_Michaels
Cobblestone Press: http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/nikkamichaels.htm
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/nikka-michaels/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/author/nikkamichaels
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Nikka+Michaels

Posted in BlogTour

Two to Tango – Nicola Cameron

Benvenuta, Nicola Cameron!

TWO TO TANGO – NICOLA CAMERON

twototango1m

 

Nota dell’autrice:

Thanks for letting me come on your blog today! Two to Tangohas a hilarious beginning in that it was literally spawned by Twitter. See, I was sitting in the parking lot of a junk computer shop, waiting for my other half to finish browsing for antique tech, and idly surfing through Twitter on my smartphone when I saw a picture that Misha Collins (Castiel from Supernatural) had tweeted. He was at FedCon, and had snapped a great picture of himself tangoing with the peripatetic John Barrowman, of Torchwood and Arrow fame.

I’m looking at the picture and thinking, “Oh, those goofs, they look like they’re having a good time.” And then the Muse peered over my shoulder and went, “Hmm….” The next thing I knew, I had the idea of a dashing Scottish art thief somehow teaming up with a disgraced Russian archaeologist, and hijinks ensued!

Best of all, I got to meet Barrowman late last year at a con. Knowing that he’s very open-minded about this sort of thing, I hesitantly told him about the pic inspiring the book. He laughed, congratulated me, and said it sounded great. So there you have it — Two to Tango, endorsed by Captain Jack Harkness himself!

BLURB:

Rory MacLellan, AKA the Highlander, may be the most successful interstellar art thief in the Known Worlds, but he still has a conscience. So when he runs into a suicidal museum worker during his latest job, he has no choice but to stun the man and rescue him from certain death.

Dr. Dmitri Grigoryev was an up-and-coming exoarchaeologist until a disastrous dig left his career in tatters. Hungry, broke, and desperate, the last thing he expected was a dashing thief to come along and save his life.

Thrown together by accident and with interstellar police on their tail, Rory and Dmitri reluctantly join forces for a major heist. But will their simmering attraction get in the way, or prove that they were meant to be together.

 

 EXCERPT

Dmitri turned over, glancing down the line of their bodies. Rory’s erection was very obvious in his kilt, almost comically so. The other man must have been contorting himself to keep it off his ass. Of course, now that he was face up, his own erection started filling out nicely.

Rory started massaging his shoulders and arms, going nowhere near his nipples or other erogenous zones. Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore. “Um, you’re hard.”

“I know,” Rory said evenly. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Kind of difficult to do that when it’s right over my stomach. Besides, so am I.”

Rory gave a half shrug. “Totally normal. Lots of guys get an erection during a massage. Don’t worry, it’s not like I’m going to make a move on you or anything.”

He didn’t understand why that admission annoyed him, but it did. “Of course not,” he muttered. “Why would you?”

Rory stopped at that, frowning. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t know.” He turned his head, staring at the bulkhead. “Never mind.”

“Hey.” Long fingers cupped his chin, urging it back. “I’m not making a move on you because I don’t believe in hitting on someone when they don’t have a way out of the situation. I mean, yes, I think you’re incredibly hot, which should be obvious by the fact that my cock can now cut diamond.” Rory glanced down at his crotch and grinned. “But that’s my problem, not yours.”

That’s what you think. Dmitri could feel Rory’s body heat moving through him, lighting up nerve endings. He’d been sure that his life would be one long, slow slog through museum workshops, getting older and more bitter with each passing year until he was shunted off to some sterile senior station to die.

Instead, he had been kidnapped during a heist by the Known Worlds’ sexiest antiquities thief, rescued from CAPOD by said thief, been given the chance to restore a shattered Saolao ceremonial bowl, and now had the same sexy thief kneeling over him with a rock-hard erection after giving him the best massage of his life. Except he’s backing off like I’m a nervous virgin.

It was time to take matters into his own hands, quite literally. He cupped his palmsover Rory’s exposed knees, feeling the other man twitch from the unexpected contact. “What if I said yes?”

Rory frowned. “I’m sorry?”

“What.” Dmitri slowly ran his fingertips under the tartan, up Rory’s thighs. “If I.” He pressed the heels of his hands against the soft prickle of hair and the lean muscle underneath, continuing his upward slide. “Said yes?” His fingers reached the top of each thigh, dancing over the crease where leg met groin. The skin was smooth there, but he could just feel the beginnings of crisp pubic hair brushing his thumbs, and the heat from what had to be an aching cock.

He wouldn’t let himself touch it. Not until he was sure they both wanted this. “Or do I have to spell it out for you?”

“Nooo, I think I’m catching on.” Eyes gleaming, Rory leaned over and kissed him. “Is this all right?” he whispered, each word the softest puff of breath against Dmitri’s lips.

“Definitely.”

“Good. Because if you don’t put your hand around my cock in the next thirty seconds, my head is going to explode.”

Dmitri couldn’t help chuckling. “Well, we can’t have that, can we?”

BUY LINKS:

BIO 

Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of “y’all,” much to her Chicago family’s dismay.

Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture…).

 

Posted in BlogTour, Uncategorized

Bomber’s Moon – Paul Alan Fahey + Giveway

Bomber’s Moon by Paul Alan Fahey è la prima novella della serie storica Lovers and Liars. L’autore è stato così gentile da offrire una copia gratuita ai lettori del mio blog 🙂 Se volete partecipare all’estrazione di una copia di Bomber’s Moon, lasciate un commento a questo post e l’autore estrarrà a sorte il vincitore!

Thank you, Paul!

Bombers_Moon_400x600

Blurb:
During the Blitz, LESLIE ATWATER sets out to discover the truth about his artist lover’s death. His investigation takes him to a desolate lighthouse under siege from enemy aircraft where he confronts a group of Nazi spies and learns that following your heart can indeed be hazardous to your health.

Excerpt:

The Country Cousin
It was a lovely sunny day and while Caroline poured tea from a silver service, Leslie enjoyed the view through the French doors: a lush country garden with a small gazebo at the center. Leslie had made the decision to get away from the city and spend a day with Edward’s somewhat distant cousin, Caroline. Now, sitting in her living room in her spacious cottage, he felt the tension of the past few weeks and months drain away. Was it the fact he was far-flung from the horror of the Blitz, or just the lulling sense of being in the country surrounded by nature? Whatever it was, he decided to go with the mood and embrace it. Completely.

He and Edward had visited Caroline many times before the war, and she became their close confidant and great friend. It didn’t hurt that she was delightful to be around, quick witted and sophisticated. There was never a dull moment with Caroline.

Leslie was feeling he could curl up right there in comfort and peacefully sit out the war when he heard Caroline talking. He wondered how long he’d been soaking up the atmosphere, oblivious to anything other than the beautiful silence.

“Sorry, I was daydreaming, love.”

“Right. I’ve been talking since I picked you up at the station and you’ve barely said a word, Leslie. Other than that claptrap about living in the country sans the war.” Caroline sported the current hair fashion, parted in the middle with long wavy curls; she reached up and poked an errant strand behind an ear while she spoke. With her creamy complexion and sultry, dramatic looks, Leslie thought she was a dead ringer for Margaret Lockwood, one his favorite film stars.

He glanced down at his hands and saw they were shaking. “You’d hardly know there was a war on out here in the country.”

She gave him his tea and though he grabbed the saucer with both hands, he still managed to spill some on the table. He rubbed the wet spot with his napkin. Caroline didn’t seem to notice. She just kept jabbering away about evacuees from the city.

“What?” he said.

“It’s a Duncan Fife.”

“What is?”

“The table, silly. I thought you were polishing it.” 

She noticed. “I wasn’t.”

“Hmm.” She flashed a quizzical look that quickly turned to a dazzling smile and offered him a plate of biscuits. “Take two. You look like you need them. The baker went all out and I used up most of my rations. Don’t let it be for nothing.”

He refused and said he’d eaten on the train.

One of her eyebrows flew up, and he knew she knew he was lying.

“A cigarette?”

He took one and lit it, then inhaled deeply. “What were we talking about?”

We were talking about the joys of country living,” she said, “but I must tell you, we do feel it. The war, I mean. Not the devastation and loss you see every day in the city, but it’s here nonetheless, even embedded in the air we breathe. We all experience the effects of war at the grocers, the butchers, even the local dress shops. Can’t find a decent frock…”

“Now that is a tragedy.”

“Behave! And what about the daily influx of people? Londoners are leaving the city in waves, and ending up out here. We’ve got more evacuated children to deal with than the Pied Piper.” She paused apparently to think. “You don’t know one, do you, Les?”

“What?”

“A Pied Piper, silly.”

“Caroline!”

She laughed. “I knew I could get a rise out of you.” She got up from the sofa and went over and perched on the arm of his chair. She gave him a light hug about the shoulders. “I’m worried.”

“We all are,” he said.

“No, I mean about you, honey.”

“Me? Why?”

“This life you lead in London, especially now. I can see it’s taken a toll. How anyone can-“

“I’m fine, Caroline. Fine.”

Caroline covered his hand with hers in an attempt to still a tremor. “You’re not. So spill.” Then she went back to the sofa, sat down and crossed her legs. “I’m waiting.”

Buying time, Leslie sipped his tea. “Hmmm. Good this.”

Silence.

“All right. All right. I see Edward.”

“Grief does that,” she said.

“My brother would agree. He said as much the other day in confession.”

“What have you got to confess, love? Surely anyone living through this hell and losing a loved one would act the same. It’s perfectly natural.”

Gaining a bit of courage, Leslie continued. “I talk to him, too.”

“Uh—huh. Again perfectly natural.”

“And he talks back.”

“Next time you bring him to tea.”

He sighed heavily. “You don’t understand.”

“Sorry, Les, I meant well,” then, “Maybe you are just a bit round the bend.”

“Robert said the same.”

“Listen, with what you’re going through, have been through in the past, losing both your parents, you and Robert in that ghastly orphanage—”

“Well, at least we were together.”

“Yes,” she said, “I’ll give you that. But anyone would feel the same, especially when you finally meet someone like Edward, who comes along like a prince in a fairy story and—”

“Hey!”

“You know what I mean,” she said. “I’m the last person to disapprove of your relationship with Edward.”

Leslie knew that was true. Caroline and Robert were aces, plain and simple. Far and away two of the most accepting people on earth.

“This is just another rough patch,” she said. “You’ll make it through. It’s bound to get better,” and then wistfully, “won’t it?”

Leslie was doing his best to keep his emotions in check, but he was almost in tears and he could tell she sensed it. “I’ve been looking at his sketches lately.”

“And you feel closer to him then, right?”

He nodded his head.

“Well, then, that explains it,” she said. “Is this when you think you see him?”

“Yes.”

“But not on the bus or at night when you’re watching over…what do you call those poor souls?”

“My flock,” he said. “No, not at any of those times.

“Right,” Caroline said. “Well that’s it. There’s your answer.”

“What’s the answer?”

“You only see Edward when you’re at home going over his sketches.” Caroline reached across the coffee table and took his hand in hers. She gripped it tightly. “It’s the sketches, love. They’re the connection that sparks those memories.”

“Memories, yes, maybe.” Leslie had the impression Caroline truly believed this theory, but he wasn’t sure. Something else was going on. He could sense it, feel it. It couldn’t all be his imagination. It’s so real. “You may be right,” he finally said, in an attempt to mollify her and put paid to this conversation about Edward that was deeply troubling. He reached for a biscuit and swirled it around in his tea. “Maybe I’ll have one of those cream filled things as well.”

“That’s my boy. And you’ll have two of each. No arguments.”

* * * *

Buy Links:

JMS Books   Amazon   Barnes and Noble
Author Website: http://paulalanfahey.com
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452410.Paul_Alan_Fahey/blog
JMS Author Page: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=61
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paul.fahey.52
Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulfahey12
Short Bio:

PAUL ALAN FAHEY writes for JMS Books. He is the author of the Lovers and Liars gay wartime romantic suspense series, and the editor of the 2013 Rainbow Award-winning anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, &Moving On. His first LGBT novella, The View From 16 Podwale Street, published by JMS Books, won a 2012 Rainbow Award. Over the years, Paul’s writing has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Byline, Palo Alto Review, Long Story Short, African American Review, The MacGuffin, Thema, Gertrude, Kaleidoscope, and in a variety of fiction and nonfiction anthologies from Carry the Light, Cup of Comfort, My Mom’s My Hero, to Writing on Walls, and Somewhere in Crime. He lives on the California Central Coast with his husband, Robert Franks, and a gaggle of shelties.

 

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