“Perform For Me” by Lori Toland in the “Necking” Anthology

May 8, 2010

So hi! I’m Lori Toland and I am so excited to be posting here today. I’ve been writing for years but this was my first Anthology. It has been an awesome experience working with Julianne Bentley and all the folks at DSP and I hope you enjoy my story.

Blurb:

Corey is a successful thirty-five-year old doctor who lives with his partner of seven years, Justin. And Corey likes to watch. He enjoys it so much that he decided to join a sex club, not to participate, but to sit in the shadows and observe. When his favorite couple decides to invite him to join, can he take the risk of becoming part of show?

Excerpt:

The first time I ever saw them in the room, I felt frozen. My jaw was so tightly clenched, I could hear my teeth grinding together. In front of me were two men, the one who was fair-skinned with dark hair was kneeling in front of a man so angelically gorgeous it was hard to believe he walked this Earth.

I was riveted by the sight of green eyes cast down submissively, staring at the floor until the beautiful blond angel standing in front of him spoke softly and those dark eyelashes fluttered closed. I couldn’t tell if it was out of embarrassment or if the action was tinged with lust but either way, I found I was holding my breath as I watched his long fingers unlace the Dom’s leather pants, freeing his thick, uncut cock.

I should have felt awkward watching what was obviously a private act but that was why I came to this place, to watch people have sex. It was my first time at the sex club and while I felt my cheeks burning, the sight before me was the hottest thing I had ever seen.

My cock was swelling inside my loose khakis. I wasn’t naked but the slave on his knees certainly was. His prick was leaking as much as mine was from the look of it too, the head shiny and slick. I wet my lips in time with the sub as he prepped his lips and opened his mouth to take that thick, hard prick inside his gorgeous mouth.

I groaned, heedless of the others that had gathered to watch. Slowly, a crowd had trickled in as the sub had started to suck his Dom’s cock. I saw the sub smile at the reaction he was eliciting from the Dom and heard the Dom’s hiss as I saw teeth drag along the sensitive flesh.

The Dom pulled his cock out of the sub’s mouth and quicker than lightning, a crop slashed through the air and landed across the sub’s back. “I said no teeth, boy,” the angel said.

“Yes, Sir,” the sub said before covering the gleaming cockhead with his lips again. Long fingers curled into dark curls as the Dom proceeded to fuck his mouth. His gleaming lips stretching around the hot, turgid flesh in his mouth, sucking him and as the angel groaned and stiffened. I realized I had to get out of there because I was going to come in my pants, right there in front of the crowd that was now standing three deep.

Welcome to the Necking Release party!

May 8, 2010

Welcome to the virtual release party for the new Dreamspinner Press anthology Necking. I’m Julianne Bentley, the editor of the anthology and I hope you enjoy the “party!”

There were so many submissions for Necking - it seems everyone enjoys a hot threesome and our writers had some page-sizzling tales to tell. We selected a range of stories, from romantic threesomes, to established couples finding a third for a (maybe) one-night stand, to three lovers coming together for the first time. We have science fiction, historical fantasy, humor, romance, kink, and drama. There’s something for everyone who has been intrigued by the idea of three in bed!

Throughout the day, some of the Necking authors will be stopping by this blog to post excerpts from their stories and tell you a little about themselves and what inspires them. Please feel free to ask questions, ask for more, or just leave a comment.

We’ll be giving away a free eBook copy of the anthology, to be chosen at random from among everyone who posts comments during the release party – so don’t be shy! There will also be a trivia contest, with a free paperback copy of the anthology as the prize, so watch for that as well.

In the meantime, stop by the Dreamspinner Press website at www.dreamspinnerpress.com to read more about the anthology, sign up for our newsletter, Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo alerts, and of course place your order for Necking!

Julianne Bentley
Associate Editor
Dreamspinner Press

Special Delivery a Cherry Forums Book Club Pick, April 15-22

April 14, 2010

Heidi Cullinan’s novel Special Delivery will be the Cherry Book Club pick for the week of April 15-22 at Jennifer Crusie’s Cherry Forums. Stop by any time during the week to participate in the discussion!

Topics will include a discussion of the novel, some branch-out discussion topics, and an “ask the author” forum.

You will need to register a username with the Cherry Forums to participate in this event.

Cherry Forums Site

Purchase link for Special Delivery

Heidi’s website

The Archangel of Castro by Diana Copland

March 21, 2010

Hi!  My name is Diana Copland, and I’m very excited to have a story included in Dreamspinner’s “A Brush of Wings” Anthology.  Here is a short excerpt from “The Archangel of Castro”:

Excerpt:

Brian smiled that movie-star smile as he came around the counter, and Nick felt his heart expand in his chest. “Headed out?” he asked, noticing the denim jacket encasing the square shoulders.

“Mark asked me to meet him for a drink,” Brian answered with a shrug and a twist of his lips. “I wasn’t doing anything else.”

Nick removed the towel from his belt loop and studiously began to work on a non-existent spot on the pristine counter top, refusing to look up. Mark Bryant was someone relatively new in Brian’s life; they’d met at one of the night classes that Brian was taking, and he’d called his cell phone several times. Nick had had to force himself not to eavesdrop on those conversations.

“That sounds like fun,” Nick remarked, relieved that his voice came out evenly around the lump in his throat.

“I guess,” Brian answered, but he didn’t leave as Nick expected. He stood there until Nick finally looked up. “Do you want me to stay? Help you close up instead?” His blue eyes were wide and so very blue that Nick could almost get lost in them. Almost.

“Why would you want to do that?” he said instead, forcing a smile. “Go on, go out and have some fun. You’ve helped close every night this week.”
Brian frowned slightly, hesitating. “You’re sure?”

Nick waved at him with the towel. “Go on. It’s so quiet I’m already doing the breakfast set-up. I’ll be fine.”

“Okay,” Brian said with a shrug, and then leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to Nick’s cheek. Nick closed his eyes, feeling his hand clench around the towel. Brian was so easy in his shows of affection, so generous with them. It didn’t mean anything, he told himself. “I won’t be late.”

Nick swallowed heavily and forced his eyes open. “You don’t have a curfew,” he said with a laugh that sounded almost as forced as if felt.

“But you worry,” Brian said. “And I don’t want you to, so no later than midnight. Night, Gabriel,” he said with a smile as he passed.

“Cherub,” Gabriel said with a regal inclination of his head. Brian’s smile widened, and then he was out through the door.

Nick watched his silhouette until it disappeared in the mist, then sighed unconsciously as he reached for another salt shaker to fill.

“You know,” Gabriel said slowly, and Nick glanced up to see him primly wiping his lips with his napkin, “you could be a bigger idiot, but I’m not quite sure how.”

Nick blinked. “Pardon?”

“You,” Gabriel said pointedly, “are an idiot. And you’re making my job here unnecessarily difficult.”

Nick frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you and the Cherub, you nincompoop,” Gabriel retorted sharply. “God in heaven, man. What in the world are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Someone to skywrite it for you? Perhaps a little golden arrow in the ass? Not going to happen. Cupid is retired. That’s why I’m here.”

Nick stared at him, feeling like he’d just entered a parallel universe. “You’re here instead of Cupid,” he said stupidly.

“Well, they got tired of all his pissing and moaning about his arthritis, so they put him out to pasture, as it were. He’s still pissing and moaning. Reminds me a bit of Milt, now I think about it,” he said, looking thoughtfully towards the pass-through, his index finger on his chin. “They might be related….”

“Gabriel,” Nick said, gentling his voice. “There’s nothing going on between me and Brian. He’s my friend. That’s all.”

“God, you’re stupid.” Gabriel scowled at him, and the expression was completely at odds with the circle of garland dancing above his head. He looked like a rather grumpy cherubim in a school Christmas pageant.


Writing this story was pure pleasure for me.  I loved the whole concept of an anthology with ‘divine intervention’ at the heart of it.  Mainly, I think, because I’ve always believed that someone was keeping an eye out for me. I truly do believe that I’m still here because I simply wasn’t ‘done yet’.  There have just been too many instances where it could have easily gone the other way for me to believe in coincidence.

I began writing when I was about 13, and it has always been one of my great loves, one I didn’t really have the time to indulge until my kids were grown.  I love the whole process of character construction and plotting, and spend a good deal of my time with my head in the clouds, writing even when I’m doing something else.  I feel really fortunate to have found Dreamspinner, and to be included in this anthology.  I believe that m/m romantic fiction is only going to become more and more popular, and I’m proud to be a part of that movement.

I’d love for anyone who is interested to visit my blog at:   http://diana-copland.livejournal.com/

I’d also like to invite you to check out the sites for the “A Brush of Wings” Anthology:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1757 for the paperback link, and  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1738 for the ebook.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check it out!

‘The Angel Blues’ by Cornelia Grey, in ‘A Brush of Wings’ anthology

March 21, 2010

Hello, dear readers and fellow authors. I am thrilled to be part of this anthology: the theme of guardian spirits is endlessly fascinating, and I am pleased to have my personal take on the matter included in this intriguing selection.

Angels always evoke in me a feeling of mild melancholy and soothing light; I love to think of celestial beings as good natured, ironic, with the little imperfections and quirks that make humankind interesting. The angel of ‘The Angel Blues’ is a conflicted being, unable to distance himself from the doubts and emotions and little pleasures that belong to mortals – such as listening to a good ol’ blues song, or the company of a certain human that makes his heart flutter just so…

I hope you will enjoy accompanying my two characters in their journey, which, whether they want it or not, will permanently transform their lives; here’s a glimpse of their story.

The Angel Blues: an excerpt

“HONESTLY. Haven’t you got anything better to do than hang around in my living room?”

Morgan leaned against the doorframe and popped the cap of the beer he’d just taken out of the fridge, slowly shaking his head. He’d walked back from the kitchen to find his favorite chair occupied by a familiar figure, sitting cross-legged, with messy hair and an oversized ugly sweater, and he couldn’t even bring himself to be surprised anymore.

“Yeah. Well, I rather enjoy your living room,” the stranger said, his head bent over the pile of CDs scattered on his lap. He picked one up and hummed in approval. “’The original blues legend’. One of my favorites,” he said, his blinding smile blossoming. Morgan took a sip and chuckled, then dropped onto the couch, stretching his legs.

“So, I’ve come up with a few options,” he began conversationally. “About you. And why you seem to pop up all over the place.”

The stranger lifted his gaze, still holding onto the CD. “By all means, let’s hear them, then,” he said, one eyebrow raised in kind curiosity.

Morgan slumped more comfortably into the cushions. “First, chances are you are just a figment of my imagination. I’m still pretty sure I made you up. You’re a hallucination.”

“Is that so?” the stranger commented, his smile unreadable. Strangely, Morgan could not remember the last time he had felt so… at peace.

“Yeah. And since I’m not on drugs, you may well be the sign of a deadly brain tumor or that my brain’s simply given up and is circling the drain. And remember,” he added, pointing his Beck’s toward the stranger, “if I end my days in an asylum because of you, I’ll be holding one serious grudge.”

The stranger just leaned back in the armchair, head cocked slightly to the side, that Mona Lisa smile still ghosting on his lips. Morgan sort of wondered if hallucinations could flirt…

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REDEMPTION by Clare London

March 21, 2010

Hello to today’s visitors and I hope we’re tempting you well with our glimpses into the new Dreamspinner Press anthology, “A Brush of Wings”.

My story is called REDEMPTION and was inspired by thoughts of Purgatory, and how men might linger between worlds while they waited for their eventual fate to be judged.  And then, how much worse would that situation be for Angels? 

BLURB:
Ziba is a fallen Angel, working as a sponsor of lost men, helping them find genuine repentance after a life of sin.  Banished to the Arrivals Hall between worlds, he offers them work during their journey back to a better afterlife.  But for him, personally, that option is closed.  His position was so exalted, and his sin so great, that he is imprisoned in Arrivals for ever.  Until he meets Abdiel, a new arrival: an angel who was also exalted, and also fell from grace – but whose love and self-sacrifice offers both of them a new hope of redemption.

EXCERPT:

We walked to the back of the room until I stood only a foot away from the kneeling man.  I didn’t listen to any of the other voices, didn’t smell any of the other flesh.  I waited for the required response.

None came.  He remained with his head bowed and his hands held loosely behind his back.  I stared down at the crown of his head.  His hair was dark with sweat, but I could see it was dark auburn, thick and curled where it nestled against his neck.  His skin was almost hairless, but his shoulders were broad and his arms and legs muscled.  He was far from a boy.

“Tell me his story,” I said, speaking above him.  For the first time, I saw a flicker of acknowledgment in the pulse below his ear, though he didn’t lift his head.  Of course, I hadn’t given permission, but I didn’t think that was the only reason.

The caretaker’s throat bobbed with a heavy swallow.  “What can I say?  We haven’t been given all the paperwork yet.  They dropped him off a while ago.”  He glared at the bowed head as if it had caused him more grief than the combined workload of all the other Arrivals he’d ever handled.  “But it must have been a grade eight offence at the least. There’s no recommended holding period, or even a listing of mitigation.”

I glanced along the sweep of his bony torso.  “No mark?”

“No, sir.  Not yet.  He must have come straight from Transition.  It’s just another sign as to the severity of his case.”

“You said he wasn’t available.”

The caretaker’s eyes looked as if they’d roll up into his head.  The fear dripped from him in his sweat.  “That was the only paper he did have on him.  A yellow slip.”  His voice sank to a whisper.  “Don’t think I’ve seen more than three of those in all my time here.”

I felt an unusual shiver across the back of my neck.  The caretaker was staring down at my hands.  An unimaginative man at best, with a tendency to casual cruelty if not checked, he knew enough to watch for warning signs of punishment.  It took me an effort to uncurl my fingers and relax the palm. 

A yellow slip

“Outcast,” I said.  The body at my feet seemed to shiver as well.  “Indefinite confinement, subject only to divine review.  Not to be issued a ledger.”

The caretaker was silent.

“No opportunity for redemption,” I added, my voice sounding low and, disturbingly, bleak.

“No, sir,” the man at my side whispered.  His tone was dejected.  He, personally, had arrived with a medium high grade offence, but even so, his ledger was gradually filling with credit. Every one of my visits added to that, if the Arrivals I took had been properly cared for.

But he also knew I’d arrived with a yellow slip, myself.

I took a step back.  “Look at me,” I said to the man on his knees.

The caretaker tensed up beside me, his hand gripping his whip in case of resistance.  It happened.  This man wasn’t available for general service, but he was still subject to Arrival Hall rules.  As, indeed, had I been.  That was, until I had learned to use my unique powers to ease my way through the system.

After all, I had many years both behind and ahead of me to practice.

He stirred, the man who wasn’t bound and yet met me in the traditional submissive pose.  I didn’t know if he were brave or foolish—or even if he fully understood his status.  I couldn’t take him with me against his will.  Nor would it benefit him to indenture himself to me, as it would the others.  But I could still demand his attention.

He looked up at me.  I felt nauseous.

“This is a mistake,” I said.

“Sir?” The caretaker looked aghast.

“This man shouldn’t be here.”

*************

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Herbal Tea by H.J. Brues in A Brush of Wings

March 21, 2010

I’m on a little vacation right now, traveling with a group of friends who forced me to leave my laptop at home before allowing me to climb into the car. So, yeah, you guessed right: I had to post these words in advance, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to join the party and tell you a little about my story in the Dreamspinner Press A Brush of Wings anthology.

 I found the idea of writing about guardian spirits very appealing—I can hear my fellow authors thinking get in line—and I had one of those what-if moments when I was preparing a cup of herbal tea. I love the slow, calming ritual of making tea, love the powerful scent of most herbal teas—and if you’ve ever smelled an infusion of valerian root you’ll  understand why I say most—love mixing flavors and drinking the hot, colorful liquid while I let my mind drift.  I thought I could put all those feelings in a story, and so I chose to write about an herbalist, someone who would know everything about medicinal plants and their uses.

Original that I am, I called the result Herbal tea. Since I don’t want to spoil the plot for you, here’s a little sip:

 I looked at the rainbow flag and tried not to clench my fists. Maybe I was being my usual paranoid self and it was just one of those equal opportunity things, but I had the impression they were laughing themselves sick back at headquarters.

The place looked harmless enough on the outside, with its potted geraniums and clear windows, the stenciled sign reading “The Ancient Herbalist” in simple, blue cursive. At least it wasn’t a sex shop or one of those sleazy bookstores, though it reeked of alternative bullshit; that, I could bear for one day—or so I told myself as I pushed the door open to the chime of a dozen little bells and almost gagged on the overpowering scent of herbs. Jesus. “Herbalist” was right, by the smell of it.

There were no patrons sitting at the white, wrought-iron tables yet, so I walked over to study the prints on the nearest wall. They were all renderings of plants—medicinal, I guessed—with a sure hand for detail and sedate backgrounds that emphasized the almost botanical textbook air to them. As I moved closer, I noticed a few smaller frames holding something that looked like… tea bags? Yeah, several tea bags, the front of two cardboard tea boxes, and a row of teabag labels. Weird, the things people choose to hang on a wall.

“Welcome.”

I turned around to meet the most amazing violet eyes I’d ever seen on a man. My old neighbor Wallace used to have a cat with those eyes, though they weren’t as full of healthy curiosity as the pair holding my gaze in the herbal-scented room.

“Would you care for a cup of tea?” he asked, his voice a little too much on the amused side for my comfort. I was glad he didn’t wait for my answer, because I might have blurted out the wrong thing—considering I only drink black coffee—and it gave me time to study his retreating form as he walked back to the counter.

He was wearing drawstring pants that hung loosely on his lean hips, two layers of oversized T-shirts blurring the contours of his light frame. I felt overdressed in my black suit, almost the cartoon image of an FBI agent trying to get some answers from a skater punk.

“You don’t look ancient to me,” I said, surprising a laugh out of him.

“I don’t look like an herbalist either,” he replied with a smile. A very nice smile—of the sexy-nice kind. Definitely someone was having a ball back at headquarters.

 ******************

 Want to taste some more? If you do, I know you will also enjoy the wonderful stories the other authors have written for this Dreamspinner Press anthology (congratulations you all, and great job, Anne!):

 To buy the paperback

To buy the eBook

 I will be very happy to read your comments, questions or herbal tea recipes, and will answer them as soon as I can get my hands on my laptop.

Ascension by RJ Scott – *A Brush of Wings* anthology

March 21, 2010

Hi,

I am so excited to be included in the anthology *A Brush of Wings*, with *Ascension* my first ever submitted story. I think I am still in shock! I am in amongst so many awesome authors in the anthology and I wonder how long the high lasts!  I thought I would post a glimpse into the world of the angel Sabrael and his mortal Adam Riley…

A Brush of Wings

Ascension: an excerpt


“You can have that,” a voice came from the back of the shop, and Sabrael turned to locate its owner, wondering how a mortal had managed to see him when Sabrael hadn’t even sensed he was there. He looked down at the book in his hands, the last of the readers’ responses making his eyes tear. He was always stunned at the range of emotions the written word could conjure up in people’s minds.

“Thank you,” he responded simply. “How much do you want for it?”

The owner of the voice that had suggested he keep the book moved into the light, flooding in through the wide lettered glass store front. Sabrael blinked at the man with the deep voice—he was tall, so very tall, his chestnut hair worn short and neat, his eyes the hazel of fall greens and browns, and his body a trim build. “Seriously, take what you want, maybe donate something to charity, if you want to,” Adam James Riley said simply. “It’s all got to go.” His voice hovered on the edge of sadness, full of emotions that Sabrael hadn’t seen in this boy before: anger, distrust, and a choking fear of the future. The last leaked into his words, no matter how he hard he tried to hide it.

“Tell me?” Sabrael asked gently, losing his ability to form a full sentence as the man stopped in front of him and the sadness inside of Adam came, overwhelming, through Sabrael’s link to him.

“Tell you?” At first, Adam seemed confused, but immediately he snapped into comprehension. “Oh. The shop, you mean.” He waved his hand at the empty interior. “Usual story, I guess. We just can’t compete anymore, with website sellers and the book superstores, so we decided to shut down. Cut our losses while we could.” Sabrael listened carefully to what Adam wasn’t saying and the use of the word we, when he knew there was no we. Adam was the last of his family, the last child of the original mortal Sabrael had been tasked to watch.

That word said much.

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Chat at MANtastic Fiction this Saturday for Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan

March 4, 2010

Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan

The reader review and archival site MANtastic Fiction has made Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan its book of the week. In addition, they will be hosting a reader chat on Saturday, March 6 from 5-7PM EST.

Heidi will be at the chat as well and would love to meet readers to talk about Sam & Mitch (or Randy)! Dreamspinner Press will also be giving away both a digital copy of Special Delivery and of Heidi’s first novel, Hero, during the chat.

Hope to see you there!

Book of the week link to MANtastic Fiction

Chat site and details:

Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mantastic-fiction
Password: Cullinan
Date: 03/06/10
Time: 5pm-7pm EST

Heidi’s website

Well, time to say good-bye!

February 26, 2010

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peak at my latest novel, “Jack and Dave.” Early reader reviews are very positive which puts a smile on my face. I hope you get an opportunity to get yourself a copy today’s release and remember: One lucky buyer will receive a full refund making their purchase free! This opportunity ends at midnight tonight.

If you want a personally signed copy of the paperback, just leave a note for us, and I’ll be sure to take care of that for you.

If you didn’t get a chance to ask me your burning question, you can always write to me at: johnsimpsonbooks@hotmail.com and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.

As always, you can visit my website at: Johnsimpsonbooks.com to get the latest news on what’s happening at John Simpson Books. Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend part of it with me. I appreciate your support more than you know!

Warm Regards,

John

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