Treasure of Love by Scotty Cade – Excerpt and More!

May 20, 2011

Hello Again!

I love you guys.  The blurbs are starting to come in and they are great and a couple a little weird, but keep them coming. I’m very excited!!!!!

Here’s a little more about Treasure of Love.  The story surrounds two main characters Jackson (Jack) Cameron, straight charter boat captain and Daxston (Dax) Powers, renowned gay treasure hunter.  Again for those who read Wings of Love, you’ll remember Jack Cameron as Mac Cleary’s former brother-in-law who had such a hard time with Mac realizing that the man that was married to his late sister for over ten years is now in love with a man.

But the storyline aside, the question I get asked the most about the characters in this book is how I came up with such an unusual name like Daxston, so here’s the real 411.  Daxston was Dax’s mother’s maiden name and it’s very common among us southerners to give your children family last names as their firsts, so it’s that simple! And as most of you are aware, I’m as southern as they come and right proud of it.  To quote Aunt Pittypat from one of my favorite movies, Gone with the Wind, “Yankee’s in Georgia? My heavens, how’d they get in here?”

There I go digressing again.  So what were we talking about, oh yeah, Treasure of Love.  So…in the first novel of the series, Wings of Love, Jack was pretty mean and dead set against his former brother-in-law being in love with a man and caused quite a stir.  But in Treasure of Love, although he starts off rather contrary, we get to know the real Jack Cameron and realize that most of his actions are based on fear and once you read the story you’ll know why.  So here’s your first excerpt and I hope you enjoy it:

Chapter One

Safely docked in Skagway, Alaska, and awaiting his next charter, Dive Master and Captain Jackson P. Cameron was spending a leisurely afternoon lounging on the deck of the Lindsey C, his seventy-five-foot dive boat. Soaking up the warmth of the Alaskan summer sunshine and enjoying the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the hull, he was debating on making a big change in his life. He’d been diving and doing charters for the last ten years, and was hitting the burnout period. It wasn’t a bad life, and he did get to do what he loved—diving and captaining his own boat—but his heart told him it was time for a change. Unfortunately, his wallet told him otherwise.

Everyone needs a change every now and then, damn it. This is my time, he thought. Money or no money, when my next charter’s done, I’m taking a few weeks off and heading to a warm, sunny climate to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.

His tranquility was suddenly interrupted by the voice of Johnny Horton singing the old country classic, “North to Alaska.”  Why in the hell did I choose that stupid song as the ringer on my cell phone? God, I hope this isn’t another charter. He dug his phone out of the pocket of his khaki shorts, lifted it to his ear, and said, “Jack Cameron.”

“Is this the Jack Cameron who owns the charter boat Lindsey C?” the caller asked.

“One and the same,” Jack said. “And this is…?”

The caller said, “I’m Daxston Powers. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of me.”

Jack did a quick scan of his mind’s database. “Nope, can’t say that I have,” Jack responded. “But what can I do for you… Daxston, is it?”

“Yes, but you can call me Dax,” the caller responded in an annoyed tone. “I would like to meet with you to discuss securing your boat for a long-term charter,” he said.

“Really? How long is long-term?” Jack asked.

“I’m not completely sure. It depends on how long it takes you to find what I’m looking for. It could be a couple of weeks on the low end and up to three months on the high end.”

Dollar signs flashed in front of Jack’s eyes, and then the realization hit him. There goes my time off.

Not wanting to seem too anxious, he said, “I’ve got a pretty tight schedule, but sure, we can meet. When and where?”

“Where are you now?” Dax asked.

“I’m docked near the ferry landing in Skagway, he replied. “My next charter pulls away from the dock at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon.”

“I’ll be at your boat at ten am sharp tomorrow morning,” Dax said, and hung up the phone without waiting for a response.

“I’ll be he—” Jack said as he heard a click in his ear before he could finish his sentence.

“Arrogant bastard,” he said to himself as he looked at his cell phone.

He hit the “end” button and slipped the phone back into his pocket. He stretched out again for a second time and tried to place the name Daxston or Dax Powers, but nothing came to mind except arrogant bastard.

“North to Alaska, They’re goin’ North, the rush is on.”

Damn, I really have to change that. He immediately felt a flash of guilt: maybe the guy didn’t hang up on me after all. Without looking at the caller ID, he put the phone to his ear and started to speak.

“I guess we were disconnected.”

He heard a short pause on the other end of the line. “Nope, try again,” the caller said.

Jack immediately recognized the voice and smiled.

His former brother-in-law and best friend, Mac Cleary, was a floatplane pilot who now lived in Hiline Lake, Alaska, with his partner, retired oncologist, Dr. Bradford Mitchell. Mac had been happily married to Jack’s sister, Lindsey, until she had died of cancer eight years ago. After being alone for over five years, Mac had unexpectedly reconnected and fallen in love with Brad, a former passenger. Brad had recently lost his partner, Jeff, to colon cancer, and the two men had formed an unbreakable bond, which over time had turned into love. Jack had had a hard time dealing with Mac’s sudden change in lifestyle, but eventually he’d come to accept it, and if he was honest with himself, was a little envious of their loving relationship.

“Hey, Mac, what’s up, man?”

“Not much, Jackie, just checking in. I haven’t talked to you in over a week. Are you on a charter?”

“Not yet, but picking up a three-day run starting tomorrow afternoon.”

“Good deal,” Mac said. “Fishing or diving?

“Diving,” Jack responded. “Don’t do much fishing anymore, it really takes a toll on the boat, and it’s too damn messy. Hey, how’s Bradford?” Jack asked.

“He’s good,” Mac said. “We just landed in Anchorage for an overnight trip to pick up supplies. We haven’t left the lake since we got back from Europe, and we’re starting to get down to the bare necessities.”

“It must be nice to retire so young and have the means to go on one adventure after another, and then escape back into the solitude of the Alaskan mountains for weeks at a time to rest up,” Jack said, with quite a bit of envy in his voice.

“It is nice, no doubt about that,” Mac said. “But Brad’s the one with all the money. Who would have thought that at this stage of my life I would be married to a rich doctor.”

“I need to find a rich doctor to take care of me,” Jack added.

“Very funny,” Mac said. “Just like you, Jack, to make me sound like a gold digger.”

“I’m teasing,” Jack said.

“I know,” Mac admitted. “But we’ve been on the go for most of the last two years, and although I know he loves it when we get home, I can tell he’s already starting to get cabin fever.”

“You guys never let any moss grow under your feet, and I love that about you,” Jack said. Jack heard Mac start to speak again, but his words faded into the background as he zoned out and stared out over the horizon. It sure would be nice to have someone special to share my life with.

“Jack? Did I lose you?” Mac asked.

“No, no, I’m here,” Jack said. “Sorry, I zoned out for a minute, what did you say?”

“I was saying that I guess we’re both enjoying life again,” Mac confided. “Those five years after Lindsey died, I was barely going through the motions of living. And Brad, he was fighting so hard to cure Jeff’s cancer, he thought of little else. And when Jeff had had enough of the unsuccessful treatments and decided he was ready to give up, Brad supported his decision and never left his side. I think a piece of us died with each of our partners, and we’re just now starting to live again.”

“I think you guys have been really good for each other,” Jack shared. “It’s no secret that it took me quite a while to get used to the idea of you two, you know, being together, but now I can’t imagine you not being together.”

Mac chuckled. “Oh, you don’t have to remind me of how much of a pain in the ass you were,” he said.

“Come on, Mac, that’s water under the bridge,” Jack said. “You seem happy now, and that makes me happy,” Jack added, meaning every word.

“Thanks, Jackie,” Mac responded.

“Not to change the subject, Mac, but have you ever heard of someone named Daxston Powers?”

“Daxston Powers,” Mac mumbled to himself, certain he recognized the name. “Oh yeah, I think he goes by Dax,” he said. “He’s one of those modern-day treasure hunters.”

“Really—a treasure hunter, huh?” Jack asked.

“Yeah. Brad and I just saw a documentary a couple of weeks ago on the Discovery Channel about his last expedition.”

“The Discovery Channel. He must be pretty famous,” Jack said.

“More infamous, I think,” Mac responded.

“What do you mean?” Jack asked.

“Well, in a Geraldo-Rivera-finding-nothing-in-Al-Capone’s-vault sort of a way,” Mac responded.

“You lost me,” Jack said.

“Let me see if I can get this right,” Mac continued. “Last fall, Powers was off the coast of Cape Horn in search of a clipper said to be carrying a bounty of diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. I think it was called the Sarah Maria. And according to the documentary, the information surrounding the Sarah Maria’s demise had been so vague that she’d eluded treasure hunters for the last one hundred and fifty years.”

Jack interrupted, “So I’m sure finding that wreck would help to validate his work and boost his career,” he said.

“Pretty much,” Mac continued. “He knew that if he found the wreck, he would garner some much-needed recognition and credibility to help him find investors for future expeditions.”

“And that’s why he invited the Discovery Channel to film the entire expedition,” Jack added. “So, did he find the wreck?”

“Much like Geraldo found the vaults, he found a wreck, but unfortunately for him, it wasn’t the Sarah Maria.”

“Serves him right,” Jack said.

“What?” Mac asked.

“Oh, nothing, go on,” Jack responded.

“Okay, it’s official, you’re very weird,” Mac teased. “But that’s not the best of the story.”

“There’s more?” Jack asked.

“Oh yeah, on the last day of the failed expedition, they were caught off guard by an unexpected fall storm, and Dax’s research vessel, Hunter’s Instinct, went down in very high winds and pounding seas.”

“No shit,” Jack whispered through a smile.

“Yep, and the really impressive thing is that he stayed on board until everyone was safely rescued, barely escaping with his own life.”

“The captain always goes down with his ship,” Jack said. “Not a new concept.”

“I still think it’s pretty impressive,” Mac added. “But once he was finally aboard the rescue boat, he swore, on camera, that he would get a new boat and he would continue his research until he found the wreck of the Sarah Maria.”

“Did he now?” Jack asked as his mind started to wander again. Did Powers want him to help them find the Sarah Maria?

Mac spoke again, “I know this is a stupid question after all that, but what’s this all about?”

“He just called me and wants to talk to me tomorrow morning about chartering the Lindsey C for as long as three months. And that’s who I thought was calling me back when you called.”

“No shit?” Mac said. “Certainly he doesn’t want you to take the Lindsey C to Cape Horn?”

“Who knows what the arrogant bastard wants?” Jack admitted.

“Wow, I can see that he really made an impression on you,” Mac said. “What did he do that has you in such a tizzy?”

Jack explained how their earlier conversation had started and abruptly ended.

Mac laughed and said, “They hinted in the documentary that he can be a little arrogant and somewhat difficult to work with.”

“We’ll just see how difficult he’ll be when he hears my price. The Lindsey C is my boat and I’m the captain, not Daxston Powers. And what in the hell kind of a name is Daxston anyway?” Jack asked.

Mac laughed. “Oh man, he’s in for it now. Give him hell, Jackie,” he urged.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Jack said.

“Okay, Jack. Gotta run, Brad’s waiting for me in the truck, but please give me a call after your meeting tomorrow morning. I’m dying to know what he has in mind.”

“Will do, Mac, and give my best to Brad.”

“I’ll do it. Bye, Jack.”

Mac hooked his phone back to his belt as he wondered if he should have mentioned to Jack that Dax was openly gay. Nah, he’ll figure it out sooner or later, and this could prove to be interesting.

He thought back to the many conversations he and Lindsey had had before she died, about how they thought Jack might be gay. He’d been married for a few months some fifteen years ago and would never talk about what went wrong. Since then, he’d not had anything close to a serious relationship, nothing more than a date here or there, and when he’d found out about Mac and Brad, he’d thrown a fit and threatened to never talk to Mac again. Eventually he’d come around, but not without some major coaxing. At the time, Mac was new to the lifestyle as well, and didn’t know the signs like he did now, but Brad’s gaydar was on high alert from the start, and Jack’s homophobia had only added to Mac and Brad’s speculations about his sexuality.

Yep, this could prove to be very interesting.

You can find more information at www.scottycade.com.

 

Treasure of Love by Scotty Cade Now Available – Contest Details

May 20, 2011

Hello All,

Scotty Cade here again.  I can’t believe my third novel Treasure of Love is being released today.  It seems like just yesterday that I was putting the finishing touches on my first novel Final Encore and now I have two more under my belt.  Go me!

But before I start telling you about my Treasure of Love, I want to hear from you.  This is the part I really like, contest time.  I’ll be giving away two electronic books and two paperbacks for the best blurb about what you consider to be your Treasure of Love and why.  It can be anything you hold dear to you like a significant other, a pet, a piece of jewelry from a lost loved one, or anything at all really, that holds a special place in your heart.

And to make this really fair, I’m going to call on fellow author and friend SJD Peterson, who also has a book coming out later this month at Dreamspinner Press called Lorcan’s Desires, to help me judge.  So have no fear, it won’t just be little ole me deciding who wins but you’ll get a woman’s perspective as well.

So with that said, it’s back to me, all about me, me, me, me.  J  Treasure of Love was so much fun to write.  I’m a certified diver and I’ve always dreamed of being on a treasure hunt.  And once I started writing, I knew that this was going to be really fun.  Because I wanted this novel to be fiction based on fact, I needed to find a shipwreck that had mystery surrounding it and was said to have treasure aboard, but was never found or salvaged.  During my many hours of researching shipwrecks, I found the perfect shipwreck on which to base the story, and much to my surprise, it was located in the Lynn Canal, in where else, Skagway Alaska.  For those of you who read Wings of Love, it was set in the Alaskan mountains at a place called Hiline Lake and Skagway is a very short flight away from Hiline Lake, so this book unnamed at the time, became Treasure of Love and the “Love” series was born.  Just as a tease, be on the lookout because there are two more in the series, Bounty of Love and Foundation of Love, which will be out before the end of the year.  God I digress.  But rest assured all the novels in the series are independent of one another, but have recurring characters and places that make the reader’s of the series feel comfortable and at home with familiar surroundings and characters.

So with all that said, here is the description.  And don’t go too far because I’ll have lots more posts throughout the day.

Treasure of Love

Hunky Alaskan dive master and charter boat captain Jackson Cameron is absolutely sure he’s straight until openly gay treasure hunter Dax Powers calls him and offers him the adventure of a lifetime: Dax and his sister Donatella have found the Anna Wyoming, a ship that went down during the 1889 gold rush on return from Skagway Island—very possibly carrying a fortune in gold.

But real treasure is never free, and this one comes with some heavily armed strings attached. Jack and Dax struggle to keep their small crew safe from a powerful threat while they fight against the attraction they feel for each other. Between the danger of the hunt, the risks in the dive, and the thrill of being lost in passion, Dax and Jack are going to have a hard time holding on to their treasure… and to each other!

You can find more information at www.scottycade.com.

Undercover Sins: excerpt (adult)

March 7, 2011

Lust clouded any reason. Ty groaned and grabbed Demetrius’s arm. Demetrius’s fingers wrapped around Ty’s now-erect member and, instead of pushing Demetrius away, Ty’s hand pulled. The involuntary reaction gave the opposite impression of what Ty wanted. “You need to stop.”

“Are you sure?” Demetrius whispered, slowly pumping Ty’s cock. “I like how ragged your breath became.”

Ty clenched his jaw and took a deep breath. Sleeping with a monster with the intention of capturing him was a far cry from falling victim to a lust that shouldn’t exist. “No, stop,” Ty forced out.

“I hadn’t expected you to deny your urges.” Demetrius slipped his hand free and took a step back. “At least your reaction was entertaining.”

Ty’s eyes shot open and found Demetrius’s grinning at him. “What are you saying?” He gasped, and Demetrius grinned larger.

“I’m toying with you.” Demetrius chuckled and stepped further back. “You aren’t able to control yourself around me. You should work on that; a pet shouldn’t desire his master.”

Ty took several breaths to calm down. Demetrius returned to the couch and to his position of lounging across the cushions. Anger replaced the heated blood, and Ty glared at Demetrius. The prick had seriously toyed with him. Ty could sulk away defeated or teach Demetrius he shouldn’t fuck with him. The game was dangerous, but Ty now had enough anger not to lose.

Ty walked to the couch and Demetrius smiled at him. “I won’t be finishing what I started,” Demetrius warned with amusement dancing in his tone.

Ty surprised Demetrius by straddling him. “I won’t be finishing either.” Ty pushed back the robe to unveil Demetrius’s half-erect member. “Were you excited by me or that juicer on the TV?”

Demetrius sat up just enough to grab Ty by his shoulders. “You’re stirring up bad waters, Ty,” he warned calmly, and Ty smirked.

“Someone who loves cats does not frighten me,” Ty mocked Demetrius as he took the member in his hand and slowly worked the length.

Purchase Undercover Sins from Dreamspinner Press. Paperback or ebook.

“Cowboys and IT-ians” by Xara X. Xanakas, in the ‘Riding Double’ Anthology

February 20, 2011

Blurb: Rancher Vidar Stendahl—known affectionately as “Whiner”—has a way of dealing with animals, but technology doesn’t cooperate with him. When his office computer crashes, a call to the “Dork Squad” brings Constantine Bagnoli—”Connie” to his friends—to Stendahl’s Stand, and a case of mistaken identity leads to a showdown they’d never have seen in the Old West.

Excerpt: The sky was threatening to open up any second, and the Hereford calf was still fighting, stuck in the mud along the creek bank. Once the rain started, the creek would fill up in no time. Whiner sat high in the saddle and slung his rope over his head, letting it loose on the front swing, neatly catching it around the neck.

“Ho, Fly!” He stopped the horse short, tied the end around the saddlehorn, and neatly dismounted in seconds. At six-foot-eleven, and over three hundred pounds of solid muscle honed on the range, he’d have no problem lifting the calf out of the mud, but he didn’t want the animal running off as soon as he was free. Dragging one massive gloved hand along the lead line, he carefully moved down the creek bank to the calf, talking to him in soothing tones, attempting to calm him down.

“Just what in the fuck did you think you were doin’ down here? Huh? Don’t you know you could get us both killed, you useless side of beef?” He cooed to the frightened animal just as lightning flashed across the sky and the rain started pouring down. “Shh. It’s okay, boy. Just calm it the fuck down so we can both get out of here and go the fuck home.”

Whiner reached the animal and started stroking his neck. The calf bucked and tried to rear away, eyes wide with panic as thunder clapped around them.

“It’s too late to make you veal and too early to make you spare ribs, so you better calm down,” he baby-talked, using his tone and his movements to soothe the calf. “I swear, I will leave your sorry ass down here and write you off my fucking insurance if you don’t settle down. And Bobby Joe, I see you up there. You could bring your lazy ass down here to help, you know.”

“I think you and Butterfly got it covered, Boss.”

“Sure we do, don’t we, meat?” Whiner asked the calf. He managed to work his long arms around the calf’s forelegs and haunches and lifted, working him out of the knee-deep mud. The calf kicked a couple of times and then was free on the firmer ground high on the bank, trying to scramble away. Butterfly stepped back and planted her hooves in the hard-packed dirt at the top of the ridge, pulling the calf back against the rope. Whiner started to follow the calf up, but his boot got stuck in the muck, making him lose his balance and fall into the slop, one clean white sock poking out of the bottom of his very dirty jeans. “Fuck!”

Butterfly whinnied, shaking her dark mane, and Bobby Joe laughed at his misfortune, not helping Whiner’s mood one fucking bit.

“You’re fucking fired, Bobby Joe!” He knelt down and started digging in the mud for his wayward boot. “Goddamn it!” He fished it out of the mire but slipped again and fell forward, covering his last clean spot in the sludge. He heard Bobby Joe’s cackle over the thunder and raised a glare up the bank toward him.

“Rode Hard, Put Away Wet” by Kate Sherwood, in the ‘Riding Double’ Anthology

February 20, 2011

Cowboys.  Sexy as hell, obviously, but kind of hard to write about, at least for me.  My characters like to talk, but the thing I like best about the cowboy ideal is that they’re laconic and stoic.  If I was going to write a cowboy, I wanted to make myself write a cowboy.

And them that don’t know him won’t like him and them that do
Sometimes won’t know how to take him
He ain’t wrong, he’s just different but his pride won’t let him
Do things to make you think he’s right.
(“Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”, by Ed and Patsy Bruce).

But that wasn’t quite enough.  Hell, I wanted to write a desperado.

Oh, you’re a hard one
But I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow.
(“Desperado”, by Glenn Frey and Don Henley.)

I wanted my guy to figure out that he needed to play the queen of hearts, and I wanted him to let somebody love him before it was too damn late!

And I also wanted to keep it short, because if I was given the opportunity, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from making the poor guy babble on like some character from Dawson’s Creek.  I knew I couldn’t do laconic long-term, but I hoped I might make it if I kept things short.

So, I wrote my first short story, “Rode Hard and Put Away Wet”.  I’m really pleased with it.  Some of my early readers encouraged me to expand it, and turn it into a novella or even a novel, but I didn’t trust myself.  I felt like I got it just right, as a short story – any longer, and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to start babbling.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think.  I’ll be in and out of the blog today, or I can be reached through my website at katesherwoodbooks.com.

Treasure of Love – Coming in May

February 11, 2011

I hope you enjoyed the Wings of Love excerpt and that it piqued your curiosity enough to want to read the entire story.  And…please if you do read it, I would love to get your feedback.

I alluded in a previous post to an early glimpse at “Treasure of Love”.  I never want to disappoint -  so here it is.

Hunky straight Alaskan charter boat owner and dive master, Captain Jackson Cameron (Mac Cleary’s former brother in law from Wings of Love) gets a very secret call from openly gay acclaimed treasure hunter Daxon Powers to charter his boat for six months. When they meet, Jack learns that Dax and his sister Donatella, while investigating another shipwreck, accidentally stumbled upon documents that elude to the location of the wreck of the Anna Wyoming. The Anna Wyoming went down in the Lynn Canal during the 1898 Klondike gold rush heading to Skagway Alaska from an unknown destination and is said to have been secretly carrying a purse of gold worth ten million dollars in today’s market.

Jack negotiates a deal that has him absorbing the expenses on the front end of the expedition and paying him a quarter of the take in the end.  Without knowing if this will pan out and not wanting to spend extra money on a crew, Jack reaches out to his close friend and former brother in law Mac Cleary and his partner Brad Mitchell (from Wings of Love) to crew for him on the charter, promising them a portion of his take.

The tension between Dax and Jack builds with each passing hour as they find themselves continually battling for the top position.  Things quickly change after one particularly nasty confrontation between the two men in front of the crew and Dona tells them to either act on their man crushes or stop being dicks to one another and get on with the expedition.

As the expedition continues, they locate the wreck and soon everything changes.  As the crew starts to explore the wreck and Jack and Dax explore their feelings for one another, they uncover more than they’d bargained for on both fronts.  They quickly realize their progress is being watched very closely and knowing now that they are not the only one’s looking for the wreck of the Anna Wyoming, they take extra precautions to protect themselves and the wreck.  Dax knows that no one else could have stumbled on those documents, which means someone leaked the private information shortly after the permits were granted.  Now he’s dealing with poachers, a corrupt state government, and God only knows who else.

As the expedition continues Jack and Dax embark on a steamy romance while they try and figure out what they’ve stumbled upon that could put everyone’s life in danger.  Can they keep their heads below water long enough to unravel the secret, recover the purse and protect the lives of the crew?

“Wings of Love” along with “Final Encore” are available at www.dreamspinnerpress.com, amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders and most independent gay bookstores. As always you can find me at www.scottycade.com, Facebook, and on Twitter. Coming soon, “Treasure of Love” in May, followed by  “Bounty of Love” and “Foundation of Love”.

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Scotty Cade

Wings of Love Excerpt

February 11, 2011

As promised here’s an excerpt from Wings of Love, my second book released today.

Renowned oncologist Dr. Bradford Mitchell sat hopelessly in the cold, sterile Seattle hospital room, clinging to the hand of the man he loved more than anything in this world, more than life itself. The man he couldn’t save—no matter how hard he tried—from the terrible cancer eating away at his body. As Jeffery Owen, his partner and lover of fifteen years, lay unconscious and seemingly peaceful, Brad watched him draw in and exhale short, steady breaths and listened to the constant blip-beep blip-beep blip-beep of the heart monitor, the only sign that Jeff was still alive.

He tried to remember happier times when their lives didn’t involve daily doctor’s appointments, harsh rounds of chemotherapy, and the many other experimental treatments he’d selfishly forced Jeff to endure. He tried to remember back to when Jeff was a healthy and strikingly handsome young architect with a client list envied by every other architect in his firm. A time when his own thriving practice, now sold, his research, and Jeff were all he needed in this world. They were happy and had the rest of their lives to look forward to.

Then that dreadful day came, with the news of stage four colon cancer. Their entire world was turned upside down in one day. After two years of fighting and enduring one experimental treatment after another, Jeff made the decision to stop everything. Brad had tried unsuccessfully to convince Jeff to keep fighting, but Jeff had had enough. Brad knew that the side effects of the treatments were probably worse than the effects of the cancer, at least early on, but he just thought that if they kept trying, something was bound to work. In the end, however, it was Jeff’s life and his decision, and like it or not, Brad had to accept it.

Everyone at the hospital knew Dr. Mitch and gave them as much privacy as Jeff’s medical needs would allow, which had been a blessing over the last couple of months. Before Jeff slipped into the coma, they’d had long hours just to be together and enjoy the time Jeff had left. Although Brad did his best to hide his breaking heart and grief, he knew Jeff was brutally aware of what he was going through. Jeff had once told him that if their positions were reversed, he couldn’t imagine how he would cope. Jeff had done the best he could to prepare and calm Brad, and to assure him that he was at peace with his decision. Jeff had also made him promise to go on with his life, to eventually accept the love and happiness that would surely come his way if he was open to it. He reluctantly promised, as he could never deny Jeff any request no matter how big or small, but he knew the promise was as empty as his heart. He couldn’t go on; he couldn’t imagine a life without Jeff, nor could he fathom falling in love again.

As Brad sat in the same uncomfortable hospital chair in which he’d sat for the last two and a half months, he didn’t feel anything but the empty world around him. Hand in hand and with his head on Jeff’s lap and his ear listening to as much as feeling his breaths, he noticed that Jeff’s breathing was becoming more and more unsteady and knew that his time on this earth was running out.

Suddenly, as if Jeff were forcing memories of happier times into Brad’s defeated body, events of their fifteen years together started to flash before his eyes. The smile on Jeff’s face when they moved into their first home together, that he had designed. How every Christmas morning Jeff made them wear goofy flannel pajamas and sit cross-legged around their Christmas tree, opening gifts. How funny Jeff looked at their Halloween party two years ago when he was in a wheelchair and insisted they dress up as Blanche and Baby Jane Hudson from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? How hot he looked in his scuba gear on their last diving trip to Bermuda. How happy and relaxed he was when they were on their yearly trip to Alaska. They’d had such a full, wonderful life, until …. They both thought they had a lifetime together, but fate had other plans. So here they were, Jeff unconsciously fighting for every breath and Brad not knowing which breath would be the last. God, how did it all come down to this and how will I ever survive?

Sensing that the end was near, Brad removed his shoes, climbed into the bed, slid his arm under Jeff’s neck, and held him close. For the first time since the diagnosis, his tears fell freely. Then the rise and fall of Jeff’s chest stopped, and the heart machine indicated a long, flat beep. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and calmly reached over and turned off the heart machine. Stone-cold silence.

With Jeff still in his arms, he gently kissed him on the lips and whispered, “So long, my love, rest well.” He got out of the bed, picked up his shoes, and backed away from Jeff’s bed, never taking his eyes off his lover. When he reached the door, he stood there for what felt like hours; finally he turned and opened the door to what was left of his life.

The next few days were a blur. Friends consoled him, surrounded him, and tried to feed him, but he was just going through the motions. The memorial service and burial were exactly as Jeff wanted, simple and sweet; their friends saw to that. But as he thought back, he couldn’t remember a single detail or anything he’d said or anything that had been said to him. All he remembered was seeing a coffin holding the other half of his empty existence.

When the services were over and he’d forced his friends to go home, he was finally alone in the house he and Jeff had lived and loved in. He looked around and immediately knew he couldn’t stay in this house any longer, at least not right now. Everywhere he turned, something reminded him of his love and his loss.

He spent the next three hours packing his clothes, and he placed four suitcases at the front door. He wanted to take something to remember Jeff, but what? He took one last look around and decided to take the picture of him and Jeff on one of their many vacations to Hiline Lake in the Alaskan mountains. They both loved the wilderness and especially this spot; they often referred to Hiline Lake as their spot. They looked so happy then, and that’s all he wanted to remember. He put his suitcases on the front porch, called a cab, and closed and locked the front door. He didn’t know if he would ever be back, but he knew where he was going.

“Wings of Love” along with “Final Encore” are available at www.dreamspinnerpress.com, amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel, Borders and most independent gay bookstores.  As always you can find me at www.scottycade.com, Facebook, and on Twitter. Coming soon, “Treasure of Love”, “Bounty of Love” and “Foundation of Love”.

Wings of Love – 2nd book out today!

February 11, 2011

I remember feeling so excited last November about the release of my first book “Final Encore” .  There’s only one first, so I really thought that I could never feel the same excitement about future books.  I was wrong – I’m every bit as excited about my second novel, “Wings of Love,” being released by Dreamspinner Press today. It’s the first in a series of novels with recurring characters.

The idea for “Wings of Love” came to me just as I was finishing up the edits for “Final Encore.”  I began thinking about what I would write next, and drew a complete blank  until 3 am one morning when I awoke from a sound sleep,  as the idea hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.   The story started to unfold faster than I could make notes! That was the end of that night’s sleep but the beginning of this and future books.

Once the characters started to take on a life of their own, as they seem to do, I immediately fell in love with them and wanted to know more.  And as you know, you can only have so many main characters in one novel and you can only fit so much information into two hundred or so pages so I decided to do my first series.  Book two of the series, “Treasure of Love,” is also completed and scheduled for release in May.  Book three, “Bounty of Love,” is well underway and is scheduled for release in August.

“Wings of Love” is about how devastated Dr. Bradford Mitchell is after losing Jeffery Owen, his partner of fifteen years to cancer.  He tries to escape the emptiness and loss by leaving his life in Seattle behind. Traveling to the Alaskan mountains where he and Jeff often vacationed, Brad reconnects with Mac Cleary, the ruggedly handsome and very straight float plane pilot who had flown he and Jeff to Hiline Lake many times.  Brad and Mac form an unlikely friendship and buy an old log cabin together. As the begin to bring the old cabin back to life, Mac watches Brad come back to life as well, stirring emotions in him he’s never felt for a man before.

When fear, confusion, and a near tragedy threaten to force the two men apart, they’ll face some tough questions. Can Brad let go of Jeff and the guilt he feels about beginning to  care for another man?  And can Mac deal with his fears of being gay and accept the fact  that he is in love with Brad? It will be a struggle for both men to keep their heads and hearts intact while exploring what life has to offer.

Stay tuned for an excerpt of “Wing’s of Love,” and just to tease you a bit, maybe I’ll even give you the storyline for “Treasure of Love.”

“Wings of Love” along with “Final Encore” are available at www.dreamspinnerpress.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and most independent gay bookstores.  And you can always find me at www.scottycade.com, Facebook, and on Twitter. Coming soon, “Treasure of Love” , “Bounty of Love” and “Foundation of Love”.

Contest!

January 12, 2011

Join me in celebrating the release of Tono the sequel to Loving Edits which will release on Friday 1/14/2011.  Anyone who comments on this post on either LJ, FB, or the DSP blog will be entered into the drawing for an e-book in the format of your choice. 

Here’s a short excerpt for your entertainment.

Paul picked up the mug and grimaced when he tasted the cold liquid.  “Yuck.” He nuked it for about a minute, and when he turned back toward the counter, he saw that Tono was staring.  The warmed coffee was good, but the tender look in Tono’s eye even better.  Paul sighed in satisfaction.

“¿Esta bueno?” Tono asked.

“Yes, it’s perfect,” Paul said, not really referring to the coffee.  He was basking in the look of love that was radiating from the Spaniard.  “Tono, there’s been a new development, I’m not sure you’re aware of.”

“Is this why you’ve been trying to reach me?”

“Yes.”

“What is it?”

“Mick wrote another novel I knew nothing about.”

I did.”

“You knew?”

Si. I was aware that he was writing another story.”

“Why the fuck didn’t you say anything?”

“I never meddled in his writing.  I read his manuscripts if and when he asked for my opinion.  He never asked me to read this one. In fact, I didn’t realize he’d completed it.”

“Well, he did finish it, and he’s left me specific instructions.”

“So what’s the problem?”
 
“The problem,” Paul explained,trying to rein in his impatience “is that he has certain stipulations we both have to agree with”

“Huh…”

“Yes.  That’s what I said before I read the manuscript.  It’s brilliant.”

“He was so talented,” Tono said proudly.

“That’s a given, Tono. Nonetheless, you may have issues with this book.”

“Why?”

“It’s a romance, a gay romance about three men in a relationship.”

“¿Que?”

“You heard me.”

“He wrote our story?” Tono’s voice rose in disbelief.

“He’s changed our names, the setting is completely different, and he’s made us years younger, so no one will link us to this novel.”

“Are you sure?  I have to read it.”

“I figured you would, so I brought a copy of the manuscript.  After you read it,  I’ll need your signature on the contract, and then we can get started.  This book will be huge.”

“Why do you need my signature?”

Paul sighed, now losing all patience.  “Because you were his partner, you have his power of attorney, and nothing can move forward without your approval.”

“I see.”

“Look, he wrote you a letter.  Let me go and get it.”

“What does it say?”

“I don’t know,” Paul blustered, “it’s addressed to you.”

“Oh, I thought you may have read it.”

“Give me some credit, will you?  I don’t open letters unless they’re mine. Besides,   I already know what he wants.”

“What’s that?”

“All proceeds from the book sales will go into a fund for artists suffering from ALS; a foundation, bearing his name, headed by you.”

“What?  I don’t know anything about this.”

“Apparently no one did but our darling, Mick.”

“That’s impossible.  He would have told me.”

Paul shrugged.  “Maybe he ran out of time.”

“I don’t want to head anything.  What do I know about foundations?”

“About as much as I do, which is nothing,” Paul admitted.  “We’ll find qualified people to help us.”

“Why me?”

“Mick had his reasons, but unfortunately, he neglected to share them.  Where were you when he was making all these plans?  How could you not be aware of what he was doing?”

“He didn’t tell me,” Tono snarled, pissed off by Paul’s allegation that he knew nothing about Mick.  “And what about you?  You’re his fucking publisher.  How come you didn’t know?”

“I don’t know, and now I never will.  Nonetheless, here’s the bottom line: we’re sitting on Mick’s last novel, fighting over trivia, when we should be moving forward.  Why don’t you just sign the papers, and we’ll get this over with.”

“I won’t sign anything until I’ve read my letter and the manuscript.”

“Christ.  How long will it take you?”

“Oh, am I on the clock again?  I’d forgotten what a time whore you are.”

“Fuck off.”

Tono chuckled.  “You know you’re anal about time.  Now where’s that letter?”

Paul sighed.  “I’ll go and get it.”  He had to fish it out of his briefcase, which he found on the sofa in the living room where he’d left it last night. When he got back to the kitchen, he was surprised to see that Tono had thrown on some running shorts, a T-shirt, and his athletic shoes.

“I’m going running, rubio.”  Tono took the letter from Paul’s outstretched hand, folded it in half, and stuck it in his back pocket.  “Make yourself at home.”

Paul stared in disbelief.  “Hey, wait a minute.”

“I’ll be back,” Tono smiled and walked out the door, leaving a sputtering Paul standing in the middle of the kitchen.  Regardless of the circumstances, his blondie was back, which made Tono ridiculously happy all of a sudden

Excerpt – Relationships 201 with Alix Bekins

December 13, 2010

A section of the first chapter is available at the Dreamspinner website, so here’s a bit from a little later on, to tease you…

IT’S hard to connect with Eric. Stephan texts him the next afternoon, asking what he’s up to. When Eric calls back he says he’s fine, if busy, and maybe they can get together on Friday if Stephan’s free. Of course he’s free; why wouldn’t he be? Like he’d go off and make plans for the weekend without his boyfriend? But instead of letting his irritation out, Stephan takes a deep breath and suggests they get together for lunch or something before then; after all, it’s only Wednesday.

There’s a pause. “I want to, but I’m just kind of buried in homework,” Eric says.

“We could study together,” Stephan offers, suddenly thinking about sex.

Eric laughs. “Yeah, because that worked out so well last time.”

“Hey! I can behave. You were just all stretched out on my bed and moaning and licking your fingers and stuff. A man has needs, Eric.”

His boyfriend snorts. “I’m actually a man too, remember? I know all about your needs.” There’s a pause and then Eric suggests, “How about the library or Student Center or something? If we’re in public, you can’t grope me.”

“I thought you liked it when I groped you,” Stephan pouts, his tone suddenly a little more bitter than he meant to be, as he realizes that it’s been a long time since they had full-on sex.

Luckily, Eric seems to miss it. “I do, just not when I’m studying. So, Student Center? They have those awesome fries…. And we can make some plans for the weekend, if you want.”

There is either something really off in this conversation, or Stephan’s having PMS, or… something. It’s like their words match up, but Stephan feels like they’re having two different conversations, and he has no idea why. They make a date for tomorrow afternoon and hang up before he remembers that he was going to tell Eric about his drink-slash-dinner with Jeff tonight. Ah well. It’s not like it’s a big deal; he’ll tell Eric about it when he sees him.

THE pub is dim and reeks of a few decades’ worth of smoke, despite smoking in bars having been banned in California for a while now. Jeff’s got a stack of papers in front of him and a half-eaten ploughman’s lunch at his elbow. Stephan throws his messenger bag onto the opposite bench and slides in, accidentally kicking Jeff as their feet tangle for a moment. It takes Jeff’s eyes a second to focus on him, but Stephan just grins and grabs the beer menu, checking to see if they have his favorite microbrew.

“You’re going to order the most expensive beer they have, aren’t you?”

“Maybe. I hear professors make actual money, unlike starving grad students,” Stephan points out. “Ooh, they have the Seabright Blur. That’s seven dollars a bottle.”

“So you just want me for my money?” Jeff teases, pushing his papers to the side.

Stephan blinks. “Uh.” He has no idea how to answer that without saying anything incriminating, and he can feel his heart rate double, so he looks down at the menu and says, “Hey, they’ve got Arrogant Bastard.”

“No kidding.”

The waitress saunters over, and Stephan grins at her. “What’s the most expensive localish microbrew you’ve got on tap?” He winks at Jeff in response to the older man’s groan, and the girl giggles. She sets him up with an Anchor Steam from San Francisco, and Jeff has her bring a pitcher of it, along with food menus.

“So, Arrogant Bastard, huh? Guess you’ll be expecting me to pick up dinner too.” Jeff looks more amused than put-upon, fortunately, and Stephan’s not above someone taking pity on his financial state. After all, he picks up the tab most of the time when he goes out with Danielle—so she won’t have an excuse not to eat—and also Eric—or at least Stephan did when he was working and Eric was in school. Scott and Billy frequently get Steph’s tab when he’s a student. Everyone sort of takes turns buying, depending on who has a job at the moment. It all works out in the wash.

Apparently Jeff’s in the circle now too.

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” Stephan says, wiggling his eyebrows. The waitress helpfully brings over the beer as he says it, and she does a little wiggle that makes her boobs bounce as she smiles.
“God, you’re all so damn young,” Jeff groans, and downs over half his pint in one drink.

“Nah, you’re not old; you’re just tired,” Stephan argues. “Long day? What’re you working on?”

“Lecture notes, mostly. It’s been a while since I taught the intro classes, but you know how it is. New faculty get the ones no one else will take.” He shrugs. “And it’s kind of fun, actually, even if the freshmen seem to get younger every year. But I was given a syllabus and outline just a few days before classes started, so I’m playing catch-up for a while, figuring out what I’m gonna say.”

Stephan nods in sympathy, and they spend a while bitching about classes and how disorganized the university administration is and then get into talking about research projects they’re both interested in. The beer helps, as always, getting ideas flowing, and soon it feels easy and comfortable to be hanging out with Jeff, as if Stephan’s known him forever. At the same time, there’s a little… spark or something, a feeling Stephan is totally going to attribute to the liquor and his apparent inability to stay sober.

Laughing, Jeff offers a steadying hand when Stephan lists to the left as he gets out of the booth. He guides Stephan out to the street and offers him a ride home. The bus always sucks when you’re drunk, so Stephan accepts; besides, they’re going to the same place anyway. He can walk home from Professorland, no problem. The night air’ll be good for him, he proposes, and Jeff laughs again. Stephan likes the sound of it a lot.

The car window is cool where he rests his head against it, and Jeff’s got some quiet music playing. They’re not talking, but it’s comfortable. He really likes Jeff. Like, more than a crush, maybe, but that’s stupid because it’s just a friend-crush anyway, even though he’s attracted to Jeff. The guy’s straight, after all, and it’s okay to have a crushy-type-thing on a mentor-slash-friend. It’s fine, right? Everyone has random crushes. It’s a little embarrassing, but it’ll probably wear off as he gets to know Jeff better.

Jeff pulls up to Grad Student Housing, and when did they get here, anyway? Stephan was totally going to walk. For a fleeting moment after he unbuckles his seatbelt, he thinks about leaning over in the car and kissing Jeff goodnight, wondering what the scratch of Jeff’s stubble would feel like on his mouth, what Jeff’s mouth would taste like. Then he opens the door, and the cool night air is like a refreshing slap across the face reminding him that he’s an idiot.

Only idiots let crushes get out of hand when they already have a totally awesome boyfriend. Only idiots have stupid crushes on their straight professors. Only drunk idiots jerk off thinking about their new friend’s dick.

Stephan’s kind of an idiot sometimes.