New Release! And a Plea: No Spoilers for THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

December 12, 2015

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I’m thrilled to introduce my newest book to you. THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR is a novel of breathtaking romantic suspense. It officially debuted on Monday, 7 December!

Inked Rainbow Reviews already gave it a rave review, saying, in part, “False identities, plot twists, close calls. They all add up to a book I couldn’t put down once I started. ” Read the whole review here.

Hope you’ll check out the blurb and the excerpt below and then grab your copy. I appreciate any word of mouth, but with this one especially, NO SPOILERS please! If you read THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, I will thank you very much for taking a chance on my latest book and I will ask–in the name of all that’s holy–please don’t reveal the #1 twist (near the middle of the book) and the #2 twist (near the end).

Things aren't always what they seem....

BLURB
With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leadsa simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.
Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

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EXCERPT

I open the front door, and that’s when everything changes. My life turns upside down. I go from bored discontent to panic in a split second.
The first thing I hear is someone shouting “No!” in an anguished voice. I look up from the lobby to see two figures on the staircase above, on the second-floor landing. One is a guy who looks menacing and so butch he could pose for a Tom of Finland poster. An aura of danger radiates from him. Aside from his imposing and muscular frame, he’s even wearing the right clothes—tight, rolled jeans and a black leather biker jacket with a chain snaking out from beneath one of the epaulets. His high and tight buzzed hair gives him a military—and mean—air. He has his hands on the shoulders of a guy who looks a bit younger and much slighter, making me want to call up the stairs, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” The smaller guy, blond and clad only in a pair of pajama bottoms, struggles with his attacker, looking terrified. Their movements, clumsy and rough, would be comical if they weren’t so scary. The smaller guy is panting and batting ineffectually at the bigger one.
“Please! No! Don’t!” the smaller guy manages to get out, his voice close to hysteria.
I have never seen either of these men before. In fact, the whole scene has the quality of the surreal, a dream. The danger and conflict pulsing down the stairs makes my own heart rate and respiration accelerate, causing feelings of panic to rise within me.
And then the worst happens. The big butch guy shoves the smaller one hard, and all at once he’s tumbling heavily down the stairs toward me.
The fall is graceless, and it looks like it hurts. It’s over so fast that I’m left gasping.
I look up to see the leather-jacket guy sneer down at his mate, lying crumpled and crying at my feet, and then turn sharply on his heel to go back into a second-floor apartment that had been vacant yesterday. He slams the door. The sound of the deadbolt sliding into place is like the report of a shotgun. Both slam and lock resound like thunderclaps, echoing in the tile lobby, punctuation to the drama and trauma of this short scene.
I switch into Good Samaritan mode and drop to my knees at the sniveling, crumpled mess of a man lying practically at my feet.

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NOH8Rick

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for CaregiverOrientationand The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction.  Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

Web: http://www.rickrreed.com
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed.
E-mail: jimmyfels@gmail.com

Yellow Streak Release Party, #3

November 13, 2015

CrisArt 3CrisArt12CrisArt 13

 

Above are pictures (courtesy of the fabulous CrisArt) of how I imagined Yancy and Curt (just reverse the hair colors). The jock and the geek come together for some snuggling, hug out their pains and sorrows, and encourage one another with a kiss (Yancy hopes to become a writer).

 

Below is a PG excerpt from Yellow Streak:

 

Curt shuffled his feet and toyed with the hem of his long-sleeved shirt. From that, plus the way his teeth worried his bottom lip, it wasn’t hard to tell he was extremely nervous.
I decided to put him at ease then and there in the hopes I’d learn what he wanted from me.
In a voice that cracked, I said, “I haven’t told anyone about you and me and what almost happened before the holidays. And I won’t tell anyone either. So if that’s all you came here for, now you know, and you can leave the way you came.”
I didn’t look at him, not even to glare. I might have been disappointed and more than a tad brokenhearted, but I wasn’t a mean person at heart. Sure, he’d kissed me and told me it meant something. But it’s not like he was the first guy to lie about stuff like that, to me or any other gay guy in the whole wide world.
So I stood there in front of the closed door like a statue, my arms crossed tight over my chest, my emotional equilibrium shattered, studying the rug on the floor like it held the answers to the mysteries of life.
“Yancy…,” Curt whispered. His voice broke too. But I had no idea what it meant. “I’m sorry. I should’ve called you. I just… I didn’t know what to say.” He huffed in exasperation—aimed at himself, I could tell. “Fuck, I still don’t.”
I went for the brave act. “It’s okay. I figured you might not wanna see me again. I remind you of your worst day. I warned you about that before, so I get it.” I feigned a smile, trying to project self-certainty and courage. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll see each other around campus and maybe in a few classes. But that’s the extent of it. We don’t have to be bosom buddies. Or even casual friends.” I nodded to convince myself more than him. “But, uh… I am glad to see you’re okay.”
With my (fake) polite mask in place, I moved out of his way so he could get back to the door without having to bump into me. Or even brush against me.
Because I still wasn’t looking at him, it took me a moment to notice that he hadn’t left the room, not passed by me, not so much as moved an inch.
Puzzled, I looked up at him. Curt had tears in his eyes.
My heart flooded with sympathy. My head told me he was manipulating me.
I had no idea which organ to trust.
“You’re right,” Curt said after a while. His typically low voice dropped further. “I did think you would remind me of… of that… thing I nearly did. I didn’t know how to handle it. Just the memory alone gives me nightmares. I was… scared.”
I exhaled deeply. As I had told him, I’d known this could happen, and I understood and forgave him for it. How could I not when he’d been trapped in such a dark place?

 

If you or anyone you know plans to commit suicide, please call or urge them to call a suicide hotlineNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline

———————

Susan Laine is an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBTQ erotic romance. Susan lives in Finland, where summers are wet and winters long. Thankfully, she’s kept plenty warm by the spark for writing, which kindled when Susan discovered the sizzling hot gay erotic romance genre. Trained as an anthropologist, Susan’s long-term plan is to become a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces, and friends in movie theaters, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include listening to music, watching action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life.

Susan Laine

Web: http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/
Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5221828.Susan_Laine/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.laine.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Laine_Susan
E-mail: susan.laine@hotmail.com

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Release Party: Yellow Streak by Susan Laine

November 13, 2015

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The absolutely stunning cover of Yellow Streak is by the talented AngstyG. The cover inverted the color theme of the first book in the series, Yellowbelly Hero.

Hi, everyone. My name is Susan Laine, and I’m here for the next couple of hours to chat with you, and especially my latest novella, Yellow Streak. It’s a contemporary M/M novella by Dreamspinner Press, but it’s also available in e-book formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

Here’s the blurb of Yellow Streak:

“Yancy Bell, a book geek with a bladder problem, saved the life of suicidal gay jock Curt Donovan. But when Curt returns to college after the Christmas holidays pretending he doesn’t know Yancy, warning bells go off.

Has a frightened Curt decided the safety of the closet is preferable to coming out? A remorseful Curt comes knocking on Yancy’s door in the dead of the night. Yancy wants to help Curt find the courage to proudly be himself and pursue his dreams, but first Curt needs to come to terms with his past acts. Yancy can only hope their reunion ends in light, not darkness.”

As you can tell from the blurb, the series deals with issues of youth suicide, depression, and coping with coming out and following one’s dreams. More on that later. For now, I have a question for you: What kind of issues in your life or the lives of those close to you have caused depression and dark thoughts? You can generalize or theorize, if you wish, so no need to go into specifics if the topic is too close for comfort.

There will be a giveaway of an e-book copy of Yellow Streak, or any other book on my backlog. I’ll talk more about that later as well. For now, enjoy :)

Here’s the book link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7062
Here’s the link to my website: http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/

What’s that word? with Xara X. Xanakas

September 10, 2015

You’ve got your outline done, your story plotted out, and you’re ready to start flushing out the story. You sit down at the keyboard (or grab your pencil, or your fountain pen, marker, or crayon – whatever you choose to use), and you start writing. The words are flowing, except there’s one tiny problem; they’re all the same words. Well, not all the same words, but you find yourself repeating certain words. And that’s all you can see when you look back over your work. No worries, you can just pop on over to Thesaurus.com and replace some of the instances.

But surf around a while and you’ll find there’s a lot more help out there for getting unstuck over word choices.

The Writers Helping Writers site has several online thesauruses, including help describing those tricky emotions, settings, and character traits.

We all know the very colorful Urban Dictionary for more interesting expressions, but there’s also the Online Slang Dictionary and the Double-Tounged Dictionary.

Wondering if what you’re writing makes any sense? Try checking out the Skeptic’s Dictionary, which delves into “definitions, arguments, and essays on hundreds of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions.”

Google Translate can help when you aren’t quite as fluent in another language as you wish you were. But its predecessor Babelfish is still around, too. And of you’re stuck for just the right words for your Downton Abbey fanfic, here’s a table with British to American translations.

Because if there’s anything I understand, it’s how getting stuck can bring your momentum to a grinding halt.

Now, go forth and conquer. (As in defeat, or trounce, or master. Not masturbate in an unusual places. But then again, if it helps, have at. Don’t let me stop you.)

~xXx~

Louise Lyons – Beautiful Thunder characters

August 31, 2015

My final post of the night. Who wants to know more about Alex and Lindsey from Beautiful Thunder? We all know they’re young pretty guys living in the early 1990s and they love rock music, but what else can I tell you?

Alex Randall is 22 years old, living in a maisonette (a two-story apartment) in a decent area of Nottingham. He has a sister Anna, ten years older, who’s a nurse. Their parents died when Alex was fourteen, leaving a small fortune which means that neither Anna nor Alex needed to work if they didn’t want to. But Anna’s a loving, caring woman who always wanted to help people, hence her career choice. Admittedly Alex hasn’t done much with his life prior to the start of the story. He spends his life singing in front of his mirror, dreaming about being a star, dressing up and going to the club, Rock City, and picking up one girl after another to the extent that he can’t remember their names. Of course he hasn’t met Lindsey yet!

Picture Alex, long dark hair, brown eyes, tall and slim, usually clad in leather pants, cowboy boots and a fancy shirt. He’s not much into the makeup wearing “thing” but he’ll go for a bit of “guy-liner” at a push. He pores over the local music press every week looking through the ads for bands who want singers, but so far he’s not found anything remotely suitable. Until Chapter 1 of Beautiful Thunder where he discovers the ad from the River Rats asking applicants to “call Lindsey”.

Alex scores an audition and goes to the drummer’s house. Mark Short, nicknamed Shorty, lives with his parents and uses the garage for rehearsing. The other musicians meet up at Mark’s house for practise.

Bass player, Ricky Wade, and Mark are both instantly friendly and welcoming to Alex. But guitarist Lindsey seems standoffish and arrogant – an act covering up his shyness.

Lindsey is blond (long haired of course), hazel eyed, and slim, with piercings, tattoos, and a heart-breaking past. He’s a natural guitar player, barely looking at the strings when he plays and there are times in the story when Alex watches him play and feels like he’s watching a real star, despite the fact that none of them have ever played a stage bigger than the one in Rock City.

Lindsey is the typical glam-rock boy, with his spandex pants, silk shirts, nail polish, makeup, and jewellery, but he’s tough with it, having had to fight in school to survive bullies.

Lindsey’s parents threw him out of the house when they discovered he was gay, leaving him alone to fend for himself in the city at just 16 years old. But he survived and now he works in a record store, behind the counter selling records and occasionally deejaying upstairs in the store. He’s a couple of years younger than Alex and in a relationship with a character called Steve, who crops up briefly on a couple of occasions in the story. He doesn’t make Lindsey happy and that’s all I’m saying!

Lindsey lives in a rough part of town, struggles to make ends meet, and holds his cards close to his chest. He doesn’t like to ask for help, even when he’s in desperate need of it, but luckily he has three good friends in Alex, Mark, and Ricky, who look out for him. When he eventually opens up to Alex and the pair begin dating, they keep it a secret from the other two guys, even though they already know Lindsey’s gay. Despite his feelings for Lindsey, Alex is still afraid to commit and worried about being with a man. With him dragging his feet and Lindsey’s shyness giving way to a volatile nature and temper, they struggle to move forward together.

The cover of Beautiful Thunder depicts Lindsey on stage, a scene from later in the story where Alex isn’t performing, but looks up at Lindsey and sees not only the man he loves, but also someone he admires – a star.

So, that’s my boys. I hope you like the sound of them and check out their story. Beautiful Thunder is available as eBook and Paperback of course.

AMAZON

I’ll be drawing the winner of the competition tomorrow so if you’re reading these posts after I’m gone, it’s not too late to comment and enter on THIS POST

And that’s all from me. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts and if you’d like to find out more and keep in touch, please look me up on my social media pages:-

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

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Louise Lyons – history of my writing

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, it’s still Louise.

Some of you may have heard a little of how I started writing from my author bio, but it’s only brief. So here’s how it all started.

nana and meWhen I was a very little girl, my Nana (grandmother, pictured above with me aged 3) used to stay at mine and my parents’ house for a few days every Christmas. We didn’t have a spare bedroom so she slept on the couch and early in the mornings I’d go and wake her up, then sit under the blanket by her feet while she told me fantasy stories. I’m sure that was one of the main things to spark my imagination, as well as the fact that writing runs in the family, with my mother being a published poet.

From storytelling as a young child, I progressed to writing short stories from around age 8, using my mum’s old manual typewriter, one letter at a time. It started with little girls and ponies (I was a keen horse rider), and developed into very basic MF romances in my early teens. I won a writing competition in my English class at school when I was 12, and had the mortifying moment of being called up on stage in the drama hall to receive my prize. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t speak and just stood there laughing!

After a friend showed me the British gay romance movies, My Beautiful Laundrette, starring Daniel Day Lewis, my cheesy MF romances developed into MM romances, usually featuring my favorite rock stars – my own version of Fanfiction before I’d ever heard of it. Of course, no one ever saw these stories except me and I never dreamed of trying to publish anything at that stage.

My writing was pushed aside for a few years when I got married, as my husband and I traveled a lot and I read instead of putting pen to paper. But it soon resurfaced when I accidentally stumbled upon Fanfictions based on Once Upon A Time n Mexico, a movie I loved at the time. I wrote a couple of my own, then branch into other fandoms such as Predator, Dr. Quinn, True Women and eventually… *cough* Twilight. Yes, I love Twilight and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Nor am I ashamed of the fics I wrote based on it, because if it hadn’t been for my loyal readers and fellow writers of that fandom, I wouldn’t have made an effort to submit something to a publisher. Several of my friends gave me a bit of a kick up the proverbial and encouraged me to try and be an original published writer.

The rest, as they say, is history. Beautiful Thunder is my fourth published novel, and there are four short stories and two novellas in between. Hopefully many more to come.

You can find all of my current works on my LOUISE LYONS AMAZON page.

If you’re a writer, how did it all start for you? If you’re a reader, what draws you to a book the most?

Louise Lyons – new release Beautiful Thunder and current works

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, Louise Lyons still on the blog.

A few people have asked me lately what I’m currently working on, now that Beautiful Thunder has taken its first step out into the world.

Well, firstly I’ve been working on edits for a novella entitled Finding Beck and have just received the cover art for it. It’s set in the same time period as Beautiful Thunder (the 1990s) but is based in my old hometown, Grimsby and Cleethorpes (the two are merged together), in the UK. I used to go to another rock nightclub called Jezebels who had a rock night on Fridays, and my main character, Martin Lynch, meets his love interest Beck in that club. The pair quickly fall for each other, but worry about the potential reactions of Martin’s housemate Graham, and both sets of parents. Some responses are better than others! You can expect to see this available around the middle of October.

I’m also working on a full length novel set in Prague, another city I’ve visited. The book is entitled Cervena, which is “red” in Czech and is the name of a strip/dance/cocktail club owned by main character, Joel Jones, an Englishman who has lived in Prague for ten years. He discovers a young homeless Russian boy named Sasha, offers him a job as a dancer, and quickly develops a strong attraction to Sasha. But their new relationship is fraught with obstacles including the death of Joel’s mother in London, betrayal by his business partner, Karel, and threats from someone to whom Karel owes a substantial amount of money. Joel is convinced he will lose Sasha one way or another, and has to decide what is most important to him – Cervena or Sasha.

This story is about four chapters away from being finished so I’m hoping to wrap it up in the next month.

I also have my first sci-fi romance in the pipeline. Regeneration was written during NaNoWriMo last year and finished during the month following. Kim Fortune is the only survivor of a new type of enhanced human in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, far in the future. Having escaped the lab where he was created, he spends the first few years of freedom as an explorer, until he runs into a more successful member of his species – Christian Novak. Christian is everything Kim was supposed to be, but didn’t quite make the grade in, and he’s envious, confused, and insanely attracted to Chris. There seems no hope for them in the war-torn galaxy and Kim is convinced Chris will never feel anything for him – until Chris risks his life to rescue Kim from imprisonment after a crash landing on an inhospitable planet.

I’m reworking some of the story after advices from readers, and hope to submit this later in the year.

I have two other ideas in note form – a contemporary romance between two ex-jailbirds, and a paranormal romance featuring the ghost of a broken-hearted man who took his own life, so I have lots going on, which will hopefully all see the light of day during the next year.

But for now, Beautiful Thunder is my book of the moment. You can read another excerpt on my blog, during which Alex goes for an audition with Nottingham, UK band, the River Rats, and meets his love, Lindsey, for the first time. Click the link below.

Louise Lyons Blog

 

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons – giveaway

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, Louise here. I’m giving away one eBook from my backlist to one lucky winner!

You’ve all heard a little about my new release, Beautiful Thunder, on the previous two posts. Alex and Lindsey, a singer and guitarist in a struggling rock band in the 1990s, fall in love despite many obstacles, including fears of commitment, a health scare, trust issues and difficulties in the band.

What difficulties have you overcome to be with the one you love? Everyone who comments on this post to answer the question, will go into a random draw to choose one of my previous eBooks.

The books available to choose from are:-

Conflicted

Cover art finalisedTwo competing gangs of car and drag racing enthusiasts with a shared history of pain and rivalry leading to outright hatred. Two men from opposite sides of the tracks, yet with more in common than they’d like to admit.

Paul Appleton is a troubled man who has never been in a relationship, having lost everyone he cared for in his life. His mother died when he was very young and subsequently, he lost his brother and his best friend. Now Paul is convinced love will always end in tears.

Greg was living on the streets after his parents died and was stabbed by a junkie, ending up in hospital. The Buchanans took Greg under their wing while doing charity work, and Greg joined their loving family when he was adopted. He and his siblings are also car enthusiasts with much more money and therefore better cars than Paul Appleton’s gang.

When they eventually find a connection, Paul fights his feelings and tries to convince himself his lover is only a temporary bit of fun, but Greg has other ideas.

The Eye of the Beholder

Final cover artVince Voss is obsessed with physical beauty. Influenced by his aunt, with whom he runs a modeling business, he has become unfeeling and cruel. Vince’s mother, who was a witch in life, returns to show him a better way to live. She casts a spell to take away his good looks and he finds himself challenged with searching for someone to love him, without the use of physical attraction.

Vince eventually meets a lonely male vampire, Peter, and despite his reluctance to get involved with him, he decides to use Peter to help him lift the spell. Little does he know that at first, Peter is using him too, and he finally realizes what’s really important when he falls for Peter along the way.

Beyond The Scars

Beyond the Scars final coverAfter years of physical and mental abuse, Tommy Chadwick finally finds the strength to leave Colin, his tormentor. But Tommy soon finds that escaping his violent boyfriend was only the first step on his path to recovery. Now he must overcome feelings of worthlessness in order to rebuild his battered self-esteem.

Tommy’s lack of self-confidence prevents him from going out… at first, but then has him ricocheting from one man to another, desperately trying to please them in his search for love and acceptance.

After being rejected on New Year’s Eve, and then beaten after leaving the gay bar, he agrees to accompany his best friend, Sarah, to a martial arts club. There Tommy meets Marcus, a strong older man, who at first becomes his friend, introducing Tommy to new interests, and later, tentatively asks him on a date.

Will Marcus be the man to help Tommy put his past behind him and fall in love for real?

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons – excerpt

August 31, 2015

Hi everyone, it’s Louise here again. In this post, I’m giving you a little taster of Beautiful Thunder.

In the excerpt below, Alex and Lindsey kiss for the first time after Alex blunders into a gay club in an effort to avoid being seen by Lindsey in the street.

……………………………………………..

“I, um, I came in by mistake.” I hoped the lack of light in the club would disguise my red face. My cheeks felt as if they were on fire. Avoiding his eyes, I let my gaze drift down over his white ruffled shirt—the same one he’d had on that time in Rock City.

“Right. First you can’t make band practice because you’ve caught my fictitious flu, and now you’re in a gay club by accident?”

I groaned. “Yeah, I lied about being sick. I’m an idiot. I came in here because I saw you down the street and I didn’t want you to see me and realize I lied.”

Lindsey frowned. “Why lie? Why not just say you can’t make it? Presumably you were going out to pick up a girl.”

“I’m sorry.” I couldn’t tell him the truth—that I hadn’t wanted to face him—and the only other option was to let him think I’d let the band down in favor of getting my rocks off. “It won’t happen again. What are you doing in here, anyway?”

“I come in here every couple of weeks. I was intending to catch up with some friends.”

“So you skipped practice too?” I raised an eyebrow.

“I didn’t skip. Mark rang me and said you were ill and asked if I wanted to practice anyway. We decided to leave it and have a longer session tomorrow instead, with or without you.”

“Sorry,” I repeated. I took a long gulp of my beer. “I told Mark I’d caught your flu. Stupid, I know. I wasn’t thinking. I’ll get out of here in a minute. I don’t want to cramp your style.”

“I’m not looking for a bit of fun, Alex,” Lindsey snapped. “We don’t all get off with some random stranger every other night.”

“Nor do I. Not for a while.”

“But you don’t date. I doubt you can even remember the name of the last girl you were with.”

He was right, I couldn’t remember, and I covered it up by trying to sound annoyed. “Why are you having a go at me? Because you think I’m a slut? Or because I lied about being ill?”

“Neither. I’m sorry. I’m going to get a drink.”

I stayed where I was as Lindsey went to the bar and engaged in a chat with someone while he waited to be served. He shook hands with the other man and then leaned on the bar and talked to the barman. Eventually, he returned to me, carrying a bottle of Bud.

“I’ve nearly finished this.” I indicated my own bottle. “Then I’ll go.”

Lindsey nodded and sipped his beer. He didn’t speak, and I fiddled with my bottle, trying not to stare at him. He looked good as usual, and for once he wasn’t wearing makeup. His jeans were so tight, he probably had to use a shoehorn to get into them. I couldn’t stop myself imagining us in various scenarios—dancing like the two guys a few yards away, kissing like the pair nearby who were still at it. Would Lindsey even be interested in me?

I didn’t know how long we stood there not talking. Lindsey interrupted my thoughts with a muttered curse, and I looked up. “What’s wrong?”

“Steve’s here.”

“Where?”

“The dark-haired bloke who just came in. The one in the red shirt.”

I looked toward the door and spotted the man Lindsey had described. His collar-length hair framed a rugged face, and his muscular body indicated he worked out regularly. I had no idea what Lindsey’s type was, but I hadn’t imagined him going for someone like that. The man looked like he had a lot of power to put behind a punch. I put my bottle down on a nearby table and clenched my fists. “Do you want to leave?”

“No, I’m going to speak to him. I’m sick to death of jumping out of my skin whenever someone rings me or knocks on the door.”

“I could talk to him.”

Lindsey shook his head. “Don’t interfere, Alex. Stay here.” He put his drink on the table and strode away from me. I watched, grinding my teeth, as he halted close to Steve and spoke to him. Sweat stuck my shirt to my back. I knew nothing about Steve other than that he’d hurt Lindsey, and I wanted to go over there and punch the man’s lights out.

The pair talked for a few minutes, Steve gesturing in what looked to be an effort to placate Lindsey. At least he didn’t look as if he was about to hit him. Lindsey kept shaking his head, and at one point he glanced over his shoulder in my direction and jabbed a thumb at me. I wished I could hear what they were saying. Steve shrugged and nodded. He stayed where he was as Lindsey came back to me.

“What…?” I began.

“Do me a favor, I’ll explain later, just kiss me,” Lindsey said, his words almost running into each other in his haste.

I didn’t have time to think or question. I cupped his face, then slid my hand into his hair as I drew him closer. He rested his hands on my chest, and his lips parted as they met mine. I closed my eyes and caressed his lips, and I was instantly reminded of Joey’s kiss. Lindsey’s lips were firm but soft at the same time, and he wasn’t gentle and delicate like a girl. He kissed back hard and crushed my lips against my teeth. I wasn’t sure what he wanted from me, but it was obviously meant to be a show for Steve. I slid my arm around his waist and pulled him tighter against me. I didn’t care if he felt I was getting hard. My pulse raced, and I trembled with a combination of excitement and fear. Deepening the kiss, I stroked my tongue over his, and his tongue bar clicked against my teeth as he responded. I groaned and wondered if Lindsey heard it. He was bound to have felt the effect he was having on me by now. My rock-hard cock was trapped against his thigh.

Lindsey broke the kiss and turned his face into my neck. Warm puffs of breath fanned my skin, and he continued to hold on to me as he spoke quietly in my ear. “He wanted me back. He kept apologizing for hitting me. I told him to fuck off and that I’m with you. He seemed to accept it.” He pulled away at last and put a few inches between us. “Sorry about this. It was pretty childish, rubbing his nose in it, but….” He shrugged, then lifted his gaze to mine and grinned. “Anyway… I didn’t expect that reaction from you. Is there anything you want to tell me?”

My face heated up, and I lowered away. “I, um, you took me by surprise,” I muttered.

…………………………………………..

Beautiful Thunder is available both as eBook and in paperback, and of course you can get these direct from Dreamspinner Press, as well as the usual online shops.

Louise Lyons on DSP

Beautiful Thunder coverLouise Lyons logo

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons

August 31, 2015

Hello everyone, I’m Louise Lyons and I’m taking over Dreamspinner Press’ blog for the evening to talk about my brand new novel, Beautiful Thunder, released today, August 31.

Beautiful Thunder cover

First of all, a big thank you to everyone at DSP who read, edited, gave me pointers etc. This is my second novel with DSP, almost exactly a year after the first one (Conflicted was released on August 20, 2014). The gorgeous cover was designed by the talented Maria Fanning.

Anyway, what would you like to know? How about I start with what inspired me to write Beautiful Thunder?

First you should know the story is set in the early 1990s, in the rock music scene, in the city of Nottingham, UK.

Nottingham has a well known nightclub called Rock City, which was established in the 1980s and is still popular today. I spent many a night there in the 1990s and 2000s either clubbing or seeing bands. Many up and coming rock bands wanted Rock City and London’s Marquee to be on their tour lists and I saw a lot of my favorites at Rock City.

Back in the early 1990s at that club, it was often difficult to tell who was male and who was female. Men wore just as much makeup as the women, and all backcombed their hair to within an inch of its life, rattled with jewellery, belts, spurs and so on. That “era” was a big part of my life and from time to time I’ve written short stories based around the club and the time period, but never really thought of doing anything serious with it. Then after my first year as a “real” author the idea for Beautiful Thunder came to me – hot, sexy, “pretty” guys in makeup, spandex pants, frills and ruffles, and cowboy boots, and even better – guys who sing and play guitar.

My main character, Alex Randall, is based on one of the many guys I came across at rock concerts and rock nights at the club. He fancies himself as a singer and although he’s had no experience, he’s convinced all he needs is to score an audition and eventually he finds an ad in the local music press from a band needing a singer – a band influenced by the likes of Motley Crue, Kiss, and Poison. At Alex’s audition he meets Richard “Lindsey” Lindstrum, the very gorgeous blond guitarist who quickly ties Alex in knots.

Alex “dabbled” with best friend Joey, when he was in school, but quickly panicked when he found out Joey was gay and not just experimenting. But Alex never really forgot that moment, despite spending the next few years jumping from one girl to another, never having a relationship longer than three weeks, scared of commitment and determined to stay free as long as possible. But when he meets Lindsey, his memories of Joey come flooding back and in his mind the words “hot” and “beautiful” are quickly applied to Lindsey, much to his confusion.

As I’ve said, the 1990s rock music scene was my “thing”. What was yours? What time in your life really stuck out, whether because of the music, or the places you went, or who you were with at the time?

You can find Beautiful Thunder HERE