Thank you for coming

September 13, 2010

I really appreciate those visiting me today. I hope you found it interesting and fun. I’ll be coming back through here and checking the comments for any personalizations I might have missed until noon tomorrow. I’d love to hear what you thought of the excerpts, and hopefully I can do this again someday.

I’m signing off for now. Have a lovely evening. :-D

Home excerpt #3 (Adult)

September 13, 2010

Here’s the last excerpt of the evening.

Coming home to a quiet, mostly dark house, Alec knocked on Eli’s bedroom door. “Eli, we need to talk.” There was no sound from within the room, and he feared Eli had already gone to bed for the evening. He sighed, resting one palm against the door, and whispered, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Beginning to feel more of his soccer workout, he slowly made his way up the stairs to his room. With every few steps, he practiced what he would say to Eli tomorrow about his moving out—his reasons, his hopes, and his desires. He opened his door and flicked on the light.

“Holy shit!” he gasped, stumbling backward into the doorframe. “Eli! What the fuck?”

Eli chuckled. “Sorry I startled you.” He sat in the chair closest to the door but got up and quickly crossed to Alec. “I had gone to bed, but I couldn’t sleep, so when I heard Ilsa turning in for the night, I snuck up here to wait for you instead.”

Alec’s racing heart began to slow, recapturing a more steady rhythm. “Y-you… didn’t have to. I don’t like the idea of you coming up here on your own like that.”

“I was careful.” He stepped closer. “I took my time.” Eli pressed his hand to Alec’s heart. “You were gone so long.” He kissed Alec lightly and tucked a stray lock of hair behind his ear, “I began to worry.”

“I was at Mira’s—talking.”

“About—”

“About several things.” He reluctantly moved away from Eli. His proximity was making it difficult to think clearly.

Eli didn’t follow. He remained by the door as Alec sat on the bed and removed his shoes.

“Did it help?” he asked, and Alec looked up at him questioningly. Eli leaned on his cane and hugged himself with the other arm. “The talking, I mean?”

Alec dropped one shoe. “Yeah, I think it did.” He smiled, remembering his friend’s advice. “Mira has a way of cutting straight to the heart of things.” He dropped the other shoe. “I don’t agree with her view on everything,” he said, “but she made some good points.” He looked Eli up and down as he stood there, just out of reach. He could get it all out now or…. “Coming to bed?”

“You want me to?”

Puzzled, Alec paused in removing his T-shirt. “Of course I do.” He smiled and pulled the shirt off over his head.

Eli grinned broadly, quickly shedding his shirt and sweatpants and revealing nothing but a firm, ripped body—a slight body, lightly dusted with dark hair and marked by those oh-so-familiar scars, the scars that inevitably led back to Bennett.

“You know, I wasn’t snooping or anything, but I noticed your football togs in the floor from earlier.” Staring at Eli, Alec’s mouth had gone dry, and he was having trouble thinking. “Alec?”

“Huh? Oh, yes… football.”

Eli took a couple of steps closer. “They were fairly grimy for someone just watching training.” Alec didn’t say anything. He only licked his bottom lip and nodded. Eli smiled and came within touching distance. Alec’s hands automatically shot out, taking hold of Eli’s hips and pulling him closer, within the circle of his legs.

Eli was already half-erect, but as Alec kneaded his bottom and pressed his face against his chest, suckling each nipple, Eli quickly responded, and his rigid cock was soon bumping Alec’s chest. Alec moved to take Eli in his mouth, but Eli stopped him, grabbing his hair roughly and pulling his head back. “You played today, didn’t you?”

They searched each others’ eyes for several moments, and then Alec grinned. “Yeah, I did. What of it?”

Eli’s expression softened. “You must be exhausted,” he whispered, gently stroking Alec’s face. He tossed his cane against the wall by the headboard, and steadying himself with Alec’s help, he carefully got on his knees, pushing Alec’s legs farther apart. Alec shivered as Eli’s hands slowly traveled up his thighs. I know what you’re doing. Eli’s hands stopped when they reached his belt, undoing it. I know what you’re trying to do, and I don’t care.

Eli paused before unzipping his jeans, cupping Alec through the material and squeezing a delicious gasp out of him. Each held the other’s gaze as Eli opened the jeans, and Alec lifted himself off the bed a bit to shimmy them off to his ankles. Alec grinned drunkenly when Eli’s fingers closed around him, freeing his stiff cock from his shorts.

“How eager it is,” Eli said when it sprang into view.

Home contest #2

September 13, 2010

Since the first contest was for everyone to take a crack at, this second one is only for those folks who have read the first book.

What is Eli’s middle name?

First person to post the right answer in the comments section, wins the eBook off their choice, my treat. And if you can tell me what possessed his mother to give him that name, you’ll get an electronic copy of one of my short stories.

Good luck!

Home excerpt #2 (PG)

September 13, 2010

Excerpt

Eli sat up on the bed, rubbed his eyes, and yawned. He held his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes and glanced at the clock face. Bollocks! He was running behind everyone else, so he quickly scrounged up some sweatpants and a T-shirt, grabbed his cane, and then went into his bathroom to splash some water on his face.

Looking in the mirror, he tried to recall the dream he’d been having. He smiled, realizing it had been about his and Alec’s first time. But even as the edges of the dream began fading and blurring, he clung to the memory of that walk the two of them had taken in the freezing November air and the heat they’d generated in bed that night. Something had happened after, later that night, but it skirted away from him as he tried to catch the memory.

He went back into his bedroom to slip on some shoes and smiled at the sunshine and fresh April breeze pouring through his window. The sounds of activity outside reminded him that the others had been up for some time already. Tony and Lyle were moving out today, and he didn’t want to miss their send-off.

Reaching the front doorway of the house, Eli cringed as he watched Alec and Dray preparing to lift a bureau into the rented truck.

“Ready?”

“Lift with your legs.”

“One, two… lift!”

“This cannot be good for my back,” Dray said as he straightened up and walked backward, bearing his half of the weight. Alec remained on the ground, lifting the bureau above his head.

Convinced he could hear Alec’s muscles screaming, Eli bit his bottom lip, fearing permanent damage to his man. He smiled. My man. Alec’s shirt was wet at the pits and chest, with sprinkles of moisture on the back, and his dark hair hung stringy and dripping on his head. After the bureau’s four feet were firmly on the truck’s bed, Alec hopped aboard and helped Dray carry it deeper in and secure it for the trip to their friends’ new flat.

The two of them were out of sight for only a few moments, but it was long enough for Eli’s suspicions of what Dray might be trying with his boyfriend to nearly flare into action. He stopped himself. He trusted Alec, and they’d obviously been working together for hours without his supervision.

Still, he fidgeted uncomfortably as he waited. I forgot you were going to be here, Mr. Jenkins. Dray had been pursuing Alec relentlessly since meeting him at their annual Last Blast campout the year before.

The two men reappeared, Alec looking no worse for wear, and he hopped deftly to the ground and grabbed a bottled water, while Dray remained above, leaning against the inside of the truck and chatting amiably to him.

Panting from the exertion—or, as Eli suspected, for show—Dray stared down at Alec like a starving man looks at a cheeseburger with the works. Eli glanced at his boyfriend and knew he didn’t see it. Alec looked at Dray, at his casual body language, at his easy, relaxed demeanor, and saw only that. Eli’s eyes narrowed as he watched Dray. He doesn’t feel you watching him from the tall grass, you arrogant tosser.

“You stare any harder at Dray, and he’ll burst into flames,” Ilsa whispered in Eli’s ear, startling him.

“I’m… n-not.” Eli fought hard not to blush, but it didn’t work.

Ilsa eyed him skeptically. “Riiiight. And I’m not an ample, sexy sistah from Louisiana.” Eli smiled against his will. “Finish this for me,” she said, passing him a mug of hot coffee as she dug her keys out of her pocket. “There’s iced tea in the fridge, if anyone wants any. And there’s casserole left over from last night.” She kissed him on the cheek. “See you tonight.” She skipped down the front stairs and went to her car. “I hope they keep the party going until we get there, because I’ll be too tired to start it up again when I arrive.” She dropped behind the wheel and was gone before Eli remembered to wave.

He sipped the coffee and returned his attention to Alec and Alec’s stalker. Dray gripped the top of the truck with both hands, stretching, elongating his perfect torso and giving Alec an eyeful. A fine sheen of sweat coated his dark skin, most notably his shaved head, as he continued to smile down at Alec with that electric smile of his. His jeans were just tight enough to accentuate his package, while not hindering his activities.

He leaned down suddenly and snatched Alec’s water from his hand, then proceeded to gulp it down as Alec watched, apparently enraptured. Eli’s grip tightened on his cane. He swore he could see Dray’s throat working, even from this distance. Dray drained the bottle dry just as Alec glanced toward the house, catching Eli’s eye. They exchanged smiles. Dray followed Alec’s gaze and frowned slightly, tossing the empty bottle over his shoulder and into the back of the truck.

He gripped the red fabric handle of the sliding door and, after giving the contents one last look, leaped to the ground, pulling the door with him. It sounded like a gunshot and reverberated throughout their neighborhood, announcing that someone was leaving.

“I think that’s it,” Tony said. Eli turned to see him in the hallway, struggling with two canvases as he shoved two huge suitcases ahead of him with his knees.

“That’s it, huh?” Eli asked, laughing. “Are you certain?”

“Had a bit of a lie-in this morning, eh?” Tony asked as Eli joined him, draining his mug and setting it on the hall table before grabbing hold of one of the suitcases. “Don’t bother with that. You’ll hurt yourself.”

Eli’s expression darkened briefly, but he leaned on his cane before lifting the case effortlessly. “I’m a lot stronger than I was last year.” Eli turned away from his friend. “I’ve been working out regularly.” He carried the bag to the front door, but paused, momentarily befuddled by the stairs he couldn’t manage.

“I bet you have,” Tony said as he watched Alec running toward them.

“Hey, I got these,” Alec said, relieving Eli and Tony of their burdens and running back down the stairs with the bags toward Tony’s car.

“He seems to have an alarming amount of energy,” Tony said, peering at Alec’s rather fit, retreating form before pulling out his sunglasses.

Eli went a bit pink, but he had no intention of sharing any intimate details with the artist. And it was probably best that Tony not know that he and Alec had fucked in nearly every room in the house since getting together last November—a feat difficult to accomplish with three other housemates who followed hectic, unpredictable schedules.

“Are you listening to me?”

“Huh?” Eli asked as he unconsciously rubbed his hipbone and considered talking to Ilsa about getting carpet for the living room.

Home contest #1

September 13, 2010

Contests are tough for me. I’m great at participating, but I’m lousy at creating them, so the first contest will be simple.

In order of publication, name the four titles I have with Dreamspinner Press. Put your answer in the comments section of this post. First person to answer correctly wins an eBook copy of one of the titles, your choice.

Good luck.

Home excerpt #1 (Adult)

September 13, 2010

Here’s an excerpt from Home. I hope you enjoy it.

“You’re shaking.” Alec, panting and painfully hard, pulled back from Eli so he could look into his eyes. “We don’t have to do this now.”

“Don’t stop,” Eli pleaded, equally breathless and pained. “I want this… want you.” He hooked his left leg around Alec’s waist to keep him close and reached out for him. His fingers played in Alec’s wavy black hair, traced his jaw, and brushed over his lips as he grinned up at him through heavy-lidded, passion-drunk eyes.

They had met in late summer and had been officially together for only a few weeks, but all the back-and-forth desire in the months before Eli decided to take a chance on the handsome, persistent American author—that was part of their relationship, too, a part of their history. Alec had gradually drawn Eli out of a darkness sparked by the murder of his partner, an attack he’d witnessed and that had nearly claimed his life as well.

But now they were facing another hurdle, another step forward, because all the kissing, breathless groping, and hand jobs just weren’t cutting it any longer. There was a lot of need for something more built up in both of them—a need to be even closer. With their housemates either out of town or spending the night elsewhere, Eli and Alec had separately come to the same decision: tonight they would make love for the first time.

After a romantic dinner out, a long conversation filled with nervous laughter and secret glances, and a short walk through the chilly air of their tiny neighborhood park, they had stumbled through the front door grabbing frantically for each other: kissing desperately, pulling at their clothes, knocking into the hall table, and upsetting the tchotchkes. But after dropping and almost tripping over Eli’s cane, they’d forced themselves to calm down and slowly, carefully ascended the stairs—choosing Alec’s attic room over Eli’s on the main floor. Up there the morning sounds of the house wouldn’t reach them, and they could pretend the rest of the world didn’t exist for that much longer.

They had begun with the familiar: Alec half on top of Eli, kissing him, rubbing him through his jeans, and Eli clinging to him, grinding upward against him, tangling his fingers in Alec’s hair. But then, seeking skin-to-skin contact, Alec had reached beneath Eli’s shirt and, as usual, when his fingers moved up Eli’s torso, Eli went rigid and gasped, involuntarily inching away from his touch. Alec had slowed his eager hands until Eli settled—until, grinning and ashamed, he scooted close again.

“I’m sorry,” Eli whispered.

“It’s okay. It’s okay,” Alec repeated softly as they slowly undressed each other. But now, stripped bare and embracing, panting, with condoms and lube at hand—Alec was the one who wasn’t okay. He had put on the brakes, worried that Eli wasn’t ready for this.

“I don’t want you doing this just because you know I want it. That’s not good enough, not reason enough.”

“Alec, look at me.” Their eyes traveled down to their duel erections. “Don’t I look ready?”

“I can take care of that without—”

“I want you inside me,” Eli growled, reaching down between them and gripping Alec’s cock possessively.

“Eh-Eli—” Alec’s eyes closed for a moment. “Uh-okay.”

“It’s been two years,” Eli said, his voice softening. “You’re the first man I’ve kissed since Bennett was killed.” His large blue eyes bored into Alec’s gray. “Can’t I want you and still be nervous?”

Home virtual book signing

September 13, 2010

Hello, I’m Dawn Kimberly Johnson, and my greatest wish is that readers will enjoy my second novel, Home, as much as they seemed to enjoy Broken, but Home is a different animal. Broken was about the beginning, and Home is about what happens after love has begun and what’s needed to hang onto that love.

I’ve been thinking about how to entertain those of you joining me today. I’ve even looked over how previous authors have handled this event, but I’ve realized there’s really no substitute for simply jumping in, so…stepping off the ledge, let me begin by telling you about these people I’ve created.

Eli Burke: An Englishman who interprets for the deaf. He lost his partner Bennett in a gay-bashing nearly three years ago now. He was left with a permanently damaged right leg, scars, and a lot of anger.

Alec Sumner: An American psychologist and author, who, unlike Eli, is not prone to mood swings and stays on a fairly even keel. But he isn’t always as communicative as he should be.

Ilsa LaCoste: A bodacious, bisexual, outgoing, African-American chef originally from Louisiana. Though about Alec’s age, she’s the passionate mother-figure of the group and owns the house where all the fellas live in London. Family is important to her since hers wants nothing to do with her anymore.

Lyle Davies: Organized, efficient, caring, and has been in love with his best friend Tony for…EVER! So there’s an overabundance of patience there.

Tony James: Self-absorbed artist, who finally returns Lyle’s feelings, or at least, has admitted to himself how he really feels about him.

Casey Todd: Eli’s good friend and the nurse who helped him through rehab. She’s in love with Ilsa, but uncertain if her feelings are truly returned.

Mirabell Boot: Alec’s best friend. She is cynical, colorful, easily bored, and never lets anyone get too close. Mira is like an alien stranded on our planet who has grown bored with the populace, but occasionally finds us amusing.

Dray Jenkins: HE IS GORGEOUS and, unfortunately, knows it. It’s a wonder he can walk upright his ego is so big.

Those are the main players. If you have any questions about them, please don’t hesitate to ask. I can tell you how they came to be, why they behave the way they do, what I love and hate about each of them. Come on, stump me.

Author Trivia Contest Day 6

September 13, 2010

Congratulations to everyone who correctly guessed D.W. Marchwell as yesterday’s author. Jane K is our winner. She can pick of any of D.W.’s titles.

When D.W. Marchwell is not teaching future generations the wonders of science, he can usually be found hiking, writing, riding horses, trying new recipes, or searching for and lovingly restoring discarded antique furniture. A goofy and incurable romantic, D.W. admits that his stories are inspired by actual events and that he has a soft spot for those where boy not only meets boy but also turns out to be boy’s soul mate. After almost fifteen years of working his way across Canada, D.W. has finally found the perfect place to live at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. He still can’t believe how lucky he is, and, as his grandmother taught him, counts his blessings every day.

Visit his web site at http://www.marchwellbooks.ca/.

You can contact him at dwmarchwell@hotmail.com

Check out D.W.’s full story list.

Today’s question: Which Dreamspinner author daydreams about the Yankees winning the World Series when she isn’t daydreaming about men who love each other?

Email your answer to ariel at dreamspinnerpress dot com by midnight tonight to be entered. Comments on Facebook or on the blog do not count as entries.

Get a signed copy of Home by Dawn Kimberly Johnson

September 13, 2010

To request your signed copy of Home by Dawn Kimberly Johnson, leave a comment on this post with a personalization request, if any, and your order number or the email account you use at our web site. Without this information, we cannot guarantee our ability to match your request with your order.

Home by Dawn Kimberly Johnson

September 13, 2010

Home by Dawn Kimberly Johnson is now available in paperback and eBook.

Sequel to Broken

Eli Burke and Alec Sumner are finding out that falling in love isn’t the happily-ever-after they expected. Their efforts to move forward as a couple and put their broken pasts behind them are made all the more difficult by new fears and old secrets.

There are other stressors too: disagreeing over where to live, dealing with other men intruding into their relationship, and deciding if they must abandon the families of their pasts to build one for the future.

It may hurt, but being honest about what they fear, what they’ve done, and what they want may be the only way to forge a happy home.