Mixed Signals by Cooper West

July 6, 2011

Can Frank and Benjamin overcome tangled lines of communication? Mixed Signals by Cooper West, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Frank Sheldon is trying (not very hard) to put his life back together several years after his dishonorable discharge from the military for “conduct unbecoming.” The handsome son of a wealthy businessman, he’s doing his best to avoid family obligations when he meets eccentric programmer Benjamin Kaplan. Frank is interested, but unlike most people Frank’s ever met, Benjamin isn’t swayed by his name or good looks. Or is he?

As Frank gets dragged into the drama of his sister’s political campaign, he manages to pursue Benjamin under the guise of funding Benjamin’s video game start-up. But unknown to Frank, Benjamin runs a mysterious muckraking news site, and when the now-involved Benjamin takes steps to back down his coverage of Frank’s sister’s campaign, everything starts to unravel. Frank wonders if Benjamin was just using him all along, and Benjamin assumes that Frank wants nothing to do with him. Will the mixed signals break them apart?

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella

The WASPs by Clancy Nacht and Thursday Euclid

July 6, 2011

Is Tyrone willing to be more than Blake’s best friend? The WASPs by Clancy Nacht and Thursday Euclid, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Blake Brooks’s life is not going as planned. His wife kicked him out to move the nanny in, and his father disinherited him. The only haven he has left is his old boarding school buddy, Tyrone Edwards. It turns out Tyrone has a room all ready, clothes picked out, and a place in his life reserved for Blake and his daughter Bitsy, whom they both adore.

Tyrone has always played it straight, even in boarding school when everyone was experimenting. Now he’s giving Blake mixed messages: affection and teasing one minute, fobbing Blake off on a gay co-worker the next. Is Blake succumbing to wishful thinking, or has Tyrone been holding out for Blake?

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella

Living Promises by Amy Lane

July 4, 2011

Can Collin help Jeff face the phantoms of his past and gamble on a future filled with happiness? Living Promises by Amy Lane, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Six years ago, Jeff Beachum comforted a frightened teenager outside an HIV treatment clinic, and Collin Waters has remembered his kindness ever since. Now, after six years of crushing on the kind, brown-eyed sweetheart of his dreams, Collin is feeling adult and together enough to make his move. Too bad fate, which has never been kind to Jeff, has something else in mind.

Jeff’s life had fallen completely apart before that long-ago day, and it isn’t much better now. Jeff has toughened up, become self-reliant, been the funny guy his friends turn to, the one who gives advice and comfort when needed. But every phantom from Jeff’s past is about to come out to haunt him, and the family Jeff has staked his future on isn’t in such great shape either. Collin is more than a starry-eyed kid, and it’s a good thing, because Jeff’s going to need all the help he can get. No one knows better than Jeff that life can be too short to turn your back on honest love, and that living happily is the best promise of all.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Bicycle Built for Two by Jeff Adams

June 29, 2011

Can Jason and Ben overcome distance to make a relationship work? Bicycle Built for Two by Jeff Adams, available from Dreamspinner Press.

While on a three-day charity bike ride from Boston to New York City, Jason Karn makes an unexpected stop to help a fellow rider having trouble with a flat tire. Ben Stewart is new to long-distance rides, and Jason takes him under his wing. The mutual attraction is obvious even before they make it to New York City, but there’s a minor roadblock: Ben lives in Chicago. Flying back and forth seems like the only option until Jason comes up with an idea that will bring them together permanently—if they can work out the details.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella

As Seen on TV by Rebecca Leigh

June 29, 2011

As Seen on TV by Rebecca Leigh

Graham Britner has never been one for travel or vacations. Work has been his life, but lately, life as a Fortune 500 stockbroker has gotten overwhelming, and he figures a trip to Hawaii will get him as far away from New York as possible. What are the odds that his fantasy man, hunky television actor Bruce Newsome, will be vacationing at the same resort as Graham? Probably only slightly greater than the chances that Bruce will want Graham as much as Graham wants him.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story

Take the Lead by Johnny Diaz

June 27, 2011

Can Gabriel navigate the challenges of a new crush and an ailing parent? Take the Lead by Johnny Diaz, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Popular college professor Gabriel Galan has a job he adores in Boston, a hot young lover, and a buddy who goes along on pub crawls and Star Trek nights alike. But Gabriel wants more.
When Gabriel’s stubbornly independent father needs help managing his Parkinson’s disease, Gabriel takes on more than he bargained for, and his smooth-cruising life is about to take a sharp turn as he teeters on the edge of a new crush on Adam, his father’s physical therapy dance class instructor.

Gabriel has always yearned for a co-pilot on his journey through life, but first he needs to take the lead and navigate the troubled waters of his own heart.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Equilibrium contest winner

June 25, 2011

Make that winner(s), since I’m feeling generous and have decided to give away two copies of the book. :) I put everyone’s names in a hat, shook them around and pulled two out, and they were:

Kathy B


Congratulations, both of you! I will contact you ASAP about your books. Thanks to you and everyone else who commented today, I really appreciate it, and I hope that I kept you at least a little entertained during my stint on the blog.


Email: meredith.shayne[at]gmail.com
Blog: http://meredith-shayne.livejournal.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/meredithshayne
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3149138.Meredith_Shayne

Free Equilibrium-related fiction

June 24, 2011

OK guys, apart from the post announcing the winner of the contest this will be my last post. I’ll hang around to answer any comments or what have you, and before I go to bed I’ll announce the winner of the contest – since that will be when most of the Northern Hemisphere is already asleep, that should give anyone who wants to enter plenty of time to do so. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi, I really appreciate it.

I’m leaving you with some free fiction that I posted to my blog the other day. It’s a missing/alternate scene from Equilibrium, starting about a week before the book starts; this time we’re in Ryan’s head, so we get to see a little of what he thinks when he first meets Michael. :)

If you’re interested, you can find it HERE.

Equilibrium excerpt #3

June 24, 2011

The excerpt I’m going to post this time is a little more adult; it takes place just after Michael and Ryan have finally gotten their act together.

THE sun was setting as he drove out to the Mitchell farm, the bag of Ryan’s supplements on his passenger seat and his stomach full of butterflies. He drove up the driveway and skirted around the back of the main house, following the dirt road that led off the main driveway to Ryan’s little cabin out the back. Parking in front of the house, he mounted the steps and knocked on the door, but received no answer. Tucking the package under his arm, he stepped off the veranda and went around the back.

Ryan was in the practice paddock, taking Charlie through her moves, ducking and weaving around barrels and witches hats, turning and whirling on a twenty-cent piece. It was impressive, just as much as it had been the other day—more so, maybe, because this time the mare had on a different bridle, one without a bit, and Ryan wasn’t using a saddle. He looked relaxed, fluid, matching Charlie’s movements as if they were one, of one heart and a single mind. Again, he didn’t seem to be giving her any direction, although now Michael knew that he had to be, and it was only his untutored eye that couldn’t see it. Regardless, it was incredible.

It was also a massive turn-on.

During the next pirouette, Ryan saw him. He grinned and gave Charlie a command, making her stop dead right where she stood. He patted her neck and said something else to her, and then they were walking toward him. Michael moved then, too, stepping up to the fence as Ryan drew Charlie up alongside it.

“Well… this isn’t really a surprise,” Ryan said, smiling down at him. “I see you’ve got my supplements.”

Michael smiled and balanced them on a fence post. “Would it matter if I didn’t?”

“Not really, no.” Ryan was staring at Michael’s mouth again, but instead of hopping down like Michael expected him to, after a moment of silence he slid back a little, toward Charlie’s rump, then patted where he’d just been sitting. “C’mere, you.”

“Oh now, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Michael said, shaking his head. “Why don’t you come down here instead?”

“I don’t think so. Uncle Michael said he’d try riding later. It’s later.” Ryan held out his hand, and when he spoke again, his tone was softer, intimate enough to give Michael the shivers. “Come on, Michael. I’ll make it worth your while.”

Michael hesitated a moment, then gave in, like there was ever going to be any question when Ryan used that voice on him. “All right, but you better.”

“Oh, I will,” Ryan said as Michael climbed the fence, awkwardly hitching himself over it and onto Charlie’s back.

“You better not let me fall.”

Ryan chuckled and moved forward, molding himself against Michael’s back and picking the reins up with one hand. “I won’t,” he said against Michael’s ear, and suddenly Charlie stepped forward.

“Holy crap!” Surprised, Michael jammed his heels into Charlie’s sides, and she jumped forward but then pulled up suddenly at a word from Ryan. Michael swayed and grabbed at Ryan’s thighs to get some purchase. “Oh, this is not a good idea at all. I’m going to fall off, and it’s going to be all your fault.”

Ryan laughed against the side of Michael’s neck. “No, it’s going to be all your fault, since you insist on jamming your heels into the sides of my horse.” Ryan’s feet insinuated themselves in between Michael’s feet and Charlie’s belly.

“Her skin moves, for Christ’s sake!”

“Of course it does, you bloody idiot. What did you think it’d do? God, if I’d known you were going to be such a frigging drama queen….” One arm snaked around Michael’s waist, holding him tightly against Ryan’s chest, and they moved forward again. “I’m not going to let you fall, all right?”

Michael remained unconvinced, but after a moment or two of relatively slow and stable movement, he relented a little. “All right. Just… no funny business.”

Ryan’s huff of laughter was warm against his neck. “No funny business, and no one’s falling off. Cross my heart and hope to die.”

Michael snorted. “Yeah, easy for you to say, Man from Snowy River. Shut up and drive.”

Ryan laughed again but made no sign of contemplating funny business. Once they’d completed a couple of sedate turns around the paddock, Michael finally began to relax, and Ryan loosened his hold a little, from vise-like to merely snug.

Michael had barely enough time to feel disappointed about that before Ryan moved again, but this time it was to press a soft kiss to the nape of Michael’s neck. At the same time, the hand resting on Michael’s waist moved lower, slipped under the hem of Michael’s shirt and began caressing the skin of his belly. Michael sucked in a shaky breath. “I thought you said there’d be no funny business.”

Ryan laughed softly, his breath tickling the side of Michael’s neck. “I lied,” he said, nuzzling at Michael’s ear.

Michael closed his eyes for a moment, trying to ignore how snug his jeans were beginning to get. “No one’s going to see us out here, are they?”

Ryan kissed the nape of Michael’s neck again as the hand under Michael’s shirt moved up Michael’s chest, the material rucking up on Ryan’s wrist as his fingers brushed over Michael’s nipple. “Nah. See over by the house there? Murphy’s hanging around, waiting to bludge some food. Good, loyal old Murph never tries to bludge off me if Dad and Andrew are home.”

“Oh. Good.”

Ryan kissed the side of Michael’s neck, grazing the skin with his teeth. Michael shivered, and felt Ryan’s lips pull up in a smile.
“I’ve thought about the other night a lot,” Ryan breathed, putting his head up and his lips to Michael’s ear, his nose in Michael’s hair. “Too much, probably. Can’t work, can’t sleep, and when I do sleep I wake up so hard… God, Michael….”

Michael could feel Ryan’s heart beating fast against his back. Ryan’s arm tightened around him suddenly, pulling him back against Ryan’s chest again, Michael’s backside fitting snugly against Ryan’s crotch. Michael gasped, his breathing quickening as Ryan bit his shoulder through his shirt, dropping the reins so he could run his free hand up the inside of Michael’s spread thighs, stopping tantalizingly close to Michael’s crotch. Michael’s breath hitched, and he shifted, trying to press back against Ryan some more. “Ryan….”

How mean am I, to stop right there? :) If you enter the contest you might be able to find out what happens next!

Campdrafting and tent pegging, what the…?

June 24, 2011

So. There are two main equestrian sports featured in Equilibrium. The first is campdrafting, which is, as Michael’s sister Jen says, “the thing where the horse cuts the cow out of the herd and then chases it around”. Which is a rather apt description as far as a  city person is concerned, but there is a little more to it than that, which the wikipedia link will tell you. And, through the wonder of the internet, I’ll be able to show you with a couple of videos that I’ve dug up. It seems that I can’t get them to embed, sorry! You’ll have to go to YouTube to watch them.

The first is a cute little introduction to a campdrafting DVD, which is very Australian, bless them:

Campdrafting 1

The second shows you just how quickly the horse can move when it’s trying to keep the cow from going back to the herd. This video is notable for the use of the word “strewth” by the person filming, which basically means that the horse and rider are doing really, really well (we don’t all sound like Steve Irwin, I promise):

Campdrafting 2

The third shows you just how quickly the horse can move when it’s herding the cow around the pegs:

Campdrafting 3

The second sport in Equilibrium is tent pegging, which is an old cavalry sport popular with cavalry regiments and mounted police in places like Australia, Pakistan and the UK. It doesn’t have anything to do with tents, or dildos, which is probably a good thing, all things considered. :) The video I’ve found for this one is very long; if you watch it all, you’ll see the full gamut of skill-at-arms equestrian sports, but if you just watch the first couple of minutes you’ll see the type of tent pegging that’s in Equilibrium:

Tent pegging