Loving Luki Vasquez—release party!

June 20, 2011

Loving Luki Vasquez Cover

Hi everybody and welcome to the party!

My name is Lou Sylvre, and Loving Luki Vasquez is my first book with Dreamspinner Press. It’s M/M romance, contemporary with a bit of an edge. (This is also my first virtual release party, but I’m already having fun.) Before I go any further, I want you to know a little bit about the novel. Read on—here’s the blurb from the Dreamspinner Press website.

“Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease. While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.”

In a little while, I’ll post an excerpt, but right now, I’d like to get the party started with a contest. It’s easy to participate—just comment under the next post.

Starting right now, if you have questions or thoughts about Loving Luki Vasquez or about me, my writing, whatever—I’m anxious to hear from you. Comment here after any post, and let’s talk. (If you’re at the Dreamspinner facebook page, you may have to come here to the blog to comment.)
Now, for that contest…

A Devil’s Own Luck Excerpt Two

June 13, 2011

As I promised, here is a second excerpt from “A Devil’s Own Luck” and it is a little steamier than the last.

Enjoy!

By the time he had finished his apple, his servants had climbed the stairs three times, and William decided it was time to set his plan into action. Taking a deep breath, he took the lamp from his study and slowly climbed the stairs, making his way to Stephen’s bedchamber. He knocked on the door and waited. There was no answer, so he knocked again. When he still heard nothing, he turned the knob and let himself in.

The room was dark, and the fire had died out in the grate. In the light from his lamp, he saw that the food and broken china from earlier had been gathered into a small pile on the floor, and a stained rag next to it gave testimony to its usage as a mop for the wine. At first glance, William thought perhaps Maud was mistaken and Stephen had left, for there was no sign of him, but a slight movement out of the corner of his eye called William’s attention to the seat near the window, and there he found his guest. William walked over to where Stephen perched, still dressed only in his stained shirt, trousers, and stocking feet.

“You are still here,” William said gently to the bowed head below him.

“Yes,” Stephen replied in an almost-whisper.

William dropped to one knee in front of the man and cupped his chin in one hand, stroking his thumb across that full lower lip.

“What am I to do with you?” William sighed as sad and wary amber eyes met his. He smiled sadly back at Stephen, and the wariness in the young man’s eyes turned to confusion as he searched William’s face.

William took a deep breath and plunged on. “There is much we should speak of and much that should be said, but I do not believe we should do so tonight. We cannot seem to speak to one another without sparring and quarreling, so I will only ask you this: do you wish to go home, Stephen? I will see you get there safely and release Graves from his debts to me if that is what you wish.”

William waited, holding his breath, for Stephen to answer. Despite all that had happened between them, or perhaps because of it, William hoped the answer would be no. His plan for the rest of the night would mean nothing if Stephen only wished to return to Graves. William well knew he could have given up on the man several times in the last day and night, but something in him would not allow it. Something in him needed more from Stephen. The idea of letting him leave twisted something painful inside him. There was no rationalizing it. It simply was.

Stephen’s eyes widened in surprise at William’s last words, but he still remained silent. When he did not answer, William feared the worst, but he had to ask anyway, to hear it from Stephen’s lips. “Do you, Stephen? Do you wish to go home?”

William was surprised by a short bark of bitter laughter from the younger man. “Would that I could go home,” Stephen muttered. Then he gravely raised his eyes to meet William’s and said, “However, to answer the question as you intended it, no, I do not wish for you to send me back to Mr. Graves’s house, not yet.”

William was puzzled by Stephen’s queer response but stopped himself from asking about it. Tonight was not for lengthy conversation. They were both too raw for that, and that road only seemed to lead them into discord. He would continue with his plan and hope understanding and answers would follow.

“Very well. If that is your answer and you truly wish to stay, then I would ask a boon of you for tonight. There has been much unpleasantness exchanged between us in so short a time, and I am partly to blame for it. This evening I behaved shamefully toward you, a fact I am not proud of.”

Stephen frowned in concern and shook his head vigorously. “No, I—” he began earnestly, but William placed his fingers over the man’s lips, silencing him.

“Please do not argue with me, not tonight. That is the boon I would ask of you. No words. Not until tomorrow. You may tell me all you wish. You may praise me or castigate me. You may damn me or beg my forgiveness, whatever you wish, just not tonight. Tonight is my apology to you for the shameful manner in which I behaved. Will you allow me that?”

Stephen’s lips trembled beneath his fingers, and his eyes shone a little bright in the lamplight, reassuring William that he had taken the right course. This was the Stephen he wished to know—filled with great passions, yes, but a deep well of tender feelings as well, feelings he kept hidden behind anger and vitriol but that were there just the same.

Stephen took a deep breath through his nose, searched William’s face once more and nodded hesitantly. William smiled in relief, a truly open and happy smile that had Stephen’s eyes widening and fixating on William’s mouth. As the young man continued to stare at his mouth, William’s smile turned to a grin, and Stephen flushed and suddenly looked away.

“One more matter before we begin my apology… regarding my wife,” William felt compelled to say. When Stephen’s eyes returned to his, William continued. “My wife is dead and has been for many years. You have no need to fear a vengeful harridan swooping down upon us, I assure you.”

William stood without waiting for Stephen’s reaction and offered the young man his hand, smiling gently down at him. Stephen still looked a little wary, but he slid his hand into William’s just the same and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. When Stephen would have let go, William tightened his grip and began leading him out of the room. He could hear Stephen’s breath quicken as he led the younger man down the hall to his bedchamber, and his own pulse quickened in response.

William was pleased and grateful to find that Maud and Stubbs had prepared everything as he had requested and more when he entered the room. The coals were piled high in the grate, with a large iron kettle steaming above them. A copper bathing tub sat steaming in front of it, and a tray of cold meats, breads, cheese, and autumn fruits sat on the small table by the window. The lamps had been turned low, candles lit and set about the room, and a small brazier near the window sent plumes of perfumed smoke from the East Indies into the air. Those last details must have been Maud’s doing, and he silently thanked the woman for her thoughtfulness. She knew what a sensualist he was, and despite her feelings for his guest, she had endeavored above and beyond his orders to give him this. He would have to remember to thank her come morning.

William led Stephen to the center of the room and left him for a moment to close and lock the door. He ordinarily would not have bothered, but he was certain Stephen would be more comfortable knowing the door was locked. Turning back to face his guest, he watched Stephen sniff the air and gaze nervously about the room. William wasted no time in returning to his side. He did not want the bath water to get cold before he had even begun his seduction, and he did not want to give his quarry any chance to change his mind.

Stephen’s eyes returned to his, full of questions and a little trepidation, but William merely shook his head. “No words, Stephen. Please, just let me pamper you for a little while. I know this is supposed to be my apology to you, but it would mean a great deal to me if you would allow me to do this.”

When the younger man sighed and nodded, William undid the fastenings of Stephen’s soiled shirt and helped him pull it over his head. The shirt was ruined with wine and other stains, so William merely threw it into a corner of the room and began undoing the buttons on Stephen’s trousers. He knelt then to help Stephen off with them and removed the young man’s stockings as well, leaving him completely bare to William’s hungry gaze. Their first night together had been rather rushed, and William had not been given much chance to savor Stephen’s beauty. He hoped very much to correct that gross injustice this evening.

Kneeling in front of his lover, William let his gaze roam over the younger man’s body. Golden-brown hairs lightly dusted Stephen’s lean, muscled calves and thighs, sparkling a little in the flickering candlelight. A darker, thicker patch nestled between his legs, surrounding the base of a fair-sized, dusky cock that was rapidly swelling under William’s regard. A line of hair ran up the flat expanse of his belly, meeting the dusting of hair across his chest, and William could not resist running his fingers along that path, feeling the soft hairs tickle his skin. He followed the trail up to Stephen’s copper nipples, already drawn taut and dark, swirling his fingers through the hair surrounding them and grazing his palms over the pebbled nubs.

Still on his knees and only a hairsbreadth from Stephen’s cock, William smiled, hooded his eyes in lambent appreciation, and tipped his head back to meet those expressive amber eyes. Stephen watched him avidly, his tongue darting out several times to wet his sinfully full lips, begging with actions what he could not with words. William knew exactly what the man wanted, but he was not going to be rushed. He would take things slower this time—even if it killed him.

He ignored Stephen’s silent plea and climbed to his feet, dropping his hands down to run the backs of his thumbs up Stephen’s inner thighs as he stood, enjoying the man’s sharp intake of breath and the twitching of his cock. William’s own trousers were feeling a bit uncomfortable at present, but he was certainly old enough and experienced enough to know that pleasure only increased by delaying gratification. He could wait and find a measure of pleasure in prolonging his own sweet torment as well as his lover’s.

He smiled at Stephen’s slightly disappointed look and cupped his chin, leaning in to kiss him tenderly on the cheek and then just underneath his jaw. William still desperately wanted to take Stephen’s mouth, to kiss him with all the tenderness and passion he was feeling, but the young man had said he did not care for it, so William would have to content himself with kissing him everywhere else.

Smiling, William drew back and led his lover to the bathing tub. Stephen obediently sank into the water with a sigh and wrapped his arms around his bent knees, looking up expectantly for William to give him some direction. William was relieved that Stephen appeared willing to let him lead for a while, and even if it was only as an act of contrition, William could make use of that.

When Stephen was settled, William removed his own coat, waistcoat, and cravat, retrieved the thick cloth Maud had left on the mantel, and pulled the heavy kettle from the coals, pouring the hot water into the end of the bath to warm it up again. He then went to his wardrobe and withdrew the glass vial and jar Stubbs had purchased for him, setting the jar on the night table by the bed and taking the other back to the bath.

Under Stephen’s puzzled gaze, he rolled his shirtsleeves up and uncorked the small vial, pouring some of the liquid into the bath. Almost instantly the smells of sharp earth, sweet spices, and musk filled the air, and William drank it in with sensual delight.

Patchouli.

William had fallen in love with the scent the first time he had smelled its heady fragrance, and had made sure the men on the docks knew he would pay handsomely for it and any other exotic oils and spices they might “find” lying around after the Company had unloaded its cargo. He could find such things at more reputable markets, but he had always been a proponent of free trade. Even if he did not engage in it himself anymore, he could still support those who did.

William drew a small stool next to the tub and watched with pleasure as Stephen’s eyes closed and his body relaxed against the linens draped behind him. Well pleased with himself, William picked up the sea sponge and small jar of soap next to the tub and began washing Stephen’s body with it. Stephen’s eyes, now darkened to a deep, toffee color, opened and watched him for a time before sliding closed again as he surrendered to William’s ministrations.

For a long time, William simply played, running the soft sponge over the planes of Stephen’s body and learning the feel of every muscle and bone as it shifted beneath the smooth marble of his skin. He avoided the most obvious places, only making a cursory pass of Stephen’s pleasure centers in favor of teasing other areas and learning what else his young companion might like. Stephen’s ribs and nipples were very sensitive, as were his underarms and his belly, just under the bones of his hips. The younger man squirmed and moaned whenever William passed over those places and was excessively responsive to even the lightest touch, making William wonder at his apparent preference for such rough play their first night together, but he put such questions to the back of his mind for that night and simply concentrated on doing what seemed to give them both the most pleasure.

A Devil’s Own Luck- Excerpt One

June 13, 2011

Okay, so you know it’s out and you’ve read the blurb on the official Dreamspinner new release page, now it’s time for the teaser.

This one’s fairly PG, nothing too naughty just yet.  I’ll be pulling a steamier snippet for later but I want to take my time and make sure you’re warmed up first. LOL

Enjoy!

Excerpt:

It was quiet in the alley for several long moments before William heard footsteps coming closer and pushed himself further into the shadowed doorway. The two men made their way past him and back up the street, side by side, but no other words were exchanged. He could tell by the stiffness of the shorter man’s shoulders, outlined in the lamplight, that he was not at all pleased, but he still followed Graves back to the club without further protest while William took a moment to absorb what he had heard.

He was not at all certain whether he was pleased or disappointed that the attractive young man was not Henry Bradshaw. On the one hand, it meant that he was not the young man who had attempted to seduce and despoil his niece, but on the other, it also meant that William had no real reason to pursue Stephen any further, most particularly now that he knew the man’s relationship to Graves. Tempted as he might be to steal Graves’s paramour, William needed to concentrate on getting the letters from Bradshaw, and angering the man’s cousin and only connection in society probably would not get him what he wanted.

William was still a little shocked that Graves would have the audacity to invite his paramour to his club, and agreed with Stephen’s assessment that the man might just be a little mad. Stephen definitely showed more wisdom and discretion than his keeper; that was certain. Shaking himself out of his preoccupation with the man, William made his way back to the club at a leisurely pace, stopping to order another drink and chat with a few casual acquaintances on his way back to the game room. By the time he returned, Graves’s circle had dispersed and the men were scattered about the room, most sitting down for a run at the tables.

He spied Stephen in the back corner, drinking a glass of wine and staring at nothing, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. Despite the knowledge that he was merely Graves’s kept man, William still found himself drawn to the young spitfire. Everything he had seen and heard spoke of a sharp wit and passionate nature, and William had to admit that that called to him, perhaps even reminded him a little of himself at that age. Stephen certainly had the speech and manners of someone much higher in station than one would normally find in the role of paramour. His clothes might not be as fine a cut as his companions’, and William could detect a slight Northern accent in his speech from time to time, but the lad still had an air of education and refinement about him that was surprising.

William shook himself again and forced his eyes away from Stephen, scanning the room once more. He found Graves and the thin, sour-faced man he assumed must be Bradshaw seated at a table together near the middle of the room, and made his way toward them. As he approached the table, Alfred Wallis, a casual acquaintance, hailed him jovially and offered William his seat.

“Come, Carey! I am done for the night. Commerce has killed me, to be sure. My darling Emma will have my hide if I lose any more to my fine fellows here,” he said, a pained grin splitting his round face.

“Thank you, Wallis. I will be delighted to take your place. My evening has just begun, so I still have plenty to lose to these fine gentlemen before I make my way to my bed,” William answered with a bland smile for everyone at the table.

Just as William sat down, he caught an exchange of glances between Graves and his cousin, and a slight smile curved Graves’s lips. The smile immediately put William on edge. There was something predatory about it that he recognized all too well, and after a few rounds of play, he realized why. The two men were working together, so subtly that only someone with his experience in these matters would even begin to guess what they were playing at.

They were skilled. William had to admit that Graves was cleverer than he had given him credit for. Either that or Bradshaw was the architect behind their little scheme. But William had spent years playing with men for whom cheating was a matter of course— expected, even—and these green boys were not clever enough to get the better of him for long. William smiled to himself. He would play booty to these fellows long enough for them to become careless, and that was when he would make his move. If all went well, he would have the letters in his hands before the break of day.

The play continued and became more intense, the bids and pots climbing higher and higher. They soon had a bit of an audience, as the other tables emptied and men gathered to watch. William noted with pleasure that Stephen was now among them, watching the game closely. Now that he was closer, William was finally able to see that Stephen’s eyes were a lovely shade of amber, rimmed in dark brown— beautiful, even when they were radiating concern and exasperation, as they were now.

Stephen must have felt William’s regard, for he looked up suddenly, and warm amber met William’s steel-gray. William held his gaze for several moments with a lazy smile and a quirked eyebrow. When William did not look away, Stephen’s jaw hardened and his eyes narrowed. William was not certain if the lad was attempting to look forbidding, but if he was, he was failing miserably. With lips so lush and full, the scowl was more sensual than forbidding, and the fire sparking in his eyes only made William want to take him somewhere private and watch that angry fire melt into the heat of desire… then desperate need… those plush lips softening even further, swollen with passion and kisses….

As William’s eyes hooded at the thought, the young man’s expression turned wary, his own eyes widening and quickly breaking away.

Yes, little lamb. There is a wolf in the wood.

After only a moment, however, he saw Stephen square his shoulders and raise his chin, meeting William’s eyes again in angry defiance.

The lamb has teeth, he thought with pleasure, then sobered as he realized he should not be playing these games in the middle of his club. He had just named Graves a fool for his indiscretion, and now here he was, doing the same. Gritting his teeth, William returned his attention to the play. He did not have time for games of that sort just now, and if Graves had brought the lad as a distraction, William was not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing he had succeeded.

Excerpt from Lorcan’s Desire

May 30, 2011

This is from the first chapter of Lorcan’s Desire and gives you a good look at the inspiration for cover art. Ann Caine did an amazing job bringing this scene to life!!

THE roads may have been dusty and dry, causing clouds to swirl around each booted step he took, but at least the skies were clear. Thank heaven there was a slight chill in the air, as Lorcan didn’t think he would have been able to take another step had it been as hot as it had the day before. The worst part was that it was his own damn fault that he was in this predicament to begin with. His mama had warned him that it was “rough out there” and had ended her speech with “I’ll see you in a week.” His foolish pride had his twenty-one-year-old butt walking all over this godforsaken country looking for adventure. All he had gotten for his troubles was nine cents in his pocket, no prospects for work or a place to stay, and some nasty-ass blisters on his feet. The last thing he wanted to do was put his tail between his legs and crawl back home to a round of Mama’s “I told you so.” He had one last prospect for work and a place to stay. One last chance to avoid seeing that smug grin on his mama’s face. Or the look of exasperation on Daddy’s face.

The gas attendant a few miles back had told him that the Whispering Pines Ranch was looking for hands, and although he was headed out in the direction the attendant had pointed, he wasn’t feeling all too confident. The way the man had sneered and laughed when he’d asked about work hadn’t surprised him. The way he’d suggested Lorcan was exactly what “those folks” were looking for had even had him fighting back his usual tendency to lash out. Had he not been so I-need-to-find-work-or-starve-to-death-on-the-side-of-the-road desperate, he would have let his fist teach the country bumpkin some manners.

Lorcan was used to people looking at him and assuming they knew his sexual orientation. Because of it, he had learned young how to use his fists to prove he was male enough. Puberty hadn’t improved the delicate, almost feminine features he’d inherited from his mother. Nor had his tall, lean body taken on the bulk and mass of muscles like his father and brothers. Yet he had proven himself over and over to be by far the toughest of them all. Lorcan had eventually found a perverse pleasure in taking down his tormentors. He took to growing out his thick chestnut hair, provoking others further, flaunting his waist-length braid. Only thing he could hope for now, as he walked the back dirt roads of another nameless town, was that “those folks” out at Whispering Pines could use a man with a good work ethic and a strong back, even if his braided hair did curl down around his ass.

As the Whispering Pines Ranch house came into view, Lorcan nearly turned around and hightailed it back the other direction. The big two-story house looked like it would be more at home on the cover of a magazine featuring haunted houses than Ranchers Weekly. Shutters hung from the paint-peeled siding, the porch tilted dangerously to the right, and it didn’t look as if the lawn had been mown or weeded in forever.

He made his way through the calf-high lawn and gingerly placed his boot on the front step, testing its strength before adding his full weight. Remarkably, the half-rotten porch seemed sturdy enough. Lorcan made his way to the front entrance, swung open the scarred screen, and then knocked firmly on the more solid door beneath. Lorcan removed his hat from his head and wiped his brow of sweat as he waited for a response. He strained to listen for any signs that there might be someone approaching the door. When he neither received response nor heard anyone moving around on the other side of the door, he knocked with a little more force. When again there was no sound coming from within, he made his way around to the back of the house and was surprised that the barn and fencing seemed to be in excellent shape. Obviously the owner cared more about the animals and their living arrangements than his own.

An old water pump called to him like a siren, and he headed for it, not realizing until that moment how thirsty he was. He pumped the handle several times before the water began to flow, and he gorged himself on the clean, cold water. Once his thirst was quenched, he took his bandanna from his back pocket, wiping his waterlogged face as he leaned against the fence. He was beginning to regret not cutting his hair before leaving home. He needed to make a good impression, one that would ensure him a job. Lorcan didn’t want to have to make the trek back to his mama’s home, and he damn well didn’t want to have to do it today. With nothing in his belly in over twenty-four hours, an untold number of miles under his boots, and no sleep, he didn’t think it below him to beg the owner for some food and a hay bale to curl up on if they couldn’t offer him a job.

Read more HERE

Treasure of Love by Scotty Cade – What’s Next!

May 20, 2011

Okay this is the last time I promise!  It’s almost six o’clock, so for those of you who haven’t sent me your Treasure of Love blurb, time is running out.

For my last post, I wanted to give you a sample of the last two novels in the series.  I hope it’s enough to wet your whistle and get your jets firing. 

 

 

Bounty of Love (Prequel to Wing’s of Love)

Alexander “Zander” Walsh is the only survivor when his fiancé and his parents are brutally shot after returning from the rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding and stumbling upon a robbery in progress.  Hunky FBI agent Jake Elliot apprehends the killer and while being transported to the county jail, the transport is involved in a head on collision and the murderer, at first presumed dead, survived and is at large.

The FBI claims to have exhausted every lead and still hasn’t found the killer.   But Zander and Jake sense that something is not right with the investigation and determined to get to the bottom of it, they set out on their own to get the real story and find the killer.  Following a lead generated from the 48 Hours Mystery television show; they head to the Alaskan wilderness where someone fitting the killer’s description was last seen.

During the past six months while working very closely on the case, Zander and Jake finally act on a strong attraction that has been building slowly over time and they embark on a hot steamy romance.  When they apprehend the killer after accidentally stumbling onto his hideout, they find out what really happened on that dreadful night and all the pieces start to fall into place.  Big business, bad FBI agents and trusted friends all play a part in this unfolding drama.  Will Zander and Jake be able to bring the killers down to their knees and will their mountain romance stand the test of time?

Foundation of Love (sequel to Treasure of Love written with ZB Marshall)

Young Dr. Weston Stanhope thought he had escaped the constraints of Charleston society, and his overbearing father, Colonel Robert Lee Stanhope, when he moved to Seattle to pursue a career in medicine. But when his mother dies unexpectedly, Wes learns that she had begun plans to build a children’s hospital outside of Charleston, and that it was her fondest wish that her only child would lead the Stanhope Children’s Hospital.  

Wes is introduced to fellow Seattle resident Ty Williams, an openly gay architect, who agrees to spend a few weeks in Charleston to assist in launching the design of the hospital. But what began as a consulting engagement eventually turns to romance. Wes has always been in love with and married to his career, but now he must confront the growing realization that he is homosexual and in love with a man of color. When his father learns of their growing relationship, he demands that Wes choose between his ambition to run the Stanhope Children’s Hospital and the first true love of his life….Can Wes finally stand up to his bigoted and overbearing father to protect his career and the man he loves or will the constraints of Charleston society send them both back to Seattle?

PS:  Sjd and I will choose the winners and let you know by tomorrow, if not sooner who the winners are!

I’ve really enjoyed out time together and I hope you got something out of it as well!  See you next time!

Scotty Cade out!

Treasure of Love by Scotty Cade – Author Bio

May 20, 2011

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I’m back!!!

Now I know my loyal followers probably know as much about me as there is to know, so if you guys are reading this, just sign off and wait for the next posting.  J  But for those who are new to my work, I’d like you to get to know the guy behind the book.  I’m a little OCD and a little ADD all at the same time, but all those traits aside and I truly cherish each and every one of you and the outlet you’ve given me to show my creativity and follow my dream.  Without my readers and my publisher Dreamspinner Press, I wouldn’t have this wonderful opportunity to dream and create stories that hopefully you’ll enjoy.  So this is where you get to meet the real Scotty Cade, the person.  There’s probably more information here than you’ll ever want to know, but here goes:

I started my life in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, better known as the Big Easy and was raised along with my two sisters in a very small neighborhood along the mighty Mississippi River.  I was undeniably a momma’s boy and enjoyed a lot of alone time with my stay-at-home mother before my younger sister was born, while my older sister was at school and my Dad was at work.  I spent fun days doing chores around the house riding on the back of her vacuum cleaner singing Etta James songs.  When the chores were done, we settled down for story time.  I truly believe that my love of reading and eventually writing was born then.  But all that came to a horrible end when my baby sister was born and I no longer had Mom all to myself.  Then another horrible incident almost ruined my life, my sixth birthday and the first grade.  Oh Boy, did I hate going to school.  I went, but I went kicking and screaming literally every morning until I was seven, my poor mother.  Having to share my mother with my newborn sister and having to attend school left us very little time together and I truly felt deserted, but I really showed her, I jumped ship into my Father’s world.  I was the only boy, so it was the logical next step.  Happy again to be the center of someone’s world, I soaked it up every day.

My father raised quarter horses as a hobby and some of my fondest memories surround that time in my life.  When we were older, on weekends the entire family would pack up the horses and head to local horse shows where, my father, my younger sister and I would compete in barrel racing and cutting.  But my most cherished memories are of my father and me taking long horseback rides along the levies of the mighty Mississippi river enjoying sandwiches and snacks lovingly prepared by my mother.  We spent long summer days of riding and jabbering about this or that or just enjoying a comfortable silence.  It wasn’t really the conversation or the silence that was important to me, but the interest he took in my life that thirty five years later, still makes my heart swell.  After a brief marriage, one of those special moments is where I found the nerve to come out to my Father, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.   He did much better that I did and in the end wanted only my happiness.  He’s been nothing but supportive and non-judgmental of my life and I will remember that as long as I live.  Unfortunately, the lights in my life got a little dimmer when my loving mother died five years ago of colon cancer and dimmed yet again when my Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago.  Fortunately, he still lives in our family home near my sisters and they along with a nurse, act as his primary caregivers, but he has a few good days but mostly really bad days.  He does his best and that’s all we can ask of him.

Okay, enough of the sappiness.  I attended Louisiana State University, majoring in Marketing, but unfortunately never graduated.  I was lucky enough to be offered a job to manage a very large well established furniture store in my hometown and went for it.  I stayed with the company for five years and started making my way up the corporate ladder.  I joined a high-tech company in New Orleans, and was transferred to Atlanta, GA where I met the love of my life.  Kell and I have been together fourteen years now and we’re still going strong. 

I’ve worked for a total of six companies throughout my twenty-five year career and ended up as the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Public Relations for a very large company based in Atlanta.  Throughout my career I focused my writing capabilities on Marketing materials, Annual Reports, Press Releases, radio scripts, broadcast media, and the likes, but always had novels running around wild in my head.  Kell and I both gave up the corporate rat race and bought a small hotel and restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Can you imagine two southern boys ending up in New England?  I should think not, boy what a culture shock.  But after seven years, we managed to find our way and are healthy and happy in our environment.  About three years into our venture, we hit burn-out and hired a general manager to run our business while we took a year off.  That is when I started my first Novel, Final Encore, and the rest his history.  After that first year off, Kell and I enjoyed our freedom so much that we purchased a forty-two motor yacht called “One Mo Time,” which is now where most of my writing is done.  We travel the waters of New England all summer long with our Shetland sheepdog, Mavis and in October we cruise down south to Charleston, SC for the winter.

The ideas for books keep coming and I have so much in my head that wants to come out, but my fingers are just not fast enough to get it all down.  So I dance the dance between my fingers and brain on a daily basis and can only hope for the best. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, most of my characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there.  I believe that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.  After all I got mine.

So how’s that for a life? I’ve been so very lucky in love and my career that sometimes it just doesn’t seem real.  Don’t get me wrong, everything I have I worked for and nothing was handed to me, but I’ve feel so fortunate to be in a position to be able to write without the worries of everyday life getting in the way.

Well, that’s it for now.  I have one more post just before six pm and then we’re done!

For more information you can go to www.scottycade.com.

 

Treasure of Love by Scotty Cade – A little Q and A!

May 20, 2011

Yeah it’s me, Scotty Cade here again to bug you a little more!

Below is a little Q&A I did for another blog spot and thought the questions were well thought out and interesting.  I hope you’ll agree and hopefully pick up a little more information about Treasure of Love and me.  And a little later, for those of you who don’t know me, I’ll share a little bit about myself.  You’ll probably be bored to tears, but because everything is always about me, me, me, you’ll read and you better darn well like it.  J

 

Tell us a little about Treasure of Love. How did you come up with the title?

Treasure of Love is the second book of a four book series of independent novels with recurring characters and locations and that began with Wings of Love and will conclude with Bounty of Love and Foundation of Love both due to be released August and December respectively.  Treasure of Love is the story of Jack Cameron, a character you first met in Wings of Love that had a very hard time accepting the fact that Mac Cleary, the man to which his late sister had been married, fell head over heels in love with Brad Mitchell.  He fought the relationship tooth and nail and was almost successful in destroying it before it began.  In Treasure of Love he explores his homophobia and realizes that his over reaction was caused mostly by fear and a buried attraction to the same sex.
What is the hardest scene you had to write in Treasure of Love?

 

Wow, that’s a tuff one.  I guess two scenes were very important to me.  The first was when Jack has the realization that he might be gay.  I wanted that scene to be as realistic as possible because for those of us that have been through it, we know it can be and usually is a painful process and deserves tons of respect.  The second was the first time he and Dax make love.  I wanted that scene to be sweet and eye opening for Jack.  I especially wanted him to feel like this connection is what’s he been lacking all of his life and now he has it with Dax and he’s not letting go.

 

Tell us something about Jackson Cameron and why will readers like him?

 

I really didn’t like Jack very much in Wings of Love or in the beginning of Treasure of Love, but I soon developed a respect for him when he realized the emotions he was fighting and owned up to his feelings.  By the middle of the story I was pulling for he and Dax and I hope the readers will feel the same way.

Why is Jackson, who is sure he is straight, attracted to Dax?

 

People are attracted to whom they are attracted and I believe that if being in a same sex relationship was as “normal” and accepted as heterosexual relationships and it was okay to be attracted to a person regardless of their sex, there would be many more supposed “straight” people in same sex relationships.  So to answer your question, I believe that Jack was man enough to acknowledge his attraction, which shattered everything he thought about himself, and try to explore his feelings and I so admire him for that.

Tell us something about the relationship between Dax and Jackson. Why will readers be rooting for them to be together or will they?

 

In the beginning, Dax has no idea that Jack is experiencing these feelings for him.  In fact, he believes Jack to be straight as an arrow and he’s very frustrated because he’s experiencing the same feelings.  When things finally start to develop, Dax knows Jack is struggling and is ever patient and supportive, which I hope will make the readers pull for them.  It certainly did for me.

What was your first reaction when you got a glimpse of your cover art?

 

As writers, we live and breathe our novels as we’re writing them.  We also develop this attachment to our characters and the vision we see in our heads doesn’t always match the models that are available for our covers.  It took a couple of tries to find just the right models, but other than the models the cover was beautiful.  The snow capped mountains in the background, the beautiful blue waters, and of course Dax and Jack all make one hell of a cover.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Now for the fun stuff.  Do you have any guilty pleasures?

 

Oh yeah! Most people have this sweet tooth, but not me.  I’ll trade sweets every day of the week for meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Of course my waistline can’t accommodate it, but boy is it nice top think about it.

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

 

Wow, another tough one!  Let’s see, maybe that I captain our forty-two motor yacht, which oddly enough is where I do most of my writing.

If you didn’t have to worry about counting calories or fat, what’s the first food you’d reach for?

 

Da!  Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

As an author, what makes a book great in your eyes?

 

I love a mystery thriller with an underlying love story and believe it or not the mystery thriller part is the hardest part to write.  My writing process starts out with an outline and I hammer out the story, but with mystery thrillers my outline never really stays true to the story.  My characters always take on a life of their own and as many times as I try to stick to my outline, the characters have other ideas.  With a mystery thriller, I never really know “who done it,” until the story starts to develop and goes in a certain direction and the guilty one always shows his or her true colors. 

If someone hasn’t read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?

 

“Wings of Love” is a great story about loss and loving again and it holds a special place in my heart, so I would start there.

What are you working on now that your readers can look forward to?

 

I’m in the editing stage of “Foundation of Love” and working on the outline for “Ruby Lode.”  Many readers have asked for a sequel to Final Encore and I’ve been playing around with a plotline for that as well.

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.

His Soul To Take – Excerpt

April 20, 2011

His Soul To Take by C.M. Torrens

Yep, I’m back again. This time with more treats to tempt you. Here’s a tasty little excerpt from His Soul To Take, available at Dreamspinner Press.

Excerpt:

His mind wandered and his thoughts turned to Robert, the attractive dancer in the mock mobster outfit. The sway of his hips and the ripples of his body drifted through his mind like a warm dream. He could almost smell the scent of spiced musk that lingered on his skin. He couldn’t rid the memory from his mind. He reached into his pocket and took out the white rose Robert had tossed to him. The flower remained fresh and fragrant. Perfect petals in half bloom trapped with him in time.

How long had it been since someone had reminded him he was flesh? Reminded him he could want and feel things?

He suddenly had the urge to go see him again and found himself moving toward Robert’s home a few minutes later. Uncertain if it was the call or his own desires, he let himself find his way back toward the bus stop.

Hope. The luxury of such an emotion warmed the soul he’d thought dead. An invigorating yet unnerving sensation that twisted his gut and flooded him with energy. He found himself walking faster than usual, eager to see if Robert would be there. But what would he say if he was? And if he wasn’t, could he risk taking a peek at him again? The memory of bronze skin and white sheets sent a hungry shudder through him.

He rounded the corner to the bus stop. His heart sank at the sight of the empty bench and he looked down the road toward the apartment complex. He couldn’t very well explain how he knew where Robert lived if he happened to run into him there.

Disappointment bloomed. Another emotion that felt alien to him. The sharp sting of fading hope and the drop in his gut gave him a flutter of excitement. To feel again, even if it was such a grim emotion, was a thrilling concept.

Simon?” a voice called.

Death turned at the sound of Robert’s voice. Simon, the name was still a surprise to hear aloud.

He caught his breath as he took Robert in. Curls of dark hair falling around his face and eyes so alive with joy and life.

An unexpected surge of want seeped into his bones. To see him, touch him, to enjoy every inch of him. A knowing smile rippled across Robert’s lips, and Death pulled his eyes away.

I was hoping you’d show up here,” Robert said.

The plastic bags in his hand rattled, drawing Death’s attention to the groceries in Robert’s hands.

You left before we could talk.”

Death hesitated. “I had to work.”

Deliveries keeping you busy?”

No busier than usual, but I have deadlines,” he said motioning to the bags. “Would you like help?”

Sure.”

Death took half the bags from Robert and they walked toward the apartments down the street. He barely noticed the buzz of traffic over the excited flutter of his heart.

I’m out of a job for a while. Your place wouldn’t happen to be hiring, would it?”

Death winced. “You wouldn’t want my job, Robert. I rarely stay in one place long and it gets… very lonely.”

You just have to be more outgoing. Make some friends.”

Death said nothing and let Robert lead the way down the hall to his apartment.

Want to come in? You aren’t working now, are you?”

I’m always working, but I have a little time.”

Robert’s smile was infectious. So bright and open. Such expressions never fell on him. Such smiles were reserved for others. A deep ache hit Death. He had a job to do soon. For the first time he was considering what would happen if he didn’t. The world certainly couldn’t be any worse off if that smile stayed in it a bit longer.

Are you okay?” Robert asked stopping outside his door. “You have that expression on your face.”

What expression?”

That quiet, sad expression. You smiled, and then it was gone. I like it when you smile.”

I guess I haven’t had much to smile about in a long time.”

I’d like to make you smile more.” Robert laughed suddenly and pushed open the door. “Too corny?”

Death shook his head and stepped into the apartment, closing the door behind them. “No. Sweet.”

Robert stopped and turned to face him. “You think?”

He was so close Death could feel the warmth of his body. Intense, bright eyes stared back at him. Before he could think to stop himself, he closed the space between them. His lips brushed against Robert’s, soft and gentle, and the bags fell from numb hands. Robert’s eager lips opened to him, begging him to taste, and Death pulled him closer, his tongue exploring, devouring. The scent of him. The spicy splash of cologne mingled with a raw manly musk, so enticing. A deep ache of lust grew, spreading, building. Strong hands pulled him closer. He wanted….

Death gasped for breath and pulled away, stepping back from Robert. Clearing his throat, he took another breath to try and ease some of the hunger he hadn’t felt in so long. This was too much. He had to think.

I should go,” Death whispered.

Turning quickly he opened the door and left before he did something he’d regret.

* * *

If you’d care to try for a free copy, this is what you can do to win.
Tweet the following: I want a free copy of @CMTorrens debut book #HisSoulToTake

The contest will run all day from 5am EST the 20th to 5am EST the 21st. A full 24 hours to get your name thrown into the hat. Random.org will choose the winner. I’ll announce soon after and contact the winner for their prize.