Excerpt Time! The Demon Catcher, by Lesley Hastings

January 6, 2011

If you head over to the Dreamspinner page for The Demon Catcher you will see that there is already one excerpt up, from the beginning of the novella. But right here, exclusively for the readers of this blog, is ANOTHER EXCERPT.

I chose this excerpt, from about 1/3 of the way through the novella, for two reasons. Firstly, it’s an exciting scene set just before a very crucial turning point for Euan’s character — things are never going to be the same for him again. Secondly, this is the first scene that I wrote for this novella — so it’s special to me, and I’m glad to be able to share it with you.

The excerpt is under the cut:
Continue reading “Excerpt Time! The Demon Catcher, by Lesley Hastings” »

Who wants to win a copy of Final Encore? Someone…Anyone? Please………

November 19, 2010

Hello again, Scotty Cade here.  By now, if you’ve been reading my blog postings, you probably know way more about me than you need or even want to know, but heck, you only launch your first book once, so thanks for indulging me.  So now, would you like to see what all the hype is about?

At the end of today, we will put the names of everyone who commented on any of my blogs posts today  into a mason jar (remember, I am from the south), and give away an autographed hardcopy and an electronic copy of “Final Encore.”  In addition, if I have bloggers from Georgia, I will draw for two tickets to the Tony Award winning play “Rent” opening in December at Fabrefaction Theatre, Atlanta’s hottest new live Theatre venue,  where I have a book signing on December 10, 2010.

Please visit me at my website as well — and let me know if you would like to be notified when my next novel, Wings of Love is coming out (scheduled for sometime in February 2011).

Good Luck!

Scotty Cade

Excerpt – Final Encore by Scotty Cade

November 19, 2010

My first book — Final Encore — is being released today.  I hope you will take a moment to read the excerpt below — and if you like what you read, just click on the cover picture to learn more.

Billy’s drive from New Orleans to Nashville was long and uneventful.  The uninterrupted hours of interstate, with country radio stations fading in and out, gave him a great deal of time to plan a strategy, at least a short term strategy.  The first day he arrived he would find a hotel, look for a day job to help with expenses, and then look for a more suitable place to live. 

As the first few days passed, he missed his family terribly, but was nonetheless energized with the infinite possibilities of the unknown.  Nashville was his new home and for as long as it would have him, he was happy to be there.  The first week, as planned he searched the want ads for a position that would sustain him financially.  He answered several ads and within a few days, had a great lead.  The position was for a foreman at a large horse farm just outside of town called the Lazy H Ranch.  He set up an appointment to meet the owner at ten o’clock the next morning.  It wasn’t his dream job, of course, but it would pay the bills until he found something in the music business.

 When Billy turned in under the large iron arch etched with “The Lazy H Ranch,” he looked down at his watch to confirm he was right on time, nine forty-five.  Billy drove down the dust covered road and after a half mile or so, he saw two large barns on either side of the drive with what looked like an old farm house that he assumed was used for command central.  When he got out of his truck, he was looked over, more than greeted, by a rough and unfriendly looking sort.  The man was short and stocky, carrying about thirty extra pounds on his frame.  His skin was scarred from years of acne and his teeth were stained from what appeared to be chewing tobacco, as indicated by the Styrofoam cup he spit into.  Hoping this wasn’t the owner, Billy introduced himself and learned the guy was a ranch hand named Buck Stevens.  Buck directed him to wait near the east barn and someone would be with him shortly. 

Billy waited around for about forty-five minutes and no one approached him.  He was about to go back and remind Buck that he was still waiting when he saw a tall, ruggedly handsome man walking in his direction.  The man, who reminded him of an older version of the Marlboro Man from the old cigarette commercials, walked up and offered his hand.

“Hi, I’m Jules James. I’m the owner of the ranch. Are you William Eagan by any chance?”

“Yes sir, but I go by Billy.” 

The two shook hands and looked each other over for a few seconds before Jules broke the silence. “I had just about given up on you, son. I thought your interview was at ten o’clock.”

“It was, sir,” Billy replied.  “I arrived at nine forty-five and Buck told me to wait at the east barn and someone would be with me in a minute.  I was just about to go back and see Buck, when I saw you walking over.”

“That’s funny,” Jules said. “I told Buck to have you meet me at the west barn.  I have a mare about to foal and I want to be there in case there are any problems.”

“I’m sorry about the confusion, sir,” Billy said. “Would you like me to come back?”

“No problem,” Jules answered.  “Why don’t you walk with me to the west barn and we can have a chat along the way.”

“Yes sir,” Billy said, and the two men headed to the stables.  

On the short walk, Billy filled Jules in on his experience with horses and why he was in Nashville.  Jules, of course, had heard the same story many times before, but listened intently and offered words of encouragement. 

They soon reached the stall housing the expectant mother.  The mare was lying on her side and as they watched her tense up every few minutes, it was apparent she still had some time before she’d deliver.  Billy thought she looked a bit distressed, but held his tongue and tried to get a better gauge on the situation.  As they examined the mare more closely, Jules continued to tell Billy about the ranch operations and the job he had available.  After the examination, Billy was sure something was wrong.  More convinced now, he mentioned it to Jules.

“Good call,” the ranch owner said.  “I was just about to tell you I’m certain the foal is breached.”  Billy spent the next several hours helping Jules try to get the foal in the right position for a natural birth.  Eventually they succeed and by late afternoon the little filly was born healthy.  

Once the danger had passed, the two men, impressed with each other’s abilities, cleaned up and headed back to the tack room to put the supplies away.  As they entered the tack room, Buck was filling up the feed barrels and looked up and eyed Billy.

“Well, Billy,” Jules said, “I’m pretty impressed with your knowledge and skill.  As far as I’m concerned, I’ve seen as much as I need to see.  If you want the job, it’s yours.”

Before Billy could speak, Buck turned around with a disgruntled look on his face and stormed out of the tack room, brushing Billy’s shoulder in the process.

“Wow,” Billy said.  “What was that all about?”

“Oh, don’t pay him any mind,” Jules replied.  “He interviewed for the job, but I just don’t think he has the skills to be a foreman. He’s a little hot headed for my taste.”

“If I take the job, is he going to be a problem for me?” Billy asked.

“Don’t you worry, I’ll deal with him,” Jules said.  “Does this mean you’ll take the job?”

“Yes sir,” Billy replied and the two men shook hands.

On the way back to the office, Jules said, “My wife and I own a little club on Broadway and I’m headed there for couple of beers, then right back here to check on our little one.  You want to join me?”

Billy said “Sure,” and within ten minutes they were on their way downtown.

When Jules’s truck pulled up to Jean’s Magnolia Saloon, they got out and headed inside. 

As Jules opened the door to the lounge, Billy’s eyes struggled to adjust to the dark lighting, he glanced around.  It was much larger than it looked from the street, he guessed about the size of a small supermarket.  On one side, the large mahogany bar ran the full length of the room.  Opposite the bar was a raised stage with a colorful set of drums, an electric keyboard and various musical instruments on stands. In the center of the room was an expansive oblong dance floor surrounded by split rail fencing with openings at each end, and what looked and smelled like fresh sawdust scattered about. Over-stuffed chairs in numerous groupings, along with high cocktail tables and bar stools provided ample and comfortable seating.

Jules immediately led Billy up to the bar and introduced him to a beautifully matured, very well dressed woman behind the bar pouring beer from a tap. His first thought was that must be Jules’ wife Jean and his second thought was that she To him, she didn’t look like she belonged behind a bar. As he studied her, he noticed her tall slim body.  She looked to be about five foot nine and her weight around one hundred and twenty-five pounds, give or take. Her smile was beaming. With her dark brown hair and deep brown eyes; she appeared to be the epitome of joy, strength and sincerity. He had heard the term “ageless” before, but had never really understood it. It had nothing to do with how young a person looked although this woman looked very youthful. It was really about natural style and confidence

“Hey, hon,” Jules said, “this is Billy Eagan.  He just joined the Lazy H as our new foreman, but he really wants to be a country singer.  Billy, this is my wife, Jean.”

Jean stuck out her hand and Billy said, “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. James.”

“Nice to meet you, Billy, and please call me Jean.  Welcome to Jean’s Magnolia Saloon. By the way, you any good?”

“Well, ma’am, I’ve been told I am by more than just my family and friends,” Billy replied, “and I sure hope no one’s been pulling my leg.”

Jean smiled.  “Monday nights once a month, we have open mic and you’re surely welcome to join us.  Many celebrities got their start here.  We have a regular crowd of talent scouts that hang around on open mic night just to see if they might just catch the next best thing.”

 “When’s the next one?” Billy asked.

“Tomorrow night, but you better show up early because every newcomer dreaming of stardom will be here and ready to go. And the best thing is, the winner gets to be the opening act for the headliner for the month until the next open mic night.  We open the mic at ten, but you better get here by eight to sign up. We only have time for ten acts before the regular house band starts.  I hope to see you tomorrow,” Jean added, as someone down the bar called her name.

“I’ll be here,” Billy said as Jean walked away. “And thanks.”

Jules and Billy sat at the bar enjoying small talk for an hour or so, getting to know one another at a leisurely pace.  Jean came and went as business dictated, but always came right back and joined the conversation.  Finally, after all the business seemed to be addressed, Jean landed on the bar stool next to Billy.

“So what’s the hot topic you two seem to be so involved in?” Jean asked.

“Oh, we were talking about the Ranch,” said Billy. “Jules was telling me you guys live in Brentwood, but that he sometimes stays at the ranch when he needs to pull a double, or when they’re expecting a foal, things like that.  So how long have you two been married?” “Forty-nine years now and still going strong,” Jules said, as he reached behind Billy and gave Jean a squeeze. “What about you, do you have a girlfriend, son?”

“Uh, no sir,” he replied.

Jean chimed in, “I don’t mean to assume anything, but do you have a boyfriend?”

“Uh, not at the moment, ma’am,” he said with a grin.

Both Jules and Jean smiled and Billy’s eyes got as big as quarters and they all broke into laughter.  When they were finally able to control themselves, Billy asked, “So how did you know about me? I mean, I try not to spit sequins when I talk .”

As they all chuckled again, Jean said, “Our son is gay and we’ve been around you sweet boys for over twenty years now.  One’s gaydar becomes pretty accurate after so many years.”

“I guess it does,” replied Billy.  “So, Jules, how will the boys back at the ranch react when they find out?”

“Oh, no need to worry about those lugs, they’re all harmless.  You may take a little ribbing every now and again, but if you pull your weight they’ll respect you and it won’t matter none.  But I would keep my eye on Buck. As I mentioned, he’s somewhat hot headed and he already has it in for you since he thinks you stole his job.”

Billy said, “I can take care of myself, but when Buck’s around, I’ll sleep with one eye open and a baseball bat under my bed.” 

The three of them enjoyed the rest of the evening and around midnight began to say their goodbyes.  Jules asked Billy if he wouldn’t mind taking the pick up back to the ranch and checking on the little filly, so he could go home with Jean.  She would drop him off in the morning on her way in to town. 

Billy agreed and drove back at a leisurely pace, taking a mental recap of all that had happened to him since he left New Orleans.  He eventually made it back to the ranch, and after checking on the mare and filly, hopped back into his truck and headed back to his motel room for the last time.  When he got there, he stripped down to his shorts, brushed his teeth and climbed into his bed.  For a long while he laid there and anticipated the next day and night.

Click on the bookcover to find out how to purchase Final Encore.

We’ll also be having a drawing at midnight tonight – free signed paperback, or     ebook or, for Atlanta people, 2 free tickets to RENT, beginning December 3rd at Atlanta’s hottest new  entertainment venue – Fabrefaction Theatre!

(I’ll be there for a book signing on December 10th for the evening show.)

A Fairy in His Bed by Aundrea Singer and Corinna Silver — Another Excerpt

October 16, 2010

Here’s another excerpt from A Fairy in His Bed by Aundrea Singer (taste_is_sweet on Live Journal) and Corinna Silver, available in the Myths And Magic: Legends Of Love Anthology. Here, Daniel finally meets the fairy Quinn face-to-face.

Daniel didn’t remember falling asleep, but he knew he had to be dreaming.

There was someone else in the room. It was a man–very, very obviously a man. He was naked, tall and lanky with hair that fell in soft, messy curls around his forehead and neck. The effect made him look both cherubic and dangerous, like a seraphim recently thrown out of heaven. His smile was as innocent and sweet as it was a direct, unmistakable invitation.

“What are you doing here?” Daniel asked, curious but unconcerned because he was so obviously dreaming. He sat up, letting the coverlet slide down his chest to pool around his hips. He felt languid and slow, like a cat curled up by the fire. Whoever this stranger was, Daniel was certain he meant no harm.

“I’m here to thank you,” the man said, moving onto the bed. He had a British accent, which made Daniel smirk at himself, wondering idly what kind of Freudian significance there might be in this man sounding like his mother.

“Thank me?” Daniel asked vaguely. He was too distracted by the man to worry about the answer to his question. At first glance the man’s hair had just looked like a warm chestnut brown, but now that he was closer Daniel could see that it was actually a rainbow of browns and reds, like leaves in autumn. His eyes were a mixture of green and brown, flecked with gold. Daniel realized he shouldn’t have been able to see the other man so clearly with only the streetlight barely illuminating the room, but it was as if the man was surrounded with light.

“You’re gorgeous,” Daniel murmured, distantly pleased with himself that he had such a great imagination. “What’s your name?”

The stranger’s laugh sounded like cool water rushing over smooth stones. “Quinn,” he said with his lilting accent. He was pulling the coverlet back while he spoke, exposing Daniel’s legs. “And you’re gorgeous, too.”

“Thank you,” Daniel said, which made Quinn laugh. Quinn had dimples in his cheeks, which only emphasized his veneer of innocence. “My name is Daniel.”

“Hello, Daniel,” Quinn said. “I want to kiss you now.”

“Okay,” Daniel said faintly. He’d gone to bed without a shirt and Quinn’s warm hands on his shoulders made him shiver. Quinn straddled Daniel’s legs, nestling their groins together. He moved his hands to the sides of Daniel’s face, then leaned in and finally kissed him.

A Fairy in His Bed by Aundrea Singer and Corinna Silver

October 16, 2010

Hello! I’m Aundrea Singer. I posted here last about my short story Skunk, Bryan, Spoon (And A Badger) in the Necking Anthology, which you can read about here. Now I’m extremely happy to be able to tell you about A Fairy in His Bed, a short story in the new Myths and Magic: Legends Of Love Anthology, which I wrote with the lovely and talented Corinna Silver.

A Fairy in His Bed was actually written for the Brush Of Wings Anthology, when we saw the call for submissions late last year. We thought it would be fun to choose an otherworldly being that wasn’t an angel, and ended up with Quinn, a fairy as whimsical as he is beautiful, and Daniel Tibbits, the cynical, heartbroken writer who accidentally inherits him.

Inherits? Oh, yes….

A Fairy in His Bed was created in an eight day whirlwind of brainstorming, manic typing and a lot of laughing. I’ve rarely had so much fun writing a story, and a story has rarely come so quickly or easily as this one. Writing with my best friend made its own magic.

Equally magical was the warm reception our labor of love received at Dreamspinner. They asked if they could use A Fairy in His Bed for Myths And Magic: Legends Of Love. We were thrilled to have our story included with so many excellent authors.

Corinna and I fell quite in love with Daniel and Quinn, and we hope you do too. Here’s an excerpt of the first time Quinn and Daniel meet, though Daniel doesn’t know it….

It had been one of the worst days Daniel Tibbits had ever endured, and that was before his stupid cats tried to kill him.

“God damn it!” Daniel swore as he climbed to his feet. He brushed uselessly at the wet snow that had ground into the knees of his pant legs. He glared at the three black and white cats who were circling him unrepentantly, head-butting whatever parts they could reach and bawling at him as if Daniel had been away for months instead of barely an afternoon. Dewy sniffed at his pant leg, apparently none the worse for wear despite nearly being kicked as she tripped him. Daniel started petting her automatically, glowering the whole time. He hit the cold-stiffened cloth of his jeans a little too hard and winced, since he’d managed to scrape off what felt like sixty layers of skin off his palms when his hands had hit the icy pavement. “This is exactly what I need,” he snarled at the cats, squinting at his upturned hands in December’s early dark. They were stinging, but at least he didn’t see any blood. “With my luck, I’ll probably get gangrene,” Daniel muttered. At least his agent might get off his back if he didn’t have any fingers.

“All right, already! All right! You’re hungry, I get it!” he said to the yowling cats. “Can you at least let me get inside the house?” The cats naturally ignored him. “For Pete’s sake, it’s not like I never–ah, fuck.” Daniel took a deep breath, then closed his eyes as he let out a heavy sigh.

He’d dropped the teapot when Dewy had tripped him, and it had smashed on the walkway. Of course.

Daniel sighed again. He rubbed at his face and pushed his snow-damp hair off his forehead. It was a standard ‘Brown Betty’ teapot, the kind everyone sung about in kindergarten: short, stocky and dark red-brown. The shards were still gleaming cheerfully, scattered amongst the freshly-fallen snow.

“Fuck,” Daniel said again. He picked up one of the larger pieces and used it as a receptacle for two smaller fragments. He started searching for the other bits, but the teapot had practically exploded on the front walkway. To do the job properly he’d need a broom, and some daylight. The dark shards were nearly impossible to see in the quickly deepening twilight.

“Fuck!” Daniel threw down the pieces he’d been holding, watching them burst with vicious satisfaction against the concrete. “That’s my life, right there,” he said. “And because I’m such a fucking hack, that’s the best metaphor I can come up with.” His mouth twisted in a bitter smile.

Daniel shook his head. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” He trudged the rest of the distance from the sidewalk to the wooden steps of his front porch, fishing in his jacket pocket for his keys. The cats followed him eagerly, still giving the occasional mewl as if making sure he didn’t forget them.

The house had been built in the 1920s. The floors creaked and all the doors stuck and the stairs were treacherous, but the lights Daniel had left on that morning were shining brightly through the windows and he knew it would be cozy and warm after the freezing night outside. Right then it was all Daniel had to look forward to. He opened the door.

A short puff of warm air blew by his cheek.


You can read Aundrea Singer’s Live Journal Blog here, and I’d love to get your email at aundrea.singer@gmail.com

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 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 excerpt #2 (PG)

September 13, 2010


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.


“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 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?”

Second Excerpt, Unexpected Guest

July 30, 2010

Ethan looked carefully at Dan as he walked between the two flushed men. “I’ll be upstairs if you need me, Dan.”

Embarrassed, he waited until he heard Ethan’s footsteps on the stairs before saying, “Go home, Sean. This isn’t going to happen. Not while you’re married.”

Watching Sean leave, Dan sank to the floor, feeling boneless and drained. He replayed the fight, feeling the anger begin to gnaw at his chest. “Fucking asshole!” He kicked out at the tool belt that had been left next to the small table that held the coffeemaker, knocking the hammer out of its loop. He kicked again, sending the hammer skittering over the hardwood floor to bounce off the baseboard.
Dan grabbed the hammer and tried to jam it back into the leather loop on the tool belt and stopped, feeling the weight of the hammer, before stalking into the kitchen. He swung the hammer at the wall where the phone used to hang, swinging through his anger, his embarrassment, his frustration. He swung the hammer until the plaster fell to the floor, until it cracked through the brittle wood of the lath, until he felt the burn in his shoulder.

He stood in front of the hole in the wall, his anger still burning in his chest. Dan dropped the hammer and attacked the plaster and lath with his hands, pulling the chunks of plaster away, catching his hands on the nails in the lath.


Even through the fog of his anger, he noticed that Ethan wore only jeans unbuttoned at the waist, his chest and feet bare. “Don’t fucking call me that.”

“Okay. Dan.” Ethan moved slowly toward his friend, keeping his voice quiet. “You doin’ okay?”
“Does it look like I’m doing okay?” Dan felt as if he was wilting; the anger that had kept him going was gone, leaving only weariness in its wake.

Gently brushing plaster dust from Dan’s hair, Ethan smiled. “No, Dan, you don’t look like you’re okay. Let’s get you cleaned up.” Continuing to brush plaster dust out of Dan’s hair and off his shoulders, Ethan’s voice was soft, barely above a whisper. “Think you’re gonna have to lose the shirt.”

Dan pulled his shirt off, dropped it on top of the pile of plaster and lath that he had pulled from the wall, and allowed Ethan to lead him into the bathroom.

Excerpt of Unexpected Guest

July 30, 2010

Welcome, everyone!

I’m posting the first excerpt from Unexpected Guest and will be posting a at least one more excerpt and a few contests in a little while. I’ll be popping in and out for the next six hours or so and will answer any questions if you have them and let you know the contest winners.


LOGGING off the computer in preparation for the weekend, Dan picked up the phone in his office and called Ethan’s cell. “Hey, what’s up?” He put a few files in his briefcase and looked forward to getting away from work.

“You gonna be home at your regular time? The last contractor just left.” Dan felt a thrill hearing Ethan refer to it as home.

“Yeah, I’m just finishing up here and I should be home in about twenty minutes. What’d you want to do for dinner?” It was no longer a question of if they‟d have dinner together, but what they’d eat. Ethan had essentially moved in and hadn’t been back to his own apartment in almost two weeks. “I could stop and pick something up, and we could eat it while we go over the estimates, if you wouldn’t mind. It’ll help to have a second opinion. You hungry for anything special?”

Ethan’s drawl came through the phone. “You know what I like. See you in a few.”

Dan smiled. He did know what Ethan liked. Not only was he now an expert on every kind of fast food that Harrisonburg offered, but he knew what Dan liked at every place. It seemed intimate, somehow, the kind of thing that his parents had done when his father was alive. He hadn’t liked it when his father ordered for his mother when they went out to eat, seeing it as one more way of controlling his family. God knew, he had control issues. More than once, though, he remembered his mother flitting across the restaurant to visit with a friend or to use the lady’s room and instructing him to order. She never told him what to order, he just seemed to know. He thought about the irony that he and Ethan had reached that point after less than two months when he and Pam had been together for ten years and he had never ordered for her.

Ethan was filling his life in a way that nobody, with the possible exception of Sean, ever had. When he thought of Ethan, there was not only intense desire but warmth and comfort as well. It had become so important that he couldn’t imagine his life without Ethan in it, and revealing his feelings for him risked that connection that he had grown to love.

They were finishing the last of the fries when Ethan said, “Jaden and Brendan wanted to know if we could do dinner tomorrow night.” Their young neighbors, knowing that they were without a functioning kitchen, had invited them over every couple of days so they could have something other than fast food.

“As much as I’d love to eat a meal off of a real plate instead of a paper bag, I can’t tomorrow night. I was supposed to have drinks with Sean a few weeks ago, and he bailed on me when his kids got sick and we rescheduled for tomorrow.” He grinned. “Is Jaden still head-over-heels in love with his puppy?”

Brendan had gotten him a Golden Retriever puppy for his birthday the week before, and Jaden was completely smitten with the little blonde ball of fluff.

“Yeah, you know it.” Ethan grinned. “I think I’ll go over while you go out.”

Their fast food dinner cleaned up, they spread the estimates out over the dining room table. Even though they had moved enough furniture down from the attic to set up an office for Ethan, they ended up working together on the dining room table during most of their evenings. There was room enough to spread sets of plans out, and now that Dan had the wireless network up and running, they could each work on their laptops and access the internet. Although it was neat enough, Dan thought that his father would have had a fit if he could have seen the dining room turned into a makeshift office and kitchen. He had lived by rules and order, and he wouldn’t have allowed it.

“Mom’s given us the green light for the whole job, plaster removal, drywall, everything. Now we just have to pick the contractors and see what their schedules are like.” Dan realized that he had automatically included Ethan and had never asked him if he wanted to continue with the project now that he didn’t need to wait for the contractors for estimates. He didn’t want to think about Ethan going back to his apartment.