Right Here, Right Now Anthology – The Soldier Next Door – Pre-Order

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Pre-Order from Pride’s Website

I am excited to share that I am taking part in the “Right Here, Right Now” anthology that Pride Publishing is releasing. I contributed a short story called “The Soldier Next Door”.

Release Schedule:

Pre-Order – August 22, 2017

Release – October 3, 2017

Summary:

Sometimes, love is right next door.

All twenty-seven-year-old Travis Schultz is supposed to do is keep an eye on the kid next door for a few weeks while his parents are out of town. Eighteen-year-old Owen Wheeler has other plans. Newly graduated, with plans to enlist in the Army, Owen wants to get laid before he ships out and he’s had a crush on Travis for years.

The age difference and the responsibility he’s been entrusted with make Travis hesitant, but the attraction is too much to deny. When the casual one-night stand turns into something more, Travis has no idea how to tell Owen how he feels. He misses his opportunity before Owen leaves and is left at home with a broken heart when Owen cuts off all contact.

When they meet again years later, Owen is in the midst of recovery from being injured in the line of duty and Travis will have to decide if he can forgive Owen and try again.

Reader Advisory: This book contains brief mentions of PTSD and war-related injuries.

Excerpt:

“So, what’s up, Owen? What do you want to talk to me about?”

“You’re gay, right?” Owen rocked back and forth from heel to toe.

Travis blinked at him. “Uhh, yeah. I’ve been out since college.” A thought occurred to him. “Ohhh, is that what you wanted to talk to me about? If you’re not sure or have questions about how to come out, I will try to help. I know it can be a little overwhelming but—”

Owen snorted. “I am gay but I’ve been out since I was fifteen and I’m a member of the school’s gay-straight alliance. I’m good there.” He crossed the room and took a seat near Travis.

“Oh, okay.” Jesus, it amazed him how brave kids were these days. A lot had changed in nine years. But if it isn’t fear of coming out, what the hell does Owen need to talk to me about?

Owen nodded. “That’s not why I’m here.”

“Okay?”

Owen slid close enough that Travis could feel the heat from his thigh. “So. Look. I’m just going to lay this all out there. I’m gay and I’ve had a couple of boyfriends but we mostly just fooled around. I want to take that next step, ya know? I don’t want to go to war and die a virgin. You’re really hot and I’ve had fun hanging out with you the past week. It seemed like you were kinda checking me out so…what do you think? Will you help me out, man?”

Travis gaped at him for a moment as the words tumbled through his brain. “Wait. You want me to do what?”

Owen didn’t answer. Instead, he wrapped a hand around the back of Travis’ neck and pulled him in for a kiss. It took Travis a moment to register what was happening. Owen teased the seam of his lips with his tongue.

For one brief, stupid moment, Travis responded, then reality hit him like a bucket of Arctic water and he pushed Owen away. “Wait, wait, wait. This is a bad idea.”


In addition to my story, there are short stories from five other Pride Authors!

‘Undercover’ by Lily Harlem

When two alpha males collide, sparks will fly.

Samuel’s job is to scrutinize the store’s customers and make sure everyone stays on the right side of the law. One sexy guy in particular has him not only hot under the collar, but filling his dreams and starring in his wildest fantasies. Yet, he can’t pluck up the courage to spark a conversation and find out if those lingering looks mean what he thinks they do.

Until, that is, a misdemeanor occurs giving him the chance to haul hot bloke into his office. The only trouble is, Samuel soon realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew. This man isn’t going to take a reprimand lying down, no matter how much attraction is fizzing between them.

There’s only one thing for it and that’s to allow the heat between them to reach combustion point—even if it means switching, pushing boundaries and bending the rules. Undercover or not, burning desire and scorching lust can’t be ignored.
‘Never the Groom’ by Samantha Cayto

A cold night turns unexpectedly hot.

Ian Cabot has led a shy, sheltered life ever since a plane accident killed his mother and left him emotionally and physically scarred. His father’s marriage of convenience forces him into the magnetic orbit of his soon-to-be cousin by marriage. The man who meets him at the airport is just the kind of commanding man he hopes will rid him of his virginity. Too bad anything between them is out of bounds.

James Reynolds has no time or patience for his cousin’s social-climbing marriage, and even less for taking a detour to deal with the pampered son of her fiancé. As a hard-working and dedicated family man, he agrees to pick Ian up and get him to the wedding. The pretty college boy who hides half his face is not what he is expecting and proves to be disturbingly tempting.

Whatever discipline Ian and James have to keep their relationship strictly familial is tested by an unseasonable blizzard and the sexual heat they can’t ignore.

‘The Matchmakert’ by Alexa Milne

Sometimes you need a little push.

Josh is a carer and Simon is his employer. Each has a secret they keep from each other, but not from the other person in their lives.

Tom may only be a teenager, but he can see the attraction between his father and Josh. Can he bring them together and create a happy ever after for all three of them?
‘Throwaway’ by Jon Keys

Garrett escaped the death threat from his family, but the Texas Panhandle is where he may be at the end of any hope.

After being thrown out by his parents, Garrett’s planned escape ended when the last of his money landed him in a tiny West Texas town with no more resources than a backpack with his entire worldly goods and the change in his pocket. He huddles behind a dumpster to avoid the broiling noonday heat. As the sun moves below its apex, one of the workers from the convenience store tosses a few bags of food past its prime into the dumpster and Garrett is soon surrounded by the scent. His hunger overcomes his caution and Garrett takes advantage of a distraction to slip into the trash and snag the food. Garrett finds himself threatened by a group of locals when he discovers the bags hold more than stale burritos.

Trevor, the manager of the regional farmers’ co-op, rescues him before he goes to jail. A day later, after a hot shower, fresh clothes and a full stomach, Garrett is excited to have a possible solution to his problem.

When pieces disappear from an unusual collection of jewelry, Garrett and Trevor team up to find the actual thief.
‘The Coach’ by Thom Collins

A routine assignment unlocks the secrets of his past.

News man Josh Holleran knows very little about sport and prefers to cover the crime desk. When his editor sends him to interview representatives from the local rugby team, Josh has little enthusiasm.

The Woodbridge Warriors are celebrating, having qualified for a national competition and it’s a significant story for the rural area, but Josh knows nothing about the game. His interest increases massively when he meets Cole Jansen, the hunky team coach. Cole is a big, beefy guy in his mid-thirties, exactly Josh’s type.

There’s something very familiar about him. Josh can’t shake the feeling that they’ve met before. Soon he realizes exactly who the coach is and how he knows him. A shameful secret from Josh’s past is about to be revealed and he’ll have to overcome his regret to stand a chance of happiness in the future.


Click on the button below to pre-order the “Right Here, Right Now” anthology!Pridelogo

Trust Release – Love is Not a Cure-All

Cover Final

I am so excited to share “Trust” with you. I adore Evan and Jeremy and telling their story was wonderfully challenging for me as a writer. “Connection” and “Trust” both required a lot of research to get the details right. In addition, taking two bruised and battered men and bringing them to a point where they were healed enough to have a realistic and healthy HEA was an interesting struggle.

Love is amazing. It’s one of the best things out there as far as I’m concerned. But it doesn’t conquer all. It doesn’t fix gaping wounds.  In some cases, it can bandage them enough to allow time and proper treatment to heal them. It can inspire a person to work harder, be better, fix their own problems. But on it’s own it is not enough.

You’ll probably never read a book of mine where love is the cure-all. The idea that humans must heal themselves is too deeply rooted in my beliefs. Sure, I’ll write characters who make decisions I’ll never make. I will write awful, abusive characters like Evan’s father Jimmie. I’ll write horrible, neglectful characters like Jeremy’s parents, Kevin and Barbara.

But I won’t write main characters whose lives are magically fixed by love. That’s too easy and too unrealistic; it’s not what romance is about to me. To, me the beauty of a story lies in the struggle. Characters learning and growing and changing is what fascinates me.

It took me nearly 145,000 words and the better part of a year (in the story) to get Evan and Jeremy to a point where their HEA felt believable to me. Evan seeing past Jeremy’s scars didn’t cure Jeremy’s discomfort with them. However, it allowed Jeremy to work with his therapist to come to terms with them. Would Jeremy have done it without Evan’s love? Probably not.

Would Evan have been strong enough to tell his mother how he deserved to be treated if not for Jeremy’s love? I doubt it. But Jeremy’s love didn’t cause that, it merely created a safe place for Evan to flourish and grow.

Looking further out, I could argue that Russ and Stephen’s love for Evan and Jeremy was equally crucial for their growth. Because romantic love is only a part of what these men were looking for. All four of them were searching for love and connection. For family and trust and equality. And, in the end, I think that’s what all human beings are searching for.

We want to surround ourselves with people who love and support us. Who create the kind of environment where we can become the best possible versions of ourselves. Who love us, but know that we are the ones who need to do the real work. Who give us that opportunity and are proud of us when we achieve it.

Who love us and let us grow.

Summary:

Evan Harris thinks his relationship with Jeremy Lewis is going well.  But when Jeremy bolts, Evan is left nursing a broken heart. Jeremy loves Evan, but his inability to trust holds him back from facing his past head on and building the future he desperately wants. Evan’s patience is at the breaking point, and he struggles to decide if Jeremy deserves another chance.

Evan Harris thinks his relationship with Jeremy Lewis is going well.  But when Jeremy bolts, Evan is left nursing a broken heart. Jeremy loves Evan, but his inability to trust holds him back from facing his past head on and building the future he desperately wants. Evan’s patience is at the breaking point, and he struggles to decide if Jeremy deserves another chance.

Scarred by his own parents’ treatment of him, Jeremy doesn’t trust Evan’s mother’s motives when she reappears in Evan’s life after his father lands in jail. The ensuing disagreement about his concerns puts further pressure on their developing relationship.

Unless Jeremy can learn to trust and Evan can let go of past hurts, they’ll miss out on the relationship they’ve both been searching for.

Excerpt:

Jeremy wrestled his shoe on and stood. He swayed on his feet for a second as his skin went chalky again. Evan reached for him, but Jeremy shook him off. His anger seemed to dissipate as his shoulders dropped and his voice softened slightly. “Look, it’s time you find out what the rest of the world is like. Go meet guys, go be young and stupid.” He ran his thumb across Evan’s cheek, his smile sad and wistful. “Just not too stupid.”

Evan stared at him. “And what will you being doing?”

Jeremy’s voice came out gruff. “Feeling lucky I was your first for a few things.”

“Don’t do this, Jeremy.” Evan hated the way he sounded, like he was pleading with him. He wanted to drop to his knees and beg Jeremy to stay, but he was afraid that would only make things work. That it would make Evan seem weak in Jeremy’s eyes. “Please.”

“I can’t be the guy you’re looking for,” Jeremy murmured. “You have no idea how much I wish I could, but it’s not possible.”

“Why?” He winced, hating the way his voice cracked. “I don’t understand.”

“I’m too … damaged and I have too much of my own shit to deal with. I can barely manage to give you a handjob much less anything else. I’m not able to be what you need. I’d be a shitty boyfriend.”

Evan straightened and brushed away the tears. “What if—if you didn’t have to commit to me and we … we slept together. It wouldn’t have to mean anything. Give me rules about where I can touch you. You can keep your pants on. I don’t care.” Right then, he wanted anything, whatever Jeremy would give him.

Anything but losing him.

“I’m in no shape for sex and you deserve a hell of lot more than a cripple for a lover.” Jeremy’s voice was surprisingly gentle. “And let’s be honest, it’s more than sex, isn’t it? You want the rest too. Wouldn’t it hurt you to wonder why you weren’t good enough for me to commit to?”

Evan flinched. “I wouldn’t,” he protested, but he knew he was lying.

“You would. And I know I’m hurting you now, but it’ll hurt a lot less than some half-assed non-relationship.” Jeremy brushed Evan’s hair off his forehead. “I care about you, Evan, way more than I should. What happened last night was a mistake and we can’t repeat it.”

“Wasn’t it good?”

“It was perfect.” Jeremy sighed, the corner of his mouth twisting up in a sad smile. “But that makes it worse, right? I can’t give you what you need and it’s going to end badly if we continue. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, Evan.”

“You already have,” Evan whispered.

“Oh, kid.” Jeremy wrapped his arms around Evan and he collapsed gratefully, his cheek against Jeremy’s shoulder. “I know. And I’m sorry.”

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Connection Release

Connection Final Final Cover

“Connection” was a long time coming.  Since the moment I created Evan’s character in “Partners” I knew I was going to have to tell his story as well.  If nothing else, my betas would have come after me with pointy things until I did!

It was during a conversation with Allison that it occurred to me that Jeremy was the perfect partner for Evan. I actually gasped when I thought of the pairing, because it was so unexpected, but perfect.  I hadn’t planned on another May/December romance, but Jeremy’s a stubborn one, and despite the fact that he and Evan seemed all wrong for each other on paper, I knew they’d be just what the other needed.  Evan needs someone who can recognize his loneliness and pull him out of his shell a little.  And Jeremy needs someone like Evan who simply doesn’t see Jeremy’s scars as a problem.

Meredith King made me a beautiful trailer for the story and I am so in love with the way it compliments the story.

Summary:

After a lifetime of being told he’s worthless, shy, sheltered Evan Harris is forced out of the closet and kicked out of his home.  Friends in Atlanta give him a place to stay while he gets on his feet, but despite his eagerness to explore the city, it isn’t exactly what he expected.

Physically and emotionally scarred from a devastating car accident, Jeremy Lewis struggles to reconcile the brash, outgoing man he used to be with the social recluse he’s become.

Loneliness draws them to each other, but a strong mutual attraction isn’t enough to overcome their pasts.  In order to be together, Evan must discover his own worth and Jeremy must trust someone to see past his scars.

Excerpt:

“So how do you know the grooms?” The man he was pretty sure he recognized from the sporting goods store dropped onto the stool to his left, and Evan jerked, spilling some of his drink on the bar.

“Oh, um, I met Russ and Stephen last fall when they were in Stephen’s hometown. I worked at the funeral home there when they buried his father.”

The guy frowned. “So you’re just visiting Atlanta then?”

Evan shook his head. “No. I moved to Atlanta in February. When we met last fall, Russ was nice enough to kind of”—he struggled to find the right words as he mopped up the spill—“take me under his wing, I guess. Once I moved here, Russ and Stephen helped me get settled and find the guts to go off on my own.”

He chuckled and nudged Evan’s elbow with his. “I dunno, seems like you must have had some guts in the first place.”

“Maybe.” Evan blushed. “I’d like to think so.”

“How do you like Atlanta?”

“It’s lonely,” Evan said, surprising himself with his candor. The drink he was working on must’ve loosened his tongue. “I mean, it’s fine, I guess. I just haven’t met anyone yet.” In his head, Atlanta had been a gay man’s paradise where there would be available guys everywhere he looked, but it hadn’t worked out that way. At least, not for him.

“Amen, kid.” The guy raised his glass and clinked it against Evan’s. “What’s your name, anyway?”

“Evan Harris.” He glanced at the guy out of the corner of his eye.

“Nice to meet you. Jeremy Lewis.” He narrowed his eyes at Evan. “Wait a minute, you came into Johnson’s sporting goods a while ago, didn’t you? You needed running shoes, I think.”

“I … yeah,” Evan replied, shocked but flattered that the guy—Jeremy—had remembered him. “I did. Russ suggested I go there, actually. Um, thanks for your help, by the way. The new shoes are much better. The fit specialist did a great job.”

Jeremy grinned. “Glad to hear my employees know what they’re doing.”

Evan wasn’t sure what else to say about running shoes that wouldn’t make him sound like an idiot, but he didn’t want Jeremy to stop talking to him, so he changed the subject. “How do you know them?”

“Stephen and Russ? I just met Russ a few months ago, but Stephen’s my ex.”

“Really?” Evan gaped at him for a moment before all the pieces fell into place. Stephen had mentioned his ex’s car accident. That explained the limp and the scar. “Oh.”

“Mmmhmm. Stephen’s always had a thing for younger guys. We met when I was twenty, and he was … oh, must have been about thirty-two, thirty-three, maybe? Hell if I can remember. It’s been fifteen years.”

Which meant Jeremy was in his mid-thirties now. Up close, Evan could see the lines around his eyes when he smiled. Evan liked them.

“You’re not jealous of Russ?” he blurted out, then bit his lip, hoping Jeremy wasn’t offended.

“It’s complicated,” Jeremy said with a sigh as his lips twisted in a bitter smile. “I know Russ is a hell of a lot better for Stephen than I ever was, and I’m glad they’re happy together. It’s … it’s not that I want to be with Stephen, and, hell, I’m not a relationship kinda guy, but something about seeing them together makes me envious, you know?”

“Yeah, I know.” Evan sighed.

Jeremy nudged him with his elbow again. “Come on, kid, I’m sure you can’t have any trouble picking up guys.”

Evan sputtered, nearly choking on his drink and wondering how the guy knew he was gay. Am I obvious? he wondered. “Umm, I haven’t exactly ever done it before …” he muttered into his glass, embarrassed to confess his lack of dating experience but unable to hold his tongue.

“Don’t tell me you’re a virgin?” Jeremy’s gaze was disbelieving, and the tips of Evan’s ears went red-hot.

“Okay, I won’t then.” Evan tilted his drink back and shook an ice cube into his mouth, crunching down on it. He refused to look at the guy next to him for fear he’d turn tomato red.

Jeremy whistled quietly. “Kid, if you go into a gay club it’ll be like waving a steak at starving tigers. They’ll be all over you.”

“I think you’ve had too much to drink,” Evan protested. “I’m nothing special.”

“Oh, Jesus, you have to be kidding me.” Jeremy stood with a groan. “Okay, unless you’ve got somewhere you need to be, I want you to come have a seat with me at a booth over there. My leg is fucking killing me, and we need to have a long talk about why you don’t realize you’re the kind of pretty little twink who makes gay men cream their jockstraps.”

Evan blushed, but he followed Jeremy toward the cozy booths anyway, embarrassed, terrified, and completely intrigued by the gorgeous guy who had called him pretty.

Buy Links:

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New Release – “Family: A Holiday Novella”

 

 

 Summary:

After too many holidays alone, Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker decide to invite Russ’ family to spend Christmas with them. Russ wants to repair the fractured relationships with his father and sister, and Stephen wants to feel like he’s part of a family. But when Russ’ sister, Addie, brings an unexpected guest, it makes an already challenging situation more complicated. The Christmas Stephen gets may not be as perfect as the one he imagined but perhaps happiness can be found in the flaws.

Excerpt:

Peter clapped him on the back. “I’ve known you for a lot of years, Stephen. I saw you with Jeremy and after his accident. I saw you when you believed you’d never fall in love again. This relationship with Russ—it’s made you a new man. You may not see it, but it’s changed you.”

“I know it has,” Stephen acknowledged. Peter left, and Stephen sought Russ again. He was in line at the bar now, and he held up his empty glass, mouthing “be there in a moment”. Eager to go to him, Stephen set down his own empty glass on a deserted table as he crossed the distance between them. Russ, distracted by something the person in front of him said, didn’t notice Stephen’s approach.

Stephen leaned in, whispering in Russ’ ear as he rested his hands lightly on Russ’ hips. “Dance with me?”

Russ turned to look at him, surprised. “Are you sure?”

“Sure I want to put my arms around the man I love? Yes.” The earlier doubt he’d felt was gone. Peter had some valid points, and what Stephen wouldn’t give to feel Russ in his arms right now. Over the years, he’d conditioned himself to expect less than others, simply because he was gay. Straight couples didn’t think twice about dancing with each other during the holiday party. Why should he?

Stephen and Russ Final

 

I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating this story was to write. What should have been a relatively easy, fun holiday novella wound up becoming a writing challenge.  I struggled with this story from September to November, trying to get it right.  When I finally felt like I had it ready, I sent it to my betas.  The majority of them told me it  had potential but needed work.  I got nearly idential comments from several people telling me it didn’t flow well and felt repetitive.  Clearly I needed to re-work it.

So I tore it apart, completely decimating the timeline and re-working it. I cut a few scenes, tweaked the remaining ones, and by the time it was done it was much tighter.  I felt better about it and the feedback on it was good.  And I learned a lot from the experience.

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a stressful, rushed, and disorganized release though.  I was aiming to have this out by the first week in December but the extra time was needed and I’d rather put out a good story late than half-ass it and get it out on time.  If only it wasn’t so stressful.  I’m ready to pull the blankets over my head and sleep until the new year.

That being said, I really do love the story and am glad I was able to tell it.  Russ and Stephen are very dear to my heart and I had fun exploring what the holidays would be like for them.

I hope you enjoy the story.  And more than anything I hope you’re able to spend the holidays with the people you care about.  Because, like Stephen, I’ve learned that people you meet can often become as important–if not more–important than the family you were born into.

If there’s one thing I wish for this holiday season, it’s that everyone has at least one person in their life they can call family.  A person who feels like home.

 

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New Release – “Partners”

 

Partners

 

 Summary:

After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen’s hometown in southern Georgia.

Estranged from his family, Stephen must find a way to come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ realizes providing emotional support is one part of being a true partner for Stephen.

Excerpt:

After the dishes were done and the kitchen was clean, the three of them sat on the front porch, Russ beside him on the creaking swing as Miss Esther knitted and told Russ stories about Stephen growing up. “Before you leave I’ll show you the photos I have,” she promised Russ and he enthusiastically agreed. Stephen’s gaze flew to the elderly woman.

“You have them?”

“Sure do,” she said easily, the clack of the needles never pausing. “Your daddy tried to throw them out when your momma passed but I wouldn’t let him. I’ve been hangin’ onto ‘em for you.”

“Oh,” Stephen replied, feeling strangely shaky. He’d thought every memory of his childhood had been tossed out.

“They’re in a box in the blue bedroom,” she said. “You can get them down from the shelf in the closet for me tomorrow.”

“I’d love to see them,” Russ said, his tone eager as he leaned forward. Stephen was less sure of how he felt. On one hand, he was relieved to know it hadn’t all been destroyed. On the other, he wasn’t sure how much of his past he could face this weekend. Then Russ’ knee nudged his, their thighs pressing together. As the katydids droned in the background, Stephen felt himself relax, remembering he didn’t have to face it alone.

Russ and Stephen FinalThe moment I began writing the second book in this series, I knew it was going to be a rough one.  For so many years Stephen pushed back the memories of his past.  He didn’t have to deal with them and it isn’t until he’s forced to go back to the town he grew up in that they all come back.  Avoidance is a tricky way of dealing with your issues.  It works for a while, but once the status quo changes … they seem to come back twice as hard.

It’s really no exception for Stephen and in many ways, he’s ill-prepared to deal with it.  Stephen spent his whole life with his eyes on his future, ignoring his past, and he hasn’t allowed many people to get close to him.  Now that he’s forced to deal with his feelings about his father and his hometown, he struggles to let himself lean on Russ, to let himself grieve and be angry.

Russ has been equally isolated and has little experience being the emotional support for someone else.

“Russ hoped it was enough for Stephen. He had no experience with a relationship like this, no frame of reference for what Stephen was dealing with. Bourbon and blowjobs he could do, but emotional support was much trickier. He was trying though.”

He wants to be Stephen’s rock and yet he isn’t sure how to be.

This story is about learning to rely on  and trust each other.  It’s about their growth as men and as a couple.  And about working through the past and building a future together.

 

Here are the links to purchase the story.

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 And please, join me on the blog tour.  It begins today on Prism with an interview!

Tour Stops:

9/19/2014 Prism Book Alliance  http://www.prismbookalliance.com

9/20/2014 GGR Review http://www.ggr-review.com/

9/21/2014 MM Good Book Reviews http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

9/23/2014 Smoocher’s Voice http://www.smoochersvoice.com/

9/25/2014 Diverse Reader http://diversereader.blogspot.com/

9/27/2014 Love Bytes Reviews http://lovebytesreviews.com

9/28/2014 The Novel Approach http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/

9/30/2014 Padme’s Library http://padmeslibrary.blogspot.com/

10/1/2014 JP Barnaby http://www.jpbarnaby.com/

10/3/2014 Rainbow Gold Reviews http://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com/

Updates

I thought I’d give you a quick update of where things are at right now. Partners, the second book in the Equals Series, is available for pre-sale on Amazon.  It will be release September 19.

Partners

I am working on the next book in the series although it’s still somewhat up in the air if I will include a holiday short as part of Book 3 or if it’ll be released separately.  At the moment, I’m leaning toward something separate.  Which would you prefer as a reader?

I am continuing to work on the novel I’m collaborating on.  It’s a slow, steady process but it’s going well and I am very excited about it.

I’m also getting ready for GRL in October.  I am going as a reader not an author this year. It’ll be overwhelming enough to go to without trying to pretend like I know what I’m doing.  Besides, I don’t have any print books released yet and I’d like to have some before I attempt to go as an author.  If you’re going, I WILL have some postcards with coupon codes for a free download on Smashwords, or something of the sort. I’m still working out the details. If you have suggestions, please let me know.

I am also up for Author of the Month for September on Goodreads! If you’re a member of the M/M Romance Group on GR you can go here to my profile.  Scroll to the bottom and vote in the poll there.  If you aren’t a member, you’re welcome to join then vote.  Voting is open until August 27.

And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m working on updating the blog.  New header, new tagline, new layout and slightly new color scheme.  I’m also adding pages like the Upcoming Projects page and I am currently working on a page that will list all of the books I currently have out with summaries/excerpts/covers/buy links.

I’d love to get your feedback on the blog so far. What do you like about it? What do you dislike? I am always open to suggestions so please, tell me what I can do to make the blog a better place for you!

New Release – “Equals”

 

Equals Cover 1 Final

 

 Summary:

Too busy to date while he worked to put himself through school, Russell Bishop’s dedication finally pays off; he has a great job with Vantage Marketing. Stephen Parker, CFO of the marketing firm, has resigned himself to a life without a partner. For six months, they wanted each other but it isn’t until Russ slips on spilled coffee, and Stephen rushes to his rescue that they discover their attraction is mutual. However, the twenty year age gap between them proves difficult when they begin dating. Fiercely independent, Russ isn’t sure he’s ready for long-term commitment. Scarred from a previous relationship, Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself. Is there any way for them to meet in the middle and become equals?

Excerpt:

As if he’d heard Stephen’s thoughts, Russ straightened and turned his head before hopping in a half circle to face him, smiling widely. “Hey. Didn’t hear you come in.”

Stephen realized he still hovered in the doorway and he stepped forward and let it shut behind him. “Hi. How was your day?”

Russ leaned back against the counter, all of his weight on his uninjured foot. “Once I got over being pissed at you, not bad.”

Stephen gave him a wry smile. “I am sorry; I didn’t mean to come off heavy-handed.” He set the bags in his hands on the counter and walked closer to Russ. “I was worried about you.”

Russ laid a hand on Stephen’s chest, fingers curling around his tie. “I’m a big boy; I can take care of myself.”

Stephen nodded, stepping closer so his feet were between Russ’ but careful not to bump the injured ankle. “I am sure you can,” Stephen said calmly. “But I feel at least somewhat responsible for your accident.”

“I don’t blame you for it.”

“I know you don’t.” For a few heartbeats, they looked at each other until Russ tugged at the tie. Stephen didn’t lean in, but it didn’t take a genius to decipher his intention. He looked up at Stephen and spoke quietly. “It feels strange to be wearing your clothes and sleeping in your bed when we haven’t so much as kissed.”

Stephen’s voice was husky. “Was that a hint?”

“No.” Russ wet his lips. “But this is a demand: I want you to kiss me.”

“I can do that.”

Stephen and Russ Final

As I said in an earlier post, I’d been toying with the idea of writing a story about a couple with a significant age gap.  I ran across a picture (more on that early next week) that sparked an idea and the plot slowly built from there.  Unlike many of my previous stories where the idea came all at once, in a rush, this was slower.  It came in fits and starts, trickling out.  Every story is different, and I kind of love that.  Sometimes lines of dialogue that pop into my head tells me who the characters are.  In this case, getting a solid grasp of where the characters came from and finding out what their motivation was needed to be squared away before I could truly hear them.  My pre-readers, who I can’t thank enough, were fantastic about brainstorming ideas with me.

Russ and Stephen were an absolutely fascinating pair for me to explore.  Although Lucas and Sean in the Wine Tasting Series had an age gap, it was only eleven years and both were financially secure, over thirty, and Lucas’ career was more established.

Russ and Stephen have a lot more to deal with, and almost two decades of age difference.  There’s bound to be some friction there, huh?  With Stephen’s past relationship looming over them and Russ’ stubbornness … well, they have a lot to work through.

Keep an eye out for the blog tour info.  I’ll post that in the near future.  And I can’t wait to hear what you think of Russ and Stephen!

All Romance

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