4/14/2014

Story Orgy Presents: Take Time part 14 FINAL CHAPTER

Good morning all! Welcome back to Story Orgy Monday, and the conclusion of Take Time. Next week I'll be beginning a brand new story, not sure what it'll be yet. Guess we'll have to be surprised, hm?

Take Time Part 14 
copyright Lee Brazil
2014
Apr 14th - His feet were already numb. He should have listened.
 Embry ignored all the aches and pains of his accident. They were nothing to the pain in his heart anyway. His feet were already numb. He should have listened to the doctors and taken the meds they prescribed. He just needed to stay coherent long enough to make his point to Wats. "I want one thing and it's non-negotiable."
Watson looked up from bowls of creamy white yogurt, and Embry immediately tumbled headlong into the depths of eyes that had captured his soul in junior high. "One thing? That doesn't leave a lot of…"
"There will be no negotiations." Em frowned at Watson, letting his displeasure show. "I'm not willing to compromise what I want. I'm not giving you an ultimatum," he clarified as Wats's eyes narrowed. "I'm telling you I have one goal, and I'll do whatever it takes to make it happen."
Sweat beaded on Wats's brow, and Em was secretly pleased that he seemed to take this discussion so seriously. Maybe it wasn't kind, to tease like this, to keep Wats thinking their future was at stake, but he'd always been a bit perverse, so …
Watson brought a plunked of berries glittering with water droplets from the sink and set them on the counter. He rolled out a few sheets of absorbent paper toweling on a plate then poured the berries on them. Em's gaze was caught by the deft fingers rolling the deep purple berries on the white towels, drying them with excessive care. He knew what that meant. Wats was hiding something, trying to present a placid exterior. It probably worked beautifully in the boardroom at meetings where people hadn't known him forever.
It just made Em suspicious.
Wats started talking, "You like blueberries, right? You should. Blueberries are probably about the most healthy fruit you can eat. They're full of antioxidants. Good for your memory and cognitive functions. These are organic, no pesticides, so they'll-"
Amused, Em watched for a moment, curious to see what else Wats would say, and nearly got fatally distracted by the movements of those plump, tempting lips, then cut off the health food lecture with abrupt crudity. "Fuck, Wats. I don't care what you have for breakfast. You could give me frozen waffles-"
*"I would never—" Wats finally stopped moving, stopped talking and just stood, looking at Em with wide eyes and unsmiling lips.
"They're good for you memory, huh?" Em pointed at the blueberries as Watson scooped a handful of the fruit onto each bowl of yogurt. "Maybe if you'd been eating more of them you'd have come home more often?"
Wats drew a breath so sharp, Em knew it had to be painful. Hell, it nearly cut him. "Low blow Embry." He shoved a bowl and a spoon across the counter to Em, who barely managed to stop the bowl form ending up on the floor.
"Elephant in the room." He countered. "I'm tired of the beast, and we need to address it. I want one thing, I'll do whatever ti takes to get that. Tell me what you want."
Watson's lips moved, but no sound came out, his eyes darted around, finally landing on a slip of paper. Em reached for it at the same moment that Wats did, but managed to get it first. "Hey!"
He ignored Watson's protest as he read the paper. IT had been crossed out, and rewritten and it appeared that Wats had pared down what had once been a fifteen item list to just three things.
1.      He wanted Embry to love him.
2.      He wanted to be with Embry.
3.      He wanted to punch Embry for leaving him.
"Number three is going to have to wait a while. Maybe a few months. The rest is doable." He crushed the list in his fist and then crammed it into the pocket of the sweat pants he'd found in Watson's drawer. They were a little tight, and a little short, but he hadn't planned to be wearing them for long, so it didn't matter.
"What's your one thing?" Watson glared at him, but Em could see the softening, the openness as his posture relaxed.
"My one thing is you, Watson. You should know that. I want you. I'll do whatever it takes for you to be mine. I'll move here, sell the B&B, open a new studio. They drink coffee in Denver, right? I can even open a a new coffee shop. Just as long as we're together, that's what's important."
Watson's mouth fell open comically, and Em sighed. He reached over the counter and tapped his lover's chin. "Come on…You can't be that surprised. I can paint anywhere I choose. Last time, I chose to hide at home. This time, I'm choosing you."
"But I quit my job and I hate this apartment."
Blinking, Em cupped Wats's jaw, enjoying the prickle of stubble against his palm. "You quit your dream job for me?"
"No. I quit my dream job for me, because it wasn't. Well, it was, but not anymore. My dream is being with you."
"I don't want you giving up what you worked so hard to achieve. I can live here." He looked around the stainless steel and white kitchen, soul-less but for the vibrant man who stood in it. "If you really hate this place, we'll find a new one. Maybe a house."
"No!" Watson shook his hand off and rounded the counter in a few swift strides, crowding Embry against the marble top. "I don't want to stay here. I want to go home."
Wincing at a twinge of pain form one of his many bruises, Em drew his arms up between them and pushed Wats back just enough so he could make eye contact. "You are my home, that's what I'm trying to say. I thought it was Turtle Neck creek that was home, but it never felt like home until I crashed into you that day in junior high, and it didn't feel like home unless you were with me in all these years."
He drew in a breath and let it all rush out. "I was miserable without you, and that proves that Turtle Neck Creek isn't my home. Wherever you are, that's where I want to be."
"I sent out some resumes, and I have every expectation that I can find employment somewhere within a sixty mile radius of our home, Embry."
He brushed a soft kiss over Em's lips, then went on, "And our home is Turtle Neck Creek, your grandma's B&B, the coffee shop, my sister, the guys we went to high school with, housewives with babies drinking coffee at two in the afternoon, and you painting. All of it, it's part of us."
"What about professional development and a career?"
"I’m not a nobody intern straight from school anymore. I don't have to take what's offered and wait for promotion. I expect I'll have plenty of future employers who are willing to negotiate terms that we find amenable. Like working from home, minimal travel and if they don't well, then I'll go into business for myself."
"You really are serious." He could have the life he'd dreamed of? Turtle Neck Creek, art, coffee, and Watson?
"I have never been more serious. I love you, Embry."
"I love you more." Embry tossed out, smiling as he felt Watson shaking with gentle laugther.
"You're going to have to prove that."
"I flew to see you, would have done it twice if not for the stupid bus."
Watson sobered immediately, meeting his eyes. "I know. I'm so sorry you had to do that."
"Don't be. It was a fear I had to face, and it was only right for me to do some of the traveling. You should have insisted on it a long time ago."

"You're never traveling without me again." Watson growled. "In fact, I'm not sure I'll let you out of my sight for a while."

If you enjoyed my post, click on over to the rest of the Orgiasts and read more! 

Em Woods

4/11/2014

Limited Time Offer: Saint's Curse #99centsale

Hey everyone, 

Just a quick head's up that my publisher has marked Saint's Curse, my werewolf story, down to 99 cents until Midnight on Sunday! 

Click on over to Breathless Press and pick up your copy today.

 Saint's Curse 

REVIEWS
·         "If you are looking for a romance with a unique spin on the everyday shifter story, Saint’s Curse: Luke is definitely the book for you! ... it has an interesting, freshness to the storyline and with the characters’ situation itself that kept me interested in the book from the very first page to the last word." Recommended. - Reviewed By: Gabbi at Top 2 Bottom Reviews

  • Joyfully Jay gives Saint's Curse 4.5 stars & says "...intensely hot lovemaking scenes, and the richly detailed inner emotions of the two men and their journey together. I highly recommend Saint’s Curse by Lee Brazil.  It is a beautiful story of love triumphing over the dark and well worth the read." Reviewed by Sammy at Joyfully Jay - 

  • Coffee Beans and Love Scenes Reviews gives Saint's Curse 4.5 cups -"very highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 stars! The writing is outstanding, with a captivating story and wonderful characters... This fast-paced story is refreshingly unique. There is a bit of a paranormal twist to the story, but it's a little different from the norm.... There's action, mystery, and a touch of suspense, as well as tender romance and sizzling hot passion." -  Reviewed by Mvasquez at Coffee Beans and Love Scenes Reviews


  • Love Romances And More gives Saint's Curse 4.5 Hearts! -"As well as great characters and a well written plot with some nice twists, there was also plenty of hot male/male sex scenes, and some sparkling dialogue, including a couple of truly memorable lines. All up, an excellent book, well worth reading." – Reviewed by Helen at Loves Romances and More 

  • The Romance Reviews gives Lee Brazil's Saint's Curse: Luke three stars saying...
".... This paranormal romance is recommended for m/m lovers who enjoy a fast sweet read..."



BLURB

Luke Leveraux hates seeing suspicion darken Jeremy St. James's eyes when he leaves for his monthly hunting trip, but some secrets just can't be shared.
On the surface artist Luke Leveraux has it all: money, a fantastic historical home, talent. When his boyfriend Jeremy moves in, his life should have been perfect. But Luke's hunting expeditions are a cover for something much darker, and he doesn't dare expose his lover to this unpredictable side of his life.
Art teacher Jeremy St. James has always known about his lover's hunting trips. He just expected that they would stop when he moved in with Luke. Or, at the very least, that he might be included in the monthly excursions.
Someone else knows Luke's secret, though. Someone determined to put an end to the situation.



Excerpt:
It was another of those mornings when Luke awoke, washing blood from his hands. He stared into the cracked sink basin and shuddered as trails of soapy bubbles and pink washed-out blood swirled down the drain. The blinding light from the single bare bulb above the small mirror hurt his eyes. He hated his face in that mirror more than the blood washing through the drain.
His muscles ached, his jaw clenched. His skin went clammy and a chill wave of cold washed over him. Luke's guts heaved and he lurched to the side, squeezing his eyes tightly shut. The churning in his belly intensified and he leaned over the toilet bowl, gagging and heaving as whatever the hell he'd eaten the night before came back up. Clutching tight to the bowl as wave after wave of nausea cramped his belly, he dropped to his knees in the tiny space. The cement floor abraded his bare knees, but he didn't care.
Shards of gritty bone and bits of sinew scratched his throat on the way up, and the coppery scent of blood filled his nostrils. He retched and gagged, flushing the toilet repeatedly, until acrid stomach bile was all that came up. Sagging, he rested his head on his crossed arms on the toilet. He craved nothing more than to sleep right then and there. Despite the weakness and lingering agony the transformation caused, he had to shower.
Luke dragged himself upright, leaning against the wall, and he stretched a shaking hand past the clear plastic shower curtain to turn the hot water on. Dried blood matted his hair, caked various parts of his body. The acid odor of vomit, mingled with the coppery scent of blood, made his stomach heave, but it was empty. He had to shower, and then clean up the bathroom and the rest of the cabin. He'd never sleep if the smell of blood stayed on him, in the air around him.

4/07/2014

Story Orgy Presents: Take Time Part 13

Welcome to Story Orgy Monday! I'm not home yet, but I got today's post all ready for you the other day. 


Take Time 
copyright 2014 by Lee Brazil


Apr 7th - Just beyond the edge of the woods...
They weren't over it, not yet. Watson knew that. They were really just beyond the edge of the woods, relationship wise. When he was very little, he'd been convinced that the river monster his cousins talked about was real, that ghosts and monsters lurked behind closet doors and under beds. He'd cowered in his bed many a night, until his father had taken him by one hand, and wielding a flashlight in the other, jerked open the closet door to reveal nothing. They'd knelt and peered under the bed, to find, well not nothing, but certainly nothing more harmful than a misplaced action figure and an empty Cheetos bag.
That was where he and Embry were, right now. They'd gotten out of the woods, but big scary things lurked behind them still, things like separation, and loneliness, and death.
Those were hard shadows to leave behind.
But they'd get there, mostly because they wanted to. He'd wield the flashlight himself and shine it in all the corners they could find, under every bed and behind every door until all that was left was the light.
Grabbing Em's hand in one of his, he reached for the scrunched white cotton sheet and thick down comforter at the foot of the bed with the other and pulled them up over their knees.
Speaking softly, pushing every syllable out through a throat that ached with the pain of his near loss, Watson tucked the blankets in around his lover's battered body. "It's not ever going to be over between us, Em. I love you. I'll always love you, even if you decide that I'm not worth waiting around for." God knew he'd been about as lousy a boyfriend as any advice columnist had ever heard about. What kind of idiot forgot to go home?
"I think you're worth anything Wats, worth everything. If you want to stay in the city, I'll stay with you."
He scooted down in the bed and rested his head on one of the thick pillows. His thumb rubbed little circles on Em's inner wrist, a nervous habit almost as old as their relationship. Once he'd have been elated to hear those words, but not today. Today it felt like Embry had given up his faith in Watson, and he didn't like that one bit.
"No." He said it simply, staring down Embry's glare. He ached to see his lover so beat up, his heart seemed to freeze and then leap forward again every time his glance fell on one of the many deep purple mottled bruises marring the smooth flesh.
"You're going to hold my attempt to break up against me?" There was a flicker of anger, but also of resignation in Embry's eyes.
"No, of course not. But Em, what we had before, it wasn't working. Not for me, and not for you, you were settling, and I was …an idiot. I want you to think about what you want form our relationship, not just what you're willing to settle for because in your heart you don't really believe that this is going to last." He stifled Em's protest with a finger on his lips. "Sh. You didn't believe it, you just said as much. Now, going forward, accept that we're together, forever. Think about it. IF that's a given, what do you want out of this relationship?"
Em's lips moved under his finger, and Watson let himself enjoy the touch of the soft flesh for a minute before withdrawing.
"I don't know what you're getting at, Wats. I just want to be with you."
"We're going to do that. But there's a lot of variety in that. You want to keep up the long distance relationship? The one that was slowly killing you with anxiety and loneliness all these years?"
He saw the adamant no in Em's stiffening posture, knew that what he meant was finally sinking in. "Yeah. I thought not."
"I can't live like that again, Wats." His blue eyed gaze skittered away, taking in Wats's bedroom as though seeing it for the first time. Wats followed, knowing what his lover was seeing. Plain white walls, his rental agreement forbade painting, heavy dark furniture, traditional beige carpet. There were only a few framed photographs, of his sister, his family, and Embry, golden and smiling on the walls and wooden surfaces to make it less cold.
His apartment wasn't exactly warm and welcoming, or chic and trendy even.
It was a place to sleep and a place to work. An extension of his office almost.
"You can live here, if you want."
"I…"
"But think about it first, okay? We're going to do this my way this time."
"Because I fucked it up by doing it my way last time?"
"No. Because we're both adults who know what we want this time. I'm going to go make us something to eat, and then we're going to negotiate. My vision of our future, and yours, until we hammer out an agreement that is ours."
***

The carpet was rough and scratchy on his bare feet, but Watson didn't waste time looking for his slippers or a pair of socks. It hurt badly to be the one walking away, and he was just going to the other room. How had Embry felt when he'd walked out of Watson's office last week?
He paused in the doorway, clenching his fist in shi pocket. He wanted to turn around and go back, but if he stayed in the room with Embry any longer he'd throw himself on the man's mercy and beg to be allowed to make amends for the pain of the past.
The smart businessman he really was knew that was the wrong thing to do. He couldn’t sacrifice everything, and he couldn't expect Em to do so either. They had to work this out in a way that would work for both of them, give them both what they needed, if not everything they wanted.
You never negotiate from a position of weakness, and their future was worth his best efforts. He resumed walking, squaring his shoulders and ignoring the unintelligible mutters behind him as Embry made his displeasure clear. The sounds faded as Watson walked down the narrow hall to the living area, crossing a simple brown plush rug he'd laid down on top of the standard beige the apartment had come with through the dining area with its granite and glass table and stark black chairs to the modern efficiency kitchen with its stainless steel appliances and marble counter tops.
The real estate developers who'd conceived the complex had marketed the place as luxury condos, but in reality they were just the same old heartless floor plans you found everywhere in the city, just on a grander scale with more square footage and an admittedly impressive view of the cityscape. Sure he had a laundry room behind one of those doors in the hall, and a huge sunken tub in his bathroom, there was a fabulous gym on the ground floor, and a salon next to it. The concierge at the door would happily schedule a masseuse or call a cab if he needed one.
But his neighbors never did more than nod in the elevator, and no one cared to notice if he worked late. There were never brownies on his doorstep, or invitations to coffee on his answering machine.
The most he'd ever liked this place was this morning, when he woke up with Em in his bed, in his arms. The most it had ever felt like home was when Em was here.
In the kitchen, he sagged back against the counter top and drew a shaky breath. He felt weak, almost certain that his stupid plan was going to backfire, that he'd end up alone and lonely again because Em wouldn't be selfish.
His own demands were written out on a piece of paper on the counter top, scrawled in a messy handwriting that his secretary would have tutted over and his teachers had criticized. The page had a few cross outs and a lot of exclamation points. It had been written before he'd even known about the accident. It had traveled in his bag across country, every item etched on his soul.
He wasn't willing to compromise on any of it.
Maybe letting Embry think he would was wrong.
The coffee he'd set up last night was ready, fragrant and heady, and Wats poured himself a cup of the strong brew for fortification. He sipped a little then set the cup down and went to the fridge.
Thank god for PeaPod. He'd managed to get some groceries delivered the night before after getting Embry settled back in the bed, and now was able to construct a semblance of a meal for his lover.
Back in their roommate days, they'd have eaten Lucky Charms and bananas; and Watson had been sorely tempted to buy a box of the sweet cereal for the sheer nostalgic effect. It was dirty pool though, playing on those old memories and emotions and he'd unclicked the box reluctantly.
That smiling leprechaun and his marshmallowy goodness actually meant a lot to him. Instead, he'd selected items he knew Em kept in his own kitchen. Hopefully.
A basket of plump ripe blueberries went under running water to rinse while he scooped Greek yogurt into bowls.
"This is bullshit."

Don't forget to click over and check out Havan and Hank's stories this Monday! 
Have a great day! 


4/05/2014

New Contest: Are you good with puzzles?

New Release = New Giveaway

But this time, let's have some fun with it! 

I've devised a little puzzle for you to solve, if you enjoy that sort of thing. 
I know I do. 

Up for grabs is a $10 All Romance Gift Card. 


There are 2 ways to win this time. 
First, easy as always, just leave me a comment on this blog post or the corresponding Face Book Page post with your email. 

Want something a little more challenging? 
Double your chances of winning by solving the Anagram below and emailing your answer to 
lee.brazil@ymail.com. 

MPK   QNDR   OP   WBJJ  N  ZPO   PE   EVPAJ

OP   EBFL   N   IVBFTR


HINT: P = O 



Pulp Friction 2014 Presents 

Cold Comfort 
In From the Cold # 2 

Prince Charming Wannabe Finn Lorensson is living his own fairy tale. Sure, his intended is more frog than princess, but what's love worth if you don't have to slay a few dragons on the way?
Cannon Malloy is adapting…to life in Flagstaff, the cold, teaching...and to Finn. He's about decided that letting himself be loved isn't such a bad thing after all.
When an opportunist from Finn's past threatens both love and career, can the frog save his prince? 


CONTEST RULES

The Fine Print: Contest Ends on April 15, 2014. One prize will be awarded. Prize is an e-gift card and will be awarded electronically. Contestants must provide a valid email to be eligible, unless entering via FB (see FB post for instructions). Winner will be selected by random draw from entries via email, FB and blogger. Winner will be announced on this post, and on the corresponding Face Book page post. Winner will be notified via email. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize or prize is forfeit. Neither Blogger nor Face Book have any part in this contest, nor does All Romance eBooks. 

4/04/2014

On Retreat: Getting Away From It All and Writing

Writing Retreat


Good morning everyone! I'm terribly excited today as today is THE DAY. I leave today for a weekend long retreat to refresh myself, rediscover my creativity and write. For the past eighteen months or so, I've been immersed in a sea of self-doubt. I find it hard to maintain enthusiasm for anything, and with a few notable exceptions, like the resurgence of Story Orgy Mondays and the ongoing drama that is Pulp Friction 2014, haven't written a lot.
People, other writers, readers, editors, frequently laud the benefits of conventions and gatherings of like-minded people, and I've envied them the way they return from these events keyed up and raring to go. It's just not possible for me to attend such an event though. For one thing, I don't travel well, for another I can't deal with crowds.
Then it struck me the other day.
I don't need to be a part of a larger group that would create anxiety instead of bringing peace. I find my peace and inspiration in the rising and the setting of the sun, in the whisper of the wind and the hum of life in the countryside.
That's what I needed to find again.
And it probably can't be found in a big city at a huge hotel or convention.
But…
There are other ways.
I put my somewhat clumsy google foo to work and found a place nearby, so the travel won't wear me out, that's fairly remote, on a lake, and before those aforementioned self-doubts could tell me I was being an idiot, I reserved a cabin on a wooded lake shore for a long weekend.
Lake of the Ozarks
This weekend, I'll be watching the sun rise over the Lake of the Ozarks, drinking my coffee and soaking in the things that make me feel like the world we live in is still a pretty good place.
I've got some rules set up and some goals written down.
Chief rule?
No internet.
I'll be working on a laptop with no wireless access, so I should get a lot done, but won't be around at all from Friday morning to Tuesday morning.


Just thought I'd let you know, so you don't miss me.
 Last time I disappeared for a day or two, I ended up with an inbox full of concerned emails- 
I think that means I'm usually too much on web :P. 
So wish me luck, and I'll see you on the 8th!




Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955