11/30/2012

RJ SCOTT HOLIDAY HOP DEC 1 & 2


Good morning everyone! Grab yourself a cup of coffee, and do help yourself to the fresh cinnamon bread. I'm Lee Brazil, author of mm romance for Breathless Press, Story Orgy and Silver Publishing. I write primarily contemporary romance, but dabble a bit with paranormal and historical romance as well.

RJ Scott has invited us all to share the spirit of the Christmas season with you- and I'm most definitely up for that. I love the holiday season- there's nothing as pretty as a canvass of pure snow, or a frost covered fir tree, nothing as enticing as the warm scents of cinnamon and pine.

I reach back in my memories, because this season is all about family and tradition, and one of the things that kids today don't have that we had, was the sheer joy of anticipation, the steadily building awareness that Christmas was coming. These kids get to watch the holiday movies and classics whenever they want, thanks the genius that is Netflix, the innovation of DVD's.

Forty years ago? We had the TV Guide. Our December was plotted and planned around the viewing schedule. Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and my personal favorite, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, were only on once, and if you missed it, too bad.

These days I’m grateful for the opportunity to watch my favorites anytime I want- but I kind of miss the way having them staggered out across the month helped build the anticipation.

I leave you with this little bit of my favorite: 




 Now, you leave me the name of your favorite holiday cartoon classic, and I'll enter you to win an ebook of your choice form my back list. Easy as that, and no waiting until the 25th to open it either! 


Thanks for stopping by and letting me ramble, there's a lot of other folks playing today as well, so skip on over and visit them for more chances to win! 

Blogs participating

11/27/2012


Crawling Into Bed With Ruari and Sebastian

And a Good Book Teaching Teacher 



*Crawls onto bed* Scoot over there....that's right. Give me some space. Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?
R Cm'on, Egyptian Cotton, Silk? No way *shudder* I'm a Scotsman.
S Cotton every time. Silk is too slippery for all the wrong reasons *grins*


*waggles brows* Gotcha. Okay so...What are you wearing?

S *smirks* can't you tell? Okay, sorry, PJ bottoms. My mum boght us a pair each for when she visits. She threatened to get some with Bugs Bunny on so, stripes are a relief
R Even if we are color coded. At least I'm not wearing red, it woild clash with my hair!


Ah. So glad I went with the flannel then. What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
R I'm coeliac so nothing with gluten for me. Gluten free oatcakes and pate, olives and dips. Red wine to drink.
S Don't worry I've got some ordinary stuff, and some single malt, but I tend to steer clear of anything that might make Ruari unwell. We get little enough time to spend together without Ru doubled up in pain.


That's sweet. Wouldn't want your guy to feel sick. If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?
R Hmm, well if it's at the pub, to do lists, er *laughs* the usual. Gel, condoms. S *buts in* bar of chocolate, and a set of keys.
R several sets
S and pretty much the same at the house. Creatures of habit. Except At the pub there's usually a walkie talkie stashed in it, at home its the remote for the TV. Sunday morning footie in bed. *wink*


Huh. Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?
R *points at Seb.* He's a duvet hogger
S Hey I get cold okay? I'm a southern wuss. But I do hog you with it.
R Yeah that's true enough.

Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
R Why not, Seb does it all the time.
S Yup I do. Seriously he'd sleep with a 4 tog duvet with three feet of snow outside.
R I'm a true Scotsman, we're hardy.
S I can vouch for the true Scotsman bit, you should see him in his kilt


Can I? Okay..okay.. um...so. What are we reading?
Teaching Teacher, By Raven McAllan



11/26/2012

Story Orgy Presents: Christmas Flashes #1 By Design


Good morning Story Orgy readers! Hope you're having a fantastic day. Got your coffee? We've got just a few announcements to share today before we get started with our Holiday stories...
First, the delightful Em Woods and I are touring with Breathless Press this week in honor of our new releases, Willow and Choices. Stop by and comment each day and you'll have a chance to win a great prize! 
Here are the blog stops

November 26:  The Menagerie Authors

November 27:  Reviews by Molly
November 29:  Wickedly Wanton Tales
November 30:  Wickedly Sexy Writers



See You there! 

Second, Em has a new release coming up real quick on December 3rd- this is a fabulous sexy re-telling of Dicken's holiday classic, A Christmas Carol

You can get more holiday cheer from the Story Orgy crew in And The Prompt Is: Holiday Edition 
now only 2.99 at All Romance E-books and Amazon! 

Merry Christmas to Dianne Hartsock who gifted me with the following prompt: 
Person: firefighter; Place: Santa's Workshop; Thing: sugar cookies

By Design

copyright Nov. 2012 by Lee Brazil 

It smelled like vanilla, and sweetness, like pine, smoke and fire. Not the bad kind of smoke that was tinged with fear, but the soft mellow soothing kind that meant a fire in the fireplace and smiling faces. It smelled like home, but that was impossible, because Kyle Martin Jacobs didn't have a home any more. Not since the fire...the bad kind that smelled like destruction and broken dreams and hate.
Now, he had a studio apartment that was close to the station house instead of a three bedroom stucco covered ranch style home in a nice neighborhood. That house had been blocks from Santa's Workshop, where Aiden designed toys for children. Kyle didn't need any more than the studio now, because the fire had taken everything, his clothes, his furniture, his future. Aiden.
"Oh, God." Kyle opened his eyes and jumped from the futon, clutching at the object that nearly fell from the battered thrift shop coffee table as he did. What the fuck was it that he'd left there? Some kind of dinner plate? But he didn't eat any dinner, he never ate away from the station-house where Chief Nick badgered him into join the other firefighters at the table for every meal. Or had he just forgotten warming a plate of leftovers? The chief frequently forced a plate into his hands when the starving team left any food on the table.
His eyes opened wide and he stared at the plate, fingers shaking. "It can't be!"
"It is, though, Kyle."
And it was...a green cellophane wrapped china plate, with tiny boughs of holly bedecked with minuscule red berries at twelve and three, six and nine. A plate full of still warm, red sugar sprinkled cookies that would melt in his mouth if he took just one bite.
A plate that should have shattered in the fire, cookies he couldn't bake, cellophane he'd never have had the patience to wrap so neatly. It was a plate of holiday cookies exactly like the ones Aiden baked to hand out to their friends every year on December first, when they had their annual holiday party and back yard barbecue.
Which they weren't having this year, because there was no backyard left to barbecue in, and no Aiden left to bake.
"It's a fucking dream asshole." He muttered. Then I don't want to wake up. Because if in his dreams he got cookies Aiden baked instead of fiery nightmares of exploding gas grills, then he could sleep forever.
"No, it's not."
He stopped pretending that he couldn't really hear the voice and searched the tiny apartment. "Who are you?"
"Oh come, now, Kyle. You know me."
"I don't." He shook his head, set the plate down and peered into the gloom. There wasn't anywhere for someone to hide. Unless...Silently, Kyle crossed to the bathroom door. He swung the door open and flicked the light switch. It responded with a dubious burst of light followed immediately by a faint buzz and a telling pop before casting the room back into gloom. The illumination lasted just long enough to highlight the vast emptiness of the tiny space. A single towel slung haphazardly over the shower door, a scarcely dented tube of toothpaste, a solitary white toothbrush and a black comb.  No lurking figure of humanity stopped by on its way home form work to leave him cookies.
"Quit fucking around. Come on out." Had to be one of the guys from the station come to coax him back to the North Pole Fire Station House for the annual celebration of the season before the frantic rush of holiday madness. "I’m sorry I didn't stay for the damn pre-Christmas party, okay? It's just that this is hard..."
"I know it is baby."
Baby. He hadn't been called baby in exactly a year. Only one man ever called him baby. "Aiden?" Kyle crumpled down on the floor, the thin worn carpet received him with an indignant burst of musty stale dust particles, and he wrapped his arms around his knees and cried.
"Shhh." It could have been the brush of wind against the lone apartment window. It could have been the furnace shushing into action to warm the chilly little room. It couldn't have smelled like peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate, and Aiden's musky man scent.
But it did. Hot tears spilled down his cheeks, and he rubbed them harshly against the thick coarse fabric of his uniform pants. "God, Aiden, I miss you so much."
A soft tentative hand rubbed between his shoulder blades, hesitated briefly then twined in the long curls that fell down his back. He hadn't cut his hair since Aiden left, and it was longer than regulation allowed. The Chief hadn't given him any grief about cutting it, though, and so he just let it go, because Aiden had liked this, running his fingers through it, tangling the coils around his fingers, and tugging at it to get his attention. Like now.
"Fuck. Aiden?" He jerked upright, and swiveled his head to see who touched him, because no doubt that was a physical touch, he could feel the fingers in his hair even now, toy with the long strands, tangling them together.
"Yes, love."
"You left me." He still couldn't see anything, but vague indications of a figure form the corner of his eye, every time he shifted as though to catch a glimpse, the figure wasn't there, but it was real, he could feel Aiden here with him.
"I'm here, aren't I?"
"Yes," Unbelievably, a spark of joy lit in his cold, dark heart that hadn't felt warm in all of the previous 364 days since Aiden had left him. "Kiss me?" He begged without shame, though prior to those 364 days of loneliness, he wouldn't have dreamed of begging, or even asking, he'd have just taken Aiden's kiss, as something that was his right, his due.
"Close your eyes then," Aiden's words and a delicate touch on his lids closed his eyes. He squeezed them shut, because even if he was imagining that ominous overtone, it wasn't worth risking any consequence to open them. What if he peeked and Aiden disappeared? What if it was all a dream and opening his eyes chased the dream away?
Soft lips brushed lightly over his, a small familiar weight settled in his lap, forcing his knees down until Aiden straddled him, crushing their groins together. Gasping, Kyle pushed up into that weight, opened his mouth to urge the deepening of that kiss.
The very familiarity of every slick plane of tooth, every surge of tongue sent waves of heat washing through him that overwhelmed his grief, burned away the agony of the last year and replaced with it a burning need, a desire for release so strong he shook with it.
His hands moved of their own accord, tracing familiar muscles, finding buttons and zippers and popping them open, sliding them down, seeking flesh that felt cool to the touch, but soothingly so as he was feverish with want. And still the kiss went on, Aiden's tongue deftly enticing him with little nudges and slow caresses to follow into his mouth, where that heavenly mix of Aiden flavors made him drunk with love and joy and remembrance.
Almost without thought, certainly without consideration of the past year, he brought his cock to bear against the tender opening of Aiden's body without ever opening his eyes, without ever risking awakening.
And while his heart thundered its he's here, he's really here cadence, his hips churned with restless urgency, pushing up as his hands dragged Aiden down, bringing them together over and over as he drowned in bliss and sensation he'd thought lost forever.
And even as orgasm wracked his frame, and Aiden mewled into his mouth, and the scent of semen and sweat overtook the vanilla sugar smell, he kept them closed. Until his breathing steadied and the weight in his lap lightened, and a weary sigh that wasn't his stirred the air.
"It's time, Kyle."
"No. You're here. My eyes are closed. You stay."
"I’m cheating just being here for now, Kyle."
"No." His heart wrenched, but he made his voice firm. In all their years together, he'd never denied Aiden anything. No gift was too expensive, no request too onerous. But this he wouldn't do. "I can't go back to not having you, Aiden. You have to stay."
"You have to let me go. I have a job to do. I cheated, by coming here first, but I only have a short time to do what needs to be done. You'll have to help me."
"Anything, Aiden. I'll do anything for you, just don't leave me again."
"I have to, Kyle."
"It's the North Pole, Aiden! It's magic; you can stay. There has to be a way."
"It's the North Pole, yes, and there is magic. But dead is dead. The only magic in that is that even though I'm gone, I get to keep working to make the world a better place."
"You design toys in heaven?"
Soft chuckles stirred his hair, peppermint breath wafted over his lips. "No. I get to do something even better. I design lives, Kyle. It's my new job, and I love it, just like you love saving lives."
"I couldn't save you." Some firefighter he'd turned out to be. Couldn't even save his own lover from the flames that engulfed him.
"It wasn't meant to be. But I can make that up to you."
"You can make it up to me by staying."
"I can't. I’m out of time. You have to take the cookies down to the third floor, apartment G. He won't answer the door, but you'll know what to do when you get there."
"Why the fuck did you come if you didn't plan to stay?"
"I had to come, even if it was cheating, because I had to say good bye. I didn't get to say good-bye, Kyle. Now, go, he needs you."
"But I need you..." His voice trailed off, because it was too late.
And the weight in his lap was completely gone, and all that lingered of his lover was the scent of peppermint and vanilla, and cum. And then, since the dream was gone anyway, Kyle opened his eyes and stared at his bleak little apartment with eyes accustomed to not seeing, and shuddered in distaste. Had he really lived like this? His gaze fell on the wrapped cookies, and he sighed. He hadn't been able to deny Aiden in life, far be it from him to refuse the man's request in death.
A shower and fresh clothes later, he was surprised by how much brighter everything seemed, how whole he felt. Good-bye was important, he supposed. Maybe after he'd dropped off Aiden's cookies, he'd go back over to the station house and tell Chief Nick that he was sorry for being a pain in the ass the past year. If that went well enough, he might even consider walking on to the workshop, to see the frenzy of toy-making as Aiden's old co-workers got ready for the upcoming holiday.

Check back next week for the conclusion to By Design! 

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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