3/23/2013

New Release: The Park at Sunrise


Newly Re-Released


Available at  Amazon 

This story remains one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it. If you purchased Word Play, you should know that this story has not been altered substantially from that version except in that it is being re-issued as a stand alone title. 

BLURB

First they were three, now there are two.  Can Jason and Morgan make a relationship work without Paul?
For years the three of them had been inseparable, first as friends, then lovers. It's been ten years since they parted for what was supposed to be a year apart to pursue their dreams.   This isn't the reunion they planned then.  It's nine years too late for one thing, and they are one man short for another.
In the years since Paul's death, Morgan hasn't exactly been waiting for Jason to reach out to him.    He's been too busy trying to forget, to move on.  Until Jason sends the right message.
 Is the painting just an excuse to see his ex again?
EXCERPT 
Chapter One
The park at sunrise. How many nights had we ended up here? Coffee from the all-night truck stop in Jamestown in hand, steam rising as we walked, searching for that most exclusive private spot where we could see but not be seen. The bench that was sheltered by just the right number of trees, with the best view of the pond and the flagpoles and the sunrise.
Nights of parties, concerts, hanging out, or working had all ended in this spot. When the fun was done, we sobered up as the sun rose here. When we were exhausted from working those double shifts and pulling all-nighters, the sunrise reminded us why we worked so hard. When we were flying high on concert-induced endorphins, it spun wild dreams in our heads that spilled from our mouths in raucous harmony. The three of us, wrapped in one blanket, sipping from one bottle, from one cup, contemplated that sunrise. In snow and rain and heat and cold we huddled here. For four years, this place colored our lives in ways we couldn't imagine.
The bench we'd claimed as ours drew me onward. My feet recognized the path, if my mind did not. In the inside pocket of my too-thin-for-the-Colorado-cold-but just-right-for-California black leather jacket, the crinkle of paper jabbed at my soul. As much as anything else, it was why I was here.
When I found it, the bench was still the same with its old, wrought-iron rails and splintery wooden slats. I stopped. Progressing from here would be harder. The cold seeped through the inadequate leather soles of my knee-high black boots, chilling my feet. Once I'd known how to dress for the cold. Once cold hadn't mattered. I'd had their warmth to keep me warm. For years I'd had a vision, locked in my head. This bench, this park, the sun rising in the background. The first flakes of falling snow drifting down. On the bench, two men whose heads turned as I approached, who jumped to their feet with open arms and welcoming smiles. The first time we met here, the last time we met here.
Today, I had a memory. A sunrise that would start soon. I forced myself forward, placed one booted foot on the seat and hoisted myself into the familiar position, buttocks perched on the topmost slat of the bench. Splinters prickled against the seat of my 501s, but the first changing light as the sun made its appearance caught my gaze. Since the last time I'd sat here, the last time we'd been together, I hadn't sat through many sunrises. I'd observed a lot of sunsets on the Pacific coast, but the sunrise had become a time of regret.
As I leaned forward to rest my elbows on my knees and prop my chin in my hands, the crinkle of the envelope in my pocket and the crunch of dead leaves on the grass behind me competed for my attention. I drew the envelope from my inner pocket as the footsteps approached. I knew who it was. Had realized he would be here, though how he had known I would be was anyone's guess. It appeared to me that I hardly knew what I was doing, catching that plane, leaving behind friends and commitments. Me. Mr. Responsible. Reliable. Dependable. Had I even called in and told the principal I wouldn't be there for the last week of classes? I couldn't recall. He'd figure it out when the Calc I kids showed up for the key to the classroom, no doubt.
The sudden drag of a wool cap being tugged down over my long hair startled me. It shouldn't have. I should have predicted he'd be in this "taking care of Morgan" mode. At twenty two it had been endearing; at thirty two it pissed me off. Deep, calming breaths kept the anger manageable. Come here, do what needed to be done, get on the next plane back to California, back to emotional stability.
"I see you're dressed for the weather as always, Morgan." Jason's voice was husky, hesitant.
A pair of black knit gloves landing in my lap tipped me over that edge from making a snide remark to throwing an uncalled-for hissy fit.
My jaw clenched tightly. Screw breathing deeply. I yanked the cap from my head, pulling long strands of black hair from the band at my neck, and winced at the tiny pain. I flung the cap to the ground in front of us and looked up the black denim-clad legs to the black pea coat and beyond. My mouth opened to swear, but no sound came out. The hissy fit drained away to something else entirely. My pulse still raced, but for an entirely different reason.
How fair was that? How fucking fair was it that after ten years apart, my hair showed silvery streaks and my face showed my age, but Jason was still the slender, boyish youth of years gone by? Yeah, he'd shaved the dirty blond dreadlocks. Those wire-rim glasses were new, but he appeared as youthful and vibrant, untouched by life, alive as he had when we'd all parted years ago to make those sunrise dreams reality. His black jeans had the telltale smudges of paint, and I'd be willing to bet that underneath those leather driving gloves lurked more paint.
This wasn't the reunion we planned then. It was nine years too late, for one thing. We were one man short, for another.
The bench creaked as he perched next to me on the top slat, and instinctively I grabbed his knee to anchor both of us so we wouldn't topple backward. His hand covered mine before I could jerk it away, and he refused to relinquish it when I tugged. I gave in with ill grace. Jason’s touch stirred physical responses that I’d rather not experience.
"I sent you an invitation to my gallery opening last year."
"I got it."
"You couldn't make it." No judgment. Levelheaded, easygoing, that was Jason. I didn't even understand how he knew to send the damn invitation to the school in the first place. For all I knew, he still lived with his parents and painted in that fucking unheated studio over their garage.
I handed him the envelope. The envelope that had brought me here, as he had known it would, when nothing else could. "I want to buy it."
He shook his head. "It's not for sale. That's not why I sent it to you."
Heat pooled at the back of my neck, and the tiny, irritating noise of my own teeth grinding warned of a potential headache in the offing. I turned, made eye contact for the first time. "Then why? Why send it? Fuck, why paint it? How the hell could you even stand to paint that picture? It kills me that you could have done that, like it doesn't mean fucking anything to you." By the time I spit out the last words, my voice had risen enough to scare off the waterfowl in the pond.
The expression on his face was one I'd never noticed before. I thought I had all their expressions memorized, his and Paul's. Oh, Christ. "Paul." The name slipped out, the memories in. I dropped my head to my knees again, breaking eye contact. I had to create mental distance since physical wasn't possible. I was empty, raw. My stomach tightened and my eyes burned.
"Morgan, it means everything to me. It's all I have. That painting, it's the heart and soul of who I am, who you are, who Paul was." The hand clutching mine drew away, and I nearly protested as cold took its place. Then I felt him fussing. I rolled my eyes as he loosened the band from my hair and combed his fingers through it before gathering it back into a neater ponytail, smoothing the hairs pulled loose by the wool cap. It felt too good to be cared for like that again. I jerked upright and away.
"Damn it, Jason, I don't want to go there. We can't recapture the past! You are not my mother. You are not Paul." I narrowed my eyes and gave him the look that intimidated school board members and recalcitrant football players alike. "Why did you send it if you won't sell me the painting?"
"Were you here? May twenty-sixth, two thousand one? Because I was."
I stared at him. My anger was fading, heart rate returning to normal. The heat from earlier was replaced by a chill that had nothing to do with the low temperature. Surely he was kidding. "Why? Why did you bother? Paul was dead by then. You had to know I wouldn't come."
"No, I didn't. See, somehow, I never thought it was all about you and Paul. Somehow, I thought it was all about you, me, and Paul. I guess I naively believed that without Paul, you and I would need each other even more."
I couldn't speak, but my shock must have shown on my face. With an impatient sigh, Jason jumped from the bench. I automatically steadied myself, swaying slightly as the bench protested the sudden movement.
He tossed the photo from the envelope into my lap. "I have it crated and ready to ship. Pick it up at my parents' house any time. I won't be there."
I didn't look up. I didn't speak. I listened to his footsteps, muffled now by the snow that had fallen on the crunching leaves. As the colors changed and faded from the morning sky, I stared at the photo of the painting that had brought me here. Three men on a bench in a park at sunrise, three heads pressed together, three hands clasped. If one of the images was a little blurry, I couldn't tell if that was the artist's intent, the tears in my eyes, or the snow that fell on the photo.



Writing Quotes: Freedom


“Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.”
Don Delillo

3/22/2013

Coming Soon: Setting The Trap




Coming in April from Breathless Press

Setting the Trap




"I’m not the kind of guy who lets someone else control my life, Jesse."


As much as Jay has come to care for Drake Fallon, he can't let go of the bitter emotions aroused by seeing his twin with someone else. He knows his jealousy isn't rational, but can't dismiss it either.
Jesse isn't in any hurry. He feels what the three of them have is worth taking the time to figure out. Learning to be together, getting used to a relationship between the three of them can only lead to a stronger, more solid relationship. 
Drake's tired of feeling like an outsider, like an interloper though. He wants in. He wants to be trusted, to be loved for who he is, just as he loves the twins for who they are.
It all hinges on Jay's ability accept someone else in Jesse's heart, something he doesn’t seem to handle very well.
Until a work related injury leads Drake to issue an ultimatum that forces Jesse to choose a side. Then, it's an all-out struggle for power that could make or break this fragile relationship. 








_______________________________________________________________

Pulp Friction: Heated Exchange…Leaving you Satisfied For Now



A Rake in London




Book One: The Aristocrat and His Servant

Gavin, Baron Stephenson is an aristocrat accustomed to taking his pleasures where he will, but he always comes home to his oldest friend, his dearest lover, his servant Marcus.




3/21/2013

The Lure of the Season

Garden Season 


Every year as winter winds down and I get tired of grey skies, I get the urge to grow things. I buy bags of enriched soil and packets of seeds and little cardboard thingies. (technical term)

Every year I have some sort of plan for the "best garden ever".  

This year, I've decided its time for me to be practical. I'm not going to go out there when its 110 degrees to weed a garden. I will face that fact about myself, and I will overcome it. Because I AM going to have a beautiful garden this year. I enjoy fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits, and I want to enjoy them year round.  

So I'm planning a new sort of garden for this year. 

I'm container gardening. Starting my seeds next weekend, in boxes and bowls and jars and yes, even some of those nifty little cardboard thingies. I have window boxes and pots all ready and waiting for me to fill them. 

I'm starting with some herbs- basil, and oregano and parsley on my kitchen windowsill. I bought a neat little Homer Laughlin piece - an oval casserole- that will house the basil. Then I think I'll use mason jars like the picture above shows. 

Do you do any gardening? What's your secret? 

________________________________________________________________________


He's Spending His Holidays With Jacob 


What Romance Readers Expect...#2


What The Reader Wants – The Mutation Factor

The original meaning of “Romance” was not a love story with a happy ending. The term originally referred to a medieval epic poem, a tale packed with knights and battles, often scattered about with magic and fantastic creatures. The Song of Roland? Gawain and the Green Knight? Romance. In some, but certainly not all of these tales, a love interest pops up with the emphasis on pure, courtly love. Readers of the day, more often listeners since only a small percentage of the population could read, expected action, grand, life-threatening mistakes, heroic last stands, and noble sacrifices.

Happy endings optional.

The word morphed through the centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a Romance referred to a Gothic style tale—horror, dread, supernatural happenings. Hardly the love story we think of today, but the titillation factor was certainly there. Young girls weren’t supposed to read that stuff. Too exciting. In that respect, the Gothic has much in common with the modern Romance, that forbidden, wide-eyed, often loin-stimulating excitement.

Skip ahead a bit to the 20th century and the classic Harlequin style romance. What did readers expect out of these? A set, predictable formula with set, predictable character types. We lambaste this sort of thinking today (oh, heck, a lot of us did then) but the reader wanted this comfort, wanted to be able to shake off the real world and bask in a world where perfect men exist and the ending is always HEA.

While certain elements still apply, the modern romance has mutated like a virus over the past twenty years, reader expectations both leading and following this constant evolution. Today, the reader tends to be more experienced, more jaded, at least in a literary sense. We know the perfect man doesn’t exist. We don’t want perfect. We know happy doesn’t always last.

The expectations of today’s reader vary, sometimes the gulf between one reader and another enough to toss the well-intentioned author into the pit of despair. Becky wants yummy Alphas, but Max is sick to death of them. April wants only HEA, but Caroline’s content with a little HFN and will even condone a character death if done well. Tabitha wants more sex, less plot. Aaron wants more plot, less sex. More erudite language – challenge us! Less literary language – don’t make us look stuff up!

You get my point. The wonderful part about modern romance is that the reader can have it all. You just have to know what you like, understand where to find those things, and encourage those authors. What do I look for in a romance? I’m not a traditionalist. Give me something different. Give me damaged characters with quirks and twitches. Give me magic and extrapolations on science and society. Give me weird and wild. Just write it well, don’t get lazy, and for the sake of all that’s holy, please have a plot.

What do readers want? Everything. Good thing today’s romance offers a buffet instead of a prix fixe menu. Try a little of everything. Then come back for more.

Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres. She loves beer and chocolate if you ever need a good bribe, writes mainly M/M fiction and is a geeky fan girl where several other authors are concerned. Her latest?

Semper Fae: Endangered Fae 3


Zack thought he had a strange job before. Marine medic in a secret government base was odd, but personal assistant to a sidhe prince is downright bizarre. Lycanthropy and loose cannon mages conspire to make a hellish mess out of things - but the real peril begins when Diego Sandoval, Human Consul to the Fae, loses an important piece of his mind.

For more info on Angel’s work, visit:

3/20/2013

Cover Reveal: The Park at Sunrise

I'm re-releasing my very first Story Orgy story, The Park at Sunrise as a single. 

It has shiny new cover art. 


It's going to Amazon first,  This story remains one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it. If you purchased Word Play, you should know that this story has not been altered substantially from that version except in that it is being re-issued as a stand alone title. 

BLURB

First they were three, now there are two.  Can Jason and Morgan make a relationship work without Paul?
For years the three of them had been inseparable, first as friends, then lovers. It's been ten years since they parted for what was supposed to be a year apart to pursue their dreams.   This isn't the reunion they planned then.  It's nine years too late for one thing, and they are one man short for another.
In the years since Paul's death, Morgan hasn't exactly been waiting for Jason to reach out to him.    He's been too busy trying to forget, to move on.  Until Jason sends the right message.
 Is the painting just an excuse to see his ex again?
EXCERPT 
Chapter One
The park at sunrise. How many nights had we ended up here? Coffee from the all-night truck stop in Jamestown in hand, steam rising as we walked, searching for that most exclusive private spot where we could see but not be seen. The bench that was sheltered by just the right number of trees, with the best view of the pond and the flagpoles and the sunrise.
Nights of parties, concerts, hanging out, or working had all ended in this spot. When the fun was done, we sobered up as the sun rose here. When we were exhausted from working those double shifts and pulling all-nighters, the sunrise reminded us why we worked so hard. When we were flying high on concert-induced endorphins, it spun wild dreams in our heads that spilled from our mouths in raucous harmony. The three of us, wrapped in one blanket, sipping from one bottle, from one cup, contemplated that sunrise. In snow and rain and heat and cold we huddled here. For four years, this place colored our lives in ways we couldn't imagine.
The bench we'd claimed as ours drew me onward. My feet recognized the path, if my mind did not. In the inside pocket of my too-thin-for-the-Colorado-cold-but just-right-for-California black leather jacket, the crinkle of paper jabbed at my soul. As much as anything else, it was why I was here.
When I found it, the bench was still the same with its old, wrought-iron rails and splintery wooden slats. I stopped. Progressing from here would be harder. The cold seeped through the inadequate leather soles of my knee-high black boots, chilling my feet. Once I'd known how to dress for the cold. Once cold hadn't mattered. I'd had their warmth to keep me warm. For years I'd had a vision, locked in my head. This bench, this park, the sun rising in the background. The first flakes of falling snow drifting down. On the bench, two men whose heads turned as I approached, who jumped to their feet with open arms and welcoming smiles. The first time we met here, the last time we met here.
Today, I had a memory. A sunrise that would start soon. I forced myself forward, placed one booted foot on the seat and hoisted myself into the familiar position, buttocks perched on the topmost slat of the bench. Splinters prickled against the seat of my 501s, but the first changing light as the sun made its appearance caught my gaze. Since the last time I'd sat here, the last time we'd been together, I hadn't sat through many sunrises. I'd observed a lot of sunsets on the Pacific coast, but the sunrise had become a time of regret.
As I leaned forward to rest my elbows on my knees and prop my chin in my hands, the crinkle of the envelope in my pocket and the crunch of dead leaves on the grass behind me competed for my attention. I drew the envelope from my inner pocket as the footsteps approached. I knew who it was. Had realized he would be here, though how he had known I would be was anyone's guess. It appeared to me that I hardly knew what I was doing, catching that plane, leaving behind friends and commitments. Me. Mr. Responsible. Reliable. Dependable. Had I even called in and told the principal I wouldn't be there for the last week of classes? I couldn't recall. He'd figure it out when the Calc I kids showed up for the key to the classroom, no doubt.
The sudden drag of a wool cap being tugged down over my long hair startled me. It shouldn't have. I should have predicted he'd be in this "taking care of Morgan" mode. At twenty two it had been endearing; at thirty two it pissed me off. Deep, calming breaths kept the anger manageable. Come here, do what needed to be done, get on the next plane back to California, back to emotional stability.
"I see you're dressed for the weather as always, Morgan." Jason's voice was husky, hesitant.
A pair of black knit gloves landing in my lap tipped me over that edge from making a snide remark to throwing an uncalled-for hissy fit.
My jaw clenched tightly. Screw breathing deeply. I yanked the cap from my head, pulling long strands of black hair from the band at my neck, and winced at the tiny pain. I flung the cap to the ground in front of us and looked up the black denim-clad legs to the black pea coat and beyond. My mouth opened to swear, but no sound came out. The hissy fit drained away to something else entirely. My pulse still raced, but for an entirely different reason.
How fair was that? How fucking fair was it that after ten years apart, my hair showed silvery streaks and my face showed my age, but Jason was still the slender, boyish youth of years gone by? Yeah, he'd shaved the dirty blond dreadlocks. Those wire-rim glasses were new, but he appeared as youthful and vibrant, untouched by life, alive as he had when we'd all parted years ago to make those sunrise dreams reality. His black jeans had the telltale smudges of paint, and I'd be willing to bet that underneath those leather driving gloves lurked more paint.
This wasn't the reunion we planned then. It was nine years too late, for one thing. We were one man short, for another.
The bench creaked as he perched next to me on the top slat, and instinctively I grabbed his knee to anchor both of us so we wouldn't topple backward. His hand covered mine before I could jerk it away, and he refused to relinquish it when I tugged. I gave in with ill grace. Jason’s touch stirred physical responses that I’d rather not experience.
"I sent you an invitation to my gallery opening last year."
"I got it."
"You couldn't make it." No judgment. Levelheaded, easygoing, that was Jason. I didn't even understand how he knew to send the damn invitation to the school in the first place. For all I knew, he still lived with his parents and painted in that fucking unheated studio over their garage.
I handed him the envelope. The envelope that had brought me here, as he had known it would, when nothing else could. "I want to buy it."
He shook his head. "It's not for sale. That's not why I sent it to you."
Heat pooled at the back of my neck, and the tiny, irritating noise of my own teeth grinding warned of a potential headache in the offing. I turned, made eye contact for the first time. "Then why? Why send it? Fuck, why paint it? How the hell could you even stand to paint that picture? It kills me that you could have done that, like it doesn't mean fucking anything to you." By the time I spit out the last words, my voice had risen enough to scare off the waterfowl in the pond.
The expression on his face was one I'd never noticed before. I thought I had all their expressions memorized, his and Paul's. Oh, Christ. "Paul." The name slipped out, the memories in. I dropped my head to my knees again, breaking eye contact. I had to create mental distance since physical wasn't possible. I was empty, raw. My stomach tightened and my eyes burned.
"Morgan, it means everything to me. It's all I have. That painting, it's the heart and soul of who I am, who you are, who Paul was." The hand clutching mine drew away, and I nearly protested as cold took its place. Then I felt him fussing. I rolled my eyes as he loosened the band from my hair and combed his fingers through it before gathering it back into a neater ponytail, smoothing the hairs pulled loose by the wool cap. It felt too good to be cared for like that again. I jerked upright and away.
"Damn it, Jason, I don't want to go there. We can't recapture the past! You are not my mother. You are not Paul." I narrowed my eyes and gave him the look that intimidated school board members and recalcitrant football players alike. "Why did you send it if you won't sell me the painting?"
"Were you here? May twenty-sixth, two thousand one? Because I was."
I stared at him. My anger was fading, heart rate returning to normal. The heat from earlier was replaced by a chill that had nothing to do with the low temperature. Surely he was kidding. "Why? Why did you bother? Paul was dead by then. You had to know I wouldn't come."
"No, I didn't. See, somehow, I never thought it was all about you and Paul. Somehow, I thought it was all about you, me, and Paul. I guess I naively believed that without Paul, you and I would need each other even more."
I couldn't speak, but my shock must have shown on my face. With an impatient sigh, Jason jumped from the bench. I automatically steadied myself, swaying slightly as the bench protested the sudden movement.
He tossed the photo from the envelope into my lap. "I have it crated and ready to ship. Pick it up at my parents' house any time. I won't be there."
I didn't look up. I didn't speak. I listened to his footsteps, muffled now by the snow that had fallen on the crunching leaves. As the colors changed and faded from the morning sky, I stared at the photo of the painting that had brought me here. Three men on a bench in a park at sunrise, three heads pressed together, three hands clasped. If one of the images was a little blurry, I couldn't tell if that was the artist's intent, the tears in my eyes, or the snow that fell on the photo.



Favorite Winter Recipes: Scalloped Potatoes


Scalloped Potatoes

This is a dish I loved as a kid. I had no idea then how much actual labor went into my mom creating this for us, I just wished we could have it more often. Of course, now I have to do the potato peeling and the micro thin slicing and even with better kitchen gadgets than my mom had, its still time consuming. I need a potato peeling minion. Any volunteers?



Ingredients
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 ½  cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions
In a small sauce pan, melt butter and sauté onions until translucent. Whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add seasonings. (You can spice it up with garlic, cayenne, or any variety of seasonings you like.)
Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk. It will thicken slightly.
Layer potatoes and sauce in a casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350°F, or until potatoes are fork tender.

For a variation, you can try this with different cheeses melted into the sauce, or sprinkled on top. We occasionally add diced ham or bacon as well.









In the Mood for short, sweet and of course, hot? 

Try

 Under the Pier at AReAmazon and Barnes and Noble for only  99 cents! 






   Anthologies are on sale for 20% off at Breathless Press this month! 



Hot Flashes


3/19/2013

Don't Miss This: Passion by M.L. Rhodes




Don't Miss This..

Don't Miss This is a new effort by a few of us in the writing community who wanted to dedicate a little bit of our time to combating the negativity that seems to overwhelm us at times. Every Sunday on Face book we post a link with a snippet of a book, blog, new release, award...anything, as long as it is NOT ABOUT Self promotion. We'd like to show our appreciation for other writers, bloggers, readers, anyone.

I'm expanding that to my blog because I think it really is an awesome idea to let people knwo when they've touched you. So this week, I'm sharing one of my perennial favorites and go to re-reads:


Passion by  Ml Rhodes.

This story hits a lot of notes for me, Robert the workaholic in particular is a character I can identify with. Jesse is sweet but has troubles of his own, and seeing the two of them work things out to create a HEA is just a reaffirmation that love is what it's all about.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend checking it out today.


As the owner and CEO of his own company, Robert Bauer has spent the past fifteen years building his business into a multi-million-dollar corporation. It’s taken all his time and energy, which hasn’t left much room for a personal life, especially a love life. That’s fine with Robert because he doesn’t believe in the "L word" anyway. Lately, however, every time he goes to his favorite bar, he can’t keep his eyes and thoughts off Jesse McIntyre, the gorgeous bartender with the soulful blue eyes. Even though Robert’s not looking for a relationship, and tries to shake the attraction, he can’t get the younger man out of his system. There’s just one problem...he believes Jesse’s straight.

Jesse’s been on the run from his old life for the past two and a half years. Even though he slings drinks at a gay bar, he has a hard and fast rule about never hooking up with customers. He’s been down that road before, and though his physical wounds have healed, the emotional ones aren’t so easy to forget. He lets his customers assume he’s straight because it makes it easier to keep his distance. That is, until the businessman with the sexy smile starts coming into the bar. Jesse’s drawn to Robert, even though he knows there’s no way a wealthy, powerful man like that would ever be interested in a tattooed, college drop-out bad boy like him. But even if Robert weren’t his opposite, it wouldn’t matter anyway, because Jesse’s determined not to break his rules for anyone.

When fate throws them together, and they find themselves alone for a weekend, the passion that has silently simmered for months ignites a firestorm that leaves them both shaken. Will it be enough, though, to convince Robert, who’s sworn to never fall in love, that he might be pushing away the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or to force Jesse to face his fears once and for all and learn to trust his heart?



Excerpt:
...“What the hell. What’s the worst that could happen?” He dabbed the oil against the pulse points at his neck. That way it would maybe be close enough he’d be able to smell it on his skin for a while, like aftershave.

He pretty much expected the rush of lust to hit him again…but oddly enough, it didn’t. Instead, a slow pleasant heat traveled through his veins, his muscles, his skin, like someone rubbing warm velvet against him. It was arousing, but different from before…this was arousing like a long, slow, sensual kiss that let the passion build gradually. His dick didn’t get hard, but it felt like it was a banked fire, pulsing and waiting for the right attention to flare to life. And an overall sense of well-being filled him. The stress of his long day, the drive on the bad roads, and the strange unease he’d been feeling all evening passed. He felt as if he was filled with an energy and confidence he couldn’t describe.

“Okay…not sure what you sold me, but so far I’m liking it.”

Feeling better than he had all night, Robert slipped the bottle of oil back into his coat pocket, pulled on his gloves, and careful of passing traffic on the slippery, snow-packed street, stepped out of his car.

“Let’s go see what BJ’s Pub has to offer tonight,” he murmured, smiling, his step light in spite of the several inches of snow already covering the ground and continuing to fall around him.

When he pushed his way through the heavy door into the warm brass-and-wood-filled pub he was immediately hit with the scents of beer and popcorn and lemon-oil soap.

Robert shook the snow off his head and stomped his feet. As he’d presumed from the number of cars outside, it was a quiet night at the pub, but about half the tables and maybe half the bar were filled with customers, a trio of men played pool at one of the tables in the rear of the room, and a few couples swayed on the dance floor to a rock ballad.

Though BJ’s was LGBT owned and catered to the gay and lesbian crowd, the town had a pretty wide liberal streak, and because the beer and drinks were good and the food was decent, a handful of straight customers were regulars as well. Still, the intention of the place was a gathering spot for gay men and women who could be open about who they were and connect with like-minded and like-oriented people. Robert had discovered BJ’s about eight or nine months ago—he wasn’t sure how he’d missed it before then—and it was now his favorite bar because it was a little more upscale than a lot of other joints, yet not at all snobby. And it was a far more relaxing and pleasant experience to come here than to deal with the raucous and randy bacchanalias and sex fests that took place at other gay clubs. BJ’s was sort of like the friendly neighborhood queer Cheers.

As Robert took in the sights of the pub at a glance, he was struck again by how damned good he felt. Energized, yet relaxed. Ready for…well, whatever adventure might await him.

He peeled off his coat and noticed a couple of younger men and one guy about his age or a little older with a nice bod and graying hair already eyeing him, measuring him up as a potential hook-up. He eyed them back and smiled, letting it be known he was in the market tonight.

Oh, yeah. He felt certain it was going to be a good night, and all that warm-fuzzy home and hearth, love and romance BS of earlier this evening would fade away as soon as he had his arms around a hard, hot body. This was the way his life was meant to be. This was what it was all about.

And then, like steel drawn inevitably to a magnet, his gaze fell on the one person in all the world who could, and did, cause everything else to fade away.

Robert’s pulse pounded. His breathing came out in slow huffs. And his groin tightened in an ache that was one part lust and two parts agony for what it could never, ever have.

Jesse McIntyre.

The pub’s buff, bearded, blue-eyed, extremely hot, extremely fuckable, and extremely straight and way off-limits bartender...



Having shared, I invite you all to join us next Sunday on the Don't Miss This Facebook page- you'll find great reads and a positive attitude! No need to wait for an invitation either- share your own Don't Miss This Post right on the page!

Romance Readers Expect....


What Do Romance Readers Expect From A Story? A Raven's eye view.

"Simple," you think. "Well duh it's love. And romance," I hear you say, along with rolling eyes and, "huh she say's she's a romance author."
But what is romance?
 All things to all people.
That old well used expression of one persons terrorist is the next person's freedom fighter comes to mind here. (Or horses for courses.) If you ask ten people (like I did) what romance is to them, and what they expect from a story, you'll get twenty answers, most of them differing in some sway. Reaches for wine.
To some people it's all hearts and flowers. They want a story from meet to wedding, and everything in between. Others like it short hot and steamy. Some half way from one to the other. The one thing everyone I quizzed said was, that it wasn't a romance unless there was a connection between those involved. A wham bam thank you sir or ma'am isn't romance. In its place it can be an enjoyable read, but it's not what a romance reader expect from a story—except when…Argh, read on. Wipes brow—opens wine.
How detailed a story is depends on the author and their voice. What sort of romance a person reads depends on their taste. But the one thing that shouts out is connection. Something more than an itch. A deep seated need.
Now that in itself can cause arguments. Define what is a connection. Oh-oh, now were going down the road of hard stares and gritted teeth. Remember the freedom fighter and terrorist? Yeah, yet again its different things for different people.
What seems like a simple straightforward question is a mine-field. Pours the wine. I wondered if I was going to need a referee at times. Luckily this wasn't areal face-to-face meeting. Truly the internet is a wondrous thing.
And at the end of an hour full of giggles, shouts, sighs, drools (and some shall we say 'inspiring' pictures) had I come to a definitive conclusion?
Sadly no. Drinks the wine to cool down after some of those photos. What I decide was that every romance reader expects something different. Something personal to them.
That can only be good news for authors. We all write with our own voice, which suits some but not others. However as everyone expects something different, somewhere, our something is perfect for someone.
'Phew'. Finishes wine.
Did that help? Probably not, but the wine did.

As I said recently, Raven books at the moment are like London buses. Now for a while then lots at once.
March 19th Will You Dance Miss Laurence, a short Romance on the Go, contempory BDSM themed story from Evernight Publishing.

Dancing lessons were supposed to be fun, but who ever heard of attending them without your knickers on?
Shibari Master Ryan is intrigued by Ava, so when his cousin asks a favor, he is only too happy to help Ava out of the rut she says she is in.
Will her past allow her to enjoy his bondage, or will true submission prove a step too much?

And…
March 22nd A Rose Between The Thornes, A Regency menage from Breathless Press.
Propriety is a lonely bedfellow, until twin delights show this lady her true desires.

At three and forty Rose Sophia, Lady Symonds has resigned herself to life passing her by. Overhearing her protégée in the throes of passion with not one but two lovers, leaves her wanting and wishing.
That is until she is accosted at a ball by Jasper and Nathaniel Thorne. Newly back in the county the eccentric and much younger twins, have set their sights on Rose, and they are determined to have her, even it means cheating at cards.
Will accepting their wager free Rose and lead her to the heights of passion she craves? Or will their desired drive her away?

Find me here…
https://www.facebook.com/ravenmcallan       (author page)

Happy Reading,
Love R x

3/18/2013

TRR Best of 2012 Nominations

I am very pleased and escited to announce that two of my books were nominated to the Best of 2012 at The Romance Reviews


The Romance Review


Less Than All was nominated in the GLBT Historical Romance category

The Romance Review






It was already a Top Pick, and was my first historical. I'm proud to see it being recognized! 













And then, in the GLBT Contemporary Romance category, I was nominated for Taking the Dare, Truth or Dare #6.


The Romance Review








If you've read either of these and are inclined to vote in the poll, click on over to the voting page. 

The Romance Reviews  

Top Five...Bowie Songs

Top Five Bowie Songs...

Once again I bemoan my self imposed limit of five. I could easily list dozens. But that would defeat the purpose, now wouldn't it? 

Do not convince me to be wishy washy about this! 

One is easy, the rest are a struggle. 

1.  Lady Stardust 
2. Ziggy Stardust 
3. Rock-n-roll Suicide 
4.  Space Oddity 
5.  Starman 



I could listen to that one for hours. 

I'm a total Bowie fan, and it seems really appropriate as he's so gifted at creating characters, you know? 

Wonder what he'd have written if he'd turned his talent to writing novels instead of songs? 

____________________________________________________________________


He's Spending His Holidays With Jacob
Available at 



3/17/2013

FREE DOWNLOAD : Because You're You

This Week I've finally gotten Because You're You free at Amazon- But Only until Monday. 

Now, this story is also free in the Don't Read in the Closet Anthology

available at ARE-

BUT I've not yet succeeded in getting Amazon to mark it free for Kindle users on a permanent basis. 

Anyway- if you want it, now's your chance! 

Early 2011, it all began with a letter, and a picture in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group. 

Dear Author, 
My marriage ended badly but I have no regrets as I now have a wonderful son. I wonder what's next for me, though, and if I'll ever find true love? 
Sincerely, 
A Reader

And from those two sentences a story was born. 

This is that story. 

Devyn Strake's tattoos and piercings are sexy as hell, but what really attracts Sully Moore's attention is his new neighbor's tender care of his infant son. 
Devyn shouldn't be letting his attraction for his handsome neighbor distract him. He's in trouble, and he has to make baby Kail his chief priority. 

How does a good cop find love with a bad boy in trouble?






And The Prompt Is vol. 1 

 Will a chance
encounter in the street lead to a second chance at love?


March 15, 16, 17










Because You're You

How does a good cop find love with a bad boy in trouble?

FREE 

March 14 to March 18 at AMAZON!



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