In Remembrance: Matthew Shepherd

The world will never know what he could have contributed...

Hate kills.



Encounter  is $0.99 (~66% off) WITH CODE AB98Q

 A nervous wannabe actor slips away to steal a smoke at an audition and finds more relaxation than he expected. 
A Ghostly Story for the Season 


"What are you doing back here?" The slightly breathy, barely audible voice brushed like a caress along Trevor's tense nerves. A slight breeze blew Trevor's hair into his eyes as the stranger stepped from the shadows.
'Back here' was a dark secluded little alcove behind the wings of the drafty theater that Trevor had considered a safe place to steal a smoke and calm his nerves. Apparently it wasn't as unused as it appeared. He dropped the butt of his cigarette to the battered linoleum floor and ground it out with the heel of his boot. Smoking hadn't helped his nerves. Usually it did. His therapist claimed it was part of an oral fixation, related somehow to childhood neglect. Trevor found that difficult to believe, but then the therapist had yet to meet his over indulgent, too involved mother. He spent half his childhood in prayer for a little benign neglect.
He refused to stand up straight and act embarrassed though. He'd just stay right where he was, leaning comfortably against the dingy wall, looking casual, he hoped. Nausea still cramped his belly at the prospect of actually auditioning for a singing part in the Halloween musical. He waited a moment for a lecture on smoking in a public building. Nothing. Just patient silence.
Trevor narrowed his eyes and turned his head to flick a contemptuous gaze over the intruder. He raised his pierced brow in smooth interrogation. He'd spent hours practicing the technique in front of his bedroom mirror last year. Useful, suave and attractive, he hoped. The newcomer wasn't someone he'd ever met before, therefore probably not someone who belonged backstage either. He knew most of the people involved in the community theater one way or another. He'd spent the last seven years working on the sets and doing walk-on parts, after all. That changed this year.
He shifted slightly, rocking in place. The intruder was a very attractive someone, with a lithe muscular body poured into black skinny jeans and a tight black long sleeve tee. Pale, lovely classic features, deep dark eyes a guy could get lost in. If this kid could sing, Trevor faced stiff competition for the role he wanted. "Hi. I'm Trevor Adams." He licked his suddenly dry lips lightly. Another drafty little breeze stirred the hairs along his collarbone and he shivered a bit.
The dark eyes lit with a glitter of interest. The boy glided forward, strangely graceful, plump ruby lips stretched in a flirty smile. "I'm Caspar Thorpe. People don't usually see me back here. It's nice to meet you, Trevor." He extended a pale hand. Trevor wiped his own damp palm on his jeans and reluctantly took Caspar's hand. It was soft and cool in his grip, oddly soothing and he felt nearly as reluctant to release his grip on the hand as he'd been to take it in the first place.
"Are you trying out for the Haunted Theater performance?" Please don't say you want to be Vlad. Caspar intrigued him. Trevor found him incredibly attractive and didn't want to be put in a position of rivalry with him. The other man's words sank in slowly. Duh. If he's backstage and people don't usually see him, then he's not an actor, huh genius?
"No, no." Caspar shook his head slowly, "I'm more of a special effects guy. I do sound."
"Oh, so you're checking the acoustics?" Relieved that Caspar didn't plan to audition for the part he wanted, Trevor smiled slightly. Caspar glided with his odd graceful manner a little bit closer. Trevor's breath quickened a bit, his pulse raced.
"What about you? What are you doing here?" Caspar asked, his words a little more breathy. Trevor inhaled, desperately attempting to calm his senses. A light, teasing scent, earthy and fresh replaced the tobacco odor. Mmm, nice cologne Caspar wears.
Trevor's cheeks warmed a little. "Just searching for a place away from the crowd. This is my first audition and I'm a little nervous." Try a lot nervous, buddy.

This collection of short stories also contains :

Finding Justice: Justice figures out his boyfriend considers him nothing more than a convenience and he takes matters into his own hands. 
Nick: Insecure nurse Nick discovers something about his boyfriend he just can't forgive.


You can also pick up the first book in my Pulp Friction series on sale this month! 

Chances Are       $0.99 (~66% off) with code FM25N until 2013-10-22


Craw in Bed with Ken Murphy

Crawling Into Bed With
Ken Murphy
And a Good Book
*crawls into bed and lounges on pillows* Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?
Cotton. I’m a very hot sleeper.

*hums* What are you wearing?
Take a peek under the sheet if you really want to know.

*pauses with hand in mid –air* Er… Maybe we should maintain that air of mystery…What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
Strawberries dipped in chocolate; dark chocolate, of course.

Oh, now that's a decadent offering! If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?
A collection of oils and lotions. If you’re a good boy, maybe you can get a backrub later. If you’re a bad boy, open the next one down.

*blinks* Why do I have the sudden urge to "tug on superman's cape" just to see what happens next? Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?
Nothing fancy, usually just a sheet lightly across me. Have to warn you… at some point during the night, I’m probably gonna hog your side of the bed.

Oh, awesome. No blankets and
bed hog? Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
Absolutely. Better yet, put them on my thighs. That way I can rub them so they warm up faster.

Oh, now that completely makes up for the lack of quilts! What are we reading?

 Stubborn Heart

“WHAT can I do to help?” Trevor asked. He had walked into the kitchen where Mark was busy slicing open chicken breasts and stuffing them with spinach and blue cheese. He came to stand behind Mark. He rested both hands on Mark’s hips and peeked over his shoulder to see what was going on.
Mark smiled and leaned so that his back rested against Trevor’s chest. He tilted his head back until his cheek rubbed against Trevor’s cheek briefly. “You can get out of the kitchen before I accidentally chop off a finger,” he teased.
“That would be bad,” Trevor said with a grin. He walked over and rested his backside against the counter. Trevor watched as the muscles in Mark’s shoulders flexed, his hands moving back and forth as he used baking twine to wrap each piece to prevent the contents from leaking out. He let his gaze drift down Mark’s back, noting the well-defined “V” as his shoulders tapered toward a slim waist. Mark’s jeans accentuated his taut, round buttocks and his long, lean legs. Trevor smiled as he felt himself begin to harden in response.
As if he could sense Trevor’s thoughts, Mark turned and shooed him out of the kitchen. “Stop staring at me,” he scolded jokingly. “Why don’t you go pick out a movie?”
Trevor conceded and went out to the living area. He turned on the television and began looking at the available options. He chose a movie and then sat on the sofa. He couldn’t see Mark from where he sat, but he could hear him still bustling around in the kitchen.
“Spider-Man?” Mark asked in mock disbelief as he dropped onto the sofa next to Trevor. He placed two glasses of white wine on the table in front of them.
“Hey! It’s a great movie,” Trevor protested as he took one of Mark’s hands in his own.
Mark laughed and leaned over, resting his shoulder against Trevor’s shoulder. He shifted his arm and interlaced Trevor’s fingers with his own. As they watched the movie, a radioactive spider bit the main character.
“That feels really good,” Mark said in a soft voice, almost a purr. Trevor had been running his thumb up and down Mark’s thumb, gently caressing while they held hands.
“You feel really good,” Trevor answered. He lifted his hand away and reached up to slide his arm around Mark’s back and pulled him closer. He reached across with his other hand, cupped Mark’s face, and turned it toward his own. He tentatively pressed his lips to Mark’s, softly at first. Feeling Mark respond to the kiss, he drew him closer and deepened the kiss.
Mark shifted so that he leaned across Trevor and placed one hand on each of Trevor’s biceps to steady himself. He parted his lips and let his tongue probe over Trevor’s lips, searching for entry. Hungry for contact, Trevor opened his mouth and accepted Mark eagerly. He reached down and cupped Mark’s ass with one hand, twisting until Mark was situated between his open legs. He tilted his head slightly. Their lips remained locked, their tongues dueling, both vying for control.
Abruptly, Mark’s tongue retreated. Before Trevor could react, Mark sucked in his lower lip and bit down lightly. Trevor felt the shockwaves all over his body and groaned in pleasure. He shifted his legs and moved them both until Mark was lying on his back on the sofa with Trevor leaning over him. He covered Mark’s lips with his own, his tongue grazing Mark’s teeth as it explored his mouth. After what seemed like an eternity, he broke off the kiss and raised his head to look at Mark.
“That was amazing,” he gasped as he looked down at Mark. Mark was panting as well, his chest heaving from the exertion. His skin was flushed, eyes glazed, and his lips swollen from kissing. Trevor leaned in on one elbow and pulled Mark toward him with the other hand.
“Hold on, big boy,” Mark said huskily as he placed a hand on Trevor’s chest to gently push him away. “This might be a good time for a break.”
“Are you kidding me?” Trevor asked incredulously. He cupped Mark’s face in one hand, running his thumb up and down his cheek.
“Just for a little while,” Mark soothed. “I need to check on dinner. This won’t be a very fun evening if we burn the building down.” He turned to kiss the hand caressing his cheek, and then lifted up to place one more kiss on Trevor’s lips.
“Well, if you put it like that.” Trevor huffed with a mock pout.
Laughing, Mark got up from the sofa and went into the kitchen with Trevor following behind. He pulled the dish with the chicken from the oven and placed it on the range top. He inserted a thermometer to make certain it was done on the inside. Trevor reached around from behind and placed both hands on Mark’s abdomen, pulling him close. He rested his head on Mark’s shoulder, leaned forward, and sniffed.
“It smells really good,” Trevor remarked. He turned and lightly nibbled at Mark’s ear.
Mark shuddered and smiled. “Maybe we should go ahead and eat,” he said softly. “Keep that up and you’re going to need your energy later.”
“That sounds really good to me,” Trevor growled.
Together, they set the table and brought over the food. Mark made a salad and sliced garlic bread to accompany the stuffed chicken breasts. Dinner was quiet. They mostly ate in silence, trying to focus on the food. Occasionally Trevor would grasp and gently squeeze Mark’s hand. Once they had finished eating, Mark began clearing the dishes and putting things away. He refused offers for help, so Trevor amused himself by watching Mark as he moved around the kitchen.
Mark placed all the used dishes and utensils in the sink to be dealt with later. Leftover food was stored in the refrigerator. He worked quickly, mindful of Trevor watching him as he worked. Mark felt goose bumps on the back of his neck. Mark walked over to where Trevor was propped against a counter, then stepped in between Trevor’s legs and wrapped both arms around the taller man’s shoulders. Trevor drew him close, running his hands up and down Mark’s back. He leaned down and covered Mark’s lips with his own. Mark pulled Trevor until they were touching completely. He moaned and rocked his hips as he felt Trevor’s hardness against his own.
In one fluid movement, Trevor lifted Mark, swung around, and sat him on the counter. He locked both arms around Mark, crushing him to his chest. Both men’s chests were heaving as Trevor broke off the contact and began kissing his way down Mark’s neck, making slight sucking sounds. Mark inhaled sharply and turned to allow him better access. Mark moved both hands from Trevor’s shoulders down to his chest and began rubbing in a circular motion over each hard, round pectoral muscle. He smiled as he felt the rock-hard nipples through the shirt. He heard the soft rustle from the friction of the silky material against the hairs on Trevor’s chest. He locked his legs around Trevor’s buttocks and pulled him closer.


Top Five: Hits To Make you Forget It's Monday

Good morning!
 Welcome back to Monday. 
The coffee is strong, the music is loud and I am ready to Rock this week!
Today I have my top five Metal songs, nothing pretty boy about these! 

Going to jump right in, because these songs are making my fingers twitch!

1.  Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
2.  Heaven and Hell _ Black Sabbath 
3. Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden 
4.  Victim of Change - Judas Priest 
5. Fade to Black - Metallica 


#3 How to Be An Author: What Personal Information Do You Share?

I have some dirt to dish. Some secret details about me that may just shock you. Brace yourself. Ready? Need a fortifying sip of tequila?
Okay. Here goes.
Despite the fact that the very first question on my nearly three year old interview series, Crawl in Bed, is about the sheets…I don't actually care about the thread count of the cotton I sleep on. I don't use silk or satin sheets either, because my SO says they're too hot and make him sweat. I indulge him, because it doesn’t matter.
What does matter to me is towels.
Thick, absorbent, soft, huge, fluffy towels.
Towels are important. Sheets are not. (Just ask Ford Prefect)
When I first joined the literary online world, I thought I'd share some of who I was, connect with readers and other writers personally as well as professionally. Then, all kinds of epic shit storms started hitting the interwebs. I was aghast.
I couldn't believe my innocence, my naiveté. I found myself being stalked, more than once. Mea culpa. I deleted all personal data and information about myself from my profiles everywhere. My SO took one look at some of the crap I was dealing with and had a meltdown.
He didn't want any part of a fishbowl existence, even just as an ambiguous accessory, my E. So, we hammered out some guidelines, some rules, to protect our privacy as a family and our position in the community.
As an author, that's for you to decide. YOU get to figure out how much of your personal data you put out there. Some readers and bloggers will try to make you believe you owe them a photo of the inside of your underwear drawer because they bought your book. Ignore them.
They'll scream long and loud, but the fact of the matter is that they are a minute portion of your audience. Most of the world doesn’t really care what size shoes you wear or whether you prefer boxers over briefs. If you want to show off your neatly rolled socks and starched cotton boxers, go for it. If you don't, your choice.
Most of the people you meet online, or at conferences and signings, don't care about that. They just want you to write another book because that's what attracted them to you in the first place.
Just one caution, and this comes from my heart. People love reading good news, your new releases, your good reviews, your latest contracts signed…They LOVE to see that.
But there are things they aren't going to love.
If you're having a bad day, week, month or whatever, people are going to be sympathetic. Of course they are! But if all you're sharing is the misery…the agony…the failure of being a writer, don't be surprised if there's no jump in sales.
I have an online acquaintance who updates her newsfeed periodically with "no books sold this month" and all sorts of sighs and whimpers and poor me's. At first I tried to be encouraging, to say the sales will come, that she just had to be patient. Then when the woe is me story continued, I tuned her out. And most likely, so did her other prospective readers.
So there's my caution, the lesson I learned. Share as much or as little as you're comfortable with, but remember that there is truth in these two old adages:

Familiarity breeds contempt

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

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