Blokes in Love (new free read)

October 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Anthology, Free fiction, Promotion, Short story, Writing | 4 Comments
Tags: ,

I break my accidental blog hiatus to say that I’ve updated my book pages with some changes. First of all, my novella Rust Red: Galvanized, which is a sequel to my free read Eyes Wide Shut, has now gone out of print. So if you wanted to grab it, you’re out of luck, I’m afraid. At least until I decide what I’m going to do with it.

Second of all, the first M/M meetup in Australia has come and gone. I flew over to Sydney to attend it, and had a fab time, which I will attempt to put into words sometime soon. To commemorate that event, an anthology with six stories from some of the attending authors has been produced. Called Blokes in Love, it’s available for free from Smashwords and All Romance ebooks. All the stories have a common thread, in that they’re all set in either Australia or New Zealand, to showcase life down under. As is fitting for a bunch of bods who love M/M and got together to celebrate being from the southern hemisphere!

Contributing authors were AB Gayle, NJ Nielsen, Jess Buffet, Pelaam, Susan Beck and me. My story is called “Cutting Out”, and it’s the story of Shane Cooper and Lachlan Moore, shearers who work the runs of New Zealand. Serena Yates of Rainbow Book Reviews – who came all the way from the UK to attend the Meet, how good is that? – has reviewed the anthology and loved it.

Of Cutting Out, she said:

…this story about two sheep shearers, one much older than the other, touched me deeply. Shane so desperately wants more than casual encounters with the much younger Lachie, and is devastated when Lachie rejects him. Shane’s situation had me up in arms, railing against the injustices of fate. That was until I got to see things from Lachie’s side, and his reasons for turning down Shane almost made me cry. Be ready for an intense emotional roller coaster as these two men battle their pride and their circumstances!

Below is an excerpt, for your reading pleasure. The lovely cover is courtesy of Jess Buffett, who went the extra mile and made all contributing authors individual covers, in addition to the anthology cover.

Individual cover_185

He’d half expected it, but his heart still jolted when he came face to face with Lachie, his shaggy black hair poking out from under the beanie he wore, his dark brown eyes fixed on Shane’s face.

Lachie offered Shane a tentative smile. “Morning, Coop.”

“Morning,” Shane said gruffly, his heart aching as he stared at Lachie for a few seconds longer before picking up his gear and stowing it in the trailer. When he turned around he didn’t look at Lachie again, directing his gaze somewhere in the vicinity of Lachie’s booted feet. “We’ll be leaving in a minute.”

Lachie said, “Okay…” and Shane stepped around him, heading towards the bus’s sliding door, which was now standing open. Don was there, chatting to the team, and the last-minute instructions he had for Shane were a welcome distraction. Being the first one in the van, Shane folded himself into a seat at the front, slouching down as Jade and Di took the driver and passenger seats and the others piled in behind Shane. Shane’s neck and shoulders loosened just a tiny bit as the new rouseabout—Pania—sat beside him, Lachie casting them a look Shane refused to believe was disappointed as he climbed in after her.

Shane slouched down a bit more as they set off and the others started chatting around him. He knew he wouldn’t be allowed to sit quietly and mind his own business straight away, so he wasn’t surprised when someone grabbed the back of his seat and shook it.

“Coop, did you watch the game over the weekend?” Maaka asked, his voice triumphant. “We thrashed the Wallabies good, didn’t we? We thrashed you good and proper!”

“Didn’t watch it,” Shane said, which wasn’t exactly true. He’d watched it, sitting in the corner of his local pub on his own, surrounded by Kiwis and trying not to let anyone hear him say anything like “six” or “fish and chips” while the Aussies were soundly thrashed by the All Blacks. He’d left at half-time, when all hope was lost. It didn’t matter too much; he’d get his own back when the cricket started, because the Black Caps were the shittiest cricket team in the world, and everyone knew it. He’d let his gang take their victories while they could.

Before Maaka could gloat any more, Pania turned to him. “You from Aussie, then?”

Shane had given up trying to get the Kiwis he knew to call Australia the right nickname—Oz—years ago. It was a losing battle. “Yep. South coast of New South Wales,” he said. “Been here about ten years.” Braced for the question they always asked, he wasn’t disappointed.

“What the hell did you come here for? Isn’t it always the other way around, us going there?”

Shane sighed internally. They never got it. “I’m a shearer,” he said, like he always did, because nobody ever seemed to realise that wasn’t an actual answer before he distracted them with another thing he always said. “I like New Zealand, it’s beautiful. You lot don’t appreciate what you’ve got here. You just focus on the bad things and forget about the good.”

That shut them up for a while, and when they’d all mulled that over and started talking again, the conversation turned from him to other, safer topics. Glancing over his shoulder to find Lachie watching him, he turned back around without acknowledging it. Slumping in his seat some more, Shane settled in to brood for the rest of the trip.

Advertisements

Tinsel and Dust is out!

December 15, 2011 at 6:21 am | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Equilibrium, Promotion, Short story, tinsel and dust | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,

Tinsel & Dust is now on sale at Dreamspinner! You can get it here. I hope those of you who do buy it enjoy another glimpse into how Michael and Ryan are doing.

I’ll be giving away one copy each of Tinsel & Dust, Equilibrium and Rust Red: Galvanized at Reviews by Jessewave’s huge Christmas book giveaway, which I believe will start on December 22nd, so look out for that post to go up over there for a chance to win those and many other fabulous books. At some stage soon (when I can stop doing something other than counting down the days until I finish work for this year) I will probably run a little Tinsel & Dust giveaway here too.

In lieu of all that for now, here’s another excerpt from the book:

***

“JACK thinks that if we stay in a motel for Christmas, Santa won’t be able to find us.”

Michael frowned, rubbing his forehead with his free hand, the corner of the business card he held between his fingers blocking his vision for a moment. His frown deepened as he looked at the card, throwing it down on his kitchen bench as he spoke. “Did you tell him that Santa’s magical and can find kids anywhere?”

“Of course I did.” His sister Jen sighed. “I told him we could leave a note for Santa telling him where we are, but he’s not buying it. Santa still won’t know what our room number is, he says.”

“I suppose telling him that Santa’s not real is out of the question?”

Jen snorted softly. “Yes.”

Michael sighed. “I really want us to spend Christmas day together, Jen.” With his asshole of a father dying six weeks before, this would be the first Christmas in years where Michael didn’t have to worry about avoiding him. “I’d come back down to Sydney, but I’ve only been back in Burreela a couple of weeks. I can’t take any more time off.”

“I know.”

Michael looked around his bedsit, mentally trying to fit four extra people into the available floor space. Even with two of them being kids, there was no way. The sofa bed was barely big enough for two adults, and with it pulled out there was no room left. Even if his nephew slept in his bed with him, there was no place for the baby—his niece, Lilly—to sleep. “My place is too small to hold all of us. Not comfortably.”

Jen sighed again. “I know, Mikey. I’ll talk to him again. I mean, we’ll be coming anyway, but I’d rather not spend eight hours driving with a distraught five-year-old if I don’t have to.”

“Of course.” Michael nodded. “I’ll… I’ll try to think of something.” He paused, running through his options in his head; maybe he could sleep downstairs in the vet surgery. It’d only be for a few nights. “You’re still going to be coming up in time for Burreela’s Christmas thing, right?”

Jen laughed softly, and suddenly her tone was warm again. “The hoedown? Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Jen! It’s not a hoedown. For a start, we’re not in America, so we wouldn’t even call it that, and for another….” He struggled to think of another reason. “It’s just not! I told you that.”

“And you can keep telling yourself that too, Mikey. It doesn’t make it any more true,” she said, laughing again. “I’m just looking forward to watching you out on the dance floor, boot-scooting your little heart out.” She dissolved into uncontrollable giggles.

Michael pinched the bridge of his nose. “Oh, my God,” he said. “That will not happen. There will be no boot-scooting. None at all.” If there was, he would absolutely die.

“I bet Ryan’s an excellent dancer,” Jen said slyly after she’d recovered her composure. “You ever seen him dance?”

The thought of Ryan dancing struck Michael speechless for a good few seconds, so long that Jen started laughing again. He cleared his throat, his face heating. “No, I haven’t, and I’m not likely to at the Christmas thing, am I? Because it’s not a bloody hoedown.”

“Like I said, keep telling yourself that.”

“I’m hanging up now.”

“Okay. Bye, Mikey. See you at the hoedown,” she said, and he could hear her still laughing as he took the phone away from his ear and hung up on her.

He glared at the phone for a moment, then looked down at the card he’d chucked onto the kitchen bench next to his mobile. He reached for it, pausing when his mobile beeped twice, telling him he had a text message. He picked it up and opened the message. It was from Jen.

Don’t forget to get a Christmas tree. Not a fake plastic one, either.

He started guiltily at the message, looking up and around at his bare lounge room, with not a pine needle or piece of tinsel in sight. He texted a message back to her, saying of course he’d remember a tree, as if he wouldn’t, then picked up his keys. He took a few steps toward the door, then came back into the kitchen, swiping the business card off the bench and shoving it into the pocket of his jeans before heading for the door again.

 

Equilibrium Christmas story

October 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Equilibrium, Short story | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

I am back in New Zealand after my sojourn in the US, via a week in Hawaii for a conference. Hawaii was hot, it had excellent pineapple and outstanding bacon, and I spent a lot of money there. I’m delighted to be back home, mostly because of getting to sleep in my own bed and having more options for clothing than what fitted into my suitcase 7 weeks ago.

I bought some incredibly snazzy Doc Martens while I was away, I am ecstatic about those. But I didn’t really start this post to talk about all of my new swag. I started this post to talk about the weather. Sort of.

When I got home on Friday morning and did my laundry, all of my clothes had dried on the clothesline by that afternoon. Today, there was not a cloud in the sky, and I was quite unpleasantly warm and sweaty (oh, sorry, “glowing”) by the time I’d finished pulling up 7 weeks worth of weeds from my backyard. This is the time of year when I start avoiding going out into the sun for too long in the middle of the day, lest the pale, delicate flower that I am gets burned to a crisp in the ozone layer-depleted Southern Hemisphere sunshine.

All that means that summer’s coming. And in this hemisphere, it means that Christmas is coming too. About six weeks ago I mentioned that in December I will have a short story coming out from Dreamspinner entitled “Tinsel and Dust”; it’s a coda to Equilibrium, which picks up a couple of weeks after the novel ends and describes Michael and Ryan’s first Christmas together in Burreela. I don’t have a blurb for it yet, but now that we’re six weeks closer to release what I do have is an edited version, so I’m going to share a little bit of it with you now. I hope you enjoy it.

***

Michael first became aware of the warmth of Ryan at his back. He sighed, snuggling back into Ryan’s body and settling back down. But after a moment he realized that something felt wrong, or odd, not right; he rubbed at his eyes and blinked awake, to be confronted by huge blue eyes in a pale face just inches from his own in the before-dawn grayness of the room. He gasped and jerked back violently, elbowing Ryan hard in the ribs. Ryan grunted and curled in on himself, pulling away, but all Michael could do was put a hand on his chest so his hammering heart wouldn’t pound right out of it.

“Fu—udge, Jack, what are you doing?” he whispered fiercely. He looked at the clock. “It’s five in the morning!” They’d only been asleep for a few hours.

Jack smiled at him, not seeming to notice his mood. “Santa’s been!” he said, and ran out of the room.

Michael stared after him, then slammed his head back on the pillow. “Unbelievable.”

“Ow,” Ryan said from behind him, his voice muffled by the pillow. “Rudest awakening ever.”

“Sorry,” Michael said over his shoulder. “He scared the shit out of me.”

“What did he want?”

“Didn’t you hear? Santa’s been!”

Ryan groaned. “Christ almighty.” He rolled onto his stomach, shoving his face further into the pillow. “Santa wants to go back to sleep. There aren’t enough Tim Tams in the world to make up for this.”

Michael reached back and patted Ryan on the backside. “Don’t get too comfortable, Saint Nick. If I have to get up, so do you. That’s the deal.”

Ryan groaned again and put the pillow over his head.

***

Dreamspinner sale at ARe and Equilibrium sequel

September 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Equilibrium, Promotion, Short story | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

banner

From September 15-30, All Romance ebooks are offering a 25% rebate on all Dreamspinner titles. The rebate comes in the form of ebook bucks, ARe’s in-store currency, which get credited to the customer’s account. If you click on the banner above you’ll get to all Dreamspinner’s titles; if you want to pick up a copy of Equilibrium, you can go here. 🙂

Speaking of Equilibrium, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve sold a short story that’s a mini-sequel to Equilibrium. It’s a Burreela-based Christmas story called Tinsel and Dust, and it will be out in December, just in time for Christmas. 🙂

Care and Feeding of Demons

October 28, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Posted in Anthology, Short story, Torquere Press, Writing | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,

For the inaugural post in this LJ, I am happy to report that the Care and Feeding of Demons anthology is now out at Torquere Press!

Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to read any of the other stories in the anthology yet, and probably won’t have time to do that until the weekend (it’s just typical that this week would be the week of pressing deadlines at the day job), but I’m sure they’re all completely fabulous.

My story is called “Reasonable Force”, and follows Daniel, a member of an ancient order with God-given powers sworn to protect humans from demons. Grieving the sudden death of his fellow hunter – and secret lover – David, Daniel is bent on self-destruction, courting danger without thought for himself or his Order brethren. His antics attract the attention of the demon Korim, a warrior and an Earl of Hell, commander of demon legions and more than a match for Daniel’s strength.

In celebration of the story being released into the wild, here’s a snippet of our boys’ first meeting:

Click for a snippet

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

behindthemusicwithmelanie

The music behind Melanie Tushmore

Looming in Adelaide

Weaving, Writing, Cooking & Gardening in the 'burbs

Rawiya Erotica

Real Erotica for Real People

junipergray

love without limits

Pomma's Place

Just another WordPress.com site