Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year’s and New Beginnings Blog Hop

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The House of Manlove have been talking about all the things we want to do the same, and the things we want to do differently this coming year.

2014 has been very good to us–many of our members were published for the first time, and we’ve developed a fantastic network of authors to go to for help, information, or just a shoulder to cry on when things get tough.

In 2015, I hope we continue to grow like this, helping each other get better and better, helping each other weather the stormy seas of a career in the arts.

For myself, I want to get back into writing on a daily basis. I want to take the time to apply all the things I’m learning from my Dirty Birds discussions, and see my writing take off. I’d like to catch back up on the commitments I’ve made, finish the revisions that I still owe, and move on to new stories.

That would be good. 🙂

But a lot of my New Year’s hopes and resolutions are founded in my daily life–more time with my kids, time to work on the house, and finding a job that lets me have a life outside of work.

We’ll see how it goes.

The rest of the group, and their New Year’s resolutions, can be found here:

1. velvetpanic Heloise West | mmromantic historical
2. Blue Night blog
3. C.V. Madison | Dreamer of Words
4. Alexis Duran | Writer of Fantasy, SF and Erotica
5. Jena Wade | Author of erotic romance
6. Kimber Vale | Come for the sex. Stay for the story
7. Sexy Erotic Xciting
8. Dean Pace-Frech
9. Jennah Scott
10. Amelia Bishop
11. Halls Without Shame | Musings of JT Hall
12. Chris McHart
13. skyejonesromanceblog
14. Haley Whitehall
15. Shiloh Saddler

Have a look and see where we’re all aiming.

And have a great 2015!

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Tuesday Tickle: Kev ‘n Mo

I’ve ported this story into Scrivener and I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes. (After I finish the squirrel…) Of course, once I started the copying and pasting, I had to play with it a little, and then I wanted to share a little with you…

I love Mo. 🙂

“Here goes nothing.” Mo found a parking spot as close as he could get, and made the trek into the building, looking for the foyer and the fabled residence assistants. Someone pointed him at a set of stairs, and soon he found himself in a large room with a white tiled floor, white walls, and a couple of dark blue couches that looked in pretty good shape.

A row of cheap folding tables stretched across the room, five young men and three young women in bright blue t-shirts seated behind it. The tables were covered with stacks of paper, and students and their parents were lined up in front of each of them, waiting their turn to check in with varying degrees of patience.

Mo joined a line in front of one of the guys, a slim blond with an open, friendly face. While he waited, Mo played a ‘guess the major’ with himself. The blond looked like an English-type guy. The sandy-haired girl beside him was probably an Art History major—she had that nose in a book look to her. The guy next to her was dark and good-looking—probably Business. Or maybe…did Thorbourne have a Theatre program? He’d make a great ‘good cop’. Or ‘bad cop’.

Yummy cop.

The next guy was definitely there on a sports scholarship.

Ho hum. He didn’t do well standing in line; he like to be doing things. At least they were moving pretty quickly—now only two people stood between him and whatever it was he needed to do to find his room and get his stuff unpacked.

One person ahead of him now. Mo could see the other people sitting at the table. Lumberjack guy, science guy, computer geek guy, computer geek girl, library dude. There, that was everyone sorted and labeled.

Fuck, he must be tired. He was channeling his mother.

Tuesday Guest Tickle: Claimed By Love by Skye Jones

Okay, so this one isn’t strictly MM, but Skye’s in my crit group and her characters are really well drawn.

claimedbylove
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Paranormal menage

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What’s it about?
Kayley Edwards has spent the last four years closing herself off after a vicious attack by her lover left her scarred and terrified. After fleeing her native Alaska, she ran the length of the country and began a new life in Miami far from her family and friends.

When her cousin and his friends decide to vacation nearby, he invites her to join them, saying he has important news. Determined not to let fear rule her life, Kayley agrees to meet with them, only to have her world turned upside down. His friends include the two gorgeous men who’ve haunted her dreams for months, kindling her desire, and challenging her to take a chance on love.

Pack alpha, Luke Johnson, has sensed Kayley in his visions for years. He and his mate, Sean Wallace, know she is meant to be theirs. But how will she react when she finds out the world they inhabit is one she never dreamed existed? As passions collide, Sean finds himself acting as a bridge between his strong willed alpha and a skittish Kayley. But can they break through Kayley’s defenses and convince her to join their family?

Just as it seems the three may have a future together, a ghost from Sean’s past strikes at the heart of their happiness. They must fight for everything they hold dear to win their chance at love.

A Sneak Peek…

Chapter One. Part one.

It might not be Carnegie Hall but the acoustics still rocked. Kayley sang with gusto as her voice resonated off the bathroom walls, the thunder of the shower spray providing a dramatic backdrop. Soap ran in rivulets over her newest tattoo, playing hide and seek with the ink. Falling silent, she admired the twist of roses climbing her wrist in delicate strands. From afar it looked like an old-fashioned gothic bracelet, but up close you could make out the individual stems and tiny, deep red roses. It matched her style, and in the past it would have matched her dark mood. These days her emotions tended to be a little brighter, a little less despairing. Thanks to copious therapy and years of medication.

As she peered at the tattoo, the memory of her dream from the night before snuck up on her again, firing up synapses and sending flashes of arousal skittering through her. The sensation of getting turned on was still so new it caught her off guard.

Four years on antidepressants may have saved her life, but they’d done a number on her libido. Since finally being able to stop the medication two months ago, her sex drive had kicked in again. Night after torturous night, disturbingly vivid, erotic dreams tormented her. They always featured the same two men and they always left her wide-awake, aroused as hell, but unable to come. Not even when using the new, state of the art, vibrator she’d ordered online.

As hot water beat down on the back of her neck, she leaned her forehead against the cool tiles and let last night’s dream wash over her again. The image of the two men burned bright behind her closed lids, both tall, both handsome, one blond and one dark. They’d taken one another in a fevered sixty-nine while she watched, aching with desire. She never got to touch, to taste, only to watch. As with all other encounters with her dream men, she remained a perpetual voyeur, always on the edge. It scared her. It elated her. Why the same men? Over and over and over again.

Tentatively, she trailed a hand down her stomach, ignoring the jagged scar that began there, until she found her already slick folds. A moment’s hesitation gave way to pure need as, with a breathy sigh, she slipped a finger inside and let her thumb trail over her sensitive clit. A shiver tore through her, despite the steamy warmth of the shower room.

All she yearned for was a moment of pure release, the sweet oblivion as she flew and soared, riding a wave of bliss, her worries and cares forgotten. Yet again it eluded her, stretching her aching need to almost unbearable levels.

The water ran cold as with a soft moan she pulled her hand free and tried to ignore the tears stinging her eyes. Perhaps she wanted it too much? Put too much pressure on herself and should back off?

Kayley stepped out of the shower and dried herself off, frustration and nerves making her movements brisk. In a few hours, her cousin would be expecting her for the weekend. It would be the first time she’d seen any of her family in four years, and the excitement couldn’t quite calm her growing anxiety at the thought of why Will would visit out of the blue.

She’d missed a couple of calls from him the day before, only to find his cell off when trying to call back. She’d checked her e-mails in the evening and seen a brief message from Will telling her he was coming to visit. He wrote that they needed to talk. He’d be renting a place with some friends up the coast. Talk about mysterious!
With a sigh, she stepped out of the steamy bathroom and walked down the hallway to the bedroom.

The morning sun streamed in through the window as she dressed, the bright rays bouncing off her latest series of paintings, currently adorning her walls but soon to be put up for sale. Distracted from her worries, she looked them over with an ever-critical eye. Kayley’s work mostly consisted of landscapes of her native Alaska and many of the pieces featured wolves, a creature she’d been fascinated with since childhood. One of the paintings snagged her attention. It featured a lone, silver wolf bathed in moonlight, its startling blue eyes reaching out from the canvas. For some reason, she came back to the drawing over and over again.

“Looking good.” Her roommate’s voice startled her. Adam lounged against her bedroom door, watching her. Kayley gave him a smile as she sat at her dresser and twisted her neck side to side, working out the kinks.

Adam used to pass by her apartment and would often stop to talk as she painted on the stoop. Despite her past, Kayley felt safe with Adam from day one. She’d learned he worked as a tattoo artist and counted himself a major art freak, too. They’d gradually become solid friends. She’d ended up working with him, and eventually they’d moved in together, sharing the rent.

“Looking good, feeling worried.” She tried to smile, her muscles tight. “I’ve been a nervous wreck since Will’s e-mail. It’s pretty weird. I mean, he says he wants to talk but then why bring that bunch of roughnecks he works with?”

“Sweetheart,” Adam laughed, “you don’t know they’re roughnecks.” He made quotation marks with his fingers. “You’ve never met them.”

“A bunch of bounty hunters? I imagine they are kind of rough, but the point is, why bring them? What if it’s to do with Dane?”

Her throat closed, making it hard to breathe. Kayley’s biggest fear had always been her ex-boyfriend, Dane, finding her, coming after her, finishing the job he’d started four years ago when he’d almost killed her.

“I think it’s going to be good news, whatever it is. If you were in any sort of danger, Will would have told you straight out in his e-mail.”

“I still don’t get why he brought his colleagues if he wants to have a serious talk with me?” Kayley knew her voice grew petulant, but her anxiety at meeting Will’s friends wouldn’t abate. Since the attack, she didn’t do well with strangers and the idea of spending a weekend with people who hunted down criminals for a living scared the crap out of her.

Adam came to stand by her and placed warm hands on her shoulders. “Babe, what’s to fear? They are his friends. If Will likes them, they’ll be cool. They might be hot, too. Hot, sexy bounty hunters! I’m jealous, wish I’d gotten an invite.”

“They could be as hot as the surface of the sun and it wouldn’t do me any good. Bits don’t work properly, remember?” Anxiety made her bitchy.

“Ah, that’ll work itself out. You’ll be fine, trust me. Antidepressants are known to affect your libido. My friend Johnny couldn’t come for the whole two years he was on Prozac. Straight up. Now he’s fucking like a bunny rabbit. Rampant!”

“Wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the damned dreams night after night.”
“Dreams?” Adam let go of her shoulders and moved to sit on her bed, long legs crossed under him, his dark brows raised.

Kayley sighed. She might as well spill. He wouldn’t give up now she’d blurted it out. “I’ve been having really intense dreams since I came off the meds. They started when I tapered the dose but unlike all the other side effects of coming off they’ve gotten worse since I stopped completely.” She bit her lip and looked down at the floor. So far she’d kept her nocturnal visitors to herself. With a deep breath, she spilled her guts.

“Every night I dream about two men having sex. It’s odd because it’s always the same two guys. One’s blond and one’s dark, a walking cliché right? Last night they gave one another blowjobs.”

“And you’re complaining because?” Adam asked with a smirk. “I’d pay good money to have night time adventures where gorgeous men entertain me.”

“It’s like torture, Adam. I wake up all sexed up from these incredible dreams with these two…sex gods, putting on the show of a lifetime and…nothing, nada. I still can’t come and yes, I’ve watched one of your porn films, and yes, I bought a vibrator. Nothing works. Plus, dreaming about the same men every night creeps me out.”

She didn’t add how she worried her inability to orgasm was about far more than medication withdrawal. Deep down, Kayley feared men now, saw them as dangerous, her few male friends and relatives the rare exception. She’d not been remotely interested in a relationship for the last four years and couldn’t see things changing anytime soon. She also viewed her own body as flawed, her scars a reminder of the battle to survive. Sensuality was hard to come by in those circumstances.

“Give it time, gorgeous.” Adam shot her a blinding grin. “You’ve not been off the antidepressants very long and your body needs some time to get back to normal. It’ll come back, trust me on this. God wouldn’t have given you such a hot bod if he didn’t intend for you to get some joy from it.” He paused then and pursed his lips. “Your dream always featuring the same two men though…that is a tad strange, maybe—”

The buzz of her cell jolted Kayley out of the conversation, and she pulled it free of her purse with a frown. Will’s picture lit up the screen. With trembling fingers, she pressed send and picked up the call.

“Has he found me?” She didn’t bother with the pleasantries.

“What? No.” Her cousin’s familiar voice rang out loudly, and she knew Adam would be able to hear. “I’ve got news. Huge news. It’s why I’m here, why I asked you to come over tonight. I thought you deserved to be told in person, but you’re in no danger. Don’t you think I’d have told you straight away if you were?” His words echoed Adam’s from moments ago, and guilt at not trusting her cousin flared in her gut.

“God, I can’t wait to see you, Kiki.” Will’s use of the familiar childhood name soothed her jangled nerves. “This place is incredible. I put the second best room aside for you. Sean nabbed the best for him and Luke, and you can’t argue with the bosses.”

“Sorry?” She thought she’d misheard. She’d read from Will’s e-mails that Luke was the guy in charge, and Sean a member of the team, along with Will and two others, Julie and Taylor.

“Sean and Luke are a couple, and Sean grabbed the best room before I could put dibs on it for you,” he chuckled. “Listen, I know you’re nervous about meeting everybody but you’ll love them, I swear. Julie can’t wait to meet you. She says it will be lovely to have some female company for a change and you’ll like Sean, he’s so laid back and easy going.”

Her nerves relaxed another notch at the warmth in Will’s voice as he spoke of his friends.

“Bring some beach clothes, we’ve got a pool, and a Jacuzzi, and the beach is at the end of the garden, but…if you’re really not comfortable coming over here, I’ll come to you. I can be there in a couple of hours.”

“No.” Her mind made up, she stood, pushing the stool away from the dresser. “I’ll come to you. I’ve packed a weekend bag and if I do find myself getting anxious, I can always go to my room, right? Have some breathing space?”

“Of course you can.” Will understood her anxiety and its source all too well.
“I’ll be there in a couple of hours. I really can’t wait to see you.” She ended the call and looked over to Adam, her hands slick on the phone as she dropped it back onto the dresser.

“Finish gussying yourself up and get over there.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead as he stood. “I’ll make you a cuppa while you finish your makeup.”

She smiled at his use of the Britishism. Her father had been English and she’d used certain British turns of phrase all her life, despite losing him at the age of twelve, and now Adam had picked them up, too.

“Or I could just pour you a shot of vodka?” he added.

“God, no. Tea will be fine. If I start drinking now, I won’t want to stop.”
He gave a mock salute and sauntered out of the room.

Stomach churning with equal measures of nerves and excitement, Kayley turned to her mirror to finish getting ready.

Who is this Skye Jones person, anyway?

Skye Jones is an erotic romance author who loves a tortured hero. Her first story was about a talking hobby horse, but now she’s moved on and likes to write about that moment when lust and love meet head on.

twitter: @skyejromance
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Tuesday Guest Tickle: Grenzen by Chris McHart

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Publisher: MLR-Press
Length: 24000 words
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM, Holiday, Outside US



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What’s it about?
When work requires Ryan to leave behind warm and sunny Arizona for cold and snowy Germany, he decides to visit the famous Nuremberg Christmas Market where he meets sexy Julian.

But Julian isn’t an average guy, he’s a Dom. And he wants Ryan to be his sub.
That’s something Ryan has dreamt of, but never admitted to anyone, not even himself. With Julian it suddenly becomes possible.

But what happens once Ryan has to go home, especially since he’s developing feelings for Julian?

There isn’t a future for a relationship if you’re half a world apart…

A sneak Peek…

Julian rested his hand on the small of my back, guiding me gently through the night. It was well past midnight, and the streets were mostly empty. Neither of us had spoken about how this night would end. After the comment about me getting on my knees, I seriously doubted I’d be sleeping alone tonight. I wanted him, but how should I ask him to spend the night with me?

Taking my hand again, Julian pulled me to a stop. Was he going to ask about coming home with him, now? My heartbeat sped up, I wanted to say, yes, of course I want to.
“You’re staying at a hotel, right? Can I walk you there?”

So he wanted to come to my hotel. That was fine, too. As long as I got him inside me soon, I was okay with almost anything. I told him where I was staying, and we slowly walked there.

“Do you want to meet again? Tomorrow, maybe?”

Who is this Chris McHart, anyway?

Chris McHart is from Germany and while an accountant, writing is Chris’s real passion. Chris likes to spend time with family and has way too many animals that demand constant attention. Chris also enjoys landscaping and cooking.

Whenever Chris has a free minute, it’s spent writing on a laptop, a cup of coffee in hand, deeply lost in the world Chris’s muses have created.

When coming up for some air, you’ll find Chris on a lot of social networks. Check out Chris’s website to see where you can find out more. Chris looks forward to hearing from you!

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Three Dirty Birds Talk About Scenes

WE’RE BACK!!!! At least until Christmas derails us. Then we lose Zoe-bird for a couple of weeks, but we’ll be back in the New Year to finish off James Scott Bell and squabble about what book we’ll read next.

Any suggestions? We’d like something a little more focused, something that will help us with our mushy middles.

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Three Dirty Birds are talking about scenes, and more specifically, the chapter on scenes in James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-Editing for Publication, 2e.

Kate: This was a long chapter.

Ana: He made quite a scene of it. (I cannot resist a bad pun.)

Kate: Punny girl.

Zoe: This might have been the most useful quick run-down of scenes I’ve seen yet.

Kate: He has a nice way of explaining things, and a dry sense of humour that gets me every time. I liked how he broke down the ‘action scene’ vs the ‘reaction scene’.

Zoe: Me too. Much less dense/more streamlined than Dwight Swain’s scenes/sequels. Pretty easy to grasp. I think I’ll spend less time panicking over the whole issue now.

Ana: I wasn’t bored out of my mind while reading this section, which speaks for it.

Kate: No, there was lots of good stuff in it. Hard to talk about anything that really stood out, but it was a good solid chapter and easy to access.

Zoe: I liked the spice part—it was a good reminder that, while everything needs to serve the story, it doesn’t have to just serve the story. There can be stuff in there that breathes extra life in. (And now I want to see The Godfather again.)

Kate: Haha, me too! My sticky note on that page says, “Spice is hard. 😦 “

Ana: I need to keep that in mind during the revision process. I might sometimes cut too much. (And I couldn’t get through The Godfather the first time.)

Zoe: At the moment I don’t feel like I’m doing any spice in my book. Everything’s on point about the story. (The movie? I’ve also read the book. When I was, like, ten. So it was gripping and fun. I tried rereading it later…)

Ana: The movie. I haven’t tried the book. But what you say sums up my experience with the LotR books.

Kate: I was never able to get into the LotR books. (I’ll show myself out of the fantasy genre now…)

Zoe: I loved The Hobbit when I was a kid, and Fellowship scared the crap out of me. When I was eleven. Now it all puts me to sleep.

Ana: Right? Sometimes I want to be a kid again. I could read anything.

Zoe: Yes! And be so affected by it! Even books I only half understood creeped me out like crazy.

Kate: I thought he made a good point about tension, because uncertainty, worry, and doubt are big tension-builders in romance. Okay, in any genre, but I find we use them a LOT in romance, even over little things.

Zoe: I liked that he included what tension and conflict in a scene could encompass, instead of just saying they needed to be there.

Kate: Yeah, that was a nice take on it. I wasn’t crazy about his scene patterns section, if only because I didn’t really have a problem with his first example, and the second one didn’t draw me in, which was the opposite of what he was trying for, I think.

Zoe:I think he’s getting down a level where you feel your way out in it more than…learn how to do it. But I suppose for some writers, it actually needs to be said that order can be rearranged.

Ana: It’s something that I read and nodded while reading, while at the same time I know I’m never going to think about it while writing.

Kate: I didn’t find the HIP section terribly useful, but that might be because I’ve moved past having to have that spelled out for me. Although the bit about the hook, and the prompt, did get me to make a note to look more closely at them when I do revisions.

Zoe: I thought it was definitely a good reminder for revisions. The stuff you don’t necessarily have on your mind when you’re getting that first draft down, but when you go back and look through and make sure your scenes open with hooks and end with prompts, you wind up with a story that pulls the reader through better.

Ana: It’s definitely something to look at. I remember to look at my scene endings, but scene openings, not so much.

Kate: I think scene endings come more naturally, because they’re the thing you really notice when you’re reading someone else’s work. It’s the thing that makes you go “One more chapter…”, so you pay more attention. Openers are more subtle, though the whole “first line of your novel” thing is pretty well-known and thus is more noticeable.

Zoe: The “intensity” part of HIP seemed like just a rehash of “scenes must have tension.” I thought the section on “moving around” was good—about how you don’t need to park two people in a room (or on a couch, or at a restaurant table) to have them talk. People talk on the go in real life. (Doing this, I think, might also cut down on the mundane beats of “She picked up her glass.” “He shifted in his chair.”)

Ana: My alpha reader once made me rewrite a scene I’d set in an office. She didn’t know this at the time, and neither did I, but I guess it comes back to the not-moving-around thing. It was boring. She said “not dramatic enough”

Kate: They used the ‘walk and talk’ to great effect in The West Wing. It added a lot of excitement and feeling of movement to the show, even if the dialogue wasn’t, in and of itself, high tension.

Zoe: Now you have me thinking of Sons of Anarchy (when am I not thinking about Sons of Anarchy this week?). I used to get so antsy during all the big “talk” scenes—and thinking back on them, they were really static. Jax and [fill in the blank] sitting, talking. (On and on and on.) It could have used some more on-the-go.

Kate: Kurt obviously didn’t watch any West Wing.

It was nice to see a book tackle flashbacks in a clear and concise manner. It tallied with all the research I did so I could pull off my one flashback ever written. 🙂

Zoe: I have a flashback in the one I’m working on now, broken into two parts. There wasn’t any way around it. And I agree—it was a good take on flashbacks in this chapter. The reality is that sometimes you can’t work around them, so it’s good to have some pointers on how to make them work.

Ana: I was a bit anxious reading this part because the novella I just finished… well, flashbacks are an important part of it as the characters deal with a lot of memories between them,so I was reading this section hoping he wouldn’t point out something vital that I forgot. (Because I’d already submitted the novella.) It looks like I’m good though. I hope.

Kate: I hate that rule of ‘don’t do flashbacks’, because sometimes the only way to get around a flashback is to write a scene with a whole pile of fill. Who wants to read that? Better to hone your skills in flashbacks and use them, than to add a lot of unnecessary stuff to the story.

Zoe: New rule: Don’t do flashbacks badly.

Ana: The ones I have in my story don’t run longer than a few lines each. And I don’t want to cut any of them. -sharpens nails-

Zoe:The one in mine is long, playing out as two scenes. I couldn’t cut it because it’s critical to the story, and I couldn’t play it out in real time because it happens two years prior—it would be the only scene from two years ago in the entire book, and I don’t think it would have the same impact, actually, presented as a regular scene.

Kate: If you wrote it in chronological, you’d have a prologue. Damned if you do…

Zoe: I think it would make a terrible prologue. You need to be curious about the character and his motivations and what happened to him, what he’s after, before you find out those answers.

Ana: I considered doing a prologue for my novella, but it would have been awfully clunky. I think I like the flashbacks better. Actually. I’m reading a book by Joe Hill now that has pretty long flashbacks. I think some of that could have been cut.

Zoe: (The long flashback in Horns bogged the story for me.) (But didn’t stop me from loving the book overall.)

Kate: Overall, I prefer flashbacks to prologues, and seeding the info through the story to either of them. But sometimes you just have to get the whole bit of information out in one go, or it loses its impact.

Zoe: Yes! In my WIP, I could just say the character feels responsible for his sister’s death, but that doesn’t impact the reader nearly as much as seeing it unfold and feeling helpless right alongside him.

I think this book should come with index cards with all the chapter key points. (Because I find them useful, but also: I’m lazy.)

Kate: You should have Knuckles take notes for you.

Zoe: He is lazier than I am. I haven’t been able to get him to get up out of his chair for a week.

Tuesday Guest Tickle: Saving Sultan by Jennah Scott

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Publisher: Decadent
Genre: Contemporary Cowboy
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This story is a part of Decadent’s Beyond Fairytales series, where the author is assigned a random fairy tale, and it’s up to them to translate it into a romance. 🙂



What’s it about?
Dillon Sultan never imagined he might some day lose Sultan Ranch. He’s got one month to find the money needed to keep bank from taking his family’s land. One month to find a miracle.

Liam Callahan hasn’t talked to his best friend since the night they kissed six years ago. Now he’s got a chance to make things right and catch the man of his dreams. But first, he has to help Dillon figure out a way to keep Sultan Ranch.

But when Dillon’s family is betrayed, and he learns that Liam hasn’t been totally honest with him, will he lose everything that matters most?

A Sneak Peek…

Liam moved around the corner of the truck and lifted himself onto the tailgate. His friend set his hand on Dillon’s shoulder and squeezed. He turned to Liam and paused.

“You okay, man?” Dillon asked. Liam’s eyes were dark, his lips pulled tight. Dillon wasn’t sure if he was angry or sad. Could have been the beer.

“Yeah. Just thinking. We start a new chapter of our lives tomorrow. Part of me wishes this one wasn’t done.”

He reached for Liam’s cup. “I think you should call it a night. The beer’s messing with your head. Making you talk like a chick.”

Liam didn’t acknowledge him. He stayed quiet for a few more minutes. “Is there anything you wanted to do before we graduated, but didn’t? Like a high school bucket list.”

“Seriously?”

Liam nodded.

What the hell had come over his friend? “I’m eighteen. I could give a fuck less about a bucket list. We’ve got all the time in the world to do shit. Look at it this way”—Dillon finished his beer, tossed the cup in the back of the truck, and reached for Liam’s glass—“start new right now. Something you want to do? Do it.”

The next thing that happened would forever be burned in Dillon’s memory.

Liam jumped to the ground and stumbled. Dillon grabbed his friend’s shoulders to keep him from face-planting into the grass. Liam turned around so they were face-to-face.

“You’re right,” Liam whispered, then kissed him.

Who is this Jennah person, anyway?

Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won’t ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

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Tuesday Guest Tickle: Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West

HeloiseWest_HittingBlackIce_coversm I had the privilege of beta-ing this one, and if you don’t love those boys, I don’t know what to say.

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The previous installments to the first chapter of Hitting Black Ice (From Loose Id) are here:

Part One November 28, 2014: Skye Jones
Part Two December 1, 2014: Kimber Vale

Violence spills into the local ER, catching Hunter and Shawn in the crossfire. In the aftermath, buried passion explodes, pulling them into a hot encounter that leaves both men wanting more. Each man has good reason to keep his distance, but when the past catches up with Shawn, they must run for their lives.

At least they’re running together.

Chapter One/Part Three

“Chuck’s late. He’s usually waiting for you,” Hunter commented.

Hunter didn’t like to leave until Marisa’s husband arrived with their two small girls to pick her up. She opened her mouth to answer, but three gunshots blasted out into the low hum of traffic.

“Shit,” Hunter said. The shots had come from the same direction Shawn had gone.

Screaming and shouting erupted, muted by the buildings that stood between the shots and them. The notorious neighborhood drug corner, open for business day and night, lay in that direction. It sounded like they got who they came for.

Two more shots and the screech of tires followed as a big black SUV came around the corner and passed them. It barely missed Chuck as he pulled into the parking lot with the girls. Chuck leaned hard on the horn.

Marisa dialed 911 as Hunter began the run down K Street, but halfway there, Shawn turned the corner with a young black man dressed in baggy gangsta fashion. He leaned heavily on Shawn, who had an arm slung around him. Hunter recognized the guy as one of the street-corner drug thugs, as Marisa called them. He bled from a wound to his leg, his eyes wild with pain and panic as he limped along.

“Anyone else hurt?” Hunter flung the guy’s other arm around him. Damn if he didn’t hear the screech of that SUV’s tires behind them as it came around again.

“No, just him. Faster,” Shawn urged the wounded man. “They’re coming back.”

“Hurts like a motherfucker. I’m gonna kill those motherfuckers. Motherfucker!”

Marisa ran for the ER, shooing her husband and kids inside, as the big black car turned the corner again. The boom of the bass increased as they lowered the window to take another shot at their prey. Marisa returned with a determined expression and a first-aid bag under her arm.

“Shit! Marisa! Stay back!” Hunter yelled.

“Mommy!” her daughter shrieked from the doorway of the ER. That stopped her cold.

“We’ve got him. Get to cover!” Hunter shouted at her. She turned back, and when she got to the ER doors, Chuck ran out and yanked her quickly inside.

“Fuck it if it hurts. Run for it!” Shawn pulled at the wounded man.

They ran, and gunfire followed, shattering one of the glass doors before it shut behind them. Sirens wailed in the distance, and Hunter hoped it was for them. Some doctors ran up to them and pushed the bleeding man, still cursing and griping, onto a gurney, then wheeled him down the hall to one of the exam rooms.

Shawn stood beside Hunter, watching them go. Hunter grabbed Shawn’s shoulder, shoved aside his open jacket, and found a few small spots of blood.

“Shawn, are you hurt?”

Shawn turned empty eyes on Hunter. He shook his head as if to clear it before looking away again.

“Sure you’re all right?” Hunter persisted.

“Just reaction.” Shawn held up a trembling hand.

Hunter winced. “You did good, kept your head. Saved the guy’s life. Let’s get you something clean to wear.” Hunter patted him, reassuring himself.

Behind the nurses’ station, Hunter opened a drawer full of scrubs and found a shirt for Shawn, who slipped into the men’s room to change. When he came out again, Hunter dropped the hoodie and T-shirt into the biohazard bin.

Shawn flashed an incredibly sexy grin as he shrugged into his jacket, aimed that beautiful blue gaze directly into Hunter’s, and held him there for a heartbeat before turning to leave. “Thanks.”

As Shawn walked away, he raised a hand to Marisa and Chuck arguing in fierce whispers by the nurses’ station. One of their kids waved back, and he nodded. Just before the entrance to the ER, he stopped, and Hunter thought he meant to button his jacket. Then Hunter saw it too.

The big black SUV had been driven up onto the sidewalk in front of the ER. The first police car screeched into the parking lot as two men got out of the SUV—white, older than the wounded drug dealer, heavier and harder looking, with guns already drawn. With the SUV in front of the doors, no one was getting in. And no one was getting out.
* * * * *

You can find out what happens today here: Hitting Black Ice

Thanks for having me here today, Kate!
Happy reading!
Heloise West

Velvet Panic Website
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