Tag Archives: hurt/comfort

Hey, Look Where Sign of Spring Is!

Sign of spring epubYes, this is my old Goodreads Don’t Read in the Closet story. It’s the story of Robin, a burnt-out palliative care nurse, who takes a road trip to get his groove back, and falls in love with free-wheeling Jack-of-All-Trades Justin. (The poppies on the cover figure strongly in the story.) I’ve finally gotten around to putting it up where people can find it. (It came out while my husband was still sick and I was too distracted to add it to outlets at the time.)

If you were around during the event, you might remember that a group of us got together in a sort of daisy-chain of extra content, where we did interviews, or told stories about our characters. The bonus story at the end of the new edition, Caps with Justin, came from that activity. It’s a quick glimpse into Justin’s mind, on some random night during their road trip.

Anyway, it went live yesterday morning in the free section on Amazon and now it’s at #19 in the Free Kindle Gay Romance section! I see some friends on there too–Chris McHart and Ana J Phoenix, with their Goodreads stories from this year.

If you don’t like Amazon, Sign of Spring is also available at All Romance Ebooks, Kobo, iBooks, and Oyster.


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.

Loose Id

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
Heloise’s Tumblr
Heloise on Facebook

Tuesday Guest Tickle: Saving Kane by Michele Rakes


Buy it here!
Loose Id

Michele’s Blog
Michele’s Facebook
Michele’s Twitter: @MicheleRakes

What’s the story about?

A twenty-something paramedic suffering from PTSD and a failing relationship with his high school sweetheart becomes embroiled in the tragic life of a young, gay man brutally beaten, raped, and left for dead.

Kane Abel can’t help falling for his caregiver, the handsome paramedic who saves his life, but he’s resistant. The one time Kane throws caution to the wind, he’s left with a wired jaw and a tracheostomy. He can’t take much more hurt. With his attacker’s promise to return, Kane lives in a constant state of fear, and with the ever-present paramedic, arousal.

Garrett Young struggles with the question of his sexuality, unable to get Kane out of his mind even as he fights against the demise of his long-time engagement with his girlfriend Amanda. Every day is complicated by his ongoing battle with PTSD and alcoholism, compounded by his fear for Kane’s life.

What MT, a staff member at Loose Id had to say about it:

Saving Kane is the debut story from new-to Loose Id author Michele M. Rakes. It’s m/m, and it’s not a gentle story. I like lighthearted books but I also like stories that have hard-luck characters who overcome odds and obstacles, and endure the angst and sometimes ungentle, unkind actions that come with it. Right now I’m sort of skimming as I format, but dayum, this looks good. Prolly not something you can gulp right down, but I reckon the story will stick to your ribs, so to speak.

A little preview:

The days all blend together. Two weeks feel like two months. Garrett’s the only one who makes the days stand out. By my bedside, during the night, schmoozing the night nurse into letting him stay. Sometimes, he sleeps in the chair.

The day nurse, Yolanda, enters my room. Her voice is full of cheer, and her Brooklyn accent’s so much easier on my nervous system. “Hey, you! Nice to see you again. Did you know Kane’s going home today?”

“Is he?” A low, familiar rumble fills the room, sending my skin into instant ripples of gooseflesh—a dark-chocolate voice.

Garrett’s back. The surprise of him in my room this early in the afternoon floods my body with a rare heat. Did he know I was leaving the hospital today? Did the night nurse mention something to him? I didn’t tell him. My instinct’s to play possum, always unsure of how I’m to behave with Garrett. I prefer to simply listen to the man talk, especially when he thinks I’m sleeping.

The ice pack over my eyes blocks everything except a vague light. I can’t see Garrett, but I imagine he’s in his usual spot. Long legs spread wide, his muscular form makes the chair appear small, and his uniform is rumpled from a night’s work.

I still don’t like the lights on; so much easier for me to hide in the dark. Garrett doesn’t mind. Yolanda urges me not to look in the mirror yet. I haven’t seen my face, avoiding the moment with diligence. I must be gruesome. I wonder what Garrett thinks of me, although at night he doesn’t seem to notice. Is he horrified by me in the light of day?

“I thought you might be his ride. I gotta say, you’re the only one who’s showed up.” Yolanda prattles on, filling Garrett in on all my secrets.

“He hasn’t had any other visitors? All this time?” Garrett asks, pinpointing my loneliness with a skewer of doubt.

“Oh, no, honey. You’ve been the only one today. Some guy visited him yesterday, but Kane had to send him home. The young man was a mess. Crying and carrying on like he’d been the one attacked. Poor Kane had to console him. Kyle or Lyle?” Yolanda’s voice lowers to a whisper. “Anyway, he talks about you. You’re his angel.”