Tuesday, 30 September 2014

His Sleeping Beau by Jess Buffett

Book Name: His Sleeping Beau

Author Name: Jess Buffett

Author Bio:

Jess Buffett was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. She is a mum of two, married to her high school sweetheart.

Jess is a hopeless romantic who is a huge fan of M/M and M/F romance with a happy ending—anything with hunky men in all their glory, whether they be Shifters, Vampires, Cowboys, or the boy next door.

A caffeine addict who shamefully can’t make a decent cup of coffee to save her life, Jess believes in soul mates, happily ever afters, and in love at first sight, but that sometimes people need a second or a third for the brain to catch up.

Author Contact:

Publisher: JK Publishing
Cover Artist: Jess Buffett


Zanth is a teacher making the best of his life until a chance encounter changes everything for him. It leaves him questioning everything: his life, his family, and his ability to love. 

When Guardian Liam is sent to collect his charge and bring him home, the last thing he expected is to discover the young, clueless man is meant to be his. Now he must explain the past to save the future to a man with no knowledge of his worth.

Will a Tribe gain the leader they have waited years for? Does the evil from the past finally receive their vengeance? Or can Liam convince Zanth that apart means death to all but together, they are unstoppable?

Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

The lost, almost broken young man in front of him tore his heart in two. How much had his mate suffered all these years alone?

“I wish I could take back the years you lost with your family, the pain you’ve felt...but I can’t.” Liam stood, walking over and reaching out to Zanth. He slid his hand around the back of Zanth’s neck, tugging the younger man forward. Zanth came without struggle, his eyes dim with grief. Bringing their lips until they were just a hair's breath away, he whispered, “You are so very important to me, Zanth. Not because of your position in our Tribe, not because I have been ordered here. I will keep you safe, give you the family you were supposed to have...and I make this promise, not as the Guardian assigned to bring you home, but as someone who cares very deeply for you.”

September 29: Parker Williams
October 3: Cate Ashwood
Sales Links:

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Project X - Bonus !!!

Project X was released by Wayward Ink Press on 23 September. It's available for purchase from

Wayward Ink Press

To give you a taste of what you'll find inside the covers, I've written a prologue, introducing the two main characters, This scene is mentioned in the book, but only briefly, from one POV. I think this might give you a little more insight into what's going on, on the inside.

This is an exclusive preview, so enjoy

“For God’s sake, keep your eyes on the road.”
“But have you seen those spires. Look at the windows! Shit, Matthew, we’re going under an arch.”
“We go under an arch to get to the supermarket, Cory.”
“That’s a railway bridge, it doesn’t count.”
“It’s still an architectural masterpiece.”
“If you like that kind of thing. Oh my God look at that! It looks even more like Hogwarts than in the pictures.”
I had to groan at that. Cory’s been on about Hogwarts for weeks. If I’d known he would get so Harry Potter™ fangirl on me, I’d have chosen an ultra-modern university – all chrome and glass. I’d actually chosen one, despite having taken the Oxford / Cambridge entrance exam. Even though they’re the two best and most prestigious universities in the UK, I wasn’t keen on going. I’m a working class boy through and through and brushing shoulders with the upper echelons of society, with their cut glass accents and inbred arrogance, didn’t appeal at all.
Cory told me over and over that it wasn’t like that anymore, and anyway my prejudices about the upper classes were irrational and foundless. Just because someone spoke with a posh accent and was heir to a fortune, didn’t mean they were a bad person. I listened to what he had to say, shook my head and went back to grumbling about being made to feel inferior. It didn’t help that Cory infuriatingly pointed out that any feelings of inadequacy and inferiority would be down to me, not them, and I should at least give it a chance.
Unfortunately we’d both passed the exam, and Cory was so crestfallen when I tried to talk him out of going, I’d finally given in. I always do.
Cory was my very best buddy. We’d been friends forever, although we were an unlikely couple, I have to say. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, ‘couple’ means ‘pair of friends’. We were mistaken for boyfriends often enough but, although Cory’s gay – and I always said if I ever took a walk on the gay side it would be with him – I’m straight as they come.
I’d like to say I was a one woman man, and had a steady girlfriend since junior school. That’s definitely what I wanted – a steady relationship, leading to marriage, a nice house, a couple of children and a dog. Unfortunately, it had never quite worked out that way, and the longest relationship I’d had that far was six months. I thought that one was going to last, until I got the ‘long distance relationships don’t work, and university changes people’, talk the week before. Ah well, there’s a lot to be said for starting over with a clean slate. So there I was, young free and single and about to launch on the greatest adventure of my life.
It didn’t really start right then, though because we’re only there to look around and make the final decision about whether we wanted to come here. If there had ever been a chance we wouldn’t, it evaporated the instant Cory caught sight of the elegant gothic buildings, and had long gone by the time we passed under the arch and followed the signs for the visitors’ car park.
It was a mistake to let Cory drive. His eyes were everywhere but on the road, and how we managed to get to the car park without swerving onto the immaculate lawns, or hitting something, I’ll never know. Fortunately, the car park was almost empty. We were early, of course. Cory wanted to leave at some ridiculous time, like five am, but I managed to contain him for a couple of hours.
The car rattled and hissed, as we chugged to a highly relieving halt. I think it was furthest my poor old banger had ever gone, and she was as glad to arrive as we were. Bless her, she was a bit of a wreck even then, but she was reliable, and even if she wasn’t pretty, she was all mine. Well, mine and Cory’s. We’d saved up together and paid half each. Not that it would have mattered. We were so close we tended to treat just about everything we owned as joint property. Except the computers.
Cory’s a computer genius. He’s seriously amazing with anything to do with computers, from building them, to writing his own code and designing websites and games. Most of our friends, as well as pretty much everyone in both families, has a website or blog designed and set up by Cory. They’re not all well maintained or even used, but they’re there. It’s a testament to his persuasive techniques that even my great-grandmother has a blog, on which she posts recipes and embarrassing photographs of the family; present and past. She might be the only eighty year old in the country to know her way around the internet so well. She’s researching our family tree, and has more friends on facebook™ than I do.
The crazy thing is, that Cory’s genius doesn’t stop there. He’s also freakishly talented at science, especially biochemistry. He actually worked in a real lab in the last year of ‘A’ levels and did some kind of advanced course instead of the bog standard syllabus. I’m totally convinced that one day he’s going to build a cyborg, and I’m not the only one. Characteristically, Cory’s coy about his talents and had no confidence in his ability to be the first person to crack the whole ‘organic/mechanical fusion’ thing.
One of the reasons he was so keen to go to that particular university, was because they’d created a personalized syllabus, so he could study both his passions together. I bet the professors were creaming their pants over him. Not literally, I hope. The last thing I needed was to get involved in a professor/student scandal, and Cory was more than capable of getting into trouble without ever seeing it coming. It’s not just his eyes that are short-sighted.
“Come on, Matthew, let’s have a look around. Maybe we can find the science labs. Oh.” He paused and peered at me, his startlingly blue eyes round behind thick lenses. “The Law Department as well, of course, and the library.”
“That’s what the tour’s for,” I said, laughing at his expression which was a mixture of eagerness and frustration. He was like a kid in a candy store, and had no idea where to go, or what to look for first. I knew what was going on inside that head of his. His mind was racing in about a million directions at the same time, and he was having a hard time remembering I was even there, and that my interests lay elsewhere.
As we stood, procrastinating, a loud screech startled us both, and we looked up, as one, to see sleek, black car heading our way. It skidded on the gravel and threw up a spray that spattered our lower legs with dust as it came to a stop, hardly more than an arm’s length away. Why, with a whole car park to choose from, did it have to land next to us?
For a moment, the car crouched, purring and seeming to watch us with its blacked out eyes that twinkled and flashed in the morning sunshine. Then the engine cut. The air continued to pulse with its sound for a few moments, before true silence fell and we could hear laughter from somewhere in the distance.
The silence stretched until it became oppressive. Who was in the car, and why didn’t they come out?
“Why doesn’t anyone get out?” Cory whispered and, as if he’d summoned something, the doors opened and four people spilled out, laughing and talking in loud voices. How had we not heard them from inside?
My attention was caught by the two girls, who had been in the back seat. They were the epitome of everything I’d dreaded about attending that university. They were loud, brash, and beautiful with shrill, cut-glass accents and short skirts. Everything about then, from their flashy shoes, to the careless swish of their hair and the sunglasses perched artfully on their heads, screamed ‘designer’, and careless chic. They wore their wealth and privilege like badges, emblazoned on everything they did.
Beside me, Cory gasped and my attention immediately transferred to the driver of the car, who had emerged silently, slightly later than the rest. My curious gaze met cool green eyes that stole my breath. I had, and have, never seen anyone so perfect in all my life. The girls were clones, typical specimens of the ‘in crowd’, but him…
Long black hair hung to below his shoulders in a sleek waterfall of silk, broken by an inch wide streak of brilliant blue at the right front. The stunning hair framed a face that could have graced the cover of Vogue™ or gazed down from a catwalk. He was breathtakingly beautiful, with slanting emerald eyes and flawless, china-pale skin.
The boy’s emerald green eyes caught and pinned me so that I could do nothing but gape, unable for some reason to look away. Cory nudged me, but I ignored him. I was afraid that if I broke the gaze, even to blink, the boy would be gone. I didn’t know why I cared, but I did.
Finally. I had to give in to Cory’s insistence, and I glanced at him with a frown on my face. “What?”
“You’re catching flies.”
I growled at him and turned back to the boy.
“Do come on, Morgan,” someone called. “I’m getting dirt all over my Vuittons. They’ll be ruined. And I’m parched, darling. We really must find somewhere decent to get a drink soon, or I’m sure I’ll die.”
Was I mistaken or did a flash of anger cross his face? If it had, it was quickly replaced by something else. I took it as arrogance and distain, although I wondered about that later. Right then it made me angry. How dare he? How dare they? Was I so far beneath them they wouldn’t even deign to acknowledge our presence?
“Nice to meet you, too,” I called after them as they walked away. No one so much as glanced in our direction.
“Wow,” Cory said when the little group had disappeared.
“Yeah. See why I didn’t want to come here? This place is going to be crawling with people like that. Are they really the sort of people you want to spend the next three years with?”
“I’m sure they’re not all that bad,” Cory said, but he sounded shaken and the certainty had leaked from his voice.
“Come on,” I said, even angrier that the rude arrogance of those plastic people, had upset my friend. “Let’s find someone who can point us in the right direction.”
Cory tore his eyes from the place where the group had disappeared, and gave me a weak smile. “Can we look for the labs first?”
“We can spend all day in the labs if you want. It’s not as if it makes much difference to me what the lecture rooms in the Law Department look like.”
Cory brightened immediately, and in moments was babbling again, as he dragged me across the car park to what looked like a main entrance.

The mindless chatter was driving me insane, not to mention the laugh. Oh God, the laugh! I have no idea what I was thinking, going out with Sarah Blythe-Carter. She was a nightmare, especially on long car journeys. With hindsight, I should have insisted we stay at mine the night before, but Sarah’s friend was having a party in the City, so we crashed there. Driving for over an hour, with a hangover is bad enough, without that irritating bray from the back seat sounding like a klaxon in my ear every five minutes.
I don’t even know why I took her on the visit. It’s not as if she was going to be attending the university – or any university. Her intelligence wasn’t her outstanding feature. In fact, she didn’t have many outstanding features, other than that her family was rich enough, and prestigious enough for her not to be intimidated by mine.
Of course, I’d dated…less well connected girls – boys too – but their tendency to get overawed and over-impressed was irritating and frustrating. Better to stick with my own class, as Father continually reminded me. Not that I cared what Father said, or thought, but I got enough shit from him as it was. It just wasn’t worth it. He did too good a job driving away interesting prospects, and it was embarrassing.
The problem was, I got bored. None of them was a challenge anymore, and they were all the same. The whole scene was a hot-bed of politics and in-jokes. It seemed as if everyone constantly had knives drawn ready to plunge into someone’s back; often their best friend, at least former best friend. I can’t, be bothered with it all: never could.
It was better when my mother was alive. We used to go to parties together, and we’d conspire to circumvent Father’s radar with ‘unsuitable’ dates. Of course, I was only a kid then, and it was all for laughs, not because I was seriously looking for someone. I had a lot of fun with a lot of people – innocent, of course.
After she died everything changed. A big part of that was in me. She died in a car accident, and I blamed myself. Of course, I knew deep down I wasn’t to blame, not really, but Father never missed an opportunity to reinforce the ides I was. It sucked the joy out of my life and I’d searched for it ever since.
I certainly wasn’t going to find it with Sarah. I’d got to the point where if she’d mentioned her bloody Louis Vuitton shoes again I might have killed her.
My head was pounding when I turned into the university and I almost missed the sign for the car park. The tyres screeched as I took the turn too tightly and I skidded on the gravel. I almost didn’t see the other car until I stopped in a cloud of dust, right next to it.
I sat with my head on the top of the steering wheel, getting the pounding under control. My head pulsed with the racing of my heart. In normal circumstances the thrill would have excited me, but that day it made me nauseous, and it set the harpie off again.
“What the hell were you doing, Morgan? You almost killed us. If you wanted to get my attention you could just have called. Or were you hoping I’d end up in your lap?”
I raised my face in time to catch her leering in the mirror, and shuddered. A break up was looming in the very near future. I couldn’t stand another day with let – let alone a night. To say last night had been a let-down was being more than kind to the girl. Insipid was a word that sprang to mind.
Wanting nothing more than to get away from her, I got out of the car, vaguely aware she was bitching about her shoes again – then I saw him.
There were two of them, standing next to most battered wreck of a car I’d ever seen. I barely registered the blonde one, but the other….
He was tall, like me, with shaggy, honey brown hair and the most amazing blue eyes I’ve ever seen. I thought, at first they were contacts, but I found out later they weren’t.
I can’t put my finger on what exactly it was about this boy that fascinated me so much, but I just couldn’t look away. He was dressed casually in jeans and a sweater and there was absolutely nothing about him that stood out…except that there was. There was something. Maybe it was the startled expression in his eyes that nevertheless suggested he’d never be intimidated by anything. Maybe it was the way he carried himself, or the way his full lips quirked, and later compressed in a disapproving line. Maybe that’s what did it. He disapproved of me. I love it when someone disapproves of me.
Everything about the boy shouted ‘challenge’ and that was something I hadn’t had in a long time.
If it hadn’t been for the sun, slanting off the many windows surrounding us, I might have stood there longer, and maybe even worked out what it was about the boy that had struck such a chord in me. As it was, the sunlight hurt and I had to put my sunglasses on. That small action was enough to break the connection and it was as if a curtain fell.
It’s strange but it was almost like we’d been in a bubble. Everything around me had faded – except the bloody sun, thank you very much – and now it all crashed in on me again. Sarah’s complaining cut through my head like a knife and the boy flicked her a glance, turning away toward his friend.
There was something about the way they looked at each other than made me think they were more than friends, and the realization cut me deeper than Sarah’s bleating. Oh well. I knew he was a challenge, and I’d never let being in a relationship deter me from trying – whether it was them or me who was already with someone.
I have to admit, though, as I turned away, I couldn’t help being envious of the way they looked at each other, and casually touched. It was as if it was the most natural thing in the world, which of course it was, rather than carefully calculated and socially acceptable. They didn’t even seem aware they were doing it. It must be nice to have a friend like that I thought as I reluctantly followed Sarah in search of something to quench my thirst. Of course, it could only quench one kind of thirst. I was going to have to work on the rest.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cover Reveal - Stranded Anthology

Definition – Stranded

  • (of a boat, sailor, or sea creature) left aground on a shore.
“a stranded whale”
  • left without the means to move from somewhere.
“he offers a lift to a stranded commuter”
The boys in this collection of short stories have most definitely been left STRANDED!
They’ve been shipwrecked and abandoned.
Marooned and cast away.
And left helpless and high and dry.
But you should never underestimate the tenacity of the human heart…
STRANDED-cover preview size

Stories Included:

Craiving Stains by Alina Popescu

Trapped since birth in a sterile, hospital-like apartment, Wynn longs to break free to experience the world.
Enter Doyle.
But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

Say Cheese by Michael P. Thomas

Sitcom sensation Felix Medrano, America’s Sweetheart, throws a star-studded surprise party for his sweetheart, beanpole barkeep Grover Shepherd.
It’s a smash, save for one detail: Shep is a no-show.
Who’d have thought it would be so hard to pop the question?

Standby by Kim Fielding

Who’d have thought being stranded at the airport could possibly have some long term benefits?
Certainly not Tom.
But then he hadn’t bargained on meeting Rafael…

The Raider by Asta Idonea

The gods truly do work in mysterious ways as Thorstein found out when he was left for dead on the battle field of a foreign land.

The Buckle by Rob Colton

One ditching and one rescue later, Hayden discovers the use of a telephone isn’t the only offer that’s on the table…

Ari by Nephylim

Benji and Ari have spent their lives feeling lost and alone, stranded between genders.
Can they help each other stop unravelling?

Opposites Attract by Lily G. Blunt

Chris and Andreas are opposites in character.
Both fear the other wants to move on.
Can being stranded on a mountainside resolve the doubt that is threatening to tear them apart?

Out of Order by Eric Gober

Rob was the one who got away.
Trent stumbles upon him during a trip to San Francisco…
Right before a deadly earthquake…

Dating for Deafies by Nikka Michaels

If Evan York keeps hiding from the world behind his laptop he might miss out on something special.
Will he find the courage?

One Snowy Night by Louise Lyons

One snowy night, Keith Brambles learns that appearances can be deceptive.

The Climb by kirifox

Jessie went camping with friends expecting to have some fun and maybe drink a little beer.
Instead, he found his perfect man…
but is he real or just a dream?

Did You Leave Any for Me by Sarah Hayes

Two ex-lovers, one hotel room, and one random act of technology.
Will they fall out or fall back in love?

Sweetness and Strength by JN Olsen

Miles makes one seemingly small and inconsequential decision that turns out to be not so small and inconsequential after all.

Pre-order now!

Get your copy of Stranded by pre-ordering it on the WIP website.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wednesday Briefs Ch 19 - How Did I Ever Think I Could Do This

So here we are at another Wednesday. It's quite and exciting Wednesday because it's the day after Tuesday, which was the release day for Project X I'm so excited. This is a great book, even if I say so myself :)

There's a whole blog tour to look forward to, and the reviews so far are great.

Anyway, back to the flash in hand. The prompt I chose this week was 'Are you out of your mind?'

Carried away by the euphoria of the film, Cyan chattered constantly as they made their way out of the cinema. Robin didn’t even realize he was holding Cyan’s hand until someone banged against his shoulder almost knocking him over.


“What?” Robin turned to see the group of boys leering at him. One of them spat on the floor. He was so shocked he hadn’t even let go of Cyan’s hand. When he realised what had happened, he dropped it like it burned. In a way it did. It burned his mind.

Reeling with shock, Robin staggered back until he hit the wall. Life seemed to have slowed, everyone around him moving in slow motion. Alex was yelling, Aivah was saying something to him, and Cyan…Cyan was staring at him, his hand over his mouth and an expression of utter terror on his face.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ sorry.”

That was the first sound he heard clearly. Cyan was saying it over, and over, and over. Robin wanted to say something. Anything. He wanted to comfort Cyan, to say it was alright. But it wasn’t alright. It really wasn’t.

“I-I’ve got to go,” he muttered, and fled.

He didn’t stop running until he got to his room, then flung himself onto the bed. Oh God, what had he done? What had he done? Now everyone was going to know. Everyone would know he was…was…. What would they do? What would he do? What would his mother say?

Gradually, his heart slowed and he buried his face in his pillow to stop himself screaming.

The cheery singing of his telephone made him want to throw it across the room. It wasn’t the first time. It didn’t seem as if it hadn’t stopped and he wanted it to. God, he wanted it to. The last thing he wanted was to speak to someone; anyone, but someone wasn’t giving up.

Finally, he checked the calls to find Alex had called four times, and Aivah three. Cyan hadn’t called at all. Why hadn’t Cyan called? For a moment, anger spiked, and it surprised him. Why would it matter if Cyan called? But it mattered. It did matter.

Unbidden, a picture of Cyan’s face popped into his head. The way it had looked in the cinema; the expression on his face. His heart skipped. What had he done? He’d just abandoned him. 

Automatically, he found Cyan’s number but his finger hovered over the button, unable to make the commitment.

What the hell was he doing? His nerves were singing like bowstrings, and he found his hand was shaking. If he did this; if he called Cyan he’d have to do one of two things. He’d have to tell Cyan it was going to be okay, and how the hell was he going to do that when nothing was okay – or he’d have to tell him it was over.

Closing his eyes, Robin tried his absolute hardest to gather his scattered thoughts. A spear of anger caught his breath. Why did he have to do this? Why did he have to handle it alone? Why couldn’t 
Cyan help him? It should be Cyan who was helping him, comforting him. He shouldn’t have to handle this alone. But Cyan couldn’t do that. Cyan couldn’t do anything on his own. He was….


His mother’s soft voice at the door startled him, and he threw his phone across the room and rubbed his arm across his eyes.

“Robin, honey. Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Can I come in?”

“No, I….”


“Oh…alright.” He dashed his eyes again and did his best to pull himself together.

“Your friend’s here,” she said as she sat next to him.

“I don’t want to see anyone. Tell Alex I’ll call him later.”

“It isn’t Alex.”

“What? Who is it?”

“He says his name’s Cyan. Pretty name. Pretty boy, too. No, not pretty, beautiful. He’d very upset.”

Robin groaned inside, then got angry again. How dare he. How dare he come here. This was his sanctuary. He should be safe here. He should be…safe.

“What did he say?”

“Nothing much. He was too upset. He said he’d done a bad thing and wanted to tell you how sorry he is. He won’t tell me what the bad thing was. Do you want to give me a clue?”

“I…. It was nothing. Tell him….”

“I’m not going to tell him anything. You have to tell him yourself.”

“I can’t. I can’t see him now. I just….”

“Is he your boyfriend?”

“What?” Robin couldn’t have been more shocked if she’d poured a bucket of iced water over his 
head. “Are you out of your mind? Why would you say that?”

“Because he’s clearly in love with you.”

“He’s not. He— I— I’m not….”

“It’s okay, Robin. It’s okay. I’m not going to tell you what to do, and I can’t tell you what to feel, but there’s one thing you need to bear in mind. The heart wants, what the heart wants, and the road to hell starts with trying to tell it, it doesn’t.”

“But…. You….”

Robin’s mother leaned forward and kissed him on the head. “The heart wants what the heart wants. Give your heart what it wants and don’t worry about anything else. All that can be figured out. Talk to Cyan, then come down and we’ll work on the figuring out.”

“But…. Don’t you… Don’t you care?”

“I care that you’re happy and safe. That’s all. If this boy…Cyan, makes you happy, that fine by me. More than fine.”

“You…you don’t care if I’m…? If I…?”

“Bisexual? Not at all. I’ve had my share of…um…well maybe that’s for another time.”

Robin felt the foundation of his world shake. “Bi…bi…sexual? Me? You?”

Robin’s mother smiled. “Talk to Cyan. We’ll talk later.”

With another kiss on his head, she got up and left. Robin remained staring at the door until the hesitant knock.

Bisexual. That sounded a lot better than gay.

And now head off to the rest of this weeks wonderful flashers for some excellent stories.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wednesday Briefs Cyan Ch 18 - I Can Do This

So here we are again at a Wednesday. It's an exciting time with a new book out on 23rd and a story in a wonderful anthology. Check on this blog for further information on Project X. I'm very proud of this book and I hope you like it. Back to this brief. The prompt I used this week was

It was obvious Cyan didn’t understand what Alex meant, but he didn’t press. He just gave an uncertain smile and nod, then turned to Aivah.

“I didn’t think you’d mind.” He leaned close and whispered. “The gay stuff, I mean. You’re sweet and lovely. Not like the other one.” He shuddered. “I couldn’t understand why you with the other one,” he said to Robin.

“Trust me, you’re not the only one,” Alex said, with a grin. “That was a hot topic of conversation for a long time.”

“Oh thank you,” Robin said. “Now you tell me. So what…everyone’s been talking about me?”

“Pretty much.”

“For how long?”

“Since you and Gilly got together.”

Robin gaped at him. “Why didn’t you tell me? What were they saying?”

“If you remember,” Alex said, reaching over to snag a piece of garlic bread. “I did tell you – or try to. I told you what a monster she is, and you told me I was jealous.” Alex snorted. “As if.”

“Well…she is beautiful,” Robin said lamely. The words sounded hollow, even to him.

“Only on the outside,” Cyan said.

“Yes. That’s right.” Aivah smiled sweetly at Cyan. “Only the outside. On the inside she was…was… ugly, mean, spiteful and vindictive.” She compressed her lips and nodded once, curtly.

Robin was shocked again. Aivah was usually such a sweetheart she found it hard to find a bad word to say about anyone. She didn’t seem to be having too much difficulty with Gillian.

“But…. Really? Everyone was talking about me?”

“Everyone who knew her.”

“Or had ever met her.”

“Or you.”

“What were they saying?” Shock was wearing off, and curiosity setting in.

“Only that you’re way too nice to be with someone like her. It was mentioned pretty often.”

“Every time she did something horrible.”

“Oh.” Robin tore a piece of bread and chewed thoughtfully.

“She didn’t treat you very well,” Aivah said. “We all wondered why you put up with it.”

“I don’t know,” Robin said, and he really didn’t. Had he been so blinded by her beauty and the status he thought it bought him that he allowed himself to be treated like a dog? Worse than a dog. He wasn’t very proud to admit that was exactly what had happened.

“I won’t treat you bad,” Cyan said softly, laying his hand briefly on Robin’s arm, before snatching it away again. “But I’m really going to have to work hard to remember not to do it when there are other people around.”

He looked so upset that he’d slipped up again, Robin’s resolve wobbled. He so badly wanted to take Cyan in his arms and kiss him right here and now, but he couldn’t. He wasn’t ready to come out to the world. Not yet.

“It’s okay,” he said to Cyan. “You’re doing your best. I know that. I don’t mind if you slip up now and again.”

“You don’t?” Cyan brightened considerably. “Don’t worry. I won’t do it all the time. I’ll try to remember. It’s just so hard when you’re so gorgeous, and all I want to do is kiss you.”

Robin’s mouth fell open, and he noticed Alex gaping too. Aivah giggled, and Cyan batted his eyelashes, giving Robin a hot look, which quickly turned into a grin.

“I wish you could have seen your face,” he said. “It was a picture.”

“If you’d said I would have taken a photo,” Aivah said.


“Don’t give him ideas,” Robin broke in. He knew if those two got their heads together he was doomed.

Cyan laughed. “I don’t need her to give me ideas. I have lots of them. All the time. My head’s full of them. Especially when you’re around. Of course, those are the kind of ideas I’m not allowed to talk about.”

“Oh really?” Alex said, leaning across the table, looking interesting. “And what might they be?”

“Robin knows,” Cyan said, with a wink.

“Aw come on, spoilsport,” Alex said. “I’ve never known anyone who was gay before. This is my chance to furnish my dirty mind with a whole new set of images.”

“I hear there’s some really good porn that can do that much better than I can,” Cyan said smoothly, causing Alex to gape again. “Besides, you really wouldn’t want your head filled with those kinds of images of your best friend. Would you?”

Alex swallowed and shook his head. It was all Robin could do to stop himself from bursting out laughing. Only the stricken expression on Alex’ face prevented it, and he changed the subject quickly.

After lunch, they went to the cinema, and Robin barely took in what film they were watching. Sitting way up here, at the back, with no one to watch and no one to see, he was able to hold Cyan’s hand, then put his arm around Cyan’s shoulders, and settle him against his side. It was bliss, especially as Cyan’s hair smelled of honey, and was as soft a silk. Not to mention that Cyan’s slender form fitted against his side as if it was made to be there.

At one point in the film, a rainbow spanned the screen, and Cyan squeezed his hand. “That’s you and me,” he said. “When we’re out in the sun we shine. When we’re behind the clouds, we’re still there, still shining, but no one can see us.”

For some reason, the words struck deep and Robin squeezed Cyan tighter, suddenly realizing what he was doing. Cyan was cuddling him. Cyan who hated to be touched was tucked under his arm and holding his hand. This rainbow was more of a miracle than he knew. The realization brought stinging tears to his eyes, and he coughed to cover a sob. Cuddling closer to Cyan, he fought, and succeeded in regaining control. For the rest of the movie he sat, with a huge grin all over his face, his heart lighter than it had been in a long time.

He could do this. He could so do this.

Now go check out the other amazing flashers out there flashing for you this week

Friday, 12 September 2014

Slide by Garrett Leigh

 I'm very excited today, because I get to interview one of my favourite authors. I read Slide some time ago, and it completely blew me away. Pete and Ash are such complicated characters, it was a challenge to get inside their heads completely - especially Ash's. It was just the right amount of challenge to make the reading experience exhilarating. Pete is solid and dependable. Ash is flaky and sliding down toward a nervous breakdown. How they hold it together I don't know, but somehow they do, and it works. Until the best misunderstanding I've read for ages.

Any good book with a dramatic flare could do with a good misunderstanding at one point or another, and this one is a doozie. It leads to all kinds of bad shit - the kind it's great - fun? - to read.

Anyway, enough from me. On to the interview.

What led you to write in the genre(s) you write?

I never set out to write in the MM/LGBT genre, it just kinda worked out that way. One day Ill sit down to write and a chick will come out. For now, Im happy with my boys.

Are your books character led or plot led, or both?

Id say character led. A book always starts with a particular man, and the rest comes later.

What is your favourite part of the writing process?

The start of a new project when anything seems possible.

What is your least favourite part of the writing process

The inevitable wall about two thirds into a book when it feels like itll never be finished. And the first round of professional edits when you wonder why you bothered in the first place.

Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?

All over the place. Books. TV. Films. My own twisted imagination.

Tell us a little about the characters in your book and their story.

Ash is a shy tattoo artist. Hes quite sweet underneath his reticence, and despite all hes been through, hes actually rather innocent.

Pete is a different man altogether, though I wouldnt say they were polar opposites. Pete is a practical dude. He works hardtoo hard, and nothing, until Ash, really fazes him.

If you could have one wish what would it be?

Ask me tomorrow.

What's your deepest fear?

The same as everyone elses: losing the people I love.

If I came to dinner what would you feed me?

Roast chicken.

If Ash and Pete were at the dinner table, what would they have to say about you?

That I could cook a mean dinner, but my manner was somewhat awkward :)

Which other fictional character(s) would you like to be present at the dinner party?

Jed and Max from Only Love. I think Ash and Pete could learn a lot from them.

What do you prefer writing. A one off novel, a series or short stories?

I like the sense of achievement from producing a novel, but in reality, a novella is far easier to write. In fact, the easiest books to write are the ones without a target word count.

What kind of books do you read (if you have time to read)?

All kinds, but sadly, I dont get much time to indulge.

Do you have any other projects in the offing we should look out for?

AlwaysI have a number of novels with Dreamspinner Press: Slide, Rare, Only Love, and a new one, Heart, due out October 27th. Ive also got a series of novellas, Blue Boy, out with Loose Id.

Where can we find you?


Author Bio:

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and youve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com


Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

 Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

 Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

Ash was Texan by birth, but his southern roots only laced his speech when he was too tired to repress them… too tired to block out all the horrible shit that kept an invisible barrier between us.

He was just seventeen when his friend Ellie found him drawing on the streets of Philadelphia. He was homeless and drew comic book characters on the sidewalk for money. The way she told it, he was one of the best street artists in the city, but he said he just did it to survive. Ellie was in college at the time, and she spent the next three years trying to get him to go to a shelter. Eventually, she got her way, and when she moved back to Chicago a few months later, she asked him to come with her. It took him a year of procrastination and pulling his shit together, but after finishing his tattoo apprenticeship in Philly, he did just that.

Living together was a huge adjustment for both of us. Some days I thought we’d cracked it, but others….

I draped the comforter over us and tucked it around his shoulders. He settled against me with his arm stretched out across my torso. I ran my hand absently along his bicep and enjoyed the rare moment. Though he could be tactile when his mood was right, he rarely cuddled up to me so freely. Most times, he preferred our positions reversed—him on his back with his arms around me.

Curious, I pressed a kiss to the top of his sweat-dampened head. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I just missed you.”

I smiled into the darkness. “I missed you too.”

A light hum was his only answer, so I held him a bit tighter and made the most of having him curled against me. After a while, I felt him shift. I opened my eyes and quirked an eyebrow, too mellow to speak. He just stared at me, but his blazing eyes told me what I knew he found so hard to articulate.

I put my hand to his head and nudged it back down with a sad smile.

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