Monday, February 24, 2014

Legally Wed excerpt by Rick R Reed

In Rick R Reed's Legally Wed, love comes along when you least expect it. That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants—a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life—and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.

Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?

Inspiration for the book actually began on the first day same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses. It was a special day for Rick personally—and yes, he would say that this moment was the inspiration for the book.

Bruce, Rick's now-husband and he were one of the first couples in line down at City Hall in the wee small hours of the morning to get their marriage license on the first day they could. There was such joy at City Hall that morning, both from couples getting their licenses and the employees and supporters who had come out to witness this historic moment. Rick wanted to write about not just love, but marriage. Here’s the opening - you can see what he's talking about:

Legally Wed
Dreamspinner Press (January, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1-62798-203-0 (ebook)
978-1-62798-204-7 (paperback)


Same-sex marriage had just become legal in Washington State and Duncan Taylor didn’t plan on wasting any time. He had been dating Tucker McBride for more than three years and, ever since the possibility of marriage had become more than just a pipe dream, it was all Duncan could think of. He had thought of it as he gazed out the windows of his houseboat on Lake Union, on days both sunny and gray (since it was late autumn, there were a lot more of the latter); he had thought of it as he stood before his classroom of fourth graders at Cascade Elementary School. He had thought of it when he woke up in the morning and before he fell asleep at night.

For Duncan, marriage was the peak, the happy ending, the icing on the cake, the culmination of one’s hearts desire, a commitment of a lifetime, the joining of two souls. For Duncan, it was landing among the stars.

And for Duncan, who would turn 38 on his next birthday, it was also something he had never dared dream would be possible for him.

And now, too excited to sleep, he was thinking about it—hard—once again. It was just past midnight on December 6, 2012 and the local TV news had pre-empted its regular programming to take viewers live to Seattle City Hall, where couples were forming a serpentine line to be among the first in the state to be issued their marriage licenses—couples who had also for far too long believed this right would be one they would never be afforded. Many clung close together to ward off the chill, but Duncan knew their reasons for canoodling went far deeper than that.

The mood, in spite of the darkness pressing in all around, was festive. There was a group serenading the couples in line, singing “Going to the Chapel.” Champagne corks popped in the background. Laughter.

Duncan couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he watched all the male-male and female-female couples in the line, their mood of jubilation, of love, of triumph traveling through to him even here on his houseboat two or three miles north of downtown. Duncan wiped tears from his eyes as he saw not only the couples but also all the supporters, city workers, and volunteers who had crowded together outside City Hall to wish the new couples well, to share in the happiness of the historic moment.

And then Duncan couldn’t help it, he fell into all-out blubbers as the first couple to get their license emerged from City Hall. 85-year-old Pete-e Peterson and her partner and soon-to-be-wife, Jane Abbott Lighty, were all smiles when a reporter asked them how they felt.

“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can hardly stand it,” Pete-e said.

It was such a special moment and it was all Duncan could do not to pick up the phone and call Tucker and casually say something like, “Hey honey, you want to get married?”

Rick R. Reed Biography

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't disappoint." Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."

Visit Rick's website at or follow his blog at You can also like Rick on Facebook at or on Twitter at Rick always enjoys hearing from readers and answers all e-mails personally. Send him a message at

To purchase Legally Wed, click on these Buy Links

AllRomance eBooks:

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's All Geek to Me excerpt by JL Merrow

In It’s All Geek to Me by JL Merrow, Jez is on a mission of mercy: to replace a tragically deceased comic book for his injured best mate, Tel. Venturing into the Hidden Asteroid bookstore in London—the temple of geekdom itself—Jez is bowled over by the guy behind the counter.
Rhys is the poster boy for hot geeks: tall, gorgeous, and totally cool. Jez is desperate to impress him, so he bluffs his way through comic book jargon . . . and then dashes back to the hospital to beg Tel to teach him how to speak Geek.
Tel’s happy to oblige, and Jez is over the moon when Rhys asks him out. He’s even more thrilled when they discover a shared love of rugby, something he won’t have to fake for Rhys. The question is, how long can Jez keep up the deception, and what will happen when Rhys realizes he’s going out with a Fake Geek Guy?
It’s All Geek to Me
Riptide Publishing (February 10th, 2014)
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-114-4
I was pretty sure I’d come to the right place. There weren’t many other shops in the West End with windows full of Daisies vs. Ghouls merchandise. Or a life-sized model of the Mothman crouching on a fake chimney top just inside the door. I squared my shoulders, smoothed down my sweater, and stepped into the Temple of the Geek. Otherwise known as the Hidden Asteroid bookstore in London.
I hadn’t been sure what to expect—lots of weird eternal virgins with glasses, if I’m totally honest—but there was a pretty fit bloke standing behind the counter. If you can judge from a back view, which, I’m going to go with you totally can. Even though I could only see his top half. There was something about the way those shoulders filled out his black T-shirt, and he had well nice arms. He was tall, too, unless he was standing on a box there. Course, he’d turn round and he’d have a face full of acne. Or goofy teeth, or something. Sod’s law.
I mean, it’d be nice to think I might get some kind of reward for this little errand of mercy, but Karma and me just aren’t that chummy, more’s the pity.
It was all my mate Tel’s fault I was here. Well, to be fair, not so much his fault as the fault of the idiot in the BMW who’d slammed into his bike on the A10. Not only had the resulting pile-up trashed Tel’s legs and smashed his vintage Norton Commando, it’d claimed the life of his newest, unread comic book. Its virgin pages were now scattered to the four winds, or maybe lining the nests of all those crows that hang around dual carriageways like vultures waiting for roadkill.
So Tel had asked me, his best mate, to replace it.
I’d frowned at him, languishing in his hospital bed with scaffolding all round his legs like a beardy cyborg. That was going to put a serious crimp in his sex life, poor bastard. The scaffolding, I mean. Not the beard. I’ve never really seen the attraction of snogging a Brillo pad myself, but it never seemed to put the ladies off Tel. Dunno how he does it. Maybe it’s that West Country accent of his—he lures ’em in with his long, drawn-out Rs and the promise of scrumpy.
“What if I get the wrong thing?” I’d protested. “I mean, I don’t know one comic book from the other. You’re going to be a bit pissed off if I come back with The Beano.”
“Come on, Jez. All you’ve got to do is walk in, say hello to the lad behind the counter—or the lady, as might be—and ask for issue number three of The Amazing Translucio, Uncanny Secrets variant. Easy, right? I’d do it myself, but well . . .” Tel had given an eloquent wave at the Meccano sets on his legs. “Not really up to the walking in bit right now.”
It’d given me an idea. “Hey, you know what we should do, right? We get a nine volt battery, and one of those little electric buzzers, and connect you up, and you can play that wiggly wire game on your leg frames.”
Tel had pursed his lips. It’d looked a bit weird in the middle of all that face fungus. Then: “Nah. Wire’s not wiggly enough. Wouldn’t be a challenge. But cheers for the thought, mate.”
Poor old Tel. Still, at least he hadn’t gone to feed the crows.
Back in the here-and-now, I opened my mouth to speak to the guy behind the counter—and then he turned round to face me, and I totally forgot what I’d been about to say. He was gorgeous. He had, like, cheekbones you could cut your teeth on, a strong jaw, and really cool hair. So dark it was almost black, flat on the sides of his head and gelled up on top into a sort of ridge. Mohawk? Fauxhawk? Pigeon hawk? Some kind of bird, anyway. The stubble on his chin wasn’t so much designer as I’m way too hip to shave, and his deep-set brown eyes pierced right through my scratchy wool sweater to the suddenly pounding heart beneath.
Maybe X-ray vision was one of the perks of working in the superheroes’ spiritual home? I wondered if Hot Hawk could fly, too. Or had super strength, or super stamina, or . . .
“You all right there?” he asked, in smooth, gently mocking tones.
I realized my mouth was still hanging open and shut it, quick. Then I remembered I was supposed to be asking him something and opened it again. “Translucio. I mean, Amazing. He is. Uncanny.” Okay, so maybe attempting to speak hadn’t been the best move I’d ever made.
Hot Hawk’s lips curved into a slow smile. Oh, God. That was it—that was his superpower, right there. Seducto Smile. Bloody hell, it was fiendishly effective. I smiled back helplessly.
Uh-oh. Something was wrong. The smile was down to Mach 3. No, wait, that was a speed. What did you measure brightness with? Right. Lumens. Down to three Alluremens, then. Had I missed something? Something he’d said? I blinked rapidly and tried to divert a small portion of the brainpower currently basking in his physical perfection into listening to what he was saying.
“Sorry—my sister’s always telling me I don’t speak clearly.” He was apologizing? What the hell for? He was perfect. “I said, it’s a great series, isn’t it? But we’re not going to get issue four in until next week. Sorry about that.”
“Three,” I told him sincerely, gazing into those dark, mysterious eyes. He had earrings in both ears, the sort with holes in that stretch your lobes out. God, that was impressive. If anyone tried to pierce any of my skin, let alone stretch it out to take rings you could fit a finger through, I’d probably keel over and faint. And then cry like a little baby.
“Oh, you’re after issue three? Not a subscriber, then?”
“Yes. I mean, no. I mean . . .” I wasn’t sure what I meant, so I shut up about it. “Um, it’s a replacement? The other one had an accident. A car accident. Not any other kind of accident.” I didn’t want him thinking I’d peed on it or something. Or, oh God, was one of those guys who were really into superheroes and had had a wank over it and stuck the pages together.
Then again, working in here, maybe he was that sort of bloke himself? “Not that I think there’s anything wrong with it,” I said quickly.
Seducto Smile’s eyebrows were edging towards his hairline. “With . . .?”
I swallowed. “Nothing. Comic books. Love ’em. So . . . Translucio?”
“It’ll be downstairs. Kelly, can you man the till for a mo?” he called out to a rack of T-shirts with a weird blob on the front calling itself a Blerch.
A Goth girl in a lacy miniskirt and ripped tights poked her heavily made-up face out from behind a Blerch. “You off on your break, then? Ooh, haven’t met this one before. In’t ’e sweet? Blond hair, blue eyes, and all. Where’d you find him?”
Seducto Smile shook his head, his evenly tanned cheeks turning a bit pink. It made me feel a bit better about the way my face was suddenly radiating heat like a three-bar electric fire. Yep, if I was a superhero, I’d be Blushman. Costume: a bright pink pair of saggy underpants. Socks with suspenders. And sandals.
“Kelly, he’s a customer. We’re going downstairs for a Translucio book, all right?” He came out from behind the counter, giving me my first look at his lower half. “I’m really sorry about that,” he said to me. “Bit of an overactive imagination, our Kelly. I’m Rhys, by the way.”
I tore my eyes away from his (firm, delicious, meaty) lower half, hoping he hadn’t noticed me staring. “Jez. I mean, that’s me. Jez.” God, he was wearing black jeans. To go with his black T-shirt and black hair. There was a belt, too.
Kill me. Kill me now.
“Why would I want to kill you?”
“Um, did I say that out loud?”
Seducto Smile—Rhys—nodded. Still smiling. “It’s either that or I’ve just developed telepathic powers.”
“God, if you’ve developed telepathic powers, definitely kill me. Trust me. It’ll be kinder to both of us.”
“Why—have you got some naughty thoughts going on?” He flashed me a smile that made his eyes twinkle. It also made my feet get sort of tangled up in each other, which wasn’t good as we were currently walking down the stairs. I flailed madly, making a desperate grab for the four-foot model of the Spaceship Endeavour (Original Series; even I’d seen that one) hanging overhead.
On balance, I reckoned it was just as well that I missed by a mile—I mean, you destroy a geek cultural icon like that, they probably stake you out in a field somewhere and set the Ghouls on you. And possibly the Daisies as well. Just as I was really starting to enjoy the time dilation effect of my impending doom, a strong hand grabbed me under the arm.
“Whoa! I know you’re keen to get to Translucio, but let’s try and make it in one piece, yeah?”
“Um. Yeah. Keen. For Translucio. Yeah.” I tried not to pant too loudly. That wouldn’t be attractive, would it? Not that he was likely to find me attractive, despite what the Goth girl had said. I mean, yeah, blond hair, blue eyes, all the other usual features in more-or-less the right places, but other than that I was just a lab technician in a scratchy sweater who’d had a few too many Mars Bars. Me, I mean. Not the sweater.
I checked myself quickly. Nope, no chocolate stains down the front of the sweater. I was good.
But Rhys—well, he was, like, the poster boy for Getting Geeks Laid. Did I mention he was tall? And dark, and cool, and . . . and looking at me a bit strangely.
Talking. That was good, too. “Yeah. Translucio. He’s, like, really subversive, you know?” I was sure I’d heard Tel say that sometime.
Rhys was nodding. “Absolutely. So, uh, what do you reckon his uncanny secret is? I mean, I know there’s loads of theories, obviously, but what do you reckon?”
That was good, right? Him being interested in what I thought. That was good, which meant that admitting I didn’t have a clue what he was on about would be bad. Very, very bad. “Er . . . I just like to wait and see. Keep an open mind. Trust the writers to know what they’re doing.” That was the right word, wasn’t it? Or were they artists, if they did comics? Oh, God. I tried to wipe my palms on my jeans without him noticing. “What about you?”
“Me? Oh, I’m like you. But the Clone Conspiracy theory’s kind of intriguing, don’t you think?”
“Er, well—I mean, yeah. Definitely intriguing.” I nodded.
“No, you’re right. It’s a daft idea. Too similar to what they did with Salieri in the Queen of the Night series.”
“Yep.” I nodded again.
“Although he deserved it, of course, after what he did to Papagena.”
“Definitely.” My neck was starting to ache from all this nodding. But at least we made it down to the bottom of the staircase without any further suicide attempts on my part. And wow. I mean, wow.
Bloody hell, it was just like the Tardis in here. It all sort of opened out, wider than a drugged-up hippie’s mind. There were vast acres of shelving and cabinets, spreading underground like the root system of a magic mushroom.
It was funny—I’d sort of expected this place to be all dark and furtive, full of blokes darting nervous glances over their shoulders in case anyone they knew wandered in by mistake and saw them. Instead, it was all bright, gleaming white, the merchandise proudly displayed like a prozzie in an Amsterdam window. Only a lot less likely to give you the clap. And bloody hell, there was a lot of it. The merchandise, I mean. Not just comic books, although there were, like, millions of those. There were T-shirts, posters, little action figures, even card games. I stared around the basement in amazement.
“First time you’ve been in here?” Rhys’s voice startled me out of my weird hypnotic trance. “Hits a lot of guys like that their first time.”
“Er . . .” Would he think I was pathetic if I said it was? Should I pretend I wasn’t a total Asteroid virgin? But maybe he had a photographic memory for faces and would know I was lying? Like, another superpower? Couldn’t risk it. “It’s, um, hard to get away from work,” I said lamely.
“Yeah? What do you do?”
“I’m a chemist. In a lab, I mean. Not behind the counter at Boots.”
“Working on the next super-serum?”
I tried to look like someone who spent his working day developing top secret formulae. Not trying to find non-carcinogenic ways of taking nasty niffs out of your carpets. “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
He laughed. “Going to let me live long enough to get you to Translucio? It’s over this way.”
Rhys led me past rack after rack of books and comics. I’d never dreamed there were this many superheroes, villains, and just plain weirdos in the world. Well, in the world of fiction, anyway.
Speaking of racks, another life-size model, Arachno Girl, crouched on a plinth as if watching for shoplifters. Her lacy, weblike skirt barely covered her muscular yet shapely thighs. At least her breastplate-slash-bra-thingy was a bit more substantial—well, it’d have to be. No way would anything lacy keep those mammoth puppies in check. Even restrained, they threatened to take your eye out. I edged away nervously, little cogs chugging around in my brain. If comic-book women all had really big tits, did that mean the blokes all had really big . . . I glanced at Rhys, swallowed, and threatened the little cogs with a metaphorical spanner until they stopped trying to cause inappropriate hard-ons.
And tried really hard not to wonder if everything was in proportion to his height.
“Here you go,” Rhys was saying. “You’re in luck—it’s our last one.”
“Seriously?” I thought of poor old Tel, lying in hospital waiting for news of his hero, and clutched the comic to my chest. “Jesus, thank God I didn’t put this off until tomorrow.”
Rhys smiled at me. Up to ten Alluremens this time, easy. I did my best not to melt into a big wet blob on the floor tiles. “It’s great to see a true fan,” he said.
“Er, yeah,” I said, feeling a lot more congeal-y. “Cheers for this, mate.”
I burst into Tel’s hospital room at Mach Desperate, nurses tutting in my wake. “You’ve got to teach me how to speak Geek!”

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Serpent's Tongue excerpt by Dorien Grey

In Dorien Grey's The Serpent Tongue, the 15th volume in the Dick Hardesty series, Hardesty is hired to look into threats against former priest Dan Stabile, possibly from someone whose confession Dan heard while still in the priesthood.  It's just another case. Then, on a stormy Sunday, on a rain-slick road, Dan is killed, Dick’s partner Jonathan is severely injured, and suddenly, it’s personal. Was the accident really an accident…or murder? Dick learns Dan’s secret could involve a child murderer, and now it seems the man is stalking Joshua and tormenting Jonathan. The objectivity so vital to Dick’s role as a private investigator goes out the window as he pursues one lead after another, and it begins to look like Dan wasn’t the target after all.

The Serpent's Tongue
Zumaya Boundless (February 2, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1612711367
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612711362
  • ASIN: B00I7J4U20



Jonathan was not happy.

"Sugar Yums? Four hundred different kinds of cereals in the cereal aisle and you pick Sugar Yums?"

"I didn't pick them. Joshua did."

"Oh, now there's a surprise."

"I told him no, but he said he'd asked you if he could get them and you said he could," I said lamely.

"Half right. He asked, and I said 'no.'"

"And I'd know that how?"

"Sugar Yums? Come on! You know he plays you like a fiddle. Every time you take him to the store without me, he cons you into getting something you know he shouldn't have."

"Well, it's just a box of cereal," I said, hoping a casual approach might work. I knew it wouldn't, of course, and that I was only succeeding in digging myself deeper into a hole.

Jonathan looked at me intently, rolled his eyes toward the ceiling, and shook his head.

Although he was only six, Joshua was already an expert at playing Jonathan and me against one another when he wanted something. While we'd both been raising him since the death of his parents—Jonathan's brother and sister-in-law—two years before, because he was Jonathan's biological nephew I tended to acquiesce to Jonathan when we had a disagreement over minor child-rearing issues. And as Joshua got older, there seemed to be more of them. I wouldn't say it was putting a strain on our relationship, but it kept the waters more stirred up than either of us would have liked.

Our lives had done a 180-degree turn since Joshua entered it, and we were facing serious issues we'd never even considered before. For one thing, what would happen to Joshua if anything happened to either Jonathan or I? Jonathan was his legal guardian, but I had no legal rights when it came to him, and were something to happen to Jonathan…. We had begun talking seriously of adoption. But even though a new millennium was less than fifteen years away, gay rights had not extended to allowing adoption by same-sex partners. In fact, only recently had even single gays been allowed to adopt…and even then, not in all states. Fortunately, ours was one of them, and I planned to talk to Glen O'Banyon, a lawyer friend with and for whom I'd worked on numerous occasions to see what options, if any, we might have.

Jonathan was still active in the Gay Men's Chorus, which took up his every Tuesday evening, leaving me to ride herd on Joshua, and while the boy was a handful even when Jonathan and I were both there, I really couldn't begrudge Jonathan time for something he loved so.

One evening, after practice, he came home to announce that the chorus had two new members, one of whom, Dan Stabile, was a former priest who had officially left the priesthood only recently, partly to live openly with his partner, Byron Eads. Jonathan was particularly excited because he'd heard that Tony Mason, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church Jonathan and Joshua attended every Sunday, had hired Dan as assistant pastor.

While, as a resolute Agnostic, I did not go with them to church, I'd known Tony for many years. He had, in fact, played a small part in Jonathan and my getting together—a long story—shortly after the MCC opened Haven House for homeless teens, one of its many outreach programs.
And so life moved on. Things were going really well for us. I'd had a steady stream of clients, and Jonathan's freelance landscaping was reaching the point where he was looking forward to the time he could leave his regular job at Evergreen Nursery and go off on his own. But it hadn't quite reached that point, and he was reluctant to give up the health insurance benefits Evergreen offered its employees, which Jonathan had been able to expand to cover Joshua.

We had also, for a time, been seriously considering moving from our current apartment. Two new families and a single gay man had moved in within weeks of each other. The gay man, Paul Tweed, had a flower shop, so he and Jonathan quickly became friends. Of the two straight families, one was a nice young family with a thirteen-year-old young son, Denny, who had a severe case of Tourette's syndrome—which provided yet another teaching experience for us and a valuable learning experience in tolerance and understanding for Joshua. The problem arose, however, with the second family, the Wrennas, who moved into the apartment just above ours. They were in their late fifties or early sixties, and proved to be religious fanatics of the worst possible kind. Shortly after they moved in, the wife was coming out of our building just as I was coming home from work. She stopped me and handed me a clipboard on which was what appeared to be a petition, asking me to sign it.

"What is this?" I asked, noting that the only two signatures appeared to be those of her and her husband.

"It is to the landlord, demanding he evict the idolators."

I'd never spoken a word to this woman before, and thought at first she was joking.

"The who?" I heard myself asking.

"The idolators—the ones with the demon child."

What in the hell was this woman talking about?

She gave me a squint-eyed, conspiratorial look, nodding her head slowly up and down. "They are in league with Satan," she said solemnly.

"They what?

"The boy," she said. "He speaks with the serpent's tongue!"

I seldom am at a loss for words, but I certainly was this time. I just stood there, staring at her in disbelief, then handed the clipboard back to her, turned away without saying a word, and continued into the building.

Several times thereafter we found religious pamphlets slipped under our door condemning "the abomination of homosexuality." Jonathan wanted to go down and confront them, but I managed to talk him out of it on the grounds that nothing we could say would do any good. I did, however, call our landlord to tell him what was going on. He had received two other complaints and said he had started proceedings to have them evicted. In the meantime, we did our best to avoid them, and did not speak on the few times our paths crossed. 

To purchase the paperback, click
To purchase the ebook, click

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ghosts and Lovers excerpt by Jaime Samms

In Ghosts and Lovers by Jaime Samms, Timmy has lost one family member after another, and now he's losing his eyesight, as well. It's no wonder he holds tight to the ghostly lover who always seems to meet him in the park in dead of night when he's tired of being alone.

Lately, though, Tim's been hearing other, less friendly voices out of the dark, and his long-time friend and neighbor, Mark, is worried. When he tries to intervene and suggest Tim start acting more like the blind man he is, Tim refuses his help only to find he can't hang onto his ghosts without paying a very personal price.

When his ghost lover finally says good bye, Tim finds he maybe should have listened to Mark after all, only now, it might be too late.

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she's been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men; what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love, she's never come up with a clear answer.  Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they should also be the stories she wrote.  

These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Freya’s Bower, Loveyoudivine Alterotica, Pink Petal Books, Dreamspinner Press and Total E-Bound. 

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, she's probably spending reading, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!) or watching movies. Well. She has a day job or two, as well, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child care responsibilities. 

She graduated some time ago from college with a Fine Arts diploma, with a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all....

Ghosts and Lovers
Jupiter Gardens Press (March 3, 2011)
SKU: 9780983262497


The shapes of books and papers blurred in front of Tim and the ordered bumps under his fingers lost what little meaning he could wrangle from them. Tim's mind wandered, his head drooped. The kitchen clock ticked steadily over his left shoulder, a soft constant orienting him in space. Wind chimes just outside the door lulled him with their delicate metallic tinkle. A breeze blew in through the screen bringing the first taste of evening with it, along with a distant echo of memory.

"Timmy! Throw the ball where I told you to throw it!" His sister's voice came to him, tinny and thin down the tunnel of years. "You're such a dumbass! You can't play anymore!"


He started and raised his head from his book, holding his fingers still so as not to lose his place on the Braille. His father's shadow hovered over him, a dark silhouette against the glare of the overhead light, and for a moment, he couldn't work out why this was wrong. The kitchen garbage can squeaked and made a ghostly piƱata motion, swaying back and forth across the bright white of the tabletop.

"What day is it?" The words slurred through the whining complaint of the trash can.

Tim took the canister to the back porch. Just as he was tying the slick plastic bag closed, the garbage truck lumbered past on the street out front. The sound jerked him from the daydream.  Tim-mothy!"  His father's voice dragged his name out into extra syllables,died away, and he ose from the table and left by the back door.

He stumbled down off the porch and out of the half circle of light into the dark slot between his house and the neighbor's. The screen door banged behind him, the wind chimes out front trickled their sound into the night. He didn't look back, but swallowed until he'd forced his childish heart back down where it belonged. These ghosts he knew shouldn't have the power to wrangle his guts into knots and make his heart skip and jitter. Not anymore.

He hurried through another orange glob of light into the dark belt of trees bordering the park. It was too cold to be out without a coat, but he wasn't going back until the wind died down and the old house quieted. He found a shadowed hollow near the big, central oak tree.

Wind whistled through the broken branches at the top and he waited.

"Hey, Timtim." He barely jumped at the sudden breath on his neck, the hand on his shoulder holding him in place, but he yanked his head away from the wet tongue dragging across his ear lobe. A low hum sang in the air around him, overridden by a soft, velvety chuckle.

"Oh come on. You know you like it."

"Fuck off."

A body dropped down beside him and he could feel focused attention raking over his bare arms, probing to get under the fringe of hair covering his face. "Where's your coat, dumbass?"

"Shut up."

A heavy sigh battered him, and the body leaned away slightly, rustling in the dark. Warm, satiny material brushed over his goose bumps and the weight of a leather coat landed on his shoulders. For a minute, he breathed in the scent of leather soap, the musk of the man who usually wore the coat, the tobacco stink of cigarettes and eventually, his shivering stopped.

"You shouldn't be out here in the dark, Timtim."

Tim pursed his lips and gripped the edges of his over shirt in tight fingers as a different chill trickled down his spine. "The dark kinda goes where I go, Gordie."

"What happened?" Was there concern in the voice? It was hard to tell. Tim closed his eyes and tried to remember what his visitor looked like. He was only a husky voice these days.

Tim could remember his sound, his smell, remembered his name, but how he looked was slipping away. Tim drove his memory back, imagined dark eyes, intense, unwavering, a gaze only for him. It seemed so far away now. "Okay, well," Finality. His visitor was getting ready to leave.

"Nothing happened."

"Then what are you doing out here?"

"Look—" Tim cleared the nerves from his throat and tried again. "Looking for you."

"What makes you think—" The question hung, half asked, in the damp air. Tim wondered if there was fog tonight.

"I would find you?" Tim turned his head to where he imagined he might see the speaker's face, if he could see anything in the dark. "You're always around, Gordie."

"How do you know?" Suspicion? Fear?

Tim leaned away, reached up to find an arm and moved his hand up to the shoulder, not quite daring to go further. "I heard you. You took tomatoes from the neighbor's garden and you slept on our porch with the cat." He gripped the flannel shirt under his fingers and leaned closer, lowered his voice. "You took my father's shirt, and you sometimes climb up into the tree outside my window." His voice was barely a whisper now and Gordon's nearness sent a shiver through him. "I bet you watch me sleep."

There was a snicker, and Gordon jerked Tim's hand free of the fabric, crushed it in a tight fist.

Tim grimaced, but didn't utter any sound.

"I watch you do a lot of things, Timtim."

Amazon Author page: