Monday #flashfiction! FATE

mff1Matthew gazed at the boy asleep in the tall grass. A vision, really, all white skin, dark nipples, jeans low on his hips…

The ache in his chest surprised him. He wasn’t lonely, dammit. He’d picked the cabin for its isolation, a refuge from the merciless city life that bruised his artistic soul. He wanted to paint surrounded by beauty. But this young man was the stuff of his dreams on the longest nights.

Matthew crouched to look at the pretty face, messy hair, the dark lashes brushing a few freckles. Those parted lips begged for a kiss.

The lashes fluttered then flew open on rich brown eyes. They looked at each other, then fear flashed across his face and the boy lurched up, a blur of movement Matthew couldn’t track. What?

A small wolf, thin, half starved, stood where the boy had been seconds before. Matthew climbed to his feet.

“Well,” he said, at a loss. “If you’re hungry, I was about to make breakfast.”

He started for the cabin, shaking his head, incredulous. The cabin stood in a small clearing and he sat on the porch, clasped his hands between his knees. His heart lurched when the wolf slipped from the trees and cautiously approached him.

“I won’t hurt you,” Matthew promised. The wolf nuzzled the hand he held out. Matthew leaned forward and ran a soothing hand over his head, scratched behind his ears. The wolf gazed up at him, then in a blink of swift action, shifted into the gorgeous young man kneeling at his feet.

Matthew swallowed hard and stood, the guy climbing the steps to stand in front of him, a few inches shorter than himself.

“You’re not afraid,” the man noted in a husky voice that sent a pleasant shiver through him.

Matthew searched his feelings. He felt awe, disbelief, and yet a…rightness. “Do you have a name?”

“Caleb.” His smile ignited a spark in Matthew’s chest.

Matthew held out his hand. “Caleb, I don’t know how this is possible, but I feel I’ve been waiting for you my whole life.”

Caleb placed a warm hand in his. “I feel the same,” he said joyfully, and allowed Matthew to open the screen door and escort him inside the cabin.

Find other flashes HERE!

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Happy October!

HAPPY OCTOBER!

fall2fall“October Country . . . that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain. . . .”

Ray Bradbury, The October Country

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A Deepening of Knowing You: Bare & Embellish

Stunning!
#art #life

“You look at people the way you look at art: the body is a canvas for the artist, and while you begin to imagine meaning, the artist is known only by invitation.”
-Jennifer Hartsock

Jennifer M. Hartsock

cover2“You look at people the way you look at art: the body is a canvas for the artist, and while you begin to imagine meaning, the artist is known only by invitation.”

You first notice physical details about a stranger. What does their tattoo mean? What is the rubber bracelet on their wrist? Why a mustache and full beard? The embellished-self is how you express yourself visually. The bare-self is the inward you, the artist.

As a stranger looking upon their canvas, you feel compelled to interpret answers, but you cannot know the spirit of the artist unless you ask and the artist decides to tell you.

This is only the surface.

The bare-self is not inherently sincere and the embellished-self a disguise. When you look at an art piece, the image is meaningful without knowing the underlying intentions. When you project meaning, the artist becomes your canvas while you become an artist…

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GRL2017 Blog Tour!

Bayou Book Junkie Welcomes

Dianne Hartstock!

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Release Day! Honey and Heat, exclusive #excerpt and #review

HoneyandHeat-f500

Author: Rian Durant
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: MM, Romance, Contemporary
Word Count: 60400

Blurb

Linden has only one thing on his mind a few days away from Christmas—his pending university exams. That is, until he meets his neighbors’ son who has returned for the holidays. Brice Stevens is gorgeous, but he’s insufferable.

It’s Linden’s first love, and he falls hard for Brice, despite Brice’s occasionally aloof and cool behavior. It’s an emotional ride for both of them while Linden takes a crash course in real love and Brice learns to trust in a relationship.

Buy links

NineStar Press ||Amazon.com || Amazon.co.uk || Amazon.de|| Smashwords

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Nonsense! You don’t deserve this.”  

Robbie gave him a tired smile. Linden was sure Robbie’s sleep last night wasn’t as sound as it looked and the thoughts that tortured him, much the same way they did Linden, were taking their toll. He sighed. 

“Maybe we should just go home and get some serious sleep before the next semester begins.”  

He tried to sound indifferent, but Robbie didn’t buy it. Of course he wouldn’t. Even without a supposedly clairvoyant grandmother, he was still the person who knew him best. Robbie stepped forward and touched his knee, then pushed it aside and slid between his legs.  

“And maybe we should’ve just settled for each other and lead that quiet sweet life I imagined with you at one time.”  

Linden nodded. “Judging by Jerry’s jeans, I doubt it you’d have been very impressed by what I have in my pants.”  

Both started laughing and Robbie clicked his fingers in front of Linden’s face. “I have a great idea. Let’s kiss and make them jealous, or just pretend to kiss if that bothers you.”  

It did bother him slightly. Robbie’s touch was multiplying his excitement, although he had never considered anything beyond friendship with him. He’d heard that at times like these it was easy to fall into such a trap, and he would never forgive himself if he did.  

“Okay, let’s see how good we are at acting.”  

He pulled him even closer, sucking in his breath when he felt the slight friction of Robbie’s arousal, then weaved his fingers through Robbie’s hair and tilted his head. Robbie placed a hand on his shoulder, and with his face only an inch from his he gave out a funny sound and declared, “I’m going to burst into laughter at any moment.”  

“Stand still now, it was your idea.”  

They pressed to each other and Linden cupped Robbie’s face in his palms so that anyone looking from more than a meter distance could see only one thing, especially given the kind of party they were at. There was even a branch of mistletoe over them.  

Before the minute had passed, a forceful pull wrung Robbie out of his arms.  

“What the fucking hell are you doing?”  

MY REVIEW:

What a wonderfully delicious, sexy story! I’ve been following Rian’s writing career for some time now, and she doesn’t disappoint. Linden is a darling, hands down. Trying so hard to stay focused on impending exams and the craft projects he needs to finish for the Christmas holiday, Linden doesn’t have time for the ups and downs of a love affair. But Linden is nevertheless struck by lightning by the neighbor’s gorgeous son, home for the holiday season. And Brice is the man you love to hate, arrogant and beautiful, who can’t seem to get sweet Linden out of his mind. This story is a lovely duet with both men dancing around each other, tangling in emotions that sometimes brought me to tears, with an ending that makes the struggle worthwhile. I recommend this story to everyone who loves romance with just the right touch of angst and joy.

 

honeyandheat2Author Bio

Rian is one of those who are both blessed and cursed by the insatiable desire to write, primarily M/M (insert more Ms if you like) stories.

Always having a plot in mind is hard when having a day time job but Rian manages them currently, assisted by the priceless support of her soul mate, lots of coffee and pure obstinacy.

What makes Rian smile is anything that could be the reason for that spark in the eyes, accompanied by the exclamation: “Oh my, I just saw something!”

Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/riandurantauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rian_durant
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rian_durant/
Blog: https://riandurant.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14370031.Rian_Durant

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ALEX is FREE! Part of the Solstice Publishing’s Solar Eclipse Party!

alex

ALEX

AMAZON

Alex is twenty and confused. He always is. Severely abused as a child, he’s left with scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. But from this pain he receives his gift of empathy, his ability to see and react to the strong emotions of others. When a serial killer moves into the area and begins to threaten those around him, Alex is compelled by his visions to rescue them. When he can, he helps the police, yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution.

As Alex comes closer to uncovering the killer’s identity, his visions turn to nightmares. He hears the cries of the children, the screams of the tortured. Will the support and love of his friends be enough to get Alex through this summer of terror, or will he lose himself in his dreams and become yet another victim to the killer’s gruesome games?

EXCERPT:

The bridge loomed ahead, and Alex suddenly stopped.

“Hey,” Angie said when she nearly ran into him.

He couldn’t hear her over the roaring in his head. He moved despairingly to the bridge and rested his arms on the chest-high rail. He couldn’t shut this voice out, no matter how hard he tried. Leaning over to watch the water flowing below, he said, “There’s a boy down there.”

Justin rushed to his side, pulling his shirt over his head in preparation to jump in. “Where?”

“I don’t know,” he mumbled.

Justin hesitated, looking intently at him. When he saw Alex’s confusion, he put his shirt back on. “What do you mean?”

“I hear him. He’s lost and afraid and in a dark place.” He gnawed on his bottom lip as he frantically sorted through the voices and images that crowded his mind. “He’s in pain. I can’t be sure he’s down there. I don’t think he is.” He leaned farther over the rail for a better view. “But I hear him calling me, faintly. He draws me to this place.”

Justin leaned next to him. “I don’t see anyone down there. Maybe he’s not there yet. Maybe later tonight, or tomorrow, or …”

Alex drew in his breath. All along, he’d been afraid that he was losing his mind. But here were his friends, providing solace.

Angie put a hand on his arm. “Why not? Anything’s possible.”

He looked from her to Justin, who smiled back. “Alex, you’re surely strange enough to be psychic, if that’s what this is.”

Justin cuffed him on the back of the head and ran toward the house.

Solstice Publishing’s Solar Eclipse Party! Join the fun. 🙂

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THE BONES OF OUR FATHERS is Out!

BOOF 2.5-01 The Bones of Our Fathers

By Elin Gregory

Available 1st August 2017 from Manifold Press

Approx 79,500 words

ISBN  9781908312549

 

Blurb:

 

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073JM29TD/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073JM29TD/

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-bones-of-our-fathers

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/733184

 

Excerpt:

 

Mal couldn’t remember the last time he’d enjoyed an evening so much. Rob’s frank appreciation, and that it was ignored by the others apart from a few gibes at Rob’s expense, had filled Mal with a sense of confidence he didn’t normally enjoy and he played his pool with a flair that surprised him and made Betty nod approvingly. He had even held his own when the banter became more general.

 

“I’m not letting you upset Betty,” he’d said after an innocent question about her ‘Peaches’ nickname’ prompted a story about a house party when they were sixteen and Betty’s karaoke performance after a pint of peach flavoured schnapps.

 

“Knight in shinin’ armour is it?” Sion said.

 

“No, I have to work with her tomorrow. Besides, don’t some of the rest of you have nicknames? Dirty Rob, isn’t it?”

 

There was one of those tense and silent moments. It can’t have lasted more than a second, but it felt much longer and quite a lot happened. Rob’s lips thinned, Sion glared at Betty who flushed a very ugly pink and Morris emitted an anxious whine. Mal realised he had said absolutely the wrong thing.

 

“I—um—was called Rainbow in school,” he said. “Rainbow Brite? Like the cartoon.”

 

“We used to watch that.” Gary grinned. “Didn’t we, Rob?”

 

“Dammit, Gary!” Rob’s tone was aggrieved but his lips were easing into a smile. “Never out me as a Rainbow Brite fan, lapsed, when I’m trying to impress an attractive bloke.”

 

OR

 

As Mal trotted down the narrow stairs from the attic to the lower landing it suddenly occurred to him who might have been making Betty giggle and who she might trust enough to let them loose on the upper corridors of the museum. So he wasn’t altogether surprised to glimpse a yellow hard hat through the wrought iron of the bannisters.

 

“Hey.” Mal leaned over the rail and grinned as Rob looked up at him. “Didn’t think I’d see you again so soon. No pool table but I can make you a coffee.”

 

Rob gave him a beaming smile. “Tea and you’re on,” he said and followed Mal into the little room they had set aside as a staff kitchen.

 

Mal took a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last Thursday, didn’t I? It was good fun.”

 

“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt—Mal could see the “-oun-arm-lu” of “Young Farmer’s Club” and a bit of a bull logo—and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. Here was a man who knew exactly what he wanted and was confident of getting it.

 

And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought.

 

The kettle whistled and Mal poured the boiling water into the mugs, soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.

 

“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.

 

“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”

 

Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.

 

“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”

 

Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”

 

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

 

Mal just smiled his agreement. “Come through to my office,” he suggested.

 

 

Elin’s bio:

“Logo by Catherine Dair”

“Logo by Catherine Dair”

 

Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and has been making stuff up since she learned to talk. Writing has always had to take second place to work and family but, slowly, she is finishing the many novels on her hard drive and actually trying to do something useful with them.

Historical subjects predominate. She has written about ancient Greek sculptors, 18th century seafarers but also about modern men who change shape at will and how echoes of the past can be heard in the present. Heroes tend to be hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.

There are always new works on the go and she is currently writing more 1930s spies, adding to a series of contemporary romances and doing background reading for stories set in Roman Britain and in WW2.

 

Website: www.elingregory.com Blog:  http://elingregory.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elin.gregory

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The Writing Life #author #interview

I’ve been interviewed by Stephen Long for THE WRITING LIFE!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA..

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What’s Up Pussycat? #newrelease #free

llWhat’s Up, Pussycat?

Release date: July 7, 2017

Length: 24,300 words

Cover Design: Simon Searle

 

ll1Blurb

Finley Harrington despairs of ever being able to move on after the death of Andrew, the love of his life. When he spots an advertisement for auditions for Cats, the last musical Andrew performed in, Finley acts on the spur of the moment and calls for an appointment to audition.

Much to Fin’s surprise, he gets the part he hopes for, but during his struggles with stage-fright, and the teasing of a fellow actor, Karl Rogers, he wonders if he’s made a huge mistake. But Karl’s irritating persona hides a different person inside, and when Fin gets to know him, he develops a surprising attraction to him.

Could Karl be the person to help Fin move on from the past, or is he destined to remain alone?

Excerpt:

The members of the cast began arriving half an hour later when the three of us were warming up, and my impression of the first man through the door was one of shock. I’d seen Karl Rogers who played Rum Tum Tugger from a distance a few times when I attended the shows in Leicester, but never without his cat costume. He was tall—at least six feet—and his shock of peroxide hair and startling green eyes drew everyone’s attention. His lycra leggings emphasized a large package, and a bright orange cropped T-shirt and matching ballet shoes completed his outfit. He charged into the room like a whirlwind.

“So! Who do we have here?” he shouted, looming over Annette and me, where we stood stretching our hamstrings. “You look weirdly familiar.” He jabbed a finger in my direction, before turning his attention to Annette. “What a pretty kitty. What’s your name, then, darling?” He pronounced the endearment “dahling” and I cringed. I hoped the rest of the cast weren’t like Karl. I’d met a couple of them, but I preferred to keep my distance and monopolize Andrew when the shows were over.

“Annette,” the girl said. “And that’s Finley. The other guy is James.”

Karl spun around to look at James, gave him a cursory nod, then turned back to me. He took a step closer, forcing me to look up.

“Cute!” Karl exclaimed. “Cat got your tongue?” He proceeded to shriek with laughter at his lame joke, and my face heated under the scrutiny.

“I’ve not had the chance to get a word in,” I blurted, and immediately cringed. My voice tended to sound more refined when I was irritated. I couldn’t help my parents or the school I’d gone to, but for the past few years I’d done my best to shake off the accent and sound more like everyone else. I knew Karl would say something, even before he opened his mouth again.

“Ooh, someone swallowed a silver spoon, didn’t they? Wait. Finley? Finley Harrington? Golly, I’m surprised Mummy and Daddy let their little boy do something as lower class as performing on the stage. Shouldn’t you be a lawyer or a doctor or something?” Karl spoke in an exaggerated tone, and my face burned.

“Wow, someone loves himself.” James moved to my side and cocked an eyebrow at Karl.

“I have a sense of humor. You should try it some time.” Karl laughed, and James scowled at him. The boisterous dancer ignored him, and draped an arm around Annette’s shoulders. “You never told me your name, Kitty.”

“Yes, I did. It’s Annette.”

 

Free Download Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble 

Kobo 

 

ll2Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

 

Social Media

Facebook 

Twitter 

Pinterest

Instagram 

Blog

Email

 

 

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Incandescence Transcendent: An Oloris Fairy Tale Anthology -Out Now!

ftailIncandescence Transcendent is out, including my own original fairy tale, THE WELL

AMAZON

Do you believe in the transcendent incandescence of fairytales?

In this, first ever anthology by Oloris, we take a trip through the world of fairy. Through misty gates that lead into lands unknown, to mermaids seeking to make friends with land folk and fairy moons shining over the world with their enchantment, this book is a magnificent collection of tales that put a twist into traditional fairy tales as well as original tales of fantasy that claim their very own spot into the realm of Faerie itself.

 

THE WELL

This story includes a gentle witch, his wayward apprentice, and a powerful sorcerer after the Well of Hope.

EXCERPT

Luca settled cross-legged on the hearth, murmuring a word of gratitude to the fire as its warmth surrounded him. Keeping a surreptitious eye on the woodpile, he crumbled a crust of bread and honey onto the stones. The animals had grown skittish of late and he missed their company on his long tramps through the forest and in the cabin grown lonely without Rhys’s vibrant presence.

Thoughts of his former apprentice sent his gaze to the small stack of books he kept close at hand to leaf through during the long empty nights. He’d rescued the young man from a brutish existence at the hands of a madman, and the faerie stories were all that would ease his frantic, tortured thoughts. Rhys would sit close to Luka while Luka read the childish tales until his head would nod, and he’d slump into Luka’s arms, a warm, living presence in his solitary life.

Luka raised his head, attentive. Winter gathered outside the latched door, wind howling through the trees sending their limbs scratching along the roof. A shiver traveled Luka’s spine. Something darker than the storm was coming.

The fire snapped in a shower of sparks, recalling his attention. He drew the small bundle of twigs from a pocket, cupped it in his worn hands, and breathed in the scent of juniper and sage. Chanting the words his mother had taught him an age ago, he tossed it into the flames. A tendril of smoke rose, twirled in lazy circles on the air, brushed against his face.

Luka breathed deeply of the heady smoke, held it in his lungs, sage and the grasses he’d gathered by the stream last autumn. His thoughts cleared. He saw everything! Snow whipped through the darkness between the trees, carried on the fierce wind. His beloved animals huddled in the scrubbrush for safety and warmth. The village beyond the forest barred its doors, fires lit, safe inside while the storm raged.

Luka’s thoughts soared, bursting into the moonlit landscape above the clouds. Laughing aloud, his spirit flew in wonder, heart aching at the beauty of the night. But something tugged at his heart, his name shouted on the wind. He blinked at tears, bringing the fire back into focus, the cabin solid around him. Night pressed on the barred windows. Something was in the night…

Luca’s heart leaped. He comes! A soft cry of joy escaped him and he rose in a fluid motion to his feet. He’d sent Rhys away to find love elsewhere than in the arms of a lonely witch, and yet he came, daring the storm.

“Come to me,” he urged the solitary figure in his mind’s eye struggling up the path to reach him. A tremor seized him. Long years of bartering his herbs and potions to the villagers had passed while he waited with hope and dread for Rhys’s return, darkness at his heels.

He crossed the wooden flooring of the cabin, lighting the candles with a word as he passed, filling the room with golden light. Luka paused at the door, hand hesitant on the latch. He had enemies beyond this safe threshold. What if Rhys had gone to them in his bitterness, and returned now for revenge? Luka closed his eyes, seeing again the pain on Rhys’s young face, the confusion in his eyes when Luka told him to go, and closed the door on his anguished pleas.

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