Counting the Days

When planning Counting on You, the third and final novella in the Counting series, I considered, briefly, making it another disaster story. But though it’d been fun to trap Marc and Henry in the past, what I really wanted to do was see if they could work as a couple. For as much as they’d connected during those first two “dates,” they weren’t ready to declare their hearts. Not quite yet.

I fully subscribe to the idea of love at first sight, first date, first kiss. The early blush of romance can be overwhelming and Henry and Marc could believe they were in love after two dates. I’m also a realist, however, and I believe the day to day would wear on that love. In a perfect world, that early blush would take on a patina, become buffed and scratched and marked with life. In a not so perfect world, cracks would probably form, maybe sending Henry and Marc in new directions. Continue reading

Excerpt: Quiet as a Mouse by Asta Idonea

Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose releases today. This year’s theme is ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’, with the call being for stories about unique shifters. Asta Idonea answered with a cute story about a church mouse with a passion for music, and his church’s musical director.  Quiet as a Mouse is short, sweet and available today. Read on for the synopsis, an excerpt and where to buy!

QuietasaMouseCoverQuiet as a Mouse

Upon moving to a new town, shy shifter Paul is instantly smitten by local choirmaster Cale. Wanting to spend as much time with Cale as possible, he becomes the proverbial church mouse so he can enjoy Cale’s music without revealing his feelings.  But when Cale sees him and traps are set, Paul faces a difficult choice. What does he want out of life, and does he have the courage to go after it? Will he be a man… or a mouse?

Available now at the following retailers:

Dreamspinner Press |ARe |Amazon US |Amazon UK

Excerpt

Religion wasn’t the reason he was here. Every member of the group knew that, and he suspected one or two judged him for it, but for the most part, he’d been welcomed into the church choir with open arms. Believer or atheist, they could all agree on their love for fine choral chants. What he hoped none of the others knew was the fact it wasn’t only the music that kept him coming back week after week. Not God, not music, but a man gave rise to his devotion. And that man was the choir’s musical director, Cale Abbott.

Paul first saw Cale a few weeks after he moved to the small town in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. A lifelong music lover, he heard of a forthcoming organ recital at the local church and decided to go along, partly for the performance and partly for company. A close call had almost led to the discovery of his secret at his last abode, and he had been forced to beat a quick retreat. He worked as a freelance illustrator and could earn his living from anywhere with a decent Internet connection, so he’d packed up his bags, dropped a pin into the map, and ended up here. It wasn’t the first time he’d had to make an impromptu move, and it wouldn’t be the last. It was a price he had to pay, given what he was, and yet no matter how many times he went through it, the first few weeks were always the hardest. Settling into a new place, trying to blend with the locals, establishing a new routine; all these things required a certain fortitude that went against his shy nature.

An audio version of this excerpt is available here!


Author Pic 2015About the author:

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Where to find her:

Blog |Facebook |Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Amazon Author US | Amazon Author UK

 

 

Salute to the Sun – A Chaos Station story

Salute to the SunSalute to the Sun

A Chaos Station story

For Felix, finding peace has always been about staying in motion—about running faster than his demons, and enjoying a small reprieve before they catch up. For Zed, peace is finding the center of the storm and sitting it out. Embracing stillness. Felix wants that. He’s determined to learn this meditation trick. He’d like to stop running. But sitting still isn’t as simple as it looks.

“Salute to the Sun” is set shortly after Skip Trace. I actually wrote it before we finished writing Skip Trace, as a Christmas gift for Jenn. In preparing to share it with our newsletter subscribers, I had to go back and edit in a few details such as nipple rings for Zed and mention their much needed therapy sessions!

I hope you enjoy this extra little episode with the guys.

Read Now | Download

For more short stories, extras, excerpts and previews of the Chaos Station series, visit our website: http://chaosstation.com

Flash Fiction: The Lost Ones

I really enjoy writing short fiction. It’s a great way to slip into another gear, which can help with plotting elsewhere, or sometimes it’s just fun to write something completely new. I also enjoy the challenge of fitting enough story into a short piece to either make sense or cause someone to think beyond and maybe finish the tale in their own minds.

Writing for Lex Chase’s blog is extra fun because she chooses the prompts. Participants get sent three and this round—as with last round—I ended up picking the prompt I initially had little reaction to. Last time, I wrote about Anton, a farmer on a distant planet who finds the body of an old…friend…buried in the fields behind his farm. I stuck fairly close to the prompt, which was a farmer finding a mass grave in his fields. Seriously, Lex, where do you get these ideas?

This time, I chose the following prompt:

A vagrant approaches a well-heeled man exiting a trendy coffee shop with a five-dollar latte and a fat-free muffin.

My vagrant is a breeze and I’m pretty sure the muffin wasn’t fat-free. But as with all short shorts, the story I wrote could be part of a larger tale. Maybe one day I’ll pick it up again and write the next chapter.

You can read “The Lost Ones” here, on Lex Chase’s blog. While you’re there, check out the other stories she has posted. There are a lot of good ones!

You can read my previous effort, “Love and Other Constructs” here.

I have a collection of shorter shorts, some weird, some sexy, on a tumblr. Link is at the bottom of my Free Reads page. Finally, if you like reading and writing Flash Fiction, check out the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook. Sadly, I’ve written nothing for them yet. I’ve copied several of the pictures and started one story, but Sunday is NOT a writing day for me. I really need to start one earlier in the week. 😀

 

Reunion – A Chaos Station Story

Reunion

A Chaos Station story

It’s been four years since Zander and Felix graduated from Shepard Academy. Four years since they shared a single night together. Now they have five days of shore leave to see if their friendship is still as strong as it was…and to see if the promises they didn’t want to make back then might be possible now.

“Reunion” is available to read now or download. To get your copy, subscribe to our newsletter and receive occasional updates regarding new releases, short stories, excerpts and giveaways. A link to part one of Zander and Felix’s story, “Graduation” is included in the welcome email.

Read Now | Download

Preview the rest of the Chaos Station series on our website:

http://chaosstation.com

A Corgi Named Kilowatt

Silver & Gold (out today!) is an anthology from Less Than Three Press featuring May-December pairings. To celebrate the release, I’d like to welcome author C.C. Bridges to my blog to talk about writing children and animals, and her story, “A Corgi Named Kilowatt”.


A famous actor (most likely WC Fields) once said never to work with children or animals. I don’t know if this rule applies to writers, but I did both.

My first novel, Angel 1089, features as a supporting character a little girl named Kayla and her protector dog, Trixie. Both play important roles in the story because Kayla’s existence and well-being are what motivate her father, Jeff, to keep the angel Gabriel hostage. Of course, things get a little bit more complicated than that.

Pembroke Corgi Image 001

My most recent short story, “A Corgi Named Kilowatt”, also features a dog who plays a very important role. Kilo is so important, he’s in the title of the story! That’s because one of our heroes, Marc, is a dog trainer. And Kilo is the instrument that brings Marc and Evan together..

The most important thing to remember when writing dogs is that they are not furniture. It’s easy enough to put an animal in your story, but if you forget they are there then what’s the point? Dogs especially have their own unique personalities. I say it’s just as important to develop the character of a dog as any of the ‘human’ characters.

This is not exactly easy. I’ve had a dog for pretty much my entire life, and it’s so obvious how each dog is its own personality. Another challenge I faced is that the dogs in my life have been mostly hunting breeds. Hunters are super smart, and devoted to their owners. I’ve never owned a herder before, but I still wanted to cast a Corgi in my story.

Cue lots of research. To be fair, it wasn’t a hardship looking up cute pictures of Corgis!

One thing I’ve promised to do is never hurt or injure a dog in one of my stories. I can’t make any promises about the human characters, but all dogs are safe!


About C.C. Bridges

Librarian by day, erotic romance writer by night, CC Bridges would like to say that her writing is influenced by a variety of wild and exotic sexual experiences. It turns out she just has a really good imagination. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, too many video game systems, a very fluffy dog, plenty of yarn, and a long-suffering husband all in the tiny state of New Jersey. Angel: 1089 won a Rainbow Award in 2011.

You can find her at ccbridges.net though she hangs out mostly on twitter @ccbridgeswriter.


The Books!

silverandgold400From one-night stands to on-and-off love stories that span decades, the roads of love are diverse and have no map. One of the hardest relationships to navigate may be those with an age difference. Society isn’t always sure what to make of May-December pairings, and the odds seem stacked against them. But the wisdom of age and the optimism of youth is a combination not to be underestimated…

After his brother’s death, Navy SEAL Zev comes home to take care of his estate in “After the Dust” (Eleanor Kos), and finds ex-prostitute Julian on his brother’s doorstep. “In Coffee Boy” (Austin Chant), new grad Kieran interns at a senatorial campaign, and has to deal with being an out trans gay man in the workplace, his overbearing supervisor Seth, and his growing, begrudging affection for Seth—not to mention Seth’s crush on their straight boss.

“In One Last Leap” (Helena Maeve), Phillip carries the old wounds of his partner’s death, and he’s not sure how to deal with an attraction to the much-younger Ivan. “A Corgi Named Kilowatt” (C.C. Bridges) turns the teacher-student dynamic on its head when young TA Evan clashes with Marc, a dog groomer back at school at forty.

Maddie flirts with the older and mysterious Claudia at a movie, but doesn’t expect to see her again—especially not at a cake-tasting session for her best friend’s wedding. “The Memory of You” (Erica Barnes) explores not only the promise of chance encounters, but the reality of them. “Runner” (Sam Schooler) brings us Eden, who answers an ad for a caregiver but somehow ends up married and trapped in an isolated, dilapidated cabin with his snarly new husband, Mick.

Amazon | Less Than Three Press

When this deal breaks, Heaven will fall.

Heaven Corp, Book 1

Catching two demon burglars is routine for Gabriel 1089, who’s one cog in an army of cybernetically modified humans protecting the sky city of Heaven. Until two turns into a twenty-demon ambush. When he wakes up, he’s missing his network-enabled halo—and one of his metal wings.

The down-level junk dealer tending Gabe’s wounds has hands that spark nerve endings he never knew he possessed. But for an angel cut off from Heaven, an attic in Old Trent feels more like a trap than a sanctuary.

Demons on his doorstep are nothing new for Jeff Werth. Ever since they saved his daughter’s legs, they’ve been calling in their marker. In exchange for his services—nursing Gabe back to health so they can use him as a pawn in their war with Heaven—they’ll consider the debt paid in full. Except having a powerless angel at his mercy feeds a rising desire that has him rethinking the deal.

Then the de-haloed Gabe begins having dreams that become visions…then memories. Until he’s not sure whose side he’s on. Heaven, or the simple family man who healed his broken wings…and made his heart whole.

Product Warnings: The sexual awakening of an angel, some wing porn, abuse of heavenly clichés and a dog who steals the show.

Amazon | B&N | iBooksARe | Samhain Publishing

Read the first chapter of Skip Trace!

A bit of a newsy post regarding the impending release of SKIP TRACE, the third book in the science fiction romance series I co-author with Jenn Burke!

STGraphicBlog

  • SKIP TRACE was reviewed by Publishers Weekly, and they had some really nice things to say, including this fab quote:

“Readers looking for queer characters in a pulpy space adventure should find a lot to like here.”

  • October 5 is just around the corner, but you can read a bit of SKIP TRACE now. We have the first chapter posted on our website, and Fiction Vixen has featured an exclusive excerpt.
  • If you haven’t read “Graduation” yet, you can get access by signing up for our newsletter. Our newsletter is pretty casual: news about new releases, short stories and giveaways.
  • Finally, CHAOS STATION and LONELY SHORE are up for vote in the Rainbow Awards cover contest. You can view all the covers and vote here.

Look for another post on release day with details about our blog tour. Each stop will include a post from us and a chance to enter our giveaway. 🙂

Graduation – A Chaos Station Story

We have a new Chaos Station story for newsletter subscribers!

GraduationCover

Zander and Felix shared their first kiss the day they graduated from Shepard Academy. They had one night together before being separated by specialist training and their first assignments with the AEF. “Graduation” tells the story of that night.

“Graduation” is available to read now or download. To get your copy, subscribe to our newsletter and receive occasional updates regarding new releases, short stories, excerpts and giveaways.

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Preview the rest of the Chaos Station series on our website:

http://chaosstation.com