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“Don’t Plan to Stay” released

December 10, 2017

My holiday novella is now out on both Smashwords and finally Amazon. It will be released to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks etc over the next week or two as Smashwords sends it out. I hope you enjoy meeting Donnie, Adam, and Willow the pit bull, and sharing their December.

Don’t Plan to Stay

Chapter 1
Donnie

Six years is a long time.

It was long enough for the podunk town I grew up in to have shrunk in on itself. The bus station had shut its sandwich shop and become a dusty, hollow space. The storefronts looked shabbier, even with holiday decorations up. A crust of snow lined potholes in the roads.

Six years was long enough for a new headstone in the graveyard. They’d told me at the grocery store that Adam’s mom had died. I went to the cemetery first. I’d thought I might talk this out with her, but when I looked down at that stone – Beloved wife and mother – all I could do was wish I’d told her even once how much she was a mom to me too. In the end, I gave her the roses and walked away. They were cheap flowers, six bucks a dozen at the grocery store, no doubt frozen and dead in an hour. But she’d loved the yellow ones back when I’d known her, six years ago.

Six years was also plenty long enough for Adam to have moved out and moved on.

This is stupid.

But I pushed open the glass door of Lindberg’s Garden and Crafts and went in. And there he was behind the counter, showing some woman the timers for holiday lights. He looked damned, fucking good. His hair was really short, but he was hotter than ever, filled out a bit in the chest and shoulders. He laughed, teasing the woman, getting her to add a silly ornament to her order. December was the busy season at the nursery gift center, a good season. The scent of the pine wreaths, the gingerbread of the craft ornaments, the musty earthiness of the poinsettia pots, hit me in the gut. This had been everything to me once.

I didn’t know why I was there. Why I came back.

I knew I didn’t belong anymore.

When they let me out of prison, I’d planned to head out West. I was going to Seattle or maybe L.A., somewhere warmer and gay-friendly. I’d figured I’d work in Fargo for a while, save enough for the bus and a bit in my pocket, and start a new life. But when I finally had the fare and stepped up to the kiosk at the bus station, carols were on the radio and somehow my fingers tapped in “Tallbridge, ND.”

I’m stupid sometimes. And those are my good days.

Behind me, a laugh tugged at my memories, the faint echo of something I once knew. I turned and looked. An unfamiliar man with a full beard was bending to listen to the babbling of a small boy. After a moment, he swung the boy up on his shoulders. The kid giggled, crowing like a rooster, and tugged on the guy’s hair. “Go, Daddy! Horsie!” When the man tipped his head around, holding the boy’s legs secure against his chest, I suddenly saw it. Holy shit, that was Adam’s big brother.

A rush of crazy mixed feelings went through me, seeing Nate healthy. With a beard and a kid and, I guess, a wife. And a life. I tried to stomp on my flash of anger and envy, and think good thoughts. Nate was okay. Adam was an uncle. I hoped his mom lived long enough to see the rugrat born.

A voice behind me said, “Can I help you?”

I didn’t turn. I didn’t even breathe.

“Is there something you’re looking for?” Adam said patiently.

You.

Without letting him see my face, I said as gruffly as I could, “No.” Then I added, “Thanks,” because I was back in the real world, and it wouldn’t kill me to be polite.

I’d changed in six years, too. A lot. My voice was deeper, and I didn’t look the same or stand the same as when I was the hot, bad boy on the block. Back before I got a lot of the attitude beat out of me. But all it took was two little words from me, for Adam to whisper, “Donnie?”

I wanted to walk away, but my feet were glued to the floor right there beside the damned teddy-bear-ornament tree. My vision sparkled. I think my fingers went numb.

Adam eased around me, moving like someone stalking a deer. When his face came into view, his eyes were huge. Maybe he was the Bambi. “Donnie? Is that you?”

I took a deep breath, then snapped, “Well, I ain’t fucking Marie, right?”

“Not unless you’ve changed teams.”

When our eyes met, it was almost like six years didn’t happen. It was me and Adam, together, me supplying the attitude and the straight lines, and Adam doling out the punch lines and the smiles. For a moment I almost grinned at him, but then the little kid laughed behind me and I remembered that time didn’t really stand still. I looked down. Adam still had feet the size of canoes in his work-boots. “I was just going.”

~.~.~

This story started as a flash fiction some of you may recognize, from years ago. I’d always wondered what happened to Donnie and Adam, after the end of that little piece. Now we all get to find out. I hope you have fun reading it.

Buy Links: Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/766229
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0782YX8SM/
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0782YX8SM/
Amazon DE https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0782YX8SM/

Holiday story cover reveal

November 29, 2017

I have a lovely cover for my holiday story coming in December – thanks to Karrie Jax for the design and Dan Skinner for the perfect photo of my Donnie and Adam.

“Don’t Plan to Stay”

At eighteen, Donnie Kagan’s plans for graduation, and maybe even college, were derailed by a beer, a stoplight, and a fatal crash. Now he’s twenty-four, out of prison, and bitterly determined to start over. But with the holidays approaching, he can’t resist a quick trip home to Tallbridge, North Dakota, and the man he left behind. Just a fast look, to make sure Adam’s doing all right, before Donnie starts his new life. He doesn’t plan to stay.

Adam Lindberg’s been waiting six years to get closure with Donnie. He missed that chance after the accident, fighting for his life in a hospital bed as Donnie pled guilty and disappeared into the justice system. Without so much as a letter back from Donnie in all this time, Adam’s tried to move on. And yet, he never found another guy he cared about the same way. So when Donnie shows up in Tallbridge, Adam’s ready to fight for more than three words of goodbye. Of course, Adam’s brother and dad don’t want Donnie to stick around, but it’s the busy Christmas season at the family store. If Adam asks for Donnie’s help, maybe he’ll stay long enough to finally talk about the future, and the past.

43,000 words. Anticipated release date Dec 9 2017.

Building Forever released

October 14, 2017

Amazon went live faster than expected, so I’m delighted to say you can now find Building Forever, book 2.5 in The Rebuilding Year series, on Smashwords and Amazon. It should arrive at other venues like iBooks and B&N when it distributes from Smashwords.

I had a blast writing Ryan and John again, and I hope you enjoy reading their HEA.

Here are the buy links –
AZ – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076G4W8WX/
AZ UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076G4W8WX/

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/753518

Sole Support re-released

September 28, 2017

I’m delighted to see the ebook rerelease of Sole Support go live. I hope it will find some new readers, with the pretty new cover from Lisa Wilde, and a thorough editing polish by Jerry L. Wheeler. This is the last of my Samhain books back on the market, although I have a couple of other returned stories I’m still working on. It feels good to have this one out again.

Kellen has a good life— friends to hang out with, casual sex, online book chats, and his first novel poised for release. Then he coaxes Mike, the shy, socially inept pathologist he talks books with online, into a real-time meeting. He hadn’t planned for them to become more than perhaps casual lovers, but as he and Mike grow closer, Kellen realizes he might be edging toward his first real relationship. Except that his finances are getting shaky, and his elderly mother is rapidly becoming confused, unpredictable, and needy. He’s faced with difficult choices, and not sure how much he can handle.

Mike considers himself a nerd of the highest order— short, bespectacled, prone to blurting out the wrong thing at the worst possible time. Meeting Kellen face to face is the biggest risk he’s taken, and he doesn’t expect it to be a success. But first meeting leads to first date, first everything for Mike. So it’s confusing when Kellen begins pulling away, just as Mike gets up the nerve to move closer.

Kellen’s most important goal has always been self-sufficiency. His mother taught him to stand on his own two feet. If he lets himself lean on anyone now, even Mike, is he heading for a fall, just when his mother needs him most?

*This book has been edited and polished, but is not substantially changed from the 2013 original.

On Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075ZX5T8C/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075ZX5T8C/
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/750337

And soon to reach B&N, Kobo, iBooks etc.

The Rebuilding Year available in audiobook

September 20, 2017

Audible has released the audio book of The Rebuilding Year– I hope you enjoy this amazing interpretation of the story by Gomez Pugh. He did such a wonderful job of rendering the voices and narration exactly as I envisioned them. ❤

(When I get the codes, I will be sending out blog review copies.) So excited!!!!

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Rebuilding-Year-Audiobook/B075QL61GS/

A wedding, at last

September 19, 2017

In October, I’m going to release a long-awaited moment in a new novella for John and Ryan from The Rebuilding Year.
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Building Forever – The Rebuilding Year, book 2.5

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they’d wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But two hundred miles separate Ryan’s hectic residency from John’s busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn’t simple.

Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can’t solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?
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I hope readers who have enjoyed Ryan and John’s journey so far will have fun watching them work on this capstone to their rebuilding.

When fiction exposes real lives

September 15, 2017

I’m blogging today on Love Bytes Reviews, about putting elements of real life and real people into my fiction.

http://lovebytesreviews.com/2017/09/15/when-fiction-exposes-real-lives/