Thursday, 11 October 2012

Falling Again - New Release Date!

Somehow I expected Amazon to take its time releasing the upload of my short story Falling Again, but no - so here it is, ahead of schedule, and rarin' to go.

Amazon Buy Link HERE

All Romance eBooks Buy Link HERE

Thanks to a lucky win on the Power Ball Lottery, Joel has fulfilled his ambition - an island of his own. All he needs to do now is show it to Gray, his best friend and ex-lover, who had shared that childhood dream. But life moves on and people change. So do connections. They can transmute into something wonderful and lasting, but only if both men want the same thing.

 ~ * ~

Excerpt

"I. Don’t. Like. Boats." The words were bitten out with an ice-cold precision that should have warned Joel to back off. But never let it be said that a Considine ever did anything as sensible as taking heed of warnings.
"It's only a small boat," he coaxed in what he hoped was a persuasive tone.
"The size," Gray Marchant snapped, "is inversely related to how much I am not going to get into it."
"I'm not asking you to row the fucking Atlantic," Joel cut in, rapidly losing patience. They'd been friends since first grade,  had explored their sexuality with each other in their teens, and had been lovers all through their years at UCLA. Everything had changed when they went their separate ways after graduating.
 When they'd first reestablished contact in the summer of last year, Gray had been his old warm expansive self.
They'd been meeting once a month since then. Because Gray avoided planes when he could, Joel was the one who visited. Friday evenings, he would catch a flight to Miami, spend two nights alone in Gray's guest room and fly home Sundays. At first their friendship had seemed as solid as ever. But lately Gray had become remote, inclined to acid retorts, and Joel had found himself wanting to punch him more than kiss him. Gray hadn't shown any signs of wanting to resume the sexual side of their relationship, so no matter how much he'd like it to happen, Joel had let it lie, rather than risk driving Gray away.
All told, he had a lot invested in this weekend get-together. He needed to reaffirm his old closeness with Gray. But it wasn't working out the way he'd hoped.
"All we have to do is cross a narrow stretch of water between here and the island. Where," Joel continued, inspired, "there's a roaring log fire, steaks with all the trimmings waiting for me to cook them, beer, spirits and wine. What more could you want?"
"A bridge," Gray cut back, hunching further into his heavy woolen overcoat. It hung around him like a pall, disguising the lean, athletic frame beneath. Why Gray needed a coat in the first place, Joel couldn't guess. Even though the sun was setting, the temperature was a comfortable seventy-four degrees, and he himself wore jeans and a tee-shirt.
"What the shit is the matter with you?" he demanded, his irritation and disappointment coming to the fore. "It's not my fault Larry and his girl had to cancel! Her mom was rushed into the hospital, for God's sake!"
 Among other things, Joel had been looking forward to showing the three of them, but especially Gray, his recently acquired haven on the outskirts of Glen Burnie. At just under four acres, the island was a pocket wilderness of trees and glades, a boathouse, and a rambling three bedroom cabin with a wraparound porch. Conoy Island, a few hundred yards offshore in Marley Creek, was all his.
Last year Joel had been part of a seven-man consortium who'd won the Powerball Lottery, and he'd ended up with more than five million bucks in his bank account after taxes. After he'd gotten over the first shock, he'd purchased new homes for his mom and his brother. Then he'd spent just under a million fulfilling a childhood dream—to own his own island.
That had been a lucky time for him. Two months before his big win, Joel had reconnected with Gray. In the five years between UCLA and now, they'd become reasonably successful in their chosen careers: Gray in Miami-Dade's District Attorney's Office, Joel in the offices of one of Baltimore's premier corporate law firms. Right now, that reconnection was looking more than a little shaky and he didn't feel inclined to take the diplomatic route.
"Do all the men in your family hit the male menopause at twenty-nine, or something?" he asked snidely.
"Oh, it's something, Considine! You never said anything about boats!"
"I didn't know I had to. You knew it's a fucking island!"
"So build a fucking bridge!"
"You're just being unreasonable! And juvenile!"
"Juv—!" Gray took a deep breath, his mouth pinched to a hard line. "That's it." He turned on his heel and stalked away, footsteps making sharp retorts on the wooden planks.
"Oh, no, you don't!" Joel barked. He made a lightning-fast grab at Gray's shoulder and spun him round. Gray jarred Joel's hand away with an equally swift block, stepping sideways—and his heel caught on a mooring ring.
With a squawk of outraged surprise, Gray dropped his duffel and fell back. Joel lunged to catch him but was not quite quick enough, and Gray disappeared off the edge of the jetty. Seconds later, in a geyser of spray, he vanished into the brackish water of Marley Creek.

~ * ~ 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Dark Waters is Released Today - read an excerpt here!




Dark Waters** is released by Silver Publishing today - and with the most gorgeous cover by Reese Dante!

Buy link HERE


This is a shifter tale with a difference, more traditional in some ways. It's set in an historical, semi-mythical Scotland where the Elder gods haven't quite left the lands.

Flein is a wanderer by instinct and need, roaming the known world as the fancy takes him. In the Highland village of Glenfinnan, women have been raped and brutally murdered. The killer is a waterhorse, a monstrous shapeshifter by all accounts. But when Flein meets Donnchadh, first in its equine form, then its man-shape, he knows the waterhorse is innocent. Flein is drawn to the shapeshifter, but he finds it difficult to acknowledge it's more than a monster.

Donnchadh, though wary, shares the same attraction. They join forces to hunt for the real murderer, but time is short.  They must find the killer before more women die. Then suspicion is turned on them and the hunters become the hunted.
Excerpt

Chapter One

"Incubus!" the hermit howled, springing to his feet and holding the crudely fashioned cross before him. The shaft was a spike of forged iron, not sharp but enough to pierce the creature's flesh. He'd finally found the strength to deny it and since dawn he'd waited for the beast to come to him so he could banish or destroy the unnatural enticement. Now it was here, in the perfect man-shape that mocked every belief the hermit held and was everything he himself was not.
It stopped in its tracks at the edge of the small corrie in front of the hermit's cave, its head thrown up in surprise, long black hair flowing in the breeze. Layers of firm muscle shifted under a hide glowing amber in the noon sun as if fashioned from the light, and it was naked. Naked and profligate, flaunting its apparent youth and potency, its overwhelming vitality, like the Satanic spawn it was.
Even now, it lured him, silently called to him to reach out and stroke at last the warm silk of its skin, its unbound hair. As it had called to others before it killed and devoured them. Although he knew what the thing was and what he had to do, he could not stop his traitorous body from responding to its sorcery.
"What is—incubus?" it asked, puzzled.
"You!" In his bespelled madness, he'd taught it human speech, the Gaelic, convincing himself that if it did have a soul then he could turn it from evil to Christ's mercy. But the sinful dreams that afflicted him at night, leaving him sullied beyond cleansing when he awoke, could no longer be ignored. The memories of them welled up as clear as if they had been reality. It would kneel before him and part his robes, its eyes wide and dark as it gazed on him with awe. It would worship his body with hands and mouth and wicked tongue, and beg him to save it from evil, to purify it with his touch.
Arousal shuddered through him, heat pooled in his loins, and his penis was throbbing between his legs, rising as if it had a mind of its own, and he was close, so close to that dazzling peak of ecstasy. But the coarse wool of his robe chafed on his turgid flesh, dragging painfully on the gathering dampness there, bringing him back to himself—and the hermit knew that he was irrevocably damned and it was all the beast's fault.
He'd lost count of how often he'd been awakened by the echoes of his cry of release, to find he was alone with his own seed smeared on his belly, and the terrible—wonderful—images fading away. Every time he'd scrubbed himself raw with twists of heather, but still he knew himself defiled even though he had resisted all temptation to touch it in reality.
He'd thought he could tame it, bring it humbled and penitent before the house of the One God. But he'd been deluded, he knew that now. The monster was a soulless fiend that preyed on humankind, and he was a presumptuous fool to think he could do anything other than combat it. He could not have it, but he could destroy it.
"You are foul! Evil!" He raised the cross like a dagger and threw himself forward.
Even as he plunged the holy weapon toward the creature's broad chest, the hermit knew he had failed. He'd forgotten how swiftly it could move. In less than a heartbeat the man had gone and in its place was a daemon in the shape of a bay stallion with laid-back ears and bared carnivore's fangs. It reared and the last thing the hermit knew was the crushing impact of the monster's hooves.

* * * *

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Falling Again - my new venture



A while ago I found a photo on Dreamstime, my go-to site for royalty-free pics, and it sort of haunted me in the way that images can, when they settle deep into your mind and imagination. Then recently I rewrote a short story that didn't turn out the way I expected, so it no longer fit the publisher's call for that particular anthology. It didn't fit in *any* publisher's anthology call.

Somehow that photo and the story just seemed to belong together, and they spurred me to take a chance. So this is Falling Again, my first self-published short story, and it'll be available on Amazon on October 13th.

~ * ~

Falling Again

5625 words

Thanks to a lucky win on the Power Ball Lottery, Joel has fulfilled his ambition - an island of his own. All he needs to do now is show it to Gray, his best friend and ex-lover, who had shared that childhood dream. But life moves on and people change. So do connections. They can transmute into something wonderful and lasting, but only if both men want the same thing.

Excerpt

"I. Don’t. Like. Boats." The words were bitten out with an ice-cold precision that should have warned Joel to back off. But never let it be said that a Considine ever did anything as sensible as taking heed of warnings.
"It's only a small boat," he coaxed in what he hoped was a persuasive tone.
"The size," Gray Marchant snapped, "is inversely related to how much I am not going to get into it."
"I'm not asking you to row the fucking Atlantic," Joel cut in, rapidly losing patience. They'd been friends since first grade,  had explored their sexuality with each other in their teens, and had been lovers all through their years at UCLA. Everything had changed when they went their separate ways after graduating.
 When they'd first reestablished contact in the summer of last year, Gray had been his old warm expansive self.
They'd been meeting once a month since then. Because Gray avoided planes when he could, Joel was the one who visited. Friday evenings, he would catch a flight to Miami, spend two nights alone in Gray's guest room and fly home Sundays. At first their friendship had seemed as solid as ever. But lately Gray had become remote, inclined to acid retorts, and Joel had found himself wanting to punch him more than kiss him. Gray hadn't shown any signs of wanting to resume the sexual side of their relationship, so no matter how much he'd like it to happen, Joel had let it lie, rather than risk driving Gray away.
All told, he had a lot invested in this weekend get-together. He needed to reaffirm his old closeness with Gray. But it wasn't working out the way he'd hoped.
"All we have to do is cross a narrow stretch of water between here and the island. Where," Joel continued, inspired, "there's a roaring log fire, steaks with all the trimmings waiting for me to cook them, beer, spirits and wine. What more could you want?"
"A bridge," Gray cut back, hunching further into his heavy woolen overcoat. It hung around him like a pall, disguising the lean, athletic frame beneath. Why Gray needed a coat in the first place, Joel couldn't guess. Even though the sun was setting, the temperature was a comfortable seventy-four degrees, and he himself wore jeans and a tee-shirt.
"What the shit is the matter with you?" he demanded, his irritation and disappointment coming to the fore. "It's not my fault Larry and his girl had to cancel! Her mom was rushed into the hospital, for God's sake!"
 Among other things, Joel had been looking forward to showing the three of them, but especially Gray, his recently acquired haven on the outskirts of Glen Burnie. At just under four acres, the island was a pocket wilderness of trees and glades, a boathouse, and a rambling three bedroom cabin with a wraparound porch. Conoy Island, a few hundred yards offshore in Marley Creek, was all his.
Last year Joel had been part of a seven-man consortium who'd won the Powerball Lottery, and he'd ended up with more than five million bucks in his bank account after taxes. After he'd gotten over the first shock, he'd purchased new homes for his mom and his brother. Then he'd spent just under a million fulfilling a childhood dream—to own his own island.
That had been a lucky time for him. Two months before his big win, Joel had reconnected with Gray. In the five years between UCLA and now, they'd become reasonably successful in their chosen careers: Gray in Miami-Dade's District Attorney's Office, Joel in the offices of one of Baltimore's premier corporate law firms. Right now, that reconnection was looking more than a little shaky and he didn't feel inclined to take the diplomatic route.
"Do all the men in your family hit the male menopause at twenty-nine, or something?" he asked snidely.
"Oh, it's something, Considine! You never said anything about boats!"
"I didn't know I had to. You knew it's a fucking island!"
"So build a fucking bridge!"
"You're just being unreasonable! And juvenile!"
"Juv—!" Gray took a deep breath, his mouth pinched to a hard line. "That's it." He turned on his heel and stalked away, footsteps making sharp retorts on the wooden planks.
"Oh, no, you don't!" Joel barked. He made a lightning-fast grab at Gray's shoulder and spun him round. Gray jarred Joel's hand away with an equally swift block, stepping sideways—and his heel caught on a mooring ring.
With a squawk of outraged surprise, Gray dropped his duffel and fell back. Joel lunged to catch him but was not quite quick enough, and Gray disappeared off the edge of the jetty. Seconds later, in a geyser of spray, he vanished into the brackish water of Marley Creek.

~~~ * ~~~