Monday, 25 February 2013

SEA CHANGE - NOW ON AMAZON!


Are you fed up with the Winter Blues? All that snow and ice and rain? Would you like to check out a story of growing romance in a tropical paradise? Then  SEA CHANGE is the book for you!

from Manifold Press - now available on Amazon HERE


Injured on duty and no longer fit for active service, soon-to-be-ex-Coast Guard Bran Kaulana is drifting, filling his days helping out at the Wai Ola Rescue Center, one of Honolulu's wildlife charities. He's working with the new veterinary, Steve Lucas, a man drawn to O'ahu by his fascination with dolphins.


As their friendship slowly deepens, the two men are caught up in the mystery of injured seals and dolphins, a ruthless gang of smugglers and a not so dormant undersea lava vent.


Excerpt


Chapter One



The hoist whined, swinging the canvas-wrapped body out over the catamaran's stern. Luckily the sea-swell was slight, and Bran braced his feet against the rear of the diving shelf, flattened his hands on the wet fabric and locked his muscles. The background ache in his thigh and hip became a hotter pain, but he ignored it. Right now he couldn't afford the distraction. The last thing they needed was for this to go wrong, and with fading light and unfamiliar equipment that was just what could happen. The loaded sling swayed with the sea's motion and he gritted his teeth as the inert weight threatened to shove him back.



"Keep her headed into the waves!" he yelled over his shoulder.



"I'm trying!" Anna shouted back, and the catamaran wallowed for a few moments while the girl juggled the controls. Wave crests glowed phosphorescent in the dusk, shimmering away from the twin prows as the cat turned once more into the wind.



A convulsion rippled through the powerful form trapped in the canvas. Tension thrummed under Bran's hands and he swore. "Shit, he's coming out of it!" Matt was suddenly at his side, helping to keep the sling from swinging in over the deck. "Lower away!" It dropped a couple of feet, nearly dragging the two men off their feet. "More!" Bran ordered, and then gave a final call. "Release!" The hook snapped open, the sling unfolded and dumped its now wide awake cargo into the water. Vin grabbed their belts to stop them falling after it.



Vin's yodeling whoop would have stampeded cattle in his native Texas. "One down," he said. "Two to go. Then we party. God, I can taste that kalua pig now!"



Bran didn't answer. Out here, half an hour off O'ahu's shore, learning the foibles of the catamaran he'd collected only a few hours ago, he felt alive. Ashore, it was as if he was living a half-life. But he didn't give himself a chance to brood on it. There were two more Monk seals to return to the sea, and the tranquilizer clock was counting down.



The rest of the operation went smoothly. The last seal disappeared under the waves and Bran took over the wheel, leaving the rest of his team to relax in the stern. He turned the Sun Dancer towards the island, only half-listening to the jubilant conversation going on behind him. Ahead were the sparkling lights of Honolulu and Waikiki, and Bran was sure he could smell the tropical perfume from the gardens and hillsides. It threaded through the ozone, and he drew it in through nose and mouth--it tasted green, vibrant, and the pleasant buzz of a successful mission was intensified.



"I'm calling first shower," Anna announced. "Vin can wash my back."



"Fine," Bran said over his shoulder. "You want to go next, Matt?" Facilities at the Wai Ola Rescue Center were pretty basic, and he was in no hurry.



"Sure. I'll give you a hand putting the slings out to dry while the lovebirds go and play."



"As long as they don't play too long, or there won't be any food left for Vin." Bran smiled.



"No sweat." Matt chuckled. "I'll just flush the head. A blast of cold water will do the trick."

There was a brief scuffle and a shriek from Anna as she tried unsuccessfully to tip Matt into the water. Since he was a foot taller than her five-three, she failed. Nor would Vin help. He just pointed out that throwing a Lieutenant Commander overboard was not the way a Junior Lieutenant got ahead in the US Coast Guard. Matt's promotion was new enough to still be the cause of ragging among his friends.



Bran let the banter wash over him, concentrating on the sea and the steady beat of the powerful engines driving them toward the shore. In another instance of sheer irony, his own promotion to the same rank had come through while he was still in the hospital, and it was a bittersweet achievement. The Coast Guard wasn't going to be his life for much longer.


* * * * *

Thursday, 14 February 2013

ALOES - NOW ON AMAZON!


Great News! Manifold Press is expanding into Amazon! Not all of the titles are up there yet, but the eight that have been uploaded so far include my contemporary paranormal novel, ALOES.

For a small, run-on-a-shoestring press, Manifold's titles have won a lot of prestigious awards, and I am chuffed to be part of their coterie of authors.

ALOES

A fluke accident puts Perry in a coma. When he awakes, his scrambled synapses have given him a talent; he can tell truth from lies. This, plus the new client, Drew Connors, who is too attractive for Perry's peace of mind, Drew's contentious family and the dilapidated old mansion Perry has to restore for him, not to mention the anonymous threats that escalate to attempted murder, all ensure that Perry's life will never be the same again.
Excerpt

Chapter One

"What the hell?" I was too mad for my howl of outrage to be anything other than a harsh screech. Cray and the twink separated with something less than style and grace.
"Perry--hi--" Cray started, hitching up his pants and fumbling his zipper closed. "I--uh--it isn't like it looks, I swear!" His curly brown hair was disheveled, and the flush of arousal was rapidly draining from his cherubic face, leaving him pale with shock.
"No? Because to me it looks like a train-wreck! You bastard! You're screwing that little fruit-fly on our couch!"
"No!"
Since the kid was bare-assed naked, the denial was a waste of breath. And the last straw. The large earthenware pot of zinnias I'd bought him for our back porch was conveniently in my hand and I threw it as if I was trying out for the New York Giants. It missed his head by inches and shattered against the wall, showering him with compost, shards and bright flowers. "Stick that in your scrapbook, Romeo!" I hissed. "You better be gone by the time I get back or I won't be responsible for your asses!"
Seconds later, I was in my Mercedes 4x4 SUV and accelerating away with tires screeching. Two minutes later, a cop pulled me over. A sympathetic and familiar cop. Joe Hardinger was a training buddy from the gym I used when I didn't want to run circuits round the park, and sometimes he'd join me on those runs. I was too hurt and angry to censor my tongue, so the poor bastard got the whole sob-story whether he wanted it or not.
His sympathy survived my verbal onslaught and as I calmed down, I realized I was being not-so-subtly checked out. Even though he and Cray had never met, Cray not being into regular exercise, Joe knew that I was half of a same-sex couple, and I was fairly sure I'd have noticed if he'd done it before. I'd automatically assumed he was straight. That's the thing with my gaydar. Even on a good day, it didn't work so well.
 


~ * ~


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Love Is Love - New Anthology from Silver

Released Today! Silver Presents... Love Is Love

BUY LINK HERE

Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Love does not conform to any one narrow definition. Love between two men is as poignant and true as love between a man and a woman. Love is love.

My May/December story, Never Too Late, is among some pretty stellar contributions.

Stuart's long-time partner died six years ago, and he's been alone ever since. Then he meets Tom. But Tom is twenty years his junior, and Stuart can't take that in his stride.

Their age difference is irrelevant to Tom. This is it for him. All he has to do is convince Stuart.

Excerpt

Normally it took Stuart less than ten minutes to walk from the park's Pinetum Drive entrance to his home on Seager Street. Not this time. Having to stop and sort out leashes, and thwart the attempts of the two Jack Russells to terrorize every small mammal they saw, more than doubled the journey time.
Maggie's house sat opposite his toward the end of the cul-de-sac. The dogs had settled down as they turned into the street, trotting along in some semblance of order. But Stuart frowned. A strange car occupied Maggie's driveway, and two people stood in front of her porch, the woman mostly shielded by the man. Lala yipped and struggled to be put down, while the others started up a storm of yapping and furiously wagging tails. Stuart set the poodle on the ground and the dogs surged forward. The man turned round, revealing Maggie's pretty granddaughter. The man, though, was a stranger.
In seconds, the dogs had surrounded the pair, tightly binding their legs and forcing them into each other's arms. Deanna laughed, hugging her boyfriend. His arms were locked tight around her, his grin wide and white in his tanned and freckled face. Beneath his unruly tangle of brown hair, his eyes were startlingly blue, and the web of fine lines at their corners told Stuart this boy—man—did a lot of smiling.
"It's like a scene from that Disney movie," Deanna chuckled. "Hi, Uncle Stu, it's great to see you again."
"You, too, honey," Stuart replied, and bent to free the couple from their hobbles and the milling dogs. "You do know your gran isn't here, right?"
"Yes." Her expression darkened, became uncharacteristically sad. "I called her and asked if we could stay a while. I needed a break away and, well, it's been a tough month, you know? Anyhow," she continued, voice and face brightening. "Uncle Stu, this is Thomas Szabo. Tom, this is Stuart Donovan, my honorary uncle."
They shook hands solemnly, though Tom kept one arm securely around the girl's waist.
"It's good to meet you, sir," Tom said. "Deanna's talked a lot about you. All of it good," he added hastily, a flush reddening his cheeks. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, like Deanna. He stood an inch or so shorter than Stuart and his lean frame was at least forty pounds lighter. Stuart realized he was still holding the boy's—man's hand and released it quickly. 


This anthology includes:

A Return to Normalcy by Anel Viz
Clean Monday by A.J. Llewellyn and DJ Manly
Smoke Break by Allison Cassatta
Unmasked by Patricia Logan
Chosen by Pelaam
Never Too Late by Chris Quinton
Leap of Faith by Lexi Ander
My Unintended by Faith Ashlin
Solitude Disrupted by Andy Slayde and Ali Wilde
Lord Godiva’s Pony Training by S.A. Garcia
Watching for Love by Sara York
Far from Home by Serena Yates
Roadside Rescue by Nicole Dennis
Check Mate by Sammy Jo Hunt

~ * ~

Friday, 8 February 2013

Between Now And Then - A winner!

The giveaway competition to win a copy of Adam's latest book was held on the Jessewave Reviews website, but as some people commented on my site, hoping to win, I decided to draw a name from those as well. AAAND the winner is - JUDI! I'll be emailing her very soon to ask which is her format of choice.

Thank you everyone who joined in and played, both here at at Jessewave Reviews!

~ * ~

Friday, 1 February 2013

Between Now And Then by Adam Fitzroy

Between Now and Then - Another new release from Manifold Press today, and another fantastic review from Mrs Condit Reads Books! 5 Stars and a Recommended Read rating!

Buy Link HERE

Blurb - It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.

Excerpt 

Something in his rising agitation flipped a switch in Dennis’s head; childhood trips in his grandfather’s car, the one with the smelly red leather seats, and Dennis’s obnoxious little brother sitting for hours at a stretch with his stomach heaving, clutching dementedly at the refuge represented by a plastic bowl. “Oh shit, I think he’s going to be sick. Fuck it, Gus, we’ll have to stop!”
Heaving a theatrical sigh of exasperation, Gus obediently stood on the brake; there was nowhere close at hand where they could safely pull off the road, which in any case was barely wider than the track of the Toyota’s wheels, but the absence of other traffic should at least mean they would be all right where they were as long as they were relatively quick. “Dennis, open the door and let the bugger out; he’s not throwing up in my bloody bus if I can help it!”
Dennis, galvanised into action, fumbled with the catch, pushing the side door open and allowing thick fog into the van’s interior. It was cold, wet; it wrapped itself around their faces like the sticky tendrils of candy-floss
“Come on you,” he commanded Allan, “out! There’s a nice big ditch out here; you can chuck up into that!” And so there was, six feet wide and full of shining black water, on the surface of which the mist was floating lightly.
Dennis virtually bundled Allan out shivering onto the road, pushed him out the way a jump-master pushes a reluctant parachutist; would have kicked him up the backside, too, if only their respective positions in the van had allowed it.
“You stupid sods, don’t you understand? Can’t you see what’s happening? The bastards are waiting for us, further up the road!”
“What? Who are? You’re not making any sense, you wazzuck; there’s nobody waiting for us; nobody even knows we’re here!” Which was not, now that he came to think about it, quite the comforting sentiment Dennis had been intending to impart, and far from calming Allan all he had really succeeded in doing was further disconcerting himself.
But Allan was too distracted to continue the conversation on any level, comforting or not. He was staring around himself wildly, as if trapped and desperately seeking an escape route. Then without preamble he turned and, taking only a couple of steps by way of a run-up, quickly leaped away across the drainage ditch beside the road and scrambled up the bank at the far side of it, his long legs carrying him off at high speed into the uncharted darkness of some anonymous farmer’s field until he was completely swallowed up from sight inside a dense band of the all-enveloping wet fog.
“Oh shit,” groaned Dennis, staring after him with his brain calcified into total inactivity and a sinking sensation in his stomach. “What the bloody hell are we supposed to do now?”

~ * ~ 

FOOL'S RUSH - PART 3 OF FOOL'S ODYSSEY

FOOL'S RUSH - Released today from Manifold Press, and to an amazing review from Mrs Condit Reads Books - 5 Stars and a Recommended Read! -- 

"I adored all three books, reading them one after the other. I found the pacing perfect, the plot complex and riveting, the characters compelling and the ending satisfying with a twist I didn’t see coming. I can’t recommend this series highly enough."

And another from MM Good Book Reviews, 4 hearts! -- "I have to recommend this to those who love vampires, a great storyline, twists and surprises, some hot sex and a brilliant happy ending." 

Buy Link HERE

Fool's Rush Blurb - Father Esteve hires Xavi to trace the true owners of the gold found in the crypt of San Pedro-by-the-Wall, but it’s an old and tangled web. Someone has an undisclosed agenda, and a rising tide of anti-vampire reaction sweeps through Barcelona. It’s focused on Xavi and Andreas, which causes additional problems with the vampires of Renaissance. Then Xavi meets a handsome young man who isn’t all he seems, and that’s when things begin to get even more complicated.

Excerpt



Andreas glanced across the restaurant, and saw Lucien Boissant standing tall and slender as a spear just inside the door. "No need, Señor Montserrat, he is an acquaintance. Please ask him to join us."

"Who the fuck is that?" Xavi demanded as the waiter moved away. "Shit, he looks like trouble – that's the new warden?"

"Yes. Behave, Xavier. This is not the time nor the place for dramatics." Xavi didn't answer, but his expression became a wide-eyed disingenuous mask that would have fooled anyone who didn't know him as well as Andreas.

 Andreas didn't rise to greet Boissant as the man approached. The waiter brought a chair for him, but Boissant didn't sit until Andreas gestured an invitation.

"Is this social or business, Warden?" Andreas inquired mildly.

"Both, Warden Rousakis." After one all-encompassing glance at Xavi, he didn't look at him again. "I apologize for interrupting your off-duty time." His tone seemed carefully noncommittal, and Xavi snorted quietly.

"Like any other law officer, a warden is never off-duty," Andreas replied. "How may I help you?"

"I've been extensively briefed by Señor and Señora Marlow," Boissant answered. "But I have had no chance to speak with you, Doctor Cortes and especially First Councilor de Santos. Since it's your duties in Renaissance I'll be taking on, I thought it best we discuss matters first." Another snort from Xavi.

"The warden's office is in the Council House. No doubt you've already been shown it?"
"I have. The file cabinets are locked and the computer requires a password."
Xavi snickered, and received cold stares from both men. "What?" he demanded, gaze limpid and innocent.
Andreas turned his attention back to Xavi. "Naturally, the place is kept secure," he said, his voice and expression serene. "Had I known of the intended appointment, other arrangements would have been made. As it is, other than myself, only the First Councilor has access to the files and computer. As you are aware, a warden does not answer to local councils but to the International Security Department of the High Council, of which First Councilor de Santos is also a member."
"I know that, Señor Rousakis."
"Excellent. So as soon as your position is ratified by them, I will gladly give you full access. I trust Señor Marlow has already contacted them?"
Xavi changed a snort into a cough, and picked up his wineglass.
"I assume so," Boissant said woodenly.
"Just to make sure, I'll contact them myself as soon as I go home and I'll request the ratification be fast-tracked. In the meantime, Warden Boissant, I suggest you begin to learn the people and the area as soon as possible. It will also be necessary for you to meet with the Barcelona Police. I'll set it up with Inspector Gavarró."
"Is that necessary?" Boissant frowned. "I see no reason for me to have any contact with the humans."
"Yes, Señor." Andreas' voice was sibilant and ice-cold. "Very necessary. Renaissance is ultimately under their jurisdiction. Wardens are a necessary buffer, but the laws of Spain and Barcelona apply to all residents. Furthermore, Señor, vampires are human, despite our differences, and prejudice will not be tolerated. Is that clear?"
"Clear. But the separation of our branch of the species from lesser –"
"Do not play semantics with me. You will keep your opinions to yourself. They have no part in your duties as a warden. If you feel unable to comply, I suggest you resign with immediate effect."
Boissant stood. "I will comply," he answered, equally formal and chill. "Good night, Señors."
"Shiiit," Xavi sighed as he disappeared out the door. "He's hot, but fucking scary."
  

~ * ~