Monday, November 24, 2014

Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes and her up-coming Christmas release Dirty Little Lies

Changing Traditions and Dirty Little Lies
In this modern world, the family holiday ain’t what it used to be!
Rising divorce rates, re-marriages, and blended families have changed the dynamics of how we celebrate the holidays. It’s no longer a simple trip to Grandma’s house, or a one stop family function. Now families often divide their time, and that of their children, between two or more celebrations, which requires juggling time and resources.
Sometimes the solution to doing everything is to do it yourself, and let the guests come to you, but that isn’t an option for everyone. Or you can hold a second holiday, after the fact, for those people who couldn’t make the first. So if you go to visit with Cousin Peter’s family on the day of the holiday, perhaps you can host Aunt Ethel and her clan on a separate day. Share the fun and the cooking!
As children leave the next and scatter, holidays can present their own special challenges, and it isn’t always possible to share the day in person. But a phone call is an easy alternative, and the next best thing to being there. My kids are mostly scattered around the country – Hawaii, Washington, Indiana, and Illinois, with one at home. This year, we’re heading up to Indiana, but we’re going to make our own turkey dinner when we get back. That’s the only way to get leftovers, right?
So, holidays are what you make of them, and there is no one size fits all plan. Do what Is right and comfortable for you.
In Dirty Little Lies, Levi Thornton has decided to out himself on his father’s live Christmas telecast, his father being televangelist Marshall Thornton. Like inviting America home for the holidays! And making Dad squirm at the same time lol.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Michelle!

Levi Thornton is the closeted gay son of homophobic televangelist Marshall Thornton. So what’s the perfect gift for the father who never cared? Levi’s going to find a yummy young man on Christmas Eve, fuck him all night long and six ways to Sunday. And then he’s going to out himself on live national TV on Christmas Day in front of his father and God and everyone else. 
The problem is he’s having no luck at finding that special someone to share this moment with. Just when he thinks his quest is hopeless, in breezes Darjeeling Crane, and it’s off to the family hideaway for a night of fun. This will be a Christmas to remember, if Levi has anything to say about it.

Levi rose, loosened his red houndstooth tie, plastered a beatific smile on his handsome face, and strode purposefully toward the blond, never taking his eyes from him. He dropped onto the empty stool beside him, swinging it to face him, their knees touching.
“Merry Christmas,” the blond greeted him.
“It will be,” Levi replied. “It certainly will be.” At that moment the counter girl laid down a menu, a glass of water, and tableware. “Take your time, honey,” she said, walking away before he could comment.
The stranger flipped the menu open. “Anything you recommend?”
Levi blindly jabbed a finger at the open page. “Yeah. Me,” he brazenly replied. “I can give you something a whole lot better than anything you’ll find here. And then I’ll feed you, too.”
“That’s quite an offer, Mr…?” He looked at Levi, the question hanging from his pretty lips.
“You can call me Levi. What should I call you, pretty thing?”
“I like that, but you can call me Darjeeling.”
Auburn eyebrows arched in disbelief. “Like the tea?”
Levi leaned in, his lips brushing against the other man’s ear, his breath warm against his flesh. “I have a place where you and I can go, if you’re interested. Someplace a whole lot better than this ptomaine palace. And a hell of a lot more private. What do you say?” He ran his tongue along the outer shell of Darjeeling’s ear, felt his shiver.
“What do I say?” He laid his hand on Levi’s arm, turned his head just enough that their lips were mere micro-centimeters apart. “I say how soon can we leave?”

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one. 
She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done; she feels compelled to do it. 
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stich,  needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, Amber Quill Press, Torquere Press and Wayward ink.

My links:
Twitter @Shelley_runyon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Sexy Saturday - Pure

Happy Saturday and welcome to My Sexy Saturday! For this hop you post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. It can be from a WIP or something published.

This week’s theme is our sexy Thanksgiving. So this week show us all the characters love family. Maybe it’s someone who doesn’t have one and suddenly they find themselves with one. It could be about someone who has always looked in and wanted a home with all the trimmings including a family. There are many ways to be thankful and we’d love to hear some of those wonderful stories. 

For this week, I thought I’d do something from my Dreamspinner release, Pure It’s book #3 in the Gods series. 

Zygi Wyatt is an intimidating dom, but he yearns for love just like the next man. However, finding a partner who isn’t scared of his size is no easy task. The easygoing Mo seems like the answer to his prayers.

Love is the stuff of dreams. Ask the god Morpheus—he knows all about it. Mo wants Zygi in a forever kind of way, but he has to be sure of Zygi’s love before he claims him for his mate and reveals his true self.

Unfortunately, Zeus is growing increasingly unhappy with Morpheus, and Ares is determined to throw a monkey wrench into everything. Zygi and Mo will have to brave the wrath of the gods to make their dreams come true.

Mo shifted, stretching as he opened his eyes. Confusion crossed his face as he stared at Zygi. Then Mo did the unbelievable. He rolled onto his stomach and widened his legs, offering himself.
“Please, please, make love to me again,” Mo whispered, rubbing against the silken bed sheets. “I need you so badly. Touch me, oh please, I need to feel you. Oh gods, please, love me.”
Zygi reached out to pull the loincloth out of the way when Mo’s words hit him… make love to me again. Mo believed he was dreaming. Was that the only way Mo thought he could have Zygi now? His heart ached for what he had done and his throat tightened. Mo’s voice was sleepy but full of pain and longing. His need arrowed straight into Zygi’s heart.
“Oh, Mo. Come on, babe, it’s me. I’m really here.” Zygi, straining to speak, stroked Mo’s leg, careful to keep the touch gentle. “This isn’t a dream. Wake up for me.”
Mo’s wings trembled and swept up, the rush of air washing over Zygi as Mo scrambled to a sitting position. Mo tentatively reached out and touched Zygi, his eyes widening as his hand met warm, living flesh.
“You’re real,” Mo said softly. “You’re really real and you’re here.”
Zygi grabbed Mo’s hand and held it tightly as tears flooded Mo’s eyes. “I’m real, and I’m not going anywhere, ever again. Mo, I love you. And I’m an ass. God have mercy, am I an ass! I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I’ll sure work my ass off to earn it. I acted like a fool, hurt you beyond belief, and left you all alone. Please, Mo, forgive me.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - In Enemy Hands #2.2

Welcome to the Wednesday Briefs flash group (click to go to the site). The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. If interested in joining us, drop me a line and I'll tell you how. :)
Prompts for this week:

“Welcome to the jungle.”

“It’ll bring you to your knees.”

“It’s the price you pay.”

“That certainly was not my idea of fun.”

“I’m buying dinner.”

“I never kiss and tell.”

“Only three days left.”

“A day late and a dollar short.”

“Slide that on back here.”

“There’s a crack in the window.”

or use: bee, panel, shoe

or use: brick, flower, diamond

or use: tears, hammer, zipper

or have your character dance in the rain

or use: red, eyes, string

or have a character mail something

or have a character make dinner

or have a character get a ticket

or have a character find a hundred dollar bill 

or “Butter my toes…”

or “Last one in’s a rotten egg”

or “Come hell or high water”

or use a chocolate fountain

or have a dance contest

or use some kind of a whisperer in your story

Chapter 2.2

 Stars, he couldn’t shake the feeling he’d just buried part of himself in that shallow grave.

Desperate to shake off the unsettling premonition, he quickly scouted the surrounding area, making sure his men hadn’t left any sign of flight. He had no doubt the Helkans would seize the shuttle, and go through it. Let them. They would find nothing of the males who crashed it there.

Turning, he ran toward the jungle, the mist enveloping him.

In the fading twilight, the jungle glowed with vibrant, misty blues, smoky grays, and luxuriant deep purples that blended with the surrounding landscape. A nearby waterfall shimmered as the water splashed gently into a small pool lined with lush plants and wind-smoothed pewter rocks. The dim sliver of light cast a bright radiance over the surrounding water.

How odd that various plants sparkled in the encroaching darkness. He had no idea the landscape was so stunning and well-maintained. Never would he have imagined the Helkans had such ties to the environment, which obviously they did, from what he saw around him. How could violent people live in such beauty and be so devoid of warmth themselves?

After securing his pak, Varo knelt at the waterfall. His hands hovered above the gently rippling waves. The water had such a sweet, clean scent. He noticed his refection staring back at him. As odd as it was to think in such terms, he was prey. As such, he needed to blend in as much as possible. His dark skin would help hide him, but his hair color was nothing more than a beacon in the night.

He plunged his hands into the water and grabbed fistfuls of mud. Wrinkling his nose, he rubbed the muck into in his hair, covering his blond tresses. He kept at it until he was sure there was no blond remaining. Of course, now his head was damp, and it was getting chiller as the thin streams of daylight receded.

It was so calm and… peaceful. Peace was a commodity he hadn’t enjoyed in a long time, thanks to the uproar on his planet. His thoughts returned to why his planet was in an uproar, and the answer led straight back to the Helkans. Everything came back to them. And he didn’t have time to lose himself in the usual sorry thoughts about his enemy.

Confused and disheartened, Varo shoved the thought away and wiped his damp hand on his pants leg. Kneeling there, lost in dire thoughts, wasn’t doing him any good. In fact, it was dangerous. It was easier to take prey down at a water source. Only this time, he wasn’t the predator.

“Just call me prey,” he muttered to the surrounding jungle.

An abrupt displacement of air next to him drew his attention. A lone, dark purple vine with a silvery, delicate flower reached out toward him. Varo stood quickly, stepping away from the waterfall. Nothing was as delicate as it seemed. He’d learned that lesson at his father’s knee.

The vine hesitated, shivering slightly. It bobbed slowly, weaving in place as if searching for whatever had just been there. It was oddly hypnotic, but the compelling movement was nothing more than a trap. Varo studied it, wondering if the vine used infrared to track prey. As he debated the thought, a small, winged pest buzzed past. The vine struck. The petals acted as a mouth, snapping closed on the struggling insect. Well, wasn't that a nice welcome to the jungle?

“Lovely and dangerous. But I’m a little larger than a bug.”

The vine withdrew, coiling itself back toward a large bluish purple oblong plant that glowed from within. He watched as the bug, still wiggling, traveled down the vine. Dinner was served. Lucky plant.

Varo scanned the area. This wasn’t where he wanted to make his last stand. In fact…. He glanced upward, toward the top of the trees—the nice, full treetops.

“Hmm.” Varo turned in a circle, judging the area. “Nice. Very nice. I might as well put the jungle to use since it’s here and all. And maybe, with a little luck, I can take out a few Helkans.”

Varo moved away from the waterfall. As he walked, he moved deeper into the tangled mass of trees and planets, careful not to disrupt the environment around him. Sounds of wildlife came to him. A steady chirp, chirp, chirp followed by a deep, throaty grunt from some sort of large animal.

Varo scowled at the jungle. “Or it might be me taken out, is that what you’re saying?”

A lone, shrill cry filled the night. Chill bumps raced over his body. The cry sounded astoundingly like a scream. Answering calls bounced all around him, climbing in crescendo until they peaked. Silence fell, a heavy weight that lasted for several heart-stopping units of time.

Varo would have sworn on one of their most sacred artifacts that the jungle just answered him. “Well, not without a fight, I promise you that.” Varo fingered the knife strapped to his leg.

Steadily moving deeper into the jungle, he sought just the right tree. He needed something full and thick, but with branches not too far from the ground. His scouting paid off when he finally found what he needed. With a thick base and a full canopy, this was perfect. Grabbing a limb, he swung himself up.

He barely cleared the first branch when he suddenly snarled in pain. “Bedamned!”

Blood dripped from a ragged cut across the top of his right hand. Glaring, he settled on the branch, holding his injury against his chest until he was sure his seat was secured in the tree. Then he tore a strip off the bottom of his uniform shirt and wrapped the cut. He’d treat it just as soon as he stopped the bleeding.

“What a rookie mistake. Gods and goddess, I deserve to get caught.”

Varo studied the nearby foliage. The hand-size broad leaves had a jagged edge, something he hadn’t thought to check before he started climbing. That was what had cut him, and it was deep enough he’d bled—which any predator with a decent nose could now smell. He had to get the blood stopped, and he refused to think about infection.

If the bedamned Helkans didn’t get him, the planet just might.

Staying there was no longer an option now that he was bleeding everywhere, which was too bad since it had been the perfect place for an ambush. Who knew how much farther he’d have to travel before he found another tree that met his needs?

Disgruntled, he climbed down. Or he attempted to. Instead, he found his body swaying precariously. He threw out a hand to steady himself as his vision blurred then cleared. He grabbed at another branch with his injured hand, and horror filled his head. He couldn’t make a fist.

He felt nothing at all in his right hand, and the numbness was traveling up his arm. Panicked, he shook his hand, trying to get the feeling back. Sweat broke out across his forehead as another wave of dizziness swept over him. The light was gone, taking what measly heat it had offered with it. He knew it was too cool for him to be sweating.

He fought back the fear that threatened to rise. There was no time for that. He yanked the pak off his back and ripped it opened. There was standard issue antiserum inside, but he had no idea if it would work. He pressed the metal tube to his arm and tapped the button on the bottom. There was a hiss signifying automatic injection of the antiserum into his arm. Now all he could do was wait.

Whatever sap the leaves contained was affecting his body, and he was losing control of his movements. Was he safer in the tree or on the ground? Another wave of dizziness hit him, and this time when it receded, his vision didn’t return.

Darkness that had nothing to do with the planet’s source of daylight crept up on him. He was about to pass out. Well, that answered that. No way could he get down now without breaking something. Frantically, he wedged himself into the bend of the tree, hoping when he woke, he’d be okay.

At this point he just hoped he woke.