Tag Archives: GLBT romance

First Submission anthology released

61rH-mA+MFL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_I am excited to announce the recent release of a seriously hot anthology, First Submission, from Black Velvet Seductions. Eleven authors are included: Mandie Mills, R.M. Olivia, Leslie McKelvey, Zora Nyxx, Breanna Hayse, Kelly Dawson, A. T. Brennan, Amanda Ravenscroft, Selkie McKatrick, S.K. Fero, and Starla Kaye.

This is a collection of red hot stories involving some of the firsts in life, including straight, gay, BDSM, domestic discipline, age play, and multiple partners.

The anthology is currently available as an ebook at Amazon.

BLURBS:

STARLA KAYE: To Love, Honor, Obey… and Trust
Take off her panties. Why? “… Because knowing you are sitting at your desk with a bare bottom, which will be spanked later, will make you less pissy…” Did Abby believe he would carry out his threat? More so, could she trust him to give her exactly what she needed?

S.K. FERO: Whatever It Takes
Relationships are hard enough, but when an ultimatum is given, and a choice has to be made, things become hot. Will one dominant cowboy give his submission to the other to keep their romance alive? Sometimes sacrifice brings some unknown rewards.

MANDIE MILLS: The Initiation:
After accepting a mysterious invitation to a private kink club, Felicity’s domination and submission fantasies come to life in an adventurous evening of blindfolds, bondage and double penetration that includes a handsome stranger.

R.M. OLIVIA: An Anniversary Gift for Emily
Discouraged by the lack of spark in their marriage, Emily’s husband breaks into her diary to discover her hidden secret- a ménage! Would she be open to an interracial adventure with their sexy Latino neighbor? There is only one way to find out.

LESLIE MCKELVEY: The First Time… Again
Can Lila summon up the nerve to tell her easy-going and laid back boyfriend what is really on her mind? How would he receive her request to take charge and command control, tie her up and even spank her! She longed to submit but was he prepared to dominate? Once asked, there would be no going back.

ZORA NYXX: Kneel
Her marriage had fallen to the mundane, everyday life that left Lydia feeling empty and joyless. She needed a second chance to live again, clear on the other side of the country where she met Thorton- a powerful and dominating man who was not only able to awaken her sexuality but also claim her heart. That is- if she could bring herself to kneel before him.

BREANNA HAYSE: A Little Submission
Sharli’s no angel and her childish defiance has landed her in the police station. No amount of weaseling is going to stop her alpha male boyfriend from showing his love for his Little girl by putting her straight over his knee for a shocking bare-bottom spanking. Comforted in his strong, loving arms, Sharli realizes that she needs more than just a dom- she also needs a Daddy.

KELLY DAWSON: Subdued By The Lifeguard
Zane’s a surf lifeguard, trained and paid to rescue and protect, his watchful eye never missing a beat when it came to safety. His dominance flowed like the waves over the sand, drawing Lisa into its wake and daring her to challenge him. Would she risk drowning just for the chance that he could make her obey? Assuming, of course, that he would save her!

A.T. BRENNAN: A Valentine’s Surprise:
Lena and Kai decide to fulfill each other’s deepest fantasies for Valentine’s. She’ll wear a sexy PVC dress for him, and he brings his friend Taylor along so she can experience a threesome with two men. Two dominant alpha males and one sensual vixen make for a threesome to remember!

AMANDA RAVENSCROFT: Her New Life
Christie has been successful at work, but something was missing from her life- the need to submit to a truly dominant man. Could this awakened need be fulfilled in the hands of Gerard, who holds to the old-fashioned beliefs of consent, respect, and compliance?

SELKIE McKATRICK: Eternal Submission
Do you believe in reincarnation and the paranormal?  When Dorrie submits her heart and soul to Eli, she never imagines being bound to him in another life as both his soul mate and submissive. If love truly is forever, then beware before you submit to its power in this thrilling romance.

Spotlight: Ana Raine with Garden of Silence

2425I am welcoming back Ana Raine to my blog with her gay romance, GARDEN OF SILENCE.

BLURB – Garden of Silence

Oliver Hull is a fifth generation gardener who works at the elite Haver House for Nathan Haver, a poised man who collects rare flowers and plants and appreciates the beauty in nature. When Nathan dies, his son Charles inherits everything, including Oliver.

But Charles is an infamous playboy, known for using people and discarding them. Charles and Oliver had been friends growing up, but as they got older, the divide between their social classes pushed them apart. Determined to stay at the Haver House as generations did before him, Oliver sets out to show Charles the beauty of the garden. But when Charles seems more interested in making Oliver his than inheriting an old estate and garden, Oliver has to choose between falling for his first crush or staying on with the new buyers of Haver House.

BUY LINK:   Changeling Press

 

EXCERPT – Garden of Silence

The funeral was silent, which was startling considering how many people had come to celebrate his life. After a while, I gave up on trying to distinguish between those who were genuinely there to say good-bye apart from those who were biding their time until the will was ready afterwards.

Amongst the throngs of people, Charles sat at the front to thank people for coming. He was surrounded by a myriad of other young men with neatly combed hair and young women with plastered smiles and dyed hair.

Just to make sure I wouldn’t have to overhear any of his conversation, I sat towards the back. I could make out the shape of Master Nathan’s hands from where I was, but his presence was everywhere.

Charles had always been good at creating illusions, but I wasn’t sure which one he was trying to pass off. Either he genuinely didn’t care about his father’s death, or the depths of his grief made it too hard for him to come to acceptance.

There was a cemetery a few miles down the road where Master Nathan was laid to rest amongst his deceased family members, including Charles’s mother. After the rainy procession, most of the guests went home, but some lingered on the grounds. When a man I recognized as Nathan’s lawyer appeared, I knew the guests had stayed to hear the reading of his will.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

I halted mid-step and reluctantly looked back. Out of respect, I’d come back into the house with the other guests, but now that the numbers were thinning, I knew when I didn’t belong here anymore. “Back to my house,” I muttered, “While it’s still mine.”Charles made a strange face, like he was so disgusted with me living within close proximity of him that he couldn’t contain his facial expressions. The other guests had gone into the library upstairs, so we were alone on the main floor.

“Aren’t you going to stay to hear his will?” Charles casually leaned against the oak barrister, looking every bit like an image from one of the old paintings hanging on the wall. “He probably left his boy toy something.”

I couldn’t stop the grimace from forming on my face. “You know that’s just sick, right? He was nothing but kind to me.”

Charles snorted and crossed his arms. I was so close to him I could see his long lashes beating angrily against his cheeks. Like he wanted to mar his beautiful features, but was unable. “Come with me.”

“Where?” I asked hesitantly.

“Does it matter?”

Fear coiled like a snake up my back, but I couldn’t determine if I was afraid for my safety or my sanity. Being alone with him in my cottage earlier had been dangerous enough.

“Yes,” I closed my eyes. “It matters.”

I felt his hand wrap around my wrist and tighten like a rope. When I realized Charles wasn’t going to relent, I opened my eyes and was startled to find we weren’t going upstairs to join the others.

“Where are you taking me?”

“Can’t you just be quiet,” he said, frustration laced in his words. “I’m the master of the house and of you.”

A tiny shiver vibrated through my body and rocked what sense I had left out of my skull. My… master. I knew he hadn’t realized what his words would mean to me, but then again, I doubted he cared.

Although much smaller than him, I could’ve pulled free but I convinced myself I didn’t out of embarrassment. I didn’t want to alert anyone because they would see the heat clouded on my cheeks.

Charles’s tall frame pulled me into a closet near the stairs to the basement. I caught the scent of shoe polish.

“Shit, where’s that light?”

The closet was suffocating, my back pressed against the wall with Charles mere inches away. I could smell the alcohol on his breath, the cologne at the base of his throat and I wanted nothing more than to taste him. Wanted nothing more than to fall to my knees and make him see just how right I was for him.

“There it is.”

I squinted as the light flickered to life above us. Apart from the few coats hanging and the gleaming shoes on the floor, there was nothing to divert my attention from Charles.

Up close, I could see that he’d lost his boyish features and had evolved into someone so sexy it was criminal. His blue eyes blinked as he adjusted, but he recovered more quickly than me and took both my wrists in one hand and held my arms above my head.

“Stop fucking around.” I meant to sound angry, but my arousal gave me away and my voice was small. “You brought me to a closet. What for?”

Charles bit his lower lip and raked his gaze over my face and body. He was only twenty-four, but his eyes belonged to someone years older. I found myself shivering in spite of myself. He was only two years older than me and yet I would’ve collapsed to my knees if he hadn’t been holding me up.

“Knock it off.”

“Just wanted to check,” he muttered.

“Check what?”

“If you still belong to me…”

 

AUTHOR BIO – Ana Raine

Ana is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, although social work seems to be the most likely. Her best friends are a box of chocolate and her kitten who always sit beside her while she writes. When Ana was in high school, she often wrote about the LGBT community, but now her work is less…innocent. Ana enjoys writing anything and everything, including BDSM, dragons, shifters, magic, and more.

If you’d like to follow her, here is her blog site: http://anarainebooks.blogspot.com.

Twitter: @AuthorAnaRaine

Cowboy Dreamin’ is now an audio book

audio Cowboy Dreamin'I am happy to announce that COWBOY DREAMIN’ my erotic romance menage story from Decadent Publishing is now available as an audio book.

Cowboy Dreamin’

Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT, ménage, western romance

Heat Level: 5

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

BLURB

Kendra spends her days and nights running a business, sculpting, and leading a Tahitian dance group in Kauai. She can’t squeeze anything else into her life, but she dreams of cowboys. Sexy, hot cowboys in tight jeans, low-tipped Stetsons, and dusty boots. Men who know all about how to please a woman. She enjoys her fantasies, but can’t imagine ever settling down. But one night with one would be so nice. Surely that would get her dreams of a white knight cowboy sweeping her off her feet out of her system.

Because of an accident that Shane believes left him “less of a man,” he doesn’t see a wife and children in his future. Carson, his ranching partner—and sometimes lover—thinks Shane is wrong. Carson refuses to let Shane settle for a life of rodeo bunnies who only want a romp in bed with a bull rider. Shane deserves more than that. He manages to sign Shane up with a matchmaking service to, hopefully, meet another kind of woman, maybe someone who will appreciate Shane for the man he is. Except Madame Evangeline expects both of the cowboys to go on this special one night date. It doesn’t take long for either cowboy to realize that one night with the purple-haired, hip-shaking beauty in Kauai might not be enough….

 

EXCERPT – PG13 – Cowboy Dreamin’

“I can’t do this!” Kendra moaned and glared at Alexis in the dressing room mirror. She had one boob in a coconut cup and one boob that refused to go in the other bra cup. “I can’t!”

Alexis walked over and calmly pushed Kendra’s hands out of the way. She lifted the problem coconut shell cup and gently guided the uncooperative breast into place. “Situation resolved.”

Tears threatened and Kendra’s stomach churned. “That was only part of what’s wrong.”

She’d been stressed ever since learning about this arranged meeting between her and the two cowboys from Kansas. She’d been dreaming about a fantasy, sexy cowboy for so long. But two at the same time? What if neither of them met her visualization? Would she be soured on all cowboys? Would her fantasies be ruined forever? She didn’t have time in her harried life for more than the occasional fantasy. She needed it.

She exhaled deeply, wincing at the slight movement of the rough shells over her tender breasts. She still hadn’t gotten around to replacing the felt lining and she would pay for that negligence today. “My fantasies are all I have. If this goes wrong…. If they are—”

“This could be far better than those dreams of yours,” Alexis chastised with a frown. “It’s two cowboys.”

Kendra paced away and fluffed out her skirt. “Could be being keywords.”

A tear trickled down her cheek and she dashed it ruthlessly away. Then her shoulders slumped and she mumbled miserably, “I should never have agreed to any of this.” She glowered at Alexis. “You pushed me into it, all of it. Agreeing to spend some kind of night with two cowboys is bad enough. But you accepted this dance show without discussing it with me. And they are supposed to meet me here.”

She paced across the small room again, fluffing the sides of her grass skirt again. “First impressions are a big deal, you know. And here I’ll be shimmying my ass around wearing a pink skirt made of fake grass and bouncing my boobs in a really dumb coconut shell bra.”

To her disgust, Alexis laughed. “They’ll think themselves the luckiest cowboys in the world.”

BUY LINKS – Audio book – Audible     Amazon     iTunes

Listen to a sample

CowboyDreamin_highres-1

BUY LINKS – Ebook –  Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     Kobo

 

Theophilia St. Claire with Three-Way Weekend

I am happy to welcome Theophilia St. Claire, steamy M/M erotica author, to my blog with her newest book, THREE-WAY WEEKEND.

3WayWeekend

BLURB – Three-Way Weekend

Lovers Jeremy Taylor and Ethan Mercer are looking for something different on Friday night—a complete stranger to take home for a steamy ménage. Well, Ethan’s looking. Jeremy isn’t too fond of the idea. He only agrees because it’s what Ethan wants and Jeremy loves to please his lover.

When they spot Javier Cervantes, a sexy stranger from Spain, even Jeremy finds him irresistible. But Jeremy will have to put aside his feelings of jealousy and insecurity long enough to have a good time and he’s not sure he can.

Publisher: Fireborn Publishing

Publishing Date: September 25, 2015

Word Count/Pages: 14701/ 77 pages

BUY LINK: Fireborn Publishing

 

EXCERPT

Midtown Miami’s hottest venue, The Stage, was packed as usual on Friday nights. A local band played reggae music while everyone jammed and swayed to the beat. Jeremy and Ethan sat at the bar with chilled shots of Patron. Fortunately, they had a great view of the band. The eclectic, but small, bar had minimal seating capacity. Those who arrived late sat outside.

“Hey, Jer, you’re being watched.”

Jeremy Taylor turned his head to look, only to be stopped by Ethan’s strong grip on his forearm.

His lover grinned. “Don’t look. You’re too obvious.”

Jeremy sipped his drink, savoring the smooth liquid sliding down his throat. “How do you expect me to check out the goods if I can’t even look?”

Huddled beneath the mood lights, they didn’t need to yell over the band’s pumping music. Jeremy imagined how they looked–two tall, muscled guys in leather jackets, close enough to kiss, and whispering as if sharing the world’s secrets.

The thought made him smile. Or maybe the alcohol had loosened him up. He was already on his third shot of Patron.

“I’ll tell you,” Ethan said. His gray eyes gleamed with mischief. “Tall, dark, and sexy. Long hair. Ethnic.”

Jeremy frowned. “You sound like you’re reading from a menu.”

“I want him on my menu.”

Ignoring Ethan, Jeremy turned to look. Across the room, on a plush, tan couch next to graffiti art paintings, sat the poster man for his wet dreams.

Just like Ethan described: long, black hair cascaded past the newcomer’s shoulders, brushing smooth dark tanned skin. The man’s muscles rippled beneath tight, denim jeans, and a muscle shirt. The way he sat, with his legs spread casually, showed off an impressive bulge. Jeremy’s dick twitched as heat flooded his groin.

“You can pick your jaw up off the floor, lover.” Ethan’s mocking voice snapped him back to reality. “I take it you like?”

Hell, yes.

“Why did I let you talk me into this again?” Despite the stranger’s oozing attraction, Jeremy wasn’t too gung-ho about this three-way idea.

In his mind, cheating was cheating. Even if his lover happened to be on the other side of the bed.

Jeremy had reluctantly agreed because he lived to please Ethan. And Ethan always got his way.

Ethan downed another shot. “You’re indulging me. You know a ménage is my ultimate fantasy, and you’re the conduit to making it a reality.”

“I’m definitely indulging you,” Jeremy said.

Ethan stood before him, close enough Jeremy could taste the sweetness of his alcohol-laced breath. “Jer, you know I won’t do this if you’re not up for it. And it’s okay. I completely, absolutely, one-hundred and ten percent understand why you wouldn’t be.”

Yeah, right. The moment he refused to fulfill Ethan’s fantasy, he’d make Jeremy regret it.

“Fuck it.” Jeremy finished his shot in one gulp.

Ethan grinned. “Yes, let’s. Though I think ‘him’ would fit better at the end of that sentence.”

The band switched to another song, a reggaeton number that got the crowd on their feet dancing. Ethan glided through them, his body fluid while moving along to the music. Jeremy followed, still uneasy about this whole thing. He’d never picked up a random guy from a bar when he was single.

Doing it now with his monogamous lover of five years was awkward as shit.

Once they came to a stop at the sectioned-off couches, Jeremy’s resolve weakened.

“Mind if we sit here? Bar’s kinda full,” Ethan said.

The guy chuckled, staring up at them with dark, hooded eyes. He was exotic with chiseled features and a killer smile. Jeremy wanted to feel those teeth in his skin, hard enough to leave imprints.

“Please, sit,” he said with a Spanish accent. Jeremy swallowed hard. Ever since he’d studied abroad in Europe, he’d grown a thing for accents.

“I think we will. Won’t we, Jeremy?”

Jeremy hesitated. He locked his baby blues on the pair of dark eyes looking back at him. Jeremy wanted him. And he wasn’t comfortable with that.

 

AUTHOR BIO – Theophilia St. Claire

I am a writer of steamy M/M fiction! I’m a Southern girl with a love for writing, reading, and roleplaying. I probably watch too much anime, and I’m somewhat of a nerd. I like my fiction dark and sexy. The darker, the better.

 

AUTHOR MEDIA LINKS:   Facebook     Twitter     Website

For Ruby’s Love audio book released

audio For Ruby's LoveIt is so fun to announce a new book release! This time I’m letting everyone know that FOR RUBY’S LOVE from Decadent Publishing has been released as an audio book.

This is the contemporary Western sequel to THE CEO AND THE COWBOY, which is also available as both an ebook and an audio book. The books do not have to be read in sequence, but you do get an introduction of the two male heroes in the first book.

The audio book is now available from Audible.com and iTunes. It will soon also be available from Amazon.

An audio book sample is here:

Party Time at Decadent Publishing!

5 year anniversary ad (1)

It’s officially here, Decadent Publishing’s 5th Anniversary Party!!! Fun, sharing, games, prizes. Did I mention fun?

Stop by and join the fun with a whole lot of Decadent authors stopping by at various times and giving lots of Swag away.

My time slot: 3:30 pm EDT – Make sure you stop in to check on my latest news and to give me some suggestions. Good suggestions will be rewarded with a surprise gift.

My Swag give away Items: Your choice of a book from my backlist of 6 books. AND a “fun” cowboy-related surprise gift.

My books with Decadent Publishing

MSW_SM StartingOverFinalSmallAcceptanceThe-CEO-and-the-Cowboy200x300CowboyDreamin_200For Ruby’s Love-110x165

Decadent Publishing’s 5th Anniversary Party!

5 year anniversary ad (1)It’s almost here…Decadent Publishing’s 5th Anniversary Party!

We’ll be celebrating on the Decadent Publishing Facebook Page.

Stop by and join the fun with a whole lot of Decadent authors stopping by at various times and giving lots of Swag away.

 

 

My time slot: 3:30 pm EDT

My Swag give away Items: Your choice of a book from my backlist of 6 books. AND a “fun” cowboy-related surprise gift.

My books with Decadent Publishing

MSW_SM StartingOverFinalSmallAcceptanceThe-CEO-and-the-Cowboy200x300CowboyDreamin_200For Ruby’s Love-110x165

Their Lady Gloriana re-release

TLG 2015.inddI am thrilled to share that my historical medieval romance THEIR LADY GLORIANA has been re-released. If you missed it originally, you won’t want to miss it now.

Book Title: Their Lady Gloriana

Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions

Date Published: Re-release August 2015 (May 14, 2011 original release)

Genre: Historical, gay romance, ménage, medieval romance

Heat Rating: Steamy 5 flames

BUY LINKS:    Amazon     iBooks     Kobo

BLURB – Their Lady Gloriana

In medieval times honorable men had to do what was required of them by the kings to whom they were loyal…

Thomas Lancaster, a widower with bad memories of marriage and a young son he barely knew was a hardened knight loyal to his king. In reward for his efforts fighting in the Crusades, King Edward gave him Middlemound Castle to hold for the crown. But the king decreed that he must marry the beautiful young widow of the castle’s previous lord.

Lady Gloriana Stewart had suffered brutally in her first marriage and had no desire to marry again. Yet she had no choice. She had to protect her people and obey her king.

All she wanted was for her new husband to give her a baby.
Having already lost one wife in childbirth, Thomas refused to even consider it.

Sir Rowan Montgomery, Thomas’s first knight, friend, and lover complicated the situation even more. Thomas didn’t want to give up Rowan and Gloriana didn’t want to admit she had feelings for her husband and for Rowan.

EXCERPT – PG13 – Their Lady Gloriana

Lady Gloriana could barely draw in a breath. Her life with Geoffrey had done this to her. He’d battled down her self-worth, her dreams of having a happy family, and her natural zest for life. She needed to find the strength to face this new marriage to this war-hardened warrior. She had to make him respect her. Most of all, she had to endure relations with him until he got her with child.

The great hall rang with the sounds of joyous reunions. She heard the deep tone of an unfamiliar voice. It rang with authority, with power, much like Geoffrey’s voice had. Yet something about it drew her instead of repelling her. Something about it called to her woman’s place and she felt warmth spreading there. The reaction surprised her.

Her focus moved to the raised dais. Two such different—and yet the same—men stood there drinking cups of ale. Neither smiled. Both seemed to study her.

Gerald guided her to the dais. “Lady Middlemound, my lord.” He nodded toward the two powerfully built men. “Lord Montrose, my lady. And Sir Montgomery, his first knight.”

“Thomas,” Lord Montrose said and stepped down in front of her. He towered over her by at least a foot. His breadth and brawn made her heart race. Yet she didn’t feel intimidated by him.

Then the other man stepped down. As she glanced up, he gave her a crooked smile. “And you may call me Rowan.”

She felt her heart race even more.

Happy Anniversary Decadent Publishing!

five year anniversary imageIt is hard to believe that it has already been five years since Decadent Publishing opened its doors. I’m excited to be one of their authors, among a great many authors.

There is a perfect poem by Ross Williams that describes the views of Decadent Publishing. It starts with “Decadence is life with a dash of hedonism.” Read the rest of it to get the full idea. http://bit.ly/1KLwTKq

 

 

 

MSW_MDOn my side, I published my first book, MAGGIE’S SECRET WISH, with the 1 Night Stand series in 2011. This book has long been one of my favorites for a number of reasons. The heroine was fun with her secret fantasy. The hero was Scottish with some interesting secrets of his own. And, well, it was my first book for the publisher.

BUY LINKS for Maggie’s Secret WishDecadent     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

 

 

StartingOverFinalSmallMy second book for Decadent was also part of the 1 Night Stand series, STARTING OVER. This story was my first publication of a GLBT book, with two wonderful gay men who take a chance and find something special.

BUY LINKS for Starting Over: Decadent     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

 

 

The-CEO-and-the-Cowboy200x300My third book for Decadent was for the main line, THE CEO AND THE COWBOY. Again, this was a story of two gay men who found each other by accident. *NOTE: This pair of characters continue their story in FOR RUBY’S LOVE.

BUY LINKS for The CEO and the Cowboy: Decadent     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

 

 

AcceptanceFinal200My fourth book for Decadent was for The Edge series, ACCEPTANCE. By this point I have really enjoyed writing romances for gay men and this is a story of two businessmen who, again, find a special relationship.

BUY LINKS for AcceptanceDecadent     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

 

 

CowboyDreamin_200My fifth book for Decadent was again for the 1 Night Stand series, COWBOY DREAMIN’. This was first menage story for this publisher and it involved my own fantasies: a fun woman who is super busy and needs a good romance, and two cowboys.

BUY LINKS for Cowboy Dreamin’Decadent     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

 

 

For Ruby’s Love-110x165My sixth and most recent book for Decadent was the main line again, FOR RUBY’S LOVE. This is the sequel to The CEO and the Cowboy. A spunky horse whisperer finds her way into the lives of the heroes from the first story. She upsets their world all the way around, in a good way.

BUY LINKS for For Ruby’s LoveDecadent     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

 

Amanda C. Stone – Guest author

The Adventures Of  Cole And Perry 400x600FixedToday I am welcoming Amanda C. Stone to my blog with her m/m novella THE ADVENTURES OF COLE AND PERRY.

To start things off, Cole has chosen to share a bit about himself.

Good morning everyone! My name is Cole and I’m so glad that I was given the chance to stop by Starla’s blog for an interview. Thanks for having me here.

Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

Sure can. My name is Cole and I like long walks on the beach. WAIT! Just kidding. While beaches are nice, I mainly enjoy reading my car magazines when I’m not working on cars. Of course I love spending time with my husband Perry, but that’s a given.

What are a couple of random thoughts about yourself that will surprise the readers?

Shoes. I absolutely love shoes and own more pairs than most guys. Perry jokes about how many I have sometimes, but I know he’s not really making fun of me about them. I think he’s secretly jealous of my fabulous collection and can legitimately say I wear them all.

What makes you blush?

Perry does. He knows exactly what to say and do to make my face go hot. When gets all growly and takes control. Wait, is it hot in here to you too? *fans self*

What upset your ordinary world and brought you into contact with each other?

I met Perry in a bar. He sat down next to me and used the cheesiest pick up line ever. We had a good laugh and then started talking.

What was your immediate reaction to each other?

I thought Perry was the hottest guy in the bar when I first saw him. I also didn’t think he’d be interested in more than a bathroom hook up. Boy was I mistaken!

Would you rather be caught in a wild moment of passion or tied down and taken?

Perry can tie me down and take me any day he wants!

What is the kinkiest sexual thing you’ve ever done?

When we had a third for a little ménage fun. That was definitely kinky and exciting.

Thanks for sharing with us, Cole. You sound like an interesting guy. And it sounds like you two are good together.

 

BLURB – The Adventures of Cole and Perry by Amanda C. Stone

It all started when Cole met Perry in a bar. Over three years they had some exciting adventures, and misadventures. The six stories included in this book are all about their journey from bar to wedding.

The Anniversary
Another cancellation of plans by his boyfriend forces Cole out to the neighborhood bar. Not long after arriving he meets Perry. Even as exciting as Perry is, he’s unsure how the night will end.

The Fight
Cole and Perry are struggling to make time for each other and constantly at each other’s throats. A fight to the death will decide who is right or wrong in their arguments. But Cole really doesn’t want to shoot Perry.

The Threesome
Deciding they want to spice up things in the bedroom, Perry wants to have a one-time threesome. Cole’s nervous and doesn’t want to ask any of their friends to join them. Perry finds the perfect solution.

The House
After two and a half years together, Cole and Perry want to buy a house. Once they find the perfect house, they get to spend their first morning together in their new space. Perry will have to help Cole decide which room is his favorite.

The Baby
Both Cole and Perry are exhausted. Taking care of a three month old is hard when she’s up all night and is always hungry. If only they could find where they put the bottle warmer.

The Wedding
Cole is ready to make his commitment to Perry life-long. After careful planning, they created the perfect event. What could possibly go wrong? If only Cole didn’t ask the same question.

The Adventures Of  Cole And Perry 400x600FixedBUY LINKS:   Amazon     All Romance eBooks

 

EXCERPT – The Adventures of Cole and Perry by Amanda C. Stone

“Cole. I have a surprise for you. I want you to close your eyes and keep them closed until I tell you to open them.”

Cole looked up from his magazine at the doorway Perry’s voice drifted in from. He put the magazine on his nightstand and closed his eyes.

“They’re closed,” he called out. He wasn’t sure where Perry was in their apartment, but he sounded close.

Rustling and a strange squeaking noise reached his ears. Cole furrowed his brows trying to figure out what Perry was up to and what he was hearing.

“Okay. Go ahead and open your eyes.”

Cole popped his eyes open. He closed them and then re-opened them again. Nope, he still was seeing what was in front of him.

“Perry. Why is there–?”

Perry cut him off before Cole could finish his thought.

“So, we had talked about fantasies and things like that. I told you this was mine. So I’d like to introduce you to Freddy. Freddy, I’d like to introduce you to my boyfriend, Cole.”

Cole smiled at how nervous Perry was. His boyfriend was adorable trying to be brave with his ideas.

“Nice to meet you, um, Freddy. Perry, where did you meet Freddy?”

Perry had a small smile on his face that showed Cole he appreciated he was alright with what was happening.

“Online. I found Freddy on some website. Can’t remember the name now.”

Cole was stunned. His boyfriend didn’t go to those types of websites for any reason. Just meant Perry wanted to have the threesome and was willing to do it without asking one of their friends. Cole was so happy Perry had found a way to have his fantasy.

About Amanda C. Stone:
Armed with her Batman notebook, fourth grade Amanda C. Stone was ready to start writing stories about unicorns, family members, and her imaginary friends Pink Amanda and Blue Amanda. Today, Amanda is armed with a new notebook, along with a laptop, and a never-ending supply of caffeine. Her stories are about all kinds of things, but the most important aspect is people falling in love.

Where to find Amanda:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads     Newsletter     Email: [email protected]

 

 

Nominations for Best Books for 2014

CowboyDreamin_highres-1I found out today that my contemporary Western from Decadent Publishing, COWBOY DREAMIN’, was nominated as one of the Best Western Books for 2014 at Love Romances Cafe. That is exciting news, to me.

There are so many other wonderful authors nominated in the various categories. And I’m happy to share that a number of my fellow Decadent authors were also nominated:

 

 

Best Western Book:

CowboyDreamin_highres-1     Cowboy Dreamin’ by Starla Kaye

Rustler's HeartRustler’s Heart by Amanda McIntyre

 

 

 

 

Best Interracial/Multicultural Book:

Black DiamondsBlack Diamonds by Tshego Khunou

 

 

 

Best F/F Book:

The Virgin MadamThe Virgin Madam by Shiloh Saddler

 

 

 

Best Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Book:

Alpha in DisguiseAlpha in Disguise by Afton Locke

 

 

 

Best Menage Book:

Two Dads for ChistmasTwo Dads for Christmas by Kate Richards

Saving Their PrincessSaving Their Princess by TL Reeve

Spotlight: Brita Addams and Tarnished Gold

TarnishedGoldMy special guest today is Brita Addams with her book TARNISHED GOLD. This book was the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press. She is sharing the first chapter with us today.

First, a few comments on TARNISHED GOLD from Brita.

Tarnished Gold came from my love of old Hollywood. I’ve always loved old movies, with the affected speech and glamour we don’t see today.

My character, Jack Abadie, loves the movies too. Though Hollywood was in its infancy when he saw his first film, one was all he needed. He was hooked.

In love with a childhood friend, Jack wants to spread his wings and take his love with him. Hollywood calls.

Through disappointment and hard knocks, Jack takes Hollywood by storm. Being gay was fine, until it wasn’t, and Jack gets caught up in the almost overnight change in the tide and is given an ultimatum that changes his life.

Join Jack on his bumpy ride. Along the way he meets the true love of his life, Wyatt Maitland, and together they weather tarnished gold.

This book won a Rainbow Award in 2013 for Best Historical and was nominated by the Goodreads M/M Romance group for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013.

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press     Amazon

TARNISHED GOLD

Chapter 1

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

April 15, 1917

TarnishedGoldJack Abadie stared into the old, beat-up mirror as he shaved, noting the beads of perspiration as they dripped into the lathered shaving soap. Though he’d already bathed, he’d worked up a sweat just scraping the razor across his face. Summer already. Seemed Mother Nature had completely forgotten about spring.

Jack smiled though, because soon Louisiana weather would be a distant memory.

He noted the dark circles under his eyes. No wonder. He hadn’t slept for days. Pleasant thoughts of Emery lying next to him, their bodies entwined, had filled the only hours he’d had to himself.

Willswood Plantation didn’t run itself. “You have to help around here more,” his father kept telling him.

Between the long hours he worked doing every conceivable job on the place, then having to tend to family obligations, there wasn’t a moment he could steal for himself, save for late at night.

Jack would have left sooner, but with his father’s mysterious cough getting worse and his stubborn ass resisting every effort to force him to the doctor, Jack’s mother depended upon her two sons to pick up the slack. He’d either break away now, or be stuck for the rest of his life.

“Hey, brother. Happy birthday, old man.”

Jack stared into the mirror at Andrew’s smiling face. He’d miss the boy; they were best friends, but he had to have a life that was his own. “Yeah, thanks. Thought you were out in the fields.”

“I was, but I came in with Papa. He caught a spell out there, couldn’t catch his breath. Figured I’d come to see you, but it looks like you have plans. Big birthday date with Bessie?”

Jack’s stomach knotted. “Yeah. Emery and I are meeting the girls in town.”

Andrew’s eyes darkened, the unmistakable conspiratorial look on his face. “Sure, Jack. I’ll tell Mama and Papa you’re meeting Bessie.”

Though they’d never talked about such personal things, Jack had long suspected Andrew knew about him and Emery. How, he couldn’t say; it was just a feeling. “Thanks,” he said quietly.

“Yeah, well, I’ll leave you to your getting ready. See ya. Have fun.”

“Thanks again. I appreciate it.”

Andrew waved and bounded out the door. Jack watched after him. Sadness welled inside him. He’d miss his brother, hell, he’d miss them all, but a man was entitled to his dreams, and they didn’t come knocking. He had to go after them.

Actually stepping outside the house for the last time would be the hardest part, his mother innocently thinking he’d be back for dinner. Once gone, he’d focus on himself and Emery. Damn it, they deserved a life together, and they certainly couldn’t live on good old Willswood. They’d scrimped and saved for two years, while they’d planned their new life, and it was about to happen. The train would take them to sunny California. Emery would work while Jack took acting lessons, and one day, he’d be a star.

Since the day he’d seen Wallace Reid in The House of Silence at the Prytania, all he could think of was going to Hollywood and becoming a star. Maybe one day he’d even meet his idol.

Jack checked his pocket watch, a birthday gift from his father. The train would leave at six thirty, and with the three-hour leeway they’d allowed, they’d get to New Orleans Depot with little time to spare.

Andrew, his unwitting accomplice, would make it easier to get past his parents and out of the house, before they forced him to damn himself to eternal hell with more lies.

Jack could barely button his Sunday shirt for his trembling fingers. He donned his waistcoat and trousers, already feeling hotter than he had just out of his bath. Before he slipped into his church coat, he applied pomade to his unruly hair, then raked a comb through. He’d always admired the shine of Wallace Reid’s hair and did his best to emulate it every Sunday for church.

He ticked off another box on his mental checklist. Dressed and ready to go. He’d already hidden his meagerly supplied valise behind the barn.

He cast a gaze around the dusty, cramped attic room he and his brother had always shared. His unmade bed made him wonder how easily he’d take to another one. On impulse, he fluffed up his pillow and put it back in place. Bad enough his mother would find his farewell note propped up against it, no need for her to see the impression of his head to make her even sadder.

He so wished he could have the life he wanted without hurting those he loved, but sadly, he saw no other way. Years of working in the cane fields was no life for a guy with his ambitions.

“Emery’s here,” Andrew shouted up the stairs.

His heart leapt. Just a few more moments, and he’d be in the clear. “Coming.”

He patted his waistcoat pockets. Pocket watch in one and his life savings in the other. He walked out the door without a second thought, and down the stairs.

His sickly father, Wilfred, sat in his favorite chair, reading the newspaper as he did most every day. He’d likely head back to the cane fields after the heat of the day dissipated somewhat.

His father glanced up over his glasses when Jack entered the room. “Where you headed?”

Jack decided he wouldn’t miss his father’s gruffness. “The picture show.”

Wilfred shook his head. “You spend entirely too much time with your head in the clouds, boy.”

Predictable response and nothing he hadn’t heard a million times before. “Yes, sir.”

“You are mighty dressed up for the picture show,” his mother said from across the room. “Andrew said you’re meeting Bessie.”

“Yes, Mama,” he said, his fingers firmly crossed behind his back.

“I’m so happy to hear that. She’s a nice Catholic girl. You know we’d like to see you married soon. You’re twenty, time you settled down.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Jack said, his eyes trained on the door, Emery, and freedom.

“We need more help in the fields. I ain’t gonna live forever.”

“Yes, Papa. I’ve got to go.”

His mother shouted after him as he leaped off the porch. “Dinner at six. Invite Bessie for some birthday cake.”

He waved, but didn’t answer. One less lie to cross his lips.

Emery pulled the wagon around to the barn. Jack chased after him and tossed his valise onto the boards behind Emery, who clucked his tongue as he prompted the horses into a trot. Jack ran alongside, then hopped up. “Very funny,” he said as he swiped Emery’s shoulder with his hand.

The horses trotted down the dirt road at a good clip while Jack looked around him, saying a silent goodbye to the rows of shacky houses and the bright pink azalea bushes. Several minutes passed with not a word from Emery. “Why you so quiet? Did you have trouble getting away?”

Emery shifted on the seat. “No, just don’t quite know what to say.”

“Then tell me again about how wonderful it’ll be when we get to Los Angeles,” Jack said as he leaned in close.

Emery turned his head and drew a deep breath. “It’ll be wonderful for you.”

Before Emery looked away, his eyes filled with tears.

Jack grabbed the reins and stopped the wagon. “What do you mean, for me? We’re doing this for us.”

Emery shook his head, slowly at first, then with vigor.

Jack grabbed Emery by the arms. “You’re scaring me, Em.”

Birds chirped, and a squirrel jumped from branch to branch in Mrs. Faucheaux’s old pecan tree, and still Emery stared straight ahead. “I didn’t want to tell you until after we’d made it to the ferry and you’d bought your ticket.”

Jack grabbed Emery’s face and forced his best friend to look at him. “Tell me what?”

Emery’s hesitation chilled Jack’s spine.

Agonizing moments passed before Emery gathered himself enough to speak. “I can’t go with you.”

Panic scrambled Jack’s thoughts. He grabbed Emery’s arm. “You have to go. We’ve got everything planned. Don’t you remember?”

“Of course, I remember. But I can’t go. I just can’t.”

Jack stiffened his back. “You have to. I can’t do this on my own. I don’t want to be without you. I need you.” With one trembling hand, Jack clutched Emery’s sleeve. “We need each other.”

Emery hesitated for an instant, then tugged his arm away. “Damn it, I’m not going and that’s final! Now shut the hell up about it.”

He snatched the reins back, and they set out again. The wagon lumbered along the dirt road, while Jack and Emery sat silently all the way to the Algiers Ferry crossing.

Jack’s fear grew at the thought of traveling so far away from home by himself. How would he survive without Emery? Yet, he found it difficult to beg.

They stopped at the pawnshop on Daneel Street, where Jack sold his grandmother’s fichu pin. The pawnbroker agreed that if Jack sent him the money within a few months, he’d return the pin to Jack’s mother. Jack’s guilt at stealing it abated. Mama would understand.

“Look,” Jack said as he showed Emery the money he’d received. “I have enough for us both, if that’s the problem.”

Emery steered the horses onto the ferry without saying a word.

They both jumped down onto the deck, and after Emery secured the horses, he led Jack below deck, where they found a darkened corner to themselves. “I can’t go, Jack. You have to understand. The folks need me, and what can I do out there, anyway? All I know is farmin’.”

“We’ll learn what to do,” Jack said weakly, too sad to plead.

“You’re better at learnin’ than me, Jacko. I can’t and that’s the end of it.”

Jack scouted around and discovered that they were quite alone. He hugged Emery, who kissed him hard and touched him frenetically through his clothes. “I want you, one last time. Something to remember you by.”

Emery’s eyes filled with tears. “I want you too.”

Jack undid his trousers. There were no words, just muffled moans, and tears enough to float the boat to shore.

After they’d disembarked the ferry, Emery drove along Canal Street toward the train depot. Jack didn’t try to convince Emery to change his mind, nor did Emery ask Jack to stay. All the unsaid words spoke volumes.

Now, in the crowded station, Jack gave Emery a brotherly hug.

“Do this for both of us,” Emery said as he patted Jack’s back.

With extraordinary effort, Jack held back the tears that seared his eyes. “I’m too afraid to go it alone, yet too afraid not to.”

Emery pushed him to arm’s length. “You go, you hear, and don’t be afraid. You were meant for greatness. Me, I’d just get in your way.”

If he lingered a moment longer, he wouldn’t leave at all. “I love you.”

His throat tight, Jack turned and walked away, the sound of his footfalls muffled by the breaking of his heart.

“Remember me, Jack.”

He slowed his pace, but didn’t turn around. Instead, he stiffened his back and walked toward his new life, without the man he loved.

THE confusion at Emery’s behavior gave way to righteous anger somewhere between New Orleans and Los Angeles. For all their planning, he obviously wasn’t as important to Emery as he’d thought. As the train breezed past amazing vistas, Jack accepted that while Emery’s realization was painful, he didn’t want someone who didn’t want him.

Four days later, in the late afternoon, Jack stepped onto the platform at La Grande Station in Los Angeles. He collected his shabby valise and set off to inquire as to where he might find a reasonably priced boarding house.

Jack approached a smiling young man in a blue uniform, thinking him a railroad employee. “Might there be a boarding house that you could recommend, within walking distance?”

“Welcome to Los Angeles, sir. There are several, but the best, from what I hear, is over on South Hope Street. The place is run by Mrs. Lord. She keeps it clean, for young men only. Very respectable I hear tell.”

“Thank you so much, sir. If you’d point me in the right direction, I’ll start my search there.”

“Take a left at the second street. Nice yellow building, you can’t miss it.”

“Thank you, sir. I appreciate your help.”

Armed with directions, he set out. No doubt he looked very much the tourist, with his mouth agape like an inexperienced small-town boy.

Palm trees swayed in the warm breeze as he walked down Santa Fe Avenue, past pastel-colored stucco homes, manicured lawns, and the biggest cars he’d ever seen.

His Sunday-go-to-meeting suit didn’t seem so fine anymore, and his scuffed shoes would no longer pass with just a good spit shine. As eager as he was, he feared he’d made a hasty decision. Would he ever be able to afford to live in the land of plenty?

Fifteen minutes of sightseeing brought him to a bright yellow clapboard building. The sign in the front yard read Mrs. Lord’s Boarding House. He followed the gravel path that led to an arched doorway. The first door on the right had a sign that read Manager.

Jack knocked and after a long wait, a woman with flame-red hair and an eager smile answered. She looked him up and down, then puffed on her cigarette. “And how might I help you, honey?”

The woman’s dark, assessing eyes discomfited him. “Ah, would you have a room to let, ma’am?”

She opened the door just wide enough for him to enter, but he hesitated at having to brush across her body.

She chuckled. “Well, come on in, hon. I’m Mrs. Lord. What’s your name, sugar?”

Her drawl and speech seemed affected.

“Jack Abadie, ma’am. I just arrived from N’awlins.”

She was his mother’s age or better and much too friendly. “Well, Jack Abadie from N’awlins, the room is furnished. The rent is two dollars a week, and that includes the shared bath and clean towels. Laundry and mending is extra, twenty cents a week. Breakfast is at six thirty, I pack a lunch for you every weekday if you want it, and dinner is served at six. I keep a respectable place here. Visitations with lady friends are conducted in the common room. I don’t allow guests in the upstairs rooms, and I keep the front door locked at all times. Your key unlocks it as well.”

Mrs. Lord stood back after delivering her rapid-fire pitch. Jack mulled it over, making some quick calculations. If he found a job right away, he’d be able to afford the place easily.

“Might I see the room?”

“Sure, hon, but you won’t find one nicer for the price.”

She disappeared into a room beyond, then returned, dangling a key from her finger. She walked toward the door. Looking back, she said, “Come on, then.”

Mrs. Lord led him up a short flight of stairs, her ample hips swaying with each step. “Here we are. Number four.” She opened the door and walked in, beckoning him to follow. “This is it.”

The dust motes floated lazily about the sunny room. A narrow bed stood under the window, and nearby, a plain mirror hung over the dinged wooden surface of a three-drawer dresser. The mirror resembled the one he had at home, where black spots had replaced the silver reflective paint. A single ladder-back chair rested against a wall next to an open space spanned by a short single rod. He presumed that was his closet.

“The bathroom is down the hall, first come, first serve. You’ve only got ten minutes in the morning so you don’t hold everyone else up.”

“I wouldn’t do that,” he mumbled as he looked around the room. There wasn’t much to it, no better or worse than what he’d had back home. “I’ll take it,” he said before completing his inspection, “and I’d like to pay for a month in advance, if that’d be all right.”

Mrs. Lord’s eyes widened as she extended her hand. “Why, honey, that’d be more than all right.”

“Great.” He dug in his pocket for his wallet. He gave her eight ones, leaving him with four dollars to his name. I’ll be fine, he told himself as Mrs. Lord counted her booty.

“Dinner’s at six. You can meet everyone then.”

“Thank you,” he said as he followed her toward the door.

“We’ll get along fine, as long as you’re quiet and pay your rent on time.”

“No problem there, Mrs. Lord.”

Jack closed the door and turned to face his new home. Clean and no funny, old-lady smells. That was a plus. The place was a bit warm as the afternoon sun poured in, but nothing at all like April in Louisiana.

He sat and bounced on the bed—creaky springs. Noisy, but functional. He needed to work more than sleep anyway. His mother always said, “You can sleep when you die.”

Jack opened the window and lay down on the thin mattress. The street noises were far different than those he was used to. He chuckled. Maybe he was too stupid or naïve, but he wasn’t afraid in the least. For the first time in his life, he had fully embraced life.

SLAMMED doors woke him, while shouts of “Dinner, dinner,” through the paper-thin wall got him out of bed. His growly stomach told him what his stopped pocket watch couldn’t—it was indeed dinnertime.

He opened his door and saw the backs of two men as they thudded down the staircase. One looked back at him. “You’re late. Miz Lord’ll take your plate if you’re not sittin’ in two shakes.”

Another growl and he was on the stairs, following close behind his neighbor.

Fifteen minutes passed before everyone around the long trestle table tucked into their plates. There was much scrambling for the one saltshaker, but soon enough it’d made the rounds, and the only sounds in the room were the clinking of cutlery and the satisfied groans of the six men seated around him.

His quest to satisfy his hunger eased his discomfiture at being in a room full of strangers. The roast beef and mashed potatoes hit the spot, even though the meat was overdone and the potatoes a bit stiff.

“You’re new,” the man across the table said, his mouth full.

Jack nodded, then swallowed, and answered. “Just got in today.”

“Yeah? Where from?” someone else said.

“N’awlins.”

“I love the accent,” the guy across the way said.

“Got high dreams, no doubt,” said a fourth.

“I s’pose I do, but my first priority is to find work.”

Everyone chuckled in unison.

“I’m Tommy Wells, and I’m in number six.”

Jack wiped his hand on his napkin and extended his arm across the table. “Nice to meetcha, Tommy. I’m Jack Abadie.”

“Nice to meet you too. This here’s Sid, Elliot, Robert, Joey, and the quiet one down there is George.”

Jack nodded and smiled at each man as Tommy introduced him. They returned the greeting, and soon the room buzzed with several disjointed conversations.

“So, you’re from the land of the Mardi Gras, huh?”

“I’m from the country, near New Orleans. But yeah, Mardi Gras.”

“Ever been?”

“Once or twice. Once you’ve seen it, it’s all pretty much the same.”

The grandfather clock struck seven, and Mrs. Lord came in and swiped plates off the table, whether or not the men were finished with them. It’d been sometime since Jack had enjoyed a meal more. The taste of freedom trumped his mama’s gumbo any day.

The guys were friendly, and almost everyone offered to recommend him to their bosses, though Tommy had the most intriguing offer.

“Yeah, the restaurant where I work is looking for help. Waiting tables is hard on the feet, but the pay’s good, more than covers your room and board with some left over.”

“Move on, now,” Mrs. Lord said as she snatched Jack’s empty plate.

“I gotta go, anyway. Meetin’ Sadie at the picture show,” Elliott said. “Nice meetin’ ya, Jack.”

“Yeah, nice meeting you too.”

“Wait up, El. What show you goin’ to?”

Elliott shrugged. “Don’t know. One with a balcony. Not going for the film.”

“My kinda man,” Joey said as he draped an arm over Elliott’s shoulder. “Say, does Sadie have a friend?”

Tommy laughed as he pushed back from the table. “You guys are all the same. Go on with ya, now. Chase your skirts.”

“Yeah, we know, Tommy, but under skirts, yeah, that’s where you’ll find us.”

Tommy waved off his libidinous friends. “Come to my room. I’ll tell you more about the restaurant. On my word, I think Mr. Darby might be willing to take you on right away.”

They mounted the stairs, two at a time. Jack followed Tommy to number six, right next door to his room. Sid shouted from three doors down, “Watch him, Jack. He’s a devil behind closed doors.”

“Ah, go on with ya now. Get back to your own places, you buncha perverts.”

Tommy opened his door. “Don’t pay him any mind.”

“They’re friendly enough.”

“They are, but they’re full of bullshit too. All most of ’em think of is lifting the ladies’ skirts. You want the bed or the chair?”

“I’ll take the chair,” Jack said, thinking to give his host the more comfortable of the two.

“Whichever suits ya.”

Jack brought the chair closer to the bed and sat. Tommy’s disarming smile set him at ease. “What’d Sid mean about you being a devil behind closed doors?”

Tommy brushed a dark brown curl off his forehead. “Ah, ignore him. He’s just jealous cuz it’s been over between us for a while now.”

Jack’s nerves jangled. “You like men?”

“Yep, sure do, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If that bothers you, too bad.”

He studied Tommy’s classic features—straight nose, large blue eyes, full lips that begged for a kiss. “It doesn’t bother me at all. I just didn’t know it’d be so easy meeting someone like me, that’s all.”

Tommy chuckled. “I knew it. I thought I sensed something about you. This is Hollywood, son. We’re everywhere. Unlike some others in town, I’m rather proud of who I am, now that I’m not around my family, that is.”

Tommy’s charming laughter lit his eyes. With his manly features and goodly height, Jack had no doubt that Tommy could be a movie star. While tempted to touch Tommy’s skin to see if it was as soft as it appeared, he shoved his hands in his pockets instead. “My family doesn’t know. That’s kinda why I left. Catlic, you know. They’d have me in confession every day and with the priest at night, trying to exorcize my demons.”

Tommy smiled and nodded. “Yeah, same wit’ me. You got somebody?”

Jack frowned. “Not anymore.”

“Good lookin’ guy like you, that’s too bad. Was it serious?” Tommy’s face had softened, all traces of humor gone. He leaned forward, resting his arms on his knees.

“I thought so, but at the last minute, he decided not to come out here with me. No explanation, just ‘I’m not going.’”

“Best to get back on the horse, as they say. He’s a fool.” Tommy touched Jack’s face. “You’re beautiful.”

Jack pulled away, still remembering Emery’s touch. “Tell me about that job.”

Tommy shook his hand as though he’d burned it, his eyes full of quandary. “Didn’t mean to offend. Yeah, sure. Like I said, waitin’ tables, long hours, pretty good pay. You keep your tips. Got any experience?”

“My mama cooks for all the men who work on the sugar plantation. I’ve served food since I was old enough to hold a plate.”

“Well then, if you can write down orders, the job ought to be a cinch.”

Jack chuckled. “Then I think I’ve got it covered.”

“Good. I’ll give you the address, and you can come by tomorrow. I’ll introduce you to the owner.”

“What time?”

Tommy put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “Make it noon. Darby usually takes a break for lunch about then. It’d be a good time to talk to him.”

“Sounds great. I really appreciate your help. Never expected to find something so fast.”

The touch felt good, but the timing was all off. Jack glanced at Tommy’s hand, then into the man’s eyes.

Tommy removed his hand and dug a piece of paper and pen from his pocket. “Here’s that address.”

“Great, thanks.” Jack rose. “I’d better go.”

“Nice to meet you, Jack.”

“Yeah. Nice to meet you too. See you tomorrow.”

“Noon. Don’t forget.”

AFTER a restless night in a strange bed, Jack awoke less than prepared to meet with a potential employer. He’d waited for everyone to leave for work before he bathed and dressed. With ten minutes to spare, he arrived at Darby’s Restaurant and Nightclub on Fowler Street.

Tommy greeted him with a big smile. “I’ve told the man all about you.” Tommy straightened Jack’s jacket collar. “Now, just be yourself. Mr. Darby’s a good man.”

They approached a secluded table in the back of the restaurant just as Darby put a forkful of potatoes in his mouth. “Mr. Darby, this is Jack Abadie, the man I’ve been telling you about. Jack, meet Mr. Darby.”

Darby chewed, then swallowed, and they exchanged handshakes and perfunctory greetings. Darby gave Tommy a nod that said “Beat it,” better than anything Jack had ever seen.

Darby studied him while Jack assessed his potential employer. Jack guessed Darby to be in his thirties, not yet gray-haired, well-dressed, and actually, quite attractive.

“You’re tall, aren’t you? Come on, sit down. You’re giving my neck a crick.”

Jack pulled out a chair and sat on the edge of the seat.

“Tommy tells me you’re looking for employment.”

“That’s right, I am, sir. I’m a hard worker, and I learn real fast.”

“Good to know. How long have you been in Los Angeles?”

“I arrived yesterday from N’awlins.”

Darby smiled, his teeth clean and straight save for the slight overlap of the two center bottom teeth. “Is that New Orleans?”

Jack’s face heated at the careful pronunciation. “Yes, sir, it is.”

“If you’re going to make anything of yourself in this town, you’d better clean up your speech. Charming as that accent is, it’ll do little but show you off as a hick. Charm gets you nowhere in this town.”

Blunt and to the point.

Embarrassed, but not defeated, he answered simply, “Yes, sir.”

“I knew a man from New Orleans once, owned The Grunewald on Canal Street. No matter. Have you ever waited tables or served drinks?”

“Drinks no, but I’ve served meals, and like I said, anything I don’t know, I can learn fast.”

“I’m sure you will.” The man’s smile was warm, knowing. “We work twelve-hour shifts, and I pay five dollars a week. You get your meals free and one day off a week, which is Sunday, when we’re closed.” Darby stopped speaking and raked his gaze over Jack. “So, what do you think?”

The delicious smells from the kitchen reminded him of home. “I’m ready to start, if you’re ready to hire me.”

Darby grinned and waved Tommy over. “Get our friend here the special. After he eats, you can show him around.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BritaAddamspicBorn in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website/Blog     Twitter     Facebook     Fan Page     Pinterest     Booklikes     Monthly column at The Novel Approach