Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review of RED MOUNTAIN by Boo Walker

Red MountainRed Mountain by Boo Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A truly inspired and obviously heartfelt book--a nice drama with lots of (too much?) information on growing wines in eastern Washington state, where the book's set. One star off for a bit too much telling over showing, but all in all, a good read.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Psychic Thriller, THIRD EYE, at an Incredible Price!


My psychic thriller, THIRD EYE, is available for a limited time at Amazon Kindle for only $2.51 (and deeply discounted at all the other usual sites).

BLURB
Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn't sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl.

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls' parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the "third eye." 

Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

BUY 


NEW RELEASE! Stone & Shell by Lloyd A. Meeker

Today, we have a little taste of my friend--and amazing author's--Lloyd A. Meeker's latest release, Stone and Shell: A Solstice Tale. Check out the blurb, enjoy the excerpt, and click on the buy link to get your copy!

BLURB
Eight-year-old Howie Evinger is convinced that his dad would be happier if he found a new husband. Howie would be happier, too. And somewhere out there in the city of Vancouver, there's the right man for his dad to love. But how to find him? That’s a problem, especially if you’re just a kid and your dad says he doesn’t want another husband.

With the help of his quirky aunt who calls herself a Buddhist Wiccan, Howie builds his very own solstice altar with cool symbols to support his search. It has a candle, a feather and a twisty stick, plus an agate for his dad, and a scallop shell for his new husband. Share Howie’s solstice adventure as he learns how real magic requires courage and patience as well as symbols.

EXCERPT

Dedication
To the wise and uncertain child in each of us, keeper of the flame of wonder.

Stone and Shell

Maybe the stone and the shell were too close to the candle. Howie wasn’t sure how this stuff worked. He studied his Solstice altar, made out of a wooden TV tray covered in a piece of dark green cloth. He felt nervous, like sitting in a surprise math test he hadn’t prepared for. He had dreams like that sometimes. He hated math.

If he left his objects too close together, would his wish cover enough territory? Vancouver was a big city. He pushed his glasses back up his nose and frowned. Shanna, who was really his aunt Shannon, even though she didn’t let him call her that, would know how it worked.

She’d taught him about symbols last week, which was a totally cool idea. Then she helped him build his Solstice altar and told him to place his symbols wherever he felt was right for them. The problem was he didn’t know how to place them so his wish, which sat like a giant lump inside him, would come true. It hadn’t occurred to him to ask her about placement rules for wishes.

Dad was working late tonight, and the house was a lot nicer when someone was home already. Back when his dad and Joel were together, they’d had a big Buddha statue, which was the first thing anybody saw when they came in the front door. It was like having a friend waiting for you to come home. Joel had taken it to Toronto with him, and the house felt different without it. He’d told Dad he didn’t mind that it wasn’t there anymore, but he actually did. He didn’t want to be a wuss and complain, though. His best friend, Ricky, was lucky. The Liu family had a gold Buddha set up in their house with all kinds of beautiful stuff around it, even incense. Howie liked the smell, but it made him sneeze sometimes.

Shanna would come soon, and he’d help her get dinner ready. Usually on Dad’s late days, all three of them would eat together, which was nice. It was lasagna tonight, Howie knew, because Dad had made it on the weekend and had frozen most of it for nights like this.

So when Shanna got there in a bit, he’d ask her how Solstice altars worked. She’d know what to do. She’d told him all about Druids and the Solstice and the Celts who were Howie’s ancestors. When he said he thought his grandparents were English, Shanna got a little mad and said just because someone is born in a barn, doesn’t mean he’s a horse. Howie didn’t get it entirely, but he’d stuck with being from the Celts after that.

He was doing pretty well with the altar, as far as he could tell. He’d found objects representing the four forces, which Shanna said every altar needed. He’d found a tiny pure white gull feather with really pretty fuzz near the bottom that moved even when you blew on it just a little. That was for air, and he had a twisty stick for earth. The candle was fire, of course. And then there was water. That part was easy; he already had the little scallop shell and the agate, both from the ocean.

Trouble was, he didn’t want to talk to her about his wish again, or that the stone on his altar also represented his dad, and the shell was a new husband for him because it was smooth and beautiful inside. The shell would hold the stone, and give it a place to be really happy again.

He’d already told Shanna months ago that his biggest wish was for his dad to find a new husband, and she’d kissed his cheek and laughed, her eyes shiny with what he could tell were almost-tears even though she didn’t say so, whispering that was a lovely but awfully big wish for an eight-year-old boy to carry. Howie didn’t mind how big the wish was. He wanted it to come true more than anything else in the whole world.

He pulled the agate pebble back from the candle a little way, but kept it nestled against the shell. Farther from the candle felt right, but the pebble and shell shouldn’t be that close yet. Who knew how far apart they really were? He pulled them apart a few inches, hating the new gap. Even so, the distance felt right. For now. He’d put them closer together soon.

BUY


Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Poignant Holiday Tale About Reincarnation...and Love. ORIENTATION


With its brand new edition and brand new cover, I wanted to share a sample from my reincarnation love story, Orientation, which won the EPIC eBook Award in 2009 as the Best GLBT Novel of the Year. This excerpt takes place at Christmas, 1983. Get the Kleenex ready....



BLURB
Christmas, 1983: A young man, Robert, tends to his soul mate, Keith, who is dying from AIDS. Robert tries valiantly to make this a special Christmas for his lover, but loses the fight late Christmas night.

Christmas, 2007: Robert ventures out late Christmas night and finds a young girl about to fling herself into the unforgiving waters of Lake Michigan. He rescues her, and the two form a bond forged from an odd feeling they share of familiarity, and even love. Neither understands it, since Jess is a lesbian and Robert has never been attracted to women. But there's more...Jess begins having strange dreams, reliving key moments she couldn't know about in Keith and Robert's life and courtship. Robert and Jess begin to wonder if their inexplicable feelings might be rooted in something much more mystical than a savior/victim relationship.

As the two move toward and pull away from each other, Ethan, Robert's younger lover, plots the unthinkable. His crystal meth-addled mind becomes convinced there's only one way to save himself, and that is through Robert's destruction. Christmas 2007 spirals downward to a shattering climax in which both love and lives hang in the balance.

There's a murder attempt...salvation...redemption...and a new love is born...

BUY


EXCERPT
CHRISTMAS NIGHT WAS memorable for Robert, if only because it was the night the one great love of his young life was taken, stolen away by a disease he could never have imagined just a few years beforeThe night was also memorable because there was a kind of Christmas miracle, even if it lasted only a few moments. Keith came back to him. His Keith, the one who could make him laugh and make him feel “like a million bucks.” For the briefest of moments, the real Keith returned, smiling and making of his death mask face a hint of what had been there before: a handsome, distinguished man whose cheeks were no longer sunken and hollow, whose green irises were rimmed in yellow no more, and whose smile could light up a room.
Maybe seeing the old Keith, handsome, devilish, strong jawed from his Mediterranean heritage, was just a figment of Robert’s imagination, something he wished for so hard it came true. But the lucidity that came late that Christmas night was not his imagination. Something had clicked in Keith’s fevered brain and for just an instant, he came back.
            But it was only to say goodbye.
            Robert had spent the long afternoon cooking. He knew it was pointless. Keith, in his best moments, could only keep things like Jell-o and protein drinks down, and Robert had no appetite himself. But in spite of a decided lack of hunger around the Harris/Jafari household, Robert had made quite a testament to culinary expertise in the marble and glass kitchen. The counters were crammed with cutting boards where Robert had used his Wusthof cutlery to prep a garden of fresh herbs, mincing parsley, sage, basil, and thyme into stacks of fine green confetti. He cut garlic into translucent slices. Halved lemons lined up in an orderly row beneath the windowsill, waiting to release their juices. And there, near the sink, a twelve-pound goose waited for Robert’s touch, ready to have its skin loosened and lifted and for him to infuse it with chopped herbs, to stuff its cavity with lemons and whole garlic cloves, and, finally, to be buttered and rubbed lovingly with extra-virgin olive oil and trussed. It would spend the rest of the day basking in the heat of an oven, religiously basted every forty minutes. Robert had made oyster stuffing, rich with fresh-from-the-sea briny juices, sage, and fennel sausage. He had shorn the bottoms off artichokes, trimmed their leaves, and stuffed them with a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. In the sink, a mound of Yukon gold potatoes awaited peeling. Brussels sprouts needed to be cleaned, steamed, and tossed in butter, lemon juice, and garlic.
            And when the kitchen windows fogged with steam from bubbling pots and the whole first floor of the penthouse was redolent with roasting bird, Robert went into the little powder room off the kitchen and threw up. He sat there by the toilet afterwards, gasping, and wiping angrily at his mouth and nose with Kleenex that left shreds on his stubbled face. He started to sob, the tears coming easily, hating himself for being such a coward, for spending all this time, all this money, to prepare this glorious yuletide feast no one would ever eat. He slapped his own face, punishing himself for being so stupid, stupid, stupid. Who was he trying to kid? Did making a Christmas goose with all the trimmings wipe out a year of love, passion, and happiness? Did all the cooking, decorating, and wrapping of presents put a different face on Death, who paced the penthouse, features furrowed, waiting to take his own Christmas present, which lay, just inches away from “delivery” on sweat-soaked Egyptian cotton sheets?
            Why couldn’t he accept what was happening? It was over. It was only a flame that had flared and then was snuffed out. He forced himself up, gripping the little pedestal sink, and splashed cold water on his face. He looked at himself in the mirror above the sink, hating the vibrant, rosy glow in his cheeks, his fine, small-pored skin, twinkling blue eyes that betrayed not a hint of his exhaustion and despair, and his shining blond hair, in ringlets because of the kitchen humidity.
            Why did Keith have to die?
            Why did Robert have to live?
            He closed his eyes and went into the kitchen, ready to feed the fabulous food to the garbage disposal. The work, just like the preparation of the meal, would take his mind off things.
            And then he heard Keith’s voice, watery, weak, a shadow of its former self, call out. If the garbage disposal had been on, he wouldn’t have heard it. But the sound of his own name coming from his lover’s lips filled him with a kind of insane joy and optimism. The irrational part of him wanted to take it as a sign, a U-turn in the road toward death.
            His Keith was getting better! Getting better in spite of the fact that all these other men with AIDS were dying quick, painful deaths. Keith would be the exception to the rule. He always had been. A sob caught in Robert’s throat and he hurried toward the stairs.
            “Robert?” Keith’s voice sounded again, querulous and weak as a kitten. But it was Keith and he was calling for him.
            Robert rushed up the spiral staircase, tripping once, a startled laugh escaping from his lips. Who knew? This AIDS thing was still so new. Who was to say there weren’t people out there who could beat it? People with imagination and fortitude.
            People like Keith.
            Robert hesitated outside the bedroom door. Inside, it was quiet, and he dreaded going in there and finding Keith on the bed asleep, a sheen of sweat clinging to his sunken cheeks, his breath phlegmy and labored. What if Keith’s call was just a momentary peek through the twin curtains of fever and consciousness? Or worse, the product of his own overly-hopeful imagination?
            What would be, would be (hadn’t some virginal blonde even once sung about it?). Robert steeled himself: deep, cleansing breath, let it out slowly. And entered the room.
            Keith was awake. His face looked even more drawn and tired—the color of ash. Robert would have said it was impossible for him to look any sicker even this morning, but now he did. In the air, despite the cinnamon and vanilla scented candles in the room, was the smell of sickness and shit.
            But oh, Lord! Keith was looking at him. Looking right at Robert. And he was seeing him! For the first time in forever, their gazes met and connected. Robert approached the bed warily, as if a sudden movement would send Keith plummeting back into unconsciousness.
            “Honey? Can you hear me?” Robert stood, wringing his hands, heart fluttering, beating against his ribs.
            “Of course.” Keith’s voice was a croak. Gone were the bass notes that had made him sound so sexy and assured. Keith reached a bruised hand out over the covers and patted the bed. “Would you sit next to me?”
            “Oh, of course!” Robert took two steps and weighed down the bed, reaching out to brush a strand of hair off Keith’s forehead, biting his own lip at the heat radiating off Keith’s flesh. “I’m so happy you’re awake.”
            Keith swallowed. The swallow took a long time and looked as if it took all of the sick man’s effort. He let out a weak sigh and turned his head. He looked up at Robert and managed a wan smile. Robert closed his eyes and gently laid his head atop Keith’s.
            And then Keith began to talk, his old voice suddenly returned, strong and sure. “I have just a few things to say, Robert. And I need you to shut up and listen. No interruptions. The first thing I want to say is ‘Merry Christmas.’ I’m so sorry I couldn’t be a bigger part of things for this, our first Christmas together, but that decision was taken from me and it doesn’t look like Mr. Claus is seeing fit to give me a chance to make it up to you.
“The second thing I want to say is that I love you with all my heart. I searched forty some odd years for you, for what I’ve always dreamed of, and what I thought I couldn’t have when you dropped, like a gift, like an angel, into my life last winter. You were what I hunted for all my life: a family. You are my family. Don’t ever forget how precious that is.
“The third thing I want to say is that you’re an idiot, running around, burying your head in the sand and trying to make a Christmas that neither of us has the capacity to enjoy. And last, I love you for that. I love you so much for trying…for hoping against all odds that this moment would come and I would let you know how much I appreciate you. For hoping that we might share one final kiss before I have to go. And my love, I do have to go.
But I couldn’t leave without you hearing these four words. You. Are. My. Family.”

BUY

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Today, November 26, Only! My Original Romance with Recipes, DINNER AT HOME is Only a Buck!

Today only! 

Dreamspinner Press is featuring romances with food for $1, including my DINNER AT HOME & several other amazing titles!

BLURB
It only takes a few days for Ollie D'Angelo to lose his boyfriend, his job, and his home. Instead of mourning what he doesn’t have, Ollie celebrates what he does: the freedom to pursue his real passion—cooking. He begins Dinner at Home, a home-catering business, and it takes off.

Late one night, Ollie catches Hank Mellinger, a streetwise hood down on his luck, about to rob his car. Ollie soon discovers that appearances aren’t necessarily what they seem. Hank isn’t a criminal caught red-handed, but a hungry young man trying to make a life for himself and the four-year-old niece he’s trying desperately to take care of.


Instead of calling the cops, Ollie offers Hank a job and a way to pull himself up by his bootstraps. Together, they discover they can really cook... and that their shared passion for food just might lead to a passion for each other.


BUY! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lost and Found: Coming December 5, but pre-order now and save 35%!


Coming Dec 5 (but you can pre-order yours now--at 35% off thru Monday!): LOST & FOUND, my love story about how a dog brings two men together. 

BLURB
On a bright autumn day, Flynn Marlowe lost his best friend, a beagle named Barley, while out on a hike in Seattle’s Discovery Park.

On a cold winter day, Mac Bowersox found his best friend, a lost, scared, and emaciated beagle, on the streets of Seattle.

Two men. One dog. When Flynn and Mac meet by chance in a park the next summer, there’s a problem—who does Barley really belong to? Flynn wants him back, but he can see that Mac rescued him and loves him just as much as he does. Mac wants to keep the dog, and he can imagine how heartbreaking losing him would be—but that's just what Flynn experienced.

A “shared custody” compromise might be just the way to work things out. But will the arrangement be successful? Mac and Flynn are willing to try it—and along the way, they just might fall in love.

PRE-ORDER from Dreamspinner Press and save 35% through Monday, November 28!

ebook
Paperback


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


I love this holiday. It's not really because of its historical significance, which can sometimes be contentious, but because of its message about being thankful for all we have.

This past year, I began a daily practice of posting to social media one thing I'm grateful for each day. The result of that has been surprising--I discovered the true abundance in my life of things I'm thankful for. The list is truly endless!

Also, like the quote above, making a daily practice of gratitude has opened my heart even more to the many gifts this life holds and how they permeate everything.

Thanks today especially to all of the people who take the time to read this blog and to be in touch with me, whether it's through here, through social media, e-mail, or even (gasp!) in person, I so appreciate the love and kindness we share...today and every day.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Saucy Excerpt from OUT ON THE NET

TODAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 23 GET OUT ON THE NET FREE AT AMAZON!

Out on the Net: A Love Story in Blog Form is all about a small-town young guy’s tentative steps toward self-acceptance and finding true love. Below is one of the saddest—and most hilarious—of those tentative steps.


BLURB
Ray Tolliver has bad timing. Cold feet? It doesn’t get much worse than accepting you’re gay twenty minutes before your wedding to a woman, yet that’s just what happens.

Join Ray as he recounts in his blog the hilarious and touching events that lead him on a journey toward true love. Although he originally starts looking for love in all the wrong places, will he eventually find another man who wants more than just quick sex? A man who appreciates romance, hearts, and flowers? Or will he find that self-acceptance and bliss do not always go hand-in-hand?

And what of Alice, Ray’s lovely, jilted fiancĂ©e? Will she find it in her heart to forgive the man who left her at the altar?
These questions and more are answered in this unique love story, told in the form of blog entries. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but you’ll come away with a renewed appreciation for the power and difficulties of loving not only others, but yourself…

Get your FREE copy at Amazon

EXCERPT: A VISIT TO "Lollipop Park"
Oh, I know what you’re going to say when you see the title of this entry. You’ll roll your eyes and probably think that things are going to get juicy and scandalous.
Because everyone in Summitville knows what goes on at that little rest stop just north of town, on the way to the highway. There’s a reason people snicker about it and call it “Lollipop Park.”
Are you rolling your eyes and hoping in every sense of the phrase that I will not go there?
Hang on to your hats, boys and girls, because I did go there. Sordid. Seedy. Shameful. I know. I went there in real life and I’m going there now on paper. Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
But I didn’t yet tell you why I drove out there just a couple of weeks after the disaster that was to have been my wedding day. And I haven’t yet related what happened there, so just hold your horses on your judgments, Mary. I am trying to learn to talk as I imagine a gay man would and it’s not coming easy. Case in point—calling you “Mary.” So stupid.
Anyway, Summitville, PA has no gay bars, no gay clubs, no gay newspaper. To the untrained eye, one might even claim the little riverside town has no gay people, but discerning minds know that in a town of 12,000, that can’t be true. If you take the more or less accepted rule of thumb of one in every ten people is gay (don’t ask me where I got that statistic; I’ve heard it all my life), that would mean there are at least 1200 people here just like me, or at least like me in that they prefer sausage over pie or vice versa.
I digress. Why did I stop by the rest stop, when I neither needed to rest, nor to pee? What made me go to that shadowy, stinking-of-excrement, gravel-fronted little rest stop with the obscene graffiti and lone men lingering too long in parked cars? What would possess a nice, clean, upstanding guy like me to wander out to a place known for anonymous sexual encounters?
Curiosity. Don’t give me that crap about killing the cat, either. It was curiosity. Because, you see, even though I knew now that I was a gay man, I had no idea what gay men did, where they went, how they met. Maybe if I lived in that big city to the west, Pittsburgh, with its gay bars and clubs, I would have a better idea. But here in Summitville, where when people think of “cornholing,” they think of a summertime game played with beanbags and slotted boards, I just hadn’t had much opportunity to know much about gay life—the ins and outs of it (yes, I hear you snickering…shut up!).
Ergo the rest stop, rest area, Lollipop Park, whatever you wanted to call it. It was my only frame of reference for where gay men met up. I had driven by many times, on my way to the mall, and had heard the whisperings and jokes about the place, had even pretended to find the idea of such a locale humorous. But when I was alone, I put the humor aside and toyed with the rumors I’d heard—that men sucked each other off in the woods nearby and sometimes even right there in the stalls; that guys picked each other up and went back to each other’s home for God knew what. Parcheesi? Root beer floats? I don’t think so. These ideas made me feel paradoxically sick and weak and, at the same time, queasy with desire.
So I decided that my first act as a gay man should be to meet another one. And my very limited frame of reference left this as my only option. The idea of driving up to Pittsburgh or down to Steubenville and setting foot in one of the gay bars there filled me with terror. I was so not ready to mingle with my more urban, and sophisticated, gay brethren.
So I was stuck with this seedy and unseemly choice. I pulled into the gravel parking lot, where several other cars were already sitting, and shrugged. What would be the worst that could happen? Okay, okay, I could be fag bashed or arrested…that would be the worst. But if I was careful, maybe I would come out of this at least knowing someone else like myself and maybe, oh God, just maybe, I would have my first sexual encounter with a man.
Whoa there, boy, you’re getting ahead of yourself! I quieted the lustful thoughts and the rising erection that both seemed to arrive of their own accord, with no prompting from me.
I sat in my car and looked around the little parking lot. It was around nine o’clock, dusky. A few fireflies danced in the air over the grassy area just ahead of our cars, where the Summitville park district had kindly put out a pair of decrepit looking picnic tables. Who would want to picnic here? And what was on the menu?
Shut up with the weenies comment, please!
Because of the dying light and the setting sun reflecting off car glass, it was hard to see any of the other occupants of the three other vehicles in the lot. One thing was for sure, though: from the silhouettes, I could tell that a lone male occupied each car. One of them was smoking; I could see the glow of the cherry at the tip of his cigarette as he brought it to his mouth and drew in.
What was I supposed to do now? I didn’t know, so I just sat in my car, the butterflies dancing in my stomach, for what seemed like hours, but was, in reality, only about fifteen minutes or so. I drew in a deep breath and gathered up my courage. Someone had to start something.
I rolled up my car windows and exited my Kia Soul, closing the door softly behind me. I used the remote over my shoulder to lock the car up as I headed to the little cinder block structure to my left. Even from here, the word, “MEN” beckoned in white on a blue background.
Promising.
I went inside and thought of uttering that old Bette Davis line, “What a dump!” and then chastised myself for being such a queen.
But the shitter, er, the restroom was not exactly a sight for sore eyes. It was dingy and dark, the only illumination came from a bare, low-watt bulb hanging from the ceiling. The paint-peeling industrial green walls looked like they would be damp to the touch. Flies buzzed around, obviously delighted with the luxurious accommodations. Cigarette butts and toilet paper littered the floor. Twin pieces of reflective metal, trying hard to find their motivation as mirrors, had been affixed to the wall above a pair of old, dripping, and rust-stained sink. On one wall was mounted a dispenser out of which one could get a condom for just a quarter. What was that doinghere? The whole place stank of urine and shit.
Isn’t it romantic?
If this was gay life, perhaps I should crawl back to Alice on my hands and knees and beg for forgiveness.
But, as the saying goes, “in for a penny, in for a pound,” I thought I should at least check out the rest of the place. See what some witty scribes had written on partition walls…
I headed over to the two toilet stalls and, after wiping the seat with a piece of single-ply toilet paper, I nervously sat down. Even though I had wiped the seat, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to lower my cargo shorts.
The first thing I spied was some graffiti that said, “10-4 good buddy, this is the place, pull down your pants and fuck my face.”
Charming!
I wondered what poet wannabe had written those lines on the wall and if any burly trucker had ever heeded its siren call. I searched in vain for more rhyming couplets, but none of the other graffiti matched its poetic flair. In fact, the rest of it was downright crude, exhortations to suck and be sucked, to fuck and be fucked, penis sizes, and messages left by people who cared so little about their privacy that they left phone numbers.
I could not imagine calling one of those numbers…or what kind of person would be hanging out on the other end of the line.
I stiffened—and not in a good way—as I heard footsteps. It was then that I noticed the hole drilled into the partition wall. It was just the right size to fit a hand—or, oh my Sweet Jesus, another part of the anatomy—through and positioned at waist height.
Did people really use that hole for what I thought they did?
Was there no romance in the gay world?
The footsteps neared my stall, and because there was no front door, I locked eyes with my new restroom buddy. He stopped in front of my stall and stared at me. I didn’t know what to do. Even though my shorts were up, I placed my hand over my crotch.
He had his hand over his crotch, too, and was rubbing it suggestively. He squeezed and I could see the outline of an erect cock beneath the denim.
Suddenly, my mouth felt dry and my heart was beating at double its usual rate. Good Lord, when had it gotten dark outside?
I eyed the man and he met my stare almost with a challenge in his eyes. He was about my age, but had long, stringy blond hair. He was too skinny and his bare arms (he was wearing a grimy wife-beater) were tattooed up and down their sinewy lengths. A hoop earring dangled from one ear, peeking in and out from the strings of his platinum locks as he glanced down at his own crotch, as if making sure it was still there.
My mouth was dry and I wanted to lick my lips, but was afraid of giving the wrong idea. I was learning fast that the language spoken here was with the eyes and not-so-subtle gestures.
Finally, he smiled at me and I saw he had what my mom used to refer to as “summer teeth.” Some are here. Some are there.
Suddenly, he reached for my crotch, as if to give it a neighborly squeeze. I swung my legs around to ensure his intended was out of his reach.
He sighed impatiently and ducked quickly into the stall next to mine. For a long time, there was silence and I dared not hazard a peek through the hole in the wall to see what my new buddy was up to.
But finally, I could stand the suspense no longer. I leaned forward a little, positioning my eye so it was level with the hole.
Boy, did I get an eyeful. Mr. Summer Teeth had had no compunction about dropping his drawers and working himself up into a frenzy. A huge cock, what I would estimate to be between eight or nine inches, rose up from between his tanned thighs. He worked it hard and there was a drop of precum poised at the slit in his head.
I have to admit it. My mouth wasn’t so dry anymore.
I watched. I think I was a little in shock. All kinds of things were running through me, making me feel both nauseous and lustful. I wanted that thing. I needed to get the hell out of here now.
He must have noticed me peering through the hole because the next thing I knew that big missile was coming right through it. Hey, buddy, watch it! You could take out someone’s eye with that thing!
Suddenly the cock was right in front of my face, dripping precum. With just a slight lean forward, I could have the pleasure of tracing a bulging purple vein with my tongue.
Did I touch it? Did I take it in my mouth?
Are you crazy? I ran out of there as fast as I could and if it didn’t mean being labeled as a drama queen, I would have said I rushed out screaming into the night.
As I drove away, tires sending up a spray of gravel behind me, I wondered if I would ever make a very good gay.



Get your FREE copy at Amazon

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Don't. Ever. Give. Up



I'm reading Wayne Dyer's book, I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, and this quote struck me as really pertinent for our times (and for life in general):

"Don't ever give up, trust in yourself, know that you can change the world, be fearless, reach out and serve those who are in need. And don't ever let anyone restrict you from what you feel deep within you, especially when they attempt to intimidate you."

Friday, November 18, 2016

An Open Letter to Mike Pence

This was too good not to share. It appeared recently on Huffington Post and I think it says much about our future...together. Thanks to author Martin Hyatt for writing it.

November 13, 2016
Dear Mr. Pence,
Congratulations on your victory. First of all, I believe that you and Trump/Pence supporters think that we are upset because the Democrats lost. True, we are upset that we lost the election, but we are marching in the streets because we are scared of you. We are terrified of people like you and of a government that aligns itself with hate and ignorance.
People like you and Donald Trump have a history of making America think that we will lose our civil rights. This is not about losing our civil rights. It is about losing the lives we have.
I am writing this to tell you that we are not going backwards. We are not starting from scratch.
There was a time in our country when we were rounded up, locked up, falsely arrested for sex crimes, and had to live our lives in shame. Just so you know, we are not doing that again. Those days are long gone.
There was a time in our country when many of us were psychologically tortured by our “Christian” relatives and were told that we were going to burn in hell. We were told that we are sinners and that there was no spiritual place for us in this world. We are not going backwards. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when there were no depictions of LGBT life on television or film. There was a time when we had no cultural role model because simply loving someone of the same sex was considered too provocative. We will not go back to being invisible. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when we were sent to therapy and mental health professionals because the shame that society put on us drove us to self-destructive behaviors. Some of us turned to drugs and alcohol to damage ourselves because people like you told us that we were already damaged. Some of us tried to take our own lives. People like you made us feel like there was something wrong with us. We will no longer harm ourselves to further empower you. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when we saw our friends and loved ones die in our arms because the government was slow to acknowledge a disease that impacted the entire world. Brilliant and beautiful people died in the prime of their lives thanks to denial and prejudice during the AIDS crisis. Some of thought that we were going to automatically die because we were different. Those days are long gone. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when as young men and women, we found ourselves on the streets of this country because our families had thrown us out. Some of us found ourselves without a family at all because they had disowned us. We are not going back to that. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when we had to sit with our families and keep quiet about who we were. This was when people did not fully understand what it was like to be around those who were openly gay. They did not understand that we were equal and not sick. We are not going to educate our families on bigotry and acceptance all over again. We are not going to have an open mind and let them process their feelings about what it means to be bigoted all over again. We already did that. We are not doing it again.
There was a time when we spent our lives with our partner but could not be married. If our partners died, the family would come out of the woodwork and take the money and estate, as they were the next of kin. We were left broke and broken and alone. This will not happen again. We are not going back to a time when we could not be married. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when people felt empowered by their bigotry and hatred of us. They felt this so much that they tied us to fences and crucified us in the middle of the night in open fields and darkened streets and in broad daylight. They bloodied us with violent fists and killed us. We are not going back to a time when people felt protected enough to kill us. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when we had to live in secret because we could lose our jobs and be refused service at businesses for being different. The law did not protect us from being discriminated against. We had to live in secrecy to feed ourselves and our families. We are not doing that again.
There was a time when we married members of the opposite sex just so we could fit in and seem normal. We ended up ruining the lives of others by emotionally hurting our spouses and complicating the lives of our children. We are not going back to trying that normalization. We are not doing that again.
Lastly though, I will tell you what we will do. There was a time when those who had been abused, beaten, and weathered rose up. And we marched and protested and fought against the hate that was all around us. That, vice-president elect, we aredoing again. We will do it again and again. We are not starting over. We are moving forward. The world has changed, and we are not going backwards.
We stood up and risked our lives and jobs and safety to earn our seat at the table. And with the help of kind leaders and brave politicians, we got that seat. You are not taking that away. We are already at the table. We are here. We are not coming to dinner. We are already at dinner. Sincerely,
Martin Hyatt,
Author/Professor, NYC

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NEW RELEASE! Truly A Miracle by Derrick Knight

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AboutTheBook


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TITLE: Truly A Miracle 

SERIES: The Innkeeper Series 

AUTHOR: Derrick Knight 

COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante 

LENGTH: 251 Pages 

RELEASE DATE: October 25, 2016 

BLURB: Dustin Hurst and Nathaniel Schmitt were happy when Nathaniel’s sister Natalie agreed to be their surrogate.  Both men were elated finding out that she was pregnant with twins.  Their dreams of becoming parents finally coming true, until one day, Natalie goes into preterm labor.  

Diana and Niles Hurst-Schmitt enter the world over two months premature. Immediately they’re transported to a nearby children’s hospital where doctors soon discover both twins have life threatening complications requiring surgical intervention.

During their children’s hospitalization, Dustin and Nathaniel grow fond of the many talented healthcare professionals working to heal their newborns, including the attractive dietitian Matt Bachmeier.  They think it’s only a matter of time before their babies are well enough to come home. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for the tiny infants resulting in Dustin and Nathaniel unexpectedly embarking on a terrifying journey witnessing their children fighting for their lives. 

As their medical crisis continues to unfold, Dustin and Nathaniel pray for a miracle their family so desperately needs. 


Excerpt   


“I don’t have a baker for tomorrow morning.” Nathaniel reached inside his coat pocket for his cellphone.  “I’m going to ask Mama if she could help.”

Dustin glanced at Nathaniel.

“It’s 1:30 in the morning.  I’m sure Marie is asleep.”

Nathaniel shook his head, his trembling hands making it difficult for him to punch the speed dial button.

“Who else can I ask?” Nathaniel put the receiver to his ear.  “My other staff is just part-time assistants, not trained professionals.  They couldn’t decipher the recipes or handle the volume of pastries needed for the morning rush.  Mama is the only person who could step into Natalie’s shoes without any problems.” After several rings, his mother answered.  “Mama, it’s Nathaniel.” Nathaniel fidgeted. “I’m sorry for calling so late, but I have a dilemma. Natalie was admitted to the hospital earlier and gave birth to the twins.  Don’t worry, she’s fine, but they were transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Oakhill.  Dustin and I are heading there now.” Nathaniel felt a sharp pain in his stomach. His hands were shaking. “Mama, I’m sorry I woke you up, but I’m in such a predicament.  You’re the first person I—”

“Breathe, Nathaniel.  Everything is going to be fine.” Marie sounded so clear and coherent, not at all sleepy. Nathaniel wondered if his mama had been up waiting for his call. She continued.  “Ray called Papa and me after he got her to the Emergency Room.  I thought you might be calling me asking for my help.  Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the bakery. Remember, I taught Natalie Marie everything she knows. I come from a long line of accomplished bakers. When I go in tomorrow, customers and staff will think it’s just another routine morning at Aunt Millie’s Bakery, I promise.”

Nathaniel sighed, collapsing back in his seat. “Thank you, Mama. You’ve really helped me out of a horrible predicament.”

“This is what mothers do for their children.” She paused.  “I’d do anything for you.  Just like I would for any of your brothers and sisters.  You kids are my greatest contributions to this world.” Then her tone changed to one containing a hint of humor. “I’m going to let you go.  After all, I’ve got to get up in a couple hours to get to my new job.  And don’t worry, Mama Schmitt is coming out of retirement.”

Nathaniel laughed, surprising himself.

“Thank you, Mama. You’re the best!”

“No problem.  Tell Dustin to drive carefully.  I don’t want to visit your whole family in the hospital.”

Nathaniel chuckled.

“Papa and my prayers are with all of you.  I love you, son.  Take care.” Then Marie ended their call.

Nathaniel turned to Dustin.

“Please hurry.  Our babies need us.”

“I’m already driving ten miles over the speed limit.” Dustin placed one hand on Nathaniel’s thigh.  “We want to get to the hospital in one piece.

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AuthorBio

Derrick Knight was born in Janesville, Wisconsin. Growing up, he always dreamed of becoming a writer. His grandmother got him hooked on reading mystery novels. It was in December 2011 that he purchased his first M/M romance novel. Instantly, he became hooked on the genre. After reading his first gay romance novel, he knew what type of books he wanted to write.

Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from University of Wisconsin- Stout, and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. He has worked in the healthcare field as a dietitian for over twenty-three years. For the past nineteen years, he has functioned as a neonatal nutritionist for a large Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Central Illinois. Currently, he lives in Peoria, Illinois.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

What, Me Worry?

Today, I'm grateful for what I consider the opposite of worry: hope.

This past week in social media (and in my own heart and mind), I've seen a tsunami of worry. But that same heart and mind knows how counterproductive worry is: 

it doesn't and can't change the future, 
it stresses and offers no solution,
it eats us up and spits us out relentlessly,
it asks for everything and gives nothing in   return. 


I ask you to join me in hope, sending positive energy out, and relying on our own strength and the strength of the perfect universe to not only wish for, but expect, our greatest good.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Call for Unity? Yes, but Not Yet...


This expresses so well what I've been feeling over the past few days. Sage words from a man whom I greatly admire--explaining why a "call for unity" from certain quarters may be premature right now. In part, John Pavlovitz says (but please read his whole blog!):
"Unity isn’t possible if the color of someone’s skin causes you to see them as less than human.Unity isn’t possible if you believe another to be morally inferior and seek to deny them the right to marry someone they love.Unity isn’t possible if you don’t grieve the shootings of one mother’s son as deeply as you would your own.Unity isn’t possible if you make a person’s faith tradition synonymous with terrorism.Unity isn’t possible if your Church advocates for the reduction of another’s basic civil liberties.Unity isn’t possible if you justify or ignore violence toward another because of their orientation, pigmentation, gender, or religion."
Read the whole essay here.

Please share!