Flash Fiction Friday – March 31, 2017 – Bonus Scene – ’Til Death Do Us Part

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m just using the one prompt word (jockstrap) that was left in the comments of last week’s post. In general I’ll use up to 15. If they aren’t left in the comments, then I may or may not grab some extras off a random word generator site. This week I went with not. 😜

Oh, and sorry, Nell, I broke the rule you attached to your word (“But you have to write something hotter than someone doing laundry and finding a hot jockstrap, that’s the rule 😉”). In fact, it’s literally found in the laundry.

Anyway, since April 3rd is the 1-year anniversary of the release of ’Til Death Do Us Part, I’m going with a bonus scene for that novel, today. The timeframe for this scene falls within the timeline of the story, rather than after it ends, so I suppose you could call it a missing scene. I picture this scene taking place shortly before the action in chapter 4, where Sam hands over his summer class to a grad student and surveys Henry’s office at the university.

For more bonus scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, as well as from a number of my other published stories, check out the “Bonus Scenes” tab in the menu at the top of the page.

Sam closed his eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath before reopening them and facing the hamper. In the days immediately following the news of Henry’s plane crash, he’d eyed the tall wicker basket despondently and had instead put his freshly used clothes directly into the laundry basket sitting atop the washing machine.

Would this be his last chance to catch Henry’s scent? It was already starting to fade on the sheets that were still on the bed. His heart wasn’t ready to give up hope, but it warred with the logical nature of his brain. Either way, he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t take care of Henry’s personal effects himself. Regina had offered to handle this task for him, but he’d declined. He both dreaded and wanted to do this himself. He squared his shoulders, removed the lid, and reached in.

His own pajama bottoms lay on top. The ones he’d been wearing when he’d awoken that fateful morning. After watching the news report, he’d been too distracted to think. Apparently, he’d opened the hamper out of sheer habit and tossed them in. He transferred them to one of the laundry baskets he’d placed beside the hamper. Next he quickly sorted the clothes he’d worn earlier that day.

Sam sighed and stared at Henry’s lime-green Nike stretchy fitted shirt that he’d worn when they’d gone cycling together earlier in the afternoon before the flight. Henry had wanted to get his blood flowing before he’d be stuck sitting in an airplane for thirteen hours. Sam’s heart skipped a beat as the sweaty musk that permeated the fabric wafted up to him. He reached, then froze with his hand suspended above the brightly colored material. A sob wobbled in his throat, and he fisted the shirt and clutched it to his chest. He desperately wanted to bury his nose in it, but a vocal corner of his brain cried out, arguing that it would be impossible to turn back, emotionally, if he let himself flounder in his pain.

He tossed the shirt into a waiting laundry basket and gaped at the next item in the hamper. The jockstrap Henry had worn beneath his biking shorts. In typical Henry style, it was a tantalizing cross between form and function. No strictly utilitarian underwear for Henry, but neither was it meant purely as a fashion statement. It was bright blue with a wide gray waistband—pretty, but functional. And rich with Henry’s personal fragrance.

Again, Sam’s fingers hovered over the garment before finally clasping the material. The tears he’d been holding at bay flowed freely as he clenched and flexed his hand around the material. He kept his hands down at his belly, that corner of his brain now positively screaming that he’d never be able to turn back from the abyss if he lost control here and gave himself over to the desperate desire to wallow in Henry’s scent. His hand shook as he transferred the skimpy garment to the laundry basket. He shivered, picturing himself turning into some shifty creeper that came home and sniffed undergarments in a baggie every night. He ran his fingers through his hair and steeled himself to quickly sort through the rest.

He stood and carried the first load to the washing machine, opened it, and tossed in the clothes and a detergent pod. The bright blue jockstrap teased him from the top of the pile. He closed his eyes and counted to ten as he fiddled with a button on his shirt. When he reopened them, the rational corner of his brain whispered: This needs to be done, regardless. Either Henry will want his clothes clean when he returns, or they’ll need to be clean when you pack them away. Sam pushed back when that reasonable part of his psyche pressed him to accept it was the latter, and aloud, he murmured to the empty house, “I know the odds that you’re still alive out there are far closer to ‘none’ than ‘slim,’ but I’m not ready to let go of you, yet.”

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

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King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate POV Switch Part 3

Promo - Teaser - King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate

So far I’ve posted the opening scene from King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate in two parts. This is the first part of the next scene. Links to the previous scenes can be found by clicking the Bonus Scenes tab in the menu at the top of the page. The published (FREE) short story is told entirely from Blaine’s POV. Using 1st-person perspective, here’s how George perceived this scene:

I opened the door to my apartment, and Blaine’s head swiveled as he cast his gaze around my living room. I mentally shrugged off the thought that perhaps he’d doubted my word when I’d assured him my apartment was clean, and put it down to basic human curiosity. Even so, I couldn’t resist a little poke.

“Told ya.”

“You’re a man of your word, George. I like that.”

I kept walking toward my bedroom, and Blaine stayed right on my heels. I stopped and turned when I reached the middle of the room. “I don’t suppose it would be a good idea to just rip that suit off you in a horny haze.” Not that I expected him to give me the go-ahead. I shuddered to think what the cost of the repairs would be. But, I had to admit, although I didn’t typically go for men who were as “high-end” as Blaine, he was damned hot in that getup. I made a quick adjustment, because my jeans were on the verge of becoming uncomfortable.

“I’d appreciate it if you managed to resist.”

I stifled a snort and pulled a straight-backed chair away from the wall. “Here…is this good enough to hang it on, or do you want me to dig a suit hanger out of the closet?”

“The chair’s fine.”

I walked into the bathroom as Blaine shrugged out of his jacket. I turned on the faucet and brushed my teeth. When I finished, I rummaged in the drawer for a spare toothbrush then stepped back into the bedroom. Blaine seemed like a hygienic sort, but even so, I tossed it through the air toward him.

“I like to kiss.” I added a wink, hoping he wouldn’t feel insulted, then pulled my T-shirt over my head.

Blaine stood in his shorts and undershirt staring at my chest, then he shook the deer-in-the-headlights look off his face and stepped into the bathroom. When he returned, I was down to my boxer briefs, folding down the bedspread. He smiled, I think at the sight of the fresh-looking sheets. I straightened and gave him a grin of my own. “It always bothers me when I go to someone’s place and the bed has more life growing on it than a Petri dish.” His smile widened, so I supposed my guess was right. Apparently, we had something in common. “Sex might be grubby, but the sheets don’t need to be—at least not ’til after.”

I removed his undershirt and tossed it toward the chair. His body was lean and toned. The sight of his smooth pale skin, essentially hairless except for the dark trail heading south from his navel sent a jolt of heat through me. His eyes widened, and his body stiffened slightly as I placed one hand on his jaw. He made no moves to indicate he was unwilling as opposed to just feeling a little awkward, so I moved in for a kiss.

His breath was minty-fresh, and his lips warmed as quickly as his body relaxed. His arms curled around my torso as he closed his eyes and seemed to melt in my arms. My skin tingled wherever his hands roamed. I deepened the kiss and cupped the back of his neck with one hand as his settled teasingly at my waist.

When I pressed our hips together, he moaned and opened his eyes. I broke the kiss, and my breath hitched as a grin stretched slowly across my face. My fingers lingered at his jaw.

“What?” Blaine panted.

I shook my head. “Nothing. Just pleasantly surprised.” Which was more than just a bit of an understatement. My heart raced, anticipating our next moves. I gestured toward the bed. “Come on. Skivvies off.”

Click this link for more information about King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate.

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Release Blitz! Bronze Star by A.E. Wasp #GIVEAWAY

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Veterans Affairs Series

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This Shy/Introvert’s Musings on #grl2017 #gayromlit #grl

GRL - GayRomLit

I came across a BuzzFeed article titled, 53 Pictures Only Introverts Can Truly Appreciate, that got me thinking about the upcoming GRL in Denver. These are the images that stood out for me:

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This is the mode I’m in now. It’ll pretty much take from now until October for me to gather the emotional strength to do this.

 

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Small talk.

It’ll be a requirement, but I am so very, very bad at it.

 

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Featured authors have some kind of spotlight thing they do. I figure a reading sounds less stressful than other options, but even so, I can totally picture this happening.

 

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I see all the excited people posting about how they can’t wait to see all their GRL friends again.

Again.

I’ll have enough trouble figuring out how to join in with other newbies, let alone already established groups.

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The whole point of attending GRL is to network with fellow authors and attract new readers. Will the cost/benefit ratio of this venture be worth it when the risk of me being this guy is so high?

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(I got this image from a Huffington Post article.)

Being shy is not the same as being introverted. In my case, though, I’m both.

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I’ve seen this image around a lot but nabbed it off the comments section of that BuzzFeed article. This is my best hope (other than and being über-prepared, ’cause that’s how I roll)—linking up with other introverts or shy/introverts so I don’t feel completely lost, yet am not overwhelmed.

GRL - GayRomLit

Release Blitz! Cozzi Cove New Beginnings by Joe Cosentino #EXCERPT #GIVEAWAY

Title:  Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings
Series: Cozzi Cove, book 4
Author: Joe Cosentino
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: March 27
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 55600
Genre: Romance, LGBT, gay, romance, contemporary, humor, disability, vacation resort, New Jersey, beach/shore, religion, children

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Treadmill Week 18 & What I #amreading

Treadmill Goals:

  • Get on the treadmill (or equivalent exercise) daily
  • Pace is fine at 30 min/mile, although I may up it on occasion
  • Time range between 30 minutes and 1 hour per day
  • Distance 1-2 miles per day
  • Read the chosen book, which I won’t allow myself to read outside of my treadmill time, hopefully motivating me to reach or exceed the above goals (the only exception to this is Saturday nights, if I want to finish off a book so I can start a fresh one for the new week)

Note: Although I will try to avoid them, my daily #amreading updates may or may not contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.

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What I #amreading: Abomination by Jaye Valentine

51WJ6Aq2vvL My favorite lines this week:

  • SUNDAY: Sighing, Scott closed the door and turned around to face his surprise visitor. “Which part of one-night-stand did you not get?”
  • MONDAY: “Your grasp of the obvious is mind-boggling,” Jesse said, following Scott into the living room. “Is that how you made detective?”
  • TUESDAY: Scott raised his arms in the air, closed his eyes and started swaying, but he didn’t picture Jesus in his head. A mental image of Jesse in a compromising position put a rapturous smile on Scott’s face with little effort, helping him to blend in.
  • WEDNESDAY: “That’s totally normal behavior,” Officer Nolan said to Scott. “If poor people are crazy and rich people are eccentric, there’s a whole mess of eccentric in that family.”
  • THURSDAY: Ivan mimicked the gesture. “You’re awfully smart for such a pretty boy.”
  • FRIDAY: “I have a bad feeling about his.” Kevin yanked off the covers. “I hope this plan was worth the cost.”
  • SATURDAY: Jesse held his tongue and turned his head in the opposite direction, not surprised at how little he cared about his father’s opinion.

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Week 18: March 19, 2017 – March 25, 2017

DAY PACE TIME DISTANCE
Sunday  30 min/mile  31:32 min:sec  1 mile
Monday  30 min/mile  31:58 min:sec  1 mile
Tuesday  30 min/mile  31:09 min:sec  1 mile
Wednesday  30 min/mile  34:13 min:sec  1.1 miles
Thursday  30 min/mile  33:53 min:sec  1.1 miles
Friday  30 min/mile  31:28 min:sec  1 mile
Saturday  30 min/mile  33:47 min:sec  1.1 miles

#RainbowSnippets – March 25, 2017 – WIP with Wes & Mike

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Rainbow

Today I’m posting a snippet from an as-yet-unnamed WIP which will be a total from-the-ground-up overhaul of my old story A Dream Come True. The rewrite is told entirely from Mike’s 1st person POV (whereas the original was in both Mike and Wes’s 3rd person POV). While it will be essentially retelling the same basic story, this overhaul is significant enough I feel it deserves a fresh and shiny new title.

These 8 lines (sorry, had to finish the trail of thought) continues where last week’s post (ending with Point being, there were plenty of things I’d rather do than face another roommate interviewee) left off:

I missed Amber already. I even missed the side-eye squint she’d leveled in my direction whenever I left the toilet seat up.

I hit “play” on the iPod attached to the stereo, and Paul Simon started singing Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. My head bopped to the beat as I approached the sliding glass balcony door to stare down over the parking lot.

The immortal words of Thomas H. Palmer came to mind. “’Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I’d be willing to bet Mr. Palmer had never endured a new roommate search culminating with a guy who didn’t think anything of showing up to the interview stoned out of his mind, or tried to politely extricate himself from a non-stop chatterbox who either couldn’t or wouldn’t pick up on clues it was time to leave. At least the homophobe hadn’t wasted any time clearing out.

#RainbowSnippets


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Rainbow Snippets

Flash Fiction Friday – March 24, 2017

Flash Fiction Friday

I’m doing something slightly different today. I waited (for the 3rd week in a row) until Thursday afternoon to write the post, but that turned out to be a good thing because I stumbled upon this “daily writing prompt”…

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…over at the Writers Write blog on Thursday and decided to use it along with the one prompt word (disappointment) that was left on last week’s post.

So here you go—10 items found in the rubbish, and 1 prompt word. Although this does continue with the same characters from last week, I’ll file it under Random Standalone Flash Fiction because I don’t intend for them to become recurring characters. I’ll revisit that if I change my mind down the road.

It had to be in here. Grant used a finger and thumb to gingerly pick up a rotting banana peel and toss it aside. He shuddered. Who put food remains in their bedroom trash can, anyway. No wonder the room reeked.

“Ew,” he muttered. The used condom could sift to the bottom. He wasn’t touching it despite the fact that Dreamy Daniel from the carnival had worn the thing. At least he assumed it had been Daniel and not Andy wearing the rubber. Either way, no doubt it was a contributor to the funky odor. The crumpled tissues and wet wipe were probably related, and also not anything Grant wanted to touch. He fetched a pair of tongs from the kitchen, because clearly this job needed either that or rubber gloves. This mission had better be worth it.

An empty chocolate syrup container, a candle stub, and an empty can of Reddi Whip came out next. Grant shook his head. Had they made banana splits in the bedroom, or drizzled this shit all over each other and licked it off? He could get behind the latter option, at least if he was one of the participants.

Good grief. An empty champagne bottle and about a dozen bitten off strawberry tops? On a first date? Andy’d pulled out all the stops for this guy. Even if Grant managed to finagle a date with the man, he’d be hard put to compete with this shit.

As he lifted off the last few strawberry greens the paper he was after emerged. Grant’s shoulders slumped with disappointment when he saw it. Daniel’s name was readable, but the ink for the phone number underneath it had run and speared into an illegible mess. Andy’s phone was the only hope of retrieving it, now. That or flirting with the man right in front of Andy. No, he felt low enough going through Andy’s trash. What plausible excuse could he have given even if he’d discovered the number, anyway? It was time to concede defeat. He sighed and returned the garbage to the plastic can.

Andy stood in the doorway with a hiked eyebrow when Grant turned to leave. “Find what you were looking for?”

“My self-respect? No, left it behind.”

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

Camp NaNoWriMo & Progress Report

Camp NanoWriMo

I swore I’d never do it again, but here I am, signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. My goal is a very modest 20k words to be used to finish my current project, which is a total rewrite of an as yet unnamed story that was previously published using the title A Dream Come True. The story is undergoing such a complete revision that it deserves a new title. I am not merely editing the existing words. I’ve got the old story open as a guideline as I rewrite it in 1st-person from a single POV (Mike’s). The old version was in 3rd-person alternating POV. The gist of the story remains the same, but a number of details are also changing.

I will be doing the same thing for Another Dream, and Dreaming of You, for which I plan a bit of an expansion from novelette to short novel length.

Cultivating Love - Cover

I recently finished my facelift to Cultivating Love, which also includes an expansion from Novella to short novel length with the addition of about 6k words. The contract for the first edition with Loose ID runs through June 9th. They’ve acknowledged receipt of my notification that I won’t be renewing again this year. Presumably the first edition will be available through that date, but I don’t know for sure, so if you want a copy of that edition you’ll need to get on it before then. The revised and expanded second edition will become available at JMS Books, LLC on June 24th in ebook format, and on June 30th in print format. I don’t have the new cover yet, but I’ll share it once I do.


Camp NanoWriMo

Blog Tour! A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove #EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT #GIVEAWAY

Title:  A Boy Worth Knowing
Author: Jennifer Cosgrove
Publisher:  NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint
Release Date: March 20
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 62200
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, bisexual, romance, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, coming of age, ghosts, family drama, high school, bullying

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