May 31, 2017 Prompt – Adventures with Harrison and Mason #FlashFic

I came across this list of writing prompts for May, 2017 on the Writer’s Write page and thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m going to try for a series of drabbles (precisely 100-word scenes) that will flow together featuring the characters from my Adventures with Harrison and Mason flash fiction story scenes.

May-Prompts

May 31, 2017 — I Almost Forgot

(Harrison’s 3rd-person POV)

“There!” Harrison smoothed a hand over the homemade quilt he’d spread over Gramps’ bed. “Does it feel like you’re settled in, now?”

The boxes they’d shipped with Gramps’ belongings had arrived today, and they’d had fun finding places for each of his treasures throughout the house. “It feels like home.” Gramps grinned, and one of his trademark chortles escaped him. “Thank you. I almost forgot how to laugh, then you three swooped in and reminded me.”

The back door slammed open and Jaxon shouted. “Gramps! You’ve got to come and see! You’ll never guess what! We have fossils here, too!”

The End!

Within a couple days I’m going to put this series all together in a single post to make it easier to read, then I’ll remove the individual posts from the “Adventures with Harrison and Mason” and the other flash fiction categories so they won’t clog them up. In the meantime, all the drabbles in this series using the May, 2017 prompts can be found here (note: to read them in order, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the category list and read up from there).

Guest Post! Frank at Heart (Foothills Pride 6) by Pat Henshaw #Excerpt #Giveaway

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Title:  Frank at Heart

Series: Foothills Pride series, #6

Author: Pat Henshaw

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: May 31, 2017

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 30,236 words

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

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Synopsis

FrankAtHeart-Cover

Everything about thirty-five-year-old Stone Acres hardware store owner Frank McCord is old-fashioned—from his bow tie and overalls to the way he happily makes house calls to his dreams of lasting romance, true love, and marriage. Frank’s predecessors have run the store and been mainstays in the small California town for over a century. While genial Frank upholds tradition and earns the respect of friends and neighbors, he fears he’s too dull and old to attract a husband.

Into his life comes handsome thirty-six-year-old electronic games designer Christopher Darling and his fifteen-year-old son, Henry. Christopher has everything Frank could want in a potential partner: charm, kindness, and compatibility. Also, he’s a terrific father to Henry. When their Stone Acres home turns out to be uninhabitable, Frank offers the Darlings temporary lodging in his ancestral farmhouse, where he and his tenant Emil reside. Since Emil thinks Frank is his, sparks fly. Suddenly, Frank’s monotonous life promises to explode with love and threatens to change him forever.

Excerpt

My procedure for hiring was pretty simple. In the identification section of the test, I gave applicants a common nail, a Phillips head screw, a paint stirrer, a tape measure, a claw hammer, a screwdriver, a crescent wrench, pliers, a putty knife, and a box cutter. I gave these objects one at a time to the teen and asked him to identify what the object was, when to use it, and how to use it.

Then I gave the applicant six pieces of precut plywood, eight corner angles, tools, and other supplies, and had him—it was usually a him—follow simple directions to make a box with a hinged flap. The whole test was either incredibly easy or horribly complex and frustrating.

My first applicant was a poster boy for the latter. He called both the nail and the screw a screw, then dissolved into a fit of adolescent giggles. I waited for his mirth to subside. He had no idea about any of the tools except the box cutter, which he simply called a wicked-ass knife.

As I walked into the back room with him for the second part of the test, I was appalled at how little he knew and wondered why he wanted to work at a hardware store. Was it just the money?

I stopped him after watching for five minutes as he tried to figure out how to make the box. When he looked at me with defeat in his eyes, I called a halt.

“Thank you for coming in, Seth. I think we both know this job wouldn’t be a good fit for you.” I looked over his application form. “I think working at one of the mall stores might be more your speed, don’t you?”

He nodded eagerly. “But my folks say that you’re more established and fairer than the mall stores. I wanted to work for the coffee shop or the movie theater.”

“Well, you can tell your parents I appreciate their support, but I’m voting for you to be a real success at either of those other two choices.”

He beamed. As we shook hands, I knew his dad would be in later this week to talk about his son.

Henry turned up alone at two o’clock, and I ran him through the first part of the test. We only hit one snag. We got along too well and ended up having side discussions about the items.

When I handed him the nail, for example, he took it between his fingers and caressed it.

“It’s a two-penny flat-head nail.” He rolled it around for a second. “You know, they used to keep nails in big casks like they do wine. Then they sold them by weighing them. They’d scoop them up out of the barrels.”

Well, I mean, what was I supposed to do? Ignore that? Of course not. I took him into the back room where we stored everything we’d removed when my father updated the store in the 1970s. I showed him the old scoop-shaped scale, and we weighed a few nails and other items hanging around.

“This is so cool, Frank. You should put it back on the counter. I’ll bet everyone would want to see it. It’d give the store an epic feel.”

I wasn’t sure I agreed about the epic part, but maybe it was time to give the store another more modern redesign.

We scurried out of the back room when the bell tinkled and we could hear someone walking around the front of the store talking to Riley. I tried to stop giving Henry the first part of the test, since he still had the box to build. But when we saw the customer was his father, who seemed to be fascinated by the wall of power tools, Henry took out the remaining items in the little bag.

He held them up one at a time and rattled off their names and purposes.

“There!” he crowed, smiling up at me. “Now what do you want me to make?”

I showed him the wood, tools, and directions and left him to the project. When I saw he was reading through the directions, I walked over to his dad. Riley’d already moved back behind the counter and seemed to be working on some inventory sheets.

“I’m not here to ask how he’s doing, so don’t think I am.” Christopher didn’t turn around when I got up behind him. He was staring at the power saws.

“He’s doing fine.” I didn’t step too close, but drat if I didn’t want to. I wanted to put my hand on his shoulder and squeeze. Or if I was even bolder, I’d put my arm around his waist and snuggle his head back onto my shoulder.

Weren’t those counterproductive daydreams? Now I’d have to wait a moment before I could go back to check on Henry. Overalls worn in public, especially if I was in the vicinity of Christopher, were my groin’s personal enemy.

Christopher turned his head. We were close enough to kiss if I leaned in a little more. I didn’t. Instead I stepped back, although I did smile.

“Can I peek?” Christopher was whispering like we had secrets.

I leaned back and looked over my shoulder at his son. Henry was nearly finished with the box. He was studying the directions like they were a map to the El Dorado treasure.

“Sure. Go ahead and peek. He’s just about done.”

I sounded as stunned as I felt. First off, Christopher and I were standing too close and whispering. I felt his warmth, and my cheeks burned. As I tried to shake myself back to reality, the second reason I was a little stunned hit me. Henry was on the final step of building the box. How could he be done so quickly?

As I walked back toward him, he held the box at eye level in one hand and opened and closed the hinged door. Henry looked up as I entered the workroom.

“I don’t get it,” he said. The hinged door snapped shut as he let it go. “What’s it for?”

He seemed so puzzled that I started to chuckle. Then at his stricken look, I stopped.

“It’s not useful in itself. It’s just a test to see if you can follow directions and know how to use the tools.”

His face darkened as I explained.

“You use up all of this stuff for that? Anybody can make this.” He put the box down, acting a little disdainful and a lot put out.

“You’d be surprised.” I didn’t elaborate. Why tell him that another boy who was in the same grade couldn’t figure out the directions at all?

I picked up the box and studied it. He’d done a remarkable job in so little time. He’d even used the flush piano hinges instead of the more cumbersome butt hinge, even though the directions didn’t specify which would be better for the project. His box opened and closed easily, and the corners made perfect ninety-degree angles.

I started to put the box down, but Christopher reached for it. I passed it over and watched a moment as he held it up, a look of awe on his face.

“Henry, this is—” he started, but his son stopped him.

“Dad, I’m taking a test here.”

With a sheepish grin and an amused side-glance at me, Christopher put the box down, said a short “Sorry,” and returned to the front of the store.

Again, I hid my amusement at how well they interacted and shelved my amazement at how Christopher had shared the moment with me. I ran my hand over the top of the box. This one I’d keep.

As I was about to find out when Henry could start work, the bell tinkled. I looked over my shoulder to see a newcomer hurry in. His sneakers squeaked on the wood floor.

“Hi. You the owner?” he greeted me.

I looked around for Riley but couldn’t see him anywhere. Had he called it a day and gone home? I wouldn’t blame him. Except for the Darlings, it’d been slow.

When I nodded at the customer, he launched into a fairly typical request. He and his wife had bought some Ikea furniture, and now he couldn’t put it together. I told him what I told everyone, to bring it into the shop and we’d assemble it for him.

Then I told him the setup fee, said it would take a week or so, and took down his name and contact information as he started to thank me. After I told him the store was actually closing right now, he left reluctantly, looking at the merchandise around him as he shuffled to the door. This time I locked it and put out the Closed sign. Christopher had said he wanted me to visit the Adams-Scott House this afternoon, but first I had to hire Henry officially.

“So, Henry, when would you like to start?”

He was staring at the door and the escaping customer. I had to ask the question twice.

“Who puts together the Ikea stuff?” Henry responded instead of giving me a date.

“Riley and I do. When we get a chance. We do it between other things. Why?” The truth was we both hated assembling the furniture because it was tedious.

“May I do it?” The eagerness in his question caught me off guard.

“You want to put together Ikea furniture?” He didn’t mean it, did he?

“Yeah. Cool. I love Ikea!” Henry beamed at me as if to ask “Doesn’t everyone?”

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♡ Guest Post ♡

Christopher’s Dilemma

When I was first thinking about Frank at Heart, I planned to have Christopher and his fifteen-year-old son Henry move into the historic Adams-Scott house and decide to upgrade it themselves.

This would entail many trips to Frank’s hardware store because they wouldn’t have any idea how to do everyday plumbing, electrical, and other repairs. Since Christopher is a electronic games designer and his son almost lives on the Net, I figured they’d go to YouTube and other Internet sites to “learn” how to fix their house.

I was familiar with this way of working since our daughter, who lived in Rome for a few years and recently moved to Vermont, has been doing repairs following online instructions since college.

Her most recent foray into the area of home maintenance was to fix water damage to the wall in her bathtub enclosure.

She successfully pulled off the ceramic tiles without breaking any of them. Then she pulled down the drywall and saw the real damage. Going online, she researched the heck out of the necessary repairs and even tried to do some of them.

But she, like so many of us, realized that the job wasn’t a do-it-yourself amateur one, but one requiring the help of a professional.

When I realized that Christopher and Henry were faced with the same kind of make-a-mess-of-it before calling an expert, I knew I didn’t want them floundering back and forth, taking up the majority of the novella.

Then my husband came home from his weekly breakfast with former reporter cronies and told me about one of them who was having his upstairs bathroom repaired because of a water leak. Come to find out, the person who originally put in the bathroom hadn’t braced the room properly and it could have fallen through to the floor below at any time.

Suddenly I had the answer to my problem, and Christopher’s real dilemma began.

What happens? Oh, no. I’m not answering that question because I really want you to read the book and fall in love with Frank, Christopher, and Henry the way I did.

Suffice it to say, what happens can’t be fixed with an Internet search for do-it-yourself repairs.

Speaking of repair problems, have you or anyone you know had horrific situations that a simple DIY fix wouldn’t solve? What happened? Was it ultimately fixable? I’d love to know.

Meet the Author

PatHenshaw
Pat Henshaw has spent her life surrounded by words: teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.

Now retired, Pat, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, was born and raised in Nebraska and promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and now Sacramento, California. Pat has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Stowe, Vermont, to see family.

Two of her fondest memories include touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.

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Tour Schedule

May 29 – Sharing Links and Wisdom | Love Bytes
May 30 – Sapphyria’s Steamy Books
May 31 – Divine Magazine | Stories That Make You Smile
June 1 – A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog
June 2 – Bayou Book Junkie

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May 30, 2017 Prompt – Adventures with Harrison and Mason #FlashFic

I came across this list of writing prompts for May, 2017 on the Writer’s Write page and thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m going to try for a series of drabbles (precisely 100-word scenes) that will flow together featuring the characters from my Adventures with Harrison and Mason flash fiction story scenes.

May-Prompts

May 30, 2017 — Just Sick of It

(Mason’s 3rd-person POV)

Mason settled into his seat on the airplane, turned to Gramps, and patted his hand. “So what made you finally decide to accept my offer?”

“Eh.” Gramps shrugged. “I guess I was just sick of it.”

“It?” Mason quirked an eyebrow.

“Being the last man standing. All my friends have died off or been moved into nursing homes.”

Mason shivered as a chill flickered through him. “I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be.” Gramps winked and squeezed his hand. “It’s better than the alternative, right? And I’ve still got my wits and my health, and now I have you, Harrison, and Jaxon.”

To be continued tomorrow using ‘I almost forgot.’

All the drabbles in this series using the May, 2017 prompts can be found here (note: to read them in order, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the category list and read up from there).

In the Spotlight! Fraud Twice Felt (Oddities 2) by J.T. Hall

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About Fraud Twice Felt

Three weeks after solving his old boyfriend’s murder, bounty hunter Derwin Bryant is trying to let go of the past and embrace his new life with Elliot Leed, a former rentboy and fellow Oddity. Elliot, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to working at Bob’s Bail Bonds and having a real relationship despite his strange power of Object Reading. Hanging over the couple is the fear that Roy Yoshiro, notorious gang lord, will make good on his threats to claim Elliot. If that happens, not even Derwin’s superhuman strength will be enough to protect the man he loves.

Their concerns are overshadowed when Derwin’s friend asks for help finding her missing son. It’s not long before the case takes Derwin and Elliot back to the crime-ridden underbelly of the city and straight into Yoshiro’s clutches. Two gangs are vying for power, and Derwin and Elliot get caught in the middle of their very public fight.

Derwin and Elliot must find a way to thwart both gangs’ plans and escape alive. This time, one misstep could spell disaster for all the inhabitants of Nis.

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/fraud-twice-felt

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About The Oddities Series

The government wants to control Oddities. Regular people condemn them. And the corporations want to study their DNA . . .

Derwin Bryant is a bounty hunter, a demon hunter, and has an Oddity that allows him to feed on pain to increase his strength and speed. Elliot Leed is a rent boy turned private investigator with a rare Oddity of his own—the ability to read objects with strong emotional imprints. Together they take on cases that no one else can, in a city full of corruption, crime, and the forgotten poor.

It’s a tough place for two men in love to make a difference.

Check out The Oddities! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/oddities

About J.T. Hall

J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her Master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.

Connect with J.T.:

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May 29, 2017 Prompt – Adventures with Harrison and Mason #FlashFic

I came across this list of writing prompts for May, 2017 on the Writer’s Write page and thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m going to try for a series of drabbles (precisely 100-word scenes) that will flow together featuring the characters from my Adventures with Harrison and Mason flash fiction story scenes.

May-Prompts

May 29, 2017 — Pack Your Bags

(Mason’s 3rd-person POV)

Boxes full of Gramps’ belongings that had special meaning to him were stacked in the living room. Mason hefted suitcases up from the basement storage room. Harrison, Gramps, and Jaxon were sprawled on the sofa taking a much-deserved break.

“I’ll order us some pizza for dinner,” Mason said. “Then we’ll clear the clothes and stuff you’re taking on the plane off your bed and pack your bags.”

“Yay for pizza!” Jaxon cried.

“Sounds perfect.” Harrison turned to Gramps. “I hope you’re not too sad about leaving here.”

“Not as sad as I would’ve been waving goodbye to you three tomorrow.”

To be continued tomorrow using ‘just sick of it.’

All the drabbles in this series using the May, 2017 prompts can be found here (note: to read them in order, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the category list and read up from there).

May 28, 2017 Prompt – Adventures with Harrison and Mason #FlashFic

I came across this list of writing prompts for May, 2017 on the Writer’s Write page and thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m going to try for a series of drabbles (precisely 100-word scenes) that will flow together featuring the characters from my Adventures with Harrison and Mason flash fiction story scenes.

May-Prompts

May 28, 2017 — No. 4C

(Mason’s 3rd-person POV)

“Got it done.” Mason placed his laptop on the coffee table and looked at Gramps. “The flight wasn’t full. For now, you’re in seat No. 4C, but when we get there I’d like for either Harrison or I to switch with you.”

“See, that’s what I don’t want to do—interfere with your family,” Gramps said.

Harrison placed a hand on Gramps’ knee. “You are part of our family. Accommodating needs is not ‘interfering.’”

Please, Gramps.” Jaxon turned on his patented “cow eyes” expression. “But, I want to sit next to you on the plane.”

Gramps cackled. “Clearly, I’m outmaneuvered.”

To be continued tomorrow using ‘pack your bags’

All the drabbles in this series using the May, 2017 prompts can be found here (note: to read them in order, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the category list and read up from there).

Treadmill Week 27 & 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.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

What I #amreading: Enigma by Nephy Hart

This is one of the items I won in that online charity auction benefitting LGBT Chechens.

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My favorite lines this week:

  • SUNDAY: Quite suddenly, it occurs to me that I’m staring and not being very professional at all. I force a tight, professional smile, not the goofy grin that’s threatening to break out at any moment.
  • MONDAY: I groan exaggeratedly. “You know what she’s like when she’s getting ready. I’ll starve to death while we’re waiting.”
  • TUESDAY: “Well, the choice is pretty simple. You can either wear jeans and a T-shirt, or jeans and a T-shirt… or jeans… and a T-shirt.”
  • WEDNESDAY: “Want to talk?” Do I? Do I want to talk about all the things I’ve been bottling up for so long? Do I want to talk about a chapter in my life that’s been closed for ten years? Do I want to pick the scab off that sore place that almost tore me in half?
  • THURSDAY: I’ve no interest at all in seeing what he paints; I’m too fascinated by watching him do it. He seems completely sure of what he’s doing. There are no pauses, no stepping back to ponder; he just paints.
  • FRIDAY: 😔
  • SATURDAY: Surprised, I smile at him. “Of course.” Taking the brush, I stand behind him and brush his hair, relishing the way it feels as it flows through my fingers, watching him in the mirror. He tilts his head back slightly and half closes his eyes, the expression on his face one of pure pleasure.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Week 27: May 21, 2017 – May 27, 2017

DAY PACE TIME DISTANCE
Sunday  30 min/mile  30:53 min:sec  1 mile
Monday  30 min/mile  41:27 min:sec  1.3 miles
Tuesday  30 min/mile  30:16 min:sec  1 mile
Wednesday  30 min/mile  31:57 min:sec  1 mile
Thursday  30 min/mile  30:19 min:sec  1 mile
Friday  30 min/mile  1 hour  Mowed Yard
Saturday  30 min/mile  30:38 min:sec  1 mile

Release Blitz! Find His Way Home by Nell Iris #Excerpt #Giveaway

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 19,884 words

Publisher: JMS Books

Blurb

Shakespeare-loving teacher Elliot Dunn has been unhappy living in the big city for a long time. He yearns for fresh air, visible stars, and stillness, but his relationship with divorce lawyer Mick Hudson keeps him from moving away.

When a dramatic event occurs in Elliot’s class, he’s shaken to his core and suddenly can’t stay anymore. He leaves his partner of two years behind and returns to the tiny town in the mountains where he grew up.

Living in a rented cabin in the woods, with only an owl for company, Elliot slowly regains his peace of mind. But being away from Mick is agonizing, and when a ghost from Elliot’s past pays him a visit, everything comes to a head.

Elliot is faced with a hard decision. Should he stay on the stress-free mountainside alone, or return to the hustle of the city and try to make a life with Mick?

Excerpt

He spent the rest of the afternoon pacing his living room with Lady Gaga blasting from the speakers. He heard his phone ring at some point, but ignored it and kept pacing, rubbing his palms on his head, tousling his short hair. The phone rang several more times, but Elliot walked and walked, until the front door flung open and a wild-eyed Mick stood there, glaring at him.

Mick’s gaze roved over him, making sure he was okay, and then he marched over to the stereo and cut off Gaga in the middle of a rah-rah. “What the hell, Elliot?”

The curse stopped Elliot’s pacing, and he stared at his lover with wide eyes. His well-spoken, hot-shot lawyer partner never used profanities. During their time together, Elliot had heard him swear maybe once or twice, and him doing it now knocked the wind out of Elliot’s fury. He groaned, grabbed his lover’s hand, and hauled him over to the couch where he sank down, pulling Mick with him.

“I’m sorry. But I’m angry.”

“I can tell. What happened?”

“I let them buy me, that’s what happened.” Elliot spat out the words.

“What?” The question was so loud Elliot flinched. Mick sighed, stood and shook off his coat, unbuttoned his suit jacket, and kicked off his shoes. Then he sat back down, turned to Elliot, and wrinkled his nose when he saw the state of his hair. “It looks like you’ve tried to pull it out,” he muttered, and ran his fingers through Elliot’s locks, trying in vain to tame it. “Tell me what happened.”

When Elliot had recounted the afternoon’s events, Mick grabbed his hands and drew him closer, and he followed willingly. He ended up straddling Mick’s lap, arms around his neck, and his forehead leaning on his lover’s shoulder.

“I’m so sorry,” Mick mumbled and rubbed his stubble against Elliot’s temple.

“I shouldn’t have taken the money,” Elliot grunted. “I’m so stupid.”

“You’re not stupid. You had no other choice.”

“There’s always another choice.”

“What else could you have done?”

“I could have told them to go fuck themselves,” he gritted out. He took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down. “Or I could quit.”

It was several minutes before Mick asked, “And do what?”

Elliot held his breath for a moment before whispering, “I could go back home.” Mick stiffened. “I hate it here.”

“I know.” The thickness of Mick’s voice hit Elliot like a freight train, but he didn’t take back his words. He couldn’t.

“I have to go home. At least for a while. I need silence.” He caught his lower lip between his teeth to stop it from quivering. “This was the last drop, you know?”

Mick nodded and tightened his arms around Elliot until they felt like bands of steel surrounding him. “What about us?”

“I don’t know.” He hesitated. “You could come,” he whispered, knowing what the answer would be.

He heard Mick inhale a shuddering breath, and a drop of wetness landed on Elliot’s cheek. “I wish I could.” Mick voice trembled.

“I can’t stay. Even for you, honey.” Elliot was crying now too, big hot tears wetting Mick’s expensive wool suit jacket.

“I know.”

When their tears finally dried, they spent the rest of the night making desperate love, saying nothing, letting their bodies do all the talking.

Two days later Elliot was back home, enjoying the peace and quiet in a freezing cabin in the mountains. Trying to stifle the disillusionment he felt with the world and himself, while hoping he would have time to get over it before it was time to go back to work.

Author Bio

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

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#RainbowSnippets May 27, 2017 – Cultivating Love

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

On June 24th I’ll be releasing a rewritten and expanded 2nd edition of Cultivating Love at JMS Books, LLC (You can still get the 1st edition through Loose ID probably through June 8 or 9). This snippet is from one of the new scenes that takes place about 1/3 of the way into the story and picks up where I left off last week. It’s unedited at this point, and is told from Ed’s 3rd-person POV. For those familiar with the story, this bit takes place on Ed’s way back home after his first encounter with Stan at the Farm & Feed store:

The wind blew through Ed’s hair and rippled his shirt. His shoulders drooped as he slowly pivoted in place. This was where his father—a man he’d never met, but who’d apparently cared for him on some level—had taken his last breath. He’d died instantly. That’s what the reports said. His neck had been broken in the crash. How truly immediate was “instantly”? Was the word overused? Had there been a moment or two of fade-to-black, knowing he was dying? No doubt he’d had a few seconds leading up to that where he’d known he was likely to be injured, at the very least.

Cultivating_Love_400Blurb

A man of few words, Joe is a hard-working farmhand who likes his simple, uncomplicated life. Ed is satisfied with his existence as an auto mechanic, but thrilled when an unexpected development in his life allows him to help Joe realize a dream.

It forces them, however, to reevaluate the casual, undefined nature of their relationship. They’re too macho to speak of love, and neither would acknowledge he doesn’t really mind when it’s his turn to bottom. When life throws them a curve ball, and the rules of their game get old, Ed tries to take every aspect of their relationship up a notch. Can Joe adapt to the open sentimentality Ed’s injecting into their relationship, let alone the new spice in their bedroom activities?

This is a previously published story that has been rewritten, expanded, and re-edited.

#RainbowSnippets


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Kindle Unlimited

As with all my books at JMS Books, LLC, Cultivating Love will be available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription (as well as available in other formats at all the usual distributors).

Some of the ebook preorder links are up (print links pending):

JMS Books | Amazon Kindle Universal Link | Kobo

 

Rainbow Snippets

May 27, 2017 Prompt – Adventures with Harrison and Mason #FlashFic

I came across this list of writing prompts for May, 2017 on the Writer’s Write page and thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m going to try for a series of drabbles (precisely 100-word scenes) that will flow together featuring the characters from my Adventures with Harrison and Mason flash fiction story scenes.

May-Prompts

May 27, 2017 — Hey, Ho!

(Mason’s 3rd-person POV)

Hey, ho!” Mason cheered. “Gramps, I promise you won’t regret it.”

“Yay!” Jaxon bounced and ran to Gramps and hugged him. “How soon before you move in with us?”

“We’ve already worked that out,” Harrison said. “We’ll use our last day here tomorrow helping Gramps sort out and box up what he wants to keep and bring to Minneapolis. We’ll book another seat on our flight, and he’ll bring a couple suitcases with him. The boxes we’ll ship, and hire someone to deal with the rest.”

Gramps nodded. “I figured a ripping off the Band-Aid fast approach might be best.”

To be continued tomorrow using ‘No. 4C’

All the drabbles in this series using the May, 2017 prompts can be found here (note: to read them in order, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the category list and read up from there).