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.

#RainbowSnippets – March 18, 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 are the opening 6 lines:

Chat up a telemarketer—that was one thing I’d rather do. Or engage in a conversation with someone handing out religious tracts on a street corner. Maybe ask that burly guy with the perpetual frown at the Express Lube to help me out with a little manscaping. I shuddered. No, maybe not that one.

Point being, there were plenty of things I’d rather do than face another roommate interviewee.

#RainbowSnippets


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FYI, JMS Books, LLC is having a 30% off sale this weekend. All ebooks in the store (including pre-orders) are 30% off through Sunday!

Here’s a handy link to mine:

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=185

Kindle Unlimited

The books are also all available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Amazon Universal: Author.to/Amazon_AddisonAlbright

Rainbow Snippets

Flash Fiction Friday – Prompt Word Ficlet – March 17, 2017

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (hamburger) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (screw – conduct – degree – square – print – clever – existence – boot – famous – crack – hungry – hands – ignite – stiff) from a random word generator (screenshot below).

Screenshot 2017-03-16 13.16.09

This week I wrote another random standalone scene, unrelated to any of my existing publications or returning flash fiction characters. I think it might be my shortest non-drabble to date, coming in at only 244 words:

Screw that,” Andy said. “I’m hungry. Let’s go get some hamburgers or something before we get on any more rides.

“The line’s not going to get any shorter, you know.” Grant stood stiffly with his hands on his hips, tapping one gleaming ankle boot on the asphalt, and one eyebrow hiked up so far its very existence was in question, since it was out of sight behind his—admittedly long—side-swept bangs. Grant was famous among their circle of friends for his over-the-top theatrical conduct. “And I can’t stay late, I’ve got to get up at the ass-crack of dawn for work tomorrow. Boss-man from hell doesn’t care that today’s St. Patrick’s Day.”

“But I’m so hungry, I could…” Andy’s gaze landed on a strikingly good-looking man with green-streaked blond hair who’d just gotten into the line in question, and his attitude took a sharp one-hundred-eighty degree turn. It wasn’t a guarantee, but there was a good chance the guy was gay, wearing a shirt with rainbow lettering printed on a black square, stating, “He who is born round won’t die square.” Which was a clever Sicilian proverb meaning people don’t change their fundamental nature. So, yeah, the rainbow lettering was a clue. “Actually, come on. Like you said, it’s not getting any shorter.”

Grant’s eyes about popped out of his head. “What the hell ignited a—oh.” He turned and started walking. “Just because you saw him first does not mean you have dibs.”

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.


If you’d like to enter a big giveaway that includes signed print copies of ’Til Death Do Us Part (which includes the short story, From This Day Forward), To Love and To Cherish, and Snapshots (my collection of eleven short stories), then hurry on over to Day 4 on the Diverse Reader week-long March Madness party: http://diversereader.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-madness-week-long-giveaway-day-4.html

 

#RainbowSnippets March 11, 2017 – Okay, Then

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 giving another snippet from Okay, Then, a short story that’s in the timeline of the flashback scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, detailing Henry and Sam’s first date. This story is included in my collection, Snapshots.

The story is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV, and the first speaker (“he”) is Sam. For context, Henry and Sam are in the Solomon Islands on their first date. Sam has just tried Vegemite and coaxed Henry to do the same, prompting this discussion:

“I’m trying to expand my horizons. My New Year’s resolution was to try ten new foods this year. This makes five, so I guess I’m on target.”

“Any regrets among them?”

He winced. “Grasshoppers.”

“Gross. Apparently my resolution was to give up sex.”

#RainbowSnippets


placeit-teaser-snapshots

Click here for buy-links and details about the Snapshots boxed set.

Sale - Smashwords

Today is the final day of the sale at Smashwords where you can get Snapshots (as well as the rest of my books that are published at JMS Books, LLC) for 50% off the retail price. Use code RAE50 at checkout to receive the discount.

Kindle Unlimited

The books are also all available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Rainbow Snippets

Flash Fiction Friday – Prompt Word Ficlet -March 10, 2017

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (champagne) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (bike – aromatic – bad – limit – hiss – bow – squeeze – train – soap – snow – improve – rainy – pain – grass) from a random word generator (screenshot below).

Screenshot 2017-03-08 21.25.31

This week I wrote a random standalone scene, unrelated to any of my existing publications or returning flash fiction characters:

Darren squeezed through a group of passengers standing near the exit and stepped off the train. He pulled up the hood of his jacket and hummed “Rainy Days and Mondays” as he made his way to the bike rack. A deep-toned hiss behind him indicated the doors had shut and the train would move on to its next stop.

Mondays were usually bad enough, but he’d reached his limit today when his pain-in-the-ass boss had dumped another project on his desk and announced he’d probably have to work through the next weekend to meet the deadline. There hadn’t been much he could do except bow his head in acceptance of his employer’s decree. Could his day—no, week—possibly get any worse?

“Could be worse,” a deep voice behind him said, as if its owner could read his mind. “At least it isn’t snow.”

Darren turned toward the holder of that sonorous sound, and his heart leapt into his throat, blocking the automatic reply he’d intended. Instead, he stood with his mouth hanging open, staring at the greenest eyes he’d ever seen. They were green as fresh grass on an early spring day, and framed by strawberry blond hair that seemed the perfect accompaniment to the aromatic cologne or soap the man wore that hinted of the apple-y floral scent of a fine French champagne.

Instead of raising a haughty eyebrow at his graceless reaction, the man smiled widely as his head tilted inquiringly to the side as if he both recognized and returned Darren’s undefended interest. “Hi.” He put out a hand for Darren to shake. “My name’s Stuart.”

Darren grasped the offered hand and found his voice. “Darren. And you’re right. It could be worse.” In fact, it was starting to improve already.

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.

#RainbowSnippets – March 4, 2017 – Snapshots – Okay, Then

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 giving another snippet from Snapshots, my collection/box set of 11 short stories. This one’s from Okay, Then, a short story that’s in the timeline of the flashback scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, detailing Henry and Sam’s first date. My apologies…many of my sentences here are very short, and I blew the sentence count out of the water to complete the mini-scene (word-count is on par with the average, I think). Further context isn’t needed.

This is from Henry’s 1st-person POV, and “he” is Sam:

He cocked his head to the side and stared curiously at me as I attempted a reassuring smile. His stance relaxed.

“You’re—” He cut off whatever he’d planned to say. His eyes widened and I got the distinct impression he’d been thinking aloud, and hadn’t meant to say anything.

“You’re what?” Because, really, it was better to find out now, before we fucked up our professional relationship beyond any hope of repair by, well…fucking…if there was something about me that bothered him. We’d been colleagues in the university’s biology department in Seattle for ten months, so we knew each other fairly well. I hoped to hell he wasn’t having second thoughts about dating me.

“You’re…you’re actually trying to impress me, just as much as I’m trying to do the same with you.”

I laughed and pressed a palm to my heart. I was so relieved to hear those words. “You’re damned right I am!”

His Henry-melting grin appeared, and I was lost.

#RainbowSnippets


placeit-teaser-snapshots

About Snapshots

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories: Cow Pie Bingo,  King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate (also available as a FREE single), Born to Be Wild, The Straggler, Now and Forever, Moving On, Moving Along, Dropping Quarters, Nevermore, Photo Shoot, Okay, Then (Vows Series, 1.5)

Okay, Then

Revisiting the main characters from ’Til Death Do Us Part, this short story takes place within the timeline of the flashback scenes from that novel, detailing Sam & Henry’s first date/encounter after Sam tells Henry “Okay, then” while they’re together on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands. It a short story written to be able to stand alone, with its own HFN.

Click here for more information on the Snapshots boxed set.

❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜

Purchase Links

eBook

JMS Books, LLC | Smashwords | Amazon Kindle – Universal Link
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand
Blio | Google Play | ScribdBAM! – Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books, LLC | Createspace | Amazon – Universal Link
Barnes & Noble – BAM! – Books-a-Million – Book Depository

Flash Fiction Friday – Photo Shoot Bonus Scene – 15 Random Prompt Words

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (coffee) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (build – office – furtive – approach – near – upbeat – receipt – open – undesirable – string – pen – note – smell – lackadaisical) from a random word generator (I used a new one this week).

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This week you’re getting a bonus continuation scene for Photo Shoot, one of the short stories in my Snapshots collection. This is from Eddie’s 3rd-person POV:

Eddie cast furtive glances down the halls of the fine arts building as he passed near the art department offices. The smell of coffee hung in the air, and an upbeat instrumental melody of mixed string instruments drifted out as he approached the open door to the studio where he was supposed to meet Trent.

Ever since posing for that nude photo shoot for his now-boyfriend’s project, he’d been reluctant to go anywhere near the department where the panel of instructors who’d passed judgment on the assignment might be hanging around, and—God forbid—recognize him. Trent knew it, too. He knew Eddie would come up with excuses if Trent asked to meet him anywhere in the building. He knew this from experience. That’s probably why he’d left a cryptic note written on the back of a receipt—so Eddie wouldn’t have the opportunity to come up with some pretext for not meeting him. He’d used that purple pen with ink that smelled fruity as if that would sweeten the deal. It hadn’t.

A woman walked briskly out of the room in question and did a double-take as she strode past. “Trent’s already in there. Go on in.” She turned the corner before Eddie had even registered she was talking to him.

Heat infused his face, and he stopped short of the door. He’d never met that woman before. How did she know he was meeting Trent? Had she seen—

“Eddie!” Trent appeared in the doorway, a huge smile on his face. “You made it!”

More voices drifted out of the room, so he could discount the notion that the woman had made a logical assumption based on Trent being the only one in there. “Yeah. You ready to go?”

Trent seemed confused as he scratched the side of his nose. “Go where?”

“Huh?”

Laughter and a middle-aged rail-thin woman wafted out into the hall. “Ah, there you are, Trent.” She smiled in Eddie’s direction. “And I see your Eddie’s arrived. Come in and join the party.”

Party? Eddie’s eyes widened, but Trent took his hand, possibly sensing Eddie’s urge to run in the opposite direction. “The department’s having a little celebration. One of the professors is getting married.”

“I’m Celia Hall,” the woman continued. “Has Trent had the chance to explain my offer to you, yet?”

Oh, dear God. Did he want to know? “Offer?”

“I need a model for my sculpture class. I think you’d be perfect.”

Perfect? The way Trent looked at him, he’d come to accept he wasn’t exactly undesirable, but he was hardly flawless. Of course, artsy folks maybe wanted imperfections to make things interesting.

“Oh, uh, geez. I don’t know…”

“It pays twenty dollars per hour.”

Eddie’s eyebrows shot up. His gaze darted to Trent, then back to Professor Hall. He opened then closed his mouth. Twenty dollars per hour? He could really use that extra money. He had to at least consider it. “Clothes?”

She shook her head. “Nope.”

His cheeks puffed out as he slowly released a stream of air. Could he really do it? He hadn’t thought he could handle posing for just Trent, but in the end, he’d felt comfortable enough. Maybe it was all about the attitude. He couldn’t walk in there all red-faced and obviously mortified, but if he could cultivate a lackadaisical mien, he could maybe bluff his way through the experience.

“Twenty, huh?”

She smiled, looking every bit like she knew she had him hooked. “Per hour.”

With a soft groan, he closed his eyes. When he reopened them, Trent winked. Bastard had no shame, whatsoever. Eddie’s “okay” sounded a bit whiney, but she didn’t seem put out by the tone.

“Wonderful. I’ll get your contact information from Trent and be in touch.”

Mission accomplished, she returned to the party.

How Trent managed to look so innocent standing there was a mystery. “You tricked me,” Eddie said, but the words lost some of their intended effect since he had trouble resisting a spontaneous grin in response to the thumb Trent was rubbing across his wrist.

“Aw, you’re too self-conscious. There was no reason for you to avoid showing your face in this building.” Trent leaned in to kiss his cheek. A delicious shiver rippled through him as Trent’s warm breath floated across his ear. “And, I’ll be sure to show you how much I appreciate you joining me here, later.”

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.

Promo - Teaser - Snapshots

Click here for more information, review snips, and  purchase-links for Snapshots. Information on all my publications can be found in the menu at the top of the page.

#RainbowSnippets Feb 25, 2017 – Snapshots – Dropping Quarters

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 is release day for Snapshots, my collection/box set of 11 short stories, so I’m going back to that for my snippet today. This one is from Dropping Quarters, from Luke’s 3rd-person POV:

Luke took a lengthy draw on his beer and followed his buddies to watch some pool. He saw a few Tigers uniforms among the players. He glanced around the room, but didn’t notice Cato among them.

Fuck him anyway. Luke had given him two openings and the man had shot them down. Fine, so he likely wasn’t Cato’s type—not the end of the fucking world. He wasn’t stupid, and he wasn’t going to make a third play for the man, either.

#RainbowSnippets


placeit-teaser-snapshots

About Snapshots

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories: Cow Pie Bingo,  King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate (also available as a FREE single), Born to Be Wild, The Straggler, Now and Forever, Moving On, Moving Along, Dropping Quarters, Nevermore, Photo Shoot, Okay, Then (Vows Series, 1.5)

❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜

Blurb – Dropping Quarters

Luke’s looking for love in all the wrong places. When he meets Cato at an adult video arcade, then again at his softball league game, Luke figures they might have something in common. Can Luke convince Cato that there’s more to him than meets the eye?

Click here for more information on the Snapshots boxed set.

Purchase Links

eBook

JMS Books, LLC | Smashwords | Amazon Kindle – Universal Link
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand
Blio | Google Play | Scribd | BAM! – Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books, LLC | Createspace | Amazon – Universal Link
Barnes & Noble – BAM! – Books-a-Million – Book Depository

Flash Fiction Friday – To Love and To Cherish – Bonus Scene

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m back to using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (patriarchy) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (level – cleanwaitcrimeapparelrocktestyagreeableunhealthyhangchannelbackrelyisland) from a random word generator (got them in three batches, otherwise they’re blocked by ads—screenshots below).

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I should get bonus points this week for getting the word “island” and not using it for a scene from ’Til Death Do Us Part. 😇

“Oh, please. Don’t even try to tell me patriarchy isn’t alive and well.” Nash’s head snapped up as Angela’s voice carried over to where he and Emmitt were arranging a tray of fruit and vegetables to offer their company. “Did you read that idiotic letter to the editor some fool politician in Utah wrote?”

“No need to get testy with me.” Harley put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t say it wasn’t still a concern, only that my company doesn’t discriminate or pay women less. I run a clean business.”

“Misogyny should be a crime,” Angela grumbled. “And don’t get me started on the sexism rampant in children’s apparel, either.”

“Lock ’em all up,” Harley prodded. “Send ’em all to ‘The Rock.’ Lower level, in solitary.”

Angela’s eyes narrowed. “I can always rely on you to stir in a little hyperbole.”

“I don’t suppose,” Emmitt whispered, “that it would be a good idea to inform her the Utah guy resigned two days later due to the backlash, would it?”

“Go ahead,” Nash snickered. “I’ll hang back here and wait while you go over and point that out.”

Emmitt chuckled and picked up the tray. “Not on your life.”

Nash grabbed a bag of chips out of the pantry since Harley had requested “something unhealthy” to go along with the nutritious stuff he’d known Emmitt would select.

“Or better yet,” Harley said, “ship the offenders off to that little island where Nash’s—“

“How about we change the channel,” Angela’s husband, interjected, “to something more agreeable than the news?”

“Good plan.” Harley’s fiancé, Oliver, picked up the remote and switched to a music channel. “Get us in the right frame of mind before we head out to Winterfest.”

Nash sat next to Emmitt on a sofa, and snuggled up under his husband’s arm with a spontaneous smile on his lips.

Harley raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Honeymoon’s still not over?”

Emmitt’s body shook with restrained laughter. Nash said, “Never. Is yours?”

“We’re not even married yet!”

“But you live together.”

“Not for that long. Not alone, anyway.” Harley waggled his eyebrows at Oliver, then pointed his finger at Nash. “It’s only been a few months since you moved out.”

Nash shuddered. “That was a fateful day.” The injury he’d sustained during the drive to move the last of his belongings to Emmitt’s condo had affected his life in so many bizarre ways.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,” Harley declared. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to you.”

Nash wouldn’t have accepted that statement while enduring the pain and confusion of his recovery, but as Emmitt’s arm tightened around his shoulders, pulling him in for a hug, that familiar warmth spread through his chest, and he knew Harley was right.

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.

vows-promo-w-kkvtsp-1247-x-675

Click here for more information, review snips, and  purchase-links for To Love and To Cherish. Information on all my publications can be found in the menu at the top of the page.

#RainbowSnippets Feb. 18, 2017 – King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate

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 is release day for my FREE short storyKing Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, so I’m going back to that for my snippet today. I’ve shared the opening lines before, but not here on Rainbow Snippets, so here it is:

Blaine sat on an empty barstool between a likely prospect and King-fucking-Kong. He lifted his chin, summoning the bartender as he ran freshly manicured hands over the textured cashmere of his Kiton pinstripe suit, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles.

“A Skinny Pirate, please.”

The bartender quirked an eyebrow but otherwise kept his face expressionless. “Coming right up.”

Blaine’s peripheral vision picked up movement to his left. King Kong was looking him over. He turned his head to the right, ignoring the hairy behemoth, to check out his hopeful hookup for the evening.

#RainbowSnippets


placeit-teaser-kingkong

Blurb

Blaine is a well-dressed, high priced attorney, and George is a hairy mountain of an auto mechanic. This odd couple meets up one evening on a slow night at a bar. The pickings are slim. Slim enough for these opposites to eyeball each other and ask themselves just how bad they want to get laid.

Pleasantly surprised by the evening’s outcome, Blaine is faced with a dilemma. Should he throw caution to the wind and pursue George, or steer clear of that unexpected distraction to his carefully structured life.

❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜

King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate first made its appearance in the Like Magnets We Attract anthology at eXcessica on April 13, 2009, then reappeared as a self-published single on October 8, 2009. I took it (and the rest of my older works) down in the latter half of last year for a thorough overhaul.

King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate will be included in a boxed set of all my short stories titled Snapshots, releasing next Saturday. King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate is also now available as a FREE single, out today.

Click here for more information on King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate.

Click here for more information on the Snapshots boxed set.

☆ Download Links

JMS Books, LLC – EPUB, MOBI, PDF, HTML
Smashwords – EPUB, MOBI, PDF, LRF, PDB, TXT, HTML
Amazon Kindle – Universal Link – Kindle Format (AZW)
iBookStore – iBook Format (EPUB)
Barnes & Noble – Nook Format (EPUB)
Kobo – eBook Format (EPUB)
Blio – EPUB, Blio Format
Google Play – EPUB, PDF
Scribd – iPaper

Flash Fiction Friday Feb. 17, 2017 – Drabble – Adventures with Harrison & Mason

Flash Fiction Friday

I’m going with a drabble this week—a precisely 100-word scene. It’ll be based on the image below, as well as use the word I got in the comments from last week’s post: cookie.

Snowy 024

This week will be another installment in my Adventures with Harrison and Mason series.

“How is he not freezing his buns off out there?” Harrison peered out the window at Jaxon with his friends.

“They stay warm running around.” Mason approached and laid a hand on Harrison’s shoulder. When he saw the snowman the kids had built he burst out laughing.

“You didn’t give them that idea, then?”

“To build it upside down? No, but I like it. What’s that they’re using for buttons?”

“I brought out a tray of those cookies I baked. I guess they had extras.”

“Those were good.” Mason nuzzled Harrison’s neck. “Mm, but not nearly as tasty as you.”

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.

#RainbowSnippets Feb. 11, 2017 – Photo Shoot

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

This week I’m posting a snip from Photo Shoot (included in the upcoming box set, Snapshots). For context, Trent needs a nude model for a photography class project. Eddie has reluctantly agreed to help his buddy out by posing for the photo shoot. This is from Eddie’s 3rd-person POV, leading off with Eddie’s thoughts:

The bright bathroom lighting did nothing to help his faltering ego. Why hadn’t he thought to visit a tanning salon so he wouldn’t be so pale? The sparse dark hair centered on his chest and trailing down his stomach stood out starkly in the glow of the big round bulbs lining the large mirror over the vanity. The thick thatch between his legs contrasted so severely with his pale skin that it seemed almost obscene. His dick, barely peeking out in the center of it, was appallingly pallid. Christ. He’d been worried about embarrassing himself by springing a boner around Trent, but turtling instead seemed equally bad. No worse—far worse.

#RainbowSnippets

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Blurb – Photo Shoot

Eddie’s a good guy who’d do anything for a friend, especially Trent, but that good-nature is sorely tested when Trent asks Eddie to be the model for a nude photo shoot. Trent’s grades depend on it, so of course Eddie agrees. It’s not easy being naked in front of the guy he wants. There are so many ways he could make a fool of himself. Why does Trent want to take pictures of him, and why does it seem that Eddie’s not the only one blushing?

snapshots_400x600

Click here for more information on the Snapshots box set.

The opening scene of Photo Shoot first saw the light of day as a ficlet written from a set of prompt words. I liked the potential in that story scene and fleshed it out into a more complete short story.

The first edition was published as a Torquere Sip on November 29, 2008, then a mildly reworked second edition reappeared as a self-published single on November 29, 2009. I took it (and the rest of my older works) down in the latter half of last year for a thorough overhaul.

Photos Shoot will be included in a box set of all my short stories titled Snapshots, to be released at JMS Books, LLC on February 25, 2017. One story from the set, King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, will be released as a free single on February 18, 2017.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

About Snapshots

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories:

* Cow Pie Bingo
* King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate
* Born to Be Wild
* The Straggler
* Now and Forever
* Moving On
* Moving Along
* Dropping Quarters
* Nevermore
* Photo Shoot
* Okay, Then

placeit-teaser-snapshots

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Snapshots Preface

I love short stories. Sometimes a brief “snapshot” taken from a couple’s larger story is all that’s wanted. The narrative of “how they met” is the focus of six of the shorts in this set—quirky tales ranging from meeting at a charity fundraiser, to college kids pranking each other, to a mishap at a XXX adult video arcade.

Also included is a story featuring a well-established couple’s wedding dilemma, a friends-to-lovers tale, a coming-out-of-the-closet drama, and a continuation short that follows one of those how-we-mets. Rounding out this collection is an account revisiting the main characters from my full-length novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part.

All of these stories are contemporary, although one has a bit of paranormal flavor to it. Heat ratings range from “fairly sweet” to “rather steamy.” Excepting the final story, all were originally written in 2008 and early 2009. One (“Photo Shoot”) started out as a prompt word ficlet that I later fleshed out to a more complete story. Each has received a thorough overhaul, some more extensive than others. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Both Snapshots and the free singleKing Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, are available for pre-order at the publisher’s website and at a number of distributor sites. As with all my books at JMS, they are in the KINDLE UNLIMITED program at Amazon:

Snapshots Pre-order Links

JMS Books, LLC – eBook Link | JMS Books, LLC – Print Link

Smashwords | Amazon Kindle Universal Link | iBookstore
B&N Nook | Kobo | Google Play

King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate Pre-order Links

JMS Books, LLC – eBook Link

SmashwordsAmazon Kindle Universal Link
B&N Nook | Blio | Google Play

15 Random Prompt Words – Flash Fiction Friday – ’Til Death Do Us Part

2017-02-10-words-400-x-310

For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:

tadpole

mix – vegetable – disagreeable – immense – aboard – invincible – food – intend – old – hand – alike – romantic – muscle – bad

Above are screen prints of the words it gave me (I got them in 3 batches because otherwise they were covered by ads).

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I went with an alternate POV scene from ’Til Death Do Us Part. It won’t be obvious from the start, but this is a scene that occurs in the story. This time it’s told from Devon’s 1st-person POV.

At the same time, it seemed like only yesterday and yet forever ago that I’d felt invincible. I frowned, remembering how the lyrics of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” had run through my mind aboard that damned plane. I’d been flying high, both figuratively and literally, having just completed a successful freshman year as a linebacker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and was on my way to a fun-in-the-sun vacation with a couple buddies. I’d felt on top of the world…right up until we’d dropped out of the sky. Being one of only four survivors of a plane crash should arguably reinforce that feeling of invulnerability, but it didn’t.

Sitting in the shade, a few yards into the northern tree line, I looked out over the immense expanse of ocean and shivered despite the heat. I used to think of myself as a romantic, but now, sometimes if felt as if the only thing keeping me from acting like a disagreeable old man in a perpetual bad mood was the kid, “Buddy.”

I didn’t intend to be difficult, and mostly I kept the ever-lurking hopelessness that triggered the occasional outburst at bay.  I rolled my shoulders and shook out my hands to metaphorically push the threatening melancholy away.

I sighed and stood, listening for Buddy, then cut through the interior toward the large rock where we tended to gather. It was our “table” for meals, and it was where Henry kept a basket with extra food for snacking. Fish, fruit, nuts, seeds, and seaweed…day after day after day. Henry tried to mix it up with his meal prep, but after a while, they all seemed alike. Maybe, not entirely, but the menu was short. What I wouldn’t give for a big juicy steak, or a piece of fried chicken, or a hamburger. I even craved vegetables—the non-seaweed variety.

The thought of food reminded me I was thirsty, so I detoured by the Papaya tree grove where our little fresh water “spring” was located. It was little more than a deep puddle that slowly but continually refilled itself, but it was one of the key reasons we’d survived all these years.

With my hands cupped, I scooped a couple mouthfuls before noticing a batch of tadpoles had hatched. We would have to be careful with the water for the next couple months so we didn’t harm them. Henry had schooled us early on about how the tree frogs on the island kept the fruit flies in check. Without the frogs, the flies could easily decimate our fruit supply.

Startled, I jumped to my feet when a scream pierced through the background noise of the ocean’s waves. Buddy! Something had happened. Something bad. My gut twisted with fear as I took off running toward the heart-rending sound, then spun, because Buddy was apparently darting around the corner of the island as he shrieked.

I turned to take the path that led to where the screams had come to an abrupt halt, but now Garrett was hollering my name. Like Buddy, his voice was a moving target so I kept going in the direction I was already headed.

When I burst out onto the beach, Buddy’s arms and legs were wrapped around Henry, with his face buried in the man’s neck, and Garrett’s head spun back and forth. He turned and ran back in my direction, then veered toward the water’s edge with his arms waving. I ground to a halt with my heart in my throat, confused, until I saw it.

A plane—no, it was close, silent, and too small to be manned—a drone was flying past us. I chased it, screaming, “Stop! Stop!” and waved my arms like a lunatic until it was out of sight. But it circled and returned from the other direction.

Circling meant we’d been spotted. The drone operator knew we were here. It couldn’t actually stop, as I’d reflexively yelled, but did he (or she) realize we needed help—that we were stranded? Probably. Our general appearance would make that apparent, and if not, our hysterical chasing and arm waving would’ve put any doubts to rest.

The three of us came together in a huddle on the beach. Henry patted Buddy’s back, but his ragged breathing and wide eyes belied his own fears for the future, mixed with his obvious excitement. Garrett panted. “Sticks. We need sticks so we can write in the sand.”

“Of course,” I said. “I’ll get some.” I brushed my hand across my eyes to clear the tears of relief that welled up as I ran down the path to our wood-stand. When I arrived, the muscles in my legs gave out, and I stumbled to a stop and leaned against a tree for support.

“I’m going home,” I whispered to the universe. I pictured the look of shock that would appear on my parents’ faces when they got the news. My brothers—after five years they wouldn’t look the same. I snickered, remembering how I’d just been thinking about the foods I missed as if they were what was important. No, that craving was overpowered by the yearning to see my family—a longing I’d suppressed for too long to keep despair at bay. I’ll see you, soon, I added silently, then I grabbed three sticks from the kindling pile and dashed back to the beach.

As always, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using a random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.

ku-raru-1200x700

Quick links to my website pages with buy-links, blurbs, excerpts, review snippets/links:

’Til Death Do Us Part | From This Day Forward | To Love and To Cherish


2017-02-10-words-400-x-310

#RainbowSnippets Feb. 4, 2017 – Now and Forever

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

This week I’m posting another snip from Now and Forever (included in the upcoming box set, Snapshots), a little further along from last week’s post. No context needed, in Warren’s POV:

“More what, baby?” Darryl’s voice was husky as he pressed his hips against Warren’s backside. “You want this inside you?”

Warren wished he had the restraint to tease Darryl back, but his level of self-control seemed inversely proportional to the state of his arousal, and he was very aroused. “Jesus, Darryl…yes…fuck me, goddammit,” wasn’t much of a tease.

He got what he wanted, though. Darryl’s hands clamped down where Warren’s ass met his legs, lifting and separating in a way that would have made Playtex bra engineers proud.

#RainbowSnippets

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Blurb – Now and Forever

Darryl and Warren have been together twelve years when their home state of California legalizes same sex marriages. Darryl figures Warren should plan the wedding reception, but they disagree on how much party is too much. Darryl bites his tongue and gives Warren free rein, although he really wants something small and cozy. Will Warren be able to give Darryl what he needs?

snapshots_400x600

Click here for more information on the Snapshots box set.

Now and Forever first made its appearance as a Torquere Charity Wedding Sip on September 13, 2008, then reappeared as a self-published single on January 25, 2010. I took it (and the rest of my older works) down in the latter half of last year for a thorough overhaul.

Now and Forever will be included in a box set of all my short stories titled Snapshots, to be released at JMS Books, LLC on February 25, 2017. One story from the set, King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, will be released as a free single on February 18, 2017.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

About Snapshots

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories:

* Cow Pie Bingo
* King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate
* Born to Be Wild
* The Straggler
* Now and Forever
* Moving On
* Moving Along
* Dropping Quarters
* Nevermore
* Photo Shoot
* Okay, Then

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Snapshots Preface

I love short stories. Sometimes a brief “snapshot” taken from a couple’s larger story is all that’s wanted. The narrative of “how they met” is the focus of six of the shorts in this set—quirky tales ranging from meeting at a charity fundraiser, to college kids pranking each other, to a mishap at a XXX adult video arcade.

Also included is a story featuring a well-established couple’s wedding dilemma, a friends-to-lovers tale, a coming-out-of-the-closet drama, and a continuation short that follows one of those how-we-mets. Rounding out this collection is an account revisiting the main characters from my full-length novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part.

All of these stories are contemporary, although one has a bit of paranormal flavor to it. Heat ratings range from “fairly sweet” to “rather steamy.” Excepting the final story, all were originally written in 2008 and early 2009. One (“Photo Shoot”) started out as a prompt word ficlet that I later fleshed out to a more complete story. Each has received a thorough overhaul, some more extensive than others. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Both Snapshots and the free single, King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, are available for pre-order at JMS and Amazon:

Snapshots Pre-order Links

JMS Books, LLC – eBook Link | JMS Books, LLC – Print Link
Amazon Kindle Universal Link

King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate Pre-order Links

JMS Books, LLC – eBook Link | Amazon Kindle Universal Link

15 Random Prompt Words – Flash Fiction Friday – Vows Series

2017-02-03-words-400-x-249

For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:

sudoku

carrot

lighten – level – self – language – wistful – warn – precede – end – weak – stiff – simple – wobble – fine

Above are screen prints of the words it gave me (I got them in 3 batches because otherwise they were covered by ads).

New rule…up until now I’ve used the words exactly as they show up on the random word generator lists. Starting this week I will only promise to use a form of the word. One issue is I write in past tense, and the verbs on the list are always present tense. That can make for some awkward wording if I’m not allowed to modify the form of the word. 15 words is enough of a challenge…I want a little flexibility overall.

This week I went with a bonus missing scene that would be primarily from ’Til Death Do Us Part, but it could also arguably fit in with Nash’s flashback dreams from To Love and To Cherish. I’m going to include it in the bonus scenes links for both since it features an MC from each and is pertinent to both stories. This scene takes place right after Henry has arrived back home, Sam and Nash clash, and Henry and Buddy are leaving to go stay for a short while with Sam’s parents, so Sam and Nash can have their much-needed discussion in private.

I’d originally included a similar scene in ’Til Death Do Us Part, but ended up removing it in favor of keeping the readers in suspense (along with Henry) as to how things would resolve.

It’s told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV.

Flash Fiction Friday

Sam would’ve rather been anywhere, doing anything, than staying where he was, watching Buddy precede Henry as they walked out the front door with Harley. He’d rather stand in front of a classroom full of incoming freshmen and use the words “epic fail” to describe his recent actions—or lack thereof. He’d rather have his career depend upon the outcome of his entry in a timed Sudoku contest against the math department professors. Hell, he’d rather get his balls waxed. In other words…anything.

If he needed a carrot on a stick to motivate him to turn around and face Nash, he supposed it could be the promise of getting Henry back after he’d suffered this long-overdue conversation.

Henry had been correct. Sam needed to do his level best to handle this properly. Much as he’d love to lighten the mood, to do so would be unfair to everyone involved. Sam straightened his shoulders and cast one more wistful glance out the window as Harley’s pickup backed out of the driveway, then turned to face his now-former fiancé.

Nash still stood with his arms stiff at his sides, his fists clenched as if he’d like nothing better than to unleash his admittedly righteous fury on Sam.

“I’m sorry,” Sam said, hoping a simple, sincere declaration would be a good start.

But, Nash’s face grew even redder. “Fuck you!” he shouted. Shrieked, really.

Sam wobbled on weak knees. Where the hell had that come from? Sure he’d known Nash was upset, as he should be, but they’d never raised their voices, let alone shouted at one another. That had come out of nowhere, with no warning. Language deserted Sam as his jaw dropped.

“First you couldn’t make a straightforward decision. Him or me? Do I stay or do I go? Then when you finally fucking did you couldn’t even pick up the goddamned phone and call me? Fuck! You!” At least Nash wasn’t yelling anymore, but his voice was cold and hard as he bit out the words.

What Nash said wasn’t entirely fair. Nash had contributed greatly to Sam’s indecision. He was the one who’d made the point that Henry would certainly have changed in five years and might not even want to get back together with Sam. It was almost as if Nash had seen the writing on the wall and actively lobbied to sway Sam’s decision.

But Sam didn’t want to make this about himself. This needed to be about helping Nash cope with the abrupt end to their engagement.

“I am sorry,” Sam whispered. Tears threated to fall as he ran a hand through his hair. “I do love you. Please remember that. You deserved better than a breakup over the phone, but I should have thought about how that reunion scene was being broadcast on TV.”

Nash stared at him for a moment, then his eyes became unfocused, and his gaze dropped.

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” Sam continued. “I would never have caused you pain deliberately.”

Nash sniffed loudly and lifted his gaze. The torment in Nash’s eyes ripped through Sam’s heart. Sam stepped forward instinctively to offer a hug, but Nash put up a hand, palm out. “No.” Nash shook his head. “That won’t help me anymore. It would hurt.”

Sam stilled, and his arms dropped. “What can I do to help.”

Rolling his shoulders and clearing his throat as if consciously trying to pull himself together, Nash looked around the room and said, “You know what? I’ll be fine. The sooner I clear out of here and move on with my life, the better off I’ll be. If you want to help, take a pass through the house and see if there’s anything I’ve missed packing.”

“Of course.” But Sam couldn’t bring himself to move his legs.

Nash wiped the back of his hand across his wet eyes. “I want to be ready to leave when Harley gets back.”

Stomach clenched, Sam nodded and stepped away. Nash might not want a hug, but Sam needed one desperately.

“Sam?”

Sam turned at the sound of the softly spoken word.

“I…I love you, too. That’s why…” Nash snuffled. “You know.”

“I know,” Sam murmured.

“Maybe…maybe one last hug for the road. I don’t want to end things like this.”

Sam’s hands trembled and one of the tears that had been threatening finally traced down his cheek. He opened his arms, and Nash stepped into them. “Thank you,” Sam whispered into Nash’s hair.

As always, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using a random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.

ku-raru-1200x700

Quick links to my website pages with buy-links, blurbs, excerpts, review snippets/links:

’Til Death Do Us Part

From This Day Forward

To Love and To Cherish