Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dear Jon- Issue # 18



The next chapter in my M/M historical romance Dear Jon is up over at Storytime Trysts.

I hope you enjoy this romantic trip back in time.

Storytime Trysts

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



For those who celebrate, may your day be a joyous one.



Monday, November 25, 2013

Best of Tuesday Tales

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!

This week the writers of Tuesday Tales are digging into their archives of past Tuesday Tales posts. We hope you enjoy rereading some of our favorite excerpts while we spend time with our families and friends. We`ll be back next week with new snippets from our current works-in-progress. So those of you who are waiting for more from Zeke and Clayton won`t have too long to wait.

December is just around the corner, and let me tell you there are some fun things coming your way! They`ll be some book giveaways, holiday blog hops, and a new release from yours truly! I`ll be revealing the adorable cover for All I Want for Christmas on Sunday, December 1st right here on my blog.

I thought it would be fitting to use an excerpt from my M/M holiday novella, All I Want for Christmas, as my 'Best Of' post for November. Much of the inspiration for this novella came from a Tuesday Tales picture prompt. The word for the week had been 'Spider'. This excerpt had not been edited and probably contains some errors. I do ask you to overlook those if you come across them.


I hope you enjoy touching base with Alex and Cooper once more.


*~*~*




“Your pants are soaked. Give them here and I`ll toss them in the dryer,” Cooper said just the way my mother used to when I was a boy. I turned and peeled them off. “The shirt too,” he added stepping up behind me. I handed over the sodden Wranglers then tugged the fleece over my head. “I`m not trying to pry, but is that a spider on your ass?”

This is why a man should not let his mother buy him underwear. I threw my chin up and defied him to say another word. “Yes, it is. These are my lucky Spider-Man boxers. Now if you could stop gawking at my ass, some clothes would be appreciated.”

The man clamped his mouth shut then walked off chuckling. There was a second where I debated about defending Spidey but I said bugger that as well. Instead of arguing for web slingers on your underwear I removed a mug from the dishwasher, my goal a fresh cup of hot java to ease the pink in my cheeks. Both sets.

“Here you go, your own clothes.” Cooper held my Darth Stewie sleepers and Toby Keith concert tee. I thanked him, placed my full mug to the island then slid my cold legs into the well-worn pajama bottoms.

I turned around to find Cooper enjoying my shirtless state. He took his time meeting my eyes. When he did a slow burn was taking place in his gaze.

“Where did you get this?” he asked, stepping close then running his finger over the scar across my right pectoral. The skin quivered. My nipple puckered tightly as he traced the line of pink flesh enticingly close to the sensitive nub.

“Skating accident,” I squeaked. He knew his touch was affecting me; I could tell by the way the corner of his goatee would twitch in amusement. He stopped, fingertip resting just below puckered nipple.

“I`m sorry, did you say ‘skating accident?’” he asked. I bobbed my head and used his shock to put some distance between him and I. I threw a leg over a stool nonchalantly, then pulled Toby on. Toby would protect me from Cooper`s powers of seduction. “Did someone skate over you as you lay shirtless and unconscious on the frozen pond?”

“No, Senor Sarcasm.” I said and then took a loud slurp of my coffee. Coop snorted then sat down beside me, his mug of sugared black cradled between his skilled hands. “It`s a long story that you would find boring.”

“Oh, I beg to differ,” the snide bastard countered with a wry sideways glimpse. “I`m beginning to think nothing about you is boring or mundane.”

*~*~*


For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-


For those who celebrate, have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!




Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dear Jon - Issue # 17



The next chapter in my M/M historical romance Dear Jon is up over at Storytime Trysts.

I hope you enjoy this romantic trip back in time.

Storytime Trysts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cathy Hird Visits Today

I love Greek mythos, we all know that. Today we have an author who loves the Greek pantheon as much as I do! I`m thrilled to have the talented Cathy Hird on today to talk about her new release, Moon of the Goddess, from Prizm Books.

*~*

As I developed the story in Moon of the Goddess, I knew where the princess came from but I needed a home for her kidnappers. Flipping through a guidebook to Greece, I came upon Parga, a jewel of a town on the ocean. The book said it was near a river canyon called the Gate of Hades and an ancient shrine. Perfect place for a holiday, and possibly the setting I needed for my novel.

It was and is a wondrous place. The canyon cuts deep into the tall mountains that form a barrier between the ocean coves and the plains of Thessaly. Gnarled oak trees reach for light, and water trickles from crevices in the canyon walls to form pools and streams. Icons have been placed on narrow ledges, and coins pushed into the crevices: people still find this to be a sacred place. The river bounces over rocks and its singing fills the narrow ravine. Where the river fills the space from rock wall to rock wall, you have to step into the water, and it is ice-cold. Eventually you come to a wide bowl in the mountains where the river flows from the base of a long crack.

Follow the river out into the valley and you come to the twin hills where once the city of Ephyra stood and where the ruins of the shrine can still be found. Homer says this is where Odysseus spoke with the shade of Tiresias, and in the underground room, there is a crack in the wall just like the crack in the cliff where the river is born. We met a Greek woman there who showed us the coins pushed into the crack and said people still pray here.

Silt has now pushed the ocean shore a mile away from the two hills, but we have to expect some changes in 2500 years. But the river canyon is still magical, and the sense of mystery in the shrine is palpable. I hope that the novel effectively portrays the power of this wondrous place.



Thalassai, pampered princess of ancient Tiryns, wakes from a dream and discovers she has been kidnapped. Her fear grows to terror when she realizes her kidnappers intend to use her as a pawn to gain Poseidon’s aid for their valley. The mother goddess, who in the past sustained the valley, calls a bloodred harvest moon into the spring sky. She will challenge Poseidon for the allegiance of her people and assist the princess.

Thalassai’s brother Melanion rides north to rescue her, and finds allies among the servants of the goddess. Slowed by bandits, Melanion is forced to take a tunnel under the mountains even though earthquakes have rendered it hazardous. He skirts the edge of Hades’ kingdom as he races to reach his sister in time. Caught between the mother goddess and the rising power of Olympus, will Thalassai break under the strain or find the strength she needs to stand up to her captors?
Set in the days of Helen of Troy and the great heroes of Greece, this story takes the reader on a fast paced journey across the sun-drenched landscape of Homer and deep into darkness.

You can buy the book from Prizmbooks.com.

Here is a piece of the story where we see the goddess herself:
From the peak of the mountain that gave birth to the Acheron River, Eurynome watched dusk fall on her beloved valley. The pale greens and rich browns showed the contours of the spring fields, and clusters of olive and apple trees shone silver-green in the last light of the setting sun. Farmers moved across the newly planted land, some heading home to huts at the base of the mountain, many to houses in the city of Ephyra. Eurynome could sense their worry. Through the days of winter, they had watched the river level fall. Day by day, they saw less and less water. They waited in vain for the normal spring flood. Though planting went ahead, they were afraid their grains and, their vegetables would be starved of the water needed for a bountiful harvest.

Eurynome traced the snaking path of the river. Water sparkled in the last light of the setting sun, yet she knew how far the level had fallen. Poseidon’s earthshakings had shifted the rock she stood on, siphoning away water that should nurture this fertile valley. Anger knifed her chest. The Olympian caused the fear she sensed in the valley, but somehow had convinced the king he was the one who could rescue the river. She suspected Poseidon had sent the new steward who drew the king’s allegiance away from her.

Cold descended upon the goddess like a shroud. The steward had convinced the king that to buy Poseidon’s help they simply needed to present him with a beautiful young woman as a bride. The king had known better than to take a woman of the valley; that step she could have stopped. Instead, he sent his son Aphoron to find  a king’s daughter beautiful enough to tempt the god. In distant Tiryns, the prince had found Thalassai and taken her captive. The goddess shuddered. Poseidon loved women, but it was said that none had held his attention for more than a season. The girl would be cast aside, and Poseidon’s attention would wander from the care of this valley, her valley.

Eurynome looked across to where the river entered the ocean and twin hills stood guard, one on each bank. The houses of Ephyra filled the northern hill with the palace at its crown. A thick column of smoke rose from the palace kitchen, speaking of the opulence of the royal household. Narrower plumes rose all around the hill as the inhabitants of too many homes prepared their evening meals. She frowned at the way houses had sprouted like mushrooms around the base of the hill, taking up land that should be farmed. The king seemed to forget that his wealth came from the produce of the land, and the new steward fed that forgetfulness.

At least the palace was not the only power here. A smile softened Eurynome’s face as her eyes rested on the other hill. The oldest of her shrines graced that rounded peak. In that refuge lived a community of people dedicated to her service, and under the stone building was a sacred room set aside for her worship. In that deep and hallowed space, her priestess could connect with her and could link minds with her servants in the other three of her shrines.

Eurynome’s smile twisted with regret. The priestess who would go to that room on this night was the young Asira, new to the robes of office. The old priestess who had served her for years upon years had grown too weak to endure the pain of her crippling illness. Just before the winter solstice, she had let go of life. Her wisdom and steadiness were missed in this uncertain season.

With her fingertips, Eurynome smoothed the creases on her forehead. Young as she was, the newly anointed Asira had learned from her mentor. She was strong enough, perhaps wise and balanced enough. Through Asira and those who served this shrine, Eurynome would find a way to protect this beloved valley and to rescue the poor girl who had been taken by the prince to buy Poseidon’s attention.

 Eurynome sensed a rumbling deep beneath her feet and whispered to the rock to be still. Why Poseidon pushed his storms into the mountain she would never understand. He caused enough damage when he played with the malleable ocean. Tonight, she would give him fair warning that she would not give up this valley.

Night had spread across the fields. It was time. She turned to the east and called to the moon. “Kokkino to aima anastas. Anastas kai mou legete. Rise red as blood. Rise, and speak for me.”


Do keep in touch by checking out my blog at openonemore.com or follow me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cathyhirdwriter.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Loose

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing an excerpt from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.

This week our word prompt is ‘Loose’. We finally get to meet my other leading man, as Clayton pulls out of the fever that has gripped him for weeks. As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!






Laco Law

The Gnarled Oak

*~*~*

I woke up with a start when he touched my arm.

“Sorry,” I mumbled thickly, “Can`t seem to stay awake.”

“No need for an apology,” he said, sitting down beside me on the bed with care. Each movement was pure damned agony. The aroma of meat broth slithered into my nose. My mouth began to fill with saliva.
 
“How long . . .”

“This is the fifteenth day since I found you in the river,” he told me, lifting a wooden spoon from a matching bowl to his lips. He blew. I stared at him in shock. What would my sister be thinking? The cooled broth was placed into my mouth. It was terribly flat but thick with fat. It coated my tongue as I swallowed.

 “You were gut shot,” he said between blows. I slurped loudly. The dog shuffled closer. The man barked a sharp command at the dog in a blunt sounding language. It took me a moment to shake the stab of fear this Indian automatically instilled in me. Rational thought prevailed. If he wanted to kill me, would he be here spooning soup into me like I had done for my nephew Boyden when he was a babe?

“I need to get home.”

“Not today, pan.” I asked why he called me ‘pan’. “It means white bread,” he answered.

“What tribe are you?” I asked. He lowered the spoon from his lips. The hearth was dying down but I could see that his mouth was full and drawn into a frown. He had thick lips set under a rather wide nose. His cheekbones were knife sharp and resided in an oblong face that was surrounded by the longest, thickest, curliest black hair I had ever seen on an Indian, or any man. He threw the loose ebony mass over his right shoulder with a short huff.

“Half Tonkawa,” he said in a clipped manner. I mentally mouthed the tribe. Tong-Kuh-Wah. I couldn`t recall hearing of them before, but my thoughts were a jumbled mess. I didn`t want to push him on what the other half was. I was pretty sure I knew. White man hooks up with an Indian woman and . . .

“Other half is escaped Negro slave. If you have any issues with me or my food, speak up and I`ll move you to town.”

“The broth is good.”

He fed me more until I begged off and drifted back to sleep, my lips slick with meat juice. The dog woke me up. A rooster crowed nearby. I pushed at the dog, trying to get his tongue away from my face. He sat down beside the bed. I had been moved, yet again, and was now lying on my left side to face the stone fireplace. A tiny window beside the hearth showed a rosy pink sky. Dawn had arrived. The dog’s tail swished over the floor. He was a funny looking dog that had a long nose, a droopy ear, and was speckled with black and red dots over his white body. His tongue lolled out of his mouth. He had one brown eye and one blue eye.

“Damn,” I hissed as I worked on throwing a leg off the side of the bed. My bare thigh scrubbed against the wooden side that cradled the roughly-ticked mattress. My bladder was full. Fearful of pissing myself I forced my left leg off the bed. The dog made a happy little woof. Probably he had to piss as well. The blanket slid from my naked body to the mattress as I slowly inched my way up. I was now panting like a pack mule and had only gotten myself to my elbow. Sweat popped up on my upper lip and brow. The entry and exit wounds stretched painfully. I groaned. My nurse sat up swiftly, startling me when he shot up from the floor. The dog leaped into the air then ran to the door. A brisk spat of Tonkawa followed.

“You sit,” the Indian barked. The dog dropped to his ass. “I meant him,” he corrected and cocked a thumb at me. The door creaked open on rusty hinges. The dog barreled out into the morning, sending a group of chickens into a clucking flurry. A rivulet of sweat tickled my spine. My hand went down to cover my genitals. “I`ve seen what you have,” the Indian mumbled, walking over to me on silent feet.

“I need to piss and then get home,” I said as he pushed me back down to the bed.

“I`ll get you a jar.” He turned and went outside. I glowered at his retreating back. He returned a moment later, long legged and bare-footed, his wild hair teased into a ball of ringlets. “You need help?” he asked as I took the dirty glass canning jar. I looked at him in horror. A tiny tic of a smile tweaked one corner of his mouth, tugging those fleshy lips of his up. “Who do you think it was that held your prick for the past two weeks so you didn`t wet my bed?”

“Shit,” I whispered. The man snorted then turned to give me some privacy. I fumbled with the jar but finally managed to get things situated. I stared at my nursemaids back as I relived myself. He was a tall man and well-made: Wide in the shoulders, lean in the waist, with long strong legs. His hair hung down his back to his waist. When he turned the sun showed his skin to be just a shade darker than the few Comanche I had seen. His chest was sculpted with a thin strip of black hair between his pectorals that ran to the top of his green trousers. I looked away in a rush. He brought a bowl of cold stew over. A flood of embarrassment moved over me. I shook myself and handed him the jar. The switch was made with no conversation.

“I`ll be right back,” he said then headed to the open door. I nodded.

“What`s your name?” I asked. He paused in the doorway.

“Ezekiel Fire Sky,” he replied then disappeared into the new day.


Copyright ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Thanks for stopping in to visit! For more free reads by great authors follow the link back to the Tuesday Tales main blog.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dear Jon - Issue # 16



The next chapter in my M/M historical romance Dear Jon is up over at Storytime Trysts.

I hope you enjoy this romantic trip back in time.

Storytime Trysts

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What`s New With Liz Brooks

I`m thrilled to welcome back the lovely, witty, and talented Liz Brooks to my blog. Liz is dropping in to chat about her new release, character development, and also to share an excerpt! Take it away, Liz!

*~*


Character Development

Believable characters hinge, in my opinion, on their authors' understanding. As an author, you don't need to reveal everything you know about a character in the course of a story, but you do need some information, yourself, to help you understand how they see the world and why they make the choices they do.

In my new release, Foxfur, Cheng often recalls his teacher when he's feeling off-balance. Despite having been very strict, she remains his role model and touchstone of proper behavior, and whenever Cheng is feeling uncertain, he reaches for her memory, scolding himself in her name and striving to behave as she would have wished.

Jin, on the other hand, remembers his mentor fondly, but is most affected by his memories of the family he lost when he was a boy. The pain of his futile attempts to regain his family has shaped him into a man who is reluctant to share himself with others despite his desperate desire to belong.

Find out more in my new release, Foxfur, available from Torquere Press (http://www.torquerebooks.com) now!

Foxfur



Blurb:
Pleasure-slave Cheng takes no particular note of the red-haired woman when she purchases his services. But the morning after her departure, Cheng is taken into custody by the Emperor's own guards and brought before one of the rare and terrifying Chained Mages. Already frightened and confused, things go from bad to worse for Cheng when the mage reveals the demonic nature of the red-haired woman. Now not only Cheng's life, but the lives of everyone around him, depend on their finding the fox-demon as soon as possible.

As a Chained Mage, Jin is at best feared, and at worst, despised. But he can't allow his personal feelings to interfere with his mission, not even when his admiration for the slave deepens. In fact, Jin's love may result in a disaster. The fox-demon has placed a spell in Cheng, a spell designed to turn his sexual energy to a murderous ends, endangering himself and everyone around him. And worst of all, they're not the only hunters on the fox-demon's trail!


Bio:
Masquerading by day as an uptight corporate cog, Elizabeth spends her nights concocting gleefully smutty stories. She writes erotic romances for a wide span of worlds, genres, and orientations, and is also a senior editor for Torquere Press. When she's not writing or editing, she loves a wide range of generally nerdy hobbies, including reading, photography, tabletop games, geeky yarncraft, and silly smartphone games. You can find her online at http://EveryWorldNeedsLove.blogspot.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EveryWorldNeedsLove.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Love Of The Hunter Release Day!

Ever since I was a young girl I was fascinated with mythology. There was something magical and special about the legends of Heracles, Achilles, Perseus, and Odysseus. I would spend hours reading books about the Greek pantheon. I cannot recall how many times I have watched the first Clash of the Titans movie. More times than a grown woman should, that`s for sure. I am a huge fan of Edith Hamilton, and use her novels as some writers use a dictionary or a thesaurus. It always struck me as sad that some people couldn`t enjoy mythology as I did, but given how it`s presented in classrooms from elementary school through college, it`s no wonder so many hate Greek mythology.



I`ve tried, through my writing, to bring the gods to life. I`ve gone in and blown the dust bunnies off Zeus` marble nose and ran my Swiffer over Hera`s peacock feather fan. With Love of the Hunter, my M/M mythological romance, I`ve taken things a step further and have rewritten one of the classic Greek legends. In this book you will see how Apollo, the most Greek of all the gods, meets and falls in love with Orion, the famed archer. This new adult romance is a dramatic one, make no mistake. There is a reason they call these tales Greek tragedies. Love of the Hunter is filled with pain and suffering, but the sadness is tempered with a love so deep it was immortalized in the heavens forever.



Here`s a small sample from Love of the Hunter-

***

“You are a shameful man!” Orion glowers then gives me another shove. I fling out an arm to block him lest he strike out again. The man is strong, and his punches rock me soundly. “What possesses you to speak to your sister – your twin – in such a reprehensible manner?”

“What is said between her and I is not your concern!” I yell in his face then stalk past him, my shoulder meeting his. Orion grunts. I do not, although the contact pained me badly. My cape snaps around my ankles as I enter my bedchamber. My lover follows me. The wolves leave in the face of my anger. The door slams shut. I rip my cape from my shoulders and throw it to the corner. Turning, I come nose to nose with Orion. Undaunted and brazen my lover is. That is why he stood and fought Helios instead of begging forgiveness.

“What is said between you and her is my concern for it centers on me!” he shouts, his green eyes alive with his ire.

“So you defend this sick attraction she has for you? Why?” I demand to know. “Are you *#*# her? Is that why?”

I let him hit me. I see the huge fist coming, and I allow it. The crunch of my nose breaking is liberating. Golden ichor gushes from my nostrils. I fall back into the wall, my arms getting caught in the thick teal drapery that hangs from the posts of the bed. I grasp a post for balance. My tongue darts out to catch a bit of the godly blood flowing down over my lips and chin.

I find Orion staring at me as if horrified.

“Apollo,” he pants, his meaty fist dangling by his thigh.

“Nay,” I cough, swallow, and then grab the curtain up to run it under my nose. The flow will stop in a moment; I am a god after all. “You did well. There are times that I require a sound punch to the face.”

“I will not hear you speak of Artemis so.” Orion steps closer. I hold the drapery tightly to my face, my eyes watery as I peek over the bloody material covering my nose and mouth. “She has been a veritable blessing during the long hours that you are gone. She tends my back, brings me well-cooked game, sings and laughs with me. She tells me stories and washes my hair.”

“She loves you, Orion.” I raise the drapery back to my nose.

He stares at me dully. He blinks at me as if I had just said something incomprehensible. “Nay,” he says, his eyes leaping from me to his feet then to me again. He shakes his head.

“Aye,” I mumble into the material over my face.

“Nay, she is naught but a sister to me,” he says.

I drop the teal silk. A small trickle is all that remains of the bloody nose. “That is how you see her. It is not how see looks upon you,” I tell him gently. I fear a feather landing on him would send him to the floor.

He drops to the end of the bed. The thick mattress compresses under his massive body. I sit down beside him. We both stare at our feet. I sniffle occasionally.

“Orion, she has loved you for quite some time. Do you not recall her saying she had watched you before meeting you? I know her -- she is smitten.”

“But she knows I am your lover,” he mutters. I sit straighter and glance over at him.

“Yes, she does.” I reach over to take the hands hanging like dead fish over his knees in mine. “And that I cannot abide. You are mine. I will not share you with anyone. I will not allow her infatuation with you to grow. I should have been firmer about it before this, but I worried about leaving you here sickly and alone.”

“You do not need worry for me,” he says, bristling at the jab at his masculinity. I squeeze his hands.

“Orion, you are still pale. Even if you were returned to robust health, I would worry when you were gone from my side,” I tell him, lifting his hands to my lips. I kiss each scarred knuckle. His jade eyes rise from his feet to meet mine. “Look upon our hands,” I say, rolling his over then showing him mine. “I have no scars upon me. You do.” I press my lips against a raised white welt that runs across the back of his right hand. “You are only half god. Your blood is not gold, it is red. Death will come for you and take you from me. This is unavoidable. So I worry. I will worry each time I cannot place my sight upon you. It is not a slur against your manhood or virility, it is simply the knowledge that I cannot die and you can. I would postpone your demise as long as I possibly can.”

“Your tongue is gilded and golden, Apollo,” he smiles weakly. “How does a man talk a man who just hit him in the face from his anger? How do you make me long for nothing aside from being in your arms?”

“I am the god of poetry and rhyme, my love,” I counter seeing his gaze shift from my mouth to my amber eyes. I nod.

He leans in to capture my mouth. We fall back onto the bed, our mouths moving over each other’s slowly. We lay side by side, kissing, exploring, touching and cupping, stroking and teasing. We strip each other slowly, kissing each exposure of flesh.


***
You can pick up your copy of Love of the Hunter here at the Torquere Press/Prizm website-




I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-








Monday, November 11, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing another excerpt from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867. In today`s snippet, Clayton is suffering from a fevered dream brought on by the bullet wound we witnessed last week.

This week we`re writing to a picture prompt and the excerpt must not be longer than 300 words. As this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!










Laco Law

The Gnarled Oak

*~*~*




          I drifted through hazy dreams of fevered imagery. The snow flew upward as my hooves beat the wintry ground. It coated my stomach with icy particles. My legs, long and strong, pushed me through the drifts. Steam bellowed out of my nostrils. My heart beat strongly - powerfully. No cramps or spasms attacked my muscles. My hair and mane was as white as the snow I ran through. Voices sang all around me.





           Many were about Coyote, a woman, and a monster. I ran with a demon at my side. He spoke to me in my own language for a time and then would revert to his gibberish. He was a scarlet cloud. We found Coyote, and we traveled with him. I grew thirsty. The red sky made rain that coated my face and throat. I asked for my sister, but the red sky made thunder instead of words. I asked for my nephew, but the red sky turned back to white and I heard nothing more from him or Coyote.





Copyright ©by V.L. Locey


*~*~*

Thanks for stopping in to visit! For more free reads by great authors follow the link back to the Tuesday Tales main blog.


In Remembrance Of Those Who Served


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dear Jon - Chapter # 15



The next chapter in my M/M historical romance Dear Jon is up over at Storytime Trysts.

I hope you enjoy this romantic trip back in time.

Storytime Trysts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lydia Michaels Drops In!

Come on in and meet the lovely and talented Lydia Michaels! She`s a romance writer with Secret Cravings and has a new book with a smoking hot cover! Take it away, Lydia.

*~*


Spotlight

SIMPLE MAN by Lydia Michaels




Months after Shane Martin’s sister vanishes, life crashes down and he finds himself the guardian of a nephew he never knew existed. Blissfully ignorant, Shane trades in his musician status, full of late nights and fast women, for midnight feedings and lullabies. But when Kate McAlister, his prissy, stuck up caseworker, arrives unexpectedly, he realizes he could lose everything.

Kate isn’t impressed by Shane’s messy bachelor pad, rocker image, or sexy tattoos. As a matter of fact she finds it all very sophomoric. The sooner she’s off the case the better. Everything from his long hair to his sarcastic attitude threatens her professionalism. But when he lowers his guard and asks for help, she discovers a side to this tattooed musician she can’t resist. Behind this simple man is an unsung hero.
Book Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSnY5u_sak


Simple Man is told strictly from the male hero’s POV and takes readers on a comical and heartwarming journey.


EXCERPT

When Duce left, Shane sifted through the bag. There were tiny diapers, wipes, some sort of yoga mat thing, a bunch of creams. He laughed when he saw something called Butt Paste. That was self-explanatory.

There was something resembling a miniature turkey baster. He found clothes, itty-bitty socks, a knit cap, a few rattles, two containers of formula, some bottles, and a small booklet with doctor’s visits listed in it. He recognized the writing as his sister’s and a strange, sad nostalgia settled over him.

Was she here watching him now? “He’s beautiful, Noel,” he whispered. “I’m gonna do this. Don’t worry. I’ll figure it out and I’ll take good care of him for you. You’ll see.”

By the time Duce returned Shane was reading the bottle of formula. “What’s that?” his friend asked as he plopped down the paper takeout bag of food.

“Formula. I didn’t find any food. Do you think I should wake him to eat?”

“Uh, isn’t there some rule about never waking a sleeping baby?”

Shane shrugged. “Maybe I should make up a bottle so it’s ready when he does wake. He’s been sleeping for two hours. He’s gotta be hungry.”

Shane wished he had Internet. He wasn’t really computer savvy, but people were always talking about finding shit online. Duce was staring at him with a peculiar look. “What?”

“I think you should give him back.”

“Give him back? There is no back. I’m it.”

“He’s just all perfect and small. What if you **** him up?”

“Hey, don’t curse in front of him. And I’m not going to mess him up. I just need some practice. I’ll figure it out.”

“Maybe you should ask someone who has kids what to do.”

Shane reached for an egg roll. “I don’t know anyone with kids. I have to take a class and I have a crap load of reading material.”

“When do you take the class? Maybe that was something you should have done beforehand.”

“It starts tomorrow night. I’ll be fine.”

They ate and zoned out to some reality TV. Baby Shane was so quiet they’d almost forgotten about him. Then Duce’s face began to twitch. “Dude, what’s that smell?”

Shane sniffed and choked. Whatever it was, it was powerful enough to make his eyes water. “Aw man, did you fart?”

“Wasn’t me.”

In unison, they slowly turned to the baby who still slept soundly. He leaned over and sniffed, almost gagging as he jerked back. “Holy crap! How could something so pintsize smell that bad?”

Duce covered his mouth and went to the window, quickly opening it to let some air in. The little guy made a tiny nook-nook sound and his miniature fist curled up by his chin in a dainty stretch. He looked like the fighting Irish.

“It’s moving,” Duce whispered as though the baby were a bomb about to detonate. And suddenly an explosion happened.

Baby Shane’s face screwed up tight, turning an unnatural shade of red. His mouth opened wide, showing nothing but pink gums, and an unholy squawk roared out of him.

They jumped and stared as the baby screamed, his little chest working in quick breaths as he drew in only enough air to force out another shrill, squawking cry.

“Do something!” Duce demanded.

Shane panicked. He reached for the book and began to thumb through, not sure what he was looking for.

“Don’t ******* read! Pick it up!” Duce snapped.

Shane tossed the book on the couch and quickly kneeled in front of the angry baby. He wailed and Shane began to freak. Was he in pain? Ugh, the smell coming off of him was burning the back of his throat. “Sweet *****, he stinks!”

He quickly removed the soft blanket. Shane was strapped down with some sort of five-point harness a person needed a degree in engineering to figure out. He pressed buttons and undid latches, shaking with the urgent need to make him stop screaming.

Sweat seeped through the baby’s tiny cotton jumper. The closer he got the worse the stench became.

“I thought babies were supposed to smell good?” Duce said, fanning the front door to let some air in.

“So did I. I can’t figure out how to unbuckle him!”

“Hit the red buttons on the side. You gotta get the handle out of the way.”

Sweat trickled into his eyes as he tried to dismantle the carrier. Finally he had the harness undone. “Now what?”

“Pick it up!”

“He stinks!”

Duce scowled. “So, my ear drums are about to burst. You gotta get in there. Tough it out. Take one for the team!”

Shane carefully picked up the screaming baby. He held him in front of his chest like a potted plant. He was so incredibly light. “What now?”

“I don’t know. You’re the one who’s supposed to be Mr. Mom. Comfort it. Pat its back. Sing or something!”

Shane stood and awkwardly turned, swaying slightly. He didn’t want to shake him and break him. He sang the first song that came to his mind, wincing at the lyrics about loaded guns.

Duce’s mouth fell open. “Teen Spirit? Really? How about Rock-a-bye Baby?”

“I don’t know Rock-a-bye Baby. Nirvana’s the first thing that popped into my head.”

“It’s not really appropriate, Shane,” Duce said coolly as if he were suddenly more qualified than him with babies.

“You wanna try?”

“No, I’m set.”

He continued to sing Teen Spirit and eventually Baby Shane quieted. Blue eyes stared back at him and slowly the world began to settle.

Shane was sweating and Duce looked petrified.

“Hi,” Shane said. The baby blinked. “I’m your Uncle Shane.”

“I don’t think he can talk.”

“No ****, Sherlock.”

***

Buy Links:
www.LydiaMichaels.org
http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=736&zenid=3a35226c8c546aac1f9dc4ba86c933a0




Award winning author, Lydia Michaels, writes all forms of hot romance. She presses the bounds of love and surprises readers just when they assume they have her stories figured out. From Amish vampyres, to wild Irishmen, to broken heroes, and heroines no man can match, Lydia takes readers on an emotional journey of the heart, mind, and soul with every story she pens. Her books are intellectual, erotic, haunting, always centered on love. Lydia Michaels loves to here from readers! She can be found of Facebook or contacted by email at 
Lydia@LydiaMichaels.org


Other Titles by Lydia Michaels

FALLING IN
BREAKING OUT
COMING HOME
WHITE CHOCOLATE
ALL 4 YOU
TO CATCH A WOLFE
CHASING FEATHERS
BREAKING PERFECT
SIMPLE MAN
CALLED TO ORDER
CALLING FOR A MIRACLE
CALL HER MINE
SACRED WATERS
SKIN


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Yodeling Goatherder No Longer



             Yes, you read that header correctly.

             As of Monday, November 4th, we now have an empty goat barn.

Giving up our goats wasn`t a decision that we made lightly. Far from it. This was something that was discussed over and over for the past two years. Those of you who own goats know that they are more like dogs than farm animals. The decision to sell our herd was one that was arrived at with a goodly amount of tears, rest assured. You may have noticed that I changed my blog header a few weeks ago. That was because I knew that within weeks, I would no longer be a yodeling goatherder.

The reasons we sold out are varied. The most important reason was that we could not win the fight against the barber pole worm. Yes, we have tried that. We have tried every wormer of every brand available. Nothing stopped the losses. Last year we lost 80% of our kids. 80%. That was devastating to us. Not because of any money that we lost due to lack of sales. Heck, in Tioga County you can`t give goats away. No, the devastation came as we watched kid after kid slowly dying from anemia. And yes, we have tried that. No matter what was suggested, we had tried it over our decade as caprine tenders. We kept them off pasture to break the cycle as is suggested. We still lost goats. We went herbal. We lost goats. We have officially declared the barber pole worm the winner. We give up. They win.

Another reason for our leaving the goat biz is that our lives are changing. Miss is now a senior in high school with an eye on college. She has no time to do chores what with play practice, historian`s club, dances, her boyfriend, college visits, and a hundred other after school activities. She has not had the time or interest to show at fair for a couple years now. Her not being able to – or wishing to – attend to her afternoon chores became a burden on her father and I. When we went into this, it was agreed that chores were to be split equally. When one member began slacking, we would have a family discussion about fairness and respect for the time of others. As much as she loves her goats, she also wants to live her life. She is soon to be eighteen and the world is a big and wonderful place, filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered. We understand. Heck, we`re changing as well.

 Mister and I are now looking at being able to perhaps kick back and do a little travelling once my daughter is enrolled in the college of her choice. We can`t enjoy these years together fishing in Canada, or going to Boston to see a Bruins game, or even driving to Cayuga Lake for a romantic weekend if we have goats that need to be milked, fed, and watered daily. People change. The things they want out of life changes. To become static is to die. We`re not getting any younger, and my battle with GRD has limited me in what I can do in terms of heavy farm work. I can also see that the upkeep of farming is beginning to get to my husband as well, although he would never admit it.

                And of course, there is the cost. We have had to decide what to spend what amounts to thousands of dollars a year on. Do we pay for the goats or college for our daughter? Again, as much as we adored our goats, our daughter`s future had to come first. As I mentioned earlier, there is no market for dairy goats in this neck of the woods. We could not give our kids away. That is not a joke. We cannot sell the milk. We couldn`t sell the kids. And we were spending tons of cash on hay, grain, vets, medication, and wormers. I am serious when I say I think we spent close to five hundred dollars just on various wormers last year.

All to no avail.

Five hundred dollars can buy a couple college text books. We weighed the financial pros and cons, and saw that we have been losing money hand over fist for years. We simply couldn`t image having to have to get rid of our herd, even though they were slowly pushing us closer and closer to financial strain. We loved them, each and every one.

We will miss them terribly. I cannot foresee a spring where I can`t get to hold a new goat kid in my arms. Sure, we can go visit our girls, they`re ten minutes away at dear friend`s barn. She runs a huge dairy and show line and bought every single one of our goats. I`m not sure if visiting will be the same as being able to lay in the pasture on a sunny day while a dozen little hooves climb over you.  I suppose it will have to do.

We do still have our poultry to attend to, and of course our brown Swiss steer, Mooka. We`re not completely out of small farming yet, don`t worry. I will have my chickens until I am too damned old to climb that hill every morning. But from this day onward, we are no longer yodeling goatherders. Having dairy goats was a wonderful experience for all of us, one that we will always treasure. One that is so treasured, in fact, that my daughter has chosen this picture for her yearbook image.



Goodbye Bitsy, Freya, Jennifer, Calliope, Perseus, Daryl, Fran, Felicia, Farrah, Idunn, Sif, Skadi, and the many others that we had the pleasure of knowing over the years. 

For the last time, I sign off as that goofy goatherder.