Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Visitor's Center Is Open

I've been pondering the idea of opening up a Cafe Press store for a while now, and this morning I decided to finally do it. After discovering some logo software that's easy to use, I whipped up what's been in my head for ages:



How cute is that? And it's now available on all kinds of things, such as mugs, aprons, and even a teddy bear. It's like you went to Stratton and came home with souvenirs. 

I hope to use this store as a means of creating swag and unique giveaway prizes for you guys, my loyal readers.

I do plan to add other logos for my more infamous fictional locations, such as Big Dick's, Pot O Gold, and maybe even Jeremy's antique store. So stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Chapter: Getting It Right (Restoration #1)

Since we're less than a month until GETTING IT RIGHT releases in all digital formats from Carina Press, it's time to give you guys the first chapter. 

You may notice that we open on the night of "Tag" and Ezra's disastrous hookup in the first chapter of MAYBE THIS TIME (Belonging #2). I wanted to show what happened that night from James's point of view so that I could explore his head space in those moments. The book also has some overlap with events in MTT, as well as STAND BY YOU, so look for some familiar faces.

GETTING IT RIGHT releases March 16, 2015! 


Chapter One

Never said I’d let you fuck me… Get off… Let go!
Ezra's words chased themselves around James Taggert’s mind as he stalked down the sidewalk, away from Pot O Gold, desperate to stuff his hands into his too-tight jeans pockets to keep them from trembling. Never in his life had he acted like such a selfish asshole and allowed a situation to get that out of control. He stopped a few blocks from the bar he’d abandoned and leaned against the cool bricks of a closed Mexican grocery store. He needed to apologize to Ezra, but he was too embarrassed and too drunk to make it as genuine as Ezra deserved.
His phone was at his ear, the other end buzzing.
“Jay?” Nathan Wolf’s voice was a balm to his frazzled nerves. “What’s wrong? It’s after midnight.”
“Price is getting out.”
“Shit, when did you find out? Where are you?”
Having a best friend who knew all of his sordid backstory made times like this so much easier. “This afternoon. I’m outside the Pot. I’m fucked up, Nate, and I did something. Something bad.”
“Stay put. I can be there in under ten.”
The phone call ended, but the calm of talking to Nathan was taking some of the edge off of his panic. He tapped a cigarette out of the crumpled pack in his back pocket. Thumbed the lighter. He took a long drag, letting the smoke fill his lungs to choking before releasing it hard through his nose. The stinging helped sober him up a bit more. He stared at the smoldering end of one of his worst habits.
I really need to quit. Again.
He’d quit five times in the last ten years, but kicking a habit he’d picked up at fourteen was hard. And not even a serious consideration when the cigarette in his hand was the only thing keeping him from pacing like a luncatic while he waited for Nathan. He shouldn't have come out tonight at all, not after the news he'd gotten, but what else was he supposed to do when he found out Stephen Price had made parole? Sit home and stew until the anger made him crazy? He’d dressed up, splashed on his best cologne, and come down to his favorite watering hole for peach mojitos and cock. Irish pub by day and popular gay bar by night, Pot O Gold was his preferred destination for both.
He had walked in, ordered his first drink from Riley, one of his favorite bartenders, and then perused the pickings. A lot of familiar faces. A lot of guys he’d already fucked. He didn’t have a rule about fucking someone only once, but too many repeat performances and some guys got a little clingy. He wanted sex, not a relationship.
Ezra Kelley had caught his attention immediately. He’d seen Ezra around the Pot on and off for the last year or so, sometimes alone and sometimes with other people. Bar chatter said Ezra was a good fuck. James had taken in the tall, lean body, the spiky blond hair and silver stud in his eyebrow. Even the purple sleeveless top that matched the strange purple contact lenses had turned him on. Perhaps because Ezra was the exact physical opposite of what James really wanted and could never have.
He had claimed Ezra quickly. Dancing with him, drinks in hands, practically fucking with their clothes on. James downed more mojitos than he usually allowed himself, because the rum brought numbness. Numbness from the pain of today’s news, the pain of old loss, and the violence churning inside of him, aimed directly at Stephen Fucking Price and everything he’d taken from James’s family.
Alcohol, adrenaline, and Ezra’s wood had made James temporarily lose his mind. They’d walked into the bathroom stall together. That had definitely been mutual. And Ezra hadn’t minded that blow job one bit until James had put Ezra against the wall and pulled the guy’s pants down to fuck him. He’d been too damned drunk to see the surprise in Ezra’s eyes, or hear the real fear in his voice. And then James had been an asshole, trying argue with him about what they were going to do. Accidentally scaring Ezra into barfing up all of his night’s drinks.
And like a fucking coward, James had fled. Fled down the sidewalk to this spot to wallow in his shame and try to keep the acid in his stomach from erupting.
He dragged on the cigarette, watching the tip flare orange. The whole world still listed a bit to one side. He’d moved all of his morning appointments to the afternoon, clearing his schedule until noon, but drinking himself into a hangover on a weekday was idiotic.
Then again, how often did he find out that the bastard who molested his sister when she was thirteen was being paroled? None of his psychology textbooks had given him an answer for how to react to that kind of news, so he’d done exactly what he always advised his patients not to do—mask the pain. His mask of choice was alcohol and sex.
Except he’d overdone it on the alcohol, and he’d hurt Ezra in the process.
I am a douchebag. 
He smoked his way through two more cigarettes before Nathan’s beat-up Ram pickup pulled alongside the curb. For a city cop, he was still adorably country. Nathan leaned across the console to shove open the passenger side door, and James gratefully slid inside. The simple, familiar presence of Nathan nearby made James’s nerves unfurl a little bit more. Nathan was the one thing in James’s life that had always made sense. Always been easy.
Weariness settled into his bones, turning his drunken daze into extreme fatigue. He wanted to pass out and soon.
Nathan shoved a bottle of water at him, then eased the truck back into the street. He cracked both of the front windows, probably because James reeked of smoke. Nathan had never been shy about telling him how gross his habit was. Nathan was also smart enough not to engage in conversation until they were shuffling up the short sidewalk to Nathan’s half of a two-story duplex. Nathan slung an arm around James’s waist, and the heat of the other man’s body so close felt amazing. Real. Not like the fake closeness of dancing with strangers in a crowded bar.
He finally got a good look at his friend as Nathan crossed the narrow living room to the kitchen in the rear. Flannel pajama pants and a spring coat. James had woken him up.
Yeah, I’m a douchebag.
“You hungry?” Nathan shouted from the kitchen.
“No.” In the familiar, somewhat cluttered warmth of Nathan’s home, he had a safe place to wallow in the shame still burning in his gut.
Nathan’s place was the definition of a straight bachelor’s pad—which worked since Nathan was a straight bachelor. Dark leather furniture right out of a magazine’s page, decorated exactly the same because he couldn’t be bothered. A monster, sixty-inch flat screen mounted on the wall over an entertainment console boasted two gaming systems, alongside a BluRay player and hundreds of movies. Only a handful of photos hung on the wall, mostly of his rather large extended family that lived in southern Delaware.
James paused to stare at a familiar photo of himself with Nathan, taken right after Nathan had graduated from the police academy. They were both grinning, arms slung around each others’ shoulder. Nathan so handsome in his uniform, James in a gray suit that hadn’t been stylish in a decade. Because that’s how long it had been. Nathan had made detective last year, so he didn’t wear his uniform anymore. James sort of missed it.
Nathan came back into the living room sans coat, a white wifebeater showing off his muscled arms and flat stomach. He was one-eighth Nanticoke Indian on his mother’s side, which gave his skin a lovely golden hue. His short hair was shiny black, and was always soft on the rare occasion James had a reason to touch it. Dark brown eyes that often seemed to be smiling at him, even when things were serious, like right now.
He was carrying a bamboo tray loaded down with two shot glasses, a bottle of Kentucky bourbon, and a bag of barbecue potato chips. He settled the tray on his magazine-covered coffee table, then poured them each a shot.
James sank onto the couch next to Nathan and accepted the glass. After a silent toast, he threw it back. The harsh, smoky liquid burned its way into his stomach.
Nathan refilled both glasses. “Does your mom know?”
“She’s the one who told me.” Grace had been sobbing when he answered his cell, and it took more than five minutes for him to understand what she’d been babbling. “The bastard is getting out.” The statement had punched him in the balls and tipped his world upside down.
“How is she?”
“Took it like a champ.”
“Liar.”
James downed the second shot, thankful for the burn. “She was a mess. I stopped by to bring her dinner, because she doesn’t feed herself when she gets depressed. She wouldn’t get out of bed. She still fucking blames herself for what happened to Laurie, and it’s been almost twenty years.”
“And you don’t?” Nathan shot him a pointed look before knocking back his second drink. He poured them both a third.
“I was her big brother.” James picked up the shot glass, mesmerized by the amber liquid. His mind was soft again, a gentle fuzziness very different from earlier. The fuzz wrapped around him like silk, coddling him, relaxing his tongue because this was Nathan, and Nathan was safe.
Nathan is everything. “I didn’t protect Laurie.”
“Yes, Jay, you did. You stopped Stephen that day. You stopped it from happening again.”
His eyes burned. “Shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Fucking piece of shit.” Third shot down the hatch. A fourth sounded nice, but his hands were shaking and he’d already fucked up once tonight because he’d drank too much.
Nathan pried the shot glass out of his hand, then angled his body toward him and put a warm hand on his knee. “The only person to blame for what Price did to your sister is Price. He pretended to love your mother. He pretended to be a friend to you and Laurie. He violated your trust because he’s a sick fucking pervert who deserves to rot for touching her.”
“I wish I’d killed him.”
“Don’t say that.”
“I could have. A quarter-inch to the left, and I’d have killed him. The doctor said so.” James flinched away from the memories bombarding his liquor pickled brain. Coming home from tenth grade early because it was a half-day. Stephen’s car in the driveway when he should be at work. Laurie had stayed home with a sick stomach, so he went to check on her right away, only to find Stephen in her room. In her bed. On top of her.
A harsh noise tore from his throat, leaving it raw. His eyes stung, and he blinked against furious tears. “After I left Mom’s place, I headed home and got dressed up for the Pot. I wanted to dance and to get laid, and I thought if I could channel my emotions into that, then it wouldn’t hurt so much.” He sounded hoarse, like he’d gargled sand.
“What happened at the Pot?”
“I targeted my guy, danced, and drank way more than I should have.” Shouldn’t have been drinking at all. “I practically dragged him into a bathroom stall.” Douchebag. “Sucked him off. After, I wanted to fuck.”
James’s throat hurt as though the words themselves were laced with razor wire. “I shoved him against the wall. He started protesting, and I was too drunk to really hear him at first. Then he freaked and said no and I finally heard him. I stopped, but fucking Christ, Nate.”
The hand on his knee squeezed. “You stopped.”
He never had to explain things to Nathan because Nathan always got it. And he never got weird when James talked about sex or other non-straight-guy things, because that was Nathan. “What if I hadn’t? I was so close to doing it. So fucking out of my mind I almost—”
“You. Stopped. You didn’t do anything irreversible. You definitely owe him one major apology, but you didn’t have sex with him against his will.”
Nathan’s hand flew from his knee to his cheek. “You did not become Price tonight, you hear me? You’re still you, Jay. You’re you.”
James shuddered. Arms wrapped around him, pulling him forward, and James went. He pressed his forehead against the hard line of Nathan’s collarbone and wept. Harsh, angry sobs that shook his entire body. Nathan held him together, hands rubbing his back, touching his hair, whispering comforting words that made no actual sense. James clung to his best friend, needing the comfort. Needing the familiar body and heat and scent of Irish Spring soap.
“I’ve got you,” Nathan whispered.
“Please.” James didn’t know what he was asking for. The bourbon was making his brain soft, his actions slow. Instincts were taking over, urging him to find the comfort he’d sought out earlier. The logical side of his mushy brain was trying to argue that this was Nathan.
His very straight best friend Nathan, whose hand pressed against the back of James’s neck. A thumb stroked firm circles against the skin, over the bumps of his spine. Tense muscles relaxed, allowing blood to flow more freely, and a flash of arousal warmed his gut.
Something prickled up James’s spine, and he gasped. He’d been attracted to Nathan for years, ever since their junior year in college when they’d played Truth or Dare at a party, and Nathan had been dared to kiss James for a full minute.
The dare had been a joke perpetrated by Nathan’s then-girlfriend Paula, who’d insisted it would be hot seeing her boyfriend kissing his gay best friend. She'd then whispered something into Nathan's ear which, he’d told James later, had been a promise of oral sex later that night. Maybe the whole thing had been about getting laid for Nathan, but the kiss had meant so much more to James. He’d wanted Nathan badly afterward, so naturally he’d gone out and fucked the first willing guy he could find. He’d still gone home with the taste of Nathan’s lips lingering in his mouth.
Nathan’s other hand drifted from his back to his waist, then up again, as if it wasn't certain where to linger. James straightened enough to see Nathan’s face. To see the concern and confusion in his coffee-colored eyes. Nathan licked his lips, probably without meaning to, and James’s pulse raced.
This isn’t real. He’ll do anything for you, because you’ll do anything for him, so don’t take advantage, you giant douche.
He told his conscience to take a flying fuck, and he did the exact wrong thing. He pressed his lips lightly against Nathan’s and stopped. Waited. Instead of pulling away, Nathan held steady, just like he had in college. Except no one had dared him this time, and they were alone. Nothing to prove to anyone.
Adrenaline and arousal zinged through James, wrapped up in the fog of alcohol, demanding he take this further. Turn it into a real kiss before his chance was gone.
Just one real kiss.
James closed his eyes and slanted his head for a better angle. Nathan moved, warm lips whispering against his. Reacting to the most natural act on earth. James parted his lips and gently flicked his tongue against Nathan’s mouth. He caught the faint flavor of bourbon and chips, and something behind that. Something all Nathan. His gut tightened with want. He clutched the back of Nathan’s thin shirt, part of him wishing they were naked in a bed somewhere so he could taste every inch of Nathan. Lick him until he was moaning with desire. Swallow his cock down. Suck him. Make him come so hard he’d never want another lover.
Nathan gasped into his mouth as if he’d heard all of James’s plans. He clutched James’s hip, then let go, uncertain. James fumbled for Nathan’s hand and gave it a firm squeeze before putting it back on his hip, liking it there. James slid his right hand down over soft flannel to grab Nathan’s ass. Nathan groaned and jerked, his free hand threading into James’s hair—to pull him off or keep him there, it didn’t matter, because Nathan tasted so good and James didn’t want it to end. 
Except Nathan ripped away from him, his cheeks flushed and his lips wet. He pressed a palm to James’s chest.
“You’re drunk, Jay,” Nathan said. “You’re drunk and you’re hurting, and this isn’t what you want.”
“I don’t?” He was pretty sure he did, but only if Nathan wanted it, too, and he didn’t look like he did anymore.
“No, you don’t. You can’t.”
“But you feel so good, Nate. Taste good, too, and not just like bourbon.”
Nathan lifted a hand toward his face, and James leaned into the touch that never came because Nathan dropped his hand. “I think you need to go to bed and sleep this off.”
“Bed sounds good.” He reached for Nathan again, all spaghetti arms and determination, and he got a solid face-plant on the sofa. Being horizontal started shutting down some of his higher brain function, because he suddenly couldn’t quite recall why he was on the couch and not in a bed.
“Roll over.”
“Woof.”
“Jesus, you’re wasted.”
“I know you are but what am I.”
“For fuck’s sake.”
Arms rolled James onto his back. He reached for the shape looming over him, only to get the corner of a blanket in his mouth. Flat on his back felt nice. Swimmy. Everything all swirly and floaty.
“Nothing happened with us tonight, Jay,” Nathan said. “It was all a really nice dream.”
James tried to protest, but the light went off and Nathan was gone. He was alone again, on the one night when he didn’t want to sleep alone.
Moonlight glinted off the bottle of amber liquid left behind on the coffee table. His sister’s cries filled the too-quiet room.
Just one more shot…


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Release Day: The Truth As He Knows It

It's finally here! This is the book that I was calling "The Big Book O Angst" on Twitter last year while I was writing it. And from the reviews I'm seeing so far (THANK YOU), it was aptly nicknamed. I've been told by a few bloggers that the book should come with a complimentary box of tissues. *grin*

So if you're looking for a light, happy read, maybe save this book for later. If you're in the mood for something angsty, emotional, but still with an HEA, give it a go. And if you're so inclined, leave a review someplace.  



Lies are the chains that keep you weighed down at rock bottom.

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.

Friday, February 6, 2015

As Above, So Below: An Essay on an Unexpected Topic

Author's note: I don't post many things aren't connected to one of my own works, so this brief essay is a bit of an anomaly. Bear with me for a moment. Obviously the idea of men having sex with each other doesn't bother you, or you wouldn't be on my blog in the first place. However, porn bothers some people and this essay is about porn. But it's about really, really excellent gay porn, and how it's currently being used to tell a pretty ingenious story. 

If I haven't lost you yet, then please enjoy. And feel free to share a link. 


As Above, So Below


As a romance author, it’s my job to find the right balance between story and sex. The sex scenes should come naturally out of the building relationship between the two main characters, as well as help move the internal (and sometimes external) plot forward. Sex for sex sake is fluff. It’s filler. It doesn’t tell a story and it often adds little to the story trying to be told. I don’t write fluff, although I do sample it on occasion because sometimes you just want sex. It’s kind of why people watch porn, instead of Secretary. So it was a bit of a refreshing shock to hear something very similar come from a director/producer of gay porn.



During the director’s DVD commentary for Jake Jaxson’s The Haunting, director Jake Jaxson says, “Story is informing the sex, and sex is informing the story.” I was so floored that I actually stopped the DVD and rewound just to make sure I’d heard it correctly. I stared at my computer screen for a moment and thought, “Holy crap, JJ thinks like a romance author!”

I very nearly tweeted that at him, too, but I refrained because I was too busy listening to the rest of the commentary.

The more I thought about it afterward, the more I realized that this is what drew me to Cockyboys (NSFW!) in the first place—many of the scenes have genuine attraction between very real, likeable guys who clearly want to have sex with each other. The models are insanely attractive, engage on social media, and show real affection for each other on and off camera. The photography of RJ Sebastian is beautiful. But the basic scenes aren’t what got me to pony up and purchase a subscription.

I shelled out for their Feature Films (NSFW).

My first conscious exposure to Cockyboys was a short film called “Kiss Hug Fuck Love” that I found for free, possibly on Vimeo (my memory betrays me). I thought this was a short erotic film in the vein of Jesse Metzger’s “I Want Your Love,” which he later turned into a feature film. Both are non-porn films with actual sucking, rimming, and penetrative sex. So I was a bit surprised to find out that “Kiss Hug Fuck Love” was produced by a gay porn site.

Obviously I had to investigate further, which led me to the trailer for A Thing of Beauty. And trailers for other scenes. I could talk about Colby Keller for days, but then this essay would go way off topic. Suffice it to say, I hit the Buy button on a subscription, and I have not regretted it for a moment. I mean, I write gay romance. It’s practically research, right?



Already-long story short, my research eventually found Ricky Roman and Jake Bass in Answered Prayers: The Banker. Reading the Director’s Note, I knew I’d found something special. The film is a reaction to the ugly voices of doubt and fear that make us do things we shouldn’t do, and often prevent us from doing the things we should. The voices that “have the power keep us OUT of trouble and so often get us INTO trouble”. As a long-time fan of the paranormal, how could I resist this?


As visually stunning as it is thoughtfully presented, The Banker surprised me with the story of a man (The Banker) at the end of his rope who is completely undone by a mysterious entity named Jinks. The Banker is reduced to his most basic parts and stripped of all external barriers, and he is forced to confront his fears. Yes, there is hardcore sex. The chemistry between Ricky Roman (The Banker) and Jake Bass (Jinks) vibrates off the screen, and yet the entire encounter is quiet. It’s a discovery. The sex is a visual representation of an internal change within the character of the Banker as he faces his fears and accepts responsibility for all of the damage he’s caused to others. He awakens a changed man and takes action to correct his destructive course.

There is a wider story arc with the characters of Jinks and his brother Moloch (also spelled Malic on the Cockyboys site, and don’t think I didn’t notice that Malic is one letter away from being malice). They are the epitome of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on another. Jinks is trying to save souls while Moloch would see them torn apart.

Each episode (The Banker, The Healer, The Bully, The Lamb Part One, The Lamb Part Two, and The Redeemer) features the deconstruction and reformation of different archetypes, all while showing us an ongoing battle between good and evil. Between our better nature and the part of us that wants to do wrong.

Shakespeare also plays a part in this ongoing narrative. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is quoted in both The Lamb Part Two and The Redeemer (and if it’s quoted elsewhere, my memory is again failing me). The Lamb (Max Ryder), the embodiment of innocence and a character who is being groomed to replace Jinks one day, is fighting against a darker nature. He quotes “Weaving spiders come not here, hence, you long legged spinners, hence,” from the play and finds a deeper, personal meaning in it.

To me it means keep the liars, the thieves, the corruptors, the fears, everything a person doesn’t want around them away. It’s everything I don’t want to become.” –The Lamb, Answered Prayers: The Lamb Part Two

He wants to be on the side of good and to keep negativity out of his life, but ultimately the Lamb falls. He succumbs to temptation and his innocence is lost. In its place is a thirst for power, which leads him down the same dark road that Moloch fell victim to. It also leads to the deaths of both Moloch and Jinks—but not before Jinks sees to his replacement. After all, you can’t have a devil on your shoulder without the angel to balance the scales.


 The penultimate episode, The Redeemer, is the journey of Puck (Levi Karter), one of the three sons of Jinks. Shakespeare fans will remember Puck, aka Robin Goodfellow, as a character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Both characters bring a sense of playfulness to their respective works, even as they orchestrate the actions of others. Before his human death, the boy who will become Puck reads from the play, “Thou speaketh a’right, for I am the merry wanderer of the night.” It’s perfect foreshadowing for who Puck will eventually become.

After his human death, now caught in this place between heaven and earth, Puck goes on a journey of discovery that is so beautifully constructed by the filmmakers and lovingly narrated by model Levi Karter, that it transcends film. It becomes a love letter to facing life without fear.

The amazing thing about not knowing—it makes it impossible to be afraid. And in the nothingness of my mind, possibility was made. Nothing spaces would become something places. And so I set out with a plan, collecting the memories of man. Why and how? I do not know. As above, so below.” –Puck, Answered Prayers: The Redeemer

This is one of my favorite quotes from any film, because of the simple beauty of the words, combined with the imagery chosen by the filmmakers. “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul” is seen on a title card as The Redeemer begins and is reinforced by Puck’s narration.

The quote is a simplification of a maxim attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. The longer quote, according to historical texts is as follows: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.” Everything is connected, and by understanding ourselves, we can better understand the world around us.

Puck’s journey was as much about self-discovery as about understanding the world he lived in and his part in the universe. Each grain of sand has a purpose, just like every person who walks the earth. Not everyone is able to embrace life and discover the greater purpose, because they are mired down by negative emotions and the daily grind. They miss the joy that simple things like exploration can bring to us.

In the film, Puck realizes his destiny is to free a man who’s lost his way, and in finding each other, both men are set back on their truth path. Puck assumes the mantle of his father and, in a fun nod to previous installments, we see a flash of Jinks’s all-seeing eye gazing out through a pyramid. The pyramid itself could be another nod to Hermeticism and the three parts of the universe: alchemy, astrology and theurgy.



The final chapter of this fantastic saga, The Actor, releases sometime this month (a guess based on the 2/13/15 release date for the DVD boxed set), and I’m on pins and needles waiting to see how this battle of good and evil will end. Each episode has gotten progressively better and more thoughtful than the last, so I’m expecting a worthy finale to an amazing work of cinematic art.

EDIT: Word is out that pre-orders of the DVD have shipped today (2/6/15) so we could see the final chapter any day!

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I don't know if I've inspired you to investigate this lovely series of films, or if I've scared you away for good so I'll end with this.

The best Cockyboys scenes often leave me feeling like do when I've just read a good m/m romance--it's sexy, it's hot, and it has two characters who really connect.

Signing off.  --A.M.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting It Right: Official Blurb!

I'm sure some of you have been waiting impatiently for more details about James "Tag" McTaggert's upcoming book, and the wait is finally over! I have the finalized cover copy for GETTING IT RIGHT, which kicks off the Restoration trilogy with Carina Press.

I really loved discovering the man behind the Tag persona, and what a journey it was. Two very alpha men butting heads, a murder mystery, and some serious sexy times. What more could you want?

Enjoy!


Detective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four—because he's too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.

Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as “Tag”, he’s the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James’s drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he’s close to becoming the worst version of himself.


After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn't sorry for the kisses that James can't remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Excerpt: Getting It Right (Restoration #1)

I've spent so much time chatting up THE TRUTH AS HE KNOWS IT, I almost forgot about the deliciousness that is Tag's book. GETTING IT RIGHT (Restoration #1) spins off from the Belonging series, with a new set of characters and some familiar locations. 

GIR very fittingly opens on the very same night as MAYBE THIS TIME, with the infamous encounter between Ezra and James "Tag" McTaggert at Pot O Gold. We get to see James's side of the story, as well as watch him eventually find his own HEA.

This excerpt is from chapter two. Nate is James's best friend since college (and maybe his future love interest....).




The toast popped. Nate munched on one piece dry while he set the coffee pot with water and ground beans. The toast stuck in his throat, so he helped himself to a swing of orange juice from the jar.
            
A loud groan from the living room reminded him that his guest was still there, probably waking up with his hangover. Nate grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and padded into the living room. James was sprawled on his back in the middle of the sofa bed, one arm across his eyes, the other flung off to the side. The sheet was rucked up around his armpits with his bare feet sticking out the bottom.
            
"Don't you have to be at work?" Nate asked, mostly to be an ass.
            
And it worked. James sat up straight, hands flailing, mouth open. "Shit, I'm late, aren't I? Do I have patients? Fuck, my stomach." He flopped back down, hands flying to his middle. "Jesus Christ."
            
"Sorry, Jay." Nate pressed the cold bottle against James's cheek, earning a sharp yelp.
            
"Fuck you." James snatched the bottle but didn't drink. He blinked up at the ceiling. "I think I took the morning off. Rescheduled an appointment to this afternoon. Pretty sure."
            
"That sounds like you." As emotional as he could get, James was also one of the most organized people he'd ever met. After he got the news about Price, James had probably planned on getting wasted and adjusted his work schedule accordingly.
            
"What about you? What time is it?"
            
"I already called in and took the morning off."
            
"You did?" James frowned. "Why?"
            
Nate arched an eyebrow at him. "You're sleeping one off on my couch. I needed to be here in case you started barfing on my furniture."
            
"So considerate."
            
"I really like this furniture."
            
"Like every other guy who catalogue shops from Lay-Z-Boy."
            
"Oh fuck you." Nate snorted, no ire in his voice or heart. James was forever ribbing him about his lack of decorating skills. "I'm not a shrink who makes enough money to buy furniture from Restoration Hardware."
            
James eyes sparkled with amusement and some of the old him. The old him who'd been completely hidden last night, trampled down by alcohol and rage. "I always knew you were jealous of my craftsman table."
            
"Whatever, man. You want toast or something?"
            
"No, just coffee."
            
Nate pivoted, intent on the kitchen and the sputtering coffee machine.
            
"Hey Nate?"
            
He glanced over his shoulder. "Yeah?"
            
"Is my car here?"
            
Nate allowed the rest of his body to turn around. "Last night a little fuzzy?"
            
"A lot fuzzy." James rubbed his palms over his eyelids. "I remember leaving the Pot and being pissed at how I acted inside. I remember having some smokes. I called you, right?"
            
"Yeah, you asked me to pick you up."
            
"Okay." The question in his eyes said he didn't remember anything else. At least not clearly.
            
Nate didn't know if he should cheer or be angry. "I picked you up, brought you back here. You told me what was happening over a few shots of whiskey, got it out of your system, and then we went to bed."
            
James puzzled over the words, probably testing them, making sure he didn't recall anything differently. Finally he shrugged. "Okay. Thanks."
            
"Not a problem. The department's been at me to use my earned sick time, so you did me a favor by tying one on."
            
James flipped him off. Nate laughed, then went to fetch the coffee. He poured two mugs with shaking hands, angry with himself for being disappointed that James had blacked out the kiss. Things were better this way. James had a life he liked where he fucked whoever he wanted, when he wanted, then moved on. Nate was finally in a good place professionally, he loved his job, and he didn't know if admitting his feelings would wreck his life.
            
He didn't understand his feelings, so how could he explain them to anyone else? He had never been attracted to another man in his life, but he wanted James to take him to bed. He didn't check out other guys, but he caught himself staring at James's ass, legs, face, any part of him because all of him was amazing. What was he supposed to do with that?
            
Nothing, that was what. Life would go on like usual, while he helped James deal with the new reality of Stephen Price on the streets.
            
Nate drizzled some half-and-half into his coffee, then carried the pair of mugs into the living room. James had managed to sit up, the sheet bunched around his waist, leaving his chest bare. Nate pointedly ignored the expanse of tanned, hairless skin, and handed James his coffee, black.
            
James sipped at the steaming liquid. Grimaced. "I am such a douche."
            
Nate almost snarfed his coffee. "How come this time?"
            
"Hardy-har, funny guy. Last night. With Ezra? I told you about that, right?"
            
"Yeah, you did. And yes, it was kind of douchey, but you were drunk and in a bad place, and you stopped. No more beating yourself up over it."
            
"I should apologize."
            
"So apologize and then move on." And because he couldn't help ragging on his best friend, Nate stroked his chin with his free hand. "Although, if Ezra pursued this, I would have to arrest you for assault."
            
James eyes went comically wide. "Are you serious?"
            
"Well, I guess not me personally."
            
"Fuck."
            
He looked genuinely stricken, and Nate felt like an asshole. Maybe today wasn't the day for their usual banter. "Don't worry, Jay, it won't happen. Sounds like this Ezra was as drunk as you were if he was barfing into the toilet."
            
"I guess."
            
"Drink your coffee, then go take a shower. I have to be in by noon."

           
"Yes dear."


(c) A.M. Arthur
Please do not redistribute, but feel free to share the link.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Perspective

A lot of folks are doing a look back at 2014 and chronicling the ups and downs. I will admit, I've had a lot of ups and very few downs. I had five books release this year (and at least four releasing in 2015). I set a writing record for myself (84k words in 23 days). I published an entire trilogy, and I saw the temporary end of two series. I talked to a lot of fantastic people on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Some of my books ended up on Best Of lists, and a few were even up for some awards.

I am so grateful for the amazing support I get from my two fantastic editors, Alissa and Christa. My books are as good as they are because of their editing and direction. And I love, love, love all of my loyal readers.

To say good-bye to 2014, I'm going to let my characters who got their own books this year tell you the best part of their year.


Jaime -- "I had sex! Finally!"
Alessandro -- "Jaime had sex. With me. A lot. And I shed my old image so people in town don't still look at me like I'm a thug. Win?"


Ezra -- "I finally stopped wanting approval from my parents, and I learned to love myself."
Donner -- "I learned to love Ezra."
Ezra -- "Learned? It was easy and you know it."
Donner -- "Yeah, you and easy are not all that familiar."
Ezra -- "Depends on the definition of easy."


Romy -- "I took control of my life, and I found Brendan."
Brendan -- "I admitted who I am, and now I've got my Romy."


Jeremy -- "I learned something new about how Cole thinks, and together we figured out how to be an us."
Cole -- "Jeremy told me he loves me, and I believe him. I love him, too. I think this can work."


Owen -- "I got David and Michael back."
David -- "I got Michael and Owen back, and I made peace with the past."
Owen -- "Your past, or my past?"
David -- "All of our pasts. And it's all in the past."

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
BRING IT, 2015!!!