New Release: Dude Mama

Dude_Mama_400-NEWWhen button-down biracial lawmaker Cassidy Uematsu meets hardscrabble fry cook Buford “Jax” Jackson, it’s lust at first sight. They’re only too happy to jump into the sack, and when Jax loses his condom mid-getting-to-know-you, Cassidy urges him forward, damn the consequences. What’s the worst that can happen?

After a couple weeks of barfing up his breakfast and a few months of stacking on weight, Cassidy learns an unfathomable secret about the men in his family that he’s pretty sure he was happier not knowing. Jax is a fan of Cassidy’s rapidly rounding belly, and of the sexy “Dude Mama” roleplay it inspires, but the night he feels a kick from inside Cassidy, he hightails it, certain at least one of them has lost his damn mind. A pregnant dude? That’s impossible. As the ninth month since the condom mishap approaches, Cassidy sure hopes he’s right. 

I write for all kinds of reasons. I write to increase queer visibility; I write to scare the gay-haters; I write to celebrate sex and sexuality, and I write, like Anais Nin did, to “taste life twice.” I wrote this story just for the fuckin’ fun of it, and I hope it reads accordingly. I get that contemporary male pregnancy kink/romance/fantasy isn’t the genre for everyone–I’m as surprised as you are that it’s even a genre at all. But it’s not a fetish or a fantasy for Cassidy or Jax. Rather it’s an unexpected reality this new couple tries to face together, even as each grapples with the question Am I up for this?

Like Cassidy and Jax’s first date, this story’s a quickie–first published in 2014 in the Wayward Ink anthology A Likely Story, and coming into the world today on its very own, as we all gotta do eventually. I love it, and I hope you will, too!

Available today from JMS Books, it’s 20% off (just $2.39) during this release week!

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New Release: You Had Me at Hero

 

you_had_me_at_hero_400When seventeen-year-old Mark Potts falls from a balcony, he loses both the use of his legs and any faith in heroes. Now twenty-nine, he’s long-since come to terms with his injury. His job provides more opportunities for eye-rolling than for riding to anybody’s rescue, but with two kids to bring up, he barely has time for his husband, much less for heroics. Besides, Starr is a policeman—how many heroes does one family need?

Mark and Starr love each other madly, but stress management is a load-bearing pillar of their happiness. When Mark’s coping skills fail him at the exactly-wrong moment, he’s left hanging by a thread of words he should’ve kept in his mouth. He has the power to repair their relationship, but when Starr’s workday suddenly goes south, will he get to wield it? Keeping it together long enough to find out is a job for Super Mark!

Available today at JMS Books, or read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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Love is Proud, and We’re Proud of It

loveisproudI once fell in love with a man in Panama. He had a gorgeous smile, a thing for fried plantains, and the best butt on either side of the Puente de las Americas. In some ways he was more experienced than me, in others very naïve. We flipped for each other, and burned through 18 condoms in our first weekend together.

Luis was funny. Luis was very smart, as witty in English as in Spanish. Luis lived at home, was not out to his parents, and is probably still scared to death of his mother. He lied to his parents whenever I came to town, about where he was going and who he was going to see. He wouldn’t hug me hello or goodbye at the airport—I got a handshake if I was lucky, and he looked over his shoulder before he’d give me that. On my first trip to Panama, our entire relationship was conducted in our mutual friend’s apartment and on her balcony, where we couldn’t kiss in the daytime, lest anyone passing in a speeding car on the busy street three stories below recognize Luis in the arms of another man.

It wasn’t until my second trip that we ventured out to the bar. Nobody had any fear about being seen out at the bar, Luis explained, because no tattle tale’s reputation could weather the inevitable round of And what were you doing there? that would follow any attempted outing. It was a safe space, even if everybody there did know you were a married man making out with a Catholic priest. It was the only public space in which I ever felt Luis relax.

We went more than once, but it’s our first trip to the bar that’s etched across my soul as one of the ten most memorable nights ever to happen to anyone ever pretty much since people invented remembering stuff. The music that night was all in Spanish, poppy and insanely danceable. We might have each had one cocktail, I think there was rum in mine, but it’s hard to merengue on a crowded floor and eat the face off the grinningest man in the club without spilling, and anyways only a crazy person would have stepped out of Luis’ arms just to go stand in line for a drink. We held each other for hours, sweating and dancing and laughing at nothing. I sang along to words I’d never heard. Luis taught me how to unhook my hips and move my feet. He led, he spun me like a top, and the more we danced and the later it got, the longer I wanted to never stop dancing. Sure the sex with Luis was fantastic, but I never knew two people could have this much fun together.

I was already living in San Francisco. I was already flying London and Sydney, New York and Miami. I’d been out for a decade and wasn’t going back into anybody’s closet for anything. Our break-up was crushing, sudden and hurtful, and not long in coming. But that night, dancing in a gay bar—with a guy I hardly knew, to songs I’d never heard before, sung in a language I didn’t speak—I knew uncensored, joy-splattered love for the very first time.

These days I’m not a big bar-goer. But you’d never know it to read my stuff. The Gay Club is the scene of a turning point in more of my stories than I should probably admit. Todd and Josh fall in love in one, Tanner and Clark fall in love in another. Fox discovers his respect for Thumper in a backwoods bear bar, and Esau and Drew engage in all manner of scandalous behavior in a Downtown Denver hotspot. Boys dance, boys flirt; boys propose, boys break up; boys win cash prizes in amateur strip shows and cum surreptitiously in their shorts on the back patio. Like the bar in Panama, the gay bar’s a safe space in M/M fiction, where characters can get up to whatever needs getting up to without having to factor in gawking passersby or the disapproving Dominant Paradigm. (Unless the gawking passerby is into it…)

The shooting in Orlando is horrifying and havoc-wreaking on any number of levels. I’m not here to tell anybody how to feel; I’m pretty sure I don’t know how I feel about it. My husband works at one of the more popular bars here in Denver, and I’m now a 9-1-1 operator—it’s easy to imagine the ways a personal nightmare could unfold in a similar situation here; impossible to know the ways the lives of those involved in or affected by the real-life rampage have been shaken, smashed, and re-shaped. All I do know is I believe in the mission of this anthology: to celebrate queer love so that love may triumph over hate, and to try to get a little bit of money to people dealing with funeral expenses and medical expenses and mental health expenses they never should have had to incur in the first place. I very intentionally set my story for this project in a gay bar yet again, to help reclaim that safe space—for my husband, who works in one; for my friends, who hang out in lots; for all the people falling in love with people like Luis in places like Panama who need a safe space to dance and flirt and suck face and engage in all manner of scandalous behavior.

I was pleased to be invited to contribute to this anthology, and I’m thrilled with the turnout. Proud to count myself among the forty-nine JMS authors—to say nothing of the millions of other people trying to make sense of spinning through space on this big ball of dirt—who believe that love is the answer. That love is stronger—importantly, braver—than hate, and worthy of a safe space, be it a bar or a bookshelf.

JMS Books will donate every penny of the proceeds from the Love is Proud anthology to Equality Florida to benefit the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting and their families. So please enjoy the e-book, or better yet, clear a place on your shelf for the paperback, out tomorrow.

New Release: September’s Always Gorgeous

 

Septembers_Always_Gorgeous_400x600“Now that I think about it, you don’t see very many people doing this in November,” I say, rubbing my hands together. I take a sip of my hot chocolate and adjust my scarf.

“Whatever. It’s a gorgeous day.” Esau says. He looks perfectly comfortable in his T-shirt, even if he has muscled up a bit in the chest since it probably fit him just right.

He’s right: for November, it is a gorgeous day. Blue sky and sunshine, the leaves skittering across the sidewalk glittering gold and red. But the sunshine is thin, the blue sky is brittle. It’s a gorgeous day for a hike or a bike ride, anything that gets the blood flowing more than standing around pretending to know how to paint.

The botanic gardens are not at their most lush this time of year. Nothing’s green, nothing’s pink; nothing’s blooming or bursting, nothing’s full or fecund. But we both live close—me just a couple blocks to the east, him a mile or so south—and with my membership, we can rove the grounds anytime we want for nothing.

The painting was his idea. “You know how people do. We should set up easels, paint the flowers.”

“What flowers? It’s November.”

“Paint the koi, then. Branches? Come on, it’ll be fun. There’s beauty in every season.”

“Is that a crack about my age?”

“Oh phew, that was a close one. For a minute there I thought we were going to have to endure an entire conversation without obsessing over age. Nice save.”

“Sorry.”

“You’re not exactly November, babe, I hate to break it to you. Mid-September, maybe, and September’s always gorgeous.”

*

When Drew Schilling wakes up with a world-class hangover, he’s not especially proud of himself. He’s almost forty-five years old—really, by now he should know better. He certainly knows better than to bring home a hook-up like Esau Wallenberg. His friendly face, his super-hero physique—charming qualities that appeal to Drew, naturally. In a guy old enough to rent a car. This kid’s barely eighteen. Once they’re out of bed, Drew just wants to send Esau home and forget the whole mortifying incident.

But Esau thinks he’s in love. He’s even talking marriage, but what the heck do we know when we’re eighteen? The kid’s got his whole life ahead of him. And Drew’s got some life left ahead of him, too, thank you very much.

He just needs to figure out a way to undo a huge mistake so he doesn’t have to live it without Esau.

Part of JMS Books’ “Love Wins” series, September’s Always Gorgeous is out today. It’s even 20% off at JMS Books dot com.

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New Holiday Release: It’s Not Yule, It’s Me

Its_Not_Yule_Its_Me_400x600Shannon hates Christmas. Mostly because Christmas hates him. It sure seems like it, anyway: every crummy thing that’s happened to him since high school has befallen him at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Every humiliating break-up, every high-rise hotel fire—heck, a few years back, one guy he had the hots for up and died. Which goes a long way toward explaining why he’s a whimpering mess when he meets Ben the barista one Christmas morning at his neighborhood coffee house. It doesn’t completely excuse his using Ben’s T-shirt as a handkerchief—while Ben’s still in it—but Ben’s nothing if not a good sport. Ben’s such a bright spot that after a while Shannon wonders if maybe his Christmas Curse hasn’t been lifted. And what better place to test this theory than at Ben’s family festivities? It’s not like Christmas is actually cursed.

Is it?

Find out in this year’s Very Special Holiday Episode, It’s Not Yule, It’s Me. Out today at Amazon, or save 20% off when you get yours direct from JMS Books this week.

For an exclusive excerpt, read on:

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