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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Thanks, JMS Books!

 

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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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New Release: Heat Wave: Colorado Springs

This year, authors at JMS Books took on the challenge of writing a series of stories set during a massive heat wave sweeping across the United States. This summer is shaping up to be a real scorcher, one of the hottest in history, and these stories really crank up the heat! As temperatures soar, tempers flare and libidos rise, and we’ve cooked up 18 sizzling tales of summer love. This steamy summer series launches today with three titles. Among them:

Heat_Wave_Colorado_Springs_400x600Just when barbecue boss Spencer Worthington is convinced nothing in the world could be hotter than Colorado Springs this summer, along comes Ethan, sizzling ribs with his dad at a rival booth. Just looking at him makes Spencer sweat, and when Ethan’s dad reveals himself to be a homophobic heckler, Spencer’s temper flares. Conflict erupts, and a passerby proposes a civilized solution: a reality TV cook-off — such as the one she happens to produce — to settle the score. May the best meat win.

Seeing an opportunity to win a big fat cash prize and big fat Ethan, Spencer signs on. But when his secret sauce goes missing at the height of the competition, all signs point to sabotage, and he neglects to look before he leaps to conclusions. Now the money and Ethan are both on the line, but how can Spencer keep his cool in this heat?

Read an excerpt and get your copy at JMS Books. It’s 30% off (along with my other JMS titles) during July as part of their Fifth Birthday Blowout. Festivities also include two chances to win this and other Heat Wave stories — visit their website for information about giveaways, then swing back by as part of the scavenger hunt!

Thanks, JMS Books!

Thanks, JMS Books!

New Release: Isle Be Home for Christmas

Isle_Be_Home_For_Christmas_400x600-1So, a couple of announcements, I guess. One is, this is officially my last month in the air as an active, here’s-your-coke, how-do-you-take-your-coffee, I’m-sorry-sir-but-you’ll-have-to-keep-your-shirt-on stewardess. My company offered a buyout, and I took it, and at the end of this month I’m “retiring” (at the age of 42, mind you–it will not exactly be a rocking chair-and-mint julep retirement, at least not for a while…). I’m going to keep the name “Mister Stewardess,” though, cuz I earned it, meaning that one time when that girl yelled it, she was talking to me. I wrote this year’s Christmas Story (which brings us to our second announcement: it’s out today from JMS Books!) before I knew they were going to offer these buyouts, but you will see on about page one that retirement (or blowing a slide and taking two beers and quitting, however you wanna go out…) was on my mind as a hot topic. Justin, our 43-year-old hero, has just been laid off, you see, and he says, “After thirteen years in the cubicle zoo, my severance was okay. Not more than I felt I was owed, mind you, but enough that I’d be able to pay my bills and cover my nut for a few months while I looked for something else. Or enough to live like a king on an island the size of a college campus within spitting distance of the Gatun locks of the Panama Canal for eight weeks, which is what I decided I’d way rather do. I had the rest of my life to job-hunt. But I also had a car payment and exorbitant Southern California rent to worry about. I was never going to have a big pile of money sitting in my checking account just begging to be spent again, and I figure if God didn’t want me running off to Central America to drink beer and chase brown-skinned boys, He wouldn’t have invented the sublet.”

Enter Cole, a middle-aged American who wanders off from the cruise line-approved waterfront and ends up in Justin’s favorite island hangout. Justin hasn’t come all this way to ogle Americans. It’s like he says, “If I was looking for a big, square-shouldered American meathead, I’da stayed in America. I live in San Diego, for Heaven’s sake—it’s like the square-shouldered American meathead outlet mall.” But Cole knows how to dance, and it turns out he knows how to kiss, and it’s only one night, after all, although by morning this seems to Justin less like a selling point and more like a grave romantic injustice. When he spies the ship still in port while he tends to his Christmas Eve hangover, Justin knows he must manage his expectations. Just because the ship’s still here doesn’t mean Cole will come ashore, and so what if they do cross paths again? Did they really connect as Justin thinks he remembers, or is that just the beer filling in the blanks? He invents an errand, throws on some clothes, and heads for the dock, figuring there’s one way to find out.

Remember, during their first week, all JMS new releases are 20% off, and only available at JMS Books.

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Gift Gay Guy CoverLest auld acquaintance be forgot, The Ghost of Christmas Past recommends last year’s holiday hit, The Gift of the Gay Guy, also a JMS Book!

New Release: The Sugar Shack

If I haven’t already written here about how the discovery of queer fiction written by queer people rocked my teenage world and changed my young gay life, I probably should. And then I moved to San Francisco, which had a gay bookstore — it’s a miracle I was able to cover my rent.

Would you like cheese with that Danish?

Would you like cheese with that Danish?

One of my first finds at that gay bookstore was a book of “Fairy Tales” (get it?), which depicted two men in codpieces on the cover with a castle in the background and was subtitled, “Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men.” Not every story in it is a masterpiece, but it is a lovingly curated collection, and for a guy like me who was waiting for his prince to come along (Harry Windsor? Felipe Bourbon? That rascally Frederik of Denmark? Each Charming in his own way, and I wasn’t trying to be picky…), it was reassuring to know that being cursed by evil queens and kissing frogs was all part of the process for us, too. Also, modern retellings of fairy tales have enjoyed something of a resurgence these days, and never let it be said that I’m afraid to jump on a bandwagon.

The_Sugar_Shack_400x600As it revolves around two of my passions, namely free food and fat guys, Hansel and Gretel has always been my fave. I’ve long wanted to write my Big Gay Version of it, especially as one modern rewrite after another has ignored Hansel’s heroic appetite, but how do you “gay up” a story about a brother and sister of which the main themes are cannibalism and child labor? By highlighting the edifying bonds of love within the families that we choose for ourselves and making the witch a chubby chaser drag queen, it turns out. Or at least that’s how I did it. The Sugar Shack is the resulting story. I wasn’t sure I had the guts to write it, and for a while I didn’t have the guts to submit it, but JMS Books believed in it — and put a really hot cover on it — so I’m happy to tell you it’s available as an eBook, starting today!

Hansel is an aspiring photographer. His pal Gretel is a Drag Superstar—or will be, she’s convinced, the moment she’s discovered by…anybody. When they stumble upon The Sugar Shack, Gretel gets a gig and Hansel a new admirer in club owner, drag diva Sugar Rush. Hansel could never love a man who looks like a woman, but he eats everything else Sugar puts in front of him—will he eat those words, too?

Buy it here! All JMS Books New Releases are 20% OFF during their first week on the shelf!

For an exclusive excerpt, read on:

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