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 Release: Long Haul (The Mile High Club: Book 2)

On the day the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage, Tanner Bradac doesn’t even have a boyfriend, so you can imagine his surprise when he and his buddy Clark get carried away by the celebratory spirit of the day and wind up lawfully wedded husbands. The wedding may have been a light-hearted lark, but Tanner and Clark are willing to give marriage a go. After all, how hard can it be?

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And it’s no wonder we use the rainbow flag to signify this community, [Tanner] thought as he and Clark dipped into the flow with people of every stripe. Yuppie couples in khakis, hippie families in bare feet; young men in glittery tutus sporting fairy wings flittered around leather-jacket lesbians, hopeful faces of every age and nation laughing with friends, hugging strangers, and throwing confetti. Probably there were protesters, too—there was always somebody with an axe to grind when the pursuit of happiness was center stage—but Tanner didn’t see any. They certainly didn’t register. This was not a parade that was going to be called on account of any amount of rain, not today, and unless the One Man, One Woman crowd was going to start whacking people with their protest signs, notice would not be paid.”

The idea to give Tanner and Clark a not-so-gentle shove down the road to lawfully wedded what-have-we-done? came to me on the day the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Straight people have been legally leaping before they look at least since Nevada became a state, and I figure the Obergfell ruling leveled the playing field where rash relationship decisions are concerned. I knew I wanted this second book to focus on Tanner and Clark, but I also wanted to keep it around 20,000 words, and when I took my first crack at their story in April, they were still just friends by 19,500. I tried to sex-scene them into falling in love, and the ensuing night in a divey 50’s diner-themed hotel room was even kinda hot, but it felt tacked on—my loyal beta readers never agree on anything, but they all agreed on this. When SCOTUS handed Tanner and Clark the chance to get married, my problem was solved—at last, an opportunity to plunk them down in the middle of a relationship, whether they were in love or not.

I wrote this story before The Kentucky County Clerk Who Shall Not Be Named, lest it prolong her fifteen minutes, was the only person in the world Facebook seemed able to share posts about. This story’s not really about social acceptance of or opposition to same-sex marriage, but rather about how two young people try to tape the map together when the roads they’ve been traveling along merge without warning into one. And as the Kentucky debacle devolves into another Westboro photo op in the race—exceptionally competitive this year, or is it just me?—to be crowned the Most Appalling American of 2015, it occurs to me that that’s rather the point of this story, like so many queer romances before it: no matter how “firmly held” someone you’ve never heard of’s opposition to it may be, love barrels along. Some days it marches, head held high, other days it straggles resentfully; it clatters and clangs to the top of the really steep hills, then zooms along the straightaways, top down, scarf a-flutter. Love doesn’t even ask permission of the people it’s messing with—it can hardly be bothered to scoff in the general direction of any busybody third party with the temerity to think she gets a say. Let people be opposed; let people picket; let people (pointlessly, in this instance, as it’s been legal there for 10 years) move to Canada—Tanner and Clark will still have to figure their shit out. Marriage isn’t about what reactionary elements of society approve or disapprove, and neither is this story—it’s about two dudes jumping off a bridge just to see if love will catch them. Which may well make them seem crazier than a Kentucky county clerk, but hopefully more fun to read about.

haul-250Our friends at Eyes on Books have very helpfully organized a mini blog tour to herald this story’s release. For exclusive excerpts, author interviews, and your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card, tag along!

Long Haul is available today from JMS Books.

Thanks, JMS Books!

Thanks, JMS Books!

New Release: “Sin to Get Saved” in Of Heaven and Hell

Earnest anti-gay evangelical Hubert dies in a freak accident. When a handsome angel named Bartholomew makes brazen overtures in the Afterlife, humble Hubert realizes his soul may have taken a wrong turn. But turning back to the straight and narrow isn’t quite as easy as he hopes it will be. 

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OHAH-1000x1595Wayward Ink’s newest anthology, Of Heaven and Hell, hits shelves today, and along with it my newest erotic short about finding Love after Death, “Sin to Get Saved.”

Hubert knows he brings shame on himself and on the Lord by being a queer — his Grandad and the pastor of his evangelical church tell him as much all the time. So when he dies in a freak accident, he’s as delighted as he is surprised to waltz right through the Pearly Gates, no questions asked. He even gets a beautiful angel named Bartholomew as his very own guide to the Afterlife. But when the angel makes brazen overtures, Hubert realizes his soul may have taken a wrong turn, and he beseeches Bartholomew to keep his hands to himself and help him find his rightful place in the Heaven he’s always heard about. And so they set out to explore his options, Bartholomew hoping Hubert will learn a thing or two along the way about the deeply personal definitions of Paradise.

Get your hot little hands on this story and ten others by your favorite Wayward Writers direct from Wayward Ink, on Amazon, or at ARe. Buy direct from Wayward Ink between now and June 21st and get 40% off during their First Anniversary sale, which makes the entire antho like US$4.20!

For an exclusive excerpt from “Sin to Get Saved,” read on!

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New Release: Crazy Like Fox

Fox McHardy leads a charmed life. Puget Sound penthouse, gorgeous boyfriend, jet-setting job—everything he’s ever wanted, he’s gotten, including the heck out of the small Iowa town he grew up in.  But once things start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed, and he finds himself riding shotgun in a rented convertible with his new worst enemy faster than you can say “I want my old life back.”

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Read an excerpt and buy the e-book today at JMS Books.  Or get it on Amazon.

Come to the online release party this week at my Author Page on Facebook and enter to win
a $40 Gift Card for Denver’s awesome Book Bar.

Thanks, JMS Books!

Thanks, JMS Books!

Going Out of Business, Going Crazy Like Fox

HootersAirB757200Most airline stories (except for the ones I tell, obviously) are best taken with a grain of salt.  Any tale  that opens with “I flew with a girl whose roommate from training once flew with a guy…” is as likely to be an airline urban legend as any kind of True.  Did a flight attendant really ever stand in the aisle and loudly spank what a frequent flyer complained was a “bad potato?”  Or tell the guy who threw a fit about not getting his meal choice, “Sir, I said we’re out of chicken, not fuel.”?  Or tell the snooty lady who claimed to be a Princess, “Yeah, well, in my country I’m considered a Queen, so I outrank you.”? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ve been hearing all of these stories since I started flying, so it probably didn’t happen on the flight your girlfriend worked last week.  (Naturally, as previously discussed, different standards apply if the story turns out to be about you.)

I came to the airline industry after much of the more famous post-deregulation upheaval.  Bankruptcy and greed had already leveled Pan Am, a strike had brought down Eastern, and start-up airlines like PeoplExpress and Hooters Air were coming and going faster than airport sign hangers could keep up with.  As much as I love to wax nostalgic about The Good Old Days of Flying (that I never saw), I have few regrets about missing out on these seismic events, some of the more spectacular of which are reputed to even have led to employee suicides.  But I’ve heard some stories.  When some of these airlines went out of business, they did so quite suddenly, stranding crews and passengers wherever they happened to wake up to the news that they would need to find their own way home. I flew with a girl (see what I mean?) who recounts charging tickets on a Chinese airline for her entire crew to her husband’s credit card, and another whose Honolulu-based crew ended up sailing home from the Philippines two-to-a-bunk on a cargo ship.

True or not, these stories were certainly gripping and colorful, and they eventually inspired me to trap a handsome man far from home and see if and how he would extract himself from a similar jam.  In the pages of my next short novel, I obviously mean.

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Fox McHardy leads a charmed life. Puget Sound penthouse, gorgeous boyfriend, jet-setting job—everything he’s ever wanted, he’s gotten, including the heck out of the small Iowa town he grew up in.  Even the trip he takes to Miami to surprise his boyfriend Jeremy is something of a long-shot wish fulfilled.  Until he arrives in South Florida.  Once things start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed, and he finds himself riding shotgun in a rented convertible with his new worst enemy faster than you can say “I want my old life back.”

For all that he’s self-centered and something of a slow learner, Fox is one of my favorite protagonists.  Crazy Like Fox is the story of his long journey Home, which he finds in the one place he was sure he hadn’t left it.  Like my Author Page on Facebook to RSVP for the online release party, which will include fabulous giveaways, and get the eBook on August 25th for only $5.99 from JMS Books!  It’s funny, it’s sexy, and, like all good airline stories… inspired by stuff that really happened, but totally made up.