Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highway Man chosen as a Top Pick of 2011 by Top 2 Bottom Reviews

Lisa at Top 2 Bottom Reviews selected my short story, Highway Man, as one of her Top Picks of 2011. My pal, P.D. Singer's, Maroon: Donal agus Jimmy, also made the list. What a great way to end the year!

Find the entire list here:

Happy New Year!

Well folks, it's that time of year again, when I normally sit around sipping wine and reflecting on the past year. All things considered, 2011 was a very good year for me. I published one novel, Settling the Score; three novellas: Fanning the Flames, Galen and the Forest Lord, and A Lie I Can Live With; and two shorter works: Highway Man and Summer Boys. I attended GayRomLit and had an awesome time, not to mention got to hang out at some awesome bars! And Settling the Score won an honorable mention at the Rainbow Awards.

All assorted family members are doing well, and the evil day job holds steady. Yeah, a very good year.

So I raise my glass and toast you all.  May your 2012 rock.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

If Santa doesn't make it to your house this year, it's 'cause he's... um... tied up at mine!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

In our diverse world there are many holidays celebrated at this time of year, and I'd like to wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, or any other joyous occasions you may be observing. It's been an eventful year, and I count myself blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family members, some family given to me by nature, others adopted along the way. Here's to continued good times in 2012.

Those of you who have met me in person know that my signature of "Hugs, Eden" is more than simply a way to sign books and emails -- it's a personal philosophy.

So Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Contest for The Match Before Christmas Series

The contest for the Match Before Christmas series is up at Mrs. Condit Reads Books, and she  had some lovely things to say about the first installement.

Find the contest and review here:

Kind Words for A Lie I Can Live With

Review Feliz had this to say about A Lie I Can Live With at Reviews by Jessewave:

I loved watching those two men slowly getting to know each other. Although the story is told from Otis’s POV, I felt like I got to know Garrett very well, too. He’s not at all a shallow beauty queen, but has depths and personality and his own set of hang-ups (and the most adorable parents, by the way!) Garret literally turns Otis’s head with a good, old-fashioned courtship, which in turn brings out the very best in Otis. Those two made so much sense together and were two so likeable guys, I simply had to take them to my heart. Warmly recommended.
Read entire review here:

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Chance to Win The Match Before Christmas Series

Right in time for Christmas, Mrs. Condit Reads Books is reviewing and hosting a giveaway of all three stories in The Match Before Christmas series:


Dec 21 - The Match Before Christmas
Dec 22 - Fanning the Flames 
Dec 23 - A Lie I Can Live With 

Want to know more about how this series came to be and my own dating misadventures while researching? On December 23, watch for an interview with yours truly and the chance to win all three books just for leaving a comment on the contest post (random drawing).

Happy Holidays, ya'll!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eden Winters - The Fiftieth Anniversary Edition

Okay, so it's actually a birthday, which is an anniversary, if you think about it. Today marks the moment in time when I officially become a half century old. And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. In fact, I boast that I'm going to make fifty look so good that everyone will want to be fifty. My young-un co-workers say they believe me too.

What's so special about turning fifty? Well, for one, I now can spout little tidbits of wisdom like these:

1)      While having your heart broken hurts like hell, you'll survive.
2)      Love doesn't cure all ills. And you have to work at it.
3)      Don't believe those new-lover-every-week celebrities. A person is perfectly capable of being happy on their own.
4)      If someone says they'll give up something for you when you didn't ask them to, they're actually telling you the one thing that you can never compete with.
5)      If someone close to you doesn't bring something positive into your life, they shouldn't be in it. (Boy, I wish I'd known that at twenty!)
6)      Sometimes people are bad, and you can't do anything to change them. But you can pray for them. And aggravate them by being nauseatingly nice. (That really pisses them off!)
7)      There are three kinds of people: those who like you, those who don't, and those who don't really care one way of the other. Expending time and energy on the last two groups will get you nowhere. Treasure your friends.
8)      You have ultimate control over your decisions. And let me tell you, it took the full fifty years for me to figure that out.
9)      Be kinder than you have to, for the person you're talking to may be on the edge and needing one kind word to pull them back.
10)  Hugs cost nothing, but feel really good.
11)  Sacrificing lunch breaks and working while you should be at your kid's school function isn't actually going to impress your company, isn't going to get you that promotion, and isn't going to get you a raise. What it will get you is a resentful kid who didn't have a parent cheering them on at the school play. I'm not saying ditch your job all the time, but for important events in your family's lives – be there.
12)  If you think your lover is cheating, they probably are. And no, it's not your fault. They are responsible for their own behavior.
13)  As in point twelve, no one can make you angry, hurt, or disgusted. You do that yourself.
14)  Parents get old and won't always be there. Spend time with them now. They still have so much left to teach you. And you will miss them when they're gone and say, "Why didn't I go to see them more?"
15)  Everyone has something valuable to teach you, even if it's just to stay the hell away from them.
16)  You don't have to have kids to go to "kid movies."

While there may more, these are the ones that stand out in my mind on this day. I used to think fifty was ancient, not I realize I'm merely getting started. Here's to the best years of my life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Love shown to A Lie I Can Live With at Brief Encounters Reviews

Cole at Brief Encounters Reviews rated A Lie I Can Live With an "A" and had this to say about the story:

There’s so much to say about this story, and I’m sure that I’ll find other things when I read this again and again, as I know I will. Otis has now made my list of my all time favorite characters, right next to Barry. For the happiness this story gave me alone, I have to give it an A, and recommend it highly to everyone I know!

Read full review here:

Find it here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Settling the Score won an Honorable Mention at the 2011 Rainbow Awards

Today I received a very unexpected email from Elizabeth Rolle that said:

"I'm glad to announce you are among the finalists or honourable mentions of 2011 Rainbow Awards. Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction."

I'm shocked, thrilled, and dancing with glee...which could be dangerous for a woman my age.

Here's the category results.

Thanks to Elisa Rolle and her team of judges. This had to be a grueling undertaking. I'd also like to congratulate all the winners. What a year!

I saw many names I knew and have added countless books to my TBR pile, thanks to this effort. Elisa's support and the Rainbow Awards do so much to help promote the genre we love. Thanks again, Elisa. 

A Very Timely Post

It seems my post on Jeff Erno's Bullied yesterday was extremely timely, for today that same book won an Honorable Mention at Elisa Rolle's Rainbow Awards for Young Adult/Coming of Age category.

Please join me in offering my congratulations. Bravo, Jeff!

Here's the awards link:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lovely Review for A Lie I Can Live With at Queer Magazine Online

Reviewer Serena Yates had this to say about A Lie I Can Live With:
"If you like stories with a strong humorous streak (this had me in stitches as often as it almost made me cry with the depth of the emotions Otis experienced), if you want to read about two men taking it slow so they can build a proper relationship, and if you like hot sex (even though they will make you wait), you will probably like this story as much as I did."
Read entire review here:

Here's the blurb:

With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.

Read an excerpt:

Find it here: 

Bullied by Jeff Erno - Post 2 of 2 - A Guest Post by Jeff

When Jeff Erno first agreed to do a guest post on my blog, we thought about something Holiday-ish, but when he sat down to write, his words took an entirely different direction. Tears came to my eyes as I read his post, and I'm honored to share his words with you. - Eden


Why I Care About Bullying by Jeff Erno
My childhood development and coming out story are not so different than that of any other gay man. When I was very young my mother noticed I was different and often told me (and others) that I was “special”. Not special in the “rides the short bus” kind of way, but unique—different from other boys. My early Christmases and birthdays were not like those of most boys. I asked Santa for a Barbie Head (A huge bust of Barbie. It was cool because you could do her makeup  and hair) and an Easy Bake Oven.  I used to go over to my cousin’s house and spend the day playing Barbies with her. I was the only boy who knew all the girl games. Hopscotch, Down-Down-Baby-Down-By-The-Roller-Coaster, Jump Rope, etcetera.  When I was four, Mom caught me in her closet trying on clothes. At age eight I talked our babysitter into painting my fingernails pink because I loved her nail polish.

Around the time I started grade school, I had a religious conversion experience at the Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School.  I had been “born again” or “saved”.  I think all the kids who attended got saved. It might have been mandatory. At the very least, it was expected. Well, I took it quite seriously, although I may have been the only one. From that point forward, I was deeply religious.

My religiosity and my effeminacy eventually became synonymous. Well they were to my mother anyway. The fact that I was so devout and so disciplined about my faith was consistent with Mom’s belief that I was special. As I got older I began to figure out that other people had expectations. There were behaviors which were considered normal and others which were not. There were boy toys and girl toys. There were things that boys could like and things that girls could like, and if you happened to be a boy who liked girl things, you had to keep them secret. In the fourth grade I learned how to crochet. I could only do my crocheting at home in secret, though, and making a beautiful afghan was not something I could brag about or be proud of.

By the time I was in the fifth grade, I was being bullied pretty badly at school. I cried a lot and begged my mom not to make me go. This seemed strange to her because she knew how much I had always loved school. Around this time, she and my father were having marital problems and were fighting constantly. Mom took me to a doctor and he prescribed some anti-anxiety medication for me. He told me I needed to stop worrying so much about everything. Mom was convinced that my biggest problem was stress caused by the fighting in our home as well as by the bullying at school. She believed the kids picked on me because I was religious—not because I might be gay.

I was pulled out of the public school in the sixth grade and sent to a Christian school where all my classmates were religious. It should have been the ideal situation for me because I no longer was different. I should have fit right in and been accepted with open arms. During the second week of classes, my teacher held me after class for a one-on-one counseling session. He pulled out his Bible and quoted verses to me from the Old Testament to show me that God wanted boys to act like boys and girls to act like girls. He said I needed to start working on becoming more manly. Follow the example of the other boys in class, he said. I was so embarrassed that I never told anyone.

The bullying continued even at the Christian school, but it was much subtler. One time I was taken into the bathroom and gut punched repeatedly. Another time I had my head flushed in the toilet. I knew I could not tell anyone though. I knew I had to be tough because God expected it.

High school was different. I got sent back to public school because my parents felt that the small Christian school would not have the classes I needed. They didn’t have a chemistry lab or even a gymnasium. Well, that’s what my mom and dad said, but the real reason was that they couldn’t afford the tuition at the Christian school any more.  I had thought the bullying was bad in the private school, but it was nothing compared to public. My freshman year of high school was Hell on earth.

When I turned fifteen I began working at the local supermarket as a bagboy. I talked my mom into letting me use the money I made to pay for my own tuition so that I could return to Christian school. I went back in the tenth grade and worked really hard to complete my classes as quickly as possible. I advanced through three grades in just two years and graduated a year early.

Eventually I figured it all out. By the time I was eighteen I knew I was not “special”. I was just gay.  I finally left my religion and embraced my authentic self. During the 90s I was very active in my local gay community. I volunteered with PFLAG and the AIDS outreach organization. I moved to a town that had a social group for LGBT people, a Gay Alcoholics Anonymous, and even a gay bar. I stayed in the retail grocery business and eventually became a manager.

Now here it is twenty-some years after high school, and we hear all of this stuff about bullying. We now have Facebook and other social networks which did not exist back when I was growing up, so there is a lot more public discussion about bullying. When a gay kid commits suicide, it doesn’t take long for a lot of people to find out. Every time I hear a story of a kid like Jamey Rodemeyer, my heart breaks. I can’t help but think, “There but for the grace of God…”

When I was a teenager I wished that some adult had understood. I didn’t want to be special. I didn’t want to be given special rights or privileges. I didn’t even want to be noticed. I just wanted to be safe. I just wanted the pain to end.

I do not know how to make things different. I really wish I did. To be truthful, I don’t know what I can do, if anything. That’s why I write. That is why I wrote Bullied. It’s the only thing I could think of to do.
And that’s why the issue of bullying is so important to me.


Thank you, Jeff for sharing this very personal look at your life with us. 

I have already mentioned his book "Bullied," but Jeff also has a soon to be released novel that I am very much looking forward to: Second Chances, coming January 1, 2012 from Camel Press. Pre-order now at Amazon. 

Harold Wainwright is dying. At seventy-nine, stricken with malignant cancer, the multi-billionaire insurance mogul realizes he has much to regret. In his youth he rejected his only true love and instead chose to advance his career and build his financial empire. Single-mindedly he focused upon achieving his own goals, looking out for number one, and acquiring a monetary fortune. Now he is alone, and all he has is his money…and his life is over. 

Doctor Timothy Drayton has devoted his entire career to developing the technology to prolong human life. His entire focus has been upon creating a computer chip which can be implanted into the human brain, allowing human consciousness to be transferred from one human subject into the mind of another. Given optimum circumstances, he is confident that he can now preserve the consciousness of a dying patient into the mind of a donor subject with an electronic surgical implant. 

Jesse Warren is eighteen years old, about to graduate from high school. He’s a track star, model student, and the typical all-American kid. One day while on his way to track practice, tragedy strikes, and Jesse is in a terrible accident, rendered comatose. When his family learns the horrifying news, they believe they’ve lost their son forever. Jesse Warren is pronounced “brain dead”. 

When neurosurgeon and world-renowned brain specialist Dr. Timothy Drayton arrives, telling the Warren family that he has an advanced form of experimental treatment which can possibly save young Jesse and restore his consciousness, the Warrens are convinced that God has sent them a miracle. They are overjoyed the next morning when their son undergoes surgery and awakens as a new man. His memory loss, they are convinced, is amnesia due to his accident. 

Jesse lives, and is given a second chance. Will his new life prove to be the impetus for significant change, or will the old Harold Wainwright emerge to make the same mistakes a second time around? Most of us are given but one chance to make the right choices, but imagine if… there were such things as Second Chances.

Bullied by Jeff Erno - Post 1 of 2

As the year draws to a close, I tend to look back over the last twelve months at both the highs and the lows. I've been priveledged to have had a very good year. I can accredit two of the high points to one man: Jeff Erno. When I met him at GayRomLit, I found him to be every bit as sweet and engaging as he is online. I'm thrilled to have met him face to face. I also feel priveledged to have read his book, "Bullied", for as much as I came to know him through conversation, I knew him better after reading such a deeply personal and eye-opening book.

Ever wonder how someone can be a bullly? Turn a blind eye to bullying? Believe the victim "brought it on themselves?" I couldn't. That is, until reading this remarkable set of short stories that allow us to step outside of ourselves and see the entire bullying issue from other points of view. At times heartrending, other times triumphant, at all times thought-provoking, "Bullied" is a must read in my book.

While I don't think I've ever recommended a book on my blog, I feel the need to recommend this one. Mr. Erno has generously donated proceeds from sales of this book to anti-bullying campaigns such as The Trevor Project.

Here's the blurb:

Every day, all over the country, teenagers struggle with the realities of bullying. Tormented, ridiculed, and beaten—simply for being who they are—these teens face alienation, humiliation, and even the explicit assertion that they have somehow brought this upon themselves, that they should just blend in. Bullied is a series of short stories exploring the world of these teens from several different viewpoints: the victim, the bully, the gay bystander, the straight friend, the concerned parent.

Closeted Bryan wonders why Christian Michaelson doesn't just try to blend in if he hates being bullied so much. Star athlete David isn't a homophobe—after all, he's not afraid of anything. Jonathan, a Christian fundamentalist, must weigh the Bible against peer pressure and what he knows is right when he discovers his childhood friend is gay. Bully victim Chase Devereaux finds an unexpected ally in a brave fellow student. A single mom struggles to accept the reality that her only son is gay. Two tough gay teens are forced to confront their own inner demons when tragedy befalls a classmate they failed to help. And overweight Kirby finds the strength of character to make a friend, which leads to a lifestyle change and a chance at love. Each character grows as an individual as he or she comes to terms with what it means to be a gay teenager in America.

Find it here:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Snark!

Today's episode of Saturday Snark is from Highway Man. Killian Desmond likes to be in control -- the man he dubs "Tex" sees no problem with that.
“Mind if I drive?” Killy asked. He’d come a long way in three years, but still couldn’t handle someone else’s driving.
“Gonna kidnap me, haul me off somewhere, and have your way with me? No need for all that; I’m willing.” Dimples framed Tex's devilish grin.
“Nope, I just prefer to do the driving.”
“Then I reckon you’ll have to make it up to me, that not-kidnapping thing, ’cause let me tell ya, ever since you walked into the bar I’ve been fantasizing. And oh hell yeah, you can do the driving. Now and later.”
Find Highway Man here: 

Check out the other snark at by clicking the links below, or join in the fun at Marie Sexton's site:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Review That Made Me Cry.... in a Good Way

I am a huge fan of Tom's at A Bear on Books, and was honored to discover that he planned to review The Angel of Thirteenth Street. He posted that review tonight, and I cried, not only for his kind words, but how beautifully this man writes. Here's some of what Tom had to say:
"This book was one of those amazing perfect storms that doesn't happen very often.  The characters are so sharply drawn, but disturbingly human and shaded and nuanced, the storyline engaging and relevant without pretense, the dialogue crisp, and the romance heartbreakingly painful and bittersweet.  I was drawn in and grabbed from the first page, and was unable to put this book down until I had devoured it whole.
"God, I loved this book.  I read it through twice just to savor what it tastes like and feels like and smells like when a master prepares a feast for me. "

Visit A Bear on Books to read complete review here:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Remiss in Posting Reviews

If I've been remiss in posting reviews, am I in remission? Or is correcting that a "re-mission"? Whatever the case,  my stories have recieved four awesome reviews from Mrs. Condit Reads Books (and they scored some Sweet Peas too!)

Check out her kind words here:

The Wish

The Boy Under the Bridge

And for her Veteran's Day post:

The Telling

Night Watch

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can Women Write Hot Gay Sex? Dr. Porne's Verdict

I recently read an article over at Chicks & Dicks, entitled "Can Women Write Hot Gay Sex? Dr. Porne's Verdict." As you can imagine, that gripping headline got my attention. Intrigued? Check out what the doctor has to say at: Chicks & Dicks

Now I need a T-Shirt that says, "President of the Doctor Porne Fanclub."

I'd also like to say that while  you're on the site, check out some other articles there. "One Family's Transgender Tale" left me in tears, and reminded me that family is what and who we make it. Very, very moving tale.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another chance to win a copy of A Lie I Can Live With

On Saturday, November 26, the good folks at Brief Encounters Reviews will host a contest for a copy of A Lie I Can Live With. Leave a comment on the giveaway thread stating that you'd like to be in the drawing. So head on over to Brief Encounters on Saturday, and be sure to check out their awesome reviews while you're there.

Find them here.

Author Extra for A Lie I Can Live With

A Lie I Can Live With is told from Otis' point of view, but wouldn't you like to know what was going through Garret's head the first time he saw Otis' profile on the dating site?

Garret plopped down into his computer chair, muscles still pinging from a
five mile run. First he checked emails, grimacing at his sister's good
natured, "So, are you bringing anyone to Thanksgiving dinner this year?" He
sighed. No, not last year, not this year, and he didn't hold out much hope
for next year either.

Refusing to give up just yet, he replied a non-committal, "We'll see." Fat
chance of finding anyone within the next few weeks, and not just anyone
would do. When Garret did finally take a man home to meet the folks, it'd be
the keeper of his dreams, Mr. Right, for he'd had it with Mr. Right Now.

After triaging his remaining emails, he logged on to, the GLBT
dating site that he'd all but given up on after a year's fruitless search
for a good man. He scrolled through the list of perspective dates, who'd all
tagged his profile as "Interested." Huh. Only fifty today. Must be a slow

One by one he discarded the profiles for various incompatibilities. "Done
him, and don't want to again," he commented to a potted geranium on his
desk, clicking on the "Not Interested" button that'd theoretically delete
that man's profile from his home page, knowing from experience he'd find the
same one added back next week.

He pulled up the next profile. "Lives in
Bangladesh. No hope there." The
plant seemed to droop its leaves in sympathy.

The next profile picture caught his eye until he read the "About Me" blurb,
recalling the date from hell a few weeks ago. "Damn, but that one was
shallow." Clicking the "Not Interested" button, he sing-songed, "And another
one bites the dust… "

About to log off and spend another lonely Sunday afternoon, he noticed a
message that said, "Hey there!" and clicked on the attached profile.

"Well, 'hey there,' yourself, handsome. Loves movies, microbreweries, and
anime conventions," he read. "I can live with that. And you cook!" Garret's
eyes shot from that nugget of knowledge back to the man's picture. His mouth
dropped open. "Oh, wow! I bet you hear this all the time, but you look like
Dr. Mack from Tennessee Trauma!" Could this guy possibly be for real?

More excited than he'd been for a long time, he dashed off a quick message:

Hey yourself! How in the world did I miss your profile? Did you only
recently join the site?

Though it went against his normal policy of taking things slow, he added:

I'd love to meet you.

He logged off and trotted into the bathroom to take a shower. As he stared
into the mirror at the face that had earned him the nickname "Adonis" in
college, he quietly whispered, "I wonder if this one will bother to look
past what I look like to see the real me."

A Lie I Can Live With, out now from Torquere Press!

With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.


The sixth profile caught his eye. What a handsome man, and what a smile! That picture must be a photo manipulation, and a good one. He'd love to know what program had been used, because nobody really looked like that in real life, did they? Otis snorted. Probably a model's picture yanked off the Internet. He knew from personal experience that site members did that.

"Garret, gay male, twenty-eight, professional, independent, and looking for a 'geeky bear of my very own,'" Otis read aloud. The profile went on to say that "Garret" also had a thing for guys with old-fashioned names and believed computer nerds were hot. This had to be a joke, right? Had Barry made up this profile to give false hope? Otis discounted that theory immediately. From what he'd seen so far, Barry was on the up and up.

He clicked on Garret's "Hobbies" folder. "Loves Buffaloes football," he read aloud. I wonder if he feels as bummed out as I do right now. He kept reading, "Enjoys fishing, long walks, and working out." Otis looked down at his belly, mood dropping. "There's something we don't have in common."

When he reached the "Interests" folder, his spirits lifted, seeing that Garret loved international cuisine. "I could hook you up with some authentic Italian food," he told the smiling image onscreen.

"I suck at cooking," Garret's About me, blurb stated.

"Got ya covered," Otis remarked.

He stared at the profile again, purposefully diverting his eyes from the picture. In terms of their common interests, they were a match made in cyber-heaven. Too bad the guy was an Adonis and Otis was Shamu.

What would Garret think if Otis were to contact him? Would he even bother to read the profile and see their similarities before clicking "not interested?" For a moment Otis contemplated resurrecting Vincent. "Don't you dare!" his conscience shouted, sounding amazingly like Barry. With a here goes nothing attitude, Otis clicked the button that sent Garret a simple message: "Hey there!"

Find it here:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Special Offers From Dreamspinner Press

Dreamspinner has asked authors to help spread the word about three special events going on between now and the end of November.
 First, we're having a We Are Thankful Sale, 20% off everything on the website through Nov. 30.
Secondly, we reached 1500 fans again on our Facebook page after FB ate the old one. To say thank you, there's a code on the page for 15% off one order of any size over the next year. Please send readers to the FB page,, to get the code. Finally, every purchase between now and Nov. 30 enters people in a drawing for a Kindle Fire, to be drawn on Dec. 1.
I don't know about you, but I think it's time for me to go get those books I've had my eye on over at Dreamspinner. 

A Lie I Can Live With

I've just been informed that A Lie I Can Live With will publish late this evening at Torquere Books.
With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.

I'll post a direct link when it become available, but you can find it on my author page at Torquere the moment TQ puts it up:

Happy Birthday John! Aka "John From Texas"

The Gift

For John on his forty-seventh birthday. Hugs, and all the love in the world.

John sat on his tractor, watching a dark green S-10 kick up a cloud of dust down his driveway. Whoever it was seemed to be in an all-fired hurry. He lifted the bill of his hat, wiping his sweaty forehead with one gloved hand. Living so far from town, it wasn't often he saw strangers, particularly not ones making a beeline for his house.

Oh well, whoever it was – probably an insurance salesman – could damned well wait. He needed to get the field plowed before the skies gave up threatening and rained for real. And the dogs would make sure the driver didn't mess with anything. The drag of a plow behind his John Deere soon took his mind off the unknown truck, and he raced an ever-darkening sky. Finally, as the first splashes of rain sprinkled his nose, he declared himself finished and headed for the barn.

He hopped off his tractor to swing open the gate, climbing back on to drive through. Damn but things would be a whole lot easier if he could find some quality help. But farm work didn't pay much, and few trustworthy applicants were willing to live on the farm full-time, so he'd adapted, climbing up and down a million times a day, it seemed, just to get his work done. He'd completely forgotten about the S-10 until he nearly ran over it. Now what the hell? The little pickup sat nestled in the barn where the tractor should go. The rain started falling in earnest.

Huffing in frustration, he turned the wheel, hard, bypassing the main barn for a shed in the back. It was a tight squeeze, and not his first choice, but at least the tractor was out of the weather. He peeled his work gloves off and placed them on the seat when he stood, his back popping as he stretched. Forty-seven years old. Today. My, where had the time gone?

A glance over his shoulder showed three dogs on alert in the very front of the barn, out of the rain, guarding the trespasser. If not for their protective tendencies, they'd be swarming the tractor, yipping and yapping as though John had been gone for days, not merely a few hours out in the fields plowing.

Taking a deep breath, he dropped to the ground, curiosity changing to concern as to why the driver of that truck hid it in the barn. Scouting out the best route through suddenly soggy ground, he ran for the nearest stable, swinging the door open and slipping inside, shaking rain from his shoulders. He pulled off his NAPA cap, shook it, and slipped it back on, ready to face what lay ahead.

Approaching the vehicle from behind, he soon has his answer of "Why in the barn?" The truck bed sat low under the weight of a full bed, with only a simple tarp to keep the contents dry. The gully-washer outside would have laughed at the puny efforts. Thinking, "Real farmers drive real trucks," he stopped to wipe a raindrop off his nose, and when he looked up again, a Sterling Grey Ford F-150 stood where he'd surely seen a Chevy S-10. He shook his head, Man, you gotta stop laying out Seven dust without a respirator. It's done gone to your brain.

The driver's door stood open, a pair of denim-clad legs ending in well-worn western boots protruding. Through the back glass he saw the broad brim of a cream-colored straw hat, as worn-looking as the boots. The man must have heard John's approach, for he turned, and John fell into a pair of sky blue eyes, the corners crinkled with character lines. Man, but I bet he'd look good in a Stetson, and I've always been partial to brown eyes.

One minute a pair of bright blue eyes stared at him, the next, a dark brown, can-paralyze-me-with-a-single-glance gaze glued him to the spot. Where he'd sworn he'd seen a straw hat, a Stetson now sat. A bright grin lit up a clean-shaven face and, convinced he wasn't seeing things, John tried a little test. I like 'em scruffy. An immediate shadow appeared on the cowboy's rugged race, lengthening into an impressive moustache and neatly trimmed beard. Lawdy, I been in the sun too long. Thunder boomed overhead, bringing visions of hovering rain clouds. Oh, yeah, I haven't been in the sun all day.

Tall, dark, and now scruffy cleared his throat and John's heart skipped a beat. While not old, the guy had the weathered appearance of someone who spent a lot of time outdoors… and he was handsome as hell. The two men stared at each other for the space of several heartbeats, frozen in place. Time stood still, the only sounds the bap, bap, bap of raindrops pounding the tin roof, and an image formed in John's head of the stranger spread out on bales in the hayloft upstairs, wearing nothing but the boots and Stetson.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves now," the stranger said, in a drawl that might not be from Texas, but sounded like it hailed from the south somewhere. The accent sounded kinda familiar, though John couldn't quite place why at the moment.

Wait! He knew what I was thinking? John felt the blush start at his toes and rush up his body like a flash fire, igniting his face clear up to his ears.

"You're cute when you do that," the cowboy said, climbing out of the truck and extending a hand. "I'm Andrew, but most folks call me Andy."

John shook the man's hand, an automatic gesture. The flash fire had barely receded when 220 volts of pure sexual energy jolted through his system via his palm, pressed tightly against the stranger's. Up close and personal, the guy looked even better, like some kind of masculine dream out of the magazines John kept by his bed, only real.

The dogs, no longer in guard mode, approached slowly, wagging their tails and sniffing at Andy's boots. What the hell? Those mutts didn't much care for anyone besides John, why weren't they barking or growling?

"'Cause dogs are a good judge of character," Andy said, releasing John's hand to reach down and scratch Old Blue behind the ears. "And they know I belong here."

"What the fuck? Y… you belong here?"  John's acreage had been in his family for generations. No way did the guy belong there, no matter how good looking or how well he filled out his Wranglers.

"You put the word out that you were looking for some farm help, right?"

"Yeah, but who sent you?"

"A friend of yours."


"Does it matter? I'm a Carolina farm boy, ready and willing to do whatever you want me to." His lopsided grin and arms held out to his sides implied he might be talking about more than just plowing and seeding…. Plowing and seeding the fields, that is.

"Who are you?" John asked. He had a friend in South Carolina, but she'd never mentioned any hunky cowboys. He figured if she knew any, she'd kept them all for herself. 

"I done told you: name's Andy, and I'm here because you need me to be here."

John had always believed that if it sounded too good to be true, then it usually was, especially if "it" changed to suit his wants. John focused on the guy's aged chambray work shirt, willing it to be a torn wife-beater.

"It don't work that way," Andy explained. "You only get what you really, really want, down in here." He splayed his hand over his heart.

A moment later the shirt disappeared altogether and that hand pressed against bare skin. A fine mat of thick, black hair adorned a pair of well-built pecs, the kind earned by hard work rather than pumping iron. A silver hoop adorned a dusky pink nipple. At a single thought from John, dark ink appeared on Andy's wrists, snaking up his arms, over his shoulders, and across his chest, forming an elaborate Celtic design. John had little doubt that the ink extended over the cowboy's broad back too. A slow, lazy smile spread across Andy's face. "Now I think you got the right idea."

"You go to church?" John asked.

"Southern Baptist, born and raised."

"What's your idea of an ideal evening?"

"Well, maybe a walk through the fields, talk about our day, then settle into the kitchen to whip up some super. Together. Afterward we can sit on the porch swing – really close, if you get my meaning."

A joke, it had to be a joke. Perfect guys didn't just fall out of the sky in Texas. "You don't sound like no field hand to me."

Andy's voice softened, bordering on pleading. "Oh, but I am, John, I am. I'm that and so much more. Just give me a chance. I'm everything you could possibly want."

"Prove it."

The rain pattering against the roof matched John's heartbeat as Andy drew slowly closer, brushing his lips every so softly against John's.

"What's that for?" John asked.

"It's your birthday, right? That's your birthday kiss."

"How'd you know it's my birthday?"

"I told you a friend sent me, right?" Andy winked a mischief-filled eye. "Well, that was from Eden, and so am I. She wrote me just for you. But remember, once you get me the way you want me, no more changes. Eden hates rewrites. And everything under that tarp is marked, "Don't open 'til Christmas, so don't any ideas about peeking. However, feel free to unwrap your birthday present any time you're ready."

The glimmer in the cowboy's cocoa-colored eyes hinted at X-rated thoughts. "Anyway, that kiss was from her, this one is from me, and in my character profile, she wrote, 'Andy don't half-do nothin.'" With that he crashed his lips down on John's, stealing John's breath and all rational thought. In the battle of tongues, Andy was winning, until enough of John's brain cells re-fired for conscious thought.

The kiss curled John's toes, shot sparks straight to his groin, and left him breathless and weak-kneed. He would've hit the ground if not for the steel bands of Andy's arm wrapping around him, keeping him upright. "Happy Birthday, farm boy," John's every-wet-dream-come-true said. "Now, what say we go check out that hayloft now?"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Snark!

Once again it's time for the Saturday Snark blog hop! This week's snark comes from The Wish. Rich boy Alex is getting put into his place by down-to-earth Paul. Don't forget to click the links below to see more snark from some of your favorite authors.
A quarter of an hour later, Alex stood with his hands on his hips, glaring. "Just what the hell is this?" he thundered.
Smiling sweetly, Paul answered, "This is my car. I told you I'd pull it around, didn't I?"
"This isn't a car, this is a rusted-out piece of shit."
"Yeah, you're probably right. However, it's my piece of shit, and if we're going to make our reservation, you'd best get in it." 
Find it here at Torquere Press: 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Enter to Win a Copy of A Lie I Can Live With

In one short week A Lie I Can Live With releases from Torquere Press. It's the third installment of The Match Before Christmas series, and stars Otis, a secondary character in the first two.
With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.
Head on over to Stumbling Over Chaos and leave a comment on the A Lie I Can Live With thread to be entered in the drawing for a free ebook copy, to be delivered after the story is published. While you're at it, check out the linkity's, bookity's, and my faves, Misadventures in Stock Photography  and pictures of the stunningly gorgeious black kitties, Chaos and Mayhem, who inspired Toms I and II in The Match Before Christmas and Fanning the Flames. Here's the link:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coming up this weekend...

On Friday, November 18th, it's Eden Winter's Flashback Friday on the Romance for the Rest of Us blog, where I'll post excerpts and thoughts on my past works. Then on Saturday, November 19, I'm hosting the Torquere Press LiveJournal to talk about my upcoming release, A Lie I Can Live With. I'll also have a drawing to win an ebook copy, to be awarded when the story publishes on November 23, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Come join me!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Bit of Silliness About Condoms

I'm not sure if I ever posted this or not, but it's a bit of silliness I wrote in response to a blog post at Reviews by Jessewave's entitled, "A World Without Condoms."

The World Without Condoms

“What’s that?” Billy asked, staring through the glass at a horrifying purple monstrosity.

“I dunno,” his husband Chet replied, turning his head to the side as if viewing from a different angle would make more sense. “Ancient sea creature, maybe?” He tapped the glass with his forefinger, pulling it back immediately when zapped by a low-level current.

“Keep your hands away from the display,” a metallic voice admonished.

Billy scowled. “You can clean ‘em up but you can’t take ‘em anywhere.”

“Sorry,” Chet whimpered, cradling the injured digit to his chest. 

“This isn’t a ball game, it’s a museum. Can’t you behave for one afternoon?”

Sorrowful eyes met Billy’s. “No?”

Billy grinned. “Don’t worry, babe. I like that about you.” He leaned in and kissed Chet’s forehead. “Just no more touching, okay?”

Chet nodded, eyes returning to the object on display. “Alien life form?”

“No, they keep those on the seventh floor. Hmm…” Billy leafed through his museum guide, looking for the right page.

A young couple with a small child stepped up beside them. The boy, who was no older than five, began to shriek, “Monster, Mommy, monster!” hiding behind the woman’s skirts.

“Let’s go, Jim,” she hissed to the tall man with her. “It’s scaring Junior.”

Chet knew just how Junior felt. The longer he stared, the more his own fear grew. The object was about eight inches long, somewhat flesh colored, if said flesh had been deprived of blood for awhile, with a series of nubby protrusions on the top. While Billy studied the book in his hands, Chet circled the pedestal, eyes coming to rest on a brass placard that read, “Condom, circa 2010.” His eyes grew wide and his breathing erratic. “Uhh…Billy?”

“Not now, Chet, I’m reading!”

“You really need to see this, hon,” Chet insisted.

“Oh, all right!” Billy huffed as he came to stand next to Chet. His eyes found the sign.

“That’s a….”


“They used to…”


Billy and Chet turned horrified eyes to each other. “If you ever…”

“Wouldn’t dream of it…”

“I mean…”


Finally, realizing the child had the right idea, they both screamed, “Monster!” and fled to the relative safety of the alien display on the seventh floor.

Frank, the new janitor from Alpha Centauri, yawned and stretched. “Oh, what a lovely nap,” he said, climbing down from the display stand and replacing the soft pliable rubber object that normally rested there. He rubbed up against the glass, shivering at the tingle. Finally, he lifted the edge of the glass, muttering, “Yeah, yeah, yadda yadda,” when the warning voice triggered. Feeling refreshed from his recent slumber, he sauntered off across the polished marble floor. “Hmm…I wonder what I can get up to on the seventh floor…”

Saturday Snark!

Marie Sexton is once again hosting Saturday Snark, a chance for authors to share a little snark from one of their characters. My snark this week is taken from my recent novells, Galen and the Forest Lord. Enjoy!

Two shaggy predators crept closer while the others held back. One of the two, a particularly large example of wolfhood, growled, and Galen imagined it egging the other on, saying, "It's just one puny human! Kill it!"

In fact, the pack's primary female had said, "He doesn't look like a criminal to me. Go check!"

"Me go check?" the second wolf, a much smaller male, whined. "You're the Alpha Bi--"

The larger wolf cut him off with a particularly vicious snarl. "Don't you dare call me that!"

"B...b...but it's the customary title! Passed down through generations."

The she-wolf's long, pointed nose nearly touched the other wolf's, and she grrr'd deep and low. "It may be the customary title, but I swear, if you call me Bitch one more time..."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Feeling Nostalgic

For some reason, tonight I find myself tripping down memory lane, all the way back to high school. I remember my best friends, Laurie, Brenda, Larry, and Donna, and cute boys I crushed on boasting varying degrees of badness: Jimmy, Mike, Andy, Larry, Johnnie, Rickie, most of whom didn't know I existed. Didn't it always seem to be summer back then? And wasn't there always a lake to park beside? I wonder what happened to the folks that live on, forever seventeen in my memories.

I wore hip huggers and wild print shirts with pointed sleeves. EVERYTHNG was a big deal, and I  never seemed to fit in no matter how hard I tried. Ah, teen agnst. Wouldn't do it again if you paid me. Those were the days before I learned that being different was okay, and by far preferable to giving yourself up to confomity.

And in the background you could bet Elton John would be singing, probably via an eight track. Remember those? Can I tax your memory further by mentioning a reel to reel? Anyway, I'd like to share with you my very favorite song from high school. And yes, I'm old.

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Free Reads

Due to my insatiable appetite for books, back in my reader days I usually ran way overbudget on ebooks and I simply loved being handed a free read. Now that I'm an author, I enjoy offering other readers that same gift.

A few days ago the wonderful Cole uploaded What You Can't Live Without as a free read at Goodreads, and he's recently added a few more of my works: The Telling, Night Watch, and Boy Under the Bridge, a side story to novel The Wish (sorry, but The Wish is not included in this giveaway). They're offered in several formats, so simply go to the book's Goodreads page and click on "Download ebook" to select your format. The Telling is a full length novel, the rest of the offered titles are short stories of varying word counts.

The story I wrote for Dreamspinner Press' Halloween Howl, In Shadow, is also a free read, but not in downloadable format. And let's not forget Sweet Dreams, the story I wrote for the Goodread's M/M Romance Group's Hot Summer Days campaign, Don't Read in the Closet, a collection of twenty-four short stories by some of your favorite authors, and some that are bound to be future favorites.

The mother in me demands that you solemnly swear that you are old enough to read and possess such materials in your neck of the woods. That said -- enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Lie I Can Live With - Part 3 in The Match Before Christmas series

If you're familiar with The Match Before Christmas, and the sequel, Fanning the Flames, then you've met lovable computer nerd Otis. Readers have asked for his story, and I intended it for this year's Torquere Press Charity Sips, benefitting the It Gets Better Project, but sadly, the word count doubled the allowance for a Sip.

The story takes place in November, leading up to Thanksgiving. Here's the tentative blurb:

With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.

Look for A Lie I Can Live With on November 23, from Torquere Press. 

In Shadow - Free Read

The Dreamspinner Press Halloween Howl has ended, and my contribution, In Shadow, is no longer available on their site.

I have it posted here, in the hopes you'll enjoy my walk on the spooky side.

Brief Encounters reviewed Summer Boys!

Ruby had this to say about my Torquere Press Getting Better Charity Sip, Summer Boys, written to benefit the It Gets Better Project:

The ending is a really strong point too and left me with a soppy grin on my face, but I don’t want to give spoilers! 
In short then, this is touching tale of a man reconnecting with life as he falls in love again. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a slower paced story with plenty of description. It’s one to linger over and savour.

See full review here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Four and a Half Divas for Galen and the Forest Lord at Dark Divas Reviews

Dark Divas' reviewer Crys had this to say about Galen and the Forest Lord:
I’ve learned to read Eden Winters’ stories with a box of tissues nearby, because either I’m going to cry or snort my drink. When I read Galen and the Forest Lord, I should have put my ice tea down.

Read entire review here:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Snark

Okay, this is the first time I'm trying this, so I hope it goes well, but Troy Steele (aka Oren Keller) of Settling the Score begged me to join Marie Sexton's Saturday Snark blog hop. Here's Troy's unfortunate (and unsuccessful) attempt to thwart his PA in her bid for him to shed a few pounds


"Hmmm..." Erica moaned, tasting her salad, "arugula." Her eyes, blue today, swept from the head of the table to the end, taking in the difference between Troy and Joey's meals. They narrowed at Troy's. "Why do you get Italian and he gets a protein smoothie?" The temperature in the room dropped a good ten degrees from the chill in her voice alone. He'd loved his grandmother dearly, both admiring and fearing the way she'd ruled her home. She couldn't hold a candle to Erica.

"He's on a diet; I'm not." Troy stated the obvious, on the defensive.
"Why aren't you?" Erica retorted, icy tones turning to acid.

Troy fought the urge to hug his plate. "Because his character is on one," he wavered, adding a glare he meant to be intimidating. How useless. Bearing the alpha-male name of Troy didn't mean he stood a snowball's chance in hell of living up to it. Oren Keller was, and always would be, a beta-male. Erica, alpha-female extraordinaire, was fully aware of that fact and not above exploiting it.

The demurely lowered lashes and pretty pout probably turned straight men to putty. Troy wasn't fooled for an instant. Like most dangerous creatures, the one sitting at his table appeared deceptively benign. "Isn't it you who told me the best way to capture an event is to experience it for yourself?" she purred.

Damn. He hated having his own words used against him. A battle of wills engaged. He deliberately raised a sizable forkful of pasta to his lips, chewing with gusto.

Joey sat quietly sipping his protein shake, attention bouncing from one antagonist to the other, reminding Troy of a spectator at Wimbledon. If it were him, he'd be running by now. "I don't see why I have to endure... I mean, experience a diet. I'm sure Joey will explain intimately what it feels like," Troy answered weakly. "Won't you, Joey?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free Read

Last year I had the priveledge of participating in Torquere Press' Charity Sips Blitz to benefit Doctors Without Borders. My story fell a bit into the "write what you know" category, drawing on my own experiences of being in El Salvador in January and February of 2001, when that poor country was hit by two horrific earthquakes and innumerable aftershocks. I had hoped with "What You Can't Live Without" to convey not only the danger, but also the beauty of El Salvador and the unbeatable spirit of her people.

Now that the charity campaign has officially ended, I'd like to share the story with any reader who enjoys M/M and would like to read Mitch and Nulfo's tale.

Here's the link. Just click "Download Ebook" and select your desired format. Many thanks to Cole for getting the file adapted and posted for me. You rock, Cole!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lovely review for Galen and the Forest Lord at Reviews by Jessewave

Raine, at Reviews by Jessewave, had this to say about Galen and the Forest Lord:
Both Galen and the Forest Lord Erik are enjoyable characters, with their own mix of the heroic and unheroic; they display outright stupidity, but also kindness, honesty, bravery and unexpected cunning. However when push comes to shove they show they are meant to be together in this quirky and funny fable.

Read entire review here:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Affaire de Coeur rated The Angel of 13th Street five stars!

The Angel of 13th Street received five stars today from Affaire de Coeur. Their reviewer had this to say:

From the first line, readers' blood will race in step with young Jeremy Kincaid. The story opens with him running from a pack of thugs led by Jeremy's ex‑boyfriend who is determined to force Jeremy into prostitution by any means necessary. Jeremy is the archetype of the romance heroine: orphaned, homeless, proud, fiercely determined, struggling to keep body and soul (and virtue) intact. Noah is the perfect counterpart: heroic, battling inner demons, lonely, loyal, strong, scarred and protective. He literally sweeps the injured youth into his arms and carries him up the stairs to his apartment the night they meet! Reader, flutter your fan here. This is a story that hits every note right. It follows a traditional outline, but is transformed into a gritty contemporary urban love story. It is passionate and doesn't shy away from hard issues.
Read entire review here: