Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Telling 2nd Edition - Now Available at All Romance eBooks

Has it really been four years since The Telling made its way from my laptop and into ereaders? My, how time flies. Back then I would have loved to have had a print copy of my very first published book, but even my publisher at the time was doing limited print versions. Wow, what a difference the years have made. Now, books are available in multi-format, and print on demand has changed publishing.

Along with industry changes, I've grown as a writer, and hopefully, a recent editing class left me better able to do justice to Michael and Jay's story. The Telling 2nd Edition is now available at All Romance eBooks, in MOBI and EPUB formats, and will soon be joined by PDF and print. So many readers have asked for print copies, and soom they'll be available. 

The story is the same, with a lot of tightening and editing, the cover has changed, but the price has remained the same. Ebook versions are still $0.00. If you haven't read the story, or read it a long time ago, stop by ARe and help yourself to a shiny new copy. 

Cover art courtesy of the talented P.D. Singer. 


Time in Iraq cost Michael Ritter some of his hearing and a friend whose death he feels responsible for. He'd left Alabama hoping to escape a dull, small-town life, only to return four years later, lugging a duffle full of personal demons. 

Cookesville, Alabama isn’t the most welcoming place on earth, particularly for a gay, Hispanic student wanting nothing more than to earn his degree and get back home to Texas. An image of a somber young man that he knows only by name and the stories told by an adoring sister comes to life when Michael returns home, just as Jay is already half-way to losing his heart.

Michael’s biggest battle lies ahead, and he’ll need all the help he can get to find his way in a world where he no longer fits in. Jay’s not sure where he fits either, but it could be next to the war-torn soldier who needs his strength.

Excerpt:


“There,” Jay said, releasing his death grip on Michael’s wrist. “Now we can talk.”
Glaring lights flooded the bathroom and Michael blinked hard, adjusting to the sudden brightness. He heard, rather than saw, the door close and the lock engage.
“Look, dude, are you playing me?”
“Playing? What the hell are you talking about, Jay?” What had he done? Surely he hadn’t misread Jay’s interest? The kitchen confession had taken every bit of Michael’s nerve. Jay was supposed to be happy, damn it, and kissing him into oblivion, not questioning his motives.
Arm braced against the wall by Michael’s head, Jay growled, “Wanna know what it’s like with another man? Are you just satisfying your curiosity before you run back, safe and sound, to your little straight world? I know I promised whatever you needed, but if you’re hunting someone to experiment with and aren’t really particular about the who, then you’ve come to the wrong place.”
“No, it’s not like that.” Michael hadn’t fully recovered from his earlier adrenaline overload and, though he knew deep down that Jay wouldn’t hurt him, a tendril of fear crept up his spine. 
Jay’s expression became less frightening, although an undercurrent of anger remained. Voice somewhat calmer, he asked, “Well then tell me, Michael. What is it like?”
Seeking the right words to redeem himself, all that came out was, “I’m gay.”
If eyes were the windows to the soul, his were a pair of sliding glass doors, no curtain in sight. His deepest, darkest thoughts had nowhere to hide as Jay’s gaze bored into his, exposing every secret. Without warning Jay swooped in and delivered a brutal kiss. Michael’s cock grew instantly hard.
Jay pulled away, reaching down and squeezing the engorged flesh. Michael moaned, welcoming the unexpected contact. Jay jumped back as if burned. “You really aren’t playing, are you?”
Michael shook his head.
Jay’s expression grew unreadable, but at least it wasn’t angry.  “Sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to do that.”
Michael closed his eyes and let out a held breath. If he looked at Jay now he’d be too unnerved to speak, and there were things that desperately needed to be said. “It’s okay,” he said, willing Jay’s hand to return and finish what it started. Maybe it was time for a little blunt honesty. “It’s not like I haven’t been leading you on.”
Jay no longer accused Michael but defended him. “No, it’s not okay. I knew how things were for you, how they are. I pushed. When you caught me off guard like that out on the porch, I dared to get my hopes up. Why didn’t you tell me you were gay?” 
Michael opened his eyes to stare at their reflections in the mirror hanging over the sink, heart beating so loudly Jay had to hear the steady thudding. “I’m not out and planned on leaving this God-forsaken place before that ever happened.”
Jay opened and closed his mouth a few times, but nothing emerged. Finally he asked, “You’re not out to anyone? Not even your family?”
Michael shrugged. “Mom knows.”
“But not Angie?”
“I plan on telling her, I just haven’t had the chance. Besides, she’s too busy with school right now and would only make a big fuss over me.” Not to mention meddle in his life, fixing him up with every eligible gay male she’d even remotely heard of and badgering him incessantly about his love life.
“That’s true,” Jay agreed. “I still can’t believe she doesn’t know. Y’all seem to be so close.”
Michael loved his sister, but now was not the time for discussing her. Now was the time to get back to the kissing and groping. He pushed aside his body’s demands long enough to explain, “We are, but I’m just coming to terms with this myself. And, like I said, I didn’t intend to come out here.”
“Then why did you? As far as I know everyone thinks you’re straight. Why jeopardize that, especially if you plan on leaving?”
In answer, Michael leaned in and locked their mouths together, pouring every bit of his desire and longing into the kiss. Slowly he pulled away and leaned back against the wall, saying with his eyes what he couldn’t say with words.
“Me. You came out for me,” Jay said quietly. It wasn’t a question.
“Yes. I told you downstairs who I wanted.”
They stood gazing at each other for a long moment before Jay replied, “I’ll accept that. But I have to ask you this, and you can tell me it’s none of my business if you want, but had you ever kissed a man before tonight?”
“No.” It seemed he was doing okay with honesty, so Michael stuck with what worked.
It stopped working. “That’s what I thought. Look, you’re obviously dealing with some pretty heavy shit tonight and I took advantage of that. I’m no better than Terry. I just hope I haven’t ruined our friendship by pushing.”
“Don’t you dare go noble on me now.” Michael shut Jay up the best way he knew how. Heart hammering and his few remaining inhibitions screaming at him to run, he tilted his head and sealed their lips together, effectively crossing the point of no return.
Kissing Jay was different from kissing a girl, the unfamiliar tickle of whiskers a reminder that Michael was, in fact, kissing a man. Kissing Jay. It was exciting beyond his wildest dreams. No girl had ever made him feel like this.
If he were going to Hell the least he could do was enjoy the ride. When a low moan escaped he wondered who’d made it, then decided it didn’t matter. Jay’s rigid body gradually relaxed.
Abruptly Jay stepped back, panting hard. “How many fingers am I holding up?”
“Two.”
“Well, you’re not drunk.” A soft smile played across his lips. He studied Michael with a critical eye and then stretched out one hand. Expression solemn, he said, “If that’s how you truly feel, and you mean it when you say you want me, then allow me to escort you from your closet.”

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Enter to win a copy of The Prodigal

Right on the heels of the news that The Prodigal made All Romance eBooks' bestseller list, you can now enter to win a copy at Stumbling Over Chaos.

Be sure to check out the Linkety, Misadventures in Stock Photography, and the pictures of the lovely Mayhem and wily Chaos while you're there.





 A side story to The Angel of 13th Street.

Sauntering to a john’s car is a far cry from hauling hay back on the farm, and none of the married men or rancid losers who hire him come close to the love Mark left behind. His father’s angry words still ring in his ears a year after Dad caught Mark kissing Eric. “Get out of my house and don’t come back!” doesn’t leave a guy a lot of choices.

Mark’s lost all he held dear, but the man known as The Angel believes there’s hope. More than anything, Mark wants to go home—but can a runaway rent boy ever truly go home again?

The Prodigal, bestseller at All Romance eBooks

I arrived home from running errands to find this lovely message from the good folks at All Romance eBooks:

Congratulations!

The Prodigal by Eden Winters has just hit the Allromance.com Bestseller List!


They also sent me a bestseller icon. Ain't it purdy?




A side story to The Angel of 13th Street.

Sauntering to a john’s car is a far cry from hauling hay back on the farm, and none of the married men or rancid losers who hire him come close to the love Mark left behind. His father’s angry words still ring in his ears a year after Dad caught Mark kissing Eric. “Get out of my house and don’t come back!” doesn’t leave a guy a lot of choices.

Mark’s lost all he held dear, but the man known as The Angel believes there’s hope. More than anything, Mark wants to go home—but can a runaway rent boy ever truly go home again?


The Prodigal continues the story of rent boy Mark, whom Noah sends home in The Angel of 13th Street. 

You can find The Prodigal here at All Romance eBooks:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Sale at Torquere Books

Summer sale at Torquere! Just put "summer2013" in the coupon box for 20% off The Angel of 13th Street or any Torquere Books title.  









The Prodigal, now available at All Romance eBooks

I'm happy to announce that rent boy Mark, from The Angel of 13th Street, finally gets to tell his tale.
This story originally appeared in the Toquere Books anthology Someplace in this World.



Sauntering to a john’s car is a far cry from hauling hay back on the farm, and none of the married men or rancid losers who hire him come close to the love Mark left behind. His father’s angry words still ring in his ears a year after Dad caught Mark kissing Eric. “Get out of my house and don’t come back!” doesn’t leave a guy a lot of choices.

Mark’s lost all he held dear, but the man known as The Angel believes there’s hope. More than anything, Mark wants to go home—but can a runaway rent boy ever truly go home again?

Here's an excerpt:


Mark looked right and left before approaching the waiting vehicle. He really didn’t want another customer, but if one of Willie’s spies saw him walk away from easy cash he’d be in real trouble. Taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling to calm jangling nerves, he approached the lowered passenger side window.  


Even in the low light he could see that the man sitting behind the steering wheel was fairly attractive, with light brown hair and a medium build. Mark leaned into the car and smiled as he’d been taught to do, though his heart wasn’t in it. He’d gotten good at lying, even convincing his body language to play along. To customers he must appear willing and able, always. “Looking for me?” he purred, striking a seductive pose.

“Could be,” came the casual reply. “I’m looking for a bit of entertainment. What will it cost me?” Despite the fact that the sun had long since set, dark glasses concealed the man’s eyes. Lots of johns wore similar disguises, but Mark really wished he could see those eyes. The guy appearing impaired was a valid reason to walk away. Even Willie didn’t tolerate drug abuse. Rumor had it that someone the pimp once knew had been badly hurt by a meth-addled customer, and the fastest way out of Willie’s employ was to earn a reputation as a user.

“What kind of entertainment?” Mark asked, a wink saying he already had a pretty good idea. This was a dance he knew very well. Maybe I should have studied drama, I’ve certainly become one hell of an actor.

Mark scrutinized the potential customer, alert for signs of danger. The john appeared nervous, worrying his bottom lip with his teeth. That was nothing new, and normal behavior for a man approaching a male whore while wearing a shiny gold band on his ring finger. His next words confirmed Mark’s suspicions. “I don’t have much time. The wife gets off work soon.”

Well, his body had had enough for one day, so a quick blowjob suited Mark just fine. “I think I can handle that.”

 Those dark lenses dropped, revealing dark brown eyes. Eric’s eyes. Mark swallowed hard and pushed away from the car. No! He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t kneel and suck this man off while looking up into eyes that so cruelly reminded him of all he’d lost. Hoping to scare the john off, he named a price sure to have tires screeching into the night. As soon as the words left his mouth, a metallic snick sounded behind him and the cold kiss of handcuffs clamped around his wrists. The heat of a warm body pressed against his back. Shit, a team.

Those shaded glasses slipped back into place as the “john” recited familiar words, “You have the right to remain silent… ”

Mark closed his eyes with a weary sigh, head bumping against the top of the car. Here we go again. Willie was going to kill him.
***

Coming soon to Amazon

Friday, June 21, 2013

Coming VERY Soon...

Available Saturday, June 22, from Rocky Ridge Books:

In The Angel of 13th Street, Noah Everett helps a young man escape life on the streets and return home. Ever wonder what happened to rent boy Mark? 



The Prodigal

A side story to The Angel of 13th Street.

Sauntering to a john’s car is a far cry from hauling hay back on the farm, and none of the married men or rancid losers who hire him come close to the love Mark left behind. His father’s angry words still ring in his ears a year after Dad caught Mark kissing Eric. “Get out of my house and don’t come back!” doesn’t leave a guy a lot of choices.

Mark’s lost all he held dear, but the man known as The Angel of 13th Street believes there’s hope. More than anything, Mark wants to go home—but can a rent boy ever truly go home again?



The Prodigal first made an appearance in the anthology Someplace in This World from Torquere Books.

Lovely cover art by Zathyn Priest at Scarlet Tie Designs.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Free Read Available at Goodreads

Good morning (afternoon, evening, whatever time it is in your neck of the woods).

As you may know, each year Goodreads M/M Group hosts an annual free read event. This year's event is called Love Has No Boundaries, and here's how it works. Readers are given picture prompts to claim and write a letter for an author, in hopes of having a story told. The authors then claim the letters, interpreting the letter and picture to create a short story. Check out the thread for many great stories by some extremely talented authors.

I've been priviledged to participate in this event for all three years, with short contemporary, coming of age, freinds to lovers, Sweet Dreams, a fantasy, elf story, In Dreams, and now this year, once again, I'm offering something different, a sci-fi: The Sentinel.

Thank you, Brett, for your letter and inspiration.


PHOTO DESCRIPTION:
A sepia tone photograph shows a handsome man, bare-chested, who sits cradling a baby in both hands. He has short hair and a muscled body, and he gazes adoringly at the baby.

STORY LETTER:
Dear Author,

This man is a protector, a fierce and rugged man with a checkered past and an absent family… and yet he holds our new daughter with such tenderness and care. He loves my entire clan of a family nearly as much as he loves me, and despite his horrid birth family, he has become the brother, the son, the cousin, the uncle that they never knew they were missing.

He loves us all, and protects us all… even when the proverbial s*$% hits the fan.

Please tell our story, how he came to be so gentle and loving of my family, OUR family, yet can be so fierce, so distant, from the rest of the world.


Sincerely,

Brett

STORY INFO:
Genre:
 science fiction
Tags: futuristic, other world, enemies to lovers, military, men with children
Content warnings: character death, off-page child abuse
Word count: 16,910 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Enter to Win The Match Before Christmas

Enter to win a copy of my newly re-leased short story, The Match Before Christmas, at Stumbling Over Chaos. While you're there, check out the linkety, lovely kitty pics (her two cats inspired Toms I and II in the story) and my all time favorite thing on her blog, Misadventures in Stock Photography. Plenty of book contests and insightful reviews too!


The Match Before Christmas 2nd Edition is now available at All Romance Ebooks and Amazon. And it's got a great new cover, courtesy of Jared Rackler from Jared Rackler Designs.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Release Day!

I'm very pleased to announce that The Match Before Christmas 2nd Edition is now available at All Romance Ebooks and Amazon. And it's got a great new cover, courtesy of Jared Rackler from Jared Rackler Designs.

Join lonely building contractor Barry Richards as he navigates the (sometime frightening) maze of online dating.


Candlelight, mistletoe, gaily wrapped packages beneath a trimmed tree, and someone to share it with. That's all Barry Richards wants for Christmas. Desperate for a traditional holiday, he creates a profile on "GetaDate.com," in hopes of finding the perfect man in a matter of weeks. One date after another goes sour, while all around him friends are falling in love, and Barry starts to lose faith.

The first snow falls and the world fills with seasonal cheer, all except for Barry, for whom time is running out. Facing the prospect of a lonely holiday, he tries just once more to make The Match Before Christmas.

Excerpt:


How It All Began...

Barry admired the festive holly wreath hanging from his parent’s front door, while deciding how to knock with one arm laden with brightly wrapped packages and the other around a smiling man. The family was going to love his new boyfriend.

A car door slamming in the neighbor’s drive brought him out of his daydream. Barry sighed for about the hundredth time since getting his parent’s e-mail. Was it too much to ask to have, just once, the kind of Christmas he’d always dreamed about? But that’s what it was, a dream. His parents’ holiday cruise plans laid waste to Barry and his sister’s annual Yule pilgrimage to Mom and Dad’s. Karen immediately invited him to spend Christmas at her house. “We’ll make a new tradition,” she’d said.

While his sister’s family would love to have him there, Barry wanted someone of his own to spend the joyous occasion, and ultimately life, with. He wasn’t pouting. Not at all. The entire situation underscored his loneliness. Mom and Dad had each other, Karen had Jack and the kids, he had nobody—yet. Barry’s was a simple goal, to find someone special by Christmas, three months away, even if he wouldn’t be introducing the as yet unnamed man to his folks this year.

He returned to studying the image on his computer screen of two gorgeous men, laughing. A head-thrown-back, eye-twinkling, “I’ve never been so happy” laugh, arms wrapped about each other in a sensual embrace. Underneath their picture an icon beckoned, “Meet our success stories.”

Barry stared at the happy couple and frowned. What had life come to? He blinked hard, and when he reopened his eyes the mutually smitten couple still flaunted their coupledom. A simple, beguiling message asked, “What are you waiting for?”

He reread his “About Me” blurb, trying to imagine a stranger’s reaction:

Single, reasonably attractive gay man, looking for same for possible long-term relationship. Interests: museums, the arts, sports, pets, and romantic candlelit dinners.

Muttering, “I’m a loser,” under his breath, Barry double-checked all the questionnaire boxes he’d clicked previously, making a few minor adjustments here and there.

He paused at the question: “Desired Ages?” While he wanted a stable adult in his life, starting too high might discourage some earnest recent college grad. Likewise, ending too low might exclude the doctor of his dreams for having had a recent birthday. Knowing the criteria could be changed later prompted him to select “Between twenty-five and thirty-five.” Race and religious preferences he left open. He listed his own as Christian, due to the vague memory of a few Sunday school classes in his youth.

Though he’d always been a bit camera shy, resulting in very few available likenesses, he found several group pictures on his hard drive and attempted to edit all the other subjects out. He discarded the results one by one until he came across a recent photo his secretary had taken at the office. He didn’t usually photograph well, in his opinion, but he wasn’t too ashamed of this one. His clear green eyes stood out, thanks to a slightly darker green shirt, and his normally unruly auburn hair framed his face nicely, falling in loose waves. To him, the photo portrayed a successful businessman, which he was, but also showed a more casual side of his personality. “Present yourself as well-rounded,” the site advised.

Before he had a chance to overthink the situation and change his mind, he hit the big red “Enter” button. There went nothing. If things went well, Barry fully believed he’d spent his last lonely weekend. If they didn’t, he was only out fifty bucks, and the cats didn’t lose a lap to sit in for the few hours it would take to go on a date.