Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TRACE OF FEVER by Lori Foster

TRACE OF FEVER by Lori Foster
Book Two in The Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor Series

Caught in the crossfire of vengeance and desire...

Undercover mercenary Trace Rivers loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned mission. First he'll earn the trust of corrupt businessman Murray Coburn, then gather the proof he needs to shut down the man's dirty smuggling operation. It's a perfect scheme - until Coburn's long-lost daughter saunters in with her own deadly plan for revenge.

With a smile like an angel and fire in her eyes, Priscilla Patterson isn't who she seems to be. But neither is the gorgeous bodyguard who ignites all her senses. Joining forces to plot Coburn's downfall, Priss and Trace must fight the undeniable heat between them. For one wrong move, one lingering embrace will expose them to the wrath of a merciless opponent….



Priss stretched awake in the much cleaner and better smelling hotel room. The sheets were smooth, the pillows soft. She had enough space to actually move around without bumping into anything.

Sunlight crept in around the haphazardly closed curtains. It would be another gorgeous June day. Time to get up – except that she couldn’t move her legs, not with Liger stretched out in full splendor across her.

With a yawn, Priss crawled out from under the big cat and sat up on the side of the bed. For this particular morning, she was safe.

So many changes in such a short time.

Her mother’s death had been both a devastating loss and a blessing. Not a day went by that she didn’t miss her, but at least now she didn’t suffer.

Leaving her home should have been an upheaval, but with her motivation driving her, Priss had gotten through the packing, the road trip and the new town by rote. Comfort took a distant second to reaching her goals.

She’d settled in and even found Murray. She’d been right on track.

And then she’d met Trace... whatever his last name might be. She wasn’t buying the name he’d given her. Trace had as many, maybe more secrets than she did.

She enjoyed sparring with him verbally, found him physically appealing, and was intrigued by his cocky attitude. By far, he was the most tempting man she’d ever met.

Because she really didn’t know enough about him to be so captivated, her reaction to him was kind of... well, sick.

Sure, her instincts were good, and her gut told her that Trace was hero material. Despite a lack of facts, she’d already decided he was one of the good guys, an Alpha male who would step into danger to protect others, just as he had – so far – protected her.

And her cat.He was the complete and total opposite of Murray Coburn. So why was he working for that bastard? Or was he?

On her way to the bathroom, Priss glanced at the connecting door.

In the very next room, Trace slept.

Her heart pounded, and that was the biggest change of all. She joked with men, argued with and rejected them. But a pounding heart? Nope. Not once had she ever met a man who affected her that way.

Before leaving the bathroom Priss splashed her face and cleaned her teeth. A glance in the mirror showed her looking a little worse for wear.

Using both hands, she shoved back her hair from her face and gave herself a critical inspection. Before meeting Trace, she’d always accepted herself as a sexless woman, apathetic in most situations, methodical in her approach to life.

But around Trace she felt so much that her head swam. She’d gone to sleep thinking about him and, she just realized, she’d awakened with him on her mind.

Utterly pathetic.

She had just given Liger his food when a tap sounded on the connecting door. Priss’s heart leaped into her throat.

With excitement. Pure, sizzling stimulation. Suddenly she was wide-awake.

Tamping down her automatic smile, Priss leaned on the door. “Yeah?”

“Open up.”

Still fighting that twitching grin, Priss tried to sound disgruntled as she asked, “Why?”

Something hit the door – maybe his head – and Trace said, “I heard you up moving around, Priss. I have coffee ready, but if you don’t want any –”

Being a true caffeine junkie, she jerked open the door. “Oh, bless you, man.” She took the cup straight out of Trace’s hand, drank deeply and sighed as the warmth penetrated the thick fog of novel sentiment. “Ahhhh. Nirvana. Thank you.”

Only after the caffeine ingestion did she notice that Trace wore unsnapped jeans and nothing else. Holy moly.

“That was my cup,” Trace told her, bemused.

But Priss could only stare at him. Despite the delicious coffee she’d just poured in it, her mouth went dry.

When she continued to stare at him, at his chest and abdomen, her gaze tracking a silky line of brown hair that disappeared into his jeans, Trace crossed his arms.

Her gaze jumped to his face and she found him watching her with equal fascination.

A little lost as to the reason for that look, Priss asked with some belligerence, “What?”

With a cryptic smile, Trace shook his head. “Never mind. Help yourself and I’ll get another.”

Oh crap, she’d snatched away his cup! “Sorry.”

He lifted a hand in dismissal and went to the coffee machine sitting atop the dresser. His jeans rode low on his hips. The sun had darkened his skin, creating a sharp contrast to his fair hair.

Another drink was in order, and another sigh of bliss. Hoping to regain her wits, Priss said, “God, nothing in the world tastes better than that first drink of coffee.”

Trace looked over his shoulder, his attention zeroing in on her mouth, then her chest and finally down to her bare legs. “Oh, I don’t know about that.”

Sensually stroked by that hot glance and the low timbre of his suggestive words, Priss followed him in.

Trace gestured toward the small round table and two chairs. “Take a seat, Priss.”

“I don’t mind sitting.” But first... Priss finished off her coffee and looked at the full pot. “Is it all right if I get a refill?”

“Help yourself.”

When Priss moved toward the coffee machine, rather than give her room, Trace leaned back on the edge of the dresser and watched her. She could detect his early morning scent of warm skin, musky male and palpable sex appeal. Delicious.

Would he smell that sinful up close, if she put her nose in his neck, or near that solid chest? Or... maybe lower?She eyed his gorgeous body, and raised a brow. “Doing a little flaunting of your own this morning, huh?”

“In deference to your delicate sensibilities, I pulled on jeans. Isn’t that enough?”

Enough for what- her peace of mind? Ha. Being around Trace, especially with him half naked, sent her heart racing like a marathon runner’s. “Maybe it would be,” Priss admitted, “if you didn’t look so good…”


Monday, May 30, 2011

COWBOY DRIFTER by Winona Wilder

COWBOY DRIFTER by Winona Wilder
Coming Out 2

James doesn't know how he'll survive a road trip with Jet Cartwright. The cowboy drifter has been his wet dream for years, and keeping his true feelings hidden takes a herculean effort.

Jet travels the rodeo circuit and handles horse trading for busy ranchers. Settling down never crossed his mind - until he meets James, a mix of innocence and raw sex appeal. Jet quickly learns that he's willing to give up his ways for the young blond.

Will James be able to come clean with his feelings? Will Jet be able to show the younger man the many pleasures of the flesh, and will that be enough?


WIN - Leave Winona a question today at her Cyber Launch Party and your name goes in the hat for a copy of book one in her Coming Out Series - CHOOSING LOVE. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are today's winner - Good Luck!Excerpt:

After he dropped the metal ramp with an echoing boom, he plucked off his cowboy hat long enough to drag his hand through his tousled hair. Jet stared up at the sky, tracking the movement of the sun and clouds. James only watched with awe and respect of such a traveled, experienced cowboy.

“Clouds are rolling in fast now. I’d say we best hurry on our way. There’ll be a rainstorm tonight, a good one.” James believed every word. When his father said there’d be rain, it always arrived as promised whether the weatherman agreed or not.

James followed Jet into the narrow confines between the horses, patting the nervous Arabian on the rump before passing. Jet’s back was toned to perfection. James wanted to reach out and trail his hand down the length of his backbone. Fuck, Jet even had a nice ass, hard and round, filling out his jeans in an unholy way. “Do your tattoos mean anything?” he asked when they reached the end of the metal trailer.

“Hope you’re not considering getting one yourself.” Jet turned and leaned against the metal, sighing and closing his eyes briefly. The cool metal would be a sharp relief from the stifling humid heat in the trailer. “You have a beautiful body. I’d hate to see it marked up.”

A beautiful body? Did men normally talk this way to each other? Jet was one hundred percent alpha-male goodness, so it must be politically correct to compliment another man. “I think your ink makes you look even hotter.” James bit his lower lip after he spoke, regretting his choice of words. The way Jet froze and stared into his eyes spoke volumes to the inappropriate nature of his comment. Perhaps only real men could say such things, not young questionable farm boys like James. Those with an openly gay brother.

“You think I’m hot?” Jet found humor in this, smirking as he rubbed his hand over his tat.

James swallowed hard. Why couldn’t Jet put his shirt back on? The distraction was making it difficult to maintain his charade.

“Go on,” he coaxed. “I know you want to touch it.”

He had no idea the things James wanted to do. His mind was a playground of unsavory and lewd acts he’d like to partake in with the older man. But he did need to touch Jet. He reached out without being prodded and flattened his palm over the other man’s shoulder. His skin was so warm and firm. He traced the pattern of the scrollwork down his arm, disappointed when he reached unmarked flesh. “I like it,” he whispered, not trusting his full voice to crack.

“Do you like me?” Jet used a curved finger under James’s chin to raise his vision from the trailer floor to meet his gaze. “Don’t play games with me, James. Do you like me?”

“Yes.” Fuck, he’d gone and said it. But he liked his parents, his brothers, his friends. There was no shame in admitting he liked Jet, right? But he didn’t just like the man, he craved him, desired him to the point of insanity. His cock grew impossibly stiff, lust and nerves combining together in an oddly erotic experience.

“Then really touch me.” Jet’s lips were parted, his eyes half mast, clearly mirroring his pent-up lust. Could it be true? James was still terrified this was all a misunderstanding or possibly a test planned by his father. But not going along with the invitation was not an option at this point. Boldness took over. James placed his hand on Jet’s pec, squeezing slightly. His body felt hard and edible. He wanted to sink his teeth into the thick muscles and trail his tongue down those ripped abs.

“James, you’re not being a good boy.” Jet grabbed his wrist and brought it down past his belt line. When the other man pressed his hand against the dominant bulge in his jeans, James gasped aloud. No more guessing games. Jet wanted him in carnal ways. How could such a hard-core cowboy be gay? It went against everything he was taught. If Waylon and Jet liked men, then maybe James was normal, too. “Feel that? That’s what you do to me.”

“I didn’t know.” Pressure began to build in his balls as heat radiated through his body. His urge to kiss the other man overwhelmed him.

“You ever suck a man’s dick, James?”

His face heated, and he pulled his hand away as if he’d been scalded. “No!” Even though they were being open and honest, he’d been brainwashed to find disgust in such talk.

“That’s right. You’ve never been with a man before, have you? I like that. You’ll be mine. Just for me.” The deep, authoritative tone of Jet’s voice had James ready and willing to submit, to be owned and dominated by this rugged cowboy.


Jet gently spread James’s ass cheeks apart and admired the tight puckered rosette. He wanted to bend over and lick the cute little virgin hole but went to work by drizzling a line of lube down James’s crack. Jet kneaded his firm, muscled ass as he inched closer and closer to his target. When he ever so slowly inserted one finger into the tight entrance, James moaned and clenched down tight around his digit. The man’s body tensed, not unusual for one so inexperienced. Jet compensated, keeping his finger lodged in the man’s ass while reaching around to stroke his erection.

James groaned and loosened up. Jet pumped the hard shaft while circling his ass with his finger to stretch the unforgiving anal ring. He continued the sequence—pumping and circling while wiggling his finger. Next he inserted a second. “Push against me, James. Don’t tighten up.” Too bad he didn’t have his toys handy. He couldn’t peel himself away from James to grab the little bag in the backseat. Later. “Your ass is tight, baby. You’re gonna feel so good around my dick.”

“I can’t stop it, Jet. I’m gonna come.”

Jet pulled his hand away from James’s cock. “Not yet, sweet thing. I haven’t even deflowered you yet.” He aimed his rigid erection at James’s asshole and thrust forward in a steady, smooth motion. The young cowboy gritted his teeth loud enough to hear, his fists so tight the knuckles were white. “Relax. Take my cock in your ass. Feel it filling you, stretching you. The pressure won’t last, I promise.” The muscles in James’s back shifted with his rapid breathing and squirming. Such a beautiful, toned body.

James grunted once Jet was fully seated, balls deep in his ass. Jet stilled, allowing the cowboy time to adjust, to become accustomed to having a big dick penetrating him.

“If you promise not to come, you can stroke your dick. It’ll help you relax. Can you do that?”

James nodded and reached one arm down between his body and the truck bed. The thick muscles in his shoulder and arm went to work as he rapidly pumped his shaft. “I’m going to start fucking you now,” he warned. After pulling his dick out, he pistoned back in, back and forth in long, languid strokes. Jet was in heaven, watching his cock emerge and disappear into the tight ass over and over.

When James moaned, an erotic plea, Jet knew he’d crossed the line from pain into pleasure. He gripped the young man’s hips and pumped his cock in and out of his ass in firm, rapid movements. As the minutes passed, James wriggled against him, meeting him thrust for thrust. “You’re mine, James. Your ass is mine. Your cock is mine. Tell me it’s true.”

James only moaned each time he exhaled, too far gone for speech. Jet froze. “Answer me, baby. Tell me your cock and your ass belong to me.”

“Yes!” James panted. “I’m yours. You own my cock and my ass.”


EDGE OF ECSTASY by Tianna Xander

As a symbol of fertility, the May Queen is revered. One day a year--May Day-she is passed from lover to lover in hopes of becoming pregnant,submitting to the villagers every carnal need.

She hopes by becoming the May Queen no one will know she'd given herself in passion to her betrothed, Donnal before his death.

Can she overcome the grief of losing the love of her life and find happiness as the May Queen?


By reading this excerpt you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age or older. If you are under the age of 18, you must exit this site.

Edge of Ecstasy

© Copyright Tianna Xander

All Rights Reserved, eXtasy Books


She once heard Donnal’s mother speak of her May Day. How the press of the cocks deep into her body was unlike anything she had ever felt before or since. How the many men brought her pleasure beyond any other as they continued to come into her over and over. After only one night with Donnal, she wanted that. She wanted this night to remember the bliss of a man’s cock thrusting inside her.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

JUNGLE INFERNO by Desiree Holt

JUNGLE INFERNO by Desiree Holt

Book 1 in the Phoenix Agency series.

For Faith and Mark, the telepathic connection they'd shared for years was nothing compared to the scorching physical connection they realized as adults. From the first moment they came together, erotic was too pale a word to describe their relationship. Together they explored each other’s deepest, darkest desires.

But now Mark, survivor of an ambush to his Delta Force team, is a prisoner of a terrorist group in the Peruvian jungle, and his telepathic communication with Faith is his only contact with the world. While she searches for help to save him, they survive on dreams that took them beyond all sexual boundaries.

Publisher’s Note: This story was previously published elsewhere under the title ALWAYS ON MY MIND and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave.

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.


Copyright © DESIREE HOLT, 2011

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One


Faith Wilding stared at her computer monitor in frustration, the screen empty except for the annoying cursor winking at her. The first three chapters of her latest political thriller were due to her agent by the end of the month and she hadn’t even written the first word. Not once since she’d sold her first manuscript had she ever been stricken with writer’s block. Today, however, it seemed as if something had swept her mind bare, knocking out every word or phrase that might be taking root.

She looked around her den, usually a place of comfort and inspiration. The warm earth tones on the rug that had been her grandmother’s were an accent on the polished hardwood floor. The couch and chair, covered in navy denim, showed traces of wear from all the times she’d lain or sat there reading manuscript drafts. The walls were lined with family pictures, faces smiling down on her with encouragement and support.

Usually this room unlocked her mind and opened the gates for her thoughts to flow freely. Not tonight. She could have been sitting in a sterile room for all the good it was doing her.

She rotated her head, easing the tension in her neck and shoulders. Maybe she should fix another cup of her favorite chai tea. Its energy might kick-start her brain.

I need you.

The familiar voice blasted through her mind.

Mark! Oh God, Mark.

Stunned, she tried to focus her thoughts but a white-hot pain pierced her body, stealing her breath. She clenched her fists against it and as it faded an image of Mark’s face, bruised and lined with pain, flashed briefly and was gone.

Faith leaned back in her chair, using the skills she’d been taught to control her breathing and slow her racing pulse. Running her hands up and down her arms she discovered a fine sheen of perspiration on her skin.


She tried to pull the image back but it was gone.

Need you…captured…

Captured! Dear God. He’d reached out to her from wherever he was. But how could she find him? He could be anywhere. She felt as if a part of her body had been severed. Closing her eyes and pushing everything else from her brain, she concentrated on sending a reply.

I heard you. Where are you?

She sat perfectly still, eyes still tightly shut, blocking out everything else, focusing as she’d been taught, to strengthen her message.


She waited but the only thing that answered her was the heavy silence. Either his strength had given out or something—or someone—had blocked him.

Finally she pushed her chair away from the desk and headed to the kitchen on legs not quite steady. Tea was definitely in order.

The last time she’d heard from Mark Halloran was two years ago. That time she’d been sitting in a Starbucks drinking a mocha latte and checking her schedule on her PDA when the message hit her. Startled, she’d nearly spilled her coffee and looked around to make sure he wasn’t just standing two feet away.

Hello, darlin’.

That whiskey-smooth voice had warmed her blood and made her smile. And remember the one long weekend they’d had together before he’d left on a mission.

Hi. Where are you?

Far away.

An image of him in a helicopter danced before her eyes, helmet securely on his head, rifle and other gear strapped to his body. As a Special Ops soldier, a member of the famed Delta Force, he was always in some far corner of the world on a mission that no one could discuss. Usually he was concentrating so hard on what he was doing there was no opportunity to clear his mind and reach out to her.

Miss you, came the next message.

Me too. You’ll never know how much. You still have my heart.

The image had changed to one of him naked, grinning, his blue eyes laughing at her. Her body had heated and every pulse point had begun to throb. She’d looked around her carefully, sure every eye was on her but everyone had appeared to be attending to their own business. She’d carried that short message and those images with her for a long time.

And now, tonight’s message. Shocking in its pain. Mark, stolid and steadfast. Bastion of strength. A soldier with special skills who’d stared at death more times than she’d ever know about. Mark never asked for help. The anguish in his voice filled her with a sense of dread. Fear drenched her and a cold knot of it tightened in her stomach. For him to send her this message the situation had to be out of control.

But where was he? What had happened to him? And what was wrong that the only cry for help he could get out was telepathically to her?

Leaning against the counter, sipping the hot tea, she thought about the first time they’d discovered their telepathic ability to communicate.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

THE DREAMER'S LOOM by Michelle L. Levigne

THE DREAMER'S LOOM by Michelle L. Levigne

He was the cunning trickster king, always playing his opponents’ weaknesses against them, lying as easily as other men breathed. He trusted no one, or so the other warriors of Achaia believed. Then he met the one woman who could match him in cleverness and vowed he would have her, no matter what it took.

She was the overlooked daughter and cousin, dark and small when her cousins, Helen and Kleitamaistra, were tall and golden. She was a princess, but knew she would be sacrificed in marriage to buy peace for her uncle’s kingdom. She was a visionary, glimpsing the future and events half a world away in her dreams.

Odysseus went to Sparta to win Helen as his bride, but when he saw Penelope, he knew she was the queen who could protect his precious Ithaka through the turmoil of the future. Their love grew through pain and tears, and held strong for twenty years while vengeful gods kept him from their home. Their love triumphed against enemies who would have stolen kingdom and queen, and became the greatest love story ever told...

Note to reader: This story was previously published only in electronic format under the title The Dark One (LTD Books, ISBN 1-55316-083-5). This new Amber Quill Press version, however, has been reedited and retitled for the electronic format and the first-time paperback release.



In silence, the ship left anchor and headed out into deeper waters again. The flames of the funeral pyre grew smaller in the distance as Penelope watched. She shivered, wondering if the man who touched her was on the pyre.

“What are you thinking?” Odysseus asked, his voice a rough whisper, softened with weariness.

“How many died?” For a moment, she couldn’t face him.

“Seven. Their leader among them. Dolios found him before I did,” he added, one corner of his mouth rising for a second. “The ones who lived know who they were fighting. Maybe now they will not so easily attack travelers.”

“They know…you told them, and released them?” Penelope shook her head, trying to understand. “What if they call their kinsmen together for vengeance?”

“Who would justify them? Who would help them?” He sighed, closed his eyes, and leaned hard into the rudder. “Penelope, they took their lives into their hands in a wager, and lost.”

“I will never understand battle, or what drives a man to cut the life from another.”

“Sweet Penelope, I hope you never do.”

A WARRIOR'S WITCH by Stacey Kennedy

A WARRIOR'S WITCH by Stacey Kennedy
An Otherworld Novel

Decades old guilt collide with a murder, igniting a battle in a warrior's soul to choose between love and duty...

Murder has brought Talon, Master of Guardians, as well as Zia, his witch and Master of Witches, to Chicago. The manner of death appears to be a suicide, but Talon is far from ready to close the case. To avenge the Guardian linked to his past, he agrees to take on the assignment, and find her killer.

As they dive deeper into the investigation, they find themselves entering a world where BDSM is the norm. A lifestyle that Zia is uncomfortable with and, rattled by this new development, she is more than ready to return to the Otherworld. But their investigation quickly takes an unexpected twist when they discover that they're not only hunting a killer but also someone who is controlling supernaturals in Chicago.

Their mission not only brings danger, but also forces Talon to deal with decades old guilt that corrodes his soul. Every event that unfolds only deepens his fight and pushes him to face an ultimate choice - what is more important - his duty to the Otherworld or the witch he holds closest to his heart?



Duty. Honor. Morals.

All these things abandoned Talon’s mind as he stood over the dead body on the ground. The woman’s light brown hair draped over her face, but not enough to conceal her identity. She was no stranger to him. Her face held a bluish tinge, the rosy color he remembered she once had on her cheeks now gone. Whitlyn, his son’s mother.

Talon bent down and brushed the hair away from the Guardian’s face and his heart clenched. An arrangement between him and Whitlyn had been forged years ago, and he never expected when he saw her again it would be to find her dead. At the time she lived in the Otherworld, she’d proven herself to be one of the greatest female warriors. But the battles wore on Whitlyn. She wanted a life without death and violence. Knowing the stakes it cost the Otherworld to have her gone, she offered a solution, presented herself to bear Talon’s child.

Now, the woman who gave him such a gift had lost her life.

“Oh, Talon.” Zia’s voice came compassionate above him. She rested her hand on his shoulder in a loving embrace. “I’m sorry.”

Talon couldn’t find the strength to look at his witch. Yes, she belonged to him now and hadn’t condemned his heart with guilt when he made the agreement with Whitlyn, yet he drowned in sorrow over the reality. He hadn’t once regretted his choice. Not only had Kyden proved to be an impeccable Guardian, but a wonderful son. However, seeing Whitlyn in this condition tore at his heart.

“It’s not me to be sorry for.” He’d always suspected Whitlyn’s actions came from the duty she felt she owed to the Otherworld, but he also believed the solution a viable one. It gave back to their forces, while it allowed Whitlyn to live in peace in the Earthworld among the humans and leave her position as part of the Council’s guard. Talon never understood her desires. His duty as Master of Guardians, part of the Council, was now and would always be to the Otherworld. To protect the Earthworld from supernatural beings who wished to cause them harm. His thoughts weren’t of humans at the moment, didn’t stray on his responsibilities as a leader to the Otherworld. His only concern remained on Whitlyn.

Sighing, he glanced at Zade, the Master of Vampires, who stood off to the side of the modest home located in the Near South Side of Chicago. “What happened to her?”

Zade shook his head, sending his coal hair to drape across his forehead, his dark eyes perplexed. “Right now, I know about as much as you do. I sent Finn to this assignment after the Chicago PD contacted us.” Supes were well established in the Earthworld law enforcement for just this reason. It gave them an in on supernatural murders. “When Finn discovered it wasn’t a mortal who died, but a Guardian, he came back to inform us. He found me instead. Thinking I could handle the matter myself, I came here and recognized her immediately.” He glanced down to Whitlyn. Sadness resided on his expression. “You must understand my reasons for coming to find you.” His gaze came back up to meet Talon’s. “Do you want me to go and get Kyden?”

Talon pondered. Zia and Talon had been resting when Zade had come to their residence. Being odd that Zade asked them to assist on an assignment instead of letting one of the guard deal with the matter as they usually did, Talon knew something had gone terribly wrong. It wasn’t often the Masters needed to intervene. Their guard held strong, protected the Earthworld on most cases without their assistance in person.

It was true his son Kyden was part of their guard—both him and his mate, Nexi, were elite warriors within the Otherworld, but Talon hesitated involving him in this. The secret of his birth hadn’t been kept a secret from Kyden, but he never discussed it with anyone. Talon doubted even Nexi knew of his mother. He always equated it to the fact that she didn’t exist in Kyden’s eyes—to disown one’s duty to the Otherworld was the gravest of all betrayals. Talon never harbored ill feelings toward Whitlyn for her choices. The battles could be trying at times, and she sought refuge from all the death—he’d never judge her for those wishes.

Talon’s pause was more centered on the uncertainty about how Kyden would respond to the sight of his dead mother. So many unresolved emotions surrounded Whitlyn. Too many in Talon’s own soul to even make sense of now. Determined he only had one choice, he shook his head. “No, leave him out of it.”

“Talon,” Zia exclaimed.

Her curt tone forced his gaze to hers and he encountered an unhappy expression on his witch’s face. Even with her grimace, though, she still exuded beauty. Long strawberry blonde hair flowed around her flawless skin and her stunning blue eyes that he’d never grow tired of admiring. Yet, he had a point to make and he would make it clear. “All Kyden knows of his mother is that she wanted a life away from danger and those are the reasons she gave birth to him and left, never to return. Kyden and Nexi were bonded mere weeks ago. I won’t ruin their joy with this news. Besides, they’re away on their travels enjoying some peace they both deserve.”

Exactly why Whitlyn wanted out. Danger never stopped, and his son had had his share of it lately. Nexi, being a mixed being of Guardian, Witch, and Fae—her magic had blossomed, making her stronger than any supernatural being known in the Otherworld. With those gifts came a world of trying times. His son choosing her as his love brought evil to take center stage in their lives. Luckily, his son lived through the dangerous events, as did Nexi. Peace wasn’t given to them; they earned it, and Talon didn’t want to bring strain to their lives. He didn’t have the heart to darken his son’s happy moment. “We’ll handle the assignment, find out what happened to Whitlyn, and I’ll tell him when they return.” After Talon sorted out how he felt on the matter and had all the answers to explain it all to his son.

“You will tell him though, yes?” Zia probed.

“I will, but I don’t want him to see her like this.” Talon’s heart ached, for Whitlyn and Kyden. He sympathized with why Whitlyn had left the Otherworld. He’d seen it before in Guardians and supernaturals who chose to work for the Council. The hard times wore on them. Yet, he’d never felt as she did. He belonged in his role.

Even though he had no relationship with Whitlyn and there had never been love between them when they spent a month together producing Kyden, he respected her. The time they’d shared was a wonderful memory. He hated to see her life stolen from her. It left an empty gap in his heart and he wondered how in the world he would tell Kyden his mother had died.

“The vamp who met Finn here had no knowledge of what had taken place,” Zade said, “and if he would have told us sooner that it was Whitlyn who lost her life, I would have acted faster.”

Time was always a key factor. The longer it took them to locate the killer, the more distance he or she could put between them. But Talon didn’t worry about that so much. His only focus right now centered on what took place here. “Zia, do your magic and show us what happened here.”

“Of course.” Zia raised her hands, and the wind picked up in the room as her magic called to replay the moment Whitlyn’s life ended. Her talents, gifted from being a Spirit Witch and Master of Witches, gave her enough power in that beautiful body of hers to astound Talon more than once.

Within only moments of the first call on her magic, the scene shimmered into view. Talon placed his hands firmly on the floor to steady himself. Whitlyn stood before him, pale; her eyes shone with terror as her body trembled in fear. However, nothing stood there to give reason for her fright; no one around her caused her panic. Talon scanned the simple living room a few times over, yet still nothing. No murderer.

A gasp brought Talon’s focus back to Whitlyn. She now rested on her knees close to him. Her breath strained as her chest rose and fell in heavy movements. Confusion stole his thoughts. “Am I missing something?” His attention remained on the dying Whitlyn.

“No. Why is she dying?” Zia gasped.

Whitlyn fell down on her side, her breathing rapid and forced. As much as Talon wished he could intervene, he held no power to do so. The vision was a moment from the past. Whitlyn had already died.

Within a few short minutes, the vision settled on the same one Talon came upon when he entered the small, humble home. Whitlyn lying dead. He tried to make sense out of what he saw, but couldn’t. Nothing appeared to have killed her. She hadn’t appeared to be stabbed nor had any visible wounds, although he suspected someone had caused her death. Not an empty room. Feeling beside himself, he glanced at Zia. “Did you make sense of any of that?”

“Not at all.” Zia shook her head, her eyes wide, baffled. “Do you think she did this to herself?”

The thought, too horrible to even imagine, was one Talon didn’t think possible. Whitlyn had always been a strong warrior. Her actions proved she wasn’t selfish. When she left the Otherworld, she could have just walked out, but she provided her body, her impeccable genes from a long line of warriors, to give back to her world. Whitlyn had never been a woman who acted with such selfishness. “I cannot fathom it. She doesn’t seem the type.”

“But you haven’t seen her in well over twenty-nine years,” Zade countered.

How time flew. It felt like only yesterday when Whitlyn gave birth to Kyden, kissed him goodbye, and left. In just a year, he’d reach his immortality and no longer age. It might have made Talon sentimental if the current situation didn’t take precedence. “That’s true. It has been many years since I’ve seen her last. It’s quite possible she could have become another woman.” Talon hummed. “Still, to take her own life? Why would Whitlyn choose such a fate for herself?” He placed his hand on Whitlyn’s forehead and her cold skin chilled his palm. His heart bled for her. “If you have done this to yourself, I’m sorry you didn’t trust in us to come home and get you the help you needed. If someone has hurt you, it’s my promise to you that I’ll find out who and deliver their punishment on your behalf.”

Silence filled the room and Talon appreciated it. His mind ran rapid with thoughts of whats and whys. Finally, after a long moment, Zade cleared his throat, bringing Talon’s attention to him. “I note a strange scent around her, but I cannot place it.”

As Guardian, Talon didn’t have the enhanced scent capabilities Zade possessed as a vampire; only impeccable warrior skills had been granted to him. He couldn’t smell anything unusual here. Inhaling deeply for good measure, he sighed, unable to catch a trace of it. “I’d suspect whatever you are scenting is what caused her death.”

“A very strange occurrence,” Zia offered.

Talon agreed. Clearly whatever Whitlyn had either taken—or been given—claimed her life. However, the question remained, what was it? Never in all his years had he ever seen a death in this manner. The fact this was so personal made urgency flare to life, but brought something else with it too.

After a little squeeze of his hand on Whitlyn’s frigid flesh, he closed his eyes and felt an entire world of guilt rest upon his shoulders. He’d find out what happened because he owed Whitlyn that and so much more. She’d given his life meaning in giving him a son. Gave him something he never thought he’d have as a Master. An oath he’d taken long ago to always put the Otherworld first. A personal life wasn’t in the hopes and dreams of a Master. Their role, their nightly-life centered on keeping the Earthworld protected.

Zia was his heart, no doubt about it. What they were now, merely lovers, is what they’d always be. Being bound as his son was to Nexi would never been in his future with Zia. He’d long ago accepted that fate. And now, to the mother of his son, he made a silent promise of justice for all she’d given him.

Talon whispered his final goodbyes to Whitlyn, stood, and looked at Zia. “Let’s take her to someone who might be able to identify this unknown killer.” He reached down and gathered the lifeless Whitlyn in his arms. Talon might have only given her a passing thought over the years, but he mourned her death now.


Friday, May 27, 2011

SYNOCOPATION by Steve Nugent

by Steve Nugent

Sam believes that his life is out of control. In his relationship with John, he feels powerless and impotent. Intolerant of his psychologist's help, he abruptly breaks with John and embarks on a distrustful and defensive liason with Richard, a man he meets at a music recital. Each man sees himself in the other, creating a dynamic that prevents them from getting too intimate. Can they risk their budding relationship and finally allow themselves to love?

This story appears in the author's print collection, Attractions.

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

During the interval at the Glenn Gould Studio, the guy sitting on the other side of a vacant seat from Sam leaned across and asked to borrow his programme. This led to a conversation Sam would have normally avoided due to a natural stand-offishness, but he found himself responding to an intensity of gaze and dark good looks that never failed to get him hooked. He agreed, with enthusiasm, that the baritone’s voice was well suited to the programme choice, and it was absolutely essential to a singer’s career to very carefully choose his material, and so on. They commented on how interesting it was that boy sopranos, as this one had been, often matured into competent baritones. At this point Sam recognised, with a freezing anxiety that sometimes gripped him, that he was beginning to flounder in a sea of musical ignorance, having played out his repertoire of appropriate remarks. He now lacked any substantive facts to contribute further to the discussion but couldn’t cut his gaze loose, and by the time John returned, he was lost in a fantasy of what might happen if he could ever get this guy into bed.

While standing to applaud, the guy returned the program, thanking him, maintaining a hold on it for a shade more time than Sam thought necessary. Filing out, John asked, from the corner of his mouth, “Who was the guy coming on to you?”

“He wasn’t coming on to me. That’s in your mind.”

At home Sam found a business card tucked into the programme -- Richard Jones, financial analyst with a Bay Street firm. He put the card in the back of a drawer classifying it as a “perhaps sometime.”

* * * *

The next morning John was reading aloud the review of the concert at breakfast and, on finishing, casually said, “I wonder what your friend thought of it?”

“What friend?” Sam knew who was meant.

“The one who fancies you at music recitals.”

“But only at intervals,” Sam added with a mock sigh, and spooned in his cereal.

John fidgeted with the paper for a while, then got up and left, tight-lipped, obviously not trusting himself to make a reply. Sam looked at the paper in a heap on the table, continuing to sip his coffee, reflected on how effective sarcasm could be when used sparingly, and decided to call Richard Jones sometime during the day.

Richard answered on the second ring and sounded as if he was expecting the call. “Actually I’m known as Rick to my friends. You must have thought I was either irresponsible or desperate or both, to do what I did, giving you my business card like that. If we meet, I can explain what it’s about.”

Following more unproductive tiresome chit-chat about the concert, Richard (Sam never got around to calling him Rick) quickly ended it by suggesting drinks at Byzantium a few days later. Putting the phone down, Sam thought it all sounded more like a business appointment than a social meeting -- certainly unlike his first encounter with John.

* * * *

Sam had picked up John about two years previously at the crosswalk at Balmuto and Charles when driving home around 2 A.M. on a Sunday, feeling horny and pissed off with a guy who had taken up the whole evening at Sailors, looking certain to work out, then suddenly taking off to the washroom not to be seen again.

John, black haired and deep eyed in the tightest jeans and tank top, looked slightly drunk. He lurched a bit while staring at Sam as he crossed, which was enough for Sam to turn the car into a lane off Balmuto and leave it running. John took his cue, followed, got in and straight away shoved his tongue in Sam’s mouth. With a smell of booze mixed with cologne, he unzipped Sam’s fly and then his own. In cramped conditions it was a hit-and-miss session, but afterwards John said he’d like to see him again, and Sam reluctantly gave his cell phone number; post-sexually he tended to want to quickly forget those designated as “casuals off the street.”

“I may be hard to get. I’m pretty busy at work just now.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get you.”

And he did.



by Kate Emburg

Read an excerpt or buy your copy today!

Book 2 in the Susan Slutt series

Who's the world-famous girl sleuth who solves all sorts of queer mysteries with the help of a butch tomboy, her feminine friend, and two boy detectives named Frank and Joe?

If you guessed "Nancy Drew," you're wrong! Meet Susan Slutt, the hottest schoolgirl shamus since the invention of jalapeno-flavored edible underwear. In this collection of cases, Susan gets down and dirty while investigating a messy "Fracas at the Fudge Factory." She travels to Switzerland to join "The Search for the World's Biggest Icehole," where she faces another puzzle: Is that a snake in Frank Baccardi's pants or is he happy to see her? But Susan's greatest challenge confronts her in Hawaii when she discovers "The Secret of the Golden Dildo." Among the baffling riddles: Is it possible to find an eighteen-year-old virgin in Hawaii? What is the life of one girl, even one with really great knockers, compared to all the riches of the universe? More important, if Susan dies, can Butch have her room and finally stop sleeping in the yard and eating from a dog dish?

The excitement builds to a volcanic climax as Susan's life is threatened, Butch's sanity is threatened, and Susan's bra straps are threatened by the weight of her massive mammaries. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get turned on by these timeless tales of dazzling detectives, female friendship, and male bondage ... uh, bonding. Contains the stories:
  • The Case of the Borrowed Bungalow
  • The Unfinished Beer
  • The Password to Delphinium Drive
  • The Search for the World’s Biggest Icehole
  • The Dreadful Revenge
  • Secret of the Golden Dildo
  • The Mystery at Honey Suckle’s Manor
  • In the Shadow of the Hunchback
  • The Crooked Boner
  • The Floating Saucer Mystery
  • Fracas at the Fudge Factory
  • The Phantom of the Porkerville Public Library
  • The Clue in the Cracking Wall
  • The Secret of Red Gateless Farm
Read an excerpt or buy your copy today!

EXCERPT FROM "The Crooked Boner" by Kate Emburg

“What is this mystery about?” asked Beverly Francis Bold. He was a slender, feminine young man with tousled blond hair and a single gold earring.

“We’re looking for a Crooked Boner,” Susan explained.

“I knew a guy with a crooked boner once,” said Beverly eagerly. “He used to act in porn flicks. I think I still have his number somewhere.”

“Was it twisted like a corkscrew?” asked Ashleigh Nettleson, a blonde with a Southern accent whose intimate friends included males as well as females. “Because if it was, I think I know him, too.”

But when Susan described Rawley Boner, her chums decided their acquaintance was not the same man after all.

“When did you last see Raw Boner?” asked Dave Stevens. The young man had a rangy build, ranging from five-foot-one and one-hundred pounds to six-foot-five and two-hundred fifty pounds. Today he was in the average range: medium height, medium weight, and medium-length, medium brown hair.

Susan described how Raw, posing as his own twin, had served an inferior breakfast and then fled. “We must catch him and bring him to justice.”

In the back seat, Butch Hawkins and Rodd Turgood exchanged glances. Both wondered if the slim chance of scoring with Susan was really worth the hell she put them through.

“Why are we bringing Rawley to justice?” Butch queried. “As far as I know, selling an Indian Reservation isn’t illegal, if Raw was the legitimate owner. As for the bad breakfast --”

“Not only bad, but very bad,” Susan corrected her sister. “Rawley Boner is guilty of operating a bed and breakfast without a license, not to mention impersonating his twin, which is identity theft and fraud. Besides, he’s just plain weird. Anyone who lives in a house like Rawley’s deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

If her friends had any doubt as to the legality of arresting Boner, they vanished at first glimpse of his house. All agreed that only a criminal would build such a crooked structure.

As they walked up the driveway, Susan was astonished to see the normally-bold Butch hanging back. Inquiring as to the cause of her sister’s mysterious cowardice, Susan learned that the Boner house made Butch feel uncomfortable.

“Why, Butch, I didn’t know you were superstitious,” said Susan with a merry laugh. “I assure you, the house isn’t haunted.”

“It’s not a ghost I’m afraid of,” Butch muttered. Her eyes darted nervously from the various chimneys, towers, and fence posts to the many long, thick, tilted porch railing spindles. “All these phallic symbols give me the willies.”

Susan’s forehead wrinkled, though even with a wrinkled forehead she still looked prettier than Butch. “What are phallic symbols?”

“Crooked boners,” Butch explained. “Seeing all these crooked boners makes me nervous.”

“Then you needn’t worry,” Susan comforted her. “There’s only one crooked Boner, Rawley, and he’s disappeared.”



by J. Tomas

It's the first Saturday of summer vacation. But upcoming high school senior Logan Bradley can't celebrate -- he has to watch his younger brother Dylan while their mother attends her monthly book club meeting. She even forbids him from inviting his boyfriend Chad Adams over when she isn't home!

Logan's only consolation is his cell phone, which connects him to Chad. Now, if Dylan will just leave him alone long enough to chat up his boy, the evening might be salvaged ...


“Logan, are you listening to me?” His mother jingled her keys as she shouldered her purse. “Dylan has to be in bed by nine.”

Logan sighed. “Mom, it’s summer --"

“And we’re not arguing about this. Your brother already tried. Nine.” She tried to kiss his forehead but Logan stepped out of reach. “Spend some time with him before he goes down, will you? Don’t hole up in your room all night.”

Logan followed her to the door. “Can Chad come over?”

She shook her head. “You know my rule on that. No one in the house if I’m not here.”

“Mom,” Logan moaned. “It’s not like we’re going to have sex.”

Over her shoulder, she threw him a stern look. “Not in my house you’re not.”

Only half-joking, Logan said, “See, that’s why we need to go out riding tonight.”

His mother didn’t laugh. “No one in the house, you hear me?”

Logan sighed. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Dylan in bed by nine. You can stay up until I get home --"

“Mom!’ Logan cried. “I’m seventeen.”

“Which is why you can stay up.” She smirked, pleased she had won this round. “I should be in before midnight. I have my cell with me if you need to call.”

“If I’m calling anyone, it’ll be Chad,” Logan groused.

“Do not spend all night on the phone,” his mother warned. “When I call later, you better answer, mister. Now give me a kiss.”

Grudgingly Logan leaned forward, but he kissed the air in front of her face instead of landing a peck on her cheek. “Have fun. I sure won’t.”

His mother sighed. “Not with that attitude.”



by Belea T. Keeney

Trapper Tommy works the woods of Florida, trapping all kinds of wildlife for his customers who don't want raccoons, possums, squirrels, or skunks near them. But after finding some mangled carcasses, Tommy comes to realize there's something much bigger and much scarier out there than anything he's ever faced before.

On the night of a full moon, Trapper Tommy gets trapped himself, and what he finds will change his life forever.


“That gator is tore up!” Rudy Swetzek covered his mouth with a beefy hand, his eyes wide. Flies buzzed around the alligator’s corpse, and the leaves and ground beneath the reptile were soaked with blood, baking in the Florida afternoon sun. He lay on his back, his belly still wet, oozing rank entrails. Long, black claws dangled over folded legs, front and back. Gator claws, nothin’ to mess with. One swipe from those and you either lose an arm or get a nasty infection that’ll drop you in your tracks. A warm breeze blew over us and the smell was like to gag a maggot -- bloody and full of death.

Most of the gator’s tail was gone, wrenched -- not cut -- off his rear, the hide torn, the muscle ripped away. Helluva thing.

Trapper Tommy is my name, wrangling wildlife is my game, least that’s what my answering machine says, cute-like. Hogs, possums, armadillos, raccoons, snakes, deer once in a while, but mostly I earn my living from gators. I yank ‘em out of freshwater ponds when they get too big or too friendly and start eating the neighborhood cats and dogs. Kids sometimes, too.

This gator, though, was near useless to me. Dead too long to pull the meat, his belly hide too shredded to skin and sell to the leather goods dealer down to Arcadia. A bust. And he coulda been good money -- maybe four hundert dollars worth of tail meat and hide -- a twelve-footer, a bull gator, big and fat from his easy life in the swamps north of Tampa.

I bent down to get a closer look. The stink made my eyes water so I pulled my bandana over my nose. I got a soft puff of fabric softener then was overpowered by the gator’s smell. Didn’t matter. I had work to do.

Rudy bent over at the waist, then leaned back, his mouth twisted. “What the hell kill’t this thing?”

“I dunno, but I aim to find out.” The gator’s belly was open from jaw to tail. I counted a dozen trails of torn skin, then stopped counting.

“Lookit here.” I bent closer, my knees creaking. “These ain’t no knife marks, these was claws.” I fingered open one slice. The gator’s fat layer was yellow, then there was the red band of thick muscle. “See here. Long claws, they went all the way into his guts.”


FLASHED! by J.M. Snyder

by J.M. Snyder

A novel is a love affair, with its ups and downs, but a short story can sometimes be nothing more than a one night stand, a brief date, or a quick kiss in the dark. Flashed! is a collection of 36 very short, "flash fiction" stories and a handful of love poems by J.M. Snyder, best-selling author of gay erotic romance. Each vignette is a glimpse into the lives and loves of very different couples. Some erotic, some bittersweet, every story in this collection celebrates a passion found only between two men.

From drag queens to college hoops players, veterans to rockstars, one time lovers to lifelong companions, men at work to men in tights, there's a little something for everyone in this collection. Some of these stories were once posted to the author's blog or appeared online elsewhere, but fans will find many new stories -- and characters -- to love once they've been Flashed!

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

Can I Just Say?

the taste of you still lingers on my tongue
can i just say
you taste like salt and the sea
and sticky taffy and sand
can i just say
you taste like summer and the rain
and hot pretzels drizzled with honey and mustard
can i just say
you taste like cola and the tears i cried
as you held me close on the beach
after we had sex even though i told you no

* * * *

DJ ‘N’ Mr. Yes

On weekends, the city’s pulse quickens in time with thundering hip-hop beats bleeding from the clubs out into the night. DJ follows the crowd, surfing from one party to the next, looking for the latest music, the trendiest clothes, the hottest bodies. He wants someone hard and tight, muscles barely sheathed by tanned skin, enough of an ass to grind up against in the dark. Someone to please him, someone to tease. Someone to take him in as far as he’ll go and beg for more.

He finds such a guy at a club downtown. Young, blond, hard abs beneath a mesh tank and arms that DJ could barely encircle with both hands. Eyes like the ice in whatever it is he’s drinking, and lips he licks wet when he sees DJ looking. The music moves him closer, each bump of his hips cranking DJ’s lust up another notch, until he’s rubbing his groin against DJ’s in welcome. His eyes ask that eternal question: “Where?”

DJ leads the way to the bathroom. In a cramped stall, DJ’s hands smooth up under the mesh tank, his tongue circling around pert nipples until the guy moans, “Yes.”

DJ works his way into those painted-on jeans, finds a thick erection and thumbs behind it, earning him another “Yes.”

A damp mouth on his, legs spread at his touch, hands fisted in his shirt when he raises those knees to ease inside that puckered hole, yes.

Hot breath in his ear, barely audible here, yes.

DJ pierces into him with rough thrusts, fucks into the warm, willing ass again and again. The skin that sheathes his cock shudders with the music, a fevered heartbeat that races into the night. Yes, and yes, and yes, until they both come in a sticky, heated rush.



Thursday, May 26, 2011



Mark is a reclusive Dominant who confines his sexual interests strictly to the online world.

On his routine afternoon ferry ride, he meets a woman who rouses the Master in him, and the line snaps between the virtual and real worlds. She begs for him to take her over, and bring them both fulfillment and healing.

He wants to refuse her, but he finds himself agreeing to spend one day with her. It’s a mistake, because the anger he holds inside is fully capable of destroying a soul as rare and beautiful as Nicole’s.

But no Master, not even one as strong and disciplined as Mark, can resist the offer of a submissive who wants only one thing – to be his forever.


By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.


© Copyright JOEY W. HILL, 2004.

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave, Inc.

Her palms were damp, and her heart rate had increased exponentially the moment she sat down on the upper deck of the ferry. It struck her as odd that, after all the life-altering decisions she had made over the past few months, crossing lines she wasn’t supposed to cross, she was experiencing nervousness for the very first time, now. It was somewhat like a soldier worrying about getting shot after he had picked up his gun and charged the field.

She’d broken federal privacy laws to be here. She’d taken the week off from work, because she had no idea if she’d be home tonight or in several days. Because she hadn’t told anyone where she was going, her friends or family would say she was risking her physical well-being. Now that she’d committed herself, stepped on the boat, she knew the greatest risk of her bold move was to her emotional well-being. And she supposed therein lay the main reason for her sudden and unexpected lack of composure. If she came home sooner rather than later, she’d need the balance of those vacation days to pull the pieces back together, because that would mean she’d been rejected.

It was a beautiful day. As the ferry mates shouted out the all clear and the passenger vessel for the triangle run through Ballentyne and Morehead Islands pulled away from the dock, the sun glittered off the water in the marina and the white hulls of the well-maintained yachts in their marina slips. October was still a warm month in coastal North Carolina, the water often holding enough summer heat to allow swimming. A seabird, dark head sleek from his underwater fishing, dove again, and came up fifty feet away from his original spot.

She wore sunglasses, so she could take all this in and still keep an eye on the stairwell to the upper deck. She knew he was here. She had heard someone call his name as they were boarding, heard him respond, the cadence of his voice muffled by the chatter of day-trippers. She’d wanted to turn then, seek him out, but she didn’t. She wanted the first time she saw him to have the isolated perfection of a painting in a gallery. She could look upon him, separate from his surroundings, and get a good, long look, not a desperate glimpse at him among other milling bodies.

Footsteps scraped on the metal stairs to the upper deck. He’d told her that he always sat along the starboard rail, so she had placed herself about fifteen feet away, on an anchored center bench, her profile to that position. If she looked toward him with the concealment of her sunglasses, he would think she was studying the shoreline, the tourist attractions of the island beach strands and the opposing lighthouses of Ballentyne and Morehead Islands that had guided ships from the ocean into the waterway and river for decades.

Nicole swallowed, forced herself to relax as she saw a man’s form enter into her peripheral vision, take a seat exactly where he had described he sat.

He’d forbidden her to do this. That was another reason for her nervousness. To disobey one’s Master, not for the pleasure of punishment, but because she knew she had to do it or lose her mind, didn’t make it less nerve-wracking.

He’d also told her if they ever met face-to-face, she’d be disappointed. With a casualness she was far from feeling, she turned her head so she could capture him fully within the frame of her vision.

He was just sitting down, in the process of leaning back against the rail that ran behind the metal bench, comfortably situating his ankle on the opposite knee. He had his notebook out, balanced on his thigh, and he took a sip from a Diet Coke can, his head tilted back slightly, showing her the arch of his throat. Placing the can in the crevice between his thighs, he slid a pen from the pocket of his cotton button-down shirt, a soft, faded teal color.

She’d ceased breathing, living. Her heartbeat had stopped. That was the only thing that could explain the stillness that descended on everything around her as she set eyes on the man she loved with every part of her.

For the very first time.

He reminded her of a wrestler. Not the big flamboyant artists of WFW, but a finely-proportioned, stocky Olympic athlete. A bear. Strong, solid, built square and muscular. His shoulders alone looked like they could carry any trouble offered to him, and his quiet, steady expression inspired confidence. Not a tall man, he was perhaps four or five inches over her five foot three.

His dark brown hair was mixed with silver, early gray for a man not quite forty. It was a rich pelt that lay smooth against his scalp, but she thought it might get curly if it got longer. He would not be the type of person who wore his hair longer, denying the advance of time with the foolish vanity of a ponytail, though his thick locks would have been beautiful as a mane.

She had imagined the pieces of him, studied his two-dimensional photograph until her fingers had turned the corners soft and smooth as cloth, no matter how carefully she handled it. Now she had the opportunity to study him as a whole, absorb the physical and metaphysical at the same time. Particularly as she moved to his face.

He didn’t wear sunglasses, but the early morning sun denied her as good a view of his eyes as she wished, since they were half closed against the bright light. But under the dark silk of his eyebrows, she discerned the rich brown color of his irises, vibrant eyes that seemed to notice everything around him. Firm lips that were a little thin, suggesting a formidable temper when riled.

While his body and demeanor suggested a bear, the shape of his head, his profile and the silver-streaked hair reminded her of a wolf. A combination of two strong totems, both of whom steered clear of direct contact with humanity as long as their habitat was not invaded. Fierce when cornered.

He was writing in the notebook now, intently, and she wondered what words he was putting to paper. She liked his arms, the forearms in particular, the soft down of brown hair that lay on them and on the top of the broad, strong fingers with short trimmed nails. Only the top button of the faded shirt was open, and the sleeves were carefully, equally folded back past his elbows, the sign of a man who expected to get his hands dirty every day. He wore his jeans not tight, but snug, as Southern men did, so she could see there was good muscle tone in his thighs. He’d lifted the soda can to his lips again, and she was unable to stop her eyes from lingering on the shape of him in the crotch area, making her thankful for the sunglasses.

This was him. The man she’d needed, wanted and thought about in a million different ways for the past eighteen months. She could stay where she was, do a round trip in the boat, never identify herself, never make a move in his direction. Her impression of him would remain intact, enhanced now because she’d seen him, fleshed out the image she’d built within her mind. She’d have no illusions shattered.

But she wouldn’t have anything more than that. Each drastic step she’d taken to come here reflected that she’d made her choice. All or nothing. And there was only one direction to go for that.


WINNER TAKES ALL by Cheryl Dragon

WINNER TAKES ALL by Cheryl Dragon

Kyle wants Jim and Kyle gets what he wants no matter how hard he has to fight. This time, he'll fight harder than ever because Jim thinks Kyle's a player and he's been around players before. He suspects Kyle's games have ulterior motives, and he's not about to fold.

As competitors at a tradeshow, they show off their martial arts skills to demonstrate their products, but they soon discover they share a fetish for taking wrestling and fighting to the next level - late night wrestling matches that end with the winner getting whatever he wants.

But with everything on the line, it will be a fight to the end to discover which winner takes all.



Kyle Ogden never got tired of tradeshows. As he and his coworker, Arthur, put together their booth at the Martial Arts Supply Show in Vegas, Kyle kept an eye out for friends and customers.

Like most businesses, even with a big market, it was really a small world. Kyle had started with the Right Fit Equipment company out of college. At first, he’d done everything from Youth Sports to custom athletic shoes, but once his boss had learned Kyle had a brown belt in Karate and was working on other martial arts, she’d put him on the wrestling and very hot martial arts circuit. Kyle loved it!

“Your boy toy is over there.” Arthur nodded to the booth across the aisle. If Kyle was the demo specialist, Arthur was the tech guy.

“Shut it. His company isn’t exactly gay friendly.” Kyle looked over. Jim Park stood there surveying the booth area with his ice queen of a coworker, Ms. Chen. Both were Asian, but Jim was friendly and laid back. Ms. Chen wasn’t very social especially with the competition.

Arthur just shook his head. “He gives you a different excuse every show. Why do you bother?”

“Do you give up every time a potential customer says no?”

“He’s not a customer. He’s the competition. Dating the enemy when you’re in marketing and strategy wouldn’t be smart. Jim’s got some sense. You’re crazy.”

“Well, he won’t date me so it’s not a problem.” Kyle stared at the lean muscle on Jim’s tall body. With dark eyes and straight black hair that flopped into his eyes at times, Jim was hot. Kyle enjoyed the view when Jim bent to work on the booth. A firm ass, strong legs, and a sculpted back all hinted at the sexy man under the clothes.

Jim worked for the private company, Ping Inc. They were smaller but loved to put a dent in Right Fit’s market share. Not only conservative, Ping went for the traditional styles in everything.

“Get yourself an Asian boyfriend and get it out of your system. Jim isn’t going to bite. You’ve been trying for over a year. It’s getting boring,” Arthur said.

“I’ve dated all types of guys, it’s not the Asian thing. It’s him. He’s intense when we talk.”

“I’ve heard he’s straight.”

Kyle shook his head. “No way. He’s playing it for Ms. Chen. Some companies you just can’t be out at. Go distract Ms. Chen.” Arthur had a thing for her. Kyle knew it was just a fantasy, but he’d use Arthur to get Jim alone.

“No, she’s better in my imagination wearing leather and riding me.” Arthur turned and went back to work.

Kyle chuckled. “We’ve all got our things, man. Go ask her how she is with a riding crop?” Working these shows together for a while now, Kyle and Arthur knew each other well. Kyle would lay down good money that Arthur liked his women in charge.

“Kyle! She’d slap me and stab me with those high heels.” Arthur’s tone wasn’t scared or repulsed.

“You’d love it.” Enough torturing Arthur. “Fine, tell her you heard a couple distributors talking about acquiring Ping. That they are in talks with the big boy owners. You don’t want to spread rumors, but you thought she should know.”

“You’re mean. Then what? She’ll ask who and where they are.” Arthur was a tech guy in more than sales. He knew how much force a fall mat could take and the strength of their clothes. Most of what they did at shows was clothing and safety related gear. Safety was essential as kids got into martial arts more and more.

Clothing styles varied and individualization was growing as more people tried it. Which meant new supply companies popped up all the time to compete. Many flopped. Some like Ping had found a niche in traditional styles. Their lines were classic. Right Fit wanted to be cutting edge.

Ping employees were conscious of the competition and that the owners could sell them in a second for a tidy profit. “Tell her you didn’t get names, but you’ll find them. Take her around looking. Of course, you can’t find them. Maybe, they’re in a private meeting? You’ll let her know when you see them. That way you can go back and flirt more with her.”

“Wild goose chase.” Arthur didn’t object too much and smoothed his hair.

“And compliment her shoes. Buy her a coffee. Geez, I’m gay. Getting girls shouldn’t be my area.”

“Her shoes? She’ll think I’m gay,” Arthur said.

Kyle took another look. Open toe with red painted toenails, black high heels with red dragons on the side. “No man, those are fuck me heels. Tell her you like the Chinese dragon art. She’ll bite.”

“Her restraint is better than Jim’s. You need to get Jim alone and make a move.” Arthur popped a breath mint. “You owe me one.”

Kyle watched Arthur catch Ms. Chen and lure her away with business talk. It was the one thing she couldn’t resist. A little tradeshow fun couldn’t hurt. Kyle enjoyed yanking Jim around since Jim refused to flat out say he wasn’t interested or to just go out with Kyle. He needed to find Jim’s weak spot. What couldn’t Jim resist?

Walking over, Kyle helped Jim position part of the booth backdrop. “You can run, but you know you’ll see me again. Nice set up today.”

“Ping and Right Fit. Close in the alphabet so close in proximity. Your company should pay for prominent end space.” Jim pointed to the huge booths on the ends.

Kyle shook his hand. “Nah. We do quality and style in the martial arts stuff. Those guys are into quantity and flash for the uncommitted. We’ll take that business, but we don’t go in that big. Wastes money to over compete.” He moved closer. “Hit my next belt in Tae Kwon Do. How are you doing?”

Straightening the picture on the booth wall, Jim shrugged. “Good. I’m considering others. I’m more about control and strength.”

“I’d be good for that,” Kyle joked. “Come on. Ms. Chen is nowhere in sight. Quite being so paranoid.”

Jim stopped arranging and looked at Kyle. “Stop. We have a lot in common, and we could be friends, but I’m not playing out my personal life at a work function.”

“You won’t see me outside of work so you’re tying my hands.”

Jim glared. “I’ve told you. It’s not right. We’re competitors. There are at least four good reasons for us not to do anything. Our careers are number one.”

Leaning in, Kyle got close to Jim’s ear as if what he said was a trade secret. But he inhaled the masculine scent and had to control his desire to kiss Jim right there. “When I get you naked, we won’t be talking about customers or company policy. You’ll be begging for more.”

Jim took a half step back and leveled a harsh stare at Kyle. There was fire behind his eyes. The stare lacked the icy edge Ms. Chen managed, but it said back off. “You seem to be doing the begging. I think you’re working very hard for another no. Plenty of men here would say yes so it must be our products.” Jim set a new pad sample on the counter area.

“I didn’t know you had a new mat coming out. Actually innovating, Jim? Shocking for Ping.” Kyle felt the pad.

“As much protection with half the bulk.” Jim nodded with pride.

“Nice. But I’m not the tech guy. I’ll let Arthur press Ms. Chen for specs. I want to know why you keep dodging me. Even at the martial arts class, you won’t spar with me even though we’re well matched.” Kyle had first notice Jim at the academy. Maybe that was it, seeing Jim all sweaty in combat. L.A. had a few good academies. Jim had walked into Kyle’s about fifteen months ago.

Then Jim had been at the very next tradeshow Kyle had worked. It was fate. With Jim’s passion for the competitions, Kyle knew they were a fit. If only Jim would give it a try.

After the initial rejection, Kyle had truly tried to get Jim out of his mind. Hitting on other men, dating and enjoying them was one thing, but he couldn’t get the idea of Jim’s quiet restraint out of his head. Sparing with Jim would be ten times as arousing, especially in competition.


AS ADVERTISED by Jamie Samms

AS ADVERTISED by Jaime Samms

Tyler should know; as an ad executive, the packaging is what sells. And Jake is quite a package. So what if neither long-time friend Marty nor his landlady think much of Jake. Tyler is determined not to see the dark side of his lover, but when the truth becomes undeniable not even a evening soaked in martinis will let him hide from it.

Weathering Jake's lies and secrets gets easier under the sheltering support of new friends, Libby and Steven. In fact, Tyler figures a lot of things might get easier with gorgeous, attentive Steven around.

Tyler should have known better. Again. Not even someone as seemingly perfect as Steven Jessop comes completely as advertised. This time, though, Tyler has to make a decision. After all, even if what you see is not what you get, Steven's imperfections might just be what he's always wanted, if only he can sell Steven on giving love another chance.


WIN - Leave any of the authors or the publishers a question today at their Cyber Launch Party and your name goes in the hat for your choice of any of these new releases!  Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are today's winner - Good Luck!
As Advertised
Copyright © 2011 Jaime Samms

All rights reserved, Freya's Bower.

By reading this excerpt, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are younger than 18 years old, you must exit this site at once.

When Tyler knocked on Jake’s door, said assistant, a new, doe-eyed, fresh-out-of-school kid with blond hair hanging in his pale face, opened it, muttered something about being delivered, and scampered from the room. Tyler couldn’t help but notice he had already ditched his jacket and his tie was crooked

“What did you do to that poor thing?” he asked, setting Jake’s coffee on his desk.

The other man was standing at the window glaring down at the traffic. “Took you bloody long enough.” He snatched up the coffee and punched the tab open. “I haven’t done anything to him. Yet.”

“Maynard’s going to have a fit if you scare off another assistant.”

“Maynard can—”

“Go fuck myself?” Maynard’s voice held just enough sarcasm to bite.

Both Jake and Tyler turned as their boss entered the room.

“Morning, boys,” Maynard said.

Tyler nodded; Jake glared.

“I just had a conversation with Adam, Jake.”

Jake grunted and turned back to the window.

“If you might refrain from molesting your assistants, it would be appreciated.”

“Excuse me?” Tyler took a small step forward. “I’m sure there’s some misunderstand—”

“It was a little tap on the ass,” Jake said. “He needs to get over himself. Send him back here, Maynard. I’ll behave.”

“I’d appreciate it.” Maynard turned to Tyler. “And you. I want to talk to you about Steven Jessop’s party tonight. I’ll come by your office.”

Tyler managed to hold in the heavy sigh he felt building. “Sure. I’ll be there in a few.”

Maynard left, and Tyler waited a beat, hoping Jake might explain what had just happened. When the silence stretched, he finally spoke up. “Tap on the ass?”

“You need to not make a thing over this, Ty.”

“I’ll be in my office.” Tyler took his coffee and his pricked ego and left Jake staring out the window.

His gut told him there was more than one grope behind Adam’s hasty retreat, but his head told his gut to shut the fuck up and get to work. He had no interest in his heart pleading not to be a damn fool. Instead, he buried himself so deeply in a new ad campaign that Maynard’s knock on his open door a half hour later made him jump.

“Tyler. Got a minute?”


“About this party. I assume you’re going?” Maynard sauntered in and perched on the corner of the desk. His cheek pinched up the corner of Tyler’s draft, causing a pulse of irritation to pump through Tyler and leave behind a grimace.


“Well, go. I want you to feel Jessop out. Or up. Whatever it takes. He has a lot of advertising money to spend, and I want him to spend it here. Get him to consider our firm, sell him on us, and the account’s yours.”

“And here I thought you were just out to take a load off my mind. Tell me to go out, have fun, relax.”

“‘Scuse me?”


“Good. Let me know how it goes.” He didn’t wait for a response, no doubt fully expecting Tyler to just agree. At the door, he stopped, turning with a twisted smile on his face. “And have fun, Tyler. Maybe even get laid. Be good for you.”




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