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Blog Tour Stop: Hope, by Grace R. Duncan

Cover art by Jess Small

 

First, of course, many thanks to Sara for giving me space on her blog today!

One of my favorite part of the writing process is research and more specifically picking out the locations for my stories. I love finding houses or apartments or hotels or whatever to set my characters loose in. I can spend ridiculous amounts of—sometimes too much—time poring over maps or travel guides to find just the right place.

Hope takes place in several different locations, but only a couple of them are long-term. The boys start in LA, in Miguel’s family home, though they don’t stay there for long (not even a full 24 hours before they get on the road). Over the course of the next two days, they pass through a lot of places, but it’s not until the end of the 48 hours that they land somewhere.

What led me here was the realization that I hadn’t actually named most of the packs in the Forbes Mates series. There was, of course, the Forbes pack, and I had Finley’s, Jamie’s, and Miles’s original packs. But that was about it. So, I realized I needed to find the packs Miguel and Luis would pass through, which finally helped me find the pack names and where they might land.

One of my favorite locations in all of the Forbes series is where the boys end up for a while. They find a place in New Mexico’s Gila pack (named after the Gila National Forest in the western side of New Mexico), in a small lodge outside of Silver City (and where the alpha and his mate are located).

 

Credit: Here

 
Bear Mountain Lodge (https://bearmountainlodge.com/) popped out at me. Bonus points because it had a very rich history, having changed hands and been used for a number of different things over the course of its history (https://bearmountainlodge.com/aboutthelodge/lodge-history/). What really struck me is that over the course of time there, all of the history could easily work for a wolf couple. In fact, Mike and Beth very well could have been the same owners, considering how they could have outlived the general residents and even gone away, then come back with none the wiser. While I don’t state their ages, Miguel and Luis both notice that they are somewhat older—actually showing signs of age, which says that both were at least past middle age for a wolf—likely more than 150 years old. The lodge itself dates back to 1910, which means that Mike and Beth could easily have owned it from the beginning.

I didn’t have a lot of time to describe most of the area, but I did include a few bits, including the lobby:

 

Credit: Here

 

The dining room:

 

Credit: Here

 

And while I don’t describe it, I do mention they have the opportunity to wolf out in the forest beyond the hiking trails:

 

Credit: Here

 

I had a lot of fun researching this one. Probably too much, but it’s definitely one of the perks of being a writer: being able to travel, even when you can’t physically visit!

Thanks again to Sara for the space and her time! Hope you enjoyed traveling with the boys. ❤

 

* * *

 

Hope, part of the Forbes Mates series
Length: 13,000 words
Genre: m/m paranormal shifters

 

Miguel Garcia and Luis Rodriguez have been best friends all their lives. For the last year, they’ve been hiding the fact that they’re also destined mates. When Luis’s family finds out, they kick him out. Miguel’s family would keep them… except their alpha has been known to be downright violent against gay wolves.

With the help of Miguel’s mother, they set out to find a pack that will accept them. They run into more that a few obstacles before they end up in Denver, at the national wolf headquarters, meeting the alpha prime. They’re stunned to find, not only offers to join more than one pack, but that their struggle can shine light on a bigger problem–and make things better for LGBT wolves across the country.

 

Hope is available on September 6, 2019 exclusively at Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited.

 

And check out the upcoming blog tour appearances below!

 

noh8About Grace:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Cover reveal: Hope, by Grace R. Duncan

Sara’s note: Look at that gorgeous cover by Jess-Small.com! It fits right in with the rest of the covers for the Forbes Mates series. Though Hope can be read as a standalone story, it’s part of the Forbes Mates shifter universe, and takes place chronologically after the fourth book, Forgiveness.

Also, though this is a re-release/second edition of a story previously published in a charity anthology, it’s undergone significant edits. This edition of Hope has some changes and additions that seriously improve upon the original story (and I’m not just saying that because I suggested additions and helped with edits, heh).

Can’t wait for this to come out to get a taste of destined mates shifter goodness by Grace? Check out the rest of the series! Ditto for if after this comes out and you read it, you want more of the universe!

And now, on to more info and an excerpt:

Hope, by Grace R. Duncan
Cover Art by Jess Small
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 12,000 words
Release date: September 6, 2019


 
Miguel Garcia and Luis Rodriguez have been best friends all their lives. For the last year, they’ve been hiding the fact that they’re also destined mates. When Luis’s family finds out, they kick him out. Miguel’s family would keep them…except their alpha has been known to be downright violent against gay wolves.

With the help of Miguel’s mother, they set out to find a pack that will accept them. They run into more that a few obstacles before they end up in Denver, at the national wolf headquarters, meeting the alpha prime. They’re stunned to find, not only offers to join more than one pack, but that their struggle can shine light on a bigger problem–and make things better for LGBT wolves across the country.

When they pulled into the Phoenix station, Miguel found himself annoyed that there didn’t seem to be anything nearby. He’d spent so much time in a city—a real, big city, with a McDonald’s and an In-N-Out on every corner—that to step outside and see nothing besides the bus station but an airport and desert was disheartening.

He shoved the thought off and found the text from his mamá with the Tonto alpha’s phone number. In a few moments, he had directions to a McDonald’s a little distance away by city bus and where to pick it up. They stored their bags in a locker and headed out.

But barely two hours later, he and Luis were once more waiting for a bus, this time with an even less friendly suggestion to move on. He couldn’t say the alpha was hostile necessarily, but the curled lip he got when he saw Miguel and Luis holding hands had said enough. The meeting had been very short, very tense, and ended with the alpha telling them there was a 2:45 a.m. bus from Phoenix going east and they “had better be on it.”

Miguel was already tired of that reaction. While the pack in Palm Springs hadn’t been nearly as mean, he knew quite well it was because they were same-sex mates. Three packs, so far—their original and two others—hadn’t wanted them.

“Maybe we shouldn’t tell them, Miguel.”

Miguel sighed and kissed the top of Luis’s head. “I was just thinking something like that. If we didn’t, if we maybe… made something up about why we left, perhaps we could at least stay for a while.”

Luis nodded. “We’ve only been gone, what… two days?”

Miguel had to think. “Just over twenty-four hours, actually.”

“Damn. It feels a lot longer.” Luis shook his head.

“It doesn’t help that we haven’t really slept. With any luck, Gila will want us. Or at least, let us stay for a bit. Maybe we can get jobs to earn some money.”

“That would be good. How much do we have left?”

Miguel pulled out the cash they still had and carefully counted it, while trying not to be obvious that was what he was doing. The bus station was fairly empty, but he didn’t want to start anything, especially because the best way he had to defend himself and Luis involved claws and fangs. “After the tickets to Deming, just over a hundred dollars. The tickets from Deming to Silver City are another thirty for the two of us. We could see about selling Mamá’s ring in Silver City, if we need to.”

“Let’s… let’s not do that until we are out of money.”

Hugging Luis close, Miguel nodded. “Yeah, I don’t want to either, if we can help it.”

They fell silent, occasionally glancing at the television in the corner, while keeping an eye on the Border Patrol officer sitting in another corner. They both had US driver’s licenses, but that didn’t mean much if he wanted to cause problems for them. He reminded himself to speak English. Then, trying not to worry, Miguel did his best to simply enjoy holding Luis. Luis’s breathing evened out, and Miguel did what he could to resettle his mate in the horribly uncomfortable metal nightmares they called bench seats.

He wasn’t sure if he was more relieved or more nervous when they could start lining up for the bus. He so wanted Gila to be where they could stay, if for no other reason than they could stop moving from place to place for a while. He buried both emotions so he didn’t alert Luis to anything, and they got in line.

 

 
noh8Author Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

New release: Migration anthology, including World Behind and Home Ahead by Sara Testarossa

 
Big news: it’s release day for my first published story! I’m thrilled that my story was chosen as one of the flash fiction pieces for Migration, this year’s installment of Queer Sci-Fi’s annual anthology.

I’m honored to be in such good company – I’ve read and adored pieces by several of the folks whose stories are in this anthology. I’m looking forward to reading theirs, as well as those from new-to-me authors!

The profits for this anthology are used to keep QSF running. It’s a great community resource for authors and fans of speculative fiction featuring queer characters. More details on the anthology and buy links are later in this post, but before that, I want to talk about my journey to having my first original piece published.

J. Scott Coatsworth has invited me to participate in the flash fiction contest every year, and has always been encouraging about it. This is the first year that his message made me think, “you know what? I’m gonna do this thing.” So, thanks to Scott for the gentle nudge.

My piece is a F/F paranormal story. The contest description said that in the past a large portion of the stories had been M/M sci-fi, and that more variety of character identities and subgenres would be great. That, plus having already wanted to get back into writing queer female characters, was enough to decide on an identity to focus on. How to incorporate the theme came quickly to me, and I started out brainstorming a horror piece involving zombies. But it became clear that my ideas for that world were too much to put into a scant 300 words. So, I changed subgenres, and was able to write the first draft in one sitting. I won’t say more on the plot, because my hope is that part of the fun for readers will be picking up hints along the way until everything falls into place.

For weeks, the document title for this story was “lady gays”, because the phrase made me happy. But it didn’t sound like a title. I ended up nitpicking edits for days longer than the story needed, because coming up with titles is difficult for me. Grace Duncan – my bestie and one of my beta readers – lovingly suggested I just submit it because it was good to go. I explained I’d been stalling to buy time to decide on a title. I’d been brainstorming about song lyrics that might fit the story, because I’ve been reading a lot of great fanfics with song-lyric titles, but had come up empty. Then (possibly because Grace is a huge LoTR universe fan) I remembered “World Behind and Home Ahead”, a line from a Tolkien poem/song. It fit both the story and the anthology theme in general, so I titled the piece, quadruple checked that I’d followed all the formatting guidelines, and emailed the story to QSF.

I had a lot of support while working on this story – the aforementioned Grace and my fandom friends Sintina, Dommi, and verity (all of whom are folks whose writing I adore) were instrumental as beta readers and editors. I can’t thank them enough for helping me polish this piece. I also am so grateful for the more general feedback and cheering on I got from my partner, dad, coworkers, and a few other friends & family members who read it before I sent it in. I was overwhelmed by just how much people supported me, and now I’m a bit overwhelmed at the fact that I’m actually published!

And thanks to those of you who will purchase and read the anthology! My lady gays can’t wait for you to read their story.

(By the way, I still will be migrating to my new domain eventually, as mentioned in my last post, just not yet.)

And now, for more info on the antho, buy links, and a giveaway:

 

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

 

About Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction:

Every year, Queer Sci Fi solicits stories around a one-word theme. We receive hundreds of entries with almost as many possible interpretations, and we choose some of the best for this annual anthology. Migration is book five in this anthology series.

 

Where to find Migration:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TX2WMXQ
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1732307563
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1471834289
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/migration-j-scott-coatsworth/1132393683;jsessionid=E570B49A0E713D6F306BCAB9F9760EB4.prodny_store01-atgap10
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/migration-19
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/migration/

 
Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 Amazon gift certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4774/?

Free Fiction Friday 14: Sleeping Arrangements Part Four (A Naruto Fanfiction)

free fiction friday fb
Welcome to yet another http://www.freefictionfriday.com post! Today’s story is the fourth and final part of Sleeping Arrangements.
The previous parts can be found at the following links:
https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/free-fiction-friday-11-sleeping-arrangements-part-one-a-naruto-fanfiction/
https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/free-fiction-friday-12-sleeping-arrangements-part-two-a-naruto-fanfiction/
https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/free-fiction-friday-13-sleeping-arrangements-part-three-a-naruto-fanfiction/)
If you’d like to read this post (please heed the advisories, they’re important) and missed any of the last three week’s posts, make sure to get caught up!

Leaving the rest of the same intro text from before, feel free to scroll past if you’ve read it in a previous week. This story takes place in the same headcanon as the fanfic I posted during the first week (https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/free-fiction-friday-1-satin-and-senbon-a-naruto-fanfiction/). I wrote this in the world of the anime/manga Naruto several years ago, and it’s been one of my most well-received stories to date, despite some potentially controversial content (underage sex and large age difference between partners – more explanation below). This story features Haku (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Haku_(Naruto)) and Zabuza (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Zabuza_Momochi). It is ambiguous in the canon of the series whether the two are lovers, but I like to think they are. This piece contains no major plot spoilers for the series, beyond a bit of Haku’s backstory, and can be understood without knowing the series.

One thing you should know before reading this story is that Haku is not typical for a young teen. In addition to a past that made him grow up very fast out of necessity, he has lived as an adult for years by the main plot of this piece. His accepted role in life is to be Zabuza’s weapon, killing for Zabuza and anyone who employs them. He is old beyond his years, has seen much and done much. And he is the one to initiate sex with Zabuza in this story, and Zabuza does not take unfair advantage of him. I don’t write underage sex lightly, especially when one partner is much older, so I wanted to address this before the story itself. I will understand anyone skipping the next few weeks of my FFF posts if they prefer not to read a relationship between people with this big of an age gap and the younger being fourteen.

Now that’s out of the way…

Naruto, the world, and characters, belong to Masashi Kishimoto and I made no profit from the writing or posting of this piece.

 

ADVISORIES/CATEGORIES: consensual sex between a 14-year-old young man and 24-year-old man, discussion of puberty, explicit sexual content (oral and anal), somewhat D/s relationship (Master/weapon is the best way to describe their relationship), M/M, mentions of violence.

 

Potentially unfamiliar terms: shinobi is the word for ninjas in this universe.

 

I hope you enjoy the final part of Sleeping Arrangements! I’ve started it off with the last line of the previous post for context.

 

“Enough,” Zabuza growled.

 

Haku released Zabuza’s cock from his mouth, and sat up, looking down at the older man quizzically. “Did I do something wrong?”

 

Zabuza answered by sitting up and kissing Haku greedily, his tongue thrusting into the younger man’s mouth. Haku returned the kiss eagerly, glad that he hadn’t made a mistake, and that Zabuza still wanted him.

 

“Want to fuck you,” Zabuza said when their lips parted. He looked into Haku’s eyes, checking for any signs of trepidation or distaste.

 

Haku merely nodded eagerly, and moved from between Zabuza’s legs to lie on his back. “Is this okay?”

 

“Perfect,” Zabuza said, running his hand down Haku’s stomach and giving Haku’s cock a light stroke.

 

Haku let out a small noise of pleasure, pushing his hips up in hopes of more touches, but the older man withdrew his hand. Zabuza reached over to the nightstand, pulled a small jar of salve from the drawer, and coated two fingers with the substance. “Spread your legs for me,” he said.

 

Haku complied, and Zabuza repositioned himself between the younger man’s legs. “This may feel strange, but it shouldn’t hurt,” he said.

 

Haku’s breath hitched when a cool finger circled his asshole, then pushed gently inside. The salve allowed Zabuza to ease the finger into Haku’s tight heat, and the older man slowly pushed his finger in and out. It did feel a bit strange to Haku, but when that finger crooked upward, hitting a bundle of nerves, Haku gasped in surprise at the pleasure, and Zabuza continued to stroke the sensitive spot.

 

“Like that, do you?” Zabuza asked with a grin. “Want more?”

 

“Yes… more… please,” Haku said breathily.

 

Zabuza added a second finger to the first, stretching Haku further. The fingers still felt somewhat alien, but Haku couldn’t deny that the pressure against his prostate was driving him wild, and making his cock even harder.

 

“Need you,” Haku said. “Fu-fuck me? Please?”

 

Zabuza laughed when Haku stumbled over the profanity, and kissed him. “Not yet, Haku. Need you nice and ready for me.” He used his free hand to stroke Haku’s erection as he continued to stretch him.

 

Just as Haku was about to warn Zabuza that he would come from this alone if the older man didn’t stop, Zabuza’s hands left him. Haku watched through lust-glazed eyes as Zabuza slicked his cock with salve and positioned himself at Haku’s entrance.

 

One more look between them, no words needed, and Zabuza slowly pushed himself into Haku’s willing body. Haku gasped. Zabuza’s fingers were nothing compared to this sensation of being so utterly filled, both stretched wide and filled deep. Haku looked up at Zabuza with pleading eyes, wanting the older man to move.

 

Zabuza got the signal, and pulled out slightly before reburying himself to the hilt. Haku groaned, and grabbed Zabuza’s shoulders, painted nails sinking into flesh, making crescent shaped marks.

 

Realizing that he might have hurt Zabuza, Haku let go and muttered a quick “sorry”.

 

“It’s okay, you can hold on,” Zabuza said with a laugh, and continued thrusting, taking his own pleasure from the young man beneath him. “You feel so good.”

 

Haku moaned with pleasure, both from the compliment and from the rubbing of Zabuza’s cock against his sensitive prostate. He threw his arms around Zabuza’s broad back, barely noticing the sounds that escaped his throat as Zabuza pounded into him. He was trapped in simply feeling Zabuza inside of him, on top of him, thrusting and making his own noises of pleasure. Haku couldn’t have guessed how long it was before he was nearing his breaking point.

 

“Ahhh… so good… so close…. love you…” Haku babbled, waves of pleasure coursing through his body.

 

“Come for me,” Zabuza growled.

 

Within moments, Haku did, letting out an “ohhh!” as he reached his peak and came in spurts between their bodies.

 

It only took Zabuza a few more thrusts before he was driven over the edge, and he bit down hard on Haku’s shoulder as he came deep inside of his lover.

 

Haku let out a small whimper at the pain of the bite, but he relished it all the same. He hugged Zabuza even tighter to him, wanting to be as close as possible.

 

They lay there for a while, breathing ragged. Zabuza pulled out and rolled onto his side, gathering the younger man up in his arms and petting his hair and back. Haku sighed happily and nuzzled Zabuza’s neck.

 

“Did you mean what you said?” Zabuza asked after a few minutes, when they had come down from their orgasms.

 

“Hmmm?” Haku asked, not sure at first Zabuza meant. Then it dawned on him – Zabuza could only be referring to one thing. Haku had said that he loved the older man. He pulled back slightly so that he could look into Zabuza’s eyes.

 

“Yes, I meant it. I… I love you, Zabuza,” Haku said, looking up at Zabuza adoringly.

 

“Good,” Zabuza replied with a smile, kissing Haku on the forehead.

 

And Haku somehow knew that the single word meant that Zabuza loved him too, in his own way.

 

 

And, we’ll leave the two of them there. I truly hope you enjoyed this story, and I welcome comments!

Be Sure To Check Out The Other Stories:


Follow all your favorites and read the first 100 words of each story on the group’s website:

 

Free Fiction Friday 13: Sleeping Arrangements Part Three (A Naruto Fanfiction)

free fiction friday fb
Welcome to this week’s post for http://www.freefictionfriday.com! Today’s story is part three of four, and is a continuation of
https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/free-fiction-friday-11-sleeping-arrangements-part-one-a-naruto-fanfiction/ and
https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/free-fiction-friday-12-sleeping-arrangements-part-two-a-naruto-fanfiction/
So if you want to read it (please heed the advisories) and missed last week, or the week before, start at the appropriate part! This section is a bit shorter than the previous ones.

It takes place in the same headcanon as the fanfic I posted during the first week (https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/free-fiction-friday-1-satin-and-senbon-a-naruto-fanfiction/). I wrote this in the world of the anime/manga Naruto several years ago, and it’s been one of my most well-received stories to date, despite some potentially controversial content (underage sex and large age difference between partners – more explanation below). This story features Haku (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Haku_(Naruto)) and Zabuza (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Zabuza_Momochi). It is ambiguous in the canon of the series whether the two are lovers, but I like to think they are. This piece contains no major plot spoilers for the series, beyond a bit of Haku’s backstory, and can be understood without knowing the series.

One thing you should know before reading this story is that Haku is not typical for a young teen. In addition to a past that made him grow up very fast out of necessity, he has lived as an adult for years by the main plot of this piece. His accepted role in life is to be Zabuza’s weapon, killing for Zabuza and anyone who employs them. He is old beyond his years, has seen much and done much. And he is the one to initiate sex with Zabuza in this story, and Zabuza does not take unfair advantage of him. I don’t write underage sex lightly, especially when one partner is much older, so I wanted to address this before the story itself. I will understand anyone skipping the next few weeks of my FFF posts if they prefer not to read a relationship between people with this big of an age gap and the younger being fourteen.

Now that’s out of the way…

Naruto, the world, and characters, belong to Masashi Kishimoto and I made no profit from the writing or posting of this piece.

ADVISORIES/CATEGORIES: consensual sex between a 14-year-old young man and 24-year-old man, discussion of puberty, explicit sexual content (oral and anal), somewhat D/s relationship (Master/weapon is the best way to describe their relationship), M/M, mentions of violence.

Potentially unfamiliar terms: shinobi is the word for ninjas in this universe.

I hope you enjoy part three of Sleeping Arrangements! This is technically the first part of chapter 2 of 2, so I won’t start with anything from last week, but just get into the new part.

Haku awoke to find himself enveloped in warmth. This was nothing new, as he and Zabuza had slept together for years. There were several key differences this morning, though. For one, Haku wasn’t wearing the pants that he usually slept in. More importantly, this was the morning after the first time that he and Zabuza had been intimate. Haku smiled at the memory and snuggled closer into Zabuza’s chest. He felt a hand stroking his hair and realized that his lover was awake.

 

“Good morning,” Haku murmured, and leaned up to kiss Zabuza on the cheek.

 

Zabuza turned to face Haku and pressed a brief kiss to the younger man’s lips. “Good morning. Did you sleep well?”

 

“Better than any other time I can remember,” Haku said with a laugh.

 

“Good. Then I take it you don’t regret last night?” Zabuza asked, looking straight into Haku’s eyes.

 

Haku’s face grew serious. “I don’t regret it at all. I wanted it, wanted you. And I still want to experience more with you.”

 

“Good. Because you’re mine.” Zabuza kissed the teen fiercely, possessively.

 

Haku wondered exactly what Zabuza meant by “mine” at this moment. “My weapon”, “my lover”, or both? He pushed this question aside, allowing himself to get lost in the kiss.

 

When they broke apart, Zabuza said, “Give me a minute,” then left the bed and headed to the bathroom.

 

Haku closed his eyes, relaxing in the empty bed, until Zabuza returned, then the younger man took his own turn using the bathroom. When Haku came back to the bedroom, Zabuza was lying nude in the bed facing him, cock half erect, and the sheets were pushed aside. Haku took a moment to admire Zabuza’s muscular form, and felt himself begin to harden before getting back into bed. He lay beside Zabuza, looking into the older man’s eyes, not sure how to express his desires, which were still not fully formed in his mind.

 

“What do you want, Haku?” Zabuza asked, running his hand over Haku’s side and letting it rest on a hipbone.

 

After pondering a moment, Haku admitted, “I want to do for you what you did for me last night.”

 

“Remember what I said then? You have to be able to say what you mean if you want to do it.”

 

Haku blushed. “I want to suck your cock,” he said, feeling as though the words sounded odd coming from his mouth.

 

Zabuza didn’t seem to think so though, because he smirked and said, “I’d like that.” He rolled onto his back and spread his legs a bit so that the younger man would have easy access.

 

Haku followed Zabuza’s lead and knelt between his lover’s legs. He looked down at Zabuza’s now fully erect cock and licked his lips. He wasn’t sure that something that long would fit all the way into his mouth, but he would try his best to please Zabuza. He looked up at Zabuza for guidance, and the two pairs of brown eyes met.

 

“Go ahead,” Zabuza said huskily.

 

Haku leaned over and wrapped his lips around Zabuza’s cock, swirling his tongue around the head, remembering what had felt good to him the night before. He lowered his head, sucking a bit more of Zabuza’s length into his mouth, and licking the shaft as he went.

 

Zabuza let out a hum of pleasure, and his fingers tangled in Haku’s hair, tugging gently. “Good boy,” the older man said with a groan.

 

Haku moaned around Zabuza’s erection, discovering that he liked it when his hair was pulled. His own cock was already leaking precome and aching to be touched, but he was doing his best to concentrate on the task at hand. He continued to suck and lick, finding a rhythm of bobbing his head, sucking on the way up, and licking over the cockhead before sinking down again. After not much time, his jaw began to get tired, and he had trouble keeping up the pace.

 

“Enough,” Zabuza growled.

And I’m leaving you there because I’m eeeevil. *cackles gleefully* Seriously, though, there’s one more part and I’ll post it next week. I hope you enjoyed the story so far! Please leave a comment to tell me what you think!

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Free Fiction Friday 12: Sleeping Arrangements Part Two (A Naruto Fanfiction)

free fiction friday fb
Welcome to this week’s post for http://www.freefictionfriday.com! Today’s story is part two of three or four, and is a continuation of https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/free-fiction-friday-11-sleeping-arrangements-part-one-a-naruto-fanfiction/. So if you want to read it (please heed the advisories) and missed last week, start there!

It takes place in the same headcanon as the fanfic I posted during the first week (https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/free-fiction-friday-1-satin-and-senbon-a-naruto-fanfiction/). I wrote this in the world of the anime/manga Naruto several years ago, and it’s been one of my most well-received stories to date, despite some potentially controversial content (underage sex and large age difference between partners – more explanation below). This story features Haku (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Haku_(Naruto)) and Zabuza (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Zabuza_Momochi). It is ambiguous in the canon of the series whether the two are lovers, but I like to think they are. This piece contains no major plot spoilers for the series, beyond a bit of Haku’s backstory, and can be understood without knowing the series.

One thing you should know before reading this story is that Haku is not typical for a young teen. In addition to a past that made him grow up very fast out of necessity, he has lived as an adult for years by the main plot of this piece. His accepted role in life is to be Zabuza’s weapon, killing for Zabuza and anyone who employs them. He is old beyond his years, has seen much and done much. And he is the one to initiate sex with Zabuza in this story, and Zabuza does not take unfair advantage of him. I don’t write underage sex lightly, especially when one partner is much older, so I wanted to address this before the story itself. I will understand anyone skipping the next few weeks of my FFF posts if they prefer not to read a relationship between people with this big of an age gap and the younger being fourteen.

Now that’s out of the way…

Naruto, the world, and characters, belong to Masashi Kishimoto and I made no profit from the writing or posting of this piece.

 

ADVISORIES/CATEGORIES: consensual sex between a 14-year-old young man and 24-year-old man, discussion of puberty, explicit sexual content (oral and anal), somewhat D/s relationship (Master/weapon is the best way to describe their relationship), M/M, mentions of violence.

 

Potentially unfamiliar terms: shinobi is the word for ninjas in this universe.

 

I hope you enjoy part two of Sleeping Arrangements! I started it out with the last bit of the previous part to jog people’s memory if they don’t want to reread the whole previous part but want to get back in the zone.

 

 

“I’m not going to do anything if you can’t even say it, Haku,” Zabuza said, his voice serious.

 

Taking a deep breath, Haku steeled his nerves. “Do you want to have sex? With me?”

 

“That’s more like it,” Zabuza said, and rewarded Haku with another pet to his hair. “Yes, I do… but only if you’re sure this is what you really want. You’re only fourteen. And I’m…”


“I may be young but I’ve been your weapon for years. I’m grown up enough,” Haku said, suddenly all seriousness himself. “I want you.”

“That’s all I needed to hear,” Zabuza said with a low growl, and leaned over to kiss Haku. It was gentle and soft and everything that Haku could have hoped for. Zabuza led the kiss, licking at Haku’s lips, his tongue requesting entrance. Haku got the signal and opened his mouth, letting the older man’s tongue twine with his own. Zabuza sucked on Haku’s tongue, drawing a moan from the young man. Haku reached out to grip Zabuza’s arm as he kissed back with as much passion as he could, and Zabuza ran his hand down Haku’s side. Both were naked from the waist up, and their chests were touching.

 

Haku was fully aroused in no time, and he gasped when he felt something hard and hot pressing against his leg. It seemed that Zabuza was just as hard as he was. Haku tentatively reached down under the covers, and palmed Zabuza’s erection, which was only covered by a pair of pajama pants. The older man let out a pleased hum at the touch, and pushed his groin into Haku’s hand. He broke off the kiss, and lightly nipped at Haku’s neck and collarbone, his hand joining Haku’s under the blankets to stroke the teen’s cock through his pants. Haku whimpered at the feeling of being touched by a hand other than his own, and the pleasant sensations from the mouth on him left him aching for more.

 

“Please, Zabuza… more?” he asked, wanting Zabuza’s strong hands, thin lips, and hot tongue all over his body.

 

Zabuza nodded. “Lay on your back,” he said huskily.

 

Haku complied, and Zabuza threw the covers aside, exposing them both to the cool air of the room. He straddled Haku’s legs and kissed him once more, before turning his attention to the young man’s nipples. He licked one while gently pinching the other, drawing a moan from Haku that made Haku throw his hand over his mouth.

 

Stopping for a moment and chuckling, Zabuza gently pulled Haku’s hand away from his mouth. “It’s all right. I want to hear you.” Without waiting for any reply, he returned to Haku’s nipples, less gentle now.

 

Haku moaned even louder as Zabuza pinched one nipple harder, rolling it between his fingers, and sucking and nipping at the other. He had never known that there was such a deep connection between his nipples and his cock, but what the older man was doing had made him harder than he thought was possible.

Zabuza must have noticed this, because he released Haku’s nipples and started kissing his way down the pale, flat stomach. When he reached the hem of Haku’s pants, he paused, and looked into the teen’s eyes.

 

“Please,” Haku whispered, almost desperately.

 

And that was all it took. Zabuza got off Haku and rid him of his pants, then gently pushed Haku’s legs open. Haku wondered why Zabuza didn’t take off his own pants, but all coherent thought flew out the window when Haku watched Zabuza surround Haku’s cock with his mouth. A needy whimper escaped Haku’s throat when Zabuza sucked at the sensitive tip, and Haku grabbed at Zabuza’s hair, just to have something to hold on to, to ground him to reality. Zabuza seemed to like it, as he groaned around Haku’s cock, which sent a shudder through Haku’s body.

 

Gripping one of Haku’s hipbones with one hand, Zabuza put more power into his suction, and alternated between taking Haku’s full length into his throat and flicking his tongue over the head. Within minutes, Haku’s breathing was ragged and he knew that he was reaching his peak.

 

“Soon… going to come…” Haku said breathlessly in warning, fingers still clenching Zabuza’s hair.

 

A few more flicks of Zabuza’s tongue at the sensitive underside of the head proved to be Haku’s undoing. He cried out as his orgasm tore through him and his release filled Zabuza’s mouth. The older man swallowed quickly, then released Haku’s cock from his mouth, and returned to Haku’s side to lie beside the panting teen. Zabuza gently rolled Haku onto his side so that they were once more chest to chest, and he pressed a soft kiss to Haku’s lips, then stroked his hair and back. Haku let out a happy sound that was almost a purr.

 

“Did you like that?”

 

Haku giggled. “Yes… was amazing.” He let himself bask in the afterglow and the comfort of being wrapped in Zabuza’s warmth.

 

He was just starting to drift off to sleep when he realized that he hadn’t done anything to take care of Zabuza’s erection. “Wait… what about you?”

 

Zabuza chuckled for the third time that night. “Don’t worry. We’ll take care of me next time. For now, just enjoy how you’re feeling, and let’s go to sleep.” He kissed Haku’s temple.

 

Haku sighed happily and snuggled even closer to Zabuza. There were three words that he wanted to say, but wasn’t sure what the response would be… and he was so very sleepy. So he contented himself with the fact that Zabuza had been so wonderfully tender, and hoped in his heart that this meant that Zabuza loved him. Looking forward to the morning, when he hoped to pay back his companion in kind, Haku drifted off to sleep in Zabuza’s arms.

 

 

There is more to come of these two, next week. I hope you enjoyed the story so far! Please leave a comment to tell me what you think!

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Book Release: Healing, Pandemus Chronicles Book 2 by Grace R. Duncan

Today I’m hosting Grace R. Duncan for her upcoming release, Healing, which is the second story in her post-pandemic world! I really love this piece, and had the privilege of beta reading early drafts. Read on for the blurb, an excerpt, and a Rafflecopter giveaway! Make sure to click the Rafflecopter link for the giveaway, as just leaving a comment alone doesn’t enter you into it!

HealingFS

In a world that’s gone to hell, will you let old fears keep you from the chance at more than just survival?

Blurb:

When Duncan stumbles into a pharmacy in search of something to fix his broken leg, he’s surprised to find someone else there. Like the rest of the post-pandemic world, it appeared empty. Instead, he discovers Mark, a former nurse who walked away from his profession after losing too many patients to the virus. Despite swearing he’d never practice medicine again, Mark patches Duncan up over Duncan’s protests. He even finds an abandoned house in the tiny town, and they settle in until Duncan heals enough to look out for himself. Much to the chagrin of both, they find themselves caring for each other.

Duncan welcomes it, thrilled at finding someone he can trust. However, he’s well aware of the shadows in Mark’s eyes and understands Mark’s reticence as he learns the story. But as he’s starting to do things for himself again, Duncan realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave. He’s not sure if can get Mark to let go of his fears so they can stay together and love. But Duncan’s damned sure going to try.

Buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5534

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Pandemus-Chronicles-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00OWKJS84/ref=la_B00BCMBWY8_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414433407&sr=1-6

AllRomance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-healing-1656462-145.html

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Excerpt:

He should have known better. Under normal circumstances, it was a stupid move, but right here, right now, “stupid” didn’t begin to cover it.

Duncan glared at his leg for another moment, then leaned his head back against the wall. He needed to keep moving. It hurt like hell, but he had to keep going. It wasn’t going to get better on its own. The gash needed to be cleaned and bandaged, and even if the break wasn’t bad, it should at least be braced. And it wasn’t like he could call an ambulance. Or even go into an emergency room.

Well, he supposed he could go into an emergency room, if he was in the city. But like a lot of other people, he avoided the cities whenever possible. And when it wasn’t, he stayed as far on the edge as he could. But even there, it was a dangerous risk. As corrupt as the cities were now, the price of anything was higher than most could pay. He’d heard rumors that, in some of the worst cities, people simply got shot if they couldn’t pay what the thugs in power wanted. It was all rumor, but rumor he wasn’t about to ignore.

So he did his damnedest to stay away.

He’d been stupid to jump off the ledge. Even at only a couple of feet higher than he was tall, the risk hadn’t been worth it. He’d have thought, after nearly three years, he’d learned how to be more careful and not take those kinds of risks. It wasn’t the first time he’d fallen and hurt himself—though, thankfully, the last one hadn’t involved a broken bone. Maybe it should have; he might have learned his lesson then.

“Really fucking stupid, Dun.”

Duncan steeled himself and pulled to his feet, grimacing when the sharp pain shot up his ankle and through his leg. “Fuck,” he muttered, breathing hard through his nose. When he finally focused past the pain, he looked up and noted the position of the sun, the only real indication he had for the time, and figured he had another good hour or two of light. If he was right about where he was, he wouldn’t need all of it. He tucked the stick he’d found under his arm, grimaced when it dug into the soft flesh, but then leaned on it and hobbled along again.

Grace’s Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Grace’s website: http://www.grace-duncan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GraceRDuncan2

Twitter: @GraceRDuncan

Giveaway!

Enter to win an Amazon.com $25 gift card!

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

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Don’t forget to follow the tour for more chances to win! Every comment on the tour is another entry into the Rafflecopter grand prize giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Free Fiction Friday 11: Sleeping Arrangements Part One (A Naruto Fanfiction)

free fiction friday fb
Welcome to this week’s post for http://www.freefictionfriday.com! Today’s story is part one of three or four, and takes place in the same headcanon as the fanfic I posted during the first week (https://saratestarossa.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/free-fiction-friday-1-satin-and-senbon-a-naruto-fanfiction/). I wrote this in the world of the anime/manga Naruto several years ago, and it’s been one of my most well-received stories to date, despite some potentially controversial content (underage sex and large age difference between partners – more explanation below). This story features Haku (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Haku_(Naruto)) and Zabuza (http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Zabuza_Momochi). It is ambiguous in the canon of the series whether the two are lovers, but I like to think they are. This piece contains no major plot spoilers for the series, beyond a bit of Haku’s backstory, and can be understood without knowing the series.

One thing you should know before reading this story is that Haku is not typical for a young teen. In addition to a past that made him grow up very fast out of necessity, he has lived as an adult for years by the main plot of this piece. His accepted role in life is to be Zabuza’s weapon, killing for Zabuza and anyone who employs them. He is old beyond his years, has seen much and done much. And he is the one to initiate sex with Zabuza in this story, and Zabuza does not take unfair advantage of him. I don’t write underage sex lightly, especially when one partner is much older, so I wanted to address this before the story itself. I will understand anyone skipping the next few weeks of my FFF posts if they prefer not to read a relationship between people with this big of an age gap and the younger being fourteen.

Now that’s out of the way…

Naruto, the world, and characters, belong to Masashi Kishimoto and I made no profit from the writing or posting of this piece.

 

ADVISORIES/CATEGORIES: consensual sex between a 14-year-old young man and 24-year-old man, discussion of puberty, explicit sexual content (oral and anal), somewhat D/s relationship (Master/weapon is the best way to describe their relationship), M/M, mentions of violence.

 

Potentially unfamiliar terms: shinobi is the word for ninjas in this universe.

 

I hope you enjoy the first part of Sleeping Arrangements!

 

 

Haku and Zabuza had shared a bed for almost as long as they had traveled together.

 

Zabuza had discovered early on that it was the best way to go about making sure that his weapon and companion was of sound mind. Haku was tormented by frequent nightmares of his past; he dreamed of his father murdering his mother, then himself having to kill the men who were set upon killing him, including his own father. He tossed and turned in the middle of the night, whimpering, then woke up in a cold sweat and crying, upset not just from the dreams but also by the fact that he was weak. He wanted to be strong for Zabuza, to be the perfect weapon… but the memories of his troubled past were still fresh in his mind.

 

So after a few nights of being awakened by Haku’s sobs, Zabuza invited the boy to crawl into bed with him just before they went to sleep. Haku timidly joined Zabuza under the covers, and found himself wrapped in a strong arm and pulled closer so that he could snuggle up against the broad chest. That night, they both slept soundly.

 

From then on, that was the status quo. It saved them money when they had to pay to rent rooms, and made it easier for people to house them when they were hired. People probably thought the worst – that Zabuza was taking advantage of Haku – but this was not the case. Their sleeping arrangements were logical, and neither of them found it odd to take comfort in falling asleep and waking up nestled against another warm body. This went on for years.

 

And then sometime during Haku’s thirteenth year of life, things changed. His first wet dream blindsided him, and he was more than a little embarrassed when he woke to find the mess on his underwear and the sheets. He apologized to Zabuza, who merely laughed, stroked his hair affectionately, and gave Haku “the talk” about puberty. Haku listened quietly to the discussions of physical changes and hygiene. His interest was piqued when Zabuza hesitated when talking about the intricacies of sex. Not only did the older man talk about sex between a man and a woman, but also between two men.

 

The concept of homosexuality did not seem odd to Haku for some reason. When he mulled it over later, he realized that his appreciation of his companion’s body might be more than just recognition of the older man’s strength and fitness as a shinobi. He had found himself glancing at Zabuza more often lately, practically staring at him, especially when Zabuza was not fully clothed. He didn’t tend to look at others in this way, but his main focus on life was on Zabuza after all. And now his newly awakening sexuality drew him even closer to the man in his thoughts, if not his actions.

 

A few months after his first wet dream, after he had turned fourteen, Haku could hold back his feelings for Zabuza no longer. He had come to terms with the fact that he was in love with Zabuza, and wanted him badly. So one night, when they got into bed, instead of just snuggling into his companion’s bare chest, Haku changed the routine. He pressed timid kisses to Zabuza’s cheek, jawline, and neck. He traced his fingers over Zabuza’s toned chest, then let his hands rest over the older man’s strongly beating heart. He didn’t really know what he was doing, he just wanted to make the older man feel good, and for his feelings and touches to be returned.

 

“Haku,” Zabuza said in a low rumble, “Stop.”

 

Hurt, Haku drew back. “I’m sorry, Zabuza… I just…” he didn’t know what to say, and was afraid that he had made a horrible mistake.

 

Zabuza turned to face him, and cupped the teen’s cheek in his hand. “Don’t apologize. You didn’t do anything wrong. But do you even realize what you’re doing?”

 

Haku gulped. “Yes? Maybe? I don’t know.” He buried his head in Zabuza’s chest, embarrassed. He was Zabuza’s weapon, why did he think that a man nearly twice his age would return his affections? Granted, the man had always been kind to him, in his own way, but he had never made any sexual advances. Haku felt foolish.

 

Letting out a rare laugh, Zabuza stroked Haku’s long hair. “It’s okay. I just don’t want you to do anything you’d regret, and if you kept doing what you were doing, I don’t think I could resist you.”

 

Haku’s head shot back up, and he looked into Zabuza’s eyes. “You mean… you want to?”

 

“Want to what?”

 

Haku had a feeling that Zabuza knew exactly what Haku meant. “Um… you know…” he trailed off, unable to say the words.

 

“I’m not going to do anything if you can’t even say it, Haku,” Zabuza said, his voice serious.

 

Taking a deep breath, Haku steeled his nerves. “Do you want to have sex? With me?”

 

“That’s more like it,” Zabuza said, and rewarded Haku with another pet to his hair. “Yes, I do… but only if you’re sure this is what you really want. You’re only fourteen. And I’m…”


“I may be young but I’ve been your weapon for years. I’m grown up enough,” Haku said, suddenly all seriousness himself. “I want you.”

 

And, because I’m a tease, I’ll leave off there for this week. I hope you enjoyed the story so far! There is a more to come over the next few weeks. Please leave a comment to tell me what you think!

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Romance Among the Stars: Guest post and excerpt from “An Endless Sea of Stars” by Jamie Lynn Miller

Please welcome Jamie Lynn Miller to the blog today! She’s talking about her new m/m sci-fi release, An Endless Sea of Stars and her relationship with science fiction. There’s an excerpt from the novella, too, and all the info you need on where to get your own copy and follow Jamie online. Check it out!

Romance Among the Stars

Many thanks to Sara for having me here today to talk about my new novella, An Endless Sea of Stars. I’ve been a sci-fi fan since 1977, the year that a little film called Star Wars hit the movie screens. I was only six years old back then. While my friends wanted to go see Bambi I was begging my dad to take me to Star Wars. My mother thought I was nuts and refused to go, saying my dad was just wasting his money because I wouldn’t understand the movie. Seven days later and seven consecutive trips to the movies with my dad and she had to admit she’d made a mistake. 🙂

To this day Star Wars remains a big part of my life. My home is filled with about a thousand pieces of memorabilia and photos of myself with many of the actors. I also love shows like the original Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Firefly, Buck Rogers, Babylon 5, Fringe, Doctor Who and Alien Nation. I also read sci-fi novels voraciously.

So why it’s taken me to this day to write my first m/m sci-fi novella I have no idea! LOL! But inspiration finally hit and An Endless Sea of Stars was born.

This is Book One of the Genesis Project series, which follows the lives of a test pilot and an engineer as Earth strives to build a starship that will take them beyond the Milky Way and into deep space. My friend Gina calls the book a “futuristic romance” and I love that description. While it has sci-fi elements to it, the story takes place entirely on Earth with its focus on the love story between Toby and Cade.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Stars cover small

BLURB:

The year is 2121. While Earth has conquered exploration of the Milky Way, we have yet to develop an interstellar engine to take us beyond our own galaxy. Thus the Intergalactic Exploration Alliance and the Gemini Project were formed.

Lieutenant Tobias Dekker is fresh out of the IEA academy and determined to be assigned to the Gemini engineering team. Putting career above all else. He knows from experience that relationships have no place in the Alliance. Commander Caden Flynn is equally determined to see the Gemini prototype take flight to uncharted space. The engine is his late father’s design and he wants nothing more than to be the test pilot that breaks the next light speed barrier.

Two men dreaming of a sea of stars find that it’s instead an ocean here on Earth that brings them together. Can Cade convince Toby to open up his heart and take a chance on love and explore the universe with him, side by side?

EXCERPT:

Toby rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “Anyone ever tell you you’re a smartass?”

At that Cade finally let loose with his suppressed laughter. “I had you going there, though, didn’t I?” he smirked.

Toby waved his hand in dismissal. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll have you know that’s never happened to me before. I would’ve gotten us outta there. I just needed another minute…or two,” he finished with an embarrassed grin.

“You know, I really should report this to Hank,” Cade quipped as he finished removing his wetsuit. “But!” he held up his hand before Toby could say anything. “We can forget about the entire thing if…” he trailed off for a second and rummaged in his duffle bag, pulling out a bottle of Kentucky bourbon and showing it to Toby. “…you have a drink with me.” He shrugged one of his shoulders. “Since I couldn’t get you to a bar with me I thought I’d bring the bar to you.”

Toby paused. Alone, in the dark, sharing a few drinks. This wasn’t a good idea. He should politely decline and say they needed to start heading back. But his mouth was apparently not listening to his brain, because before he could stop himself…

“Deal.”

A very pleased smile crossed Cade’s face and he reached over and squeezed Toby’s bare shoulder before turning back to the duffel bag and producing two plastic cups. A few minutes later they had donned their t-shirts and shorts and were relaxing on the bow, sitting close enough that their shoulders were almost touching. The clouds had dissipated, revealing millions of stars twinkling in the clear sky and a full moon reflecting on the water.

Cade took a swallow of bourbon and turned his head toward Toby. “I can’t get over what an amazing feeling it was, being down in those caves tonight.”

Toby took a drink as well. “Been through those caves ‘bout a hundred times. But like I said earlier, there’s something different every time. It never gets boring.”

Cade looked up toward the sky. “It’s like being out in the stars. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.”

Toby couldn’t help his wistful, and envious, sigh. “Closest I’m probably ever gonna get to the stars is in one of the flight simulators.”

“From what I hear you’ve made some fabulous improvements to those simulators,” Cade said. “I wish I’d had you building and programming them when I was in flight school.”

Toby turned to look at him. “How did you know I was on the simulator team?”

Cade shrugged, took another drink. “After we met I took the liberty of looking into your Academy history.” He grinned. “I was curious as to who was going to be teaching me.” Cade shifted so that he was turned more fully toward Toby. “And I was damn impressed at what I read. You need to stop selling yourself short when it comes to your dream of working on the Gemini project. You’re in the top two percent of your class, Toby. Alliance Command is not going to overlook that when they hand out assignments next month.”

Toby shook his head. “Don’t you think they’d want someone older, more experienced, working on something as monumentally important as Earth’s first hyperdrive engine?”

“Just because you haven’t been in space doesn’t mean you’re not qualified to work on a starship engine. It’s about technical expertise, not flight time.”

Toby now turned to face Cade, a tinge of excitement in his voice. “Tell me about that. What’s it like up there? I’ve gotta admit that as much as I want to experience it for myself, it makes me kinda nervous, too.”

“It’s a lot like scuba diving, actually,” Cade began, then tipped his head up toward the sky, his voice gone quiet. “Surrounded by an endless sea of stars instead of water. It’s beautiful. And so serene. But there’s so much more out there to explore than in just our galaxy.”

Toby couldn’t help but smile at the passion and wonder in Cade’s voice. “You said we’re close to breaking barrier three?”

Cade nodded and finished off his drink, poured himself another and topped off Toby’s. “The engine tests we’ve been running are really promising. Captain Hoffman’s team is burning the midnight oil.”

“From what you told me last month it sounds like you are, too.”

Cade blew out a breath. “You know how badly you want in the Gemini program? That’s how badly I want to pilot that next barrier flight. It’s going to come down to myself, Logan Ramsey, Kenji Tran or Padma Singh. And they’re all damn good test pilots.”

“Well let me give you some sage advice that a friend of mine gave me,” Toby said with a grin. “Don’t sell yourself short.”

Cade gave him a look. “Now who’s the smartass?”

Toby just laughed and knocked his cup against Cade’s. He settled back to look up at the stars, and Cade did the same. They let the quiet of the open ocean surround them for several minutes, nothing but the sound of gentle waves against the hull.

“Does this place have a name?” Cade asked quietly.

“Not that I know of,” Toby answered.

“Then I think we should call it Dekker’s Cove.” He once again turned his head to look at Toby. “Thanks again for taking me out here. This is your spot and you didn’t have to share it with me.”

Toby turned his head to look back at Cade, his voice sincere. “I wanted to. I knew you’d appreciate how special it was.”

Cade pinned him with a gaze full of hope and desire. “There are a lot of things I’m finding are special down here.”

Toby’s breath caught in his throat. It would be so damn easy to give in to Cade’s flirtations. To say the hell with it and just reach over and touch him. Because Toby knew that’s all it would take. One touch. But then what? A summer fling, like they were teenagers away at camp? Toby just wasn’t wired like that, for one-time hook ups. Especially with someone like Cade. He knew he’d want more and he knew it’d never work. He just needed to keep reminding himself that it was Cade’s friendship that was most important, what he really wanted, was the only thing that would work between them. But it was getting harder and harder to do with each passing day he spent with Cade. His heart was warring with his head. And he honestly didn’t know which was going to win.

The moment stretched on between them, Toby knowing Cade was waiting for something from Toby, but he didn’t trust himself to speak.

Cade glanced away, then back. “Toby, I…”

And Toby’s stomach somersaulted, certain of what Cade was going to say next. He wasn’t ready for this…

“…I have to leave tomorrow.”

Toby blinked and released a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. “Wh-what?” he stuttered, completely caught off guard by Cade’s words, so far from what he had been expecting.

Cade sighed. “I’m needed back at Alliance HQ. I found out this morning but was putting off telling you.”

“That – that’s okay. I understand,” Toby replied, trying to hide his disappointment.

“I even brought a holo vid of a rugby match I was hoping to show you tomorrow,” Cade grinned and Toby chuckled. “Next month, okay?”

Toby nodded. “Next month.”

Next month. One last chance for Toby to sort out his feelings for Cade. And be able to live with that decision with no regrets. He had a sneaking suspicion that was going to be easier said than done.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ng25ocw

LuLu (Paperback and epub): http://tinyurl.com/qe5oeal

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/nvj3toh

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/ow92qj2

Also available at the iBookstore

CONTACT INFO:

Jamie Lynn Miller

jamielynnmiller@live.com

http://www.jamielynnm.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/jamielynn.miller.3

Jamie photo small

AUTHOR BIO:

Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.

Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.

If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.

Giveaway and Release Info for A Gift of Time: An Old Russian Fairytale by Cyma Rizwaan Khan

Today I’m pleased to host Cyma Rizwaan Khan! Her new M/M story A Gift of Time: An Old Russian Fairytale will be out October 31st. Cyma’s been kind enough to offer a giveaway on this post for a free copy of the novella. Depending on how many people comment, there may be more than just one free copy up for grabs, so please read on to learn about the book and how you can win a copy or purchase it if you don’t win! I’m looking forward to reading this story, as it sounds right up my alley. Fairytales + historical fiction + technology theme + romance = intrigued Sara!

The Gift of Time by Cyma


Blurb:

In nineteenth century Moscow, Nikolai is nothing but a slave but when he ends up falling for a Russian Prince named Alexander Shcherbatsky, things start to look up for once. Only the Prince knows that Nikolai is no ordinary serf. He is inventing a machine that has the potential to change the course of humanity. But when Alex’s family finds out that Alex and Nikolai are in love and have plans of eloping, they want to make sure that never happens.

 

 

Excerpt:

Moscow, 1845

Chapter 1

Nikolai was hungry. No, starving would be the appropriate word for a hunger such as this. He had been silly enough to spend the last of his savings on some apparatus he needed for the device—he hadn’t figured out a name for it yet, and sacrificing a meal for that purpose hadn’t seemed like a bad idea when his stomach was filled with all the rich food Alexander had treated him to, but now with his hammer hand trembling, and the tapping sounds of the train wheels grating on his brain, an entire day of hard work behind him and a lot more ahead, he was hungry.

Still, Nikolai tried to focus on the work at hand, tapping the long hammer at the iron, listening to the sound carefully, because his one mistake sure could result in an accident. He smiled when the Station Master approached him but the man didn’t even return the greeting, just passed him by without a word. A Station Master must know that he was better than some serf slaving away at his job, so why would he care enough to smile back? Soon, Nikolai told himself. Soon, he will be an inventor. The device might be unnamed as yet but names weren’t important. The world would have to recognize his true potential, just like Alexander did.

A moment of passion that had passed between them last night made way into his mind, replacing everything else and the memory of Alexander’s body on top of his own, passionate and warm in a cold as horrible as this, a small slice of heaven, right here on earth, it made the day and everything that still lay ahead, seem a little less dreadful. A smile broke out on his lips, as the memory of Alexander’s dirty words crept into his ears. Prince Alexander Shcherbatsky fucking a young serf in the middle of the night and speaking those words—if only the world had seen such a sight they would understand why Nikolai loved Alexander so much.

And then, as if being pushed off the pulpit right when he was about to receive an accolade, the awareness of the fact crept into the sensible side of his brain that what they were doing was truly against all laws of mankind, as well as religion, and that the world wouldn’t waste a single breathe in murdering them both if they ever found out of such a transgression, and it made him angry and it frightened him, made him feel like a firefly trapped in a jar on some faraway shelf that no one could reach. He almost wanted to cry and the need to see Alexander, to be with him and to just let it all out in front of him, became so persistent he felt his gut tighten.

But hours of work still lay ahead of him and he couldn’t even think about seeing Alexander for at least another day, because Alexander was preparing to leave. He tried not to think about the fact that Alex would be away for the next six months. And before these thoughts and the impossibility of seeing the love of his life started to eat at him, he started to think about how he could still go home and work on his device, and hopefully come up with a name.

 

Author links:

www.cymarkhan.com (note – site has creepy/fun mood music, so adjust your speakers accordingly before clicking)
https://twitter.com/cymarkhan

 

 

Contest Details:

We’ll keep it simple: leave a comment on this post with your email address so I can pass it along to Cyma to send you a free copy if you’re a winner! I’ll leave the giveaway open until next Monday at 11PM EST so that plenty of people will have time to enter for the chance to win. Good luck!

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