Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a nice holiday! I figured I'd post a short excerpt from The WaterLord Trilogy to help get into the winter mood.

Nathan was surprised by the fact that there was no difference in temperature between the air in the warehouse and the air outside. The wind still blew from the north, and it bit at Nathan’s exposed skin. He shivered, dreading the prospect of three whole months of weather like this.
            “Cold?” Tom displayed no sign of discomfort, and he wasn’t even dressed as warmly as Nathan was, Nathan having borrowed the jacket Emmy had made for Tom.
            “Very,” Nathan replied. He could not keep a grin from his face; however, as he thought of the ways two people could combat the cold.
            “It is getting colder. And dark. Perhaps…” Tom trailed off, obviously thinking. “I wonder if Dimitri will set the fire again?”
            “Probably.” It was the man’s job, however annoying it was. Dimitri had not visited them since the first day Nathan had woken. Now, though, heat seemed rather necessary, and Nathan grimaced as the wind picked up again. Sensing it, he felt nothing out of the ordinary, no storm, but it would definitely not slow anytime soon, and a north wind never meant warmth. There were ways to light fires without a mage, but perhaps not on a scale necessary for the fireplace.
            “Let’s head back.” Tom was looking at him, and Nathan smiled reassuringly.
            As they neared the house, Tom stopped, Nathan following his gaze. Cold pinpricks touched his skin.
“This is snow,” Tom said, happiness suffusing his tone.
The snow surprised Nathan. It was not pure ice falling from the sky, but rather a quiet fluff that made no sound. The air was dead, the snow falling uninterrupted. Nathan breathed in the cold, the warmth of his breath melting one of the snow puffs as it fell.
            The tiny freezing dots fell onto Nathan’s face, their sting quickly deteriorating into nothingness.
            “Is this what you sensed?” Nathan asked his lover.
            “I don’t know.” Tom quietly watched the snow fall. “Maybe.” 
            Nathan walked over to Tom putting his arm around his lover’s bare shoulders. He had to admit, for all its cold, the snow was beautiful.
            The water mage raised his arm slightly, making a circular motion with his hand, and the snow puffs around his hand whirled with the motion before they suddenly grew bigger and fell to the ground. These did not melt immediately into the loam as the rest did, but remained as little clumps of ice. Nathan felt the muscles in Tom’s shoulders move as his arm did, and he appreciated the mage’s strength anew, both magical and physical.
            Tom looked him in the eye at that moment, and smiled. “I should explore this.”
            “Not now,” Nathan gently chided, keeping his voice low. “It’s late.” He put his other arm around Tom, enfolding the other man in a hug, kissing his neck lightly. 
            Tom flushed.  “You’re right.” He awkwardly disentangled himself from his lover  and started inside, Nathan close behind.         
The house showed no sign of entry, and the fireplace was cold. Nathan grinned. Perhaps Tom could be convinced to do more than huddle for warmth. Nathan was feeling much better.
             He walked up behind Tom and began to massage the other man’s shoulders, shocked at the amount of tension he found. Tom groaned and leaned against him, letting the blond work out the kinks in his tight muscles.
            “Tense, aren’t you?” Nathan asked.
            “Of course.” Tom hung his head, letting Nathan’s fingers work further up his neck. “I was worried for you.”
            Nathan stopped his ministrations, pushing so he turned Tom to face him. “I’m fine.”
            Tom couldn’t meet his eyes. “You…you were hurt. Because of me. Because I wasn’t ready.”
            Nathan tilted his head, sitting on the couch and pulling Tom down to sit next to him. “It wasn’t your fault.”
            “But…I wasn’t ready.” Tom met his eyes, his blue eye dim with guilt. “I didn’t know anything. Even talking to Dimitri for five minutes made me realize that. I was so…stupid. I thought I was strong, but…”
            “You are,” Nathan replied. “But you were alone, young and inexperienced. That’s all. There’s no shame in that.”
            “I got you hurt.”
            “No, I got myself hurt. I wanted to help you. I thought I was strong too, that Ruthen was a sitting duck. But I was wrong, just as you were.”
            Tom sighed, looking up at the ceiling, and Nathan was filled with a desire to kiss him. “What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not strong enough, and can’t change anything? What if Ruthen stays in power, and nothing changes? Mages will be killed or sickened, weakened…”
            Nathan put a finger to Tom’s lips. “Don’t think that way.” He moved closer, putting his arms around the muscular man. “For now, focus on what you can do.”
            Tom’s breathing quickened, and Nathan kissed the underside of his chin. “Let me help you,” Nathan said. He trailed his hand down to Tom’s member, stroking it firmly, relishing as it hardened in his hand. “Just relax.”
            Tom gasped, laying down on the pillows and letting Nathan lay on top of him, his hand never leaving the brown haired man’s growng erection. He stroked it firmly, with varying speeds, Tom moaning and gasping underneath him.
            Nathan bit back a sigh as Tom’s hand found him, stroking him in turn. The sensations built quickly, Nathan’s hips thrusting of their own accord, Tom smiling up at him. They both breathed hard, Nathan’s balls tightening. It had been too long.
            “It’s going to be fine, Tom,” Nathan whispered. “I’m not hurt.” Tom nodded once, jerkily, his hips bucking in Nathan’s hand as the blond leaned down and nibbled his neck, moving up to kiss him. “I love you.” Nathan mouthed, then shut his eyes tightly as he succumbed to his orgasm.
Tom pulsed too, moaning, ribbons of cum shooting and overflowing out of Nathan’s cupped hand. Nathan caught him in a kiss, relishing his effect on the other man even as he shuddered through his own climax.
“Nathan…” Tom managed as he broke the kiss, putting an arm around Nathan’s shoulders and pulling him closer. “I love you. I was so afraid…”
“I know.” Nathan kissed him on the cheek, resting his head on Tom’s chest. “But it’s alright. We’ll figure things out. But for now, just rest.”
            Tom closed his eyes, and Nathan did the same, sleep stealing over them both. The cold, for now, was forgotten.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Everyone stay safe!

I'm watching the leaves swirl outside my window. Hopefully, nothing horrible will happen.

To keep you all entertained, I have a short piece from the first chapter of a longer book I'm working on. It will be called The Storm Lords. This first chapter may change from the time you see it here until its eventually published, so keep that in mind!


The heat hung over the village like a smothering blanket. 

            Rowen watched his neighbors carry buckets of water out of their hut, the image dancing in the heat waves that wavered off of the baked clay. The entire village was preparing for the daily gathering, always necessary during a heat spell. The gathering was a time for people to spread out precious goods like water and pit seeds, which would cool down the body and prevent heat death. 

            In normal times, goods were traded as per their worth. During a heat spell, however, nothing could match the worth of a simple bucket of water or a single pit seed. As a result, all shared, carrying the village through the spells that sucked the life out of the area. 

            Rowen had nothing to share. He only benefited, and he knew others resented him for it. He walked to the gathering with a heavy heart, his scalp burning from the sun as though his red hair were aflame. 

            The others who passed him glared, their eyes full of suspicion. None offered help when he stumbled in the heat. His store of food, the food he hunted for himself, had grown small, and the water bucket in his home was mostly dry. 

He would never steal water, but no one would believe him. Not after what happened.    
            Alain, the village elder, called the meeting to order, his powerful voice carrying over the throng.  There were fewer people here today than the day before-a bad sign. 

            “Report any losses.” This was how the meetings always began. Heat spells killed the young and the old first, and in the first week of this one there had been dozens of deaths. This heat spell was in its third week, the longest Rowen had ever experienced. 

            Hands went up, and Rowen looked down at the shady ground. “Talia.” An eight year old girl who had loved to play outside in the rain during winter. “Fredericks.” An older man who dyed fabrics. “Abigail.” The seamstress. 

            Had they died during a normal time, they would be cremated. Fires were too dangerous during a heat spell, so they would be buried on the edge of town instead. 

            “This is day 22 of the current heat spell, the second of the warm season,” Alain intoned. “We have suffered greatly so far.” 

            “Too much!” a man cried out. Rowen looked up. He had lost his infant daughter in the first few days. 

            “Something must be done!” a woman cried. 

            “There is nothing that can be done.” Questions like these always arose. People yearned for the old times, when belief in mythical rituals that could bring the breaking storms was rampant. The old beliefs had fallen out of favor, people realizing that the advent of the storms was unpredictable, but the longer the heat spells stretched on the more desperate people became. 

            “Erik has measured the temperature currently at 134 degrees, dropping to 100 at night,” Alain continued. “This is unusual, but it should only mean that the storm will come soon.” 

            “The heat spells are longer and hotter. We should go back to the old ways!” A man on Rowen's left stood up, redfaced in anger. Andrew, the blacksmith, who's shop had lain abandoned for the last three weeks. “This would never have happened when I was a child!” 

            “There is no point in wasting energy on a ritual that won't work.” Alain didn't bother raising his voice. “The best thing to do is to wait and keep calm. Exertion will bring death.” 

            “We must do something!” The same woman who had been ignored before yelled again, louder this time, and people responded, turning to her and some agreeing, whispering under their breath. 

           Rowen's heart picked up speed. The mood of the crowd was turning, from a tired group of people willing to help each other to get through hard times to something else. Something dangerous. 

            “What would you have us do? The dances will only cause heat death faster.” Alain rose his voice slightly. 

            “There is no need for dances.” A man spoke up from the back of the throng, an accent shading his words. Rowen didn't recognize him until he turned to look. 

            The speaker was a man with pale hair and eyes, a traveler who had settled here from the north only a year ago. The heat had been unkind to him, his skin burned red from the sun. He always told tales of his travels, and people naturally paid close attention to him when he spoke.  

            “Where I come from, heat spells never last this long.” He spoke slowly, calmly, with a soft commanding voice that bade you listen. Rowen immediately didn't trust him. 

            “How?” Andrew asked, some of his belligerence gone. 

            The man chose his words carefully. “Where I live, heat spells are...harsher. Everyone fends for themselves. We are not as quick to share.” 

            A few people seemed concerned, and the man quickly picked up his tale. “But we have found a way to deal with that. Some people are not worth sharing with, after all.” 

            Someone glanced at Rowen. He swallowed nervously, looking away. 

            “Surely this is not necessary,” Alain spoke up. He sounded nervous. “We will begin the dispersal of water and seeds-” 

            “Where I come from, we give up the people who do not deserve resources,” the man continued, ignoring Alain, and the crowd hung on his words. “Sacrificing them to the Storm Gods brings the storms faster, and makes those who survive more comfortable.” 

            Rowen took a step back. People were nodding, smiling. Someone behind him grabbed Rowen by the arm. 

            “This one killed his parents by stealing their water!” Andrew yelled. Rowen opened his mouth to deny it, but of course no sound came out. He had never been able to speak, not since it had happened. 

            “Criminals make perfect sacrifices,” the man said, looking at Rowen but not meeting his eyes. “The Storm Gods are vindictive.” 

            “He will suffer the way his parents did,” the woman said, and people around her agreed. His neighbors, the ones he had watched bring their water to the gathering, scowled at him and turned away. 

            Rowen didn't try to fight. There was no point. There were too many, and running during a heat spell would only bring on his death faster. 

            “Tie him up!” 

            Rowen heard Alain protesting, and then he was silenced. Those tying him worked quickly and quietly, stripping his clothes off and binding his ankles with cord, his wrists behind his back. For a sacrifice, it was all very civilized. Everyone knew not to waste energy in this heat. 

            “Leave him in the sun,” The man spoke. “One less to take your water, and one more death to bring the storms faster.” 

            Hot tears formed in Rowen's eyes, but he was too old to let himself cry. He hadn't wanted their water anyway. 

            They dragged him into the sun, and the ground underneath him burned. He shut his eyes tightly, and the sun baked him. Nobody watched.      
            Rowen knew that death would come quickly. 

            The sweating had already begun, and his head swam in the heat. He didn't dare open his eyes to the merciless sun beating down on him. His skin was pale, and if he lasted long enough he would be covered in blisters. 

            He tried to think of his parents. He had been close with them, as an only child. His father had introduced him to village girls, and had not shown disappointment when Rowen had confessed to feeling nothing for any of them. 

            He thought of Lucas. Lucas, blacksmith's apprentice, a boy his age with blond hair and an eager smile, full lips and bright blue eyes. Rowen had never told him how Lucas had made him feel, quickening his blood and stirring him in his dreams. 

            Lucas had died in the same heat spell that had killed his parents. Since then Rowen had felt nothing. Too much loss, all at once. He groaned on the heated ground, but it was useless. 

            He had survived the heat spell. It should have killed him, like it killed his parents, but he had lived, eating pit seeds that silenced him forever and leaving him mute to defend himself to the villagers when they claimed he stole his parents water. 

            A wave of nausea surged through him. Heat sickness was setting in. He rolled over to vomit, nothing but whitish bile. Rolling made him dizzy, and that made the sickness worse. 

            Soon, nothing came up. Heat surged through him, but he could no longer sweat. The ground spun. 

            This was fitting. He couldn’t survive again. 

            He opened his eyes, and was greeted with darkness. 

            Night had not come. He rolled, impossibly slow, to look up. The sun had been covered, a thick, dark cloud blanketing the village. 

            Rowen almost smiled.  He had been sacrificed, and the storm had come.

            Rain began to pelt the ground, the drops hitting as hard as thrown stones. Rowen opened his mouth, instinctively hoping to ease some of his dehydration, before thunder boomed, a fork of lightning splitting the sky and unleashing torrents. 

            More died during the heat spells preceding the storms, but the storms themselves were deadly too if caught outside. Wind lashed rain into his face, hard enough that if he were not already prone he would have been knocked over. He could no longer look up; opening his eyes only invited the rain, the cold drops making his dry eyes burn. 

            Rowen lay on his side like sodden rags, listening to the power of the storm. He had not expected to die this way. Water began to pool around him, the flood coming fast despite the dry ground underneath absorbing it. Eventually it would absorb it all, filling the underground wells, but for now the water would run into Rowen's nose and mouth, drowning him because he was too weak to move. He tried to drink; it tasted like dust. 

            Gusts of wind blew over him, whistling in his ears and hair, and he began to shiver with cold despite being overheated just a short time ago. The thunder deafened him, the flashes of lightning only visible as a red sheen behind his eyelids. If one struck him, at least it would be over quickly. 

            Suddenly, everything calmed. The darkness was accompanied by silence, the pelting rain gone, and for a moment Rowen knew he was dead. 

            “You.” A voice called, one that he did not recognize. He opened his eyes, watching the water flow by him. 

            “You. Look at me.” The voice called him again. Without the rain hammering him down, Rowen managed to roll over. If he was dead, why was the weakness, the pain, not gone? 

            A man stood over him. No, hovered over him, his feet not touching the ground. He was clad in dark green, a rare color here in this desert village. His short dark brown hair was plastered to his head, dripping onto his nose and chin, and he wore a necklace with a grayish stone around his neck. Rowen focused on the deep blue eyes, like a clear summer sky, so different from the hazy blue that had accompanied the heat spell. They promised something. 

            “Would you like to come with me?” the man asked. His voice was deep, reverberant in Rowen's chest. Around them, the storm raged, thatch blowing off of soaking roofs and water pouring from eaves and out of overfull water jars. 

            Rowen opened his mouth, but of course he could not speak. He shut it, blinking slowly. Was this death? 

            “Will you come?” The man moved farther away, hovering, and looked up. “If you don't, the storm will probably kill you.” 

            Rowen could not speak. But he reached out, and the man smiled. 

            “Come then.” He knelt down, grabbing Rowen and hoisting him like a child. Pain from the sunburns screamed across his body, but he could not cry out. If this was death, it was not what he had expected. 

            He didn't have the strength to hold on, but the man gripped him as they hovered higher into the air, then flew, up above the village and into the storm. Rowen did not look down, staring at the man's neck, secure in his muscular arms. The sky around them was gray-black with clouds, but here he felt none of the violence of the storm that was being wreaked below. Spots flecked through his vision, but he no longer felt like giving up. 

            “I'm going to take you somewhere safe.” The man's voice rumbled. “Don't worry. I will explain everything to you.” 

            He talked as though Rowen cared. His village had sacrificed him to die. He was not dead now, though was flying above the village he had grown up in...The world spun around him, and for a moment he thought he was falling, or flying faster. Then he passed out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New York Comic Con!

So I went to New York Comic Con this weekend, just visiting as a fan. I only went on Saturday, but I really enjoyed the experience. I had gone last year and been incredibly disappointed by the lack of things to do and the overwhelming crowds, but this year it was far better.

The Con is usually divided up into barely perceptible sections. You have the booths of the main players and large companies (Dark Horse, Square Enix, Nintendo, Capcom) which typically have demos to play or wares to sell. Then you get toward the smaller companies, and finally the small one or two man shops that only pop up at the con and typically sell one or two handmade things.

Some themes I noticed at the con this year:

Better managed: It was less crowded than last year. Last year I think the enormous Avenger's event contributed to a lot of overcrowding, as I found myself unable to get around at all. This year, while the crowds were still intense, it was much better managed.

The Avengers were still popular, though, as evidenced by this guy. There were a lot of Loki cosplayers, but he was the best one.

Things to do: The panels are not the main draw of Comic Con as they are at other conventions, like anime cons I've been too, but this year at least I was able to get into the panels I wanted to see. There were still lines, but none for longer than an hour, and as far as I could tell very few people were left wanting for any particular event.

Things to Buy: Last year I was actively trying to spend money on cool swag and could find nothing. This year I ran out of money. There were a lot more smaller vendors and far fewer giant displays of cool items that weren't actually for sale, which meant I could go home at the end of the day and feel like I actually had something to show for it. I ended my excursion with four comic books and a T-shirt.

Things to see: Video game demos were fun, but there wasn't much new at this con, mostly things you can read about on the internet. No big Avengers event or screenings. But, at cons like these, it's the fans that entertain each other.

From bottom to top, we have an original design bunny girl, Mr T, Neku from the video game The World Ends With You, Pit from the video game Kid Icarus, King Hippo from the video game Punch Out!, Master Roshi from the anime Dragon Ball, and Tiger and Bunny from the anime Tiger and Bunny. Thanks to all for letting me take your picture!

Oh, and one last thing at this con: Ponies were everywhere. 

You could find these cards all over the place, along with little miniature pony figures.

 In sum, a great day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Working on a new series

Sorry I've been gone so long, but I have been hammering out the details of a new series. This one is steampunk. 

Currently book one is complete, and book two is half done. I anticipate at least four books, each one about 25-30k.

I'll leave you all with a teaser blurb:

Lord Kenneth Victeni has every opportunity and every privilege. As the noble son of a powerful mage, he puts little thought into the lives of the talentless, the second class citizens who cannot use magic in a world ruled by mages.

That changes when he meets Thorn, a talentless who is studying at the inventor’s college, where those without magic develop steam powered technology. The two men share a mutual attraction, and what’s more, Thorn just might be Kenneth’s lifemate-the man who, with just his presence, can double Kenneth’s magical power.

Kenneth’s ignorance of the lives of the talentless puts an obstacle in their budding relationship, however, and his life grows even worse when another magi at the collegium attacks and nearly kills him. Now Thorn and Kenneth must put aside their argument and find a way to put a stop to a mage who poses a threat to others-and along the way, Kenneth might even learn the sensitivity he needs to win over Thorn.

Keep an eye out for updates about my new series!

Monday, August 13, 2012

What kind of story would you like to see?

I was away for a week, but I'm back now!

Over at the Gay Science Fiction group on Goodreads, I'm in charge of something rather fun-a story prompt thread!

It's happening over here! You can request a story idea you want to see, and I (or many other talented M/M authors) may write a story about your prompt!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Release!

The final book in the WaterLord Trilogy is out: Water!

Killing Ruthen is not as easy as it seems. The Lord has cemented his power with more than just flames, and Tom and Nathan will have to overturn a longstanding tradition to achieve their dream, which has become more than just revenge. Now, they know they must fight for freedom.

Get it now from Extasy Books!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Quick update-added some reviews!

So I added in some links to the reviews of my books that have popped up around the internet. I'm very grateful to those who took the time to read and review them-thanks all! You can find them under the new "Reviews" tab.

Also, you'll notice that my site added a welcome page. I'll have to think of a fun picture to add.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Flash of Memory

            What Herman loved most about Nicholas was his strength.
            “Don’t move,” the dark haired man whispered as he placed firm metal hands on Herman’s hips in the dark. “And don’t make a sound.”
            Herman bit his lip as a wet tongue trailed down his stomach, past his navel, tracing a path onto his hips. The metal hands-cold at first, but warming on Herman’s hips-moved down too, to rest on Herman’s thighs, where his flesh joined the metal of his own enhanced legs.
            Nicholas pinned Herman’s legs down, hard. He was one of the few cyborgs in their platoon that intimidated Herman with his sheer power.
            Then he swallowed Herman’s weeping erection in his soft warm mouth, and Herman forgot about everything but the sensation of being sucked. Fire traveled through his body, peaking at the root of his cock, and coiled there, surging with every movement of the dark haired man’s mouth.
            “Nicholas…” He breathed a moan, fighting not to buck his hips. “So good.”
            He nearly cried out when Nicholas released him. “Be quiet,” Nicholas hissed, a smile evident in his tone. Herman nodded, wondering if Nicholas could see it. He didn’t know if the other cyborg had infra red or not.
            Nicholas returned to his task, and Herman choked back another moan. The other man’s tongue wrapped around the head of his cock as he pulled back, his lips tight, and Herman surged, the darkness of their shared room obliterated by pleasurable nothingness.
            Nicholas leaned down and kissed him hard on the lips, sharing Herman’s semen. “Tomorrow will be my turn,” he whispered. “I want you inside me tomorrow night.” He kissed him again, then left, padding across the floor to his own bed.
            Herman nodded once more in the dark.

Herman had learned quickly that he had to duck to fit through the doorways of the ship they flew on. It aggravated him, all the more so because he had so little to do.
“Another day of inactivity.” Reiner grumbled from his place at the table as Herman and Nicholas sat down. “The pilots get to do all the work.”
“It’s not so bad,” Nicholas said, grabbing a piece of dried rations from the center of the table. “They don’t find transports, we get to relax. They do, they blow them up-we get to relax.”
“I want to board and take prisoners, like we’re supposed to.” Reiner raised his voice. “I was not built this way to sit around.” He clenched his metal fist.
Nicholas shrugged, brushing crumbs off of the finger of his gloved hands. He peered at Herman out of the corner of his eye, and Herman shifted, his face heating. Nicholas could do a lot when his hands were gloved…
“Well if we never see any combat-” Reiner began to protest, and then the alarms rang.
“Looks like your prayers are answered,” Nicholas said with a frown. “That’s the tone for one of the King’s defense ships.”
“Finally.” Reiner stood up, heading toward his room to get his weapon. Herman followed suit, his heart already beginning to pound.

Herman knelt by Nicholas, gripping his laser tightly while gunfire pinged around them, lead bullets bouncing off the metal walls of the ship.
“There are four of them,” Nicholas whispered. “I’m going to shoot out the lights. Infra red and take them out while they’re blind and confused.”
So he did have infra red. “Yes.” Nicholas raised his laser and fired, the sizzling red beam slicing through the cable that jutted from the ship’s wall. As the room plunged into darkness, Herman activated infra red and stood, the defenders moving in shrouds of red and green.
He fired his own laser, just once, slicing through all four-but not before a bullet pinged off of the metal wall behind them. Nicholas thudded to the ground, the sound like a club.
“Nicholas?” Herman dropped his laser, placing a shaking hand on Nicholas’s shoulder. His blurry form shifted in Herman’s infra red vision, as blood pooled below him.
“I’m hit,” Nicholas wheezed. “Bad. Ricochet.” Herman swore aloud. The only advantage the defenders’ ancient weapons had were those ricochets. How stupid to forget that! He hit the button on his belt, the one that would send an emergency signal to their ship. Help would come. It had to.
“Can you get up?” Herman’s heart pounded sickeningly in his chest. Nicholas…no. The only person Herman had ever met who was like him, who knew what it was like to be a cyborg and would indulge in pleasure…This couldn’t be happening. Chilling fear tightened his throat. “Nicholas, can you get up?”
“I don’t know,” Nicholas coughed. “I’m bleeding. A lot.”  Herman swallowed against a sick anxiety.
            “Relax, Herman,” once again he heard the familiar smile in Nicholas’s words. “I’ll be fine. We won, right? I just have to get to sick bay.” He gave a tired sigh, tight with pain.
            A door crashed open, familiar popping sounds filling Herman’s ears as three other men entered the room, bursts of heat as they fired through the door visible in infra red. He heard Reiner’s bellow of rage.
            Another laser blast, and the men went down. It took every bit of training Herman had not to call for help. If there were other enemies, that would only bring death down on them both.
            The room was silent, the only sound Nicholas’s labored breathing. It began to grow softer, and Herman’s heart raced, even faster than it did during battle. He had never lost anyone before. He couldn’t lose Nicholas. Where were the medics?
            “Nicholas!” he hissed.
            “Sh, Herman…” His voice was weaker, labored with pain. “Go on. Win the battle. Help can’t come otherwise.”
Herman’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not leaving you here.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Nicholas ground out, and his words stabbed. “Fight for me.”
Herman’s gut twisted as he leaned down kissed Nicholas softly on the lips. “I’ll come back. I promise.”

He met up with Reiner in the hall outside the room. The two cyborgs teamed up without a word, taking down everyone who approached.
Every minute of battle felt like hours. Herman couldn’t keep his mind off of Nicholas, off of the bleeding form of his lover on the ground and the sensation of his soft lips. That wouldn’t be the last time they kissed. It couldn’t be. He would fight, and Nicholas would live.
Every shot he fired was perfect. When a desperate soldier tried to sneak up on him from behind, he whirled and used the hidden blade in his artificial arm to dispatch him with little effort. He ignored Reiner’s nod of appreciation.
Sweat dripped down his neck-and then the communicator at his belt buzzed. The ship shuddered.
They had won.
Herman whirled, heading back down the halls to where Nicholas lay. The lights came on, power from the generator, as he entered the room.
A pool of blood lay on the floor. Nicholas was gone.

“Where is he?” The small medic outside the sick bay backed up against the slate gray wall, his eyes wide. “Tell me where he is!” Herman demanded.
“Soldier!” Herman froze, the voice of Commander Nitle echoing off of the ships walls. “You are out of line. Come with me.”
Swallowing his fear and anger, Herman fell into step behind Nitle. He towered over the unmodified man, but he would never dream of disobeying.
“It was a hard battle?”
“Nicholas was injured,” Herman tried to keep emotion out of his voice, and failed. “I…he is a friend.”
“Yes, I see.” They turned the corner, and Herman stifled a sigh. The Da Vinci’s. Maintenance after a battle-routine.
“Relax, Herman. This will take a bit longer than usual.” He wanted to ask why, but he would never question the commander. As soon as this was done, he would go and see Nicholas.
He closed his eyes as the Da Vinci bots spread over him.
Some time later, he sat up, testing the strength in his modifications. His head hurt, just slightly, but that could just be a stiff neck from lying on the metal table for so long.
“Greetings, Herman,” Commander Nitle said with a smile. “I am pleased to inform you that you will be reassigned after helping to win the battle today. Your belongings have been collected. Report to the shuttle bay.”
“Yes sir.” Herman stood, and for a moment he wondered if he had somewhere else to go-someone to see.
No. There was only one other cyborg on this ship, and he and Reiner had never really gotten along. “Thank you, sir.”


            “Herman?” Blaze’s voice intruded into his thoughts. “Does it work?”
            Herman removed the electrode-covered tiara, staring down at the looping wires. Ancient technology, but powerful. They had discovered a lot in this dead city.
            “Yes, it does.”
            “That’s great!” Blaze’s green eyes shone. “What did you remember?” Blaze leaned against him, his lips cool on his forehead. “Anything interesting?”
            “A few things.” The number flashed through his mind from Aver’s computer. 25-61S. And now he had a name.
            He would never be able to keep his promise. The Distant Rule had made him break it.
            Herman pulled Blaze closer, the smaller man gasping as Herman hugged him. He would never break such a promise again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Congrats to the first winner!

Congratulations to Kari over on Goodreads, who won a free copy of Remembrance! The prize has been sent out!

The contest to win a free copy of Air is still on over at Hearts on Fire reviews!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012


Hey all, who's up for a game?

This game is easy. All you have to do is check out the Goodreads Gay Science Fiction group and post in my Author of the Month thread. If you do, you enter your name into a hat (it's a virtual hat, very spiffy) with a chance to win my newest release! Below you can find the blurb and a sneak peak at the first chapter.

So what is being released? Drumroll please:

The war is over. The majority of humanity has fled the dying planet to live in space, leaving behind a chemical called Overgrowth that will speed up the restoration of the war torn world.

Some were left behind, and not all by choice. As one chapter of humanity comes to a close, a soldier who thought he had nothing left and a historian who sees potential even in destruction will make a life out of what remains. 

Chapter 1

A man strode out of the forest, his blond hair gray in the ashy light of the streetlamps and the roiling fog, which clung like a cat to his legs. A loose hinge on the side of his tattered briefcase rattled lightly as he walked.
“Got anything?” A leathery man held out a hand from the shadows, his voice creaking as he spoke. “Just a bit?” The tall man passed by without answering, and the beggar became lost in the fog.
The man walked by metal structures, some of them leaning crazily to one side or the other and some standing firm. Flickering lights and fluorescent hums marked those that had survived, though the signs spelled only gibberish in the roiling mist. Pictures could still be made out, mostly of red lips, long legs and huge breasts. Words were unnecessary. The man turned down a narrow street, putting his back to the signs.
There were no leaning buildings here, and the grit from the main street had amassed in full so that the man’s footsteps crunched rather than clacked. Wooden buildings, dwarfed by the metal ones still visible in the skyline, promised light and food. Voices could be heard here, female and male, laughing uproariously at some common joke. The words here were etched or carved into the wood. The man took his chances on one, a sign that waved in the damp wind with faded letters that promised “Bes Drosoph in the City.”
A woman whose ribs showed through the skintight clothing she wore opened the door for him, a smile plastered on her face. “Lemme guess-pounds over pity?”
The man nodded, the pupils of his eyes constricting painfully in the light. He didn’t usually stay long in these places, where those who had been left behind scraped to live as they could, indulging in the glaring phosphorescence of the buildings that surrounded them.
His feet thudded heavily on the wooden floorboards, making them creak. No one looked up save for one young girl bedecked in plastic pearls, and she smiled at him as winningly as she could with a mouthful of graying teeth.
The man looked away, focusing on the rough grain of the wood as he took a seat. A group of men to his right slapped their table, making the dishware rattle.
“Over here, Nella!” The girl’s wide hips swayed invitingly as she walked, the folds of her blue dress brushing the man’s ear as she strode by. She turned to smile at him, a ruby rictus, before a long haired man grabbed her with one arm, pulling her into his lap.
“You’re good luck, beauty.” He chuckled, and she bit her lip as she adjusted herself to straddle the burly man’s knee. His thick arm completely covered her waist, and she slumped in his grasp.
The tall man turned away, carefully placing the battered briefcase under the table. For a time he closed his eyes and basked in the presence of other people, letting their conversations wash over him. He had traveled alone for a long time.
“Ouch! Don’t bite me!”
“Four aces!”
“Have you heard? Another youth gang hit the food stores.”
“Oh really? Then why do we have this then?”
“You think this is any good?! I shoulda ordered the pork. And this beer tastes like weasel piss.”
“There are no weasels here, idiot.”
Forks clanged on plates, feet tapped on the floor, and laughter rose and fell. Low voices discussed sweet nothings in the room above the lounge, and he tried to make out what they said.
A tap on his shoulder finally stirred him from his concentration. “You can’t sleep in here, you know. You need a room for that.” The slim hipped woman from before stood over him, a twang of annoyance in her voice hiding behind her plaster smile.
“I’m merely relaxing,” he spoke, his voice a rasping whisper. “May I order a meal?”
The woman blinked long lashes in surprise at his voice, and her mouth turned down. “What do you want?”
“The pork.”
“To drink?”
“Just water.”
The woman sashayed away to fulfill the request. The man closed his eyes, letting the voices in the room wash over him once more. When his food arrived he ate slowly, waiting for the water that was supposed to accompany it. Then a clatter at the table caught his attention.
A dark haired man had sat down across from him.
“What’s your name?” he asked hurriedly, his voice pitched low.
“Aldric,” the man answered, pain finally blooming in his throat as he spoke. He tensed as he watched the other man’s eyes rove around the room like a hunted animal. His damaged, rasping voice, ordinarily off-putting to the people he met, didn’t seem to faze this one.
“Alright, Aldric, I’m Daniel. Just pretend you know me. Please? Just…talk.”
“What about?” Aldric listened. There was nothing dangerous here that he could sense, no indication of what this man could be running from. Then again, with no real law enforcement, no structure since the end of the war save for one rulesurvive as long as you cana certain amount of paranoia was expected.
“Where do you live? Around here? I don’t recognize you.”
Aldric sighed. “I am a traveler. I’ve come from…inland.”
“A traveler?” Some of the tension left his companion, replaced with curiosity. “How far have you come?”
Aldric looked away from the other man’s gaze, watching as the woman who was supposed to be serving him water got waylaid by two men who stared at his new companion out of the corner of their eyes. One of them palmed the woman’s breasts, and the other whispered in her ear. She smiled and her eyes met his. “A long way.”
“I’d love to hear about your travels,” the man said, speaking just a bit louder to get his attention. Aldric shifted his gaze, wondering if his new table companion had noticed the two men. His eyes were fixed on Aldric. “No one here has ever left and come back.”
“Is it…nice here?” Where had the two men gone? Now there was only the woman, filling the pitcher, and the other one, called Nella, shrieked as some other man tickled her.
Finally the other man followed his gaze. “Look, I’ll buy you a nice woman for the night if you just
Aldric stood and caught the knife that had whistled through the air inches from the dark haired man’s ear, the blade slicing through the fabric of his glove and then stopping. He turned and locked eyes with one of the men, the one who had whispered to the girl, who ran out the door. Voices quieted for only a moment before the buzz resumed. Something like this was not uncommon here.
The dark haired man’s eyes boggled. “Are…is your hand alright?” He reached for it, and Aldric snatched it away, pocketing the knife.
“There’s still one more. You should leave.”
“Alone?” the man squeaked. “Why not come with me?” When Aldric narrowed his eyes, he continued, “If you’re a traveler, you need a place to stay, and you’ve already saved my life once. Let me repay you? C’mon, I need your help.”
Aldric raised an eyebrow. If he was desperate enough to be begging strangers… “Lead on then.”
The two stood up together and headed out into the dirty night air. Aldric had never gotten his glass of water, but he threw a few coins onto the table anyway.
As he followed the man, who walked hunched as if to hide himself, the dingy shops gave way to shacks and houses, gaping holes in the sides on some of them signaling either the presence of an inhabitant or lack of one. No shortage of housing here. Mud began to squelch around Aldric’s boots as he walked further, and though the streets were more mired and pitted, at least the houses began to look nicer as they moved away from the heart of the city.
Aldric watched his new companion closely. He had seen his like before, the same furtive, nervous walk that betrayed a long time of persecution, coupled with a strong desire to live. What did this man have to live for? Who targeted him? This curiosity led Aldric to walk silently behind Daniel, using years of training to accomplish the same vigilance that Daniel clumsily tried to perform.
He sensed them long before Daniel did, and gave no sign of it. Three men and a dog. The dog attacked first, growls cutting the night, and Aldric stepped in front of its target, throwing him arm up as the animal leapt for Daniel.
Teeth clamped down, and Aldric spun and threw the animal to the ground, shoulder muscles straining under the weight. With a pivot he faced the men who had begun to run toward them with clubs held high. The fingers of his right arm twitched, as though preparing to fire a gun he did not hold.
The men slowed and stopped when they saw the dog limping away, realizing their ambush had failed. The two groups faced each other for a moment before the men shrank back into the shadows, scattering and disappearing behind houses and fallen wood.
“Once again, thank you.” Daniel moved close to him, so close Aldric could smell his piney scent. He kept clean, too. Unusual in a place like this.
“Is you arm alright?” Aldric took a step back, giving Daniel a firm nod. The man stared, his gaze fixed for a moment, before shrugging and turning.
“Come on. We’re almost there, and I don’t think they’ll try anything again tonight.”

* * * *

They crossed a muddy, pitted track that was once probably a creek or stream, the forest looming close and the lights and stink of the city receding. Fitting.
“Here we are.” Daniel jogged up the steps of a stone house that looked to once have housed at least two families. Unlocking numerous deadbolts from keys on his belt, he thrust the heavy metal door open and waved Aldric inside. Fluorescent lights stung his eyes as he entered, ducking through the warped doorway. It looked almost like a bunker.
“Let me see your hand. Take off your gloves.” Daniel moved toward him, arms outstretched.
“No.” Aldric firmly stepped away. “I am fine.”
“That dog bit you! I saw it! And the knife…” He trailed off in the face of Aldric’s firm stare.
“So you’re really fine?” Aldric nodded, standing stiffly in the foyer.
“Fine then. Well…I guess I owe you hospitality, and breakfast too, since you saved me twice. Do you want to sleep now, or maybe you could tell me about your-”
“Sleep,” Aldric said gruffly, ignoring Daniel’s disappointment. “Do you…have running water here?”
“I do. There’s a bathroom and sink down the hall. You can sleep here on the floor, or if you don’t mind, we can share the bed in the other room.”
The offer tempted him. Once such an offer would mean something, but now Aldric knew that sharing a bed was simply a necessity of the times, a comfortable place to sleep snatched whenever and wherever it could be. Even so…he couldn’t risk it.
“The floor is fine.”
“Really? Well, if you’re sure…”
“I am.”
“Alright. I have extra blankets. There’s no heat, but that hasn’t been a problem for years now.” He flashed a sad smile. “I guess I’ll head to bed. Um, thanks again for your help. I hope…I mean, well…”
Aldric cocked his head, waiting.
“It’s nothing. I’ll take you out for breakfast in the morning. Good night. Give me ten and then the bathroom is all yours.”
Aldric ran a gloved hand through his hair, then set up his blankets into a makeshift bed on the floor. Daniel confused him, being kind, or perhaps desperate, enough to invite him into his home after having barely known him. Other people in his travels had rarely been so caring.
It would certainly not last, so he might as well try to enjoy it. Aldric prepared for sleep after Daniel entered the bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Rummaging through his suitcase, Aldric moved his gun and tools out of the way and took out a change of clothes, then locked it up again. He slept in the clothes he had worn that day, down to the gloves. He would change in the morning, before Daniel awoke. It would not do if the other man saw him.
Sleep came easily, unusual for Aldric.

Want more? Check out the Goodreads Gay Science Fiction group and post in my author of the month thread for a chance to win it!