The Boys of Summer: Available again Monday Dec 21!

BoysofSummer[The]FSI’m very pleased to announce that the award-winning M/M romance, The Boys of Summer, will be re-released on Monday, December 21st, 2015!

This story, without a doubt a personal favorite of mine, also has the deepest emotional meaning for me. It’s the best story I’ve ever written, and yet it is also the one that probably the fewest people have heard of because it was my very first self-publishing effort, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way. Therefore it is with great pleasure that I can say this revised version is a work I can truly be proud of.

 

I’ll be doing blog posts and giveaways in various places over the next couple of weeks, including a Twitter Takeover of the Dreamspinner Twitter account Tues, Dec 22 from 7-9 EST. Be sure to join me for some lighthearted chat about books, movies, heroes, and what makes us love them so much! I’ll be taking part in Divine Magazine.net’s 12 Days of Christmas celebration on Dec 18th (my post is here–be sure to stop in for my famous sausage ball recipe, as well as the giveaway!) and K-lee Klein’s marvelous 31 Days of Gratitude posts and giveaways and Aisling Mancy’s site on Dec 21st, as well as stopping by to visit with my good friend Anna Butler. So come join the fun and enter to win in one of the many on-going giveaways!

You can pre-order The Boys of Summer now from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance ebooks and many other third party vendors.

The Boys of Summer (novel) :

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches…and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton.

Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late? Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. Nominated Best Historical in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards. Selected as a Best Read in 2013 by Jessewave and a Top Pick Read by The Romance Reviews. Winner of Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

On: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. All Romance e-books.

The Romance ReviewFinalistSMHonorableMentionSMBest_Historical.N (1)1st place

Textual Attraction by K-lee Klein: Book Release, Excerpt & Giveaway!

TextualAttraction

Title:Textual Attraction

Author: K-lee Klein

Publisher: Amber Quill Press

Blurb: Lewis has spent most of his adult life looking after his aging parents, and he recently ended a relationship with a domineering guy who’d been nothing but bad for him. Despite his less-than-stellar track record with men, he’s still hopeful there’s someone out there for him, but he’s learned to be careful with his heart.

So he can’t figure out why a cryptic, gruff, drunken voice mail from a stranger named Jerry doesn’t make him hit the DELETE button. It’s clear the man’s got the wrong number. But when Jerry begins to text, Lewis finally responds saying he’s not the guy Jerry wants. Jerry, however, is nothing if not persistent, and he keeps texting and teasing Lewis, even after he knows the truth.

Lewis is surprised when something sparks between them. Jerry turns out to be charming and witty, and they develop an odd friendship through text messages. When Jerry suggests they finally meet in person, Lewis is apprehensive, yet curious. Can he take the big step to meet Jerry face-to-face? More importantly, can he maybe even trust Jerry with his heart?

K-lee and I share a great love of superheroes–especially Captain America! Who are your heroes and why?

Be sure to comment below with your email and name your favorite superhero to be entered to win an e-copy!

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Excerpt

“I’m acting ridiculous,” he said to absolutely no one. “It’s only a phone call. Doesn’t mean it has to be bad news or any news at all.” He’d seen his mother earlier, and he’d heard his father shuffling around the apartment, so Lewis’ two biggest fears were unfounded.

With the gentle slide of his finger, he arrived at the voicemail page. He didn’t recognize the number, but he threw caution to the wind, guessed his password in two shots, and pressed the play button.

Hey, Tom. It’s Jerry…” LOL!

Tom and Jerry, really? Now all Lewis could picture was a feuding cat and mouse, and that made him feel old—old and extremely curious.

I know we didn’t end on good terms last week, but I found that color-challenged knit cap of yours in between the cushions of my couch. I know you’re pretty attached to it, so I figured you’d want it back. You already have my number…or maybe you don’t. It’s 555-6722, so, you know, if you want it just give me a call or else I’ll just drop it in the lap of that homeless guy down on Seventh. Doesn’t matter to me. Yeah, okay…well, later…or not.

Lewis quite liked the deep, raspy voice. It was one of very few kinks for him, surely obtained from television and movies with hot growly men in them. 🙂 Kink aside, he found himself interested in the stranger in the message, despite the weird cartoon names and telltale slur he attributed to alcohol. The background noise was rife with loud music and glass bottles clinking together. Calling from a bar to return, or not return, an ugly cap didn’t seem the perfect way to go about talking to someone. But who was Lewis, who rarely used the phone at all, to judge?

When he finally fell asleep, visions of knit caps danced in his head. They sat atop two lumberjacks he was certain he’d seem in one lumbersexual calendar or another. Yeah, that was definitely another kink of his lately. Unfortunately, they had the disturbing faces of a cat and mouse with appropriate matching plaid shirts and sexy growls. The men-animals were moving in what Lewis could only describe as the worst twerking dance ever, and, oddly enough, were accompanied by a dance version of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).”

Textual Attraction
Available November 22, 2015 from Amber Quill Press
35% off during first week of release
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Bio

K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember. In an attempt to avoid major writer’s block, she keeps the image of muse on her leg so he can’t run off too far, unfortunately it doesn’t work all the time. K-lee’s days consist of planning her next tattoo design for her growing collection, having a lot of baths since her muse loves the water, and fighting off an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small who continually bounce off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.

Among her favorite sub-genres to read and write are rock stars, cowboys, shifters, friends-to-lovers, and opposites-attract relationships. But to be honest, she’s open to almost anything if it involves messing around in the heads of her characters. She’s also big on series—because she has a hard time letting her characters go—and is usually working on a handful of stories in various stages of completion all at the same time.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com

Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon

Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/

Textual Attraction: Amber Quill Press – 35% off for one week only!

Promo_TextualAttraction

The Sacrfice and Other Stories by Kim Fielding: A Special Anothology for a Special Cause

Sacrifice color2The Sacrifice and Other Stories
by Kim Fielding

A sickly man seeks recovery in a seaside cottage.

A temple slave tends a man due to be sacrificed.

A soldier releases a genie.

In seven fantasy short stories and novellas, men find passion with other men in the most unexpected places, and even the gravest circumstances may open the door to hope and love.

This anthology includes two brand-new short stories. In “The Sacrifice,” Rylo is a temple slave tasked with comforting a man who is scheduled to be killed in the morning. In “Chasing Away Cold,” Daku builds an ice sculpture of the god Jarli in order to ensure the end of winter. The collection also includes three novellas and two additional short stories, gathered for the first time in a single volume. “Treasure” introduces Jules, a young man who travels to the quirky seaside town of Urchin Cove to regain his health—and finds an unexpected treasure washed up on the beach. Xolani, a soldier in “Three Wishes,” picks up a small glass bottle and unleashes a surprise. Another soldier, Volos in “Guarded,” will risk everything to save Prince Berhanu. In the sequel, “Mato’s Tale,” an unassuming innkeeper gets a chance for adventure. And in “The Downs,” Enitan is unjustly banished and comes to discover that the demons he must face aren’t the ones he expected.

Join Kim Fielding on journeys through imagined worlds where magic is commonplace and romance lies just around the next bend. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers.

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Available now for preorder from Amazon. Releases November 27.
http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Other-Stories-Kim-Fielding-ebook/dp/B0180W71RY/

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Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

You can find Kim
On her blog: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites
On Twitter: @KFieldingWrites
Or via email: kim@KFieldingWrites.com

***

For more on Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers or to donate directly to them: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

***

Excerpt (from “Chasing Away Cold”):

She knelt, scooped a handful of snow, and stood to hold it before her. “This is nothing special—simply water that has frozen and melted and frozen again. But sometimes something very important may come from nothing at all. It depends on the heart of the maker.” She dropped the snow and pressed her hand against Daku’s chest. “The contents of a heart can change everything.”

Although he didn’t understand, he nodded. Then he gave her the cup and turned to complete the ice man.

He took particular care over the face: a narrow chin and broad cheekbones, far-set eyes with a slight downward tilt at the outside, a strong nose, and lips stretched in a wide smile. The ice man’s hair was straight, falling well below his shoulders.

“You’ve made him beautiful,” Yalamay said. Daku couldn’t say whether she’d gone and returned or had been standing there the entire time.

“He is beautiful. I only… I only tried to show that.”

Yalamay nodded as if this made perfect sense. “I knew you were the right one for this.”

Aside from Daku’s mother, people rarely praised him, and Yalamay was always sparing with her commendations. Daku should have preened under her rare words. But he was too preoccupied with what he had created. The ice man looked so real, so joyful. And in a few short hours he would be destroyed.

Daku swallowed with difficulty, but he managed a small smile when Yalamay patted his back. “Thank you for letting me do this,” he said.

“I won’t always be here, my boy. And none in the tribe but you could make Jarli so well.”

“Don’t go!” Daku cried, as if she could somehow stop death.

She chuckled. “I am pleased to be appreciated. But Daku, everything changes eventually. Winter becomes spring becomes summer becomes autumn becomes winter. Youngsters grow old and babies are born. Even hard stone is worn away”—she gestured at the rock on which the ice man stood—“but new plants grow.” She gestured toward the forest. “Someday this world will see changes that are so far beyond the tribe’s dreaming. But a few things remain unaltered. Do you know what those things are?”

“The gods?”

Her laughter startled a nearby crow from its branch. “Oh no, my boy. Gods and goddesses change too. More slowly than humans, perhaps, but no less inevitably. But the world contains magics even more powerful than gods, and the strength of those magics never changes. What are they?”

At first his mind was as blank as a fresh layer of snow. But Yalamay looked at him expectantly, and Daku remembered the conversation he’d had with his mother earlier in the day. “Love and courage.”

“Very good! There are others too, but I think those are an excellent start.”

***

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Have the Guts to Gut Your Story

frustrated-writerWell, it’s November, which means almost everyone I know is doing NaNoWrMo–the challenge to write a 50 K novel in 30 days. At least, it seems that everyone I know is doing it, based on the way my social media is exploding with word counts and updates, as well as posts on NaNo. Not me. I applaud anyone who does NaNo, I love the idea of having that network of support pushing you to write some every day. It *is* the best way to complete a story. But it doesn’t work for me. I don’t mean the part about working on your story a little bit every day–that is good advice and the best way I know to stay connected–and committed–to the story at hand. No, for me, the hard part about NaNo is the stricture that you not go back and self-edit, that you move ahead with the story as written each day. No massaging of text or tweaking the previously written material.

This is so much the antithesis of how I write that the one and only time I attempted NaNo, it sent me in to my first (and worst) case of writer’s block. NOT the intention of the challenge, I suspect. For me there’s a fine balance between moving forward and making sure your story has a strong enough foundation to support it.

Siege_of_Peking,_Boxer_RebellionThat’s the problem I’m having with my current WIP. I’m a good enough carpenter to know when something is off-kilter and out of balance, and yet I’ve been struggling for the better part of the last six months to make this story work as written because Jeez Louise, it’s sitting at 45 K, which means it’s halfway done. To stop now and have to go back to pull down walls because the floor isn’t level? Argh! Surely that can be overlooked, right? No one will notice. To say I’m at the halfway point is arbitrary anyway. There’s no set story-length. All those ‘rules’ of story-telling were created by the publishing industry in order to create a cost-effective and marketable printed book. All bets are off in the digital era, right? I don’t need your stinkin’ rules!

Um, no. It doesn’t quite work that way. In fact, the reason I’ve been struggling with this story for so long now is I can feel that the balance is off. I know in my gut that it’s wrong and I can’t keep forging ahead in the hope that it will somehow come out right in the end. In fact, the further out you go from a crooked starting point, the worse the deviation from the correct path becomes. And the last thing I want to do is pull down an entire house because there’s a serious crack in the foundation. Much better to solve the problem now, even if it means gutting a good bit of the existing work.

Yeah. Because I’m looking at having to cut about 15 K of extraneous story to get back to the structure of the thing and make it right. And ouch. That hurts. It hurts because some of those scenes are fun, and we all need fun in our lives. It hurts because we’ve been trained to think of word counts as the ultimate sign of a day’s progress, and yikes–this is like back-tracking several weeks for me.

But word counts are NOT the end-all and be-all of writing. To strain the metaphor further, at the end of the construction, what we want is a solid, sturdily-built house that will hold up for the next thirty or forty years–longer if we’re really lucky. And while the ‘rules’ of storytelling should be somewhat fluid, in that we shouldn’t wed ourselves to formulaic guidelines simply because that’s how it has always been done, most of us recognize when a story is off-balance. We know it because we read a LOT and we know what feels right. We know the difference between good storytelling and bad. You shouldn’t ignore that inner writer’s instinct that tells you when something isn’t working.

crumpleI’m not talking about that point in the story (and we all reach it) where you’re convinced you’re holding a sack of crap and nothing in the universe can transmute it into anything else. For me, that’s usually the 3/4 mark of any story, the point at which the writing becomes hard, when I’m certain I’m an idiot and there’s no hope for the story. No. I’m not talking about that. We need to learn our own writing cycles and when to ignore the routine run-of-the-mill crippling self-doubt. This is far more subtle. It’s sensing that an engine is running at less-than-optimum efficiency. It’s noticing that the floor is warped and things tend to roll to the right. It’s the certain knowledge that if you put a level to your story, the bubble wouldn’t be in the center.

A shoddy contractor would be tempted to hide this fact before it became apparent to everyone else. That’s a mistake. Because if it is apparent to you as the author, it sure as hell will be apparent to the reader. The longer you plug away at an inherently flawed story without fixing the underlying problem, the harder the edits will be too. And that, in a nutshell, is my problem with NaNo. Sometimes it’s smarter to stop what you’re doing and fix the problem before you cover it up with brilliant work that will only have to be torn down again. It’s easier to write a clean copy the first time than to repair a damaged one.

So don’t feel bad if NaNo is not for you. And don’t be afraid to follow your gut instincts and gut a story that isn’t working out. In the end, the revised story will be the better for your efforts. You’ll see.

In other news, Truth and Consequences was listed as an October Recommended Read by Prism Book Alliance, and there’s a giveaway going on at their page. Truth and Consequences has received stellar reviews from Rainbow Book Reviews and the Paranormal Romance Guild, among others, which just makes my heart sing.

Looking ahead to next month, The Boys of Summer will be re-released as a revised version Dec 21, so Merry Christmas to everyone!

 

Tempted in Texas by Sara York, Book Tour, Excerpt and HUGE Giveaway!

Title: Tempted in Texas
Author: Sara York
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2015
Rusty Briggs knows his chance of finding a man while living outside of Sweetwater, Texas are slim to none. Few know about his little secret, but his ranch hands have run out on him and the folks in town aren’t as hospitable as they were before the incident. He’s resigned himself to the fact that working his ranch will have to be enough or he will need to sell and move to the big city…that is until he meets Trent Anderson. 

On the outside Trent appears to be a man with full access to silver spoons and caviar dreams, but his parents cut him off and tossed him out once they discovered he was gay. After living on the street, selling himself, then ending up in a destructive relationship, Trent pulled his life together and came out on top, all by using his compassion and intelligence—or so Trent thinks. Recently, Trent’s grandfather passed away and left him his ranch, as long as he meets a few conditions, like living in Texas for ninety days. But Trent’s secret benefactor, Reed, is dissatisfied that Trent isn’t living in Atlanta and wants him back. The only issue for Reed is that Trent is involved with Rusty. 
Money, greed, lust, and power work to keep Rusty and Trent apart. They are forced to trust each other when life falls apart, but can they actually become close enough in ninety days to create a solid, trusting relationship, or will old relationships come between them?

Writing is Sara’s life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on four or five books at once. She can’t help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning.
Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun. Almost a quarter of a century ago Sara met her lover, falling for him after knowing him for ten minutes. Sara’s passion for him comes out in her stories, mixing with her passion for life, love, and good times, flowing onto the page and becoming tales from the heart.

HOSTED BY:

Frenzied, Frazzled, but Still Having Fun: the Truth and Consequences Book Tour continues!

T&C spotlightI confess, I’ve fallen down on the job a bit here with the book tour… thankfully, the tour took a brief hiatus over the weekend, so perhaps I can catch up now!

Truth and Consequences is climbing the bestseller charts, and I’ve been delighted by its reception! Readers are emailing me, wanting to know more about the series and when they can expect the next installment–sadly, it will not be next week, as some people have hoped! 🙂 What I can tell you is that there will be more from Jerry Lee and John–and yes, we will be dealing with the Grimm Fairy Tale killer at long last–as well as John’s nemesis, who possesses the same powers he does, only he uses them for evil.

I also have plans to write more in the Crying for the Moon universe–Nick and Peter are begging for their backstory, and Viktor is not yet done with Alex and Tate, either! I’ve also got a Regency in the works, as well as contemporary romance set in the exciting world of sport horses and eventing–and in December, I’ll be re-releasing a revised version of The Boys of Summer! Such happy-making plans. The only problem is finding the time to write.

Branch ManagerThis past weekend was a good example. I trapped, neutered, and vaccinated the feral tom that has been hanging around picking fights with the other porch cats. The heavy rains and early leaf fall produced a bumper crop of mushrooms in the yard–and I caught one of the dogs eating a toxic Aminita species, so I had to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal. I’m trying to sell a house, deal with an insurance claim, cover barn duty for friends out of town dealing with their own family crises, field emergency calls, and put in a full day’s work. I might have been a bit cranky last night when I finally got home!

Still, I’d rather have tons of ideas and little time to write than all the time in the word but I stared a blinking cursor, not knowing what to say next! So be patient with me–I’m writing as fast as I can! Hopefully you’ll get new stories to read in a timely fashion. The very fact people are excited about the next one coming out just makes my day. You guys rock!

Here’s my tour schedule if you’d like to join in and check out the fun! Be sure to enter the giveaway too!

Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Oct: VWFOhMy!, The Blogger Girls, MM Good Book Reviews

15-Oct: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Lee Brazil

16-Oct: Iyana Jenna, Three Books Over The Rainbow, KathyMac Reviews

19-Oct: Kimi-Chan, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

20-Oct: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Emotion in Motion, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

21-Oct: Full Moon Dreaming, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Oct: The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie

23-Oct: Hearts on Fire, Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook

26-Oct: BFD Book Blog

27-Oct: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings 

Truth and Consequences by Sarah Madison: The Fun Continues!

T&C spotlightGood morning, everyone!

Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense series book 3) was launched yesterday, and we embarked on our book tour!

Today, we have stops at Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, and a rather racy interview on Lee Brazil‘s site! Do drop by and find out more about Jerry Lee and John’s planned adventures–be sure to enter the giveaway too!

 

While you’re at it, check out the lovely review for Truth and Consequences at Divine Magazine as well!

For the full tour schedule, check out the fabulous list below!

Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Oct: VWFOhMy!, The Blogger Girls, MM Good Book Reviews

15-Oct: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Lee Brazil

16-Oct: Iyana Jenna, Three Books Over The Rainbow, KathyMac Reviews

19-Oct: Kimi-Chan, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

20-Oct: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Emotion in Motion, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

21-Oct: Full Moon Dreaming, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Oct: The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie

23-Oct: Hearts on Fire, Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook

26-Oct: BFD Book Blog

27-Oct: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings 

WillPride_1

 

Release Day and Book Tour for Truth and Consequences by Sarah Madison!

T&C bannerIf you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited right now. Today is the release day for Truth and Consequences (Sixth Sense series, Book 3) and the launch of a two week book tour! I don’t know about you, but it feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this book to be released! But the day is finally here, and I can’t wait to share this story with you!

Here is the schedule, if you’d like to join in the fun!

T&C Schedule

 

 

 

I’ve got three stops today: Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My!, The Blogger Girls, and MM Good Book Reviews! Drop by and leave a comment. I’ll be giving away a free copy of Unspeakable Words (or if you have that already, something from my backlist).

Giving Love a Chance by Rachel Sparks: Enter to win a copy!

GLAC2_resizedToday I have Rachel Sparks here sharing a little about her latest release, Giving Love a Chance. It’s a powerful story told from the heart, and I know you’ll want to know more about it, as I do! Check out the interview, and be sure to leave a comment along with your email, if you want to be entered for a chance to win an e-copy of this story!

Hello! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my nosy discerning questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
I love writing. I love getting immerse into a story. I like to say I’m a writer with a different message and that I’m writing from my soul. Yes there is an underlying theme behind my stories.

What part of the world do you call home? Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and where you live now?
I was born in Maryland but my parents moved back to South Carolina when I was 2 weeks old. I just moved to another city in South Carolina and I’m proud to call it home because our Mayor supports LGBT rights.

Goodness, I hope you guys are okay with all that severe flooding that’s been in the news lately!

How long have you been writing? Did you write as a child or is it something you developed a passion for later in life?
I have been writing since I was a child. I started out writing poems but I have been a published author for 11 years. Although 7 of my books are out of print.

 I see you write M/M fiction. Would you characterize your stories as M/M romance, erotica, or something in between?
I guess you could say in between. There is always a message in my books, some suspense/mystery you can say. I write from the heart.

What draws you to the M/M genre? Have you written in other genres?
Yes I have wrote other genres but I wasn’t happy. I wrote what other people expected me to write or told me to write. One day I decided to write what was in my heart/soul. I started writing M/M and I am happy.

Of the stories you’ve written, which one do you like the most? Which one would you recommend a new reader begin with?

Giving Love A Chance. This is my new release. This story is about my life… the abusive marriage I was in. I changed it into M/M. I wanted people to understand the survivor of an abusive relationship. To see it through their eyes. It is a very powerful story.

Oh wow, that’s a very powerful well from which to draw life experiences for storytelling. I’m sure your insights will help others understand what it is like to escape from a toxic relationship, and how involved the healing process can be.

What are the three most important things in your life—the things you can’t do without?
My son, daughter-in-law, fur babies… my music, my computer and Netflix

If you could have one super power or magical element from popular science fiction movies or literature, what would it be and why?
To go back in time… to fix somethings… to get the winning lottery number…

Hah! I’d like to be able to do that too!

How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?
A good bit. Especially my latest release Giving Love A Chance. I did base it on my life story but did put some twist to it.

Research: love it or hate it?
Love research. It is exciting because you are at the beginning of your writing adventure.

Editing: love it or hate it?
I love my editor… she is the best. I wished I had found her years ago.

How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
They both play a very important role into the success of a story. It is what catches the reader’s eye.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, do you find what you listen to influences the story at all?
I don’t listen to music while I write. I play my favorite TV shows. Most people know what they are. Doctor Who, Torchwood and Arrow. I do listen to music while I walk and think. But to relax or help me sleep I only listen to John Barrowman.

Oh, now I’m really impressed! I love those shows too, but I can’t write anything with the TV on in the same room, unless it’s some sporting event. Otherwise my eye is drawn to the movement on the screen and I get sucked into  the story–even if I’ve seen it a hundred times before!

So glad to have you here today, Rachel! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and a little about your new story.

Readers: Be sure to leave a comment and your email address below if you’d like a chance to win an e-copy of Giving Love a Chance! Contest open until Oct 15th, one week from today.

BIO
Rachel Sparks grew up in South Carolina .With a degree in Early Childhood education and one in social work, she brings those skills to the table to write stories involving current social issues, a sprinkling of romance and powerful story lines.

Social Links
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Book Blurb
The perfect life was just a lie…
John Burrows had a wonderful husband who loved him. The job of his dreams. He had a loving family, loyal friends and adoring fans. His life was everything a man could hope for until it fell apart. Society says it does not happen, that it is all a lie, so John hid the truth from everyone until it was almost too late.

The truth was revealed…

Ben Tensley thought that meeting your soulmate on the most traumatic night of his life was hard. He discovered that watching the man you love try and heal in the middle of chaos was even harder. Ben and John struggle to find solid ground…until John’s nightmare returns.

Will John be strong enough to give love a chance?

This book deals with domestic abuse. I, myself am a survivor of domestic abuse.

Excerpt

John looked down at their hands and then laced his fingers with Ben’s.

Ben placed his hand lightly on John’s check. He stared deeply into John’s eyes. Ben could see the pain no matter how hard John tried to hide it. “Are you going to let me in, John?”

John swallowed and licked his lips.

Ben leaned in closer and closer to John. He was so close that John could feel the hot breath against his lips. He closed his eyes as he felt Ben press his mouth firmly, offering no resistance. He let Ben explore the depths of his mouth with his tongue. Ben knew this was more than just a connection. This was what he had been yearning for all these years.

John was exactly what he needed.

John put his hands on Ben’s chest and pushed him away. He could feel his heart pounding and hear it in his ears. “Wait… stop… please.”

Ben raised his hands and moved back. “I’m sorry, I thought you…”

John got up and walked over and placed his hands on a nearby table with his head down. He was trying to calm down. He felt fear gripping him.

Ben got up and walked over to the table. “Hey…”

John stood up. “Could you just back up please? I need some breathing room.”

Ben raised his hands and backed up. “I’m sorry.” Ben could have kicked himself. He had taken it too far and he knew it. At this rate he would never have a chance for a relationship with John.

John picked up a bottle of wine and poured himself a glass. He drained the entire glass in a matter of minutes.

“You want me to leave?”

John ignored Ben and filled his glass again, draining it quickly before slamming it on the table. “Hell no! I just need some space dammit!”

Ben walked around the table and took the wine bottle. “Look, I’m not going to stand here watch you drink an entire bottle of wine and cuss me out.”

John tried to reach for his wine bottle. “Then leave!”

Ben wouldn’t let him have the wine bottle. “I am not going to let you start drinking when you feel nervous around me. I’m not going to rape you. You wanted me to stop, and I did.”

John was curling his hands into fists.

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Where Wishes Go by S. A. McAuley: Book Tour and Giveaway!

Can you have second chance at first love?

I’m so pleased to be hosting S.A. McAuley here as part of the book tour for Where Wishes Go. Be sure to check out the tantalizing excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance at a prize you have to see to believe!

 

Title: Where Wishes Go
Author: S.A. McAuley
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Published: October 2, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Can you have a second chance at a first love? 

Nick Paine is just starting to return to normal after he told his wife he’s gay and asked for a divorce. Despite a daughter he loves dearly and a job he believes in, part of him is stuck in the past. He’s never forgotten the first love he let fade away fourteen years ago.

Adam “Izz” Azzi has settled into a happy rhythm. His daughter is healthy, he’s found a mosque that accepts him, and his work as a modern artist is gaining international attention. While his past is fraught with mistakes and what-ifs, his life now is good, and he doesn’t want to upset any of the balance he’s worked so hard to achieve.

When Nick and Izz are reunited by luck and fate, their attraction is just as undeniable, but what was left unsaid haunts them. They have hope for a future together, but wishing may not be enough.

 

“There is so much complexity to this story and I absolutely LOVED it all. Each of the main characters were so well written that you feel like you are truly getting to know them. I enjoyed the depth of their feelings as they were written on the page because it make me feel like I was the one going through those emotions. Great read and can’t wait to see more!” ~ Book Junky Girls

“All in all, this is a sweet second chance love story. It’s not just about romance, though- it’s about family and friendships- and it will leave you with a smile on your face. A solid 4 stars.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer

“Wow. Just… wow. This story was beautiful. Exceptional, heart-wrenching, gorgeous. The Romance genre is full of “love at first sight” stories, but this is a story about two men who fell in love as teenagers– fell in love slowly, painfully, piece by piece– and then were separated for years. It’s about never forgetting your first love, and getting a chance to reconnect and rekindle that relationship.” ~ Just Love Romance

CHAPTER ONE

NICK PAINE tried to duck as a gigantic scarlet bird whipped over his head and he began to lose his balance. The first airborne attack was followed a second later by a screech and another swooping red streak that caused him to crouch and fall to his knees. At least he was wearing jeans today instead of a suit.

Katie snorted, let loose a torrent of giggles, and pointed. “He’s not going to hurt you, Daddy.”

“Isn’t it me who’s supposed to be telling you that?” Nick scrunched his eyebrows together and tried to chastise his daughter while also searching the birdhouse for further threats.

Katie rolled her eyes and flipped her long blonde hair off to the side, appearing much older than her eight years. “Come on, Daddy. I’ll protect you.” She offered her hand, and Nick grinned as he stood, taking her tiny hand in his.

It was a Wednesday morning, one in which Nick should have been sitting in a colorless conference room listening to doctors and administrators fight each other over inane operational details, but despite the threat of being pecked to death by tropical birds, Nick didn’t want to be anywhere else.

It was rare he was able to escape from work during the day, and this field trip to the zoo with Katie’s class had been the perfect excuse. The hospital system was always there. It was a twenty-four-hour seven-day-a-week commitment of utter chaos. Nick still wasn’t quite sure how he’d ended up as a vice president by the age of thirty-three, but had to concede his success had a lot to do with the inordinate number of hours he spent downtown. His generous salary was meant to compensate him for the endless hours on call talking nurses and cardiologists off the ledge while also making sure all their equipment and staffing needs were met. He loved his job and he was good at it, but it took him away from Katie way too much for his liking.

Nick pushed aside thoughts of the hospital. He would be flooded with e-mails, texts, and voice mail as soon as he switched his cell back on. Instead he listened to Katie patter on about the different kinds of birds that filled the zoo aviary.

“How do you know so much about them?” Nick asked as he forced his complete attention back to her.

Katie shrugged in a gesture that was too much like her carefree Uncle Roban. “I watch the National Geographic channel.”

“That much?”

Katie huffed. “Yeah, Daddy. A lot. Loads and loads.”

Nick restrained a laugh. Where had she come up with that phrase? She was growing up so fast. Much too fast for his liking. The years just kept slipping by, and as hard as his path had been as of late, Nick was grateful for the luck he did have. Katie was a beautiful girl. Tall and thin, just like her momma, she had blonde hair shades lighter than his that ran down to her waist and snarled easily with how fine it was. He’d given up attempting to brush the mats out a year ago, leaving the task to Katie’s grandmother or her nanny.

“Look at the baby geese!” Katie exclaimed, letting go of his hand and running full tilt down the pathway toward the birds. Then just as suddenly she was veering off again, a delighted squeal emanating from her. “A waterfall!”

Nick dug into his pockets as he walked to catch up, knowing what she was going to ask even before she said anything.

“I want to make a wish,” she pleaded, looking up at him with wide eyes.

Nick placed a quarter in her outstretched hand, earning a satisfied smile from her.

She scrunched her eyes tightly closed and whispered something Nick couldn’t hear, then tossed the coin into the water.

“What did you wish for, baby girl?” Nick asked, as was part of their routine.

“Daddy, you know I can’t tell you,” she protested with a pout. “Or else it won’t come true.”

Of course he knew that. Katie wanted to flip a coin into every fountain they encountered. And she always went about it as if her whole existence was placed into making that one wish come true. But she never told Nick what it was that she silently hoped for.

Nick had to wonder if she would remember this later on. If she would remember what she wished years from now, or at the very least remember enough to tell him later whether or not they came true.

Nick looked into her brown eyes—so much like his but with a fire that was all her own—and his breath caught. Yeah, he was just about the luckiest man in the world. She stood on her tiptoes, cupped her hands around his cheeks, and planted a kiss on his lips that left Nick with an ear-to-ear grin that he wouldn’t be able to wipe off for hours to come.
A PLOP of wet plaster slid down Adam’s head, over his neck, and dripped under the collar of his shirt as Miriam’s laughter receded into the next room.

Well, then. He supposed he deserved that.

He’d been leaving Miriam to her own devices for far too long as he worked nearly nonstop to meet his deadline. Left on her own, Miriam would fill her time with the mischievous, surreptitious, and wicked dealings that could only be born of an Azzi. She was quiet like him, shy at first meeting, with the same black hair and chiseled features that stood out despite her age. Also like him, she was a goof when in her comfort zone, and Adam’s loft—even though it was a professional workspace—was one of the places she was most comfortable in. She had unlimited access to paints, pens, pencils, paper… and the plaster she’d just chucked at his head.

Adam picked up a stained rag and swiped the plaster off the back of his neck. “Miriam!”

He turned on his stool, rotating to face the kitchen area where Miriam peeked her head around the corner, hazel eyes wide and innocent. But Adam knew better than to be fooled by her appearance. He crooked a finger and pointed to the spot next to him.

She crawled on hands and knees, her eyes going Disney forest creature in size as she got closer to him, and Adam had to bite back a laugh. When she got to his feet, she sat with her legs crisscrossed, hands on her knees, and waited patiently for him to say something.

She was such a good kid. Wild at times, yes. But he’d been the same when he was her age. Unlike his upbringing, though, he was never going to allow Miriam to fear what kind of punishment she would receive. To others it might have made him seem like a soft father, but Adam had rules that were nonnegotiable and rules he expected her to challenge and break. He was always fair. Consistent. And he never touched her in anger. That alone made her childhood vastly different than his. Adam was going to protect her innocence as long as he possibly could.

“Miriam—” he started.

“Yes, Baba?” she interjected, then bit at her bottom lip.

Adam sighed. Whether it was genetics or environment, she was so like him it scared him some days.

“Why did you throw plaster at my head?” He asked the question in all seriousness, then heard how ridiculous it all sounded, looked at the growing smirk on his daughter’s face, and that was enough to send him into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Adam swooped her off the floor and hugged her to his chest, tickling her ribs. Miriam squirmed and protested, her high-pitched giggle filling the studio.

“I love you, Miri,” he said as he squeezed her tight.

Miriam tucked her head into Adam’s neck and pulled her arms in so Adam had her wrapped securely.

“I love you, Baba.”

Adam’s heart was full almost to bursting. The laughter was enough to give him a second wind. He needed to work. He had to get this sculpture done. But he didn’t want to let his little girl go.

“Finish, then play with me, ’kay?” Miriam offered.

Adam started to tear up. She knew him better than any person in the world. This brilliant, vivacious, too smart for her own good little girl was his best friend. And Adam wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Yeah, yeah. No more plaster, though,” he chastised her, then kissed the tip of her nose.

Miriam rubbed her nose in protest and squirmed out of his arms, already retreating at full speed. On to another adventure.

Adam sank onto his stool and turned back to his sculpture. Less than three weeks until his next show. And this piece, the focal point of the entire fiasco, had to be done by then. But Adam found himself pushing the work off. He sought inspiration and didn’t find it. He would rather not show it at all than display something that was so… incomplete.

He picked up his brush and studied the form, then put the brush back down. His fifteen-year high school reunion had been last weekend and he’d had no desire to go, but the memories had been inescapable regardless. It was those memories that had led to this piece…. Led to this creative fog he couldn’t force himself out of.

He would eat first. Maybe they’d take a walk. He’d do his afternoon prayers with Miriam, grounding himself in the tradition of his faith. He wasn’t as active in his practice as his mom was, but he still found strength in the words and tenets. In Islam, he found calm, and a connection to his family and to something that was greater than him.

Then, maybe then, his head would be clear enough to see this project to its end.

CHAPTER TWO

“NO, ROB,” Nick said definitively into the Bluetooth mic above his driver’s seat.

“Come on, dude!” Roban yelled on the other end of the phone, and Nick had to turn down the volume on the car speakers because of the sheer volume of the accent-tinged wail. It was only when Rob was really excited or drunk that his Indian accent started to slip through.

Nick took a deep breath and rested his elbow on the armrest. “This is my first day off in five months. I want to spend it with Katie.”

“She’ll be asleep—” Roban started at the same time that Katie, from the backseat, said, “I’ll be asleep, Daddy.”

Nick frowned. Well, then. Apparently the wee ones were joining forces on this one.

“Roban—” he tried again.

“Niiiick,” Roban answered.

Nick stole a glance in the rearview mirror where Katie was strapped into her seat. She had her arms crossed and a disapproving scowl on her face that would make her Uncle Daniel proud.

“Fine,” he relented and Roban gave a much too excited whoop in response. “I’ll go out. But not too late. I have to be at work early.”

“You’re always at work early,” Roban reminded him. “Live a little before your cardiologists drive you into a heart attack.”

“Fine,” he repeated. “But I’m going to drive.” He could try to keep some measure of control over the situation.

“Nope. We’re cabbing it. I’m getting you fucking wrecked. Shit, sorry, Katie,” Roban backtracked, as if he was just remembering he was on speakerphone.

“No worries, Uncle Ro,” Katie yelled from the backseat.

“That’s my girl. Now, Nick. I expect to see you in something else besides a button-down shirt and tie. We’re going downtown. Mayhem will ensue and you must be appropriately attired.


“It’s a Wednesday,” Nick reminded him.

“Willful Wednesday at the Screamin’ Shillelagh,” Roban responded with a laugh.

Nick stopped at the red light and hung his head in defeat. “Can’t we stay in the burbs?”

“I’ll pick you up at eight” was all Roban said, then his car notified him the call had ended.

Nick shut off his cell and threw it into the passenger seat, then pulled away when the light turned green. Roban would be the death of him. At the very least, the odds were in their favor to end up in a full-on street brawl after closing time. Either way, it wouldn’t be a boring night. Nick chuckled to himself.

“Who do you want to come stay with you, baby girl?” he asked Katie as they drove toward home. Katie was twirling her hair, deep in thought, when Nick glanced back at her. “What is it?” he asked with an edge of worry.

“Can you call Momma? See if she’ll come stay with me?”

Nick restrained a sigh and tried not to feel defeated at the sadness in Katie’s voice.

“Yeah, baby girl. I’ll call her when we get home.”

All laughter wiped away, Nick gripped the steering wheel and steeled himself for the call he was going to have to make.
“I KNOW you’re in there, Azzi. I can smell the incense. Rather pungent even from out here. Open the door.” Charlie’s voice came from the hallway.

“Nobody’s home,” Miriam called out with a teasing lilt, then giggled.

Adam grinned and dropped his brush next to the paints, getting up to let Charlie in. It was pointless to try and keep the persistent gallery owner out even if Adam wanted to, but right now, he needed the reassurance. He was falling heavily into his brooding artistic stupor, sure in this moment that everything he had ever created was complete and utter shit, and that Charlie was a fool for wanting Adam’s work anywhere near his gallery. Adam needed some heavy petting of his artistic ego. And if anyone could do that, it would be Charlie Wells.

Charlie slipped his suit jacket off his lithe shoulders as he came in the door and then tossed the coat into a chair. “Good afternoon, Ms. Azzi,” he greeted Miriam and planted a kiss on her head.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Wells,” she responded with a smile.

“Miri, could you give Charlie and me a moment?”

Miriam lined up the pencils fanned out around her sketchbook and gathered everything into her arms, walking into the bedroom and pulling the door shut without question. She was used to this scenario by now. As much as she was an inspiration for Adam, he was clear on the boundaries of not letting her into his sullenness when it threatened to drag him under.

“Tea?” Adam offered and led Charlie into the kitchen.

“Please. With a shot of Jack if you have it,” Charlie requested.

Adam filled the kettle and set it on the stove. “You know I don’t drink, Charlie.”

“Not even thinking about it right now?” he prodded.

Adam leaned down on the counter, resting his elbows there and running his fingers through his mess of hair. He couldn’t remember if he’d showered yet today. Or yesterday.

“Yeah, I’m thinking about it,” he answered honestly. There was no point in hiding his darkness—or his continued recovery from it—from Charlie.

“Do I need to check the cabinets?”

Adam shook his head. “You can if you want. But, alhamdulillah, I don’t have anything.”

Charlie perked up immediately, tucking his brunet hair behind his ear. “Excellent. Now tell me, oh tortured soul. Where is the delay in your work coming from?”

The kettle began to whistle and Adam lifted two cups from the cupboard and set them on the counter. He took his time picking out which tea he wanted, using the quiet seconds to try and piece together his answer. He set the teabags into the cups, turned the stove off, and filled them with the hot water, then slid one cup into Charlie’s hands.

“Well?” Charlie pushed.

Adam took a sip of his tea that scalded his tongue, but he barely registered the pain. Yes, he definitely needed Charlie right now.

“It’s the piece.”

“Ah, the piece,” Charlie drew out.

“I don’t know if I can finish it.”

Charlie seemed to consider that. He twisted the mug in his hands, then lifted it to his lips to blow the steam away before taking a sip. “Talk to me.”

Adam nearly slammed his cup down, the liquid sloshing over his fingers. His anger took hold without thought or a valid target. “Talk to you? You know why this piece is difficult for me and yet you continue to push me on it. It’s too personal. Too raw. Maybe it should remain as unfinished as what it represents.”

Charlie cracked his neck and studied Adam, as unaffected as usual by his outburst. “Your other pieces in this show are just as raw, Adam. Just as emotionally challenging. For fuck’s sake, you have a whole set dedicated to Lily. You’re stumbling on this piece because you’re scared. There’s no other reason for it. Yes, it represents an old, unfinished part of your life. But it’s a part of your past that you need to embrace in order to move on. Art is not about being emotionally bereft. It’s about digging into the most painful and vulnerable aspects of our lives and bringing them to the surface for others to witness and understand. You’re scared, Adam. It’s not that this piece is unfinished, it’s that you are unfinished. And I think you’re scared of putting that part of your life to an end. That if you finish that piece, it will mean the relationship it represents is just as definitively over as the one you had with Lily.”

Adam ground his teeth together, trying to grasp on to his anger and use it to viciously protest just how wrong Charlie was. But he couldn’t. It was exactly what he’d been thinking. The more he worked around the edges of the mixed-media sculpture of plaster, paint, and fabric—the more he stubbornly refused to fill in the details of eyes, nose, and lips—the more he understood that this face was one that he was fighting to conjure into existence because it was so much safer tucked away as a memory.

If that sculpture was never finished, then he could continue denying that the person it represented had left a gaping wound in his soul that he didn’t know how to fill.

Charlie leaned forward and took Adam’s hands in his. “Is this the appropriate time for me to remind you that you are a successful artist because you bare your soul in your work? That people are drawn to what you create because it gives them a visceral reaction? Do I need to pull up the most recent reviews from the paper? ’Cause I’m sure I have them bookmarked on my phone.”

Adam gave a small laugh. “Yes, but no.”

Charlie tipped Adam’s chin up to meet his eyes. “You can do this, Adam.”

“I don’t know if I can.”

“You can,” Charlie said with more determination this time. “And you will be better off for it.”

Adam felt the tears welling up in his eyes and forced them back down. If Charlie believed, then Adam would find a way to as well. “Okay.”
“THANKS FOR coming, Shelly,” Nick said as he held the door open.

Katie came barreling around the corner and jumped into her mom’s arms. Katie buried her face in her mom’s neck and wrapped her arms around Shelly in a tight hug.

Nick’s heart ached at the sight.

Katie missed her mother more than she ever let on. She was a smart kid and she’d known when things started to turn south for him and Shelly. But Shelly’s abrupt departure from the house and her distance since then had been selfish—without thought to Katie’s needs—even if it was justified by Nick’s actions.

Shelly couldn’t look at him and she didn’t say a word as she stepped foot in the house she hadn’t been in for over a year. Nick clicked the door shut and followed them into the living room. Katie dropped out of her mom’s arms and looked between the two of them, a sad resignation filling her eyes that seemed to tug Nick’s heart right out of his chest.

He squatted down to Katie’s level and took her hand. “You think you could give your mom and me a chance to talk before Uncle Roban gets here?”

Katie tipped her chin up, giving him a smile that he knew was her brave one—a defensive tactic supplied by Uncle Daniel when the divorce had gotten ugly. “Can I go watch TV?”

“Of course, baby girl. We’ll be back in a minute.”

Nick stood as Katie ran off and gestured for Shelly to follow him.

“Can I get you anything to drink?” Nick asked to cut the tension.

Shelly stood stock-still behind the counter, separating herself from him, her arms crossed. “No. I know where everything is.”

Nick flinched.

It had been over six months since he’d last seen her and he couldn’t deny that she looked good. Much better than she had when they were in the throes of the divorce. Her blonde hair was cut short in a bob that accentuated her high cheekbones and clear blue eyes. She was thinner, but not unhealthy, and was dressed in a white tee and jeans with sandals. It was a casual look that reminded him of their time together in college. But nothing about her appearance had any physical effect on him. It hadn’t for at least two years. Not since he’d finally admitted to himself that he was gay and it was time to stop pretending.

“Thank you for coming.” He was repeating himself, but he needed her to understand his appreciation was genuine. “I know it’s hard being back here, but Katie can’t sleep anywhere else and she really wanted to see you.”

Shelly gave a dark laugh. “You said that on the phone.”

Nick crossed his arms, then uncrossed them. He had to try not to be defensive. “I know. I just want you to know I’m thankful. It has to be hard to be back here.”

“Who are you going out with?” she demanded.

Nick couldn’t find fault in her reaction. He knew what she was really asking: If he was seeing someone. If he was heading out to be with a man. Well, technically he was, but not as she thought. “Just Roban and Daniel.”

She sat down at the barstool and hunched forward, settling her chin in her hands. She looked away from him and Nick let her think. After a minute of quiet she spoke, but she still couldn’t look at him. “I miss you, Nick. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I miss this house. I miss our life. And I miss Katie. It’s just all too much. It still is.”

Nick leaned against the refrigerator, backing away from the counter and giving her space. “I can’t pretend to really know, but I get it. Just—” His voice started to crack and he had to swallow around the surge of emotion. “Just try to remember Katie. Okay? She misses you too.”

Shelly wiped away a tear and faced Nick. “I’m a shit mom.”

Nick took a step closer to her and when she didn’t cringe back, he stepped up to the counter across from her. “No. You’re not. You need time to heal too. We all do. She knows you love her. And being here is huge. So thank you.”

Shelly nodded and sucked in a deep breath.

The doorbell rang, mercifully sparing them from having to speak any more, and Nick tapped his fingers on the counter. “Call me if anything comes up. I left my cell number on the refrigerator. You know, just in case you don’t have it saved anymore.”

“Okay,” she acknowledged.

Nick hesitated for a moment, unsure of how to leave things, and then decided to say nothing else. He crossed into the living room and trapped Katie in a hug where she sat on the edge of the coffee table watching another nature show. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning, ’kay?”

She planted a quick kiss on his arm, distracted by the images on the screen. “Yes, Daddy.”

He kissed the top of her head, then ruffled her hair, receiving a squawk of protest, then a laugh.

Nick let her go reluctantly and went to the door, swinging it open to find Roban in a football jersey and ripped jeans that contrasted with the aesthetic of his modern pompadour and vintage bowling shoes. Rob hitched his thumb over his shoulder. “Let’s go, Nicky. Mayhem awaits!”

And with that, Nick found himself smiling again.
I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.

I have a never-ending-abyss-like secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and Neruda. You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by my playlists.

Insomnia is my greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon, not necessarily in that order, but I’m flexible.

If you’re in any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.

I like my tv shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive. I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.

I enjoy normalized chaos.  Hit me up! I love to hear from readers. xx-Sam

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