I thought I should do something here on the site where I talk about my books. I realised the only time I ever post something about them is on release day and that’s a bit boring.
I debated if I should make it Teaser Tuesday posts or Throwback Thursday – because we have to have weekday in the title, do we not? And I won’t do WIP Wednesday because you’d grow bored before I manage to finish something.
But I figured with a Teaser Tuesday it could be both old and new stories. It might not be the way people meant for the Teaser Tuesday hashtag to be used, but this is my blog, I can do what I want. I won’t do these posts every week – I’d run out of stories sometime in the summer if I did, but maybe once or twice a month.
So today I’m gonna talk about a story that’s actually very dear to me. I say actually because I often love my stories while writing them and then when they’re out there in the real world my feelings tend to wilt a little. But simply seeing the cover of Dazzle Me makes me smile.
I wrote it back in 2015 as part of the Summer Bigger Than Others anthology. I don’t remember exactly what the prompt was but I think it was that it should be short light-hearted summer fun. And I had a lot of fun writing Dazzle Me.
It’s a 41 pages long silly story about Tom and his boyfriend Santino. Their one-year anniversary is coming up and Tom has this romantic vision of how it’s gonna play out – it’s not going to go how he’d planned.
I saw a segment on TV from a spa somewhere where they had these pedicure fish and stuff – Tom is going to a spa, he goes reluctantly, but he’s going because he thinks Santino wants him to.
Do you guys have any idea how many crazy spa treatments there are? I would never allow fish to eat at my feet but poor Tom doesn’t have a choice, does he? Of course not, I made him have to endure fish and worse!
I sat and dipped my toe into the water. It was pleasantly warm—not hot, just warm. With a sigh, I put both of my feet in there and spread my toes as I eyed the water.
“Eek!” I snatched my feet back up, almost kneeing myself in the chin since I’d been bending to look into the water. Hundreds of small fish swam around in there. Disgusting. I glanced around the room in hopes of no one having heard my squeal. No one but Mahdi seemed to have, and he tried really hard to conceal his laughter.
“The fish are good for you, Mr. Williams.” He gestured for me to put my feet in again. I looked down, swallowed, and rechecked the water. There sure as hell were fish in the basin. I gaped at Mahdi; surely he didn’t mean for me to put my feet in there?
Obviously he did because he was gesturing for me to do just that.
My big toe broke the surface. Instantly a few fish swam to it. I had to steel myself not to pull my foot out of the water. The fish started feasting on me. I closed my eyes to escape the vision. No more aquariums for me. It were as if I’d put my toe down in a glass of soda water. With a deep breath I put both my feet in there, feeling the nibbling, but trying not to think about what was doing the nibbling. God, it was gross, wasn’t it? Having fish eat at you. What the hell had Santino been thinking?
Dazzle Me is greatly misunderstood, how else is it that hardly anyone had read it? Could be that there’s a snail on the cover…could be, but Tom shouldn’t have to be a headless torso on a cover too – he has enough of a headache dealing with the snails.
Tom has been planning for months, but in those plans he never once found himself on a spa table in Bangkok on his and Santino’s one year anniversary. He doesn’t do aeroplanes, doesn’t like the tropical climate, and he does not do spas.
Yet there he is, without a stitch of clothing, and with a man he’s never met before. He’ll do his best to enjoy his day and then he’ll give Santino the best anniversary imaginable, even if it means he has to be covered in chopped-up veggies on him for an entire day…
…if only it were veggies.
Part of “Summer Bigger Than Others – A Summer Anthology” from Beaten Track Publishing.