Giveaway | December

Giveaway!The last giveaway of the year! I don’t know what we’re gonna do with giveaways next year – if we’re gonna do giveaways – we’ll see. I can’t believe another year has gone by, but it has, and there’s been ups and downs, but mostly I feel fortunate for having had as much time to write as I have. It has mostly resulted in stories by Holly Day, but I’ve had fun. 

Okay, enough about the year. There will be other posts for that later on 😄 

We have three stories this month – Once in a Snowstorm, Trapped, and 24 Dates. Here comes the tricky part. Once in a Snowstorm is no longer available as a stand-alone story, so, instead, the winner will be given a copy of Aiden and Tristan where it’s included. Trapped is available but under a different title. It’s now called Remember Us. 24 Dates is 24 Dates as it’s always been. 

How does it work?  

I’ve created a Kingsumo giveaway, so hop on over there and sign up with your email address. You’re not subscribing to anything, but make sure it’s one you check regularly since it’s the one I’ll contact you on should you be the winner. 

Join in here! 

The Books  

Once in a Snowstorm is a tropy – and when I say tropy, I mean I tried to fit as many M/M romance tropes as I possibly could into one story – contemporary romance.  

Remember Us isn’t really a romance. It’s about an old couple in a nursing home. I know, it doesn’t sound like much fun, but it’s one of my favourite stories of those I’ve written. 

24 Dates – you know how sometimes you find yourself in a dip in the relationship with your partner? That’s where Victor and Jian are, deep down in that dip, so deep that Victor is unsure if they’ll ever make it out. Jian will not give up though, so he plans 24 dates from December 1st to Christmas eve to sweep Victor off his feet… again.  

Excerpt:

aidenandtristan

Tristan hoped Tom had helped Jennifer clear the parking lot outside the motorway café. People stopped by on a night like this, especially if there was a power outage. The ones living a little closer to town than he did would make their way there. Everyone benefitted from the café’s emergency backup electrical generators in times like these. Not that the centre of the town had power outages nearly as often as Tristan did, out here on the outskirts, but it was always a comfort for people to know the café would be heated and serving food. It was the town’s gathering point, and Tristan hoped someone would help Jen out. Maybe he should take the snowmobile and head in to give her a hand. But he didn’t want to leave Og in weather like this, when there was no guarantee Tristan would be making it back any time soon.
“Og!” His call was answered by a bark nearby. “Come on, boy.”
The darn dog didn’t come. Tristan sighed, grabbed the yellow snow shovel standing by the door, and started trudging through the snow. Og had better be stuck, or Tristan would strangle the stupid mongrel with his bare hands.
Snowflakes clung to his beard, and as he touched the knitted cap on his head, he realised it was already covered with snow. A walk outside was not what he’d envisioned after his arduous journey into town. He’d only gone in on his snowmobile to make sure he’d have enough dog food at home—he was pretty sure they would be snowbound for days. He’d had a quick chat with Jennifer, and then he’d headed back home. Maybe he should’ve stayed in town.
Jen always worked too hard. Running the motorway café and taking care of Luke all by herself was tough, and Tristan always worried when he couldn’t be there.
“Og!” The dark and the snowflakes made it hard to see. Nothing but snow-covered tree trunks and not a dog to be found.
Another bark came from close by. Tristan squinted into the woods. Og’s bright eyes glowed in the dark. A white-spotted dog was not easy to locate when everything was white-spotted, but now when Tristan knew what he was looking at, he could see that Og was indeed trapped. A dark figure held on to his collar, not that Og appeared to be bothered, judging by the happy thump of his tail against the snow, creating a white cloud around both him and the person on the ground.
Tristan took a careful step closer. His grip on the shovel tightened. What kind of lunatic came into the woods in weather like this?
“Hello?” Tristan stopped a couple of metres away from the body—a man, he saw now—and waited for a response. Only a muffled groan came. Fuck!
Tristan dropped the shovel and hurried forward to the man and shook him lightly. “Hey. Come on, wake up.” The eyelids fluttered as the man tried to open his eyes. Tristan touched his forehead—icy cold. The man was almost completely covered in snow and his hair was wet—Tristan assumed his clothes were, too. Without thinking, he reached for the man’s hand, shook loose his fingers from Og’s collar, and started to pull him out of the snow.
He sighed as he took in the trendy jeans and sneakers. Why couldn’t people dress according to the weather? If Og hadn’t found him, he’d have frozen to death—he wouldn’t look so pretty in his designer clothes in a casket.
He hefted the man up in a fireman’s carry and started making his way towards the cabin. It was like carrying an ice block. He guessed he should be pleased about the man being short and small framed. His curly dark hair flopped around his face with each step Tristan took.
They weren’t far from the cabin, but ploughing through the snow with the extra weight of the man and Og running around his legs had Tristan sweating and out of breath in no time at all. He grunted as he sank knee-deep into the snow, mentally cursing the stupid man for walking into his forest.
He couldn’t stay angry, though. He worried about the man being injured. It would be impossible to get an ambulance out here, and Tristan only had a basic knowledge of first aid. First, he needed to get him out of his wet clothes, that much he knew. Hypothermia was no joke.

Excerpt:

rememberus

Desperately, I searched for something to say, something to make him forget about this place. My heart banged in my ears. I didn’t have the energy for any breakout attempts today. My body ached, and the weariness in my bones grew more insistent for each minute passing.

I honestly didn’t know how I’d find the energy to walk back to my flat. It wasn’t far, but I was finished. I’d had enough. Deep inside, my soul screamed at me; it said I couldn’t leave William, and I wouldn’t, but I’d had enough.

No, I believe we come here for the apple pie.” It was Friday; there was a strong possibility there would be apple pie in the cafeteria. I watched William. His blue eyes too alert for his age—too alert for someone as confused as he was.

Stop looking at me!”

It took me a second too long to look away.

I said, stop looking at me! You think it’s all right for perverted old men to come here and ogle me?”

No, of course not. I wasn’t ogling you.”

I know what I saw.”

I sighed. The sting of the heron picking at my heart made me sink even lower. I shouldn’t have come, but there hadn’t been one day when I hadn’t. I couldn’t leave William here, but something was off with me today. If it all were to end now, I wouldn’t be sorry.

You’re a handsome man.” I shrugged and hoped he’d drop the subject.

I have a husband back home, and I do not intend to leave him. Ever.”

The words made me smile. I ignored the lump in my throat and tried to focus on the fact that he did love me. “He’s a lucky man.”

He claims to be. Are you married?”

I met William’s gaze and nodded. “I am, and I love him.”

William’s lips thinned. “Then why are you here with me? You should be at home with him.”

I would be if he was at home.”

Where is he?”

Yeah, that’s the question, isn’t it? “He’s on a trip.”

William gasped. “He went on a trip without you? The bastard!”

Yeah, no. He didn’t have a choice.”

Oh, but still… It’s hard to be the one who’s left behind. When will he be back?”

I opened my mouth only to close it again. “He drops in now and then.”

Yeah? Where is he now?”

I chuckled. “Somewhere down memory lane, I think.”

William reached out and squeezed my shoulder. “I’m sure he’ll be back soon, don’t worry about it.”

We sat in silence for a while. The morning show on the TV drew close to an end, and I started to long for a cup of coffee. I had no desire whatsoever to go to the cafeteria, though.

Have you been married long?”

I glanced at William. He was watching me with a crease between his brows, clenching his jaws the way he did when he was thinking too hard.

Forty-three years.”

He nodded, and the crease between his brows deepened. I held my breath, both fearing and hoping he would remember me.

I’ve been married a long time, too…I think.” He rubbed his forehead, looking lost.

Yeah? He’s a lucky man.” I patted his hand. It wasn’t often he allowed touch, but I figured since he’d squeezed my shoulder, a pat on the hand should be okay. He grabbed my hand and intertwined our fingers. My joints protested, but I didn’t care.

I miss him.” William blinked more rapidly. “I miss him every second of every day.”

I swallowed to prevent my throat from closing up and cursed the way my eyes started to burn. “And he misses you.”

He nodded. “I think he does.” With his free hand, he rubbed his chest. “It feels like he does. It feels as if I should be somewhere else.”

I didn’t say anything. What was there to say?

The silence grew. A soap opera started on the TV, and we sat there next to each other and held hands. Rain began to fall outside, drops fighting for room on the glass of the window.

Do you want some coffee?” I was sure I could call on a nurse and have them bring us a cup. We never asked for it, but today I didn’t want to be around the others living here. All I wanted was to sit next to William, sip on a cup of coffee, and forget we weren’t at home.

He let go of my hand as if I’d burned him.

Who are you?”

Excerpt:

24dates

We’re late for our date.”

No more dates, Jian.” He sipped on the coffee and glanced at him. “At least not in the morning.”

Come on, babe.” He rustled a paper bag in front of him, and Victor narrowed his eyes.

What’s that?”

Your breakfast.”

He remembered the avocado sandwich Jian had made him for the ride and perked up a little. “Can’t I have it now?”

Nope. I need you to get out of bed, put on a pair of sweats and a sweater.”

Sweats?” What kind of date involved sweats? “Should I shower?” Jian hadn’t. His hair was a mess, and the dark stubble could soon be called a beard. Victor loved it when he grew it a little rugged.

Nope, you’ll get wet enough later.”

Victor scrunched his nose and took another sip of the coffee. “I’m not sure I like the sound of that.”

Jian chuckled, and it had a wicked ring to it. Victor’s nerves woke up. “Jian! Where are we going?”

You’ll see. Get your sweet ass out of bed because we’re going in five.”

Victor growled, took another sip of the coffee, and stumbled into the bathroom. Seven minutes later, he climbed into the truck, accepted the thermos cup Jian had prepared for him with more coffee, and the bag with the sandwich. As they rolled out of the driveway, Victor looked at him. “Are you gonna tell me now?”

Jian grinned and shook his head. The soft sounds of Christmas music filled the tinsel-decorated pickup and the tiny Christmas tree glowed on the dashboard. Outside the streets were mostly deserted, the snow was white and glistening.

When Jian turned north instead of toward Courtland or Whiteport, Victor frowned. North? What the heck could they do north of Northfield? Skiing? He hoped not, he’d break a bone or two hundred and six.

Where are we going?”

Jian raised an eyebrow at him.

Oh, come on, we’re on the way, you might as well tell me! Communication is a good thing, Jian.”

Not always.”

Victor narrowed his eyes. “Where are we going?”

Snowmelt.” Jian drummed his thumb on the steering wheel, a grin tugging at the corner of his mouth.

Snowmelt? There was nothing in Snowmelt… except ski slopes. “I’m not skiing.”

We’ll see.”

No, Jian, I’m serious. I won’t ski. I’ll be in the pub while you go.”

Jian nodded, his face might’ve held a blank expression, but Victor knew he was laughing at him.

Victor blew out a breath. He wasn’t looking forward to sitting in a bar while Jian was out skiing. He could drink alone at home—he never did, but if he had, it would be considerably cheaper.

For the most part, pine trees lined the road, not giving Victor much to look at other than Jian. He didn’t mind, he loved looking at Jian. He wasn’t classically handsome, but Victor loved the bump on the bridge of his nose and the dark, dark eyes where you could hardly see where the iris stopped and the pupil began. Though, he couldn’t look into his eyes when he was driving. He loved the black stubble against the olive-colored skin that grew darker in the summer.

The morning sun was streaming through the now thinning trees, giving warning about civilization up ahead, but before they reached Snowmelt, Jian turned left.

What are you doing?” There were no ski slopes down there. The mountain was on their right.

Jian chuckled. “You’ll see soon enough.”

I hate you a little right now.”

Jian nodded. “It’ll get worse before it gets better.”

What?” Get worse? What could be worse than skiing? “It’s a date, right?”

Of course.”

Aren’t dates supposed to be… pleasant?”

Jian pursed his lips. “I don’t know if pleasant is the word I’m going for today.”

Victor took a deep breath but kept his mouth shut. Jian turned in on a small gravel road and followed it for a couple of minutes before he parked in a three-car wide parking lot that had been cleared of snow. Pine trees surrounded them and silence descended in the pickup.

Where are we?”

Jian gave him a serious look. “In Snowmelt.” He opened his door, walked around the pickup, and grabbed a bag from the back.

Victor followed, his heart thudding more rapidly than it should on a Saturday morning. A few seconds later, Jian led him out on a jetty where a man dressed in thick winter clothing waited for them. He grinned and shook Jian’s hand.

Jian?” Victor stared at the rectangular hole in the ice of the lake. “Jian, what are we doing here?”

aidenandtristan

Daring a snowstorm might not be the smartest thing Aiden Evans has ever done, but he can’t stand being in his flat a moment longer. With only three days to Christmas, he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants a place to belong, wants people around him who won’t look down on him. He might not find that at his mother’s place, but it’s better than being alone in the city. If he can make it there, that is. 

Tristan Gardner is looking forward to a quiet night in front of the TV, but instead, he has to save an idiot in designer clothes from freezing to death in his forest. Tristan tries not to notice the man’s good looks, just like he has tried not to notice any man’s good looks for the last seven years. He knows where relationships go and is far better off living alone, with his dog, in his cabin. 

Aiden is driving Tristan mad with his bratty comments and irresponsible ways, and Aiden is going crazy from Tristan’s judgmental attitude. Luckily, in a few days, the weather will clear up, and the two men won’t have to be together any longer. But will a few steamy nights with the grumpy lumberjack change Aiden’s mind about wanting to leave? And will Tristan still want to go back to his peaceful, predictable life without fear of getting his heart broken? 

Note: This book contains Once in a Snowstorm, The Empty Egg, Happy Endings, and Just Words 

rememberus

Charlie Wilkins had everything he wanted—a husband, a daughter, a house that was his home. He still has his husband, but William has forgotten who he is. He still has his daughter, but the roles have switched, and Ann is now the one taking care of them. 
 
There is only one thing Charlie wants, and that is to spend the rest of his days with William by his side. But William is living in a nursing home, and Charlie is living…somewhere. Ann says she will fix it; she’ll make sure they’ll get to live together again. Charlie hopes she will before William either escapes or figures out Charlie has left him in someone else’s care. He promised William they’d stay together till death did them part, and he meant it, but what was he to do when he no longer could take care of William? 

24dates

When Victor Hill bought a house with his boyfriend, Jian Kouri it was a dream come true. But now, two years later, instead of living their happily ever after, they hardly see the other awake.

With Jian out the door before Victor gets up in the morning, and asleep on the couch nearly as soon as he walks in the door, the life Victor imagined couldn’t be further from reality. They don’t talk; they don’t touch, and Victor fears he and Jian have already drifted too far apart.

The holiday season is a time for hope, but when Victor comes home to find Jian with a plan to woo him for Christmas, is it too little, too late? The dates are great, and there are filled with Christmas fun to get Victor in the right spirit for the holiday, but are they enough for the two of them to fall in love again? Or is there just too much in their relationship that needs fixing?

Giveaway November

Giveaway!

The eleventh giveaway post of the year! Crazy how fast this year has gone by. I don’t know about you, but I still feel like I’m in some kind of alternative reality. I live with a constant sense of doom. I’m not saying I’m unhappy, I’m not, but I feel like there is a constant threat to life as we know it. I doubt they felt that way in the 50s. But enough soul searching and onto the giveaway! 

We have four stories this month – The Maddest of Men, Honey Baked, Eight Feet of Magic, and Turning Wood. 

How does it work? 

I figured we do an easy comment below thing this month. Tell me what you’re looking forward to the most with the holiday season. I’ll pick a random winner from the comments on the 8th. 

The Books 

All but The Maddest of Men are holiday stories. The Maddest of Men is a post-apocalyptic-people-with-special-skills kind of story.  

Honey Baked is a short Christmas story about John and Zach from Once in May, and it’s no longer available as a stand-alone story, so the winner will get a copy of Once in May which has Honey Baked at the end. They’re contemporary stories. 

Eight Feet of Magic is… steampunk, Norse mythology, and Christmas all mixed into one rather crazy story LOL 

Turning Wood is a short contemporary Christmas story about a man who falls through the ice of the river. 

Excerpt:

The Maddest of Men

He held his tray up to one of the beautiful women standing along the wall of the room. She, like everyone else here, was flawless. Their beauty always made him self-conscious. Why couldn’t the Bureau offer plastic surgery and enhancements like every other branch of society?

He clamped his lips together over his crooked teeth, totally ruining the smile he’d been aiming at her. They hadn’t even given him eye surgery. His fucked up eyes could be a danger in his line of work; he’d tried to make Howorth see it, but he didn’t listen. Not only was he half-blind but there was also the colour. Creed wondered how many here today would remember him because of the different colouring. And sure, even if he had surgery he would still need the lenses to read the results of the scanner, but really, no one, no one, was short-sighted in the modern world. He guessed he should feel lucky Howorth had given him eye correction lenses, but still.

“Are those vegetarian?” The woman pointed at a cucumber slice with some creamy stuff and a roll of smoked salmon.

“Erm…no.” Creed refrained from rolling his useless, short-sighted eyes. “There is salmon on it.” When she simply stared at him, he smiled again. “Fish.”

“I know what salmon is.” Creed swallowed a ‘why the fuck did you ask then’ and fought against the strain in his facial muscles. “What I meant was is there any meat in those.”

“Fish.” He continued to hold out the tray for her while she looked at the salmon rolls. Finally, she deemed fish edible and took one.

A glimpse of red hair weaving through the throng caught his eye. Instead of hurrying along, he stood still and observed as the mass made a path for whoever it was—Creed had a pretty good idea of who it had to be, but he didn’t want to get his hopes up.

Cham Hovda gave a small wave from where he sat on the lounge, his lips were tight, and he was paler than Creed had ever seen him. He hadn’t moved at all during the evening which made Creed believe the rumours of him being shot in the leg the week before were true. They hadn’t been able to find any medical records, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone from the underworld succeeded in staying out of the system—the inquisitor didn’t exist according to the system. Creed had spent a good week trying to dig up something, anything, and he hadn’t even managed to find a name.

Stepping a little closer to the woman, he tilted the tray ever so slightly. “One more perhaps?” He smiled and tried to be discreet in watching as the inquisitor bent down to whisper something in Hovda’s ear.

“Thank you. Could I get a glass of champagne too?”

Creed gritted his teeth. He was obviously not the champagne guy, and he was about to enlighten her when the inquisitor stepped away from the lounge. A few more steps and he would be right between Creed and the bar. “I’ll see what I can do, ma’am.”

He straightened his back and channelled his inner waiter. With an air of nonchalance, he neared the man. Milky white skin, bright red corkscrew curls Creed wanted to pull only to see them bounce back—an evil man shouldn’t look like that. “May I tempt you with some salmon, sir?” Creed tried for flirty but holy shit that hair was distracting. Could someone so angelic looking be the feared inquisitor?

Deep blue eyes bore into his. “I’m good, thanks.” His voice had a slight rasp to it as if those had been the first words he’d uttered today. Where the shiver travelling up Creed’s back came from, he didn’t know.

“I’m sure you are.” He winked, not knowing if it was the right direction to take but hoping the intent gaze meant interest. “Champagne maybe? I’m heading to the bar to get some for the lady over there.” He nodded towards the woman who stood glaring at him.

The man grunted dismissively and turned to leave. Creeds heart sped up as he realised he was about to lose his chance. A thousand things he could say to grab the man’s attention flitted through his mind, but not one seemed right.

“Hey, Grayham! A word.” A mean-looking man dressed in black jeans and t-shirt walked towards them. Creed tried not to stare, but he was far from the only one who forgot all about manners. In a sea of fancy suits and evening gowns, ratty t-shirts and heavily tattooed arms stood out.

Creed went through every name he could remember from the files as he made his way to the bar. Cipriani, Lou Cipriani, Creed was almost sure of it. The man’s hair was jet black, his eyes glowing green, and he possessed an air of power despite his wiry frame. Creed looked at his right hand, and sure enough, the ring and little finger were missing.

He grabbed two glasses of champagne instead of a tray—if someone noticed he’d sort it later. Glancing over his shoulder to make sure the men were still talking, he zigzagged over to the woman. “Enjoy, ma’am.”

She rolled her eyes but grabbed the glass. “Do you have a death wish?”

“Not particularly, why?” Creed smiled, but his heart hammered. Does she know anything?

“Flirting with Grayham.”

Creed stopped moving. “You know him?”

She snorted and tossed her long brown hair—not a natural brown—over her naked shoulder. “Only Cham knows him.”

Cham? Could she be one of Hovda’s girls? He couldn’t see her working the streets, but prostitution came in many shapes and forms. “Why?” Creed had a pretty good idea why. Who’d want to get friendly with the torturer, right? It surprised him that he hoped the bureau’s information would be faulty.

Grayham, if that was his name, didn’t look anything like he’d imagined a torturer should look. Those full lips should smile soft smiles, and there was nothing scary about bouncy curls. His eyes, though… They didn’t frighten Creed. They didn’t have a crazy shine to them, but they were emotionless, guarded.

The woman shrugged. “People who talk to him disappear.” Huh? Right, why no one knew him. Creed should continue to speak to her, few were as willing to share information, but he could see Cipriani getting ready to leave.

“I’m going to go give him his champagne before he slips away.”

“Mhm.” She downed half the glass in one swallow as Creed left.

He came up next to the two men right before Cipriani started to turn. “Your champagne, sir.” He held the glass out for Grayham to take; he didn’t. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and gave Creed a look intense enough to make him squirm—Creed did not squirm. Okay, he totally squirmed.

“Did you do anything with it?” His voice was still raspy.

“No, of course not.”

For a heartbeat or two Grayham stared at him, then he reached for the glass with his left hand. Creed cursed mentally and tried to push the glass towards his right. Grayham dropped his left and grabbed the glass with his right. “Thank you.”

Perfect. Creed hovered with his hand over Grayham’s wrist waiting for his scanner to gather the information that should be there.

Nothing.

Fuck!

Excerpt:

onceinmayJohn took another bite of cheese. It was perfect—warm, nutty and sweet. He hadn’t realised how hungry he was. With the party hanging over him, he hadn’t been able to eat all day, but now, people trickled out the door in a slow, steady stream.

He drew in a breath, enjoying the smell of pine and gingerbread for the first time this season. Chris waved at him as he and Gabe exited the café, and John smiled.

This wasn’t too bad.

He went up on tiptoe, hoping to see the red Santa suit heading his way, but Santa was caught up talking to Gary. John huffed and took another piece of crispbread. Gary had grown chatty lately, and John wasn’t sure he appreciated his friendliness, not that he doubted Zachary for a second. Zachary was the only person he trusted, but Gary was out there mingling and John was here hiding.

“What are you doing?” Zachary suddenly arrived in front of him, grinning, and took a tress of John’s hair between his fingers. It was hanging loose today, spilling over his shoulders like a protective blanket.

“I thought you were talking to Gary.” John winced at how the words sounded. The last thing he wanted was to whine because Zachary was talking to someone.

“I was, but then I noticed a hot little angel standing all alone and eating cheese as if his life depended on it.” Zach wiggled his eyebrows. “And I thought to myself, I’d rather talk to him than Gary.”

“Flirting? Now? And I wasn’t eating that much.” John’s face heated anyway.

“No, you weren’t, but I’d still rather talk to you than Gary.” Zachary scratched his chin under the fake beard, his shoulders slumping.

“Didn’t it go well?” John searched his eyes.

 

Excerpt:

Eight Feet of Magic

Hank held his breath as the sounds of the carol singers’ voices merged with the smog and faded into the dusk. It was the first Christmas songs he’d heard for the season, and it made him think of his mother.

Demetrius dragged him to a narrow wooden door with flaking dark blue paint and rusting iron ferrules. Above, a ghost ship sign painted on a dried up board creaked every time the wind got hold of it.

The Bold Ship.

The words sent a shiver of recognition through him. He’d heard the name before, but how was that possible? He never came to these parts of London—no one in their right mind did.

He slumped down in an attempt to make himself invisible, completely in vain—he had both his size and his velvet coat working against him. The dust of the streets had done nothing to mute the red colour.

Hank had tried to stick to the shadows on the way here, but people kept staring at him no matter what. Barefoot children dressed in rags watched him with eyes wide enough for Hank to fear they’d fall out of their skulls.

He blinked away the smoke hitting him in the face as he followed Demetrius into the grimy tavern. The low murmur stopped as he got a couple of steps inside, then he heard someone chuckle. Heat began climbing his neck, but he refused to blush. It had taken years to get it under a semblance of control. Wiping his sweaty hands on the soft velvet, he kept his gaze on Demetrius’s back.

He’s over there.” Demetrius appeared unaware of the laughter spreading in the room and hurried towards the far corner. Hank filled his lungs with the sooty air and kept his back straight as he followed. Show no weakness. He had to duck at one point not to hit his head on a joist.

It became darker the farther into the tavern they got, and Hank dared a breath of relief. At least his coat wouldn’t be visible from the entrance. He looked around the room before looking at the man Demetrius had stopped next to. When he did, he wished he hadn’t, he wished he’d stayed at home, and he definitely wished he’d worn his old rugged coat.

The man’s dark eyes shone as he watched Hank. Something close to a smile tugged at the corner of his lips, but Hank could tell it wouldn’t turn into a nice one. A dimple almost appeared on his right cheek, or maybe it was a muscle strain from keeping the sneer at bay.

This is your seaman?” His voice was melodic, so melodic Hank almost missed the words.

Yes, my son.” Demetrius nodded frantically, and Hank’s heart made a run for his throat.

No.”

No one was listening to him.

Good, good. I’ve always liked a sturdy man; I need someone big and strong on the ship.”

Hank looked around, hoping against hope someone was standing behind him, and they weren’t talking about him. Several pairs of eyes were watching him with amusement.

I’m no seaman.”

The man cocked his head, making a long tress of black hair glide off his shoulder. “No seaman?” Then he glared at Demetrius. “A seaman was part of the deal.”

He is your seaman. Tall and strong, good for heavy lifting. God knows it’s all he’s good for.”

Hank’s stomach turned, but the usual nausea following Demetrius and Polly’s words halted when the man gave an annoyed huff. If he was annoyed with Hank’s stupidity or Demetrius for pointing it out, he didn’t know, but his gaze turned harder than before.

Silence fell. It spread to the entire tavern and made Hank twitchy—grown men shouldn’t be twitchy.

Finally, the man reached out over the table and offered Hank his hand. “I’m Captain Elazar Steel. What’s your name, lad?”

Lad? Lad! The man must be ten years younger than Hank, and though he was still sitting down, he didn’t look like a big man. Hank couldn’t help but narrow his eyes, and it wasn’t until Demetrius elbowed him in the side he realised he hadn’t responded.

Hank Goodenough…sir.”

Captain.” Hank refrained from rolling his eyes. Dear Elazar didn’t seem to notice, though.

Exceprt:

turning wood

Mason was shaking so hard the bed was groaning in protest. Where was he? He looked around. This wasn’t his bedroom. His entire body burned, his throat ached, and his eyes stung. Lifting the cover, he looked down at himself and groaned—naked. The bed smelled nice, though.

Bolting upright, he remembered. He’d been out walking and…Santa had been there. He rubbed his forehead. It couldn’t have been Santa, but some guy dressed like Santa.

A kidnapper.

He’d been kidnapped by a guy disguised a Santa who had stripped him and put him in a bed. What was he planning on doing with him in bed, naked?

Mason flung off the cover and put his feet on the floor, a nice old hardwood floor but cold enough to make him want to climb back into the bed. So typical of him to get drunk and kidnapped by a Santa lookalike. He couldn’t go anywhere without getting in trouble.

Meet a nice guy and he’ll clear out your bank account, sell your car, and have you evicted from your apartment. Go up north on a holiday and a sex offender looking like Santa will kidnap you and bind you to a bed.

Though, in Santa’s defense, he wasn’t bound, and… Mason rubbed his neck. An image of frantic blue eyes behind… He tried to pinch the bridge of his nose, but his fingers weren’t working as they should. Had that been protective glasses?

Maybe the guy hadn’t looked like Santa at all. Now when he was thinking of it, his hair had been dark, and had he been wearing a white sweater?

A door opened somewhere in the building and Mason’s heart leaped to his throat. Shit, he’s back.

Pushing off the bed, he stumbled a few steps only to once again realize he was naked. Gripping the cover, he wrapped it around his shoulders and turned toward the window. His fingers shook as he tried to open it. He had to push with all his strength to get it to yield, the ice working in his kidnapper’s favor.

He got it open and one leg out, the snow on the windowsill chilling against the inside of his bare thigh.

Hey! Stop.” A tall, dark-haired man with icicles in his beard took a step into the bedroom.

Mason yelped and shoved away from the building. The cover tangled around him; the snow burned against his bare feet as he tried to gain his balance.

Mason!”

The kidnapper knew his name?

Mason ran. It didn’t go nearly as fast as it normally did, it was as if his muscles had melted. Had he been drugged? He only needed to get back to the resort then he could call the police. It couldn’t be far away.

A wall of pine trees appeared in front of him, it grew into a forest, but Mason didn’t care. He ducked and shielded himself from the prickly limbs the best he could.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Mason! Come back here!”

Mason glanced over his shoulder, the guy gained on him, easily. He ordered his useless legs to move, but they continued their slow-motion thing.

Strong arms grabbed him from behind and Mason might have yelped again. He wasn’t a yelper, not normally.

Are you out of your mind? You could have died.” The man’s gruff voice did nothing to calm him down. “Come on, let’s get you back in bed.”

The man steered him around, Mason would like to say he fought for his freedom, but his resistance only lasted for thirty seconds or maybe it was closer to five. He was too exhausted to stand, and the man carefully wrapped an arm around his waist to help him back towards the building—a cute little log cabin.

The Maddest of Men

To prove his loyalty to Cham, Grayham is willing to do anything, and he does. He helps Cham run his empire by finding out the truth by any possible means. It’s not as hard as it may seem, all he has to do is ask the right questions, and his internal polygraph will tell him if someone is lying or not. And when they lie—well he deals with that too. Life as an executioner can get quite lonely, not that Grayham plans on doing anything about it. It would kill him to have to off a lover.

Creed is a retrieving agent on a mission. He is to infiltrate one of Carona’s drug organisations to get to the inquisitor. Rumour states the man with the fiery red curls has supernatural powers; it also says anyone coming close to him disappears. Creed has no idea how he’s going to make it out alive or why his supervisor sent him in without backup. But, when an opening to work as a waiter at one of the drug lord’s parties presents itself Creed sets to work.

In a world where people compensate for the years of bombings and starvation with clinic bought physical perfection a man with crooked teeth and mismatching eyes stands out. Grayham notices the waiter watching him straight away. If he’s there to harm Cham, he’ll deal with it. Creed knows he must get his hands on the inquisitor so when he is invited to the man’s flat he agrees to come even though he knows it might be the last thing he’ll ever do.

onceinmay

In an attempt to run from his past, John Welsh has spent the last few years building walls around himself. He knows the best way to stay safe is to keep people at arm’s length and preferably out of sight. During weak moments, he might wish he had someone, but he’s not ready. After all, it takes seven years for the body to replace all its cells. He has four years to go before he’s new.

Zachary Fane is always on the move, always on his way to somewhere. He’s going from job to job, from country to country. Contrary to what people might think, he wants nothing more than to find a place to call home, and he knows just where. This time, he is ready. This time, he will stay in Nortown. This time, things will be different. But when he arrives to buy the log cabin he believed would be his, he finds it inhabited. When he goes to talk to the new owner, he is met by the most beautiful green eyes followed by a door slammed in his face.

John should’ve known the peace he’s found in Nortown wouldn’t last. One day everything is fine, the next a mountain of a man shows up wherever he goes. All Zachary wants is to be close to the quiet man who has moved into his cabin. If following him around is the only way, then so be it. Sooner or later, John will get used to having him there … at least, if Zachary hangs around long enough.

Includes the short story, “Honey Baked.”

 

Eight Feet of Magic

There is still magic to be found. Even in the bleakest of places.

Hank Goodenough has spent his entire life in the smoggy streets of London trying to keep his head down and not to get noticed. Not an easy feat when you’re the tallest one in the room and have a brass funnel protruding from your head. When he finds himself laid off work once again, his dad wants to drag him away on a crazy quest. Before he can figure out how to get out of it, he finds himself on a steam-driven airship in search of Odin, the old Norse God, and is sharing a room with Captain Elazar Steel, a man strutting around on one high-heeled boot and one peg leg.

Steel doesn’t care that the winks, smiles, and small touches he and Hank share might get them hanged once they land on the ground again. He is determined to show Hank there is magic in the world and that there is no better place to be than on his balloon ship steering towards the Arctic Circle.

turning wood

For Otho Newcomer, the small village of Snowmelt is a haven from his old life. If he isn’t exactly a changed man, he at least hopes to keep his distance from all those easy romances, and the inevitable heartache and disappointment that always follow.

Mason Dager is an idiot. His ex has cleared out his bank account, sold his car, and got him thrown out of his apartment. And he has no one to blame but himself. But what better way to celebrate a new chapter in his life — one that includes homelessness and the humiliation of telling his family they were right all along — than to spend Christmas at a swanky winter resort like River Cove? It’s already paid for, after all.

When a very drunk Mason makes yet another dumb decision, Otho comes to the rescue, throwing the men together during the most magical time of the year.

What should be the wrong choice for both of them might be exactly what they need. They’ll just have to survive a nosy best friend, an asshole of an ex, and the scars of their pasts if they hope to find something together.

September Giveaway

It’s giveaway time!!! If you’ve hung around the blog for a while, you know that I do a giveaway each month of those books that’s been published during that month previous years. I’ve messed it all up by re-releasing books, but I’m going with the original release date. 

How does it work?  

It’s easy. I’ve set up a Kingsumo giveaway, and all you have to do is jump on over there and type your email into the little field. You’re not subscribing to anything by doing so, but the email you give them is the email I’ll contact you on should you win, so use one you check regularly. 

Join the draw! 

The Books  

We have four books this month – Once in May, Happy Endings, Pine Tree Mary, and Acronym. I don’t know if Acronym counts since it’s not published anywhere, it’s the story you get if you sign up for my email list, but I’m including it.  

Happy Endings is no longer available as a story on its own, but it is in Aiden and Tristan, so that’s the book we’ll go with. It’s the second to last of the Aiden and Tristan stories (though I always planned to write one, but it’s been years now, and still no story 😒) 

Once in May is a contemporary story about Zach and John. John is hiding in his cabin and doesn’t want to see anyone, but Zach has a hard time staying away. 

Pine Tree Mary is a paranormal tale with loads of Scandinavian folklore. A pine tree Mary is a forest nymph, and Hush is one. Quinn Manning is a cop, and when he’s chasing after a criminal, he meets Hush. 

Sidenote: In this story, Hush rides on a moose, and the day before yesterday, Littlest and I were out walking in the woods, and we were almost trampled by a bull moose. They’re effing huge! I thought we’d die, but my rabid dog went berserk, and the moose veered off 😵. We walked home on shaky legs.  

Acronym is a Tattooed Corpse story. The Tattooed Corpse stories have nothing in common other than the same body appearing in every story. Here the body is only dead during the daytime and wakes up in the morgue LOL  

Excerpt:

aidenandtristan

Aiden changed the green paper on the massage table, hissing as the piercing pain in his muscles made him freeze. How the hell would he be able to massage Tristan? Stiffly, he walked over to the corner table, made sure there was enough water and no dirty glasses. The room smelled of orange and peppermint, as it normally did, but for Tristan, he wanted something different.

Careful not to make any hasty movements, he went out to his storage room to fetch another bottle of oil. When Tristan came, he always used one with lavender and sandalwood. It was calming, while the oil with peppermint was invigorating. He wanted Tristan to relax—he wanted all his customers to relax, but Tristan needed a sense of calmness. He always carried around so much pressure. He looked like the kind of guy who would tell you if something was wrong. He growled—a lot—but only about the little things. When something was bothering him for real, he bottled it up inside until it exploded. Aiden hated it.

Something was up with Tristan. It was right there in his carefulness and the way he weighed his words before he spoke. What Aiden wouldn’t have given to be able to go to Whiteport with him for a day—not that he could afford it, but it would’ve been lovely.

He needed to work more, needed the money.

Tristan might be okay with paying for everything right now, but he’d been doing it for months.

Maybe that was what was wrong.

Ice spread in Aiden’s belly. He needed more customers, had to work more hours. He bent to pick up the right bottle and sucked in a breath as his muscles seized up. He waited for it to ease, for the pain to fade—it didn’t.

Panting, he clutched the bottle with the purple label and took a few staggering steps towards the massage room. His eyes burned and a lump formed in his throat as he stared at his massage table. Normally, he loved seeing it, but today it filled him with dread. He was too young for his body to betray him like this. He couldn’t afford it.

Aiden?”

Great. He took a calming breath and forced a smile onto his lips. “In here!”

Tristan appeared in the doorway. God, he was hot. Those broad shoulders and strong arms, Aiden longed to melt into him, to climb on top and never get off. He couldn’t, though. His muscles wouldn’t let him, and this was his workplace. His studio was not a place to play, there were no ‘happy endings’ for his massages.

Ready?” Aiden tried to smile even though he couldn’t fathom how he would survive digging into Tristan’s hard muscles for an hour.

Tristan gave him a look Aiden couldn’t decipher, then he shook his head. “What’s wrong?”

Nothing’s wrong.” He aborted the shrug he was about to give into.

Don’t lie to me, Aiden!” Oh, that growl. Aiden shivered.

It’s nothing. I’m just a bit tired.”

Tristan’s hazel eyes narrowed as he studied Aiden. It was silly how his pulse sped up.

Now, let’s try this again, sweetheart. What’s wrong? Are you happy here?”

Happy? “Of course, I’m happy.”

Then why aren’t you smiling? Why aren’t you bouncing around, sipping on your lattes, gossiping with Jason—”

You want me to gossip with Jason?” Aiden tried to come up with something to say, something Tristan would believe. A voice in his head told him it was ridiculous to lie, but for once he needed Tristan to look at him and see an equal.

No, but it’s what you do when you’re happy. You’re…” Tristan flapped his hands about, and Aiden cringed at how foolish he looked. “I haven’t seen any of that in weeks. Weeks, Aiden. So, either you tell me what the fuck is going on or I’ll—”

You’ll what?” He put his hands on his hips, ignoring the torturous slashes in his back, and glared at Tristan.

I’ll throw you in the car and drive you to Whiteport.”

Aiden gasped. His eyes burned. Would Tristan throw him out like that? “You would?”

Tristan reached for him, but Aiden pulled away and flinched as the pain shot down through his body. Tristan ground his teeth, and Aiden prepared for some more growly threats. Then, in a blink of an eye, Tristan grabbed his arm and pulled.

Ouch!” Aiden squeezed his eyes shut as agony speared his back. He clutched Tristan’s T-shirt as he breathed through the worst of it.

Large warm hands carefully moved up and down his back. “Fuck, Aiden. Even I can feel how tense you are.”

It’s nothing…” He tried to untangle himself from Tristan’s embrace, but his arms wouldn’t cooperate as they should. “Come on, hop up on the table.” God, how would he be able to get through the next hour?

Nope.”

What?” Aiden didn’t have the energy to argue. His chest ached and his throat burned, he was so fucking tired. Tired of working all the time without getting anywhere, tired of not sleeping well, tired of being in pain. So tired.

You hop up on the table.” Tristan cautiously turned him around.

I can’t do that. It’s my studio and you’re not licensed. I can’t have you practising. No insurance company would cover you.”

Babe, I’m not practising. I’m giving my boyfriend a much-needed massage.”

Excerpt:

onceinmay

John swallowed the last of his coffee and glanced out the window. Two burly, bearded men came walking across the parking lot. It took a second or two before the panic slammed into him with full force.

It was the man from the shop.

The clatter from where he dropped the cup on the plate made him flinch. Crap! He shouldn’t have accepted another cup. The coffee had tasted unusually good this morning, and he’d enjoyed listening to Jen talking to her son, Luke, while she made him breakfast. It was nice, and it gave John a feeling of normality even if he was only an observer. He shouldn’t have stayed, though. The man had brought a friend, which made things even worse than John had feared.

Cold sweat broke out as he watched the men turn and head right for the door. Of course, they were coming here; it was only stupid to hope for something else. One of them stopped, not the man from the shop but the other one. He gestured wildly while the man from the shop scowled. John began to tremble. They were going to take their frustration out on him.

He needed to get out of there. He needed to run. The chair banged against the wall behind him before he knew what he was doing. Jen’s head shot up from behind the counter. “You okay?”

John stared at her, unable to find his voice.

It’s all right, sweetie.”

John winced at her words. He hated when she let on how much of his anxiety she actually picked up on. Most of the time, she pretended he was like everybody else, but, of course, he wasn’t. He was going to be sick. He wanted to go to her, wanted to pay so he could leave, but his feet wouldn’t cooperate.

It’s okay, John. You can leave.”

I haven’t paid.” He hated the way his voice shook, but he couldn’t do anything about it. His throat closed up as he caught movement outside the door.

They’d arrived.

She dried her hands and hurried out from behind the counter, closing in on him. John didn’t know where to go. They were coming at him from different directions.

But Jen didn’t come at him. She walked around him, leaving plenty of space between them, and headed for the door. “You can pay double next time, or I wouldn’t mind payment in eggs.”

That’s illegal.” John would happily give her eggs. Why he hadn’t before, he didn’t know. He couldn’t pay with them, though. It wasn’t right.

We’ll sort it. Now get out of here.” She smiled, and John almost wanted to hug her. Almost.

The bell above chimed as she opened the door. “Zachary Fane.” She giggled and John was struck by how young she sounded. “I never thought I’d see the day. When did you get back?”

The man from the shop grinned and scooped her up in his arms. John almost choked. God, he’s big. Broad and tall, and arms so thick John wanted to shrink back before they could snake their way around him, too.

The man must’ve sensed John’s eyes on him because he looked right at him while still hugging Jen. Without thinking, John let his blond tresses fall like a curtain over his face and kept his head tilted forward, glancing towards the door in hopes of finding an opening to sneak past them and out to his car. It was pathetic to hope; not even Jen could save him from them now.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the large man take a step in his direction. Every muscle in his body tensed as he braced himself, but then Jen was there. With one small hand on the man’s arm, she guided him and his friend towards a table away from John and the door.

As soon as all three of them had their backs turned, John slipped out, thankful for Jen’s manoeuvre.

Excerpt:

Pine Tree Mary

Manning was trying to make sense of what he was seeing. Diamond was pushing a gun into the mouth of a woman he’d tied to a tree and the goon with him was fiddling with his jeans, or… He narrowed his eyes. Was the fucker jerking off? Disgusting.

Freeze! Police.” He jumped out from behind a tree and pointed his gun at Diamond only to shift his aim to the guy who’d let go of his dick and grabbed a pistol.

Stay where you are.” He glanced at Diamond who edged away. Shit, he should’ve brought backup or at least called Jacobs before he’d trailed the black Mercedes.

Diamond held up a hand to his ear as if he was listening into the forest. “It’s awfully quiet, Detective.” He widened his eyes in an exaggerated manner and took another step.

Stop!” Manning strode closer to the woman. “It’s all right, Ms. I’ll get you out of here.” A quick glance had him halting. It wasn’t a woman. Delicate, with long dark hair, and almost silvery eyes, but not a woman.

Diamond’s laughed echoed between the trees as he hurtled out of sight. Manning glanced between his disappearing back and the…hostage? Prisoner? Enemy or victim?

Fuck! He prepared to run, muscles tense, gun at the ready, and then he hit the ground. Rolling he glared at the man tied to the tree. He couldn’t have tripped him, but how else did he end up in a heap on the moss? There was nothing he could’ve stumbled over. A car engine roared in the distance. “Bastard.”

The man slumped against the tree, the barbs digging into his chest and Manning winced. Fucking Diamond. He got up and aimed his gun at the goon who surprisingly still was there. “You’re coming with me to the station.”

He picked a zip tie from his pocket and cuffed the man who shrugged. “You have nothing on me.”

We’ll see.” He didn’t have anything, but he was sure Jacobs could find something they could keep him for. Jerking off in public or something.

He grabbed his phone and asked for a police car to be sent to the Misty Grove Reservation before going over to the man tied to the tree.

I’ll untie you now. No funny business.” He pointed his gun at the man to emphasize his point. Shiny bright eyes blinked open as if he’d been napping. Why was he wearing a dress? Was it Diamond’s doing? It was a kind of wrap around thing, and he’d tied a string of ivy around his waist. Perhaps not Diamond’s doing—his women were most often wearing tight-fitting dresses that left nothing for the imagination. And his men…his men didn’t wear dresses.

Dolt.” The man’s voice was frail and fear etched his face.

Dolt? Manning had been called many things in his line of duty, but dolt? It might be a first. “Yeah, yeah. I’m not gonna hurt you, but you need to come with me to the station for some questioning.”

The wire was cutting in on several places and anger bubbled up inside of him. Was it necessary to use barbed wire? The man didn’t show much sign of pain but flowers of blood decorated his clothing from where the metal spikes had been buried in his flesh.

Manning reluctantly grabbed a zip tie and secured the man. Where the hell was the police car?

Excerpt:

Cover AcronymDetective Lars Horn leaned over the body on the slab. A chill shot up his spine as he studied the messy dark hair, the broad shoulders, and the tattoo of one black and one white snake tangling together on the victim’s left forearm. It was hard to tell how tall someone was when they were lying down, but this man was taller than Horn.

It’s him, right?”

Horn stepped back and adjusted his shoulder holster as he watched Coroner Samantha Pittman step up to the body. She was a short, curvy woman who looked like she should still be in school, but she’d already been working in the mortuary when he started in homicide six years before. She was the kind of woman he’d dreamed about falling in love with before he accepted his lot in life. “Yeah, it’s him.” Though why she’d called him down here, he didn’t know. “Cause of death?”

There were no wounds he could see, nothing indicating strangulation, no marks of injections letting him believe the man had overdosed.

She shrugged, a tress of her honey-colored hair caressing her cheek before she stroked it away. “Same as last time.”

Last time. As far as Horn was concerned you only died once. “What was it last time?”

Unknown cause of death.”

He scowled. “And why am I here?”

She winced and Horn held his breath. “Well… You brought him in last time.”

Because they called me to the scene. Who brought him in this time?”

EMT.”

Horn glanced at the man. If it hadn’t been for the almost blueish-pale complexion, he’d be willing to guess the man was asleep. He looked way too fresh to have been dead long.

Biting back a growl, he sought Sam’s gaze again. He did not want this case, if it was a case at all. How someone could die, the body disappear, and then come back, dead again, was a mystery. Horn solved murders, not stolen bodies.

They found him in the men’s room at the Fountain.”

Ah… “So you called me.” Being the only out cop in the district had its pros and cons. He still hadn’t figured out the pros, but he would one day. Every time something happened at a gay club, they tried to dump the case on him, no matter what department it belonged to. It was not how the police force was supposed to work, but it didn’t surprise him anymore.

She sighed. “I know, but aren’t you curious?”

About?”

About how he ended up in the bathroom at the Fountain?” She rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Lars, sometimes you get on my nerves. How can he still be this fresh?” She gestured at the body. “It’s been six weeks.”

Six?” Horn surprised himself by shouting. “It’s been three weeks.” Sam usually had her numbers straight.

Three weeks since you brought him in, that doesn’t mean it was the first time I saw him.”

You met him when he was alive?”

She grimaced. “No.”

Horn crossed his arms over his chest and stared at her with narrowed eyes. It usually got people talking.

He was first brought in six weeks ago, cause of death unknown.”

And you didn’t tell me?” Why hadn’t she told him?

Sam shrugged, engrossed by a crease on the pristine sheet.

But you cut him open?” Horn shuddered.

I… eh… yeah. Healthy as a horse. No way to identify him and no one claimed him.”

Horn stepped up to the slab and pulled off the sheet covering most of his body. “He’s not—” He gestured at the perfectly smooth abdomen, fit enough for a Greek sculpture, and no sign of the horrendous Y of stitches. How had Sam ended up in this profession?

I haven’t cut him open yet. Seems like a waste if you ask me. I won’t find anything.”

You don’t know that.” Could she?

No, but I’ve already done it twice, and I found nothing. There is no investigation going on, and no next of kin have turned up. Autopsies aren’t standard procedure for John Does.”

Horn was quiet for a minute or two. He should leave, get back to the mountain of paperwork on his desk. The captain hadn’t given him this case—it wasn’t a case, except…

How long was he here?” Horn had a bad feeling about the body disappearing. Bodies didn’t disappear, and why hadn’t Sam hinted at something strange going on?

I don’t know.”

You don’t know?” He cleared his throat and peeked at the body again.

I did my work and put him away.” She motioned at the wall with the steel doors he tried not to think about.

There were fifteen small doors, and if Sam opened them he suspected more than one pair of feet would be visible. “Next time I checked he wasn’t there. I assumed someone had claimed him.”

aidenandtristan

Daring a snowstorm might not be the smartest thing Aiden Evans has ever done, but he can’t stand being in his flat a moment longer. With only three days to Christmas, he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants a place to belong, wants people around him who won’t look down on him. He might not find that at his mother’s place, but it’s better than being alone in the city. If he can make it there, that is. 

Tristan Gardner is looking forward to a quiet night in front of the TV, but instead, he has to save an idiot in designer clothes from freezing to death in his forest. Tristan tries not to notice the man’s good looks, just like he has tried not to notice any man’s good looks for the last seven years. He knows where relationships go and is far better off living alone, with his dog, in his cabin. 

Aiden is driving Tristan mad with his bratty comments and irresponsible ways, and Aiden is going crazy from Tristan’s judgmental attitude. Luckily, in a few days, the weather will clear up, and the two men won’t have to be together any longer. But will a few steamy nights with the grumpy lumberjack change Aiden’s mind about wanting to leave? And will Tristan still want to go back to his peaceful, predictable life without fear of getting his heart broken? 

Note: This book contains Once in a Snowstorm, The Empty Egg, Happy Endings, and Just Words 

onceinmay

In an attempt to run from his past, John Welsh has spent the last few years building walls around himself. He knows the best way to stay safe is to keep people at arm’s length and preferably out of sight. During weak moments, he might wish he had someone, but he’s not ready. After all, it takes seven years for the body to replace all its cells. He has four years to go before he’s new.  

Zachary Fane is always on the move, always on his way to somewhere. He’s going from job to job, from country to country. Contrary to what people might think, he wants nothing more than to find a place to call home, and he knows just where. This time, he is ready. This time, he will stay in Nortown. This time, things will be different. But when he arrives to buy the log cabin he believed would be his, he finds it inhabited. When he goes to talk to the new owner, he is met by the most beautiful green eyes followed by a door slammed in his face. 

John should’ve known the peace he’s found in Nortown wouldn’t last. One day everything is fine, the next a mountain of a man shows up wherever he goes. All Zachary wants is to be close to the quiet man who has moved into his cabin. If following him around is the only way, then so be it. Sooner or later, John will get used to having him there…at least, if Zachary hangs around long enough. 

Note: This story now includes Honey Baked.

Pine Tree Mary

Detective Quinn Manning wants nothing more than to see Diamond Dace, one of Fagerdal’s most notorious drug lords, behind bars. After years of the man eluding the authorities, when Manning accidentally stumbles onto an opportunity to catch the powerful dealer red-handed, he doesn’t hesitate. But what should be a simple tail, instead drops Manning into a real-life world of myth and legend.

Hush is a hulder, a forest spirit also known as a pine tree Mary. Since the beginning of time, his people have lived in the forest, feeding off the energy they derive from the lust and desires of passing hunters. But Hush is an abomination, the only male of his kind.

After a lifetime of starvation, Hush has struck a deal with a human. A simple trade that will give the human what he desires and keep Hush from wasting away completely.

When Manning saves a young man from Diamond and one of his men, his view of reality is altered forever. And Hush, who has never met anyone like Manning, finds the man’s attraction to him enough to finally stave off his constant hunger.

When together they set out to rescue Manning’s partner, their connection to one another grows. But can a human detective have a future with a creature of the forest, a creature who isn’t supposed to exist?

Cover Acronym

Detective Lars Horn is called down to the morgue when a body he retrieved from a crime scene a couple of weeks ago is brought in again. No one had noticed it had gone missing, and it looks just as fresh as it did the first time Horn saw it.

Disappearing bodies is not his responsibility, but when it goes missing a second time, he can’t help but get involved. And to make matters worse, he glimpses a guy at the local pub who looks just like the lost body.

Maybe he’s overworked and maybe he had a little too much to drink, but he can’t let it go until he finds the man from the pub and makes sure he isn’t seeing dead people.