The holiday season can bring a mixed bag of things both good and bad. Tom and Ben don't always have it rosy. Here is a less than rosy situation for the two men.
“Ben? Where are you?”Tom had been working on his car; he was mechanically inclined and had no
problem working with machinery. If he hadn’t been a firefighter, he would have
been a mechanic. Tom knew one of Ben’s favorite pastimes was watching his ass
as he bent under the hood, working on the engine.
“I’m in here.”
The tone in Ben’s voice didn’t match the happy-go-lucky man
he’d left inside their home. Ben had been paying the bills while he was
outside. Tom found him in their office reading his email.
“What’s wrong, honey?” Tom leaned over and kissed Ben’s cheek. They’d just had
a great Thanksgiving and an evening of fun with chocolate the other night. Now
they looked forward to decorating for the holidays.
“Oh, Tom, I just got a letter from Brandon. You know, my
friend from college? He told me Barry passed away.”Barry Benton and Brandon McKenna were Ben’s
friends. They’d known each other since high school.Barry went to college with Ben and, when they
graduated, Barry took a job offer in Texas as a civil engineer.
“What happened, Ben?”Tom grabbed his office chair and pulled it beside Ben’s desk.He took Ben’s hand in his and rubbed his
thumb over his knuckles to try to comfort him.
“I got word from my friend Brandon that Barry was in an
accident in Texas.He was traveling on
the interstate and some fog rolled in. He ended up hitting a car in front of him that
stopped short… another car hit him from behind.He was taken to the hospital. He died a few hours later.” Ben sobbed
after the last words were out of his mouth.
“The last time I saw Barry he was checking into the hotel I
was staying at while I was attending a real estate conference in San
“I don’t remember a conference.”
“It was before I met you, about seven years ago. He and I
kept in touch over the years, and then I hadn’t heard anything for a
while.I was thinking of contacting him,
asking him to come out for the holidays. Now that can ever happen.”
“Aww, baby, I’m sorry.” Tom wrapped his arms around Ben and
held him tight.
“He was a good guy, why did this have to happen to him?”
“I don’t know. I’ll never understand why this stuff has to
They held each other.
“Let’s bring the boxes with the holiday decorations up from
the basement.”Ben switched
subjects.Tom knew it was his way of
coping with this tragedy.
“Are you sure you want to do the holiday thing now?”
“Yeah, you know this is one of my favorite times of the year,
Tom. Barry and Brandon and the rest of our rag tag group used to love to
decorate the dorm and go ice skating.Then we’d end our evenings with hot cocoa.”
“Yeah, Ben?” Tom had deposited the last of the boxes on the
“Do you think we could do that sometime?”
“Do what?” Tom thought it would be nice to start up the gas
“Go ice skating.”
“Honey, I’ve never been ice skating.”
“I could teach you.”
Tom felt Ben’s arms wrap around his waist and his chest
press up against his back and lean his head on Tom’s shoulder. “I guess that
could be fun.”
“We could go to the skating rink tomorrow. You’re not
“Uh, no,” Tom said with trepidation.He wasn’t looking forward to slipping and
sliding on the ice, but he’d do anything for Ben.
Tom faced Ben and they kissed.
“Okay, honey, we can go skating.”
“Thanks, Tom. I need this after hearing about Barry. I’ll
ask Brandon what’s going to happen with, well, you know, the arrangements.”
“It’s okay, honey, I’ll be with you.”
They set about opening the boxes and decorating their home,
inside and out.The last thing would be
the tree. They’d go to a tree farm and pick out and cut down their own tree in
about a week or so.It was part of
their family tradition.
I'd like to welcome MA Church as a guest on my blog today. Let's find out more about her book "Nighttime Dreams" (the idea of tentacles is already making me curious)
Hey everyone! I’m taking over Lily’s blog today,
lol, to talk about my M/M sci-fi romance Nighttime Dreams.
Nighttime Dreams came about months ago when I wrote
a short story for an anthology having to do with tentacles. That’s right, lol,
tentacles. I wanted to do something different from what I’d read, and came up
with an alien that has tentacles on his head. They almost look like dreads, but
oh, they are so much more! These Ma’Rairan warriors have tentacles that are
part of the alien’s sexual reproduction system. Oh yes, things get very
interesting, lol, when those tentacles come into play.
Well, the short story quickly evolved into something
else. Before I knew it, this story had taken on a life of its own, and 20K
words wouldn’t be enough to do it justice. Thus, the series was born.
Bryan, a simple country sheriff, is ready to shoot
someone and hide the body. One particular homophobic FBI agent is really
pressing his buttons. Along with that he finds himself in the middle of an FBI
investigation revolving around a recent UFO crash landing, is questioned about
a missing friend targeted by the FBI, and makes first contact with the very
alien the FBI is hunting.
Daroshi, a Ma’Rairan warrior, has fulfilled his
obligation to his species, and is ready to mate. As second in command he
monitored the rescue of his captain who crashed on Earth while collecting his
mate, and witnessed the confrontation between a country sheriff name Bryan and
his captain. Impressed by how courageously the brawny human male handled
meeting a fully armed alien warrior, Daroshi asks permission to take Bryan as a
Neither male is ready for the problems that come
with Daroshi’s decision, nor the passion that explodes between them.
Ziang and Daroshi transported down into Bryan’s
backyard. The night was pitch black, the moon hid behind layers of fluffy
clouds. Branches in the trees danced soothingly to gentle breezes. An abundance
of shrubs moved silently in the quietly swirling wind. Bryan’s small house was
set away from the main road and deep in the woods, alone and isolated. Much
like the owner.
“That’s good for us. The last thing we need is more
attention, and that FBI agent showing up,” Ziang said. “I want this to go clean
“True. Of course, if he did show up, we could give
him to Haya.”
“I don’t like the human, but I wouldn’t do that to
my worst enemy.” Ziang tapped the communications device on his wrist, loading
in their landing coordinates. “Since Bryan is a law enforcement officer, set
your weapon to low stun, just in case.”
“Ziang, I don’t want to stun him if it can be
“Neither do I, but Shawn’s words keep replaying in
my head. Most bullets won’t hurt us, but then, Bryan isn’t most humans. I’m
sure he has other weapons in his house that could be dangerous.”
“But their weapons are so primitive.”
“That may be, but primitive can wound just as easily
as advanced. Set your stunner to low, and use only if needed.”
“I’ll distract him, and you unarm him, if necessary.
I know you don’t want me touching him.”
“No more than you’d want my hands on Shawn.”
“Understood. And no, I wouldn’t.”
“Should we activate our invisibility?”
“No, it’s dark enough. If we just appear, we may
scare him even more.”
They crept around the house, moving carefully though
the darkness. Both activated their face shields for night vision. They blended
with the night, silent hunters that became one with the darkness and shadows;
predators with a mission. The prey was inside, unaware of what was closing in
on him. Ziang opened his wrist weapon and pinpointed Bryan in the house by his
body heat. He motioned for Daroshi to follow him to the back of the house.
They’d enter through the back door in the kitchen. As they passed the open
window, Daroshi came to a stop when he heard Bryan’s comment about his hand and
a big red dildo.
His body came alive and his tentacles jerked against
his back. A low growl of desire slipped out. Ziang immediately sliced his hand
through the air, calling for silence. Daroshi couldn’t help himself; the very
image of Bryan working a dildo up his ass inflamed him and sent his desire for
the human spinning out of control. Daroshi respected this human’s bravery and
his dedication to an often thankless job, but now there was more. He could
scent Bryan’s arousal. The scent was unlike anything he’d ever smelled, sharp
and musky. From the depths of his soul the word mine exploded in his head. He
wanted Bryan with a passion he hadn’t felt, ever, and he’d do whatever it took
to ease him into his new life.
In his excitement, he made a rookie mistake. As he
passed the window, he didn’t bend down low enough to conceal himself.
* * *
Bryan sat at the table, waiting for the cookies to
bake, when he heard a low growl, quickly smothered, outside the window. He’d
heard something very similar, and not long ago. It wasn’t a sound he’d ever
forget. Every hair on his body stood up, adrenaline spiked, and his heart
kicked into high gear. A cold flush spread though his body. From the corner of
his eye, he caught the blurry shape of something moving under the window. He
glanced at the back door and his stomach cramped. It was unlocked. There was no
way he could lock it before the intruder busted through. And if he was right,
and what was out there was what he thought it was, a wood door wasn’t going to
stop it. Plus, the window was open.
Calmly he stood and reached for the drawer by the
stove. His off-duty weapon was stored there. He grabbed the taser, too. Why was
the alien back and sneaking around his house? If it was the alien that Shawn
left with, why not just show itself? He’d seen it before, so why act like this?
He’d seen lights in the nighttime sky shortly after Shawn left with his alien,
but he assumed they were monitoring the situation, to make sure all was okay
before they left. It never crossed his mind they were watching him. Why would
they be watching him? Another unsettling thought hit Bryan. Had something bad
happened to Shawn? If that was Shawn’s alien, and he wasn’t sure it was, had it
returned to let him know? But that was silly; he couldn’t communicate with it
like Shawn could.
What the hell was going on?
The handle on the back door turned slowly. Bryan
tried to slow his breathing; he was sucking air and that wasn’t good. The door
eased opened, an inch at a time. He held his ground as the door opened and he
found himself staring at a seven and half foot alien… again.
M.A. Church lives in the southern United
States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married
to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are
gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football,
racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.
But her most beloved hobby is reading.
From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later
nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into
the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the
thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would
write a book.
By sheer chance she stumbled across a
gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she
fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she
enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.
Well it's that time of the week. Time to Flash. This week I picked a photo prompt. Something that pretty much everyone, or most everyone LOVES.....Chocolate!
Tom and Ben are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving together with a few friends and family. This event happened this week, before Thanksgiving.
looked at the Godiva website, at all the photos of the wonderful confections
they sold; ones that his beloved husband would absolutely drool over.He’d been at their shop at the mall and
couldn’t resist picking up a box of chocolate truffles.Ben had been working, showing houses to a few
couples. He’d called and said he was just finishing up the final details on a
contract and should be home in about an hour.
Tom made dinner; just some meatloaf and potatoes for his
hungry man.The chocolates were going
to be a surprise.
He’d just taken the meatloaf out of the oven when he heard the door open.
“In here, honey.”
“What smells so good?”
Tom got a kiss on the lips. “Meatloaf.”
“My favorite.I knew
there was a reason I rushed home…for food.”Ben smiled mischievously.
“Nothing else?” Tom was letting the meat rest while he began
mashing the potatoes he’d boiled.
“Hmmm, let me think.”Ben leaned on the counter. “Nope.”
“Well, I guess I’ll just eat all this food myself.”
“Not if I kiss the cook again,”Ben teased.
“You sure about that? I thought you’re only interested in
“The food is good, but I love the cook better.”
Tom felt arms wrap around his chest and kisses planted on
the back of his neck.
“That’s better. Why don’t you change and I’ll finish
Tom had the meatloaf and potatoes, string beans, and their
favorite wine on the table when Ben joined him.
“Wow!” Tom felt his heart pitter patter when he saw his man
dressed in a green sweater and jeans, the same sweater Tom had given Ben for
“Hi, my sexy firefighter.”Ben took a seat next to Tom and unfurled his napkin and put it on his
“Have at it, sweetheart.”Tom enjoyed watching his man eat.
“Oh boy, I’m stuffed.”Ben said after he’d taken his last bite and pushed his seat back from
“Really, too stuffed for these?”Tom brought the special surprise out and put
it on the table in front of Ben.
“No way, is this…”
“Godiva truffles, the ones you said you’d do anything to get
your hands on.”
Tom picked up a sweet morsel and fed it to an eager Ben.
“Mm, delicious, your turn.” Ben slid a piece into Tom’s
mouth. Tom couldn’t resist licking the chocolate off Ben’s fingers.
“Thank you, Tom. This is just fantastic. I can’t believe you
did this for me.”
“You’re worth it, I love you.” Tom leaned forward, their
lips met.“Let’s go to our bedroom.”
“Can we bring the box of goodies with us?”
“You bet.” Tom took the box of chocolate magic balls.
The morning sunlight cast its light across the floor; in the
spotlight was a trail of clothing on the floor and an empty box of chocolate
lying next to the discarded apparel.Two naked men lay in the bed, their limbs tangled in the bed sheets and
Week’s prompt is: "I thought I'd seen everything, but..." or
use the alternate prompts.
napkin, philanderer, watch or "How many times can you..." or use:
sun, Vaseline, spiral or "But I thought you said..." or "I would
prompt is: "I thought I'd seen everything, but..." or use the
never liked this time of year, turning the clocks back an hour. Hefelt like
he’d just gotten used to the extra sunshine and now it was getting dark by five
in the afternoon. This was also the
time of year he worried most about Tom being a firefighter, as it was a
dangerous profession. With people accidently setting fires to their homes while
being careless with candles or Christmas trees, it was hard for Ben not to
think the worst. Otherwise he’d be worried sick every time Tom walked out the
door.He remembered in the beginning,
when their relationship had gotten serious, he used to keep watch at the front
door, just waiting for Tom to come home. How many times can you do that before
it drives you insane?He and Tom had
serious talks and both agreed that they would try to take things one day at a
time and not think about the worst case scenarios.
had a busy day today, showing homes to several clients. Some could be so picky
he wanted to smack them. First-time homeowners were the worst; they expected
him to work miracles in getting them ‘exactly’ what they wanted, even though
they gave him a ridiculous budget to work with. Some days he wanted to throw
his hands up.But his workday was done
and here he was in their home. He had a turkey in the oven, even though
Thanksgiving was still over a week away.It was just a turkey breast. He and Tom loved turkey any time of
year.Sometimes they’d just skip having
turkey at Thanksgiving and order one of those spiral cut hams from one of the
local farmer’s markets.
couldn’t stop looking at his watch. The turkey would be done in half an hour
and the space where Tom’s car would be parked was empty. It only served to
remind him how much he missed his man.Today was the last day of his three-day work schedule and Tom was
supposed to have been here about half hour ago.“It will be okay. He’s just a little late.”Just then Ben’s cellphone chimed and he
quickly retrieved it from the kitchen counter where he’d left it. A text
message from Tom.
‘Sorry, honey, we had
a L8 cal,l turned out to be nothing. I’m on my way home. Can’t wait to C U. XO’
was so relieved he felt like he was walking on air.He took out their best tablecloth and china
and set the dining room table. He finished things off by setting some flowers
he’d bought earlier from the florist on the table. He put them in a vase Tom
had given him for his birthday one year.
turkey was out of the oven; the mashed potatoes were all ready, as were the
green beans. All that was missing was his man. As if on cue, he heard the front
Wow, what smells so good?”
rushed to the front door and threw his arms around Tom. He did one of the
things he loved doing best, smothering him with kisses.“Hey, don’t I even get to take my coat off?”
let me help you.”Ben helped Tom off
with his long black wool coat; he hung it in the closet then returned to
hugging and kissing his man.
missed you too, honey.”Tom wrapped his
arms around him.
couldn’t wait for you to get home.Come
on ,you must be starved.”Ben led him to
the dining room table. “Now you just take a seat and let me get some food into
brought out two plates with turkey and brought a bowl of potatoes and beans and
placed them all on the table.He poured
some merlot. He wasn’t sure if it went well with turkey, but it was one of
their favorite wines so he didn’t care.
sat next to each other and enjoyed a quiet dinner. At times they held hands,
whispered sweet nothings at each other.Later each knew that there would be more to
dessert than the pumpkin pie Ben had baked earlier.
Here is my latest release from Silver publishing. I thought I'd give you a little peek into the inner workings of me, author Lily Sawyer (to order please click on the book cover on the right hand side)
The Next Big Thing
1- What is your working title of your book?
"From the Depths."
2-Where did the idea come from for the book?
Silver publishing had a submission request called a different kind of love. It involved characters who have physical or mental challenges. My story deals with something very personal to me, depression.
3-What genre does your book fall under?
it's a m/m contemporary story.
4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
There are two TV actors who I think would do a great job. Stephen Amell (he plays the Green Arrow on "Arrow" ) and Josh Dallas (he plays Prince Charming on "Once Upon a Time.")
5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Can someone struggling with depression find a way to be happy?
6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This book is published by Silver Publishing (all of my books are published by wonderful publishers)
7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took about a month to get this story together, this had to be one of the hardest books to write because I put alot of my own feelings and some events into the story.
8-What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
"Falling into Place" by Tia Fielding (available at Dreamspinner Press)
9- Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by my desire to address what can happen within the mind of a person with depression. I want people to have a better understanding of what self image is like for someone with depression.
10-What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
My main character is able to find someone who loves him warts and all.
Here is the synopsis
To the rest of the world Harry Goldberg appears to be a normal, happy go
lucky man. He has a great job working at Nosh Deli on Long Island, his
co-workers and customers love him. But Harry has a secret, he suffers
from depression, no one understands what it is like to live life on
the edge most of the time and not to be able to let anyone know for fear
of driving them away. That is how Harry has led his life, alone
except for his faithful cat. But things change when a new delivery man
shows up at the deli, one that he finds himself attracted to. But
there is no one who can love someone who has so much emotional baggage
like him, or is there?
my six. It was SO hard to narrow this down to six. I'll be posting more sneak peeks during the week.
This is a scene from a coffee shop Harry meets Nicholas, the delivery man, at.
wasn't sure if you liked them but I took a chance and bought us both their
healthy wraps. They both have grilled chicken, lite Italian dressing, tomatoes,
onion, and mushrooms."
stared at the wrapped sandwich sitting on the small table in front of him.
if you don't like it, you can exchange it for something else."
felt Nicholas's hand touch his own; the warm touch broke him from his shocked
stupor. It had been ages since anyone did something nice like this for him.
Rent successfully combines my
passion for love stories and tales with dark underpinnings. Ultimately, it's a
slice-of-life that demonstrates how true love can triumph over even the worst
adversity, including murder.
Readers of Tricks will find the world of Rent very familiar. Watch for
cameo appearances of Sean and Arliss!
On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher wants oblivion when he steps into
Tricks for a drink. He's lost not only his job, but his wallet as well. When a
mysterious stranger steps up to pay his tab, he also offers Wren the key to
fulfilling his dreams of prosperity and true love. But appearances are not always
what they seem....
His savior is the owner of the escort agency, A Louer---and he wants the young
and handsome Wren to work for him. So down on his luck, Wren figures---why not?
He can use the money. When he joins, though, he hadn't counted on meeting
Rufus, another escort with whom he quickly falls hopelessly in love. But their
love story will have to overcome the obstacles of not only trading love for
money, but A Louer's dark---and deadly---secrets.
It always amazed Wren
that Tricks could be so busy, no matter what time of day he stopped in. Today,
for example, it was three in the afternoon, a Friday, yes, but still, three in
the afternoon. And yet the stripper bar was crowded, mostly with older guys,
but some like Wren, too. Younger—wearing snarky ‘what am I doing here?’
expressions on their faces even as they cast furtive glances up at the two buff
guys dancing in G-strings to the latest Lady Gaga anthem.
Outside, Chicago in
summer was in full swing, but once you entered Tricks, you forgot all about the
city and the season. The traffic sounds at the intersection of Belmont and
Broadway, the rumble of the el a few blocks west, and the voices of many
pedestrians mingling on the street, disappeared. Tricks was a world unto
itself, a universe where nearly naked men, alcohol fumes, colored lights, dirty
floors, the clinking of ice in glasses, the husky music of men propositioning
men, and mirrored walls all conspired together, creating something that was one
part sleaze, one part gay, and one part home (at least for many of the men who
Tricks was all about
escapism. Its dancers allowed you to free yourself from the shackles of your
own body issues. Too skinny? Too fat? In-between but nowhere near remarkably
ripped? It was okay at Tricks because the dancers were beautiful and one could
imagine they got their ripped and muscular physiques effortlessly, from hanging
out in bars, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and tricking athletically
with a parade of handsome strangers. The magic might work for you one day, too.
Or at least that was
the fantasy they were selling at Tricks.
self-esteem tank was running a little low, a wink or a smile from one of the
dancers was enough to kick it up a notch. The hunky bartender calling you
‘Gorgeous’ or ‘Stud’ didn’t hurt either when he asked what he could get you.
This kind of behavior from those who worked at Tricks was hard to swallow, yet
easy to cling to, making you believe, if only for a second, you were hot. You
It was all part of the
make-believe. And sometimes, it was enough.
Wren Gallagher, all of
twenty-three years old, today needed some of the escapism Tricks offered. Yes,
he required it even at three in the afternoon. As the crowd jostled him, Wren
kept his eye on the one open stool at the bar in front of him. It was like some
sort of prize, an alcoholic holy grail, a place where he could park his skinny
ass and maybe, just maybe, forget for a few hours what a crappy day he’d had.
Just as he elbowed his
way through the laughing and chattering crowd of mostly middle-aged men and had
managed to get within inches of the vacant stool, a heavy-set guy with a bottle
of beer in one thick paw materialized out of nowhere to claim it. He was
focused intently on the blond Adonis gyrating on the bar, so he did not see
that there was a competition for the stool.
Wren stopped and
regarded the man with his brown eyes, hoping his telepathy was in good enough
working order that the man would feel the force of his gaze. At least one thing
would go right on this shitty day, Wren thought, and that one thing—all I
ask—is that this character makes eye contact with me.
Lo and behold, he did.
Wren smiled prettily, trying to buoy up the older, balding man’s ego with the
combined force of his slightly gap-toothed, turned-up-at-one-corner grin and
his shock of red hair, his slender hips encased in denim, and the geek allure
vibe he knew he gave off. He knew because he had been told he was a sexy nerd
on more than one occasion.
The guy did a bit of a
double take when he saw Wren trying to make eye contact, smiling. He looked up
at the dancer and back at Wren, as if he had to decide between one or the
other. As if he had a choice…
That was all it took.
The older man stepped back, away from the stool, and gestured with his hands,
the perfect gentleman, that Wren should take it.
Rick R. Reed Biography Rick R. Reed is
all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary,
realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense,
mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.
He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He
is a two-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda
Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't
disappoint." Rick lives in Seattle with his partner and a very spoiled
Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."
I wanted to let you know that I will not be doing a Weds Brief this week. But rest assured that Tom and Ben will be back next week for more cuddling and loving and who knows what 'trouble' they might get into.