Friday, December 25, 2015

The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

No, I’m not talking about love or elf-respect (Whoops. Self-respect. But that typo is so on-theme for the season that I had to leave it in.) or anything serious like that. Besides, if you could just give those to yourself, everyone would already have them.

Elf-Respect. Hehe.

No, I’m talking about something you can actually do to maybe make your day a little brighter. At least your Monday through Friday.

Now, I’m a big fan of Buzzfeed. It’s not like it’s that unique to be a fan, but I am. And they have a great service: Dude a Day. A newsletter that delivers a new dude to your inbox five days a week, complete with a little spot of cute text to accompany it. There aren’t many things I look forward to throughout a normal week. I look forward to whatever show I’m watching (With Into the Badlands over and done with, that’s on hiatus until Once and TWD come back on the air.). I look forward to reading my webcomics (Gunnerkrigg Court for the win!). But every weekday morning, I seriously look forward to my dude. They’re all lovely, and even if you don’t like one day’s selection, you get five a week. Times 52 weeks. That’s 260 dudes every year, plus a few for the rare weekend postings (Like the Twelve Dudes of Christmas they just finished off.).

I actually keep a folder of them. I don’t need them filling my inbox, but I like to keep my favorites for later perusal… and for later stealing, so I can use them to inspire a hero or two. With all names changed to protect the innocent, of course.

So, amid all the giving, if you’re looking for something to give yourself, consider giving yourself a Dude a Day. I wasn’t disappointed, and I doubt you will be either, darlings.

Happy holidays, and many glasses of wine, to you,

Raven

Thursday, November 5, 2015

REVIEW: Game On by Olley White

I found this book for free on Amazon and, as much as my mother told me not to judge a book by its cover, I totally did.



But it’s a damn nice cover.

The Good:
This is a cute story. Like, really, really cute. Also very British, which is understandable… since it was written by a British author and set in the UK. It doesn’t bother me at all, but fair warning for anyone who picks it up: if you’re not familiar with British slang and colloquialisms, you may want to brush up on them before you crack this book open. Or have Google at the ready.

The premise is also very appealing to my inner geek. Two people meet playing an MMO, hit it off, and eventually agree to meet in real life. I love that. More nerd love is always a good thing, in my opinion. I also enjoyed being surprised. See, when they were online, Max thought St3ff was short for Stephanie… not Stefan. That wasn’t a shock. The shock was the outcome. You see, I figured that it would turn out, since that’s sort of the status quo. But I also figured I would hate it. Straight guy and gay guy get together? Highly unlikely. But it worked out. Somehow, the author made it work in such a way that I actually believed it. It required Max to be very open to his own sexuality, but that worked out exceptionally well. The part I thought would be the weakest ended up actually being good.

As for the story, it held together from beginning to end. It was all very sweet, not much drama. Not exactly my cup of tea, but even I enjoy something light and sweet from time to time. Game On definitely fills that place in my library. Like I said above, it’s cute, and there’s nothing wrong with cute.

The Bad:
I don’t have a ton of complaints, but I have some. As I said above, it wasn’t very dramatic. That led to the occasional goofy moment that ruined the experience a bit for me. There was a dance scene at the end, a roller disco, and some moments inside the MMO. They weren’t a major issue, just not my preference. I like darkness with my love stories. Always have.

I also had issues keeping the characters straight in my head. I found them very similar to each other, so when they were talking, I found myself having to go back a few times to figure out who was saying what. It’s an issue I’ve seen a lot in M/M romance. A lot of times, the differences between the two heroes are physical only. It makes for attractive heroes, but it becomes confusing quickly. That was the case here. There were differences between them, but only very slight differences.

The other little complaint I have was the final love scene. It was a paragraph. I honestly didn’t see the point in putting it in at all. The book could have been a romance sans sex, and that likely would have improved the quality of it, in my opinion.

The Ugly:
This is a problem that might not bother everyone, but it was very large for me: proofreading. This book badly needed a proofreader to go through it. Commas were used in place of periods, words were misspelled, and the grammar was just a big issue for me. Not so big as to ruin the enjoyment of the book, but noticeable to me. Noticeable enough that I was pulled out several times. There were several sentences where the grammar changed the meaning, which is a problem even if you aren’t anal-retentive about spelling and grammar like I am. But the book managed to be cute enough to overcome those issues, which is saying a lot for me.


All in all, Game On is a really sweet little love story. Especially for free, I’d give it a chance.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Guest Post: Hidden Shifter by Abraham Steele

Abraham Steele's new book Hidden Shifter is out! The seventh instalment in the Fated Date Agency series is a standalone gay paranormal romance with all the angst, adventure, and steamy action you could ask for. Read on for an excerpt and an exclusive giveaway from Abraham!


Hidden Shifter excerpt:

“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.”

I’d already been sitting on the edge of my leather couch waiting to hear who my fated mate was. Now I pressed the phone to my ear as if it would make an explanation come faster. “Bad news?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hillwell,” Praya said again. “Your fated mate is… dead.”

The phone fell out of my suddenly-limp hand. I slumped against the couch, unable to move. It sounded like the woman was still talking, but I didn’t have the strength to pick the phone up and hear what she was saying. She’d already told me everything I needed to know.

My fated mate was dead.

For a moment, I just let my mind wrap around the facts. My fated mate was gone before I’d even had a chance to meet him. I’d never known him – and now I would never know him. Still struggling to breathe, I pushed myself to wrap my fingers around the handset.

“Mr. Hillwell?” the matchmaker asked. “Are you still there?”

Was I? It was a good question. “I’m here,” I finally said. “There… there must be some mistake. My mate can’t be dead.”

“I know this must be shocking for you,” she said. “I can call back later and give you your mate’s information, if you’d like. I think you could still make it to the funeral.”

A fist seemed to squeeze my heart. Going to my fated mate’s funeral would be bad enough if I’d actually lived with the man. To go without having known him felt even worse. I didn’t know if I could take it.

This definitely was a shock, and I was about to ask Praya to call me back as she’d suggested. Then it hit me. If I could still make it to the funeral…

“When did he die?” I asked.

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Hillwell,” she said quietly. “He died yesterday.”

A strangled sob came out of my lips. If I’d just written to the agency earlier, I would have met my mate. It had been open for years now. Practically every alpha and omega I knew had been written in, been matched, and fallen in love. Shifters across the country had already found happiness.

But me? No, I was always too busy. My work was more important than finding the man of my dreams. The money was stacking up in my bank account, and there was no time to feel lonely. When I did think about the coldness of my bed at night, I just put off writing to the agency. There was always more time.

That time had run out.

Somehow I managed to speak. “How did it happen?”

“He was in a car accident,” Praya said.

She sounded sympathetic. I tried to picture her – she sounded middle-aged, but what did she look like? Was she behind a desk? In a white lab coat? Her hands would definitely be folded, and her lips would be pursed. It probably wasn’t every day that she had to deliver this kind of news. Well, it wasn’t as if it mattered.

“You can look up the details, if you’d like,” she said. “His name was Idris Greene.”

The name alone sent a rush through me. Idris, Idris… They said names could influence your personality, and in this case I thought it was true. Knowing his name brought me a tiny bit closer to him. I could almost feel the man I’d been meant to spend my life with.

“I’ll… I’ll look him up,” I murmured. “Thank you.”

I walked with heavy steps through the halls of the home I’d made for myself. The elaborate furnishings and expensive tapestries seemed to mock me. The two men with arms intertwined in a five-thousand-dollar painting shook their heads. I had bought myself a yacht – a yacht! – yet I hadn’t found time to write to the agency. What was all of this worth if I had no mate?

Praya should have matched me earlier. She should have reached out to all the unmatched shifters. There were so few of us left at this point – I was sure she could have done it easily. If she’d put in some effort, done her job, I would have had some time with my mate. Maybe he wouldn’t have died if he’d been here with me.

How could fate have done this to me? Why give me a mate just to take him away? Stopping short in the middle of the hallway, I clenched my fists and screamed up at the sky. My cri de coeur was raw, primal – a howl of suffering.

When I could scream no more, I dropped my hands to my sides. Doing it had given me a kind of relief, and I saw my situation with new clarity. I had done this to myself. I couldn’t deny that. Praya had operated her business as expected. The stars had given me the same treatment as everyone else. It was me who had held off on writing to the agency.

I took in harsh breaths, knowing that I could only blame myself. Why had I waited so long for the right moment? When was the right moment supposed to be? I’d finally done it now that I was closing in on thirty. I’d done it calmly, as if writing to the agency was no different from ordering take-out. I’d only been mildly curious about what I was going to get. If anything, I’d worried slightly about how finding my mate would screw up my current life. I had it pretty good – or I’d always thought I did.

What good were all my stock trades now? They’d seemed so urgent before, and yet I’d never thought the few extra dollars in my bank account from each time I’d said “later.” Love had been waiting for me, and I had shoved it aside...

———

For your chance to win your choice of the first six books in the Fated Date Agency series, just comment with the title of the book you would want to read.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Eight Dudes for Your Friday!

Hello hello, darlings! In order to whet your whistles for Silverfall, I thought I'd offer up a little... let's call it inspiration. Or we can be frank and call it a bunch of dudes I want to bang. But I suppose I'd be wiling to share with you...

(I don't have copyright on any of these images. If there's any issue with a copyright holder, I'll gladly take them down.)


Those eyes, though...


I think his body is ready.


I'd very happily lick that tattoo back.


Sand in a few crevices would be more than worth a roll on the beach with him


I find long hair can get in the way, but I'd make an exception for him.


Quick bathroom selfie?


Yippee-aye-oh-ki-yay!


I do love a man who reads...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

M/M Erotic Romance: Silverfall

It's finally here! A new book for you, my darlings: Silverfall!

Cover Art by Fiona Jayde

I'm particularly fond of this book. It's got some action, some magic, a lot of sex, and a lot of sarcastic humor, all packed into a few hours' reading. If that sounds like your kind of thing, click HERE to snag a copy for ten percent off at Loose Id. Or, give it a couple days and it should be at your preferred ebook retailer :) I'll make sure to disperse links when I get those.


Anthony Gates has been alone since he broke up with his boyfriend two years ago, and his best friend convinces him to go out on a blind date. But that turns sour, leaving Anthony to walk the streets rather than head home and face his friend. That's when he sees the unthinkable: a unicorn killing a man. Fantasy collides with Anthony's reality, and he can't seem to escape the currents pulling him deeper.

Leon Phillips is the strongest of those currents. When he and Anthony meet at the club, they have immediate chemistry, and can hardly keep their hands off each other. But Leon's hiding a secret. He's the unicorn Anthony saw that night, charged with guarding the local population from hunters. As their romance blooms, the secrets leak out until, finally, the unicorn hunters capture Anthony as bait. To keep Anthony safe, as well as the rest of the unicorns, Leon allows himself to be captured instead.

Now perfectly normal Anthony will have to save Leon from his hideous paranormal fate--because that unicorn is his soulmate.

EXCERPT:

“I don’t know about this,” I said. It didn’t stop me from standing there, letting Terry fix my tie and hair and everything else he thought was wrong with me. “I’m sorry, I just don’t think this is a good idea. I know you’ve set this up for me, and I know it’s a huge deal for you to give up one of your suitors, but I just don’t know.” 

Terry sighed and patted my cheek. “You’re nervous. It’s been a long time since you’ve gone out with anybody.” He gave my face one final squeeze, then went back to straightening my tie. “You need to remember that Carl cheated on you. It’s way past time for you to get back on the horse.” 

Yeah, I was already well aware of all that. “Hell of a pep talk there. You want to remind me about prom night too?” 

He rolled his eyes. “Oh, come on. Prom night wasn’t that bad.” 

I pulled his hands down and looked him right in the eye. “Nancy Wolthorp tried to take you back to a motel room, you came out to her, and she made a huge announcement. I ended up leaving Dave Sands there so I could wash the word ‘fag’ off your ass with turpentine.” 

Terry shook his head and went right back to work. “You make it sound like it was so bad. You still got lucky.” 

“I don’t think jerking off in your bathroom counts as getting lucky.” 

“Well, you can make up for it tonight.” He fastened the top button on my shirt, gave the tie a final jiggle, and apparently I met his standards. 

“How exactly is this going to make up for prom night? Do you even remember how hot Dave Sands was?” I turned around and looked at myself in the mirror hanging from the back of the bathroom door. I would never tell Terry, but I looked damn good. Pressed slacks, polished shoes, white long-sleeved shirt, and black bow tie. Maybe I was a bit overdressed, but the bastard knew what he was doing. 

“You make up for it by letting Darren pound your ass so hard you can’t walk in the morning.” 

I rolled my eyes. “It’s the first date. Some of us in this room aren’t total sluts.” 

“You make it sound like it’s so bad.” He winked at me with those damned blue eyes. They drove everybody crazy in California. No such love for a Montana farm boy like me. My eyes were a perfect match for mud, and nobody ever fantasized about that. I sure never did. 

Terry slid between me and the mirror. “Listen to me, Tony. You’ve had nothing but hookups from online ads lately, and those are as soul-crushing as it gets. I know it. I used to be in the same situation. So I say, if Darren wants to sleep with you, jump on him. Repeatedly.” 

“Whatever.” No point arguing. I wouldn’t convince Terry of anything anyway. He might have been right too. I definitely could have used the release. But again, no need to let him know any of that. “Where is he taking me, again?” 

“Largo. It’s that new Italian place. Just a couple blocks from here.” 

“And he just happened to pick Italian?” 

Terry shrugged, grinning like he just won the damned lottery. “He made the choice all on his own, of course. I guess it was just meant to be. It’s not like an Italian restaurant is an uncommon choice for a first date.” 

“How many times did you have to mention that I liked Italian food before he made his own choice?” 

“Six. So you better bring me back some fucking tiramisu.” 

“I will if I can afford it, but you know fucking tiramisu costs extra. And the chocolate gets everywhere.” 

“God, just don’t tell any jokes on the date. That’ll be a no for sure.” He slapped me on the butt—way too hard—and pushed me out the door. “Now please, have a good time.” 

“That’s the plan.” 

“Well, it’s not a good time if you’re back in the p.m. Remember that.” 

I shut the door behind me. I knew he’d lock up when he left. For all his faults, he was a good guy. I trusted him, even if I didn’t buy into his “good time” philosophy. 

* * * * 

Darren was definitely Terry’s type, and Terry had good taste. He wore a proper black tux, just for the first date. I definitely wasn’t overdressed. That was one nice thing about living in a big city like San Francisco—dressing nice actually happened outside of funerals and weddings. He was almost as skinny and svelte as Terry. A blond with green eyes and the cutest damned butt I’d seen in six months. Totally squeezeworthy. Biteworthy. Up-all-night–worthy. 

All right, maybe I did need to get laid. Bad. Darren was definitely an option and definitely sending me signals. At least, I assumed the hand holding and footsie were signals for sex. 

I leaned over the table. “So, what do you have going on later? Do you want to go somewhere after or just go home?” 

“I think we could go somewhere else after.” He raised my hand to his lips and held it there for a second or two. “Do you live close by?” 

I shook my head. Sure, it was a big-ass lie, but I didn’t know Darren that well. He didn’t need to know where I lived. Not right away. “Are you wanting to…you know?” 

“Fuck? Yeah.” He said it without any hesitation, but red still tinted his cheeks and ears. “I know it’s pretty fast, but I think we have really good chemistry. And you’ve got this whole rough-and-tumble, hardworking-man thing going that’s just driving me nuts.” 

“Well, I’m glad it works for someone.” 

“It definitely does.” Again, he kissed my hand. His lips were warm and soft against my knuckles. “I’m pretty glad I got set up with you.” 

“So am I.” But no need for me to mention that to Terry. I pulled my hand back. “Are you sure you don’t want to go dutch on this check?” I held up a take-out container. Terry’s tiramisu, sans fucking. “Or at least let me pay for this part?” 

“Don’t worry about it. I’m happy to pay for a little thank-you treat for Terry, and I’m sure I’ll be even happier about it in the morning.” He gave my hand one last peck. “I just hope it holds up in my fridge overnight.” 

“I think it’ll be fine.” Damn it, I was doing this. Anyone who might have a problem with it could just screw off. Me included. There was nothing inherently wrong with sex. I could always get to know him later. Or not. I wasn’t thinking with my head anymore. Dick all the way. Damned hypocrite, I was. 

I scooted my chair closer to him so I could whisper. “Well, I’m ready whenever you are.” It was my turn to blush now. No matter how many times I had to go through the whole “conversation” with guys, it was always, always awkward. “I didn’t bring any condoms. So, if we could just stop by the store on the way back to your place, everything’ll be perfect.” 

Darren chuckled. “Come on now. We’re both adults. I know I’m clean. Unless you’re not.” 

Of course. Too goddamn good to actually work out. I pushed back from the table. “You might know that you’re clean, but I don’t know that.” Should have known it wouldn’t be that smooth. “I’m not trying to offend you, but I’ve got to be safe about this. AIDS is everywhere nowadays.” Maybe not everywhere, but I was making a point. 

“Look, I’ll take you home, and you can look at my papers. I got checked up a couple weeks ago. I promise you I’m clean.”

He reached over, but I stood up. “I’m sorry. No condom, no deal. I just…” I squeezed his hand. “I’m sure you’re great, and I really want to sleep with you. Like, a lot.” 

“Well, then what’s the problem?” 

I closed my eyes and took a couple of deep breaths before continuing. “I told you I wasn’t comfortable without protection, and you started trying to convince me instead of respecting me enough to try.” 

“I just don’t like the way they feel.” 

Darren was beginning to lose his appeal, and Terry was beginning to lose his tiramisu. 

“Nobody likes the way condoms feel.” I was loud enough that the people at the other tables were looking at me. Which wasn’t good, and it didn’t make me any less red in the face. I sat down and quieted. “Condoms suck. I get that. But they’re important. And if you’re not willing to compromise on that for me, then I’m not willing to compromise my first-date rule for you. I don’t care what your paperwork says.” 

“Fine.” Darren slapped his hands down on the table and rose up. “And I changed my mind. We’re definitely going dutch.” 

* * * * 

With the container of tiramisu under my arm, I headed back to my apartment. I hoped Terry would still be there. I had some choice words with him about this particular jackass. He more or less charged me for not sleeping with him. Like some reverse whore. It’s not as though I wouldn’t have paid for my part. And his part. Gladly, even. Well, my part for sure. It’s why I ordered light. I never once expected him to go in for the whole bill. But for him to pull that crap after? Because I wouldn’t do bareback? Bullshit. 

That’s why he got a glass of wine tossed on that nice black tux. Anyone who heard our “altercation” probably thought I was just a tight-ass or I felt entitled somehow. Well, they could screw off just as much as Darren. 

I lowered myself onto a bench on the sidewalk. There were still people out and about. A lot of people. Which was just pathetic. I may not subscribe to Terry’s a.m./p.m. theory of fun, but I damn sure knew that a good date shouldn’t end before eight in the damned night. And a date that ends in sex definitely shouldn’t. 

Of course, this date wasn’t ending in sex anymore. 

I couldn’t help wondering why I didn’t just move back home. In Montana, I was pretty hot shit. The whole idea of hotness is totally different there. That hardworking-man look isn’t just the kind of thing a few guys like Darren are into there. It’s pretty much the norm. 

But then I remembered exactly why I stayed away: working on the ranch to avoid getting thrown out of the house, the sidelong glances from Dad, and the awkward family dinners where I had to endure Great-Aunt Ruth asking why I didn’t have a girlfriend yet, a strapping young God-fearing Christian like me. No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t haul off and slap her one across the face, either. She was eighty-eight, for fuck’s sake. 

Mostly, though, I remembered what I had here. I wasn’t rich at all. If I took a couple of sick days, I’d feel it at the end of the week. In the ten years since moving to San Fran, I’d had twice as many jobs, and they all paid about the same: crap. But it was my money. I got paid for the work I did, and I could use it to keep myself alive. If anything else came my way—or I got a couple hours of overtime—that was mine to spend how I wanted to, and none of it had to go in the plate at church. 

I smelled the air, felt its warmth in my lungs, in my nose. Fresh-cut grass from the park a few blocks away and hot tar where they’d fixed the road that morning. No horseshit or hay anywhere even close. Not scents I missed. 

I sat there, just a block or so away from home, and I watched. The people wandering by in my neighborhood still fascinated me. The diversity of it all. A pair of goths passing, dropping a few coins in a homeless wino’s cup. A woman in an evening gown, her heels in her hands and a cigarette hanging from her lips. 

I fit in here because everyone fit in here. 

I smiled as I rose and looked straight up. Bright signs and streetlights washed out any brightness that might have come from the night sky, leaving nothing but a veil of black. The darkness hid all the imperfections of the buildings too. In the daylight, you could see how dirty, broken, and cheap a lot of the neighborhood looked. At night? It all vanished. I normally didn’t take enough time to notice it. After living in San Francisco for ten years, the magic of it had sort of worn off. That would probably happen anywhere. But the beauty of that dark, starry sky seemed so obvious in the moment, and it only made my smile wider. 

I could go home now. The home I paid for with my own money. I could even find it in me to let Terry have his tiramisu, despite his pivotal role in this particular round of humiliation. Maybe. This was just one more bad blind date and one more asshole who refused to wear a rubber. Calmed down, I could see that. It sucked, but it was okay. 

I took one step toward home, and then I heard it. A horrible, tearing sound I never liked. It was a horse and not a very happy horse, either. It was in trouble. Bad trouble. I did my best to ignore it, but that only lasted about half a second before eighteen years of training kicked in. I turned around and hauled ass. I couldn’t let the poor thing suffer. 

Each step away from my apartment brought me closer, made the crying louder. So loud. I’d never, in all that time on a horse ranch, heard one crying like this. Not for broken legs, branding, or birth. I couldn’t even fathom what could be causing this kind of pain or terror. 

I heard hooves and I turned. Down an alley, I caught the flash of a tail. I darted across and followed. Surrounded by walls, every sound was even louder. The clopping of hooves, the snorting, and the keening moans. There was no other way to describe that sort of wail of distress. 

I came around the corner and froze. There it was, obviously upset. Someone else was there, but he didn’t seem to be hurting the horse. He was doubled over, clutching his middle. Didn’t even look like he noticed the horse at all. 

But I couldn’t move. I knew a fair bit about horses. Not everything, by far, but I knew enough to recognize breeds. This wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen. He was a stallion, a beautiful steel-gray but with a metallic coat like an Akhal-Teke. His fur caught the light and gleamed silver. His mane and tail were sleek and long, the same color as his coat. 

Mostly, he was huge. I had to guess somewhere around nineteen hands at the shoulder. If I went over there to try and help him, he could trample me by accident. Upset and huge weren’t a good combination. 

He cried out again, rearing back on his hind legs. That’s when I saw it. The horn. A good foot and a half long, it stuck out of his skull, sharp and silver like a sword blade. Just in case he wasn’t scary enough before. 

Then the horn came down. It stabbed right through the guy’s arm and chest and back and came out slick with blood. The stallion pulled back, showering droplets of red across the walls and pavement, and then galloped away. 

Warmth flowed down my leg, and I ran up to the guy. To the body? The victim? I didn’t know what to think or what to call him. I felt like an idiot, checking his pulse. What blood was there left in his body? It had to all be on the ground. There couldn’t be any more than that. It pooled around him, around my shoes, the dirt from the pavement floating in jagged, erratic patterns on top of the red. 

I didn’t find a pulse. He wasn’t breathing. I had to hold back the urge to vomit long enough to make a call. My hands shook so badly that I had to brace against a wall just to call the cops. The stink of iron, blood, piss, and garbage filled my lungs now. I would have taken horseshit and hay.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Silverfall: Cover and Release Date

Huzzah, my darlings! I have most wonderful news! In fact, most wonderful news times two!

First off, I have the release date for Silverfall. It will be available to you on October 27th, so rejoice!

Also... I have the cover. I suggest you prepare your intimate bits for this one. It could cause some moisture in sensitive areas. Are you prepared for this? I certainly hope so...

Cover Art by Fiona Jayde
Yes, darlings! Yes! I love it so, I do, I do! I hope you do as well.

That's all for now. Expect more as we get closer and closer to the date in question.

Raven

Friday, September 25, 2015

Update: Two New Books, a New Short, and... My Endless Love?

Hello, hello, Darlings! I realized I needed to pop by, because there's been quite a bit of news piling up on my end, and I thought I should share it with you.

First off, if you haven't heard, I have a new book coming out through Loose Id. Keep a look out for Silverfall if you're interested in some snarky humor and a sexy unicorn shifter. It's currently slated to come out at the end of October.

Also, after much waiting, Street Magic is finally on the move again. The cover artist is at work, the manuscript is being proofed, and there's not much left to do. I don't have a date on that one, unfortunately, but keep an eye on Storm Moon Press to see what's up with that, as well.

As for the short story... well, that's a bit of a long story. Now, I had written something for a call. They wanted erotic stories about blind vampires. Pretty specific, but I thought I could do it. But by the time I got it written, the word count had been changed, and my piece was far too short. You can imagine my horror at that, darlings.

But, a few months later, I saw the call for Blood in the Rain and I said "Okay, sure." I wasn't doing anything else with the story, so I sent it off there. It was a good story. There was no reason to leave it sit when there was a perfectly viable market there. And since they wanted Pacific Northwest Authors, it was an exciting prospect for me.

Well, I made it into the antho. Again, I don't have a date, but it should be soon. They say it's going to be out in time for Halloween, so I would place my guess at early-mid October. Keep your eye on Cwtch Press for more info on that.

And as for the endless love? Well, that's what I feel for all of you. You've stuck through me with this whole thing, even though I sometimes disappear for unspecified, unannounced periods of time, and I'm still working to peg down a regular release schedule. You're here. Even if you're knew, that means that you are willing to give this old broad a chance. And I love you for that.

Now, go have some wine. No, not the cheap stuff. You deserve better.

Raven

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Quick Shout into the Void

My darlings, I have to apologize for the total and complete radio silence… and all other types of silence. It’s been a big, strenuous time for me, trying to cram quite a bit of work in around taking care of the dogs and very important procrastination that needed attending to. Yes, that’s basically what it was – procrastination.

But I did get some work done while I was working. I edited Silverfall and am currently sending it around to publishers in the hopes of it getting picked up. If it does, then prepare yourself for some sexy unicorn shifters (Written before Chuck Tingle made unicorns popular, too.). I also sent out the first book of my big, sexy fantasy series to beta readers, so I’m gathering up the wine necessary to make it through their notes.

Judging from what I’ve heard about it so far, I’m going to need a lot more wine that I currently have. Oh, the woes of living in a small, mostly dry town. It makes my poor old heart ache.

Aside from that? I haven’t really been doing much. A few plotting things here and there, planning for a big trip to a convention, watching the feeds come in from RWA Nationals over the last week. All that fun stuff that I would be doing anyway. But as of today, I’m back on the horse… mostly because I looked at my production schedule and realized just how far behind I could end up if I didn’t start working again immediately.

I will try to be better about posting, too. In the meantime… have this picture to sate yourself, darlings:




Raven

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Tanner

I wipe the sweat from my brow and stare up at the white disk of sun in the sky. “Go down already.” I’m in the fields until sunset, and the summer heat is just fucking lovely. I didn’t even bother keeping my shirt on. It was too soaked to bother with halfway through yesterday. It’s not like I stand out. All the farm boys go shirtless. My modesty was just getting the better of me.

Well, that and Tanner. Beefy, blonde, always with a big smile on his face. He keeps all of us in line. I never fuck around on the job, but I think about what might happen if I did, and just kept it up. Normally only think about that at night, when it’s all right to imagine getting a spanking for bad behavior, but my mind drifts as I look at him, muscular chest glistening in the noon light. Golden body hair glitters, downy. A trail of it slides below the waistband of his boxers, just visible over the top of his jeans.

Shit. Not the time for those thoughts. Boner makes it hard to do the work properly. But there it is, God damn it. Still, I glance over at him again. Not like I can do more damage.

He looks back at me, smiles even wider, and nods. What does that mean? Not long before I find out. He weaves his way across the field to me, stops maybe a foot away. Well inside my personal space, for sure.

He locks his fingers behind his head, arms out wide, showing off the tufts of hair. “It’s about lunch break, you know.”

“Still an hour, I thought?”

He shrugs and winks at me. “I’m the one keeping things going, and y’all are looking pretty hot working out here.” Another wink—was that a come-on? No. I’m just nuts—then he turns shouts out across the field. “Lunch. Be back to work in an hour. Got some tea in a jug in the back of my truck.” As everyone else scatters, he looks over his shoulder at me. “You like tea?”

I just nod. This is… weird. Definitely weird, and not helping calm down my dick.

He grabs me by the elbow and leads me over to his truck. “It’s a little cooler in the cab.” He reaches into the beat up cooler he always drags with him and pulls out a milk jug full of tea. “If you want.”

Again, just nodding. I know better than to read into it, but still… damn.

Tanner slides into the driver’s seat and I jump into the passenger’s side. As soon as I close the door, he drops the tea on the floorboard and leans across, sucks in my lower lip. His tongue slides into my mouth, thick and warm. The shock fades and I wrap my hands behind his head. We sit like that for a good ten seconds, warmth and softness and the scent of sweat constantly building around us.

When we part, his smile’s the widest I’ve seen it. “Just tell me how far you’ll let me go. No pressure.”

It takes a minute for my mouth to work again, and then I only manage one word. “What?”

“I’m not blind. You think I haven’t noticed you checking me out?” He just shakes his head. “If you want to stop it at making out, that’s cool.”

I consider it a second. Just a second. “Whatever you think is best, boss.”

He laughs and his hand slides down my thigh. “I think the bed of my truck after we all knock off work.”

Yet again, I just nod, let him unzip my fly.

I look at the disk of sun and want it to drop down that much faster.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Flames



The flames didn’t burn, only warmed my skin from afar, warmed the bedsheets, threw everything into stark light. Rian towered above me, the brightness dancing across his slender frame. The tattoos across his body seemed to swim and undulate, alive, separate from him. Maybe they were. It wouldn’t have surprised me.

He slipped into the bed beside me. His skin so cool and the fire so warm. He kissed me, scraped tiny fangs along my lower lip. I shuddered and wrapped my arms around him. I wouldn’t keep him forever, but I could manage for now. For a few hours. As fleeting as the flames surrounding us.

His eyes danced with brightness, gleaming gold and silver and brass. Inhuman and perfect. He dragged a thin finger down my cheek and onto my chest. I shivered again, wanted him, needed him. My cock ached, begged me to attend to my needs. And to attend to his. I walked my hands along his back, down to his hips. No sweat, no sign that he’d ringed us in fire.

I slipped a finger into his crack and traced it along the tender skin, felt the tiniest shake when I brushed across his hole. Back and forth, pressing harder each time. Again, he kissed me. His tongue slipped into my mouth like ice, drew circles over my cheeks, lines across the edges of my teeth.

I pushed my finger forward. Resistance. His body tightened as the first knuckle slid in. At last, warmth. Deep in him, my hand pressed all the way to the flesh. I circled my finger through it, pressed against the hard ring of muscles. He moaned and dived down, pushed the sound into my mouth. The air smelled of smoke and he tasted of oak wood and the strong wine we’d drank all night.

Another finger in. He hardened, cock sliding up my thigh. Wetness streaked up as he grew. I reached down with my free hand, stroked across the tip, drew circles there as I worked deeper and harder at his hole. His moaning and whimpering only increased, loudened. It leaked out, no longer contained by our mouths. The flames flew higher and higher, burned brighter. Sweat beaded up all across my body, dripped onto the rough blanket beneath us.

I wrapped my fingers around his shaft, stroked top to bottom and back again. My fingers pumped in and out of his ass. His arms tightened. He bit down on my lip. The colors of his eyes flashed faster and faster, and still the flames burned more and more.

Finally, he pulled away, breathless. A single rivulet of sweat streaked down his cheek, glinting in the flames. “I need you now.”

I nodded. I could settle for a few hours of this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Silk

I stroked the bed sheets, feeling cool silk beneath my fingers. Pale silk, like cream, barely visible in the flickering candlelight. I sighed and stared up at the ceiling. Orange played over the plaster ceiling, spots and shadows and light all dancing together.

“Ready?”

I lifted my head. Seth stood there, his cock hard and curled up to his belly button. I traced the lines of his abs, dark skin with even darker shadows. Round nipples stood pert. A shadow of a beard lay across his jaw. Golden-brown eyes fixed into me, bright and alive. Thick lips drew up over brilliantly white teeth.

I nodded at him, lifted my hands and spread out my arms. He stepped forward, steps muffled by the thick carpeting. He lowered himself on top of me, all heat and weight and hard muscle. He pressed me deeper into the mattress, deeper into the heat and softness. He smelled like a wet day, rain and damp earth and wood and leather. Like a man.

His fingertips traced a smooth line down my face, my neck, my shoulder, my chest. He grazed across my nipple, flickering heat and lightning down deep into my core. It constricted, tightening my breath, and left me lightheaded as his hand trailed farther down. Across my ribs and down along my hip. I closed my eyes, fell into silk and warm. He traced the familiar lines, three inked circles. He knew them better than I did, always touched them, kissed them.

Lower still. I curled up the sheet in my fists as he wrapped rough fingers around my shaft. He stroked up and down, shooting waves of ice and fire down into my balls, up my spine. It blossomed out to fill my whole body, then receded. A cycle, intensifying each time. I whimpered and groaned through tight lips. My jaw tightened, forcing my teeth together. My arms lifted, pulling the silk up with it.

And then he stopped. I looked up into his eyes. He still smiled, and he looked unreal in the firelight. Ethereal and shadowy and perfect. “Are you ready for more?”

I laughed and wrapped my hands behind his neck, pulled him down lower to me. “I’m always ready for you, Seth.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Sol and Lun


The wind surrounded us, caressed our skin as we floated along thermals, brushed fingertips through pale clouds. Tzoriel’s wings beat slowly, glimmering in pure sunlight. His hands wrapped around my shoulders, dragged lines of passion down my back, down my chest, across my stomach.

We jolted higher again, swirling and twirling, our mouths knotted together, tongues sliding. He tasted of juniper and honey, so much sweeter than any mortal dalliance. I tangled my fingers in white-blonde curls and flapped to push us ahead, faster. I grew hard against his thigh, but he never allowed, never sped his approach. Always solid and steady. My Tzoriel.

The wind chilled my skin as we crept ever higher. Goosepimples raised along my arms and my back. I clenched my body against the shivering. We followed the line of the mountains, up past the snow and ice and cragged stones. A moment of lightheadedness, but it passed.

High enough in the air, there is no sound. Only what you bring with you. I could almost hear his heartbeat up there. Tzoriel’s breath was the only heat I had.

He pulled back from our kiss and smiled, then wrapped his wings around me, a cocoon of softness and brightness. We plummeted, faster and faster, the earth coming closer. My heart thudded in my ears even as his lips rode the taut cords of my neck, pressed to my skin. I sighed, let him carry me through the panic. I had no choice but to trust him. The exhilaration hummed through my cock, hardening it, readying me.

As the sounds of life approached again, his wings spread wide. Feet from death, he pulled us up, up and up to a plateau of gray rock. We collapsed together and he sucked in my bottom lip, grazed hard teeth across it.

When he pulled back, he offered me that smile again. His eyes gleamed golden and pale. “Are you ready?”


I’d been ready since we took off.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday Special: Street Magic Excerpt

Another treat of a sort, I hope. This is an excerpt from my upcoming fantasy erotic romance novella. I'll stay out of your way from there.



I kissed him. His lips were so soft and pink. Even with his eyes puffed and red, he was lovely. I could feel his body, a solid weight leaning into me, and his chill skin. I touched my hat again and called over a blanket to wrap over him, then broke out of the kiss, panting and lightheaded. "I'm sorry."

After a pause, he grabbed the back of my head and pulled it forward, crushing us together. His tongue, hot and strong, felt its way around my mouth. He leaned harder against me, pushing us into the couch. Now, I could feel his full weight against my body. The bars piercing his nipples were even colder than the rest of him. They pressed into me, hard, frigid.

We slid down, deeper into the blankets, the warmth. He shivered as I traced his spine, down to the waistband of his jeans. He arched up and, without any intention on my part, my hand slipped into his pants, sliding along the smooth fabric of his underwear.

I yanked away and pulled my hand up against my chest. "I didn't mean to."

"Please don’t stop." He brought my hand back down to cup his ass, tightened my fingers so I squeezed the firm muscles. “I just… distract me.”

How could I say no to him? I was the whole reason he needed distracting. And my dick was happy to oblige. I sucked in my lower lip, trying to control my reactions with him lying on top of me, but I could feel the tingling growth in the gray wool pants, and I couldn't pull away far enough to hide it from him.

His rough fingers slipped open my buttons, making quick work. In the heat of the embrace, the Magisters could have come and killed me. I wouldn’t have cared. Not pressed up to Nick's warm, pale brown chest, his hands undoing my shirt, wrapped under a blanket, the pungent smell of the A and D twining around us. Let them come.

I fumbled a hand out to snuff the lights, leaving him blind and me with only the light of the runes.

He pulled my shirt off and pressed his lips against mine again, let the soft fullness warm my mouth. He moved down, pressing his lips to my throat, my Adam's apple, the center of my chest. He stopped, sucking a nipple into his mouth. I shuddered as his tongue danced over the hardening, sensitive nub, as his teeth glided across it. My back arched up, shoulders tightening. My other hand reached around, squeezing down on his other cheek, pushing his crotch against mine. His skinny jeans hid no excitement, a hard rod running partway down his thigh.

He sat up, the blanket slipping off his back, and unbuttoned his pants, then yanked down on the zipper. I moved my hands away from his ass while he jerked his pants off, exposing bulging, electric green briefs. Damn. Talk about self-control. I almost started rubbing myself as I unbuttoned my slacks, slid my boxers down. I pushed myself up to get clearance, rubbing my calves against the hot, lightly haired insides of his thighs. That didn’t help matters, either. My dick stood straight up, foreskin pulled back to show off the head. Precome glistened in the subtle light of my runes.

Nick had finally loosed himself. A lightning jolt thrill of excitement coursed through my whole body, skittered across my skin when I saw his foreskin. I didn't often get to sleep with uncut guys—a dying trend in America—and I much preferred the smooth, supple look. The skin covered his head, leaving just the very front of the tip to peek out. And a piercing. A tiny bar, capped off with two silver balls, running through the underside of his dick, just behind the head. I could only just see it under the hood of skin.

His balls held tight to his body. Shaved smooth and out of the way. His bush, coarse black curls, had been groomed into a perfect triangle, the bottom point at the base of his cock.

I leaned up and grabbed the blanket, threw it over the two of us. Now we were alone, cut off from the rest of reality again.. I groped in the near total darkness, first against his hard stomach, then down into his bush, then finally to the cock. I flicked the tiny silver balls and he buckled down on top of me, letting out a quavering moan.

I moved my mouth over there, smelling the sweaty musk, the way it mixed with the A and D into a strong, pure smell. I could almost feel it lock into my mind. His smell. The smell of sex.

I eased the foreskin back until it wouldn't move anymore, then moved closer to it, kissed him on the head. Then again. Then again. Each time, I let my mouth open wider, let him slide into me until I had his head—piercing and all—in my mouth, resting against my tongue.

Heat built up under the blanket. I could feel sweat in my hair, now, dripping down my back and between my cheeks, sending another spark of excitement through me, straight to my dick.

I wiggled my tongue against the hard metal piercing as I sucked on his head. Another moan, this one shaking Nick's whole body as it forced its way out of his mouth. It bent him down again, resting his head against my shoulder. His hair flopped down, tickling my nipple. "Fuck," he whispered, the hot, humid breath of it cascading over my back.

I took in a little more, a few more inches, still leaving most of his cock exposed to the open air. His foreskin slid back into place. I moved it with my tongue, went at the piercing through the sheath of skin. One of my hands moved up and wrapped around my cock, rubbing precum all over the head, moving it inside the foreskin, turning every nerve in there all the way up to the max. I felt it all the way up into my middle, a heat, part apprehension, part bliss.

I took in all the rest that I could. It still left more than an inch of taut skin showing at the base of his cock. His head rubbed against the back of my throat. I shifted a bit, opened my jaw a bit wider, and pushed forward, let the head slide down my throat. The heat moved farther up, almost in my chest. It tingled in my toes and fingertips, too.

He tasted slightly of soap. Of soap and the sweat that poured from both of our bodies, filled the air with that raw smell. Every breath tasted of salt, though that might have just been lingering from his cock.

I stroked myself faster, foreskin gliding over the precome-slicked head. I moved in counterpoint to my bobbing. I took his dick, my hand went up to the top of my head. When I came up off his shaft, my hand hit the bottom. We moved in unison, all to Nick's steady, whispered counterpoint. "Fuck. Shit. Yes."

I sucked long and hard as I came off the final time, the head coming free with an audible pop. I still stroked myself, more slowly. I kissed him on the lips, let my tongue touch his, let myself feel the soft skin on the inside of his cheeks. His hair hung in my face, brushed against my nose, dripped sweat down my cheeks, my chest.

I pulled back and looked at him where I figured his eyes must have been. "Do you want to do more?"

"Hell yes." He breathed, then kissed me again. He only landed half on my lips, but shifted over as he went, as his hand wrapped around the back of my neck. When he released me, we both panted. The heat had hit my chest, now, into my heart, out into my forearms. A tiny ball of it had formed right between my shoulder blades. My body felt lighter, as though it could have just floated off if I hadn't had Nick to bind me down.

I groped in the darkness for my hat, then flipped it over so I could see the symbols better and touched the summoning rune. It took a little bit, but in a few seconds the blanket fluttered up, flashing our darkness with light, and a bottle of lube and a condom flew in, landed right in my hand. I fumbled with the condom, tearing it open on the third try, then stopped. "Top or bottom?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Sol and Lun


At the top of the hill, Sol waited, his body bathed in bright white light. He stared up at the sky, fixed his gaze on the pale orb of the moon set into the blue. For once, together, night and day.

A gentle, familiar rustle in the grass drew Sol’s attention behind him. A ghostly, silver form walked up the hill, brightening with each step closer. “I had assumed you wouldn’t make it.” A voice like a soft breeze blowing through the dimness of evening. “I’m glad you did.”

Sol didn’t respond, just bridged the space between them. He wrapped brilliant arms around Lun’s hard body, lost sight of him in the reflected brightness. He wrapped warm lips over the cool, traced shallow, circular scars that covered his silver form. His cock grew hard just being this close to Lun, and he pressed his hips closer, ground himself against Lun. Only here on this hill, and only when the full moon hung in the morning sky. Otherwise, they remained bound only to look at each other.

Sol did look. He stared longingly for years before he could finally bring himself to step out of the light, touch Lun’s pale perfection. And since, they waited for the moment their bonds would loosen again. Moments like this.

Sol bent down, wrapped his lips around the shaft of silvery flesh. It was hard and cool against his cheeks, on his tongue. Lun shuddered as Sol sucked, slid slowly up and down. Cold hands wove through the golden fire of Sol’s hair, knotted it, day around night. It only urged Sol on, made him want it that much more. He took the cock deeper, all the way to the back of his throat. It slid easily, like cool water. The only thing that could ever chill Sol’s flames.

He let himself slide off and looked up into solid black eyes. “How long?” Only Lun’s time was so limited. Eventually, the moon would disappear, and the sun would remain there in the sky for hours and hours.

“Not enough.” He unwound his fingers, stroked a smooth hand down Sol’s cheek. “But time for this.” He lowered himself to his knees. The grass came up around them as they lay, lips against lips, fire and ice, stone and light mingling together. No matter how much he tried, Sol could never capture the sensation, the feel of that icy body, the press of solid silver, the hardness of Lun’s cock riding against his thigh. Yet he relished it all the same, longed for it. Love, he couldn’t say, but the passion between them flared too bright when they were together. So bright the hilltop glowed, just as it did that day, as they lay together.

Lun wrapped long, stiff fingers around Sol’s shaft and stroked, pounded his fist from base to tip and back again. “I wish we had more time.”

“So do I.” Always more time, always the same wish. And always unanswered.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday Special: Midwinter

It's very warm where I am, and I'm feeling quite the longing for snow and ice. I know I can't be alone.

Now, normally I keep my Tiny Tales under 500 words, but this week is something special. I wrote a story called Midwinter for last year's Circlet Press Advent Calendar. Trouble is, it was only up that one day.

So, here and now, I'm letting it out for the world to see. I hope you enjoy it.


The screech of metal against stone filled the dark, wooded halls of the Oak King's palace. He stood at the grinding wheel, foot pumping, honing his blade. After so many thousands of years, the twining knots on the center were almost nonexistent, but if he held it just right, the moonlight would catch them, revealing the sword's former glory.

He told himself that lie every Midwinter. He knew the designs would come back, brilliant as ever. But not now.
Now, his power was weakened. No amount of polishing or grinding would change that. But, just as it was his place to greet the sun at Midsummer, so too was it his place to fight this fight on Midwinter, no matter how unfit his blade.

A few final passes over the sword. It would get no better. He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. The last remnants of his power lived there. While everything else had turned to gray death and slumber around him, the ceiling of his palace remained green, full of wave-edged leaves, fluttering in the too cold wind.

"My apologies." He held out his hand and watched the leaves wither and fall. Their light flowed into him. Their warmth filled him. And, for those few moments, he could once more make out clearly the tooled patterns filling the flat of his claymore. But it faded, as it always did. His rejuvenation felt empty, not enough for his tastes.

But after the battle, he would see the Holly King again. And that alone gave him the will to slip into the useless, brittle oak armor.

***

It was nearly Midwinter. Minutes away. And still, the Oak King stood alone at the top of the mound. What would happen if he stayed alone, if they never met? What would become of the wheel of seasons, then?

But he wouldn't find out. Not this Midwinter. The Holly King's light preceded him up the hill, casting long, spidery shadows from the lifeless trees. The Oak King gripped his sword in both hands and waited, tried to ignore the stirring anticipation in his midsection.

Glowing, rapier held to the side, the sight of the Holly King caught the Oak King's breath in his chest. Pale skin like fresh snow. Long, languid limbs that seemed never to end. The pale, peachy armor of holly wood, carved with the same knots as the Oak King's sword. But these knots cut deep, visible even from across the hilltop.

The Holly King stopped a few feet away. "Evening." Streaks of bright red from the holly berries slashed uneven across his cheeks, matching the bright color of his eyes. Empowered. "You came, then."

"I must." The Oak King looked up at the moon. "It's nearly time."

"I know." The Holly King took another step closer, his sword held off to the side. "Must we fight?"

"It's for the humans." How often had the Oak King asked himself the same question over the centuries? "They expect to see the battle."

"No one pays attention, anymore. We've clung to this meaningless ritual too long."

"It's not meaningless." More lies. They both knew the Holly King was right. The battle meant nothing, it only served to keep the respect of the people. What mattered came after, when the crowds cleared.

But there were no crowds anymore.

Another glance to the moon. The Oak King backed up. His claymore felt so heavy, tonight. Perhaps he could just abandon this. But pride wouldn't let him. Not that night. "We don't have anymore time for discussion. Midwinter is here."

The Holly King sighed and spun his own sword around. "Very well." He rushed ahead and thrust. The Oak King spun aside and sliced out with his sword but the holly armor deflected the blow. It shouldn't have, should have shattered under the weight of the claymore. But not on Midwinter.

Metal clanged against metal, filling the night air. Every movement of the Holly King shifted the light and shadows across the hilltop. Sweat already built on the Oak King's forehead, ran down under his armor, slicked the grip of his sword.

He swung again, throwing his body into the movement. And the claymore slid out of his hands, skating across the hilltop and well out of reach.

The Holly King pressed the tip of his rapier against the Oak King's throat. "You give in." It wasn't a question.

The Oak King nodded. "I always do."

Slowly, the rapier lowered. The Oak King stared into the bright, vibrant eyes of the Holly King. Stunningly red. Looking at him felt warm, like taking the last power from his oaken palace had. A ball of light and heat expanding in his chest.

The Holly King's long, pale fingers brushed down the Oak King's cheek. "I've missed you." Down his hand went, untied the breastplate, the pauldrons, the faulds. Soon, the Oak King stood in the night air, nothing but his leggings and tabard between him and the cold.

But he stripped those off, too, let Midwinter embrace him. And the Holly King joined him. They lay together, bare on the hard dirt and stone. The Holly King's light washed over him. Their lips met, locked together. Cold against the Oak King's mouth. Each touch felt like the lightest drop of a snowflake against his skin, only a whisper of chill.

Long fingers walked down the Oak King's body, wrapped into a fist around his shaft. Up and down. Soon, the cold dissipated into hot, silken skin. Up and down, hardening the Oak King's shaft, lengthening it. Up and down.

The Oak King scooted lower, down until the Holly King's curving cock sat even with his lips. He slid the length into his mouth, down to the back of his throat, tongue swirling and spiraling over the soft flesh. The Holly King shivered and groaned, tangling his fingers in the Oak King's coarse, dark mane of hair. The shaft tasted of icy winds, mingled with the earthiness of winter nuts and pine. His white-blonde bush smelled of spicy leaf rot and smoke. All signs of his grandeur, all synonymous with winter.

All perfection, to the Oak King.

The Holly King pulled himself from the Oak King's lips. Those long, thin fingers moved under the Oak King's thighs, lifted him up, exposing his bare opening to the chill night. Soon, now. Soon, Midwinter would take hold, and the Holly King would rule.

Two fingers pressed against the Oak King's hole. He relaxed, letting them slide in. The Holly King spit on them as he worked in and out, loosening the muscles. "I'll try to be gentle."

"I know." He said that line every year. But their battle was not gentle. The change of seasons was not gentle. Thus could their love never be gentle. The snow and the sun must always clash.

The Holly King slipped his fingers out and hoisted the Oak King's legs and ass higher still. His hard shaft pressed against the Oak King. Harder. Harder. In. Quavering waves warped through the Oak King's body, all from that point. His back arched off the ground. He always felt that bite of pain, no matter the Holly King's intentions.

But slowly, it subsided. He fell into the fullness of the shaft inside of him, the gentle ebb and flow as the Holly King's speed built. Coarse hair pressed into the Oak King's ass, then pulled away, taking that glorious, powerful fullness with it. Then back again. Ever faster until finally, skin slapped skin. Each thrust of the Holly King's hips rocked through the Oak King's body, digging a rut into the earth beneath him. This, he longed for every year. Not the weakness. Not the fight. Not the submission. But the closeness. The fullness. Even through Midsummer, when the roles switched, he would think of the pressure moving inside him. He would ache for it, grow hard at the mere thought of the Holly King within him.

The hardness grazed across a spot inside the Oak King. He gasped as new waves of ecstasy warmed him, cooled him, toyed with him. The tip of his cock glistened with wetness, strands of it falling to his belly. Crystalline tethers in the light of the Holly King.

Fingers tightened, pressing into the Oak King's thighs. The Holly King's words stuttered out past quavering lips. "It's nearly finished."

The Oak King resisted the urge to rail against it. Not to preserve his tenuous hold on the seasons. To prolong their coupling, even for a few minutes more.

The Holly King's body tensed. His light intensified. A choked moan rattled out of his mouth. His nails dug deep into the Oak King's legs, scratched down as his grip slid free.

A piercing cold shot through the Oak King's body. A chill of sheer ecstasy. The Holly King's essence filled him. One shot. Two shots. Three. Four. Each time, the chill pushed deeper. The domination of winter over summer, the thriving holly over the slumbering oak. The cold seeped from the Oak King's body, glowing down into the earth. Winter taking hold. The Holly King's palace would bloom from the power, dark green leaves and brilliant red berries, bright snow scattered over it all. Breathtaking. But the Oak King would get only one night there before returning to his own halls of dormant, dark gray oak.

The Holly King pulled out and wiped himself clean on the back of his hand. He smiled as he helped the Oak King to his feet. "Thank you."

"My pleasure." One he would not know again until next Midwinter. The Holly King's seed dripped free, a tiny, jagged-leaved sapling sprouting from the ground where it fell. "I would like very much to visit your palace, now."

The Holly King nodded, kissing the Oak King hard on the lips. "Of course." He picked up his tunic and slid back into it. "My bed is welcome to you, Lord of Midsummer. Whenever you wish to visit."

But it wasn't. The magic prevented that. He only had Midwinter's Day. But the Oak King was no fool. He would make the most of those short hours. He would feel the power of the Holly King again.

And soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Elf/Wild

The backroom of Elf/Wild thrums with the beat of drums from the club proper. The rhythm plays to my own heartbeat, washes over my naked body like warm water. I can't see past the shadow spell cast across my eyes. But there, just barely audible over everything else, Natir's footsteps.

I finally approached him that night, and I finally had enough money to afford time alone with him. The most sought after consort in all of New London. Lovely to look at, but most elves are.

His footsteps stop. My breath hitches. Something delicate and soft caresses my chest, circles my nipple.

Natir's voice runs silken over my skin, breath warm and scented with sweet wine. "You can't see?"

"No."

A snap meets my ears. "Can you speak?"

I try and the words ricochet back at me, unspoken. I can't even move my lips.

"Good. All you have to do is think. If things go too far for you, the magic will break."

And the nothing more. .Only footsteps and rums and my heart. Clanging metal, wood against stone. Maybe just making noise. I can't tell, and the nervousness builds in my core, tingles under my skin. I wait, feeling dizzy and lightheaded. The noise stops, leaving me alone. So alone, and simply waiting for the touch of a flog or a paddle or even a hand.

Something dances delicate across my chest. I tighten at the touch. It almost tickles, but not quite. Natir's voice fills the room. "Try to relax."

And it begins. First a warmth on my chest, but that builds and builds until it snaps. A sharp jolt of pain, electricity. Just a split second, but enough that I squirm. Natir's magic holds me strong, and another jolt comes, lower this time. They run in a line down my stomach, down into my bush, and then into my cock. I yelp against the magical gag and no sound comes out. It still leans toward pleasure, only brought into stronger focus by the jabs of pain.

Now down to my balls. Not a jolt, this time, and not as painful. But constant, a tingling surrounding by balls, flowing back to my taint. If not for the magic holding me in place, I would back away. But still, I have no desire for it to stop.

When it stops, the room seems so large around me, the music so distant. I relish in the hard beating of my heart. Another snap and the gag vanishes. The blindfold as well. I take in Natir's slender face in the dark. Gold and silver tattoos snake across his bare chest and abdomen. Bright scarlet hair flows free across his shoulders.

Natir smiles. "Did you enjoy that?"

"Yes."

"Good. You paid for the night. And I find you fascinating. I intend to make this last as long as possible. Do you approve?"

"Absolutely."


"Good." Another snap and no more sight, no more speech. Just Natir and his touch and the drums of Elf/Wild.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Stoned

Cyrus passed me bong and the lighter. Red rimmed his hazel eyes, and bright pink lips spread over too-perfect teeth. He just looked at me and laughed. "I'm here with you."

"Absolutely." Everyone else had left a half an hour ago. I was going to, but that went out the window real quick. I locked my lips to the mouthpiece, held the lighter to the bowl, and sucked up on the smoke, filling the chamber. When I pulled up the bowl, all the smoke flowed up and into my lungs. It tasted of dry grass and old paper.

When I passed everything back to Cyrus, he put out the cherry and set the bong up on the coffee table. "I'm glad you stayed."

I nodded, but couldn't hold the smoke in my lungs anymore, let it flow over my lips as I spoke. "I'm having a good time." I'd already smoked more than enough t feel the effects. My shirt felt so heavy on my skin. Just wearing it made me tingle all over. Pants and boxers too, although that tingling could have been from Cyrus just as easily.

He leaned back, showing off the tufts of pale brown under his arms, stretching his skin taut over his ribcage. "It's been a long time since just the two of us smoked a bowl together."

"Not since high school, yeah."

"Graduation day. We had a couple hours before everyone else showed up." He rolled onto his side and grinned at me, eyes alight. "You still have that crush on me?"

"What crush?" The blush in my cheeks didn't play along with the ruse. They burned and surely shone bright red. More tingling downstairs, too.

"You weren't exactly subtle." Cy sat back up and grabbed my hand. "It's flattering. I'm not one of those jack-offs who's going to freak out about it."

"I know. But still. You're straight. It wasn't really right for me to say anything about it." Even though I'd always wanted to. "And it's still not."

"So you still have a crush on me, then?" He leaned over suddenly and kissed my cheek. An innocent thing, but it chilled me, pushed a cold thrill through my veins. He winked at me when he'd pulled back. "And I'd call myself straight-ish, not straight?"

"What?" He was fucking with me, and it was mean. "Cut the crap, Cy."

"Not crap. I've fooled around with guys before. Just… never stoned."

"Which guys?" I could hardly speak. Way too much of my focus went to keeping my dick under control. "Come on, you've never shown any interest."

"I'm subtle. So what?"

"You're not subtle." He inched closer and closer to me, and my voice quieted the nearer he came. "You're probably just high and horny."

He reached over, put his hand on my thigh. Anyone else would have gotten slapped for that. "What if I am? You've got a boner, Jacky."

"Come on. Just calm down." But in my mind, I urged him on, begged for more. "You're acting crazy."

No more words. He leaned in again, pressed his bare chest against me, sucked in my lower lip. I only resisted a moment before melting into him, leaning back and feeling his slight weight against my body. His tongue tangled with mine, and I could taste the smoke on his breath. With so much contact, my skin felt like a sea of sparks. Every contact an explosion, almost an orgasm in itself.

He pulled back and winked again, smiling so wide it filled his face. "We don't have to, if you don't want to. But… I want to."


"Maybe just a little." Or a lot. A hell of a lot. All night.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Wager

I could hardly keep my stomach steady. We weren't doing much, just sitting in a booth, waiting for the little blonde waitress to bring us our appetizers. But Danny had his hand in my pocket. And there was a hole in my pocket. And I wasn't wearing underwear.

All Danny's idea, too.

His fingers brushed across my balls, raising the heat in my cheeks. I had to resist the urge to cross my legs. All it would have done is trap his hand down there.

"Come on," I whispered. "At least until the waitress comes?"

He shook his head and smiled. The silvery ring in his lip glinted under the fluorescents. "You lost the bet, and you said I could have my way with you."

I had said it… "I'm pretty sure this is illegal."

"Just relax, babe. I promise not to get us caught or anything." He walked his fingers higher, rubbed them over the tip of my dick. I bit back a gasp and tried to cover it with a cough. The old lady in the booth next to us looked over, but didn't say anything. She didn't know, did she?

The waitress came back with a tray and set our plates down in front of us. "There you go, gentlemen. Is there anything else I can get you?"

Danny glanced over at me, a gleam in his eye that I wished I didn't know so well. He wrapped his fingers around my shaft, but nothing more. Just looked up at the waitress. "I'm good." Back to me, smiling wide. "Babe?"

He had something in mind and I knew it. Sure enough, as soon as I opened my mouth, his grip tightened and he slid his fist up and down, pumping me harder. The words caught in my throat and I'd been staring at the waitress way too long. I jut shook my head and looked down to try and hide the red I'm sure filled my face.

As much as I complained, I'd never been this turned on. Not that Danny and I ever had a bad time in the bedroom, but this was new. And my resistance only made my blood rush that much faster, boil and bubble that much hotter.

"Aren't you going to eat?" Still grinning way too wide still stroking up and down my dick, he bit into an onion ring, held the other half up to my lips. "Your favorite."

I snapped it up, and of course that's when he picked up the pace, shooting lightning through my dick, filled my balls with the tingling power. Way familiar, way not the right time for this.

"I think you might want to stop, now." I tried to tell him with my eyes. "Otherwise something's going to happen."

He leaned in close, rested his head on my shoulder. But still stroking. "I don't think I understand. Why don't you tell me?" His breath caressed my neck, hot and humid. Not helping matters. "I want to hear you say it, and then I'll consider stopping. Agreed?"

I nodded. "You better do more than consider stopping." I locked eyes with him and whispered as softly as I could. "You're going to make me come."

He kept up his assault for another second, then finally released me, slipped his hand out from under the table. "You win for now. I'll let you calm down." He winked and snatched up another onion ring, slipped it between my lips. "But once we're in the car, the safety's off."

I snapped up the onion ring and smiled back. "I guess that's all right." Now that he'd let me go, I burned for his touch again. Even if the old lady over there decided she wanted to watch.


"I should lose bets to you more often."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Circus Daze



The salt and butter of popcorn filled the air. Raucous cheers filled the lot. And there in the middle, anchoring the chaos, there stood the tent. A gaudy affair of gold and scarlet sweeping into the sky.

Damian walked the dirt path, focused on the tent. He weaved through the crowd, jostled past when they blocked him. All roads in the circus led there, straight to the tent, and no amount of fair food or rigged games of skill would distract him.

Around the tent, the crowd thinned, the show still an hour from starting. But Damian hardly cared about seeing the show again. He'd been yesterday. How much would change?

A burly woman put a hand on his shoulder as he approached the entrance. "Sorry. They're still setting up."

"Nikolai sent me." He showed her the black padded glove he'd gotten.

After a moment, the woman nodded. "Head back then. But don't tire him out too much."

Damian rushed past her before shame heated his cheeks. In the dark of the tent, he hoped it wasn't noticeable. Workers strung up the trapeze, hung bunting around the bleachers. It looked almost like it had the day before. Just a little more disheveled.

"Damian." A thick, liquid voice drew his attention around. He looked over his shoulder and saw the broad, bare chest, the slim waist, the bulge of a package hardly concealed by tight, striped shorts. Nikolai came up and grabbed his hand, dragged him away. "We don't have long."

They wove through other performers, clowns and jugglers and highwire walkers, and darted behind a stack of boxes. Nikolai smiled at him, brilliantly white teeth. "Ready?"

"How often do you do this?"

"As much as I can." He dropped his shorts, unleashing his semi-hard cock. "So I've got lots of practice."

Damian only hesitated a second before stripping off his shirt and pants, standing naked in front of the Cyr wheel artist. Nikolai went straight to work, kneeling, his lips tight around Damian's shaft. He wrapped a hand around his own dick and pumped, matching the rhythm of his mouth to his hand.

So much heat. Damian's knees threatened to buckle after just a few minutes. He felt light-headed, and not just because of the frenzy of the circus. The wet heat around his cock, the slight grunting from Nikolai, the slap of skin on skin as he pumped faster on his own shaft. Sweat beaded on Damian's forehead, dripped down his nose.

The pressure built and built until, finally, it surged out of Damian's cock. He leaned his back against the boxes to keep from falling. One hit, two, three, four, five before his ecstasy abated.

Nikolai rose and nodded, still hard as steel. "It'll be better next time."

"Next time?"

He slipped the shorts back on. Now they really didn't hide anything. "Tonight, after the show." He slapped a hard palm against Damian's bare ass cheek. "Don't disappoint me."

"Don't disappoint me."


Nikolai smiled again. "Doubtful."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tiny Tale Tuesday: Satisfied

Fingers tripped along sun-darkened skin, played out a dance across hard biceps and pecs. "Just lay still."

Simon barely nodded at it. He hadn't expected anything like this when he answered the ad, had agreed mostly because of the pictures that accompanied it. And they didn't disappoint. Michael stood tall and muscular, fine, pale hair spreading across his chest. His cock pointed up toward the ceiling, the head purple, glistening with a sheen of pre-come.

He hadn't tied Simon up, hadn't gagged him or otherwise subdued him. But his voice, deep like rum, proved enough. His requests flowed out, and Simon never thought to defy them. Not when Michael had laid on top of him, pressed his tongue forward. Not when he nibbled earlobes and nipples, shooting static across Simon's skin. And certainly not now, as his hands wandered up and down, brushing feather-light across Simon's chest, his ribs, his stomach, and down lower.

Slowly, the fingers tightened, curled into a gentle fist around Simon's cock. Michael leaned in close, whispered into Simon's ear. "Are you loud?"

"Sometimes." Hardly a breath of a word.

"Good. Try to stay quiet."

The firm hand eased up and down Simon's shaft, from his balls all the way up and over the head. Michael spit down onto it, easing the movement. Just knowing he couldn't moan or whimper or beg made it that much harder for Simon. All the sounds of passion filled his mouth, pressed against his lips, begged to be released. He wouldn't be punished in any way for it. Michael had assured him of that. But still, Simon couldn't allow himself to make the noise, even when Michael moved faster, squeezed ever s slightly harder around the over-sensitive shaft.

"Do you want to come yet?"

"No." He didn't want it to end. Not yet, but the pressure built inside of him, fought against the pure pleasure of being touched like this. He knew he wouldn't last long, and Michael kept stroking, applying more pressure, slicking the shaft with spit.

Simon's toes curled up and popped. His fingers tightened, balling up the bed sheet in his fist. He clenched his jaw shut, determined to stay quiet, remain silent even as his back arched up and his balls twitched. Liquid heat flew from his shaft, landed on his neck, his chest, his belly. It tangled in his pubes.

Michael leaned down and licked the last drop of come from Simon's head, then sighed. "Are you satisfied?"

More than he'd been in some time. But just as before, conflict fought within him. He didn't want this over, not yet, not when there could be so much more.

"Not quite."


Michael grinned. "I'll try again."