Friday, September 25, 2015

...And All Shall Fade to Black (Part 4)

“So, what do you think of the place?”

Jax looked from his sister to the clean, well lit shop. The walls were covered in tattoo designs, awards, and photographs of customers tattoos. She was an amazing artist, his sister, and she’d brought him in to do piercings, something he’d been certified in for years.

“Love it sis, holy shit, you’ve put a lot of work into it.”

She laughed and swatted him on the arm. “You think! This has been the only thing I’ve thought about for the last two years.”

“Yeah, I noticed when your letters went from weekly, to monthly, to every now and again. Figured if I didn’t take you up on your offer, it might be Feezle Day before I heard from you again.”

“I wasn’t that bad,” she scoffed as she led him to the cabinets and began showing him where the supplies were kept.

“Yeah, you kinda were, but I forgive you. Honestly, this place rocks. You did an amazing job, sis.”

She stood up, smiling brightly and wrapping him in a tight hug. “Thanks. When Karl died, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself. I mean we didn’t have any kids, or pets, all we had was this dream of opening a shop and working side by side creating sick ass tattoos. It sucks that I’m here each day without him, but I know he’d be proud that I was able to get it off the ground.”

“He was a good guy, sis, a good friend. I miss him too. At times he was like the big brother I never had.”

“He thought of you as a brother too,” she said, her eyes misting up a bit.

He hugged her again, resting his chin against the top of her head for a minute while she pulled himself together.

“So how do you like your new apartment?” She asked as she stepped back, wiped her eyes and checked the time.

He burst out laughing, he just couldn’t help it, thinking about the night before, the two crazy, fighting neighbors, getting handcuffed and the conversations this morning, you couldn’t make that kind of stuff up if you tried.

“What? What’s so funny?” his sister asked as she bustled around behind the counter, setting the appointment book out alongside a notepad for messages.

“Steph, I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you.” Jax managed once he’d stopped laughing.

“Try me, we’ve got almost a half hour before we open.”

Jax shrugged and told her the whole thing, from the noisy disturbance down to the invite to dinner.

“Oh, please tell me you accepted? Is he hot? He’s smokin’ right? You always seem to attract the hotties.”

“Yeah, I accepted. But sis, it’s just dinner, seriously, he’s…different.”

Steph leaned forward in her chair, elbows on knees, the ends of her black and blue streaked hair brushing against the backs of her hands. “Ohhh, different huh, different how?”

“Aren’t we supposed to be opening like,” Jax checked his watch and raised an eyebrow at her. “Five minutes ago?”

“Perks of being the owner, little brother,” she laughed, as she got up and opened the door. A quick flip of the sign announced that they were ready for business, and a quick glance at the appointment book told her that she had about two hours for walks ins.

“Alright, so we’ve got time, talk, at least until someone wanders in here,” she demanded.

“Pushy much?”

“Always, you should know that by now. Might as well spill it and get it over with.”

“He was getting his ass kicked,” Jax blurted. “I mean seriously, his face is a mess of bruises and all he would do was cower away from the guy. There wasn’t a mark on his hands, not from defending and not from trying to fight back. I just, that fuckin’ pissed me off.”

“Thus you going off on him and having to apologize. Yeah, wasn’t your finest moment but at least you were willing to admit that you fucked up.”

Jax shrugged. “Did I? I’m not even sure. I mean I shouldn’t have blasted him like that, but I feel like I have a right to be pissed off about it. I could have gotten arrested.”

“And how would that have been his fault?” She asked, the faintest hint of a grin pulling at the corners of her mouth. “Did he ask you to come over there and save him? Was he screaming for help?”

“No, they were just screamin’ and cussin’ at each other. Kinda reminded me of mom and Tony back in the day.”

She grimaced, her nose scrunching up like she’d smelled something awful. “That bad huh?”

“Yeah, it was pretty intense.”

“Mom’s changed you know,” Steph began.

Jax snorted and shot her a scathing glance. “Yeah, right.”

“I’m serious, Jax, ever since she got herself into counseling and learned how to make it on her own without a man in the house, she’s been different. She knows what she let Tony put her through was wrong, but Jax, she never let him lay a hand on us. It could have been much worse and you know it.”

“That doesn’t make it better, seeing her crying all the time and shit.”

“No, it doesn’t, but it was all she knew back then. We got out of there and we’ve done good for ourselves little brother, so why can’t you just leave the past in the past.”

“Thought I had, but shit like what happened last night just brings it back.”

“Then maybe it’s time you talk to someone about it. Maybe…Look, you’ve met some great guys but you always seem to pick them apart until you find something wrong with them. I’m not even going to try and analyze why, but I’m willing to bet it goes back to Tony and mom."

“Thought your specialty was tattooing, not making referrals to a shrink. Stick to what you know, sis.”

“I know you, Jax, and I just want to see you happy.”

“Happiness is an illusion.”

“Look around you Jax, this place is happiness, and it’s no illusion.” She pointed out as the bells on the door began to jingle, announcing they had a customer. Time to get to work, though something told Jax the conversation was far from over. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cover Reveal : Tease (Kings of Korruption MC Series)

Cover Reveal – Tease (Kings of Korruption MC)
By Geri Glenn
Releasing November 27th, 2015 (Pre-Order coming soon!)
Smile when you’re happy, cry when you’re sad and don’t ever be afraid to try something new. These are the words I live by. We only get one shot at this life, and I intend to live the best one I can. I had it all growing up. Popularity, beauty, great friends and a perfect family. But then one day, it all changed – now I’m blind. I’ve never let that stop me though. Life is an adventure and I believe in making the best out of every moment.
I spend my days with a job I love, online friends and a sexy new book boyfriend every week. I know in my heart that someday, my own prince charming will come along and appreciate me for exactly who I am – I won’t settle for anything less. Meeting Tease seems like the beginning of my fairy tale … until he opens his mouth.
I don’t trust people – ever. Every single person I’ve ever loved has contributed, in one way or another, to the shit show that is my life. Keeping everyone I meet at arm’s length, I work hard at being the star of most people’s nightmares. People think I’m a monster and honestly – they’re right.
Laynie’s beauty is what caught my eye, but her personality is what held it. Laynie’s the only person to ever see past my appearance and break down the walls I’ve worked so hard to build. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her. When things heat up with a rival club, and Laynie gets caught in the crossfire, I will unleash hell on earth to protect the woman who makes me want to trust someone again. When bullets start flying and bodies start piling up, keeping her safe may be the last thing I ever do.
About Geri:
Geri Glenn is the author of the recently released, Kings Of Korruption MC Series. The first book, titled Ryker, was published August 14th, 2015!
Geri lives in beautiful New Brunswick, Canada. She is a military wife, the mother of two gorgeous, but slightly crazy little girls, and works full time as a support worker in an assisted living facility for seniors. Even with all of this, she still finds the time to be a voracious reader and most recently, a writer.
Geri has been as avid reader for as long as she can remember. She can usually be found curled up in a comfy chair, reading on her iPad both day and night. Geri is an incurable night owl, and it's not uncommon for her to still be awake, reading at 4 am, just because she finds it hard to put the book down.
Geri loves all genres of fiction, but her passion is anything romantic or terrifying; basically, anything that can get her heart pumping. This passion has bled out onto her laptop and became the Kings of Korruption.
Writing this first book in the series has knocked off the #1 thing on Geri's bucket list, and publishing it has been an absolute dream come true. She hopes you love the Kings as much as she does.
Stalk Her!

...And All Shall Fade to Black (Part 3)

Of all the nerve!

Danny paced his apartment, angrier than he’d been the day the city had closed down the beloved old theater he and his drama troop had been trying so desperately to save. He’d lost his home away from home that day, and it had taken a long time to find another place where he and his unique style of playwriting could fit in.

His hands were shaking as he stalked through his apartment, yanking closet doors open in search of boxes, bags, suitcases, anything he could pack Sean’s stuff in. In his haste, he banged his little toe on an end table and grabbed his foot, hopping around and cursing for several minutes before the cats tripped him up and he landed on the couch with an oomph. Chorus hopped into his lap, while Lyric purred loudly as she wound her way around his ankles. A loud meow to the left drew his attention to Inferno, who studied him with disinterested eyes as he sat down to clean his whiskers.

“Thanks a lot, fuzzies,” he grumbled as he rubbed his toe, then reached to scratch all of their ears, loving the rumbling, happy sounds they gave him in return. He stood, after setting Chorus on the floor, and resumed his search for things to package Sean’s stuff in. A short time later he was in the bedroom, emptying Sean’s dresser into a couple of backpacks he’d found. There was no way he’d get out of jail today or tomorrow, in fact, it would likely take days before he could get a hold of his uncle or his mom, who both lived out of state and were pretty much the only family he still talked to. By then, Danny knew he would have time to get the locks changed too.

Thank God the apartment was only in his name, along with the phone, cable and utilities too. It had been his place for almost four months before Sean had asked if he could move in. Kinda rushed, really, but Sean had been in a bind and Danny had been head over heels for the guy, which, looking back, should have been his biggest clue to slow it down. Too bad he always seemed to jump head first into things that didn’t always turn out to be good for him.

Contrary to what he’d practically yelled at Jax, he did have a bad habit of letting people into his life that either took advantage of him or shit all over him and he was sick of it. It was starting to feel like a great cosmic joke at his expense, how he got severed a taste of happiness only to watch it crumble to shit.

Now that he thought about it, maybe that should be the title of his next play, Cosmic Joke. At least then he’d only have to go as far as the nearest mirror for inspiration. Jax’s deep blue eyes could have been inspiring and he sure had that whole tough as nails things down pat, he might have made an interesting character, if he wasn’t such a jerk.  Then again, that in and of itself might make an interesting character. He could be the antagonist in some crazy satire of a messed up life.

A quick glance at the top of the dresser and he saw he’d forgotten to pack up Sean’s toiletries, so it was back to the kitchen to grab some canvas bags. They were easily replaced and way sturdier than plastic bags from the grocery store. The last thing he wanted was Sean trying to sue him over breaking his shit.

With a sigh he grabbed the morning paper to wrap them in and headed back to the bedroom. This wasn’t the way he’d expected the relationship to end, in fact, after the first four months he’d been convinced that he’d broken the streak of bad luck he’d been on in regards to dating losers, then he’d started noticing things. Like Sean’s bloodshot eyes and decreased appetite, or the way he woke up restless in the middle of the night, or got all twitchy sometimes before going out for a walk.

Danny wasn’t naïve, not by a long shot, but when he’d questioned Sean and been told that it was just issues with work, too much coffee and a ton on his mind, Danny had been so eager to believe him that he’d ignored the truth. Sean was using, and so far, Danny had found several instances of proof in the form of small baggies.

One contained powder, one contained what he was certain was weed, while several others had contained a variety of pills. All of them he’d shoved in the backpack with Sean’s things, not wanting to have anything to do with them.  

Loud, insistent banging made him jump and crumple the shirt he’d been folding. Sean’s keys were still on the coffee table, and Danny’s heart hammered wildly as he tried to figure out what to say. No, he was not letting him in here, no, they could not talk. Resolved to stick to those two basic decisions, he stalked to the door and peered through the peephole, shocked to see that it wasn’t Sean on the other side, but a fully dressed Jax.

Scowling, and completely thrown off guard, Danny unlocked the door and pulled it open a crack.

“Was there something else you forgot to snarl about?” Danny asked, trying to keep his voice level and not let the big man see how much he rattled him.

“Guess I deserved that,” Jax said, his face actually flushing a little as he shifted from one foot to the next.

“Yeah, you did,” Danny said. “So…what do you want?”

“To apologize for being a dick. I shouldn’t have heaped my shit on you. I’m sorry,” and without another word, Jax turned and headed towards the steps, the sound of his boots echoing loudly. 

“Hey!” Danny called out, opening the door all the way and heading out into the hall behind him; grateful when Jax stopped and turned around. “Thanks for the, ummm apology and all. I get it, sorta, we all have baggage. Look, umm, if you’re not doing anything tonight, I’d still like to cook you dinner. A kind of thank you and welcome to the building.”

Jax fixed him with a wary look. “Yeah?”

“Absolutely. What time do you get off work?”

“Around ten, I think, to be honest, I’m not completely sure. It’s my first day.”

“Well, then that’s something else to celebrate then. Does ummm ten-thirty sound good? I umm, know its kinda late but you gotta eat, right. .unless you work too far away to make it back by then. Then ummm we could make it eleven.”

“Yeah, sure, not big on fast food so I was just gonna come home and cook something, so ten-thirty sounds great, thanks, I’ll see you then.”

“Yeah, umm, I’ll see you then,” Danny said with a small wave before Jax turned and bounded down the stairs. A small smile crossed Danny’s face as he closed the door to the apartment, remembering to lock it back again.

Well, that was unexpected. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blog Tour: The Marine in Unit A by Kris Cook - Book review

Title: The Marine in Unit A
Series: A Mockingbird Place Novella
Author: Kris Cook
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2015
The man who has been more of a dad to me than my biological father is dead. 
He rescued me from the streets six years ago—a runaway teenage boy, escaping a family who thought I was an abomination. 
Now what do I do? I have no one. 
My life might look great from the outside. I’m in college. I have my own apartment. I have lots of friends. 
But I’m dying on the inside. 
I feel so alone. Lost. Hopeless. 
I’m not the kind of person to wallow in self-pity. I need a distraction. 
The guy moving into Unit A may be just what I need to take my mind off of losing my dad. 
21-year old Oliver Lancaster is attracted to 22-year old Adam Stockton, the former-Marine moving into Unit A. But attraction for the closeted man morphs quickly into something deeper, something meaningful, something that terrifies Oliver. What will happen if Adam learns about the secret from his past? 
Warning: contains skinny dipping, two hot men kissing, and sexual situations taking place in a 10-unit Mediterranean complex filled with college-aged hotties.
“Loved this book! Very touching love story and has me wanting to know more about the residents at Mockingbird Place.” ~ The Smut-Brarians
“It is well written, and you can feel the intensity of the words and the emotions of the characters in the book.” ~ Bloggin' With M.Brennan
“A very nice read that I totally enjoyed. I will read more by this author especially this series.” ~ Inked Rainbow Reads
The Marine in Unit A Mockingbird Place 
© 2015 Kris Cook

Having been awake all night, I step out of the shower. The rally doesn’t start until noon, but I need something, anything that can distract me from thinking about what happened with Adam. Giving him space is what Martha and Sarah think I should do, so I decide to let a single day pass. But if I don’t hear from him by tomorrow, I will make the first move to fix things between us. And besides, Adam still needs help setting up his apartment before his mother arrives, and I want to be that help. 

I finish getting ready, and take one last look at my hair before leaving my apartment. I park my car in the student parking lot. The university I attend has a large green space in the middle of campus. Mature trees line the sidewalks that are sparsely filled with students going to and from their classes and dormitories. In the fall the grounds will be teeming with students. 

I look at the time on my cell. 8:21am. I have over three and a half hours to kill before the rally. Where to go? The library? No. I didn’t need to go over my speech any more, since I’ve spent several early morning hours already working on it. I am ready. So I decide to get a bite of breakfast in the cafeteria. 

When I walk inside, I see Adam at a table filling out some paperwork. I freeze in place. I am in a quandary whether to approach him or not, whether to follow Martha and Sarah’s advice or not, whether to tamp down my desire to sit down next to him to say how sorry I am—or not. 

Adam looks at me. Did he feel me staring at him? Before I can step back to the entrance to leave, he waves me over. I feel my shoulders relax as relief rolls through me. At least he is willing to talk to me again. I take cautious steps in his direction. Gone are his jeans and T-shirt and facial hair. He is clean-shaven, wearing black slacks and a white dress shirt and blue tie. Casual or dress up, with whiskers or without, Adam is the epitome of masculine beauty. 

“Have a seat, Oliver.”

I do, waiting for him to lay into me again about seeing his prosthetic legs. “Would you mind if I put your name down as a reference on this application? 

They’re asking for a student or professor’s name. You’re the only one I know.” He looks at me with those damn gorgeous doe eyes. “I have the option to leave it blank if you don’t want me to.” 

“Please. Use my name. I’ll be happy to be your reference.” Your friend. Your boyfriend. Whatever. 

“Thanks, buddy.” He smiles and then goes back to filling out the paperwork. 

I have the strongest urge to bring up what happened last night to try to clear the air. But hearing Martha and Sarah’s words of advice replay in my head, I keep my mouth shut. If he isn’t ready to talk about it, then I certainly am not going to mention it. I will give him whatever space and time he needs. At least he isn’t asking me to leave. 

“Done.” He stands. “Wish me luck.” 

“Sure. For what?”

“That I can get a job in the cafeteria. Are you in a hurry?”

“I don’t have to be anywhere until noon.”

“Good. Let me turn this in and maybe I could trouble you with that tour around campus you offered me.”

I am so glad he’s asking for my help. “I’ll be happy to show you some shortcuts.” “You’re a lifesaver. My sense of direction is shot. I wish you could have seen the 

look on my face when I walked into the women’s locker room by mistake earlier. Why the door was unlocked I have no clue, but I could feel my cheeks burning when the girls started giggling and running for cover. I turned and walked out as fast I could, buddy.” 

“You really do need my help. It took me a whole semester to figure out how to get around this place. But I’m surprised that you walked into the women’s locker room. Isn’t a good sense of direction necessary on the battlefield?” Oh shit. Why did I bring that up? 

“It’s easy on the battlefield. You just have to know where the bullets are coming from.” He smiles, which makes me feel better. “I’m starving, how about you?” 


“Breakfast is on me.” He hands me a twenty-dollar bill. “The lady in charge asked me to fill this out today but won’t be able to interview me until next week. Let me turn this application in and you order us some breakfast. Then we’ll go on the tour. I’ll be right back.” 

He walks away. His limp is gone. No one in the cafeteria has a clue that he is missing a leg but me. And it certainly doesn’t bother me, not one bit. I don’t know how he lost his leg, but obviously he hasn’t quite accepted it yet. He mentioned a friend was supposed to help him initially, but the guy never showed. Did Adam have any help packing and loading before driving to Mockingbird Place? He didn’t seem overly tired that night, but he is a strong guy. A former-Marine. I guess he’s not limping because he got some rest after unloading his things into Malcolm’s old place. No, Adam’s place. Unit A is Adam’s. I go and order two sausage egg cheese biscuits and orange juices for us. When I get back to our table, he is already there. 

Adam looks up at me. “Breakfast is served?” 

I place the tray on the table. “Yes, sir.” I can’t resist and salute Adam, instantly worrying I might be overstepping again. Thus far he’s been very closed mouth about his military service. But he returns the salute with a devilish grin, easing my concerns. We eat our breakfast, talking about everything except the main issue on my mind. 

“I bet you’re glad our complex has a pool,” he says. “It’s going to be very hot according the weatherman for the next several days.” 

“You like to swim?”

He shrugs. “I used to.”

I brace myself, thinking we might be getting close to opening Pandora’s box about what happened. But as usual, Adam changes the subject. “Oliver, how about you show me the buildings where my classes are going to be first?” 
“Sure thing.” 
He hands me his schedule, and I realize the lid on the infamous box is not only shut tight, it is also locked with no sign of the key in sight. What is it going to take for Adam to explain his sudden and over-the-top reaction to me learning he lost his leg? And will I ever learn if he is gay or straight? 

As we leave the cafeteria, he asks, “Do you know the guy who lives in Unit D? Long black hair. Blue eyes. Good looking. He invited me to a party tonight at his and his roommate’s place.” 

“That’s Trace. I’m going, too. In fact the whole complex should be there. It’ll give you another chance to get to know everyone.” 

“The ones who helped us move my things were very nice, though the MMA fighter is a bit intense.” 

“Tony’s that way, but I believe he’s really a good guy underneath all that darkness.” “I wasn’t sure I would go, but now that I know you’re going I will.”

We had so much drama last night, and today he’s acting like it never happened. 

Now, he says he only is going to the party if I’m going. Damn. He confuses me so much. I sense now is not the time to confront him with what I’m feeling. But if not now, when? “I’m glad you’re going, too.” 

We walk around campus, and I point out the iconic spots.

“That’s Dallas Hall, the oldest building on campus.”

“It’s quite grand. I like the dome.”

When we got to the building that had the last class on his list, he turns to me. 

“Thanks, buddy.” Buddy. There’s that word again. But better to be called that than nothing. I did say I would settle for friendship, but can I really? The more time I spend with him the more my feelings get mixed up. 

“No trouble, Adam. I enjoyed hanging out.” 

“Me, too. I would have been completely lost on my first day of classes if it hadn’t been for you and your fantastic tour.” He sighs. “I better get back to looking for a job.” 

“Do you plan on working the entire time you’re in school?” 

“Yeah. With the financial aid I’m getting I don’t have to work, but I want to. It will give me extra spending money and will keep me busy.” 

I have a feeling that he likes keeping busy so he doesn’t have to face bigger issues inside him. “You don’t seem like you would be happy working in food service to me. Have you thought about doing something else?” 

“Like what?” 

“I know the guy who heads the campus police department, Chief Torres. He told me the other day he has two openings. I bet he’d love to hire you, especially with your military background.” 

“Right.” Adam shakes his head. “A one-legged Marine would make such a great police officer.” 

I am nervous to push him, but have to try. At least he’s mentioning his service—and missing leg. It’s a start. “Adam, I saw you unload that truck and move all those boxes and furniture into your place. You’re strong and capable. You would definitely be an asset to Torres’s department.” 

“You really think so?”
My cell rings. “I know so.” I answer the call.

“Oliver, where are you?” Candy’s voice sounds frantic. “I’m at the engineering building.” 

“That’s clear across campus. You’re supposed to speak in two minutes.” “Oh crap. The time got away from me. I’ll run. Stall if you have to.” “Hurry.”

“Sorry, Adam, but I have to go. I’ve got a speech to give.” 

“I’d like to hear it.” 

“Then follow me.”

Book Review

This was a wonderful read, I was pleased to have the opportunity to read it and happy to be able to award The Marine in Unit A....................................Four Dancing Hamsters.

Kris Cook’s The Marine in Unit A was a warm, touching, sometimes funny and sometimes sad, story about a family that isn’t about blood, but about loving and caring for one another and the choices that they have made to love and support one another. Central to the story is the place where the majority of the characters live, Mockingbird Place, and over the course of the story, we slowly learn how Oliver came to live there and the things that he was forced to endure beforehand.

Another character central to the story is Adam, who is moving in during a very sad time for the residence as the beloved former owner of Mockingbird Place has just passed away and he finds himself actually moving in during the memorial service. There forms a sort of instant attraction, at lease on Oliver’s part, as he strives to get to know Adam and worm his way into Adam’s life.

Of course, there are many positive things that he brings into Adam’s life in the process of doing this, like honesty, truth and courage, as he gives Adam the strength to admit to what happened to him in the service and face the life he now must lead on the outside.

While there is some angst and some struggle and strife at times, the characters seem to deal with it all in a very positive way, confronting one another and openly discussing things rather than hiding from them.
I found the characters to be interesting and engaging, all of them, not just the two main characters, everyone felt like they had an important role to play in the story and seeing that there will be a sequel, I felt like there was more than enough information given to make me invested in learning more about some of the other characters, especially Tony. Something in his tone, attitude and the way he interacts with people just makes me want to know more about him.

All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read. Every now and again it’s nice to check out something a little bit lighter than some of the grittier pieces that I typically read. This was a solid 4 star book. 
Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I’ve been out since I was twenty-five." A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris' influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Last year, Kris married the love of his life Stephen. 

The Cowboy in Unit E

Friday, September 11, 2015

....And All Shall Fade to Black (Part 2)

Jax tossed and turned on the lumpy mattress that was currently serving as his bed. It wasn’t the worse thing he’d ever slept on, but it was a far cry from the best. With a groan, he rolled onto his back and draped an arm over his eyes, shielding them from the early morning sun. The last thing he was looking forward to this morning was getting up and going to work, but since he didn’t have the luxury of skipping out, he was left no choice but to roll to his feet and head to the bathroom.

As he stood under the warm spray from the shower, some of the anger from the night before began to creep back in. Without a doubt, that had to be one of the stupidest things he’d ever done. In fact, if he were to rank a lifetime of insanity and bad decisions, that one was floating somewhere between number two and number five in a very long list.

It wasn’t like it was going to make a difference, the small guy, what the fuck had he said his name was, Denny, Danny, whatever, he’d prolly bailed the asshole out and was up making him breakfast and laying his shit out for work. Dumbass.

He sighed and brushed the water out of his eyes. His sister would tell him that he was being a cynic, that not everyone was like their mom had been. Fuck that noise, his sister saw rainbows and sunshine in everything. Even when people pissed her off she just smiled and somehow or another managed to win them over. That wasn’t him, that had never been him and never would be.  People only showed you good when they wanted something, or when they wanted you to like them, as soon as they’d suckered you in, who they really were tended to emerge and he’d learned early on that it was safer to play with pit bulls then people. At least a dog wasn’t gonna bite you unless you provoked them to.

People on the other hand…

Turning the water off, he shook his head, sending water droplets everywhere before grabbing a towel and quickly toweling off. He’d barely pulled on his jeans when someone began knocking on his door. For a moment, he considered ignoring it, but the knocking grew more insistent and with a groan he resigned himself to the fact that whoever it was just wasn’t going to go away.

Muttering curses he stalked to the door and yanked it open, only to see the top of Denny-Danny’s head. The smaller man looked up at him with a sheepish grin, the bruises on his face and neck looking much worse in the light. His nose was still crooked though, and Jax wondered if maybe it hadn't been broken long before the incident. 

“Hi, umm,” Danny stammered, as Jax crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe, wondering how long this was going to take.

“I ummm, I just wanted to, ummm,” Danny continued, looking around awkwardly. “You didn’t ummm, have to help last night, and ummm, I just want to ummm, thank you.”

“Is that all?” Jax asked abruptly, pushing away from the doorway. “Don’t expect it to happen again.”

Danny took a step back, eyes widening in shock at Jax’s harsh tone. “I-I don’t, I mean, I-I won’t.”

 “Good. And do me a favor, try and keep it down the next time you guys decide to fight. No one else needs to hear that shit.”

Jax reached for the door, intent on shutting it, when Danny slammed his hand against the door, stopping him. He wasn’t sure what possessed him to do that, except fury and indignation. He hadn’t asked for help last night, but he had been grateful for it. Now he wondered why his savior had even bothered at all if he seemed so annoyed by the whole thing. Or maybe it was disgusted. Maybe he’d come over thinking it was a domestic between a man and a woman and felt obligated to help since he was there.

“Look,” Danny said, forcing himself to look up into Jax’s eyes. Blue, they were bright, captivating, a prismatic shade of aquamarine, darkened only by his apparent anger. “I didn’t mean to disturb your night. I didn’t ask for him to go off on me like that, he was higher than I’ve ever seen him and to be honest, I’m still not sure exactly what set him off.”

“But you bailed him out anyway, right?” Jax shot back, scowling. “Apologized for everything, made him breakfast and even promised to make him a nice dinner tonight when he came home from work, right?”

Danny’s eyes narrowed and his fingers curled into a fist against the door. “Actually. I left his ass at the precinct, called a moving van to get his shit out of here, rented a storage unit for them to put it in, and planned to invite you over for dinner to thank you, but you can pretty much forget that part of the plan. I don’t invite people into my life who are going to treat me like shit, and I sure as hell aren’t the type to actually forgive them and bail them out after they do. I don’t know what kind of people you’ve been around, but, not everyone likes to play the part of a human punching bag. Anyway, for what it’s worth, thank you for coming to my rescue, trust me when I say there will never be a need for it to happen again.”

And with that Danny turned and stalked back to his door, disappearing inside with a slam that jolted Jax out of the stupor he’d fallen into as soon as the small man had started going off on him. Too bad he hadn’t used some of that last night instead of cowering in a corner. Jax shook his head, confused at how the whole conversation had gone down.

With a shake of his head he closed the door. One thing was for certain, living here wasn’t going to be boring.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Freebie Friday: ...And All Shall Fade To Black (Part 1)

Author's Note: Going into this, I have no idea how long of a story this will be. Just that I'll be posting roughly 1000 words each Friday until it's done. I hope you will enjoy the ride as Jax and Danny's story unfolds, these two have been tumbling around in my head for some time now and it's great to see them finally coming alive on the page. 

“If you don’t shut the fuck up and leave him alone, I’ll kill you.”

Scrambling backwards, Danny moved from between the much larger men, not that he had very much room to move, but at least in the hallway he wouldn’t be an accidental target if they came to blows.

“What’s it to you what I do to him?” Sean grumbled as he stepped right into their new neighbors face.
Danny hoped Jax would back off. He didn’t know the tall brunette, outside of an introduction, Jax having only just moved into the building three days before, and while he looked jacked, Danny had no way of knowing how he’d handle himself in a fight. Especially against someone like Sean who loved fighting.

“You woke me up with all your yelling, for starters, but since I’m out here and your attitude sucks, I figure I might as well fuck up your night the same way you’ve fucked up mine,” Jax stated as he held his ground.

Sean went to shove him, but Jax moved out of the way and gave Sean a shove of his own, sending him staggering out the doorway. Danny scrambled further back, desperate for a dark corner to get lost in as Sean’s wild eyes scanned around, looking for him. When they landed on him, Danny froze.

“Call the cops,” Sean snarled. “I’m going to have this fucker arrested for assault!”

“C-call them y-yourself,” Danny stammered, then fell back with a strangled squawk when Sean lunged for him. Jax had caught hold of the back of his shirt and hauled him backwards, away from Danny, who stared up at Jax’s pierced face, shocked at the man’s strength. Sean kicked back and managed to drop Jax to one knee, freeing himself to go after Danny again.

“Son of a bitch!” Jax roared as Sean lunched for Danny and wrapped his hands around Danny’s throat. In the scuffled that ensued, the only thing that Danny could see was Sean’s pinprick eyes and the spittle flying from his lips as he cussed and threatened. Just as everything faded to black, Danny though he saw a snarling demon rise up behind Sean, the rage twisted features scaring him so badly he was grateful when everything faded away.


Jax grunted and kicked the larger man in the side, pissed as all getup and wishing he could hit him a second time. Truth be told he hadn’t expected to knock him out with one shot, but his blackjack had come in handy and maybe he’d put more force into it then he’d thought. A quick check revealed that the guy was still breathing. Too bad really, ‘cause outside of the manslaughter charge it might have been worth it to have one less asshole in the world.

He glanced over at the smaller man slumped in the corner and wrinkled his nose in disgust. He couldn’t imagine cowering from anyone, let alone someone who seemed hell bent on kicking his ass. At the very least, he’d have stood on his own two feet and slugged it out even in a battle he’d known he couldn’t win, but this guy…

Jax just shook his head. There were bruises already beginning to form around his neck, his eye was swollen, his lip was puffy, as was his cheek, and Jax was pretty sure the guys nose was broken, the way it seemed bent a little to the left and was still dripping blood. His t-shirt was soaked with it, at least from what Jax could see, but his hands, Jax snorted, there wasn’t a mark on this guy’s hands at all. He hadn’t even tried to defend himself.

Fucking pathetic.

He leaned back against the railing and rubbed his aching shin where the big asshole had kicked him. That was gonna leave a mark, a fact that left him itching to kick the guy again. The only thing that held him in check was the heavy pounding of footsteps up the steps and the sound of a radio crackling. Great, he knew the drill, put his hands on the top of his head, shut his mouth, hold still and wait for them to get to him.

“Are you armed?” One of the officers asked as his partner knelt to check on the unconscious forms of the two men who’d completely fucked up his night.

“Yes, officer,” he replied, not daring to twitch in the slightest. 

Vicelike hands gripped his wrists, squeezing tight as cuffs were put on and he was yanked to his feet and shoved face first against the wall. The officer frisked him thoroughly, finding the blackjack he’s shoved back in his pocket and the knife in its sheath on his belt.

He could hear them call for an ambulance, and the mummed voices of people down below; great, some way to acquaint himself with his new neighbors. He was spun around and told not to move, a fact he was more than happy to comply with if it would get him to the part where he got to explain his side quickly, and then return to bed.

“Sir, please sit still, an ambulance is on its way.”

“Wh-what happened?” Danny asked groggily shaking his head.

“That is what we’d like to determine,” the officer explained.

Jax glared down at the small man he’d rescued, kicking himself for about the tenth time for even bothering to get involved.

For a moment, Danny just looked around as the events of the evening swirled through his mind. At the forefront, the hate filled way his boyfriend of nine months had greeted him, and the rage that their new neighbor had been forced to rescue him from.

“H-he saved me,” Danny said as he pointed across the hallway at Jax.

Both sets of officers turned to look his way. Jax just smirked, wishing he could wave. It was kinda funny really, considering the fact that Jax Wilson usually didn’t give enough of a shit to save anyone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beautiful Thunder Blog Tour Stop: Blurb, Excerpt, Giveaway

Can romance and rock ‘n’ roll dreams survive with a storm raging around them?

Alex Randall has always wanted to be a rock singer. When he answers an ad from a local band, his dream finally comes true. He loves the stage, and the group’s fans love him. Things couldn’t be better, except for the attraction he develops for the band’s guitarist, Lindsey. Alex is surprised and initially worried, since he only had one brief flirtation with a boy in his teens. But even though he and Lindsey become close and start seeing each other, Alex fears commitment, and Lindsey worries that Alex might only be experimenting.

When Lindsey’s ex contacts him following a health scare, fear and anger drives a wedge between Alex and Lindsey, which causes rifts within the band. Alex and Lindsey’s relationship is still new and fragile, and with Alex unwittingly blaming Lindsey for their problems, it becomes a true challenge for them to weather the storm.

The car pulled up outside the address at exactly eight thirty. The house itself was in darkness, but I could see a glow around the edge of the garage doors. I walked up the drive and knocked on the steel. The door rolled up slowly, making a screeching sound that told me it was on its way out. The man who came into view was about my height, with shoulder-length brown hair and blue eyes. Stubble dusted his jawline, and his Bon Jovi T-shirt, faded jeans, and running shoes made me smile. No makeup or spandex in sight. Maybe they wouldn’t be too glam, after all.

“Hey, I’m Alex Randall. I talked to Mark on the phone earlier?”

“I’m Mark Short. Thanks for coming.” The man stuck his hand out, and we shook, before he stepped back, gesturing me to step inside.

A rug covered most of the concrete floor and a drum kit was set up at the back of the garage. A couple of guitars leaned against the wall, and several amps stood around, with a tangle of cables trailing across the floor. Two other guys sat on a pair of shabby dining chairs next to the drum kit. One rose and came toward me, a grin a mile wide on his face.

“Ricky Wade. I play bass. Mark says we saved the best ’til last. Was he right?”

“I hope so!” I was pleasantly surprised that the drummer had apparently been singing my praises after only a few bars over the phone. I hoped it was a good omen.

The third member of the band remained seated, half turned away and ignoring us. Long blond hair hid his face, and I took in an outfit similar to those the others wore—jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt with Kiss tour dates on the back.

“Linz, you gonna come and say hi?” Mark asked.

Linz? Lindsey? The guitarist’s a girl?

The blond turned a little more toward me but didn’t look up. “Hi.” The single syllable was uttered softly, in a surprisingly deep voice. I raised my eyebrows. Lindsey’s a bloke?

“Hell, Lindsey, could you be a bit more friendly?” Ricky stepped toward the blond and gave his shoulder a push.

“Fuck off, Ricky.” Lindsey rose to his feet and lifted his guitar strap over his head. He tossed his hair back from his face and ran a hand through it, then stared at me in silence, hazel eyes drifting from my face, down over my body, and back up. I stared back. His smooth skin showed no sign of stubble, and his high cheekbones and straight nose gave his face an attractive, symmetrical look. He narrowed his eyes, drawing attention to his long lashes, and caught his lower lip between his teeth.

“Hi, Lindsey,” I said.

“You’re… Alex, right?” Lindsey’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he spoke, and I wondered why I noticed. Maybe because I felt unnerved by his silent appraisal.


“Are you any good?”

“I hope so.” I smiled, but he didn’t return it.

“Dude, let’s get on with it, shall we? I can’t be late tonight. I promised Lauren,” Ricky interrupted.

Mark snickered. “You haven’t even got a ring on her finger yet and you’re under her thumb.”

“Go to hell, Shorty. Just because you can’t get a woman for love nor money.”

“I wouldn’t want one if she was gonna control me like Lauren does you,” Mark said with a grimace.

Lindsey snorted. He raised a hand to tuck his hair behind his ear, revealing three rings through the lobe and a stud in the cartilage, just beneath the tip. I looked at Mark instead. He was the one who’d already heard me, after all.

“What do you want me to sing?”

“You didn’t ask him to prepare anything?” Ricky asked, frowning. “What’s wrong with you, man?”

“Lindsey was supposed to be arranging all this shit,” Mark grumbled. “I forgot, okay?”

Ricky grumbled and shot an irritated look at Lindsey. “We’ll have to wing it. What have you got, Alex?”

“Well, I sang a few bars of ‘Rattlesnake Shake’ on the phone earlier. I could do that. Or ‘Kickstart My Heart.’” Maybe they wouldn’t want Mötley Crüe. “Kiss, ‘Crazy Crazy Nights?’”

“Yeah, we’ll do that. It’s one of the covers we play sometimes,” Ricky said.

“How long have you been together?” I asked, realizing I knew nothing about the band, not even their name, assuming they had one.

“A year,” Mark answered. “We’ve been playing some of the smaller clubs around town and some in Leicester, Mansfield, Grantham, and around there.”

“And you don’t have a singer?”

“We had one, but things didn’t work out. He quit last month,” Ricky explained. “Lindsey’s been filling in.”

Lindsey frowned and didn’t look at me. I wasn’t sure whether to speak directly to him or to Ricky. “He sings as well as playing guitar?”

“Needs must,” Lindsey answered. I turned to him again, but anything I might have said in response was drowned out by a squeal from his guitar, clearly a cue to move things forward. Mark went to the drum kit and sat down.

“Okay, let’s do this.” Ricky picked up a bass guitar and slung the strap over his shoulder. “You ready, Alex? Do you want a drink of water or something?”

“No, thanks, I’m good to go.” I went to the microphone stand in the middle of the compact area and checked the mic was switched on. Nerves kicked in, my pulse quickened, and sweat made it difficult to grip the mic. I needed to nail this or I’d be back to square one, reading the ads every week and finding nothing. I took a breath to calm myself.

The band started up, and I glanced around at the three guys. They sounded good together and looked the part. Mark, behind the drums, kept good time. Ricky stood to Mark’s left as I faced them, with his bass hanging low across his thighs. His blond hair, a few shades darker than Lindsey’s, fell into his eyes, and he threw his head back to toss it away. Lindsey stood the other side of the drum kit, eyes unfocused as he played. His fingers flew over the strings effortlessly and seemingly without thought. He stood with his feet planted apart, knees slightly bent. I flicked my hair back and stared at the microphone in front of me instead. I needed to concentrate or I’d fuck up and forget the lyrics, or worse, sing out of tune. Usually singing came naturally, but I was distracted, and I couldn’t work out why. Maybe because it was so important to me. Maybe because the musicians were waiting for me to prove I was what they wanted or otherwise.

I listened for my cue and launched into the first few bars of the song. Half closing my eyes, I lost myself in the music the way I usually did when I sang alone in my flat. I forgot three pairs of eyes and ears were focused on me, and I sang my heart out. When the last note died away, I opened my eyes and realized all three men were staring at me, Mark with his mouth hanging open.

“What?” I gritted my teeth. “Was it pitchy?”

“Fuck,” Mark said.

I knew my face fell. It was the first time I’d sung in front of people who knew anything about music, and I wondered if I’d spent the last few years wasting my time dreaming I might one day be a singer. Was I terrible, but too wrapped up in myself to realize?

“You’re fucking awesome, man!” Ricky blurted.

“Oh! Wow, thanks.” I relaxed and grinned at him. I looked at Mark, and he beamed back at me.

“I think we found our singer. Linz?”

I looked at Lindsey. His face didn’t betray anything. He avoided my eyes but nodded and unplugged his guitar.

Ricky put his bass into a guitar bag and slid the strap over his shoulder. “I gotta go. Lauren’s—”

“Gonna skin you if you’re late. We know,” Mark teased him. “See you tomorrow?”

“Yeah. Nice meeting you, Alex. See you soon, yeah?”

“Sure.” I nodded. I couldn’t believe it was that simple. Was I part of the band now?

“I have to go too.” Lindsey put his guitar into a case and propped it against one of the chairs while he pulled on a leather jacket. “See ya.” Then he was gone, and I was left there with Mark, feeling a little bemused.

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Author Bio
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of 8, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late 20s.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.