Free Fiction: Hanging

It’s story time!! This one’s a little 1k m/m fluff thing.

 

Nate groaned in protest, the insistent beep of his alarm paying him no mind. Finally, grudgingly, he swung an arm out of bed and whacked down the snooze button, buried his face in his pillow. His head hurt, stomach churned, and the room felt tentative, like it could tip over at any moment; staying in bed was certainly the best option.

He hadn’t realised how much he’d been drinking last night, how wasted he’d been, but he had hazy memories of throwing up in the bushes outside Amanda’s house, stumbling into the road on the way home and lying face down on the kerb, hoping home would come to him. How he’d eventually gotten back was beyond him.

Ten minutes later, and the alarm was off again. Snooze. Another ten minutes. Beep. Beep. Beep. Nate hit the off button and pushed himself up to sit. He felt shivery, and his hands were shaking as he peeled back the covers. Tea. He needed tea. And a fucking cigarette.

In his t-shirt and boxers, Nate made his way quietly into the kitchen, unsure who was out and who was asleep. If Jeremy was in, he’d be feeling just as bad as Nate by now.

Heaping sugar into his mug, he waited for the kettle to boil, holding his hand out in front of his eyes and watching it tremble. Water boiled, tea in one hand, cigarette packet and lighter in the other, Nate pushed open the kitchen door. He took a seat on the outside step and watched the sun play through the leaves of the old sycamore that stood just outside their yard.

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Free Fiction: Hanging

The Lightning Moon

So far this year I’ve been sadly lacking in productivity when it comes to writing. The one thing I have written, however, was accepted back in March and I’ve just been sent the cover for it, which makes me very happy. It’s so dark and moody ^_^ Also it gives me a good excuse to chat a little about the story itself.

The Lightning Moon is a story about a lonely widower who spends his days doing household tasks and working in a little shop that caters exclusively for witches. His life is uneventful, perhaps even a little boring, but he’s been trying to hold together the pieces after the death of his husband.

When his brother Michael shows up with his new fiancée, however, the settled life Quinn has been living is thoroughly shaken up, especially when a certain dark-haired stranger shows up hot on their heels.

Lightning Moon

The Lightning Moon is set in a universe close to our own where magic abounds and suspicion and fear follow close behind it.

This is my first non-anthology or collected story, and will be available in e-book format sometime in January. I’m sure you will be hearing more about it here closer to the release date (:

The Lightning Moon

Shiny Rock Stars!

So way back in 2012 I started writing a story. A story for LT3’s Rocking Hard submission call about, you guessed it, a rock star. Well, she wishes she were some big star, really, but she could totally be one; she has all the finer qualities of a true rock star, even if the majority of her gigs are local. But she’s also pretty happy with where she is right now, doing what she loves. I think it’s fair to say Alisha’s pretty content with her life.

Sian has never really thought of anything much besides her grades and her family, and how much trouble she’ll be in if her dad ever finds out she and her friend sneak out late at night to bars and gigs. She always thought she was happy with her life, that she had everything she needed, just not as much independence from her parents as she’d like at 19.

And then she meets Alisha, and they both realise that something pretty big has been missing from their lives. And now that they’ve found it, the only question is whether they can keep it.

Rocking Hard 03

This week I got a lovely e-mail with the cover art for the anthology and the release schedule. I love this cover. It’s so bright and colourful and it makes me very happy.

Keeping it Together will be the last story to come out of the last volume of the Rocking Hard serial anthology. It feels like a long wait ’til the 2nd of April, but I’m sure I’ll be writing plenty to keep me occupied ’til then, and there are so many awesome stories running in this thing that are definitely worth checking out (:

Shiny Rock Stars!

Free Fiction: Detention

Mrs Hunt stood in front of me, one hand splayed on the table, the other brandishing a piece of checked paper in my face. “See these squares?”

I nodded. It was hard not to see them when I could practically taste the paper.

“Good. Now I want you—and you too, Mike—” I turned in my seat to look at him, some Pavlovian trick; hear Mike’s name, stand on tiptoe to scan the crowd for him. If I thought Mike was nearby, I had to know where. Apparently that still applied even when I knew exactly where he was. Mrs Hunt coughed, deliberately, obviously, and I turned back to her, an apologetic smile on my face. “Right. Now I want you both to take your pencils and place a nice, precise dot dead in the centre of each square.”

I gaped. Literally gaped. I’d had some shit detentions before—writing lines, litter picking, even once cleaning the underside of my desk for sticking chewing gum there—but this? This was really taking the piss. What was the point? I just couldn’t see it.

Seeing that we understood, she left us to it, telling us she’d be back to check on our ‘progress’ later.

I glanced around at Mike. “Is she fucking with us?”

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Free Fiction: Detention

Free Fiction: Around the Corner

Words: 2,400
Genre: M/M Romance
Notes: Written for the LT3 GR group challenge #14, here.
Prompt: I’m no good at Goodbye …

 

Raj raised the beer to lips, sipping slowly, watching Michael as he did the same, his head tipped back against the plywood wall of the treehouse, one knee bent, the other stretched out, the toe of his boot brushing Raj’s knee when he moved.

Again, Raj was struck with the knowledge that this moment, this little pocket of time that sooner or later, had to burst, wasn’t infinite, that after tonight there would be no more drinking beer and getting stoned with Michael. No more sharing earphones and listening to the music on Michael’s iPod. No more Michael.

He leaned forward, shifting onto his knees, pushing the beer across the floor. “Michael—”

Michael shook his head. Don’t.

Raj persisted, hand brushing over Michael’s knee, denim and skin, his jeans full of holes. The words broke from his mouth before he had a chance to pull them back. “I don’t want you to go.”

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Free Fiction: Around the Corner

Something Happened!

Today Something Happened on the Way to Heaven was finally released as an e-book anthology!

There are 10 stories all told and because they’re all a little bit different, there’s something for everyone. They’re definitely worth checking out, and I’m looking forward to finishing Watch as My World Ends by Kayla Bain-Vrba, which I started reading in serial but never finished, not because it wasn’t good—it was amazing, but because I’m terrible with finishing my reading if I don’t do it all in one go.

My story, One for Sorrow, is F/F, and centres around Suriel, a reaping angel, and Corrine, who has just lost her brother and isn’t quite ready to let him go.

Here is a short extract from the story:

Suriel has been around death for a long time. Reaping souls has never been an easy job, but it’s all Suriel has ever known. There have been times when her purpose has been brought into question, when she has looked at a mother with her face raised to the clouded sky, begging for her child’s life, and Suriel hasn’t wanted to have to take that soul away; but she never relents, because death is eternal and every living being, including herself, belongs to it.

There are others like her, angels of death, reapers and ferrymen, working across the world. Suriel has her favorite haunts and this place is one of them. The church itself is old, first built in the 1540s, burned down in 1658 and rebuilt from the ruins a hundred years later. The graveyard is older than the church. When they dug the foundations, they found the bodies of sacrifices to ancient gods. Suriel doesn’t know what happened to the souls of those people; perhaps another angel took them or perhaps they belonged to someone else, some other god that demanded blood in payment for his favor. Suriel knows little of such mysteries.

She watches from the trees as a little girl in a blue dress, hair uncombed and pulled back in a messy ponytail, lays down a bunch of sunflowers on her mother’s grave. Her father watches her with reddened, deeply shadowed eyes. Suriel knows the look well. The small baby in his arms starts to wail and he looks lost, stares down at it as though he doesn’t even know what it is, let alone what to do with it. The girl takes the baby from him and bounces him gently in her arms, looking as though she’s had as little sleep as her father.

The baby goes quiet and the girl sits down with him in a sunny spot, while her father kneels beside the grave. For a moment, Suriel’s heart goes out to the girl and she wishes things were different for her. The girl turns to look into the trees and seems to stare right at her for several moments, until her gaze passes over her and she turns back to the baby in her arms.

Suriel sees the girl a few times between her parents’ deaths, as she waits in the trees for dark to fall, so she can reap souls unseen and unheard. The girl, Corrine, often sits in the graveyard, scribbling furiously in a brown leather notebook. It’s as peaceful a place for her as it is for Suriel; unlike most people Suriel sees in graveyards, she seems almost happy here.

Fifteen years after her mother’s death, Suriel watches Corrine bury her father, the baby, Alec, now grown and standing beside her. They take comfort in one another and Suriel almost feels as if she knows them. She held their mother’s soul as a part of herself once and she knows their names, knows Corrine’s love of books and animals and pretty clothes. Corrine is beautiful, and her heart is pure and full of love. Suriel doesn’t need to hold her soul to know that; she can see it in the way she cares for her brother, in the way she moves, in the way she speaks. For Suriel, it is only a small spark of feeling, but it is enough to make her wish that things were different.

You can buy Something Happened on the Way to Heaven here, as well as read a couple of excerpts from stories by other authors, and the goodreads page is here, for those of you who like to rate the books you read or see ratings before you buy.

Something Happened!

Pancakes

Happy belated pancake day / early Valentine’s day! Just a little snippet of my Bestiary boys, Dorian and Evan, post-story. Mild spoilers, but not really.

 

Dorian eyed Evan over his pancakes. The bastard was eating his way through a whole pile of them; even though he’d been the one to upend the last of the batter over the floor, he wouldn’t share. “It was your batter,” he’d said. “So you should have taken better care of it.”

“Maybe you should have taken better care of yourself before I had to come and rescue you.”

Evan raised an eyebrow at him. “You rescued me? Funny, because that’s not the way I remember it at all. You would have died if it wasn’t for me.”

Dorian glared at him, and Evan chuckled before dropping his gaze and tucking into the pancakes. “Mmm,” he said, making a lot more noise with his knife and fork than was necessary. “Mm, mm, mmm.”

Dorian smiled despite himself, shaking his head as Evan squeezed way too much lemon juice over his next lot. Evan was making a big mistake, Dorian thought to himself. Valentine’s day was just around the corner and two could play at this game. Maybe he’d take the tickets for the planned trip to Italy and rip Evan’s up right under his nose. That’d show him.

He was saved the trouble, however, when Evan sat back in seat, rubbing his stomach, and declared, “I’m full.” He gestured to the plate of probably cold pancakes still sat on the table. “You want these or not?”

Dorian shot him another glare before pulling the plate over and tucking in. As predicted, they were on the cold side, but still pretty damn good. “You’re such an arse,” he muttered through a mouthful of jam-filled pancake.

Evan grinned and leant forward, his face in Dorian’s. “You love it,” he said, and although Dorian would never admit it to Evan, he kind of did.

Pancakes

Free Fiction: The Promise of Rain

Dane leaned against the brick wall, one foot propped against it, and held his lighter to the tip of his cigarette, flicking it several times before it ignited, setting the paper aglow.

The slate grey sky held the promise of rain, although it was the warmest it had been all month. Against it, gulls careened, wheeling about and calling to each other as they flew out towards the cliffs and, beyond them, the sea. It was the kind of sky that made everything below it look washed out and unreal, and Dane wondered why everything was so grey. If they weren’t renting, and if their landlord wasn’t such a tight git, he’d take his paints and splash them over the yard, let the colours bleed into one another. The grey would still be there though, concrete slabs hiding beneath the paint, waiting for the rain to wash it away.

The gate banged opened and Dane looked up, almost dropping his cigarette. He fumbled, straightening and trying to look cool as Luke wheeled his bike up the step and into the yard.

“Alright?” he asked, just to say something, anything.

The yard was small enough that although Luke was stood on the opposite side of it, bolting the gate shut behind him, he was close enough to reach out and touch, the bike filling most of the space between them. Dane drew on his cigarette, suddenly glad he hadn’t stuck to his new year’s resolution.

“Yeah.” Luke grinned, ran a hand through his flyaway sandy hair. “Just been out along the seafront. Almost got shat on, obviously. I think it’s that kind of day.”

Dane laughed. “Bird or man?” he asked. “Or man dressed as bird?”

“Bird, obviously,” Luke said, setting his bike against the fence. “It takes a certain kind of someone to let a bloke shit on them.”

“Hey,” Dane chided, just to be annoying. “For some, that’s a perfectly healthy way to express themselves.”

“That how you express yourself?” Luke teased, holding out his hand for a cigarette. Automatically, Dane held the packet out to him.

“Nah. I’m more of a spray paint guy myself.”

“That’s good,” Luke nodded, handing back his lighter and breathing out a huff of smoke. “Because I was going to ask if you wanted to go out tomorrow, for dinner. Obviously, that offer doesn’t stand if I’m likely to end the night being shat on.”

Dane frowned. Was Luke saying what he thought he was saying? Probably not. He did have a tendency to read too much into things, after all, and he and Luke … they lived together. Luke was a practical guy. He’d never ask out a housemate.

“Are you going to answer me? Rejection hurts, but being left hanging is way worse, you know.”

“Uh …” was all that came out of Dane’s mouth. Luke was asking him out. “Sure,” he said, once his vocal chords had started working again.

Luke grinned, his whole face lighting up with it, cheeks dimpling. “No need to sound so enthusiastic,” he said. “You’re paying anyway. I’m skint.”

“Oh, that explains the offer, then.”

“That,” Luke said, reaching out and taking Dane’s burnt-out cigarette from his hand, fingers warm as they brushed against his, and throwing it over the fence into the alleyway outside. “And I wanted to spend some time with you. You know …” he trailed off, leaning over the handlebars of his bike to press his lips to the corner of Dane’s mouth. “Because I like you.”

He was still working on ‘I like you too,’ when the first drops of rain began to fall, urging Luke inside, squeezing past the bike and through the door into the kitchen, leaving Dane to wonder what exactly the hell had just happened. In just a few minutes, everything had changed, and it felt fucking awesome.

Free Fiction: The Promise of Rain

Giveaway: The Dog in the Mist

I’m finally ready to host my first ever giveaway! ^_^ I will be giving an e-book copy of The Dog in the Mist to one lucky commenter (maybe two lucky commenters if I’m feeling generous and get enough comments).


Dorian has been favored by tragedy for what seems like his entire life. He’s lost his parents, his best friend, and now he’s lost his gran as well. As if that’s not enough, he is stalked by a black dog too large to be just an ordinary dog, and which seems to bring death in its wake. To save himself, he will have to return to beliefs that he cast away long ago …

Please remember to leave some sort of detail so I can contact you, either an e-mail address or a twitter account where I can get hold of you.

To make it a bite more interesting and get some kind of discussion going, tell me, what is YOUR favourite mythological creature/being?

Please note: This giveaway is now closed.

Giveaway: The Dog in the Mist

The Dog is Out!

Well, today’s the day. The Dog in the Mist is finally out and available for purchase.

The story follows Dorian as he struggles to deal with the loss of his best friend and the death of his last parental figure—his gran. At the same time, he’s followed by a mysterious black dog. It’s just a dog, but it sends a chill through Dorian whenever he catches sight of it, and as it follows him, death seems to follow it.

It’s set in the little moorland town of Okehampton, a setting for which I have to thank my old housemate for providing, and for showing me around the place. There are a lot of really cool myths and legends surrounding Dartmoor, and it can look pretty creepy on cold days when the mist rolls in. My university house was right on the end of the row and from my bedroom window you could see the moors on clear days, and you could tell when the night would be misty because you couldn’t see the moors at all.

Anyway, enough waffling. I’m off to the shops to buy cheap booze in celebration (:

You can buy the individual e-book here or the whole volume 2 bundle here.

If you read it, and you want to, you can rate the book on Goodreads. I like to read reviews, because then I know what works for people and what doesn’t, and if I can learn from any mistakes I made.

Just to sign off, here’s a picture of Okehampton castle, (taken from the English Heritage site, because all my photographs suck).

Happy reading!

The Dog is Out!