Free Fiction: Office Romance

 

Squirrels leapt across the grass and up into trees. Daffodils were in bloom and blossoms were just beginning to unfurl from their buds. It was warm, with a cool breeze that played across the back of his neck.

He meandered through the park at a leisurely pace, taking in the view of the river that divided the park from the luxury flats with their floor-to-ceiling windows. Nate had always loved this park. Especially in the morning, before anyone else got to it.

It was short-lived, though. It took twenty minutes, if he dragged his feet, to walk from one end to the other, and soon he was on the other side of it. Looming over him was a red-brick block of offices, the lights off and blinds drawn. He pressed the buzzer on the door and waited for Gladys, the cleaning supervisor, to let him in. He greeted her warmly, but she barely acknowledged him in return. He got the sense Gladys was not a morning person. That, or she just didn’t like him very much.

He wasn’t the first person into the office, for once. Someone was in the staff kitchen, clinking cutlery, and the kettle was rumbling to a boil. He peered around the doorway to see a young man he didn’t recognise. His hair was short, curly and bed-rumpled, but his suit jacket was wrinkle free, well-ironed. As Nate walked through the door, the stranger turned, a teaspoon in his hand.

“Oh, hello,” he said, all Welsh vowels. “I’m Steffan. I started last week. D’you want a cuppa?”

Nate looked him over. He must the be the new sales assistant, Tina’s replacement. He was short, with wide eyes and a slightly pointed chin. Kind of cute, Nate decided. That was good. They needed more of that around here. His liked his colleagues, but none of them were very good eye candy. Except maybe Dianne, but she was the boss, and married. Or he supposed there was Isaac, from accounting. Okay, so maybe not none of them, but it had been a while since Nate had had someone new to look at.

“I’ll take that as a no then, shall I?” Steffan asked, and Nate realised he’d been staring, silently.

Great, he thought, I’ve creeped out the new guy. What a way to start the morning. “Sorry, yes,” he said, before feigning a yawn. “It’s too early. Not quite with it yet. I’m Nate. And I’ll take two sugars.”

Steffan nodded and turned his back to Nate, busying himself with the mugs. He was careful to choose only the plain white ones, Nate noticed, which was good. If he accidentally used Lisa’s kitten mug, this place would become a living hell for him very quickly.

“So where you from, Steffan?” Nate asked, taking a seat at the nearest of the three tables, and stretching his legs out.

Steffan turned, a steaming mug of tea in each hand and his eyebrows raised. “What? You can’t tell?”

“Ha. Well obviously. But where abouts, I meant.”

“Right. Ystradgynlais.”

At Nate’s blank look, Steffan smirked; clearly he’d assumed Nate wouldn’t know where that was, and he’d been right.

“Powys,” Steffan clarified. “About half an hour from Swansea. What about you?”

“Bristol born and raised,” Nate said, a hint of pride leaking into his voice.

“Huh. You don’t have much of an accent.”

Nate chuckled. “Get me drunk, and you’ll hear it.”

Nate couldn’t help but enjoy the way Steffan blushed.

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Free Fiction: Office Romance

Free Fiction: ‘Scrying’

Happy Halloween! My favourite holiday of the year (: To celebrate, I’ve written a little m/m romancey thing. Enjoy!

Scrying

The sound of rattling metal filled Kyle’s ears as the fence reverberated against the force of his boot. He kicked the fence again, and the lower link broke. Kyle pushed the panel back, leaving a gap just big enough for him to crawl through. The fence clanged back into place once he was clear, but he wasn’t worried about noise. He knew well enough that no one would hear him out here.

The old hospital loomed just beyond a thin smattering of spruce. Kyle had always thought it an ugly building, squat and grey. It had been built in the late 60s for pure functionality, but it hadn’t stayed open long. Just 40 years later budget cuts had seen the hospital close. Plenty of people in the neighbouring towns had lost their jobs, and others had lost a much needed lifeline. Kyle wasn’t complaining though. He’d gained a home.

Or at least he had until the guardian scheme had moved them all on elsewhere. The building now was marked for demolition, and no one cared if it was looked after or not. Kyle thought maybe the same thing had happened to him and Ernie. They’d stopped caring, stopped looking after each other. Still, he wasn’t ready to bulldoze everything they had, even if Ernie thought so. Continue reading “Free Fiction: ‘Scrying’”

Free Fiction: ‘Scrying’

Hallowe’en Giveaway (closed)

bats-halloween-clipart

The best holiday of the year has finally arrived: Hallowe’en! The leaves are well and truly turned, breath fogs in the air, and the streets are littered with mouldering pieces of smashed up pumpkin.

To celebrate I’m holding a small giveaway of two of my current e-book titles: Bat’s Children and The Lightning Moon.

Bat’s Children is a short (20,000 word) historical m/m romance novella, set in Wales in the early 18th century and featuring a family of lawless highwaymen.

The Lightning Moon is a mid-length (31,000 word) paranormal m/m romance novella about a bounty hunting witch who inconveniently finds himself falling for the brother of the man he’s hunting. You can also request The Lightning Moon in French or Spanish if you’d prefer it to the original English.

Please note this giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Jessica Klotz and Emma Lee!

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Lilith!rat says “Happy Hallowe’en” from ~beyond the grave~
Hallowe’en Giveaway (closed)

Give Away: The Lightning Moon

We finally have internet in our flat! With it, of course, comes even later hours than normal (and considering I often work nights, that’s pretty late) as I keep finding random things on Google or Facebook that must be read Right Now. But it does make life easier, so in celebration of re-entering the 21st century, I am offering a giveaway of my latest release, The Lightning Moon.

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All you have to do to win a copy is to leave a comment with your e-mail address, and then we will let some randomising program decide who is worthy. The giveaway will close on the 10th* of March.

* Giveaway extended from 8th of March

Give Away: The Lightning Moon

Sweet Release!

Today The Lightning Moon is finally being released into the world. I’m half-eager to read, half-dreading the reviews (assuming, of course, that I get any). The story is set in a version of Bristol (England, of course) where magic is real. Arrow is a witch, using his gifts to a very simple end:  to make money. Whatever the job, Arrow will usually take it, but he finds a little more than he bargained for on this particular job, something that, just maybe, he could give up his old life for. But when it comes to it, that is easier said than done.

I wrote The Lightning Moon back in February last year, and it is a world I keep returning to in my head. Perhaps, if I can get around my ‘writer’s block’ (for lack of a better word to describe no time and little motivation), there will be more, not of these characters, but of the world they inhabit.

Sadly, I am still without internet (I have spent the last hour in the staffroom after my shift ended and now everyone thinks I live here), but once I have a more reliable source I will organise a giveaway. When this will be, however, your guess is really as good as mine.

You can buy The Lightning Moon here, or check out ratings and reviews (or leave them) here.

Sweet Release!

Popcorn, Rats, and Book Updates

I have been in Bristol now for five months. I have to say I love this city. It feels alive, like there’s always something going on somewhere. Although judging by the number of police cars I hear wailing past, those things usually seem to be burglaries and assaults.

I keep wondering to myself where all my time is going. I certainly haven’t spent any of it writing like I intended to. Perhaps a little more so this last month, but mostly I’ve been working. How I can spend so much time scooping and sweeping popcorn, I don’t know, but it’s certainly good for my wallet.

Last month, after my lush little blue dumbo rex, Eve, died, I got a couple of new rats to keep Lilith (not Lillif, as the veterinary receptionist spelt it) company. This time they’re top-ears, both hooded. They were bred as snake food, but luckily they got left behind when the guy moved out and were rescued. They’re both completely adorable, although Skadi is just a little bit crazy, always ridiculously hyper when I get her out of the cage. Idun is more reserved, but they’re a mischievous little pair and I have to keep a close eye on them.

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RIP Evie

In other news, my story, The Lightning Moon is now up on the LT3 Coming Soon page and has its own GoodReads page. This one is actually set in Bristol, although it’s not quite Bristol as we know it. It will be out two months from now, on January the 8th.

Lightning Moon

Arrow enjoys his job—more or less. It pays well, lets him travel freely, and puts his rather unique skill set to good use. But when he finds a letter addressed to the most recent man he’s been hired to track down, he begins to wonder if what he’s got is what he really wants.

Quinn has mostly resigned himself to a lonely life and instead puts his focus on assisting the unusual clientele of the Crystal Moon Emporium, a shop catering exclusively for witches. It’s a life, if not much of one, and he’s getting by. Then a handsome stranger walks through the door, and Quinn starts to feel that maybe just ‘getting by’ is no longer enough.

Popcorn, Rats, and Book Updates

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

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