glendora hill series

Free Excerpt: Cowboy Christmas Miracle; Brian Boitano is Gay You Say; Boycott Russian Olympics

Free Excerpt: Cowboy Christmas Miracle

This Friday the free excerpt I’m putting up is from the release of my new novel, Cowboy Christmas Miracle, in the Glendora Hill series. It’s 70,000 words in length, I set the entire story in a fictional town, Glendora Hill, in Texas Hill Country, and I wanted it to be more emotional than usual because the story involves a life and death issue with one character. It was hard to do because I wrote it in August during a heat wave. But this is the one that made the copy editor cry, so I’ve been told. As with future books in the Glendora Hill series this book is a stand alone, but this series will always be set in the same small Hill Country town and most of the characters will continue to return throughout the series.

You can find the book here, here (it’s on sale @$4.99 there), and here. It’s also up at most places where e-books are sold and I think readers have their own preferences nowadays so I just provide links I think might be most popular. I know I shop at the same places for books.

Here’s the blurb:

In the little Texas Hill Country town of Glendora Hill, everyone decorates for the holidays as elaborately as they do for all seasons. Dr. Keith Elliot notices this his first night in town, and only moments after he also notices that his new neighbor, Judd, is the big strong cowboy of his dreams. But when Judd says something unthinkable to Keith after they make love for the first time, Keith throws him out and decides to focus on his new position at the Glendora Hill Medical Center and riding his new horse at a ranch outside of town. At the ranch, he meets Ben, another handsome young cowboy who just moved to town. Through a series of events between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve over which Keith has no control, he finds himself falling deeply love with two cowboys at the same time. Then Keith buys the old firehouse on Main Street, his new best friend and landlord, Sebastian, develops serious medical issues, and Keith’s love life becomes even more complicated. When Keith and his two cowboys finally admit they all love each other, will they ever find the peace they all seem to want so much? And will poor sweet Sebastian get the medical miracle he needs so Christmas in Glendora Hill won’t be ruined that year?

And this is an excerpt in raw form that hasn’t been published anywhere else but here. It’s from chapter ten, where the main character goes house hunting because he wants to put down roots in Glendora Hill, and, he wants something very unusual.

It was evident to Keith that Kelly Williams had no intention of walking from the real estate office all the way up to the north end of town to the firehouse in those six-inch stilettos. So after she picked up the keys to the firehouse from a peg board, he followed her out to the back parking lot where she led him to a massive old white Cadillac convertible with the top down.

          As Kelly headed toward the driver’s side, he ran his palm along the windshield and glanced at the blue interior. “This is a great car,” he said. “It’s a 1963 Coupe De Ville, isn’t it?”

          She opened the door and said, “It’s a ’64. It was my late husband’s. I have a newer one at home, but I prefer to drive this one in nice weather. The top doesn’t work anymore and I keep meaning to get it fixed.”

          He sat down next to her and reached for the seatbelt. It was the old-fashioned kind, the type that only belted around the waist. “It’s in perfect condition.”

          She started the engine and said, “It only has fifty thousand original miles, too.” Then she put it in gear, hit the gas, and they jerked out of the parking lot so fast a gust of wind hit Keith and blew his cowboy hat right into the backseat.

          She drove so fast he didn’t bother to reach back for his hat until they reached the old firehouse. On the way, she waved at passersby, honked the horn, and barely missed one red light. Keith was amazed she could even see over the steering wheel. She’d held the top of the wheel with two hands and lifted her chin high. All the people they passed in town seemed to stop and step back when they saw her coming.

          When she pulled the keys out of the ignition, she patted the steering wheel and said, “She still drives like new, doesn’t she?”
          Keith reached for his hat in the backseat and took a quick breath. “Yes, she does, Kelly.” He was already thinking up an excuse so he could walk back to his truck.

          Kelly grabbed the keys to the firehouse and opened the car door. “You’re not going to like what you see. But it’s better for you to know than wonder. Follow me.”

          As they crossed the railroad tracks, Kelly pointed and said, “There hasn’t been a train through here in years. So at least that’s not an issue.”

          But Keith wasn’t paying attention to the railroad tracks. The first thing he noticed was the property to the right of the building, and how deep it went in back. It reminded him of the trail he’d been on with Judd yesterday, with green rolling hills, live oaks, and clusters of other trees that looked as if they’d been planted there on purpose. Yet he knew it was all natural.

          He also noticed there wasn’t a plant, tree, or shrub around the exterior of the building. The sidewalk leading to the front door was cracked and the grass had been neglected for so long anything that had overgrown had now matted into harsh clumps of brown. The building itself was red brick with white trim. The brick seemed to be in good shape, but the white trim was peeling everywhere.

          Keith glanced up at the massive garage doors that had once housed fire engines. He looked above the doors and noticed a round seal set right below where the roof arched at the highest point. He saw the image of a cowboy on the seal, riding bareback on a horse up on two hind legs in a dramatic way. Old buildings like this usually had flat roofs; this one had an A-frame, which he liked. He pointed to the round seal and asked, “What’s that?”
          Kelly looked up from the door and squinted. “I think that’s the old town seal,” she said. “It was designed by some famous artist, I think. But I can’t remember. I think his last name went something like Lexington.”

           Keith looked up again and said, “That’s an Arnold Lexington up there?” He’d been a fan of Lexington’s famous western artwork since he’d studied American fine art in college. Lexington was known for his vivid depictions of the Old West, Native Americans, and horses. Keith had never actually seen any of his work in person. That town seal had to be worth a small fortune itself.

          “That’s the name,” Kelly said, as she pushed the old front door open. “But it’s not Arnold Lexington. It’s Ashley Lexington, Arnold’s cousin.”

          He remembered reading about Ashley Lexington, too, who had never been as famous as his older cousin. His work wasn’t worth anything. But it didn’t matter to Keith. He wasn’t shopping for art. He was shopping for a home.

          Kelly went inside first and Keith followed. He glanced at the front door and had a feeling there was solid oak beneath all those layers of white paint.

          Kelly looked around and sighed aloud. “This is it. Not very impressive, I’m afraid.”
          The floor was concrete, the walls exposed brick. The windows on the sides of the building were all tall and thin. The exposed ceiling was so high Keith couldn’t even begin to predict its measure. He took a deep breath and exhaled. “I’ve never seen anything more prefect.” It reminded him of a million-dollar loft in an old factory one of his friends in medical school had shared with someone in Chicago.

          Kelly flung him a look and said, “Huh?”
          She clearly didn’t get it. He smiled and said, “It’s perfect.”

          “But the walls are just brick and the floors are concrete,” Kelly said.

          “I know,” Keith said. “I can just see these floors stained and polished. And you can’t find brick walls like that anywhere. It’s the look I’ve always wanted all my life and never thought I’d find.”

          As they walked through the rest of the building Keith kept seeing things he loved and talking about what he would do there. Kelly kept looking at him as if she was now afraid to be alone with him and shaking her head. Toward the back of the firehouse the ceiling became lower because there was a second floor back there where the firemen used to take naps. He couldn’t believe the iron circular staircase was still there, and intact. And when he saw the pole where the firemen used to slide down in emergencies from the second floor loft he almost started to cry. Nothing in the building had been touched, or renovated. There was even an old kitchen in the back that had the original gas stove and art deco refrigerator.

          Kelly figured after he saw the kitchen he would turn around and want to leave. But he just smiled and said, “I would have to renovate it all. But I love the open concept and can you imagine the dinner parties I could have here?” Best of all, though he didn’t mention this aloud, because the asking price was so low he would still have room in his budget to do the renovations without going into huge debt.

          Kelly snorted this time. “I can’t even imagine making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in this shit hole.”

          This time Keith looked at her as if she’s lost her mind.

          “I’m sorry,” she said. “But I just don’t get it.”

          He laughed. “I know, but trust me. I know what I’m talking about. This place is a dream come true.”

          “Yeah, well, wait until you see this, honey.”  

          Then she gestured to the right of the kitchen to a set of more old wooden doors that had been painted with layers of white paint. She opened one door, stepped to the side, and said, “I think I should have shown you this part of the dream first. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

          Keith frowned and walked over to the doors. He looked at Kelly for a second, and then stepped into the room expecting to see something from a horror film. It was the only room closed off from the rest of the firehouse. Kelly seemed so repulsed by this room her lips twisted and she refused to actually look inside for any length of time. For a moment, he had a feeling she was getting ready to hold her nose.

          But when he walked into the room and he looked around, he pressed his palm to his chest and gasped. He held his breath for a moment and felt like pinching himself to make sure this was all real.

          Kelly laughed and said, “Pretty awful, isn’t it? A real shit hole.”

          He walked to the middle of the room and glanced all the way around. He wasn’t sure where to look first; he still couldn’t catch his breath. In one corner he saw a row of old white porcelain urinals, in another he saw stalls with toilets and doors that only went partially down to the beige tiled floor. The entire room had been tiled in large beige rectangles, from floor to ceiling. There were six old sinks lined up along one wall, a couple of metal towel dispensers, and all the original fixtures were still in place. He took a deep breath and found it even smelled like a men’s room. If there was such a thing as a gay God, he’d been looking down on Keith that afternoon.

          But more than that, to the left of the urinals he found a step-down shower room that had been tiled with the same beige rectangles. There were three showerheads each on three walls and he couldn’t help imaging all those big strong naked firemen taking hot showers together. He grew so excited he turned around, lifted poor Kelly up, and spun her around. “I have to have this place. What do I have to do to get it?”
          When he set her down she laughed and said, “You can’t be serious. Please tell me you’re joking.”

          He could see she wasn’t offended when he picked her up. In fact, he had a feeling she’d liked it. “I’ve never been more serious in my life.”

          She looked around and gestured to the urinals. “It’s a men’s room, dear God. There are filthy old urinals.” She spoke as if she were ready to gag and vomit.

          He wanted to say, “It’s a dream come true.” But he smiled and said, “I can make this one of the best homes in town. Just tell me what I have to do next.” He knew she didn’t get it. He knew she never would get it. But he also knew when he told Ben and Sebastian about buying this place, and when he showed them the men’s room, they would get it. And more importantly, it felt like home. And he now he would have enough property to build a barn of his own and keep Zabar there instead of at the Marshall Ranch.

          Kelly shrugged and said, “If you’re that serious, you put in an offer, give me a deposit, and I’ll present it to the town council. Then we see how they react and take it from there. But I have to warn you. They’ve turned down other offers because they want this building to remain commercial.”

          He smiled at the urinals again and said, “I’ll do anything they want. I’ll even put it in writing. I’ll open a small bookshop on the first floor and use it as a tax write-off. Just help me get this place.”


Brian Boitano is Gay You Say

Get my smelling salts again.

In keeping with the latest trend, figure skater Brian Boitano just came out…”as gay.” That’s right “as gay.” Also in keeping with the trend, everyone who comes out now is doing it “as gay,” at least that’s how the mainstream media keeps referring to these disclosures. I’m really not trying to be snarky, or to take anything away from Boitano, but seriously. Was there ever any doubt?

“It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions,” Boitano said in a statement sent to The Huffington Post. “While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so.”
 
“I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am,” he continued. “First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance. As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations.”

And now he’s gay.

Again, I really don’t want to sound snarky here. The coming out (“as gay”) process is different for everyone and when Boitano was at the height of his career it wasn’t the cool thing to do. But more important, it could have hurt his career back then. Even though he sounds a little cliche here I do know a lot of men who feel the same way he feels and I respect that completely. On the other hand, I’ll be smiling a lot more when I see Tom Cruise (or someone as famous) just show up somewhere with a man on his arm and say nothing at all.

I’m still for a full boycott. What’s going to happen is that we’ll get through these Olympics without any incidents at all. Everyone we’ve forgotten about for years will get a lot of attention, make a lot of money, and hug and kiss to the point where they might have to call the Russian schmaltz police. But what happens to the LGBT people in Russia after the Olympics? Are things going to change for them or are Russian actors from bad Russian sitcoms still going to call for gays to be burned alive in ovens?

I wish I could be more optimistic about this. You can read more here, if you think it’s necessary to do that.

Boycott Russian Olympics

I’m not the only one who still thinks we should stop playing games and just boycott the entire thing. John Grant and Lady Gaga both think there should be a boycott, along with many others. This article is about how Grant feels:

We recently spoke with Grant about everything from Woody Allen movies to collaborating with Sinead O’Connor to that Elton shout-out being “one of the greatest nights of my life.” Additionally, Grant told us why he agrees with Lady Gaga that the U.S. is morally bound to boycott the Russian Olympics, but why it’s important for artists to keep touring Russia despite the government-sanctioned oppression.  

You can read more here. As I’ve said, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in Russia with LGBT people six months or a year from now. A lot of people predicted the holocaust and a lot of people ignored them. I’d hate to see anything like that ever happen again in the history of the world.

 

Male Nudes in Film: MrMan.com; FREE Gay Excerpt: Glendora Hill Series

Male Nudes in Film: MrMan.com

The founder of a web site that focuses on female nude scenes in films, Mr. Skin, has broken the double standard and created something brand new that now focuses on male nude scenes in films. And even more interesting, he’s been marketing the naked male actors toward women but the majority of hits allegedly come from men. The article to which I’m linking claims it’s “gay” men, but since there’s no measure I know of that could accurately determine what kind of men are viewing the web site I’ll just stick to using the word men in this post.

McBride’s explanation for the gender gap? The stigma of homosexuality has faded even as male nude scenes have multiplied, making 2013 the “perfect” time to launch the counterpart to his 14-year-old forever teen, Mr. Skin. He’s also of the opinion that men are simply more “pervy” than women. “They’ll walk through a wall for a good nude scene.”

I’m not too sure about that, at least not from what I’ve seen and heard from the wonderful women readers of gay erotic romance. I think it’s more about women and men (of all ages) being more comfortable with sex, nudity, and all the pleasures erotica of any kind provide us. Fifty Shades of Grey did NOT become a bestseller for it’s recipes or its strong plot. And I think there just might be as many women out there that will walk through a wall for a good nude scene as there are men. But even more important, I don’t think that makes either men or women pervy for enjoying nudity or sex. I’d bet the owner of the web site Mr.Man.com doesn’t think so either and he only used pervy in jest. It’s the blithering idiot who wrote the Huff Po article with pithy undertones and that snarky Internet-y voice that’s the real perv.

In any event, I will be linking to this web site in the future and sharing what I can about male full frontal nudity in TV and films. If that makes me pervy, tell me where to sign up.  You can read more here.

You can check out MrMan.com here, where you’ll find not just a handful of male nudes from films, but what seems to be every male nude ever done. I can’t post photos here from the web site for copyright reasons, but you won’t be disappointed if you follow the link.

FREE Gay Excerpt: Glendora Hill Series Cowboy Christmas

Here’s a free excerpt from a holiday novel I’m just finishing up right now that will be released this holiday season. It’s from the new cowboy series I’m working on that focuses on the fictional town of Glendora Hill in Texas Hill Country. In this particular novel, along with so much holiday cheer you might get overwhelmed at some point, the love story is focused on a three-way gay relationship that’s long term and happily-ever-after. It’s not Debbie Macomber. But in my lifetime of experience as a gay man I’ve known several long term committed relationships that included three men, not just two. It’s more common in gay culture than most will admit or recognize, and even though it can get highly complicated I have seen relationships where it works…and lasts.

Keep in mind this is pre-edits and I haven’t even submitted it to the publisher yet. I’ll post the first part of the excerpt here and you’ll have to click to read the second part at my other web site because Google might think I’m pervy if I post erotica here. Also keep in mind this isn’t about a gay couple who take home all kinds of men and throw them into their bed. This is about three gay men who love each other deeply and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

By Thanksgiving Day, all the storefronts, homes, and professional buildings along the tree-lined streets of Glendora Hill, Texas were fully adorned for the Holiday season. The hardware store’s display windows were covered with pine wreaths, garland, and big red bows to the point where customers couldn’t even see the merchandise through the windows. The dog grooming parlor with one huge boxwood topiary of a French poodle near the front door had red velvet wreaths made out of faux poinsettias in its windows, perfectly strung multi-colored holiday lights framing each window, and the poodle topiary had a big red bow around its neck. On each corner in town, stood a fully decorated real Christmas tree set in an old whiskey barrel, with more multi-colored lights and a big gold star at the top.
            In fact, everywhere Dr. Keith Elliot looked he saw something glitter, sparkle, and shine with holiday expression. When he stopped at the first traffic light on Main Street and glanced up at the pine garland swag and gold silver bell hanging from the traffic light he rolled his eyes and made a face. And when he lowered his window to get some fresh air and heard soft holiday music being piped through the streets, he groaned aloud and took a quick breath. For a moment, he felt as if he’d lost touch with reality and wound up in one of those old Hollywood Christmas films where everyone believes in Santa and lives happily ever after.
            Then the traffic light changed and he noticed a middle aged woman with two elderly people attempting to cross Main Street. The woman couldn’t have been taller than five feet in spite of her four inch red and white high heels. She leaned toward the plump side, and she was wearing a belted red dress with a white collar and a flowing skirt. Her short curly hair was stiff with cheap dime store hair spray and she had a huge gold Christmas tree pin below her right shoulder. If she hadn’t been carrying a huge tray covered in silver foil, Keith would have thought he’d just run into Mrs. Santa Claus. The older couple wore matching green and red jackets and matching green velvet shoes that looked more like bedroom slippers.
            When the middle aged woman noticed the light had changed, she grabbed the older man’s arm with one hand and said, “Hold on, pop, the light is red.”
            The older man and woman exchanged a confused glance and stopped to wait, trusting her completely.
            Keith smiled and waved them along. “It’s okay. You can cross. I’m in no rush.” He didn’t want to run anyone over his first day in town, especially not one of Santa’s elves.
            The woman smiled and nodded at him. “Thanks, we’re on our way home from Thanksgiving dinner at the sheriff’s house.” She lifted the tray higher and giggled for no reason at all. “I brought my famous mac and cheese and these are leftovers. Dot Hennessey was there, too, and she brought her God awful stuffed mushrooms. She wound up taking most of them home.” Then she tapped the older man’s arm and said, “The nice man is letting us go. We can cross now.”
            The older man tilted his head sideways. “We’re not lost now, Angie. I know exactly where I am. I was born and raised in this town.” He made a fist and stomped his foot.
            “I didn’t say we were lost,” the woman named Angie said. “I said we could cross. Turn up your hearing aide, pop.” She smiled at Keith again and said, “Pop’s a little hard of hearing.”
            “No problem,” Keith said. He waved them on again. He didn’t want to spend the rest of the night sitting there at that light with strangers who seemed too familiar at first. He had a feeling she wanted to pull back the silver foil and show him her mac and cheese.
            As they passed by the front of his truck, the woman sent him a glance and said, “Happy Holidays.”
             He returned the gesture with a nod, and a forced smile. “Happy Holidays, to you, too.” She’d made it simple for him. He’d learned to be cautious about whether or not to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays with his more politically correct friends in Chicago. 
            He waited until they were on the other side of Main Street to tap the gas again. As he drove toward the address he’d been given, he noticed a few more people walking on the sidewalks, carrying big trays with silver foil. They were all dressed up, as if going somewhere special, and they were all smiling. But more than that, they all noticed him passing through town, and nodded and waved as if they’d known him all his life.
            With all the twinkling lights, strands of garland, and holiday wreaths, it was hard to see the numbers on the buildings. It’s a good thing his new landlord had told him to look for the last building on Main Street with the white porch swing and a sign that read, “Glendora Hill Saddle Shop and Dry Goods,” because he would have missed the numbers 1114 completely. Evidently, his new landlord hadn’t considered the address important when he’d covered up the three ones with a silver glittered pine cone Christmas wreath. Keith could hardly make out the four, but he figured that had to be the place because of the sign over the door.
            He parked in front at the curb and climbed out of the cab. He’d been driving all day and hadn’t stretched his legs since the last time he’d stopped to fill up the gas tank in north Texas, somewhere north of Dallas he’d never heard of. He was sorry he’d worn such tight jeans that day, and even sorrier he’d worn cowboy boots. He would have been more comfortable in sweats and sneakers. But he didn’t want to show up in Glendora Hill, Texas looking as if he’d just arrived from Chicago. He had just arrived from Chicago, but he didn’t want them all knowing that. The main reason he’d submitted his resume for the job as head doctor of the Glendora Hill Medical Center was to escape from the urban life he’d always known. Unlike the other people with whom he’d attended medical school, his goal had always been to be a primary care physician, and in a small western town where there were horse ranches, open spaces, and plenty of cowboys.
            As he glanced up at the building where he’d rented the second floor apartment, he blinked when he noticed that every window had an identical glittery silver pine cone wreath hanging from a red velvet ribbon. Each window frame was adorned with little white lights that had been entwined around pine garland. And at the base of each window set dead center were big fluffy white bows. This building seemed even more elaborately decorated than the others he’d passed in town. Even the white front porch swing had silver and gold holiday pillows lined across the back.  
            Keith hadn’t seen the building or the apartment until now. He’d heard about it through a patient he’d accidentally met in the hospital in Chicago where he’d done his residency. The patient had been recovering from an emergency appendectomy and she’d overheard Keith telling a nurse about his plans to move to Glendora Hill, take over the small medical center, and that he was looking for a place to live. The patient’s name was Luanne something…he couldn’t remember her last name…and she told him she owned a dress shop in Glendora Hill, she was in Chicago visiting family, and wound up with an appendicitis. She was being discharged that day, but she gave him a phone number to call where she’d heard someone was looking to rent an apartment. The same evening he wound up renting the space over the phone without even checking it out. But if he’d known he was renting an apartment in a building that reminded him of Santa’s village at the North Pole, he would have thought twice.
            It was too late now to change things. He’d paid the first and last month’s rent and signed a lease he’d mailed to the landlord. And, the landlord had been nice enough to give him a break and let him live there for free until December first when the lease actually kicked in. He couldn’t renege now, so he walked to the back of the truck, pulled two suitcases out, and started toward the front porch.
            In a show of stunning trust, the landlord had told Keith he’d leave keys to the entrance of the building and the apartment under a fake potted poinsettia tree next to the porch swing. So he set his suitcases down at the top of the porch and walked over to the porch swing. But as he bent over to lift up the fake potted poinsettia, a man with a deep voice crept up behind him and said, “Can I help you, man?”
            Keith jumped and jerked to the side. He’d lived in Chicago; he prepared to be either mugged or arrested for breaking and entering. He pressed his palm to his chest and said, “I’m looking for the keys. The landlord told me he’d leave them under this poinsettia. I’m not a burglar. I swear. I’m renting the second floor apartment and I have a lease to prove it.”
            The tall man smiled at him and said, “Well you must be the new doc in town. It’s nice meeting you. Sebastian mentioned you’d be coming in today sometime.” He walked over to Keith and extended his right arm. “I’m J U double D, Judd. Sorry if I scared you a little.” He spoke with a thick Texas accent and dropped the G at the end of every word ending in ing.
            Keith shook his large hand and said, “That’s me. I’m Keith Elliot, the tenant. I’ll be working at the Glendora Hill Medical Center. It’s nice to meet you.” This Judd dude had such a strong handshake Keith’s knees almost buckled.
            “I’m up on the fourth floor,” Judd said. “I’ve been renting here since Sebastian inherited the place from his uncle. He used to live in the second floor apartment with his son, Kick, but he married Sheriff Avery and he now lives over at the sheriff’s place. But’s he’s here at the store every day. You’ll get to meet him tomorrow.” He laughed and said, “It’s Black Friday and he’ll be open, not that you’ll see much of a crowd in Glendora Hill on black Friday, though. It’s pretty quiet around here compared to other places.”
            At a closer glance, Judd reminded Keith of a dark-haired model he’d recently seen in one of those underwear catalogues that wound up in his mailbox unsolicited at certain times of the year. Judd stood over six feet in black cowboy boots, his tight leather jacket pulled at the chest and upper arms, and where his narrow waist met his solid pelvis he had a prominent bulge that made the zipper in his low-rise jeans round out in a way that fell just short of obscene. “Sebastian married the sheriff? You’re telling me they are a gay couple?” Keith asked. He knew nothing about Glendora Hill or gay life there. He’d assumed he would be living in a more provincial town, and in order to follow his dream of being a small town doctor he’d been prepared to give up certain parts of gay life he’d known well in Chicago.
            Judd squared his back in a defensive way. “We’re a small town, but we’re progressive. Sebastian and the sheriff are gay, and so are a few other people in town. I hope that’s not a problem.”
            “Of course not,” Keith said, with a dismissive tone. He’d been worried about this for weeks. He hadn’t decided about whether or not he would tell people in Glendora Hill he was gay. With this disclosure about his landlord and the sheriff, he decided to tell the truth, but in a more subtle way. “I was dating a guy myself for about a year, but he met someone else. You know how it is.” Judd looked straight, but at least he was gay friendly.
            Judd rubbed his jaw and looked Keith up and down. “Well, pardon me for saying this, but that’s his loss, because I haven’t seen anything as cute as you in cowboy boots since I left the last ranch where I worked.” Evidently, Judd had his own not so subtle ways to let people know he was gay.
            Keith had never taken compliments or sexual innuendos well. He felt his face getting warm and he glanced down at his boots. “Well, thank you, Judd. But don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t all that serious about him. We’re still good friends and I like his new partner. We both always knew the relationship wouldn’t go anywhere.”
Read more here….

As if Judd had been reading his mind, he laughed and said, “I know how that is, buddy. I’m seeing someone named Luanne. I’m bisexual and we’re keeping it casual, if you know what I mean. I’m not ready to settle down with anyone. Although, sometimes I have a feeling Luanne would like more.”

Keith remembered the woman in the hospital in Chicago. “Does Luanne own a dress shop in Glendora Hill?”
“That’s her,” Judd said.

“She’s the one who told me about this apartment,” Keith said. “I met her in Chicago.”

“That was you?” Judd asked. “She mentioned something about that, but I wasn’t paying attention.” He laughed again. “I don’t pay too much attention to anything Luanne says.” He leaned forward and winked. “She talks a lot.”

Keith nodded. He was beginning to feel sorry for Luanne. At first, she’d reminded him of a female impersonator when he’d met her in the hospital, with too much make up, big teased blond hair, and long red fake fingernails. “That was me. Luanne seemed like a nice person to me.”

Judd raised both hands and said, “Don’t get me wrong. She’s great. I just had Thanksgiving with her. But she’s been sneaking around with the two women who own the General Store in town, Harby and Alice, and she doesn’t know I know about it. I don’t really mind either. I don’t let her know I know about it. And I make it clear to her all the time that our relationship is only casual and that we can both date other people if we want to.”

“I see,” Keith said. But he really didn’t get it, and he was too tired to care. “It was nice meeting you, Judd. I think I’m going to get the keys and go up and check out my apartment now.” In order to prove his point, he yawned.

Judd turned and walked to the end of the porch. He picked up Keith’s suitcases and said, “I’ll carry your bags up for you. It’s on my way.”

While Judd watched him bend over to get the keys from beneath the poinsettia, it made him feel self-conscious. He felt even more awkward when Judd made him go upstairs first. He had a feeling Judd was staring at his ass the entire time and there was nothing he could do to prevent it. And when Keith opened the door to his new apartment and turned on the light switch to his right, his entire body went dead still as Judd set the suitcases down and reached for the back of his pants right below the small of his back.

“What are you doing, Judd?” Keith asked, remaining still, as Judd continued to grope him.

Judd’s voice went down an octave. “If you want me to stop I will.”

“You’re not very shy,” Keith said.

“You don’t seem to mind that,” Judd said.

Keith couldn’t deny the growing erection that was making his jeans tighter each time Judd squeezed him. But this move by Judd was so sudden Keith wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. In the same respect, it wasn’t the first time a strange aggressive man had done something like this to him, and he’d learned to accept that part of gay culture years ago. And, he hadn’t been with a man since he’d busted up with his ex-boyfriend. “I don’t usually do things like this with strangers.”

“We’re not going to be strangers for long,” Judd said, reaching for Keith with his other hand. “I’m hoping we’re going to be good friends and neighbors.”

“Maybe we should get to know each other better first, Judd. We don’t even know if we like each other yet.”

“Oh, I like you,” Judd said.

“I’m talking about emotionally liking each other,” Keith said.

Judd didn’t seem to get that. He took another step forward and he pressed the front of his body to the back of Keith’s. Then he put his arms around Keith, hovered over him, and said, “That’s exactly what I’m trying to do right now: get to know you better emotionally.” He inhaled and said, “You smell so good, emotionally.”

Keith smiled at sarcastic sense of humor. He could feel Judd’s big round bulge pressing into his buttocks and it made his heart beat faster. Keith stood almost five feet nine inches tall in bare feet, but this big cowboy seemed to overpower him. Even the sound of his voice made Keith’s knees weak. “What about your girlfriend, Luanne? What would happen if she saw you doing this?”

“I already told you I’m not committed to anyone,” Judd said, lowering his head so he could nibble on Keith’s earlobe.

“I’m still not sure this is a good idea,” Keith said, and then he broke free from Judd’s hold and moved to the other side of what looked to be the living room. He’d rented the place furnished and hadn’t even asked to see photos. He took a quick glance and noticed all the antiques, including an Empire sofa with gold damask fabric. But it didn’t remind him of grandma’s house, with lace doilies, grandma’s dining room set, and Gone with the Wind lamps. These were important antiques, the kind he often saw in auction catalogues. And the warm hardwood floors against the stark white walls made it appear more modern. The ceilings were high and the windows had Roman Shades that were so perfect and evenly set at the same height he wondered if the landlord had drawn small pencil marks on the woodwork to get them that way.

Judd followed Keith to the other side of the room and grabbed him by the waist. He pulled Keith closer and said, “I’m not sure it’s a good idea either. You might be the possessive stalker type, man. For all I know you’ll want to marry me in the morning.”

That comment was so capricious and honest, it made Keith laugh. He lifted his palms to Judd’s shoulders and said, “For all you know I am the possessive type. You might be making a big mistake right now.”

“I’m willing to take that chance,” Judd said. He pulled Keith closer and his hands went down Keith’s back and rested on his bottom. “To be honest, I’m not usually this aggressive.”

Keith laughed again and stroked the back of his neck. “You’re lying. You’re probably worse than this.”

“Okay, maybe a little. I’m not shy about getting what I want. Is there a law against that?”

Men like Judd had always been attracted to Keith, for reasons he’d never been able to understand. Keith often wished men like him were more attracted to him, but things never seemed to work out that way. Keith had always been the academic type who spent his spare time reading journals and classic novels when he wasn’t riding horses. He had naturally fair hair and a deep olive skin tone that created an unusual contrast and made him stand out more in a crowd. Although he didn’t think his features, his body, or his appearance was anything that special, men like Judd seemed to flock to him as if they were on a mission and their lives depended on getting into his pants and getting him into bed. They were so aggressive at times they would actually pass him on the road while he was driving and honk their horns at him. But the gentler men that were more like Keith never seemed to notice him, and if they did they usually sent him jealous glances.

Keith lowered his hands so he could squeeze Judd’s biceps. He couldn’t actually see them or feel the flesh because Judd was wearing a black leather jacket. But when he felt those rock solid muscles bursting through the leather, he squeezed harder, bit Judd’s chin, and said, “I might be sorry for this, but what the hell. It’s Thanksgiving and I didn’t get any Turkey or pumpkin pie today.”

Judd took the back of Keith’s neck and said, “Then you’re in luck, because you’re going to get something even better than that right now.”

“And what would that be?” Keith couldn’t stop squeezing his biceps.
“Some good old J U double D, Judd.”

 

Chapter Two

            They kissed all the way from the living room to the bedroom, a bedroom with which Keith wasn’t at all familiar but Judd seemed to know quite well. Keith took backward steps and Judd guided him through the unfamiliar hallway of his new living space. Judd held his waist and kissed him so hard Keith had to grab Judd’s shoulders to keep from losing his balance. Judd guided him through the bedroom door, around an antique empire writing desk, sideways along a fainting couch, and right up to the foot of an old rosewood bed laced with Victorian carvings of grapes and Gibson girls. In keeping with the rest of the apartment, the warm hardwood floors and white walls kept the room looking brighter and more modern.

When the backs of Keith’s legs were up against the footboard of the bed, Keith stopped kissing for a moment and said, “You seem to know your way around this apartment well. I have a feeling you’ve been in this bedroom before.” He wanted to know if there was anything going on between Judd and his new landlord, Sebastian.

Judd kissed him again and pushed him backward. As Keith rested on top of the white matelassé coverlet and lifted his legs, Judd climbed on top of him and talked and kissed at the same time. “When Sebastian first moved to town we were close for a while. I don’t like to kiss and tell, but I will say this. Sebastian and his son, Kick, moved here from Houston right after Sebastian’s husband was killed in an accident and he had no money. He inherited this building from a distant uncle, and decided to put down roots in Glendora Hill. When I rented the fourth floor, this place was a huge mess. I was new in town, too, and I needed a cheap place to live and Sebastian needed tenants. Sebastian was alone, we both needed a little company at the time, and we had a short thing going on for a while. You’re going to love him. He’s the sweetest guy on earth, and so hot.”

Keith had a slight competitive streak. If anything, Keith was starting to get sick of hearing about Sebastian. But with Judd on top of him, and with Judd’s hands exploring his entire body, Keith found it difficult to concentrate or speak. He took a quick breath and said, “I thought Sebastian was married to the sheriff.”

“He is married to the sheriff now,” Judd said, reaching down to unbuckle his own belt. “But he wasn’t married to anyone when he first moved here. We were both free and single back then. And when he started up with the sheriff, it all ended between us and we’ve been good friends ever since. I’d do anything for that guy.”

As Judd opened his jeans and pulled out his erection, Keith removed his right hand from Judd’s shoulder and lowered it to Judd’s crotch. For a second or two, he groped around so he could hold Judd in his palm. And when Keith finally found him, fully erect and warm to the touch, and he discovered he couldn’t even wrap his fingers around it he started to stroke in a gentle way that made Judd kiss him even harder. As he stroked, from tip to stem, and he realized Judd’s length was as intimidating as his girth, he didn’t have to wonder why his new landlord, perfect Sebastian, had been with Judd when he’d first moved to Glendora Hill.

And even better, there was nothing rushed about Judd. They continued to make out while Sebastian held Judd in his palm and stroked with an uneven rhythm. They rolled around a few times, found different positions, and in the end Judd always wound up on top and his dick always wound up in Keith’s hand. Although Keith still hadn’t taken a good look at Judd’s dick, it felt so good he didn’t want to release it for more than a second.

The most unusual thing for Keith about this new encounter was the way their roles seemed to shift back and forth. During the entire time they kissed and felt each other up, Judd remained the physical aggressor and Keith remained the verbal aggressor. Though Judd acted upon pure instinct with each move he made, Keith found that if he calculated each move he made and he gave Judd orders, Judd would follow them without any hesitation at all. Keith had been with some of the most aggressive men in Chicago. He’d submitted to them willingly and their individual roles had always been defined without speaking. But with Judd is wasn’t the exactly same, and Keith soon realized he’d never actually met a man who could remain on top at all times and still submit to anything Keith wanted.

At one point Keith said, “I don’t want to ruin the bed cover. Take off those dirty old cowboy boots and the rest of your clothes.” Then he smacked Judd’s shoulder and pushed him backward in a playful but firm way.

Judd jumped off the bed, kicked off his dirty boots, and yanked off all his clothes so fast Keith barely had time to see his erection. But what Keith did see made him inhale and hold his palm to his chest. He could have hung one of his landlord’s glittery pine cone holiday wreaths on it and still had room to spare for a silver bell or two.

When Judd returned to the bed, Keith reached for his thighs and pulled him forward until Judd’s knees were even with Keith’s shoulders. Keith reached up with both hands and grabbed him again. He licked his lips and looked into Judd’s dark eyes at the same time. When Keith opened his mouth and nodded, Judd leaned forward until the tip of his dick slipped into Keith’s mouth. A moment after that, Judd leaned all the way over, braced his hands against the bed, and adjusted his position so that his crotch would be even with Keith’s mouth.

Keith tried to take him all the way into his mouth, but he soon discovered it was futile to even try. Keith’s lips wouldn’t stretch that far; he could only take so much without choking to death. At one point he wanted the entire dick in his mouth so desperately he almost spread his lips apart with his fingers to see if that would help. But then he reconsidered that move, realizing it might be too vulgar for a first encounter, especially with someone he would see all the time. So he wound up finding a comfortable position that seemed to please Judd, and one that wouldn’t make him gag too much. He took the bottom half of Judd’s dick with his right hand, and started sucking the top half so that his fist would provide a barrier between Judd’s pubic hair and his lips. If he hadn’t done that, and Judd had started fucking his face, Keith would have started gagging and it would have been impossible to suck him off at all.

But Keith had never been one to back off from a challenge, especially when it came to a man. He wound up jacking and sucking Judd at the same time. At certain points, he would remove Judd from his mouth and reach for his balls. They were a little larger than most men’s and it took a while at first for Judd to shove them both into his mouth at the same time. But each move he made, no matter how difficult at first, turned out to be worth his efforts. Judd had a strong masculine scent Keith continued to inhale, and his sack tasted just as strong. The smell was an odd combination of damp towels and cinnamon coffee, but the taste was impossible to compare to anything else without laughing aloud.

Russian Cops Gay Porn; FREE Give-Away FREE Excerpt

Russian Cops; Gay Porn

Evidently, the treatment of gays gets even worse in Russia than what we read about in mainstream headlines. According to this article in Gay Star News, Russian cops were recently fired for filming gay prison porn scenes and what sounds like the alleged exploitation of prisoners and gay men. According to another article, two films were made, on cell phones, and uploaded online. One involved a drunken prisoner, the other a gay rape scene.

On both occasions, the officers were stood filming the scenes on their phones.

You can read more here.

The officers were fired last year, and charged with negligence and illegal production of pornographic materials, punishable with up to two years in prison.

However, they eventually got away with fines of between 25,000 rubles and 45,000 rubles ($790 and $1,420), the report said.

And more here.

It’s hard to comment on this because there are so many different angles. But I do think it’s interesting that there’s a market for this kind of gay exploitation in Russia and I can’t help wondering if that has something to do with the fact that the Russian government treats gays so poorly. In other words, the more taboo something is the more in demand it usually becomes. Frankly, I’d like to know more of the back story. But I doubt we’ll get anything in detail on this topic from Russia.

FREE Give-Away FREE Excerpt

I’ll be posting about a free give-away I’m doing this weekend with a romance marketing company, Personalized Marketing. It’s actually a blog hop called Fall Into Romance, but I hate to call these things hops because they tend to freak readers out. It’s really just a way for readers to get a chance to win a few prizes. All you have to do is check for my post later this evening and follow a few simple directions. There’s also going to be an early bird contest today to win something for free. Read more to find out how to win a free e-book today.

From my inbox:

Early Bird Prize Contest…

Personalized Marketing is giving one lucky person who comments today only a choice of a Free eBook from one of the Guest List below. To be entered all you have to do is Comment today Oct 25th with the name of your Choice of Author and the Title you love the most!

The winner of the Early Bird will be announced the last day of the Blog Hop.. Good Luck and Have Fun!

As far as I know, and I didn’t know about this early bird contest until a minute ago, you can click this link, leave a comment, and choose an author of your choice for a chance to win a free e-book. It’s really a bonus prize for readers and no one knew about it until just this morning.

I’ll keep updating, and look for my post later this evening about the main contest where I’ll be giving away two free e-books from the Bad Boy Billionaire series. (Those books are also subject to change if the winner has already read them…it happens and I’m flexible about those things 🙂

Free Excerpt: Glendora Hill’s Sheriff and the Outlaw

This is from the first book in the new western romance series I’m doing for ravenous romance that’s going to be set in the fictional Texas Hill Country town of Glendora Hill. The series, unlike any other I’ve done in the past, will have books that focus on the little town of Glendora Hill, and each book will be told from a different POV by one of the characters who live in Glendora Hill. This first book, The Sheriff and the Outlaw, is coming from Sebastian Holt’s POV. He’s a recently widowed young gay man, with a teenage son, very little money, and he’s trying to start a new life in Glendora Hill on a limited budget. Many characters will be reappearing in each book. This excerpt, unlike most I post here on the blog, has been through one round of edits, but it’s still in revision.

 Chapter Seven

On the Friday of Labor Day weekend, a dozen more round boxwoods arrived at nine in the morning from a local nursery. Sebastian was walking Kick to the front door at the time, and when he saw the nursery truck pull up to the curb he groaned, put his arm around Kick, and said, “I’m not looking forward to doing that today in this heat.” He also wasn’t looking forward to paying for the boxwoods either. His funds were running low and he knew he shouldn’t have ordered more shrubs until the saddle shop was open and money was coming in. But everything in Glendora Hill was so perfect and manicured he didn’t want his place to look dowdy. He’d even repainted the white porch swing one more time that week so it would be brighter and shinier than the others in town.

          “If you want to wait, Dad, I can do it when I get home from work tonight,” Kick said. This was the last weekend before school started that Kick would be working full time at the hardware store. After that, he would work part time, on weekends and a few days after school, which would mean his paycheck would be less. He’d been saving his paycheck at the local bank all summer, in a savings account Sebastian had encouraged him to start as a college fund. One of the things Dan and Sebastian had discussed before Dan’s death was that they both wanted Kick to go to college and make something of his life. Sebastian was determined to steer Kick in that direction no matter what it took.

          “I thought you were going to the movies again tonight with your friends,” Sebastian said, watching the older man remove the most perfect boxwoods he’d seen yet. At least he was getting his money’s worth. They were identical to the shrubs he’d already planted along the front porch.  

          “I don’t have to go,” Kick said. “I can hang around here with you tonight and plant these. I don’t mind.”

          Sebastian pulled Kick closer and said, “I want you to go out and have fun tonight. This is the last weekend before school starts. Trust me, you won’t be having that much fun a week from now. Besides, I don’t have that much to do anyway. I just dread digging holes in this heat.” There had been a heat wave passing through all week. It was supposed to break that night, and Sebastian was hoping the weather reports were accurate. The grand opening for the saddle shop was tomorrow and although the shop was air conditioned, he’d planned several of the events outside in the driveway under a huge white tent he’d rented.

          “You sure?” Kick said.

          Sebastian gave him a push forward and smiled. “Get moving or you’ll be late. I’ll see you later this evening.”

          Kick hugged him fast and started down the sidewalk. As he crossed the street, he sent Sebastian a glance and waved.

          “Have a good day,” Sebastian shouted, and then he went down to meet the guy from the nursery.

          After he paid the man, he went around back to get the wheel barrow and shovel from the garage. There was a small pile of mulch next to the side door of the garage that had been left over from the previous plantings out front. He was glad he’d ordered a few extra yards of mulch just in case. The pile next to the door looked to be just the right amount needed to finish the boxwoods that would flank both sides of the front walkway.

          This time he decided to wear gloves instead of using his bare hands. The last time he’d planted something he hadn’t worn them and the blisters on his palms lasted for over a week. He knew he’d seen a few old pairs of gardening gloves in the garage somewhere when he’d been placing his uncle’s personal belongings in storage, only he didn’t remember exactly where he’d seen them.

          He rummaged around the dusty old garage, pushing spider webs away, making mental notes about how this mess of a garage would be the next project he would tackle.  But when he shoved a few old terra cotta pots on a shelf to one side, he spotted a black shoebox with a white label taped to the side that read, “Sebastian.” The gardening gloves were on top of the old shoebox and he was surprised he hadn’t noticed the box earlier. He must have been too busy cleaning up to see it. So much of that summer had become a blur because he’d been so eager to get everything in order.

          He pulled the shoebox and the gloves off the shelf and sat down on a wooden stool next to a stack of boxes that contained mostly old clothing that had belonged to his uncle. He’d planned to donate them to the Methodist church in town, but not until he went through all the pockets. Then he removed the lid from the box and gaped as he looked inside. It seemed to be filled with old photos of him that he never even knew he’d posed for. They were photos of him from the time he started kindergarten until the day he graduated from high school. All of them had something written on the back that stated where they had been taken, the date they had been taken, and Sebastian’s age at the time they’d been taken. As Sebastian glanced from photo to photo, as if viewing a consolidated version of his childhood, he remained gutted and slack-jawed.

          Sebastian knew his parents hadn’t taken these photos and sent them to his uncle. First, they didn’t speak to the uncle, and second, his parents never took more than one or two photos of him in his life. They’d always been the practical types: they took photos at major life events like graduations and weddings, and not even then most of the time. But never photos of him playing in swings or running onto the baseball field when he’d been in Little League.

          At the very bottom of the box, Sebastian gasped and shook his head. The photos of him continued through his adult years. There were photos of him with Dan and Kick playing catch outside their trailer in Houston. There were photos of him with Dan and Kick putting up a trellis in a small section of property behind the trailer that caused Sebastian’s eyes to sting. The memory of that afternoon overwhelmed him to the point where he had to stop and take a deep breath. Most of the photos of his life with Dan were digital, and the few he did have he wasn’t in because he’d been taking the photos of Dan and Kick.

          When he finally viewed the last photo in the box, he returned it to the box, closed the lid, and set it on a large cardboard box so he would remember to bring it into the house when he was finished planting the shrubs. But he sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out why his uncle had taken those photos, and why he’d kept them hidden in a shoebox all these years.

          While he was digging and planting the shrubs, he realized inheriting the property in Glendora Hill hadn’t been an accident. If his uncle had been watching him from a distance all those years, he’d known what he was doing when he left everything in his estate to Sebastian. Although he dreaded the thought of doing this, he would have to phone his parents at the ranch to see if they knew anything. He figured they would be the only people who might have a clue.

          But he had too many other things to deal with that Friday, and digging shrubs was more important than digging up the past. By the time he finished spreading a final layer of mulch around the last boxwood with a rusted old pitchfork, he heard a car pull up to the curb and a man said, “Looking good.”

          He turned and smiled before he even knew who it was. When he saw the sheriff smiling back at him, he said, “I do my best, sheriff.” He was only wearing a pair of basketball shorts and running shoes because of the heat. He had a feeling the sheriff was looking at everything but the shrubs he’d just planted.

          “Not bad for an outlaw,” the sheriff said. “And you can call me Avery. Sheriff makes me sound so much older and meaner.”

          Sebastian doubted the man had a mean cell in his entire body. He stuck the pitchfork in the grass and said, “And you can call me Sebastian instead of outlaw. That makes me sound shady and sinister.”

          Avery smiled and shook his head. “I have a feeling you can be sinister when you want to be.”

          Sebastian could tell by his tone he was joking. “I have my moments. Will I see you tomorrow at the grand opening? It wouldn’t be the same without the local sheriff here.”

          Avery put the car in gear and said, “Oh, you can count on it.” Then he tipped his cowboy hat, hit the gas, and made a U-turn toward the other end of town.