Rainbow eBooks Shutting Down
I’d heard about this last week, but didn’t want to post anything until I knew for certain and had a link. Rainbow eBooks, which has been selling digital books with LGBT content, is shutting its web site down at the end of this month.
Rainbow eBooks has announced today that they are shutting down their online bookstore. The web store will remain active for purchases through September 30, 2013 and will remain active for customer downloads through December 31, 2013. After December 31, 2013 Rainbow eBooks will provide direct links to publishers.
The rest of the article goes on to mention how important it is to back up your e-books just in case something like this happens. And it has happened before (1placeforromance.com, and fictionwise.com) and it WILL happen again. It’s also why established authors with small start up presses should be seriously thinking about learning indie publishing if they want to survive. If the online retail stores aren’t lasting, the small online presses won’t either. It’s especially important for those with multiple titles at small presses. If that small press shutters you’ll want to release your backlisted books. My prediction is that most authors of the future will be selling their own books directly from their own web sites…kind like what J.K. Rowling did.
I don’t think Rainbow eBooks shutting down is any reflection on e-books in a general sense. E-books aren’t going to disappear because a small business shuts down. Brick and mortar bookstores have been going out of business for years and there could be multiple reasons why that vary from business to business.
I think it’s more of a reflection on small businesses, and how hard it is to get any small business off the ground to the point where it’s at least breaking even. It’s also a reflection on how hard it is to get any LGBT oriented business to make a profit, especially in publishing. I see more gay men reading mainstream books than LGBT oriented books all the time. It’s a tight niche market and only a small percentage of the population is going to read LGBT content, and that includes gay people. In the same respect, it was a brave venture for the people who started Rainbow eBooks and I’m sorry to see them go.
Free Excerpt The Arrangement
This is an excerpt from a novella I wrote about a year and a half ago titled, The Arrangement. It was released through ravenous romance as a collaboration with author Andrew Grey who also wrote a novella of his own. The book is titled In Bed with the Boss. My novella is about a young guy during the early l960’s who winds up working in an office building in New York and falling in love with his married boss during a time when anything considered even remotely homosexual was taboo.
Once again, this is the raw version, and you can read the full excerpt with all of the erotic scenes here at my Word Press Blog. I don’t like to add anything with adult content to this blog. And the word press excerpt is much longer than this one.
“I’m sure you will,” Brad said, with a deep, smooth voice. “I’ve heard excellent things about you.” Then he stepped away from the urinal without zipping up his pants. He turned toward Toby and took a few steps in his direction.
Toby finished what he’d started and he zipped up his pants. But when he turned and saw that Brad’s dick was still hanging out of his dark gray suit pants, he gulped and swallowed hard.
Brad crossed over to where Toby was standing and said, “I’ve been watching you for a while, Toby.” His dick was still hanging out of his pants: semi-erect now. He reached out and placed his palm on the small of Toby’s back without warning.
“Ah well, Mr. Lindsay,” Toby said. He continued to stare down at the urinal. His fists were clenched so Brad wouldn’t see them shake and it felt as if all the blood in his body had rushed to the top of his head.
Brad rubbed the small of Toby’s back and said, “Please call me Brad. We’re almost the same age. Like I just said, I’ve been watching you and I think we might have a lot in common if you know what I mean.”
Though he’d been confused at first, Toby definitely knew what Brad meant now. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to Toby in a men’s room. Once, during a road trip to the Finger Lakes to visit his Aunt Nan, Toby had stopped at a truck stop to relieve himself and a trucker had made the same advances. Another time, in the men’s room at DrewUniversity, a theology student had followed him into a stall. And then there’d been the time in the bowling alley in Queens, with a young guy who looked like Joe DiMaggio. But Toby never expected this from Brad Lindsay…his boss. And in the men’s room right there in the office. So he took a deep breath and said, “You’re married.”
Brad shrugged. “That’s doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun with a nice guy.” He moved forward and started to rub his crotch up and down Toby’s right leg. “And you are a very nice guy from what I can see.” Toby didn’t have to look down to know that Brad was fully erect by then. He could feel the hardness pressing into his thigh. “Besides, we’re the only two in the office now. I locked the doors in such a way that no one else can get inside. Trust me, I have a lot more to lose than you do.”
“Are you sure we’re all alone?” He wondered how he could have locked the doors so no one else could get inside. But he didn’t ask.
Brad rubbed harder. “I’m positively certain, trust me.”
Toby took a deep breath and turned to face him. Brad was grinning now; his hand had gone down and he was squeezing Toby’s ass. This encounter with Brad wasn’t something Toby would have gone looking for, and he’d certainly never expected it to happen. But he hadn’t been with a man this way for six months. And Brad was an exceptionally good looking guy. So Toby reached down, grabbed Brad’s erection, and said, “I’m very discreet.”
Brad leaned over and kissed his neck. He squeezed his ass harder and said, “I’m just as discreet as you are. You don’t have to worry. As you pointed out, I’m a happily married and I’d like to remain that way. But I don’t see why we can’t become better friends, especially since we have so much in common.”
Toby blinked. “Friends?”
“Very discreet friends who can trust one another completely. You do me a favor; I’ll do you a favor.”
“I hope so. I don’t really have anyone I can trust.”
Brad licked Toby’s earlobe and whispered into his ear. “Can I trust you? I promise you can trust me.”
Toby stroked Brad’s cock gently and smiled. It felt so smooth and warm in his palm he almost gasped. Toby didn’t know any men like himself in New York. He didn’t have anyone he could trust either. And the only time he ever was with men like himself was when he ventured downtown to a little private basement bar in The Village he’d read about in an underground newspaper. And even then they weren’t really like him: they wore loud colors and talked like women. They leered at him and made him feel awkward when they whispered behind his back. He usually wound up leaving before he’d finished his first drink. So he released Brad’s dick and unbuckled his own pants without saying a word. While his heart pumped, he pulled down his zipper and then yanked his pants and his boxer shorts down to his knees at the same time. Then he set his palms on Brad’s chest and sighed.
When he did this, Brad moved forward and rested both hands on his bare ass. Toby closed his eyes and took a breath. He’d forgotten how much he liked to be touched this way by a man. While Brad squeezed and fondled him, he felt a rush and he fell into Brad’s strong arms. Toby squeezed the muscles in Brad’s upper arms and rubbed his cheek against the fabric of Brad’s silky gray suit jacket. He squeezed Brad’s shoulders and ran his palms up and down Brad’s back. Being with a man this way sent shivers through his entire body, especially a real man like Brad. And he did this mainly because it happened so infrequently he had trouble containing his natural instincts.
But Toby also knew this wasn’t going to be a love affair or an emotional experience that he’d recall for the rest of his life. This experience with Brad Lindsay would be the same as his encounter with the rough trucker at the truck stop and the hairy guy at the bowling alley. So after Toby squeezed and inhaled as much of Brad as he could, he decided to move things along without wasting time. He slowly went down on his knees, arched his back, and sucked Brad’s dick into his mouth. He knew this is what Brad wanted by the way Brad was playing with his ass.
Brad’s body jerked. His head went back and he moaned out loud in a way that would have sounded painful if someone had been listening from a distance. He grabbed the sides of Toby’s head gently and spread his legs wider. When Toby took him all the way to the back of his throat and Toby’s lips were buried in his crotch, Toby closed his eyes and inhaled his masculine scent as deeply as he could. He’d almost forgotten how wonderful it was. He remained this way for a long time without moving, taking in as much of Brad as he could. While he did this, Brad applied more pressure to the sides of Toby’s head. At one point, he shoved Toby’s face into his crotch so hard his pubic hair tickled Toby’s nose.
The entire act took less than fifteen minutes, with Toby on his knees the entire time. When Toby started sucking and moving his head back and forth, he grabbed his own dick and started stroking it. One of the things he’d learned about men like Brad Lindsay was that the lines were almost always drawn with respect to who would be on his knees and who would be looking down. And Toby didn’t mind this at all. In fact, he’d always preferred to be the one on his knees looking up.
A second before Brad came, he grabbed Toby’s head and looked down. “Is it okay?”
Toby knew what Brad meant. And it was nice of him to ask. Not all men bothered to ask, not in Toby’s experience. They just grunted and came, and then pulled up their zippers and left. Toby’s eyes went up and they met Brad’s eyes. Toby nodded yes twice, with Brad’s dick almost all the way inside his mouth. Then he started sucking harder and moving his head faster. He applied more pressure with his tongue and his lips until he felt Brad swell and explode. A second after that, while Toby swallowed, Toby stroked out his own load on the white tiled floor between Brad’s legs. By that time Toby’s eyes were still closed and he was still sucking as hard as he had been when Brad had climaxed. It had been so long since the last time Toby had done this he didn’t want to let go of him; he wanted to savor every single minute of this experience for as long as he could for those long lonely night when there would be no one around. At one point, Brad had to literally hold Toby’s face and pry Toby’s lips off his dick.
Brad laughed and took a step back. “Hold on, buddy,” he said. “You’re killing me here. There’s nothing left to give.”
Toby took a quick breath and exhaled. “I’m sorry. I guess I just lost control. It’s been a while.” He sent him an upward glance and smiled. “Thanks.”
Brad went over to the sink and said, “I guess it has been a while. I thought I was going to need a crowbar to pry you away. To be honest, it’s been a while for me, too, and I was going nuts. I should be thanking you.” Then he rinsed his dick with warm water, tapped it on the edge of the sink, shook it off, and shoved it back into his pants damp.
When Toby stood to pull up his pants, Brad reached around and grabbed his ass again. He squeezed it a few times and said, “Thanks, buddy. You’re the best. I really mean that.” And then he left Toby standing beside the urinals with swollen lips and sore knees.
Although this encounter between them was the first and the last they’d ever share, they did become friendlier as the months passed. It wasn’t the type of friendship that Brad had with other guys in the office. Toby didn’t go to baseball games with Brad and he didn’t play poker or golf with him. But they did go out to lunch once in a while and Brad always made sure he stopped in to say hello at least once or twice a day to see how Toby was doing.
This left Toby stunned in more ways than one. After Toby blew Brad in the men’s room, he was certain his job was on the line. He didn’t sleep the entire night or the rest of the weekend. His boss was “happily” married and Toby knew how those things went. And even worse, Brad was married to a senior partner’s daughter. At the very worst, Brad would want him out of the way, if not out of sight completely. At the very least, he feared Brad would avoid him and ignore him as much as possible. And there would always be that unspoken shame between them.
But when Brad popped his head into Toby’s small office the next Monday morning and said, “Good morning, hot lips,” Toby glanced over at him and pressed his palm to his throat. Brad was smiling and leaning halfway into the doorway. He said he was on his way to a meeting but wanted to say hello on the way.
“Ah well, good morning,” Toby said with a dumbfounded expression. Evidently, he’d underestimated Brad.
Brad looked back over his shoulder to make sure no one was listening. He turned back to Toby and asked, “You okay about what happened last Friday night?” Then he laughed, brought his fist to his face, and made fake blow job gestures.
Toby shrugged and smiled. He could still taste Brad’s dick. “I’m good,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about me. I told you I’m discreet.”
Brad exhaled and laughed again. “I’m glad. I had a feeling I could trust you completely. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to our new friendship.”
“You are?” Toby asked. He had no idea what Brad was talking about.
“Buddy, I’ve been looking for a friend like you for years,” Brad said. He glanced at his watch. “I’m late for the meeting. I just wanted to be sure we’re okay. I don’t want you getting the wrong idea about love or anything. That happened to me once before in college and it was nightmare. I never thought I’d get that guy off my back.”
Toby furrowed his eyebrows. “The wrong idea?”
“You know, about what happened last Friday night,” Brad said. He refrained from making the obscene gesture a second time. “I just want it to be clear it was a one time deal and that it’s not going to happen again. But I’d still like to think we can be friends and help each other out every now and then, if you know what I mean.”
Toby didn’t have a clue. But this was his boss and he didn’t want to lose the best job he’d ever had. He knew there was room for advancement in this agency and he wasn’t going to let a simple blow job ruin his career. Besides, there was something about Brad he liked and he didn’t have any friends like himself. So he shrugged and said, “I know exactly what you mean. And don’t worry. I’m fine about what happened last night. I mean that. And I don’t expect it to happen again.” This was the absolute truth, too. The last thing Toby wanted to do was get involved with a married man. He’d had plenty of chances to get involved with women and get married himself. But he’d never felt right about it.
“I knew I could count on you,” Brad said. He looked at his watch again. “I’ve got to run now. But we’ll make plans; I’ll see you later.”
“Sounds good,” Toby said.
“And I promise,” Brad said. “I’ll take good care of you if you take good care of me.”
Toby smiled and watched him leave. He knew Brad wasn’t talking about anything sexual now. He’d made it clear they would never be lovers again. If Toby had been more experienced he might have understood what Brad’s plans were. But he was still so innocent when it came to these things he couldn’t seem to grasp the reason why Brad would even want to pursue a friendship with him.