Excerpt from Unnatural…


I’ve got the final files now so it’s time for an excerpt from Iain Sinclair and James Hart’s story, which comes out in November. In this scene, a young James discovers something about Iain he hadn’t guessed before …


When he got to the end of the garden, his dancing slippers were soaked from the wet grass, but he didn’t care, just leaned on the fence and looked out over the little manmade lake his grandfather had created fifty years before, James’s favourite place on the whole estate.

He wasn’t sure how long he stood there, just looking out over the water, or when he became aware of the presence of others nearby. At first all he heard was a low chuckle of laughter, then the murmur of voices—two at least, or were there three? However many there were, the voices were male, the husky laughter they shared, low and intimate—and growing nearer. James didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone. He stepped back into the shadow of one of the willows that ringed the lake, hiding himself, and waited for the owners of those voices to materialise, searching his shadowy surroundings with his keen scientist’s gaze.

They emerged at last from a clump of trees twenty yards away, two figures, walking side by side. Their shirts blazed white in the darkness making James frown with puzzlement till they drew nearer and he realised they’d been swimming. The wet linen clung to their torsos, and both of them carried some bundled-up clothing under their arms.

It was Iain. Iain and, of all people, Mellick, one of the grooms. Laughing together—like equals.

James realised they were going to pass the willow he stood under. He stepped back, even further into the shadows, moving slowly and carefully so as to make no noise, obscuring himself behind the solid arching trunk of the old tree.

They didn’t notice him, just walked on, still murmuring to each other, chuckling softly now and then.

After a little while, James realised where they were going—they were making for the boathouse, growing more careful as they drew closer to the ramshackle building, both of them looking around several times before, one after the other, they entered, and the door closed behind them.

From his place in the shadows, James felt as though his breath had got stuck in his throat. Only when the two men were out of sight behind that closed door did he manage to gasp a breath. He knew what this was, or he thought he did, and now he was feeling too many things all at once. Curiosity and excitement, and anger too, that Iain had wanted this more than he wanted to be with James tonight.

But of course, this was different.

He’d suspected as soon as he’d caught that first glimpse of them emerging from the trees, heard the soft, intimate music of their voices. James might have no experience himself, but he’d heard about men who indulged in…unnatural desires. Men who did the very things that he spent hours in his bed at night trying to imagine while he stroked his aching prick.

He would never have thought that Iain would want this, though. Iain, who was so manly and vigorous. Iain, who was the most bruising horseman James knew, who could bowl anyone out at cricket. Iain, who could run faster, climb higher, swim more strongly than anyone.

Without consciously deciding to do it, James found himself walking slowly towards the boathouse, his steps carefully silent. He knew these paths like the back of his hand, had been walking them since he was a tiny boy collecting tadpoles in spring, and he made no sound as he approached the wooden structure that housed the rowing boats for the lake.

Silently, he drew closer to the single, small window. A faint glow from within told him they’d lit a candle, a reckless decision since, even standing a couple of paces back from the glass, James could make out the two men inside as they came together.

They put their arms around each other so that they stood chest to chest, and then their lips were meeting—

They were kissing each other.

James’s chest ached. He couldn’t even put a name to the feelings that rushed through him at the sight of Iain Sinclair in Mellick’s arms, kissing him with the same heated passion that James had seen between the upstairs maid and the second footman when he’d walked in on them in the stables last summer.

On the one hand, the realisation that Iain did this—this thing that James wanted to do so very badly—was like some great door of possibility opening wide.

On the other…he felt almost sick with the pain of witnessing Iain doing this with someone else.

And alongside those mingled feelings of excitement and pain, there was something else, something infinitely more physical. The crawling, insistent rise of his own arousal.

James watched, dry-mouthed, as Iain stepped back from Mellick and whipped his shirt over his head in a flash of white, revealing the broad line of his shoulders and the perfect planes of his smooth, pale back. When he stepped forwards again, he took Mellick’s face into his hands and drew him into another passionate kiss.

Oh, Jesus in heaven.

James pressed the heel of his hand over his stiffening cock, the satin of his evening breeches smooth against his skin. He shuddered and bit his lip. He was going to lose himself right here, watching this.

After another minute or so of kissing, Mellick drew his head back, flashed Iain a grin, and dropped fluidly to his knees, busying himself with unfastening Iain’s breeches while Iain rested one hand on Mellick’s shoulder in a gesture that struck James as unexpectedly tender. He’d heard men talk about sodomites, and they always made the act sound appalling. Violent and brutal. Someone being made to bend and take it. Pain and shame. Who could ever want that?

This was nothing like that.

Once Mellick had unbuttoned Iain’s placket, he glanced up again. He wasn’t grinning now, but there was still a half smile on his face and his eyelids were half-lowered, giving him a look of languid promise. Slowly, without moving his gaze from Iain’s face, he reached inside Iain’s breeches and drew out his cock.

For several of James’s frantic heartbeats, the groom simply admired Iain’s sizeable prick, his frank gaze warm, then he leaned forward, engulfing it in his mouth.

Iain’s head went back, eyes closing, lips parting in obvious pleasure.

Oh God.

James rubbed his hand over his breeches a few more times, but it wasn’t enough. With a rough exhalation that was part helpless gasp, part protest, he ripped the buttons of his own breeches open and drew out his hard shaft.

Mellick’s head was moving up and down. James couldn’t see precisely what he was doing, but it didn’t matter. He probably wouldn’t have looked if he could see. His eyes were all for Iain, for the strong arch of his throat and the abandoned, almost painfully intimate expression on his face. For the way he gripped Mellick’s shoulder with one hand and palmed the back of his head gently with the other, canting his hips forwards for more.

Oh God, Iain.

James’s hand was moving with a steady rhythm now. As he watched Iain respond to Mellick’s attentions, he felt oddly at one with him. Imagined that, somehow, Iain’s pleasure was mounting at the same pace as his own.

Strange, to feel so intimately connected to someone who didn’t even know he was there.

He saw the pleasure peak and crash through Iain’s body. Saw the way his hand tightened, knuckles whitening, on Mellick’s shoulder and his whole body seemed to go taut and still, other than his hips, which stuttered in Mellick’s firm grip. And then James’s own crisis was upon him. He bit his lip against the desire to cry out and, eyes still fixed on Iain Sinclair— now caressing Mellick’s hair with seeming affection—stroked himself to a wrenching completion, spilling his seed on the ground like an offering.


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I reader, the Italian edition


My holiday in Italy (which was amazing! See above – Cortona where we spent our second week) brought with it lots of very cool books. My kids are getting older now and the constant supervision that was needed just a couple of years ago has now let up considerably. Now I can read while they swim and play and an hour or more can go by at a time without someone needing something. It’s one of those weird ironies of parenthood that this independence I’d longed for just a short time ago now makes me feel contrarily bereft. Ah well. At least it provides me with ample reading – and listening – time.

First up on the reading front was Two Gentlemen of Altona by JA Rock and Lisa Henry. This was a fun romp. Feeb Mac meets con man Henry when Henry witnesses a murder – Mac is forced to hunt Henry down then protect him. Mac is gruff and Henry is charming and there’s a nice thread of real emotion running through the frolics. My only gripe was a certain… ahem, lack of completion in this volume. If you catch my drift. It was quite the tease.

My first audio book of the holiday was Plan B by SJD Peterson. I love this book – have read it twice – and the narration on this one is pretty good, if a little too arch at times for my liking. Having said that, this is a first person POV story and the MC, Danny, does have a distinctive voice in the book that the narrator echoes in a way that felt accurate so it does work – I guess what I’m saying is that he lost a teeny bit of likeability for me in the from-reading-to-listening transition but that’s audio books for you. All books have to pass through reader filters but to me, it feels like audiobooks have extra filters to get through.  For me, the parts of this audiobook that really took off were the dialogue sections between Danny and Lance. The narrator does a fantastic and very distinct voice for Lance and it just flows – I can’t imagine it’s easy to carry off transitions between different character voices smoothly in dialogue scenes.

My next read was a free bit of Sterek fanfic that Sam Evans pointed me to, Little Wild Animal by Lisa Henry. I’d been tweeting about teetering on the edge of the rabbit hole of Sterek fanfic just before I went on holiday (after reading one piece) so I knew this was a dangerous course of action.

It’s probably just as well I had no internet connection for a week after reading Little Wild Animal since I guzzled up this fun and touching lost boy tale in a few big gulps. I think I begin to see the lure of fanfic. The ready made characters. The possibilities that it offers, both to follow /build and to subvert. Even after reading just two (vastly different) examples, and never having watched an episode of Teenwolf, I can begin to see the blurred outline of this universe and key things about the characters: a bouncy naïveté to Stiles, a reserve and intensity to Derek. ‘S’interesting.

My next read-y book was Megan Erickson’s Trust the Focus which I liked a lot. Great friends-to-lovers coming out tale. NA. Nice, rounded characters and a road trip that rollicks along at fair old clip. I could quibble with a few things here and there but you know what? Why would I, when I enjoyed it so much? I then guzzled Kate McMurray’s first Rainbow League book, The Wind Up. For some reason, I enjoy Kate McMurray’s baseball books, despite my fundamental lack of interest in sport generally and complete and total ignorance about baseball in particular. This story was slightly different from others of hers I’ve read, being about an amateur team rather than a pro team. It was a nice and easy read, light on angst and I burned through it quickly.

On the audio front, I moved onto the second and third books in the I Spy series by Josh Lanyon. I have been eating up Lanyon’s audiobooks one by one and loving revisiting his whole oeuvre in that way. Whilst these were not my favourites, they’re still great. The narration on these ones is difficult – the poor narrator’s got to pull off a British first person POV AND a second MC with a distinct  (Shenandoah Valley) American accent. I’m guessing the narrator is actually American. Although the British accent he uses is good, I kept detecting what sounded like an American hard “a” creeping in. Of course, for all I know, the southern accent he uses for Stephen could be off but the fact is, I can’t judge the accuracy of that one so I assume it’s fine. All of which underlines that listening to an audio book is a highly subjective experience.  The general performance here (as with other Lanyons I’ve listened to) was well-matched to the book – spot-on for the flat, jaded, bleakness of Marc’s first person pov. And the voice he adopts for Stephen voice is great. Again, the tricky dialogue sections just sang.

My next read was Marie Sexton’s Shotgun. Although I liked this book, it’s main pleasure ended up being that it sent me back to revisit an earlier book in the series, Promises, which I found I enjoyed more the second time around. Loved actually. Then, as often happens on holiday, that sent me off to reread another favourite, False Start by Janey Chapel – it’s not related to Promises in any way, it’s just that I thought of it as I was reading Promises. I adore this short novella about a closeted man coming home for his college reunion and meeting up with his out ex boyfriend. Really nice writing, strong emotion and a neat, satisfying running metaphor. It’s not whack-you-round-head amazing, just a great example of a story you see a lot in MM romance done really well. I’ve read it at least 4 times now.

From what I can see, Janey Chapel hasn’t written anything new for a while :-(

My final holiday audio was Floodgates by Mary Calmes. This is classic Calmes with a loved-by-everybody-but-oblivious-to-his-own-charms pretty boy and a big, hard, superalpha cop pairing. This story also features a dickhead, cheating, handsome ex and there’s a murdering stalker too. Nice narration. I liked it a lot. Lots of standard Calmesisms that are like catnip to me. I have to admit to loving the climactic sex scene in which Cord demands Tracy’s agreement to a committed relationship using only the power of his mighty wang. There’s a great line where Tracy gasps something like “Sex talk means nothing,” and Cord replies, “It means EVERYTHING.” (my emphasis). And it’s cheesy but I love it so much! I could use that single example as a springboard into a whole new blog post about “money shot” moments like that in romance novels, both het and queer. But time, sadly, doesn’t allow.

Happy reading days.


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My next release…

…will be Unnatural, due for release by Samhain in November 2015. This is the story of Captain Iain Sinclair and James Hart, previously glimpsed in Beguiled and Seasons Pass. Blurb and cover are below and I hope to share an excerpt soon.



Captain Iain Sinclair. Perfect son, perfect soldier, hero of Waterloo. A man living a lie. The only person who really knows him is his childhood friend, scientist James Hart. But they’ve been estranged since Iain brutally destroyed their friendship following a passionate encounter. 

Iain is poised to leave the King’s service to become an undercover agent in India. Before he leaves his old life behind, he’s determined to reconcile with James. An invitation to a country house party from James’s sister provides the perfect opportunity to pin the man down. 

James has loved Iain all his life, but his years of accepting crumbs from Iain’s table are over. Forgiving Iain is one thing—restoring their friendship is quite another. 

In the face of James’s determined resistance, Iain is forced to confront his reasons for mending the wounds between them. And accept the possibility that James holds the key to his heart’s desire—if only he has the courage to reach for it.


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Why do I read romance? #167

Maybe one day I’ll definitively answer this question. Today’s attempt ventures onto new ground.

I’ve been listening a lot to Dexys’ 2012 album One Day I’m Going to Soar this week. I got this album shortly after its release and loved it. One of the things I loved about it was that it was a single theme/single story album which is always red letter for me (since I am all about theme, baby). However, in my head, it was a relationship-gone-wrong story and I never really got beyond that. I did as I usually do with it, which is to say I played it death for a few weeks (cause I tend to saturate myself with the stuff I love, you know? Roll in it. Soak in it) but I was pretty much always doing something else at the same time.

Usually writing.

Recently, though, I started walking to work a couple of times a week and I began listening to whole albums with all my attention in a way I haven’t done for quite a while.

This week I picked up One Day I’m Going to Soar and you know what I discovered? It’s not about a relationship gone wrong (though that’s part of how Kevin Rowland shows you what it is about).

It’s actually about a man discovering, and accepting, who he is.

It’s about him answering the question Who Am I?

In his case, the answer is that he’s kind of an eternal outsider who has no desire to be paired up in life or to have a family life. He wants to be free (and the exuberant “Free” at the end of the album is a superbly defiant and joyous two fingers to everyone who thinks that being single is the end if the world).

So anyway, the thing – the big exciting thought – that hit me as I listened to this album, again and again this week, was that I was reacting to this album, this story, the way I react to great romances – even though the guy ends up alone at the end. Like, I was excited by the whole thing and happy at the end and hopeful. And I was identifying, present in my shadowy way in these songs. There but not, like when I read.

It made me think again about why I read romance. It me wonder whether romance –  that core love story  – in some ways is just like setting or plot or characterisation for me? Like, it’s part of *it*( what I’m looking for) but not actually *it*.

Perhaps *my* thing, the thing I am  always looking for, is about realising or actualising the self (something I’ve sort-of blogged about before here)? Discovering – or maybe turning into – who you *really* are?

Perhaps my love of romance isn’t so much about love stories as it is about this essential identity story and it’s just that romance is the best place to find this in its purest form because romance (particularly LGBTQ romance) is so focused on that “Who am I?” question? 

This is a big idea for me and it’s giving me food for thought.

This is my (current) favourite song from the Dexys’ album, Nowhere is Home which is just so great. I particularly love the part where he talks about wanting to be “the man of my dreams” (3:45ish).

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An unexpected pleasure

So I came back from my week away and there was a note that the postman had left a parcel with my neighbour. Inside was this:


So I looked inside. There was a bookmark:


I was none the wiser. I flicked around the pages, checked the flyleaf and back copy…





Then I finally turned to the other flyleaf, and there it was:


 You see that? The top one: “Eva Clancy”

That’s me.

Now published in paperback in Japan.


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2015: the year of JFDI



I meant to post about my resolution for 2015 before now. But, in keeping with said resolution, better late than never.

I’ve decided that 2015 is going to be my JFDI year.





There’s more than one strand to this. Part of it’s about writing – about reminding myself of how (miraculously it sometimes seems to me) I’ve ended up publishing 6 novels and 7 novellas and each and every one has been written in snippets. Writing a little, often.

It’s a reminder, too, to try not to waste too much time on stupid stuff. Especially stuff of the ever-diminishing-returns variety. (Not that I plan on giving up stupid stuff altogether, you understand).

There’s a third thing too, and perhaps this is most important thing – around decisiveness. I can get pretty paralysed by uncertainty at times, and I want to stop doing that – stop wondering myself into a standstill. I want to say more ‘yes’s and ‘no’s and fewer ‘I’ll think about it’s. Act more, think less.

So that’s my resolution for 2015: JFDI.

Just fucking do it.


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2014 in review – the readery stuff


This post is more about the general shape of my reading in 2014 rather than being a top books of the year list – more general musings on what captured my interest this year with some specific mentions by way of example.

2014 was (again) very much a year of the contemporary for me. Most (but not all) of the contemporaries I read  were GLBT and US set . It’s probably telling that the het romances I read tended towards the realistic (Sarah Mayberry remains an autobuy) and/or exploring less vanilla relationships (Cara MacKenna was an exciting new discovery – I loved Unbound with it’s dynamic heroine). No billionaires round my way in 2014!

In terms of individual authors, I went on a bit of Mary Calmes glom. In all, I read 8 Calmes titles this year, of which my favourite was probably All Kinds of Tied Down. (I’ve still to read any of the Matter of Time books, having been unwilling to commit to such a long series – I’m such an obsessive glommer that I know once I get going I won’t be able to stop till I’ve read them all – however, I downloaded a sample of book 1 last night so it’s only – wait for it! – a matter of time...)

Another big theme (to my own surprise) was college romances. In fact, my current read (which I’m loving) is Amy Jo Cousins’ Off Campus which falls into this category. Other than Off Campus, the best of these has been the superlative Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen but fun has also been had with Anne Tenino’s  frat boys and J A Rock and Lisa Henry’s Versus books.

Westerns too. Z A Maxfield’s series has been superb.

2014 has also been notable as Josh Lanyon’s comeback year following his sabbatical. He put out three superb full length novels this year and I loved every one: Fair Play, Everything I Know and The Boy with the Painful Tattoo. High points, every one.

Turning to  historicals, I’ve read a lot less in this genre this year, and what I have read has been less typical. A stand out read (and a polarising one, judging by the reviews) was Stone Age time travel romance (I know!) Transcendence by Shay Savage. I loved the central conceit of this story which is that the caveman hero is less hung up on masculine posturing than a modern day man. Smart and touching.

Other historical high points include On A Lee Shore by Elin Gregory, another stand out read. I just loved this book. I had a big No Pirates reading rule till I read this. It was rich and vivid and unexpected. Loved it. Other great historical reads came from K J Charles and Tamara Allan.

What else? There wasn’t much that was notable in pnr or sci fi for me, but I loved the Stitch anthology which had a fantastic Pinnochio/Frankenstein theme. Brilliant. Oh, and I really liked Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau which again had a great central idea – convicts who serve their victims instead of going to prison after being implanted with mind controlling chips. It’s a nice exploration of free will. I also stepped a toe outside the romance genre (arguably) with the compelling Written in Red by Anne Bishop. Fantastic, but I kept wanting more relationship from the MCs which underlined for me how important the romance element is for me.

Another theme in my reading this year has been indie reads – great examples include S P Wayne’s werewolf books and Santino Hassell’s After Midnight. I’ve also read heaps of short stories and novellas this year, culminating in a rash of xmas reads: Eli Easton’s Unwrapping Hank (I also loved her The Mating of Michael), Mary Calmes’ Where You Lead and What Can Be and Rj Scott’s Angel in a Bookshop. All great festive reads I’ll revisit at future Christmases.

Do I have a book of the year? I’m going to go with my gut on this – literally. The boom that got me in the gut this year, staying with me long after, was L B Gregg’s Men of Smithfield – Adam and Holden. It was lovely.

I know I’ll read it again and again.


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My 2014 in review: the writey stuff


2014 has been a pretty good writing and publishing year for me. I published two novels, two novellas and a (very short) short this year which is a pretty good output for me given my work and family commitments.

The stories were:

  • Enlightened, the final novel in my Enlightenment trilogy (my most ambitious writing project to date)
  • Introducing Mr Winterbourne, a novella in the Another Place in Time charity anthology organised by Susan Lee
  • The Dream Alchemist, my first, um, paranormal-y novel (I struggle to label this story – it doesn’t *feel* like paranormal or fantasy to me, but something else)
  • Rest and Be Thankful, a contemporary set novella in the Comfort & Joy Christmas anthology organised by Josh Lanyon
  • Seasons Pass, a very short story in the Enlightenment series. Although this is only 5k, it’s one of my favourite things I wrote this year

In terms of next year’s output, I have notebooks full of ideas for future projects – some of those are stories I’m desperate to write and others are stories I’m interested in more for the challenge they pose.

When I think about it, pretty much everything I’ve published has had something in it that’s been some kind of challenge. My first book featured a woman masquerading as a man – I began writing that book after reading a few blogs that talked about this being a trope readers struggled with because they found it difficult to believe a woman could successfully pass as a man. My second book featured that most loathed of romance characters, the philandering husband (I genuinely love the hero of that book but he’s been roundly despised by many readers). With the first book of the Enlightenment series, I wrote a romance with no HEA or even an HFN and that really bothered some readers (but I genuinely felt it had to be that way) and across the broader arc of all three Enlightenment books, I set myself the challenge of creating an ultimate HEA for two Regency men that readers could really believe in and have the same sense of pay off as from a het historical. With my more recent stories – The Dream Alchemist and Rest and Be Thankful – the challenge has been in the change of genre. I’ve discovered that paranormal and contemporary genres present vastly different challenges than historical… and that no genre is easy…

In terms of what I’m writing right now, I’m in the luxurious (I think) position of writing something that is both a real book of my heart and a new challenge. This is Captain Iain Sinclair’s book. Readers of Seasons Pass will have briefly met Iain and his love interest, James Hart. James and Iain have known each a long time so I’m trying to tell their story in two interwoven narrative strands – the ‘present’ strand (1824) and a second strand which shows how their relationship has developed between 1808 and 1824. This is not an easy way to write a story, but it gives me lots of opportunities to set up satisfying emotional pay offs – if I can get the tension and the pace if it right (I’m a firm believer that so much in romance is about pace and timing). That novel will come out late 2015.

Enough of 2015 though, what else happened in 2014?

Well, I was nominated in Dabwaha which was very cool, though I went out after round 2 (albeit respectably, to the eventual winner, Captive Prince 2). Oh, and I attended my first conference, the UK GLBT Fiction Meet in Bristol where I met some fabulous people, such as Susan Lee, K J Charles,  Sam Higson, Liz Whinder, Helena Justina,  Rachel Maybury, Clare London, Jo Myles, Elin Gregory, Johanna Ollila, Jordan Castillo Price, LA Witt, Aleksander Voinov, Charlie Cochrane, Calathea, Jay Northcote – the list goes on! It was a great meet and I hope to be at the next one in September next year, all going well.

I loved doing my two anthologies. It was a thrill to see my stories published with other writers I highly rate. In both cases, I felt very much like the ‘junior partner’ in the line up (which felt quite a luxurious place to be in all honesty). Hopefully, these anthologies have introduced my stories to a few new readers.

Another new-to-me for 2014 has been self publishing, which I dipped a toe into the water of with the Comfort & Joy anthology. Having had my hand comprehensively (and generously) held through that process, I plan at least one self pubbing venture in 2015. I have to say, I love working with my publishers, Samhain, but I would like to put something out before the Iain and James book, hopefully around summer time and self pubbing is the best way to achieve that, given the timetable I’m working with.

Is there anything you’d particularly like to see from me? Genre? Characters? Tropes?



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Guess the Author Round 4

Holiday Anthology LBmedium

Josh has organised a cool game to celebrate the upcoming release of Comfort and Joy – four rounds of GUESS THE AUTHOR!

You may be here because you’ve already played the other three rounds, or you may have come here first – if so, you’ll find the other rounds at Josh Lanyon’s, LB Gregg’s and Harper Fox’s places.

This is by far the toughest round, lol! This time you are going to see if you can match the following objects to the correct anthology story. You’ve pretty much got nothing to go on here but guesswork and you’ve got to get all twelve objects correctly matched up.

The first four people to come up with the correct matches win their choice of ebook from any one of our backlists BARRING the new stories in this anthology. ;-)


The Objects are:

1 – A violin

2 – Blown-glass tree ornaments

3 – A broken water heater

4 – Tiramisù

5 – NyQuil

6 – A garret

7 – A cop

8 – Thai red curry chicken

9 – Lederhosen

10 – A mouse

11 – A big heavy Volvo

12 – A soft, woolly scarf


Your possible choices are:

Baby, It’s Cold


Waiting for Winter

Rest and Be Thankful 


Answer in the comment section below. Best of luck!

You can only win once, but you can enter all four rounds – and in this round you can enter more than once because it’s pretty tough.

This is the final round in the grand slam of Choose the Author. You must be cold and exhausted by now, so head back over to Josh Lanyon’s place. Josh is heating up the Irish coffee even as you read…



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Another new release…and an excerpt…

I have yet another new release coming out on Sunday, 7 December 2014! It’s called Rest And Be Thankful and it’s part of an anthology I’m doing with Josh Lanyon, LB Gregg and Harper Fox called Comfort and Joy. Here’s the lovely cover for my story (there’s one for each story plus one for the whole anthology).

imageAnyway, the main purpose of this post, is to post an excerpt, and give you preorder links. Please note, these links are only for my story – the anthology’s buy links won’t go live till release day.

Preorders: Amazon and Smashwords


For about a minute after Cam bolted from the room, Rob stared at the door, unsure what to make of the awkward moment that had just passed.

His comment had been mildly flirtatious, he supposed, but only mildly. It was the sort of thing he’d say to Val, or Kenny even. The resolutely straight innkeeper of The Stag seemed to regard it as practically compulsory to greet any potential double entendre with a camp “Oooh!” And a raised eyebrow. Surely Cam’s reaction had been excessive?

Had he thought Rob was coming on to him? Coming on too strong?

Maybe he was put off by the very idea? There was a bit of a yawning chasm between them after all, in terms of age. And attractiveness, if he was completely honest. Rob had to have ten years on Cam, and even ten years ago he could never have hoped to give Cam a run for his money on the body front. Once again the mental image of Cam McMorrow swaying and grinding on the dance floor of Gomorrah flashed in Rob’s mind.

It was an unproductive train of thought and Rob ruthlessly suppressed it, heading into the kitchen to take an inventory of his cupboards and decide what to cook.

He settled on Thai red curry, hoping that Cam liked spicy food, and got started. While he pounded the paste ingredients together, he could hear Cam moving around above him. Creaking floorboards and the rush of water filling the bath. Everyday, domestic sounds that he’d grown unused to, after living alone for so long.   The sounds conjured up unhelpful images of Cam’s big, glorious body, naked and wet and no matter how hard he tried, Rob couldn’t banish those images—with every creak and splash they would replay in his mind, over and over.

The truth was, he was intensely curious about what Cam looked like beneath his clothes. Some parts were obvious of course. His broad shoulders, long legs and lean waist were all perfectly evident without him needing to take his clothes off. It was the smaller, subtler details that Rob found himself wondering about: how hairy that superb chest was, whether his nipples were small or generous, whether his belly button was a divot or a nubbin. The precise tone of those hidden stretches of skin…

As he pondered these fascinating details, Rob gnawed at his lower lip, uncomfortable. These questions weren’t the sort of standard sexual thoughts that his mind processed a hundred times a day—those could be boxed neatly away without any difficulty. No, this was different. This deeply personal and helpless curiosity about Cam went deeper than just wanting to fuck.

He wanted to look.

He wanted to paint.

Upstairs, the bath gurgled as the water drained away—Cam must be getting out. That thought provoked another image, this time of Cam stepping out of the bath, water droplets lazily running down his pecs…

Rob swallowed.


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