What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Winter Games pax winner

Thanks so much for hanging out with us this week, and we hope you've enjoyed what you've discovered about the Winter Games pax! But now it's time to pick the winner for giveaway, and the winner is...

Sula!

Please contact me at vivien_dean@yahoo.com, so we can get your books out to you.

Don't forget to check back with us in September when Silver Foxes, our pax all about older heroes, will be out. See you then!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Working to Win by Sean Michael

While doing a pair of sports nuts for the Winter Games PAX was tempting, I’d just finished writing speed skaters (Silver Edges). So I figured it was time to pick a different type of games that could be played in the Winter.

Then along came Jason and Bryan, who not only discover power play games, during winter, but they are also in the winter of their relationship, metaphorically speaking. I really liked the symmetry of that and went with it.

Together for more than six years, lovers Jason and Bryan rarely see each other anymore. Their jobs are running them ragged and keeping them apart. It’s gotten so they barely even communicate.

But a trip to a winter cabin for a long weekend, a last-ditch effort to rekindle their romance, reveals a side to the two men the other never knew existed, and their weekend suddenly includes power-play games.

Is this new aspect of their relationship doomed to fail, or will it help them find what they both need to make their lives work again?

It’s available here for 35% off the cover price!

There is an excerpt on the publisher’s site, but I thought I’d share a different one with you. I kept it PG! Well, mostly.
*_*_*

Jason was having the best dream. He and Bryan were making love and it was just like in the beginning, all heat and excitement and need. Moaning, he pushed closer, rubbing his prick against heat as the dream continued.

“Jason…” Bryan arched, sliding against him.

Fuck, it was so real… He reached out, finding Bryan’s flat, warm belly.

“Fucking love your belly.” He stroked it, cock rubbing against Bryan’s thigh.

Bryan chuckled softly. “You’re asleep. Untie me.”

“What?” He blinked awake, Bryan right there.

Man, when was the last time he’d woken up and Bryan was still in bed?

“Untie me and you can go back to sleep.”

“No way, man. I wanted to wake up with you and I did. Now comes the cuddling.” Cuddling and a little conversation. Possibly more orgasms. Okay, definitely more orgasms. He pressed a kiss to the side of Bryan’s mouth. “Besides, I don’t want to sleep. I want to get you all sticky.” He wanted to play.

“You can’t just leave me here to hang out,” Bryan complained.

“Oh yes I can.” He kept moving, shifting so he slid along that sexy belly.

He buried his nose in Bryan’s neck, wanting to leave a mark, knowing he shouldn’t. But goddamn it, this was his lover of six years. He found a spot on Bryan’s collarbone that would be hidden by one of those starched shirts. Opening his mouth, he wrapped his lips around the skin there.

“Oh…” Bryan’s toes curled, one leg drawing up.

Groaning, he kept sucking, kept pushing.

“You’ll leave a mark, Jason.”

That wasn’t a stop.

“That’s the idea, babe.” He scraped his teeth over the spot.

“Uh-huh. Be good…”

“Being so good.” He was. He was being fan-fucking-tastic. He scraped his teeth against Bry’s skin, hard enough to sting.

Jerking, Bry’s belly rubbed against him in the best way. Mmm. Someone liked that. So he did it again.

“No biting. Be good. Untie me.”

What Jason was going to do was gag Bryan.


Until next time
Sean Michael
Smut fixes everything
http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com/

*_*_*

Working to Win by Sean Michael is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Another Excerpt from Project Snowflake by Heidi Champa

Project Snowflake is loosely based on an experience a friend of mine had working at a radio station one winter. She and her co-workers got trapped several times by blizzards, leading to all kinds of interesting stories. That inspiration led me to do the same thing to Brenton and Spencer, to find out what would happen if the two of them were trapped at the television station because of a snowstorm. The following excerpt is a little bit of that interaction. Hope you enjoy it!

*_*_*

My restless mind was making it impossible to sleep. I rolled over and stared at the ceiling when I felt my cell phone buzz in my pocket. When I looked at the screen, I saw Spencer’s name. The text wanted to know if I was awake. I thought of ignoring it, but instead I responded. It only took a few seconds for him to reply and ask me to come to his office.

I started to get up, but stopped myself. I thought of his words that afternoon and how much it hurt. Going to his office would only make that worse. There was nothing left to say. Then I thought about the kiss in the break room. As confusing as it all was, it’d felt so good. My mind warred with itself for a long time, but in the end, I knew which side would win out. Practicality and reason would have to take a back seat to lust on this one. There was nothing wrong with break-up sex, after all.

I tiptoed out of the room and headed for Spencer’s office. Blue light shone from the crack under the door. I stopped and closed my eyes, the voice in my head telling me to go back to the conference room. Instead, I knocked lightly, then pushed the door open. Spencer lay on his couch, headphones attached to his laptop. He sat up quickly when he saw me, shock all over his face.

“Brenton, hey. I didn’t think you’d show up. Not that I’d have blamed you for ignoring my invitation.”

I stayed close to the door, still unsure whether I should stay.

“I wasn’t sure I should come. I mean, I almost didn’t.”

“I’m glad you did,” he whispered, as he got up. I pressed my back against the door. He set his laptop aside and ran a hand through his hair.

“I couldn’t sleep. I was trying to watch a movie, but it’s not helping. You don’t mind that I texted, do you?”

I slipped my hands in my pockets and rocked onto balls of my feet, a nervous habit I hated.

“I don’t mind. I couldn’t sleep either,” I said in a whisper. I noticed the station’s promotional blanket on the floor and chuckled. “I see you found your blanket, Spencer.”

He picked it up and tossed it onto the couch before responding.

“Yeah, it was in my closet.”

We stood looking everywhere but at each other for a moment, before I decided to take a chance and ask what I wanted to know. It was late and I was still high on sugar from all the candy. Plus I had nothing to lose. He’d already dumped me, after all.

“Why did you kiss me earlier?”

His eyes dropped to the floor, and I waited for his answer.

“Well…because I really wanted to.”

I moved away from the door, expecting him to retreat, but he didn’t. I smiled, my heart racing.

“Oh. I thought after our talk earlier, we wouldn’t be doing that anymore.”

“Yeah, I mean, we shouldn’t have. I shouldn’t have…”

We stopped for a moment, our eyes locked.

“But we did. And now I’m confused,” I said, as I took another step.

Spencer gave a weak laugh and moved forward.

“Yeah, I’m confused, too.”

“Maybe we should talk about it. You know, try and clear things up.”

He nodded, and we got closer still, our faces inches apart.

“That sounds smart, Brent,” he whispered, before pulling me into his arms.

“I totally agree.”

The last word was barely out of my mouth before his lips touched mine.

*_*_*

Project Snowflake by Heidi Champa is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Monday, 18 August 2014

You Can Go Back Home Again by Vivien Dean

Like a lot of authors, I tend to gravitate to certain themes when I write. It's more than wanting to write romance because I love the act of falling in love. It's about exploring ideas or people or even locations because they resonate in some way with me.

A common idea I come back to time and time again is that of loss. In all its forms. It could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a place, or even the loss of self. When I sat down to write A Flight in Ice, I knew fairly quickly that it was going to be about all three of those. 

The loss of place came first. A winter story demanded a cold location, and as an ex-Michigander, I relished the idea of going back to it. Like Connor, my hero, I left Michigan behind years ago, to forge a new life beyond its borders. Thankfully, my story has a much happier ending than his did, but I'll admit, I get nostalgic about moving back every once in a while. Michigan will always have a place in my heart, with memories both good and bad, but more importantly, it helped forge who I am today. 

Connor flees his California life in an attempt to hide away from his problems, but that just brought to life the second issue of loss in the story. Everything he's had has been stripped away from him, forcing him to focus on discovering who he is and what truly matters to him. The loss of his longtime partner is hard for him to adjust to, even if he knows that it's for the better. It's all three of these issues that drive him throughout the story and color his first interactions with Jerry.

In the following excerpt, Connor has been getting cabin fever, so when he discovers Jerry has a snowmobile, he jumps at the opportunity to go out for a ride...

*_*_*

The first time I went snowmobiling, I was eleven years old, and my best friend finally agreed to ask his father if he would take us out. Larry was a bit of a wimp when it came to anything physical, but except for that, I pretty much adored him. He was funny and smart, and he had a beautiful smile. I didn't realize until much later that he was probably my first real crush, but by then, he'd moved away and I was doing everything I could to hide the fact that I was gay.

I'd loved it, though. The rush of air across my cheeks, the sense of flying across the snow. I used to imagine that I was racing to save the world from impending apocalypse, or that I was transporting a crucial medicine in a world destroyed by technology to a hidden outpost in the middle of nowhere because that was the only place that was safe from the cyborgs.

I might've read a few of Dad's disaster books when I was a teenager.

And watched Terminator 2 too many times. For a gay fifteen-year-old with limited resources, Arnie in his prime was too hard to resist.

I was more excited about going out now than I would've been a couple weeks ago, but then again, I was a different man than I'd been then. I loaded a cooler with the foil-covered lasagna, some frozen garlic bread, and the rocky road I'd been saving, dropped it in the passenger seat of the pickup, and sped down the road to Jerry's house with my pulse racing in anticipation.

He came out as I pulled up, dangling a pair of keys. "Trade you."

I swapped out the cooler with a grin. "I'm the one getting the better end of this deal."

"Only because you haven't seen me eat yet." Setting the cooler inside the door, he left it behind to lead me around the end of the house. "The snowmobile's in the barn. Come on."

Time and temperature had weathered the old barn to a mottled gray. I'd helped Mr. Zielinski paint it when I was in high school, but it was chipped and faded, untouched after all these years. The hinges squealed as Jerry hauled aside one of the double doors. Normally, the sound would grate on me. Now it heralded an escape.

"Tank's full." He led me straight to where it sat near the door, grabbing the corner of the tarp that covered it and pulling it back. "You can go straight out the back of the property to hit the fields."

There would be trails through some of the trees, as well, but I was caught up short by the snowmobile he revealed. "You have a Bearcat." An Arctic Cat Bearcat, to be exact. A newer model than the one Larry's dad had owned, but a real work machine nonetheless.

"My father used to help haul things for people," Jerry said.

"It has two seats." I pointed out the obvious. "Why don't you come with me?"

With a sheepish grin, he shook his head and backed away. "I don't want to intrude. You go ahead. Have fun."

"Do you ride?"

"Sure."

"And you trust a guy who hasn't been on a snowmobile in over a decade?"

"I don't think you have a death wish, and you're definitely not stupid, so yeah, if you trust yourself to go out, then I trust you, too."

But now that I knew it would hold both of us, I wanted him to join me. In a way, it would be like going out with Larry and his dad, and I craved the reminder of a simpler world. Nobody in California would ever hand over the keys to a vehicle to a veritable stranger. Another huge difference about coming back home. Jerry was the symbol of everything I'd hoped to regain by returning.

*_*_*

A Flight in Ice by Vivien Dean is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

LATEST PAX RELEASE - Winter Games

Genres: Gay (M/M) Erotic Romance

The titles listed below comprise the Winter Games AmberPax™ Collection. Buy all five together and receive a 35% discount! To purchase any of the titles individually, click on the covers below to go to the books' separate pages. 

A Flight in Ice
A Flight in Ice
by Vivien Dean
Novella
(Gay)
Losing Sight of the Target
Losing Sight of the Target
by T.A. Chase
Novella
(Gay)
Project Snowflake
Project Snowflake
by Heidi Champa
Extended Amber Kiss
(Gay)
Wanting It Raw
Wanting It Raw
by Hunter Raines
Extended Amber Kiss
(Gay)
Working to Win
Working to Win
by Sean Michael
Extended Amber Kiss
(Gay)

 
In conjunction with our newest release, we will be having a giveaway! Any comment made from today throughout the week (8/17-8/22) will be eligible to win the entire pax collection. A winner will be picked at random on Saturday from all comments received.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Working to Win by Sean Michael

Together for more than six years, lovers Jason and Bryan rarely see each other anymore. Their jobs are running them ragged and keeping them apart. It’s gotten so they barely even communicate.

But a trip to a winter cabin for a long weekend, a last-ditch effort to rekindle their romance, reveals a side to the two men the other never knew existed, and their weekend suddenly includes power-play games.

Is this new aspect of their relationship doomed to fail, or will it help them find what they both need to make their lives work again?

Genres: Gay/Contemporary//BDSM (Light)
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (14k words) 


Read a short excerpt...


...The sound of wood filling the wood box startled Jason. It seemed weird, thinking of his perfectly composed, classy lover carrying and stacking wood.

God, what was he going to do? He’d been in love with Bryan for years. He needed this long weekend to work.

By the time the hot chocolate was done, Bryan was back in and working on getting a fire going.

He headed into the living room, a mug in each hand. “Hot chocolate with marshmallow floaters.”

“Please. It’s nippy.”

“It’s ready.” He sat on the couch as the fire flared into life. “Way to go.”

“Thanks.” Bryan got everything settled, then stood and took off his coat and hung it up.

“Come sit.” He held the mug up to Bryan.

Bryan sat, hands wrapping around the cup, and drank deeply.

Jason drank more slowly, watching his lover. “When we’re done here, I think we should go take a nap. It’s been a long time since either of us has had a decent night’s sleep.”

“Do you think the fire will be okay?”

“It should be fine with the grate over it.”

“Okay.” Bryan nodded, staring into the cup.

“You looking forward to our weekend?” Jason asked, needing connection, attention.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with you.”

Jason smiled, felt it honestly pull up the corners of his mouth. “Me, too. Spending time with you, I mean.”

Bryan finished his cocoa and headed to rinse out his cup and the pot.

Jason followed, watching his lover. “Okay, babe. Let’s go get a nap, okay?”

“I’m going to clean up and watch the fire a few. I’ll be in.”

Watch the fire and check emails no doubt.

Jason shook his head. “No, we’re going to go nap together, even if I have to tie you down to get you to stay in bed.”

Bryan’s near black eyes flashed over to him, one eyebrow arching. There was sudden, sharp heat, the air electric.

No way. No fucking way.

Jason had been into the scene before he’d taken over the factory for his father. He just hadn’t had the time after that. So it had never, ever come up with Bryan. His straight-laced, buttoned-up lover.

Holding Bryan’s gaze, he tested the waters. “I might just tie you up anyway.”

“You’re adorable.” Bryan looked away, cheeks heating...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Wanting It Raw by Hunter Raines

Winning a gold medal is the goal...but losing everything is Daniel Lecce’s reality...

After an accident shattered his knee and his figure-skating career, Daniel gave up hope of ever going to the Olympics. And then he met a man who knew exactly what he needed: a firm hand, a hard whip, and someone to believe in him. But any success he’s had since then has been a fluke. He should have never qualified for the 2014 Olympic games, and Daniel knows it. Worse, now that he’s lost his Dom, the best he can hope for is not to fall flat on his face in front of the esteemed judges, and the entire world.

But one man has learned Daniel’s secret. A brilliant choreographer, Matthew Hasek knows Daniel needs much more than a dazzling routine to succeed on the ice. Determined to show he can replace everything Daniel thinks he lost, Matthew issues an invitation he hopes the athlete can’t resist.

Daniel can’t ignore the wickedly sexy vibe he gets from his new choreographer. But can he let his guard down and trust Matthew with his body on the eve of the most important day of his life? Or will he lose more than the competition in the process?

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Sports/Athletes/BDSM (Light)
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (12k words) 


Read a short excerpt...


...Daniel noticed doors appearing at regular intervals on both sides of the corridor. They were wooden and had similar locks to the one they’d used to enter at the top of the stairs.

A few times he thought he heard noises coming from the other side of the doors. A moan here, a cry there, but he couldn’t be sure. They vanished as quickly as they echoed, swallowed up by the music that seemed to be coming from all around them.

Suddenly, the woman stopped. She held out a slim, elegant hand to indicate the door in front of her. It looked like all the others.

“Matthew went to a great deal of trouble to acquire this room for the night, but my concern is for you. Your safe word is ‘precious.’ Use it anytime, and someone will answer.” She pulled out an iPhone and pressed a button before holding the mic up to him. “Say it.”

“Precious,” Daniel repeated. “Okay, but I still don’t understand—”

She tucked the phone back into her pocket. “There are fifty rooms down here, and they’re all identical to one another. A two-way communication system ties them all together. You see those speakers?”

She pointed up, and Daniel followed the line of her gaze. He nodded when she spotted a saucer-shaped disc against the ceiling.

“They pump the same music through all the rooms. In addition, they also serve as a security precaution. I recorded your voice and intonation. If you were to utter the word precious again, our system would send me an alert. My security team can be inside the room in less than sixty seconds.” When she finished speaking, she unlocked the door and pushed it open.

Daniel stepped over the threshold, and his heartbeat stuttered. The breath halted in his throat and a deep, fierce ache slammed into his groin.

He couldn’t make sense of his surroundings. The music was louder here, the air slightly warmer, and he vaguely registered another speaker identical to the one outside mounted beside a set of chains ranging from the ceiling. There were spreader bars against the walls, a padded bench off to the side, a St. Andrew’s Cross, shelves filled with instruments of pain and pleasure, at least a dozen items he’d never seen before, and a king-sized bed perfectly made with clean white sheets.

But none of those things drew his attention like the man who stood in the midst of it all. Matthew was alone in the room. He stood stark naked, his cock hanging semi-hard between his powerful legs.

“Daniel,” he murmured. He came forward and held out his hand, as though they were just meeting for the first time.

Daniel’s mouth was dry. He barely felt his feet as he crossed the distance to the other man, confusion and lust slamming into him to form a chaotic miasma in his mind.

He took the offered hand, not knowing what else to do. Matthew’s strong fingers enveloped Daniel’s.

“I’m glad you came.” His warm voice shattered the distance between them. It was too intimate, too knowing, and Daniel felt drawn toward it like a moth to a flame.

“Why am I here?” he whispered, though the frantic pounding of his heart told him he already knew.

Matthew smiled, drawing Daniel’s attention to his full lips. How had he never before noticed how exquisite the man’s mouth was? How perfectly sculpted, along with his cheekbones, the slant of his nose, the jut of his jaw? His dark hair fell unbound around his shoulders. A single bulb lit this room, and the light cast a halo around Matthew’s head, making him look both angelic and devilish at once.

“Because you need a Master, Daniel. And I…” He hesitated, licked his lips. “I need you...”

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Project Snowflake by Heidi Champa

Brenton Tyler never intended to fall in love with his co-worker, TV weatherman Spencer Allen. And he certainly never planned to say those three little words so quickly. But, now that he’s done both, things start to look a little cloudy. Instead of saying “I love you” back to Brenton, Spencer ends things, informing Brenton that he’s leaving town for a better job in a bigger city.

When a blizzard traps both men at the television station overnight, one last tryst together makes things even more complicated and leaves Brenton with a tough choice. Should he let the man he loves breeze out of his life forever, or should he hold onto the hope that they can weather the storm and get back to sunny skies?

Genres: Gay/Contemporary
Heat Level: 2
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (17k words) 


Read a short excerpt...


...Spencer grinned, his white teeth peeking out from behind his perfect lips.

“I don’t know if you heard, but it’s snowing.”

“Think I picked that up somewhere. Hey, has Evan ever told you how much he loves snow?”

Spencer rolled his eyes, and I felt my heart flip over. Seeing him, talking to him…it felt like too much. If only I’d kept my mouth shut. I should have known better. Five months wasn’t enough time to fall in love. Sure, I’d considered us friends before we ever went on a date. And we’d gotten to know a lot about each other as the weeks went by. I was one of the only people in the world who knew his real name was Thomas Spencer Allenberg, and Spencer knew the real story behind the scar on my forehead. For me, falling in love with him wasn’t even a question. It was impossible not to.

It still should have been obvious it was all too fast. I really had no idea what his true feelings were. Spencer was way too good at projecting cool confidence. I’d been worried that he was hiding his real feelings behind his well-crafted fa├žade. Until last night, when it occurred to me that his aloof nature might be hiding the fact he didn’t have any real feelings for me at all.

“Yeah, I think he might’ve mentioned it a few times,” he said.

He moved a few inches closer to me, and I felt my pulse start to race. I glanced out the window in the lobby.

“So, I guess all this snow means we’re gonna have to cancel our dinner tonight, huh?” I said, secretly relieved by the fact. It seemed better to have a little distance, a little time for the dust to settle.

“I guess so. If we try to leave, we may never get back. Evan would lose his mind.”

“You’re probably right. Oh, well,” I said, with a smile. He didn’t return it. Spencer’s face turned serious for a moment. I worried he was going to acknowledge the elephant in the room, right there in the station lobby, and I wasn’t ready.

“Yeah. Hey, I have to go get ready for the show, but even though we can’t go out for dinner, I really want to talk to you after the broadcast. I think there are a few things we should discuss.”

My throat seized up at the thought. Talking equaled bad news. I knew enough to know that. At least I had a temporary reprieve to get used to the idea. I grinned, not knowing what else to do.

“Okay, great. See you after.”

He gave me a quick peck on the cheek and took off toward the studio. I was shell-shocked for a moment, until I heard high heels clacking on the tile floor. Jamie snapped me out of my panic, her eyes wide.

“What’s wrong?” she asked with concern.

“Spencer wants to talk after the show.”

“And that’s bad?”

I gave her a nasty look, but she waved her hand to dismiss me.

“You’re always assuming the worst, Brenton. Maybe try to be normal for once and don’t jump to conclusions.”

I thought about what she said and knew I had to spill the beans.

“It’s going to be bad. I’m sure.”

She laughed and I tried to ignore the panic going through me.

“Sweetie, relax. I’m sure it’s nothing to stress about.”

I looked at her and told her the truth. “I told Spencer I loved him last night. He didn’t say it back.”

Her mouth dropped open for a moment, until she said exactly what I was thinking.

“Shit...”

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Losing Sight of the Target by T.A. Chase

Justin Isaksen is a twenty-five-year-old US Olympian competing in his first Games. Unfortunately, this competition will be his last because doctors confirm he is losing his eyesight faster than they thought he would. He’ll be legally blind by the time the next Games roll around, and Justin must learn how to deal with the end of his competition career.

Caesar Gikas’ job is dangerous and he travels the world searching for targets. He does what he does because he’s good at it, but it’s lonely work. Then a chance encounter with Justin shows Caesar that there just might be someone out there for him.

Justin’s not willing to roll over and quit the sport he loves without one last chance at glory. Caesar isn’t about to quit the only job at which he’s successful. Now that both men are losing sight of their own targets, will they discover how much fun it is to focus on new ones?

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Sports/Athletes
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (19k words) 


Read a short excerpt...


...Justin studied the menu and there wasn’t anything there that was on his training regime. Shrugging, he ordered a hamburger with fries along with a double shot of whiskey on the rocks. If there was ever a time he had the right to say “fuck it,” today was that day.

When the waitress brought him his drink, he didn’t allow himself to think about how it wasn’t the smartest thing for him to do. At that moment, he didn’t care. His future had derailed from the path he’d planned for from the instant he’d first put on cross-country skis and shot a rifle.

Competing in the Olympics had been his goal from the beginning, and while he would be able to achieve that this year, he wouldn’t be able to attend any more as a participant. So he wouldn’t be going to any because what would be the point? It wasn’t like he’d even be able to watch the events.

He slammed the shot back and ordered another one. By the time his food arrived, he’d had three whiskeys and was working on his fourth.

“Don’t you think you should take it easy?”

Justin glanced up to see an older man standing next to his booth. “I’m not interested.”

The man snorted in amusement. “Do you think I’m a rent boy? I think I’m flattered.”

“It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. I’m not interested. I just want to eat and drink for a while.” Justin gestured toward his burger and whiskey.

Without asking permission, the man slid into the booth across from Justin, then held out his hand. “I’m Caesar Gikas.”

Justin’s mother had instilled manners into her son that even four drinks couldn’t get him to ignore. He shook Caesar’s hand and said, “Justin Isaksen.”

“So, Justin, you’re just looking to get drunk?” Caesar made a point of checking his watch. “Isn’t it a little early in the day to do that or is this your usual routine?”

Frowning, Justin stared at him. “How the hell is it any of your business when I decide to drink?”

To emphasize the fact that Caesar had no control over him, he picked up his glass and took a big swig from it. Banging it on the table, he glared at Caesar.

“Normally, I would say it isn’t any of my business, but I think you’re dealing with other issues and I don’t think getting drunk will help you.” Caesar motioned the waitress over. “I’d like a cup of coffee for myself and several glasses of water for my friend here.”

Justin shook his head. “Now wait a minute. I don’t know who the fuck you think you are, but you can’t just take over. You’re not my father or my coach.”

“Ah, you’re an athlete. I thought so when I saw you walk in. You have that very fit look about you.” Caesar unbuttoned his suit coat, slipping it off to lay it carefully on the bench next to him.

“Just make yourself at home,” Justin muttered before taking a bite of his burger. He moaned as the juices hit his tongue. Fuck! It had been a long time since he’d eaten anything as fattening as this. He closed his eyes as he chewed, then moaned again.

A cleared throat had him looking over at Caesar, who stared at him in what seemed like fascination. Justin grabbed a napkin to wipe his chin.

“Do I have anything on my face?”

Caesar cleared his throat again while shaking his head. “No. I’ve never seen someone enjoy a burger quite that much.”

There was a flare of lust in Caesar’s eyes, and Justin felt a matching heat rise in his groin...

Monday, 11 August 2014

A Flight in Ice by Vivien Dean

Life hasn’t turned out like Connor McClure hoped. His relationship is over, he lost his friends in the break-up, and nothing makes him happy anymore. All he wants is to hide from the world, but the only place available to him is his parents’ home in the rural Michigan community he abandoned thirteen years ago. And since his parents are in Florida for the winter, he’ll have the whole house to himself.

Except he doesn’t. In their absence, the McClures asked a young neighbor to look after the property. Jerry is young, energetic, and—oh yeah—gay. From everything he’s learned about Connor, he might be harboring a little crush, but Connor is in no place for dating. Right now, he needs a friend, someone to help him remember that second chances are always possible...and Jerry is more than willing to step in and help...

Genres: Gay/Contemporary
Heat Level: 2
Length: Novella (21k words) 


Read a short excerpt...


...When he returned, I was in the front seat, making engine sounds in the back of my throat as I bent forward and pretended I was racing around a course. I stopped and straightened as soon as I noticed him, but the damage to any cool California cred I might’ve had was done.

“That’s okay,” Jerry said with a grin. “I do that all the time.”

I clambered off, my cheeks hot against the cool air. Taking one of the helmets he’d brought out with him, I was grateful it hid my face and made further embarrassment impossible.

His motions were quick and efficient. Within two minutes, he’d moved it outside and taken his position, glancing over his shoulder to nod at me to join him.

When my thighs nudged against his, I realized the error of my decision. As the passenger, I would have to hold onto him. My arms around his waist. My legs straddling the outside of his. Whenever he turned, his ass would slide back and nestle against my crotch. Sure, he was wearing a heavy coat, and I had on jeans and a pair of Dad’s long underwear, but I hadn’t had sex in over six months. All it would take was the mere suggestion for me to get hard. I wasn’t even sure I could count on the freezing temperature to keep it from happening.

Too late to do anything about it now. As soon as my arms curled around him, Jerry was off.

He didn’t start slow. We whipped away from the barn’s exit at speeds that took my breath away. They erased the world’s edges into a soft blur of white and brown, forcing me to tighten my grip and duck my head to cut back on our resistance. Jerry’s height worked to my advantage, though I did my best not to rest my helmet against his shoulder. He needed full mobility, unhindered by my clumsiness.

Even with me weighing us down, Jerry handled the snowmobile like a pro. His turns were tight and controlled, his pace unfaltering. The Bearcat was a utility machine, but Jerry made it glide over the snow like it was built for performance instead. He left the house behind, zipping us over the frozen fields until I could pretend only we existed, just us, just the speed, just the snow.

Rather than angle us to the trees, he drove us to the top of a low rise, overlooking the countryside. I pulled back when he killed the engine, my heart pounding, my body tight from both desire and the rush of the ride. This was what I’d been looking for since leaving California behind. The reminder that life could be both simple and exhilarating. For a moment, I actually thought that I could get back in my car and go back to LA and pick up the shattered pieces of my life.

Jerry twisted to look at me. “You ready to take the throttle?”

I should’ve been. It was what I’d wanted by coming out in the first place. Feeling the snowmobile between my legs took me right back to high school, too, so my concerns about feeling awkward were gone.

But now that he was offering, I wasn’t sure I wanted it. After years of being the one in charge, steering the course with an unwilling rider, I liked what it felt like giving that control to another person. Trusting that person to lead the way. Part of my request to return to Michigan had been the hope I could give that control to my parents for a few months, but their absence had taken that away from me.

It might only be a snowmobile ride, but Jerry was an excellent substitute.

“Why don’t you drive us around some more until I get more familiar with the lay of the land?”

His mouth curved into a smile, and I thought for a minute he was going to say something, but then he shifted back around, started the engine again, and aimed us at nowhere...