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, 27 September 2014

Silver Foxes pax winner

Thanks to everyone for hanging out with us this week as we celebrate our wonderful older men! You're never too old to fall in love, that's for sure. Since it's Saturday, it's time to pick our giveaway winner. And the winner is...


Expect to hear from us soon!

Don't forget to check back with us in October when California Dreamin', our pax all about the Golden State, will be out. See you then!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Quiddity Flight – Wanted Dead or Alive By A.J. Llewellyn

Some time ago, one of my readers emailed me and told me that he loved my books and that he often fantasized he was one of the characters in my stories. I loved that!

He went on to email me often, commenting on my books and I appreciated his feedback, especially when he told me that my gay male characters gave him the courage to shoot for his dreams. 

You see, he’s an older man living in the deep South and it isn’t easy being gay there, let alone meeting a potential romantic partner. He told me there was a man he admired online and wanted to meet.

“He’s my dream man,” he said. “Hopefully he likes silver foxes.”

I encouraged him to contact the man he was attracted to. I was surprised and more than a little nervous when the dream man turned out to be an athlete and cover model he’d been following on various social media sites for almost two years.

It was hard not to urge him to be cautious. I was afraid that any negativity would stop him in his tracks. To our mutual surprise, the model responded and a new friendship and budding romance blossomed.

I’d like to say things turned out well, but they did not.

I was stunned that after first seeming to be sweet, the model quickly realized his silver fox had some means and asked him to buy him things. In the beginning, it was small stuff, like health supplements, and ebooks. 

That bothered me a lot, but my silver fox friend was overjoyed to give his new dream man gifts. Soon, the model had an Amazon wish list and my poor dear friend was snapping up every last outrageous item on it. 

It gradually got ridiculous with the silver fox buying the model phones, iPads, you name it. 

Their relationship was one-sided and yet, I don’t think my friend would trade the truly lovely moments they had together when they actually met. 

My friend flew to LA within a few short weeks of their initial contact and set up what I consider a date from Heaven. They went to the Queen Mary for dinner. Let me tell you, I’ve eaten there and it is a very romantic, gorgeous restaurant. They both loved football and they watched it on TV at the model’s apartment the following day.

The model was charming and sweet and attentive. They exchanged a few kisses, but nothing more. My friend described the glorious tension of how their hands and thighs touched for the entire game. Ah, romantic tension. 

He flew back home more in love than ever, but things grew distant. I could have predicted that. But my friend kept up the chase. He even plucked up the courage to buy an airline ticket for the model to make good on his promises and come to visit him, which the model never used.

I tried talking him out of it, but my friend felt that he had to do it.

Like I said, as hurt as he is, as foolish as he now feels, he ended things as soon as he realized (long after I did) that he was being used as a very attractive, talking ATM machine.

This story stuck with me though and with my friend’s encouragement, I have used his story as a springboard for my own tale of a silver fox, although mine has a happy ending! My character, Quiddity Flight, is an older, retired police detective who’s hired on a case to follow a soccer superstar. There’s only one small hitch. Quiddity keeps seeing posters all over town saying he’s missing.

But he isn’t. He’s very much in downtown LA and very much alive…

Quiddity Flight by A.J. Llewellyn is part of the Amber Pax™ Silver Foxes anthology. Buy one, or buy them all! 

Retired LAPD detective Quiddity Flight yearns for action, adventure, and good old-fashioned romance. He’s about to get it all...and it might just be the death of him.

Just as Quiddity accepts an insurance-fraud case, looking into the lifestyle and allegedly fake injury of multi-millionaire soccer player João del Sol, he finds that del Sol is deeply attracted to him.

But Quiddity has bigger problems on his hands. Del Sol is the best thing that’s come his way in a very long time, yet somebody apparently has it in for the sexy-but-slightly-grizzled, silver-fox cop. Missing posters start popping up around town offering a reward for information on his disappearance. Except he hasn’t disappeared. Then, new posters begin offering higher rewards for information about his murder. Except Quiddity Flight is still very much alive, and he’s not gonna sit around waiting to read his own obituary...

Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Action / Adventure / Mystery / Detective / Sports / Athletes / BDSM (Light) 
Heat Level: 3 
Length: Novella (22k words)

Aloha oe,



Quiddity Flight by A.J. Llewellyn 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!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

How to Overcome Sideburns, Patchouli and Hawaiian Shirts by J.D. Walker

At first glance, Carl Neilson—a man who refuses to update his hairstyle or his wardrobe—might be the last person to find anything in common with a free-spirited artist in his thirties who sports multicolored hair. Especially one as plain-spoken as Benjamin "Ben" Brooker, a man with a sharp tongue and a startling sense of fashion. At least feathers and rhinestones aren't involved...yet.

Carl's son Chester has other ideas. He's determined that his dad find someone else to obsess over—aside from his son—and get a makeover along the way.

For Carl and Ben, the journey from "are-you-kidding-me?" to "hell-yeah!" takes a few twists and turns but finally, the two men—complete opposites in every way—find the perfect middle ground between hippie-chic and garish-artist. It's a wild ride you won't want to miss!

Enjoy an excerpt from "The Hippie Whisperer."



“Now, where were we?” I looked into the smiling eyes of both my son and Dre. I shook Dre’s hand, then turned to greet our guest. I’m sure my facial expression was comical as I looked him over, but managed to close my mouth quickly enough, I hoped, barely remembering my manners.

Benjamin Brooker was about my height, which was fine by me. I liked that, usually. But, this guy wore tight pink pants and an equally clingy, bright orange T-shirt emblazoned with some trendy design done in a shiny motif. A narrow, blistering yellow scarf hung around his neck, even though it was eighty degrees outside. Who dressed like that in the real world?

The fact that he filled out his clothing to perfection might have made up for his shocking dress sense, but then I saw his—was his hair frosted? Oh shit! It was the patriotic skunk from the online dating site Chester had shown me earlier. That he was extremely good-looking didn’t even sink in—much—because I’d been setup. And he did not look like he was in his thirties. Maybe twenty-five, the bastard.

I tried to regroup. “Benjamin, I assume?” I held out my hand to shake his.

“Ben,” an unexpectedly sonorous voice responded as he took my hand in a confident grip, holding on long enough so I could feel the strength there. The warmth of it stole up my arm, but I tried hard to ignore it.

“Carl, right?” He smiled at me, a look in his amethyst-colored eyes that said he knew what I was thinking, and couldn’t care less about my opinion. Score one for Ben.

“Yes.” It was time to eat. Clearing my throat, I said, “Please sit, everyone.” I gave my son a glance that said, “you’re in trouble, boy”, and served the meal. Then I remembered something.

“You’re not allergic to peanuts, are you, Ben?” Please say yes.

“Thanks for asking, but no.” His voice made me feel things low down in my belly that hadn’t been stirred in years. Oh, he was dangerous, this one, and not just because his dress sense could rival Liberace.

Small talk went back and forth during the meal, along with compliments for the cuisine. I was gracious, of course. Chester and Dre told Ben about their plans for junior year, and I listened, taking it all in. Then, innocently enough, at the end of the meal, Chester changed the topic of conversation.

“So how’s the mural going, Ben?”

“Shouldn’t take me more than a month, I think.” He took a sip of his bottled water.

“So you’re some kind of artist, then?” I asked, offhandedly, the only one still working on finishing his plate of food. My appetite had vanished, for some reason.

“You could say that.”

“Is the shock factor a basis for your art and your attire?”

“Dad!” Chester protested, but he started this, so he’d just have to deal.

“It’s a simple question. I’m sure he can handle it, can’t you, Ben?” I wanted to find a chink in his armor, so I wasn’t the only one off balance.

Ben just smiled at me, not even fazed by my rudeness. He addressed Chester. “It’s okay. I meet people like your Dad all the time.”

“Oh, this could be good,” my son chortled. Turncoat.

“I beg your pardon?” I said.

“I’m sure I was clear,” Ben replied.

“I’m sure you weren’t.”

“Let the man talk, Dad.”

“You’re not helping, Judas.”

“People like you,” Ben continued, “afraid of, let’s say, the unusual. I suppose the fact that you wear Hawaiian shirts and haven’t cut your hair in years, though it’s thinning on top, means you used to be unafraid when you were young, right? Wanted to make some kind of statement?”

“See? I said that. Didn’t I say that?” Chester cut in.

“Shut up, you,” I snapped at him.

Ben leaned forward a bit. “Tell me, do you still feel relevant?” Oh, he just went for the balls, didn’t he. Score two for Ben.

“Of course I—” He cut me off as he leaned back in his chair.

“That look isn’t really working for you anymore, by the way. At your age”—this time he went for the jugular—“a buzz cut would definitely be better, especially with your cheekbones. And those azure eyes… You’d really be a looker, then. Hell, I’d do you, though you’re a little older than my usual tryst. There’s just something…compelling about you. And lose the mutton chops while you’re at it. Elvis is definitely not relevant.” Dre and Chester cracked up at that.

“Oh my God, priceless!” Chester said between guffaws. “Ben, if you can get Carl to change just his hair, it would be a miracle.”

Ben’s words stung. Who was this know-it-all punk, coming into my house and tearing away all my carefully constructed relevant layers?

“Like you can talk, with your—”

“To answer your question,” he ploughed on. “Sure, I employ the shock factor, if only because I get to see people as they really are, without artifice. First impressions always count. It’s rare to get a second chance. If something jars them or resonates on some level, and manages to open their mind, my job is done. If it doesn’t, then maybe it wasn’t time yet, and they can scurry back to that little box of staid reality they live in.”

Three strikes, right? I watched as Ben finished his water. I tried to stop my firm, staid ground from falling away from me.

“So is everything about making a point, with you? Forcing people to see or experience things they may not be ready for, according to your vision? What gives you the right to do that?” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that Dre and Chester had calmed down enough from their cackling to watch our interchange with fascination.

“Humans are free to experience things as they will. I simply provide a canvas for exploration. You choose to do so, or not, of your own free will. Truth is, I hate subterfuge. Always have, hence the way I approach my life and art. Now, when you met me earlier, you were horrified, I know. Am I too grating? Too disturbing for you?”

“All of the above,” I admitted.

“And you couldn’t see past all that, could you?”

“My retinas have yet to recover.”


The Hippie Whisperer by J.D. Walker 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, 24 September 2014

A Game of Hearts by Deirdre O'Dare

Most of us have at one time or another played the card game by that name. I never was very good at cards because I’d start daydreaming about a story and forget what had been played and not… And I am not a happy loser. I can lose so easily, even at Fish or Old Maid with my kids and now grand kids but that’s another tale! Still, that was the title my story seemed to want.

Only this story has nothing to do with cards or really much with games except for those that people play as they begin to dance around an attraction that takes them by surprise. It’s especially hard when it comes out of the blue and gob-smacks you when you’re still nursing old hurts or maybe insecurities from that bad baggage so many of us carry through life. How can one overcome such obstacles and build a lasting partnership? Ah, therein lies the tale.

I would be the first to admit this is an off-beat story. I’m not even really sure where the original germ of an idea came from. Maybe it was when my kid brother died very suddenly of an aneurysm and someone at the hospital asked if I would agree to his being a donor for anything they could take to help someone else live or live better.

I did not hesitate. I knew Alex and how he’d feel about this. It would even ease my anguish a small bit if I felt his sudden and seemingly senseless death might help another person live or at least experience a better quality of life. I agreed and it was done although I am not sure what exactly was utilized other than the corneas which allowed someone to see again.

Perhaps it was even earlier when I critiqued the start of a friend’s novel where a woman received a kidney transplant and very soon had an urgent desire to go to China. I do not recall any of the details of that story which I thing was never completed but these two events started that insidious “what if” process that afflicts most of us who write.

Heart transplants have been going on for some time. I dimly remember one of the early ones being in the news. As I recall it was done in Arizona at the UofA medical school’s teaching hospital. We all know that ascribing the emotion of love to the heart is medically absurd but the myth persists and the connection of “hearts and flowers” permeates our celebration of Valentine’s Day and other romantic situations. So, the odd notion came to be: what if. What if someone’s lover died suddenly and traumatically and that person’s heart was implanted in another body? What if the surviving partner later came to meet the person to whom the heart had been given?

Since some time had to elapse, I decided the survivor would have to be some years older than the other man who had the donor heart. When the Silver Foxes Pax came along, I knew at once that this story would work there. At that time, all I had was the prologue in which the original lovers are parted by death. That unfinished tale had haunted me for some time; now I had cause and a need to find out--what happened next?

First I had to move ahead ten years with my original hero, DeVore. I gave him a new life where although very reclusive, he had to appear in the busy world on occasion. I still didn’t know what was coming until he looked across the crowded reception and met another man’s eyes… I felt that jolt just as he did. Who? What? Why? And from there the tale unfolded.

I still can’t say whether it is possible or not. Could the recipient of a donor organ gain some minor bit of the former person into the life he or she now had? Would there be some subtle connection, some similarity or link that transcends normal reality? I still don’t know and perhaps never well, but for the time being, I satisfied my “what if” questions and I hope that DeVore and Tim have found their answers as well. And of course that you my readers will also be satisfied with the way this game of hearts played out.

If any of you have a personal transplant experience, I would really like to hear about it and your take on this odd premise. Feel free to email me privately.  I know few ever learn the identity of the person from whom their new organ was received and that is probably for the best. I can see a lot of difficult situations arising otherwise. This secrecy and privacy is best for all concerned although I suppose one would always wonder—who did my loved one’s gift help? To whom do I owe my life or my new capacity and what were his or her survivors like?

If you, like me, have been one of those survivors, I salute you. The Donor Network, as I have experienced it, is very supportive and helpful to the bereaved folk left behind. I hope they have helped you as they did me to come to peace. It’s been almost ten years now for me as well. I cannot meet a new brother but I know he did not die completely in vain. I hope his gift of sight has been treasured and is still giving joy.


A Game of Hearts by Deirdre O'Dare 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!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Forty-eight Is the New Awesome by Vivien Dean

Anyone who thinks older men aren't sexy is nuts. I mean, look at these guys:

Both Alexis Denisof and Kiefer Sutherland are forty-eight, the same age as my heroes Trev and Jett in Flesh and Kisses. They are seasoned and sexy, intelligent and intense, just incredibly attractive all around. I dare anyone to say these two men can't hold their own against certain twentysomethings. In fact, I'd bet a lot of people even prefer these guys, just because of everything they bring to the table.

Older men aren't represented in romantic fiction nearly enough. And why is that? How can men who look like that not be great sexy heroes? They bring emotional complexity as well as a clarity of vision when it comes to what they want. They have experience. They offer stability. The list goes on. 

So when the opportunity came around to write for the Silver Foxes pax, I jumped at it. I wasn't going to miss out on this one for the world.

In Flesh and Kisses, forty-eight year-old Jett Walker finds out that his high school crush is going to their thirtieth high school reunion, a gathering Jett has managed to avoid for decades. He decides to go, but in the interim, seeks out his ex-crush when he learns how close they live together. The following excerpt is from their first meeting.


They exchanged pleasantries, but then Trev’s laser gaze was back on Jett. “Louisville’s spilling out all over the place these days,” he said.

The best way not to squirm was to clench his buttocks against the booth. “I’m surprised you recognized me.”

“I’m not senile, old man,” Trev said with a laugh. “You were big man on campus for four years. I’d have to be an idiot not to know who you are. I’m more surprised you have any clue who I am.”

“Because you blended in so well with the woodwork?”

“That was a long time ago.”

“A different life.”

“Which raises the question… What does Jefferson High’s golden boy want in looking for a music store owner?”

Almost straight to the point. Jett respected that, though he wasn’t ready to lay it out on the line like he’d promised Tatum. “The reunion, actually.”

“What about it?” His smile faded, and he leaned forward onto his folded arms. “Megan told me everything was all set.”

“It is,” Jett assured. “She splashed the news about Godless Crisis all over the reunion page.”

“What’s the problem then?”

“There isn’t.”

Trev’s frown deepened. “I don’t get it.”

Because Jett was talking in circles, that’s why. He took a deep breath. “I wanted to talk to you before all the craziness started. There’re things I’ve needed to say to you for a long time.”

Though the tables around them were stuffed with customers, eating and talking and laughing and arguing, it blurred at the edges, all of his attention on an unmoving Trev. When Trev searched his face, Jett kept his features solemn and straight, unblinking beneath the silent assessment.

“This isn’t one of those confessionals where you apologize for something you did to me way back in the day because you feel guilty about it, is it?” Trev asked. “Because if it is, I’m not sure what I can do to make you feel better. I don’t have any negative memories of you at all.”

“Well, it’s good to hear I wasn’t a complete asshole back then,” Jett said. “But no, that’s not it.”

Trev’s gaze slid sideways to Tatum. “Maybe this isn’t—”

“Tatum’s heard it all. I’m okay with her being here if you are.”

“Considering I don’t know what this is about yet, I’ll have to take your word for it.”

Honesty was a real bitch. The closer he got to coming clean, the harder the words were to form.

The waitress arrived with their waters and waited around for them to order some food. Jett wasn’t hungry, but after seeing Trev and Tatum order burgers, he asked for cheesesticks and ranch dressing. He’d hit the gym at the hotel to work it off.

When they were alone again, he cleared his throat. “I’ve always thought you were the bravest person I’ve ever known,” he started. “You stood up for who you were when the rest of us were too scared to do it.”

The lines around Trev’s eyes eased. “That wasn’t bravery. I was too stupid to care about consequences.”

“Some call that courage.”

“I wouldn’t have said you were one of them.”

“I am.” His tone came out more vehement than he expected, and he took a moment to gather his control again. “If I had to name the one person I admired the most, it wouldn’t be any of the guys from the team, or the class president, or that kid who was always doing the Greenpeace demonstrations. It would be you. My biggest regret was that I was too much of a chickenshit to tell you. To tell everyone.”

Trev laughed and shook his head. “That’s every teenager who ever walked this planet. That’s nothing you need to be holding onto after all these years.”

“You’re wrong there. Because I never forgot about any of it. In fact…” Here it was, do or die. “You were the one I thought about when I made the decision to come out. You’re the reason I finally grew the balls to do the right thing.”


Flesh and Kisses 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!

Monday, 22 September 2014

An Excerpt from Dreams to Sell by KC Kendricks

Want to have a taste of Dreams to Sell? Read on...

...Terry held up a key ring. “Found ’em.”

Something else found me and it was the sudden realization we were alone in his house and his bed was not far away. I saw it in his glittering gaze he’d had the same thought. I swallowed, hard, as Terry licked his lips and moved to stand in front of me. He rested his hands on my shoulders. Cock swelling, almost breathless, I ran my thumb across his lips.

“Terry, this could get out of hand in big hurry.”

“I know.”

The world spun around me at those two simple words. I had to hold on and not push him too far, but I needed to have him in my arms. His grip tightened.


I slid my arms around his waist and pulled him to me. He nodded, and I lowered my mouth to his. Little flames sparked behind my closed eyes as the feel of his soft lips seared my brain.

The memory of our chaste kiss last night fled as his mouth moved under mine, testing me. I clamped down on the urge to back him to the desk and bend him over it. His tongue licked over mine, and I threw caution out the window.

He was like a living flame against me. I feasted on his mouth and neck, oblivious to all but the taste of his skin. I relished the sensation of my stiff dick straining against the confining denim of my jeans. I held Terry tighter as he leaned into me. Our feet tangled with the edge of the rug as I stepped backward and we stumbled. The floor rushed to meet us, effectively ending one hell of a kiss. The air left my lungs as I landed hard on top of him. He rolled me beneath him, his rigid shaft pressed to my inner thigh. When I reached for him, Terry scooted away and smacked my hip.

“Whew. The next time we trip, you’re going down first.”

Panting, I turned my head and stared at him. “You sound a little breathless.”

“Do you want to take this upstairs?”

I opened my mouth to speak and a raspy croak came out. I coughed to clear my throat, aware he was flat on his back laughing at me with his hand down the front of his pants. He smirked when he saw me staring.

“I needed an adjustment.”

“You’re not alone. Upstairs. Is, um, that a good idea?”

“Hell, no. You know we’re lucky we didn’t bite off each other’s lips.” Terry rolled over and pushed up onto his knees and held his hand out to me. “Let’s at least get off the floor.”

I grabbed his hand and yanked him down on top of me. His mouth took mine in a bruising kiss. I thrust my tongue deep, and he followed when I retreated. Back and forth we tested and teased until he sat up, straddling my hips. I held my hands up to him, and he laced his fingers through mine. His chocolate brown orbs looked black as he held my gaze.

“Do you think we can go upstairs and keep things light?”

I blew out a deep breath in the vain attempt to settle my frantic heartbeat. I knew what he was asking and “light” was already too late for me. I wanted him for more than an afternoon. I knew we’d be great together in bed...


Dreams to Sell by KC Kendricks 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, 21 September 2014


Genres: Gay (M/M) Erotic Romance

The titles listed below comprise the Silver Foxes 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. 

Dreams to Sell
Dreams to Sell
by KC Kendricks
Extended Novella
Flesh and Kisses
Flesh and Kisses
by Vivien Dean
Extended Novella
A Game of Hearts
A Game of Hearts
by Deirdre O'Dare
Extended Amber Kiss
The Hippie Whisperer
The Hippie Whisperer
by J.D. Walker
Extended Amber Kiss
Quiddity Flight
Quiddity Flight
by A.J. Llewellyn

In conjunction with our newest release, we will be having a giveaway! Any comment made from today throughout the week (9/21-9/26) will be eligible to win the entire pax collection. A winner will be picked at random on Saturday from all comments received.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Quiddity Flight by A.J. Llewellyn

Retired LAPD detective Quiddity Flight yearns for action, adventure, and good old-fashioned romance. He’s about to get it all...and it might just be the death of him.

Just as Quiddity accepts an insurance-fraud case, looking into the lifestyle and allegedly fake injury of multi-millionaire soccer player João del Sol, he finds that del Sol is deeply attracted to him.

But Quiddity has bigger problems on his hands. Del Sol is the best thing that’s come his way in a very long time, yet somebody apparently has it in for the sexy-but-slightly-grizzled, silver-fox cop. Missing posters start popping up around town offering a reward for information on his disappearance. Except he hasn’t disappeared. Then, new posters begin offering higher rewards for information about his murder. Except Quiddity Flight is still very much alive, and he’s not gonna sit around waiting to read his own obituary...

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Action/Adventure/Mystery/Detective/Sports/Athletes/BDSM (Light)
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (22k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...Raymond looked Quiddity right in the eye. “And if Besson is the murderous type, you can keep an eye on del Sol and make sure no harm comes his way. He could not be in safer hands.”

Quiddity’s heart swelled at the unexpected praise. Being an ex-cop was worse than being a previously convicted felon in some circles.

He thought for a moment. “So if you have some evidence, and there is an investigation already going on, why do you need me?”

“We don’t have proof. Even the paparazzi who claim to have seen him dancing in nightclubs have nothing on record. We don’t want João del Sol to have any idea he’s being watched. You’re the most discreet detective I know.” Raymond paused and lowered his gaze.

It had been painful for Quiddity who’d done one case for Raymond, snooping into his wife’s affairs. And affairs she’d been having. Galore. For months, Quiddity assumed his discovery of her crazy sex life of hookups via Tinder, had been the reason Raymond stopped hiring him.

“João del Sol lives on Arnaz Drive in Beverly Hills. He’s in a sprawling duplex worth a couple of million. The unit next door is empty. My idea is for you to move in and spend some time ogling, I mean watching him.”

“He’s easy on the eye, that’s for sure.” A month in Beverly Hills hadn’t been on his agenda, but Quiddity had no reason to go back to his place. He thought of the strange Missing posters and the fact that somebody had broken into his home.

A month in Beverly Hills suddenly seemed like a great idea. He scanned the attached photos of the duplex. It was gorgeous. An original 1920s Spanish-style house, it had been converted into two units, each with its own pool.

“Is this furniture in there?” he asked Raymond.

“Yep. It was rented out to a ballerina. She and her husband have moved out. I’ll arrange for some extra things to be delivered this afternoon. They kept the place half-empty because they practiced dancing all the time.”

Quiddity’s cell phone rang. He checked the readout and was surprised to see it was the café in his building.

“Mind if I take this quick call?” he asked Raymond.

“Not at all. Let me get the keys to the duplex for you. Can you start right away?”

When Quiddity nodded, Raymond looked relieved. “Here. Take your case notes.” Quiddity stuck them into his messenger bag next to the Missing posters, then took the call.

It was his waiter friend, Greg Hand.

“Quiddity, are you okay?” Greg asked, sounding agitated.

“Yeah, why?”

“Well, man, I saw these freaky posters all over the place. I thought…hell, I don’t know what I thought.”

“Oh, you mean the Missing posters? That’s somebody’s idea of a lousy joke.”

“A joke? I don’t see any Missing posters, Quid. These are posters of you saying you’re dead. There’s a reward for information on your homicide...”

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Hippie Whisperer by J.D. Walker

Carl Neilson, a forty-seven-year-old counselor at Baden Community College, meets his match in Benjamin “Ben” Brooker, an alluring artist with questionable fashion sense and a garish, multi-colored hairstyle.

Ben calls things as he sees them, including the way Carl uses his college-aged son Chester as a reason not to make changes in his life, or even to cut his hair. The truth is hard to take, but it forces Carl to look at himself in a new way, and maybe get rid of his sideburns, too.

And in the end, a haircut, a Polo shirt and willingness to find love in unexpected places might be just enough to bring two very dissimilar men together, in spite of it all.

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/The Arts
Heat Level: 2
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (12k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...“Hey, Dad, I wanted to show you something on the Internet. Can we use your computer?”

“Sure. What’s up?”

“You’ll see.”

A few minutes later I stared in horror at my monitor and shook my head vigorously.

“No way in hell,” I said, unequivocally. A man’s garish profile grinned at me while Chester tried to convince me to participate in online dating.

“Why not?” he prodded.

“The guy has red, white and blue stripes in his hair. He looks like a patriotic skunk.”

“Like you can talk with your thinning, shoulder-length, blond hippie hair and seventies sideburns. Neil Young would like his hair back.”

I now regretted watching all those documentaries on the History and Discover channels with him when he was younger.

“Funny. I don’t see why I need to change anything.”

“For one thing, Carl, your hairline’s receding. And another, it’s 2014. No one wears their hair like that unless they’re a part of Greenpeace.”

“It’s Dad to you, and I like my hair just fine, thank you very much.”

“You’re in denial. All you need is some patchouli.”

“Where’s all this coming from?”

“At least you don’t wear tie dye, though the Hawaiian shirts—”

“What’s your point, rugrat?”

“Is your mirror broken?” He glowered at me.

I channeled my inner Yoda. “Broken, the mirror is not.”

“I mean, are you trying to make a statement or something? It’s not that you’re ugly or anything, but—”

“Thanks, loads.”

“You’ve got potential, Dad, and you’re still in good shape, for as old as you are.”

That word again. “I’m forty-seven, not ninety.”

“You’re tall, fit, and good-looking in a scruffy kind of way. You have crow’s feet that make you look distinguished. You have killer dimples. Cut that hair, make a little effort and guys will be banging down your door to hump your leg.”

“I’m not looking to date a dog.”

“Come on, Dad! You haven’t been on a date in… Well, forever. I’m in college now. I’m an adult, just like you. You don’t need to worry about scarring my psyche anymore if you bring men home to dinner.”

“Of course not, because you’ve scarred mine enough over the years.”

“I know you love me, so I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you say that.”

“Chester, leave it alone, please? Read my lips. I. Am. Not. Going. On. A. Date. Period.”

“Look, I worry about you. All you do is work, hang out with the guys, and text me at midnight. You need to, at the very least, get a sex life, if only to stop you from interrupting me mid-coitus.”

That my son was getting more sex than me was not up for discussion...