Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silver Flash


Another Wednesday, and time for another Silver Flash Fiction.

This week we had a couple of prompts to choose from. I chose the prompt that asked us to write a story including the words ‘church’ ‘phone’ and ‘star’. I’m not entirely happy with the result. Let me know what you think.

Trust
Copyright © 2011

Jesse shifted on the hard wooden bench, head bowed, cell phone held loosely in his hand.

He could have gone somewhere else, somewhere with more comfortable seats, but he’d wandered in here because the doors were unlocked, even at this time of night. The church smelled like dust and furniture polish, but it was quiet and he could think without noise and distractions.

He sat in the pew, replaying what he’d seen and his reaction over and over.

He’d been dating Adam for six months. Adam worked at a GLBT support center and Jesse had gone there after work. Adam had another half hour to go but they’d planned to go out for dinner together.

He hadn’t planned on seeing Adam in the arms of another man — a boy really. The guy was barely old enough to be considered a man. They’d been hugging and the younger man had gazed up at Adam with adoration. Jesse had heard him tell Adam how happy he was.

He’d heard Adam reply, “Me too, Mickey.”

Adam had looked up and seen Jesse staring at them. He was sure the hurt and confusion showed in his face.

Jesse had stumbled out of the center before he could hear anymore, even as Adam had called out after him. He’d heard every known excuse from his last boyfriend.

He’d driven around with no destination in mind, putting some distance between himself and Adam, when he’d seen the church. Jesse had been sitting here for a couple of hours now. He’d had time to calm down and think.

He’d overreacted and taken off like an idiot.

He glanced down at his phone. Seven text messages and phone calls and every one of them from Adam. He wasn’t going to respond. Not until he figured out how to fix this.

Adam was a good man. He’d never made false declarations of love just to get into Jesse’s pants or stepped out on him with another guy — both of them laughing at him behind his back.

Adam met plenty of attractive gay men through work. He could have chosen any of them, but he’d told Jesse he had a policy not to date anyone from the center — and how glad he was that they’d met at the local coffee shop.

Jesse sighed. He knew Adam well enough to realize he'd misread the situation and now he wasn’t sure how to face him. He hadn’t trusted him and Adam was all about honesty and trust. That was one of the reasons Jesse had fallen for Adam. Had he screwed up the best thing that had ever happened to him?
He draped one arm along the back of the pew in front and rested his forehead on his arm. He didn’t know what to do next.

The outer door of the church opened and a cold draft swirled around Jesse. He heard the footsteps of someone approaching the front of the church, but he ignored them.

The familiar scent of Adam’s cologne tickled his nose and he was aware of Adam’s solid presence in his peripheral vision.

“Hey. Can I join you?” Adam’s voice was soft but he didn’t sound angry or upset. Jesse wondered if this was his counselor’s voice.

Jesse slid over a few inches. He left his head on his arm. He wasn’t sure what expression he’d see on Adam’s face. Resignation? Disappointment? 

Adam slipped into the pew and sat next to him, close but not touching.

“I’ve been calling you.” Adam’s tone was neutral. He didn’t sound as if he was complaining or scolding.

Jesse slipped his phone into his jacket pocket as if by hiding his phone he could convince both of them that he hadn’t been deliberately ignoring Adam’s messages and calls.

“I looked for you all over town. I only found you by accident when I saw your car in the church parking lot.” 

Jesse thought he heard mild reproach and maybe a little bit of hurt in Adam’s voice. He rolled his head to look at Adam from the corner of his eye.

“I was worried about you.” Adam moved closer. “I know what you think you saw, and given your past experiences I understand why, but Jesse...” His voice cracked and Jesse sat up and looked at him, shocked.

“There’s no one but you, Jesse.” Adam looked back at him; sincerity shining from his eyes and Jesse knew he was telling the truth. 

“I’ve been counseling Mickey for a few months. He came out to his family today.” Adam paused as if expecting Jesse to say something and when the silence stretched out, he continued. “It went well. Not as good as we’d hoped, but not as bad as he’d feared.”

Jesse didn’t know what to say. He’d come into the church feeling used and hurt and now he felt like a self-centered, distrustful asshole.

He stared at his feet. “You must think I’m a real star.”

Adam smiled. “I do. Yeah.” He nudged Jesse with his shoulder. “I’m not the kind of man to be seeing someone behind my boyfriend’s back. I’d never do anything to hurt you.” 

Jesse straightened his shoulders. “I know that. I do. I just…reacted badly.”

Adam reached out and brushed his hair out of his eyes. “You hungry?”

Jesse stared. He was forgiven, just like that? “You still want to go for dinner?”

“I haven’t eaten. I’ve been looking for you.”

“I didn’t think…” he broke off, unable to tell Adam exactly what he’d thought.

Adam slipped his arm around his shoulders and slid closer till their hips were touching. “You think I’d break up with you over something like this?”

Relief flooded through him. “You aren’t?”

Adam shook his head. “A relationship can have misunderstandings, miscommunications, and arguments. That doesn’t mean it's over.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t trust you.”

Adam gazed at him. “I was waiting for the perfect time to say this, but I think you need to hear it now. I love you, Jesse.”

“You do?” Jesse blurted.

“Yes, I do. Now can we please go eat?” Adam was blushing.

Jesse stroked Adam’s face, feeling the heat in his cheek. “I love you too.”

Adam smiled. “I always imagined this would be a little more…romantic and spontaneous. Like maybe in the aftermath of hot, passionate sex, you know?” 

Jesse grinned. “Sounds like a plan to me. Let’s grab some fast food and then we can tell each other again. Just the way you imagined.”


The End
We’ve got a pretty full house for this week’s Silver Flasher, including two brand new flashers! Please give them lots of love and encouragement. 

West Thornhill (m/m)  <<<virgin!>>>

Chris Quinton <<<virgin!>>>

Julie Hayes (m/m)

Victoria Blisse (m/f)

Lindsay Klug (m/f)

Lily Sawyer (m/m)

Sui Lynn (m/m)

Heather Lin (m/f)

Ryssa Edwards (m/m)






Saturday, July 9, 2011

Special Guest, Lisa Worrall


Today I have special guest, Lisa Worrall, author of A Nanny for Nate. Lisa's here to tell us about a couple of great anthologies. Read on to find out how you can win a copy of your own. 


Thank you to Pender for letting me pop by and bore you all senseless


The books I’m here to tell you all about today are in relation to the LGBTQ UK Meet I am attending on the 22 July. Basically, two days in a hotel with lots of women, and men, who read and write LGBTQ. http://ukmeet.weebly.com/index.html

I must confess that I have been to several conventions – okay, lots of them, I’m a convention whore – but those conventions have usually centred around my favourite TV show on the CW, Supernatural. Because obviously I admire the work of the central actors, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles and our very own registered lunatic, Misha Collins – it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I get to stand next to them for two days and giggle like a fourteen year old hormonal freak – while drooling over the pretty. Absolutely nothing *blushes* *cough* *avoids gaze*

I don’t, however, have any intention – as far as I’m aware – of behaving in the same manner at my first writer’s convention. I’m not entirely sure that RJ Scott and Sue Brown would want me staring starry eyed at them and giggling every time they spoke to me, while flapping my hand in front of my face like a Victorian maid with the vapours.

I am, however, really, really excited to meet all of the wonderful authors I have met both in the flesh and on line. Plus the bonus of hearing them talk about their craft and picking up much needed pointers for myself. And also to get me out there – to promote the meagre offerings I have accumulated and hope that I attract some attention. It’s a fabulous opportunity to meet a bunch of like-minded people who are willing to share their talents. But it’s not just for writers – we would hope that just as many readers are interested in meeting their favourite authors and having the opportunity to get their very own signed copies of their favourite books.

I cannot wait and despite the sniggers from RJ Scott, Sue Brown and Chris Quinton, it has nothing to do with the mention of alcohol in the evenings....

There are two anthologies released in connection with the UK LGBTQ Meet in July. Both of which I am lucky enough to have been chosen to contribute to:

BRITISH FLASH
A revealing collection of short LGBT fiction, available free of charge from Smashreads
Enjoy this entertaining collection of flash fiction stories, and their short and sweet expression of what it means to be queer in Britain, past and present. All these stories reflect the iconic sights and national character of the British Isles: a taste of our idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, but also an unashamed representation of the love, loyalty and laughter of our people.

British Flash is available for free download at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65264

Nope – it’s not a typing error – it’s free!


TEA AND CRUMPET
Including a wide range of style and subject, this is the perfect way to sample different authors and to find both existing and new favourites. Follow the British way of life from historic villages to modern cities, from the countryside to the sea, through history and with a fantasy twist, in gardens, churches, campus and the familiar, much-loved local pub. The stories cover universal themes of romance, desire, remembrance and reconciliation. The authors range from multi-published to up-and-coming, and they all share a passion for their characters, whether through great drama, erotic excitement, humour -- or a combination of all three!


Here’s a little excerpt of my contribution – and I have one, yes ONE, e-copy of the anthology to give away, so come on over to www.lworrall.blogspot.com and leave a comment and you could be the winner of my one and only freebie copy

Frozen Angel by Lisa Worrall – Tea and Crumpet Anthology

He had no idea how long he had been sketching when a shadow fell across his pad and a deep voice said: “Wow.” Looking up, Joe’s breath hitched in his throat for the second time that morning. The blue eyes that met his were the same colour as the sky above him. Blue eyes that were surrounded by long pale lashes in a face so breathtakingly beautiful that, for a moment, he wasn’t sure if he’d been sitting in the sun for too long and was hallucinating.
Um...thanks,” he said staring like a complete knob, when the vision shook his shoulder length blond hair and smiled brightly, revealing slightly crooked white teeth. Not that the slight imperfection made him any less of a vision. In Joe’s opinion they only amped up this man’s undeniable hotness.
I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to make you jump,” the man said, holding his hand out palm up in a placating gesture. “I’ve been watching you for about half an hour. You were miles away.” At the widening of Joe’s green eyes, he shook his head quickly. “Shit! No, no, I didn’t mean it in a stalkery, axe murdery kind of way. I just like to watch – oh bollocks,” he huffed out a laugh when Joe’s lips twitched. “I’m not doing a very good job of convincing you I’m not a serial killer, am I?”
Not really,” Joe said, unable to prevent his mouth from curving into a full smile. “Keep going though. I’m enjoying watching you put your foot in your mouth.” Taking a deep breath and in a move much bolder than he was used to making, he held out his hand. “I’m Joe Roberts.”
Ryan,” Blue Eyes replied, shaking Joe’s hand firmly. “Ryan Parker. Do you mind?” He waved a hand at the grass beside Joe.
No, ‘course not,” Joe replied with a brief inclination of his head and pretended to turn his attention back to his pad. He definitely wasn’t watching the way the muscles in Ryan’s lithe body bunched and moved beneath his T-shirt when he took his jacket off and laid it on the ground. Neither was he openly staring when the man sat down next to him and stretched long – really long – legs out in front of him, thigh muscles swelling beneath the denim of his jeans as Ryan crossed his ankles. Although he would possibly admit to maybe dribbling just a little when Ryan lay back on his elbows and lifted his beautiful face to the sun – and he did almost drop his pencil when Ryan made a contented whimpering sound in his throat that Joe was sure could be classified as pornographic. At least his cock certainly thought so, as it suddenly stretched and took an interest in proceedings.

Lisa Worrall writes for Silver Publishing, Dreamspinners and Torquere Press and you can find her at:
FB: Lisa Worrall Author
Twitter: Lisa_Worrall



Wow,  Lisa. I didn't know you were a Supernatural fan, but then with Jared and Jensen, who isn't? :)
I enjoyed the British Flash Anthology. I'll definitely have to read Tea and Crumpet too. Thanks for a great blog. Readers, don't forget to stop by Lisa's blog and leave a comment. You might be the lucky winner. 



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Silver Flash

I've been busy reading all the great stories written for the Hot Summer Days anthology over at Goodreads. Mine is called Dog Days of Summer. It was tough, but I did manage to stop reading long enough to write a flash fiction for this week's prompt.
The prompt choices were:
 
"It's always the quiet ones, you know?" or "I'd walk across ________ for you."

I went with the second one, though I probably didn't use it quite the way Ryssa expected.  


Cookies for Matt
© 2011
Tait frowned at the recipe. How the hell did you cream butter and sugar? He thought about it. It probably meant beat the bejesus out of them.

He grinned as he grabbed the eggs. This baking thing wasn’t so hard. When he’d phoned his mom and asked for his favorite cookie recipe he could almost hear her surprise, but she’d emailed it as promised.

Shit! The recipe said three eggs and he only had two. Could he do it with two eggs? No. The cookies were the bait to lure Matt, his sexy new neighbor. They had to be perfect.

He’d seen the tall, dark, hottie move in directly across the building’s courtyard at the beginning of the month. Tait had introduced himself. Since then they’d smiled as they ran into each other on their way in and out, but that was it.

Tait had been staking out the laundry room, planning to do his laundry when Matt did, but so far he hadn’t seen Matt do any laundry. Maybe he did it while Tait was at work.

No matter. Tait had a plan.             

He’d make his mom’s kick-ass cookies and wander over with a welcome gift. Matt would ask him to stay and help him eat them and things would progress nicely from there.

First though, he’d have to go and buy eggs.

Tait grabbed his wallet and headed out.

Matt was coming back from somewhere. As usual he looked impossibly hot and sexy.

Tait looked up into Matt’s dark eyes. “Hi, Matt.” 

Matt’s white teeth gleamed as he smiled. “Hi. It’s Tait, right?”

“That’s right.” He gave his best smile and wracked his brains for something smart to say.

Matt smiled down at him. “You looked like you were in a hurry.”

“I’m making cookies and I need eggs.” Tait winced internally. He sounded like Little Suzy Homemaker.

Matt looked interested. “You cook?”

Tait shrugged. “Not really but I have my mom’s recipe and I’ve seen her make them so it should be no problem.”

“Well. I’d better let you go then.”

Tait gazed up at him. “I’ll give you some. Cookies, I mean.” 

Matt laughed. “I never turn down homemade cookies.”

“Okay. I’ll see you later.” Tait left before he could embarrass himself further.

He bought the eggs and went back to his apartment. He followed the instructions exactly. The first batch smelled great but he’d forgotten to set the timer and the bottoms were burned. The second and third batches were perfect. Tait was thrilled. He’d had a couple of tense minutes but he’d been sure he could do it and he had!

Someone knocked on his door. He opened it to find Matt standing on the other side.

“Matt!” Tait glanced down. He had cookie dough smeared on his t-shirt and jeans. He’d been planning on showering and changing before he saw Matt.

Matt sniffed deeply. “Mmm. I could smell them at my place.”

“I was going to bring some over.”

“I thought I’d walk across the courtyard for you and save you the trouble.”

“Oh. That was…nice of you.”

Mat leaned against the counter, looking patient.

Tait realized Matt was waiting for a cookie. “Do you want tea or coffee or milk to go with the cookies?”

“Tea please.”

Tait made the tea.

“They smell great. What kind are they?”

“White chocolate and macadamia nut. They’ll knock your socks off.”

Matt looked mildly alarmed.

Tait smiled. “Not literally.”

“Can I help?”

“You could put some cookies on a plate.”

He passed a plate to Matt who reached for a cookie.

“Not those!”

Matt pulled his hand back.

“Sorry. Those ones are a kind of burnt. Take them from the other pile.”

Matt ducked his head but Tait still saw his grin.

He deposited the mugs on the kitchen table with more force than necessary. “You want milk and sugar?”

“Yes please.”

They sat.

“Go ahead.” Tait gestured to the cookies. “Take one.”

Matt hesitated then picked up a cookie. Tait watched him until he took a small bite.

He munched his own. “They’re great aren’t they? I wasn’t a hundred percent sure they’d turn out but they taste pretty good.”

“Yeah.” Matt took another small bite.

Tait ate cookies and drank his tea as they talked. Matt was friendly and outgoing but Tait noticed he hadn’t finished his first cookie. He watched but Matt didn’t make any attempt to eat it.

“You haven’t finished your cookie.”

Matt ate the rest of it, washing it down with the tea. 

“Have another.”

“Thanks.”

Tait didn’t miss Matt’s wince as he picked up another cookie and ate it dutifully.

It was starting to piss him off. He’d put a lot of effort into making these for Matt and they tasted fine. Great even.

Matt finished his tea. “So, Tait. I have to get going but I was wondering if you’d like to have dinner with me sometime.”

Tait forgot his annoyance. “Yeah, that’d be great! When?”

 Matt stood, looking uncomfortable. “I was thinking tonight, but we’ll have to wait.”

“Oh.” Tait tried not to show his disappointment. “Let me get you some cookies to go.”

“That’s okay.”

Tait scowled. “What’s wrong with the damn cookies?”

Matt looked awkward. “They’re great, but….I’m allergic to nuts.”

“Oh my God! Why didn’t you say something? Do you have to go to the hospital?”
           
“Calm down. It’s a mild allergy. I’ll just feel lousy for a while.”

“How long?”

“Probably ‘til tomorrow.”

Tait moaned. “Oh, God. I made you eat them. Why’d you eat them?”

“I didn’t know they’d have nuts in them ‘til I got here. I thought if I didn’t eat them you’d be too mad to agree to go out with me.”

Tait blinked. “Oh.”

“So will you have dinner with me tomorrow?”

“I…” Tait frowned. Was Matt starting to look a little blotchy?

“I’ll be better by tomorrow.”

“Okay.”

“Great.” Matt kissed his cheek. “Gotta go. Bye.”

Matt was out the door before he could respond.

Tait bit his lip. He felt really bad. Tomorrow he’d get Matt some flowers to make up for poisoning him. But first he’d find out if Matt was allergic to pollen! 

END

This weeks flashers are:


Victoria Blisse (m/f)
http://www.victoriablisse.co.uk

Don't forget to check out my Goodreads Hot Summer Days story. Here's the link:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Goodreads Hot Summer Days Anthology

Hi guys. I'm sure a few of you remember the Goodreads Christmas anthology. It was so popular they've decided to do it again, only this time it's bigger and better.

Hot Summer Days will be a free anthology with over 100 stories for your reading pleasure. The plan is to release a two or three stories every day as from July 1, 2011 until mid August.

Goodreads members submitted photos and made suggestions, or in some cases made specific requests for stories based on the pictures.  I was inspired by the picture of a beautiful brown-eyed man with a tear at the corner of his eye. (I've posted the story request below.)

My contribution to the anthology is a short story called Dog Days of Summer.

The first stories were released yesterday and mine is one of the stories released today. So head over to Goodreads and enjoy some summer reading. 


Dear Author,

I'm a little late to the game but I'm really hoping you can help me out. I've seen this man a few times sitting hunched over outside a closed door at the hospital. He seems so sad but still always lifts his head and gives me a tiny smile of acknowledgment before continuing to clutch a dark piece of clothing that's always present in his hands.

I really wish you could somehow foresee a happy ending for this obviously emotional, loving man because I'd really love to see a real smile on his beautiful face.

Sincerely,

Karen


Here's the details and a bit of a teaser. The link will take you to the story.

Story info:
8300 words
Characters: Shea (that's Shea up there) and Levi
Genre: M/M
SubGenre: Contemporary
Tags: blue collar, hook-ups, first date, summer romance, bereavement

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/581814-pender-mackie-dog-days-of-summer-7-2

Excerpt

A dark-haired man was on his knees, his arms wrapped around the retriever and his face pressed into Whirlwind’s shoulder. Whirlwind’s tail waved to and fro as the man stroked him and murmured words Levi couldn’t hear.

Levi hesitated. It was one thing to pet someone else’s dog but to kneel and hug him? That was a little weird.


As he approached slowly, the man spoke. “Is he yours? He’s gorgeous.”


Levi stared into the prettiest eyes he’d ever seen. Maybe pretty was the wrong word. With his tousled black hair and five o’clock shadow, the man looked too rugged for any part of him to be described as pretty, but his eyes were beautiful, a deep, soulf
ul brown. Like melted chocolate.

Levi’s expression softened. “Yeah. He is.”

The man gave him a lopsided smile and Levi felt something move in his chest. He raised his hand and rubbed at his shirt, but the unsettling feeling had already passed. 



Hope you enjoy the anthology. I know I will.