Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It’s hard to stand here making conversation when what I’d like to do is hold you close, feel you against me, maybe even… #midweektease #MMromance #gayromance

From new release erotic gay romance
The Romantic
Handsome Luke Kirby loves books, so when he finds boxes of old and beautiful tomes in a dusty shop, he can’t resist buying them. To his delight one of them contains what he hopes will bring an end to his loneliness and heartache. As he prepares to cast an ancient prayer spell to the god of love, across town Ethan Goss decides that moving to a new apartment will ease his broken heart.
With the help of an eccentric real estate agent, gorgeous Ethan goes to a viewing in the block where Luke lives.
When Luke meets Ethan in the lobby, it’s the start of a passionate love affair. 
Read the teaser 

The server placed their orders on the bar, and Luke paid. He handed Ethan his beer. His fingers touched Ethan’s. A thrill ran up his arm, and Luke enjoyed the feeling before he picked up his own drink. “Do you want to find a table?”

Ethan glanced around. “I doubt there are any free. This place is humming. We could prop up the bar. That’s okay.”

Luke wished there was a free table. He wanted his knee pressed against Ethan’s. He wanted to lean his head close to Ethan’s. “Sure.” He agreed.

“How’s the movie business?” Ethan smiled and then sipped at his beer.

“Yeah, good. I was at a meeting earlier and charged down here hoping not to be late.”

“Well, you weren’t, so that’s good, but if you had been, I would have waited. I looked forward to seeing you all day, and yesterday, too, if I’m honest, and I’d like to be, because I like you a lot.”

Luke’s heart raced. He left his glass on the counter and took hold of Ethan’s free hand.

“I like you, too. The truth is I’m dying to kiss you. I’ve been waiting—hoping for a guy who makes me feel the way you do. I’m sorry, is that too much?” He bowed his head a little, worrying he’d chase Ethan away with his obvious desperation.

Without even checking who was watching, Ethan put down his beer. He slid a cool hand around Luke’s jaw and, in a mesmerizingly slow move, brought his mouth to Luke’s and kissed him.

The kiss didn’t last long, but it forced a surge of sexual craving through Luke. A sigh escaped him when Ethan drew away. Holy smoke.

Ethan smiled, and a dimple appeared in his left cheek. His blue eyes broadcast attraction. He heaved a breath. “It’s not too much. I feel the same. It’s hard to stand here making conversation when what I’d like to do is hold you close, feel you against me, maybe even…”

Luke couldn’t tear his gaze from Ethan’s. “Did you drive here?”

“Took a cab.”

“My car’s down a side street. Do you want to come back to my place? I have a couple of beers in the fridge.” He took a chance. The instinct that this was what Ethan wanted, too, was strong.

“Yes.” Ethan’s answer was swift.

Luke led the way to the door. Once on the sidewalk, he clasped Ethan’s hand. A burst of happiness brought a smile to his face. He reached his car, unlocked it, and turned to Ethan, pulling him close. “This can’t be a one-night stand. I like you too much already to discover you don’t want anything after tonight and we’re just neighbors who barely see each other.”

Ethan put his arms around Luke’s waist. “It won’t be, Luke,” he murmured and kissed him.

Luke’s eyes closed as a haze of pleasure and desire mingled. He pulled Ethan closer, molding his body to Ethan’s. The kiss, gentle but red-hot, thickened his cock. He pushed onto Ethan’s lower stomach and felt his answering erection. The hard shape touching his own shot his dick into a rock-hard column. It forced a low moan from him as Ethan swept his hands down his back and grabbed his ass. Luke soaked up the sensation.

He tore himself away from Ethan’s embrace. “Let’s go.”
He sat in the driving seat, and the tip of his dick reached his waistband. Luke grinned across at Ethan. “Your kiss has given me such a hard-on I’m lucky I can sit down.” He started the car and drove home with his cock aching and his heart pounding over what he was sure would happen that night.

Copyright Elodie Parkes, 2019, eXtasy Books

Saturday, January 19, 2019

New release #MMromance #suspense from @KatherineWyvern @evernightpub Fantasy, pirates and adventure. Read a #teaser

Hello and thank you for hosting me and my pirate story today! This was such a wonderful book for me to write! It came about by chance when I was drawing an elf, messed up his left eye, and ended up with a one-eyed pirate instead.
I have been afloat on imaginary seas with many favorite authors of mine from Melville, to Conrad, to Patrick O’Brian and Björn Larsson all of my life, so I pounced on the chance of writing a pirate story!
The original idea, as much as I had an idea at all, was to keep it light and fun (and short… most of all short). I wrote a bunch of dialogues very much at random in the first day, all of them full of banter, innuendoes and bratty jokes and I thought that I would keep the story on that note. But I didn’t have a plot, and I still missed one of the main characters, and I had only the vaguest idea of what universe the story could be set in. For a brief while I even considered making it a bit of tongue-in-cheek Tolkien fan fiction. But then the muse spoke, and suggested such a dark twist to the main character, Rikko’, that it became clear that the story needed to grow and to have deeper layers.
And it began to fit very well into the fantasy universe where my older novel Spellbreakers was set, and to connect rather neatly with that story, although it’s not really a sequel to it, and it can be read as a standalone. I hope you find my pirate as irresistible as I did!


Born in the northern wastes of Kaleva in the middle of a devastating war between light and darkness, Rikko’ has found his way south to the warm shores of the Circled Sea, the first elver to ever turn pirate.

Forbidden by the rules of the Andalouan court to pursue such an ungentlemanly career, Gael can only dream of ever becoming a doctor, and his medical studies remain unfinished until his aunt the Queen sends him on a covert mission to the pirate city of Beyas’kahl.

And here, after one night with Rikko’, all his loyalties are put to the test.

Queen Amata has reigned for three decades, and she always used her men cunningly. But even the best player can miscalculate, and her blunder places Gael first in slavery, then in a naval battle, and finally, worst of all, face to face with Rikko’s darkest and deadliest side.

From such darkness, is there any coming back? Is there any hope of love for Gael, or redemption for Rikko’?

(MM sex)


“Come, Puna, sweetie,” he said, plucking the lemur off Gael’s shoulder with one hand. He placed her on his chest of drawers, on a pile of freshly laundered clothes, her favorite bedding in the world, after himself. She grumbled a little but soon settled down. “And as for you, my boy, you come here to me,” he whispered, drawing Gael to the edge of his bed, where they both tumbled down together, kissing.
Gael was still frantically pecking at him, with those tight-lipped clueless kisses that drove Rikko’ to distraction. He let himself be kissed like that for some minutes—it was so ridiculously lovable.
Ah, it is a pity to teach him anything, he thought. I wish I could keep him like this forever. He knows nothing, except that he has this need…
But you can’t have your cake and eat it, I suppose.
“Wait, sweet, wait,” he whispered finally, and laid Gael on his back, pinning his body down with his folded leg as he lay beside him, and took his cheek in his palm. He put his mouth to Gael’s mouth, and gently, slowly, savoring every minute instant of it, he ran the tip of his tongue along the seam of those tightly closed lips, lightly at first, then harder, until the lips finally parted, like two halves of a plum, and Gael gasped in surprise and then lust. His body arched in desire when Rikko’s tongue met his, and he groaned with hunger, welcoming the new intimacy of that tongue-to-tongue kiss with an adoring fierceness that had Rikko’ near to tears with emotion. He groaned again, hugging Rikko’ closer, sinking his fingers in his hair, touching his face and neck and ears, pursuing his mouth when Rikko’ pulled back to breathe, licking Rikko’s lips.
Rikko’ had never met any grown man (Gael was young, sure, but not a child—Rikko’ despised child lovers, and never, ever went close to the little creatures himself) both so inexperienced, so shy, and yet so wholeheartedly passionate. It was enchanting, and utterly enflaming. He laughed softly and pulled back from the kisses. This was just too much. He could not wait any longer. He needed to touch this boy properly all over; he had to have his cock in his mouth, and maybe, if Gael was so inclined, inside that beautiful, taut little butt.
“Too many clothes,” he said, in Gael’s ear. He kicked off his flip-flops, and realized, with a bit of a shock, that he was still wearing his dagger, stuck in his sash, and his sword belt. He had forgotten all about them. He crossed the room to lay both weapons on his chest of drawers and untied his sash, and felt Gael’s hands on his hips.
“C—can I? Sir? Please?” whispered the boy, and Rikko’ smiled as Gael, with almost religious awe, unwound the length of silk from around his waist and hips and let it fall to the floor around his feet.
Rikko’ stepped out of the puddled folds and murmured, “You too.”
He finished undressing in a few seconds. He never wore a lot. It just got in the way.
Gael took off his clothes, and Rikko’ watched him from the bed, waiting. Under those strangely unattractive breeches and shirt, he was every bit as delicious as Rikko’ had always known he would be, not particularly muscular, but sleek and quick, and just a little awkward, like a young animal, full-grown but still uncertain of his body.
Rikko’ pulled him close, pressing that lithe soft form against his own, and their cocks met halfway, both hard and quite ready, so that they had to be pulled up against their bellies for them to embrace. Rikko’ smiled and palmed Gael’s butt, and kissed him, deep and long, and then put a hand between them and took the boy’s member in his fingers just for a bit of a feel, a bit of foreplay.
He tugged at the lovely taut cock once.
Gael gave a sort of astonished yelp, tensed all over, and then moaned wildly against Rikko’s shoulder, oh, oh, ooh, and suddenly Rikko’ found himself awash in hot, splashing, dripping jets of sperm, all down his belly, lap, and leg, a veritable, goddamn, bleeding flood of it.
He let go, dumbfounded, and then burst into laughter.
“Wh—well, I’ll be … what the…” he began, but, really, he could only laugh. I just barely touched him!
“Damn it, doctor, our ship sprung a leak,” he said finally, still laughing. “I’m drowned!”
“Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods,” said Gael, absolutely frantic, “oh gods, sir, I am so sorry!” He jumped out of bed, fumbling around. “I’ll find my handkerchief, sir, I’ll mop it up this minute…”
Rikko’ laughed even harder and stretched out to pull him back in bed.
“Stop that. Leave it. Leave it, damn it! It’s all right. I’m joking. It’s all right! It’s all good! Stuff’s good for the skin, it is known. Leave it.” He couldn’t stop laughing.

Visit In the Eye of the Wind’s web page with maps and an exclusive excerpt:

I have entered that age when looking at beautiful male models in their prime makes me a cougar, ahem.
Almost all my heroes and heroines are short: that’s because I look at the world from hobbit level. Being so small I am three times more concentrated (read: obsessive) than anybody I know. I am exhaustingly creative in writing, arts, crafts... Sometimes my brain gets friction burns from hurtling at such speed from one universe to the next.
I love animals, plants, and occasionally even people.
Like the Highlander, I come from a lot of different places. I was born in Italy but lived here and there and consider myself simply and deeply European. I love Europe passionately, its antiquity, its diversity, its quirkiness. All my books are set in Europe, or alternate versions of it.
I have been writing since I can remember.

Or follow her on Instagram @katherinewyvern 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Physically and emotionally scarred, the bond between them can’t be broken. New Release #MMromance #suspense Read a #teaser #gayfiction @realthomcollins


The Anthem Trilogy:
1.      Anthem of the Sea
2.      Anthem of the Dark
3.      Anthem of Survival

Anthem of Survival

Will they ever escape the past?
Revenge casts a long shadow.

Following two prior attempts on their lives, Daniel and Elijah are together and stronger than ever. Their relationship has weathered the toughest elements and survived. Physically and emotionally scarred, the bond between them can’t be broken. One year on from the devastating events in Anthem of the Dark they have reassessed their priorities and want to spend time out of the spotlight.

Elijah has quit his stand-up career to focus on his new passion: training to be a chef. But for Daniel, there are too many questions he desperately needs answers to. Like who orchestrated the violence in Blackpool a year ago? Whose hatred of him runs so deep they’re ruthlessly prepared to hurt innocent by-standers? He teams up with journalist Keeley Rank to uncover the facts.

Though the truth is well hidden, it is closer than anyone thinks. Someone wants revenge. Someone intent on destroying Daniel anyway she can. When Daniel and Elijah attend a fundraising gala for a victim support charity they are unaware they are about to face their most perilous situation yet. Vengeance is a deadly game and not everyone will survive.
Available in ebook and Paperback

Pride Publishing:


Daniel Blake, sitting on a shaded terrace in a pair of sun-bleached shorts, strummed a melody on his guitar. The afternoon sun blazed in a cloudless sky and, despite the protective canopy above him, the heat was intense. Beads of sweat ran down his neck, tracking over bronzed skin to the dark mass of chest hair. It glistened on his top lip as he gently chewed the bottom. With his eyes closed, he progressed through the strings. A moment later, he smiled, finally satisfied, and put down the guitar. He reached for the weathered notebook that had been his constant companion all summer and wrote in an eager, untidy hand.
Daniel had been working on the song for two days, both music and lyrics, and, at last, it was done. He had nothing left to add.
He lifted his gaze to the sky and inhaled full into his lungs. Across the terrace, the blue water of the Ionian Sea reflected the white light of the sun, its expanse an ever-changing collage of sapphire and diamond colors. Down the coast, the outline of Corfu Island was a hazy mirage in the heat. This perfect view had been his for six amazing weeks. The idyll would soon be over, but not yet.
Daniel lay back on the lounger and lengthened his arms above his head, stretching the stiffness in his neck. He’d been so absorbed in the song, ensuring every chord and every word were right, he’d ignored his own comfort and now his body ached. A few weeks earlier, he’d made the mistake of writing beside the pool, in the direct glare of the sun, and paid the price. Two painful days in bed with sunburn. Since then, he’d stuck to the shade while working on his music. He lost himself so much in the process it was easy to burn.
Daniel studied his body as he lay there. He’d never looked so good or been this tan before. There’d been no time to sunbathe in the past, he’d always thought it a waste of time. He had had too much to do, too much to achieve, to spend his days lying around a pool. But he’d realized this summer that a tan didn’t just suit him, it helped him feel better.
It wasn’t just the sun. Daily sessions in the pool and long walks on the beach kept him in shape. Coming off Lady Lynda, he’d had every intention of letting his fitness routine go a little, if only for the summer, but it hadn’t worked out that way. He was in better condition now than when he arrived, in mind as well as body.
His legs were strong, muscular and tan. He hardly recognized his own body. He inched down the top of his shorts to admire the contrast in color between the creamy skin below his waist and the coppery tones above. The villa was private and he could have bathed naked if he’d wanted to, except he wasn’t that kind of guy. Besides, tan lines were sexy. He’d always thought so. Who needed to risk a burnt butt and balls?
The one thing that marred the bronze color of his torso was the scars between his hip bones and rib cage, sustained the night Oliver Gill had stabbed him, and from the lifesaving surgery he’d gone through afterward. Before coming to Corfu, the pale scars had been almost unnoticeable on his white skin. His dark body hair just about concealed them. But as his tan deepened, the scars stayed white, becoming more pronounced, forcing him to look at them, to acknowledge them.
Daniel traced his fingers along the lines and indentations. Had he made peace with the disfigurement? No. But as the summer came to an end, he’d learned to accept them.
Daniel sighed and basked in the heat. Life was not so bad, considering what the last two years had thrown at him. Better than that, things were good. Not perfect, too many questions remained unanswered for that, but his optimism grew every day.
The glass doors of the terrace opened behind him and Elijah Mann stepped out, offering him a cold bottle of water.
“It’s hotter than hell out here,” Elijah remarked, shielding his eyes against the sun to gaze across the sea.
Daniel swung his legs over the side of the sunbed and sat up. He drank the chilled, sparkling water and looked with admiration at Elijah’s chunky thighs. While the sun had turned Daniel’s white-boy skin an appealing shade of bronze, Elijah, with his Greek heritage, had gone nut-brown. The beige shorts and blue open-neck shirt he wore today complemented his tan. God, he’s gorgeous. Daniel never had to remind himself what a lucky guy he was.
Elijah dropped onto the other sunbed, knees spread wide, and looked straight at him with soulful brown eyes. His thick blue-black hair fell in an untidy wave across his brow and a three-day beard darkened his jaw. With his natural Greek coloring, Daniel wondered if Elijah had ever looked more handsome. Even more important, he looked happier and healthier than he had in a long time. Less than a year ago he’d been in hospital, fighting for his life. Daniel wouldn’t ever forget how close he’d come to losing him. Those long, terrible hours beside his bed, praying he would recover. Hoping for the best, afraid of the worst.
“How’s it going?” Elijah asked, nodding at his guitar.
“I’m finished,” he answered, smiling.
Elijah’s eyebrows raised. “Really?”
“Don’t keep me in suspense. Let me hear it.”
“What’s for lunch?” Daniel asked, feigning indifference.
Elijah leapt forward, grabbing Daniel’s bare waist, tickling the sensitive flesh around his middle. Daniel yelped and fell backward, giggling. Elijah followed through, lying on top of him, fingers still working his waist. Daniel laughed, squirming against his hard body.
“No lunch today,” Elijah said, his face on top of Daniel’s. “Not until you play me your song.”

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, Gods of Vengeance and Silent Voices with Pride Publishing. The Anthem Trilogy is out now from Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.
He is currently working on a new novel.
Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.

Twitter:   @thomwolf     and  @realthomcollins
Instagram: thomcollinsauthor
Pinterest: Thom Collins

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Release day for The Romantic #MMromance from @eXtasybooks @elodieparkes #gayromance #teaser

The Romantic 
MM romance from eXtasy Books
Release day teaser

Handsome Luke Kirby loves books, so when he finds boxes of old and beautiful tomes in a dusty shop, he can’t resist buying them. To his delight one of them contains what he hopes will bring an end to his loneliness and heartache. As he prepares to cast an ancient prayer spell to the god of love, across town Ethan Goss decides that moving to a new apartment will ease his broken heart.
With the help of an eccentric real estate agent, gorgeous Ethan goes to a viewing in the block where Luke lives.
When Luke meets Ethan in the lobby, it’s the start of a passionate love affair. 
Fate hasn’t finished with the two handsome men—will true happiness evade them both?
#gayromance with an edge of paranormal 

Warning this story contains MM sex in the love scenes.

Read the teaser

In the lobby, Victor stopped walking. “I should show you the garden, but I need the key for the gate. It’s in my car. Wait here a moment.” He strode rapidly out of the front doors.
Ethan checked out the table in the foyer where mail sat in three neat stacks. One stack had a lot, the others not much at all. Ethan couldn’t help reading the names on the envelopes. As his gaze traveled over the addresses, someone clattered down the polished hardwood stairs.
Ethan turned to the footsteps.
A young man glanced up from watching where his feet fell. His blue eyes locked with Ethan’s stare.
Ethan gazed at him, and his stomach lurched. His heart pounded. Not one word would form in his mind other than, wow.
The young man smiled, approaching the table. “Hi. I’m collecting my snail mail—yeah, not much as usual.”
Through a daze of attraction, Ethan watched the man pick up the two envelopes in his stack. He looked the young man up and down, taking in his hard body and fashionably cut dark hair. He held back a sigh of appreciation as the man turned to him.
“Are you the new tenant?” He waved a hand at the apartment door.
His low voice traveled over Ethan like a glaze of melting honey. Ethan stared at the man’s handsome face. He is gorgeous. About my age, too. “I haven’t taken the place yet, just…just viewed it.”
The young man moved closer. “You should take it. There aren’t many places as good, big, and with a garden this close to the city.” He held out his hand. “Luke Kirby. I live on the third floor, but that’s my patch of garden next to yours, if you take the place. It might seem odd to have to trundle down the stairs to sit in the sun with my coffee, but I’ve grown used to it.” His eyes sparkled at Ethan. He held Ethan’s gaze as he talked.
Butterflies filled Ethan’s stomach. He couldn’t stop his heart hammering and wondered if he could actually speak, meeting Luke had such an effect on him. “Ethan Goss.” He shook Luke’s hand. What he felt like doing was pulling the guy close and kissing those perfect lips that moved again.
“Pleased to meet you.” Luke held on to Ethan’s hand. His eyes held something unspoken.
A wave of longing rose through Ethan. His loneliness and need for sex put an ache in his stomach, replacing the butterflies. He glanced down at the strong hand gripping his, wondering if he could hold on a little longer, despite how weird that might be. Better not, that’s kinda creepy. All the same, it wasn’t Ethan who abandoned the handshake.
Luke let go but trailed his fingertips along Ethan’s palm as he withdrew his hand.
With his skin tingling from the touch, Ethan gazed into Luke’s blue eyes and knew. He’s gay. He somehow knows I am, too—probably the way I’m ogling him. He’s interested in me. Thank you, god. Ethan flashed his eyes at Luke with a flirtatious expression he usually reserved for cute guys he met in the gay bar.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2019 eXtasy Books
BUY the BOOK will take you to your Amazon site

Friday, January 4, 2019

Who is Zachary? #FirstChapterFriday #MMromance Spooky, gorgeous, and enigmatic Zachary Yarrow has brought logs for the fire. @parr_books @evernightpub #gayromance

#FirstChapterFriday from The Night Gardener

Architect, Dane Lovell takes an off-season vacation in an old New England mansion, hoping to ease his broken heart, and spark his imagination. Impressed by the pretty gardens, he’s surprised by the sinister atmosphere of the river than winds through the estate. Dane settles down to his vacation and tries to immerse himself in his drawings. One night, the sound of the back door smashing open in the wind and rain shocks Dane from his work.
Spooky, gorgeous, and enigmatic Zachary Yarrow has brought logs for the fire.
He’s the estate gardener and brings with him not just passion and a love affair for Dane, but a strange, spine-tingling mystery.
Who is Zachary, and what will happen when Dane finds out?

Chapter One

“Here are the keys, Mr. Lovell. Once I leave tomorrow morning you’ll have the estate to yourself. I’ll lock and shutter the big house, but the grounds are yours to enjoy. There’s a decent fishing rod in the cottage garden shed, if you fish. The river is famous for trout.” Jackson Montgomery placed a sizeable bunch of keys in Dane’s palm with a smile. “You still have my phone number, just in case, eh? Janice stocked the larder and fridge for you?” He glanced around the big kitchen as if he could see into the larder and fridge to assess the contents. Cottage was a misnomer for the place Dane Lovell had rented for the next eight weeks. With two floors and a cellar, plus the fact it stretched the length of just about three ordinary family houses, Dane considered the old place a mansion.

“Yes, thanks. She showed me everything and it’ll probably take me my whole stay to get through the supplies.” He smiled as he followed the caretaker out of the back door and onto the patio.

Jackson turned to him and held out his hand.

Dane shook his hand in goodbye. “Thanks for everything.”

The caretaker gave a nod and was gone, marching along the short, crazy-paved path to the side gate, where with another glance over his shoulder at Dane, he went through it to the neighboring and smaller cottage that was his home.
Dane pushed his hands into his jeans pockets and wandered to the bottom of the garden that adjoined the cottage. He breathed in the cool, reinvigorating air emitted by a thicket of evergreen trees as he took the path that wove through them and led him to the bend in the river rushing past.

His cell phone buzzed in the pocket of his denim gilet.
“Lovell.” He stopped walking to answer.

“Dane, where the hell are you? What happened to our meeting?” His brother’s voice held both annoyance and anxiety.

“Sorry, Emmet, I took off earlier than I expected. I did leave you a message, at your office. Didn’t you get it?”

“Rosie strikes again. I swear I’ll never have another temp from that agency. Okay, well, have a good break. Keep in touch. I guess planning a new project can wait until you’ve recharged your batteries for a few weeks. I wish you’d not gone quite so far away, though, Dane—New England…”

Dane caught the change in his brother’s tone and knew he must be smiling.
“I needed a total change after the incident with Jeremy. It’s been months and I’m still not over it, but thanks, Emmet, I’ll try to have a good break.” He ended the call as he gazed into the flow of water where the weak sun threw its light. Square sparkles dashed by on the water looking like little windows into the river. Dane walked closer to the edge of the bank and watched for a few moments. Immediately below, long slender reeds swayed in huge tangled bunches. Dane turned and walked back to the cottage, hunger forcing him away from the mesmerizing sight.

He’d not eaten since the day before. Dane never ate before late afternoon. In fact, he was never usually out and about until mid-afternoon. He worked far into the night and usually fell into bed around dawn. Somehow, over the years, this had become his normal pattern of living—Dane was nocturnal. Meetings, such as the one he was to have with Emmet, posed a problem. Although his brother always accommodated him, other people usually wanted them in the morning. On those occasions, Dane forced himself out of slumber and took a cab to the venue, not trusting his sleepy head to drive. Sometimes Dane tried to change this nocturnal pattern, but it never worked. The blanket of night offered him comfort.

He entered the kitchen and made straight for the fridge. Janice, the caretaker’s wife, had left a large roasted chicken for him. He brought it to the table and pulled a loaf of crusty bread from the breadbox on the counter. Dane hummed as he made a sandwich. The complete change of scenery already soothed his soul. Cocooned in stands of trees and circled by sparkling water, Dane breathed a sigh of relief. There were no reminders of Jeremy here.


Janice Montgomery handed her husband, Jackson, a beer.
He took it with a grateful smile. “Thanks, sweetheart.” He sat heavily in his armchair and brought his feet up onto the footstool. “It’ll be great to get away. Have you packed?”

She came to sit on the arm of the chair and ran her fingers into his hair, taking it back from his forehead. She planted a kiss there. “I have. Have you finished work? Can we make an early start?”

Jackson caught her hand and kissed her palm. “All done. Let’s leave around six. We’ll miss the business traffic if we get out the other side of town before seven.”
A small frown put a crease between her eyes. “Jackson … have you mentioned Zachary to the guy leasing the cottage?”

Jackson pursed his lips. “Dane Lovell’s the guy’s name, and no I, er, I forgot.”
Janice stood. “I don’t think you forgot. I think you chickened out. Dinner’s ready. I’ll dish up.”

Jackson gazed after her. He heaved a sigh. Zachary…


A TV sat on a shelf in a breakfast nook at the end of the kitchen. Dane ate his sandwich as he caught the evening news. He made coffee as he listened to the weather report, and then he brought his laptop to the big pine table in the main part of the kitchen, and booted it.

Dane opened the folder on the desktop marked Emmet and clicked on the file. His architectural design software opened it. He scrutinized the drawing for a few moments.

The design was finished. He could email it to Emmet. That way he could concentrate on his other project, his secret passion. He closed the file and opened his email program. Wi-Fi included was one of the attractions listed for the cottage. He emailed the file with a short note for Emmet to go ahead and take over the deal.

Dane loved designing buildings, but although architecture was his first love, it wasn’t his only love. Dane wrote. He wrote mystery novels under a pen name. A few months ago, Dane’s ideas dried up. At first, he didn’t worry, thinking the break-up was to blame, and then as time galloped by with not a word written, he admitted to himself that he had a real problem. He figured a total change of scenery might help both his melancholy and his writers’ block.

The email sent, Dane closed the mail application and sat back in the chair to stare at the screen. He waited for words to perform magic in his head the way they used to, but it didn’t happen. Instead, lovely houses built in his imagination. He pushed away from the table. The chair scraped on the flagstone floor. A sigh escaped him as he stood to get another cup of coffee.

He shivered in the cool evening breeze that entered through the open window over the kitchen sink. With a fresh cup of coffee on the table, he went to the bedroom he’d chosen to sleep in and found a sweater. He picked up his favorite sketchbook and pencils as the need to draw filled him…

Dawn filtered through the slim gaps at the sides of the blinds. Birds sang their morning song. Dane stretched and considered the drawings he’d worked on all night.

“Time to snatch a little sleep,” he told himself. He stripped off the sweater and left it on a chair as he passed on his way to take a shower.

Copyright E.D. Parr 2017 Evernight Publishing 
Find other E.D.Parr stories