CAUTION: Brainstorming session in progress

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Beholding Beauty - by Sam Singer

Sam Singer’s latest book is now available to readers. I’m very pleased to offer a look at it.


Craig Ryan’s modeling dreams crashed and burned on the streets of LA. Still, a man has to eat, and the escort biz pays well, and the sex isn’t bad. Actually, Craig enjoys his new job and benefits. That is, until a client called Dee hires him. Dee is a mystery. He keeps his face hidden and prohibits touching, even when touching his mouthwatering body becomes Craig’s fantasy.

Falling for a customer was never in Craig’s plans. But wrapped inside Dee’s peculiar requirements, there’s a sense of loneliness and pain that strikes deep within Craig, awakening his own need for something more—something with a future beyond one-night stands.


The elevator stopped and opened directly into the luxurious penthouse; it was huge with an open floor plan, elegantly furnished, and smelled faintly of sandalwood and leather. The kitchen gleamed with top-of-the-line chrome appliances. There was a nicely sized, but not ostentatious, LCD television to the left of a fireplace surrounded by built-in mahogany bookcases crammed full of books. The floors were gleaming hardwood with beautiful, intricate Persian rugs here and there. On the coffee table was an array of magazines—Time, Newsweek, Men’s Health, GQ, The Advocate, and Details—along with a book of erotic male photography. The entire west wall was made up of floor-to-ceiling windows that provided a spectacular view of the city at sunset, and there standing in front of them, looking out, had to be his client. 

He was big, not overweight, but tall, lean, and most likely muscular if the broad shoulders were anything to go by. His hair was to his shoulders, dark, brown probably, and thick. He looked to be impeccably dressed in dark slacks and shirt—silk, Craig guessed. Despite a couple of years in the escort business and being plenty jaded, Craig was intrigued. He wished the man would turn around. He’d love to see if the front was as appealing as the back.

“I’m Craig,” Craig said evenly.  

“I’m Dee,” his client said in a deep voice, not turning to face Craig. 

Craig took a few uncertain steps closer. “I hope I’m what you wanted.”  

“You’re fine,” his client replied shortly.  

Craig frowned and his brows knitted together in puzzlement. How could he think Craig was fine when he hadn’t even turned to look at him? The first tendrils of unease began to unfurl inside him. This guy was big, strong, and could easily overpower Craig. Not that Craig was a slouch, but he didn’t have the muscle mass his client seemed to under his expensive clothes, and this guy was at least three inches taller than him.  

There was a low mechanical hum, and the curtains began to close over the windows, shutting out the weak light from the setting sun. A second later the television clicked on.  

“Have a seat, Craig,” Dee said, motioning to the overstuffed suede sofa.  

Craig swallowed and nodded even though Dee couldn’t see. He sank down into the plush sofa but kept Dee in his line of sight. The curtains closed completely, and the only light came from the glow of the television and the dim recessed lights in the kitchen. Craig didn’t like this, didn’t like not being able to see his client, not being able to judge his reactions.

“Do you have a favorite genre of film?” his client asked, moving away from the windows and over to sit beside Craig. Craig looked over at Dee but couldn’t really make out any facial features because of the dim lighting, and Dee’s hair was obscuring his face. It didn’t exactly make Craig feel better about this situation.

Buy Link: 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cedar City Author Works To Write Out Child Abuse

Child abuse is never an easy topic to discuss for those who have either been a victim or an abuser. As a society, we publicly abhor child abuse, but also tend to close doors on it, hoping it will go away. Discussions over cups of coffee do not have an impact. Sorry, they don’t. Changing mindsets requires action, not idle chitchat. 
I grew up in a time when abuse wasn’t discussed, when few people wanted to acknowledge it existed. Schools and churches weren’t havens. I know. I tried. 
My story doesn’t come close to those children who have suffered broken bones, hot grease thrown on them, and death. Nonetheless, I’ve been there and carry the emotional scars, as well as a disfigured knuckle. 
The first incident I remember, I was five. I’d been sledding, hit a post and cut my lip. My usual punishment for doing something wrong was my father’s belt on my bare bottom. This time, he used the buckle end. The next day, he took a metal pancake turner to me because I couldn’t sit on the welts and cuts. I became convinced I was a horrible child and deserved whatever was done to me. I tried and tried to be good, but always failed. He once slammed the car door on my hand to prove to me how bad I was. While in grade school, I did something that angered him during a party at our house. He took me to the basement and pummeled me with his fists. Each time I cried out, he hit me harder. He hit me until I quit begging him to stop. That took a long time. He left me cowering and bleeding, wedged between the washer and dryer. The next day I had to move all the snow from one side of the yard to the other and back again. We lived in South Dakota then. There was a lot of snow. 
The abuse wasn’t centered on me. I couldn’t help my mother when he hit her. When my brother and sister were born, I could take the hits intended for them, and did. As a teen, I started to work out on weights. I got into fights, learning from those who could better me. The day finally came when I had the confidence and ability to step between my parents. That was the last time he hit my mother. They divorced shortly after that. 
As with most abused children, I loved my father and only wanted his approval, though I never could do enough to receive it. Even when I enlisted in the army, he scoffed. Finally, when I volunteered to become an EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal [the bomb squad]) specialist and worked with the Secret Service and State Department, his attitude began to change. When I entered law enforcement, he actually told me has proud of me. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. We slowly built the relationship I’d only been able to dream of having with him. He was killed in a car crash a few years later. 
I was and am extremely proud of my father’s professional achievements. He was abused, passed off to relatives, and dropped out of school. He refused to be less than he could be, and climbed up the ranks to become the Labor Relations Officer for a major railroad. After that, he joined the National Transportation Safety Board until his full retirement. 
I don’t fully hold him to blame. He didn’t have any experience beyond the abuse he suffered under. In his mind, that’s how fathers acted. 
One day, when we were enjoying some time just being together, he suddenly said he was sorry.
We both cried. He loved and cherished my sons, providing them with fond memories of their grandfather, and for that, I will always be grateful.

I am honored to post this announcement of what a group of authors have gathered to do in the struggle against child abuse. 
I won’t be posting anything else on this blog for the next week. If you have a story to tell, feel free to share it, by name or anonymously. I’m not a doctor, therapist, or anything other than someone who will listen.

If you need an ear or an understanding shoulder, I’m here.

Cedar City, UT, June 14th, 2012- Local author J.S. Wayne has long wanted to take direct action to help survivors of child abuse. In August of last year, he discovered a way when he founded Writing Out Child Abuse (WOCA), a collaborative charitable effort among authors, literary agents, and other publishing-industry professionals united by one common cause: To provide comfort, aid, safety, and hope to survivors of child abuse, both locally and worldwide.

As WOCA’s inaugural fundraising effort, he brought together authors from a broad range of backgrounds and genres with a submissions call for an anthology. These authors were given some simple parameters: Child abuse had to be the central conflict or motivation in the story and could not be portrayed in a positive light, and the abusers had to pay for their crimes. In due course, Laurie Sanders, editor in chief of Black Velvet Seductions Publishing, expressed an interest in assistingWOCA in publishing the work in progress.

The result is A Light In The Darkness, a WOCAcharity anthology to benefit child abuse prevention and intervention initiatives around the world. Containing stories ranging from historical paranormal fiction to gritty urban fantasy to ripped-from-the-headlines realism, this anthology demonstrates the emotional and physical scars child abuse leaves and the chilling reality of the damage child abuse leaves in its wake. At the same time, every story ends on a hopeful note, a reminder that people can choose to be more than what their environment and circumstances conspired to make them.

Mr. Wayne, the anthology editor, states: “I’m very humbled and honored to have had such talented authors answer the call for this anthology and the cause it represents. As a child abuse survivor myself, I felt that turning my talents to a cause that would help children in my situation and worse was a logical decision. I’m very grateful to Laurie Sanders at Black Velvet Seductions and all the authors who pitched in for this project. It’s a pleasure to have edited and worked with such amazing authors in the service of helping children.”

J.S. Wayne is best known as an author of paranormal erotic romance, and is a multi-published author with Noble Romance Publishing, LLC with numerous poems, short stories, anthologies, and novellas and novels to his credit. Joining him in A Light In The Darknessare Amber Green, Gillian Colbert, and R. Renee Vickers, all established authors, and newcomers Eric Keys and Phoebe Valois.

Mr. Wayne has pledged to divide fifty percent of author proceeds from his first novel, Shadowphoenix: Requiem, between WOCA and local child abuse prevention and intervention charities, as well as twenty percent of author proceeds from his entire backlist of available works. 

About Writing Out Child Abuse
J.S. Wayne conceived of Writing Out Child Abuse after reading a pair of horrifying true-life child abuse stories. Since its inception in August of 2011, WOCA has attracted numerous authors and publishing-industry professionals who all share a common goal: To bring comfort, aid, safety, and hope to survivors of child abuse worldwide. For more information about WOCA or the authors involved, visit their website at


In A Light in the Darkness, the inaugural anthology
from the authors of WOCA, a dark world awaits you.
Spanning centuries of time, encircling the globe, and
running the gamut from eerie historical fiction to gritty
urban fantasy to page-scorching erotic romance, these
authors unflinchingly dissect the horror of child abuse
in all its forms. These authors have taken great pains to
ensure the innocent are assured justice and the guilty
pay for their crimes in the unique fantasy worlds they
have created. Sadly, in real life, this is not always the case.

This book contains scenes of graphic violence and
honest depictions of child abuse. Readers who may
find such material unduly disturbing, objectionable, or
“triggering” are strongly advised not to read it.

Some of the newest and hottest names in fiction have
lent their talents to this collection, including Gillian
Colbert, Amber Green, R. Renee Vickers, Eric Keys,
Phoebe Valois, and J.S. Wayne. All of these authors are
united by one core belief, and with this collection, they
seek to turn their talents to a greater good.

One hundred percent of all proceeds from this
collection are being donated directly to Writing Out
Child Abuse. These proceeds will then be dispersed to
charities whose sole aim is to help survivors of child
abuse all over the globe. To learn more about WOCA or
their fund-raising activities, or to get involved yourself,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Random Musing

I sometimes wonder if we've been thinking outside the box for so long that we've forgotten what was inside to start with.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kantu's Heart - A Time Travel Romantic Suspense Story

Kantu's Heart, part of Decadent Publishing's Western Escape line, became available to readers today.

I hope you enjoy this look at my latest romantic suspense story.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Before the ice age, warrior Kantu lost his tribe, his mate Sanda, and his life to a vicious band of cannibals led by his most powerful enemy. He awakens in a world beyond his comprehension only to find his mate in the arms of her killer. Misery and strength meld into one goal—to win back his heart and kill his enemy.

With a nudge from her gentle guardian, Sandra Harn travels to Freewill, WY, looking for bargains at the annual rummage sale and, hopefully, answers to her mysterious past. Once there, visions of a time before the town existed make her question her sanity. When an exotic stranger with flowing raven hair and a body she can’t resist tries to kill her companion, logic tells her to run, but her heart and body have other ideas.

Buy Links:
Decadent Publishing


A shift in the slight breeze carried a faint hint of animals mixed in a pack. The wrong animals. Tware, sconta, and garrel did not travel together, did not feed or birth their young anywhere close to each other. Kantu jerked his head from side to side and inhaled short bursts of air. The draft rolled and turned as if a child at play in a stream’s mud, and the scent escaped his track. He closed his eyes and slowly faced the four corners of the winds in the hope the beings above and below would give him the wisdom to understand why these plant feeders had gathered without reason. Or had they come together?

At the base of his neck, a ball of heat bore into his body and slithered to his brain where it crumbled and floated through him until lingering once more under the skin on his forehead. With the sensation came the scents. The odd mix of smells dripped like melting icicles into his nose. Kantu quickly layered the traces. Garrel to his left, tware in front, sconta right. A stench remained. Sweat. Man sweat.

Kantu opened his eyes and shifted his gaze to the gray sky rocks where he had left his people…and Sanda...more than a day ago in the caves, in safety while he found a garrel herd’s trail. His tribe weren’t warriors. Man hunters would find the caves and feast on his people, then wear the hides and skins Kantu and his hunters provided the clan. That was the mix of the animals—man hunters clad in their stolen hides and skins. He traced his fingers over the long, bumpy lines from his left shoulder to his right hip. Only he bore the three claw marks of a warrior.

“Sanda!” he screamed to the sky rocks. Kantu gripped his spear sticks and ran.

His father had brought peace between the peoples following the garrel. So much land, so much food. They didn’t need to fight each other. When Kantu became the leader, he hadn’t trained his young in the warrior ways. He taught them to trail the garrel herds, to skin their hides for robes for the cold and white rain, and how to preserve the meat. But his beliefs that tribes needn’t war KevaD 2

wouldn’t protect his people and Sanda, his mate, the one who owned his heart, from man hunters.

Each stride carried him closer. Each blade of knee-high grass placed him one blade nearer. As he ran, his long hair pulled at his scalp. The skins tied to his legs and waist tightened against his body. Night fell across the plain; the moon taunted him with its yellow laugh on the sky rocks still so far beyond. He swallowed his fear, his grief for what he knew lay ahead and ingested the emotions for food to give his muscles the strength to continue. Water coated the grass when the sun rose behind him and warmed the ground. After transferring his spears to one hand, he raked his fingers through the wetness and sucked the liquid from his skin as he continued his trek. Briars appeared at the edge of the plain and tore at his hide leggings. Pain stabbed his body, each breath shredded his chest and throat. Finally, the sky rocks slopes passed under his feet.

He scaled the jagged rocks, gripping the cracks to climb toward the hollow that contained the caves and his people. Staggered, but stark and bitter, wafts of burnt meat passed his nostrils. He sucked in the stench and welcomed it into his head, chest, arms, and legs. The stink wriggled and balled to hate inside him. Pain and exhaustion melded to a need to avenge those killed, butchered, and roasted on spits.

Over a flat of stone, he focused on the overhang of slender trees that marked the twin caves in the hollow below. Traces of burned wood and meat hung like insect clouds in the air. A want to scream his anguish, to release his grief and guilt to the beings of the sky surged through him. But the offer of his life would have to wait until he knew if any below might yet possess breath. He leapt to an outcropping then jumped to a path of dirt that led to the caves.

Three rings of stone contained the shadowy remains of the fires. Blackened strips of flesh clung to charred spits. White and yellow bones rested wherever they had been thrown. Blood painted the rocks his clan members had sat on to share their meals and soaked the small breaks filled with dirt. His hunters and the young, the bodies that hadn’t been cut apart and devoured, lay naked in a pile. But not the females. A flint spark of hope pulled Kantu to the caves. But for the beds of hides, the shelters were empty. The women had been taken. Whether Kantu’s Heart 3

for food or to birth the man hunters’ own young didn’t matter. The women of Kantu’s people, and Sanda, still lived.

Kantu walked the edges of the hollow, staring at the rocks and dirt for signs. The man hunters had eaten here. They had taken their time, maybe even slept on the beds after they shoved their seed into the women. He forced back the hate. Hate could lead his vengeance, but he needed his hunter calm to find this human pack. He would slaughter them as they had his people. Then he could grieve. He kept his eyes from the stack of men he hunted with, laughed with, and the children he had held, fed, and clothed. Their memory would be the power in his arms and legs, the death in his weapons. Until then, Kantu couldn’t afford to allow his mind to be trapped in the past.

A glint of white in a rock’s shadow caught his eye. He jogged to the spot. A fang as long as his middle finger. Only Sanda wore a necklace of fangs. It had been his father’s gift to her the day she and Kantu vowed their lives to each other. The fangs had been passed from father to father, carried from the times of old when stories of cats with teeth the length of a child’s arm were shared around the cook fires.

Sanda had left him a sign, a path to follow.

Kantu gripped his spears and studied the breaks in the distance, the curves of the stone. The man hunters had chosen a smooth path worn by waters that ran after the white rain turned to tears. At the crooked peak, a half day’s journey, the eaters of men would turn their shoulders toward the sunrise and leave the sky rocks for the dirt and grass. Their trail would speak to Kantu. And Sanda would help him by encouraging the clan’s women to slow their pace.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Zee Monodee on Writing and Living on a Tropical Island

Hi, all. KevaD here.
Zee Monodee is a truly nice person and wonderful writer.
She also lives on a tropical island.
No, I don't hate her. I'm just a tad bit envious and hoping the earth shifts its axis to make her island one of the poles.

Until that unlikely event, here's Zee and her forty degree winters.

Oh, yeah....She's also discussing her latest books, which are really, really good. =)

                                Hi everyone!
Wonderful to be here today! DA’s been nice enough to let me hop here, and he had a strange request when he accepted to host my guest post – Did I believe whether spring weather was more conducive to writing than icy winter?
This got me thinking, and also analyzing how my reality, and consequently the weather, will be a lot different from most of you US folks. 
You see, I live on a tropical island called Mauritius, located in the southern Indian Ocean. Before you start cursing me for living in a scenic paradise, let me just tell you that life on a tropical island is not always the postcard sunny, warm, and uplifting weather most people associate with the tropics. If you live on the coast (and are super-rich to be able to afford a house there and be able to pay the taxes!), that might be the case (but anyway, here – you need to so filthy rich to even be able to have a house on the beach that money is not a problem for you. And we all know, money isn’t happiness but it makes things easier, lol!).
But if you’re like me, one of the 1.3 million inhabitants simply toiling away to get on with day to day life, you most probably happen to live inland, in the big towns on the upper plateaus. There’s also a slew of villages scattered on the lower plains, but the biggest concentration of the population lives in urban areas. And urban areas mean upper plateaus, where, the farther up you go, the more you move into clouds and rain catchment areas.
Where I live, the highest inhabited point inland, a town called Curepipe – well, let’s just say they could’ve shot Twilight here. No vampires would’ve sparkled. We almost always have rain, wind, mist. Occasionally, in summer, we can get bright, sunny days. Temps are on the lower side, topping at 85F in summer, dropping as low as the mid-40F in winter. Not terribly cold, by you guys’ icy standards, but winter weather here seeps in, because our houses are built to withstand heat, not cold.
Each one of summer and winter brings with it a load of adaptation. The summer heat, since we’re so not used to it, drains much of our energy and make our legs feel as heavy as lead. Winter is so cold and drafty your bones hurt, and all you wanna do is curl up and sleep. Hibernate, in other words.
Neither extreme is exactly conducive to invite your muse to let loose on your WIP. But the trick is, if you’re a writer it’s your job to write. Sun, rain, summer, winter, heat, cold – it’s all a day’s work for you.
But that being said, I do find the muse and inspiration more cooperative when the weather is between those extremes. For example, I wrote Before The Morning (Corpus Brides: Book Two) between the months of September to early December. This is pretty much spring, and early summer – the brunt of the heat happens in late December, January, and February. About 105,000 words in 3 months for that one.
Comparatively, Once Upon A Stormy Night, my latest release and part of the 1NightStand line at Decadent Publishing, is a short story just shy of 11,000 words. It took me close to 4 weeks to finish that one. Why, when it’s so short and should’ve been a piece of cake? It’s because I wrote this one in the late weeks of December, during a heat wave, on days when I considered it a feat if I could string two thoughts together in a way that makes sense.
So, yes – I suppose the weather does influence a writer’s output. But still, nothing quite beats the order to “park your arse in the chair and write!” *grin*
Thanks for letting me ramble here today, DA! Dear readers, I hope I haven’t made you mad now.
From Mauritius with love,
Zee Monodee
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture
Zee is an author who grew up on a fence - on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.
From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing - her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.
Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is married,mum to a tween son, & stepmum to a teenage lad. 

Buy Links:
BEFORE THE MORNING (Corpus Brides: Book 2): An action/adventure, romantic suspense tale on the backdrop of a clandestine espionage agency - come read the story of Rayne, a spy who leaves that life in the name of love, & Ash, the man who changes her world!
WALKING THE EDGE (Corpus Brides: Book 1): Currently FREE - A romantic suspense novel, wherein an amnesiac woman is on the quest for her forgotten memory... Escape from London all the way to Marseille, France, and discover the secrets, deceit, danger, & the powerful love, she uncovers during her search!
ONCE UPON A STORMY NIGHT (1NightStand): On the paradise island of Mauritius, British billionaire Lars Rutherford isn’t looking for a woman, & corporate law executive Simmi Moyer isn’t looking for a man. But when a matchmaker pairs them together on a blind date, both face open doors towards a future they refused to contemplate... until now. 

Contact Links:
Facebook & Goodreads: Zee Monodee
Twitter: @ZeeMonodee

Friday, June 1, 2012

How Many POVs Should A Writer Use?

First of all, for crime and police drama readers, we’re not talking about Privately Owned Vehicle as POV is known in those genres and the law enforcement world. 

The POV we’re discussing is Point of View, or, basically, through which character’s eyes we are seeing the story unfold. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re always in the same character’s head. The POV can switch from character to character, though most of the time a writer limits the storytelling to one or two characters. 

Crime drama and suspense/thriller authors frequently utilize a first person POV (I did this, I did that) for the hero/heroine, and a third person POV (he did this, he did that) for the antagonist/bad guy. That way, we the readers are riding shotgun with the detective or whoever as he works to stop the bad guy, and yet we are privy to the criminal’s motives and actions, thereby adding an air of intrigue in that we have information the hero doesn’t. And, quite frankly, that technique adds considerably to the book’s length. Bet you never thought about that aspect. Crime authors will also inject POV into a character about to be murdered so we readers become connected to the victim (how she volunteers at the humane society, cares for her little brother after their parents died in a plane crash, ties a blue ribbon in her hair because her fiancĂ©’s favorite color is blue, drinks her morning coffee from her grandmother’s favorite cup, etc) and root that much harder for the bad guy to get his in the end. 

But, what about romance? 

The easy answer is it doesn’t matter, yet, for some, it will matter. 

Readers accustomed to third person POV – Jack and Jill, he did that, she did this – aren’t always comfortable with “Hi, I’m Joanie, and I think Clay, the bagger at the grocery store, is hot, and I wonder if he likes me.” “Clay looked at the blonde asking for triple bags and wondered if the drapes matched the carpet.” That said, most readers will come along for the ride if the author does what we should be doing every time we sit down to write a story – write the best damn story we can. 

However, romance authors like to infuse information because it’s critical we readers fall in love with the two characters destined to be together. We need to know as many details about them as possible, without drowning in those details of course. So, first person POV, if not done well, can come off a bit like an Alcoholics Anonymous dating site:

“Hi, I’m Joanie, a five-four blonde, well brunette in my high school picture but don’t tell Clay that LOL, and I enjoy kittens, walks in the park, and unicorns.”


Joanie clomped into the bathroom and shoved aside the porcelain unicorn her mother had given her the day of the plane crash. Her kitten Lucky followed along like he did every morning. “Damn it,” she cursed at the brunette roots under her glistening blonde hair. 

Yeah, I know. The examples are extreme, but hopefully I made my point that we authors need to know what we’re doing before we start to write the story, and not experiment on the readers. Readers aren’t lab rats. 

If a romance author wants to try a different writing style, that’s great. By all means, go for it. Just make sure you research the new style. In other words, read romance books utilizing the style, then, practice, practice, practice, before beginning that next story. If an author doesn’t do that, it is almost a guarantee the author will question what he or she is doing and switch back to what the author knows best, or start asking other authors what he or she should do. Generally, when that happens, a great story is doomed to the “I’ll get back to it another day” pile, and won’t ever see the light of day. 

Back to the original question of how many POVs should be used in a story. Well, as many as necessary to tell the story. It’s as simple and complicated as that. While we readers may want to know what Joanie and Clay are thinking as Joanie proceeds through the checkout line, it probably isn’t necessary that we know (or care) that the cashier is wishing she hadn’t dropped her panties in the tanning both. Unless…. Unless a portion of the story is unfolding through the cashier’s eyes as she tries to bring Joanie and Clay together. In that case, the cashier is an integral cog in the tale. Otherwise, her thoughts are irrelevant data we readers have to sort through. 

If an author is writing about two couples, then a minimum of four POVs might be appropriate. However, be careful. We readers can only absorb so much information before we begin to confuse details. Was it Joanie who had the kitten named Lucky, and Jeanie has the dog named Plucky? Did Clay break his arm falling from a tree and not when he was run over by Trey delivering newspapers? 

And just why did the cashier want her vejayjay tanned?

The Erotic Escapades Anthology - Coming soon from ERAuthors


My short story "One Night Minstrels" is my contribution to the ERAuthors' anthology Erotic Escapades.
ERAuthors is a a critiquing and writing group I'm very proud to be a member of.

Here's a brief excerpt from Chapter One:

No one had seen him come, no one would see him go. Gaines pulled in his lips and sighed. Hell, no one would even remember his name. The gig had been unexpected. A fill in spot for a band whose only singer came down with laryngitis. He’d happened on the club when he stepped out of a truck that had picked him up hitchhiking. Another sip of Jack Daniels camouflaged inside the coffee cup burned his throat. He lit a smoke, allowing the tar and nicotine to claw into the tatters of a voice that could carry a tune – once upon a time. A long breath pushed the smoke between his teeth.
Brushing back his graying hair, he watched the cloud rise to the plank ceiling. There had been a day…. A morose chuckle rattled in his chest. There had been a day when he believed his fame would rise. But like the smoke, it disappeared into sour, booze laden air too. No roadies, no managers, nobody to find him work. He snorted. Shit. No band anymore. He took another hit off the cigarette before grinding it out under his boot toe and settling onto the wooden stool.

One more sip of his road companion, the one friend that remained, and Gaines strained his eyes to view the tables in the hazy backwater bar. When he’d played his first song, the dump had been filled with customers. Standing room only. Plaid shirted men in cowboy hats and farmer’s caps had lined the walls. Bared navel women had gyrated on the dance floor under the men’s watchful eyes. Now…. Now the chairs sat empty at the round tables. Warped paneling covered the walls instead of bodies. Empty beer bottles and overflowing ashtrays provided the only evidence he’d played to a packed house.

In the blue glow of a neon beer light, the bartender scrubbed the bar at the far end of the room.

Gaines raised his chin. A swell of the old days squared his shoulders. He leaned into the microphone atop a chrome stand. “I had ‘em tonight, huh?” His voice echoed in the desolation. “Damn good show.”

The bartender shrugged and tossed some bottles into a bin. Glass clacked and cracked. “We’ve had a lot better crowds. Stayed longer and spent more too. Guess we got what we paid for. Nothin’ much.” Then he slogged out of the room.

The insult bulldozed over him. Gaines bit back the loneliness and reality the bartender had spoken the truth. Half the place had hit the exits before the end of his first set. His jaw quivered. “Damn good show,” he mumbled, and swiped a tear.

“You didn’t play Whispers,” a woman’s voice rasped.

Gaines dragged his palms over his eyes and stared into the gloom. “Who’s there?”