February 27, 2016

Snippet from Rainbow Snippets–Authors, join us!

This is from Lovers, sequel to Partners, due out March 6. Pre-order now. Long-time partners on the LA police force, Rider and Nicco have taken their relationship to a new level.

Rider’s stomach sank. He hadn’t thought that far ahead, but Nicco was right. He propped his head on one hand, and brought his other to rest on Nicco’s flat belly. “I don’t want another partner.”

“Neither do I.”

“But I don’t want to give this up, either.” Rider played with the dark hairs beneath Nicco’s navel.

“Yeah. Me, neither.”

“So…what do we do?” Rider asked.

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February 21, 2016

For the Facebook group Rainbow Snippets, where every week authors share snippets of their work.

This week’s snippet is from Love Will Find a Way, released today. Weeks before their wedding, Aiden finds out that his fiance has been hiding something from him for years.

“Bryar called me,” Eve told (Aiden) when he padded barefoot into the kitchen. She handed him a cup of coffee, and he nodded his thanks. Wrapping his hands around the cup, he leaned against the counter and breathed in the coffee’s aroma. His head ached, and his eyes still felt swollen. He took a long sip, the caffeine waking nerves deadened by sleep and misery.

“What did he say?”

“He wanted to make sure you were here. He was worried about you. I told him he was an ass for doing this to you, and he agreed.”

“Yes, that’s something all three of us can agree on.” Aiden stared into his cup.

2/21 Facebook Still Sucks

Still off author Facebook, but I can now get on real facebook. (It’s possible that I always could–the sign-ons were getting mixed up on my computer.) So, Facebook wants documentation that I am Rebecca James. Other than a snap of a piece of a book contract where it gives my real name along with my pseud, I don’t know how I can do that. Not sure they’ll accept that, though. The problem with only using an author page on Facebook (connected to a private profile in your own name) is that you can’t do all the stuff you can on a profile–connect with people and groups, etc.

2/20 Facebook Sucks

So…Facebook kicked me off today for no reason that I know of. It said for “security reasons” and then wanted me to identify my “friends.” Sorry, but as an author, I can’t match my f’lists pictures to their names! I tried several times, using clues such as the authors name on a book cover, etc, but many of them were faces I didn’t know or just random, half-dressed models!

So they locked me off that for an hour. I went to my “real” Facebook and tried, and I’ve been kicked off there, too. (I didn’t even think they were linked?) And they want a pic of my driver’s license that shows my name and birth date, too. Well, my cell phone evidently hates me now, because it won’t send the picture to my email so I can access it on my computer! All this, and I have a deadline in a week! I know I could still be writing, but I’m so stressed! Anyone have a clue what’s going on or how to fix it?

 

excerpt from Firefly Ranch

      Bishop grew very still, a wary look settling over his face. Suddenly, the sounds of cows shifting in the straw and rhythmically chewing their cud seemed incredibly loud around them.
      “What are you talking about?” Bishop’s gaze bored into Carver, and Carver wondered if it had been a mistake to bring it up. But he had to know.
      “Word is that Sutter made a pass at you, and you turned him down. That’s why he didn’t give you the job.”
      “Where did you hear that?”
      “It doesn’t matter where I heard it. All I really care about is that you get over yourself and get rid of the attitude before I have to take action.”
      “Is that a threat?” Bishop narrowed his eyes.
      “What?” Carver frowned.
      “Are you threatening me? Because I’m gay. Like maybe you don’t want a fag working under you, so if I don’t bend and scrape to you, you’ll have me fired.”
      “No!” Carver couldn’t help it, the laugh bubbled up of its own accord; because if Bishop only knew him, he’d realize how ridiculous that accusation was. Turns out that laughing was the wrong thing to do; before Carver could blink, Bishop pulled back his fist and slammed it into Carver’s jaw, knocking him to the ground.
      The easiest and probably smartest thing to do at that point would be to explain from where he was sprawled in the straw, but Carver had never been known to go with the easiest and smartest thing. Surging forward, he tackled Bishop by the legs, sending him toppling backward. Before he could right himself, Carver was on him.
      “Get off!” Bishop struggled, but Carver not only had the advantage of being slightly larger than Bishop, but also of having grown up on a ranch defending himself against bullies while trying to prove himself. Still, Bishop was no weakling, and there was a tussle before Carver finally pinned him. What he hadn’t expected was the way his body would react to being pressed against Bishop’s. His erection could cut steel.
      Carver watched Bishop’s eyes dilate, the green almost disappearing altogether. He smelled of sweat and spice, and suddenly Carver just wanted to bury his face in the man’s neck. Bishop Guy might be an ass, but he was also sexy as hell, and there seemed to be a fine line between annoyance and sexual frustration for Carver where he was concerned. Eyes on the wide mouth with lush lips, Carver pushed his hips forward, grinding against Bishop’s groin, delighting in an answering hardness there; but when Carver shifted his gaze from Bishop’s mouth to his eyes, the cold venom he saw there was enough to make him ease up his hold and sit back. The cock might be saying ‘yes’, but the eyes were definitely saying ‘no.’
      “I was not laughing at you,” Carver said. “I was laughing … with you.”
      “What the hell?” Bishop tried to buck Carver off him, but Carver held firm, thighs tightening on narrow hips.
      “Would you just listen? I’m not about to laugh at you for preferring men when I feel the same way. Understand?”
      “Tell me something I can’t already feel through your jeans.” Bishop glared up at Carver, lips pink and slightly open, breath coming in audible huffs. Carver couldn’t stop himself; he leaned in and kissed those lips.

 

excerpt from Love Lost, Love Found

      Dane dreamed he was kissing Sayer, body warm against his and mouth soft and pliable. He woke to his alarm beeping. Reluctantly, he threw back the covers and got out of bed, wishing he could go back to the dream, which seemed so real, he could still feel the phantom of Sayer’s lips on his.
      On his way into the bathroom, Dane ran into Sayer coming down the hall, a smile on his lips until his gaze moved down Dane’s body to the crotch of his thin cotton pants, at which point his mouth fell open.
      Dane glanced down, mortified to see he was sporting a sizable erection. His face heated.
      “I was coming to see if your alarm went off. Dinner’s waiting.” Sayer turned and walked back down the hall.
      Dane ducked into the bathroom and shut the door, leaning against it for a moment.
      “Holy shit.”
      He turned to the sink and splashed his face with cold water. When his cock had settled, he peed, flushed, and washed his hands.
      By the time he entered the kitchen, he was more or less composed.
      “Did you try out the art supplies?” Dane took a seat at the table, which was already set.
      “Yeah, I couldn’t resist.” Sayer brought the last plate to the table, and they sat down.
      “Smells wonderful.” Dane looked appreciatively at the spread.
      Sayer had baked the chicken Dane had had in the refrigerator, and along with that, he’d cooked carrots, asparagus, and the few new potatoes Dane had had in the pantry. As they ate, Dane’s eyes kept going to Sayer’s face. He looked good — rested and happy. The blue shirt he wore really brought out the color of his eyes, and Dane couldn’t help thinking about the dream and the kiss. His cock stirred in his pants, and Dane was glad that this time it was hidden by the table.
      “Busy shift?” Sayer cut into his potato.
      “An eighteen-wheeler caught fire on the interstate.”
      “Anyone hurt?”
      “Fortunately, no. We got there before things got too bad, and the driver was already out.”
      “Must be pretty exciting, what you do.”
      “Most of the time it’s pretty dull, actually. We sit around the firehouse and play cards, eat, work out, and sleep. I have a couple of books I keep there. That’s about it. Unless there’s a call, of course.”
      “You said your co-workers gave you a hard time about me?”
      “Yeah. They were just worried about me taking home a stranger.” Dane speared a carrot and popped it into his mouth.
      “Do they know you’re gay?” Sayer tilted his head, eyes curious.
      “I told them after Liz died. I couldn’t lie anymore. That’s also when I came out to my family.”
      “How did that go?”
      “Let’s just say we don’t talk anymore.”
      “I’m sorry.”
      “It’s okay.” Dane felt Sayer looking at him and raised his eyes, but although Sayer seemed to want to say something, he remained silent. The air charged between them, and Dane suddenly didn’t feel hungry anymore. For food, anyway.
      He kept eating, though, and when they were both finished, he stood to clear the table.
      “My turn for dish duty.”
      Sayer walked onto the back porch, and from the window Dane watched him sit down at the easel. As Dane scrubbed each dish before stacking it in the small dish washer, he thought about the look they’d exchanged during dinner. He hadn’t imagined the interest in the other man’s eyes, and he hadn’t imagined the way he’d wanted to cross the distance between them and …
      Dane took a deep breath.

                       Down, boy. Take it easy.

 

excerpt from Partners

Nicco couldn’t help but be glad Alex was leaving. A hundred girls could look at Rider with interest, and Nicco would be fine with it, but watching Alex do it set Nicco’s teeth on edge. As yet, Nicco wasn’t up for exploring the reasons for that.

When they’d finished their meal, they cleaned up the remains and drifted back into the living room. “I think I’ll head for the shower,” Nicco said, feeling tired, grimy, and irritable.

”I’ll be gone when you get out, Nicco,” Rider said. “Talk to you tomorrow.”

Nicco patted Rider’s shoulder in reply and went into the bathroom, pulling off his shirt and throwing it into the corner. He could hear Rider and Alex talking softly on the other side of the wall. Unable to resist, Nicco gently pulled the door open a crack and looked through. He could plainly see the two men standing by the front door, talking. Rider put a hand on Alex’s shoulder, probably telling him to take care on his trip. Alex smiled … Nicco could see his face clearly from this vantage point. Then, as Nicco watched, the younger man suddenly leaned in, hand curling around Rider’s neck, and kissed him right on the mouth.

Nicco jerked, almost giving his spying away. He wanted to move back from the door, but found himself rooted where he stood, waiting to see what Rider’s reaction would be. Unimaginably, but undeniably, Rider leaned into Alex’s embrace … actually wrapped his arms around the younger man and kissed him back.

Kissed him. Open-mouthed and full of tongue, exactly the way Nicco had seen Rider kissing women on many occasions in the past.

If an elephant wearing a tutu had entered the bathroom through the small window over the shower, Nicco couldn’t have been more blown away.

He heard the front door close and hurried to turn on the shower. Standing under the spray, chest heaving as though he’d been running, Nicco put his hands to his head. What was that? What the hell was that?

Sure, Nicco and Rider teased, maybe even flirted, dancing around each other in that way they had; but it was something they’d always done and just a part of who they were together. At least, that’s what Nicco had thought. Now he didn’t know anymore. How could Rider be interested in men and Nicco not know about it?

It took all Nicco’s concentration to wash off properly, his mind returning again and again to the kiss he’d witnessed until he finally switched the water on cold to alleviate the undeniable erection that he’d gotten from thinking about it. Pressing his face to the cool tile, he took several deep breaths and willed himself to calm down.

It hurt, dammit! It hurt to see Rider that close with another man, and Nicco didn’t know what that meant.

Nicco did his best to act natural when he left the bathroom and said goodnight to Alex. Confused and heart-sick, he headed for bed, only to lay in the darkness, eyes wide open.

excerpt from First Omega

A noise behind Josiah made him turn. A man stood in the doorway, filling it with his large frame, and Josiah instinctively knew that this was the pack alpha. At five-foot-eight, Josiah felt dwarfed by the man, who topped six feet by at least five inches. He was quite a few years older than Josiah’s nineteen, nicely muscular, and long legged. His dark hair was long and pulled back with a leather thong. If Josiah had to describe him, he’d have to say devastatingly sexy, although he didn’t think the Congress would appreciate that going into his notes.

All the werewolves Josiah had seen so far wore the same loose pants that tied at the waist as well as button-down shirts, and although the weather was cold and there evidently was no electricity in the entire compound, they all walked around in bare feet. Josiah himself had on a jacket over his long-sleeved shirt, as well as jeans and sturdy boots, and he was still slightly chilly.

“Pack Alpha.” Xavier stepped forward. “This is the human.”

The pack alpha strode into the room, and Josiah put out his hand to shake.

“Josiah Kimbrel. Thank you for allowing me to enter your pack and observe.”

“River.” The man looked impressed that Josiah was willing to shake his hand. He had the most amazing eyes, Josiah couldn’t help but notice as River clasped Josiah’s hand, squeezing it firmly.

“We don’t use surnames here,” River said. “Welcome to River Wolf Pack.”

Josiah nodded, still studying the man’s eyes. They reminded him of a bottle his uncle once had sitting on the window sill that on sunny days shone a light, clear green. The alpha’s eyes were very expressive, framed with long lashes and dark arching brows.

Josiah was a little unsettled by just how striking the guy was. River didn’t make Josiah feel like he wanted to curl up on the couch with him, as Danny had done when Josiah met him, and he didn’t exactly intimidate him as Xavier, Malcolm, and Gavin did. Instead, River made Josiah very aware of every part of himself, as though River had flipped a switch and turned Josiah fully on.

When the pack alpha released his hand, Josiah surreptitiously flexed it, fingers a little sore from the hard grip. It reminded Josiah not to let his guard down; as human as the werewolves seemed, they were definitely not human.

“You can relax, Josiah,” River said. “We mean you no harm.”

“I know that.” Josiah straightened his shoulders defiantly. He was there as ambassador for the humans, after all. “You signed an agreement.”

River smiled and nodded, but it didn’t help ease Josiah’s mind any. The man exuded strength and vitality and a wildness that was almost frightening. Josiah tore his eyes away from River and looked about, wondering which room was his. It would be nice to set down the heavy backpack and settle in; the trip had been long and rough.

“I suppose you’d like to see where you’ll be sleeping,” River said, stepping aside to gesture toward the front door. “Your bungalow is nearby; we’ll take you there now. Gavin will be staying with you.”

So Josiah wouldn’t be staying with the pack alpha. He supposed that was for the best. The man was damned distracting. Josiah glanced at Gavin, unsure if he liked the idea of the surly alpha sharing a bungalow with him.

“It’s safest this way,” River said, evidently sensing Josiah’s concern. “Although an alpha, Gavin is mated and wouldn’t attempt to mount you.”

“What do you mean?” Josiah asked, alarmed. He looked to Xavier and Malcolm, who appeared amused.

“Well, you are a very beautiful young man.” River’s eyes moved over Josiah from the top of his head to the tips of his toes in a way that felt oddly like a physical touch, and Josiah held in a reactionary shiver.

Josiah wasn’t sure how he felt about being called beautiful. He might be attractive, sure, but beautiful made him sound like a woman.

“Those of us who are unmated have needs,” River continued. “Weres are highly sexual creatures; but the fact that Gavin is already mated means he won’t pose a threat to you. He’ll be there for your protection.”

Josiah glanced at Gavin again, not too sure about that, given the barely concealed animosity Josiah could feel drifting off him. Gavin gave Josiah a leer.

“I assure you, you have nothing to worry about.” River started for the door.

Josiah followed, cheeks warm.

The guest bungalow was also built into a tree, although closer to the ground than the pack alpha’s house. It was small and clean with a view of the valley from one side and the dense forest from the other. If Josiah stood on his tiptoes on the back balcony, he could just see the shimmering waters of the Cascade River past the trees.

River led Josiah through a comfortable sitting room with a large fireplace, past a small kitchen, to the master suite, which was dominated by a king-sized bed and large dresser. The room had its own fireplace, which Josiah was thankful for, as the weather was chilly and there was no heating system.

Gavin would be staying in a smaller room at the back of the house, and Josiah was relieved the other man wasn’t going to be sleeping close by, no matter what River had said. Overall, Josiah was impressed. His uncle had always told him the weres weren’t the uncivilized animals so many people made them out to be, and he had been right. Josiah looked forward to jotting down his first impressions for the Congress.

“We really aren’t animals, you know,” River said, and for one crazy moment, Josiah wondered if the pack alpha could read his mind.

excerpt from Love Will Find a Way

      “What is it you said you each did for a living?” Eve asked, giving Aiden a chance to make notes on his tablet.
      “Vick’s a stock broker, and I’m a flight attendant for Friendly Air.”
      Aiden looked up.
      “My boyfriend’s a pilot for Friendly Air. Bryar Cabot?”
      “Your boyfriend?” Ted frowned slightly.
      “Fiancé, actually.” Aiden couldn’t help but smile and twist the ring about his finger.
      “Tall, dark, and handsome?” Ted asked.
      “Hey!” Vick playfully smacked Ted’s arm with his free hand.
      Aiden nodded, and to his amusement, so did Eve. Eve always said if Bryar wasn’t gay, she would go for him in a heartbeat. Aiden supposed there was something slightly bad-boy about Bryar, particularly when he wore his black leather jacket. Aiden thought of that morning when Bryar had talked so dirty to him while fucking him hard and fast, and Aiden’s cock twitched in his pants.
      “Yeah, I know him. I just …” Ted’s confusion began to register in Aiden’s mind, and he leaned forward.
      ‘What?” Aiden asked. He felt Eve’s eyes on him.
      “Nothing,” Ted shook his head. “I didn’t realize Cabot was gay, that’s all. It just shocked me a bit.”
      “What made you assume he was straight?” Eve asked as Aiden’s heart began to hammer. This was it — the guy was going to say that Bryar was having an affair. That’s why Bryar looked distant sometimes, and that’s why he didn’t want to invite anyone he knew to the wedding. In the back of Aiden’s mind, he realized that was ridiculous — Aiden completely trusted Bryar, and besides … if Ted was surprised that Bryar was gay, it meant that Bryar would have to be having an affair with a woman, and Aiden knew that would never happen. Bryar was not in the least attracted to the female persuasion.
      “Just never gave off the vibe.” Ted shrugged. “He even flirts with the ladies.”
      A rock settled in Aiden’s stomach. Eve looked dubious.
      “No more than flirting?” she asked, obviously determined to get information out of the man before he left and she had to deal with the fallout. She was probably right; Aiden was too stunned to think of a thing to say, but later he was sure his mind would be working double-time to put it all together.
      “I’ve never seen him in a clinch with one, if that’s what you mean.”
      “Never heard he’d spent a layover with a woman?” Eve pressed, and Aiden saw Vick move uncomfortably in his seat, obviously disliking the suddenly serious tone the conversation had taken, or perhaps disappointed that the spotlight was off his wedding.
                Ted shook his head, and Aiden let out the breath he’d been holding.

 

excerpt from Lovers

“We need to talk,” Nicco said.

“Nothing to talk about.” Rider feigned a casual shrug. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“You’re pissed off.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Like hell.” Nicco leaned out of his seat into Rider’s space. “I know when you’re pissed off, and right now you’re near boiling point.”

Rider pushed Nicco away.

“Back off. I said I wasn’t mad. I get it; we can’t tell your folks or anybody else.”

Nicco crossed his arms over his chest, muscles bulging beneath the short sleeves of his black T-shirt. Typically hot blooded, he’d stuffed his heavy jacket in the overhead compartment before they sat down.

“Ry,” Nicco said. “Come on.”

Rider tried to visualize them walking into Nicco’s childhood home and announcing they were a couple. It was ludicrous. In fact, Nicco acknowledging their relationship anywhere outside their own apartments took some stretch of the imagination. For the first time, Rider let it sink in that by opening this door between him and Nicco, he’d effectively sentenced himself to a life of hiding. And that wasn’t something he was willing to do. Nicco was still staring at him with that know-it-all look he got when he thought Rider was being obstinate.

“I get it, okay?” Rider barked. “As far as your family’s concerned, there’s nothing between us.”

Nicco’s mouth fell open. “Since when has there ever been nothing between us, you dickhead? My folks know you’re the best friend and partner I could ever have — Lord knows I’ve told them often enough. Ben gives us enough ribbing about how touchy-feely we are with each other, and Ma loves that we’re so close.”

“Yeah, I’m good enough to be your best friend and partner, but not good enough to be your lover.” Rider wished he could just let it go, but he couldn’t help himself; the words were tumbling out of his heart, completely disconnected from his brain. It was unfair; he would be proud for the whole world to know he was in love with Nicco, but Nicco would never be anything but ashamed, because he was brought up to think that being gay was disgusting and dirty. Sure, Nicco knew better than that, but it was hard to overcome years of conditioning.

“Rider.” Nicco rubbed a hand over his face. “You know my old man. And my brother –”

“Ben isn’t a homophobe,” Rider cut in. “Have you forgotten his best friend is gay?”

“How could I forget?” Nicco’s voice held an unmistakable edge, but his jealousy at the mention of Alex was only a temporary balm to Rider’s feelings.

“My dad would not take it well,” Nicco said. “And we can’t ruin Thanksgiving for the entire family.”

Nicholas Santori was a tough, seasoned ex-cop with a military background who would probably flip his shit if Nicco came out as bisexual. Added to that, the holidays were big events for the Santoris. Rider knew all this, but he still had trouble giving up the dream.

“I get it. I really do,” Rider said softly. He stared at his hands. “It’s just — I don’t want to pretend, Nic. This may be easy for you, but it’s not easy for me.”

Nicco took one of Rider’s hands in his. “It’s fucking hard for me. You’ve been the most important person in my life for years, but I never realized until recently that we could be even closer than we were. You’re everything to me, you ass, whether the rest of the world knows it or not.” He reached out and tilted Rider’s face with a finger. Nicco’s eyes were dark with emotion, and as he leaned over to kiss Rider, Rider melted into him.

The softness of the kiss and all the feelings Nicco put behind it drowned Rider in emotion, and he reached up, pulling Nicco closer, fingers delving into his curls. The sound of someone clearing their throat across the aisle brought them apart. For a moment, Rider had forgotten where they were, and it was obvious from the look on Nicco’s face that he had, too. Nicco leaned back and turned to look out the window, face flaming.