Short Stories

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Leon

2011 Advent Calendar | I'll Be Home for Christmas

After growing up poor in rural West Virginia, Jase McCoy doesn’t have a single good thought for Christmas… until he dreams of a mysterious stranger who follows him home and treats him to a night of magical passion designed to convince Jase of the joys possible in the holiday season.

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Let It Snow

2011 Advent Calendar | I'll Be Home for Christmas

Since he’s housesitting a gorgeous inn over the holidays, Garrett invites his single friends to help keep Christmas merry. Then the snow hits and his friends can’t make it up as planned. Alone on Christmas Eve, Garrett makes a private Christmas wish for Ethan to see him as more than a best friend and a willing sub to spank. When the snow stops, will Garrett’s hopeful wishes come true?

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The Vanguard’s Gift

2011 Advent Calendar | I'll Be Home for Christmas

Crispus Birchmount takes his responsibility to guard the gateway to the elven kingdom of Ashdale very seriously. But while the post itself is an honor, Crispus hates the human world—especially during the humans’ Christmas season when his elven ancestry is made into a mockery for the benefit of children! When he’s assigned to protect a young human, not even an altercation with a mall Santa can stop Crispus from locating Michel LeVandre, a unique man who awakens desires within Crispus he thought were long dead. The new distraction proves disastrous when enemy forces conspire to take the gate, but now Crispus has a human he really cares about and a renewed lust for life, and he’ll use the vanguard’s gift to defend Michel, the gate, and maybe the world.

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Winter Rescue

2011 Advent Calendar | I'll Be Home for Christmas

Now that Curt Knutzen’s family has found their footing with his sexuality, he’s finally coming home for Christmas. He almost doesn’t make it, though, placing his plans—and his life—in real danger until Oscar Nylund bails his car out of a snowdrift. Oscar is in the same straits Curt was three years ago, but with Curt’s open heart—and his family’s acceptance of him and Oscar—they may be able to rescue each other for longer than just the holidays.

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Between Love and Honor

Bittersweet Dreams

It’s 1914 and David looks up from his Post Office counter to see the man of his dreams. Carl is everything he’s ever wanted, but Australia has laws against ‘deviants’ and the two men must be circumspect. When World War I breaks out, Carl tries to enlist but is rejected. People see his delicate features and stature and assume he’s ‘less than a man’. He’s scorned for not doing his duty while David is applauded for serving his country at home. Public condemnation turns violent, and Carl and David are torn between love and honor.

<p><strong>A Bittersweet Dreams title</strong>: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.</p>

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Lioqi and Vaedo have been friends – and sometime lovers – since meeting six years ago at an induction ceremony for imperial army recruits. Now guards at the royal palace, Vaedo is the first to notice the beauty of the emperor’s new concubine, but it is Lioqi who puts their lives in peril in an act of thoughtless bravery. Though Sanui has been trained since birth to please other men, it seems a great injustice to the concubine that a man should die for a good deed. But are honor, loyalty, or even love enough to stand against the emperor’s unbreakable law?

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Tonight or Else

Bittersweet Dreams

Every Cornishman comes into the world with the soul-deep knowledge that his land straddles the narrow shallows between the solid rocks of English practicality and the ocean of myth that lies beyond. Jamie Tregellis has no time for old men’s tales; working at The Lamb Inn keeps him too busy even to pine for his lost love, Will Andrewartha, who’d split Jamie’s heart in two when he left to become a sailor. Will promised to come back for him, but Jamie had long since given up hope – until one night he hears a noise in the stableyard….

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Second Edition
Previously published by Alpheratz Press, 2010.

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Papi

Bittersweet Dreams

Kyle Lang just got out of a marriage that lasted too goddamned long. He knew when he married her that he shouldn’t have. For the last few years, he’s been haunted by daydreams of the perfect feel of another man’s skin. The problem is, the bar scene isn’t working so well for him. When Kyle picks up Jesse, an eighteen-year-old illegal who turns tricks for cash, he finally finds something to scratch that desperate itch. For Jesse, who is only gay-for-pay to support his sister, it's the first time he’s ever been aroused by another man's touch. The consequences will change his whole world.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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Until now, Drew and Garrett have been playing at dominance, but things have to change. Drew is already losing himself to the implacable will of his new Master and they have yet to make anything official. That’s what this weekend is supposed to be about—Garrett making Drew his—unless the memories from Garrett’s past are too strong to let him meet Drew’s ultimatum of the real thing or nothing at all.

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When Bobby Kincaid is walking the slackline—a narrow, flat webbed rope stretched between two anchor points—he offers a silent gift of beauty to the air and sky.  Making peace with the world is one reason he’s drawn to the seastacks off Scotland’s Orkney Islands.  Colin Rose, the Olympic skier who pushed Bobby away after a horrific accident two years earlier, is another.  But Bobby and Colin will each need to heal before they can return to that space between earth and heaven where they both can fly.

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Haji's Exile

Bittersweet Dreams

Nathan has cared for horses all his life, but Haji is the first he’ll train on his own. When the Arabian stallion arrives at Bitter Coffee Ranch, Nathan thinks he is the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And then he lays eyes on Haji’s handler, Yousef. Nathan has much to learn about horses, about pride, and about love, but with the ranch’s hopes riding on Haji, he’ll also learn that all things have their price.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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Assurance

2011 Daily Dose | First Time for Everything

Merrick and his boyfriend Roberto have been together long enough that they know all about each others’ pasts. But there’s a vast world of difference between knowing and experiencing it firsthand. When the two are visiting LA for Roberto’s ex-boyfriend Paul’s art opening, a mostly unplanned threesome takes on some BDSM elements Merrick hadn’t quite prepared for. With Roberto’s and Paul’s loving hands to guide him, Merrick begins to explore a new erotic world.

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Crossroads in Blood

Partnership in Blood
2011 Daily Dose | First Time for Everything

A Partnership in Blood Story

Facing the Germans outside Amiens, Denis was prepared for the possibility he wouldn't survive the battle. Shot and left for dead, he didn't expect to open his eyes to a vampire offering him a chance at a different existence. Now newly turned, the hunger for blood grows insistent, but an instinct Denis doesn’t understand presses him to make the right choice for feeding, not the most expedient one. Which will Noël prove to be: a temporary succor or the companion of a lifetime?

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First Impressions

2011 Daily Dose | First Time for Everything

After an accidental brush with fame while working a high-profile serial murder case, forensic anthropologist Dr. David Holt is sent on a lecture junket to pass the time until media interest in his work dies down. More tired and grouchy than a true misanthrope, his patience is stretched to the breaking point by the end of the circuit. Then David meets Matthew Carter, who stumbles into his lecture both late and disheveled.  However, the young man’s determination to befriend his idol and his enthusiasm for the subject reminds David that sometimes life sends good things your way when you least expect them.

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Hairy, Horny, and Over Here

2011 Daily Dose | First Time for Everything

Photographer Ethan is pretty sure there’s no such thing as a jackalope—every bunny he’s ever seen has been a cute little furry thing, not a dangerous, horned beastie. But somehow he finds himself dragged into Parkhurst Forest to look for them by big, tough hunter Logan, who drives Ethan mad with continual comments about his “daintiness.” When the jackalopes lure Logan away, however, Ethan is left to the mercies of an escaped convict from the local prison. Rescue comes from an unexpected source—and Ethan discovers the true reason for Logan's personal remarks!

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The One That Counts

2011 Daily Dose | First Time for Everything

When Rob Gentner’s father dies, his partner David sees an opportunity to shed some light on a past Rob rarely talks about. Standing in front of the family-owned Laundromat that was a major part of his upbringing, Rob finally shares the story of the summer of his first year of college, the beginning of his self-acceptance and life as a gay man. Finally David can understand the circumstances that made Rob the man he loves today—and they both decide that while first times will always be remembered, the last times are the ones that count.

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When Derek surprises his partner Bram with an authentic kilt in his family’s tartan pattern as an anniversary present, the results are even better than he expected. Bram looks fantastic in the full dress outfit, and the special dinner Derek has planned becomes only the prelude to an incredible evening with his Highland lover.

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Jaramie loves good music in all its forms, and that’s the lure Tommy uses to tempt his shy roommate to the city’s hottest new dance club. Tommy just conveniently forgets to mention the club rule that everyone has to dance during their first visit, and it can’t be with whoever brought them. Jaramie’s ready to cut and run until the club’s equally hot doorman, Smoky, convinces him to take a chance and follow his lead—on and off the dance floor.

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