Short Stories

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Tonight or Else

Bittersweet Dreams
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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The One That Counts

2011 Daily Dose | First Time for Everything
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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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Mickey Koshare—aka Catman—and Jayson Midlake are friends and coworkers at Denver’s Fresco! day spa. Despite the revolving door of loser boyfriends in Jayson’s life, Mickey is afraid to risk their friendship by offering something more—until actor Raney Maroney, in town for a charity event, walks into the spa for a trim. Captivated by Jayson, Raney invites him to attend the event as his date. It will take some plain talking from some unexpected sources to get Catman and Jayson to see what’s so obvious to everyone else – that they were meant for each other.

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A Coda Valentine’s Day Story

Matt Richards has never given much thought to Valentine’s Day, but when his lover of almost three years, Jared Thomas, hints that he feels unappreciated, Matt realizes he needs to do something. He’s determined to make this Valentine’s Day special, but nothing is going to turn out the way Matt plans.

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Trying to finish his latest story before it's time to leave on vacation, David snaps at his lover Peter for interrupting his train of thought just when the words are flowing.  He feels even more guilty when he finds Peter has prepared a special dinner for him, complete with a Sweetest Day cake – and David doesn’t even consider Sweetest Day a real holiday.  But after nearly twenty years together, David knows just how to make things up to Peter….

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Desert Crossing: A Different Perspective

Desert Crossing
Bittersweet Dreams

A companion piece to Desert Crossing

After hitching a ride with Callum across the desert, Dan is finding it more difficult than he'd imagined it would be to send the young man on his way.

When Callum’s mother asks him to visit for her birthday, she unwittingly comes to his rescue. Callum is a broken and unhappy man, emotionally abused by his lover to the point of feeling worthless, alone, and without hope. But during his trip, while passing through the Salt Lake Desert, Callum picks up a hitchhiker named Danny, who shows him that life is full of wonder and blessings. He’s on the verge of believing in himself again, but can he really make a new life for himself by jumping from the arms of one man into another’s?

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.


Purchase the novella Desert Crossing from dreamspinnerpress.com and also receive this free short story companion piece.

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Sins of the Heart

Bittersweet Dreams
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When the spark in his relationship fizzles, Dominic thinks he's doing the right thing by breaking it off with his lover, Brody, but he never expected his good boy to go so horribly bad. Consumed with guilt, Dom confronts Brody about his self-destructive behavior, only to find himself second-guessing his decision to leave him, and now Dom will have to sort out his feelings for Brody before fate ties his hands.

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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Turned against his will, newly made vampire Luc is still adjusting to his condition with the help of his lover, Arrigo. Hoping the Christmas holidays will lift his spirits, Luc is stunned when an even more ancient vampire brings news of a possible cure that might restore his humanity. But Arrigo has no interest in giving up immortality, leaving Luc with a decision that could tear the two of them apart.

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Better with Sprinkles

2010 Advent Calendar | Naughty or Nice
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College student Tom Molina isn’t too interested when his roommate Derek tries to convince him to leave his books and help out with the campus LGBTA Center’s annual Christmas cookie sale. But Derek has an ace in the hole to score the center Tom’s grandmother's sugar cookie recipe: fellow volunteer Jeanette’s cousin just happens to be the organic chemistry T.A. Tom’s been dreaming about. Now Tom just has to hope Isaac is as interested in baking cookies as he is in chemistry and HIV awareness.

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Comfort and Joy

2010 Advent Calendar | Naughty or Nice
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Still grieving after losing his lover, Randy Mallory hopes to find comfort in achieving their dream of starting a family. It’s a tough proposition under the best of circumstances, but even more so since he’s adopting a child from a foreign country as a single gay parent. Randy is sure that little Bahdri will bring joy to his life, but he hadn’t bargained on meeting the loving and lovely Ben Ballard at the orphanage in India. Why did the first man to spark his interest in all the months since Jason’s death have to live on the opposite side of the earth?

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