Flash Fiction Monday – No Rest for a Cowboy

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No Rest for a Cowboy

Danny’s breath steamed in the icy January air as he hefted another bale of hay and tossed it carefully over the edge of the hay loft. Panting, he stopped for a minute. His back ached from the strain and his cold, cramped fingers were sore from the twine digging in.

 Thunder rumbled through the air and Danny froze. Thunder? In January? That seemed unlikely, but if it wasn’t thunder, it was probably  …fuuuuuck

He ran to the window and saw over almost two dozen horses streaming out of the paddock and into the un-fenced portion of the ranch. He nearly shit himself. All that work. All that money. Wild horses attempting to return to the wild.

He thundered down the rickety steps and tore through the barn door, hollering for Abraham to come help. Danny was sure that their plan to buy mustangs to train for barrel racing and pleasure riding was about to go up in a cloud of dust. They’d spent every last penny to buy the ranch and the horses. If they lost the mustangs they were fucked.

Abraham caught up to him and grabbed his arm. “Hey, calm down, Danny. You’re just spooking them more.”

Danny froze and nodded tightly. “How are we going to get them back though, Abe?”

“Let’s grab some grain and a couple of lead ropes. We’ll have to try to lure them back with it, but I have a plan.”

An hour and a half later, wrung out from fear and adrenaline, Danny collapsed against his boyfriend’s chest. “I can’t believe that worked.”

“I told you.”

Danny gripped his boyfriend’s face and brought their foreheads together. Relief made him weak-kneed. “We could have lost all of the mustangs. But we didn’t.” Danny drew back to look Abraham in the eye. “Thank you. Without your cool head  …”

Abraham smiled and kissed him. “Now we know not to leave the gate unlatched.”

Danny groaned. “That was all me.”

“Hey, we’re a team, right?” A nose nudged Danny’s arm and he glanced over to see Lady, the chestnut mare who had established herself as leader of the herd.

Danny let go of Abe to rub behind her ears. “And it’s a good thing you’re in charge of these yahoos.” He gestured toward the rest of the horses who were crowding closer, searching for more grain. For a while, it had looked like utter chaos as the horses galloped, tails and manes streaming in the wind. They were gorgeous, no question about it, but terrifying as well and Danny had felt like he couldn’t breathe as he prayed none of the horses or him and Abe would be injured.

Abe’s plan to round them up had involved bribing Lady with grain to get close enough to throw a lead rope around her neck and walk her back into the paddock. The rest of the herd had reluctantly followed, the few stragglers coaxed in with a little grain.

They spent a little while checking the horses over, making sure none of them had injured their hooves or legs, but everyone appeared sound. Abe gave Marigold a pat on the rump. “Back to work, I guess.”

Danny groaned. “I just want to go take a long hot soak in the tub.”

“You have to finish getting some hay down and I have to check the fences.” Abe grinned and draped an arm over his shoulders. “No rest for a cowboy, I’m afraid.


Sorry I’ve been so intermittent about writing and posting flash fics. I was glad to be able to join in this week!

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Three Shots is Live

“Three Shots”, my steamy new MMF erotic romance, is live everywhere!

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Reeve Jenkins is an amateur musician playing in a dive bar. Grant McGuire is a man drowning his sorrows in beer after a painful breakup. When Reeve charms a reluctant Grant into coming home with him, they begin a three-year friendship with some very nice benefits.

 But when the two gorgeous men walk into Hawk Point Tavern—the bar Rachael Bradford owns—one evening and greet each other with a kiss, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a steamy night and maybe something more for the trio.

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Why I March

I haven’t come out of my writing cave a whole lot lately.

What I AM coming out for is the Women’s March this weekend. My best friend and I took a road trip to Washington D.C.. Tomorrow, on January 21, 2017, we’ll join hundreds of thousands of people there, and more across the world, to say that we don’t agree with the current direction our country is heading.

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You can call it a protest against Trump if you want but it’s about a lot more than just him. It’s a message to everyone, across every political party. It’s about standing up for what I believe in. Letting my voice be heard.

This isn’t sour grapes about an election. It’s an opportunity to unequivocally say that I don’t support the leaders who are trying to dismantle the policies that protect people’s health and safety.

For women.

For LGBTQ people.

For minorities.

For the disabled.

For anyone who has been marginalized or made vulnerable.

This is for the people who can’t speak for themselves.

I have a voice and I need to use it.

So tomorrow I will march. Going forward, I will hold our legislators accountable. I will not sit idly by.

I will not be silenced.


If you want to learn more about the mission and values of the march as a whole, please click here.  https://www.womensmarch.com/mission/

If you want to join us, there are sister marches happening across the world please click here. https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters

New Release – Partners (Italian Edition)

I’ve been fairly quiet about what I’m working on lately, but I’ve had some wonderfully exciting things happening. I will update you more on what’s to come later, but one of those exciting things is the translation of “Partners” into Italian!

Last spring I worked with Francy e Alex Translation to translate the first book in the “Equals” series into Italian. The release of “Compromessi” went incredibly well and I happily agreed to translate “Partners” as well. Francesca and Alessandra have been lovely to work with and I am so pleased to announce that the second book, “Partners” is now available!

*waves to my Italian readers*

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All Romance

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(Note: I will update this post with the buy links for B&N and Kobo once they go live there)

Flash Fiction Monday – Temptation

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“Get down from there, Sebastian,” I begged. Fear made my throat tight and quaver-y. But he didn’t appear to hear me. He was a dark figure, silhouetted against the sky. The fading sun tinged everything with a strange, surreal glow.

Sebastian wavered, almost losing his balance for a moment before he righted himself. His arms rose higher behind him, looking almost like wings as he walked along the fallen tree, so high up off the ground. Snapped off during a heavy storm, the tree had come to rest on the branches of another tree and made a bridge.

We walked these woods every weekend. Bullied and teased at school. Ignored or picked on at home, neither of us had anywhere to go but these woods. And no one to turn to but each other.

The moment Sebastian had seen the tree-bridge, he’d darted ahead of me and scrambled up to explore. Now, my heart sat in my throat, heavy with fear. Sebastian had been so vague lately. So distant and strange. More reckless than usual.

What if he  … but no, he wouldn’t? Would he?

“Please,” I begged again.

He turned to face me and closed his eyes, looking like someone about to dive from a cliff into the ocean. Only there was no ocean below. Just cold, hard earth and too far to fall in between. I held my breath. He crept forward, his scuffed sneakers reaching the edge of the fallen tree.

I whimpered, helpless terror making my voice mute, but he must have heard me because his eyes opened. Even at that distance I could see the blankness on his face.  He shook his head and seemed to snap out of the daze he’d been in.

“Come down, Sebastian, please,” I croaked.

He gave me a vague, fleeting smile, but turned and walked slowly across the fallen tree and shimmied down the trunk to the ground. I caught him in my arms the moment his feet touched the earth.

I squeezed him hard, too hard probably, but I was so relieved to see him on safe, flat ground. “Don’t fucking do that to me again,” I pleaded. “Please, you’re all I have. Don’t scare me like that.”

He mumbled something against my shoulder. I pulled back and he looked me dazedly, like he wasn’t sure what had happened. The look in his blue eyes was still vague and distant, but he nodded at me. I gripped his hand and led him away, but he turned back and stared at the tree.

“You’re all I have,” I repeated and tugged him further from temptation.

I didn’t know if I was enough to anchor him to this earth anymore. And without Sebastian, I had nothing.


That took a more serious tone than I originally planned, but

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

Photography – The Golden Hour #VantagePoint

A few weeks ago, I was approached by someone from Light.co about my photography. They’re a camera company with a new technology that sounds quite interesting, but since I don’t actually have a photography blog, I was rather surprised they’d stumbled across it.

I primarily think of myself as a writer, but photography really is my second passion. When they asked if I’d like to take part in their #VantagePoint project it was such an interesting project I said yes.

The challenge was to pick my favorite location to shoot and share my favorite photo from that location and tell a bit about why I picked that location and photo.

I debated what my favorite location was for quite a while. I have a deep love for Stratford, Ontario and have taken hundreds of photos of both the charming little town and the surrounding countryside. Nova Scotia was also a favorite place because of the incredible rocky streams and waterfalls. The Great Lakes were also a contender because being near them is truly my happy place. But in the end, I chose my parents’ property.

They own fifty acres, most of which is fields and woods. It’s a really lovely contrast to the areas near the house, which are beautifully landscaped. When they bought the property from my grandma and built the house twenty-five years ago, it was a bare field with woods ringing the outskirts. They’ve planted trees (with an emphasis on native species) and made beautiful vegetable and flower gardens. The house is tucked back on an angle and the driveway curves around to reach it. As you pull in the driveway you pass some clusters of trees. To the left and right are fields with wild grasses. Next, you see the small barn and two horses grazing in the fenced in pasture. Next is the vegetable garden. And then you see the house and garage. Although only a few decades old, the house seems much older. Flower gardens ring the house and in the height of summer, it’s absolutely stunning.

The variety of subjects I can shoot on that property is what makes it so appealing. I can shoot both the wild fields and cultivated flowers. I can find an endless array of textures and shapes to do close-up shots. The area changes drastically throughout the seasons, and there’s always something interesting to point my camera at.

It was difficult to choose my favorite photo, but the one I finally settled on is a great example of what the property looks like in late summer as the sun begins to set. Photographers refer to that time as the “golden hour” when the light is softer and warmer-toned. It gives everyone and everything a magical glow.

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This particular photo was taken a few years ago. Friends met me at my parents’ house and we had a bonfire. If I remember right, it was to celebrate the engagement of friends of ours. It wasn’t a planned shoot, but I happened to grab my camera and took a handful of photos of the light, the sunset, and then the bonfire.

Although the golden hour makes everything look more beautiful, it can actually be quite difficult to capture especially as it starts to wane.  The photo can be washed out or too warm in tone, with no cooler tone to balance it out. The shadows can also be tricky. When I caught a glimpse of the sun peeking through the trees and highlighting the leaves that were just beginning to turn yellow, I knew I needed to photograph it. But capturing that was difficult.

I took a handful of shots that didn’t quite manage to get the right balance. It wasn’t until I stepped further to one side and only caught the edge of the sun in the frame that I got that perfect blend of warm light and interesting shadow and texture.

I shot it using my Canon Rebel XTi, which I’ve owned for maybe 7-8 years (I had a Canon Rebel G before that when I shot with film). I used my favorite lens, a Canon EF-S 55-250mm zoom.  It’s a really versatile lens and I find I use it most when I am shooting a wide variety of subjects. In this particular case, I was zoomed all the way out to 55mm, but if I’d wanted a close up shot of the light through the leaves of the tree I could have zoomed in to get a very tight shot. I absolutely love that flexibility.

In the end, I picked the photo because it perfectly captures the mood of that evening and the feel of the property. Sometimes it takes dozens or hundreds of pictures to get that perfect shot. And when you’re racing against the setting sun to capture the light it adds an extra challenge.

But getting that perfect shot makes it totally worth it.

Note: If you’re curious to learn more about light.co’s new camera, stop by their site. It uses a really interesting new technology. One drawback of my Canon is the size and their camera does promise DSLR-technology in a much smaller package. I am definitely intrigued by the idea.


Disclaimer: I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post.  I just found the project and camera interesting and enjoyed the chance to discuss my photography.

 

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Monday – Earning His Keep

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I whined softly as the door opened. The familiar figure appeared in the opening, staring down at me. My eyes narrowed to slits and I felt the hackles on my back rise. Silhouetted against the yellow light that streamed from the filthy fixture behind him, all I could make out was his outline. But I’d recognize the skinny limbs and protruding gut anywhere. Not to mention the voice.

“Who’s a good boy?” he coaxed. The tone was oily and condescending.

I growled low in my throat and he flinched. He tried to cover it with an awkward laugh and a moment later the wet splat of meat landed on the steps ahead of me.

“Eat up, you mangy beast,” he snarled. “Tomorrow’s the big day. You’re going to finally earn your keep.”

I snarled and the door slammed shut behind him, leaving me in near-darkness. My eyes adjusted after a moment and the faint strip of light under the door and the glow of streetlights through the filthy basement windows was enough to help me find my dinner.

Not that I needed it to find food; my nose led me right to the dripping hunk of steak. I lunged forward, the chain connected to the manacle on my ankle pulling me up tight, but the meat had landed within my reach. It was hardly fresh and the cold from the refrigeration was off-putting, but it was sustenance. I scarfed it down in a few bites, my tongue lapping up any last trace of blood off the grimy stairs. I’d learned to overcome my squeamishness once hunger got the best of me.

The man’s words lingered in my mind. Tomorrow was indeed a big day, but he’d be sorely disappointed by the outcome.

I trotted down the stairs, the metallic thud of the heavy chain dragging behind me, a constant reminder of my incarceration. It was galling. He’d never have been able to subdue a fully grown werewolf in its prime if I hadn’t been injured when he found me.

He’d had no idea what I was; all he saw was a large, ferocious dog who could easily snap a smaller dog in two. So I’d been trapped, transported, and held hostage to take part in a dog fighting ring. I snarled at the indignity.

But I’d spent the past few weeks biding my time, healing and waiting for the next full moon.  Being injured had trapped me in wolf form, but tomorrow when I was taken to the ring to fight it wouldn’t be man’s best friend I’d rip to shreds.

It would be the man who’d captured me and all of his associates.

My claws clicked loudly on the cement floors, ticking away the seconds until the bloodbath. I pictured sinking my teeth into his gut, tearing out his innards, watching while he died a slow, painful death.  I could hear the crunch of his bones under my teeth, splintering into small white shards. The smell and taste of hot, fresh blood on my tongue and sliding thickly, richly down my throat  …

Oh yes, tomorrow would indeed be a very big day.


Well that was fun!  Happy Halloween, everyone. I went to a fun Halloween party on Saturday with friends and tonight I’ll be trick-or-treating with my best friend and her family. Hope you have a wonderful day, if you celebrate! I’d love to hear about your plans.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

 

Flash Fiction Monday – And Owen Makes Three

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“You two are ridiculous.” Byron’s tone held a faint note of mingled annoyance and fondness.

“You love us.” Wade sat up and propped his hands on the concrete patio as he glanced up at his boyfriend. Bryon’s lanky good looks were set off by ripped jeans and a threadbare T-shirt. He was too damn good looking to be behind the camera, but he’d never liked having his picture taken. “Did you get a good shot?”

“Yes.” Byron settled the lens cap over the end of the zoom lens. “It’s adorable. And ridiculous.”

Wade turned to Owen and held out a fist. “We are adorable.” The cat head-butted his knuckles in agreement.

Byron chuckled. “I can’t get over how much that cat seems to understand. He’s so well-trained.”

The look Owen threw him was so disgusted Wade was grateful that Byron missed it. Shit, maybe he and Owen were going to have to be a bit more careful in the future.

“Cats are smart,” he said and held a hand out to Byron, who effortlessly pulled him to his feet.

“I know that.” Byron’s hands settled on his ass and squeezed, pulling their bodies closer together. “It’s just uncanny sometimes.”

Uncanny is right, Wade thought guiltily as Byron kissed him. If only he knew …

The kiss turned hot and needy and Wade’s thoughts were swept away in a haze of lust as Byron dragged him into the house and spread him out on the bed.

After, when they were spent and sweaty and sprawled on the bed in a post-sex haze that Byron brought up the subject again. “Look at that.” He pointed to Owen who sat on the dresser staring at them. “I would swear that cat is jealous. He’s always watching.”

Wade swallowed and tried to keep his voice light. “Come on, pets always do that. I had an ex whose cat used to lay on its belly and stare at us through the crack under the door when we had sex.”

“It’s weird.” Byron sounded vaguely disgruntled like he always did when they discussed this. “You know I like Owen, but the way he looks at me sometimes … I dunno. I would have sworn he was looking at my cock and licking his lips the other day.”

A snort escaped before Wade could stop it. “Seriously?”

“Yes!” Byron laughed. “It’s unnerving. I swear one of these days I’m going to find out he’s actually a shape-shifter or something.”

Wade flipped onto his stomach and stared at the wall. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

“Hey, what is it? You went all tense on me.”Byron’s hand slid across his back. “If the jokes about Owen are making you uncomfortable I’ll lay off. I know you get touchy about that.”

Wade glanced over at Owen who was still perched on the dresser, watching them intently. Wade gazed into his eyes, needing the reassurance that Owen was okay with him finally confessing the truth to Byron. Owen squeezed his eyes together tightly and gave him a quick, almost imperceptible nod.

Wade took a deep breath and let out with a shudder before he turned to Byron. “It’s not the jokes. But uh, there’s something I haven’t been honest about.”

“Okay?” Byron sounded apprehensive, and who could blame him.

“You know how I talked about the guy I was dating before you?”

“Tyler? Yeah.”

“Well, that wasn’t the whole truth. His last name was Tyler.” Byron blinked at him and a moment later the muffled thud of a cat hitting the bed. “His full name was Owen Tyler.”

Wade gently ran a hand down Owen’s soft back. “He disappeared one night and the police said Owen just vanished with a trace. For a while, they even thought I had something to do with it.A few days after the man disappeared, this beat-up tabby appeared at my doorstep. It took the cat a while to heal and even longer for me to accept the truth, but …”

Byron stared at him, open-mouthed.

“I know, it’s crazy,” Wade said weakly. “I can’t explain what happened. Owen—now that he’s a cat—and I found a way we could sort of communicate using those little magnetic refrigerator letters. He bats them around on the floor to make words when he really needs to tell me something. But the best we can figure is that he was cursed.”

“You’re telling me this whole time you’ve been in a relationship with me, you’ve still been living with your ex?” Byron gestured toward the cat. “Who is a fucking cat.”

“Yes?” Wade said. “I didn’t know how to tell you.”

Byron stared at Owen with an inscrutable expression. Wade could almost swear they were silently communicating like he and Owen did all the time.

“So,” Byron said, after what felt like hours, “Did you and Owen ever discuss polyamory? Because I think I may be able to help undo the curse, but I’m not losing the man I love in the process.”


This went over the usual word count, but it was difficult to set up and then conclude in 500 words. Big thanks to Helena for helping me figure out how to wrap it up.

Unfortunately, this has turned into another plot bunny for me. When am I ever going to get time to finish writing these stories??

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday -Something New

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“How do you feel?” Raul asked.

Angelo burrowed closer, his cheek pressed against the soft black cotton of Raul’s T-shirt. “Drunk.”  His eyelids felt heavy and there was a strange and wonderful lightness in his head. Tension? Stress? He couldn’t remember what those things were. “High maybe? I dunno. Gooood.”

The rumble of Raul’s laugh under his ear was as warm and comforting as his hug. “It was okay then?”

“Okay?” Angelo wanted to sit upright and give Raul an incredulous look, but he was too content to move. “That was  … perfect. More than I expected.” He rubbed his cheek against Raul’s chest like a cat.

“I was so fucking scared. Despite the classes and all the research, I was scared shitless to actually hit you.”

“I know.” Angelo rubbed circles over Raul’s heart with his palm. That was why he’d trusted Raul to tie him up and flog him. There was no one more meticulous than Raul. He’d been so hesitant at first to bring it up with his partner. How did you tell a guy you wanted him to hit you? It wasn’t like there was anything wrong with their sex life. It was already amazing. Why mess with it? But the thought, the need, had nagged at him until he’d finally caved. To his relief, Raul had listened to him and told him he’d consider it.

It had taken months to get from that conversation to this point, because Raul never did anything halfway. Once he decided he wanted to try it, he’d thrown himself into it with the fervor of a starving man. Online research, classes, getting involved with the community, he’d taken part in it all. Angelo had been starting to worry that Raul was using “research” as an excuse to not actually act on the fantasies they’d discussed. Angelo worried too that Raul was just doing it to please him.

“Did you  … did you like it, or at least not hate it?” he asked hesitantly. A part of him just wanted to drift in the sleepy bliss that kept threatening to overtake him, but he had to know. Because he wanted this again, but not if it didn’t make Raul happy too.

Raul shifted and took Angelo’s hand and settled it over the hard length in his shorts. “What do you think?”


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I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – No Joke

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Zach paused and nodded toward the sign on the chain link fence inside of the research facility. “Ya gotta wonder what made them put that up there. Somebody’s idea of a joke or what?”

DO NOT GIVE THE BISON PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES it read.

Gary answered with a non-committal grunt like he always did when Zach made stupid ass comments.  But the moment his back was turned, Gary shuddered and leaned on his rake. It was no joke. He’d been there that night when they’d run the experiment.

He’d seen things. Horrible things. Things that haunted his nightmares.

Those were no ordinary bison. They were demonic beats. Like minotaurs, but larger. He’d seen the red glow of their eyes and the way they’d transformed into lustful half-men.

“Just don’t forget what it says.” His voice was hoarse and scratchy.

Zach turned back to him with a puzzled frown. “What was that?”

“The sign. Don’t every fucking forget it.” He carefully raked the old, soiled straw toward the wheelbarrow. “It’s no joke, man.”


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!