Right Here, Right Now Anthology – The Soldier Next Door – Pre-Order

RightHereRightNow_PromoSquare_PreOrder.png

Pre-Order from Pride’s Website

I am excited to share that I am taking part in the “Right Here, Right Now” anthology that Pride Publishing is releasing. I contributed a short story called “The Soldier Next Door”.

Release Schedule:

Pre-Order – August 22, 2017

Release – October 3, 2017

Summary:

Sometimes, love is right next door.

All twenty-seven-year-old Travis Schultz is supposed to do is keep an eye on the kid next door for a few weeks while his parents are out of town. Eighteen-year-old Owen Wheeler has other plans. Newly graduated, with plans to enlist in the Army, Owen wants to get laid before he ships out and he’s had a crush on Travis for years.

The age difference and the responsibility he’s been entrusted with make Travis hesitant, but the attraction is too much to deny. When the casual one-night stand turns into something more, Travis has no idea how to tell Owen how he feels. He misses his opportunity before Owen leaves and is left at home with a broken heart when Owen cuts off all contact.

When they meet again years later, Owen is in the midst of recovery from being injured in the line of duty and Travis will have to decide if he can forgive Owen and try again.

Reader Advisory: This book contains brief mentions of PTSD and war-related injuries.

Excerpt:

“So, what’s up, Owen? What do you want to talk to me about?”

“You’re gay, right?” Owen rocked back and forth from heel to toe.

Travis blinked at him. “Uhh, yeah. I’ve been out since college.” A thought occurred to him. “Ohhh, is that what you wanted to talk to me about? If you’re not sure or have questions about how to come out, I will try to help. I know it can be a little overwhelming but—”

Owen snorted. “I am gay but I’ve been out since I was fifteen and I’m a member of the school’s gay-straight alliance. I’m good there.” He crossed the room and took a seat near Travis.

“Oh, okay.” Jesus, it amazed him how brave kids were these days. A lot had changed in nine years. But if it isn’t fear of coming out, what the hell does Owen need to talk to me about?

Owen nodded. “That’s not why I’m here.”

“Okay?”

Owen slid close enough that Travis could feel the heat from his thigh. “So. Look. I’m just going to lay this all out there. I’m gay and I’ve had a couple of boyfriends but we mostly just fooled around. I want to take that next step, ya know? I don’t want to go to war and die a virgin. You’re really hot and I’ve had fun hanging out with you the past week. It seemed like you were kinda checking me out so…what do you think? Will you help me out, man?”

Travis gaped at him for a moment as the words tumbled through his brain. “Wait. You want me to do what?”

Owen didn’t answer. Instead, he wrapped a hand around the back of Travis’ neck and pulled him in for a kiss. It took Travis a moment to register what was happening. Owen teased the seam of his lips with his tongue.

For one brief, stupid moment, Travis responded, then reality hit him like a bucket of Arctic water and he pushed Owen away. “Wait, wait, wait. This is a bad idea.”


In addition to my story, there are short stories from five other Pride Authors!

‘Undercover’ by Lily Harlem

When two alpha males collide, sparks will fly.

Samuel’s job is to scrutinize the store’s customers and make sure everyone stays on the right side of the law. One sexy guy in particular has him not only hot under the collar, but filling his dreams and starring in his wildest fantasies. Yet, he can’t pluck up the courage to spark a conversation and find out if those lingering looks mean what he thinks they do.

Until, that is, a misdemeanor occurs giving him the chance to haul hot bloke into his office. The only trouble is, Samuel soon realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew. This man isn’t going to take a reprimand lying down, no matter how much attraction is fizzing between them.

There’s only one thing for it and that’s to allow the heat between them to reach combustion point—even if it means switching, pushing boundaries and bending the rules. Undercover or not, burning desire and scorching lust can’t be ignored.
‘Never the Groom’ by Samantha Cayto

A cold night turns unexpectedly hot.

Ian Cabot has led a shy, sheltered life ever since a plane accident killed his mother and left him emotionally and physically scarred. His father’s marriage of convenience forces him into the magnetic orbit of his soon-to-be cousin by marriage. The man who meets him at the airport is just the kind of commanding man he hopes will rid him of his virginity. Too bad anything between them is out of bounds.

James Reynolds has no time or patience for his cousin’s social-climbing marriage, and even less for taking a detour to deal with the pampered son of her fiancé. As a hard-working and dedicated family man, he agrees to pick Ian up and get him to the wedding. The pretty college boy who hides half his face is not what he is expecting and proves to be disturbingly tempting.

Whatever discipline Ian and James have to keep their relationship strictly familial is tested by an unseasonable blizzard and the sexual heat they can’t ignore.

‘The Matchmakert’ by Alexa Milne

Sometimes you need a little push.

Josh is a carer and Simon is his employer. Each has a secret they keep from each other, but not from the other person in their lives.

Tom may only be a teenager, but he can see the attraction between his father and Josh. Can he bring them together and create a happy ever after for all three of them?
‘Throwaway’ by Jon Keys

Garrett escaped the death threat from his family, but the Texas Panhandle is where he may be at the end of any hope.

After being thrown out by his parents, Garrett’s planned escape ended when the last of his money landed him in a tiny West Texas town with no more resources than a backpack with his entire worldly goods and the change in his pocket. He huddles behind a dumpster to avoid the broiling noonday heat. As the sun moves below its apex, one of the workers from the convenience store tosses a few bags of food past its prime into the dumpster and Garrett is soon surrounded by the scent. His hunger overcomes his caution and Garrett takes advantage of a distraction to slip into the trash and snag the food. Garrett finds himself threatened by a group of locals when he discovers the bags hold more than stale burritos.

Trevor, the manager of the regional farmers’ co-op, rescues him before he goes to jail. A day later, after a hot shower, fresh clothes and a full stomach, Garrett is excited to have a possible solution to his problem.

When pieces disappear from an unusual collection of jewelry, Garrett and Trevor team up to find the actual thief.
‘The Coach’ by Thom Collins

A routine assignment unlocks the secrets of his past.

News man Josh Holleran knows very little about sport and prefers to cover the crime desk. When his editor sends him to interview representatives from the local rugby team, Josh has little enthusiasm.

The Woodbridge Warriors are celebrating, having qualified for a national competition and it’s a significant story for the rural area, but Josh knows nothing about the game. His interest increases massively when he meets Cole Jansen, the hunky team coach. Cole is a big, beefy guy in his mid-thirties, exactly Josh’s type.

There’s something very familiar about him. Josh can’t shake the feeling that they’ve met before. Soon he realizes exactly who the coach is and how he knows him. A shameful secret from Josh’s past is about to be revealed and he’ll have to overcome his regret to stand a chance of happiness in the future.


Click on the button below to pre-order the “Right Here, Right Now” anthology!Pridelogo

Advertisements

Wake General Release!

wake_outnow.jpg

 

“Wake”–Book one in our two-part “Tidal” series–is now available for general release.

Grab your copy here on Amazon now!


Here’s a little teaser.

“’m I doin’ the right thing?” Carter slurred, while Riley lowered him onto the bed. Riley froze with Carter’s arm locked around his neck and their faces inches apart. God, how many times have we been in this position? Riley wondered. He reached up, unwound his friend’s arm and sat back, but left his hand pressed against the front of Carter’s shirt for a moment, enjoying the heat of his body underneath.

“What do you mean?” he asked hoarsely.

He started to pull away, but Carter reached up and covered Riley’s hand with his own, his long fingers holding it in place.

“Mar-marrying Kate,” Carter said thickly, hazel eyes dazed and glassy. They appeared especially dark right then, more brown than their usual greenish hue. Riley breathed shallowly, the words heavy on his tongue. He wanted so badly to tell him no, make him doubt what he was doing. The sight of Carter sprawled on his bed and the feel of their clasped hands made a spot in Riley’s chest ache. All night he’d been fighting his feelings for Carter, struggling to be happy for his friend, trying not to let anyone see his secret.

Here in private, Carter was giving him the chance to speak up. Perhaps Carter was ambivalent on some level about marrying Kate. He knew Carter loved her, but maybe some part of him was as conflicted as Riley. Riley could feel the words on his tongue and knew his friend well enough to suspect that if Riley told him he shouldn’t marry Kate, he wouldn’t go through with it the following day. But wasn’t that delaying the inevitable? Because Carter would marry. Eventually he’d give in to the pressure of his family’s expectations and marry someone.

Why not Kate? His toast to the couple at the rehearsal dinner earlier had been true. There was no woman in the world better for Carter than Kate. As much as Riley wanted to return to the times when they’d been in college—when they’d been friends who lived together and shared a woman between them—they could never go back. The vague, nebulous want inside Riley never seemed to coalesce into something concrete. He wanted Carter, but what did that mean? And what did he have to offer him?

Riley stared at his friend, watching Carter’s unfocused, almost hopeful gaze. Riley felt the beat of Carter’s heart through the soft, polished cotton shirt under his palm and he ached, wanting to tell his friend to call off the wedding.

But the answer to his earlier question was nothing. Riley had nothing to offer Carter. He couldn’t give him the life and family he wanted, couldn’t give Carter the chance to make his family proud. Hell, Riley didn’t even know what he wanted or if he could ever give Carter what he deserved. With his fucked-up family, maybe he wasn’t even capable of caring about Carter like Kate would.

Carter would be happier married to Kate and Riley knew it was the right choice for his friend. For both of them. With Carter married, Riley could make his parents happy by finally settling down with a woman. He could stop wasting his life wishing for something that would never happen.

“Yeah, buddy, it’s the right thing,” he lied, feeling the weight of the words close over him, like the thud of a door slamming shut. He could never take them back.

Wake – Available for Pre-Order

wake_preorder.jpg

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

K. Evan Coles and I are delighted to share with you that the first book, “Wake”, is available for pre-order on Pride Publishing’s site!

Here is a short teaser from it:

By the time the performance was over, Riley’s chest was tight, his pulse raced and he felt flushed and jittery. He wondered if he was having an anxiety attack. He’d paid no more attention to the final act of the opera than he had the first two, although this time he’d rarely glanced at Carter.

He’d been too busy trying to muster up the courage to say the words he needed to say to his friend. Riley helped his wife into her coat, trying to think of what to tell her about why he wasn’t going home with her.

Once they were outside in the crisp November air, Riley found their car, waving away the driver’s help when he moved to open the doors for them. Riley snagged Alex’s elbow before she could climb in. “Carter and I are going out for a drink. I’ll probably be a few hours.”

Alex huffed and pursed her lips. “Fine. I’ll call the girls to see what they want to do. Maybe they’ll be more fun than my husband.”

“I’m sorry, Alex,” he said softly. He was sorry he wasn’t in love with her, sorry he couldn’t be who she wanted him to be. He was sorry he was abandoning her to run off to his secret apartment to spill his heart out to the man he had feelings for. Jesus, my life is way too fucking complicated, he thought, rubbing the back of his neck.

“I mean it.” He stared down at Alex for a long moment before drawing her close to him. “I’m sorry our relationship isn’t better.”

“I’m used to it by now,” she replied archly and pulled away.

With a sigh, he let go of her, knowing no apologies would excuse the way he’d disrupt her life when he came out.

He watched her drive away, then turned to find Carter. It didn’t take him long. Carter stood beside the fountain outside the Met, silhouetted against the brightly lit water. Though Carter’s face was shadowed, Riley would know his body anywhere. The broadness of his shoulders, the length of his legs—Riley imagined touching every inch of him.

Slowly he made his way toward Carter, their gazes locking as Riley drew near. “Ready to head out?”

Carter nodded. “Yeah, Kate’s on her way home.”

Riley gave the driver of the cab that they eventually found the address—296 West 10th Street in the West Village—and settled in his seat with a sigh. Neither man spoke much, although Riley was aware of the heat of Carter’s thigh against his own, through the layers of their tux pants. Carter’s knee seemed to rub against his every so often. Carter’s height and long legs made him sprawl when he sat, but somehow Riley suspected the touch wasn’t accidental. Or maybe he simply hoped so.

Please add it on Goodreads and then pre-order your copy now! We know you’re going to love Riley and Carter as much as we do!

Real Life

I posted the following on my personal Facebook page today.


Final Logo.jpg

The attack in Orlando left me gutted.

I’ve spoken a lot about it with friends and have been trying to figure out what I can do. I’ve signed petitions, I’ve written to various members of the government, and I’m going to donate a short story to a charity anthology that will benefit the injured and families of those who died.

It’s not much, but it’s something.

A comment someone made on Facebook made me think though. She has multiple Facebook accounts (as do I) and she mentioned how silent her “real life” account has been. How no one is talking about what happened. How no one is coming together to grieve or console each other. How different it was from the one she uses for her writing. I checked here to see if that was the case. If my “real life” account was as silent. It wasn’t. And I’m glad. But it made me think even more. It made me think about the fact that I’ve been silent about what I do for a living.

So I guess this is my coming out of sorts.

Most of you know I’m bisexual. Many of you know that I write. A good number of you know that I write LGBTQ romance. And yet, I’ve had the privilege of keeping them separate. I used a pen name. I didn’t announce what I wrote to the world.

At first, it was because I was working at the hospital. After all, in Michigan, I could have been fired for who I am. I could have been fired for being bi. I could have been fired for my writing. If you think that sounds far-fetched, truth is indeed stranger than fiction. I know writers it has happened to.

By the time I quit to write full-time I was so immersed in the LGBTQ writing community that I was almost never on my “real life” account. It seemed pointless to make a big deal about it.  Most of the people I am close to already knew.

But part of a part of my hesitation was because I was scared. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of the consequences. And, to be frank, afraid of the hatred.

If I didn’t tell you before now, I’m sorry.

My silence has never been because I’m ashamed of who I am and what I do. I am proud of what I write. I am proud of my community.

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t have a plan for my life until I realized I could write. Writing has anchored me and shaped me in ways I can’t begin to put into words. Every time I say I am a writer I say it with a sense of wonder.

But I know I have been very privileged to be able to pick and choose who I am out to.

I used quotation marks around the phrase “real life” because my writing IS my real life. My sexual identity is my real life. In the past few years, the lines between my birth name and my pen name have blurred. A few months ago I tried to sign in to a yoga class and couldn’t figure out why it couldn’t find that name in the system. I’d used my pen name. I answer to either. I am both.

I have deep respect and understanding for the people who stay hidden. Many times, there is no other choice. As we saw this past weekend, hatred runs deep. There are grave consequences for being out and proud. Until the world changes and everyone is safe, each person deserves to make that decision for themselves. In their own time.

This is my time to stand up and say: my name is Brigham Vaughn. I write LGBTQ romance. I am bisexual.

There may be little I can do about what happened in Orlando. But I have a voice. And I am tired of being silent.