Posts Tagged ‘novel’

To tell our followers and readers the purpose of this interview – Z. A. Maxfield – one of the renowned authors of M/M genre – has a new book added to the collection of her great works. “My Cowboy Heart” released on the 20th of August, 2013 under the glorious banner of Intermix Publishing House.

My Cowboy Heart Banner II

It’s an immense pleasure to have you on The Blog of Sid Love, Zam and I wish to make your stop memorable here.

Thanks so very much. It’s a real pleasure to be here.

The mention of “Cowboy” in the title got my instant attention, I admit and I am sure I am not the only one around here who is so very excited to read this book. Cowboys are just the hottest thing that walk on earth after all, don’t you think? And that too, in an M/M Romance? It has got to be a steamy blast!

I do like cowboys! There have been some Westerns that have really made me a cowboy lover, among them, The Magnificent Seven, Young Guns, Silverado, The Unforgiven, and even classics like High Noon.

Okay, give us a mental picture of both the main characters and if they do resemble to a particular actor/celebrity that has inspired each of these characters, we want to know that too!

Malloy is an enigma. I imagined him asan average man in his early thirties, hard working, unremarkable looking except maybe his eyes. I think he’s a little haunted. He’s good through and through. He’s the kind of man you can depend on. Since the book is in the first person, I am going to let you insert your favorite action hero here! (Or insert him anywhere, really, I won’t judge.)

I would have howled like a wolf right now, but considering what we are actually here for, I will just move on. *chuckles* So, Malloy – he is the serious, brooding kind. Why do I feel there’s some painful story behind his tough exterior?

Malloy had a very painful childhood. He has lots of emotional scars left by a mother who cared more about using drugs and men to feel better about her crappy life. That’s why Malloy’s not adept socially. He loves — and is fiercely loyal to — the Jenkins family, who took him in. Beyond that, there isn’t anyone he really connects with.

But Crispin is the one who manages to break through his shell. He is *fans self* hot – to put it mildly. But what I am curious about is – he seems more than just a pretty face. 

Crispin was an unusual choice, I guess. He’s one of my quirky men. He was born and raised in LA. His parents were actors. They were Scientologists. When they passed away, he moved to New Mexico to be with his aunt, and it was there that he kind of fell into ranching. He has a a sort of simpatico with animals and he loves nature. He’s half city and half country and you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. He’s happy-go-lucky in a way that gets Malloy to open up. Malloy basks in his easygoing sociability like sunshine.

When did the idea for “My Cowboy Heart” pop up in your head?

I guess I was looking for a sweet romance, something with nature in it. Animals and weather. I know that’s an oversimplification but usually, I get my ideas character first, scene second, and story third. So I pictured a quiet cowboy trying to figure out what to do with a non-stop talker and it moved on from there.

Authors always find themselves at a point where they get stuck – either it is because they are experiencing the infamous, cruel “writer’s block” or there is a certain part that just is too difficult to write. Was there any such moment when you were writing this book? 

I had to make a couple of plot choices that were tricky, as you’ll see. I threw in a little silliness and I let someone experience a terrible loss… Sometimes letting a character suffer goes against my nature, but I made myself cry, so I felt like I had something I didn’t want to lose.

How long did it take for you to complete “My Cowboy Heart”? (The timeframes can be specified for first draft and subsequent drafts till it was finally sent to the editor) 

I did the rough draft lickety-split, because I really hadn’t done much writing in a while and I loved the work. If you know about last year, you know part of my house burned down, and I took quite a lot of time off to deal with that. Cowboy Heart was my first real novel after that, so I felt happy to be writing again.

Well, I feel like getting a kick of a humor – so for a change, I would ask you to describe the funniest scene in MCH! 

I have to guess, because what’s funny to me isn’t always funny to everyone else. I’d say it’s when Crispin asks the hands whether they ever wonder if the sheep mind when the humans wear sheepskin jackets.

My Cowboy Heart is special in many ways, of course, but the main reason why it stands apart is because this book is published by Intermix. For those who aren’t aware – Intermix is a venture of none other than Penguin Group, USA. Zam, I would like you to share with us your experience working with such a professional brand. 

They’re amazing. Very professional. I can’t wait to meet my editor in person some day. She was very kind.

From what I know, My Cowboy Heart has got a continuing story. Can you tell us about the sequel in works?

There are four cowboys at the J-Bar, Malloy, Crispin, Jim and Ed. They all — for one reason or another — got “rescued” by the owner, Mr. Jenkins, and they have a LOT more in common than they’ve ever realized. Someone, I can’t remember who, calls it “The island of Misfit Cowboys.”

Jim and Eddie are best friends but they keep their private shit private. Jim’s a jerk when Crispin comes along, and that’s when Ed finally reveals he’s gay. Ed has a friend-with-benefits and they love each other, but their situation is complicated. Jim’s a horndog whose drinking is making things worse.

Unfortunately, the ranch may be changing hands, and Malloy and Ed are worried about Jim’s future if he doesn’t sober up. It’s up to Ed to get Jim flying right, just in case they all find themselves looking for work.

Do you write everyday? Give us a peek into your normal day-to-day life.

I do write every day. I try to do 2K. Sometimes I get it done, sometimes I don’t. I answer emails, I manage loops and groups and promo. I write blog posts. I hang out with my family. I have two kids in high school and two in college but everyone is home right now.

Other than writing – or reading, for that matter – what hobbies do you have?

Uh…is there something OUT THERE besides books? LOL… This year, I’ve been making an effort to go to the theater. I saw Twelfth Night and MacBeth and Aida.

Here is a list of questions where you have to describe a moment that is asked for:

1) Scariest moment of your life:

I was in a terrible car wreck when my kids were little. We were pulling a trailer and it went airborn somehow and flipped and skidded, overturning our Expedition completely and just dragging us across five lanes of traffic at 60 miles per hour. My glasses flew off, so I couldn’t see. I was upside down hanging from my car seat in shock. It was only when strangers came to show me how to crawl out of the wreckage that I remembered my husband and I had four kids — two still in car seats — and a black lab somewhere in that car with us. (Strangers had got them out first and had them all safely wrangled at the side of the road.)

The good news about that is we were all relatively unscratched, thank God.

2) The moment when you experienced the beauty of first kiss.

Seventh grade, Craig Oates. It’s really, really weird in retrospect — he had the same coloring as my husband and looked enough (at the time) like my daughter to be her sibling. Do I have a type??? YES. I do.

3) The moment when you got your first book published.

That day! I swear I felt like I was hoisting my undies up onto a flagpole for everyone to see. That was so INTIMATE. Letting people see my work was so hard. Even when it was well received (it was Crossing Borders and there were fans who really liked it right away) I felt a little exposed.

4) A moment that you will always wish you could go back and change

There are a lot of times in my life I wish I’d been kinder, more patient, or that I’d cherished people more. I have a good friend I lost touch with and wish I’d been more proactive about that.

5) And describe yourself in a way you would describe a character in your stories.

I’m everyone’s zaftig elfin mother. All smiles, unless you’re the kid who ate the last PopTart.

Tell us about the books you are currently reading.

Right now I’m reading the Horatio Hornblower books by C.S. Forester. I love the age of sail.

Is there such a person in your life who you idolize?

I have idols of the moment, for example that kid who performed the splashy Bar Mitzvah dance from the Internet. I like meme cats and the occasional Boylesque dancer. There are people I admire, like the Dalai Lama and people I kind of think are hot, like Mark Wahlberg. I’m not sure I actually idolize anyone.

Do you have any message to your readers and fans?

I am so grateful to be the author whose books you choose to read! I want to give you a great read — a great ride — every time, and I hope you never hesitate to drop me a line and tell me what’s on your mind!

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions so patiently, Zam. I would conclude by wishing you all the very best for not only “My Cowboy Heart” but also for all your future works. We hope to see more coming from you.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your blog. Have a great day!


My Cowboy Heart

Book Blurb:

My Cowboy HeartA cowboy’s heart has room for anything…

J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private. That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up.

Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there. But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?

Book Links:

NOTE: Book is only available in ebook format 





Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends.  If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Her published books include Crossing Borders, Drawn Together, and the St. Nacho’s and Brothers Grime series from Loose Id, ePistols at Dawn and The Pharaoh’s Concubine from Samhain Publishing, and Notturno, Vigil, Stirring Up Trouble, and All Stirred Up from MLR Press.



FB Author Page:



Grand Prize:  1 winner will receive a $50 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) and an e-copy of “My Cowboy Heart”.

Additional Prize: 3 additional winners will be selected to receive e-book copies of “My Cowboy Heart”

Click the following link to enter yourself!!



FOLLOW “MY COWBOY HEART” BLOG TOUR! Check out the schedule here:

The Blog of Sid Love is putting to vote those books that were reviewed in the third and fourth week of July, 2013 (from 07/21/2013 to 07/31/2013)! This is your chance to show how much you have enjoyed the books that were recommended by us. If you have loved any of these books, please vote for it and make it eligible for the final voting of “Book of the Month – August 2013” on this blog.

Note: Glitterland by Alexis Hall will be excluded from this month’s voting list as the book has not been released yet. It will compete in the next month’s voting poll.

You will have the liberty to vote for any five books from the list. The top five books that win this poll will be eligible for the final voting process that will take place later this week!

For now, the titles/authors that are nominated – the ones that will be competing in the final round of voting are:
Whipped Cream by Andrew Grey
Pickup Men by L. C. Chase
Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino
The Doctor And The Bad Boy by R.J. Scott
The Return by Brad Boney
Disasterology 101 by Taylor V. Donovan
Parting Shot by Mary Calmes
Love Like Water by Rowan Speedwell
Tattoos and Teacups by Anna Martin
Cowboy Waltz by Cameron Dane


You can have access to all the reviews here: Book Reviews

The Voting Closes on 8th August, 2013 @ 11:59 PM


P.S.: The nomination policy has been changed – since there were only three nomination polls this month instead of four, the top 5 most voted titles in each poll are considered to being nominated and will compete for the final round.

The winner of the half-yearly voting that took place last month to choose the best book cover is:

Best Book Cover

The Book Cover earned an amazing 15.01% of the total votes, proving that the art managed to impress the readers a lot!

REESE DANTE is the cover artist of “Texas Pride”!


The other covers which ended up being in the top 5 are:

Into This River I Drown

TITLE: Into This River I Drown

AUTHOR: Tj Klune


Designed by Paul Richmond

Photograph by Kyle Thompson



Plan B


AUTHOR: SJD Peterson

COVER ARTIST: Ronaldo Gutierrze




As you know, the books were nominated by my team of reviewers who acted as a jury and the list of 20 titles was finalised. There was one book that got nominated by most of the reviewers and so, I decided to give that cover art some recognition as well.

So, the title of “BEST BOOK COVER – Jury’s Choice” goes to:

Best Book Cover - Jury


The Blog of Sid Love is putting to vote those books that were reviewed in the second and third week of July, 2013 (from 07/09/2013 to 07/20/2013)! This is your chance to show how much you have enjoyed the books that were recommended by us. If you have loved any of these books, please vote for it and make it eligible for the final voting of “Book of the Month – August 2013” on this blog.

You will have the liberty to vote for any five books from the list. The top three books that win this poll will be eligible for the final voting process that will take place during the second week of August! Likewise, we will repeat this for each week.

For now, the titles/authors nominated from the first week – the ones that will be competing in the final round of voting are:
Whipped Cream by Andrew Grey
Pickup Men by L. C. Chase
Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino

You can have access to all the reviews here: Book Reviews

The Voting Closes on 2nd August, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

You can vote for FIVE titles but not more than that and the voters are allowed to vote multiple times, only limiting their voting ONCE IN 12 HOURS:

BoTM Voting has been amazingly successful on The Blog of Sid Love thus far. The book chosen by unanimous voting is always unique in its own way and expresses the readers’ love towards it. My main aim when I started BoTM voting was to bring readers’ attention to those books that they shouldn’t miss, giving the authors the recognition they deserve!

But the efforts that goes into making a novel sellable can’t only be given to an author. The author may have a major contribution to a novel but we can’t ignore the fact that the first impression is created by the cover art of any book. The saying may go on to advise never to judge a book by its cover but I am sure a reader must have, at least once, been tempted to pick a book just because it had an amazing cover!

I have come across so many books that had some wonderful cover arts and I realized if authors deserved recognition for their works, why should cover artists be ignored? After all, the work that goes on to making it is quite challenging – from choosing the right images or models, giving the perfect tone and colors, to choosing the exact font that would go with it – THAT takes excessive amount of efforts.

For the above mentioned purpose, it was decided that titles with some outstanding cover arts would be put to vote for the next ten days and I will let you all decide which one you would like the most!

The process began a week ago, where each of my reviewers on the team (including me) made a nomination list of those novels which they thought had some amazing covers. The list was then combined and the titles that received multiple votes were finalised to enter the poll. All of these novels have been released in the first half of the year 2013 i.e. from 1st of January, 2013 to 30th June, 2013!

Cover arts of the 20 shortlisted titles and the voting poll are given below:

It's a Good Life (Good-Time Boys, #5)  Chase the Storm  Pawn Takes Rook (Checkmate, #1)  Venetian Masks  Choices and Changes  Denying Yourself  Blood Red Butterfly  Paid Leave  Undertow (Infected, #7)  Plan B  Brothers of the Wild North Sea  Scorpion  Into This River I Drown  The Lion and the Crow  Hunter of Demons (Spectr, #1)  Cricket  Imaginary  Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)  The Good Boy  Texas Pride


You can vote for FIVE titles but not more than that and the voters are allowed to vote multiple times, only limiting their voting ONCE IN 12 HOURS:


Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/AleksandrVoinov/L. A. Witt blog tour for Unhinge the Universe!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Something New Under the Sun) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 21st, and winners will be announced on July 23rd.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Note: Aleks and L. A. are currently gallivanting around Europe. As such, we won’t be online as much as we normally are, and may not be able to respond to comments as quickly as we’d like, but will try to post responses as often as possible.


Captors, Prisoners, and Stockholm Syndrome

Unhinge the UniverseAs many have probably gathered by reading the blurb, Unhinge the Universe focuses on a relationship forming between a wartime captor and his captive. To say we were venturing into a minefield when we wrote this would be an understatement. After all, when one person is being held against his will, the potential for rape and ultimately Stockholm Syndrome is very high.

Aleks and I, of course, didn’t want any of that. We approached this story very carefully, mindful first and foremost that while Hagen was a prisoner, he only engages in sexual contact of his own free will. In fact, we were surprised at how much he could be the aggressor, catching John off guard and throwing him off his game.

While Hagen is John’s prisoner, the power play between them is anything but one-sided. Hagen has information John needs. John also has information that Hagen needs, as well as a great deal of power over Hagen’s circumstances as a prisoner. What power Hagen possesses, he doesn’t relinquish. In fact, when things become sexual between him and John, Hagen finds himself with more power than he initially thought.There is a scene very early in the story that inches into the ballpark of dubious consent at first—it’s more of a mind game than anything—but it quickly backfires on John in a way he didn’t see coming.

The power balance between them shifts after that, but the relationship dynamic does as well. A connection begins forming, and both men start seeing each other as men rather than enemies. It’s difficult to elaborate much without revealing spoilers, but rest assured that as the relationship evolves, so does the power balance.

So yes, a captor and captive story certainly has the potential to creep into rape and Stockholm Syndrome, and even if those things are avoided, a story like this absolutely won’t be sunshine and roses all the way through. But in the case of Unhinge the Universe – and another POW story we’re currently writing – Aleks and I were conscientious of the power dynamic between our characters, and how that could blow up in our faces if we didn’t handle it carefully.

I believe we did, and I hope our readers will agree.


 ::~::~::    ::~::~::    ::~::~::

AleksandrVoinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he is one of the unsung heroes in the financial services sector. He published extensively in his native German, then switched to English and hasn’t looked back. His genres range from horror, science fiction, cyberpunk, and fantasy to contemporary, thriller, and historical erotic gay novels.

In his spare time, he goes weightlifting, explores historical sites, and meets other writers. He singlehandedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects. His current interests include special forces operations during World War II, pre-industrial warfare, European magical traditions, and how to destroy the world and plunge it into a nuclear winter without having the benefit of nuclear weapons.

Visit Aleksandr’s website at, his blog at, and follow him on Twitter, where he tweets as @aleksandrvoinov.


L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

More info about L.A. can be found at or by stalk—er, following her on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Unhinge the Universe is available July 15th from Riptide Publishing.




It’s AMAZING how much votes we have gathered on this final poll. Total of 520 votes were registered in less than a week! And that is something. Because, this shows how many people have loved all these books. Each of the books that competed in this final round deserved the recognition. So it maybe just one BoTM, but in fact, all of them are WINNERS in true sense. 🙂

The limelight still shines on one specific book that was read and loved by most – it was the one that received a pleasantly surprising 25.96% of the total votes, thus dominating the entire poll ever since it started – it’s the book written by the author who gets this BoTM badge the second time in a row!

Proud to announce – BOOK OF THE MONTH – JULY 2013 is:

Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen, #1)

The book that ended up taking the second place with a good 16.73% of the total votes was:

The Boy Who Came In From the Cold

And the book that took the third position with 12.31% of votes was:

500 Miles (An MLR Mixed Tape)


The Blog of Sid Love is putting to vote those books that were reviewed in the first week of July, 2013 (from 07/01/2013 to 07/08/2013)! This is your chance to show how much you have enjoyed the books that were recommended by us. If you have loved any of these books, please vote for it and make it eligible for the final voting of “Book of the Month – August 2013” on this blog.

You will have the liberty to vote for any five books from the list. The top three books that win this poll will be eligible for the final voting process that will take place during the second week of July! Likewise, we will repeat this for each week.

You can have access to all the reviews here: Book Reviews

The Voting Closes on 21st July, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

You can vote for FIVE titles but not more than that and the voters are allowed to vote multiple times, only limiting their voting ONCE IN 12 HOURS:



Maki waited years to discover what dragon spirit the fates gifted him with.  He anticipated his first flight, his parents at his side, as he launched  himself into the sky for the first time.  Best of all, one day he’d find his mate and spend the rest of his life with someone by his side.   Unfortunately for him, things didn’t go exactly as he’d always planned.


“Holy fucking hell. Son of bitch, stay the hell back. How the hell could this shit be happening?” The shock of hearing the foul words from his father sent shock coursing through him and forced him to open his eyes. He blinked to clear his vision and suddenly everything in front of him was crystal clear. He towered over them in his dragon form and instead of the smiles he expected to see, his mother was crying and his father was scowling at him, the whites of his eyes glaringly bright.    His mother’s hand covered her lips, muffling her cries as she stared up at Maki, the sun glinting off the tears coursing down her face. Her fear and pain were crystal clear to his new senses.

    He shook his massive head and took a step towards them only to freeze as his father shifted. In what was truly a blink of an eye, his father’s large Green dragon stood between him and his mother, its jade colored scales glistening in the sunlight. Maki had never seen any dragon shift that quickly.

    He would be lying if he said their reactions didn’t have him worried and he could feel fear snaking through his veins as he lifted one clawed hand up in front of his face. Maki staggered back as he took in the color of his leathery skin, wanting to escape the reality of what had happened to him. A growling cry escaped his mouth as he turned his gaze back to his father, no longer able to see his mother from where she was hidden behind him.

    Why were they afraid of him? Didn’t they know that he would never hurt them? Maki shifted his large scaled body towards them, needing to feel their comforting arms, but his father seemed to grow even bigger, his wings spreading out behind him. He watched horrified as his father beat his strong wings and bared his teeth at him as he roared.

    Maki stumbled back and sank to the ground, cowering in the face of his father’s aggression. Why was his father being this way? He was his son; it wasn’t like he didn’t know him. Maki watched helplessly as his father shifted back to his human form and hustled his mother into the house, never turning his back towards him. Before he realized what was happening, the sound of the latch barring the door reached his ears.

    Pain warred with fury inside of him. How could the fates be so cruel as to cause his family to turn away from him? He shook his head in denial as he moved backwards before turning and fleeing into the forest. Immature saplings snapped beneath his feet and branches scraped against his scaly body as he fled, but Maki didn’t pay them any attention as he fled into the forest. He wanted to escape, escape the fear in his parent’s eyes and the future that he would face as a Blue.


Cyan chucked the remainder of the pebbles into the water all at once, no longer interested in the mindless activity as his mind focused on the remainder of that day. This same lake had been his refuge back then. He’d spent hours trying to decide what he was going to do, but in the end, his only option was to return home, if it was still his home. It hadn’t taken long for him to have his answer.

He still remembered the hopelessness that had swept through him when he’d broken through the trees surrounding his parent’s cottage and saw all of his belongings on the front porch in bags. He’d known he’d have to go to the youth home, all male shifters had to after their first change, but he hadn’t expected it to be like that. He’d thought he would have a few days at least to say good-bye to his parents and those of his friends who wouldn’t be joining him soon. He had never felt as alone as he did in that moment.

BUY LINKS: Book Store  ::  ARe  ::  GayAuthors


Renee Stevens resides in Wyoming with her husband, and while they have no two-legged kids, they have plenty of the four legged variety.  With three canines and three felines, her life is never boring.  When not sitting in front of her laptop working on her next story, Renee prefers to escape to the great outdoors.

Renee began writing in her early teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties.  Since then she has written a number of stories, most of which can be found online for free.  She hopes to e-publish a few more of her works in the very near future.

While she does have some modern pieces, her favorite characters to work with are shifters and vampires.  When not writing, camping, or refereeing the critters, Renee spends her time as a Moderator and the Anthology Coordinator over at

Author Links:

GayAuthors: Renee Stevens

Horizons-Book One in the Horizons Series

HorizonsTwenty-three-year-old Clark Stevens, a popular wide receiver with a potential NFL contract, has a few problems. He’s got a jealous girlfriend, a narrow-minded and controlling father, an attention problem, and an unexpected and powerful attraction to the trauma doctor—the male trauma doctor—who treats him for a broken bone.

Dr. Jody Williams is getting some really mixed signals. He can’t ignore how much he wants Clark, because it’s obvious Clark feels the same way. For the out and proud doctor, the solution seems very simple. For Clark, it’s not! His world is not gay-friendly, and the obstacles he’s faced have led him to deny his sexuality for years.

It’s the Super Bowl of disasters, no matter how you look at it. In the end, Clark has to decide if he’s going to stick with the only life he’s ever known or take a chance on a new one with Jody.


I SPED up I-80, heading out to Folsom. I’d been in a miserable mood since I left Jody last night.

We’d sat for an hour, attempting to read through a few chapters, but the dynamic between us had changed after the close body contact. We were like two prizefighters, tiptoeing around each other, afraid to meet in the center of the ring for fear of the explosion that would occur. He must have been able to tell I was at my breaking point, as I clenched and unclenched my jaw the entire time we were reading. I couldn’t bear to look at him, and when his hand accidentally brushed mine, we both jumped in shock.

It was torture in the most erotic, mind-bending way. I would have probably disgraced myself if he touched me again, and so I just stood up, kicked back the chair, and told him I had to go. He sat there and nodded, looking the other way. I knew he was as affected as I was because his hands were trembling when he held the book and his eyes were shimmering.

I pulled into my parents’ driveway, completely unaware of the distance I’d traveled. The house seemed unoccupied, and I yelled out for Mom, getting no response.

Hunger seized me suddenly. I couldn’t remember when I’d last eaten, so I pulled open the refrigerator door and grabbed the essentials of a sandwich—the cold cuts, the mayo and mustard—and a bottle of Corona, balancing everything like a circus juggler. By the time I’d polished off my lunch, the troops were starting to arrive.

“Dude, when’d you get in?” Zach grunted out, looking like he’d been through a war.

“What’s with you?”

“I’ve been out helping Robby lay carpet in the baby’s room.”

“Talk about last minute.”

“I know.”

“Did you get it done?”

“It’s all good. Are you staying the night?”

“May as well.”

“Is Nikki with you?”


“Why not?”

“We’re not joined at the hip, you know.”

“You’re lucky to have her, dude. She’s hot as fuck!”

“We’re just friends.”

“What a dumbass!”

“Don’t call me that!” I spat out, just itching for a fight. I hoped he’d say it again, because I was in the mood to break something, and his face was as good as anything.

“What the hell is going on?” My dad had just walked through the door and caught my end of the conversation.

“Tell Zach to mind his own business.”

“Why are you in such a foul mood?”

“I’m just tired of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do.”

“Like who?”

“Like never mind!”

I stood up and walked out of the room, making my way down the hall toward my bedroom. I threw myself on the bed and put my right arm over my eyes, willing myself to calm down. I knew I’d overreacted to Zach’s few questions. I knew why I was in such a state, and it had nothing to do with anyone in this house.

After a few minutes, I heard a light knock on the door, and my mom popped her head in. “Can I come in?”

“Sure.” Why the fuck not.

She sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed her hand up and down my leg. “What’s bothering you?”

“It’s nothing, Mom.”

“Don’t tell me it’s nothing. You’re in one of your moods again, and I really don’t want any problems this weekend.”

“Then tell Zach to leave me alone. Tell everyone to leave me alone and get out of my business. You included.”

“What the hell have I done?”

“Nothing! Just go, Mom. I’m sorry.”

“Sweetie, is it Nikki? Have you two had a fight?”

“Oh, please, give me a break.”

“What then?”

“Nothing. Just go!”

“Fine!” She stood and walked out the door, slamming it in a childish fit of temper.

It’s funny that she would accuse me of having a “mood.” Everyone around here was into door slamming and yelling. We were not the most peaceful household in the world, and I suppose with five sons, any gentleness in my mother was soon replaced by the need to be as tough as nails so that her boys wouldn’t ride roughshod over her. The only time she showed her gentle side was when we got sick or hurt. The rest of the time she was all business, which brought my thoughts back to something I’d questioned many times before.

Why did I have these feelings for other men? It’s not like my mother dressed me in pink or played with tea sets around me. I was handled in exactly the same manner as my other brothers, except for the special attention to my schoolwork. Maybe it had something to do with the ADD? Was that same gene the one that made me think about guys the way my brothers thought about women?

I wondered what Jody would think of my family. He already disliked my father for the mishandling of my attention deficit. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to grow up in a family as accepting as Jody’s. For a father to actively educate a gay son about safe sex was mind-boggling. Neither one of my parents had given us any sex education. They just assumed we knew what we were doing. The only time I heard anything about sex was when Magic Johnson resigned due to his HIV status and my father sat in front of our TV set and called him a fucking queer. He then turned to us and said, “See, this is what happens when you stick your dick in the wrong places.” The fact that Johnson contracted HIV from a female meant nothing to my dad. He heard HIV, and he assumed Magic was queer.

I was around ten or eleven at the time, already harboring a few man fantasies, and as soon as I heard that I shoved them so far back in the closet they were buried for years. All my efforts to be “normal” in that area of my life were successful due to the countless number of females who threw themselves at me. Every time I’d start thinking of a male body, I’d actively seek out a female or watch a girly video or read Playboy; anything to keep the visions of men out of my brain.

This brought me to the real reason why I was so angry I was vibrating in place. All my efforts to be like all the other men in my family were useless, because I wasn’t like them. I was a twenty-two-year-old jock on the brink of an NFL career, daydreaming about kissing Jody on the mouth. In truth, I wanted way more. What would he taste like? Would he let me run my hands over his chest and down his abs, and finally grip that hard-on that had pressed up against me on at least two occasions. I imagined sinking down on my knees in front of him, sliding the zipper down his khakis, and freeing his cock. I was certain it would be as perfect as the rest of him. Could I handle him without gagging? Did spunk taste sweet or salty? What about swallowing? Oh God…. I was so fucking hard I had to get off. I flipped over and pressed my monster cock against the mattress, knowing this would never happen because I was too chickenshit to do anything about it.

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About Mickie B Ashling

Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.

By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world.

Her novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.

Mickie loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.



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