February 12, 2014
Bailey and Curt are back for their third installment featuring candy hearts, awkward conversations, and a little heat. We also get to meet Craig, the owner of the bar Bailey met Curt at in “The Night Before Thanksgiving.”
“I don’t know why they don’t just alphabetize these,” Bailey muttered as he searched the shelves of spices. He stumbled as a small child ran into his leg. Grocery shopping on a Wednesday evening was not supposed to be this hectic.
Craig leaned on the handle of the cart next to him. He’d taken the evening off and had offered to accompany Bailey shopping, although Bailey suspected he was really there to gather information. Craig was no gossip, but years of bartending — not to mention being Bailey’s best friend — had resulted in a certain interest in other people’s lives. Craig spent so much time listening to everyone’s problems, he’d become accustomed to getting details out of Bailey that no one else did. “Same reason I have those little menu placards on the bar.”
“Huh?” Bailey glanced over his shoulder. “What does your menu placement have to do with grocery store organization?”
“Both encourage impulse buys. You see a bar menu and suddenly remember you love onion rings. You see basil and suddenly remember you’re all out.” He shrugged. “It’s brilliant marketing, really.”
Bailey sighed. “I just need cardamom. But onion rings sound good. Want to grab some food on the way home?”
“I could eat. What are you so wound up about, anyway?”
“I’m not wound up.” Bailey studiously avoided looking at Craig. “I’m trying to plan dinner.”
“Last time I checked, you hadn’t even invited the guest of honor.” There it was: Craig’s ulterior motive.
“I will. I don’t want it to seem like a big thing.” Bailey finally located the cardamom seeds. “Because it’s not.” He deposited the jar in the cart and started walking toward the front of the store.
Craig pushed the cart and caught up with Bailey. “So it’s, what, a not-romantic dinner with your maybe-boyfriend on Valentine’s Day?”
Bailey refrained from giving Craig a snarky look. “At least I’m not going to be pouring beer for lonely travelers all night.”
“Touché.” Craig rolled up behind him as he got in line and started unloading his groceries. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and meet a hot guy whose flight gets canceled at the last minute. I’m sure I could think of some way to cheer him up.”
This time, Bailey did glare.
“Oh, hey, you need these for dessert.” Craig tossed a box of candy hearts on the conveyor belt. “Maybe you can use them as a conversation starter. Break the ice.”
“Keep it up and see if I cover for you next time you need someone to take care of the bar.”
“Just trying to be helpful, man.”
January 30, 2014
Got the cover for the upcoming Conversation Hearts Anthology with Torquere Press. My story, “Hearts & Cake” is the third installment in Bailey & Curt’s story. Of course, I forgot to pimp their second story, “Home for Christmas,” so here it is:
To make up for his aborted Thanksgiving trip, Curt travels to Chicago to spend Christmas with his family, but even the whirlwind of activity can’t keep him from missing Bailey. Once he’s back home, he invites Bailey for a quiet dinner, which leads to a lusty reunion. Is Curt alone in thinking this is the start of something special, or was Bailey missing him, too?
Hearts & Cake releases on 12/12 as a stand-alone and part of the Conversation Hearts Anthology.
Bailey and Curt have been dating for almost three months. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but a case of nerves causes Bailey to wait until the last minute to invite Curt for dinner. Curt’s less than enthusiastic response isn’t what Bailey was hoping for. Frustrated by Curt’s mixed signals, Bailey finally pushes Curt to decide if he can balance his career and his love life.
December 4, 2013
Bailey occasionally fills in as a substitute bartender at his friend’s airport bar as a favor. He strikes up a conversation with Curt, a professor on his way to a family Thanksgiving in Chicago. They hit it off, and make plans to meet up after the holiday, but when the flight is delayed and then canceled, Bailey jumps at the chance to move up the timetable. He invites Curt back to his place for a drink and more, but he has the feeling this is more than a one-night stand. Will Curt feel the same?
Bailey and Curt have two more stories coming up. Home for Christmas will be out next week and their third story will be part of Torquere’s Valentine’s Day anthology.
September 6, 2013
I finally updated the Available Stories page; it still needs some tweaking, but it’s mostly where I want it.
Time management, man. It’s one of my biggest challenges. I love deadlines, but schedules stress me out. There’s a part of me that’s tempted to seek out the deep-rooted psychological cause of that, but that doesn’t really help me now. I’m externally motivated, I know that much. I use the GymPact app to motivate myself to go to the gym (make your pact, get money; miss a day, lose $5). So far, I’ve made $12.
There’s time management plans for the over-worked, for the under-scheduled, for the working parent. Where’s the time management system for the “a little bit lazy, mostly externally motivated” folk? ‘Cause I know I’m not the only one.
August 30, 2013
The weather’s been crazy the last few days; heavy rain, wind storms worthy of the fall, and then sudden bursts of sun. It’s stayed warm, which makes it easy for me to ignore the rain. The cats are not quite so unaffected, but they’re learning to cope. We only started letting them out in the spring, and it’s been dry summer, so fall will certainly be a shock to them.
In book news, “Summertime Blues” released on Wednesday; you can grab a copy for Torquere Press, Amazon, or the usual online bookstores The full anthology is also available in print from Amazon. I really couldn’t pass up the chance to write about something with baseball. (Let’s Go, Mets! Oh, wait…never mind. *sigh* Wait ’til next year!)
What’s it about? Adam’s on the road with the minor league baseball team as equipment manager; Will’s flying all over the country dealing with one client after another. They haven’t seen each other in weeks, and the strain is starting to show. Adam’s getting crankier by the day, and his teammates are trying to avoid him. On a trip to Atlanta, Will meets Darren, a handsome, aggressive businessman who’s more than willing to overlook Will’s relationship status if Will is. Could more weeks away from his lover lead Will astray or will he find a way to reconnect with Adam?
I’m off to write about Christmas, but I’ll leave you with a sample from Adam & Will’s story.
When Adam walked inside, he spotted Will’s bag sitting near the front door and the man himself walking out of the kitchen. He was wearing the dark blue Armani suit that Adam loved, the one that seemed to drape his frame and make him look like he should be on a runway, not in the hallway of a two-story A-frame.
“I was just about to call you. I kept thinking you’d be home sooner and we’d get a few minutes together.”
Adam recognized the frazzled “I need to leave for the airport thirty minutes ago” look. “We were delayed out of Phoenix.” He dropped his bag and met Will halfway. “Thunder storms.”
“Twice, I know. I read your texts.” Will smiled slightly. “Welcome home.”
Adam jerked his head toward the suitcase next to the stairs. “Just in time to see you off.” He’d intended to keep the annoyance out of his voice and failed rather spectacularly. Will took it in stride, just like Adam knew he would.
“Yeah, sorry. I have a client in Chicago in a panic about their implementation. I have to go smooth some ruffled feathers. I’ll be back in a couple of days.”
“Unless it takes longer and you head straight for Tampa. That doesn’t give you a lot of time.” After five years together, negotiating around the team’s schedule and Will’s business clients should have been old hat, but this season seemed worse than usual.
Will tried to look hopeful. “I’ll make it fast, I promise. I’ll be in Chicago this afternoon; that gives me plenty of time today and tomorrow to deal with the client and be back here on Saturday. I can push Tampa until Tuesday.”
Adam wanted to point out that Will was being overly optimistic and “That’s what you said last time” was on the tip of his tongue, but the blare of a car horn cut their time short.
With a glance toward the front window, Will said, “That’s my cab. I need to go.”
Adam sighed. “You’re lucky you’re so sexy in that suit.” He reached for the lapels and pulled Will in for a kiss.
August 15, 2013
So excited! I have a story in Torquere’s upcoming Scoring Anthology. My story, Summertime Blues, will be available as part of the anthology or as a stand-alone ebook. It’s scheduled for release on 8/28.
Adam’s job as an equipment manager with a minor league baseball team keeps him on the road much of the summer, and it’s starting to put a strain on his relationship with Will. Halfway across the country, Will’s dealing with his own loneliness and temptations.
Here’s a blurb Read the rest of this entry »
August 6, 2013
Eight basil plants = 24 cups of basil. Last night, we finished turning it into pesto, most of which will be frozen and (hopefully) last through the winter.
Zucchinis & cucumbers, both of which have seriously taken off. Our record-setting dry July was apparently good for the garden. We’ve already made three batches of refrigerator pickles and some grilled zucchini; we’ll also shred and freeze a bunch of zucchini for making bread. There are itty bitty eggplants in there somewhere, too.