Sunday, May 24, 2015

Book of the Week!

Chris Owen and I were excited to learn yesterday that we won the Book of the Week poll over at Love Bytes Reviews! We've been pleasantly surprised at how well received the second book in the Never Too Early series has been.

If you haven't started the series yet, both books are available here:

Never Too Early: The Beginning

Never Too Early: Finding Their Way

For those of you who have read them, Chris and I have been working diligently on the third installment. Here's a little bit, just to keep you interested. ;)


After a couple of rings, the computers connected and Tor's face appeared in the window.  "You're a sight for sore eyes," he said, giving Tucker a grin.

"Hey, you." Tucker caught himself before calling Tor "baby," since that was the nickname he usually reserved for Chance. He'd slipped up once or twice, though. "How long's it been now? Like a year since I've seen you?"

"Feels more like two." Tor rubbed a hand over his eyes and forehead. "How've you been? Everything doing okay?"

"Uh huh, yeah. Work's been kinda rough, but I'm off for a couple days. You? How come you don't look all bright eyed and bushy tailed?" Tucker had noticed it immediately.

"The usual. Working too many hours. But everyone that was sick is back now, so it'll get better."  Tor gave him a tired smile. "The ground is still hard so at least there wasn't any mud to deal with. It'll get mucky soon enough."

Tucker knew how hard it was to work in mud. His tobacco farm in Kentucky went through almost the same seasonal changes that Tor and Jake's ranch did. "Sorry, man. But hey, you don't need a medic to tell you that you gotta be careful with the long days. You wind up sick and you'll miss more work than you care to know."

Tor nodded. "I hear you. Jake's been saying the same thing. He's been doing a lot of the slack, too, so he's not especially chipper. And the quality of the food has fallen off." He said the last with a slightly brighter grin. "Hey. I miss you."

The familiar, warm feeling that Tor usually instilled in him grew. Tucker smiled "I know, baby." The endearment was intentional. "Same here, huh? And it's only been a month. What do we do? I don't guess you and Jake could come out here any time soon."

"We might be able to," Tor said thoughtfully. "It would have to be before the calves come, for sure, and probably wouldn't be for more than four or five days, but we might be able to make it work. Lord knows we could use a vacation."

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Sunday again... time is flying. Which, in this instance, is a great thing because it means release day is almost here!

This Wednesday, April 15, the second book in the Never Too Early series will be released! Chris Owen and I are super excited about this, and we've already received some amazing reviews from sites that received ARCs. This book can't really be read as a stand-alone, so we encourage everyone to read Never Too Early: The Beginning before trying Never Too Early: Finding Their Way.

The second book is available for preorder at the link above! And, as a little bonus, if you've already preordered, just drop me a comment on THIS POST at my site and leave your confirmation number. You'll be automatically entered for a $10.00 gift certificate to Torquere Press. All posts will stay hidden to protect private info!

Can't wait for release day. See you Wednesday!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Available for pre-order!

Happy Sunday, slashers! I have things to tell you about!

1. First thing! The release date of the next book in the Never Too Early series had to be pushed back a little due to editing conflicts. The new release date is now April 15. Mark those calendars!

2. Second thing! Not only do we have a cover for the next book, but it's currently available for pre-order! Reserve your copy now and you'll get it mailed to you first thing on release day. Just look at this lovely cover. Clicking on the pic will take you to the pre-order page.

3. And finally, third thing! I have a very lovely and talented friend that offered to redo my website, and I took her up on that in a hot minute. Please go and take a look around. I hope to have blog content there soon.

Stems and Petals - M/M Fiction by Tory Temple

Chris and I are open to your opinions regarding this next chapter in Jake, Tor, Chance, and Tucker's lives. Feel free to email or comment!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Guest Post: Two hot new releases from Lynn Lorenz

Doms of The Chambers, Geoff and Kit

When tragedy strikes The Chambers, Dom Geoff Hanover gets dragged into something he didn't want - the care and training of Kit Green, an unruly submissive. Geoff swore to never take a boy again, but Kit is a sexy hot mess.

 Now available for 0.99 at Amazon | All Romance Ebooks


Doms of The Chambers, Harlan and Robby

Harlan and Robby are happy. Dom Harlan meets all his submissives needs. Robby has flourished under Harlan's firm but gentle hand. But when tragedy hits a member of The Chambers, Harlan rethinks his relationship with Robby.

Now available for 0.99 at Amazon | All Romance Ebooks

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Release day for A Clean Break is finally here! This is the sequel to A Forbidden Rumspringa, and thank you so much to all the folks who've been excited for this book. I mean, someone took the day off work so she could read it immediately. I How amazing is that? I have the best readers.

Sequels are always nerve-wracking, but I hope book two will live up to expectations. I'm hard at work on book three, A Way Home, for an April release. I didn't want y'all to have to wait too long to find out how David and Isaac's journey ends. This first trilogy will be complete, but I'm already planning more books for them down the road. These boys just keep telling me stories! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the second book in their journey. 

a clean break-200-300They’ve escaped to the outside world—but can they really be free? David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground. While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.
Buy now:
All Romance eBooks
| Amazon | Barnes and Noble iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Sunday, February 1, 2015

For Eden: The Shadowfire Ring

As promised, today I'm going to share an excerpt from For Eden: The Shadowfire Ring. This is one of the short stories originally published by the now defunct Silver Publishing. It will be rereleased on Tuesday, February 3rd. Barring any upload difficulties, you'll be able to find it on ARe, B&N, Amazon, and Smashwords Tuesday morning.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, dear Readers. Go Patriots!

"Hello?" Bel listened, but not only didn't get an answer, he didn't hear a sound in the apartment. "Eden?" He peeked into the living room, but the silent television and empty reading chair gave no hints as to Eden's whereabouts.

He carried the pizza box to the dark kitchen and tucked it into the oven to keep it warm. When he turned, planning to take the back staircase up to the bedroom, he spotted Eden sitting in the corner behind the round kitchen table.

"Eden?" Bel's heart trembled and raced and his voice caught in his throat. The light that always called to Bel no longer shone in Eden's innocent, smooth face. "What happened?" Bel's claws lengthened, his fangs descended and, as he took a deep breath in a desperate attempt to control the fury at whoever or whatever had bred despondency in his beautiful angel, he felt piercing pain shoot through his forehead. His horns rarely sprouted, even in anger, but Eden, his love, his light, shouldn't be cloaked in shadows.

He reached for the switch. Eden's voice broke and trembled. "Don't. Please."

With a guttural growl, three candles in the center of the table flared to action. Eden flinched from their flame, tucking his chin to his chest. His wings trembled and, even in the weak light, Bel saw the ruffled feathers and, worse, those that weren't there. Eden's right wing sported a bald spot that meant at least a dozen or more feathers had been ripped out of his flesh.

Bel rushed to his side and crouched at his feet. With a comforting hand on Eden's knee and another brushing back tangled locks of hair, he did his best to keep the anger from his voice. "Who did this?"

Eden's lower lip trembled until he sucked it between his teeth. He shook his head and refused to look at Bel.

"Talk to me, my light. Let me be your strength, as you have been for me so often."

Eden turned his hand palm up and Bel gasped at the ruined flesh.

"Andaras," Bel hissed. Only his father would claim his angel with a summoning rune carved into the skin.

Eden nodded. His lip broke free from his teeth, swollen from the effort of restraining his emotions. A sob shook his thin chest and then another chased through his body. His torn wings trembled and drooped, stuck between their full beauty and a neat indiscreet place along Eden's back.

"I won't let him. He can't have you."

"It's too late. He's marked me and…" Fat tears fell from his eyes. "He saw the ring you gave me. I'm sorry. I took it, Bel, because I wanted to…" He took a deep breath but sobbed out the exhale. "He has it. He said you don't own me until you put it on my finger." His shimmering eyes shifted up to meet Bel's gaze at last. "I know you didn't mean it that way, Bel. That's why I had it. I was ready to wear it, but the magic didn't work."

"Because we didn’t say the words," Bel finished. "I know."

"And I foolishly refused to accept it when you tried." Eden’s voice broke and his wings trembled as his shoulders shook with a silent sob.

Bel covered both of Eden's hands with his own, touching lightly to avoid causing more pain to Eden's injuries. "I didn't mean the ring as ownership, Eden. I wanted to protect you."

"I know." Eden huffed out an exasperated exhale. "I knew then, too, but I panicked. I… fucked it up."

Bel laughed, but despite his hope of calming the angel, he heard the tension in his own voice. "Did my innocent angel just swear?"

Eden's eyes reflected anger and pain, but shadows of amusement flickered in the background. "He said if you don't return to your duties as his son, he'd come for me. Bel, it's okay. I know how much you hate what he made you do. All angels are taught to endure suffering and I will go when he calls me."

"Oh, fuck no." Eden winced at Bel's words, making the demon laugh. "You said it first." Bel sobered and shook his head. "You're not going with him. There is no way in Hell you're leaving me."

Bel stood. Eden's eyes widened. He knew the answer before he asked the question. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to get my ring back. He had no right to take it. Or you."

Eden shook his head. "No. No, don't, Bel. He'll hurt you. He'll make you return to his side." The angel shot to his feet, his ruined wings trembling. "That's if you're lucky. It's impossible for even full demons to find their way out of Hell without permission."

Pulling the angel into his arms, Bel nuzzled his warm neck. "I'll find a way."

Eden trembled in his embrace. "Don't. Please."

"Shh…" Bel brushed his lips over Eden's. "I'll come back to you. Remember, you're my guiding light, Eden. I'll find my way back to you, always."


I'll post the buy links over at my blog on Tuesday. Drop on by!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New excerpt....

Happy weekend, all! I have a Sunday with not much planned, which is the perfect kind of Sunday, if you ask me. Two orders of business on the blog docket for you today!

1. Heat and Flashover are being made into audiobooks! Super excited about this. If you know any males who do voiceover work, they can go to Audiobook Creation Exchange and search for either title and submit an audition. The ones that have been submitted so far are all fantastic, so I'm not really sure how my publisher is going to choose.

2. The release of the second book in Chris Owen's and my series is two months away! Never Too Early: Finding Their Way is due out on March 25. Pre-orders will definitely be available as we get closer, but for now, I'll leave you with an excerpt. Chris and I have loved hearing all the feedback, so thank you!

A dark head appeared in the doorway between the living room and kitchen. "Jake! Can I drive your truck?" Tucker appeared to be holding Tor off with one hand.

Jake nodded.  "Sure. Wait. Why? Sure?"

Tor was trying to get a hold of Tucker, but failing miserably. Jake figured he wasn't really trying.

"Tor says you guys got mud out in your back forty! I'd drive the rental, but we didn't get no insurance on it, and it's a piece of shit anyhow. Wouldn't do no good out there. Tor, for chrissakes, you're gonna rip my shirt."

Chance raised his eyebrows but otherwise said nothing.

"Oh." Jake looked at Chance and then back at Tucker. "Take Tor's truck."

"I won't give him my keys."  Tor didn't let go of Tucker's shirt but he did laugh.

"My truck doesn't go mudding for fun," Jake told Chance. "It's too much of a pain to clean."

"Aw, man." Tucker made a noise of disgust. "Thought y'all were cowboys." He looked at Tor and scowled. "You ain't never gone in the mud before?"

"Of course I have." Tor sounded indignant. "Just not in his truck.  And it depends where the cows are. We can go tomorrow, okay?"

"Yeah, okay," Tucker said grudgingly. "Come on, show me where you keep your food and I'll rustle up some chow."

"I think it's in the bathroom this week. Oh, wait! Nope, the kitchen."

Jake shook his head. "Wake me up later," he told Chance. "When they're calmer."

"So, about four days," Chance replied. "Got it." He reached out his left hand and rested it on Jake's leg. It was warm through the blanket.

"Maybe five." Jake hoped Chance would leave his hand right where it was. It was heavy and comforting, and Jake was going to suck up all the comfort he could, for as long as he could. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Read a new pre-release excerpt from my gay Amish romance

a clean break-200-300They’ve escaped to the outside world—but can they really be free?

David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.

Coming February 3, 2015!

Release day is less than two weeks away, and to celebrate here's a new snippet from A Clean Break, the sequel to A Forbidden Rumspringa. One of the first challenges ex-Amish face is figuring out "English" clothing styles and sizes. In this scene, Isaac and David are at Target. Isaac's older brother Aaron has bought them underwear to try on while he picks out clothes for them. Enjoy!


Isaac took the room on one side of the narrow hallway, and David the other. He could still hear the ever-present music, which he supposed was better than silence, since he felt incredibly self-conscious all of a sudden.

After hanging up his hoodie, David perched on the little stool in the corner and removed his sneakers. He peeled off his T-shirt and with a deep breath, stood and pulled down his jeans. The air felt cool against his cock and balls, and he was acutely aware of how many strangers there were just beyond the flimsy dressing rooms.

He grabbed the first package in the bag and ripped it open. They were briefs of different colors, and he chose the white ones. He wasn’t sure if the size was right, since they felt tight as he pulled them up. They seemed to fit around the waist, but they squished everything else together, his privates bulging against the cotton even more than the man’s in the picture.

“Isaac?” he whispered. “Have you tried any on?”

“Boxers. They feel strange. What about you?”

“Briefs. Definitely strange.”

“Show me.”

“I’m not going out there! Someone might see,” David hissed.

“Just open your door and I’ll open mine. On three. One, two—”

His pulse racing foolishly, David listened to the creak of Isaac’s door and edged his open. Sure enough, he could see right into Isaac’s dressing room. Isaac stood in nothing but the little shorts, which were decorated in squares of greens and blues.

Isaac’s gaze raked over David, and he swallowed hard. “You look…”

“Silly?” David peered over his shoulder into the mirror. He could see the faint shadow of the crease in his backside through the cotton. “They’re so tight! I know this is the way they’re supposed to be, but…”

“You need to buy those.”

“Huh? Aaron already bought them.”

Isaac shook his head. “Right. I forgot.” He peeked down the hallway before adding, “You look really, really good.”

“Oh.” David flushed as he looked down at himself. “You think so?”

Isaac nodded vigorously. “You look like the man in the picture.”

Even though he was standing there practically naked—and practically in public, even though no one could see—confidence surged through David. “You should try them too. The boxers look good, but…” He could imagine how the tight cotton would hug Isaac’s lean hips, and—

As the man at the counter began speaking, they both jumped and slammed their doors. David leaned against it, heart thumping. He stared into the mirror, suddenly feeling unbearably exposed and wrong.

Aaron’s voice echoed from down the hallway. “Hey, man. My brother and his boyfriend are in there. They’re new around here and need clothes, so we’ll be here for a while. I practically filled the cart, so we’ll start with the jeans.”

As the man replied, David took a deep breath and blew it out. Boyfriend. Aaron had said it to a stranger like it was nothing at all. David couldn’t imagine what it would be like if he and Isaac didn’t have Aaron to help them. He’d thought he was so very worldly taking June’s truck to the drive-in and wearing jeans. Reading a dirty gay magazine from the gas station. What a joke—he barely knew anything.

Then Aaron’s voice was right outside the door. “You can only take eight items in at once, so I picked stuff for each of you. We’ll start with the pants.” He placed a few over the dressing room door. “I’ll sit out here and wait for the fashion show. David, I went a size smaller than the jeans you already have. And there are skinny leg, boot cut, dark wash—actually, never mind that. Just try ’em on and see what you like.”

David could barely get his feet through the bottom of the legs, so he hoped they were the skinny ones, as he couldn’t imagine anything skinnier. The dark denim hugged his thighs, and he wasn’t sure he’d be able to bend over. There were two mirrors in the stall, and he looked at himself from all the angles.

The shame evaporated, and energy pulsed through him as if the music in the air was singing inside him. It was frightening, but exhilarating. With his bare chest and the jeans clinging to his body, he could almost be an English rock star, or someone in a movie. He’d never looked so different in his life. So very not Amish. He ran his hand down his chest and belly, and then lightly over his fly. He still wore the briefs, and he tingled.

“How’s it going, David?” Aaron asked.

With a deep breath, David opened the door. He grinned. “Not bad.”

Pre-order A Clean Break now:
All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Upcoming Release

I keep writing excuses in my blog. I know I do. My blogging has always been sporadic, so really, let’s dispense with excuses and move on. I’m horrible at it. Blogging, that is. I acknowledge that. It’s not going to get better. Let’s face it, if I manage some writing time, it’s likely to go to actual fiction, and not to a blog post. I’m sorry, darlings, but it’s true.

Now that being said, I’m thinking ahead today. My next visit to Slash and Burn will be February 1st. I plan to rerelease the last former Silver Publishing book in February. So, for my next visit, hopefully I’ll have the details of that, and an excerpt for your reading enjoyment.

So today is not much for reading, but return next month for more information on For Eden: The Shadowfire Ring, a short story involving an angel, a half-demon, a wingasm, and a ring designed to protect, but instead risked the demise of an unlikely love. (Formerly titled Bound by Love.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New release date!

Hello again, Slashers. My Sunday here seems to come around really fast. I suppose maybe if I put it on my calendar, I wouldn't be surprised every other week. But who's to say? I'm always surprised when Christmas comes around, and that's the same day every year.

It finally turned into winter here in southern California. And by "winter", I mean rain and temperatures below 70F. For us, it's a nice change. At least when I go run my errands today, I can wear a hoodie. (I love hoodies. Just FYI.) Also on my Sunday to-do list is writing with my beloved Chris Owen. We're nearing the end of the second novel in the Never Too Early series and we have a release date, which also means a deadline. Ready? Mark your calendars..........

March 25!

The book is due to the publisher by the end of this month, and in between the holidays and family and present-wrapping, we have to find time to finish it. We wrote yesterday, we'll write today, and hopefully meet our deadline.

Just to keep you interested, here's a little snippet from it. Have a good week, everyone!

Jake snorted out a laugh and immediately regretted it. "Ow. Okay, welcome to our house. The maid hasn’t been in a while. Something about a roof."  Honestly, he thought it said something about the level of drugs in his system if he was worried about the state of the housekeeping with his head and ribs aching the way they were. He went in and headed directly to the couch, following Tor and knowing Chance was right there if he got wobbly.

He figured he had three minutes before people started arriving at the door.  Elias would be first, he could feel it in his bones.

Well, the bones that were capable of feeling anything other than intense pain.

"Easy, easy!" Tucker put a hand on his arm. "Hang on a second." He reached down and arranged the couch cushions so Jake wouldn't have to do it after he was already sitting. "Go slow. I mean it."

Jake had to sigh, then promised himself that was the last one. "Let me -- "  He grabbed Tucker’s arms and lowered himself down with a grunt he couldn’t quite stifle. "Oh, man." He was a little breathless, and had to resist the urge to rub his ribs where they ached.

This sucked, and for a brief moment he wondered if he really should have left the hospital. He wasn’t in so much pain he was ill from it, but he was far from relaxed. "Thanks," he managed to say, though.

"You need to turn so you're lying down," Chance said, sounding a little apologetic. "It will be less painful, I promise. Tor, can you get his drugs? They're in a pharmacy bag in my duffel. And he needs something to eat with them."

"Yeah, sure."  Tor hurried off, yelling over his shoulder. "Eggs, Taggart. And actual toast. Real bread."

Jake rolled his eyes. He couldn’t really care less what the food was. "Are these pills addictive? ‘Cause I don’t really care at this point."  Trying to lie down was way harder than it had ever been before in his life.

"Yes." Chance leaned over and helped Jake get his legs in the right position, and suddenly Jake could breathe again without stabbing pain. "But I promise not to let you turn into a Vicodin junkie."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rival skaters keep their relationship secret and end up on thin ice

When I first told people I was writing Cold War about two gay figure skaters, many of them pictured something like Blades of Glory. Er, not quite! Dev and Misha 

After an explosive locker room confrontation with his Russian rival ends in the most surprising and intense sex of his life, American pairs skater Dev Avira needs to refocus. He’s worked for years to win Olympic gold, and he can’t let himself—or his partner—down. Distraction in the form of steely and smoldering Mikhail Reznikov is the last thing he needs as he prepares for the biggest competition of his life.

But with the Games only days away, they can’t keep their hands off each other. Dev soon learns that beneath Mikhail’s arrogant and aloof exterior is Misha, a passionate man who warms Dev’s heart and scorches his bed. They're both determined to win, but for Misha his freedom could be on the line. Can Dev put his deepening feelings on ice as he goes for gold?
Buy now: Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo
KA_holding the edge_coverlg
Can Misha and Dev keep their romance under wraps this holiday?

Writing this sequel from Misha's POV was really fun. I learned a lot about Russian holiday traditions (huge thanks to Tatiana, my Russian translator and answer-er of my many, many questions), which was fascinating. They go all out for New Year's and have Orthodox Christmas in January. I love learning about other cultures, and I hope you'll enjoy reading as Misha and Dev spend their first holiday together. Here's a bit more about Holding the Edge:

Misha Reznikov has an Olympic gold—and a secret lover who just happens to be the silver medalist. Now that their competitive days are over, Misha and former rival Dev Avira are setting up house in LA and giving their relationship a shot in the real world. They agree that keeping their romance strictly under wraps is best for their pro careers and Misha's family back in Russia. So what if Dev hasn't told his parents, and they never eat out for fear of being spotted? It's not perfect, but they're together.

But as they prepare for a special holiday skating show on Christmas Eve in Dev's hometown, tension builds. How long can Misha and Dev keep their love secret—and what happens if one of them wants to stop hiding?
Buy now: Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Amazon | iTunes

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Excerpt: Fallen

Wow! I almost forgot it was my turn to post here today. I write these things in my calendar, so after I get this done, I'll have to dig out that little green book and see what else I've missed this weekend.

Last month I promised you an excerpt. Without further ado, here is a snippet from Fallen.


Man has free will, and guardian angels have an eternal place in the holy host.

When unexpected feelings interfere with Malchediel’s guidance of a mortal being, he must decide if his love for one man is true, or the work of the devil. Charged with the soul of handsome but suicidal Bran Weller, Malchediel faces a second challenge: Bran's steadfast belief that homosexuality is not wrong despite the Church’s view of his lifestyle.

In the course of his angelic duties, Mal is tempted to turn a blind eye to long-standing rules of guardianship as he falls in love with his charge. Torn between faith in God and belief that every man deserves love, Malchediel must find a way to balance heart and soul or risk a Fall to Hell.

Note:This book was previously released but has been substantially revised and re-edited in this version.

Excerpt from chapter one:

Angels can, and do, fall from Heaven. Most of the time it is willingly, like today, but other times, they are cast down for their sins, and that fall is much, much harder. I would rather not discuss such topics. It breaks my heart to consider the rare brethren who fail so completely that they fall into the innermost circles of Hell.

A fall is not gentle or graceful, but being as immortal as a sentient creature can get, I am not harmed when I land on Earth. I can be disoriented, which has yet to get any easier with experience, but I accept this and plan my landing accordingly.

Except today.

I land in a crouch, taking the impact through my legs and up my body. A large object looms in my unfocused vision to the left. It hits me, and I sprawl across pavement.

This hurts much more than falling.

Yes, I am an angel, and yes, it is true I cannot die a mortal death. I can, however, feel pain when ensconced in a human body. I close my eyes and take a silent inventory of myself. My injuries are not severe. I will bruise, but nothing is broken. Human body, but not a human mind; I am confident of my diagnosis.

“Oh, shit. I’m so sorry.”

I open my eyes to see from where the voice emanates. A blur moves toward me from that direction.

The voice asks, “Are you okay?” The face is still fuzzy, but I am settling slowly into my human senses. “Can you move? I’ll call an ambulance.”

His words help me snap through the fog of my fall. I grab his arm as he pulls his portable phone from his pocket. “No,” I say, “I do not need an ambulance.”

I hurt, yes, but doctors would slow me down and do very little otherwise. I heal quicker than a true human, and an angel’s physical form can sometimes cause the little hairs on the back of a doctor’s neck to quiver. They know, but they do not. Professional instinct is strong, though we often appear the same as our mortal charges.

I blink, my eyes focusing on the face hovering over me. I cannot go to the hospital because I have found him. I cannot explain how I know he is the one; I am a guardian angel, and he is my charge. I know.

He is beautiful in his concern, but I recognize sorrow veiled in his deep brown eyes. “So brown,” I whisper. I blink. I had not intended to say a word.

“You’re hurt,” he says, blushing.

“I will be fine.” I sit up, and he turns his hand to take mine and assist me. I am surprised to find I need his strength to steady me. Closing my eyes, I again seek out broken bones or internal injuries. I find nothing, but I am still shaken.

“Are you sure? Look, I’m really sorry. I didn’t see you.”

When I attempt to stand, his hand is there, helping me. With his arm around my waist, I ease myself to my feet. I look up into his eyes. He did not look tall while I sat on the pavement, but now, both of us on our feet, he looks down at me. My heart pounds, and the adrenaline makes me sway on my feet.

“Shit. I really think we should get you to the hospital.” He catches me, though I am not falling. Not any longer anyway.

I pat his arm. “Really, I will be fine. I need a moment to orient myself.”

“Did you hit your head?” His eyes widen. “You might have a concussion.”

“Please, I am sincere.”

I look around me, around us. We have not drawn any attention. Good. No witnesses to my sudden appearance. It is bad enough I have mistimed my fall. I have only fallen twice before, and neither resulted in my charge hovering over me like a protector. Neither resulted in me talking to my charge at all.

It does not matter. Now I must focus on my duty. We are in a parking lot. It would seem that I fell behind his vehicle as he backed out of a space. I do not understand how I could make such a mistake, but even angels are fallible. Only God is not.


When I look at him again, he ceases his objection and says, “I want to do something.” He looks me over. “I’ll have that coat cleaned. It’s my fault that it’s so filthy.” He reaches for his wallet, but I wave a hand, declining. I have no need for money or the services of a dry cleaner. I only need to will the coat clean. As soon as it is not likely to cause him to question.

“If you wish to do something for me, I have one request.”

He nods, eager to make things right. “Sure. What?”

“I am new in town.” I pause; a tickle of tissue repairing itself in one leg distracts me, but only momentarily. “I am craving a cheeseburger. Could you point me in the direction of a restaurant that makes a good…burger?” I hesitate to use any slang at all because I have doubts about my understanding of such words. Their use can be tricky. I have been warned that without slang, I stand out just as much as if I use it improperly, so I try. He does not react as if I said anything wrong, but he does hesitate before answering.

“That’s it? A burger? Well, the least I can do is drive you to the restaurant.”

“I would enjoy the company,” I say. My work would be easier over a meal.

“Company? Oh, um…”

“Did you already eat?” Perhaps I misunderstood his offer.

“Well, no, but I was about to…” The sorrow I saw before flashes behind his eyes again, reminding me I must be careful and caring with this beautiful man in my charge. “I should go to the grocery store.” He shrugged once, and I do not understand the gesture, only the words.

“I do not want to keep you from your responsibilities. A ride to a suitable place would be more than sufficient.” I cannot push him even if he does need my help, which he most definitely does. Man has free will, and I cannot interfere; I can only guide.

He shifts from foot to foot and rubs the back of his neck. When he looks at me, he smiles, but the sadness never leaves his eyes. This hurts me in a way I do not fully understand. I know and recognize pain, not unlike an empathic person, but his burrows into me in a way with which I am unfamiliar. Angels do feel, but we must keep ourselves distanced from it. Mortals refer to this as professional detachment. A guardian without the ability to care for his charge would be just as dangerous as one who cares too much and loses sight of his goals.

“Are you sure you don’t want to talk to a doctor?” he asks. “I’ll cover it if you don’t have insurance.”

I put my hand on his shoulder, intending to reassure him. Medical insurance has been a common concern for mankind lately, so now I understand why he suspects I may be avoiding the hospital. “I am better already,” I say, not needing to hedge the truth. We cannot lie, but we can come close. This is neither; I have already healed what little injury I suffered.

A vehicle—a car—rolls by. The driver shouts out his window about blocking traffic. I reply that he has room to drive by even as he does. He continues with the answer of a gesture I have learned is meant to be an insult. I am not insulted, but instead curious that he should be offended by me.

My charge forgets his concern for my health and laughs, shaking his head. “It’s not the best parking job,” he says, waving at his car parked halfway out of the straight white lines. Then he adds, “Come on. I’ll buy you dinner.”

Copyright © Pia Veleno

Interested?? You can download your favorite format from Loose Id directly by clicking here:, where it's on sale for only $2.39!

And, of course, Fallen is also available at your favorite third-party retailer. If you must download your ebooks directly from Amazon, or need every purchase to count toward your buy ten freebie at ARe, Fallen can be found at those other sites too. Just not on sale.... 

Happy reading! Have a wonderful December, and holiday of your choice.

~Pia Veleno

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review Round Up

Happy Sunday, readers! Just a quick post today with some links to a few reviews that Chris and I have gotten for Never Too Early: The Beginning. Response to the first part of the boys' story has been amazing. Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to email us about it!

Michelle at Joyfully Jay said nice things HERE.

Very positive reviews at Goodreads.

The Blogger Girls reviewed Heat in preparation for the NTE review, which I have been assured is coming soon.

Again, THANK YOU for the emails and DMs! I can't tell you how happy we are that this project is being received so well.

It's still early in California. I'm off to get my coffee.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Can two Marines make a life together after WWII?


I decided to release my new novel Semper Fi on Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day as my small way of paying tribute to the veterans who have served so bravely in too many wars over the years. The idea for this gay romance came about when my dad lent me a book on the Guadalcanal Campaign, and I started wondering about the Marines who fought there. Were any of them gay? What were their lives like after the war? Did they find happiness even after the horrors of battle? From these musings Cal and Jim were born, and I knew I had to tell their story. I hope you'll take their journey with them!

semper-fi-web-200x300The war is over. The battle for love has just begun. As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend. But when Jim’s wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn’t know a thing about apple farming—or children—but he’s determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend’s support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected. Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?
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