Category Archives: Story Excerpts

A new year … a new story

In the early part of December, I picked back up a novel of mine that I’ve been working on for a while now. I call it my Court and Ronnie story for lack of a better title, and I managed to get it within a hair’s breadth of 60k when it stalled on me. Again.

So I switched gears, and started a completely new short story. I knew where I wanted it to go, and the opening scenes flowed easily enough. I’m calling it “Cash and Carrie.” But then I came down with a sinus infection during the week of Christmas and, once again, another story fizzled out.

When the holidays were over (and I began taking antibiotics for the infection), I wanted to get back to writing but wasn’t really feeling either of the two stories. So, against my better judgment, I started something new.

Now, I hate starting a new story before I finish one I’ve been working on because, in the past, I used to do that a lot. I was the queen of unfinished prose before I started buckling down and forcing myself to see a story from start to finish. But the problem is that sometimes a story just isn’t ready to be told yet, and there’s nothing more draining to a writer than trying to eke words out of something that isn’t ready to be written.

And sometimes, switching gears is just what you need to jump start your creative flow.

I’m calling this new story “The V in V-Day,” but I might shorten it to just “V-Day.” I don’t know yet; we’ll see. But as you can probably guess from the title alone, this is a new Vic and Matt story set on Valentine’s Day. And the neat thing, at least to me, is that when I write Vic and Matt, it’s almost like writing fan fiction. The characters are so familiar to me, their lives so real, all I have to do is close my eyes and I’m immediately in their story all over again.

So in the four days I’ve been working on this new story, I’ve written more than I anticipated. The story just started flowing the moment I sat down to write. With luck, I’ll be finished by the end of this month, and the story will be ready for you to read in its entirety by February 14th!

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek …

Continue reading A new year … a new story

Another exclusive excerpt from Just the Three of Us

My holiday novel, Just the Three of Us, is currently available only at Amazon! Here’s an exclusive excerpt just for you!

City planner Remy McIntosh is looking forward to a holiday vacation at a secluded cabin with his lover, Lane Anders. He’s planned the perfect getaway for just the two of them. But when his ex-wife changes her Christmas plans at the last minute, he has to bring along his 8 year old son, Braeden, too. Braeden doesn’t know Lane, or even that his father is gay. What will happen to the romantic holiday Remy planned for so long?

EXCERPT:

At two minutes after five, the phone on Remy’s desk rang. He pushed aside the plat map he’d been studying and leaned back in his seat to answer. His administrative assistant usually announced who was calling before sending them back to Remy’s office; since she hadn’t bothered, that meant the call was from one of two people. This close to quitting time, he hoped it was Lane.

It wasn’t.

“Jeremy,” his ex-wife’s voice snapped in his ear.

Instantly Remy sat up straight, no longer comfortable. “Kaitlin,” he replied. Two could play that game. Then, to diffuse the situation, he offered, “Merry Christmas.”

“That’s four days away,” she reminded him.

Remy rolled his eyes. She always had to be so damn literal. “True, but it’s Friday, and I’ll be out of town the next two weeks, so –”

“Actually, that’s what I’m calling about.”

His guard went up. “Kate, we talked about this. Braden already knows I’m not going to be visiting next week, and he’s okay with it. So what’s the big deal all of a sudden?”

“The big deal is now I have plans, too,” she admitted.

Remy waited. He knew she wanted him to ask what kind of plans, but he wouldn’t. If she wanted him to know, she’d tell him.

So she did. “Mike has two tickets for a holiday cruise,” she said softly. “It’s a couples-only thing. I tried telling him no, but he has his heart set on the Caribbean. He doesn’t much care for snow.”

“This is Virginia,” Remy snapped. “We hardly ever get any real snow. Who’s Mike?”

Kate sighed. “You met him last month. He came over for Thanksgiving, remember?”

Oh yes, now Remy could put a face to the name. Funny how Kate could have her new boyfriend celebrate Thanksgiving with the family but Lane was excluded.

Though, really, that wasn’t fair. Mike wasn’t the first guy Kate had dated since the divorce, but he was one she was most serious about. And Lane had been invited, but chose to visit his family in New Jersey, instead. His father was ill, and his sister had a new baby he wanted to see. Remy took a red-eye flight Thanksgiving evening to spend the rest of the weekend with Lane. His lover’s family was awesome — they jokingly referred to him as the “in-law,” and it had been nice to get away for a bit.

If Remy remembered, Mike was a nice enough guy. Totally opposite of what Remy had always thought of as Kate’s type, which was, well, himself. Tall, lean, slim, with broad shoulders and a full head of wavy blond hair. Mike had none of that, but he hadn’t seemed intimidated in the least when Kate introduced him to her ex-husband. Chances were she had also told him Remy was gay. That might have helped curb any jealous inadequacy he might have felt.

The mental image of Mike’s pale, paunchy belly hanging over a pair of Bermuda shorts wasn’t pleasant. Remy pinched the bridge of his nose to make it go away. “Wait, so you’re going on a cruise? When?”

“We leave Sunday,” Kate admitted.

For a long moment, Remy stared at the screen saver on his computer. His plan was to leave tonight for the cabin. Lane was meeting him after work, and together they’d head on out to the mountains. It was a three hour ride, easy, and with rush-hour traffic, it might stretch closer to four hours or so. They’d arrive late, but Remy was already looking forward to a quiet evening in front of a roaring fire, making love in front of the warm blaze, dozing in his lover’s arms until noon Saturday morning …

“What about Braden?” he asked.

Kate said, “That’s just it, Jer. We can’t take him with us. Mike only has two tickets.”

“Well, is it too late to buy another?” Remy had never been on a cruise before, but he’d seen ads on the TV. His son would love the boat and the islands.

“It’s a couples’ cruise,” Kate repeated.

Ah yes, she had said that. “Like The Love Boat?” Remy joked.

He knew Kate wouldn’t find that funny, and she didn’t. She sat on the other end of the line, silent.

“So, Braden?” Remy asked.

“You need to take him,” Kate said. Before he could argue, she hurried on. “My parents can’t, you know that. My mother’s still shaky from that bout of colitis she had back in October, and my dad has his hands full with her. Your parents might –”

“No, they couldn’t,” Remy interrupted. To be honest, at the moment he wasn’t exactly sure where his parents were. Upon retirement, they had locked up their house, sold both cars, bought an RV, and hit the road. Every few weeks, he got a postcard from them, usually an odd, out of the way place he had never heard of before. The last one came earlier in the month and showed his mother and father standing side by side, though his mother loomed unnaturally over his father. Both were grinning madly, and above their heads was written The Oregon Vortex and the House of Mystery. If they were still on the west coast, there was no way they would be able to return by Sunday to watch Braden. If he even knew how to contact them.

Kate said again, “Then you need to take him.”

Remy sighed. “Katie, I’m going out of town –”

“It’s Kate.” The correction was curt, a warning. “You can take Braden with you. He’d love a week in the woods.”

“Two weeks,” Remy corrected. “And it’s supposed to be just me and Lane –”

“Damn it, Jer! Can’t you give me this?” He heard tears in her voice, and knew she was close to breaking. “You’ve been with him now for two whole years. You have every night alone together while I take care of your son. Mike is the first good thing that’s happened to me in a long time. Can’t you see that?”

Remy closed his eyes. She was right. Since he and Lane had begun dating exclusively, they spent as much time together as possible. He saw Braden every other weekend, but that didn’t really give Kate the break she deserved. And Braden was his son. Remy loved the boy to death, and the thought of spending Christmas with him — without Kate — was exhilarating.

Softly, he said, “Fine. Let me ask Lane –”

“Ask me what?” came a deep voice from the doorway.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

Exclusive excerpt from Just the Three of Us

My holiday novel, Just the Three of Us, is currently available only at Amazon! Here’s an exclusive excerpt just for you!

City planner Remy McIntosh is looking forward to a holiday vacation at a secluded cabin with his lover, Lane Anders. He’s planned the perfect getaway for just the two of them. But when his ex-wife changes her Christmas plans at the last minute, he has to bring along his 8 year old son, Braeden, too. Braeden doesn’t know Lane, or even that his father is gay. What will happen to the romantic holiday Remy planned for so long?

EXCERPT:

In the morning, Remy woke to silence.

At first he wasn’t sure he was awake. He lay in the oversized bed beside his lover, and could feel Lane’s arm draped over his waist. He felt Lane’s breath flutter the hair on the nape of his neck. He heard his lover’s soft, even breath, and that was all he heard. Keeping his eyes closed, he slowly drifted out of sleep and into a peaceful, quiet world he had never thought existed before.

There were no sounds of traffic outside — no car horns, no running engines, no beeping of the trash truck backing up outside his apartment. No shouts or calls between people, no laughing children, no muffled talking on the other side of his thin wall.

There was nothing. Nothing at all.

It was bliss.

The more Remy grew conscious of his surroundings, the more he strained to hear … something. But besides Lane’s breathing and his own, nothing else interrupted the morning. Maybe, faintly, he heard a bird chirp, but that might have been his imagination. It was the end of the year, after all, and most birds had flown even further south months earlier.

Then there was a faint click, and a whoosh as the heat came on. It was a safe sound, a homey sound, and it made Remy feel even warmer inside the cocoon of blankets wrapped around him. Carefully, he turned over without disturbing Lane. His lover drew in a deep breath but didn’t wake. Remy eased his arms around Lane’s shoulders and kissed his forehead. “Hey there, sleepy head,” he murmured.

Lane made a small noise in the back of his throat and shifted into a more comfortable position, tucking his head under Remy’s chin.

Strumming his hand over Lane’s back, Remy savored the heat of his lover’s body alongside his. What did they have to do today beyond waking up? Nothing — absolutely not a damn thing. They could stay ensconced here, naked in the comfort of their bed, until nightfall, if they wanted. Pull back the drape covering the window and watch nature in all its glory, two lovers twined together, needing nothing but each other …

From the other side of the wall at the head of the bed, Remy heard a distant thump that reminded him they weren’t alone. Braden.

There went whatever peace he had hoped to hold onto for a while.

He held his breath, listening, waiting. But he didn’t hear anything else, and when Braden didn’t come banging on their bedroom door, Remy relaxed. Maybe his son had just gotten up to look for something to do, or maybe to use the bathroom. The cabin wasn’t too big, and even though he’d been asleep when Remy carried him in late the night before, Braden would be able to figure out where the bathroom was on his own. Nuzzling closer to Lane, Remy kissed the tip of his lover’s nose and whispered, “You awake?”

Lane moaned softly in reply. It was a cozy sound without meaning, and he didn’t open his eyes.

Remy knew he was tired — Lane had driven the night before, and navigating highway traffic in the dark could take a lot out of a man. He really needed his sleep. But when would they get another chance to steal a few moments alone? Remy had hoped for a little loving before they called it a night, but by the time he returned to their bedroom after putting Braden down, Lane had been zonked out. The whole reason for this holiday was to spend some time together. Now that he had a chance to have Lane all to himself, sleep was the last thing on his mind.

Laying back a little, Remy stroked Lane’s chest — softly, almost petting him. Gentle. He smoothed down Lane’s chest hair, which fluffed up again the moment he removed his hand. With his palm, he covered Lane’s nipple and rubbed it in a slight, circular motion. “Hey, baby,” he whispered.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!