Articles for the Month of March 2015

Spending Time

If you’ve followed this blog and read my bio, you know I’m married. My husband is a good man. He supports the family while I stay home and write. He’s my rock when my anxiety or depression take over, and he’s great with my kids.

But for him, being married just kind of means… being married. We don’t really spend any time together. We have no shared activities or hobbies. Other than reading and sex, we don’t have much of anything in common, and we don’t even read the same types of books. This doesn’t bother him at all. He’s perfectly content just knowing I exist in his life.

For me, that’s a problem. I love him, and I like the times that we interact, but sometimes I wish we actually did things together. Date nights. Or dancing (which we did briefly when we were first together, but I was seriously ill at the time and couldn’t keep up with the lessons). Or anything that would involve the two of us actually spending time with each other doing the same thing, and sharing something with each other.

When I’ve expressed that to others, I’ve been told I’m ungrateful. That I should be thankful he’s willing to support my kids and me, and I shouldn’t care that the most time we spend together is in bed.

I am grateful for what he does for us, but to me, a relationship is about more than physical affection and just coexisting in the same space. I think in any relationship, there should definitely be space for each person to be an individual, but there should also be times to be a couple.

At least, that’s my opinion. I’m interested in hearing yours.

Teaser Thursday- With Every Touch


The cool, soft sheet and pillowcase were unfamiliar to Erich. So was the female body next to him.

Lying on his back, Erich opened his eyes and took a few breaths. The sheet and pillowcase belonged to Sheila, who was curled up on her side facing away from him, her back resting lightly against him.

Morning light came through the edges of the blinds Sheila had closed over the windows. Erich couldn’t see Sheila’s alarm clock on her side of the bed, but it was definitely past six, judging from the light.

He wasn’t good at waking up quickly. His brain was having trouble catching up with the rest of him. His cock had no such difficulty. It was morning-hard, and he was horny.

Sheila’s silhouette beneath the sheet was very appealing. I could wake her. Morning sex is fun even with morning breath. Hell, at least we’d both have it.

Before he could let himself touch her, he rolled over to the edge of the bed and put his feet on the floor. He’d promised Sheila nothing had to happen between them. He was there because she needed comfort, not because she wanted to get laid.

“Where are you going?” Sheila asked softly.

Startled, Erich looked over his shoulder. She was facing him now, the sheet draped over her breasts. Her hair was a mess, and her eyes were slightly puffy.

She looked absolutely fucking gorgeous.

“I just need to use the bathroom.” As soon as he said it, it was true. “I’ll be right back. I’m not leaving until you tell me it’s time to go.”

“Okay.” She gave him a sleepy little smile. “I’ll be here.”

Erich stumbled across the hall to the bathroom, did what he needed to do, and washed his hands. He considered brushing his teeth but didn’t want to use Sheila’s toothbrush. That would have been too intimate. Of course he hadn’t anticipated spending the night, so he had nothing with him except the clothes he wore and his shorts.

When he returned to the bedroom, Sheila still lay under the sheet. Her pajamas were in a small pile on the floor beside the bed.

Her smile this time was less sleepy. “Good morning.”

“Looks like it’s going to be.” He grinned and stripped off his shirt and boxers. His morning wood had deflated in the bathroom, but now his cock returned to full hardness. He knew what she looked like under the sheet.

He wanted to just take her but held back. The night before, she had told him sex was the last thing she needed. Maybe she felt better after a sound sleep, but he wanted to make sure she was all right. “How are you feeling this morning?”

“Horny,” she purred. “Come here.”

If she wanted him, he wasn’t about to argue. She was too sexy. But he had made a promise.

He sat on the edge of the bed. “Are you sure?”

“Completely.” She frowned. “Are you seriously going to just sit there with a naked woman beside you? Touch me, Erich. Kiss me. Fuck me.”

The Story Behind With Every Touch


In spring 2013, a lot of things were changing in my personal life. Mostly good changes, but still, change sometimes messes with getting things done. I was struggling to continue writing, and I felt like I was treading water with stale plots and characters, just trying to make them fresh somehow so I could keep my backlist going and bring out new releases.

I finally reached a point, though, where I had to stop. My brain was frazzled, and the ideas just weren’t there. For a couple of months, I didn’t write anything at all.

Then I had to start again, because I owed a book to a publisher. I couldn’t think of a single idea, so I went into a chat room I belong to and asked for suggestions. A guy I know–who happens to be a plumber–said, “You should write about a good-hearted plumber with incredible hands.”

We took the conversation private, and with his feedback, I brainstormed the story. A plumber and a TV reporter meet, have sexytimes, and then unexpectedly fall in love. When I started writing the story, the words, for the first time in months, just plain flowed. Everything came together.

The publisher to whom I owed the book accepted it, but then many things happened and the book never reached the editing stage. I asked for a contract cancellation, which was granted, and took the book to Loose Id instead. And tomorrow, it will be available for sale! Check it out on the Loose Id website.

Teaser Thursday- Veggie Burgers to Go


After Saul, only four names remained on Zane’s list. Of course, he didn’t call the names of the guests. We weren’t important enough.

“We have much business to conduct today,” Zane said. “We will meet for approximately two hours each session, with breaks between for food and any other needs. Alphas, remember that our cardinal rule is respect. Each other, yourselves, and me. Those of you who have accompanied your alphas to this meeting, please remain silent unless asked to speak.”

A few minutes of bureaucratic procedural stuff followed. I zoned out. I dealt with enough of that kind of thing at work, since my boss seemed to think he should run meetings according to some old rulebook or something. Besides, if I wouldn’t be allowed to speak, there wasn’t much point in my knowing how the meeting would be conducted.

There was some discussion among the alphas about the bureaucratic stuff. Then they actually started the business part of the meeting. “To begin, we have a new pack to formally recognize,” Zane said. “Tobias Rogan, Alpha of the Boston North Pack, please stand.”

Tobias did. There was a little grumbling in the peanut gallery. Apparently the decision to recognize our pack as legitimate didn’t meet with everyone’s approval. None of the alphas made a sound, but I had the feeling that was mostly because Zane had told them not to.

“Tobias Rogan, for over a century the Boston North Pack has existed as a subset of the City Pack,” Zane said. “You have been indulged with the allowance of attending these meetings as alpha; however, officially you have not until this point been alpha of your own pack. As Arkhon of the Northeast Region, I now confer upon your pack official status, and confer upon you the official title of Alpha of the Boston North Pack, pending the approval of the majority of your peers.”

Of course it couldn’t be as easy as Zane just saying it was so. Even though he had the power to do just that, evidently he ran the region the same way Tobias ran our pack. As a modified democracy. Zane doubtless would have final say, but he preferred to put things to a vote.

I just hoped that wouldn’t bite us on the ass.

“Thank you, Arkhon.” Tobias bowed his head. “I am honored to have my pack thus considered, and I await the word of my peers.”

Both Zane’s words and Tobias’s were clearly part of some ceremony. As Zane had said when he’d greeted us, a lot of things in the shifter world seemed to be ceremonial. I didn’t know if knowledge of the right words came with being an alpha or if they had to rehearse, though I hadn’t heard Tobias practicing any lines. And I’d certainly spent enough time around him lately.

“Alphas of the Northeast Region.” Zane turned his attention from Tobias to look at each of the other alphas in turn. “The Boston North Pack has run under its own leadership for many years, since before City Pack existed. Rather than subsuming the smaller pack, when City Pack arrived its alpha reached an agreement with Boston North’s to allow coexistence. Throughout the changes of alpha which have occurred in both packs, that agreement has remained intact. As Arkhon and as wolf, I believe it is now time to formally acknowledge this pact and grant Tobias Rogan and his pack official status among you. Who agrees?”

The “yeas” which rang through the room sounded like they came from most of the alphas present, judging from the volume. I couldn’t help grinning. I’d been worried, but apparently I had nothing to worry about.

“And those who disagree?” Zane said.

Several of the alphas said, “Nay.” Their voices were nowhere near as loud as the agreements had been.

“Then it is agreed,” Zane declared. “The Boston North Pack hereby is recognized as autonomous and legitimate by the alphas of the Northeast Region. Tobias Rogan hereby is officially instated as Alpha of the Boston North Pack.”

“You can’t be serious!”

I recognized the voice, and wasn’t a bit surprised to hear it. Saul.

“Saul Hughes, Alpha of the Erie Pack, rise and state your complaint,” Zane said. “And remember that we respect each other in this room.”

Saul stood. He was broad-shouldered, with a dull brown crewcut that stood out against the long hair worn by almost all of the other alphas. With his back to me, I couldn’t tell much more about him than that. Not that I wanted to know any more about him.

“I apologize for my outburst, Arkhon.” Saul’s apology sounded anything but sincere. “I am concerned about placing a new pack under the rule of an alpha as weak as Tobias.”

A hand went up, and Zane nodded at its owner, whom I couldn’t see until he stood. It was Chal. “The Boston North Pack is not new,” he said. “It has existed longer than my own pack, as the Arkhon just stated. Tobias has been its alpha for over three decades, and he has ruled well, as I can attest since his territory is nearly within my own. He has shown no sign of weakness.”

“He claims a man as his mate.” Disgust pretty much dripped from Saul’s words.

“And that is weakness?” Zane raised an eyebrow.

“I believe so,” Saul said. “I don’t believe anyone who engages in such behavior is fit to govern a pack, and I will not stand for it occurring now.”

“So much for respecting each other,” I muttered to Suzannah, forgetting about the hyper-hearing.

“Silence among the guests,” Zane said, the ring of compulsion in his tone. I discovered that his compulsion had no more effect on me than Tobias’s usually did, but I shut up anyway.

“You have no choice but to stand for it, Saul.” Tobias’s expression and voice gave no indication that Saul’s comments bothered him. “The alphas have voted and have accepted my pack and me. It is done.”

“It is done,” Zane agreed.

“No fucking queer is going to run a pack.”

New Book Trailer

I wanted to share the trailer for my male/male novella Stepping Stone Not Doormat because in addition to just liking the trailer, it marks my musical debut, so to speak. I composed and played the bass line in the song used in this trailer, and I also did the sound engineering. And I’m probably way too proud of that. LOL

Special Guest Brynn Stein

Welcoming author Brynn Stein today to talk about her new YA novel Ray of Sunlight. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. When and why did you start writing romance?

Actually romance, October of 2011. I’ve written fanfiction with strong male characters for a long while. Back in Oct of 2011, I wrote an alternate universe story called Haunted. Aside from the names of the people in the fandom, there was very little of anything fandom related in the story. It was just this side of original. A friend of mine urged me to strip the story of the few fan related detailed, flesh it out, concentrate on the romance a little more, as well as the mystery I’d originally written, and send it off to Dreamspinner.

By the time I was finished, it was three times the length, much more romantic, and really just a much better story. So, I sent it off, as my friend continued to urge. Imagine my surprise when it was actually offered a contract.


2. What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired one of your stories?

That’s probably the incident that inspired Through the Years. (Either that or what inspired the one I’m writing now, but I talk about that on another stop).

I was at the hospital with my daughter. She was getting an MRI done, so I was in the waiting room for those kinds of tests. I couldn’t go back in with her for that, so I was people watching, as I often do.

The door to the testing area opened and I looked over, wondering if it was my daughter. It wasn’t. It was a little old man in a wheelchair being pushed back into the waiting area, presumably finished with his tests.

Another man got up and came over to him. He knelt down in front of and put a woolen cap on him in preparation for going outside. Judging by the apparent age difference, they were probably father and son, just both elderly. But, in my mind, they were lovers, together for fifty years, through thick and thin, trials and tribulations, joys and jubilations.

By the time my daughter came out, I had the whole story in my head, of Edward and Gene, and how they met in college in 1967. Of how Edward fought their attraction for years because he was brought up to believe “that kind” of relationship was wrong. Of how their lives touched and parted, then touched again over the years. Of kids and grandkids, and finally of tragedy that led Edward to the hospital and Gene kneeling before his wheelchair to put Edwards hat on his bald head as they left the hospital one final time.

By the time I finished telling my daughter about it over lunch, she was crying and told me I had to write it and send it in. And it was all because an elderly gentleman put a hat on an older man’s head. Weird, huh.


3. Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?

Yes. Most every homophobic character in any of my books is based on either one particular coworker of mine, or is an amalgam of several bible thumping homophobes I’ve worked with. I fear that sometimes the characters may read as over the top. But they’re modeled on real people. That’s really how these people act. One of the many reasons I’m looking for a job elsewhere…preferably OUT of the Bible belt. <G>

To answer the other questions, no, of course they don’t know I based it on them. Not too many people in my real life even know I write, let alone WHAT I write.

Oh, come to think of it, though, I did model a character for a round robin free read in which I’m participating on my daughter. And she knows about that. She was flattered. Especially so since everyone seems to like Jo (the character). (Here’s the link to the free read if you want to go look: )


4. Is there a plot you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to yet?

I have a whole list of plots I still want to write. The hardest ones to get to seem to be the science fiction/supernatural ones (even though technically I guess my first one was supernatural, it concentrated more on the mystery element I think). It’s odd that that should be the hardest for me because that’s the first genre I turn to when reading. But, for some reason, when it comes to writing, my muse tends to prefer contemporary.


5. What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?

My youngest daughter and I went to Florida several years ago and swam with the dolphins. We did a lot of other things too, jet skied, parasailed, etc. So I guess it wasn’t the place that was so interesting as much as it was what we did there.


6. What books do you have available now (title and publisher)?

All the books I have out so far are through Dreamspinner Press:


Living Again

Through the Years

Ray of Sunlight


7. What books do you have coming soon?

For Mac (coming in May) – Branson Farrell has always lived for his brother Mac, who practically raised him…did raise him after their mother died when he was thirteen.  Mac has made it clear that being gay is NOT acceptable, and Branson has tried to force himself to live within the lines Mac has drawn. When the brothers are in a car accident which leaves Mac in a coma, Branson meets Liam Sullivan, an Irish Adonis in a certified nurse’s uniform. Branson has to try to overcome years of Mac’s dictates to find who he can be when he’s not living for Mac.

What No One Else Can Hear (tentatively scheduled for July or August) – Jimmy Liston is a young empath who has been mentally calling for help for years. Jesse McKinnon, for reasons he’s not even sure of, has heard Jimmy’s cries for help and has followed leads in the waking world until he finds the boy in a residential facility for autistic children. Jesse meets Drew Ferguson, a fellow coworker at the center where Jimmy lives, and as forces try to rip Jesse away from Jimmy, Drew tries to hold both of his ‘men’ together until they can all be the family they seem destined to be.

Teaser Thursday- Salad on the Side

Salad Sm


The day had turned very warm, so having the car’s top down came as a welcome relief. Tobias drove carefully through East Boston to the highway, then took the ramp onto the Mass Pike and headed west. At least, that was what the sign told me.

We didn’t talk as he drove. At highway speeds, the wind noise prevented conversation. The lack of chatter didn’t bother me, though. I was here, in one hell of a sweet car, with the man my heart had decided to fall for without consulting my brain. We were headed for some unknown destination, just the two of us.

Nothing else mattered.

It took a long time to leave the city completely behind us. Boston’s suburbs and the surrounding area spread over quite a distance from my perspective. After a while, though, nothing lined the highway except trees and occasional glimpses of buildings.

He left the highway via a seemingly random off-ramp, leading to another highway heading south toward Rhode Island. I had no idea how much time had passed and I didn’t really care. The dashboard clock was clearly visible, but I chose not to look at it. The freedom of being alone with Tobias like this, alone even though cars whizzed by us and people stared and even waved, wiped any worries about real life right out of my mind.

A sign for Cape Cod led us to another off-ramp, which Tobias took. “We just made a hell of a circle,” he said when he slowed for a stop sign at the end of the ramp. “I could have just driven straight here without going through all that.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

He smiled and patted my leg. “Because then I wouldn’t have been with you as long.” He turned onto the road. “I’m going to take you somewhere I used to go with my family when I was a kid. I’ve never brought anyone else to see it, but I want to bring you. The only thing is; it’s going to be a while before we get there, and it includes a ferry ride. You up for it or do you need to go home for something?”

“Why would I need to go home?” I pointed out. “I live alone, my boss is probably ready to kill me, and so are a few shifters I know. Take me wherever you want.”

“Oh, I’d love to take you a few places.” His emphasis made the double entendre all too clear and my body responded accordingly. Maybe if I was discreet enough about it, I could suck him off while we drove…

He flicked the side of my head with his thumb and forefinger. “Alphas know what their pack is thinking. And I’m much, much closer with you than I am with the rest of the pack. Stop that before you get me all hot and bothered.”

“Failing to see that as a problem.” I put my hand on his thigh as close to his crotch as possible without being completely indecent. After all, we were in a convertible. “Does this place you’re taking me to have any secluded spots? Outdoor sex has always been a fantasy of mine.”

He laughed. “Unfortunately, not secluded enough for what you have in mind. I think you’ll really like the place, though, once we get there. Just bear with me, because it’s going to be a long drive.”

“And the idea of spending more time with you is so reprehensible.”

He swatted my hand. “Stop giving me a hard-on and let me drive.”

I took my hand off him, though I was very reluctant about doing so, and watched the road. Being this close to him and not being allowed to touch him constituted the worst kind of torture as far as I was concerned.

Being tormented like that was actually kind of fun.

Love Doesn’t Always Mean Yes

When you’re in a relationship, there are sometimes certain expectations. But being in a relationship doesn’t always mean doing what your partner wants. Especially when it comes to sex.

The old “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache” thing is made fun of, but sometimes women–and men–feel like the only way they can get out of having sex with their partner is faking sick. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be that way. Just because you’ve given someone your heart doesn’t mean you always have to give them your body. But unfortunately, not everyone agrees.

In our society, there was once a perception that women were the property of men. First of their fathers, then their husbands. And that meant a man could do anything he wanted with his wife, and she couldn’t say no. In general, we’ve moved past that idea, but some people still believe it. Even when they don’t, sometimes people believe being in a relationship means giving in to your partner regardless of how you feel or what you want.

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean giving up your free will. To me, love means respect, and that includes respecting each other’s right to say no, whether it’s “No, I won’t pick you up after work” or “No, I won’t have sex with you.” It also means respecting yourself enough not to do something your partner wants if you aren’t on board with it.

Relationships take communication and cooperation, and that sometimes includes speaking up when you want to say no. And having that “no” accepted.

Teaser Thursday- Knot Intended


NOTE: This story is about a married couple who *roleplay* the wife being kidnapped and forced. Joseph is her husband, playing the ROLE of a kidnapper. Everything occurring in the story and in the following scene is completely consensual.


No matter what happened for the rest of the evening, having Joseph look at her as if she were the most important thing in the universe would be worth it.

It would be even better when he finally did something to get her off. Waiting for his next move was sheer torture. She wanted to beg for him to touch her, kiss her, anything at all to give her some relief from the craving and need that left her skin tingling and her pussy tight and ready.

Tormenting her was almost certainly what Joseph intended. He was trying to get her to tell him she wanted him. That was why he had barely touched her so far. He knew the signs of her arousal. He couldn’t have missed how turned on she was. And he didn’t want to give her what she desired unless she begged. But a captive wouldn’t ask for her kidnapper’s hands and cock, so Nolie held back.

Finally he walked over to her and stood so close she could reach the bulge in his pants. “Looking a little anxious there, slut. Is there a problem?”

Nolie shook her head. She refused to reply. He’d ordered her not to ask for anything else. In this game, she should have been pleading with him to get away from her, regardless of what she really wanted.

“You aren’t waiting for me to do this, are you?” He cupped her breasts in his hands and massaged her nipples with his thumbs as he bent and brushed his lips against the spot below her earlobe that always drove her wild. Before Nolie could stop herself, she moaned. Joseph chuckled and squeezed her breast so hard it took her breath away.

He gave her a smug grin. “Oh, so you do like that, don’t you, slut?”

Nolie couldn’t answer. She was sure any words she tried to speak would come out as another moan. After waiting so long, she was so aroused she felt as if she might come from only his hands on her breasts.

Joseph didn’t seem to expect a response. He cupped both hands around her breasts more gently and thumbed her hard nipples. Gasping, Nolie tensed. Joseph released her and stepped back. “You want your tits played with, huh? Even by a stranger? Even by someone who brought you here against your will?”

Nolie pressed her lips together and focused her gaze on the floor. He was her captor. If she admitted she liked what he was doing, he might be pissed off enough to stop. Of course, Joseph probably knew exactly what she was feeling, but he would pretend not to, and Nolie had to keep up the fiction as well. Even if it was so difficult she wanted to scream.

She shook her head then reconsidered and nodded. There was no correct answer to his questions, and not answering at all might be worse.

Joseph sneered. “No, you don’t like it, or yes, you do? Or you don’t have a fucking clue? Sweet, innocent little slut, you can’t admit you want this, can you?”

He squeezed her breasts again. This time Nolie managed to stifle her gasp. Joseph looked disappointed but said only, “Nice tits. I wonder what you’d do if I tried to suck on them. These nipples of yours are pretty much begging for it.”

Nolie smiled at the thought of nipples begging and immediately set her expression back to as close to neutral as she could. Smiling wasn’t a good thing.


Bass-ic Facts

Just to be clear, that’s bass the instrument, not bass the fish…

Four months ago, as I may have blogged about before, someone close to me handed me a bass guitar in response to my whining that I needed a hobby. All he gave me was the bass and the instruction, “Figure out how to play this.”

He’s a musician. He’s been playing guitar for over a quarter century. He plays entirely by ear.

I didn’t think I would be that good. But…after four months, I’ve learned the bass line for three or four classic rock songs, composed two songs of my own including lyrics, andlast week, my friend let me create and record the bass line for a song he was putting together for one of my book trailers.

We have plans…and I’m not going to say more, because I don’t want to jinx anything.

But meanwhile, I’ve progressed far enough that I decided it was time to have a bass of my own instead of using his. So this beauty is all mine…


And I can’t wait to learn to play more!