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Brushing Off the Dust

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I’ve been on indefinite hiatus from writing romance while I dealt with some personal stuff, including both my kids moving out of the house, one to college and the other to be a partner and stepparent.

It’s been a stressful few months, with occasional breaks of fun and entertainment.

Many of my books are now out of print. Those include the entire Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series and all associated books with MLR Press and Passion in Print Press, as well as all of my other titles with those two imprints. They also include all but three of my Ellora’s Cave titles, though I’ve heard rumblings around the internet that all Ellora’s Cave authors are having their rights returned in December. All of my Pink Petal Books/Jupiter Gardens books are off the market, since the publisher closed.

On the plus side, my Loose Id titles are still available, as are Love Like Vampires from Dreamspinner Press, and Dawn Over Dayfield from DSP Publications. Dawn Over Dayfield is now an award-winning book! In August, it took first place in the Mystery category of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Awards! That was hugely exciting. Now I’m waiting with bated breath to see what happens with the Edgar Awards, since Dawn Over Dayfield is also nominated for that.

My self-published novel Vengeance Is Sweet is also still available as an Amazon exclusive, e-book only.

I haven’t written any new romances. I don’t know whether I’m going to. I used to love writing them, but once I started writing for publication, and trying to get more and more books out there in the world, it became stressful and painful. Personal life circumstances didn’t help. I haven’t even been able to think of a romance *plot* in over a year, and I’m not sure whether that’s going to change.

But I still have books out there in the world, and I want to make sure people find them. I want to make sure people know *I* still exist. And someday in the future, I might self-publish some of my previously-published books even if I don’t write anything new. It remains to be seen.

I’m still writing young adult fiction under my Jo Ramsey pen name, though. I’m working on some nonfiction projects about healing, trauma recovery, and magic. (The witchcraft/spiritual version, not the up on stage with a top hat kind.) I’m starting a business related to those topics as well. I’m getting used to being an “empty nester,” and spending time with my partners and friends.

I’ll be blogging here twice a week. Mondays will be posts on a variety of topics; Thursdays will be short excerpts from my books, including some of the off-the-market ones. So I hope you’ll tune in, same Karenna time, same Karenna channel. (Wow… I hope I’m not the only one old enough to know that reference…)

Teaser Thursday- Love Like Vampires

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By the time they went back inside, Shane was breathing easily and the tightness in his chest had let up. None of the arguments among the band had become too serious, at least not with their current lineup, but he was always afraid they might, and then everything would fall apart. He and Thaniel had been through it with five different guys already, guys who wanted to write songs that didn’t match the band’s style, or who were pissy because Thaniel let Shane have too much say in how the band ran.

Thaniel had always had his back, even when their first drummer had called Shane a “fucking faggot” the day Shane came out. Shane had had to hold Thaniel back from beating the shit out of the guy.

Good times. Shane hadn’t exactly enjoyed being treated crappy merely because he’d finally had the guts to admit something most people had figured out years earlier. Having Thaniel not only accept it but defend him had helped.

Right now, the band had it pretty good. Their current lineup gelled, and everyone agreed on musical style and where they wanted the band to go. Bryan and Jace were too laid back, and Todd was too busy, to care who ran things, as long as they didn’t have to. They all had about the same level of skills, and none of them gave a damn about each other’s sexuality.

But something was broken. Shane couldn’t put his finger on it and didn’t really want to. He only knew the band wasn’t as connected as they had been, and that might mean Love Like Vampires would fall apart.

He took another breath as he and Todd followed Thaniel to the area they’d been assigned to hang out in during Jareth’s part of the show. The argument had ended. Everything was cool.

Bryan and Jace were already in the designated spot, sipping bottles of water and talking to one of Jareth’s musicians. Both of them stood mostly still, mellow expressions on their faces. At least Jace wouldn’t get on anyone’s nerves for a while.

“Ready for this?” Bryan asked as they took their seats. “This is where we’re heading in a year or two if we keep it up.”

“I sure as fuck hope so.” Thaniel slid down in his seat and grabbed a bottle from the cooler between his chair and Bryan’s. “Two albums and a ton of frigging shows, and we still aren’t hitting what we should be.”

“We’ll get there.” Shane took the seat on the other side of Thaniel and mentally prepared the usual pep talk. Every single time they played a show, Thaniel ended up griping about what they should have been doing. From the second the guy had said, “Hey, we should start a band,” he’d had plans. The plans hadn’t worked out yet, and it irked the hell out of Thaniel.

Teaser Thursday- Bishie Sparkles

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The fictional character thing that meant he had to have lost his mind. Characters from books didn’t just come to life with full-blown boners, begging for a fuck. Not that Teruo was begging, at least not yet. If his personality as depicted in the manga was accurate, that would happen soon enough if Grant kept turning him down.

Making Teruo beg did have its appeal. Grant had always found it a turn-on to have his partner want him so badly they pleaded to be fucked.

“No.” He shook his head. He couldn’t believe he was even thinking that way. “You don’t exist. You do realize that, right?”

“I’m here and I’m horny.” Teruo said it as matter-of-factly as if he were stating the color of his hair. “That feels like existing to me. Why do you keep saying no? You wanted me badly enough to jerk off thinking about me last night. You dreamed about me all night long. Do I have to throw myself at you?” He rose to his feet on the bed. “Because I can do that, as long as you promise to catch me.”

“Just stop it!” Grant stumbled backward against his nightstand. He banged his ass against the corner of the stand, and the pain coupled with the ridiculousness of the situation killed his hard-on almost instantly.

Teruo frowned and sank to his knees. “You don’t want me?”

“If you were real, I’d want you.” Great. He’d hurt the guy’s feelings. A couple of tiny frowny-faces appeared in midair behind Teruo’s shoulders, which made Grant feel even more guilty. “Teruo, you’re a character in a book,” he said. “I just woke up, and here you are. You can’t honestly expect me to accept this. Especially not before I’ve had coffee.”

Teruo’s expression brightened, and the frowny-faces disappeared. “I can brew you some coffee while you shower. I mean, I know you showered last night, but you might want to consider it again.” He wrinkled his nose, which Grant found excruciatingly cute, much to his annoyance.

“Yeah, I’m going to shower.” Grant opened the miniscule closet and picked out a shirt and slacks he hadn’t worn to work yet that week. “And then I’m going to work, and on the way, I’ll buy myself a cup of coffee.”

He stopped. He was going to work. He would be gone all day, nine hours minimum counting the commute on either end of the day, and that would leave Teruo alone. Teruo as depicted in the manga was a bit mischievous and impulsive, and he became bored easily. Grant wasn’t sure it would be such a good idea to leave someone like that alone in his apartment.

He sure as hell couldn’t take Teruo to work with him. Those sparkles and chibi eyes would be too damn hard to explain.

Sighing, Grant glanced at his clock radio. He had to be at work in half an hour. Somehow he had overslept, and that, combined with having to deal with a yaoi character in his bed, would make him late for work if he did go. Maybe it would be better to call in sick. His boss would have a field day trampling Grant’s ass for daring to call in, but he could handle that. It wasn’t as if he missed work often. The boss could deal with his absence better than Grant would be able to deal with worrying about what his new friend was up to while he was gone.

Taking the day off would also give Grant more time to figure out how to send Teruo back into yaoi-land.

Teaser Thursday- Love Like Vampires

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Thaniel patted him on the shoulder. “We’re going to be fine here. Who knows? We might make some connections that will put us in the big time with Jareth. He said he would introduce us to some people.”

“Great.” The thought of meeting the “people” made Shane’s stomach churn. It would be huge for Love Like Vampires’ career, no question, but those guys could make or break the band. Shane didn’t trust himself to make a good enough first impression with people like that.

“Come on.” Thaniel turned to include the rest of the band in the command. “Wander. Schmooze. Flirt with women. Hell, flirt with men. Jareth just proposed to his fucking boyfriend no one knew he had, right onstage, and everyone loved it. So if you’re into guys, probably no one here will have a problem with it.”

He intended that statement for Shane, no question about it. Bryan was gay too, and no one was quite sure about Jace, but Thaniel had spent enough time trying to persuade Shane to find a boyfriend or at least a fuck buddy that Shane recognized a hint when he heard it.

The problem was he didn’t want to flirt with any of the guys in the room except Thaniel. And there was no fucking way he would “go for it” with the guy who’d been his best friend since elementary school. Even if he had a chance in hell with Thaniel, he didn’t want to fuck up a great friendship for the possibility of getting laid.

“Hey, it’s the band!” A woman in a skirt so short Shane would have sworn he could see her panties—assuming she was wearing any—tottered over on heels that made her taller than Shane. “Come have some drinks and shit, guys! You were fucking insane out there. You have to play with Jareth more.”

“His fiancé probably wouldn’t appreciate other guys playing with Jareth too much,” Bryan said, his face completely blank.

Thaniel snorted, and Shane stifled a laugh. Jace and the woman looked equally confused, and Todd simply turned to study a painting on the wall beside them.

The woman’s face brightened. “Come on. You should have drinks. And you need to meet people. It’s a party. People meet people at parties.”

She gave them a huge smile, and her eyes glazed over. Drunk or high. Or both. Who the fuck knows? Shane glanced at Thaniel, who appeared to be studying the chick’s huge boobs. The things were so big that given her state and her shoes, Shane couldn’t figure out why she didn’t just topple forward.

“Lead us to the drinks,” Thaniel said. “We can definitely use them.”

Todd opened his mouth and Shane frowned at him. Every single time they partied, Todd tried to lecture them about alcohol. And every time, he drank more than any of them. At least this time they wouldn’t be taking him home to his girlfriend while he was still shitfaced. He might be pretty hung over by the time they returned to Maine the following day, but he would be sober. Which meant Caroline wouldn’t threaten to take their kid and vanish the way she’d done after their last show.

The chick, whose name Shane never caught, brought them across the room to the bar, and after that things blurred for Shane. Alcohol flowed freely. Hands were stuck in front of him to shake.

Hands were on his body.

He wouldn’t have minded the last bit so much if they’d been guys’ hands. Especially if they’d been Thaniel’s.

 

 

Changes in the Works

My first romance was published in 2009. It came after two and a half years of attempting to write erotica and/or erotic romance (back then, I wasn’t even sure what the difference was!), posting stories online, and finally finding a publisher that gave me a chance.

In the just-over-six years since, I’ve honestly lost count of how many books (including novellas and stand-alone short stories) and anthology contributions I’ve had published. And at this point, something around half of them are no longer available anyway.

As I think I posted a few months ago, since last summer, my health has gone down, and my stress level has gone up. The last new erotic romance I wrote was Stepping Stone Not Doormat, which came out in February. The next book I tried to write, Dawn Over Dayfield, stubbornly refused to be any kind of romance, though there is a fairly hot blowjob scene in it.

And when I sat down a couple of months ago to try to write a follow-up to Stepping Stone Not Doormat, something in my brain kind of imploded. I wasn’t able to even get the story off the ground, and the harder I tried, the more stressed and anxious I felt. When I finally had to put it aside a couple of weeks ago to start on a young adult novel I’d already committed to a publisher (under my Jo Ramsey pen name), it was a relief…and I’ve written three times as much on that novel in two weeks as I did on the attempted romance in over a month.

That told me something I’d been trying to deny for months: It’s time to step back from writing romance for a while. How long a while? I’m not entirely sure. Until my brain and emotions are ready to try again, I guess. I’m going to put more time and focus into my young adult fiction instead, and I hope some of you will check out my Jo Ramsey books, if you’re inclined to read YA stuff. I do plan to try to self-publish a few of my reverted books, along with a couple of things that didn’t find homes because they’re too hard to categorize, over the next couple of years. And Dawn Over Dayfield will be available next March from DSP Publications, the non-romance imprint of Dreamspinner Press. So there will be Karenna Colcroft releases. Just no *new* erotic romance for a while.

I hope my readers will hang in there, check out any of my backlist that you haven’t read, and keep an eye out for the self-published stuff as well as Dawn Over Dayfield. I won’t be disappearing completely; you can still find me on social media and this website. But sometimes tough decisions need to be made, and unfortunately, for me this is one of those times.

Teaser Thursday- Love Like Vampires

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“Just finish cleaning up.” Shane picked up a small wastebasket from beside the nightstand and pushed some used napkins into it from the stand. “You’re drunk, I’m fucking exhausted, and we need enough sleep to be able to hit the road first thing in the morning. Fight with me tomorrow.”

“Asshole,” Todd snarled.

“Shut the fuck up!” Red filled Thaniel’s vision, and he was in front of Todd without knowing how he’d gotten there. “Don’t you fucking talk to him like that. You’re bitching about your fucking woman again, and no one gives a shit. Got it? Shut up and fucking help, or go sleep in the goddamn van.”

“Than.” Shane’s voice trembled. He rested a hand on Thaniel’s shoulder. “Cool it. It’s all good. We all need to sleep, right?”

“Yeah.” Thaniel shook with the tension of not smacking the shit out of Todd. Fighting happened all the time, but he didn’t lay a hand on the others if he could help it.

He’d upset Shane again. He took a deep breath. He shouldn’t upset Shane.

Todd opened his mouth again and Thaniel braced himself. If the guy said one wrong word, Thaniel would forget about controlling himself and just let fly.

“Dude, chill,” Owen-Wayne said. “See those cups over there? Grab them and I’ll find you somewhere to toss them.”

Todd closed his mouth and stomped over to the pile of discarded cups. Owen-Wayne picked up the wastebasket from beside Jace’s bed and followed.

Thaniel took a few deep breaths and nodded at Shane to let him know he was okay. Shane looked skeptical but let go and wandered off to pick up more trash.

“Dude.” Bryan spoke so quietly Thaniel barely heard him. “You okay?”

Thaniel kept his voice low too. “He’d better watch what he says. I’m fine.”

“Okay.” Bryan glanced around. “We’re never going to get all this cleaned up. We can leave some of it for the other guys to deal with in the morning, but let’s get it at least presentable.”

“Yeah.”

Half an hour later, Thaniel’s eyelids were closing on their own and his head spun. But the room was a hell of a lot cleaner than it had been, and no one was arguing anymore. He could live with that.

“Sleep,” Bryan moaned. “Where are we crashing?”

Owen-Wayne tossed the cushions off the couch and pulled it out to a full-sized bed. “Two of you can use that. I’ll take one of the chairs.”

“I’m taking the other one.” Todd flopped down and kicked off his shoes. “Sorry. Not in the mood to share.”

“Good, because your stench would keep us all awake.” Thaniel turned his back on the other guy. “Shane?”

“Like you and I’ve never shared a bed before?” Shane grinned, though his eyelids drooped and puffy black circles outlined the bottoms of his eyes. “It’s cool.”

“And I’ll sack out with Mister High over here.” Bryan nodded toward Jace, who was snoring softly. “Departure time?”

“Eight,” Shane said.

“Seven,” Todd said. “I have church tomorrow, and she’ll kill me if I miss it.”

“Then you’re buying the coffee so I can be awake enough to drive.” Shane checked the alarm clock beside Jace’s bed. “It’s two. Five hours of sleep is going to royally suck.”

“Yeah.” Todd closed his eyes. “I’ll buy the coffee.”

“Good.”

Shane turned away and took off his shoes and jeans. Thaniel couldn’t resist watching the curve of the guy’s ass as he bent. His cock rose, and he swallowed hard and closed his eyes. Being turned on by Shane was one thing. Having other people realize it, not such a good idea.

He switched off most of the lights in the suite, leaving only the lamp between the beds on, and made his way back to the couch where Shane had crawled under a blanket Owen-Wayne had pulled out of the closet.

Bryan lay down beside Jace and pulled a pillow over his head. “The kid does snore.”

“Yeah.” Thaniel kicked off his shoes and lay next to Shane. “Are we good?”

“We’ll talk tomorrow.” Shane gave him a small smile that melted Thaniel’s heart. “We’re good. Now get some sleep.”

Lying beside his best friend, Thaniel closed his eyes and savored a warmth that had nothing to do with the blanket over him. His heart swelled.

He was happy. Something new.

Teaser Thursday- Love Like Vampires

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They dropped off Todd first, since his home in Falmouth wasn’t far out of the way to Jace’s place. He muttered something that might have been a thank-you as he jumped out of the van. Before Shane put the van in gear, the door to the house opened and Todd’s woman started yelling at him.

“I hope he quits,” Bryan muttered. “Honestly. He doesn’t practice enough to keep up at shows, and that isn’t going to change as long as he’s with her.”

“We need him.” Shane turned to look over his shoulder as he backed down the driveway. “He might not completely keep up, but at least he knows the music. And he has talent.”

“Talent that’s going to waste because he never practices,” Bryan said.

“Shush,” Jace mumbled. “Sleeping.”

Shane shook his head and headed up the road.

Thaniel leaned back and closed his eyes. A nap before talking to Shane would be good but not likely. By the time they dropped off Jace and got back to their apartment, he wouldn’t want to put off the conversation any longer. His head buzzed with questions. Where did things stand between him and his best friend?

Were they even friends?

If not, what the fuck were they?

They reached Jace’s house fifteen minutes later and persuaded the kid out of the back seat. He stretched and did a few toe touches before peering up at Thaniel with glassy eyes. “Shit.”

“You took some shit, I’d say.” Thaniel bit back the lecture he wanted to give. Jace wouldn’t listen even if he comprehended a word Thaniel said. “Next time stick to something safe.”

“Yeah. My parents are going to fucking kill me.” Jace yawned. “Not supposed to touch anything besides weed. Not even that, really.”

“Then you’d better brace yourself, because anyone can tell you took something.” Thaniel sighed. “Kid, smarten up. Partying’s great, but you can’t party if you’re dead.”

“Says the guy who smokes weed like a fucking chimney.” Jace rolled his eyes. “Thanks for the lecture. Practice tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah.” Thaniel glanced at the back of the van. “We’ll wait until then to unload the instruments, but do you want yours?”

Jace shook his head and winced. “Fuck. That kills. I’m going to bed. Won’t need the keyboards until rehearsal. I have my old one I can practice on tomorrow before you guys show up.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Thaniel hadn’t been looking forward to the idea of unloading all the equipment anyway, especially without Todd’s help. The guy might have been overweight and bitchy, but he was strong.

“Should we walk you in?” Shane stood near the front of the van, facing the house.

“I’ll handle it.” Jace took a step and grimaced. “Yeah. This isn’t going to be pretty. Thanks, guys.”

“Yeah. Next time be more careful,” Thaniel said.

Jace nodded, flinched, and walked toward the house slowly, with slumped shoulders.

“Lesson learned, hopefully.” Shane turned toward Thaniel and his face brightened. “Okay. So drop-offs are done. Let’s go home.”

“Yeah.”

Thaniel climbed back into the passenger seat of the van and ignored a comment he didn’t completely hear from Bryan. When they got home, everything would change between him and Shane.

Everything.

Release Day Teaser!

Today is the official release day for my male/male contemporary novel Love Like Vampires! So today, I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt here. You can get your copy of the book in ebook or paperback from Dreamspinner Press. 

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“You’re off in the ozone somewhere.” Bryan took a deep breath. “High?”

“Don’t start,” Thaniel growled. He caught himself before he explained that he’d been stressed about Shane bugging him, among other things. He didn’t owe Bryan any explanations. He was a big boy. If he wanted to smoke a bowl, it was no one else’s business.

“I’m not starting,” Bryan said.

“Yeah. Good.” Thaniel leaned over to pick up the bowl from the floor where he’d dropped it and almost fell off the couch. “Fuck! Anyway, you want some?”

“No thanks.” Bryan stood. “I’m going to go change. I have grease and smells all over me. Let me know when Shane shows up.”

He went into the tiny room where he slept. Allegedly it was the apartment’s second bedroom, but Thaniel’s mom’s walk-in closet was bigger. Thaniel thought about throwing the bowl at Bryan’s door. Fucking judgmental prick. He smokes enough shit himself, he doesn’t have any right to start on me. It’s fucking weed. It isn’t drugs.

He only smoked the shit to relax. Plenty of people did. His brain went off on a rant about people who thought they were better than him and who judged shit they didn’t understand. The usual thing.

Yeah. Paranoia. In reality, he knew damn well the guys didn’t care if he smoked. They got on his case about it to make sure he didn’t overdo it, but a bowl every couple of days wasn’t too much. He played high sometimes, but who could manage stage fright without some help? None of them bugged him a lot, and it didn’t bother him when they did. It was kind of nice to know they gave a shit.

That didn’t stop him from sometimes thinking how much he wished people would leave him the fuck alone and let him live his life.

Shane walked through the door, interrupting Thaniel before he could hit major rage point. That was probably a good thing. Riding half an hour with Shane and Bryan would be enough of a pain in the ass without wanting to kill someone.

“You okay?” Shane stopped right inside the door.

“Yeah. Dandy. Close the door before all the frigging roaches come in from across the hall.” Thaniel leaned back and closed his eyes. The door clicked, and he took a deep breath. “You get my text?”

“Yeah. I called two of the three.”

Thaniel waited a few seconds, but Shane didn’t go on. Impatiently, he opened his eyes and glared at his friend. “And?”

“Didn’t get to talk to either of them. Their receptionists wouldn’t put me through.” Shane sat in the armchair and his shoulders sagged. “Guess we aren’t on the approved caller lists. One of them let me leave a voicemail, though, so maybe we’ll hear back.”

“I hope you’ll have better luck with the third one.” That kicked-puppy look got Thaniel every time. He couldn’t let Shane feel like shit for something that wasn’t his fault. “You tried, man. That’s all you can do.”

“Maybe they just hadn’t had a chance to mention our name to the receptionists or something.” Shane shrugged. “Who the fuck knows? It isn’t worth worrying about. I can’t exactly walk into the offices and demand that they talk to us.”

“Why not?” The mental image of Shane being all intimidating and shit was fucking hilarious, and Thaniel started laughing so hard he almost fell off the couch again. “You could tell them you’ll turn them into vampires if they don’t let you talk,” he choked out. “Big bad vampire boy.”

Shane chuckled. “Shut up, dude.”

“Hey, Mr. Manager, you’d better listen to my friends and me or you’ll be eternally undead!” Thaniel laughed even harder. “I vant to suck your money!”

“What the fuck?” Bryan’s door slowly swung open, and Bryan stared out with his arms folded. “Okay. You guys are nuts.”

“Could be, but we’re musicians. It goes with the territory.” Shane grinned. “Never mind. We have to go. Jace called, said his sister’s coming over tonight with her baby and his parents want us out of there at a ‘reasonable time.’” He made air quotes. “Meaning before the baby’s bedtime. Nine or so. Maybe ten if we beg.”

“I thought his family didn’t believe in bedtimes and shit.” Thaniel giggled. “They’re all crunchy granola, let the kids do what they want.”

“Jace’s parents are. His sister rebelled by being strict.” Shane stood. “Come on. Quit with the maniacal laughter and let’s get out of here.”

Making Music

This is release week for my male/male contemporary novel Love Like Vampires, and as usual when I have a new release, I’m excited!

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This book is a bit different from most of the things I’ve written. The main characters, Shane and Thaniel, are only in their early twenties, living as roommates with a third member of the band they started in middle school. I’ve written one other story with a professional musician as a main character, but this is my first full-length novel featuring a band.

I got to “know” Shane and Thaniel really well as I wrote their story. All their fears and insecurities, including the ones they hide from each other. All their dreams, and the worries about what they’d do if their dreams don’t come true.

At the core of the story is how Shane and Thaniel feel about each other. They’ve been best friends since elementary school. Because of a crappy home life, Shane practically grew up at Thaniel’s house, and his childhood crush on his friend grew to full-blown love by high school. Something he never dared to tell Thaniel, because he believed Thaniel was straight. But because of that love, Shane has done everything he can to make sure their band, Love Like Vampires, makes it in the business.

Although Thaniel has hidden the truth about his sexuality from Shane, he is bisexual, and his feelings for Shane are just as strong as Shane’s for him. Knowing what Shane went through as a kid, Thaniel is protective of him, and is determined that the band will make it because he wants to make Shane proud.

When they finally admit their feelings for each other, there’s no question of where their relationship will go. But where the band will go–or if it will go on at all–is far from settled.

I hope readers enjoy Shane and Thaniel as much as I have. You can get your copy of Love Like Vampires in paperback or ebook from Dreamspinner Press.

Teaser Thursday- Bishie Sparkles

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The thing about manga that appealed most to Grant was that it didn’t exist only for kids. Despite the detractors who called the books “comic books” and sneered at the adults who read them.

If those detractors had any idea what was contained within the covers of the manga books Grant chose, they would know the books weren’t just comics. Comic books didn’t contain full frontal nudity and scenes of sexual encounters. The Japanese had the right idea, as far as Grant was concerned. Tame manga for kids, explicit for adults.

He would never dream of showing anyone the books he read. Aside from the full frontal nudity and blatant sex, there was the tiny fact that he was a fan of yaoi. Beautiful men fucking other beautiful men. There was no way in hell he wanted Joe Public on the Boston T train or bus seeing that kind of thing. He’d heard about too many gay bashings as it was, and he had no desire to be a victim of one. Sometimes he thought it might be[A1]  nice to be able to read during his commute home from downtown Boston, but he didn’t quite dare to take out one of his yaoi books where everyone might see.

So the night he bought Flower Glove, he waited until he got home to start reading. He’d bought the book at the chain bookstore in Downtown Crossing on his walk from the HMO where he worked to the subway. The title was completely weird, which he’d come to expect from manga, but the picture on the front cover had caught his eye in the bookstore. The picture showed a brown-haired man embracing a blond one. The blond was a bishonen, a manga “pretty boy” whose face was as beautiful as that of any female model.

He was clearly male, though, and Grant had barely been able to take his eyes off the picture long enough to pay for the book and let the cashier put it in a paper bag for him.

When he finally walked into the tiny studio apartment he rented above an elderly couple’s garage in Revere, he took the book out of the bag before he even closed the door. The last bit of October sunlight filtered through the window, and it glinted off the book’s cover, making the bishonen’s hair glow.

“Right.” Grant barely realized he was talking out loud to himself. With no one else in the apartment, he did that frequently. “Of course his hair’s glowing. This is a magical book, and if I wish really, really hard, he’ll come to life and suck my dick.”

He wouldn’t have turned the guy down if that had happened. Which, of course, it wouldn’t, since it was completely impossible.