Tuck & Josh – Chapter One

Tuck & Josh is a standalone MM contemporary coming February 2019, so here’s the first chapter as a little preview 🙂 Enjoy!

 

Chapter 1

Fuck, I hated parties. 

The music was cranked up so loud that all I could hear was the thump-thump of the bass line—and who knew “The Monster Mash” had so much bass? I clapped both hands over my ears and skulked through the crowd of drunken college students grinding on the makeshift dance floor. 

A busty brunette dressed up as Catwoman winked exaggeratedly at me. Her cat ears were askew, and the tight latex of her costume left nothing to the imagination. 

Trust me when I say that was a bad thing. 

“Heyyy, sexy. Wanna dance?” She swayed to the music, completely out of rhythm, gesturing me closer with both hands. Even her nails were painted black, wickedly long like claws. I wrinkled my nose. No thank you. 

I needed to find Tuck. Where was Tuck? God, I hoped he wasn’t as smashed as Catwoman, here. “Sorry. I don’t dance,” I quipped, which wasn’t a complete lie. 

Her mouth turned down into a red-lipped pout. I offered her the most apologetic smile I could muster, then ducked between a gay couple dressed up as Finn and Jake from Adventure Time…except Finn was making googly eyes at his equally-drunk partner. Ew, ew, ew. I skirted past and tried not to think about it. 

There wasn’t enough brain bleach in the world for that. 

Find Tuck. Grab him. Ditch this party. Go home. That shouldn’t be so hard, right? 

“Tuck!” There he was, sporting his Indiana Jones outfit. I heaved a sigh of relief that withered into one of frustration when I saw the red Solo cup in one hand. Great. What happened to “I’m not gonna drink, Josh.” He was dancing with a couple of girls, oblivious to the way they were hanging all over him. 

“Tuck. What are you doing?” 

His brows shot up and a lazy smile spread across his face. I groaned when his words came out slurred. “Joshipoo! There you are. I thought you were gone forever.” He laughed and took another swig of his drink, then handed it off to a girl dressed as a slutty pirate. “Here. Happy birthday.”

“Tuck. Let’s go.” 

“Nooo. C’mon, Josh, dance with me.” He grabbed at my arm, nearly pitching forwards in the process. I edged closer so he didn’t do a face plant on the grungy-looking carpet. He batted his eyes at me and my stupid heart fluttered in its cage. Damn him, why did he have to have such long lashes? “Pretty please?” 

“Tuck. Dude, you’re so drunk. Let’s go home.” 

“Am not.” He huffed at me, his nostrils flaring. I could smell the booze on his breath. He totally was, but who was I to argue? Wouldn’t get me anywhere, now would it? “Now dance with me. It’ll be fun.” He took my hands in both of his and hauled me to his chest with an impressive strength. I squeaked as I crashed into him, immediately backpedaling. 

“No, man. I don’t wanna dance, I wanna go home. Please?” 

“We just got here,” he whined. 

“Yeah. Three-and-a-half hours ago. Let’s go.” I grabbed his wrist and gave a firm tug. Before I could manage to even budge him, he pulled me in close and suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. Tuck’s big hand cupped the back of my neck only moments before he kissed me—Tucker Caine kissed me—and my pulse shot off like a rocket. My head spun in violent circles that threatened to knock me to the ground. 

The kiss was unrefined, sloppy and demanding, but fuck me… I stumbled away from him, breathing like I’d just run a marathon. Tuck was looking at me with intent in his dark eyes. What the hell was that? “Dude, you’re so drunk…” My voice sounded thin and I had to swallow hard to keep from throwing myself at Tuck and kissing him again. 

Even messy, that kiss was everything I’d ever dreamed of.

But he was drunk—and straight. And totally out of my league. Still, it didn’t stop my blood from heating, making me sweat in my too-tight Robin outfit. I needed to get over this stupid crush. Tuck kissing me only made me want more. The way he was staring at me made me think that I could easily swoon him to my bed, but that would be wrong. Bad Josh. 

He’d regret it in the morning, if he even remembered. 

“Please? Can we just go? Pretty please, with sugar on top?” I was the one whining now, but Tuck smiled and patted my cheek. When he nodded, I groaned with relief and began to drag him through the crowd, making a beeline for the front door. Tuck stumbled along behind me like a puppy on a leash, more than a little dazed. 

That first blast of chilly October air against my sweaty skin had me shivering. Neither of us had brought a jacket, but it wasn’t like we had a long trek. We just needed to make our way across campus to the dorms, and then I had to figure out a way to roll Tuck up the stairs to our room. 

Behind me, Tuck began to sing “The Monster Mash” out of tune, interspersed by low giggles. I would be happy to never hear that song again in my life, thank you very much. “It was a graveyard smash,” he warbled. I smacked him on the chest. His grin was dopey. “I’m thirsty.”

“No shit?” I scoffed. “There’s water at home in the fridge.” 

“You’re mean.” 

“Yeah, I know. I’m a downright monster. Almost there now.” 

By some stroke of luck, I was able to get him upstairs. The minute the door snapped shut, I pushed him down onto the bed and started undressing him. When I got to his pants, warmth flooded my cheeks. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen him in his underwear before, but Jesus. Tuck laughed softly. “Aren’t you gonna take me out to dinner first?” 

“Shut up. Nobody likes sleeping in jeans,” I muttered. I yanked off his pants, then his shoes and socks until all he wore was a pair of silky blue boxers. What I wouldn’t have given to take those off, too, and get well-acquainted with Little Tuck—focus, Josh, focus. I jumped up so quickly that I got lightheaded, then snatched a couple cold bottles of water out of our fridge. “Here.” 

“Thanks, man…” His eyes were half-lidded and heavy. He took a few meager sips of his drink, then started to reach for the PS4 controller sitting on the bedside table. I smacked his hand away.

“No way. Lay down. You need to sleep it off.” I kicked his clothes over towards his hamper, then set the small plastic waste bin next to his bed, just in case. Tuck moaned loudly, but flopped back in bed. I tugged the covers out from beneath him and covered him up. “You’ll thank me in the morning.”

“Wait. Where are you going?” he mumbled when I stood.

“To bed. Goodnight, Tucker.” I ducked into the bathroom to change into my PJs, suddenly feeling shy and exposed. That kiss… I couldn’t help but wonder what he’d taste like sober. No. It didn’t mean anything. Tuck was drunk as hell. He probably wouldn’t even remember it come morning. 

I climbed into bed and turned the lamp off, bathing the room in darkness save for a sliver of moonlight peeking in through the curtains of our room. Throwing my arm over my face, I tuned in to the sound of Tuck’s breathing growing heavier and heavier. 

I needed to get over my hopeless crush on the jock, but he made it so damn difficult. It didn’t help that I was a bit…choosy when it came to romance. It took me awhile to warm up to someone, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want a relationship. I just had crappy luck with dating. Maybe I was going about this the wrong way. Maybe sex did come first and I needed to put myself out there and hook-up with guys. 

Now was a better time than any, right? I’d come to college with the goal of losing my virginity before I turned twenty, and my birthday was approaching quicker than I would’ve liked. Tick-tock, time’s running out. 

Ugh. I wrapped the blankets around myself a little bit tighter, forming a human burrito, but when I closed my eyes, my traitorous mind began to replay that kiss in crystal clarity. From across the room, Tuck started to snore and I felt a pang of yearning deep inside my chest. I sighed and snuggled into my pillow. 

If only… 

Cover/Blurb Reveal – Three Dog Night

I’ll admit, this book ran me through the ringer. I started it in January of 2017. Got partway through, panicked that it sucked (self-doubt kills, yo) and shut it down…for nearly six months. In that six months, I re-outlined and tried to start again so many times and each time I couldn’t.

Finally, in January of 2018 I told myself, enough was enough. Finish it. Sheer determination and stubbornness got me a finished first draft at 89,000 words. I shoved it in a “box” and didn’t look at it again for six months. Needed to let it cool.

And would you believe, it wasn’t the steaming pile of horse crap I thought it would be? Glory god, hallelujah! In fact, with a little elbow grease, I think it turned out pretty good. Is it my best work? I don’t know. Maybe? Maybe not? That’s for the reader to decide. I hope that you’ll like it, though 🙂

Here’s the cover and blurb. Three Dog Night will be released the first weekend of July 🙂 While it’s technically book #2 in the Sheltered Hearts series, Second Chances was more of a prequel. Each book stands alone, though cameos from previous books appear throughout the series. Enjoy!

three dog night ebook-2

 

Kit Grayson doesn’t do people. All he needs is solitude and the companionship of his dogs–or so he thinks. But when he rescues a stranger caught out in the weather, there’s something about the sorrowful young man that strikes a nerve and Kit finds himself offering him a place to stay. It’s only for a couple of weeks. What’s the worst that could happen? Besides, Kit’s always had a soft spot for strays.

Hemi Tembrook is down on his luck and grieving the recent death of his brother. He can’t exactly turn down the offer of free room and board, even if his new host is grumpy and a bit anti-social. But it soon becomes apparent that there’s more to Kit than meets the eye. It doesn’t hurt that he’s sexy…or that there’s a gentler side to the man that he reserves only for Hemi.

As attraction sparks between them, Hemi’s determined to thaw the ice surrounding Kit’s sheltered heart, in hopes the man might see their potential together, as friends and as lovers. Because with each stolen kiss, Hemi is certain of one thing– this could be it for him.

 

#RainbowSnippets – 6-2-18

Rounded out the month of May at 51k – 10k of that being the outline for Temporary Bliss (Love By Chance #3) which is Gideon and Mika’s story. So not terrible. I managed 18k on Loving Soren (Greymercy #2) and about 7k on the now-shelved Dragonfall. All in all, not a terrible month… I think I’m too hard on myself ;P

Plus, I released Following Chance at the end of the month. That’s always a good feeling.

June’s always been a hard one for me–at least for the past few years. June 26th marks the 3rd year my mom’s been gone. Cancer sucks and I miss her, but I know she’d be so damn proud of me. On the bright side, the new Panic! At The Disco album is out on the 22nd which gives me something to obsess over haha.

That said! It’s time for #RainbowSnippets! #RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

So I’ll do a snippet from Following Chance 🙂 Because I love these boys so hard.

My pulse skittered and scrambled with each beat, but all I could do was gaze up at Huxley and cling to the hope that he was right. That he could somehow save me from the skeletons rattling their bones in my closet. 

“Stay,” he whispered. “Let me show you.” 

I threw both arms around his neck and dragged him down on top of me. 

I would stay forever, so long as he kept touching me like I was something to be treasured. Maybe, just maybe, Huxley Reed could polish away the grime so that I could shine bright again. 

 

#RainbowSnippets – 5-20-18

This has been my most unproductive month this year! Was out for five days with the stomach flu (and I loathe puking, ugh) and then I’ve been wrestling with this book. I managed a whopping 7k this month on it and it was frustrating me. A couple friends suggested I shelve it for awhile…so as much as I hate picking old projects back up, I just keep beating my head into a wall. LOL.

Anyhow.

#RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

This weekend, I’m gonna share a snippet from Following Chance, which was a fun little novella I wrote to dip my toes into the shifter/mpreg genre. Never in a million years did I think I’d like mpreg, let alone write one, but it was a blast and Huxley and Chance have a spot in my heart ❤

I missed him. A year seemed like forever, and yet it wasn’t very long at all. I missed his laugh and his whispered “I love you’s.” I missed his teasing grin, his stupid fucking knock-knock jokes, and I missed the warmth of his body against mine every night. What I would’ve given for one more day. For a chance to say goodbye. How the hell had I made it a year without him? 

#RainbowSnippets – 3-17-18

#RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

I’ll admit, I’m cheating a little bit with a longer-than-usual snippet, but I can’t help myself. About 43k into the third Sheltered Hearts book and I get this idea. It slammed into me and demanded I write it. It’s a darker paranormal romance set in a post-apocalyptic world, after dragonfire ended Earth as we know it. The main character is a sassy fox-shifter who is given as his clan’s virgin tribute to the last dragon, to do with as he sees fit–except nothing is as it seems and the monster that Tamsyn’s been conditioned to fear might not be as terrible as the Magi king led him to believe.

I’m 40k into Foxfire and loving it. Tamsyn and Lucian chatter nonstop in my head (at night…when I’m trying to sleep) and their book turned into a trilogy with spinoff potential. So I figured, I’d give you Snippeteers a taste of my little fox today ❤

The being that stood over him was all-too-human, slender and willowy, wearing little more than the inky scales that graced his pale skin. They seemed to ripple with each movement he made, glinting a deep teal-blue where the sunlight bounced off. Tamsyn’s gaze slid up over a broad chest, to look death in the face.

And what a face it was… The dragon’s jaw was strong and sharp against the dipped hollows beneath his cheekbones, where scales feathered out over his skin. Two gold-adorned horns curved back along his hair, to disappear behind his ears. His long black hair cascaded down over his shoulders, shot through with a thick streak of ivory, which had been weaved into intricate braids fastened with golden beads.

Tamsyn couldn’t tear his eyes away from the beautiful monster staring him down. His nostrils flared. The dragon’s scent was thick and heady, smelling of firewood and incense and male. His heart fluttered at his throat as the man leaned in, his thin lips curving into a self-satisfied smirk.

He raised a slender brow. “Like what you see, little fox?”

#RainbowSnippets – 3-10-18

Hey there! As I write this, I’m sitting at the laundromat, doing laundry for the week. Let me tell you, after living in an apartment with no facilities or dishwasher, I will never take these things for granted again. UGH. I can’t wait to have a place where I can toss my stuff in the wash and go write for an hour LOL (Not that I don’t bring my laptop to the laundromat lol). That said, it’s Rainbow Snippets day!

In case you didn’t know, #RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

I’m taking a couple days off work this next week to relax–and finish edits on Defying Gravity, so that you guys can dive into Lazarus and Bex’s story come April. Here’s one of my favorite parts:

“Gorgeous,” he chimed out with a fake British accent. “Absolutely stunning. An exquisite example of a man.” Now it sounded like mangled French. Bex seemed to realize it, too, because he barked out a laugh and finished it with, “Oui, oui, baguette, Eiffle Tower.”

“What the fuck?” I managed to sputter before I lost it. I laughed so hard that my sides and my stomach hurt and I had to double over to try and breathe. “Oh my god, Bex, you’re a fucking loon, you know that? You’d make a terrible Frenchman.”

He beamed, seemingly proud of that fact. “Should probably stick to my Spanish roots, eh?”

I swallowed. My eyes zeroed back in on him. “You speak Spanish? That’s hot.”

“Not a word—but my grandfather’s from Spain. Does that still count as hot?”

“I mean, I know we agreed that age is just a number, but I’m gonna have to draw the line at old Spanish grandpas—even if he did whisper naughty Spanish words in my ear.” I snickered.

#RainbowSnippets – 3-3-18

Happy Saturday. It’s March, ya’ll, and the weather is getting nice over here in frigid, bipolar northern Indiana. I have my windows open! I’ll take the 40’s. I love it! Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, because they’re not too hot and not too cold. And now, it’s time for March’s first #RainbowSnippets!

In case you didn’t know, #RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

This week is an excerpt from my upcoming MM rockstar contemporary, Defying Gravity. My goal for this month is to finish edits and have it ready to release by the first week of April. I introduced Lazarus Knight in Little Infinities with no intentions to make it a series, but he just kinda demanded it LOL So now he’s got a book (and a cover!)

I could look, so long as I didn’t touch, right?

God, I was hopeless.

Maybe Ivy was right. Maybe I needed to go to a bar, get drunk, take some guy home and get laid. Totally throw myself into some hot rebound sex with a man—or several men, if that’s how the cards fell—who fucked better than Owen Jacobi ever would. To burn off this spike of restless energy while burning that douchenozzle out of my memory, so I could pretend that the ten months we spent together didn’t actually happen.

Since they apparently didn’t mean anything anyway.

#RainbowSnippets – 2-24-18

Hey there! It’s Saturday, so it’s time for another #RainbowSnippets 🙂

Now, in case you didn’t know, #RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

I’ve done a little experiment, to see how addicted to Facebook I really am. I deleted the app off my phone this week, and put the Kindle app in it’s place. Do you know how much I’ve read this week? Holy crapola LOL I’m /shocked and appalled/ at how much of a time-suck it is, but I’m also digging these books I’m reading. Makes for a happy Kiska, indeed.

Today, I’ve got a couple lines from Defying Gravity (Love By Chance #2) which is Lazarus’s book, for those of you who’ve read Little Infinities. Apollo and Seb were never supposed to kick-start a series, but my brain is a fickle mistress and after meeting Lazarus, I knew he’d have a book of his own.

I was a sucker for pound puppies, it seemed—and it didn’t hurt that he was cute. Definite eye candy.

But that’s all he can be, I told myself firmly, stopping those thoughts dead in their tracks before they multiplied like bunnies and I found myself tangled up in sheets with Bex in my bed. Fuck.

No. That couldn’t happen. I knew I was having some sort of weird mid-life crisis, with my thirties looming closer and more daunting than ever, but hooking up with a college kid wasn’t a good idea.

Even if he was cute.

 

 

 

#RainbowSnippets – 2-17-18

Hey there! It’s that time again! Time for #RainbowSnippets 😀 I really enjoy browsing all the blogs and I definitely need to start commenting on everything. Something to work on, perhaps. I definitely have “imposter syndrome” where I feel like no one will care what I have to say–but I know that’s not true. ANYHOW!

In case you didn’t know, #RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

Apollo and Sebastian went out into the great wide world last weekend and it took all my energy. I didn’t write at all last weekend, but I’ve made up for it this week.

That said, my snippets for the next month or so will be from book #2 — Defying Gravity, which is the story of Sebastian’s good friend and fellow musician, Lazarus Knight, and the young college-age photographer he gets tangled up with.

His lips formed the words without a sound, singing along to the lyrics, up so close that the blast of bass was no doubt deafening.

I cradled the mic in both hands and bent down, crooning soft and slow, and the guy’s eyes went wide with a grin. He was just my type—the soft, boyish sort, slightly nerdy with a floppy mop of dark hair and glasses that he kept shoving back up on his nose. I might’ve just been getting back on the rails after Owen carelessly squashed my heart, but I was still a man. I still had urges, and my dick thought that this guy would hit the spot.

Damn, if he didn’t look so young, I might’ve sampled the wares.

 

#RainbowSnippets – 2-10-18

Happy February! I can’t believe how fast this year is going :0 It’s getting away from me, that’s for sure. I’ve been busy with writing. I (FINALLY) finished Three Dog Night and have started the third book in that series, titled Rescue Me, and I’ve been working on edits and polishing up Little Infinities for release this month. Which brings me to #RainbowSnippets day 😀

In case you didn’t know, #RainbowSnippets is a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

Shameless promo: If you wanna see the cover and blurb for Little Infinities, hop on over to this post and take a look 🙂

I found myself looking into the wide blue eyes of a tiny, wrinkly-skinned alien.

“What is that?” It was naked. There was no fur. Was this a thing now? Like those little yippy designer dogs girls could carry around in their purses? The feline, who was long and skinny with splotches of dark grey over his flesh-colored skin, blinked slowly at me. He regarded me with stink-eye before he walked across my legs to lay down on Apollo’s hip. His tail twitched, annoyed.

Apollo grinned. “Oh my god, Seb, it’s a cat.”