Monday, May 15, 2017

New Release- Naming Rites- By Gary Boelhower

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Title: Naming Rites
Author: Gary Boelhower
Release Date: May 16th 2017
Genre: Poetry

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Gary Boelhower’s third collection of poems explores the ways we are named and branded with multiple identities, a clay vessel molded and imprinted from the inside and the outside by those who know us or think they do, by wounds, worries, stones, and nicknames, by place and absence, by teachers and traitors. Boelhower dares to name the body’s blows and pleasures and how they are celebrated in solitude and connection. His language soars with ecstasy and burrows into hidden places in the soul. His lyrics tell how the world’s pain lodges in the cells and how the fragrance of summer stars opens an aperture to healing. Boelhower is winner of the Foley Prize from America and the Midwest Book Award for his second collection Marrow, Muscle, Flight.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Find Naming Rites on Goodreads

Reviews

Naming Rites is such a generous collection it offers both blessings and confessions, dirt and bread, miracles and explosions, cruelty and mercy, great blue herons who resemble monks and blue jays clowning around, a lover's tender touch and the horrors of the nightly news. In second grade, Gary Boelhower admits, he won 'the glow-in-the-dark statue of Mary,' and his religious drive, now mature, is still alive in these poems. They aim for (and often achieve) not just a personal record but transubstantiation, transforming experience into wisdom, fear into freedom, language into song. Naming Rites is the autobiography of a soul, reaching out beyond the boundaries of the self. Bart Sutter, author of Cow Calls in Dalarna and Chester Creek Ravine: Haiku

Gary Boelhower's poems resist convention and confinement even as they speak deeply of and from history, family, and community. The persona names and narrates himself into being as he chronicles profound and tender encounters as well as 'tectonic shifts and betrayals.' Software engineers meditate, children go hungry, and faith is lost and reconfigured. 'Let me not forget to be what I have spoken,' Boelhower reminds himself and his readers. Naming Rites is an important and sustaining book for our times, with its 'cadence that calls us into the streets with voices/of protest and hope.' Julie Gard, author of Home Studies

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT


WINTER NIGHT

making angels
in drifts of crystals
under the moonlight
soft shadows
of the clouds
lay our bodies down
with their wild wings
fly through the cold stars
white syllables
land on eyelash lip tongue
taste the manna
of winter             

and after hot chocolate
breathe together
under the comforter
to make the warm
nest of home
where even our thorns
are holy
sweet musk
of the animal body
small silences between
the ribs
and places
where we catch
on fire
angel savage mercy




GIVEAWAY: WIN a copy of Naming Rites and Marrow, Muscle, Flight by Gary Boelhower

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Author Bio:

Gary Boelhower’s poetry has been published in many anthologies and journals. His second collection of poems published in 2011, Marrow, Muscle, Flight won the Midwest Book Award. He was awarded the Foley Prize in poetry from America magazine in 2012 and a career development grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council in 2010. His recent nonfiction books include Choose Wisely: Practical Insights from Spiritual Traditions, and Mountain 10: Climbing the Labyrinth Within,(co-authored with Joe Miguez and Tricia Pearce). His third collection of poems, Naming Rites, was published in April by Holy Cow! Press. Gary teaches courses in spirituality, ethics and leadership at The College of St. Scholastica where he is a professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Release-- Louder than Words by Siryn Sueng

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Title: Louder Than Words
Author: Siryn Sueng
Release Date: April 11th 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance, Novella

LOUDER THAN WORDS - FINAL

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Derrek is a local teacher in Clearwater, Florida. He frequents a nearby coffee shop before work every morning, where he finds himself enraptured with a young barista, Alex. But Alex never seems to notice him, even when he’s handing Derrek his morning coffee.

After weeks of hiding in his corner under the pretense of working, Derrek finally gains enough courage to ask Alex on a date. He’s crushed when all he gets for an answer is complete silence. He thinks it’s the end, until he finds out that Alex has a disability that has paralyzed his vocal cords.

Sign language is Alex’s way of communication, and it’s something that Derrek knows little to nothing about. With renewed determination, Derrek asks Alex to teach him sign language. Derrek wants to be able to talk to Alex, to tell him how he really feels, and find out if Alex feels the same.

But more than anything, he longs for a relationship that goes deeper than just words alone.

Louder Than Words is an 18,000-word novella.

Find Louder Than Words on Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Deep Desires Press

EXCERPT

Alex was gorgeous; a little shorter than myself, but not by much. He looked like he went to the gym. I found myself trying to imagine what shape his body was in underneath the black shirt and green apron. I realized I was staring when Alex looked up from the coffee machine and made eye contact. I turned away, facing my computer with an intensity that could kill; if that were at all possible. My heart pounded, face heating as I stared at the loaded document on the laptop. I’d opened the lesson plan simply to have an excuse to sit at the tall table with the outlet right next to it.

I chanced a quick glance over at the bar and watched as Alex handed the cup of coffee to one of the waiting customers with his usual smile. Damn it, that man could smile. It was cute, the way his head tilted to the side just a little as he flashed it to the young woman. For a moment, I felt a spark of jealousy and smothered it with a gulp of the searing hot latte I was clutching a little too tightly.

Today, I’ll do it.

I’d been telling myself that for the past week. God, I feel like a damned stalker. And at my age! I’m almost thirty! Where the hell had all my bravado gone? Bryant, my best friend, teased me often enough already about not being able to ask Alex on a date. The words “grow a pair” had been mentioned plenty of times. I frowned at my cup as if it were the culprit. “I have a pair, jackass,” I muttered.

GIVEAWAY: Win Louder Than Words ebook!


About the Author

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Siryn Sueng is an erotica M/M romance writer. Mostly she writes in the fantasy, paranormal, and even Sci-Fi genres. Louder than Words, though, is her first ever contemporary work. She’s married to her wonderful husband of 13 years, and they have two cute kittens, Anubis and Kida, who drive them crazy almost all the time. Anubis fancies himself the destroyer of the elusive red dot…

Siryn is a lover of games on a wide range of platforms. She plays on the PC, console, and hand-held devices (her 3DS currently). She also plays otome novels on her tablet. Dragon Age, the Fire Emblem series, and the Tale’s series are her favorite games. Japan is where she would love to visit sometime. She’s a huge fan of Japan, including manga and anime. Siryn loves to read, though she’s been writing more than reading as of late. And she has a deep love for dragons. She has a very large collection of dragon statues in her house.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Review--After the Snow by Lane Swift

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Title: After the Snow
Author: Lane Swift
Series: Michigan Seasons #2
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

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To be that perfect someone doesn’t mean you have to be perfect…

Christmas is over, but Dale Hepburn is determined to show his new British love, Nick Harris, how much fun a Michigan winter can be, starting with outdoor ice skating lessons. His life would be perfect—if he wasn’t secretly trying to dig himself out of an avalanche of debt that he doesn’t want Nick to know about. After all, Nick believes Dale is reliable, sensible, and solvent.

But while Dale works extra hours, and saves every spare cent, and hopes Nick never finds out about his past financial mistakes, unforeseen expenses keep piling on like Michigan’s unrelenting snow. And to make matters worse, there’s that little white lie Dale told Nick about having another teaching job lined up after the end of his current contract…

An emotionally tense romance with a satisfying HFN

~54,000 words

Find After the Snow on Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon Universal

EXCERPT

I put the latch across the door and sat on the bed to undo my laces, eager to get my feet out of those stiff, patent rental shoes. Hours of socialising melted away in the ordered quiet of our room, and when I toed off my shoes it was a special kind of bliss to be able to wriggle my liberated toes.

Nick stood by the window, and I could see his reflection in the glass. With his hands stuffed in his trouser pockets, he seemed tense, like maybe he was already playing back the entire night in his head and analysing every word he’d said.

He had a way about him, my beautiful Nick. Sometimes he seemed so confident and in control, other times kind of innocent and bewildered, like he wasn’t quite sure how he’d got to wherever he was. Either way, he kept me enthralled.

I said, ‘A company like Lamplin isn’t going to risk its profits on someone who doesn’t cut it. If you get some small advantage in terms of being noticed because you’re a person of colour or because you’re gay, so what? What about all the advantages us cis white guys get every single day?’

‘I suppose. Anyway, there’s no point in worrying, is there? It’s not like I can change who I am.’

‘And hallelujah to that,’ I said, pulling off my socks.

Nick took off his jacket and hung it over the back of one of the chairs by the window, then draped his bow tie over his jacket. ‘The view is amazing.’

It sure was from where I was sitting. The bedside lamp illuminated his profile, and drew me to him like a moth to a flame.

We were on a high floor, with partial glimpses of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario on the opposite shore. Nick rested his forehead and hands against the glass, and I stepped in behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist. It was a clear, starry night and the city lights stretched on for miles, but the soft skin behind Nick’s ear interested me more. America had plenty of iconic cities, and if I was brutally honest, most of Detroit was rundown or derelict. A few shiny lights and the distant view were deceiving.

Nudging the shell of his ear with my nose, I kissed Nick, and his shiver rippled through me. ‘You should see the New York skyline.’

‘I’d like to.’ His breathing grew heavier as I pressed my chest to his back and ran my hands over his chest and stomach. ‘We could go together. What do you think?’

I’d only been to New York City once before, in my early twenties. Mostly, that weekend had consisted of drinking too much alcohol in a dive bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Fun at the time, but not what I would choose to do now.

‘Sounds like a good idea, after the snow.’

Over Christmas I’d decided that come the warmer weather I’d sell my pickup and get a small SUV. Maybe an Escape. If I released some cash, I could pay off one credit card, and maybe swing for a real vacation instead of packing and hauling boxes for Vinny.

Nick covered one of my hands with his, and pushed it down, down over smooth fabric and the hard bulge in the front of his trousers. His voice had the huskier pitch of arousal. ‘After the snow? When will that be?’

‘April?’

I squeezed his dick through the fabric, and he groaned.

‘I was thinking more along the lines of February. Sometime around Valentine’s Day.’

A month. Two measly pay cheques and no extra work. I’d never be able to scrape the funds together. My hand drifted, searching for an excuse, which in my present state of arousal was like trying to catch a football kicked into the stratosphere. The best I could come up with was: ‘It’ll be too cold in February.’

Nick retrieved my hand and put it back over his dick, where it belonged, at the same time as he ground his ass against my own aching erection. It was a dirty, offensive move, beautifully executed, topped off with a satisfied grunt and a gentle plea. ‘But I was hoping we’d be able to go ice skating together on one of the outdoor ice rinks. I should be able to make it around without causing any major damage by then.’

How could I refuse when he’d brought my fingertips to his soft, sweet mouth? The answer was simple. Because thirty thousand dollars of credit card debt—not to mention the money I owed Maggie and the bank—had me bound and chained.

Review:

Each book is a stand-alone story with no major cliff hangers, but it's recommended that you read them in the proper order as After The Snow is a continuation of More Than Christmas.

More Than Christmas (Book 1) begins the relationship between Nick and Dale. It's a shorter and quick read with a bit of a slow start to their romance.

Nick moves from the UK to the USA for work and rents a house from Dale. Throughout the first book, they get to know each other and start a relationship. They end up sharing Christmas with Nick's cousin who's married to one of Nick's co-workers.

After The Snow (Book 2) begins immediately after Book 1 ends. Dale has a large debt build-up that threatens his relationship with Nick. He's also almost about to be out of work and hasn't told Nick the entire truth. 

When Nick finds out the truth from Dale's friend Maggie, he's upset at Dale for covering things up.  One of the things about Nick's job is that he's flying all over the world for his company. This leaves Dale with lots of time to himself and their romance hanging in the air a few times, especially when Dale moves out of his house next to Nick and moves in with his brother. 

Overall, the story has good and bad. The romance is a little slow to start and then Book 1 ends just as things really fall into place. The good news is that Book 2 opens right where Book 1 left off. The entire thing would have been just as good as one complete novel.

I like that both characters are a bit flawed. No one's perfect. Nick's public persona is a bit of a dick, but he's trying to protect himself and really just want's to be a family man. Dale is Bi, and his family isn't supportive if he's with a man, but he's very attracted to Nick. He's trying to deal with his family attitudes as well as make a life for himself which leads him into making some bad financial decisions. 

Another thing to note for American readers, both are written in the UK style, so spelling and some punctuation are not "American" standard. 

 
Michigan Seasons Book One

Title: More Than Christmas
Release Date: December 10th 2016
Genre: MM Contemporary Holiday Romance

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Keeping life simple can be a complicated business.

High-flying young British executive, Nick Harris, knows exactly what he wants out of his two-year American assignment—a bigger salary, a promotion and some no-strings fun. How convenient then, that his gorgeous hunk of a next door neighbour, Dale Hepburn, is friendly, single and bisexual?

But Dale has had his fill of casual and he’s holding out for love that will last. Knowing that Nick’s stay in America is temporary, he welcomes him into his life as a friend; they train together in his garage gym, hang out and watch television, and dress up for the neighbourhood kids at Halloween.

Then the first snow falls, and with Christmas approaching and temperatures plummeting, Nick finds he increasingly yearns for the warmth of Dale’s arms—only he’s worried that pushing Dale for more heat in their relationship will land him outside in the cold.

Nick’s long-term future in America may not be certain, but if he wants a future with Dale, he must find a way to persuade him they can be more than Christmas.

A heartwarming romance with a satisfying HFN

~32,000 words

Find More Than Christmas on Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

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About the Author


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Lane’s earliest attempts at fiction writing were sporadic, haphazard and utterly cringeworthy: a bit of maudlin poetry here, the odd short story there—and somewhere in between, half a dozen pages of a memoir that didn’t get beyond reminiscing over the untidy draw in her childhood kitchen.

Years and years later, after several career-changes, two children, and two international house moves, Lane arrived at a time and place in her life where she wanted to return to writing. Since then, it has become her passion; the one thing she wants to do for the rest of her life.

As far as reading goes, she enjoys many genres: science fiction, mystery, crimes, thrillers and horror. But there’s nothing she likes more than when those stories are driven by the power of true love. So, it was really no surprise that when she finally put her middle-aged fingers to the keyboard, she started writing romance.

Lane’s love stories feature diverse queer characters in the starring roles. She sometimes combines contemporary romance with mystery, suspense or paranormal, and always gives her heroes and heroines their hard-earned happy ending. She has books published with Less Than Three Press and Dreamspinner Press, as well as self-published titles.

Home is currently in Hampshire, on the south coast of England, and there are no plans to move for the foreseeable future. Eighteen house moves in the last twenty-five years is surely enough for anyone! And when she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Lane can often be found running on the local roads, trails and beaches.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Rainbow Clause--By Beth Bolden-- EXCLUSIVE EXERPT!

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Title: The Rainbow Clause
Author: Beth Bolden
Release Date: April 3rd 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance, Sports
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Heisman winner. Member of the National Championship team. NFL Rookie of the Year. Quarterback Colin O’Connor knows he’s become the ultimate romance novel cliché: all the success he’s ever dreamed of but nobody to share it with. Too bad it’s not as simple as asking out the next girl who intrigues him – because the next girl to intrigue him probably won’t be a girl at all.

Unexpectedly, the solution comes in one neat package: Nick Wheeler, lead journalist for a leading sports and pop culture blog. Hired by Colin’s team, Nick comes to Miami to shine a spotlight on the NFL’s most private quarterback.

The heat in Miami rises when Nick discovers that Colin is nothing like the hollow personality he pretends to be in interviews and he’s even hotter in person than on his Sports Illustrated cover. Nick knows this is the story of his career, and after spending his teenage years as a bullied, closeted teen, it hits very close to home. What he needs is to help Colin share his story while keeping their growing relationship from boiling over in the press, but what he wants is to tell the world.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

TRC teaser 1

The Rainbow Clause Exclusive excerpt:

Colin was almost a hundred percent sure he knew who had that deep, slightly sardonic voice. But he really didn’t want to turn around to verify. Before he could, that voice spoke again.

“Let me guess, the hat is supposed to be a disguise, and Jemma thinks nobody will be pissed that she brought a Heisman-winning quarterback to a pick-up dodgeball game.”

Colin turned around and tried really hard not to look sheepish.

Of course Nick was standing there, dressed down in black basketball shorts and a ratty LA Clippers tank top. Colin tried not to check out his newly exposed and surprisingly toned arms and legs, and mostly failed. It was getting harder and harder not to notice how attractive Nick was, even as he continued to be a persistent pain in Colin’s ass.

“It’s not a good disguise?” he asked, even though he already knew the answer.

Nick shot him an incredulous look. “You’re rather distinctive looking.”

“I’ve never heard that before.”

Nick smiled, and it was just as transformative as the first time Colin had witnessed it. It was becoming impossible to deny; Nick Wheeler was really, really hot. And Colin was afraid of what that might mean for him. “You should copyright that innocent expression. I know a lot of people who’d like to borrow it.”

“Who said anything about borrowing?” Colin scoffed. “Mark would skin me alive for losing out on the revenue stream selling it could bring.”

Every nerve ending on Colin’s body pinged at Nick’s slow, leisurely perusal. “I wouldn’t blame him; it’d be worth a damn lot.”

Colin might be able to claim he didn’t remember them flirting before, but he wouldn’t be able to do that again.

“You two done flirting yet?” Jemma piped up, and Colin experienced for the very first time what it might be like having her only as a friend. Apparently, she had passed right over supportive and landed right on annoying younger sister. She was a meddling pain, and he was going to accidentally send more than one ball her way tonight for that particular comment.


 GIVEAWAY: WIN $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

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About the Author


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Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband and their beloved cat. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn't have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She's a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn't a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She's published two novels, The Lucky Charm and Getting Lucky, and a short story, Eye of the Storm. Her next novel, Summer Attractions, will be released in August 2016.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

New release--Too Tough To Tame--By WS Long

TOO TOUGH TO TAME


After Caleb Youngblood proposed to Sebastian Rush, the two men think everything should be smooth sailing. Marriage planning has started and the future is bright. Caleb is an openly out stock car racer, while Sebastian is offered the chance to work with a major TV studio as a cameraman at the Rio Olympics.

But Caleb is at a crossroads. The racing world may not be ready for an openly gay driver. Even though he wants to race, the family business is barely making money. And Caleb, being the face of Youngblood family, may be too much for conservative fans. Meanwhile, when an ex-lover of Sebastian’s reappears, secrets from his past cause friction between Sebastian and Caleb.

Should Caleb continue to race? Is Sebastian’s and Caleb’s love for one another strong enough to overcome what happened in the past? Or is their life together too tough to tame?


EXCERPT:

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

“That’s all you have to say?” asked Sebastian.

Caleb sat on the edge of their bed and removed his dress socks, and then removed his pants. Clad only in black boxer briefs, Caleb stood and rummaged through the dresser for a tank top, cotton socks, and running shorts. As he put his top and shorts on, Caleb broke the momentary silence. “What else is there to say? That ... ummm ... maybe you should have told me you were engaged?” Caleb took a seat again on the edge of the bed, and drawled out the last word, his eyebrows slightly arched, his jaw set firm. “I knew you had a serious relationship before me.” Caleb raised his hands up, both palms open. “But a serious relationship and an engagement are two different things.”

Sebastian knew that Caleb was still angry, based on Caleb’s tone and Caleb’s refusal to look him in the eye. “I didn’t tell you I was engaged for only two days because I was embarrassed.”

Caleb straightened and now squinted at him. “Embarrassed?” Caleb’s voice betrayed incredulity.

“David broke up with me. I proposed. He said he didn’t love me enough to marry me.”

“So you proposed to him?” Caleb whispered, who turned away from Sebastian.

“Yes. I did,” answered Sebastian. “But, he’s in the past.”

Caleb stood. “I can’t talk about this right now. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you wouldn’t tell me about being engaged before. I mean, to me, that’s a pretty serious commitment. It’s something I would tell you if I’d ever been engaged.”

“I didn’t think it was a big deal. If I had known you would be upset by it, by the fact that I was engaged for two days, I would have told you. I don’t love him, Caleb. I love you,” blurted Sebastian. “I didn’t know what love truly was until I met you.”

“Your mom said you were in a pretty serious relationship before me. You said that. Maybe I’m making something out of nothing. Maybe I’m just pissed you’re going to Rio with your ex. I can’t filter all these emotions that are rushing through me right now.” Caleb stood and headed out of the bedroom. “We’re not done talking. But I need to clear my head.”

Sebastian nodded. “I’ll make dinner, okay? I’ll see you after your run.”

Caleb didn’t say anything; Sebastian heard the front door close, then Sebastian sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, his hands clasping the top of his head. Somehow, he had to persuade Caleb that David was in the past. His phone vibrated in his pocket and he fished out the cell.

David had texted him. Nice seeing you. We need to catch up before Rio.

Sebastian had a choice to make, and he knew it. He just didn’t know what to do. He punched in the contact tab on his phone and called his mom.

After a few rings, she answered. “Sebastian?”

“Hey, Mom. How’re you?”

“I’m good. Your sister just picked up your niece.”

“Awesome. Is this a good time to talk?” asked Sebastian.

“Sure, honey. I was about to start dinner but it can wait a few minutes. Why, what’s up?”

“Did Caleb ask you about David?”

“Who?” Ginny asked.

Sebastian repeated the question. “Did Caleb ask you about David?”

‘No. Caleb didn’t.”

“Then how did Caleb know I was engaged?”

“Oh. I told him.” Ginny’s voice trailed then she spoke again. “Was it supposed to be a secret?”

“Mom, I hadn’t told him. You know I was pretty upset about the break-up.”

“I know, honey. And don’t be mad, but I told Caleb that you both shouldn’t rush into getting married.”

Sebastian’s body tensed. “What?”

“Don’t raise your voice at me Sebastian Harry Rush.”

Sebastian rubbed his temples. “Oh, God. Why, Mom? Why?” He pulled the phone from his ear as he closed his eyes and silently counted to five to calm down.

“Sebastian, I’m worried that you’re rushing into a wedding. You haven’t even known each other for a year.”

Sebastian sat there on the edge of the bed. He heard his mother continuing to talk, but he stopped paying attention. She said something about September. Then something about his niece, Mindy. But all he could think about was Caleb sitting in his mother’s living room, and Ginny telling Caleb to delay the wedding. “Mom, I’m sorry. I’ve got to go.”

“Okay, honey. That’s fine. I got to start dinner anyway. I love you, son. You know I’m only looking out for you, right?”

“Thanks,” he whispered. He wanted to scream, but he knew it would only make matters worse.


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Want more of Caleb and Sebastian? Check out the beginning of their story  "Starting His Engine"
 

Author Bio:


       Lawyer by day, writer by night. W.S. Long writes gay fiction that is spiced with eroticism. Gay, and married, W.S. Long loves to travel, read and watch any geeky, SciFi stuff. You can find his fiction on Amazon.

       You can also follow him via: 

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