Guest Author: Brynn Stein!

Today my guest is Brynn Stein–fellow Dreamspinner and Harmony Ink Press author! Welcome Brynn and thank you for visiting!

This is the ninth stop on my blog tour. I’m having such fun, as I always do on these tours, talking about various aspects of writing in general, and Ray of Sunlight in particular and getting to know all of you. Thanks so much for following the tour. If this is your first stop, feel free to go back and comment on the others, listed below, to be entered to win one of five prizes. More about that later.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Charley. I always love dropping by.

Characters inspired by real life people…sort of.

I’ve already mentioned that Russ was inspired by my students and the homophobes in the story by the people I work with. Now I’d like to talk about CJ’s inspiration. At least part of it.

Years ago, when I was a homebound instructor, raising my own two small children, I taught a little girl with the same kind of cancer CJ has. Let’s call her Jessica.

Jessica was twelve and a half years old and had been fighting cancer for six months when I first met her. Because she was in and out of the hospital and even when she wasn’t she was way too sick to go to school, she need homebound instruction. That means the county schools paid for me to go into her home and work with her so she wouldn’t get too far behind in her studies.

When she was in the Children’s Hospital, of course, she had an educator on staff there who worked with her, but I still visited and kept up to date with what was going on with her. So, by virtue of working so closely with her, I know the symptoms of that kind of cancer, the toll chemo takes on a young body, how education in a children’s hospital works, and unfortunately, how it feels to lose someone so young to cancer.

I worked with her for almost two years. She had just turned fourteen when she went into the hospital for the last time. I visited her, as I always had, but she told me that day that she wouldn’t be there tomorrow. She said that for the first time in two years, she didn’t hurt. (She was always in pain, even with the high powered pain killers she was on). The nurses explained to me that that sometimes happens. The patient’s body shuts down enough toward the end that it doesn’t carry pain impulses anymore.

She was right. She died that evening. Her dad called me the next morning. (I didn’t know him as well as I knew her mom, but mom was justifiably distraught and wasn’t making phone calls.) I think I cried for the rest of the day. She wasn’t the first student I lost to death. And she wasn’t the last. But each one is devastating.

So, now, it feels like a little part of her is immortalized in CJ. He’s really nothing like her, except maybe that indomitable twinkle in his eye. He’s a different age; he has a very different home life. But still…Jessica is sort of the inspiration.

 

What about all of you? Writers, do you find that your characters are inspired by real life people? Maybe they’re not really anything like them, but the fact that you knew this one real life person went a long way toward your development of this fictional character? Readers, I’m sure far too many of you have had experience with loved ones, or at least people you know, having cancer. I’d love to hear your stories, if you’d like to share short memories, or better yet triumphs, of the people in your life who have fought or are fighting cancer.

Comment below for a chance to win.

Here’s how the giveaway will work. Visit as many sites as you want, as often as you want. Each comment will enter you to win one of the following prizes: 1st) An autographed paperback copy of Ray of Sunlight, 2nd) An electronic copy of Ray of Sunlight, 3rd) Your choice of audio or electronic copy of Living Again, 4th) An electronic copy of Through the Years, and 5th) an electronic copy of Haunted. The takeovers for Harmony Ink’s blog and Facebook page will be part of the tour, so comments on there will count. I will draw the winners during the FB takeover and will announce them then, but will come back and announce it to all the sites too. So, you don’t have to leave your email address here if you don’t want to, just remember to check back. You’re also welcome to leave your email in the comments if you’d rather or email me at brynnstein2@gmail.com with the subject heading of “just in case”, so I can contact you if you win, if you don’t want to have to stop back by the blog sites. You don’t have to be present at the FB takeover to win.

Thanks for playing.

 

Blog Tour Stops
3/3/2015 Bike Books Review http://bikebookreviews.blogspot.com/
3/4/2015 Grace Duncan http://www.grace-duncan.com/
3/5/2015 Susan Laine https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5221828.Susan_Laine/blog
3/6/2015 Jo Ramsey http://www.joramsey.com/blog/
3/7/2015 Alicia Nordwell http://ciasstories.blogspot.com/2015/01/visiting-author-brynn-stein-with-ray-of.html
3/8/2015 Jana Denardo https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/
3/9/2015 Lex Chase http://lexchase.com/blog/author/megs/
3/10/2015 Sean Michael http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca/
3/11/2015 Charley Descoteaux and Charli Green https://cdescoteauxwrites.com/2015/03/11/guest-author-brynn-stein-4/ https://greencharli.wordpress.com
3/12/2015 Anne Barwell http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
3/13/2015 Karenna Colcroft http://www.karennacolcroft.com
3/14/2015 Anna Butler http://annabutlerfiction.com/2015/03/14/brynn-stein/
3/15/2015 Nic Starr www.becausetwomenarebetterthanone.com
3/16/2015 Shae Conner http://shaeconnorwrites.com
3/17/2015 Jessica Davies http://jessicaskyedavies.blogspot.com/
3/18/2015 Aidee Ladnier http://www.aideeladnier.com.
3/19/2015 Emma Tett http://emmy-j.blogspot.co.uk/
3/20/2015 Harmony Ink Blog http://harmonyinkpress.com/
3/21/2015 Harmony Ink Facebook Page facebook.com/harmonyinkpress

 

Ray of Sunlight

Brynn Stein

 

Russ Michaels has his whole life ahead of him but no plans beyond dropping out of school as soon as he turns eighteen. He’s been in and out of juvenile detention for the last four years and thoroughly expects to end up in an adult penitentiary at some point. He hates life and everyone in it, especially this latest community service that he earned in lieu of juvie yet again.

CJ Calhoun has big plans. He wants to bring joy and happiness to sick and injured children for as long as he can by performing as a clown. The problem is, he has stage-four cancer and a horrible prognosis.

When circumstances throw these two polar opposites together, they find they have more in common than they imagined. CJ discovers Russ’s talent for art and arranges for Russ to create a mural in the hospital foyer, which leads to a tentative scholarship to the Art Institute. As life changes in ways neither of them could have expected, Russ must work harder than ever to better himself as CJ struggles with his deteriorating health.

Buy Ray of Sunlight: 

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6176

http://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/ray-of-sunlight-by-brynn-stein-261-b

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25005560-ray-of-sunlight?from_search=true

 

Brynn Stein has always loved to write. Fan fiction, original fiction, whatever. While Brynn wrote in numerous genres—everything from mystery, to contemporary, to supernatural—she had always tended toward strong male characters. And then she discovered “slash,” male/male romance, and all those strong male characters were finally allowed to express their love for one another. It seems that there are always at least two characters clamoring to tell Brynn their story.

Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who encourage her writing and provide a sounding board for fledgling stories. When she isn’t writing, Brynn teaches children with special needs. In free time, when such a thing exists, she reads anything she can get her hands on, and haunts bookstores. She draws and paints, and enjoys the outdoors—especially if she can get to the beach—and is always thinking about her next story.

Please feel free to contact Brynn at any of the following:
http://brynnstein2.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/brynn.stein
brynnstein2@gmail.com

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Guest Author: Raine O’Tierney!

The lovely Queen of the Sweetness herself is visiting over at my YA blog today. She’s brought one of the main characters from her new Harmony Ink release I’ll Always Miss You, and a giveaway.

Check them out!

https://greencharli.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/guest-author-raine-otierney/

Guest Author: Suki Fleet!

Please welcome fellow Harmony Ink Press author, Suki Fleet! She was kind enough to let me interview her, and to bring along an excerpt from her upcoming novella, Wild Summer.

Thanks for coming, Suki!

Tell us a little about yourself—what do you do when you’re not writing?

Thanks for having me Charley. 🙂 When I’m not writing I make and sell fabric, purses, handkerchiefs etc. online. My dad sold fabric for Liberty of London in the 1960’s and 70’s and fabric has always been a big part of my life. I love it almost as much as writing.

How much do you know about the story when you start to write a first draft?

Not much generally. For This is Not a Love Story I only knew I wanted to write about two boys struggling to survive on the streets, one looking after the other. For Wild Summer, all I knew was I wanted Crash to have a happy ending. Skeleton was based on the premise man falls in love with son’s classroom helper.

I’m horrible at titles—how do you choose yours?

Titles generally come to me before I write a story, and I have lots of titles in my head I’m desperate to use for stories. Sometimes a whole story comes just from a title.

Character names, however, I find really hard, unless the name jumps out at me (which doesn’t happen too often).

How much of your own life and personality do you put in your work?

It depends on the story. And I guess it depends on how a character’s personality resonates with my own as to how I use my own experience and reactions to situations.

In This is Not a Love Story there is a lot of me, I really lived Remee’s story (not in reality) but emotionally. Whereas with Skeleton, there’s not much of me at all apart from that story’s location. With Siren, I had real fun with those characters but their stories are very much their own. In Wild Summer, Crash reactions are how I’d like mine to be sometimes, and I enjoy exploring characterization in this way. Innocence, my next novel release, is probably similar to This is Not a Love Story in the way I lived the protagonist’s story.

What’s the most difficult subject you’ve ever researched for a book?

Researching asthma attacks for The Glass House was hard.

What are you working on now?

I’m at the thinking hard stage (not quite in full story mode) for Julian’s POV in a parallel story to This is Not a Love Story, which with either be titled The Ever and The More or Catch Me if I Fall.

 

Wild Summer, by Suki Fleet

A novella from the Love Story Universe 

At fifteen, Christopher falls in love with a boy whose life he saves. But things go wrong and four years later, he wishes he’d acted differently. His conscience begins to haunt him, and he knows he must find Summer again.

At seventeen, Summer pushes away the boy who saved him. Four years later, he is stuck in an abusive, damaging relationship. When he sees Christopher again, it’s a sign he can’t go on living like he is, but he can’t begin to see a way out.

For either boy to stand a chance at happiness, they must find each other and obliterate the wrongs of their shared past.

Excerpt:

With a spike of absolute panic, Christopher could see the accident about to happen, could see the boy’s fragile bones crushed beneath speeding wheels, his blood smeared on the tarmac. Without thinking, he just reacted, sprinting and launching himself at the boy, the momentum pushing them both across the road right in front of the truck. They skidded across the tarmac and for a blinding second, he thought he was too late—the scent of asphalt and car fumes filled his lungs, and he closed his eyes, the soft fabric of the boy’s clothes bunched in his fist, waiting for the impact and for everything to be over.

But it didn’t happen. For a moment nothing happened. Then Christopher opened his eyes and saw they’d made it to the other side of the road. The truck was gone in a whoosh of hazy air, cars zooming past as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred, as if the two of them had not nearly lost their lives in an all too common traffic accident.

The boy pinned beneath him looked absolutely petrified.

His heart hammered wildly against Christopher’s own, like the wings of a bird beating desperately against the bones of its cage. It was as though he thought Christopher had grabbed him and sent both their bodies skidding across the hot gravel because he wanted to purposefully hurt him, not because he’d just saved his life pushing him out of the way of the truck about to mow him down.

For a moment Christopher couldn’t move, could only stare into the terrified boy’s eyes, thinking he’d never been this close to someone with such unusual, startlingly light-colored eyes—almost golden—and with his electric shock of blue hair and smooth caramel skin, Christopher felt as if he’d caught a fairy or some other magical creature who, on being captured, would perhaps screw his eyes shut and hold his breath and just… disappear, leaving Christopher holding a pile of dirty clothes.

The boy began to tremble visibly. Christopher realized he was probably crushing him with his weight and, moving slowly, he eased himself up and flopped down onto his back next to the boy. His shirt stuck to his chest and sides, and sweat trickled down his spine. He could smell the adrenaline as it seeped out of his system—mostly bitter, a little sweet. It was the same after a big jump, something that had you questioning what your life was worth and whether you’d miss it if you ended up splattered on the ground in the gap between the buildings you were trying to clear.

It hit him then how monumentally stupid what he had just done was, how narrowly the truck had missed the both of them. He brought his hand up to his temple and slowly let it all sink in. But how could he not have tried to save him when he had been the reason the boy had run into the road in the first place? If Christopher hadn’t given chase after he’d seen the boy take off with his bag, none of this would have happened. How could anyone just watch someone be run over if there was the tiniest chance they could save them?

He turned his head, fully expecting the boy to be a vanishing speck on the grassy hill behind them, retreating into the distant council estate where Christopher would never find him, but the boy still lay where he’d fallen, looking as shell-shocked as Christopher.

His soft lips were moving—it fascinated Christopher the way he continually touched his lip ring with the pink tip of his tongue—and there were words there, being spoken in the unsilent sphere of the world, but currently the angle was all wrong for Christopher to see what they were. He wasn’t sure he wanted to see right now anyway. For all he knew, they might be along the lines of fuck off.

Instead he sat up. They had ended up only a couple of meters from the road, and cars were speeding past a little close for comfort. He could see his holdall still sat between the barriers on the other side of the dual carriageway, where the boy had dropped it before he’d jogged backward into the path of the truck.

Slim fingers gripped his sleeve. He turned. The boy’s expression was still shocked but curious too.

Christopher read the shapes of the words on his lips. “Are you deaf?”

Caught again by those arresting eyes, Christopher nodded and waited to see what the boy’s reaction would be. There were three ways people generally reacted to his deafness—they either made some rubbish excuse to avoid talking to him, which he hated; they were nice and tried to have a semi-normal conversation, which he valiantly tried to overcome his inherent shyness for; or they were overly curious, questioning him to within an inch of his life, as though he had some fascinating tropical disease, which was one of the few things that made him fantasize what it would be like to punch someone.

The boy didn’t seem fazed at all. “Are you hurt?” he asked, lips moving slowly, concern obvious in his expression.

Christopher shook his head, looking away. He should be angry. This boy had swiped his bag, after all, and in it was the sum total of everything he now possessed. But perhaps near-death experiences wiped away insignificancies like possessions.

“What’s your name?” Christopher asked, his courage mostly fueled by the dregs of adrenaline still coursing through his bloodstream, though he felt the familiar heat rising to his cheeks all the same. He could blush for England, and he knew he sounded slow and stupid when he spoke—he’d been told too many times for that hang-up to ever truly go away—and normally he was particularly shy about speaking aloud around people he was this attracted to, but he had a sudden need to know the boy’s name.

“Summer,” the boy mouthed. “Look, I’m sorry I took your bag.”

 

Buy Wild Summer:

Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5567

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Summer-Love-Story-Universe-ebook/dp/B00O9MHGR0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1413752009&sr=8-4&keywords=suki+fleet

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-wildsummer-1644462-149.html

 

Suki Fleet currently lives in the heart of England. Her childhood was quite unconventional and she spent some time living on a boat and travelling at sea with her family. Since she was very small she has always dreamed of writing for a living, but though she has written original fiction online for years and encouraged many new writers to keep going and follow their author dreams, it is only recently she got the courage to make her own dream a reality and actually send something off to a publisher.

By day she runs her own business selling fabric (her second love) and juggling family commitments, by night she weaves the stories that the characters in her head dictate. These stories often start with pain or longing but always end with love.

 

Contact Suki:

http://sukifleet.wordpress.com/

http://sukifleet.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/suki.fleet.3

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7919609.Suki_Fleet

A snippet and a contest!

Okay kids, it’s snippet time again!

This is from my YA story, “It’s Not Our Fault”. I’ve been sharing snippets from the opening scene, in which Jordan sees an intriguing girl and follows her to Powell’s City of Books, on my YA blog I keep under the name Charli Green. This snippet, which is also on Charli’s blog, answers the nagging question—if Jordan stalks a girl, how can it be a queer romance?

If anyone’s interested in the whole “stalking” thing, the snippets are all on my YA blog here.

As usual, please ignore the creative punctuation. The antho was well-edited and as far as I know does not contain such run-on sentences. 🙂

 

SO, YOU can imagine how I felt the first day of my photography class when I walked in and saw her brother sitting in the exact center of the room, fooling around with the settings on an amazing camera. The guy had the same angelic profile, all the way down to the pretty pink lips. Maybe a twin? But even twins wouldn’t look that much alike. He tilted his head to get a closer look at… something… and slipped his pinkie into his mouth just like— That wasn’t her brother.

I chose the seat closest to the door, in case any part of her—him?—was still angry with any part of me, and tried to forget she was there by looking through some of my photos. I came across one from that day, and it seemed like a good time to study it; I’d been walking on NW Ninth, a few blocks from Powell’s, the focal point of the shot was a particularly striking architectural feature that I couldn’t remember the name of with the scent of vanilla filling the room.

 Thanks for reading!

(Apologies to anyone who read this and wasn’t amused by the revelation that Charley and Charli are both me. :))

 Okay, snippet-lovers, it’s time to fly and be free–check out more tasty little morsels of fiction offered by the great folks at Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors!

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of the First Time for Everything antho this short story appears in, click here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or, you can buy it from Dreamspinner Press in ebook or paperback.

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Back to School Sale!

Charli Green wanted to toss this up on the YA blog, but I’m not comfortable sending anyone under 18 to the Dreamspinner store. Since it’s possible someone underage is following my YA blog, it goes here. If any of my grown-up friends knows someone fitting the description of Young Adult, and they’d like to read stories about queer kids, you can buy them a Back-to-School gift at 30% off!

“It’s Not Our Fault” — my first contracted YA story — will be released on September 4th as part of the First Time for Everything anthology. Not to give too much away, but it’s not your standard romance–it celebrates the fact that LGBTQ is more than just L and G. The antho is available for pre-order in both ebook and paperback.

Click the graphic to get to my Charli Green author page, or click here for the full selection of Harmony Ink titles.

It’s Not Our Fault, by Charli Green

Jordan Pond graduated from high school a year early. He didn’t know he’d have three weeks to fill before his first day of classes at the community college. He also didn’t know that during those seemingly endless weeks he’d have an awkward painful experience at Powell’s City of Books that might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to him, even if it causes him to question everything he thought he knew about himself.

 

YA Cover Reveal!

I’m hosting a cover reveal for one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. Officially, Charli Green is hosting, but it’s the same thing really. 🙂

It’s for Lou Hoffmann’s Harmony Ink fantasy, Key of Behliseth. Gorgeous, yeah?

Check out all the details on my YA blog, here:  https://greencharli.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/cover-reveal-key-of-behliseth-by-lou-hoffmann/

It’s an antho…

I’m too superstitious to suggest the release of First Time for Everything is the birth of a new branch of my writing career… but it could happen. 🙂

First Time for Everything hit the Coming Soon page today!

The anthology is up on the Dreamspinner Coming Soon page, which is a little odd to me, but whatever. Until it’s released–on Sept 4th!–I’ll keep the links off my YA blog and call it good. Click on the pretty book cover to visit the page and read all the blurbs–pre-order if you want it to show up on your DsP bookshelf at midnight eastern on the 4th.

If you’re going to GRNW, I’ll have a copy or two to give away. Not sure how I’ll decide who gets ’em (except for the organizers, I’ve already promised them one to give away at the readers meet-up :)). Ideas will be appreciated… possibly rewarded.

For those of you who haven’t visited my YA blog during all the snippetting, here’s my blurb.

“It’s Not Our Fault,” by Charli Green

Jordan Pond graduated from high school a year early. He didn’t know he’d have three weeks to fill before his first day of classes at the community college. He also didn’t know that during those seemingly endless weeks he’d have an awkward painful experience at Powell’s City of Books that might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to him, even if it causes him to question everything he thought he knew about himself.

Here’s the antho blurb and a list of all the stories!

There’s nothing like the first time. Whether it’s a first crush, first date, first kiss, or finding tolerance and approval for the first time, for gay, lesbian, bi, and trans teens—or those still exploring and discovering their sexuality and identity—these important firsts can shape the rests of their lives. Gathering the courage to come out to their families, admit their feelings to a friend, or go to school presenting as the people they really are can be a struggle. But with the support of their allies and their own inner strength, the brave young people in these stories take the first steps toward happiness and living on their own terms. From sweet stories of newly discovered love, humorous accounts of awkward dinners and dances, to fights for acceptance and even survival, the teens in this anthology must face new challenges and rise to meet them. These are the first times they’ll never forget.

Midnight in the Maze by J. Leigh Bailey
A Warrior from a Different Tribe by S.A. Garcia
His World by Eric Gober
Just Right by John Goode
It’s In Their Kiss by Kevay Gray
It’s Not Our Fault by Charli Green
Courting Billy Roth by Nick Hasse
Dressed to Swim by Renee Hirsch
Beautiful by Ella Lyons
First Date by Nicole McCormick
Step by Step by Emily Moreton
Kissing Scars by Jo Ramsey
Dear Cody by Eric Renner
Dating My Best Friend by Caitlin Ricci
Summer Crush by SR Silcox
When Wolverine Met Taylor by Andrea Speed
Me and My Friend by Emery C. Walters
Kiss and Makeup by Allison Wonderland

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It’s official!

I get to corrupt inspire young minds with my writing! 🙂

Today I signed my first contract for a YA story! “It’s Not Our Fault” will be included in Harmony Ink’s First Time for Everything anthology, to release in September!

Stoked is an understatement. I’m over the moon. I started writing YA almost five years ago, hoping to write the kind of stories I would’ve loved when I was a kid. Back then, in the dark ages when all television was free, there were no LGBTQ sections in the library. If I found a story with a queer character, they were either the villain or very secretive about their orientation (hence my practice reading between the lines :))–and either way, they usually died and then everyone usually celebrated. The End.

Not anymore.

Now people across the rainbow get to fall in love, to be the hero, to solve the mystery, and live to do it again tomorrow. It’s awesome. I’m still having trouble finding books for my bisexual inner-teen, though. So what does a writer do in that case? Write them.

I started my YA pen name, Charli Green, so I could do just that. Most of my story ideas (and WIPs) have female protags, but “It’s Not Our Fault” is from the POV of a boy who graduated a year early from high school. The next fall is full of “first times” for him.

I’ve posted a snippet on Charli’s blog. My hope is that adults who know me as Charley will follow me to YA (if you like that kind of thing), but I really don’t want any minors to follow Charli back here.They can find ERom without my help. 🙂

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Guest Author: Christopher Hawthorne Moss!

Today my guest is the amazing Christopher Hawthorne Moss. He’s brought an excerpt from his latest Harmony Ink Press (YA) historical novel, Beloved Pilgrim. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Elias, who has a female body but knows his mind and heart are male, is traveling through Italy on his way to take ship to the Sublime Port, Constantinople in Byzantium. He has run into one of the group of mercenaries traveling to the Crusades with him who decide to treat him to a night with a prostitute.

A flint sparked, and the scraps of linen in a tinderbox caught and flamed. Giuliana tipped a lantern so the wick caught. She blew out the flame in the tinderbox and replaced the horn cover on the lamp so a dull golden glow lit the space between her and Elias. She set the lamp on a table and looked at him. With her his hands on her hips, she said, “Can’t what? Can’t get it up? That’s my job.” She came to Elias and pressed her magnificent breasts against the front of his tunic. Elias closed his eyes and moaned. The woman reached down to put a hand on Elias’s groin. Elias felt his mound cupped and moaned again.

“Oh!” Giuliana exclaimed. She felt more searchingly. “You are a woman! Do they know? I will get them good if this is a jest to make a fool of me.”

Elias stepped back. “No, no, they don’t know. And please, I beg you, don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.”

Giuliana smiled gently. “Clearly.” She looked Elias up and down. “But why do you pretend to be a man?”

Elias swallowed. “I—I am a man.” He had had no reason to concoct an explanation for what others might see as a masquerade.

Giuliana eyed him skeptically. “Not if you have a cunt, you aren’t.”

Now Elias subsided, his shoulders slumping. “This”—he indicated his body—“is a woman’s body. But in my heart and soul, I know I am a man.”

Surprisingly, the whore accepted the explanation. “Oh, I knew that some men feel they are really women. One of my girls at the bordello is like that. Clementina. There are plenty of customers who want to fuck her. But I did not know there were women who believe they are men.” She had an intrigued smile on her full lips. “Well, what do you want to do?”

Elias looked about the dim room. He could just make out a bed with the covers cast about. There was little else. The single window was shuttered and only a thin sliver of light showed where it was sagging on its hinges. “Can we just stay here? All night? So they think I… you know…?”

Giuliana gave him a wicked grin. “We can do better than that. You can’t fuck me, but we can still have some fun. In fact, for once it will be fun for me.”

She came forward and pressed her breasts against Elias’s again. She reached up with her arms and, putting them around Elias’s neck, pulled his stunned face down to hers. She put her lips on Elias’s and took in a deep, sighing breath. “Mmmm,” she murmured, and slid her tongue into Elias’s mouth.

“But… but… it’s a sin!” Elias protested.

Giuliana stepped back and put her hands on her hips. “Who says?”

“Well… the Church.”

“They are all buggering each other when they aren’t in here slobbering over my girls. And does it really say making love is a sin? In the holy books, I mean?” The woman cocked her head.

“Th-thou shalt not commit adultery, that is what it says.” Elias’s brain was too foggy to think further than that.

Giuliana stepped forward again and reached out a hand to toy with Elias’s cropped tresses. “I thought adultery is when you sleep with someone who is married already.”

Elias gaped. “Well, yes, but….” He supposed he ought to admit that he was, in fact, married, but for some reason was reluctant say it.

Giuliana leaned in to nibble on Elias’s throat. In between nibbles, she said, “I always thought they just didn’t want a lot of little fatherless bastards running about begging. And we can hardly produce any bastards, can we?”

“I guess not.” Elias raised his arms and put one palm on each of Giuliana’s breasts. They were firm to the touch. He kneaded and moaned. His thumbs found the nipples and discovered they were as hard as little nuts. “Touch me there again,” he heard himself entreat.

“Let’s get these clothes off you first,” the whore said. She expertly untied laces, raised the cloth, pushed down other cloth, and all the while her hands stroked the flesh through and then under it all. By the time he was naked, Elias was trembling all over.

“I want to see you,” he begged.

Giuliana smiled languidly. “Then take off my clothes.”

Elias reached around to untie the laces that closed Giuliana’s bodice down the back. This made him crush the woman’s breasts to his own, and he grinned. “You really like this?” he asked. “With a woman, I mean.”

“I like it, si, much more than with a man. A woman will seek to please me.”

Elias decided not to pursue whether he was or was not a woman. He was happy to play along. “And men do not?” He pulled the bodice forward so that it slipped over Giuliana’s shoulders. The breasts were now covered with only a thin linen shift. He took one in his hand and flicked the nipple.

Giuliana groaned with delight. “Some do. Some men know that giving pleasure makes the whole thing better. But they don’t have women’s bodies, so they don’t know what we like. Have you never made love before?”

Elias had loosened the tie that held up Giuliana’s skirt and let the garment fall to the floor. “Love? No, I have never made love,” he answered bitterly. Elias undid the drawstring of the woman’s shift and drew the neckline over her shoulders to expose her breasts. He sighed as he saw them. He leaned in to take a nipple in his mouth, licking and sucking.

Elias learned delights that night he could never have imagined. Giuliana’s hands on his breasts made them seem to swell with pleasure. After the woman lowered them onto the bed, she started to tickle between Elias’s lips within his mound’s soft downy hair, and he felt as if someone had touched him in his most sensitive place with cold steel. His orgasm came slowly, reaching inside him more sharply and strongly than he ever had through his own tentative explorations. He found himself crying out, sobbing, and moaning. He writhed on the bed, then lay gasping.

“Let me do that to you!” he pleaded. Spreading Giuliana’s lips and taking in the rich aroma of her sex, Elias dipped his tongue in a salty-sweet woman’s brew. He tried to remember the technique the woman had used on his. Whether he did it as well or not, Giuliana responded. As her cries and moans became louder, Elias begged, “Say, ‘Fuck me, Elias!’” When she smiled and complied, Elias hoped the mercenaries were listening.

Settling into each other’s arms, the two took turns resting their heads on the other’s shoulder. Elias discovered he was thinking that this soft, warm cuddling was almost—almost—as wonderful as what they had done first. The comfortable laziness was far from chaste, however, as they reached to stroke some special spot on the other, and the more active lovemaking recommenced.

At the sound of a cockcrow, Elias sat up, unsure at first where he was. Then he felt and smelled Giuliana next to him. Leaning over, he put one arm around her and pressed his chest against the warm, smooth back. His hand rested on a breast. He heard Giuliana sigh. “What is your name, amoro?” the woman crooned.

“Elias,” he whispered.

“Grazie, Elias,” the woman said.

She turned her head to be kissed. Elias was glad to oblige.

They both started when a fist hammered on the door. “Elias! That’s enough. Time to get mounted.” It was Ranulf’s voice, followed by guffaws.

Sebastiano’s voice jested, “Don’t tell him to mount. In fact, he probably already is in the saddle.” More laughter.

Elias called out, consciously deepening his voice. “Can’t you wait? I will be out in a minute.”

Three male voices made lewd sounds.

“All right, but hurry. Conrad wants to get back on the road.”

“Already?” Elias groaned.

After a short time, the door to the room swung in. Elias, fully clothed, stood with a mostly naked Giuliana in his arms, locked in a deep kiss.

The four men out on the rickety gallery stared. The whore had her hands clasped on Elias’s buttocks. “Come back, my lord, I beg you. I have never been fucked like that before. I want it again and again.

Elias gratefully smiled into the woman’s twinkling eyes. “I already did that. All night.” He bent in for a last long kiss. “Arrivederci, bella,” he said gently, then turned to the mercenaries. “Well, what are we waiting for?”

The men took the steps two at a time. After passing through another door into an alley, Ranulf and Leif put their arms around Elias’s shoulders, Sebastiano and Thomas throwing theirs over each other’s. “Hail the conquering hero!” Thomas began to sing.

Buy Beloved Pilgrim:  Dreamspinner Press

At the time of the earliest Crusades, young noblewoman Elisabeth longs to be the person she’s always known is hidden inside. When her twin brother perishes from a fever, Elisabeth takes his identity to live as a man, a knight. As Elias, he travels to the Holy Land, to adventure, passion, death, and a lesson that honor is sometimes found in unexpected places.

Elias must pass among knights and soldiers, survive furious battle, deadly privations, moral uncertainty, and treachery if he’ll have any chance of returning to his newfound love in the magnificent city of Constantinople.

Links for CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE MOSS:
http://www.shield-wall.com
email: christopherhmoss@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitmoss2012

Something for the young at heart!

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Some of you might know that I’ve recently submitted a spec fic novel to Dreamspinner’s YA imprint, Harmony Ink. So far, every manuscript I’ve snippetted while it was on sub has been published—ergo, it’s good luck. Being a superstitious gal by nature I need to let some of that luck rub off onto my YA alter-ego:  Charli Green.  Occasionally I’ll cross post YA stuff here, but it won’t go the other way—to keep the kidlets away from the ERom as much as possible.

Charli Green (or GreenCharli :)) writes LGBT YA fiction— “Books for the Bs”—meaning someone will be bisexual. It may be essential to the plot or it may just be sitting on the page without  lot of fanfare and rainbow spotlights. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more about those stories soon.

For now, here’s the first snippet of my sci fi-ish story with the horrible working title of The Unforgiven Two.  It’s not strictly a Romance, so I hope it’s okay to use this for Seductive Studs & Sirens too.

My MC, 16 y/o high school junior Psyche Foss, is eating lunch with her best friend Heather. Something pretty shocking just happened to Psyche, so it’s a good thing she has chocolate.

By the time Heather caught up, Psyche had emptied half the contents of her backpack onto the seat in front of her.

“Is that Lindy’s chocolate cake?”

Psyche nodded and stuffed a large bite into her mouth.

“To make the first day of school just a little bit sweeter,” Heather said in her worst Indian accent.  “How much cake do you have in there?”

“Nevermind,” Psyche said around a mouthful of triple-layer chocolate cake with homemade fudge buttercream frosting. She swallowed loudly and fixed Heather with an appraising look.

“I think the fact that I can lovingly mock both your dads with one sentence gets me cake.”

Thanks for reading!

6ad08-wewriwa_buttonFor more snippets head to the usual haunts: Seductive Studs and Sirens, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

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