Better than nothing…

22401361I spent far too long trying to figure out a snippet for this week. Before I let myself be reduced to actual tears, I decided to go for another free read.

This snippet is from “Better Than New,” my contribution to the Goodreads MM Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event of 2014, Love’s Landscapes.

Theo is the “I.”

 

 

“Say, Red. What’s up with your leg?” The guy was in my math class. Bone-head geometry. If I was any good an angles and trajectories, a lot more than my class schedule would be different.

“Surfing accident. A shark bit off my foot.”

He looked me up and down, no doubt noting my pale and bony qualities, none of which screamed surfer dude.

“Seriously?”

“No. Someone pushed me off a MAX platform and the train rolled over my leg.”

He shot me a strange look and then ducked into the building faster than I could’ve kept up. Not that I wanted to.

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to read all of Theo’s story, links to the three major formats are on this page. If you’re interested in the other 200 or so free stories, check out the MM Romance Group at Goodreads. It’s free to join, and some amazing authors donated their time and talent for our collective reading pleasure.

Check out more flashes of fiction at Snippet Sunday!

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Another cover!

22401361I’ve been talking about covers a lot lately, even this one, but I forgot to post it here!

So, viola!

The lovely and talented A.J.Corza created this cover for my Love’s Landscapes story, and I love it! The MM Romance Group on Goodreads and my fabulously creative prompter, Jenna Jones, provided the inspiration for Theo to start talking. I’m so grateful to everyone involved in this event. It took a mind-boggling amount of volunteer hours to make this year’s Don’t Read in the Closet event possible — and it’s not over yet!

“Better Than New” has gotten some wonderfully kind reviews, and very soon its big brother will be released. The jerky thing Theo talks about in the beginning of “Better Than New” is in The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds. Starting August 11, you can judge Theo’s ranking on the jerk-scale for yourself. 🙂

Click here to visit my page dedicated to “Better Than New” and grab a free copy in your preferred format!

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Better Than New — My Love’s Landscapes story is out!

Cover 22401361Today’s the day!

It was SO hard not to announce this ahead of time, because I’ve been itching to share this story. Thanks again to Jenna Jones for the amazing prompt, and to all the tireless volunteers at the Goodreads MM Romance Group who make Don’t Read in the Closet an event to look forward to. Thanks also to my betas, you guys rock!

So, the story. As soon as I saw the prompt–the amazing pic paired with a lovely bit of poetry (which I wildly misinterpreted!)–I heard a voice in my head. The narrator is Theo, and he has a walk-on part in my upcoming novel The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds. I didn’t realize he had so much to say or I might’ve made plans to tell his story, but I was taken completely by surprise. So, after a quick check with my publisher to be sure she was okay with me giving away a part of the story she contracted–I was off.

“Better Than New” opens later in the same evening Theo appears in Strange Birds, and the jerky thing he does is in the book. After that, though, he’s completely on his own. I think he did an excellent job in carrying a story. I hope you agree.

Here’s the original prompt I had to work with–I hope you’ll check out the story. I’m so proud of it. You have to be a member of the group to read the stories, but with over 200 prompts this year it will probably be worth your while (besides, it’s free :)). Click the book cover above to go directly to my story or click here to get to the group’s home page.

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STORY LETTER:
Dear Author,

Please use this excerpt as a prompt:

O’ God it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

― from Steps by Frank O’Hara

Any setting or time period. A slice-of-life story would suit me fine. No BSDM, violence, mpreg, or shifters, please.

Thank you,

Jenna

Stay tuned for updates about The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds, scheduled for release in August by Dreamspinner Press.

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The Final Eight!

Welcome to this weekend’s snippetry!

This promises to be a fun but busy weekend at Casa Des. Saturday I’ll be volunteering with a group of attorneys to help local folks with their citizenship paperwork, and Sunday is my birthday, in which I’ll be completing forms for my upcoming novel, The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds! Habitual snippeteers may remember Phil and Lee. If not, you’ll be meeting them again fairly soon. 😀

Today’s snippet is the last tease I’ll be sharing from my “Don’t Read in the Closet” story, Better Than New. The story isn’t very long, and I don’t want to give too much away.This takes up immediately after last week’s and concludes the first section. (To find all snippets for my Love’s Landscapes story, click here.)

He goaded me on, bouncing on the balls of his feet like a dancer. The chains around his neck caught the light and flashed in my eyes. I bounced the cup in the palm of my hand a few times. That seemed to make him happier, so I gathered all my disappointment, pictured it filling up the cup, and threw the cup onto the grate.

Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to look—even the guy on the tiny stage stopped reading his excruciatingly beautiful poetry about how much it hurts to be in love. Ben raised his hand to high-five me, but I stared at the broken, useless shards scattered around the grate. He bent to put his face in front of mine, and his smile let me breathe normally again.

He ruffled my hair and turned to the counter to help a customer.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to check out the other snippets. If LGBT fiction is your thing, visit Seductive Studs & Sirens, for a grab-bag of great fiction visit Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

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The Broken Cup

Welcome to this weekend’s snippetry!

Today’s snippet is another tease from my Don’t Read in the Closet story, Better Than New (someone guessed correctly,so I can use the title now :)) and continues where last week’s leaves off. We’re still with Theo and Ben in the coffeehouse. You can catch up here. The first line is Ben’s but all the strange punctuation is mine.

“Okay, now break it; throw it over there.” He pointed to the dip in the tiled floor where a grate covered a hole; the building used to be some kind of factory or warehouse, so the coffeehouse had all kinds of odd little details like that.

“It’ll make a mess.”

“May I direct your attention to the sign above the door—it doesn’t say The Broken Cup for nothing, whose place is this?”

“Yours.”

“So throw the cup onto the grate as hard as you can.” He pushed my shoulder gently and nodded toward the grate. “Stop thinking about it and do it.”

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to check out the other snippets. If LGBT fiction is your thing, visit Seductive Studs & Sirens, for a grab-bag of great fiction visit Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

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8 more from Love’s Landscapes!

photo credit: tomosuke214 via photopin cc

Hey there, welcome to another snippet from my “Don’t Read in the Closet 2014” story. I’m still calling it Isn’t it Wonderful, but that’s not the real title. That has to stay secret until the lovely MM Romance Group Mods give the all-clear.

This snippet takes place immediately after last week’s. If you didn’t see that one, our hero Theo had been stood up and was contemplating breaking a coffeehouse mug in frustration. (The whole snippet is here.) Oh, and I apologize for the punctuation abuse you’re about to witness. I’ll seek professional help for that soon, promise. 😉

“If you want to break something, trade me for this one first.” Ben held out a plain white coffee cup and when I grabbed it he didn’t let go. “Come back here.”

His grin almost made me want to smile myself so I checked for coffee drips on my Vans—sometimes you just don’t want to be charmed by clear blue eyes and a friendly smile.

Ben used the white coffee cup to pull me around the end of the counter and back behind it and he sat me on the stool he keeps there for when it’s slow. Stashed under the register, his abandoned paperback splayed open like an accordion.

“Now let go of this one.”

My right arm jiggled and I looked up—my face and ears burned—I’d almost broken my favorite mug, the one Ben’s little sister had hand painted to look like a snow leopard, and just because some asshole didn’t want to date someone with only one foot, so I let Ben take it.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to check out the other snippets. If LGBT fiction is your thing, visit Seductive Studs & Sirens, for a grab-bag of great fiction visit Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

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Isn’t it Wonderful

Happy Caturday!  Tonight we have to give back that hour we borrowed in Autumn, so we all have an excuse to be cranky next week.

This week’s snippet is from my Love’s Landscapes story, tentatively titled Isn’t it Wonderful. Our hero, Theo, is at a friend’s Pearl District coffeehouse for open mic night and he’s been stood up. (Theo, not the friend.)

Before the evening was over I did something jerky, something I wouldn’t want anyone to know I’d done. I flirted with a guy who hadn’t been stood up. A guy who came in with someone and spent a good hour just gazing at him. Everyone in the room could see they were in love, but I couldn’t help it. I told myself I just wanted to flirt a little, to boost my crushed ego, but that wasn’t it. I wanted to break something.

“Hey, Theo, what’re you doing with that?”

I looked where Ben was looking, at the ceramic mug in my hand, and shrugged.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to hop around and check out more snippets! You know the drill, starting Saturday chase the rainbow with Seductive Studs & Sirens, and beginning on Sundays there’s also Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday!

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I grew a pair!

Not exactly, but close enough.

I’ve enjoyed so many free stories written for the Goodreads MM Romance Group’s annual “Don’t Read in the Closet” events and this year I took the plunge and grabbed a prompt! I almost had the ovaries to do it last year, but not quite. Last year I didn’t think I could write a good story in so short a time. If my first edits for Not the Doctor are any indication, that’s not really a problem. 🙂

I was incredibly lucky and managed to claim Jenna Jones’ prompt and I’ve written over 3,000 words since yesterday afternoon. I’m excited to share it with everyone—I hope you’ll all help me make it great, 8 sentences at a time.

The picture Jenna posted is of the adorable actor Sebastian Stan (if he or any of his people want me to take this down, I’ll be happy to).

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Dear Author,

Please use this excerpt as a prompt:

O’ God it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

— from “Steps” by Frank O’Hara

Any setting or time period. A slice-of-life story would suit me fine. No BSDM, violence, mpreg, or shifters, please.

Thank you,

Jenna