Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot July Days, Part II - The Excerpt

Here's a little snippet of our story.  Hope you like it!

Just in case you forgot (and because I love looking at it!)...

 Sink or Swim, by Lissa Kasey and Xara X. Xanakas
For the Goodreads M/M Romance Hot July Days

Beau woke me up before dawn that morning, shoved a travel cup of coffee at me, and practically dragged me to the car. He hadn’t even given me time to grab a shirt, which I guessed was okay since he wasn’t wearing one either. A cooler sat between our seats, a beach towel draped across the backseat, and Beau wore a crazy grin.
That smile of his had always been infectious. That day it hit me hard, and I couldn’t keep my heart from swelling. Obviously we were going to the beach, that wasn’t new. We went there often, and that was where we met. But when he turned away from the highway that would take us to the beach, I shifted to watch him and tried to determine what he had planned.

“Where are we going?”

 “It’s a surprise.”

 “It’s not my birthday, or our anniversary.” It wasn’t his birthday either.

“You want cake? We can go get cake.”

“I don’t want cake. At least not right now. I’m just wondering what has you grinning like a villain.”

Grinning like a villain? Does anyone still say that?” Beau’s smile was teasing.
“Did you win the lottery?”

Okay, now I was really curious. He didn’t buy lottery tickets. Beau was a planner. He always knew where he was going, and he never dove with filing a plan. “What’s that mean?”
He shook his head, happy expression remaining firm.
I scratched my very prickly jaw. “Are other people going to see us? Couldn’t you have let me shave first?”

He reached over and stroked my chin, the sensation shooting right to my cock. “I like you scruffy. And no, it’s just us.”
“In that case maybe you could take that hand a little further south.” And he did, but only to rest his warm palm on my thigh. “Not exactly what I had in mind.”

“Plenty of time for that later. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.”
We drove for almost an hour up to a hiking trail we hadn’t used since the summer we met. In fact, we’d come here on our first date. I’d been so nervous that day. Beau had been so far out of my league, I’d nearly had a heart attack when he asked me out. We’d hiked up to the top, taking it slow because I had been still recovering from an accident, and sat there, making out on the rocks overlooking the ocean. Best first date ever.

That morning the rich salty air brought strength and warmth to my heart. Beau grabbed the cooler, towel and my hand before dragging me up the path. I dug in my heels a little to get him to walk slower. He only had three inches on me, but I swear he was all legs. I nearly had to jog to keep up with his long strides. He pulled my hand up and kissed the back of it, softly, that heavenly smile still on his face.
We moved in silence, two parts of the whole, until we reached the top. The view was the same. Beautiful blue-green water, white waves crashing, and blue sky meeting water as far as the eye could see. I knew what he saw in the water, why he loved it so much. I knew he loved me, but sometimes I just wished he would look at me with that same glint of joy in his gaze.

He tugged me along with him. “Little further, Abe.”

“We’re not hanging here?”

“Nope. Got a better plan.”
I followed him over the rise of rocks and down a slight incline until a little valley came into view. The ground was littered with red pops of color. Flowers, much like the ones on his arm, decorated the open area. And though I couldn’t see the waves, I heard them crashing nearby in that peaceful swoosh-shoo sound.

Beau set the cooler and blanket down then pulled out a huge breakfast: California rolls, fruit, cinnamon raisin bagels, and honey nut cream cheese. He even had more coffee in a thermos.
I spread out the blanket, trying not to squish too many flowers and patted the seat beside me. “That was a long drive for breakfast on the beach.”

He plopped down and used a set of chopsticks to hold up a roll for me to bite into then took the other half for himself. “Anything for you, baby.”
I fed him a strawberry, letting him lick the juice off my fingers. We ate until I was ready to burst and lay down on the blanket. The scent of the flowers mixed with the salty air was oddly soothing. He rested his face on my shoulder, staring at me like he was trying to memorize the moment. I watched his eyes close in peaceful calm, his scruff tickling my shoulder.

After fishing my cell out of my pocket I tried to maneuver around Beau to get a picture of him sleeping so sweetly. But since my arm was half trapped under his head, the angle turned out a little weird. He must have heard the click because he smiled at me.
“You faking it?” I nudged him.

“Never with you, baby.”


Well? What do you think? Is your appetite whetted?
To be continued sometime in July...


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hot July Days - M/M Style

Well, they're doing it again.

For Christmas, the Goodreads M/M Romance group asked its author members to stuff their stockings. We wrote letters to the authors, and the authors stepped up to write the story behind the photo.

Now, they're asking us to help heat up July a little more. And boy, are the authors responding! My friend Lissa Kasey and I teamed up to bring you one of the 112 FREE (yes, one hundred twelve free) stories throughout July (and probably spilling into August).


Dear Author,
I will leave the story up to you. What ever gets your creative juices going is fine with me. These men just need a story.


Sink or Swim, by Lissa Kasey and Xara X. Xanakas

Beau has always been the center of attention, the first responder, dive master, and all around life-saver. When he gets a job overseas, Abram feels that he has to follow his lover, but he still harbors doubts of his own worthiness.

Those doubts come to a head during the long flight to begin their new lives. How far is Abram willing to go to keep Beau to himself? Sometimes in matters of the heart, you just have to dive in and sink or swim.


You can start reading these stories on July 1 (that's only a couple of days away!). Is your AC ready? Can you handle the heat?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nerd Glasses

I've been wearing mine a lot lately, but that's okay. Nerd glasses make everyone cuter, don't they?

Let your nerd flag fly!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Doesn't matter what label you put on it, we're all still human.

Isn't that all that should matter?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

CAN'T! won't.

Is there a difference between can't and won't? There used to be.

Can't means you are incapable of doing something. I can't be elected president, because I can't imagine an instance where I would run for office.

Won't means you have chosen not to do something. I won't stand for hate and bigotry. I won't support hurtful messages.

Very different meanings. But it seems as though can't and won't have become interchangeable. It seems can't has become the de facto excuse for the entitled. "I can't do it" means "I won't even try."

So why should I have to do it for them when they won't do it for themselves? Why is it acceptable for The Entitled to just drop everything, say "I can't", and expect that I'll pick it up for them. What happened to the drive to succeed?

I'm all for helping someone who needs it, but all too often, it's the "I won'ts" that take, rather than the "I tried, and I need help."

Conversely, when I say I won't do something, it doesn't mean that I am incompetent, or that I am not capable of doing it. It means I have chosen not to.

Can't isn't the magic word that means you don't even have to try anymore. And it's not the magic word to get me to help you out. That's please.

After all, can't never could do nothing.


Monday, June 6, 2011



I really try to keep positive. Upbeat. Suzy-freakin-Sunshine.

But sometimes, it's not so easy, especially when it feels like the world is out to get you. 

Sometimes I need a reminder to just accept that crap happens.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that the only thing I have complete control over is my reaction to what happens around me. Even if that reaction is to get angry, to retreat and regroup, and to move on to Plan B.

Sometimes I need to just remember to tell the negativity to get the fuck out of my way, let the sunshine in.

So, I'm going to choose to have a great day, even though it's yet another fucking Monday.