Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Excerpt...French for Love (Book 3 of Valley Love)

You have traveled through the agony and triumph of Kagen's struggle to love Croy in A Mechanic's Dream. You have then followed Bailey, Croy's assistant as he tries to find his place in the world and his trust in Dugan in Lost and Found.

Soon, you will be ensnared by Jarred, Kagen's young friend, as he finds the love of his life, loses him and then pushes himself out of his comfort zone to find D'Arcy again.

Excerpt from French for Love (Valley Love, Book 3) - they meet...

Jarred slipped quietly through the door and took a seat at the top of the tiers, not wanting to disturb the lecture going on. Usually, he sat at the front, to better concentrate. He smiled at the man he sat next to and then pulled his text book out, only to do a double take and look back at the man sitting next to him. Damn! He’d never seen such a pretty man before. Thick sandy blond hair with light blond streaks, and the deepest blue green eyes he’d ever seen. He couldn’t believe he’d never noticed him before. Jarred’s palms became sweaty and he unconsciously rubbed them on his jean covered thighs. Jarred was painfully shy by nature, so just stared, then blushed when he realized he was. He ducked his head and opened his book, trying to get the racing of his heart to slow down.
“Excusez moi?” The man next to Jarred said. Jarred turned and stared again. Oh, Jesus! How sexy was that? The man was French. Jarred couldn’t stop the coil of desire that warmed his stomach…or the twitch of his cock at the smooth, rich voice. “Iz my first day. Can you help wiz what page to see?” The man asked in a sultry voice.
Jarred nodded, and then snapped his mouth shut when he realized he was gaping. Christ! He needed to get a handle on his suddenly out of control libido. “Uh, page 39.” Jarred said, pointing inanely at his own text book. The man leaned over; brushing his shoulder against Jarred’s to see what he was pointing at. Jarred couldn’t help but inhale the man’s scent and wished he hadn’t when the warmth in his stomach turned to an inferno.
“Oui, merci.” The man said, then turned to a young woman next to him and fired off a sentence in French. Jarred took a few deep breaths to calm down. He’d never had such a reaction to anyone. He tried to ignore the hushed tones of the man and woman speaking in French next to him.
An hour later, and Jarred couldn’t have said what the lecture had been about, he hurried over to the exit. He looked back and noticed the man and the woman looking at him. The man smiled, and oh, what a glorious smile it was. Jarred’s stomach did a flip flop and he turned away quickly, blushing again. He spent the next four classes in a daze. How stupid, he hadn’t even asked the man his name, not that he would have had the nerve anyway. When he entered the lecture hall for his sixth and last class for the day, he chose a seat in the back again. Method Finance was his least favorite class. Mainly because the professor was a total, homophobic ass. It wasn’t common knowledge that Jarred was gay, but he didn’t hide his preference either. And Professor March didn’t hide his disdain for anyone that swung that way. Jarred wondered how he kept his job with such prejudices. Jarred didn’t pay attention as someone sat down next to him. Method Finance was a required degree class, so the lecture hall was always crowded.
“Excusez moi?” Jarred heard and spun around to look at the pretty man from his first class. “Zo, we meet again.” The man said and gave Jarred another smile. Jarred’s stomach went into free fall and his tongue froze to the roof of his mouth. “You help me again, s’il vous plait?” The man asked. Jarred swallowed audibly, gave the man a shy smile and nodded. “Merci. The man responded and his smile turned into a blinding grin.
“My name is D’Arcy. Quel est votre nom? What iz you?” The man asked. Jarred blushed.
“Jarred.” He replied.
“Jhar-ed.” D’Arcy said, rolling Jarred’s name in that smooth, rich voice. Jarred’s blush deepened. D’Arcy gazed at Jarred. “Merci, mon timide l’un.” D’Arcy said in a soft voice. Jarred had no idea what D’Arcy said, but didn’t care. It was just thrilling to hear him speak. By the end of class, Jarred was going crazy. The man was just so sexy. And nice. Not that they’d spoken that much. Jarred had already gotten several glowers from Professor March. He didn’t want to get into trouble, but it was D’Arcy who was talking, not Jarred and again, Jarred wondered how the professor could keep his job. When Jarred stood to leave, he felt D’Arcy grab his arm and couldn’t contain the shiver that went through him at the contact. “Je souhaite avoir du café avec vous.” D’Arcy said and Jarred just shook his head. He didn’t know French.
D’Arcy stood up next to Jarred and Jarred sucked in a breath. He hadn’t realized how tall D’Arcy was. He had to be at least 6’1” or more. Jarred’s heart stuttered. “Jhar-ed, I wish to have coffee with you.” D’Arcy repeated in English.
Jarred blushed again. “Really?” Jarred breathed in shock. D’Arcy was stunning. Jarred thought that he would have every girl on campus at his beck and call and wondered why he wanted to have coffee with him. He watched D’Arcy’s face soften.
“Oh, mon timide l’un, oui.” D’Arcy said.
“Um, ok.”  
“Ca va. Où un café est? Where iz a café?” D’Arcy asked.
Jarred’s nerves were jumping. “Follow me.” He said and turned to lead D’Arcy to the campus café. They ordered their coffees and then sat at a small table. Jarred noticed the looks they were getting, but didn’t know how to interpret them. He was pretty sure D’Arcy was straight, though Jarred’s gaydar had never been very good. He’d not known Kagen, his best friend and former boss, was gay until he told Jarred.
The silence was awkward, and Jarred kept sneaking glances at D’Arcy. “Um, so…you are from France?” Jarred asked, trying to fill in the void. Smooth Duncan. Now he’s going to think you are an idiot.
D’Arcy smiled at him. “Oui, I am student. In ze US on visa.” D’Arcy answered him, though his voice sounded strained to Jarred. 
Jarred didn’t get to say anything else as the woman he’d seen in his first class walked up to them. “Bonjour, cher. Que faites-vous ici?” The woman asked D’Arcy what he was doing there and leaned down to kiss D’Arcy on the cheek. “Avoir le café avec mon nouvel ami. Il est très timide. Mais je l'aime si. Beaucoup.” D’Arcy answered her, giving her a peck on the cheek in return, letting her know he was there with Jarred because he liked him. A lot.
Jarred turned his head, a stab of jealousy making his stomach clench. Where the hell had that come from? Jarred figured the woman was D’Arcy’s girlfriend.
“Jhar-ed, this is Adalicia. My soeur.” D’Arcy said, and then looked at Adalicia for the English word.
Jarred had no idea what a soeur was, but figured it meant girlfriend or something.
Adalicia put out her hand for Jarred to shake. “Jhar-ed, nice to meet you. I am D’Arcy’s sister.” Adalicia said.
Jarred shook her hand in surprise. “Oh, not his girlfriend?” Jarred blurted out, and then blushed again. His blush deepened when they both laughed.
“Oh, il est enfant mignon. Vous l'avez mauvais, n'est-ce pas?” Adalicia said to D’Arcy, smiling at her brother because he was so smitten before turning to Jarred. “No, D’Arcy would not have an amie…a girlfriend. He likes garcons.” Adalicia said.
Jarred was lost. What the hell were garcons?
“Adalicia!” D’Arcy exclaimed and blushed.
Jarred stared. It was the first time he’d seen D’Arcy blush and damn, but it was hot. “Garcons?” Jarred asked.
D’Arcy’s gaze grew intense, almost predatory and Jarred’s breath hitched in his throat. “I like men, Jhar-ed.” D’Arcy said. “Je vous aime, mon timide l'un.” He added, though Jarred had no idea what he’d said.
Adalicia laughed. “Je vous partirai seul poursuivre votre home.” Adalicia said to D’Arcy, gave him another peck on the cheek and left, after telling him she’d see him at home.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know French, so I don’t know what you were saying.” Jarred said softly, embarrassed.
D’Arcy smiled at him. “No need for sorries. I said, I like you.” D’Arcy told him.
Jarred didn’t know what to say, though he suspected there was a lot more to what was exchanged between D’Arcy and Adalicia then that. “Oh… Really?” Was what came out and he blushed again. He nearly creamed his pants when D’Arcy reached across the table and took his hand. He’d been half hard around the guy anyway, and now his cock stood at attention, pressing against the fly of his jeans almost painfully.
“Oui, you are very…beau. Beautiful.”  
Jarred dropped his head shyly. No one had ever called him beautiful before. He’d always thought of himself as average, nothing special. His last boyfriend had been nearly four years ago. He’d been so caught up in his studies, working for Kagen and taking care of his mother, that he’d not had time to have any kind of relationship. “Um, thank you?” Jarred hesitantly said.
“De rien, mon timide l'un.” D’Arcy said. Jarred went silent, not knowing anything else to say.
He glanced at the clock on the wall and nearly jumped in surprise. They’d been at the café for nearly an hour and he needed to get home to his mother. “Um, I’m sorry. I need to go home. My mother is waiting for me.” Jarred said reluctantly.
“You no stay on campus?” D’Arcy asked.
Jarred shook his head. “No, my mother can’t be left alone all the time.” He replied.
“Ah, donc doux pour s'occuper de votre mere.” D’Arcy said and Jarred gave him a confused look. D’Arcy smiled. “So kind of you to take care of your mother.” He translated. Jarred gave him a shy smile.
“Thank you. Um, would you like to come with me?” Jarred asked. He was astonished at his boldness, but was enjoying being in D’Arcy’s company so much, he didn’t want to part.
“Sûr, j'aimerais à. I would like that.” D’Arcy said with a smile.
Jarred led D’Arcy out to his beat up BMW. He couldn’t help the butterflies in his stomach since D’Arcy didn’t let go of his hand. He glanced around to see people’s reaction. It was fairly mixed. A few envious looks from girls. A few frowns of disapproval and some smiles from both men and women. And one very deep scowl from Professor March. Jarred looked quickly away from him.
D’Arcy noticed Jarred tense up and glanced over to the teacher. “Do not let ze professor upset you, mon timide l’un.” D’Arcy said, frowning at the Professor March. “L'idiot stupide et ignorant.” D’Arcy said under his breath and Jarred understood those words perfectly. It made him smile. D’Arcy let go of his hand when they made it to his car. Jarred spent the ride answering D’Arcy’s questions about the sights they passed, pleased that he could talk to D’Arcy without sounding like a complete moron.
They pulled into the drive of Jarred’s modest home and he led D’Arcy up to the door. D’Arcy had taken his hand again, but dropped it once they entered. Jarred thought he might know why and looked up into D’Arcy’s ocean colored eyes. “She knows I’m gay.” He said and smiled when D’Arcy took his hand again. “Mom! I’m home.” He called out. They found his mother in the kitchen in a huge mess. “Oh, mom.” Jarred said, dismayed.
“I’m sorry Jarred. I was just trying to make myself something to eat.” Rachel Duncan said, her tremors a bit more pronounced than usual.
“Mom, go sit. I’ll clean up and fix you something. Did you remember your medication?” Jarred said and let go of D’Arcy to help his mother to the kitchen table. He saw his mother looking curiously at D’Arcy. “Mom, your medication. Did you remember it?” Jarred tried to get her attention.
“Oh, yes, I think so.” Rachel answered absently, brushing at the floured mess on her shirt.
“Me permettre d'aider.” D’Arcy said and started gathering up dishes.
“What?” Jarred said, distracted as he helped his mother.
“He asked to help.” Rachel said, smiling at D’Arcy.
Jarred looked at his mother in surprise. “You know French?” He asked, astonished.
“Yes, four years in high school, three in college, before I had you.” Rachel answered.
“Iz no problem, I help. I work at home for the personnes âgées in la France.” D’Arcy said as he started water to rinse the dishes.
“Personnes agees?” Jarred mangled the pronunciation as he pulled his mother’s pill bottles from the cupboard. 
“A nursing home for the elderly.” Rachel said.
Jarred just shook his head. “Mom, this is my friend D’Arcy.” Jarred belatedly introduced them. “D’Arcy, Rachel Duncan, my mom.” Jarred set the bottle on the table and opened it for his mother.
D’Arcy wiped his hands and took Rachel’s in one and kissed her knuckles. “Très agréable pour vous rencontrer, mme Duncan.” D’Arcy said.
Rachel blushed. “Nice to meet you too, D’Arcy. Thank you for helping.” Rachel said.
“Mon plaisir pour la mère de mon timide l'un.” D’Arcy said and returned to the dishes.
Rachel’s blue eyes rounded and she looked over at Jarred, then back at D’Arcy. Jarred didn’t notice her look as he opened the dishwasher to put the rinsed dishes in it. D’Arcy saw it, smiled and gave her a small nod. Rachel smiled back. She knew her son had been lonely and she felt guilty that he had to take care of her. He’d been taking care of her for nearly ten years, ever since she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She’d once thought that Jarred and Kagen might get together, but Jarred had always said Kagen was just a friend, then they had attended Kagen’s and Croy’s commitment ceremony. Jarred hadn’t acted upset about it, but Rachel could see the sadness. She only hoped D’Arcy was as gentle and kind a soul as Kagen was. She didn’t want her son to get hurt. He’d had enough pain in his life.
“Mom, take your medication. D’Arcy, would you like to stay for dinner?” Jarred told his mother and then asked D’Arcy shyly.
“Merveilleux, oui.” D’Arcy said, and Jarred blushed. “Si doux, mon peu timide l'un” D’Arcy said in a whisper as he looked at Jarred, and then cleared his throat when Rachel stared at him. “I wish to help, s'il vous plait.” D’Arcy said in a louder voice.
Jarred nodded and began to pull ingredients from the fridge. An hour later, with dinner finished, the dishes done, Jarred helped his mother get ready for bed. When he had her settled, he turned to leave and she grabbed his arm. “Jarred. He’s a very nice man. Do you like him?” Rachel asked her son.
Jarred blushed. “Yes.” He said awkwardly.
“I’m glad. I know you have been lonely, even if you spend time with Kagen and Croy.” Rachel said, giving Jarred’s arm a squeeze. “Don’t let him go. I think he could make you happy.” Rachel said.
Jarred nodded, feeling uncomfortable talking about this. Despite the fact that his mother had no problems with his sexuality, he didn’t like discussing it with her.
Rachel laughed, knowing she was embarrassing Jarred. “Go on. Spend some time with your man.” She said lightly.
Jarred blushed again. “He’s not my man, mama.”
“But you want him to be. I can tell.” Rachel retorted with a chuckle.
“Yes.” Jarred said softly, and then left his mother’s room.
When he came back out to the living room, he found D’Arcy looking at the photos lined up on the bookshelf. “You were very cute as a child.” D’Arcy said as he gazed at the pictures.
Jarred stayed silent. What was he supposed to say to that? He sucked in a breath when D’Arcy turned and looked at him. There was no mistaking the heat in the man’s aqua eyes. “Um, are you ready for me to take you back to the campus?” Jarred asked nervously.
“No, I wish to stay here with you.” D’Arcy replied as he made his way over to stand in front of Jarred. Jarred stared down shyly. D’Arcy gently cupped Jarred’s chin and raised Jarred’s head. He leaned down and pressed his lips against the smaller man’s. Jarred was about to combust at the contact. D’Arcy’s lips were soft and warm and when D’Arcy lightly traced his tongue against Jarred’s lower lip, he opened for him. D’Arcy didn’t swoop in like so many men did. He explored gently, his tongue dancing slowly, sensually. Jarred was so aroused, it was painful.
Jarred felt D’Arcy wrap his arm around him and pull him tight against his hard body, his other hand caressed Jarred’s cheek and neck as the kiss deepened. Jarred couldn’t get over how gentle D’Arcy was. No grabbing or groping, and yet the kiss and D’Arcy’s hands on him still spoke of unbridled passion. It was true foreplay, something Jarred had never experienced before. Jarred finally broke the kiss, in dire need of oxygen.
“Show me your bedroom. Je souhaite faire l'amour à vous, mon timide petit l'un.” D’Arcy whispered. 
“What?” Jarred asked in confusion.
“Your bedroom. I wish to love on you.” D’Arcy repeated and Jarred’s heart nearly stopped beating. D’Arcy wanted to love him? Make love to him? To fuck? Jarred suddenly felt panicked, felt as if he was going to pass out, his knees going weak. No man had been so bold, so forthcoming with him and Jarred’s self consciousness overwhelmed him.
“Jhar-ed?” D’Arcy said, feeling Jarred trembling violently. “What scares you, mon timide l’un?”
Jarred just shook his head. What was he supposed to say? He wasn’t scared of sex, just that he would not be what D’Arcy expected. Wouldn’t be any good at it. Afraid D’Arcy would be disappointed in Jarred’s slight frame and average cock. Jarred knew he was no looker. Richard had made that very clear when he’d dumped Jarred. Plus, Richard was Jarred’s only sexual encounter. And Richard had constantly complained about Jarred’s lack of experience, despite knowing Jarred was a virgin when he hooked up with him. Jarred, too embarrassed over his naivety, never said a word when he knew Richard was cheating on him…with women.
“Mon timide l’un, s'il vous plait…please, tell me what upsets you.” D’Arcy said softly, his aqua eyes staring into Jarred’s brown ones. “Do you not wish my love?” D’Arcy added.
“No! I mean yes, but you won’t…I’m not…I have no experience. Only one boyfriend who didn’t like…who didn’t …love me.” Jarred managed to stutter out, his face going crimson at the admission.
D’Arcy’s lips pressed against Jarred’s again, tenderly. “Then he is a…a.. idiot sans valeur…a…” D’Arcy stopped, obviously frustrated. “He is worthless…not worthy of your beauty.” D’Arcy finished. “Come, show me to your bedroom.” D’Arcy repeated and turned Jarred to the hall that led off the living room.
Jarred shook his head. “No, not that way.” He said, and then led D’Arcy back toward the foyer and through a door off the right of the front entrance, down a flight of stairs to a large family room and then to a door in the corner. He opened the door, thankful his mother had taught him from a young age to always keep his room neat. He stood in the center, feeling awkward and unsure what to do, his hands clasped so tightly together, his knuckles were white, his eyes staring at his queen sized bed. D’Arcy had followed him closely and now pressed up against his back. Chills ran up and down Jarred’s spine when D’Arcy leaned down and nuzzled the tender skin of Jarred’s neck below his ear.

Friday, October 26, 2012

GayRomLit 2012 - Day One

So, GayRomLit 2012…I was a newbie…and then I wasn’t. The whole event was awe inspiring for me, a shy introverted writer. I went in thinking I wouldn’t be recognized (my name at least) and I was wrong…and was filled with the warm fuzzies.
Overwhelmed and excited are just verbs, but they describe my feelings for four whole days. Those days were fun, the evenings were great and the nights were awesome! Sleep? What sleep? I met two of my three roommates for the first time, Karen Candido and Patti Logan. Awesome women, along with Nanette de Procure!! Love you gals!!
I met so many people I think it fried my brain. J I’m fairly good with names and faces, which was a plus as I met each writer/reader/publisher that attended (I did miss some as there were so many people there). I was pleased at the warmth and acceptance directed at me, a new writer at the bottom of the totem pole. I only had one bad experience with an introduction, and it occurred to me that that person might be uncomfortable in social situations (like I don’t know that feeling), so was not offended.
It was humbling to have people ask to have a picture taken with me. I’ve never had that before. I never wanted to be famous, but to be recognized for my books is a feeling I could get used to…or maybe something I’ll never get used to since it is so very nice. It was suggested that I practice my signature for next year. lol

Day one found me in among the other newbies (those that did not attend GRL 2011). We were broken up into groups…I got the LOUD group. Lol I’m not sure, but I think it was Angel Martinez’s idea to put people up on the chair…for those brave enough anyway. Here are a few of my fellow GRL’rs on the hot spot.

JR Boyd

Silvia Violet

Patricia Logan

To blast off the first day, that night we had ourselves some very nice eye candy....and I discovered Damon Suede is multitalented!! That man can write...and DANCE!! I was a good girl though, limiting my drinking to only two. After all, me dancing on the tables is NOT what anyone was there to see. I did have a beautiful young man in my lap for a moment and I wasn't the only one. J And as my roommates and I took a break outside, one of the dancers, Alexander kept us company. Such a cutie and very sweet!
There is the pretty young man who ended up in my lap, currently in Patti's and getting some attention from JR. I do believe Karen had some nice (if embarrassing) attention from him as well *wink*

Me and two of my roomies, Patti and Nanette

Again, two of my roomies, Patti and Karen, with a very beautiful Jared in the background.

And.....Damon showing Alexander his moves!

Come back again, and I’ll have more to reveal….

Friday, October 12, 2012

Busy, busy, busy....

Wow!! Starting next week, I am going to be a very busy person. First, GayRomLit until the 22nd! *bounces* So very excited!!

Soon, I should have my winter antho back for second round edits. Keeping my fingers crossed there aren't too many!!

Then, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. 50K written in 30 days! I think I can do it. I already have several ideas, just need to settle on one before the first of November. Bring it on!!

I also have a release coming out November 10 and need to promo my first Publishing House book!! That makes 10 published books!!! I think I'm on a roll.

I have a Warrior Vampire story due for submission my November 19th, which has been a priority lately.

I have a story in collaboration with another author with no deadline, but would like to get it finished before the end of the year.

THEN...I have entered the 2013 500K Challenge!! 500K words written in one year!! That sounds like fun!!

I have also committed myself to finishing two of the next Valley Love books in 2013, plus three other books.

I am going to back to the continuing Chapter story on my blog as well, giving my blog followers more of the story of Cayce Harper and his life in a free read.

I am anxiously awaiting a response to a submitted short story to Chances Press.

So very busy and loving every minute of it!!! There is nothing like the adrenaline rush of being an author. My dream come true!!