Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Lost Inside Chapter 19

Today's Brief update is inspired by the prompt "Don't just stand there, run!" *winks* Wonder what that brings?!! Read on!

Lost Inside Chapter 19

Yuri tucked his hands under the sheet, clenching them together. He wanted to rub his wrists, but he had to keep them safe. He didn’t want the nurse to take off the restraints, but when the doctor said to, she did anyway.

How could he do it?

Yuri couldn’t be a real mate to Benny—hurting him proved that. No matter what they said to him about brain chemistry, venom, and seizures.

“No. No, I don’t wanna to talk about it.” Yuri rolled over to face the wall. He stared at the small sink, avoiding the mirror above it. Who was he?

His head hurt. An edge of the white bandage showed in the mirror. Yuri jerked his gaze away. Maybe the face in the flames was his. His stomach roiled when he thought about what he’d seen, and Yuri squeezed his eyes shut. He watched the lights and colors flash behind his eyelids, desperate for a distraction from the inside of his head.

Why had he done this? His claws dug into his hands. He wished he could dig them into his head and drag the thoughts out. They wouldn’t stop.

Yuri rocked back and forth.


Benny watched helplessly as his mate mumbled and rocked. What the hell happened? He leaned forward, but Yuri didn’t want to be touched. Benny’s knuckles were white where he gripped the rail along the side of the bed.

This wasn’t what he expected.

What he wanted.

His mate didn’t remember him, or anything else from their life before, it seemed. He was in pain, screaming about an orange man or whimpering and swaying with his arms tucked in close.

Why had Benny told Ellis to bring the doctors there? The first mate Benny fell in love with was long gone at the hands of his father. The cheerful, bouncy mate Benny had only days to get to know was gone now too—at his hands.

“It’ll get better,” the nurse said. She adjusted the liquid dripping into the tube going into Yuri’s arms, and his rocking gradually slowed. The nurse was human, like Ellis used to be, which seemed to reassure the other patients Benny watched her with.

Yuri didn’t even notice she was in the room.

Dr. Poinyard entered the room. Yuri was asleep, finally.

“Resting, I see.”

Great, the guy was going to state the obvious. “Yes,” Benny growled. He clenched his hands and heard an ominous crack. Damn it, he busted his phone. He dropped it on the table beside him. “What’s wrong with him?”

Wires still went from Yuri’s scalp to some machines behind his bed. He hadn’t even noticed them. Dr. Poinyard tapped the screen on the computer. A virtual image of a brain appeared. “We’re seeing increased activity in every region of the brain that deals with memory. But this is way more than we expected.”

“He’s getting all his memory back?”

“We’re not sure. Right now, it’s like Yuri is on sensory overload. The synapses in his brain are refiring and creating connections that either were missing or never existed. Right now, even if we were to start testing him, he’d be unlikely to remember real memories.

“Think about it like watching fifty movies, all at the same time. Things would blend and blur, and you’d never know where to look as the images changed constantly. I hope some of this will ease as his brain absorbs the venom.”

“But you don’t know for sure.”

Dr. Poinyard sighed. “No. This is all experimental. All we can do is our best. I promise we will do everything in our power to help Yuri heal.”

But the next day wasn’t any better. The more stimulus there was around Yuri, the worse he rocked. He refused to acknowledge any of them, not even Benny. Every flinch from his touch tore another wound in Benny’s soul.

Finally, Benny had enough. “I’m taking him home,” he announced. “It’s quiet at my apartment.”

All three doctors stood in the room around Yuri’s bed. Bashta had left with Cavel, after sending another prayer to his Jaguar god. It didn’t seem to do any good, but Yuri didn’t start screaming either.

“I’ll bring him back, whenever you need to see him, or you can come to my apartment. But I am taking him home now.”

Before anyone could stop him, Benny had Yuri bundled up and blinking owlishly in the passenger seat of his truck. His ears drooped, and his hands rested limp in his lap. A nurse came trotting out of the clinic, but Benny didn’t stop for her when she waved to him.

“We’ll be home soon.” Benny stopped at a drive-thru and picked up some burgers with lots of bacon. “Smell that? You love bacon.”

Yuri didn’t answer him.

Benny growled.

His mate folded his ears flat, and Benny could smell a tinge of fear. Damn it! He barely managed to stop his growling. He wasn’t mad at Yuri, he was made at himself—he did this to his mate.

The sun was beginning to set when they pulled up near Dav’s bar. He was thankful it wasn’t busy—sometimes even weekdays there’d be a line outside the door. Benny grabbed the bag of burgers. He went around to Yuri’s side of the truck and opened the door.

“C’mon,” Benny urged him. “Let’s go eat.”

Yuri’s eyes widened. He stared over Benny’s shoulder. Benny glanced behind him.

“Holy fuck.” Benny dropped the burgers and yanked Yuri of the truck. He shoved him toward the bar. “Go! Don’t just stand there, run!”

Rage coursed through him, and now he had a target. Benny flicked out his claws and bared his fangs. He didn’t recognize the Tiger barreling toward them, but he didn’t really care. It was about damn time the intruder showed his face.

Benny was going to rip it apart.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday Brief Lost Inside Chapter 18


It's that time again. Sorry for the late post. I swear, I'm ass deep in alligators this week! This week's prompt was inspired by the phrase, "What are you growling about now?' which fit so well, lol! Thanks Julie!

Lost Inside Ch. 18

One time Yuri got into a bottle of liquor. The dizzy not-quite-real sensation and heavy limbs bombarding him felt very similar to the clear stuff they pumped into him. The table they made him lie down on bent in funny ways, tilting his head down. It was up high though, so he could see Benny’s face and hold his hand.

He liked that part.

The rest of it all felt weird. He wanted to close his eyes and rest, but….

“Stay awake, Yuri.” Benny squeezed his hands.

“We’re almost there.” The buzzing noise was teeth rattling. Yuri snorted. Teeth rattling. He could see the little white shapes dancing in his head.

“Dancing teeth.” Yuri snickered.

“What’s that?”

“My teeth are dancing.”

“Okay.” Benny sat back on the stool and looked over the bed to the doctors standing around them. “He’s higher than a kite. Is he going to be able to do what you want?”

“It’ll be fine. We’ve turned off the drip now that we’ve created an avenue of delivery for the venom. This port will remain in for the duration of the treatment, like we discussed. It won’t hurt him.”

“Nope, doesn’t hurt. Not even a little.” Yuri wiggled his feet.

“Lay still, Yuri.” Millie said.

“M’kay.” He sighed. He was bored. And tired. A yawn was struggling to come out. He let it, huffing at the end.

“The port is secure. Time for the venom.”

They were sticking a poison in him. Somehow, knowing it was the Snake-yet-not-yet Snake guy’s made it not so bad. Plus he might remember.

He could remember his mate. Yuri reached for Benny. “Hold my hands?”

Benny leaned forward and laced their fingers together. “It’s gonna be fine.”

Yuri gasped. Heat flowed into his head like a tiny, hot thread of fire. The hair on the back of his neck stood up.

“Venom in. Bashta?”

The Jaguar had a closer link that most to a protector of the Carthera clans. Though he was a Jaguar, and not a Tiger, Bashta thought some prayers could help. Yuri wasn’t sure what stuff he was gonna do, but he didn’t expect the hollow rattle of wood bracelets.

Then Bashta began to chant and shuffle around the table. He prayed, in a sing-song voice, and in a language Yuri couldn’t understand. Then he laid his hands on Yuri’s head, his chant ending in a sharp ululation.

Under the sound of the loud cry, Benny growled, staring at the black Jaguar’s hands which were buried in Yuri’s hair.

A light, flicking oranges, reds, and black, intertwined in front of his eyes. Yuri tried to bat at it, but it grew, bigger and bigger. It was all he could see, but he didn’t smell any fire or hear it crackling.

Roaring filled the room; great, bellowing sounds of… fury!

A face came out of the flames, a whole body followed, claws outstretched for him.

Yuri screamed. He had to get away, but he had to stay for… for….

“What’s wrong? Why’s he screaming? This wasn’t supposed to hurt him!”

Fear and rage warred inside Yuri. He flexed his hands and needle sharp claws slid out. Yuri wouldn’t let that bad man in. He couldn’t.

A babble of voices came from all around him.

“Look at the monitors. His brain activity is off the charts.”

“Definite signs of increased activity in the hippocampus.”

“What’s wrong with my mate?”

“Bashta, step back!”

Tell me what the hell is wrong with my mate!”

“There’s activity going on between his long and short term memory—a connection through the hippocampus, if you will.”

Why wouldn’t they stop talking? Didn’t they see him? They had to get away. Yuri shoved himself up from the table.

Bodies piled on top of his, forcing him back down.

Yuri roared.

“Grab him! Hold him down.”

Snarling and growling filled the room as utter chaos descended.


Yuri blinked. His eyelids were so heavy, like elephants sat on them. He was on his back, his face no longer mashed into the table.

What was that sound? He was tired, and it woke him up.

Yuri turned his head, the only part of his body he could seem to move.

“What are you growling about now?” he asked Benny.

“Yuri!” Benny flew out of his chair and leaned over the bed. “You’re awake. Thank God.”

“Excuse me, I’ll go inform the doctor he’s awake.” A small woman stepped around a curtain and disappeared.

“Where are we? Why does it stink so much? What happened?” Yuri’s mouth was so dry. He coughed.

“Here, have a sip of water.” Benny lifted his head and helped him take a drink. “Right now, we’re at the human hospital. You had some sort of episode when they injected the venom or when Bashta began chanting. We don’t know which.”

Yuri tried to reach up to touch his head, but his hand wouldn’t move. “What’s wrong with my arms” He craned his neck, trying to see... “Why am I tied down?” Yuri began to fight the wide straps across his body, holding him to the bed.

“Stop, Yuri!”

“No!” Yuri ignored his mate.

“You’re going to hurt yourself again. Please stop. These were just a precaution. You kept having seizures. You attacked—” Benny slammed his mouth shut, looking pained.

“I-I…” Yuri didn’t want to hurt anyone.

“It’s okay. Everyone’s fine.” Benny leaned forward and wiped away the tears building on Yuir’s eyes.

He had faint pink scratches over his forehead and nose.

“Oh my god,” Yuri whispered. “I hurt you. I cut you.” He went limp in the bed. Mates didn’t hurt each other; they couldn’t. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sneak Peek #2: Love's Landscape Story-MM Romance Summer Reads

Who wants another excerpt from my Love's Landscape story for the MM Romance group's summer read event? I'm working on it, and my other stories, as much as I can, though last week I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Be patient with me, but more will be coming!

Excerpt #2

The tiny light lit the room like a strobe. It bounced off the hundreds of hanging crystals and reflected around the room.

“Wow.” Barron couldn’t help the comment. He could just imagine how this must have appeared to an early American with torchlight. It was probably even more beautiful with the twining orange and yellow flames. Having the lights go out was pretty damn freaky, but no one else probably got to see the cave like they were in a long, long time.

Mr. Hodge walked through the students crowded together in tight clumps. The storage locker was just to the left of Barron’s group so they were second to receive their light. The teacher handed it to Thavin. “Here, son. Don’t point this up at the ceiling or directly at the crystal sheets, if you can avoid it. Don’t need to go blinding everyone.”

“O-okay.” Thavin flicked on the light. Barron could see the faces of his friends. They stayed in a tight clump, not holding on to each other anymore, but leaning close together. Soon the room was lit up, even brighter than when they’d first come in. Barron tried to keep his eyes down; not everyone was following Mr. Hodge’s directions.

There were more hurried whispers between their tour guide and teacher. Some of the students murmured to each other, and some of the girls were still crying. Barron just wanted to leave. He didn’t know why the lights had gone out, and he didn’t care. Maybe this would finally be the end of their school’s ridiculous routine of making students visit the caves every year.

“Okay, class, attention please.” Mr. Hodge waited for everyone to fall silent. “Mr. Brasher is going to lead us back out of the caves. This will take a while, if the lights have gone out through the entire system. Unfortunately, my reader is no longer working either. That means extra precautions. If someone gets lost we might not be able to find you.” Someone gasped, and one girl wailed. Her friends quickly hushed her, hugging her from both sides.

“Don’t panic!” Mr. Hodge said. “To ensure everyone gets out safely, we’re going to link ourselves in a chain.”

“So we’re all going to h-hold hands?” William asked. “Can we s-sing folk songs too?” His voice was shaky, but he was making jokes. A few guys chuckled.

“No, smartass, I want everyone to use one hand to hold on to the person in front’s shoulder but we will stop every ten minutes to do roll call. Anyone loses their grip, or feels the person behind them stop touching their shoulder, they are to call out. If you get separated, for any reason, do not move an inch. I will come back for you, even without the reader. Does everyone understand?”

Their chorus of yeses was loud compared to the quiet. The silence felt even more oppressive afterward. Mr. Hodge organized everyone into order, sending the guide down the hall a short ways until they could all manage to line up single file. The signal to walk forward or stop was a squeeze on the shoulder.

Ages came and went as they all shuffled out of the deep cave toward the entrance. Barron had no idea how Mr. Hodge was telling the time, but at regular intervals the squeeze came to stop and the teacher would call out the names of everyone in the senior class til they all responded. Barron was sweating through his thin t-shirt before they got back to the gate.

They’d stopped nearly twenty times.

The lights in the larger cavern weren’t on either. The formations and sculptures nature had formed out of the rock over the eons were invisible outside the tiny spheres of their lights. “From here forward there are branches and a lot of open caverns. It is imperative everyone stay together. I know you’re probably tired, hungry, and thirsty. Just be patient, and we’ll get out of here soon.”

The train of students stopped three times after that for people who tripped or lost their grip. At least their system was working, even if it was a slow assed system. They hadn’t lost anyone, and they were halfway to the mouth of the cave.

By the time they were near the mouth, his feet hurt and his hand and arm muscles had cramped. There was sweat dripping down his sides, even in the cool of the caves. “I gotta take a piss,” Creed said in Barron’s ear.

“Tough. Hold it. We’re old enough not to piss ourselves anymore, remember?”

“Ass.” Creed squeezed him. Barron fought the urge to shrug him off.

“We’ll be out soon, and you can use the bathrooms in the gift shop. Just stop whining.” Stiff upper lip and all that. Barron was never sure what that really meant, but like straighten up and fly right, it was another dictum that often echoed through his mind in his father’s voice.

Be a man.

Don’t whine.

Don’t cry.

Toe the line, and live up to the expectations placed on you, or else.

College really couldn’t come soon enough.

“Shouldn’t we hear someone by now?” Barron heard someone ahead of him ask.

The only one who knew where they really were was the guide. “I’m sure the cave mouth was evacuated and everyone grouped in a central location until whatever caused the electrical malfunction can be repaired. Don’t worry. One more cavern, and we’ll be out.” He spoke in an overly-hearty voice not nearly as confident as he seemed to think it was.

The mouth of the cave let enough light into the central cavern that the teens could let go of one another. Barron shrugged his shoulders and shook out his hands. The muscles tingled with small, fiery pins as they relaxed.

When the first scream broke the silence...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Lost Inside Part 17

That's right, another Wednesday already! And to go along with that is an update in Benny and Yuri's story. This week's update was inspired by the prompt, 'We have to make up time, somehow.' which I thought was very fitting for their story.  Enjoy!

Lost Inside Chapter 17

“Benny, wait.” Davis came around the corner of the corridor leading to the surgery suite. The tall Snake nearly vibrated with tension. Yuri was in the bathroom while Benny waited outside.

“Dav? What’s wrong?” Benny flicked his ears. Dav’s eyes were razor thin slits.

“I don’t have your sense of smell, but I can taste. I’m pretty damn sure you didn’t stand outside the balcony of your apartment and relieve yourself.”

“Someone pissed on my fucking wall?” Benny clenched his jaw. His claws dug into his palms.

“Um hmm, and I got a first-hand taste of it. Pretty rank, too.” Dav flicked his forked tongue. “Pretty sure it’s Yuri’s watcher. He’s getting bolder.”

Benny opened his mouth, but Yuri came out of the bathroom, and he didn’t want to upset his mate. Yuri eyed Dav, tilting his head sideways.

“I know you.”

Dav smiled. “You do. I’m Ellis’ mate.” He let Yuri see his fangs.

“Oh yeah! You have the tongue thingy.” Yuri stuck his tongue out. “It’s not like mine, though, it’s poky on the ends.” His comment was garbled because he talked with his tongue still out, pointing to the tip.

Benny laughed, smiling at his mate.

“What?” Yuri lifted one eyebrow at him. “It is. I’ve seen it.”

Uh oh. Laughing was probably not a good idea. “Uh…”

Dav smoothed over his gaffe. “Yep, forked tongue. You’re right, Yuri. Not very many people notice it, though.”

“I did.” Yuri beamed but then wrinkled his forehead. “The lady… the one with the other doctors—”

“Millie,” Benny supplied.

“—Millie, yeah, she has one too.”

Dav nodded. “Ellis told me you consulted another Snake. I was surprised to learn one of us was a doctor.” Snakes were abandoned by their parents, and rejected by most Carthera clans, so those who did manage to survive were rarely well adjusted.

Yuri moved over to Benny and took his hand. The feel of his mate and his scent sent a wave of longing through Benny. He wished things could go back to the way they were, before they’d been attacked by Yuri’s dad.

The procedure could help… but there were so many unknowns. The doctors couldn’t tell Benny if the memories would help or hurt Yuri. He wished there was a way to just bring back the good ones.

“Yuri? We’re ready for you.” Ellis had changed into pale blue scrubs, a cap, and a surgical mask.

Yuri stiffened. “Who are you?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Yuri.” Ellis pulled down his mask. Yuri relaxed his grip on Benny’s hand.

“I couldn’t tell you were you,” he said. “Why are you wearing that?”

“We didn’t explain very well, huh? Well, Carthera are more resistant to germs and other problems than humans, but you can still get infections. So we’ll all be wearing gowns to keep germs out of the areas we’re going to work on to help you. They look like robes, plus our hats, masks, and gloves.”

“Even Benny?”

“Everything but the gloves.”

“Okay.” Yuri took a deep breath. “I can do this.” He nodded his head. “I can.”

Benny was torn between needing to talk to Dav and needing to be with his mate like he promised.

“Yuri, I’m going to ask Benny to change out here. Do you think that’s okay, and he’ll be in with you in just a few minutes?” Ellis asked.

His mate hesitated. “You won’t do anything without him there?”

“No. We’re gonna get you changed and show you the equipment though. All right?”

“Just a few minutes cause you promised.” Yuri looked up at Benny.

“I did. I’ll hurry.” Benny ran a finger along Yuri’s ears and they straightened. “Don’t worry.”

Ellis handed Benny a bundle of cloth with a mask on top. Yuri walked away with Ellis, looking over his shoulder a few times before they disappeared behind the closing doors.

“Here,”—Benny shoved the bundle at Dav—“hold that for me.” He tugged the flimsy coverall from the bottom first. “What are we going to do about the intruder? He’s getting in too close. Why the escalation?”

“No idea. We don’t know who he is. You’re sure you didn’t recognize his scent?”

“It’s a Tiger, but I don’t know him. He wasn’t in my clan.”

“And we can’t reach out to anyone from Yuri’s, because of his father,” Dav said grimly.

Benny shoved the cap on his head. He nodded, reaching for the mask. “I can try to message my mother, maybe, but I don’t know what help she would be.”

“Let’s hold off on that for now. The Falcons are reviewing the security footage around the club. We might get an image of the intruder.”

A picture could help track the Tiger down. “I want to see it.” Benny grabbed the little scrunched up blue balls Dav was still holding. “What the hell are these?”

“They go over your shoes.”

“Ahh.” Benny bent down and shoved his foot into one of the booties. It actually fit.

“As soon as we get something, and your mate is out of here, I’ll email you.” Dav reached out and gripped Benny’s shoulder. “Just focus on Yuri right now. We’ve got your back on this.”

“We have to make up time somehow.” Benny knew Dav was his friend, and the Snake would find the intruder, but there was so much going on Benny felt like he was drowning in worry.

“You’ll have all the time you need.” Dav sounded so sure.


Yuri didn’t like the cold room, or the crinkling of the paper stuff around him. His butt was hanging out the back of the robe thingy they made him wear, again. He refused to lay face down on the table until his mate came in.

“What took so long?” Yuri complained.

“I hurried.”

“Uh huh.” Yuri knew his claws were digging into Benny’s hands, but he couldn’t control them. The machine they were gonna use was like a giant needle.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A New Addition!

Yep, lookie my babies!
Protecting Bear joins The Experiment and Pricolici!
Wow, just wow, you know? It's amazing to see my name on something like a book. I just had to share. These can be picked up for your bookshelf through my Amazon Author page.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Chapter 16

So this week I am a smidge late posting, though I had it written early, I swear! Still, I hope you enjoy the update to Benny and Yuri's story inspired by the prompt, "Did you really just say that?"

Lost Inside: Chapter 16
“How will that help him?” Benny asked.
Dr. Vancould pulled a computer out of his bag. He opened it up and then slid it sideways so everyone at the table could see it. He pulled up a video program.
“Oh, movie time?” Yuri leaned forward.
He smiled at him. “Kinda.” The doctor tapped the screen. The image of a brain began to rotate. “This is the brain of a Tiger Carthera. Yours, actually, Benny, since we have no other current scans from a Tiger.”
The video played and began to zoom in. “This is the latest technology. It shows the brain, functioning, down to the synaptic level.” Flashes took over the screen. “We can follow them, as you talk, think, move, and see where the electrical impulses travel.”
Another tap to the screen and Benny’s scan stopped. “This is Yuri’s scan.”
At first, Yuri’s brain looked like Benny’s. But as the doctor tapped through the different scans they began to see differences. The electrical impulses didn’t move the way Benny’s had or fire at all in some places. They just… stopped.
“These are places were Yuri’s brain was damaged. These places, dead spots, affect his ability to remember and process information.”
“That’s where I come in.” Millie leaned forward.
“And me.”
Benny looked behind them. Bashta and Cavel came in. Yuri jumped up and hugged Bashta. “Hi! I didn’t know you were going to be here, um….”
“Bashta, and you’re…?”
“Yuri.” Benny’s mate smiled. “You’re going to help me?”
“That we are.” Ellis waved the Jaguars to seats.
“Do it now!” Yuri demanded.
“Hey, mate, calm down. They’re explaining stuff to us first, remember? You wanted them to talk to you.” Benny was glad Yuri wanted to get better, but there was so much he didn’t get. He was just a damn bouncer.
“I need to understand exactly what’s going to happen with the venom.”
Yuri sat back down. “Will it hurt?”
Millie hesitated. “We don’t think so.”
Benny narrowed his eyes. “You don’t know?”
“Look, Ellis explained what he remembered of the healing ceremony he did, and Bashta told us something of the ceremonies his people had that performed miracles. I deal with science, though, with venom. Snake venom can help ignite the synapses in the brain, force connections, forge new pathways.
“We can already see some of that happening in Yuri’s brain, but not enough to heal him. He’s better now than he was, right?”
Benny nodded. He’d watched Yuri during their time apart. He could see changes in his mate, even more now that he was actually speaking and spending time with him. He was different, but not like he’d acted when he first came out of the coma.
“I can’t recreate the healing ceremonies, but there’s a marked difference in Ellis’ venom than any I’ve ever seen. I think his intent makes the difference, just like in changing our venom for a mate versus an enemy. As far as I can tell, it’s something in his pre-existing genetic code.”
“Yeah, I’m a freak.” Ellis frowned.
“Did you really just say that?” Benny shook his head. “Dav would have your ass. You’re not a freak, any more than the rest of us are freaks.”
Dr. Poinyard cleared his throat. “It’s quite understandable, how you might think that, Ellis. But you are not the only one. As far as I understand it, your twin has changed as well. The science community has postulated that the evolutionary parallels between Carthera and humans would bridge again. You appear to be that bridge. I’m sure you’re not the only one with this special ability.” He leaned forward on the table. “You know what it is like to be human and now Carthera. You cannot imagine how many people wish they could have the ability to experience that firsthand.”
“I appreciate that. It doesn’t make being different any easier.”
“Something many Carthera learn at a young age,” Cavel said. “Unfortunately.”
Yuri kept looking from person to person, frowning. “Ellis can’t mate me. I have a mate. So why’s he gonna bite me?”
Benny suppressed a growl at the thought of anyone biting Yuri but him. “He’s not going to bite you.”
“No, no way.” Ellis shook his head. “I would never do that. I gave a fresh venom sample this morning. They’ll use that, Yuri.”
“So no fangs.” Yuri grimaced. “You’re gonna stick me with another needle, aren’t you?”
“It’s a little more complicated than that. We need to inject the venom straight into your brain.” Dr. Vancould tented his fingers. “It is by far the most effective method of delivery.”
“You want to do what?” Benny flattened his ears and snarled. “You want to stick a needle in his brain?”
“Calm down, Benny. It sounds worse than it is.”
“How can it be worse?” Yuri huddled sideways in his chair, reaching for Benny. His mate needed him, so Benny did what he had to and suppressed his fear. He grabbed Yuri’s hand and let the other Tiger squeeze it as hard as he needed to.
“Let me explain.” Millie glared at Dr. Vancould. “You’ll be given some medication to make you a little sleepy. Then, we’ll shave a small patch of your hair and numb the area before we create the channel we need to insert the needle. After we numb you, you won’t feel a thing, Yuri, I promise. Your safety is our number one concern, so we wouldn’t proceed if we weren’t sure we could help you get better.”
“You promise I’ll get better?”
The doctors shared a look. “We can’t promise you’ll be one hundred percent normal, if you want to call it that, but we all agree. This could make the difference between creating healthy pathways in your brain to bring back your memories and help you heal.”
Yuri looked up at Benny. “You’ll come with me?”
“Of course.” He wasn’t leaving Yuri’s side.
“Then I want to do it. Now.”
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Monday, April 7, 2014

eBook Review: Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau

Straight Shooter (Rear Entrance Video #3)Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau

It's out! I thought I'd share this review today, though I read Straight Shooter a bit back as an ARC. What can I say? I never pass up a chance to get a Heidi Belleau story. At first, I was pretty leery after I read the description. For all my open-mindedness about kinks, humiliation just doesn't do it for me. It makes me pretty uncomfortable, actually, because the shades of denigration usually feel more damaging than anything else. Plus, I somehow get embarrassed for the characters.

Yes, I did spend some time reading this literally squinting with one through my fingers as I cringed from the page on my reader. I still really, really liked it.

Austin was such a complex character. He had a lot going on, pressures and feelings and insecurities, and a serious issue with impulse control. I loved watching his evolution through the story as he came to know himself in a deeper way... and relate that to the people around him in positive ways. And yes, a big part of that came from the kink he explores with 'Puck'.

Heidi also exposes a lot of the duality of those in the porn industry--both the good and bad sides of it. Yes, they're characters but they're people too with lives, likes, and loves completely divorced from the person on the screen. Yet... obviously that person is a part of their psyche too. Add in that Liam, aka Puck, is a real person with feelings and flaws and we have yet another lovely character driven piece of wonderful fiction.

Seriously, read the synopsis and excerpt for this. If you have no issues with humiliation kink and like coming of age stories that are firmly rooted in reality--yet still have that wonderful dose of just right angst, you should read Straight Shooter.

Oh, did I mention it has college jocks? Yeah. Hockey players. YUM

View all my reviews

Friday, April 4, 2014

Oh Yeah! It's Coming! Julie Hayes with Yes, He's My Ex!!!

For those who don't know, Julie Hayes is awwwwesome! She's the first EiC I worked with, taught me bucket loads she did, and she smoothed my way into eBook promotion too. Without her, and MA Church saying "Hey, do this thing!" I wouldn't be in with the Briefers either. So yeah, Julie = awesome friend. She also happens to be a great author, with many published stories to her credit as well. Her latest one... well... I'll let this post speak for itself!

Since this is the time of year when most people are thinking about doing their taxes, it made sense to me to interview someone who knows about accounting stuff. Can’t hurt, right? Should be of general interest.

Why is it that things just never work out the way you think they will? Maybe it’s just me.

A friend of mine named Aly suggested that I talk to a friend of hers for my interview. He’s in the business, and he’s a nice guy. Okay, I think, that works for me. So I gather my voice recorder, bring along a notebook, just in case, and head to the address she gave me. She’s already talked to Tim, and he’s agreed to see me.

He opens the door right after I knock and welcomes me.

“Tim Mansfield?” I ask, just to make sure I’m in the right place.

“That’s me. You must be Julie. Aly said you were coming.” He shows me inside. His apartment is small, but nicely kept, especially for a bachelor. Aly made a point of telling me he’s not married, but she also warned me he plays for the other team. Story of my life, right? He is cute, too, curse my luck, with short red hair and pretty blue eyes.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“Water’s fine,” I assure him. He waves me to the comfortable looking couch, then joins me there a few moments later, with a bottle of cold water from the fridge. 

“Mind if I use this?” I hold up the voice recorder that I’ve borrowed from Sarah and he nods.

“So, tax season, busy time of year, isn’t it?”

“Absolutely, Julie,” he agrees, taking a seat beside me. “But you have no idea how much prep work actually goes into a successful—”

A successful what I wonder as his train of thought is derailed by the sudden, and obviously unexpected, opening of the door to the apartment. In waltzes another cute young man, with chocolate hair, and eyes so dark blue they almost seem purple, wire-rimmed glasses and a big grin on his rather sensual lips.

I look to Tim for a cue. Aly said he’s single, so not the boyfriend. Neighbor, maybe? One who has the right of entry whenever he pleases? 

Oh oh, Tim doesn’t look pleased. Erase that thought.

“Sonny!” he expostulates, and the brunet grins even wider.

“Yep, you got my name right. Good job, Tim-tim!”

My eyebrows raise. Tim-tim?

“Don’t ask,” Tim groans, his attention fixed on the newcomer.  “I knew I should have locked that stupid door.”

“Why?” Sonny asks before he turns to me and holds out his hand. “Hi. My name’s Sonny Scrignoli. Pleased to meet you.”

Well, isn’t he sweet? I take his hand and shake it. “Hi Sonny, my name’s Julie.”

“Oh, you must be the lady Aly told me about.” He flops down on the couch so close to Tim he’s almost in his lap. “She said you’re interviewing him about tax stuff. He knows lots about that, he’ll be very interesting for your readers,” he says with confidence.

I notice that Tim’s face is rather red, but he hasn’t removed the hand that Sonny has casually laid on his leg.

I wonder...

“Is this your boyfriend?” I ask Tim, and watch the hue of his skin turn even redder.

“No, he’s my frigging ex. Pardon my language.” He turns to the young man beside him. “Sonny, don’t you have something to do?”

“Nope,” Sonny says rather ingenuously, and I notice he cuddles even closer to Tim. How cute! “I’m all yours, Tim-tim.”

Huh, mixed signals here, methinks.

“No, you’re not!” Tim’s voice is starting to get shrill. Oh dear, things might just get ugly. Maybe discretion is the better part of valor.

I very carefully rise from the couch. “You know what? I think you two might need some alone time.” I hold up one hand as Tim starts to protest. “No need to thank me, just call me when there’s a better time, okay? Nice to meet you. Both of you.”

“You too, Miss Julie.” Sonny has the cutest smile. Oh my, they’re a cute couple. Time for me to go. I make my quick escape, and close the door softly behind me, just as I hear Tim exclaim, “Sonny, have you forgotten again? You’re my ex!”

Well, that’s all for now, I’ll let you know how it goes later. I hope they’ll be okay!


Sometimes Sonny Scrignoli forgets he’s Tim Mansfield’s ex. He waltzes in and out of Tim’s apartment like he still lives there, driving Tim crazy. Is it really so hard to remember they’ve broken up? Then again, maybe Tim should quit having sex with him.

When Sonny disappears for two weeks, Tim can’t help but be concerned. A strange phone call and a mysterious cry for help leads Tim on a desperate search for his ex.

Sonny’s in big trouble, and it’s Tim to the rescue! He’s the only one who can save his ex from a fate worse than death. Bumbling gangsters, a thick-headed former boyfriend, and secretive FBI agents lead Tim and Sonny on a merry chase full of laughs and quirks.


Sonny’s real name is Mario, but he’s been called Sonny since he was a small bambino, as his mother puts it, so Sonny it is. Sonny stands almost six foot tall in his bare feet, which are surprisingly small for a man, almost dainty. He has chocolate brown hair that grows thick but not long, and generally looks tousled; blue eyes so dark that sometimes they look purple in the proper light, framed behind silver wire spectacles; a generous nose and wide sweet lips which have been known to give the most amazing head this side of anywhere. Put that with the body of an Adonis, and you have Sonny.

I had Sonny, but not anymore. He seems not to realize that, though. At least not most of the time. Hence the part where I see him more often than should be considered normal for someone who’s my ex. Which is where I began.

Sometimes I think he forgets that he has indeed attained that past participle ex-boyfriend status. Granted, it’s only been six months. His mother tells me he just needs time to adjust, please don’t be too hard on her boy. Yes, I still see her too. On a rather regular basis, in fact. Hard not to, when she’s my mother’s best friend. Lucky me. Lia’s a nice lady, I love her to death. But she has this deep-seated belief that Sonny and I are going to get back together again, a belief he seems to share. Along with my mother. And most of our friends.

No one seems to listen to me when I say snowballs rolling along the floor of Hell have a better chance of survival than our relationship. Least of all Sonny. I guess that’s why he keeps coming over here, because in some strange deranged na├»ve corner of his mind, there’s still an us, and he isn’t an ex. So he wanders over whenever he wants. Sometimes he calls, sometimes he doesn’t. Today he called.

Sometimes I just get tired of telling him no. Some days I don’t even get that far. Today, I didn’t want to waste my breath, so I just said, “Fine. As long as you promise to behave.”

By behave, I mean quit assuming we’re going to have sex. Even if sometimes we do. I know, I know, he’s my ex, right?

Sometimes I just don’t know where to draw that fine line, I think. No wonder the boy’s confused.
Hilarious, right? So can't wait! Buy links below!!

Meet the author:

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Amber Quill Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books, and coming soon to Wayward Ink Publishing and Prizm Publishing. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.  


You can find her on her blog at http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com, and you can contact her at tothemax.wolf@gmail.com.


My links:

Twitter @Shelley_runyon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.l.hayes.7?ref=tn_tnmn