Welcome Birthday Guest Amy Lane!

Birthday bash 2016 icon
The short is from The Granby Knitting series, and it features Jeremy.
It’s Aiden’s birthday– but he’s the one who got Jeremy a very special gift. 

The Gift of a Birthday


Jeremy knew when Aiden’s birthday was—the beginning of the fall. The first year Jeremy had come to Granby, Aiden had already been eighteen, but as Jeremy’s stay had grown beyond those first few months, when he lived in Craw’s tack room, and into the years in his own apartment, he’d become part of the family unit that celebrated each birthday as it arrived.  Aiden’s in August, Ariadne’s in September, and Craw’s in November.  For him, as he learned to knit—and mastered his craft—it was like he worked all year for those three months, and then the big payoff in December.

And because he’d been just the help—and because Aiden had been a callow boy who had grown into a strong and able man—it had not occurred to any of the people who loved him most that Jeremy didn’t have a birthday.

Until Aiden turned twenty-four.

Craw and Ben showed up at their house first, since Jeremy had elected to host.  Summer was holding onto it’s heat a little, and he’d had to open all of the windows in the snug little two-story, letting the flowing curtains blow in and out as the wind swept the bowl valley of Granby. Aiden’s mother brought the cake of course, and Aiden’s brothers and sisters showed up too. Aiden’s father took the littlest ones out to go pet the bunnies and chinchillas and such in the outside pen, and Jeremy knew by now that they were gentle with the more tender of the critters.

Rory, Ariadne, and Persephone were almost late for dinner, but then, Ariadne had still, after a year and a half, not gotten the hang of packing the baby bag, her purse, and the yarn bag all together. She’d told Jeremy once that Rory had gotten the hang of packing the baby’s bag and putting it on a chest by the door, so all Ari had to do was grab her keys, wallet-phone, and yarn bag, but still. That baby was toddling around and making all sorts of problems and that was just going to be Ariadne.

So there they were, all of the people Aiden loved best—even Johnny and Stanley who had taken the drive out before the roads got icy in September—and Aiden wasn’t there.

“You don’t know where he is?” Ariadne laughed, bringing the milk to the table with one hand while balancing the baby on on her hip. Jeremy grinned at Persephone who chewed on her teether toy in response. Her lip had been stitched up, but she would still need some surgeries to take the tubes out of her ears and make sure the inside was all matched up to the outside when she was grown enough.

Jeremy didn’t care. She was his shining star right there, and his mother didn’t mind that he called her Persy, even a little.

“I didn’t realize he’d taken the car,” Jeremy said, puzzled. “And Craw’s not here either. I mean, it’s my boy’s birthday—you think he’d be here!”

Jeremy had knitted him boot socks, the kind that came all the way up to his knees and then folded over.  They were thick socks with fine yarn, and handsome clocks ran down the sides.  Jeremy had wanted to buy him something—maybe a new television or a gaming system, even though they didn’t have much money.  He’d thought that maybe Aiden would have grown tired of knitwear after nearly five years, but no, Aiden said he wanted Jeremy’s work and Jeremy wsn’t going to gainsay him.

But Aiden had said nothing about hauling out into the wild blue yonder with Craw as his copilot.

“Ben?” Ariadne called. Ben was sitting in the front room, playing chess with Johnny and losing. It bothered Ben a lot because he was supposed the be the smart engineering guy, but Jeremy could have told him that the organized crime guys could gut you at any game that involved killing time. He should have been relieved at the distraction—or at least amused by Stanley wandering over the house and fawning at all of the hand-knit items that occupied space. Ariadne’s lace valances, Craw’s knitted throws—even the gloves or mittens that could be found pretty much on every flat surface of the house seemed to intrigue him,

Johnny could be heard frequently rumbling things like, “Sure, cupcake, I think you could make that—that’s really pretty knitting there,” with absolute patience.

But Ben did not look relieved.  In fact, he looked a little guilty.

“What?” he asked, focusing on the dog who lay at his feet. “Jeremy, have you brushed Bluebell recently? She is positively shiny!”

Ariadne and Jeremy met eyes, and Ariadne’s crossed her thin arms and cocked her hips.  “What do you know?” she asked, growling a little.

“Nothing,” Ben said with a winning smile.

“You are so lying.” Johnny laughed. “It’s a good thing you’ve been straight your whole life, because you wouldn’t have lasted past puberty in the mob.”

Ben gave him a befuddled look. “I’ve been gay my whole life, and probably not.”

Ariadne started tapping her foot. “Cute, guys. Really cute. Where the hell did Aiden and Craw go—“

“Is dinner ready yet?” Craw demanded, striding in through the door like they hadn’t just been MIA.

“Aiden?” Jeremy said, trying not to be hurt. He was wearing an apron wrapped around his waist and oven mitts on his hands and he was not so free and easy with this whole family thing that he appreciated being all alone there with the entire free world rambling about his house when Aiden was supposed to be the guest of honor.

Aiden walked straight to him and dropped a kiss on his forehead, then took the oven mitts and took over the food prep, ordering everyone into the kitchen to grab a plate and make an assembly line and then go about their business and eat.

Well, everyone was hungry, so it worked.

Food, cake, fun, and then Aiden’s family left and everybody breathed a sigh of relief.  Stanley and Johnny were getting ready to go too, but Aiden called them back into the kitchen.  His gifts still sat on the table—Jeremy’s boot socks in the place of honor, and the basic sweater Craw had knitted out of sturdy yarn, so Aiden could wear it any time and not feel bad if it got dirty. Ariadne had been experimenting with felting, and she’d made him a small area rug for the bedroom, which Jeremy admitted privately was maybe the best thing in the collection—but he wasn’t looking at his gifts now.

“Here,” Aiden said, pulling the chair back for Jeremy and then sitting down himself. “Okay—my family had to go because they do not know all the details of Jeremy and I didn’t want him to be uncomfortable, but everybody here does, and I’ll bet, if you think really carefully, you can figure out what this is about.”

Ben looked at Jeremy with apology in his eyes, and for a moment, Jeremy panicked. “Boy?”

Aiden’s hand on his shoulder settled him down. “Don’t worry, Jer. This is all good.”

“I’m at a loss,” Ariadne said.  Persephone had pitched a giant tantrum over her small slice of cake, and had then fallen promptly asleep on her mother’s shoulder in a mess of chocolate cake and snot. Ariadne claimed her baby daughter was not glued to her shirt, but Jeremy was pretty sure she just liked to hold the baby when she finally went still.

“I have no idea,” Stanley said promptly, propping his chin on his hands. “But this is looking like a murder mystery or something and I love those—do go on.”

Jeremy grinned at him, because he was cute with his little round face and big blue eyes—even cuter now that his hair plugs had totally taken and he had a thick growth of what he called vampire-white hair.

“It is shaping up mysterious,” he said, beaming, and a little more at ease. “Why are we here, boy?”

“To celebrate a birthday,” Aiden said softly.

“We just did that,” Jeremy replied, puzzled and tired. Family gatherings were a lot of effort—he loved them, but he was glad this one was only once a year.

“Not his birthday, love,” Ariadne said, looking suddenly like she got it.

Jeremy looked behind him and Aiden had the balls to wink at her, like she was now in on the secret.

“Well then, whose,” he asked, feeling bad tempered. “Aiden’s August, you’re September, Craw’s November, Ben’s September too, Rory’s March, like Persephone, Stanley and Johnny are both in February which is just scary—who’s birthday are we missing?”

He looked around him and realized that all the members of his family were staring at him in surprise.

“Oh my God,” Johnny said, like something had just occurred to him too. “Jeremy. Do you even know when your birthday is?”

Oh. Jeremy shrugged and pulled out a rusty con-man’s grin. “Well, I’m sure it’s on my driver’s license,” he said, all of his nicely repaired teeth flashing. “I mean, it’s no big—“

“The one on your driver’s license was a lie,” Aiden said, sitting down in the chair next to him. “You told me that yourself.”

Jeremy could feel the heat rising to his face. Everybody in this room knew he was a conman’s son. They all knew he’d been born and raised on the grift, and had gone to prison for it.

They all knew he’d come out and had dedicated his life to two things. One was Aiden, and the other was being honest.

They even knew that much of his personal information had been a lie. He’d kept the name Jeremy Stillson because Jeremy was the only name he remembered, and Stillson had been his identity when he’d gone to prison, so he had a social security number in that name. It was the name that let him get a bank account and earn credit and help Aiden to buy his little house.

But until this moment, he’d thought he’d manage to escape the embarrassment of having them know that he’d never had a birthday party in his life.

“I…”  He looked around uncomfortably. “You know, I don’t want to be a bother—“

“Jeremy, you’ve made us gifts for every birthday celebration we’ve ever had. Did you hate doing that?”

Jeremy smiled into his green eyes, thinking as he always did that Aiden was just so beautiful—even when he was being cranky grumpy and irritated, he was beautiful.

And now he was looking at Jeremy with one of those gentle sort of expressions that told Jeremy he was about to be introduced to a new facet of the an honest man’s life.

“I loved doing that,” he said, remembering how he’d had to work on the boot socks in secret, and how he’d chosen the clocking pattern because it had made the socks not boring as shit to knit.

“Well, you’re being selfish,” Craw said, scratching restlessly at his beard. “Selfish, that’s what it is. Not letting us knit for your birthday.”

Jeremy glared at Aiden. “You gave me mittens on my fake birthday for years,” he complained.

“Yeah, but you wouldn’t let us celebrate with the family, because you said it wasn’t honest.”

Jeremy squirmed in his seat. “Well, yeah—“

“So,” Craw said, “that’s what we were doing. We wanted it today, so you could have some time to prepare.”

“I don’t understand,” Jeremy muttered. “Time to prepare for—“

“For your birthday, dumbass,” Aiden muttered back. “See, remember Rich?”

“Yeah, sure—how’s he doing?”

“Married Mrs. Fullmer’s daughter—they just had a baby. Anyway, he still keeps in touch, and we had him do us a favor.”

Jeremy blinked at him, suddenly unsure if he was going to like this or not. “What… I mean, them’s federal people, Aiden, what sort of—“

Aiden pulled the chair out next to him and sat down, taking both his hands. “Jeremy No-Last-Name,” he said softly, “don’t you want to know when you were born?”

Jeremy caught his breath. He’d never known—it hadn’t mattered. His birthday had been whenever Oscar had found it convenient. Did he need to be fifteen in December? December 12th was his birthday. Did he need to be twelve in March? March the 3rd it was. There had been no parties because there were no friends because you didn’t get friends when you were grifting on the road.

And maybe because he’d never mentioned it—because it had never really occurred to him—he hadn’t had a birthday. He was pretty sure of the year—wasn’t he? The ID he’d had when he’d been arrested and imprisoned had said he was twenty-four at the time, which made him thirty-one now… right?

“Sure,” he said, feeling confused. “Uh, I’m thirty-one, right?”

“Nope,” Aiden said dryly. “Yeah, chew on that, Jeremy.”  He laughed evilly and Jeremy scowled at him. The beginning days of their relationship had, perhaps, been put off a little longer than Aiden might have wished, because Jeremy had been convinced that he was too old for such a bright and shining boy.

“Stop torturing him,” Craw ordered. “You tell him or I will.”

Aiden scowled back at Craw. “No, I’m sorry. Three years we’ve been together, and it comes up at least once a month. ‘I’m too old for you, Aiden. Nine years between us—you should have someone your own age.’”

“I do not sound like that!” Jeremy protested, because Aiden was whining and Jeremy never whined.

“Oh bullshit you don’t,” Aiden shot back. “And it’s been bothering you since we met. And now it’s going to bother you a little less, and I’m fine with that, but I just want you to see that it never should have bothered you at all.”

Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “But… I was twenty-four,” he said, because this he knew to be true. “When I went to prison I was—“

“Twenty-two,” Aiden said, and now his voice was grim. “You were twenty-two when you went to prison, and twenty-four when you got out, which means you turn thirty on October 4th, so there.”  Aiden pulled a brown envelope out of his pocket then, and pulled a piece of paper out of it. What he spread before Jeremy was a birth certificate and while Jeremy didn’t care about the name because the last name was probably from a con anyway, it was the birthday that got his attention.

He gaped at the piece of paper.

“I’m not even thirty yet?”  It was like his entire brain had gone exploded in sunshine and chicken feathers. How could that be?

“Nope.”  Aiden grinned, evil as sin, the darkness that once only Jeremy knew was there on display for all to see. “And it’s not nine years between us, it’s seven, and you know what? For all you know it could have been five. Or nothing. So could you leave it alone now?”

“I’m not even thirty?”  Jeremy’s voice pitched, and he felt a little bit of panic seep in. His boy knew him though—his high-triumph faded, and he stroked the side of Jeremy’s face.

“Nope,” he said kindly. “Is that going to be a problem?”

Jeremy just shook his head, still flummoxed. “It’s just…”  He thought of it all. The being a conman, the going to prison, the getting out and going straight. Coming to Craw’s place, and meeting Aiden. The three years of getting to know himself, getting to be an honest man, and then getting beaten to a pulp to save Stanley—and the recovery that healed them all.  “It’s just…” his voice quavered. “It’s been a lot of living in thirty years.”

Aiden’s thumb wiped moisture from his cheek, and Aiden’s lips followed. “Yeah,” he said softly. “A lot of living, Jer. So, in October, let’s say we celebrate that, you think?”

“A party?” Stanley chirped, unmindful of the tenderness between them. “Yes—absolutely. My treat. A party. Johnny and I will plan it, is that okay, Johnny?”  Stanley paused. “Johnny?”

Johnny was looking decidedly uncomfortable.  “Uh, yeah, sure, Stanley. We can definitely help plan Jeremy’s birthday party. That will be awesome.”  He smiled greenly at Jeremy. “I’d like that.”

And then Jeremy remembered. Johnny and he—before the arrest, and prison, and Craw’s, and Aiden—they’d had a blowjob and a kiss.

And Johnny had been well into his thirties.

For no reason at all, Jeremy started laughing.

The rest of the family hugged him and made promises of plans later, and Jeremy spent much of the time pondering, a little stunned.

Aiden saw their guests out—with help from Bluebell who was the size of a human and probably looked like Aiden’s significant other in the lowering summer twilight—and then came to pour him a cup of coffee and sit in the yellow light of the kitchen.

“Still poleaxed?” he asked, amused.

Jeremy glred at him. “What in the hell made you decide to—“

Aiden’s amusement faded. “I wanted to celebrate you,” he said. “And I felt foolish—it wasn’t until you started planning this shindig here that it really hit me. We never knew. Even Craw felt bad when I brought it up. You never said, ‘Today’s my birthday’—it’s such a simple part of us, and you never had that.”

“It was always a lie,” Jeremy said, surprised. He’d never even thought to bring it up.

“It’s not anymore.”  Aiden’s eyes—mysterious green and oh-so pretty—rested on Jeremy’s face, and when he looked like that, Jeremy forgot about the scars from the beating and about the fact that he was older. Aiden loved him, and he’d be young and beautiful forever.

He smiled back, shyly. “Nope.”

Aiden squeezed his knee and whispered in his ear. “Want to celebrate a little early?”

Oh yeah.

They were on their way up the stairs to the bedroom, Aiden’s hands relentless in the quest for more of Jeremy’s skin, when Aiden brought it up.

“So—what was Johnny’s problem? He looked really put out when he found out how old you were.”

Jeremy couldn’t stop a chortle. “Well, you know how me and Johnny—“

“A blowjob,” Aiden said dryly, because yes, this was well covered territory. “A blowjob and a kiss.”

“It was the blowjob and the kiss that saved my life, so don’t discount it,” Jeremy said tartly, “But yes. Anyway… see… Johnny’s turning forty this year and—“

Aiden started chuckling. “And oh my God.”

Jeremy had to smile.  “Yup.”

Jeremy—you were the younger man!”

The thought made him giggle—right up until they got to the bedroom and Aiden’s mouth and his hands got serious.

Yeah, it was going to be a bit of a stretch, wrapping his brain around having a birthday like a real person.  Especially when he was finally coming to understand that age was just a state of mind.



Dreamspinner Press

Quentin Heart – Day 26

Quentin Heart 400

“Let me make a phone call.” Jaks pulled out his phone as he walked out of the hospital room.

“Are you sure about this?” Quentin couldn’t imagine her as a vampire but he didn’t want to imagine her dead even more.

“Yes. I want to stick around and see your life with Mr. Jakinson and see you be the man you were meant to be. Life hasn’t always been easy. This would give me a second chance.” Her voice might be shaky with exhaustion but her eyes told the truth. She really did want to be transformed.

Quentin held her right hand between his. “If this is what you want, then this is what you’ll get.”

“We need to take her back to my house,” Jaks said. “We have the ability to change her there.”

“You can’t transform me in a hospital?” Quentin’s mother asked.

“No. They won’t know all the procedures. Besides, this way we can have another member of my coven change you.”

“You don’t want to do it?” she asked.

“I don’t think you want your son’s lover to be your vampire sire do you?”

Quentin’s mother appeared to think it over for a few minutes. “No, I guess not.”

“Quentin, can you teleport us back to my house?”

“Yeah, not a problem but is it safe?” Between the storeroom and the bomb Jaks’ home wasn’t exactly safe.

“I’ll have my most trusted men taking care of your mother. We can leave again once we make sure she’s settled.”

Quentin didn’t know what to say about Jaks naiveté. Anyone who’d seen at least one century mark shouldn’t believe things would magically work out. “Do you want to get dressed first, mom? Or do you want to wear your snazzy gown that ties in the back.”

“I’d prefer to dress but I don’t think I have the energy to change,” she confessed.

Quentin concentrated on his mother’s close. With a wave of his hand he transformed them into a pair of jeans and his mother’s favorite gypsy shirt.

“Nice.” She smiled at him.

“Are we all set now?” Jaks asked. Although the vampire smiled Quentin could hear the impatience in his tone.

“Yes.” Quentin wrapped a hand around each of their wrists. They were soon in Jaks entryway. “You really need to put a blocking spell to stop teleporters from coming this close.”

Anyone could’ve breached Jaks flimsy defenses. He dropped the subject when Jaks glared at him.

“He’s right. You should make sure Quentin can’t just pop in. You should make him use the front door.” Quentin’s mother smiled.

Quentin shook his head at her. “Who’s doing the transformation?”


“Really?” Quentin didn’t get the impression the vampire particularly liked him.

“He’s one of the few I’d trust with your mother.”

Quentin didn’t think that said good things about Jaks’s trust in his people. The vampire in question stomped down the stairs. The scowl vanished from Braed’s face when he spotted Quentin’s mom.

“Hello beautiful.”

“Um, hello.” Quentin had never seen his mother blush before.

“Braed this is Trina Heart my mate’s mother and the woman you agreed to transform.”

“My pleasure Trina,” Braed took her hand and kissed the back of it. “I look forward to showing you the vampire way.”

“That’s not all he wants to show her,” Quentin muttered.

Braed flickered a glance over to Quentin but didn’t say anything. No doubt keeping in mind he was flirting with Quentin’s mother.

“What do we need to do?” Quentin asked.

“Nothing. You two get out of here before you are attacked again. I’ll take care of your mother,” Braed said.

“Attacked!” His mother said.

“Thanks.” Quentin glared at Braed. “We’ll talk after you are vampirized.”

“Vampirized?” Jaks asked.

“Transformed, whatever,” Quentin waved a hand indicating all encompassing vampirization.

“It is a sacred change from human to vampire,” Braed said, scowling.

“If it was so sacred how come Glenn was abandoned?”

“We’re still looking into that,” Jaks reassured him.

“How is he?” Quentin asked.

“I’m fine!” Glenn rushed down the stairs, his gait smooth and unnaturally graceful. He threw himself into Quentin’s arms. Before Quentin could object Glenn lifted him up and spun him around. He yelped when Jaks snatched him back.

“Keep your hands off my man,” Jaks said, his tone low and dangerous.

Glenn blinked at him a moment as if not understanding the issue. “Quentin, when did you get together with Mr. Tall, Dark and Growly?”

Quentin couldn’t stop the smile spreading across his cheeks. Glenn was healthy and still as perky as ever. “You know how it is get a lab, a grant, a vampire.”

Jaks pinched Quentin’s ass making him squeak.

Glenn laughed. “I see he knows how to keep you in line.”

“Glenn! How was it?” Ms. Heart asked.

“Incredibly painful at first then it fades to a low ache. I feel really good today. They let me drink some wizard blood. It didn’t seem much stronger than regular, I bet it wasn’t yours,” Glenn said staring at Quentin.

“Quentin’s blood will never be your problem,” Jaks said. He wrapped an arm around Quentin’s waist and stared the smaller vampire down.

“Okay buddy, I get it. Keep my hands off the pretty wizard.”

Quentin sighed. He was quickly becoming tired of being the bone of contention Jaks gnawed on when anyone got too close.

“Keep us informed,” Jaks said.

Quentin hated the idea of leaving his mother, but with the way Braed was eyeing her she’d be safe.




Welcome Birthday Guest Toni Griffin!

Birthday bash 2016 icon

Before we start I just wanted to say a big Happy Birthday to Amber for the 22nd. I hope you had an awesome day. Thank you once again for having me on your blog, I always have a ball when I visit.

To celebrate the release of A Bear’s Bear, Smokey Mountain Bears book 3 in the Travels Through the Scarlet Equinox Anthology, I thought it might be fun to catch up with another bear, Michael McKenna from Wreath of Fire.


Me: Michael, thank you for joining us here today.

Michael: Thanks for having me, and thank you to the birthday girl Amber as well.

Me: *Smiles* So, Michael, why don’t you start by telling us how you met your mate?

Michael. *Blushes* Ahhh… I’d really rather not if it’s all the same to you, thanks.*picks at a thread on his pants*

Me: Um, well, how are Amber’s fan’s going to know anything about you if you don’t tell them?

Michael: *Sighs* Fine. *takes a deep breath* *Blurts* I may have set fire to a kitchen.

Me: You set a kitchen on fire? *Wide eyes*

Michael: It really wasn’t my fault.

Me: Okay if you say so… so how did you meet your mate?

Michael: He’s a fire fighter, or as they say in Australia Firie. He was there, in all his sexy fire fighter clothes…. *Trails off as he looks into space* *blushes*

Me: *Clears throat*

Michael: *Startles.* Sorry.

Me: No worries. So. You’ve been together how long now?

Michael: *Grins wide* Almost a year. I know it doesn’t seem like long but for me it’s a big deal.

Me: I think it’s wonderful.

Michael: Thanks.

Me: So, has there been any moment that’s stuck out to you as particularly special in the last year, that you’d like to share with Amber’s readers?

Michael: *Thinks* Oh, oh. I know. *bounces in his chair* My birthday.

Me: Ohh… Care to share?

Michael: Sure. Cameron wanted to do something really special as it was the first birthday we would be celebrating together. Even though he’d only been at the fire station a couple of months he managed to get a couple of days off and we flew out to Montanta.

My birthday’s the 18th February so winter is in full swing here in the Smokey Mountains, but even more so in Montana. We stopped by to say hello to Cam’s parents and meet his siblings before he drove us away and we left everyone behind.

A secluded cabin, everything covered in white It was like one of those winter Christmas cards you always see.

We went snow mobiling across a frozen lake, had snowball fights, went ice fishing, drank hot chocolate and snuggled in front of a roaring fire. I didn’t want to leave. I may have prayed a couple of times that we’d get snowed in and have to stay for a while. Unfortunately the really bad weather waited for the week after we got home to hit. Damn me for being born a week too soon.

*Glances around* *Leans in and whispers* Can I tell you a secret?

Me: Sure

Michael: I would be quite happy to never receive another gift for as long as I live if Cam and I could spend some time every year up there, just the two of us. I’ve never experienced anything like it. *winks* And the sex was mind blowing. Oh… My… God!

Me: *Blushes* Ah… well… umm…. I think that might be about all the time we have here… Thank you so much for stopping by Michael and um… oversharing, I mean sharing with us today.

Michael: Any time. Always happy to help out where I can. Say, did I tell you about that time when Cam….


Because I love coming here so much, leave a comment and you’ll go in the draw to win one of two $10 amazon gift vouchers.


Travels Through the Scarlet Equinox.


The Autumnal equinox—when the trees dress in their formal scarlet and gold and the crisp air whispers of chance and change, when bright days turn into sudden storms and the veil between reality and imagination thins. Join the Mischief Corner authors as they share stories evoking this often unpredictable time of year.

A Bear’s Bear by Toni Griffin
Matthew Warner’s been a Chicago Bears fan as far back as he can remember. What other team was a young bear shifter from the Smokey Mountains supposed to root for? When his college friend gets tickets to the next home game, Matthew jumps at the chance for a holiday. It’s his favorite time of year and Nic promises him pumpkin carving and a visit to the world’s largest corn maze, what more could he want?

What Matthew doesn’t expect is finding out the defensive tackle for the Bears is his mate. Between fainting at the realization, meeting family, and dealing with the media fallout of his mate’s coming out Matthew is in for a hell of a rocky Halloween.

The Autumn Lands by J. Scott Coatsworth
Jerrith is running. Kissed by an elf, he can’t remain in his hometown of Althos anymore. Not that he wanted to stay.

Caspian still hasn’t figured out why he kissed Jerrith, but he’s running too. Since he was exiled from the Autumn Lands, his past has been hazy, and his future uncertain. But when a stray memory brings things into focus, the two decide to run toward something together. What they uncover will change how they see the world, and themselves, forever.

Beside a Black Tarn by Angel Martinez
When Shax stumbles across rumors of an experimental house that responds to the occupant’s brain functions, creating scenarios to please and delight, naturally he wants to steal it. But with the return of a troubled and hunted Julian Parallax and an overabundance of Poe references, even Shax’s scheming may not be enough to get the Brimstone crew out alive this time.

Eternity in the Tides by Freddy MacKay
Autumn has always been Zak’s favorite season for hiking and camping. Not to mention breathing in all that crisp fall air and sitting around toasty bonfires. That all changed year and a half ago when a rich prick high on prescription pills sideswiped Zak while he was out biking.

Now his days are filled with pain and limited mobility. No more camping. No more trails. Zak’s life as he knew it is gone forever.

Back at his beloved stomping grounds, Zak is ready to say hello and goodbye one last time. But when a cry from the frigid Lake Superior waters throws him into the role of a rescuer, more than just his life hangs in the balance. Little did Zak know how much one person giving a damn mattered to him.

Genres: Gay Paranormal Romance, Gay Science Fiction, Gay Fantasy, Gay/Bisexual Urban Fantasy


Buy Links:

Travels Through The Scarlet Equinox on Goodreads | Mischief Corner Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | All Romance eBooks | Bookstrand | B&N | Kobo

  Continue reading “Welcome Birthday Guest Toni Griffin!”

Quentin Heart – Day 25

Quentin Heart 400

Had a rather rough day today so this is a little short.

Quentin grabbed the phone and quickly pressed the connect button before whoever was calling gave up.

“This is Quentin Heart,” he answered.

“Mr. Heart. This is Patricia from Anders General. Your mother has taken a turn for the worse. We thought you might want to come and see her.”

Quentin remembered Patricia. A big woman with brown eyes, a sweet smile and a Latina temper when one of the doctors said something she didn’t like to a patient.

“Thank you Patricia, I’ll be right there.” He hung up. He took a long gasping breath. As much as he’d prepared for this he’d never truly be ready for his mother’s death.

“What happened?”

Quentin jolted at the feel of a hand on his shoulder. In his grief he’d forgotten about Jaks. He wiped the tears away with his hands. “My mother took a turn for the worse. They don’t think she’ll last the night.”

The nurses didn’t say that of course but they’d never asked Quentin to come by before. It didn’t take a genius to read between the lines.

“Get dressed. I’ll go with you.”

“Really?” Quentin stared at Jaks as he collected his clothing.

“Of course. If you are going to be mine I have to share your life. I’m not only with you for your teleportation skills.”

Quentin snorted. “You don’t like teleportation.” He’d noticed that when Jaks rubbed his stomach the last time they’d traveled.

“I like you.” Jaks kissed Quentin’s forehead. “Get dressed.”

After all of Jas declarations the act of going with Quentin to see his mother touched him the most. Words were all well and good but actions spoke a thousand times louder.

“Do you still think she could be a vampire?” Quentin recalled Jaks words earlier.

“I can ask her if you’d like. I won’t make the offer without your say so. She’s your mother.”

Quentin nodded. “I’d like you to ask her.”

“And if she chooses not to become a vampire?”

“You think she won’t?”

“She’s your mother what do you think?”

Quentin thought if over as he slid on his clothes. “I really don’t know.”

“Then let us go and see. If she says yes I’ll have you bring one of my people back to the hospital to change her.”

“Okay.” Quentin tried to conquer his fear. What if his mother didn’t want to be a vampire? How much worse would it be to know she could’ve been saved but she’d chosen to die instead?

“I’m ready.” Jaks moved up next to Quentin.

Quentin stomped his foot into his remaining shoe then stood. Without another word he grabbed Jaks wrist and they teleported to the hospital.

They arrived just outside the emergency room doors. Quentin quickly walked to the elevator and then to the oncology wing. His mother’s room was on a few doors down from the elevators.

She glanced up as they entered. “They didn’t have to call you,” she whispered.

“I can’t stand the thought of you being alone.”

And dying. Quentin didn’t say the last aloud but the silent statement drifted between them.

“Who’s your friend?” She asked staring at the vampire.

“Mother this is Jakinson the master of the local coven.”

“Nice to meet you Master Jakinson.”

Jaks picked up her hand kissed the back of it. “A pleasure to meet you too Mrs. Heart.”

Quentin’s mouth almost dropped open when he saw the blush on his mother’s face.

“Mother, the nurses say you aren’t doing that well. Jaks has offered to have one of his vampires change you. What do you think about that?”

His mother’s gaze went from Quentin to Jaks then back again. “I-I don’t know. Would it hurt?”

“Yes. I’ll not lie to you. The transformation can be quite painful but you son will be there to ease the way.”

Quentin’s mother licked her lips, nervousness all but pouring off of her. “I-I don’t know.”

“Come on mom. Would you rather die?” Quentin asked. Frustration had his voice rising.

“Of course not but if my other option is drinking blood I have to think it over.” She closed her eyes for a minute, her fact going pale. “I just don’t know.”

“I completely understand your wish to consider all aspects of the transformation but if it helps, you would be completely cured of cancer if you changed to a vampire.”

She gnawed on her lower lip as she considered her options.

Quentin sat in the chair beside her bed. “Mom. I don’t know what I would do in your place but I can tell you I’d rather you were a blood-sucking vampire than dead.”

She gave Quentin a sad smile. “You were always such a good boy even as a child. I think you’d do just fine without me.”

Quentin’s heart sank. Jaks squeezed his shoulder in support.

“However, I refuse to die before I get to see you married. And for that alone I will accept your offer Mr. Jakinson. Make me a vampire.”

Welcome Birthday Guest Stephani Hecht!

Birthday bash 2016 icon

Hello, my name is Stephani Hecht and sitting across from me is, Corey, one of the brothers from my Dire Wolf series. Corey, wave to the crowd.

Corey flips everyone off. His expression menacing with more than a dash of boredom.

Stephani: That’s not very nice. Where are your manners?

Corey: Please, you know me. Rudeness is one of my better qualities. Along, with my dark, brooding, good looks that would be fit perfectly for a CW series. The Arrow and those guys from Supernatural have nothing on me.

Stephani: *sigh* You promised me you weren’t going to be cocky and actually cooperate during this interview.

Corey: I promised that I would try to be good. That’s a different thing.

Stephani: Okay, let’s try and start this again. What’s it like coming from a family where all four brothers are gay?

Corey: It can be hell at times. Like for example when The Advocate arrives in the mail, there is always mass chaos. We all fight over it. There’s even been times when blood has been drawn. Okay, maybe that was a bit snarky. I’ll give you an honest answer. My father never knew who we really were, since he and Ma died in a car accident.

Stephani: How do you think he would have reacted if he had found out the truth?

Corey: It wouldn’t have been a Hallmark moment that I’m sure of.

Stephani: What do you think his reaction would have been?

Corey: There would have been some serious ass kicking. While me, Bishop and Darien would have been able to take it. The whole thing would have broken Angel. That I just wouldn’t have been able to allow. There’s not that many Dires that I can tolerate, but Angel is the exception. I’ve always felt it was my job to guard him.

Stephani: Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Angel mated now?

Corey: True, but that doesn’t make that feeling go away. He’s my youngest brother. That protective mode is still as strong as ever.

Stephani: I heard through various sources that you are one of the toughest Betas in your pack, but you fight like an animal who’s out of control.

Corey: *leans forward in his seat* Let’s get one thing straight. Yes, I may fight in an untraditional manner and I won’t win the knight in shining award. I do what I have to in order to make sure that my family and pack are safe. Plus, if you get the reputation as a crazy motherfucker, then Dires begin to fear you. Which makes other packs think twice before they attack us.

Stephani: So, you have this whole badass attitude. Does that mean that there isn’t anything you’re afraid off?

Corey: Next question, please.

Stephani: Why do I have the feeling that once you meet your mate, he’s going to bring you to your knees?

Corey: That’s not going to ever happen?

Stephani: Why would you say that?

Corey: I don’t have the capacity to love.

Stephani: I call bullshit on that one. You love your brothers.

Corey: That’s only because they’re blood, so that doesn’t count.

Stephani: What if I write in a mate for you?

Corey: You wouldn’t do that. There is no way you would make some unlucky sap go through all that suffering. If somebody grew feelings for me then it would soon turn into a curse. I was made for one thing only and that’s to fight and kill. Who in the hell would want to be hooked up with something like that?

Stephani: *decides to change the subject, after all, she is the writer and she’ll do whatever she damn well pleases* Can you think of your best birthday memory?

Corey: I don’t have one. *pauses for a moment* Wait, I do. I think it was when I had my seventh birthday. My mom knew how much I loved that old cartoon G.I. Joe. She made the whole party themed around it. She even bought fake, plastic guns and hand grenades. We spent hours playing war with each other. I think I got fifty kills that day.

Stephani: Wait a minute. Are you actually smiling?

Corey: Why is that so surprising to you. I do get happy from time-to-time.

Stephani: And what about the spaces in between?

Corey: That’s when I realize just how fucked up this world is and then I get angry again.

Deck the Dire Wolves-Cover

Read more about Corey in my next book, Deck the Dire Wolves. It’s coming out at MLR Press on the second of December. You can preorder it at Amazon or Are now. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018DE8Q0U/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_m.5uwb0NYM1HG

At this moment, I would like to take a pause and remember all the people who were killed or injured during the most recent terrorist attack on Paris. My thoughts and prayer go out to all of you and I hope someday that we’ll be able to overcome this kind of cowardly deed. Until then I want all of you to know that we are by your side and you have all our love and support.




Quentin Heart – Day 24

Quentin Heart 400


Quentin let his gaze slide up and down Jaks. He couldn’t deny he’d been holding back before hoping the vampire would change his mind. The level of commitment Jaks required scared Quentin to his soul.

“It’ll be all right, my sweet. I’ll take excellent care of you.”

“Uh, huh.” Quentin eyed Jaks. “You think I’m going to sit around like the little lady and expect you to take care of me?”

Jaks placed his hands on Quentin’s hips leaving a foot separating them. “I want you to be whoever you want to be I just want to be part of it. Now how about you stop being so stubborn.”

He should argue. He was planning on it. Yep, any minute now he’d tell the tall, sexy vampire that he wouldn’t be accepting his terms. Maybe after another kiss.

Quentin made the first move stepping into the space Jaks had made between them. “I’ll take care of myself. I don’t need you to fight my battles, I need you to be by my side.” Quentin couldn’t stress too much how he wouldn’t be coddles. He’d taken care of himself most of his life. Growing up with a single mother created independence.

Jaks slid his fingers across Quentin’s face as if mapping them for a quiz later. Quentin imagined he could feel every dip and ridge of Jaks fingerprints as he traced his face. Heat began to build, warming him deep down then spreading like tree limbs throughout his body.

Quentin’s mouth opened in a gasp only to be covered by Jaks firm, warm lips. How could a being that lived on blood remain so warm? All thoughts were pushed out of his mind when Jaks invaded Quentin’s mouth with his tongue, tasting all Quentin had to offer and coming back for more.

For a few minutes Quentin let Jaks have his way responding but not taking control. He didn’t wish to trigger Jaks hunting instincts not when he hoped to lure the vampire into his bed.

Jaks lifted his mouth allowing Quentin time for air. “Where’s your bedroom?”

“At my apartment.”

“Then why did you come here?”

Quentin sighed. “Because my first instinct was to think of home.” He looked around the small living room. “And no matter how long I’ve been away at college this is still home.”

Jaks grinned. “That’s sweet. Now teleport us to your place. I need a horizontal surface to show you properly how much I want you.”

“I like how you think.” Quentin grabbed Jaks and teleported to his bedroom. Before Jaks could comment Quentin shoved. Jaks toppled backwards onto Quentin’s bed. He stood and admired his new lover for a few minutes before stripping off his shirt.

Jaks jumped up and immediately began removing his own clothes. This was no sexy striptease meant to titillate a new lover. They were both too hungry, too needy and in too much of a hurry to prolong the buildup. If either of their clothes were usable after this it would be a minor miracle.

Quentin slid onto his bed, naked and willing. His cock bobbed ahead of him like a divining rod seeking his mate.

“You are gorgeous,” Jaks said, his voice hushed and worshipful. “I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect mate.”

Quentin could feel the burn on his cheeks. He wasn’t used to compliments on his looks. His mind had garnered more than a little interest but his face and body weren’t as highly prized.

“I’m glad you’re happy.” After all Quentin was the last guy Jaks would ever have sex with.

“Oh I’m very happy.” Jaks crawled onto the bed until he lay beside Quentin.

It was hard to concentrate on banter when sleek skin and firm muscles were on display. He could barely focus on his next thought much less string together consonants and vowels into coherent words.

Giving up on verbal communication Quentin slid a hand behind Jaks neck and pulled him closer. This time he was the aggressor. He rolled them until Jaks lay beneath him. Quentin sighed against Jaks’s mouth at the full body contact of warm bodies together. Damn, nothing had ever felt this good. He moaned against Jaks mouth as he kissed the vampire ending the embrace with a playful bite of Jaks bottom lip.

“You don’t want to be toying with a vampire, my sweet.”

“I don’t?” Quentin raised his eyebrows, teasing Jaks with a smile. “I think I might.”

“When you bite me, I’ll bit back.”

“Promise!” Quentin needed to be bitten. He had to know what he was getting into. If he couldn’t handle Jaks needs then they’d have to come up with another solution to their bonding. At this point Quentin was all in and needed some reassurance that this might work out after all.

“I will always keep my promises to you, my mate. You will be the one person I will always share the truth.”

“Good.” Quentin slid down Jaks body kissing as he went. He lapped and bit a Jaks’s right nipple until Jaks growled and plunged his fingers into Quentin’s hair to pull him away. “Sensitive?”

“I didn’t think so until now.” Jaks’s incisors had descended and lust gleamed in his eyes.

Quentin’s ego took a boost, shooting up to the height of the stars in the sky. He scooted down further intent on tasting his prize.

A soft tune interrupted his goal.

“Do. Not. Answer. That!” Jaks demanded.

“I have to. It’s the hospital.” Quentin’s stomach sank as he searched his pockets to find the little device.


Welcome Birthday Guest Andrew Grey!

Birthday bash 2016 icon

Hello, this is Andrew Grey and I want to take a minute to thank Amber for having me and to wish her a Happy Birthday.  I have the pleasure of seeing Amber two or three times a year and it’s always a great deal of fun.  She’s such an upbeat, energetic person that you just want to spend time with her.  She and her husband are both so generous with their time and their company.  It’s so amazingly awesome!

As an author, one of the things we do in these blog posts is talk about our latest release.  And frankly I’m running out of things to say.  I’ve written multiple guest blog posts, put things on Facebook, my own blog, Tweeted, Instagramed, and god knows what else by now.  So in this blog post I’m going to talk about…  Jesus!  Yes you guessed it.  I’m so damn boring that if I can’t talk about my latest release I may as well shut the hell up.  So what to talk about?  I could always go back to talking about Amber or the fact that I’ll be working with her next month.  She and my alter ego, Dirk Greyson are going to write a story together.  That’s’ pretty awesome.

Aw hell, I guess I’m going to have to break my own rule and talk about my release.  Wait, how about if I just put the blurb and an excerpt below.  You can look if you want and if not, then… well… I think I’m going to shut up now.  You can be relieved, its perfectly okay, after all I am.  Happy Birthday Amber!!!!

Okay.  I’ll shut up shutting up.



Amazon | Dreamspinner Press


Eyes Only For Me

For years, Clayton Potter’s been friends and workout partners with Ronnie. Though Clay is attracted, he’s never come on to Ronnie because, let’s face it, Ronnie only dates women.

When Clay’s father suffers a heart attack, Ronnie, having recently lost his dad, springs into action, driving Clay to the hospital over a hundred miles away. To stay close to Clay’s father, the men share a hotel room near the hospital, but after an emotional day, one thing leads to another, and straight-as-an-arrow Ronnie make a proposal that knocks Clay’s socks off! Just a little something to take the edge off.

Clay responds in a way he’s never considered. After an amazing night together, Clay expects Ronnie to ignore what happened between them and go back to his old life. Ronnie surprises him and seems interested in additional exploration. Though they’re friends, Clay suddenly finds it hard to accept the new Ronnie and suspects that Ronnie will return to his old ways. Maybe they both have a thing or two to learn.




Ronnie led the way to the elevators and then down to the main floor. The hospital was a maze of departments and halls that went on forever, intersecting with others that also seemed to go as far as the eye could see. We didn’t talk, and as my nerves ramped up, I moved faster and faster. Ronnie kept up with me until sweat broke out on the back of my neck. Then I slowed and stopped, wondering where in the hell I was.

“Let’s head back. We’re on the other side of the hospital,” Ronnie told me. He turned and led me back. “You know, whatever happens, it’s going to be okay. I bellyache sometimes, and I miss my dad, but it will be okay.” Ronnie stopped walking and turned to me. “After the funeral there were times when I wanted to die. I thought about taking my own life more than once.” He blinked a few times, and I yanked him into a hug, cradling his head in my hands. I expected him to pull away, but he held me back. “It was the meds and the OCD going overboard. I know that now, but I felt like I couldn’t go on.”

“But you could. We were all there for you. I was there.”

“You were, and I remember you coming over, watching television with me.”

“You were in bed, and I….”

“You lay next to me for hours. We didn’t talk, just watched television.”

“As I remember it was car racing or something.” I released him and stepped back.

“I knew that day that you loved me,” Ronnie said, and I stiffened. Had I been so transparent? “You’re my good friend, and I love you for that. I found out who my true friends were after my dad died.”

“I know.” I’d seen him cut people out of his circle after that. They just seemed to disappear.

Ronnie began walking again. He didn’t talk, and for that I was grateful. Some time alone with my thoughts was appreciated, but too much would drive me out of my mind. We reached the elevator and took it back up to the ICU floor.