BUTTERBALL review (My first coming out story)

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A fast paced novella involving two stock market geniuses; but only one who survived the recession unscathed. Travis is sitting on top of the world with his investment firm soaring, while Jeremy lost it all and is in threat of foreclosure. Two very similar men, but with two very different outcomes.

Travis is also a strong and buff hottie, out and proud, and it seems everything he touches turns to gold. But he wasn’t always this way. He was abused as a child and taken under the wings of a ballet teacher and boxing coach, both of whom taught him how to protect himself. Since then he takes crap off no one.

Jeremy is, as the title so aptly points out, a cuddly butterball. He considers himself fat, bald and pushing 50…with nothing to show for it, so in his battered mind, he is also a complete failure. Jeremy was also abused as a child by his stepfather. An evil man whose powerful but hateful words caused Jeremy to hate himself, and to deny his sexuality. Until Travis. Travis might be worth opening that door…maybe, if he can convince himself that there is nothing wrong with being true to himself.

Travis and Jeremy meet during an interview and the sparks fly. Travis doesn’t mince words and Jeremy is definitely buying what he’s selling. They play the nasty at work and have to deal with the repercussions. One of which is Travis’s best friend who wanted Travis to pull the man out of the closet before he hurt another woman.

Now here is where I had a little trouble. I can see where a friend would be concerned with another friend’s private life, but seriously, it was none of her business to tell it to Travis or cause Jeremy problems. They weren’t in love, they weren’t married, they were Dom/Sub and she was the Dom, so if this woman didn’t guess that Jeremy was gay after she used a strap on, forced him to suck other guys, and he didn’t like her “smell”, than that is all on her and her pee wee brain. End Rant.

So yeah, this was an short and easy read if you like bossy females “besties”, closeted over 40 men, and a jiggly, rolly-polly man eating cookies in bed. It was not my favorite kind of plot or characterization but it was enjoyable…even though I could have done without the fatty visuals.

Overall Impression: I liked it

http://thebloggergirls.com/2014/04/01/book-review-butterball-by-michelle-robbins/

Beware the Ides of March

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Dark Celtic glory stood before her, all yummy muscle and masculinity, and a smile twinkled from smile-grooved cheeks. He reminded her of that movie star Colin Ferrell. She loved watching his films, not only for the pleasant eye candy but also because he reminded her of Joey, her personal Celtic hero.

He spoke, his voice carrying the soft touch of Ireland.

“There’s only one person I’m wanting to take to dinner,” he said, “and that’s you.”

 “Me?”

He even sounded like Colin Ferrell.

“Yes, you. Well,” a frown furrowed his brows and dimmed his smile, “that is, you are Kelly Hanks, are you not?”

“Yes, but—” what in the world?

“You went to Mt. View High School?”

“Uhh,” her brain stalled. “Yeah…”

His frown eased away and that megawatt smile again graced his face. She felt the heat of that smile sizzled across her nerves clear to her toes. That smile was dangerous. Good thing it didn’t sport dimples or all Hell would pay.

He tilted his head inquiringly.

“You don’t recognize me? I’m crushed.” In contrast to his statement, he fitted his hands to his hips and chuckled.

Was she supposed to recognize him? She shifted through recent memories. No, no one came to mind. She wouldn’t have forgotten that smile and those outstanding shoulders.

“Should I?” She blinked.

“I’m thinking you should, since I beat up Spazz Larson when he made you cry.”

“You did wha—” A gasp choked off the rest of her statement as Kelly’s brain went into overdrive. Memories spilled into her mental buffer, causing her muscles to lock up and her mouth to drop open.

Her lips felt stiff.  Wooden.

“Oh my God…impossible…It can’t be…”

The gorgeous smile transformed into an adorably cheeky grin. He winked. “In person.”

Then his voice transformed into a full-blown Irish brogue as he said, “Better known by the church as Patrick Joseph Michael O’Connor. But,” he dropped the brogue, “you called me Joey.”

The universe opened up around her and set her adrift in time and space.  Those dark eyes…  She knew those eyes.

 “Joey O’Conner?” But she already had the answer. “It is you!”

 

 

Butterball – a Dweebs, Nerds, and Geeks novel

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For Travis, it was business as usual at the office of Wentwood Investments, other than the annoying task of finding a new account manager for his expanding office.  Everything changed the moment Jeremy Roberson walked into the room for an interview.  The cuddly butterball was everything Travis liked in a partner…other than the closet locked around Jeremy.                   

Not much fun, sure, but Travis had kicked down a few closet walls in his past.  And if he was going to find paradise with Jeremy, it appeared he’d have to kick those walls down again.

 Good thing he knew how to fight.

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/

“Beware the Ides of March…”

Fifteen years ago, teenaged lovers, Kelly and Joey, were torn apart by their parents.  One set moved to Ireland and the other stayed in Oregon.  Life moved on but neither forgot their first love, or the lessons of torrid teenaged passion learned in the back seat of cars. 

An empty pain kept both of them company as the moved through their twenties and into their thirties.  Business, school, marriages, kids…yet never did the ach of loss cease.  Like the ghost pain in the absence of a brutally severed body part, mournful regrets haunted.

                “Joey…”

                “Kelly…”

Now, finally, St. Patrick has fulfilled the private prayers and returned the lovers to the same city and time, and to the same place.  Now they face each other, breathless with wonder and remembered loss.

Does St. Patrick have the March Magic necessary to heal old wounds and coax love’s rebirth?

Why wouldn’t he?  It was St. Patrick’s Day, after all.

Beware the IDES OF MARCH

ImageNo really.  It’s my new book.  Here’s a snippet for you all to enjoy.  

——————————————————————

Dark Celtic glory stood before her, all yummy muscle and masculinity, and a smile twinkled from smile-grooved cheeks. He reminded her of that movie star Colin Ferrell. She loved watching his films, not only for the pleasant eye candy but also because he reminded her of Joey, her personal Celtic hero.

He spoke, his voice carrying the soft touch of Ireland.

“There’s only one person I’m wanting to take to dinner,” he said, “and that’s you.”

 “Me?”

He even sounded like Colin Ferrell.

“Yes, you. Well,” a frown furrowed his brows and dimmed his smile, “that is, you are Kelly Hanks, are you not?”

“Yes, but—” what in the world?

“You went to Mt. View High School?”

“Uhh,” her brain stalled. “Yeah…”

His frown eased away and that megawatt smile again graced his face. She felt the heat of that smile sizzled across her nerves clear to her toes. That smile was dangerous. Good thing it didn’t sport dimples or all Hell would pay.

He tilted his head inquiringly.

“You don’t recognize me? I’m crushed.” In contrast to his statement, he fitted his hands to his hips and chuckled.

Was she supposed to recognize him? She shifted through recent memories. No, no one came to mind. She wouldn’t have forgotten that smile and those outstanding shoulders.

“Should I?” She blinked.

“I’m thinking you should, since I beat up Spazz Larson when he made you cry.”

“You did wha—” A gasp choked off the rest of her statement as Kelly’s brain went into overdrive. Memories spilled into her mental buffer, causing her muscles to lock up and her mouth to drop open.

Her lips felt stiff.  Wooden.

“Oh my God…impossible…It can’t be…”

The gorgeous smile transformed into an adorably cheeky grin. He winked. “In person.”

Then his voice transformed into a full-blown Irish brogue as he said, “Better known by the church as Patrick Joseph Michael O’Connor. But,” he dropped the brogue, “you called me Joey.”

The universe opened up around her and set her adrift in time and space.  Those dark eyes…  She knew those eyes.

 “Joey O’Conner?” But she already had the answer. “It is you!”

 

Marked – Branded for life (coming Jan 5th)

 

Bo Tran stared at the face in the mirror. Purple and black bruising colored the left eye, fairly dark now after three hours had passed. The nose, equally puffy and bruised, one nostril ringed by dried blood. It was a little crooked too. Broken? Or just cracked?

The battered door swung open, revealing the bustling waiting room outside. Sound swelled, crested—the laughter of kids, the squalls of babies, the mumbling speaker system, the rattle-beep of nearby vending machines—and crashed over him like a rogue tsunami. A wide-shouldered form briefly eclipsed the view outside as the new arrival crossed the floor on his way to the urinals.

The door stuttered shut on a gasping-wheeze of hydraulics. The click of the latch seating into its housing was loud in the bathroom, a counterpoint to the drip-drip-drip of leaky faucets. His shoulders tightened as the figure moved out of sight. The hiss of a zipper, the rustle of jeans and briefs, the sound and smell of piss pooling against porcelain allowed him to relax.

Just some guy a taking a piss, not The Fucker cornering him.

Bo examined the busted lip with a cautious finger…and winced. Fuck, that hurt. He bared his teeth and realized why. The Fucker had chipped a tooth with a lucky punch. Another punch had smashed his mouth against the tooth’s jagged edge, tearing it open. That leak might have been the one to get The Fucker off of him for the second he needed to bail. Or maybe it had been his nose spraying blood over his attacker’s face and clothes.

Whatever the reason, he’d managed to get the hell out of there. The Fucker hadn’t bothered to get Bo undressed before he’d started in with the fists. That mistake had saved him from a brutal rape and maybe being murdered. The streets had been busy talking about a rapist/murderer for the past months.

Just his piss luck to connect with that fucker.

But that was truth on the streets for the disposable people like him.

Bo imagined the back page news article: Bohai Bradley Tran, age 23. Murdered. Another unfortunate victim of the gay-on-gay violence targeting Portland’s Northeastern Rent Boys.  

Time for Rockin’ the ‘Nog!!!

Rockin’ the ’Nog

The first thing folks as me about ’Nog, amid their laughter, is, “Where did you come up with this story?”  I’d love to say that it was all me, but the truth is it was equal parts my imagination and Fate.  You see, chapter one actually happened, with creative adjustments of course.

There I was, sitting around my house, morose and broke due to the critically bad Recession, when my phone beeped.  It was my buddy, one I’d worked with earlier in the years on one of my temp jobs.  He’d mixed up my name with his current girlfriend on his phone list and was texting for a booty call.  He was a bit drunk, so it took a while to convince him that I wasn’t his girlfriend and no, I wasn’t a good target of a booty call.  (A shame, really, since he’s a hottie, but honestly!) 

Anyway, I engaged him for a bit—laughing and deflecting his offers—before he finally accepted the mistake was real and ended the conversation.  (Yeah, he was hugely embarrassed the next day.)  But, I wasn’t upset.  You see, I had a story.  Well, at least I had chapter one.

I poured out my frustrations with the job situation, mixed in a healthy dose of humor due to his mistake and the subsequent character he’d created in my mind, added in a bit of angst—not too complex because it was geared for short story length—and went to work.  I must have laughed my way through it because I’m told it’s hilarious as well as sweet.

Basically, Rockin’ the ’Nog is about the frozen depths of winter in a woman’s heart as she’s facing her own mortality (the possibility of cancer) and the fact that this economy had abandoned her, among so many others.  People matter, much more than profit, and some of us haven’t forgotten that truth, having heard and learned that lesson via Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey into himself.  (Somebody needs to remind the plutocracy of that!)

In sum, we have:

  • Deb, a fifty-something who is depressed and frightened.
  • Caleb, a thirty-something who is determined to have her.
  • And the specter of Cancer looming around them.

’Nog was written to remind its author, and hopefully its readers, that the sun will one day return, that letting Fear rule one’s life is walking death, that it’s so much better to let Hope and Love fill one’s world.

And a little freight-training can’t hurt. 

(Not familiar with the term?  No worries; grab a copy of Rockin’ the ’Nog and let Caleb show you how it’s done this Christmas/New Years!  You may not need the house heater.  Just saying…)

Rockin’ the ‘Nog, available from Amber Quill Press.  http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/RockinNog.htmlImage