Temptation Tuesday – Eli’s Promise

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallEli’s Promise is the second book in The Bar Next Door series. It follows part-owner and bartender Eli as he struggles with his feelings for the young, hot buck Asa as well as his feelings about letting go of his lover Thad who’d passed away several years ago.

Eli is rough. He’s scared to let go and he’s scared to take a chance. This book is about the deathbed promise he made and the steps he takes or doesn’t take to fulfill it.

It’s also full of sass and vinegar. Malachi and Danny make appearances and all in all it was a fun book to write, hard at times, emotional, but fun.

Here’s a little (unedited still) taste…

“You won’t.”

Asa. God. How did the boy do that? How was he able to sneak up on Eli like that all the fucking time? “This has got to stop.”

Malachi laughed. “You’ve been off your game and out of the game for a while now.” He clapped a hand on Eli’s shoulder and headed out of the office. “I think it’s time you get back in it.”

Eli nodded and waited until Malachi was gone before he turned to face the man he wanted more than he wanted his the next breath. He held that air captive as he got a look at Asa.

Sweat dripped from his brow and the T-shirt he wore was plastered to his tan skin. Jeans hung low and his scuffed boots were crossed at his ankles. He could see the tail end of a red and white bandana hanging from a ripped back pocket and when Eli finished his perusal and met the bright green eyes again, a knowing smirk crossed Asa’s full lips.

“I don’t think you’ve been quite so frank in looking at me before. I think I kinda like it.”

“Yeah well, don’t let it go to your head.”

“Which head would that be?”

Eli chose to ignore the bait. He didn’t want to but it was best for the time being that he do so. “What are you doing here?”

“Unloading the beer.”

“Malachi said it wouldn’t be here for a couple hours.”

“Malachi lied.”

“Seems like it. He’s been helping you out, you realize that, right?”

“I do. It wasn’t a subtle helping out. He seemed to know when you needed the extra shove or push.”

The next words were going to be hard for him to part with… “I’m glad he has.” And then it was his turn to smile when Asa’s eyes widened. He moved toward the desk and leaned back against the solid wood surface. “This isn’t easy for me, Asa.” He tried for a casual stance, but found his hands tightly gripping the edges.

“I know. I mean, I don’t know, but, I know something isn’t easy for you.”

Eli nodded. Here goes nothing. “His name was Thad…” And down the road he went, sharing with Asa the details about the only man he’d ever loved, and at the time, the only man he could ever see himself loving and living life with. He kept his eyes on Asa, unwilling to break the contact, unwilling to forget who he was talking to, unwilling to get lost in the memories. It wasn’t easy and through some parts—he was close to breaking down—but he got it all out.

“How did he die?”

“Motorcycle accident. Car came out of nowhere. Thad was always trying something new and he’d always wanted to get a bike. They said the helmet was what kept him alive for the few days he lived afterward, but really, in the end it didn’t matter.”

“I’m sorry.”

The voice was soft, tender and nearly his undoing. “Thank you.” He found he meant it too. He wasn’t sure he felt that way in the past when people said those words, but he did with Asa.

“I don’t want to take his place,” Asa said, coming to stand in between Eli’s parted thighs.

“I know you don’t. I—”

“I just want you to give me a chance. You said he was my age when he died. I’m not him though, Eli. I’m me and I’m here, alive, and I want you.”

“I…” He tried to muster some objections, his tried and true lines of defense, but nothing came out. When he closed his mouth, Asa kissed him—sweet. It was so different than their other encounters and Eli savored the mere feel of Asa’s lips touching his.

“You’ve been through so much and you’re pretty young, too, to have gone through it. And look. You’re alive too.”

Eli just nodded. He didn’t have any words to add. Asa was right. He’d buried his lover and his hopes and dreams all at the same time before he was twenty-five. He’d had to grow up in a short span because the days were going to go by no matter what he wanted, even if that included dying too.

Thad woulda been so pissed had Eli taken his own life. “He made me promise that I’d find someone new one day.”

“Did he?”

Eli smiled. It was bittersweet, but it was the first smile he’d been able to offer when speaking of those last moments. “Yeah. He said he w-wouldn’t let go of the pain until I promised him that I’d find someone someday and let them love me.” As he spoke, Asa pried his fingers free of the desk and looped them through his belt loops. Eli gripped the thin pieces of denim as though they were the only things keeping him there.

“Hold onto me now. You can do the same thing. You can let go of the pain and hold on to me.”

The words, so kind and genuine, broke him. The kiss that followed made him hungry. The tears he didn’t even realize were falling were wiped away by rough, workman’s hands.

He pulled Asa closer, deep into the opening of his legs. They were both hard and warmth spread through his chest, his belly and he tangled his tongue with the younger man’s. Asa gave as good as he got and met each thrust with a parry of his own.

“Do you remember what I promised you?” Asa urged the question out through barely moving lips. He hadn’t lifted his head by much and Eli could see brown and copper flecks in the irises of Asa’s eyes.

“I do.” At the suggestion, his cock pulsed behind the placket of his jeans.

“Good.” Asa nudged himself at Eli. “See? This is what you do to me. Only you, Eli.”

“Asa, I…” But his words died when Asa dropped to his knees in front of the desk. His mouth dried up like a desert and he couldn’t do more than helplessly watch. He braced his hands again as Asa pulled at the button and let the zipper down.

“Fuckin’ hell.”

This book has a release date of December 10th.

Y’all have a great day!

~lissa

 

Merry Christmas!

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallGood Morning and Merry Christmas…

I want to say thank you to you for such a wonderful gift. Support. Friendship. Connection. You’ve bought and read my books, even if you didn’t like them afterward. You’ve sent encouragement my way and you’ve even sent criticism my way…both of which, have made me a better writer and a better person.

I don’t always write what the reader wants or expects and y’all let me know it. In the end though, it’s helped me grow and opened my mind and my eyes.

This year seems to have flown by and I am still wondering where it went. Holiday reading is something I enjoy so much and I haven’t even read a single book this season. It’s my hope that tonight I’ll have a chance to just sit and curl up with some words someone else wrote.

Words that I’ve written in holiday stories come in the form of a new M/M release, More Than This and an older but very fun story, Arrested Holiday.

LM_MoreThanThis_coverlg

Blurb:

Adam Sanchez makes good money, drives a vintage BMW, and is living up to the promise he made that he’d never be poor again. After two years without seeing his family for the holidays, he’s taking time off to give them a dream Christmas. At least, that was the plan.

But after taking a wrong turn off the interstate in search of the Blue Ridge Parkway, he finds himself skidding on a patch of ice and crashing into a big red barn. He wakes up sore, grumpy, and immediately attracted to his less than pleasant host who happens to be the spitting image of a young Elvis Presley.

Army veteran Josh Atkins doesn’t have time to babysit the idiot currently recovering on his family’s Christmas tree farm, but is left with little choice. That the man stirs something deep and primal in Josh can’t and doesn’t matter. It’s the busiest time of year and he’s needed at home.

As the two men begin to talk and share their stories, Josh’s hard-nosed stance softens. When he learns of Adam’s need to get to Asheville before Christmas, Josh is torn between letting him go and asking him to stay.

Maybe Josh can help Adam see that there’s more to happiness and freedom than a large bank account, and maybe Adam can teach Josh to see beyond the surface to the man he is beneath. And maybe, just maybe, they can show each other that there really is more than this.

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Holiday ‘Holli’ James looks forward the week between Christmas and New Year’s. This is her one chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of her successful decorating business. The plan this year is a trip to New York City to see the sights and the lights.

The plan didn’t include a side trip to a small town jail in the middle of Pennsylvania. Nor did the plan include Officer Hunky.

However…

A single police officer, Michael is working the holidays — again. With no local family and no interest in accepting the pity invitations to Christmas dinner from his married friends, he’s content to work and earn extra cash. Besides, this year looks to be as uneventful as ever. Until he pulls Holli over for speeding, only to discover she’s wanted on charges of fraud.

Sexual tension spikes as Michael begins to investigate and discovers Holli isn’t who her record says she is. While they await answers, Michael is granted permission to remove Holli from the jail and place her under house arrest.

Only his idea of house arrest is much more personal than the law ever intended.

If you haven’t checked them out, I hope you’ll do so… Just click on the book covers and it’ll take you to the pages for purchase information!

Cooking is on my agenda for this early holiday morning and I’d best get to it. There’s also many ounces of coffee to look forward to, as well as the last few Christmas movies that are sitting on my DVR. I hope you and yours are enjoying the day with friends and family. Rest up and relax because we have a big year to start on in a few days…;-)

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Winter

Today was hard for me to pick. I have several books to choose from which are set right in the middle of Winter and freezing cold.

I also had a new M/M release this week that has a Christmas theme and it takes place with snow and ice and cold and requires quite a bit of hot chocolate.

And, snowballs…

Snippet 1:

He’d hated to wake Adam, but Josh wanted to get him up to the house and out of the wintry mix that had started falling and the wind that had started blowing.

The first thing Adam had said to Josh was to ask to see his car. Josh was hesitant but knew he’d have to relent sometime. Adam would be upset and rightly so. The car was pretty damn banged up and would take some extensive work to get it fixed and drivable again.

The back end was in fine shape except for a few scratches that could be buffed out, but the front quarter panels and the hood…

“I can’t believe it looks like this.”

“The impact was pretty hard,” Josh said from beside Adam.

“I realize it was a hard hit, but, fuck, this is… I hadn’t imagined it would be this bad.”

“I’m sorry, man.”

“I just can’t believe this. I don’t know how much of this insurance is going to pay for or if they’re going to total it. I guess it’s time I call them.”

“Yeah. I’ve pulled out what I thought you might need after I got you out of the car.”

“You’ve been really good to me through all this, Josh. I don’t know how to repay you.”

“I’d have done it for—”

“Please don’t say you’d have done it for anyone,” Adam said, his eyes full of pleading. “I don’t think I could take it if you did.”

Josh nodded. He understood what it would feel like if Adam had said the same thing to him. They were wrapped up in each other, and it was more than the blowjob from earlier. “Okay.”

Adam looked at Josh, and Josh couldn’t look away. His skin was flushed, and the snow was starting to fall harder, though Josh didn’t think Adam even realized it. He hadn’t wanted to upset Adam by showing him the condition the car was in, but Adam’s smile and softly worded request would have melted a glacier.

“Will you, ah… Will you show me around a little?”

“What? Now?”

“Yeah.”

“Adam, it’s freezing and snowing.”

“So? I know you can’t be afraid to get wet and a little cold.”

“Of course not. I was just worried about you.”

“Well, stop. I’m a grown man. I’m sore, not at death’s door.”

“You sure seemed like you were when I found you a little while ago.”

“Just take me outside and show me around. Please. I want to see the trees.”

Josh held out his hand and didn’t have to wait long for Adam to take it, to lace their fingers together. Josh’s breath caught, and his eyes met Adam’s again immediately. The feeling coursing through him at the connection singed his nerve endings. His heart thumped double-time, and his cock started hardening. He was even having a hard time thinking straight. “Damn, what is this between us?” Josh asked, unwilling to name it himself.

“I don’t know. I mean, I think I know, but at the same time, I don’t know.”

“Eloquent.”

“You’re the one who asked the question.”

Josh shook his head and led Adam out of the barn. “C’mon.” There was a wide swath cut through the center of the yard where Adam’s car had slid across the snow and ice crusted on top. He’d come in at an angle and missed the tree lot.

Adam stopped and turned his body one way, gazed around, then turned his body the other way and gazed some more. Josh tried to view things through Adam’s eyes, but he wasn’t sure if they saw the same things. Josh saw peace and comfort and home. What did Adam see?

“It’s really beautiful here.”

“It is.” The farm was located in a small valley with mountains to the west near Boone and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and north. Hills and trees and views that were breathtaking filled Josh’s sight and mind every day. He was happier than he could ever have imagined being, having this place to come home to after seeing so much destruction overseas.

They started walking again, and when they got to the edge of the sales lot, Adam removed his hand from Josh’s. Josh felt the loss, and his hand was suddenly cold, but not from the temperature outside. He missed Adam’s touch.

Adam moved through the trees slowly, winding his way through each of the rows. “I’ve never seen such perfect Christmas trees before.”

“We pride ourselves in having the very best. They’re full and fragrant. They are hardy too. With proper care, they’ll last longer than most other trees from other farms.”

“How long has your family been doing this?”

Snow covered the branches and bristles, and it was several inches deep on the ground. It was supposed to rain through the evening and right on until morning. The wind was picking up, blowing snow across their faces. The cold would turn biting soon, and even though it wasn’t yet dark, he would need to get Adam back inside shortly.

“My great-grandparents started the farm when they first got married. The land was a gift to my great-grandpa from his father, which had been in the family since before the Civil War.”

“And the house I’m convalescing in?”

“I grew up in it but live alone there. My parents built a house on up the road, on the other side of the nursery. Todd and Kelly have a place farther up the mountain. There are aunts and uncles and cousins all over these parts.”

Snippet 2:

Jared slid his arms around Bryson’s waist and held him close and tight. Something had started cracking inside him when he and Bryson were quarreling with words last night, but that something kept right on fracturing, and soon all that hardness was going to fall away and he would be a vulnerable mess again. Bickering and squaring off with words was what they’d always done to settle disputes and arguments. It was familiar, comfortable, and it warmed him. The kiss hadn’t hurt either.

And while a day, a week, a month ago, he might have been annoyed at Walt showing up, that something cracking inside his chest extended to Walt as well. Jared’s hold on Bryson could be, or might be, construed as possessive. It wasn’t what he was feeling, though.

He was hungry, needy, wanting exactly what Bryson had suggested he wanted. To be between them, one in each of his holes, filling him, and surrounding him with their heat and lust and touches. He wanted them, wanted their love, and at least in his head, he could admit it.

But the last time he’d come clean about something, the last time he’d admitted how he felt about something, his father had decked him and called him every vile name not mentioned in the good book. He was a little gun-shy in the admission department.

“It’s a little cold out here to play. Maybe want to get the work done and then venture inside?”

The way Walt said the word “inside” set off every nerve ending from Jared’s brain to the soles of his feet. He wanted to bend over the middle railing of the pasture fence, putting himself into position for one man in front and one behind.

It might be cold out, but his cock was hard as stone.

“Maybe if you get off your high horse and help out, it’ll get done faster.”

“High horse?” Walt slowly dismounted. “My high horse?” His boots crunched on the snow and dead grass as he made his way, steady and sure, toward them. Bryson smirked, but Jared wasn’t sure how to take the look on Walt’s face. The closer he got, though, the more a smile broke out across his lips. Walt made a lunge at Bryson, but Bryson ducked out of Jared’s embrace and spun away.

When Walt caught up to him, Bryson was ready with… A snowball? Jared blinked. The snowball landed square in Walt’s stoic face. He wasn’t smiling anymore. No, he looked fit to be tied.

Another snowball flew, this time hitting Jared smack in the face. What the hell? He wiped the ice crystals from his eyes and cheeks just in time to see Walt tackle Bryson to the ground. The men laughed and wrestled, both losing footing and falling.

Jared just stood back and watched, unfamiliar feelings welling up inside. Lightness. Fun. He’d never really associated either with himself and definitely not with Walt, but his lovers—and yes, they were his lovers—looked to be having so much fun rolling around in the snow and ice, and mud found underneath.

If he just let go and stayed in the moment, he felt like a completely different person. He wasn’t so serious or so much in his own way. He liked this feeling, this energy, and this desire to be part of something bigger than his fears. It was how he’d been before that blasted dream so many months ago. He wanted out of his self-imposed exile and back in the warmth and decadence of male arms and hot, dirty sex.

For the moment, though… “Uh, how exactly is this getting the work on the fence done?” he asked when there was a lull in the laughter and he thought he might be heard. Both men looked over at him, their smiles falling, and for a moment, Jared felt bad about intruding on the fun when he’d rather be joining in. He hoped there would be time for it later. After the work. It was the one positive his father had taught him. Work before pleasure, because then pleasure could be enjoyed freely and without rush or guilt over things undone.

“You know, he’s right.”

“Yeah. He is. This really isn’t getting any work done.”

“No, it’s not.”

“We should do something about it.”

“I agree.”

Walt stood first, then lowered a hand down to Bryson and helped him stand. They brushed their clothes off, but they were already soaked through. Walt took a step toward the four-wheeler Jared and Bryson had ridden out on, but at the last moment, detoured and made a move toward Jared. He had Jared flat on his back before he could catch his next breath.

The cold from the ground and the force of the impact took the following breath too. Bryson was on Walt’s back, working to pull him off Jared, but all he succeeded in doing was tangling them all together, as Walt’s hold on Jared was unforgiving in its strength.

“Two against one is totally unfair,” Jared huffed out, a grin breaking across his face.

“Maybe,” Bryson conceded. “I was trying to help though.”

“Help who?”

Bryson pretended to think about it, but just grinned. “You, at first, but…” He casually lifted a shoulder. “I guess you could say it’s now two against one.”

“Figures.”

“Fun though, yes?”

Jared rolled from beneath Walt, his hand under his ass a conscious move. His fingers gathered snow, and he tilted to the side, back toward the big Native American. Their lips met in a searing kiss, one hot enough it should have melted the ground beneath them, but then Walt’s lips were gone, a hiss issuing from them. Jared’s hand was empty of the snow because he’d worked it inside Walt’s jeans.

Bryson was kneeling off to the side, laughing.

“Think it’s funny, huh?” Walt growled, trying to get the ice from inside his pants. It dropped out from the bottom of his jeans. He reached his hand down the front and scooped out a rather large chunk of snow, which he promptly threw at Bryson.

But then, when he turned that look on Jared, Jared didn’t know whether to run or stand his ground. Revenge was written all through Walt’s eyes. A wicked tilt to his lips made Jared think of very naughty acts, and suddenly, though the play in the snow was fun, he couldn’t wait to get back in the house.

“I’ll be getting you for that, cowboy,” Walt said, promises and threats threaded through each word.

“I’m counting on it,” Jared replied. He found he meant it too. He couldn’t think of anything he wanted more in that moment other than for Walt to get him back, for Walt to punish him in some way for having played dirty enough to let loose a snowball over Walt.

end Snippets

I’m headed out to do some holiday shopping but y’all be sure to check out the following blogs for great snippets:

Rhian Cahill
Leah Braemel
Myla Jackson
Caris Roane
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Shiloh Walker
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
Lauren Dane
Felicity Heaton
Shelli Stevens
TJ Michaels

Have a great Saturday!

~lissa

Release Day – Malachi’s Word with Excerpt

Drunken confessions. Sobering friendship. And two cowboys gambling on love…

The Bar Next Door, Book 1

Could he love me? Malachi has wanted to know the answer since his best friend, Daniel, confessed to being gay. He has never forgotten that long-ago conversation, or the secret hope that another confession would follow: that Daniel is in love with him.

Daniel is—and always has been—in love with Malachi. But how is he supposed to share that information without risking the only friendship that has ever mattered to him? He couldn’t handle it if he were kicked out of Malachi’s life. The best Daniel could do was move home to Texas, buy a little rundown ranch to work outside Austin, and visit the watering hole where Malachi tends bar.

Malachi knows that something heavy is riding his friend and he’s tired of watching Daniel’s downward spiral of too much beer and too many meaningless flings. Enough is enough.

Except, when he gets Daniel home and some strong coffee down his gullet, the truth comes pouring out. A truth that nearly knocks Malachi out of his boots.

Courage like that doesn’t come easy…and Malachi can only pray his answer is enough to turn lifelong friends into forever lovers.

Warning: This little tale tries to contain a gay bar, a lot of beer, a hot cowboy with a pitchfork, another one with a serious addiction to boots and coffee, and a secret yearning between the two for hot blooded, can’t wait to get naked, just leave your boots on sex. Oh, and there are doughnuts…

Excerpt:

Last call at The Bar Next Door. In about an hour, Malachi could go home. Cleanup would be handled by Eli. Per their deal, Malachi would open the bar in the afternoon and Eli would lock the door at the end of the night.

Last call.

Much as he loved the bar, he sometimes loved leaving it just as much. Especially tonight. Danny was here again and almost too drunk to sit steady on the barstool, and way the hell too drunk to stand, walk or drive himself home. All grown up and hotter than fire, tempting every man and woman with his crooked smile, his whipcord frame and his bright green eyes. When he was sober, that is. When he was drunk, though, as he seemed to be more often than not lately, he was all grown up and acting like a teenage kid, full of angst and sadness.

“C’mon. Time for you to go.” Malachi ‘Mal’ Rhalston, part owner of The Bar Next Door and Danny’s best friend, picked up Danny’s half empty glass of whiskey.

“Hey, asshole. I wasn’t done with that,” Danny said, louder than necessary.

Mal held up the glass and swirled the amber-colored liquid against the sides. “This? You weren’t done with this?” Mal looked at it. “It is a bad idea to waste such good whiskey, isn’t it?” He downed it himself in one swallow, feeling the burn all the way to his soul. Danny wasn’t the only one suffering, but he always liked to think he was. Selfish prick.

Danny squinted and though he was trying for menacing, it just came across comical. Mal had to bite his lip to keep from laughing.

“I was right. You are an asshole,” Danny murmured. It was said without heat or rancor, only a weariness that hurt Mal to hear.

Mal smiled his typical bartender smile. It wasn’t one he usually gave Danny, being they were the best of friends and all, but right now, it was all he could muster. “Never said I wasn’t.”

He wiped down the bar in the immediate area of Danny. The man never wore cologne but had a spicy, earthy scent all his own that Mal would be able to pick out anywhere. He didn’t know if anyone else could smell it and it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that he could, that he knew Danny so well…

He mentally shook himself and focused his attention once again on Danny, on his face. “So, what had you in here tonight, tyin’ one on?”

“Same shit, different day.”

One thing Mal always admired about Danny was the fact that the man could be stinkin’ drunk and still speak without slurs or ripples in his words. Most men in the bar who got that blasted couldn’t string the syllables of their own names together, much less carry on an actual conversation. To talk to Danny, one wouldn’t know he was fifteen sheets to the wind, aside from the lack of balance and the smell of his breath.

“Which shit would that be? Job shit or man shit?”

Danny was working a place a few miles outside town. It’d been a surprise to Mal when he’d bought it, considering neither of them had ever wanted to run the ranch they’d grown up on.

The Double M Double D was the name of their childhood home. Danny and his father had lived on one side of the ridge that ran through the middle, while Mal and his father lived on the other. They worked it from the moment they could walk. Their fathers knew the boys didn’t want the place, so when Mal went off to college and Danny to the military, they sold it. The two older men retired to Wyoming and started a dude ranch with half the sale money and split the other half between Mal and Danny. There’d been more than enough to do and buy nearly anything either of them had wanted.

“Man.” Danny spat the word with disgust and Mal wiped the bar again just to be on the safe side. “It’s always about a man.”

“Things not work out with that pretty thing you carted out of here the other night?” The glare Danny leveled at Mal would have frightened a lesser man. Mal wasn’t now nor had he ever been scared of Danny. Their friendship went back too far. They knew everything about one another. Danny, drunk or sober, wouldn’t hurt anyone unless it was to protect someone else and he sure as hell would never strike Mal.

“You should know the answer to that one.” Mal did know, and secretly, whether it was the right thing or not, he was glad. Danny always did do things the hard way.

“Then why do you bother?”

“Can’t have who I really want.” The words were miserably spoken, full of sadness and resignation. Mal understood exactly what it meant and felt like to want someone so much and not be able to have them. He’d been dealing with it most his life, having realized he was both gay and in love with his best friend fairly early on, but hearing those words from Danny… Well, it was the first time the other man had admitted he felt something for someone.

“You mean there is someone? A serious someone?” He desperately wanted to ask who had Danny all fucked in the head and drinking the desire away every night. He wanted to know who had been lucky enough to garner Danny’s romantic interest so he could help the guy get his head out of his ass. Danny was special and deserved someone just as… Mal should know.

Truth be told, he’d always wanted to be the man Danny fell in love with. Unrequited love was a bitch. At the same time, how could he expect anything at all when he’d never come clean about his own feelings?

“Jesus, Mal. Where the hell have you been? Of course there’s a serious someone. You think I like fucking a different ass every other week? I thought you of all people would… Shit. I’m outta here.”

“I’ve been trying to get your ass outta here for ten minutes.” Mal laughed at Danny’s confused look and hoped he’d pulled it off as nothing more than friendly. “Last call, remember?”

“Fuck you.”

Mal didn’t comment, though he wanted to ask if Danny’s words were an offer because he’d sure like to accept. Instead, he went around the side of the bar and helped his friend to stand. “Who is he?”

“Someone,” Danny said softly. The one word sounded so dejected that Mal’s heart ached, and he longed to tell him how he felt, but fear kept the words clogged inside. He knew Danny well enough that if he took the chance now to tell him that there was someone he wanted too, Danny would just think it was to make him feel better and not feel so alone. That would be part of it, but not the ultimate reason. Mal was tired of carrying it around.

“Does he know?” Mal asked, walking Danny toward the door. He looked over his shoulder at Eli to find the other man staring after them. Eli nodded and Mal returned the gesture in silent acknowledgement.

“The boy toy? Yes. I called him the other guy’s name during a blow job.”

Mal winced. “Not good. But I meant the serious man. Does he know how you feel about him?”

“No. Not good to call a twink or anyone else some other guy’s name,” Danny agreed. “They can get vicious. I still have the scratch marks to prove it. And no, Mr. Serious doesn’t know.”

The cab driver had the door open at the curb and Mal helped Danny get settled inside. “How’d you get here tonight?”

“Dropped off.”

“Okay.” Mal knelt on the sidewalk and looked at his friend, doing his best to school his own features into a mask of support. He didn’t know if he was relieved or disappointed that he wouldn’t need to take Danny’s truck out to the ranch. “Maybe you should tell him. At least get it out in the open, Danny.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he wanted to bite his tongue. It wasn’t the first time he wondered if he should take his own advice and tell Danny the truth.

Danny slowly shook his head. “I’d lose him if he knew,” he said, dropping his head backward and closing his eyes. “Can’t lose him. Can’t lose…”

Other than Mal himself, who could Danny know so well and whose friendship meant so much to him that a confession would tear their friendship apart? Maybe someone from when he was in the Army? Again, Mal wanted to ask but didn’t. He wasn’t sure he wanted the answer if his own name didn’t pass through Danny’s lips.

“How can you lose him if he doesn’t even know how you feel?” Mal stood after a few seconds when Danny had no response.

Malachi closed the door and spoke to the cab driver, paying him in advance and giving him directions out to Danny’s place. He paid a little extra for the driver to make sure Danny got inside safely.

He turned away without watching the taillights disappear. Danny would sober up and everything would be fine. It always was after a binge like this. His friend would be back tomorrow night, all smiles and ready to pick up the next little toy to warm his bed.

Available now at Samhain Publishing (It’ll eventually be available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and All Romance eBooks)

~lissa

Release Day

It’s been a long time since the last release day for me with a publisher. My self-publishing titles don’t make a splash and I’m not saying this one does either but a publisher published title sometimes does… It’s been over two years since I’ve had a Loose Id title too. The nerves y’all…

Then, of course, there’s the not so small fact that this release is a new genre for me. I felt similar nerves when I had a shifter release. And these are different nerves than that even… No less intense, but different.

Will people like it? Will people hate it? Will people get my voice when it comes to M/M writing? Will they not? I don’t write long books as it is, y’all know that, but that doesn’t take away from my wanting to write really good books. More than anything, I want to write really good books. People who read M/M seem very dedicated to it, just as those who are devoted shifter readers. That’s enough to send one’s nerve endings into frazzle. mode

M/M is a fun genre to write. It’s also intense and full of drama and stigma in a way that most M/F contemporary normally isn’t. I love exploring this genre. Reading it and writing it. I’ve found it has its own unique challenges and rewards.

I hope if you purchase Double Up that you’ll enjoy it and come back for more…

~lissa