I talked before about my first published novel, To The Max. Today I'd like to introduce you to two other stories, that are also published at Dreamspinner. First one is Sweet Dreams, My Love. I received the cover for this story first, a beautiful one by the very talented Dan Skinner, and I was to write a new m/m version of Sleeping Beauty.
I had fun writing this story, and I hope you enjoy it. It's about dreams and love and finding the love of one's life.
Can love conquer all? Is there such a thing as Fate? Do dreams really come true?
To help pay for his mother’s convalescence, Jakob Kohl leaves his musical studies in Germany in order to be a paid companion to his distant cousin Albert. It’s not a pleasant existence, but Jakob does get to travel to Paris, where he meets a beautiful man who asks for his help… a mysterious man no one else can see. Jakob soon fears he may be going crazy, because he finds himself falling in love with Damien, who says they were brought together by Fate—Jakob is the only one who can rescue Damien from the shadowy world where he sleeps and waits for his dream of everlasting love and freedom to come true.
The click click click of Toulouse Lautrec’s cane was a measured accompaniment to the perambulations of the artist and his youthful companion. The streets of Montmartre were uneven, cobblestoned, and given to steep inclines. Even the short distance that Toulouse and Damien had to traverse was difficult on the artist, but he never let it show, and his protégé was young and too intent upon their destination to notice.
The artist had not been born with this disability, but during his youth he had suffered from problems with each leg which, exacerbated by the close genetic tie between his parents, who were first cousins, had stunted the growth of his limbs even though the rest of him continued to grow, causing the legs to not be in proportion to the rest of his body. Although the stories that were told about Toulouse were quick to affirm that nature had not shortchanged him in the areas which were of immense interest to his lovers, perhaps by way of compensation for his lack of stature.
“Pere Toulouse, will I be allowed absinthe this night?” Damien leaned in toward the artist, slumping a bit to ease communication between them, to compensate for the eight or nine inches he towered above. For although the young man had been raised, as were most French youngsters, used to the consumption of wine, albeit watered, the green liqueur had always been off-limits. Tonight was a very special night. This was Damien’s eighteenth birthday, and it was also the night of his coming out party. And he was going to spend it with his twelve fathers at the infamous Moulin Rouge nightclub.
Twelve fathers? A biological impossibility! Naturally. And indeed, none of the twelve could claim the actual title of pere to this beautiful young man. But spiritually, all twelve of the artists who titled themselves the Dreammongers were his sires, for they had raised him among themselves ever since the fateful night, just eighteen years ago, when he had come into this world and their lives, while the Dreammongers were holding their annual revelry at the Moulin Rouge.
“Mais oui, mon fil,” the artist said with a nod. “Tonight you shall.”
Damien smiled. He could hear the sighs of the nighttime ladies of the Montmartre as he walked by, could feel their eyes upon him, aware of their attraction to his pearlescent beauty. He was very, very pale, a soft pallor which invited touching, and his platinum hair hung in lazy waves down to his broad shoulders, while his eyes were the green of sea foam, with traces of gold in their liquid depths. His full, rose-madder lips wore a perpetual smile, one which simply begged to be kissed. Damien was a very happy boy, and he loved his life here in Paris, and he loved his dozen fathers very much.
And now the nightclub itself lay just before them. That infamous den of iniquity.
Electric sex. That’s what came to Toulouse’s mind each and every time that he glimpsed the slowly rotating blades of the red windmill. The Moulin Rouge. Debauchery personified. Electric sex beckoned to him; it called his name and begged his participation. Lithe young limbs and warm embraces. Passion and music. Absinthe and opium. The Moulin Rouge was a purveyor of dreams. And Toulouse Lautrec was a most willing dreamer. He was an habitué of the most infamous nightspot in Paris, spending more time entangled in its spider web of sensuality than anywhere else besides his studio. The Red Windmill was the ambrosia with which he fed his muse, the nectar for his passions, and the fellow dreamers who frequented it became the impressions upon his canvases.
Toulouse paused for a moment, jostled by a pedestrian whose path bisected his own, also headed toward the nightclub. The gentleman in question had his head bent, his hat pulled low over his brow. “Pardon,” he muttered before disappearing inside.
From within, the sounds of gaiety spilled into the night, fingers of frivolity designed to ensnare the interest of the casual passerby. Toulouse paused, temporarily taken aback. For just a moment he had thought… but no, that was not possible. He would not dare to show himself here. Not after all this time.
Damien held the door for him, and the two men entered the Moulin Rouge, intending to pay their respects to the regulars before going to their private party.
Sweet Dreams, My Love is available from Dreamspinner Press
The second story is The Prince Wore Pink Stilettos. It was released as one of Dreamspinner's Nap Size Dreams, and therefore has no cover of its own. This story was inspired by something a friend of mine told me. She works for Kohl's, and one day she said her department was all in a fluster because a guy had walked in wearing a black skirt and pink high heels. Well, my imagination took flight, and the result was Prince!
I was eighteen and gay and working on prom night, a Cinderella without a prince, when a vision appeared in the coffee aisle: He was wearing a short, black skirt, a pale cream shirt that exposed his bare midriff, and upon his feet were a pair of very pink, very high stiletto heels. And he was my very own high school wet dream, Rob Marshall! Whodathunkit?
It was toward the end of my shift, as I was adding some boxes to an end cap near the front of the store, making sure that each box was perfectly aligned with its neighbor—not that it would stay that way, of course, human nature being what it was, but I was determined that it at least start out that way. I wasn't paying attention to anything around me 'til suddenly I heard my name being hissed, and I glanced around, startled, to find one of the checkers, at the nearest stand to where I was working, hissing at me, and motioning to me to come over. Her name was Michelle, and the only reason that she wasn't at the prom was that her boyfriend was grounded, but she was planning on sneaking over to his house after work anyway. I liked her, even if she was a bit ditzy. I straightened up, dusting my knees off, and made my way over to her, curious to see what had gotten her so excited.
"He's here. He's here again, that guy I was telling you about…."
Guy, what guy? I vaguely remembered something she had talked about, but I hadn't taken her seriously at the time, as I believe I was wallowing in self-pity at that particular moment. Oh yes, the one that dressed oddly. Him. Skirt and heels, or something. "The one with the high heels?"
I asked, just to make sure I wasn't imagining what she had said.
"Yeah, him. He's over there in the coffee aisle. You need to go sneak a peek," she said, giggling. "If it wasn't for the skirt, he'd be damn sexy. Oh, and the shoes too. But, yeah, go look. Betcha never saw something like that…."
Undoubtedly not, I thought, and I'm not even sure why I thought I wanted to, other than it was something to do, and I was feeling agreeable. It was almost time to go; there was little left to do, so why not, right? Or was it some sort of curiosity on my part to see a real cross-dresser, even though that term wouldn't exactly have entered my head. I cut a path down the detergent aisle—sometimes I hated to go through there, the heavy perfume scent bothered my nose; it could be so damn cloying at times. But I wanted to come up and around and nonchalantly stroll by the aisle where this person was, without appearing conspicuous. Serendipitously, I came across a stray can of Folgers which some considerate shopper had changed her mind about and thrust onto the nearest shelf. That would give me an excuse
to be in that aisle without appearing to be a gawker. I'd no wish to make anyone feel uncomfortable, after all. I'd waltz the can back into place, take a casual glance, and waltz
away again. Simple, no?
Not simple at all.
Especially not once I had turned the corner into that particular aisle and found the object of my curiosity standing right in front of the Folgers cans—examining one with particular interest. From where I was, I could see he was looking at the medium roast. My own favorite.
Okay, first things first. He was wearing a skirt—black and short—beneath which his long bare legs could be seen, smooth and muscled, and very shapely. The skirt accentuated the fact that he had a very cute ass, as well. The shirt he wore was a pale cream color and bare midriff, so that I could see that his stomach was indeed flat. And upon his feet were a pair of very pink, very high stiletto heels. But it was obvious to me, from the first glance I got of him, that he was used to wearing them, as he rocked back and forth steadily, intent upon what he was doing, totally unaware of my presence. Or so I thought. I moved closer, trying not to be too obvious, my mission being to return the can of coffee in my hand to its proper home. But he must have heard me, for he turned his head…
…and oh my God, I found myself staring into the devastatingly beautiful face of Rob Marshall.Whodathunkit?.
Prince is also available at Dreamspinner Press.
Thanks for taking part in this Blog Hop! Hope you had fun! Come back soon, I have two more planned in February!
Until next time, take care!