Monday, October 31, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: Paranormal Bar & Grill Tour

Please welcome these authors, who are here to tell us about their spooky Halloween tales! They will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.To find out where the other stops on the tour are, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!




Paranormal Bar & Grill Tour

Will O’ the Wisp
by Craig Boyack

A Thousand Yesteryears
by Mae Clair

Vampire Island
by Sandra Cox

The Glade
by Harmony Kent

Love Set in Stone
by Staci Troilo


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Paranormal

~~~~~~~~~~~~~




BLURB:

October starts out warm and sunny, but this is the month when everything changes. Mornings grow frosty, leaves change colors, and the breeze takes on a bite.

Summer dies.

It’s a time for harvest celebrations. A boy loans a girl his coat. She snuggles a little closer and takes his hand. A riot of autumn splendor accompanies the farmer’s market where they stroll.

But the vibrancy of daylight doesn’t compare to the darkness of night. Is that chill on your neck the breeze or something else?

October night

You walk a tad faster and look over your shoulder. The trees creak when the wind whips through their branches—at least, you hope that noise came from the undulating bows.

You check under the bed and inside the closet before climbing under the covers. Sleep doesn’t come easy. The old house groans its complaints, and the night magnifies every innocuous noise until terror paralyzes you—because you know nefarious things go bump in the night.

Welcome to the

Paranormal Bar & Grille Blog Tour

…where you can rub elbows with everyone from a gargoyle or vampire, to a creature from urban legend, or the ghostly realms of myth. Step up to the bar, grab a booth. You never know what’s on the menu, or if you might end up there yourself.

Sound like your kind of hangout? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re a group of five authors who love nothing more than to trigger the chill that crawls up your back, the nervous glance tossed over your shoulder. We invite you to discover outstanding books and check out our awesome tour prizes.

Just be careful of what the bartender serves you. That heady brew may not be a beer, and witches can’t be trusted to provide effective antidotes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:



Vampire Island

My name is Zoe Tempest. Just let me say, I had no intention of becoming a vampire hunter. My world revolved around the trendiest clothes, the boy of the week and shopping.

My life was as close to perfect as a seventeen year old can get. I had everything. Then my parents were murdered and my world came crashing down.

After their funeral, I went to live with my uncle Julian Kilmer. That’s when everything changed. In a manner more terrifying than anything I could have imagined.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Bios

Craig Boyack

Just a fiction writer, trying to reach the world.

Craig came to fiction writing later in life than most authors. He always had to write, to one degree or another as part of various jobs. Early one winter morning, he conquered the Internet and didn’t feel like shoveling the sidewalk until the
sun came up. He tried a few pages of fiction and got hooked.

Craig doesn’t like limitations and calls himself a writer of speculative fiction. It’s a broad field, but he limits himself to science fiction, paranormal, and a bit of fantasy.

He has eight published works—six novels and two collections of short stories.

You can find him at the following locations:

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY

| His blog: Entertaining Stories  https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ColdhandBoyack

| Twitter https://twitter.com/Virgilante

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack



Mae Clair

Mystery & Suspense…with a dash of Myth & Romance

 Genres:
Mystery, Psychological Thrillers, Supernatural Suspense, Romantic Suspense
Quirky fact I don’t want anyone to know:
(or maybe I do)….I saw a UFO when I was six. Probably why I write some of the stuff I do.
~ooOOoo~

Bio:
They say everyone has a story to tell.

I wrote my first childish “masterpiece” at six and was immediately bitten by the writing bug. Since then, I’ve been composing nonstop, and have dabbled in multiple genres over the years, writing everything from fantasy, westerns, and horror to inspirational fiction, romance, and sci-fi. It took me a while to find my niche, but I’ve settled comfortably into the mystery/suspense genre (with a just a dash of romance tossed in).

Several of my earlier works have strong romantic themes, but all are infused with threads of mystery. I have a passion for folklore, myth, and urban legends and that attraction often factors into my writing. You’ll find threads of archaic tales and mysterious places woven throughout many of my novels.

I am a member of the International Thriller Writers and a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Writer’s Organization. If I’m not camped out at my keyboard or have my nose buried in a book, I’m likely looking up blurry images of cryptids on Google, sorting through vintage photographs or imagining life as a cat.

Relevant Links:
Website https://maeclair.net
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0
BookBub | https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mae-clair Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair
Newsletter  http://maeclair.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b0a5feceefdac32ff722e6690&id=11fb698a31
Twitter https://twitter.com/MaeClair1
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maeclairauthor/
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/maeclair/
Google + https://plus.google.com/+MaeClair
Kensington Publishing http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/29541

Sandra Cox

 Living life. Writing fantasy.

Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.
Relevant Links:
http://tinyurl.com/nkjfqmc
Blog: https://sandracox.blogspot.com
Website: http://sandracox1.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SandraCox.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sandra_Cox

Harmony Kent

The author who gets write into your head.
  Genres: Multi-genre
Quirky Fact I don’t want anyone to know: Wrote the entirety of The Glade while listening to the Twilight movie soundtrack. And she’s not mentioning the glass of white (ahem) ‘grape juice’ that kept finding its way to her computer station.

Author Bio:
Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours and refuses to admit to her age.

If you catch her at work, you’ll see that she also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. Not to mention being passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Links to Harmony and her books:
Website: www.harmonykent.co.uk

Twitter: @harmony_kent

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyKentOnline

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Harmony-Kent/e/B00CO0AR7U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harmony-Kent/e/B00CO0AR7U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/HarmonyK



Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo. Writing Relationship Wrongs.

 Genres:
Romance, Suspense, Paranormal, Mystery, and Mainstream

Quirky fact I don’t want anyone to know:

The socks in my sock drawer and the books on my shelf are arranged in rainbow order.

Bio:

I’ve always loved fiction, ever since my parents read me fairy tales when I was little. Today, my interests are much more eclectic. I love getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes my reading, so goes my writing. I can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so I don’t even try. I’m proud to say I’m a multi-genre author.

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about me, visit me at http://stacitroilo.com or connect with me on social media.

Relevant Links:
Website http://stacitroilo.com/
Amazon http://amazon.com/author/stacitroilo
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/staci-troilo
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/staci_troilo
Newsletter  http://eepurl.com/bPgAI5
Twitter https://twitter.com/stacitroilo
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorstacitroilo
FB Group http://www.facebook.com/groups/stacitroilosnovelidea
Pinterest https://pinterest.com/stacitroilo
Google + https://plus.google.com/+StaciTroilo
LinkedIn  https://linkedin.com/in/stacitroilo


~~~~~~~~~~~~~



  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: The Wolf's Torment

Please welcome author Stephanie Burkhart, who is here to tell us about her new release, The Wolf's Torment. Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find out where the other stops on her tour are, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


The Wolf’s Torment
by Stephanie Burkhart

~~~~~~~~~~~~~




BLURB:

It's 1865 and Moldavia is a country nestled against the shores of the Black Sea. Lady Theresa travels from Austria to this country that's haunted by tales of vampires and werewolves. She's going to marry the Crown Prince, but she harbors her own unspoken secrets.

Prince Mihai has just returned to Moldavia to discover he's a witch. He's intent on being a good husband and modernizing his country, but he must find a balance with his supernatural heritage. His best friend, Viktor, accompanies Mihai and marries Mihai's sister. In an unfortunate twist of fate, a werewolf bites Viktor.

Viktor's transformation threatens everyone around him, including his wife's safety and Mihai's happiness, but he's especially dangerous when he's near Theresa. Can Mihai save his family from Viktor's lies and deceptions?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



EXCERPT:



Tybeski nodded and walked out. Now alone, Mihai escorted Sonia to the sofa and sat
down next to her. Viktor stood behind the leather-bound chair adjacent to the sofa, bracing his hands on the headrest, keeping a certain distance between them.

"Sonia, tell me what happened."

"Viktor is a werewolf."

"What? Impossible!" Mihai got to his feet, a wave of nervous apprehension threading
through him.

"It is possible, Mihai. A wolf named Bane bit me on our honeymoon. I have transformed," Viktor said quietly.

Mihai lunged at his friend, grabbing the right lapel of his frock jacket. His nostrils were distended with shock, coupled with fear. For him. For Sonia. For Moldavia.

"How could you? You were armed!"

"Mihai, no, don't harm him. He tried to fight them, but they overpowered him." Sonia got to her feet and clenched her fists against his chest. "You have to help him -- you're a witch, after all. You have to teach me to help him."

Mihai took a step back, his body as tight as a bowstring. Yes, he was a witch, but he had no idea what to do. He was no teacher.

"I must go to Mulfaltar the next full moon and meet with my maker's pack," said Viktor.
Mihai slowly ran his gaze over Viktor. Sonia was right. His eyes were no longer soft and kind, but hard and edged.

"Are you a danger to Sonia?"




~~~~~~~~~~~~~




AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD.  She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee.  She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.

FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee

PINTEREST:
http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/

Buy Links for The Wolf's Torment:

AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-One-ebook/dp/B004YTI3FM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316985604&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOOK NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moldavian-moon-book-one-stephanie-burkhart/1031031928?ean=2940012459787&itm=2&usri=stephanie%2bburkhart

ALL ROMANCE BOOKS: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookonethewolf039storment-544310-139.html

PUBLISHER'S LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-163/Stephanie-Burkhart-Moldavian-Moon/Detail.bok



~~~~~~~~~~~~~





  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Moving Forward #57 (14.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day!  If it's Wednesday, it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

The cruise is coming to an end for our heroes, will their trip go out with a bang? Join them in Moving Forward. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Moving Forward #57 (14.1)


All too soon, it seemed, the last night of the cruise arrived.

Despite all the fun they’d had, Marshall wasn’t sorry to going back home to Burnham, and their lives there. To their own bed. Their own business. And to Roy, the best friend they had.

The Wandering Star would dock in Galveston the next day, then they’d have the drive back to Burnham, where they’d part company with Denver and Dustin. At least they’d reached an understanding between them, and Dustin had been nothing but on his best behavior for the reminder of the cruise. It had been quite an eventful trip, in many ways.

Marshall and Lee were dressing for their final dinner, the same fancy clothes they’d worn at the captain’s table. They’d arranged to meet Denver and Dustin and Roger and Kenny, and afterwards go drinking and dancing. Live it up on this final night. They probably weren’t the only ones with that idea.

Marshall stole a glance at Lee, watching as his long fingers knotted the maroon tie into place. He smoothed it down and looked up to catch Marshall watching him. The corner of his mouth quirked up in amusement.

“Like what you see?” he asked.

“You know it,” Marshall said, not the least embarrassed at having been caught looking.

Lee turned toward Marshall, his gaze raking over him as if inspecting him. “You look damn nice,” he said.

“We’re a handsome couple.” Marshall grinned.

“You got that right.”

Marshall leaned up and kissed Lee’s cheek tenderly.

“What’s that for?” Lee asked.

“For this trip. For having the time of my life. And because I love you more than anything in the world.”

“I’d do anything for you,” Lee said, “and you know I feel the same way.” He pulled Marshall closer and their lips met, softly at first, then lingering a little longer until they stepped back to take a breath.

“Tonight’s our last chance to do it on a cruise ship,” Lee teased. “At least on this trip. There’ll be others.”

That thought pleased Marshall very much. “Don’t think I don’t have something in mind,” he bantered back. “I have plans for that sexy ass of yours. Big plans.”

“Is that so? Someone seems rather sure of himself, don’t they?”

“Yes, someone sure does.” Marshall stepped closer to Lee, bridging the gap between them once more. His hands wound around him, coming to rest at the base of Lee’s spine. “You objecting?”

“Did I say I was?”

“Good, glad to hear it,” Marshall said. “Maybe order up some drinks when we get back tonight? Out on the deck?”

“I like the way you think,” Lee approved.

“I thought we’d make this last night one to remember,” Marshall said. “I want to get a few more pictures too. I’m going to make a digital scrapbook and file them all away.”

“Digital scrapbook? Don’t they make photo albums any more?”

Marshall laughed. “It’s the twenty-first century. Hell no.” He noticed Lee’s eyes were dancing with amusement. He hadn’t been serious, of course. “We can print them out, if we want to, you know, but digital is a lot less clutter.”

“You sure do know a lot.” Lee slid his arms around Marshall’s wait, and they stood, gazing into each other’s eyes.

“I had the best teacher in the world,” Marshall replied just before they kissed again.

When the knock on the door came, they drew apart with reluctance. “To be continued later,” Marshall promised as he headed for the door, opening it to admit Roger and Kenny.

“We’re not too early, are we?” Roger asked, standing in the doorway, looking back and forth between Marshall and Lee. “We can come back in a few minutes.”

“Naw, we’re ready,” Lee said. “Denver and Dustin should be there already, holding the table. Denver texted a few minutes ago.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Roger agreed, reaching for Kenny’s hand. They waited in the hall for Marshall and Lee as Lee looked around the cabin then closed and locked the door. The two couples walked hand-in-hand to the elevator and rode it up to the deck where the restaurant was.

to be continued

Now see what the other Briefers are up to!



Friday, October 21, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: On Fire

Please welcome my friend and fellow author, Alicia Nordwell, here to tell us about her newest release, On Fire!


Single people often have more time to write. Are you single?
No, I’ve actually been with the same guy since just days after my 16th birthday. I’m lucky enough to have my house/family and writing as a “job” instead of a traditional 9 to 5. Writing is still a challenge for me, though, because I spend a lot of time at my kids’ schools, running errands, cleaning to ease my slightly OCD tendencies, and being an admin/part owner of Gayauthors.org. Some days I don’t even get to read until after 10 PM!

If you had to only work on one project for the next year... what would it be?
I want to self-publish my Carthera series. They need some serious editing, though. Just need a few more hours in the day.

Did something specific inspire you to write On Fire?
Dreamspinner Press promoted an in-house author novella series called “States of Love”, and I jumped on the chance to publish a novella with them set in my home state. It helped that I was writing a contemporary story set in Portland, just across the river, at the time the call went out.

Is there a particular character you most identify with, and how so?
I like Scottie. He loves the outdoors, he is passionate about his photography, and he is generally happy with his life.





Blurb:

Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fire-States-Love-Alicia-Nordwell-ebook/dp/B01M119A79/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-onfire-2142835-149.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/on-fire-alicia-nordwell/1124772923?ean=2940157073725 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“WHAT EXOTIC tropical locale are you going to spend your vacation drunk in?” Carter leaned back in his chair so he could see into Scottie’s cubicle. He smirked. “Or are you hitting the casinos in Vegas to make your fortune and leave all of us to toil away in the trenches alone?”

“Neither. Hiking and camping in the Gifford Pinchot around Mt. Adams.” Scottie adjusted a line of code, and the website header widened. “I’m all set to go in the morning.”

“Seriously? You have a week off in August, and you’re going to waste it trudging through the dirt and pine trees when you could be lounging on the beach somewhere?” Carter shook his head. “Wouldn’t catch me doing that. Aren’t there bears and cougars up there?”

Scottie shrugged one shoulder. “I might see a bear, if I’m lucky. Cougars are actually pretty shy.”

“You want to see a bear?”

“It’d make a great picture.” The website he was working on needed to be visually appealing on both computers and mobile devices, and he was having a hard time focusing. “It’s Friday. Don’t you have some reason to duck out and start the weekend early?”

“Nope. Miranda, Tark, and I are all going out for happy hour at Corrigan’s, but not until six. Don’t try to change the subject. You know you can take pictures at the beach, right? White sand, crystal blue water, and palm trees swaying in front of the setting sun.”

“Dime a dozen. I like living in Washington because we have so many places where I can take beautiful nature photos. Coastline, rivers, lakes, mountains, even the desert, all within a few hours’ drive. Besides, I’m still paying off my student loans. I don’t have money for expensive vacations.”

“Two words. Credit cards.”

Of course. Carter wore name-brand shoes with his fancy suits and never brought a lunch, preferring to order takeout. He’d graduated a year before Scottie, so it wasn’t like he made that much more money. “One word. Stupid.”

Carter rolled his eyes. “Whatever, man. When I take my week off next month, I’m going to Hawaii. Hotel on the beach, coconut drinks, and chicks in bikinis. Any women you come across in the campground will probably be covered in pitch and pine needles.”

“I’m not going to stay in the campgrounds. I’m hiking and camping off the trails, and for the most part, I won’t see any people at all.”

A look of horror crossed Carter’s face. “Seriously?”

He nodded. “I used to go camping with my family all the time growing up. We’d hike, fish, roast hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire. It’s peaceful.”

“Whatever, man. When you get munched on by a bear, can I get your chair?”

It was Scottie’s turn to roll his eyes. “I’m not going to get eaten by a bear, and your chair is the same as mine. Why would you want it?”

“I spilled fish sauce on mine earlier this week, and now it smells funny.”

“Well you can’t have my chair, and I’ll notice if there’s a fish funk on mine when I get back, so don’t even try to switch them. Don’t you have a project to finish? I have to get this done before I leave.”

“Fine, fine.” Carter rolled back to his desk. “Have fun communing with wildlife.”


SCOTTIE ROLLED up his backpacking tent with an extra tarp and fastened it to the bottom of his pack. His sleeping bag, a change of clothes, survival kit, portable stove, water filter, and food fit inside. The rest of his camping gear was piled along the wall, taking up most of the living room floor in his postage stamp of an apartment. He plopped down on the couch with a beer and opened his laptop.

Using a red highlighter, he outlined the trails he planned to take and marked his base camp as well as his possible overnight camping sites before printing out two copies. Picking up a pen, Scottie scribbled his full name, the dates of his trip, and what kind of vehicle he was driving on the back of one map. He’d drop it off at the ranger station before he stopped in Trout Lake for some sandwiches. No idea what they did to make them taste so great, but they were way better than anything he could make. He’d have to stop by the ATM on the way out of Vancouver to pick up some cash.

Now that he had all the nitty-gritty survival stuff out of the way, he had to get his photography equipment in order. Scottie didn’t spend much money on himself, but he had a nice Canon camera, lenses, a flexible tripod for his hiking pack, and a bigger telescoping tripod in its own bag. Using a polishing cloth from his cleaning kit, Scottie went over every piece of glass in his camera bag, making sure all the lenses and filters were spotless. Photography might be just a hobby, but he took pride in getting that one shot that made all the hard work worth it.

He’d finished his beer by the time he had the last memory card and battery stowed, and he waffled on what he wanted to do. He’d been up since six, worked a full day, and finished getting all his camping gear ready to load in the morning, but he wasn’t tired enough to go to bed. The weather report he checked promised sunny days and clear nights—though it wouldn’t be nearly as warm around Mt. Adams as it would be in Portland.



Author Bio:
The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she's a MM romance author: "Why gay fiction? Why write men when you're a woman?" and her answer is: "Why the hell not!" Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started... Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she's a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Social media:


Contest!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Finndeavor #1

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, it must be time for some flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

This week, I'm doing something different. Not that I've forgotten Marshall and Lee, far from it, but one of the prompts called to me, and it would never have fit in the guys' story. So I wrote a little something, and I'd like to get your opinion - should I continue it or not? For right now, I'm using a working title of Finndeavor, but that is subject to change. I hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale. Enjoy!

Finndeavor #1


How many drummers does it take to drive a man insane?

Just one. All he has to do is pound out a steady rhythm that refuses to quit.

“Please stop that noise,” Finndeavor Washington Burr whispered aloud to no one in particular, but his heartfelt entreaty did nothing to ease the thrumming in his brain. Sterner measures were obviously called for, perhaps even rising, although he was little inclined to follow that course of action at the moment. He cautiously opened one eye but loudly groaned as a bright light of supernova proportions threatened to blind him. He quickly rolled over, away from the offending rays… and up against another body.

 Why was there someone in his bed? And who was it?

The lump rolled and resolved itself into the familiar form of his manservant, Jefferson.  But that didn’t answer the question. What was Jefferson doing in his bed? Jefferson threw one bare brown leg across Finn, never waking.

Finn cleared his throat. Startled large mocha eyes gazed back at him.

“Excuse me, Mr. Finn, sir, but why exactly are you in my bed?”

“I’m not in your bed, you’re in mine.” Finn corrected him and winced. “And please don’t shout. I’m right here and I can hear you perfectly.”

“I’m not shouting,” Jefferson assured him. “My head would explode if I raised my voice even a modicum.”

“Mine too,” Finn admitted. He tried to sit up, but Jefferson’s leg was making that difficult. The fact that the man was naked wasn’t helping any. Plus he was gorgeous. Under other circumstances, Finn would pause to admire his long limbs and finely sculpted ass. But not today. He gingerly slid the entangled limb from him, all too aware that he was naked also.

There must be a story here, but damned if he could recall it at the moment.

“Jefferson, what’s the last thing you remember?”          

Jefferson shook his head to clear it. The sight of his dark mane, hair flowing like sinuous snakes, never failed to fascinate Finn. He often marveled that Jefferson’s locks never tangled, despite their propensity to wave in the slightest breeze. Like the man himself, he was always in control of them, a trait which Finn found to be most admirable.

“As I recall, you wished to go out last night. To, as you put it, celebrate your last night of freedom.”
Finn frowned. “But the wedding isn’t for months yet…?”

Jefferson shrugged. “My place was not to argue, sir. You were most adamant in your desire, and I saw no harm in indulging you in a drink.” He flashed Finn a cautious smile.  “Or two. Or maybe a baker’s dozen? I believe I lost count.”

“As did I.” Finn groaned again, his stomach joining the fray, along with his throbbing temple. Bits and pieces of the previous night began to filter into his mind, like watching flashes of a half-remembered play when you had no idea who the characters were or what was going on.

“It was that new drink, wasn’t it? The caramel one.”

“A caramel mocha bourbon flame,” Jefferson confirmed. “The bartender assured us tis all the rage in Paris, so you insisted on having a taste. I must admit, it was very good.”

“Very good,” Finn agreed.  Maybe a little too good? He’d found it sweet and addictive, and it went down one’s throat as easily as water, but it was also deceptively strong.

As evidenced by the position in which they found themselves today.

Naked, and in Finn’s bed.

Belatedly, Finn realized that the current tableau would hardly meet with the approval of his fiancĂ©. Good thing she wasn’t here.

Taking his attention off Jefferson for a moment, Finn glanced around them. The room was a complete shambles. Clothes were strewn about the floor, along with what appeared to be feathers. Finn squinted at the walls. Had they always been that colorful conglomeration of colors, or had a madman snuck in and fingerpainted them while he was asleep?

“Did we do this?” Finn found that hard to believe. Sure, he liked to have fun as much as the next man, but this went beyond having fun. This was insane.

“I can’t remember,” Jefferson confessed. “Did I remember to tell you I need today off? Urgent family business I must attend do. I should go now.”

He made a futile attempt to roll from the bed but Finn caught him by the arm and pulled him back. Unfortunately that resulted in Jefferson lying on top of him. Very much naked.

And very hard.

Damn.

Finn swallowed. “Forget it, mister. You’re staying right here.”

“Right here, sir?” Jefferson leaned closer to Finn, until his lips were mere almost on top of Finn’s. 

This was not what Finn had had in mind.

So why did he do nothing to regain the upper hand, which was all Jefferson’s at the moment? And why were his lips parting, almost as if in anticipation…

“I didn’t mean… I didn’t… I…” Finn stammered, unable to form coherent words, just as a piercing cry rent the air.

Jefferson fell back onto the bed, clutching at his head, an action which Finn mimicked.

A small furry bundle flew into the room and up on the bed. It wound its arms around Finn’s neck and began to chitter to him in monkey talk.

“Hamilton, please,” Finn pleaded. “I’ve got a headache.”

“You’ll have more than a headache when I’m through with you,” came an icy voice from the doorway.

Finn knew he was in trouble now. He darted a glance toward the speaker.  Abigail Prescott. His fiancĂ©. He’d seen storm clouds that appeared friendlier than she did as she glanced between him and Jefferson.

This was a catastrophe of major proportions. He couldn’t imagine the situation could get any worse.

A lump stirred beneath the blankets on the bed and a sleepy head popped up.

“Morning, gentlemen!” a cheery voice proclaimed.

Oh God. George. It just got worse.

to be continued 

Now to see what the other Briefers are up to!