Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Briefs: Stan and Ollie #8

Happy Wednesday to one and all and welcome to another edition of Wednesday Briefs, your place for flash fiction! This week, the prompt was: "The last time I saw ..., he/she was..." or the alternate prompts were: use: castle, wishes, sun or "When did you become such a ...?" or use: foreign, emissary, truce or "Pardon me, but do you have any...?" or use: magic, apology a body of water

Last week, we saw Egbert and the single forlorn tulip, and we also saw an old acquaintance of Stan and Ollie show up. Today we learn more about her. Don't forget to check out all the Wednesday Briefers, whose links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

Stan and Ollie #8

 “It’s a free country,” I snark, putting as much venom in my voice as possible, although I know nothing gets to that ubiquitous trashmonger. “At least the last time I checked, it was.”

“Oh absolutely!” she enthuses. “God bless America, I just love this country, don’t you? And I love my job! So, what are you two up to? And can I put it on the record?” She pulls out a voice recorder, although I wonder if she doesn’t have a microphone hidden in her upswept dark brown bouffant hairdo.

Just so you know, her name’s Lori Hatcher, and she’s an offensively foul reporter for a most offensively foul rag with pretensions to journalistic integrity—Behind Closed Doors. You’ve probably seen it near the supermarket checkout stands, vying for consumer dollars along with a number of other tabloids. She seems to show up whenever Ollie and I are on a case. Of course she has no idea who we are and what we do and we’re not about to tell her. Let her draw her own conclusions.

“Are you here for a story or for a vacation, Miss Hatcher?” Ollie intervenes. My little diplomat. Although don’t let the mild façade fool you. That man can more than take care of himself. He knows moves that would make a martial arts expert jealous.

“The word vacation isn’t in my vocabulary,” she quips. “I have a duty to my readers, you know.”

“I can appreciate that. Well, I wish you well with your story.” He slides his arm around me, and we turn to go. Can it really be that easy?

Of course not.

“What do you know about Consuelo Fairchild?”

My turn to respond. Ollie is loath to tell a falsehood, while I’m more than happy to lie to this woman’s face. It’s not any of her business, so I feel no compunction toward doing so. “Never heard the name. Friend of yours?”

“I wish.” She snorts, inelegantly. “Maybe you’ve heard of her old man? Bodean Fairchild? Bo’s Blossoms? The Tulip King?”

I shrug, rolling my eyes. “I’m not much of one for flowers. So you’re writing the society page now, are you? Or is this for the science section? Oh my bad, I don’t think your paper has a science section, just science fiction and myths.”

“Very funny, and neither. What, do you live under a rock?”

Close enough, and more than she needs to know.

“She’s disappeared. From right here in Cortez, Mississippi.”

“I thought you said we were in Nowhere, Mississippi?” I remind her. “Are you lost? Your magic spells not working these days?” That’s a reference to our last encounter, when I referred to her as a witch. She grins at me, obviously remembering the occasion and insult. I make no apology for my words and she expects none.

“You can’t pull the wool over my eyes, so don’t even try it.” She turns to Ollie, batting her false eyelashes so fast you’d think she was trying to fan him. Even if he was straight, the effect wouldn’t be sexy. As it is, it’s purely wasted effort. I don’t even have to pretend not to be jealous, because it’s just too pathetic for words. “I’m sure your nicer half will tell me what I want to know, even if you won’t.”

“Of course I’ll tell you,” Ollie smoothly asserts, and I can see her fairly salivate with excitement, until he adds, “We are in Cortez, Mississippi, not Nowhere. Glad to be of help.” He takes my arm and we get as far as the top of the bridge before she catches up with us once more.

“I’m disappointed. When did you become such a puppet? Where are your strings?” She pretends to search above Ollie’s head for non-existent guidewires. I shake my head at her lame attempt at humor. “Consuelo Fairchild disappeared on her wedding day. It’s been all over the front page ever since it happened.“

“Guess we missed it.” I shrug.

“So you’re telling me your being here where she was last seen is a coincidence?” She gives me a skeptical glance. “C’mon, be gentlemen and spill the beans.”

“It’s been a long time since anyone’s ever accused me of being a gentleman.” It’s my turn to snort now. “You’re out of luck, sweetheart. We don’t know anything and we don’t want to know anything. We’re just here to sample the pecan pie. Hear they make a mighty mean one, and we just got a hankering for it. Maybe you should get some too. Sweeten your disposition.”

I know I’ve hit a nerve, both with my faux endearment and my suggestion. Her face turns red, despite her best efforts to stay calm. Taking a deep breath, she stands at the railing of the bridge, glancing down, obviously avoiding my glance. Then she stiffens, and leans over, pointing excitedly.

“Look, there! Another of those tulips.”

“What tulips?” I pretend not to understand.

“Every day since Consuelo disappeared, a single tulip has appeared in this pond. Like it’s a message or something. Maybe from her kidnappers.”

“I’m impressed,” Ollie says softly. “You seem to have an angle for your story already, Miss Hatcher. Congratulations.”

Her momentary surliness has been replaced by a know-it-all smirk, as she turns to face us once more. “Well, it is why I’m one of the top journalists in my field,” she brags. “You don’t get there by pure luck…”

Delusional, much?

“In fact, I was telling my editor just the other day—” What she was going to say, we’ll never know as she takes one look at her foot, uttering, “What the—” Then she shrieks. I glance downward, catching a glimpse of a small white member of the rodent family sitting atop her toes. She hastily whirls and sprints down the bridge, away from us, her story obviously forgotten.

“C’mon, let’s go.” I nod to Ollie, who reaches down, scoops up the mouse—aka Xylina—and off we go.

to be continued

Now see what the rest of the Briefers are up to!

Victoria Adams      m/f
Lily Sawyer      m/m 
MC Houle      m/m
Cia Nordwell    m/m
Nephylim     m/m
Elizabeth Morgan    m/f

Monday, November 26, 2012

Guest Blogger Leah Braemel

Today my guest is author Leah Braemel who has a new release to put you in the mood for the Christmas holidays - I Need You For Christmas. Please welcome her with open arms, while I make the coffee and she talks about her native Canada!

Also, at the end of Leah's post, we'll tell you how to enter the giveaway at her blog - you can win a Kindle Touch or a copy of something from her backlist!

My upcoming release, I Need You for Christmas, is my first published story set in my own backyard of central Ontario. It was fun not having to change my writing to make sure my American characters stayed true to their character without my Canadian roots showing. Since I wanted to give readers a feel for this area, I let myself write the way I speak, and wrote about things I did, and things I saw every day.  I tried not to put too many of the standard Canadian stereotypes in there, but some stereotypes are stereotypes because we really do or say them. 

Even though I do use the word ‘eh’ at the end of a lot of my sentences, I didn’t have my characters using it at all. Okay, yes, Mounties are a Canadian stereotype, but I wanted a kick-ass police officer heroine, and I wanted her to have been separated from the heroine who lived in my neighborhood by having her serve 1600 miles north in Iqaluit (pronounced ee-ka-loo-eet or ih-ka-loo-it – I got the phonetic spelling from but I’ve heard it directly from people who live there), that meant she’d serve with the RCMP.  Because, you know, they patrol the “Great White North.”  

Ah, there’s another stereotype.  I don’t think I ever referred to the Canadian arctic as the GWN. Although we often do refer to Canada in general using that term. Even those of us in the banana belt section of southern Ontario.

Yes, I slid in a reference to Tim Horton’s – an extremely popular coffee shop, even more popular than Starbucks up here. Though I refer to it as “Timmy’s” as we usually do. 

I may have mentioned a character pulling on his toque – I had a heck of a surprise that no one south of the Canadian border used that term. It’s a knit cap – you know like Bob and Doug McKenzie wore?  I discovered that when a critique partner from Texas was reading my original copy of Private Property where I had my heroine pulling on her toque.  My CP left a note questioning why she’d pull on a French pastry.  Apparently in Texas, toques are referred to as toboggans, which sent my family into gales of laughter. Because a toboggan to us is a sled – so the thought of pulling a sled on one’s head … yup, a hoot.
Another weird thing I’ve learned since writing about locations in the United States is we refer to our highways differently.  They are highways, not freeways. And where people in the States say “Take I-95” where we’d say “Take the 401 Eastbound to the 35/115”.  Every time I use a freeway number in one of my manuscripts, I have to make very sure I never add that ‘the’ in front of it.  With I Need You for Christmas, I didn’t have to worry about that.

I had to debate how Meg would describe one of the characters when it came to his height and weight. Because although we use kilometers instead of miles, and litres instead of gallons, we still use inches and feet for height and pounds for weight.  Same as we adopt whatever spelling rule we want depending on our mood when it comes to American vs UK spelling. We’re flexible that way. ;)

Since Ryan offers to give Meg a toonie tour and there’s a game at the Christmas party called the loonie toss. I guess I should mention our money. You see, we don’t have a dollar bill, or a two dollar bill anymore because 25 years ago our government decided that coins would last longer. The dollar bill was replaced with a large gold colored coin with a loon on one side—hence it’s now called the loonie.  A few years later they replaced the two dollar bill with a two-metal coin that was very quickly dubbed the “toonie.”  They’re very heavy if you have more than a couple in your pocket. Ask my American editor how they weigh down her purse when she visits Carina’s head office in Toronto. (I put them beside an American quarter and nickel for comparison purposes.)

Then there’s the pulled pork poutine Ryan and Meg share. That’s a very messy looking dish consisting of a bed of French fries covered with cheese curds and gravy, and in this case, topped with some pulled pork.  It looks disgusting, it’s even pronounced pooh-teen here in Ontario, but it’s delicious. And as is everything food that I crave, it’s very fattening.

Oh and the Jayne hat one of the characters wears? Not Canadian, but I couldn’t help inserting a little salute to Joss Whedon’s Firefly. Because guess what? It’s a toque!

What stereotypes of Canadians do you have? Leave a comment here for a chance to win a digital copy of winner’s choice of one of my backlist. Or hop on over to Leah’s blog for a chance to enter a Kindle Touch. 

 Ryan Porter is a sculptor, and beneath his callused hands, even the most rigid metals bend to his will. So, too, does his girlfriend Megan—a confident, strong woman who delights in submitting to Ryan’s dominance in the bedroom.
Megan is a Mountie, and she’s spent the past few years in the arctic following her career dreams. Family obligations kept Ryan at home, but their love survived the distance thanks to several hot visits. A Mountie always gets her man, and Megan is bound and determined to keep Ryan.
Now Megan’s with Ryan for the holidays…but how long will this visit last? She’s always been willing to do anything Ryan desires, but will he finally tell her that all he needs for Christmas is her?


2.)  Facebook Link:

3.) Author website:

4.) Leah’s Goodreads Group:
5.) Leah’s FB fanpage:

Bedroom excerpt:

I Need You For Christmas
Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel

The scent of bacon and cinnamon and coffee penetrated Meg’s consciousness long before she convinced her eyelids to open. Accompanied by Ryan’s off-key warbling of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, she stretched beneath the duvet and planned out her day. Which consisted of…what? Staying in bed all day was tempting, but that probably wasn’t an option, especially since she’d promised Amy she’d help her do her annual Christmas-cookie-making marathon.

Grumbling about having to get up, yet excited to be spending the day with Ryan, she tossed back the covers and padded to the washroom. Once she’d had a shower and dressed, she wandered out to the kitchen where Ryan was frying bacon wearing only a T-shirt and butt-hugging briefs. Standing in the doorway, she stayed quiet, appreciating the sight of his long legs with their muscular thighs and calves from miles of riding his bike over the hilly gravel roads in the area. Legs that had clenched around her the night before, the rough hair tickling her cheeks when she’d gone down on him. Then later, they’d brushed the insides of her thighs when he’d ridden her until they were both out of breath, sweaty and sore and thoroughly satisfied.
The music changed to “Silver Bells”, or as he sang it, Silver Balls. Guys. For such a talented artist, talk about tone deaf.

“Aren’t you worried about grease splatter?” She grabbed a mug and filled it with coffee.

Ever the wise man, he waited until she’d had her first full hit of caffeine before taking the cup and placing it on the counter. As she was about to protest, he wrapped his arms around her. With one hand firmly cupping her butt, he kissed her until they were both breathless.

“I wasn’t expecting you to wake up so early. You were sleeping like a log when I got up.” Ryan’s satisfied smile told her he knew full well he was the reason she’d slept soundly. “I was planning on bringing you breakfast in bed.” His hand squeezed her behind then released her. “But now you’re up, you sit your butt on the couch while I finish here.”

“You spoil me.” She picked up her coffee and headed to the couch, but not before stopping off to admire the seven-foot live pine taking over the corner. Nestled among the original blown glass ornaments and metal pieces Ryan created were a dozen or more embroidered pieces. They’d been his mother’s creations—he’d told her that until his father remarried and his new wife moved in, his mother’s needlework adorned just about every surface in the house.

She stroked the long needles; the scent of pine brought memories flooding back. “Do you remember our first Christmas tree?”

He chuckled. “Not the tree itself, but I remember trying to impress you by driving you out to Shewchuk’s tree farm and getting stuck in the ditch. Not my finest moment.”

“I was remembering what happened after we brought it home.” How they’d made love after they’d decorated it.

“I’ll never forget that part of the day, babe.” His voice was soft.

While she’d always loved the spirit of Christmas, she’d seldom found it at her family’s home. For some reason her parents fought more over the holidays, and the Christmas carols she’d play seldom drowned out the shouting matches. Though she hadn’t told him, she suspected Ryan had when he had invited her to his family’s place for Christmas their first year together and included her on the tradition of picking out the family’s tree.

If she hadn’t already been falling in love with him, he’d sealed the deal when he’d said he loved her that afternoon.

*HARLEQUIN COVER ART: Cover Art Copyright© 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. © and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Hotter excerpt:

He lowered her head and kissed the soft skin beneath her ear. “I love you.”

I always have. I always will.

Her breath hitched when his hand dipped beneath the water and over her belly. Her legs fell open, pressing against his, as his fingers continued their journey over her mound and between her folds. He toyed with her clit, teasing it until her pulse sped up. When he speared her sheath with two fingers, her hips arched into his hand, causing water to slosh up dangerously close to the top.

“Oh God, yeah.” She writhed against him, rubbing her ass against his erect cock in an erotic torture.

On occasion he wished he was a photographer, that he could capture the dreamy expression on her face as she started to come, could forever immortalize the creamy hue of her breasts with their cinnamon nipples now taut and hard. Oh he could sculpt her expression and her face, but it would be hard marble, which couldn’t capture the warmth, or clay, which couldn’t match the softness. But no camera, drawing or sculpture could convey how her body clenched and rippled around his fingers in sync with the soft puffs of breath with each stroke. Nor could they capture the heady scent of her arousal, or the spicy taste of the cream coating his fingers.

Her moans vibrated through him, echoing off the marble walls, until his balls drew up close to his body. He’d had to satisfy himself with handjobs since he’d seen her last, and as much as he wanted to bury his cock deep in her body, this time was all about her needs, not his.

 Don't forget to hop on over to Leah’s blog for a chance to enter a Kindle Touch!

Thanks for stopping by, Leah! What a great story for the holidays!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Proving Santa Exists Review

Proving Santa Exists  
Author: Victoria Blisse
American release date: November 13, 2012
Format/Genre/Length: Ebook/M/F Romance/58 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Mature/18+
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

There’s a new arrival in the UK offices of Computers, Incorporated. His name is Jonathan, and he has the tongues of the ladies wagging. But Jenny refuses to gossip about him with Susan. Instead, she is determined to make the Texas transplant feel at home in a strange place by extending the hand of friendship to him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes, and his voice does things to her…


Jenny invites Jonathan to lunch, her treat, and they bond over the Christmas special—thick, rich soup and turkey and dressing sandwiches. She is attracted to him, especially after he tells her his story of being an orphan. She was always prone to bringing him unwanted strays as a child, a habit which has not diminished over the years. She impulsively invites him to join her for Christmas, and to help her decorate her Christmas tree. He gladly accepts. What does it mean, though, when he kisses her? Does he find her simply convenient, or does he feel sorry for her because she’s plump and probably lonely?

Is she reading more into this than she should? Or will this become a Christmas she’ll never forget?


I really really enjoyed this short sweet Christmas story. It’s hot and sweet and sentimental, and frankly it had me wiping at my eyes. I love how it isn’t about two perfect people finding one another; it’s about two real people finding love. Jenny is an amply proportioned woman who feels inadequate, especially compared to Susan, whom she thinks is perfectly lovely. But love is in the eye of the beholder, and Jonathan prefers her curves and her warm and loving personality to anything Susan has to offer.

This is a great tale to curl up with on a cold winter night, with your favorite beverage, dreams of Christmas bouncing about your head. I’ve read it twice already. It’s a definite keeper, good for any time of the year. As a bonus, Victoria has included her recipes at the end of the book, although I warn American readers, you’ll need a translation.

Get a copy for yourself, and buy copies for the people you love who love a good romance!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Guest Blogger Victoria Blisse

Please give a warm welcome to my friend and fellow author Victoria Blisse. I've flown to the UK to join her in my post Thanksgiving haze! We're sitting in a rather cozy pub, soaking up the atmosphere here.  I spare no expense for my readers! Victoria is going to tell us about her newest venture, a short story that she's self-published called Proving Santa Exists. Why don't you start, Vic, while I flag down a server and get us something to drink.

Proving Santa Exists Blurb

When Jonathan transfers from the U.S to the Manchester branch of Computers Inc., Jenny is the first person to make him feel at home. Finding out about his bleak Christmases as a boy, she makes up her mind to involve him in all her English Christmas traditions. 

Passion sparks between the two as they decorate the Christmas tree. Who would have thought such an innocent activity could become so sexually charged? Can Jenny succeed in seducing the hot American and also prove to him that Santa really does exist?

* Includes the Full Seasonal Recipes for meals & snacks mentioned in the story.

Proving Santa Exists Hot Excerpt.

"How are you enjoying your Christmas so far?" I ask, the film credits fading into the background.

"It's been amazing," Jonathan enthuses as his eyes meet mine, then a serious shadow darkens their flame. "Christmas was never anything special when I was a kid. We never had a tree. The home said it cost too much and it was a fire hazard."

I tut and shake my head.

"The highlight was the Santa. We knew he wasn't real, just a man dressed as Santa. He'd bring each of us a toy. I got a little car one year. I still have it."
 "How come you knew it wasn't the real Father Christmas?"

"Because we knew there was no real Santa. They told us so all the time. They told us not to get our hopes up because Santa didn't exist and wouldn't bring us what we wanted on Christmas Eve."

“What?" I'm outraged. I feel my blood boiling with the harsh cruelty of it. "Santa does exist."

"You don't believe that, do you?" He shakes his head, his eyes wide.

 "Yes, yes I do." I nod my head emphatically. "Maybe not in the way a child does, but I heartily believe in the spirit of Father Christmas. I believe in the meaning behind the make-believe. My faith is in the giving, which is the true centre of the festive season—the heart of it all. It's all about making life better for other people and, through that, enhancing your own life. Santa definitely exists."

Suddenly, those lips are on mine again, and his arms wrap around me. I feel his cheek against my skin. I feel moisture there: the trail of a tear. I close my eyes and kiss back, giving. I give him the softest, gentlest kiss I can. I want him to feel cherished. My heart throbs in pain at the harshness he’s suffered in his life. I want to smooth over all those rough edges; I want him to see what I mean about Father Christmas existing.

 I pull him closer to me. My arms wrap tighter around him, and I stroke his back to offer comfort. Our lips, in contrast, are joined lustfully. With every small move, I feel my heart beat harder and faster. I become dizzy with the speed at which the blood is whizzing around my body, making every inch of me zing with the created friction and heat. His body presses me back against the sofa arm, twisting my own beneath him.

His lips leave mine and kiss a fizzing trail of pleasure down my neck to my collar bone. His hands rise from their position on my hips to slide under my loose-fitting red jumper and up higher to cup my breasts. The shock of his cool hands through the thin, lacy gauze is deliciously arousing. I groan my appreciation as his fingers dig into the cups and ease out the masses of abundant tit-flesh beneath. Pushing the wool of my jumper up with the tops of his wrists, his lips leave the soft flesh at the hollow of my neck.

Moments later, after my jumper is completely removed, their warm wetness encompasses my nipple, sending even more intense ripples of pleasure throughout my body. I feel him shift until he's on his knees in front of me. One of my legs is still on the floor, the other is crossed in front of my pubis. I slip a hand between our bodies, running it under his shirt, feeling that soft, supple skin that I've only just glimpsed before. I follow the soft trail of hair down from his belly button to the top of his jeans. I feel more than hear the moan he emits from around my nipple as I pop open the brass button, then slide down the zipper.

 I can't believe I am being so forward, but as he doesn't move to stop me, I yank his jeans and his boxers down to the middle of his thighs. My action emboldens him and he moves back, allowing me to spread my thighs around him. Jonathan strokes down to my legs and pulls up the full length of long, billowing skirt, his mouth still feasting on the white meat of my breasts. A hand of mine rubs through the wiry hair trailing down to his cock. When my flesh touches his, I melt. He's hard and hot and very willing.

Proving Santa Exists Links.

And this link on my website covers both links and has a blurb/excerpt for people too:

Victoria Blisse is a mother, wife, Christian, Manchester United fan and award winning erotica author. She is also the editor of several Bigger Briefs collections, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City.

She is equally at home behind a laptop or a cooker and she loves to create stories, poems, cakes and biscuits that make people happy. She was born near Manchester, England and her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories.Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life.

It's a very lovely tale, trust me. Hot and sweet and just right for Christmas!  Let's order another round, kick back, and enjoy the view, shall we? Sorry you can't join us! Don't wait up, might be here a while!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I'm thankful for

Good morning and happy Thursday! To those of you in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a day given over to remembering those pilgrims that were among the first to come to this country (not counting the natives who were already here), in order to make a new life in a new land. They gave thanks with a large feast, to which they invited the natives who'd helped them survive. In homes across the country, this feast will be reenacted in a modern way, with friends and family, and much eating. Thanksgiving is a holiday much given to eating. A lot of preparation for a meal, but one dear to the hearts of many. Also, football watching, and parade watching, although I confess I don't generally participate in either.

But beyond the food, the important thing is to give thanks. To reflect on what you have, to be grateful for the people in your life, and for your life itself. No one's life is perfect, but then again, what is perfect? If you spend your life always thinking about what  you want to have and not realizing what you already have, what sort of life is that?

First and foremost, I have my children, who love and support me. Michael, Katie, Sarah and Chris. I couldn't ask for better children. They are my pride and joy, each and everyone. I would never change anything that came in my life before, for that would change having them, and that I would never do. Everything happens for a reason; they are my reasons. I love all of you more than mere words can convey.

I am thankful for the many friends in my life - you know who you are. You keep me centered, you make me smile, you make me laugh, and you keep me going. More importantly, you put up with me, and that's not always an easy task. Friendship is a two way street, and I hope to keep those avenues open for a long time to come. You are the family that accept me and understand me. Blood does not always a family make. Outside of my children, I don't have the acceptance of my family, but dwelling on that is pointless, so I don't. I cherish the family I've been blessed to find in my friends, and I am thankful to each and every one of you.

I don't live in a mansion but, seriously, who does? Not a lot of people. Mansions are highly overrated. And while it has its flaws, there are people who have no home who would think I live in a wonderful house, especially compared to having no shelter at all. So I am grateful for my home and what I have in it, and for the car I drive, and because I never go hungry, and I don't have to sleep on the streets or seek shelter from inclement weather. I have a home, with my daughter, and two cats. I am very grateful for all of them.

I am grateful to live in a country where great things can happen, where I can speak my mind (even if there are people who don't want to listen), and not worried about being put in prison for doing so. This country isn't perfect either, far from it, but people working together can fix anything.

I am grateful to be working and paying my bills, even if I am looking for more permanent work. But everything does happen for a reason, and that too will happen. I am grateful for my ability to write, for I love writing more than anything, and hope to become self-sufficient as a writer some day in the not so distant future. I am grateful to those publishers who have believed in me and given me the opportunity to show what I can do. And I am grateful that I am learning how to self-publish as well.

I am grateful to all my readers, and I hope that I can keep on pleasing you for many years to come. Thank you for your support, and for your many kind words and shared feelings. Keep them coming, please!

So now my wishes for the future: I wish that people would love one another, and accept one another for who they  are. Yes, we're all different, but underneath we're all the same. We live, we hope, we love. We should all be free to do so. To express ourselves in our own ways. To respect the rights of others and do no harm to them. I wish that we could all live together in harmony and celebrate our differences, appreciate our similarities, and enjoy life for what it is. Help those that need it. No one should be homeless or hungry. Children should not lack for food or education. We have the power to change these things, right these wrongs. So let's do it.

My favorite song ever is The Impossible Dream, from Man of La Mancha. I feel that it embodies what I think and how I feel. Especially these lines:

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

Thank you for this day, for my life, and for the people in it. Never stop trying to do what's right, no matter how hard it might seem, no matter the obstacles in your path.

Thank you all for reading this. Have a wonderful day!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Briefs: Stan and Ollie #7

Happy HumpDay! Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Briefs, flash fiction served up to you by the friendly authors known as the Wednesday Briefers! This week's prompt was: "When you wish upon a star..." or the alternate prompts were: use: cauliflower, cradle, mischief, or "He was the kind of guy you just wanted to lick... off of" or use: French, stamps, corset or "You are not my mother..." or use fantasy, extinct, brilliance.

As you'll recall from last week's episode of Stan and Ollie, they are now in Cortez, Mississippi, trying to solve the death of Consuelo Fairchild, daughter of the Tulip King. While investigating in Bo's Blossoms, they spy the fiance! Enjoy, then be sure to visit the other briefers, whose links follow my tale!

Stan and Ollie #7

We make a hasty exit from the flower shop, keeping a close eye on our target. Flower in hand, the geneticist threads his way among the pedestrians on the sidewalk, while we maintain a discreet distance behind him.  I am totally baffled as to the meaning behind the single flower.  Many possibilities, but speculation is futile at this moment.

Usually, when someone is murdered, friends and family become the first suspects, beginning with the wife or husband of the deceased. In this case, fiancé. Granted, we have no proof that Consuelo was murdered, but it has been our experience that people who die peacefully do not lose their way such as those who’ve met with violence do.

So Egbert is a natural person of interest. His actions are odd, although not necessarily suspicious. Yet.
Ollie still wears his minion about his neck like a cheap boa. That doesn’t stop me from keeping as close to him as possible, ignoring her hisses of displeasure, our arms linked together as we tail Egbert. He ducks down a side street and we follow.

To my surprise, the street ends abruptly a short distance before us. Or rather it leads to something else. The entrance to a public park. That’s something unexpected. The lights of this park are just beginning to flicker on, but visibility is still decent, at least for now.  We should be able to keep him under surveillance.  And if push comes to shove, we have a secret weapon or two up our sleeves.

He walks with a purpose, not looking around, not pausing for anything or anyone, the single tulip clasped firmly in his hand.

It’s a pleasant little park, as such things go. Obligatory grass dotted with beds of variegated flowers, perhaps courtesy of Bo’s Blossoms. Swings and a jungle gym, seesaws and a merry-go-round for the kiddies to occupy themselves with.  And a small pond, across which lies an arched bridge. Under other circumstances, I’d consider it romantic. Maybe…

Ollie and I exchange glances.  His gaze moves upward, and I follow it with my own. Stars begin to twinkle in the backdrop of the sky. I’ve never been what you call a stargazer, but now they can’t help but remind me of Ollie’s beautiful eyes, the way they sparkle and shine.

When I was a little kid, back when Gwin and I were a lot younger, Mom told us when you wish upon a star, your voice reaches to the heavens and God hears your wish and grants it. I didn’t really believe her then, even if Gwin and I spent a lot of time muttering our heartfelt wishes to the sky. Then I grew up and forgot about it. Until the night my every wish came true—the night that Ollie stepped into my life.

Wait. Momentarily blindsided by my own reverie, I spy Egbert standing atop the bridge. And he’s not alone. Damn, we’re too far away to listen. Time to send in the auxiliary troops.

Ollie unwinds Xylina from about his neck, sets her on her feet, and she races toward the bridge.  We take a strategic position where we can see everything perfectly without being noticed, although we’re too far away to hear. But that problem will be solved momentarily.

A woman stands beside Egbert on the footbridge. Egbert doesn’t seem to notice her, intent upon the water below. Xylina slinks onto the bridge; they pay her no attention. Whatever she hears, Ollie will hear. And if he and I touch, I can hear as well. That is only part of the bond between them. At this moment, it’s a useful thing.

“How long are you going to keep doing this?” That’s the woman.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean just that. How long are you going to wait for a woman who’s obviously run off and left you at the altar?”

“Donna, please…” I can hear annoyance in Egbert’s voice. He doesn’t turn toward her. In fact, I think he takes a step away, but she closes the distance between them once again. She reaches for his arm, lays her hand on it.

“I’m sorry, but I hate to see you hurt—”

“She didn’t leave me, and I wish you’d not talk about Consuelo like that… She might be hurt… she might be kidnapped… you don’t know…”

“If she was kidnapped, there’s be a ransom note, wouldn’t there? Honey, I know you love her, just like I do. Consuelo is my best friend, and I hate to say it, but I think she’s playing spoiled heiress. Gone away to have some fun somewhere else. It’s how she is.”

Wow. With friends like that, Consuelo doesn’t need enemies.

“It is not.” His voice is filled with indignation. “You don’t know her as well as you think.” He shrugs off her hand and steps away from her, holding the single tulip upraised.   

“Come back to me, Consuelo. Come back soon, my darling.”  He brings the flower to his lips and kisses it reverently before tossing it toward the pond.  I see it poised for a moment, a dark silhouette against the night sky, before it drops from view onto the water below. He turns away from the woman at his side and makes his way across the bridge, never looking back. She stands there, as if undecided, but doesn’t follow, muttering a fairly decent collection of curse words beneath her breath.  I think we’ve heard enough.

“Come back,” Ollie murmurs, and too soon we’ve been rejoined by her majesty.

“Interesting.” That’s my comment.

“He loves her, Stan, we have to help him.” I hear the pain in his voice; draw him near to me, stroking his blond curls.

“We will,” I promise.  I hold him close, soothing him, until an all too familiar female voice draws my attention.

“Well, well, if it isn’t a small world after all. What are you two doing in Nowhere, Mississippi?”

Damn the fourth estate anyway.

to be continued

Now see what my fellow Briefers are up to!

Cia Nordwell     m/m
Lily Sawyer    m/m 
MC Houle      m/m
Victoria Adams      m/f
Elizabeth Morgan    m/f
Nephylim     m/m
 Elyzabeth VaLey     m/f

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Blogger M.A. Church

Back again is my friend/author and co-author, M.A. Church, to talk about the second book in her Nighttime Wishes series. This one is called Nighttime Dreams, and is about a sheriff named Bryan and an alien named Daroshi. I edited this book, so I know exactly how hot it is, and let me tell you, it's hot, hot,  hot! Go ahead and have a seat in the kitchen, Michelle, I'm going to open up the rumchata. Today's my birthday, so we're gonna party! Why don't you go ahead and start?

Hey everyone! I’m taking over Julie’s blog today, lol, to talk about my M/M sci-fi romance Nighttime Dreams.

Nighttime Dreams came about months ago when I wrote a short story for an anthology having to do with tentacles. That’s right, lol, tentacles. I wanted to do something different from what I’d read, and came up with an alien that has tentacles on his head. They almost look like dreads, but oh, they are so much more! These Ma’Rairan warriors have tentacles that are part of the alien’s sexual reproduction system. Oh yes, things get very interesting lol when those tentacles come into play.

Well, the short story quickly evolved into something else. Before I knew it, this story had taken on a life of its own, and 20K words wouldn’t be enough to do it justice. Thus, the series was born lol.

The first book is called Nighttime Wishes. The second book is Nighttime Dreams, and there is one more book in the series coming soon: Nighttime Promises.

Smashwords buy link:
ARe buy link:
Amazon buy link:

Bryan, a simple country sheriff, is ready to shoot someone and hide the body. One particular homophobic FBI agent is really pressing his buttons. Along with that he finds himself in the middle of an FBI investigation revolving around a recent UFO crash landing, is questioned about a missing friend targeted by the FBI, and makes first contact with the very alien the FBI is hunting.

Daroshi, a Ma’Rairan warrior, has fulfilled his obligation to his species, and is ready to mate. As second in command he monitored the rescue of his captain who crashed on Earth while collecting his mate, and witnessed the confrontation between a country sheriff name Bryan and his captain. Impressed by how courageously the brawny human male handled meeting a fully armed alien warrior, Daroshi asks permission to take Bryan as a mate.

Neither male is ready for the problems that come with Daroshi’s decision, nor the passion that explodes between them.


Ziang and Daroshi transported down into Bryan’s backyard. The night was pitch black, the moon hid behind layers of fluffy clouds. Branches in the trees danced soothingly to gentle breezes. An abundance of shrubs moved silently in the quietly swirling wind. Bryan’s small house was set away from the main road and deep in the woods, alone and isolated. Much like the owner.

“Interesting set-up he has.” Daroshi looked around. “Bit cut off, though.”

“That’s good for us. The last thing we need is more attention, and that FBI agent showing up,” Ziang said. “I want this to go clean and fast.”

“True. Of course, if he did show up, we could give him to Haya.”

“I don’t like the human, but I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy.” Ziang tapped the communications device on his wrist, loading in their landing coordinates. “Since Bryan is a law enforcement officer, set your weapon to low stun, just in case.”

“Ziang, I don’t want to stun him if it can be avoided.”

“Neither do I, but Shawn’s words keep replaying in my head. Most bullets won’t hurt us, but then, Bryan isn’t most humans. I’m sure he has other weapons in his house that could be dangerous.”

“But their weapons are so primitive.”

“That may be, but primitive can wound just as easily as advanced. Set your stunner to low, and use only if needed.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ll distract him, and you unarm him, if necessary. I know you don’t want me touching him.”

“No more than you’d want my hands on Shawn.”

“Understood. And no, I wouldn’t.”

“Should we activate our invisibility?”

“No, it’s dark enough. If we just appear, we may scare him even more.”

They crept around the house, moving carefully though the darkness. Both activated their face shields for night vision. They blended with the night, silent hunters that became one with the darkness and shadows; predators with a mission. The prey was inside, unaware of what was closing in on him. Ziang opened his wrist weapon and pinpointed Bryan in the house by his body heat. He motioned for Daroshi to follow him to the back of the house. They’d enter through the back door in the kitchen. As they passed the open window, Daroshi came to a stop when he heard Bryan’s comment about his hand and a big red dildo.

His body came alive and his tentacles jerked against his back. A low growl of desire slipped out. Ziang immediately sliced his hand through the air, calling for silence. Daroshi couldn’t help himself; the very image of Bryan working a dildo up his ass inflamed him and sent his desire for the human spinning out of control. Daroshi respected this human’s bravery and his dedication to an often thankless job, but now there was more. He could scent Bryan’s arousal. The scent was unlike anything he’d ever smelled, sharp and musky. From the depths of his soul the word mine exploded in his head. He wanted Bryan with a passion he hadn’t felt, ever, and he’d do whatever it took to ease him into his new life.

In his excitement, he made a rookie mistake. As he passed the window, he didn’t bend down low enough to conceal himself.
* * * *
Bryan sat at the table, waiting for the cookies to bake, when he heard a low growl, quickly smothered, outside the window. He’d heard something very similar, and not long ago. It wasn’t a sound he’d ever forget. Every hair on his body stood up, adrenaline spiked, and his heart kicked into high gear. A cold flush spread though his body. From the corner of his eye, he caught the blurry shape of something moving under the window. He glanced at the back door and his stomach cramped. It was unlocked. There was no way he could lock it before the intruder busted through. And if he was right, and what was out there was what he thought it was, a wood door wasn’t going to stop it. Plus, the window was open.

Calmly he stood and reached for the drawer by the stove. His off-duty weapon was stored there. He grabbed the taser, too. Why was the alien back and sneaking around his house? If it was the alien that Shawn left with, why not just show itself? He’d seen it before, so why act like this? He’d seen lights in the nighttime sky shortly after Shawn left with his alien, but he assumed they were monitoring the situation, to make sure all was okay before they left. It never crossed his mind they were watching him. Why would they be watching him? Another unsettling thought hit Bryan. Had something bad happened to Shawn? If that was Shawn’s alien, and he wasn’t sure it was, had it returned to let him know? But that was silly; he couldn’t communicate with it like Shawn could.

What the hell was going on?

The handle on the back door turned slowly. Bryan tried to slow his breathing; he was sucking air and that wasn’t good. The door eased opened, an inch at a time. He held his ground as the door opened and he found himself staring at a seven and half foot alien… again.


M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.

But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.

By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.


Twitter @nomoretears00

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! I can't wait to read Nighttime Promises! Come back any time!

I'm visiting with my friend, author Marian Lanouette today, so stop by and see what's up!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie