Sunday, February 4, 2018

Rainbow Snippets - Currently Untitled Ice Age Story

Wall painting of Megaloceros
My current WIP is set during the Ice Age approximately 11,000 years ago. Once again, I am creating a culture based on a few scattered facts and the cultures descended from them. I am filling in a lot of blanks.

I feel fairly comfortable stating that any individual "fact" was likely contemporaneous to the existing cultures of that vast time period. But did they all co-exist in one group of people? There's no way of knowing.

I am having nearly as much fun researching all the prehistoric techniques for fine starting, shelter building, stone knapping, basket weaving, hunting, fishing, preparing food and anything else like this wall painting I run across.

I hope to provide a colorful background on which to base my story of heartache, loss, and learning to live again.

So here is my snippet. I hope you enjoy it.

Kantu slipped his spare snowshoes on and slung his pack onto his back. Behind him, The People rested once more in their home with all their possessions. Black smoke boiled into the sky, alerting their enemies that one still lived.

Turning to stare up at the cave mouth, Kantu let the old words slip from his lips. Words as ancient as The People themselves, words that only the now-dead shaman had understood. His clan was gone. Once he died, no one would sing the sacred words to calm the spirits and guide him back to his lover's side. Without the clan to remember them, the ancestors' fires would go out one by one.

For more snippets join the Facebook group Rainbow Snippets.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Cover Reveal: La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel)

Deanna Wadsworth's latest Men of Gilead Novel, La Famiglia is available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press.

Blurb:
Forrester Giordano comes from a huge, nosy Italian family, and with their homophobic jokes and slurs, he’s decided to stay in the closet. He finds respite in his bookstore in the quaint village of Gilead—where he has a huge crush on one of his customers, Kyle Benson.
Kyle is determined to live his dreams, and though life isn’t easy being deaf, one by one he’s making them come true. He’s scored a great job practicing law, bought a cute bungalow where he can finally have a big flower garden, and he has a dog he loves, Jasper. Now he just needs one thing to complete his happiness: a family of his own to make up for the one he never had.
Forrester and Kyle’s relationship starts off hot and heavy, and neither man can deny the depth of their connection. When Forrester’s little brother gets mixed up with their heroin-dealing cousin and his mother falls ill, Forrester has a decision to make—maybe the hardest of his life. For the first time, he’s found a man worth coming out for.
Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan with la famiglia.

Preorder La Famiglia here.

Excerpt:
“So, Forrester.” Kyle said his name in a way that never ceased to send shockwaves down his back and straight to his cock. “How does one go about trading in books around here?”
Forrester pressed his groin closer to the back of the checkout counter, not wanting his thin khakis to reveal what Kyle’s voice did to him. He knew it wasn’t an accent anymore, but the soft way Kyle spoke lured him in like a siren’s song.
Since no one else waited to check out, Forrester took a moment to soak in those gorgeous hazel eyes, then smiled impishly. “First you have to bring them in.”
“That would be helpful.” Kyle’s generous mouth cracked a grin.
He tried his damnedest not to picture those downright kissable lips wrapped around his cock while he ran his fingers through Kyle’s sun-streaked hair.
He’d always had a thing for blonds.
He plucked up one of the flyers from the counter. Somehow he managed to sound professional, educated even, when he handed it over. “Our policy is we only take gently used books.”
“Mine are in great shape.”
“I bet they are,” Forrester drawled.
“They’re like new,” he insisted. “No folded corners, never dropped one in a tub either.”
“Good to hear. I hate it when people ruin a good book.” Dammit, now I’m picturing Kyle in a bathtub!
“Me too.” Kyle folded the flyer and tucked it into his pocket.
“For every book you trade in, we give 15 percent off the purchase of a new book or 25 percent off a used one. And for every three books, you get a free used book or half off a new one.”
Kyle flashed those pearly whites, making his eyes crinkle and his dimples deepen so much Forrester longed to flick his tongue inside them. “Guess I got some free books coming.”
“I guess you do,” he quipped. “Do you want to buy these today or wait till you do the trade?”
Kyle withdrew his card. “Nah, I’ll buy them now. I’ve been dying to see what happens since you got me hooked on this series. And Scott already signed this one.”
Forrester offered him a sideways smile. “I’ll just give you 15 percent off on good faith.”
“Gosh, you don’t have to do that.”
Good Lord, the guy said gosh. Could he be more adorable?
When Forrester noticed Holly watching them, he resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at her. Instead, he shrugged off Kyle’s modesty and entered the discount into his computer. “No problem. Just make sure you bring me some good stuff, capisci?”
“Will do. Thanks a lot.”
Forrester swiped his card, then offered Kyle another inviting smile. The one Ma called his suck-up smile. “Can I get you anything else? Answer any more of your questions?”
Kyle kept smiling. “No. You’ve been pretty thorough, as usual.”
“You sure?” he prompted, unable to stop flirting so shamelessly. “You don’t need to know anything else? What’s on the bestseller list? Today’s weather? The meaning of life?”
“Forty-two.”
Official report: Forrester was in love with Kyle Benson.
Or at least in serious lust.
His grin widened so big he swore his face might crack. “A Hitchhiker fan. I should’ve known.” He tore off the receipt and slid it forward for Kyle to sign.
“Hells yeah.” Kyle laughed.
Forrester bagged the books. “Receipt with you or in the bag?”
“Bag’s fine.” He accepted his purchases, then cleared his throat and fiddled with the bag. “All right, um, thank you, Forrester. Always a pleasure.” He extended a hand and Forrester took it, electric jolts running through his blood at the feel of those lightly calloused fingers.
“No problem,” he managed, not letting go.
Kyle kept his gaze locked on Forrester, blinking and glancing from his eyes to his mouth. Warming, Forrester ran his thumb across the back of his hand. He couldn’t believe his forwardness, but Kyle had some kind of tractor beam sucking him in. Powerless against its pull, he stroked the soft skin once more with a nervous, light touch, pulses of heat and desire stirring inside him.
Forrester let go and cleared his throat. “Um, Kyle?”
“Yeah?”
The phone rang, shattering the moment.
Sighing, he snagged it on the third ring. “Thank you for calling A Novel Idea. This is Forrester, how may I help you?”
“Hey, it’s me.”
Only real friends or family could answer a phone with an “it’s me.” Lucas Beale was the former. Though totally weird, and he hated sports of all kinds, Lucas was Forrester’s “boy best friend”—Holly having the honor of being his “girl best friend.” He didn’t know what he would do without either of them.
“Hey, Lucas, what’s up?” He tried not to sound annoyed at the telephone cockblock.
Kyle waved goodbye. “I guess I’ll see ya later, Forrester.”
“Can’t wait.”
“Can’t wait for what?” Lucas asked in confusion.
He covered the receiver, hoping he didn’t sound lame to Kyle. “I mean… uh, I can’t wait to read that book together?” His entire body froze in one breath of anticipation.
Kyle cocked his head to the side, then smiled. “Absolutely.”
Still grinning, Kyle turned and walked away.
Ignoring Lucas as he started talking again, Forrester watched Kyle’s spectacular ass as he headed to the door. A woman was coming in and, like a perfect gentleman, Kyle held the door for her. Outside, Kyle slid on and strapped his helmet. Then he threw his leg over and straddled the chrome-and-black Sportster parked out front.
I got something he can straddle and ride…. Forrester’s skin flushed all the way to his toes. Was Kyle a top or a bottom? Being versatile, he really didn’t care. As long as there was manly skin touching his, lots of kissing, and he got to come, Forrester was a happy camper. But the prospect of finding out what Kyle liked made his entire body warm.
He watched Kyle put his bike into gear and walk it back out of the space. As it did every time Kyle left, a deep ache settled in his stomach.
God, I just need to marry him.

Preorder La Famiglia here.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy Is Live on Amazon

As you are aware, I've been working on a shifter story about Charlie "Hoss" Running Horse and his lover Shep.

I've finished it and sent it off for review and editing. All that's done now and Amazon has given it the go ahead.

So I'm proud to announce that Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy is now live and ready for download on Amazon Kindle.

I really enjoyed researching the Native American legends about Coyote for this story.

Excerpt:
They turned west, riding into the sunset. Well, soon enough it would be a sunset. Right now it was just really bright sunlight boring into Charlie's eyes and obscuring his vision. He'd have to focus on the trail to avoid laming himself. Good thing he could rely on Shep to guide him around any real dangers.

Dust puffed under his feet and settled on his legs. That and his dried sweat made him itch. He couldn't wait to get in the shower.

A sharp pain on his rump startled him into bucking and kicking.

Shep shifted his weight forward and followed his every move. "Whoa, Hoss!"

Charlie stopped so suddenly, he felt the horseshoe shift again.

Just a deerfly. Now he felt like an idiot. Fortunately, horses couldn't blush; although, he'd heard that rabbits could.

He turned his head and met Shep's eye, hoping to convey his apology, earning him another pat on the shoulder.

"I'm okay. But it was good practice for saddle bronc riding. Should I enter this year?"

He tossed his head and crow hopped, but didn't budge Shep. He could have tried a little harder, really bucked; after all, his partner had a good seat. The horseshoe thumped against his hoof and he stopped. This business with the shoe was getting worrisome.

A fly buzzed behind him again and this time he settled for swishing his tail. He hated the damn things. At least it wasn't a horsefly. Those things were vicious.

"Maybe you should use more of that fly repellant you call aftershave."

Haha... Charlie snorted and considered making Shep walk home.

Shep shifted his weight forward. Charlie took the hint and set off. Clip, clop, clip, clop... The trip home always seemed to take longer than reaching their goal.

Something dust-colored darted across his path. He threw his head up and reared, startling like some green-broke colt. His hooves struck the ground on either side of a quivering jackrabbit. The poor animal screamed and brushed against his fetlock as it made a dash for the scrub bordering the trail.

A fluffy little bunny. How flipping embarrassing.

He stood with legs braced, still snorting. His rib cage expanded and contracted spastically under the girth.

"That was close. You didn't hurt yourself, did you?" Shep slung a leg over and dismounted. He smoothed gentle fingers over Charlie's legs and examined his hooves. "Other than the horseshoe, I think you're fine."

Shep picked up a stone and tried to pound one of the nails back in. A partial success, but they both knew it would work its way back out again.

His breathing slowed, but he could still feel the adrenaline burning in his veins. Maybe a lope would take the edge off.

"Feeling better?" Shep scratched between his ears, calming them both.

He nodded and gave a breathy sigh, nuzzling against Shep's chest.

Shep uncapped the canteen and took a few swallows. Then he took his hat off and smacked it against his leg, sending up a puff of dust. He poured water into his sweat-stained Stetson and held it up for Charlie.

He drank the salty water in a few quick draws.

Clapping the hat back on his head, Shep mounted. Once he had settled, Charlie took off at a lope.

"In a rush to get home?"

Charlie snorted and stretched out. He still had some relatively smooth flatlands before he reached the outcroppings. When the last of the frantic energy began to ebb, he dropped down to a jog, and then a walk. He felt a little better.

More rocks littered the ground. Soon boulders took their place. He could see the stone outcroppings ahead. Shep's deft hands on the reins helped him make his way through the maze where a stone bruise could leave him lame.

Before they reached the outcroppings, a snake slithered out in front of him. The unmistakable buzz of a rattlesnake filled the air. Heat flushed his skin and then a chill filled his veins. What. The. Hell?

He didn't have room to jump the rattler. Once more he rose in the air, pivoted and came down outside the irate serpent's strike range.

"Back! Get away from it!" Shep shouted.

Charlie agreed with him whole-heartedly. He started backing, ears flicking forward and then to his rider, trusting Shep to guide him with little movements of the reins.

"Just like we practiced it for that reining class," Shep encouraged.

Yeah, they'd done this before. Nothing difficult, just tighter quarters and the risk of being lamed if he stepped wrong.

"I've got you. I won't let anything happen." Shep spoke slowly and evenly, soothing the disquiet in Charlie's soul.

When they finally left the boulders behind, Charlie stood trembling.

Shep dropped from his back and pulled his head into a hug. "I'm really starting to hate today." He glanced around. "We'll take the long way. I don't want to risk anything else jumping out at us at this point."

Charlie sighed, but Shep was right. If they stayed in the open, nothing else should happen. If something did while they were cutting through the rocks, they could get hurt. Good thing Shep was a bronc rider or they'd have been in trouble today.

"Thirsty?" When he nodded, Shep gave him the last of the water.

They walked for a while, side-by-side, until Charlie stopped and looked pointedly at the saddle.

"Are you saying I'm too slow?"

He nudged the stirrup with his nose. If they kept on at this rate, it would be dark before they reached the ranch.

Charlie hadn't gone two strides when a roadrunner darted in front of him with... a coyote on its tail. Seriously?! I thought that shit only happened in cartoons.

The coyote slowed and winked at him. Actually winked. Could this day get any weirder?

"You've got to be shitting me!"

The coyote circled Charlie and came up behind them, much closer than he liked. Coyotes usually left larger animals alone, but this one was acting strange. Could it be rabid?

The slinking shadow took another step closer and Charlie cow-kicked. His horseshoe went flying.

"Finally!" A voice he didn't recognize shouted in triumph. The coyote snatched the glittering curve of metal out of the air and ran away.

"Hey! We need that!" Shep tugged on the hackamore, whirling Charlie, and set heels to his flanks.

Charlie didn't even think about it, he jolted into a gallop. He had to have that horseshoe or he'd spend the rest of his life as a horse, slowly losing his humanity.

Burdened with a rider, he couldn't seem to catch up with the coyote. But stopping to offload Shep would only insure he wouldn't overtake the damn thing. At least, this way he could keep the mangy beast within sight and see what it did with his horseshoe.

He did manage to slowly gain on the coyote. If this went on long enough, he might catch up.

Ahead, he could see the cenote coming into view. Was the coyote headed toward the sinkhole?

He caught up with the coyote in time to watch his horseshoe arc into the air and splash into the water. The coyote grinned and disappeared into the brush with a flick of its tail.

Abso-fucking-lutely unbelievable.


Blurb: Shep's just your average all-American cowboy. He runs his own ranch and rides the occasional saddle bronc. Nothing special there. Unless you look too closely at his boyfriend.

Descended from a long line of Native American mustang shifters, Charlie "Hoss" Running Horse is anything but average.

When Coyote takes a shine to Shep, he decides that Hoss has got to go. With the theft of the medicine horseshoe that allows Hoss to shift from mustang to human, Coyote sets his evil plan to have his way with Shep in motion.

Will Shep be able to save Hoss before it's too late? Or will Coyote's plan come to fruition?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Rainbow Awards Gay Historical Runner Up

I'm proud and honored to say that A Shared Love is the runner up in the Rainbow Awards Gay Historical category.

The other stories in the series, A Spartan Love and A Tested Love, have received Honorable Mentions.

All three books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Kobo and several others.

Find out why the judges love this series.

Once a warrior, now a fugitive.

Spartan fighter Theron has done the unthinkable—he’s disobeyed orders and fled Sparta. All for his helot lover, Andreas. They can run, or they can die.

They’ve sworn oaths to Apollo; now their future lies in the god’s sacred city. The road to Delphi runs through treacherous wilderness, filled with vengeful warriors, greedy bandits, and savage creatures. Nor are the cities safe for strangers wearing the red cloaks of the Spartan military.

Once slated for execution at Theron’s hand, Andreas finds it hard to trust the man who betrayed him. Forgiving Theron grows easier for Andreas with every step they take. He isn't ready to trust Theron with his heart again—but remembering why is getting harder and harder.

A god’s scheming places a fellow exile in their path, Theron’s shield-brother Coridan. Still reeling from his own tragedy, Coridan could be the force that tears them apart forever, or who brings them together in Apollo’s service.

Three different men, three different pasts, who must unite in a common destiny.

If they can survive.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Shared Love Receives a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention

The final book in the Spartan arc of the Apollo's Men series, A Shared Love, received an Honorable Mention in this year's Rainbow Awards, continuing the tradition for the series. Now all three books in the arc have that distinction.

I'm hoping that this year my latest tale of the Spartans will place. I only have to wait patiently to see.

"I loved this story. I hadn't read the other stories in the series that preceded this one, but I didn't need to: there was enough conflict, passion and suspense to keep me turning the pages. Well done!" - W. S. Long

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Spartans Overrun the Beaten Track Radio

Tomorrow, I'm on Beaten Track Radio discussing the Spartan arc of my Apollo's Men series. Come and find out more about the Spartans.

There may or may not be secrets about Theron, Andreas, and Coridan revealed.

And we won't forget Ictis and Kyria.