Monday, October 31, 2011

Fugitive Colours by Erastes (Adult)

Fugitive Colours

Most things lessen with time. Time itself for one. There’s something slavishly-liberating about being unable to tell time or even notice the change from day to night. The moments merely punctuated by the Chinese water torture of the dripping of a tap I cannot see from here.

Funny how laughter is hush-muffled by stones that have never heard it before. It’s like they’re on my side. There’s a thought. Perhaps there is only so much horror that can be absorbed – even by granite, and they hunger for more cheerful noises, take them in, swallow them whole.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

NEW RELEASE: Class Distinctions at 35% Off This Week Only!

I'm pleased to announce my latest release, a romantic ebook short from Amber Allure (the GLBT imprint of Amber Quill Press) called "Class Distinctions."

This week only, the story is available for a 35% discount from the publisher for all ebook formats (for Kindle, choose .prc). Click here to get your copy.

"Class Distinctions" will be available soon for Amazon Kindle, Nook, and other ebook readers.

Here are the details for "Class Distinctions":

Kyle and Jonathan were perfect for each other, the two halves that, once together, made a whole. And then one snowy night just before Parents' Weekend on the campus of Hamilton University, Kyle drops a bomb: he's breaking up with Jonathan.

Class Distinctions follows the couple through the stormy (in more ways than one) night that ensues. Why has Kyle suddenly decided to throw away something so precious and good? The answers lie in their backgrounds, and will gradually come to light as a winter blizzard rages around the young couple. Their tortured paths bring them to the covered bridge where their love had come to life on a hot summer day. But will the warmth of that memory and the heat of the love they once shared be enough to outclass the storm, and more importantly, bring them back together?

...He had come to the bridge almost without thinking about where he was going, but when he arrived there, he knew his feet had had a purpose in bringing him to this place. The snow swirled around him and pitted against his face like needles. He watched as the flakes vanished into the rushing water beneath him.

The bridge was a special place for Jonathan and him. It had been where they had shared their first kiss, back in August, shortly after they had met. The bridge had been a different place, almost of a different world, in August. The sun was bright, beating down relentlessly, bringing the temperature of the day into the mid-nineties. The air was thick, like a damp cloth thrown over one’s skin. Mosquitos hummed…and the leaves on the trees whispered whenever an all-too-infrequent breeze came along.

Jonathan had led him to this bridge, after they had spent the morning hiking the woods surrounding it. The two of them had forged a path along the creek that ran below it.

“You have to see this…it’s really cool.” Jonathan took my hand and led me through a copse of trees to a clearing. He gestured grandly as the vista opened up before us—the weathered bridge, with its stones and faded boards, rose up against the brilliant blue sky like an ancient treasure. On either end of it, weeping willows sagged in the heat.

There wasn’t a soul around us.

Jonathan took my hand in his own and the touch was electric, almost like a jolt, as it coursed through me. It was the very first time he’d touched me and I think that simple pressure of palm against palm and fingers intertwining let me know I was in love with this boy. It also opened the door to a hunger for thousands more touches from him, ones as simple as grabbing my hands and ones a lot more complex.

We fought our way up through cattails growing along the shoreline and further up the rise, brambles, but at last we reached the planks that would lead us inside the covered bridge. Its shade promised cool.

Jonathan pulled me into the darkness and turned to me, smiling. “Isn’t it something? I wonder how old it is?”

I looked in his robin’s egg blue eyes, amazed I could still make out their pale color even in the shade of the covered bridge. “It’s great. Thanks for bringing me here.” I let go of his hand so I could reach up and touch his face. “But it doesn’t compare to you, to just being here with you.”

I leaned down then and kissed him. Even though he had taken my hand, I wasn’t sure until that moment that Jonathan was even gay. We had started the morning as buddies, classmates, fellow students at Hamilton University on our way out on a hot Saturday for a hike. But when he lifted his face and parted his lips slightly to meet me, I knew not only that he was gay, but also that my feelings were reciprocated.

And that filled me with an inexpressible joy.

The kiss lingered for what seemed to me like a half hour, but was really only a minute or two. My tongue probed the inside of his mouth, which tasted sweet, slightly of cinnamon. He reached up and laid his hand on the back of my damp neck to twine in my curls and pull me closer to him. Our sweaty bodies meshed.

It was a moment of pure, undiluted happiness. It was a moment I would never forget...

Click here to get your copy.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mere Mortals--Inspiration and execution!

Mere Mortals by Erastes - a Victorian Gothic Novel set on the Norfolk Broads.

''An unsettling tale of loss, obsession and mystery, set on the bleak Norfolk Broads. Definitely one I'd recommend.'' --Donald Hardy, author of Lovers' Knot

Orphaned Crispin Thorne has been taken as ward by Philip Smallwood, a man he's never met, and is transplanted from his private school to Smallwood s house on an island on the beautiful but coldly remote, Horsey Mere in Norfolk. Upon his arrival, he finds that he's not the only young man given a fresh start. Myles Graham, and Jude Middleton are there before him, and as their benefactor is away, they soon form alliances and friendships, as they speculate on why they ve been given this new life. Who is Philip Smallwood? Why has he given them such a fabulous new life? What secrets does the house hold and what is it that the Doctor seems to know?

Buy from amazon - available as a paper or ebook

I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful (Ok, I’m a little biased) areas of the British Isles—which isn’t short of beautiful places, let’s be honest! It’s the Norfolk Broads, a series of ancient man-made lakes and rivers in the north east of the county. It is believed that the Romans started the digging when they were here, and later in the Medieval period, a huge peat digging business was in operation. Since then the cuttings have filled in with fresh water and it forms one of the most important wetland habitats in the UK. As well as being perfect for novelists. There are surprisingly few books set here, actually.

When I was first looking for a location for my latest novel I knew I wanted somewhere beautiful, remote and mysterious, and my first thought was for Dartmoor or Exmoor—literary favourite haunts for such books as Lorna Doone, Hound of the Baskervilles, and many others, but then I thought that really moors had been done to death. They always seemed to be the first choice for anyone writing a gothic novel—the lonely house on the moorland for example. I knew I needed a house where there could be a sense of isolation, somewhere the protagonists couldn’t easily escape from. Obviously Dartmoor was good for that, with all those treacherous bogs but it wasn’t remote enough.

Then I stupidly realised that Iived a stone’s throw from one of the most isolated, mysterious and beautiful places which would be perfect for my purposes. All I had to do was invent an island on one of the Norfolk Broads, which I did—on Horsey Mere—and Mere Mortals leapt into life complete with a natty slightly punning title.

I found it perfect. It has its own treacherous bogs. Ancient landscapes, and a few surviving windpumps (which look just like windmills but were once used to pump away the excess water to prevent flooding) which tower over the brackish water. For a young man coming from a rather cloistered upbringing of preparatory schools it must have seemed an alien landscape indeed.

Part of what I wanted to explore with this book was the Victorian way of making life incredibly cheap. Books like The Water Babies and Oliver Twist highlighted the abuses of chimney sweeps and orphans and led to reforms, and I wanted to shed some light there too. These days with social services and child protection, it’s unthinkable that a man could walk into a school or orphanage and say “I’ll have that one and that one for my chimney sweeping business” but that’s exactly what happened.

The three young men in Mere Mortals are orphans who have been disgraced for homosexual activity at their schools and all were in danger of finding themselves on the streets. Fate intervened in the person of Philip Smallwood who takes them off their school’s hands, saves them all from scandal and whisks them off to Norfolk to his remote house on an island.

They would simply, have dropped off the map at this point. The schools wouldn’t have cared tuppence what had happened to them once they were rid of them and would certainly not follow up to ensure they were being well cared for. Whatever Philip had planned for them few people would know, or care. Even if Philip were to turn out to be the worst kind of serial murderer, and his neighbours asked “what happened to those boys who were staying with you?” he could answer “Oh, they ran off—ungrateful brats,” or “They are down in London for a time” and again, no one would know or much care.

I hope that I’ve managed to instil some of this sang-froid of society into the book—thank goodness things are much better now—and if you want to know what Philip truly plans for Crispin, Myles and Jude—you’ll have to read Mere Mortals to find out! Or visit the area and see where it all happens!

Erastes writes gay historicals, in many different eras from the English Civil War to the 1960s. A Lambda short-lister, she's the proud owner of "Speak Its Name" the only review site that concentrates on gay historical fiction. She's been published by Harlequin (Carina) and Running Press as well as many well-respected small presses. Her next novel is "The Muffled Drum" (set during the Austro Prussian War) and will be out in July 2011. It's full of soldiers, horses, angsty love, drawers and many many buttons.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Dignified Review of an Undignified Book: DIGNITY TAKES A HOLIDAY

I woke up this morning to a wonderful review of my "very different" "offbeat" romance, Dignity Takes a Holiday. Writing the book and submitting it, I knew that Dignity was something very unusual for me, a book that readers would either "get" or not...and I was prepared for the possibility that it was the kind of effort that would either be loved or hated, with very little in between.

And that is being borne out now in the reviews its getting and comments from readers. Jerry Wheeler, at Out in Print Reviews, gets that too. I like that he understood I took a chance and "stretched" to write a book that, even for me, is very far from what I would usually write (it's been compared more than once to John Waters, and I think that's apt).

Anyway, Mr. Wheeler says, in part: "Reed goes far out on a limb here, writing slapstick farce instead of his usual taut suspense and horror thrillers. Writers who take themselves into unfamiliar territory are to be applauded. The chances they take, whether successful or not, bespeak a willingness to grow beyond what their audience expects of them and that experience is usually reflected in a deepening—a re-dimensioning (I love making jargon up)—of whatever genre they’re better known for when they return to it.

"But that’s not what you want to hear, is it? You want to know if it’s any good. 

The answer is a qualified ‘yes.’ Qualified because Dignity Takes a Holiday is purposefully over the top and that alone may put some readers off. The abuse Helen dishes out is so severe and the situations Peter finds himself in are so outrageous that you may find yourself reading with a grimace instead of a grin. Funny, yes—hysterical at times. But painfully so. 

"However, this is all set-up for the ending, which (and this is typically Reed) puts the preceding events into context and reveals the heartfelt relationship underlying the farce..."
Read the whole review here.

Pete Thickwhistle doesn't live what one might call a charmed life. At age forty-seven, he's a flamboyant gay man who believes no one knows he's gay, still living at home with his harpy of a mother. Worse, he's still a virgin, longing to find just the right man to make his life complete. Pete's an upbeat kind of guy, yet he's never learned that the answer to his motto "What could possibly go wrong?" is always: "Everything."

Pete's road to love and happiness is full of potholes, yet he never tires of searching, despite job losses, weight battles, clothing faux pas, and disastrous vacations, parties, and dating debacles. Pete is the ultimate underdog living a television situation comedy, one named Dignity Takes a Holiday.

Buy Dignity Takes a Holiday from Dreamspinner Press here.

Buy Dignity Takes a Holiday from Dreamspinner Press from the Amazon Kindle store here.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Once in a Blue Moon, You Win an Award

I'm very pleased to announce that my werewolf chiller/love story, The Blue Moon Cafe, won the 2011 EPIC e-Book Award last night in the best horror erotic romance category. Unfortunately, I was not on hand at the awards in Richmond, VA to accept the award, but I'm still really jazzed that the book was recognized.

The EPIC eBook Awards (formerly EPPIES) have been given annually since the first EPIC conference in 2000 to recognize outstanding achievement in e-publishing. EPIC eBook Awards entries are judged by volunteers, with the largest percentage of EPIC eBook Awards Judges being active EPIC Members. Guest judges, all of whom are either published authors or publishing professionals, may be used as alternate judges at the EPIC eBook Awards Committee discretion. After the first round of judging the works of the finalists are sent to second panel of judges and winners are selected.

Here's a little taste of what The Blue Moon Cafe is all about:

Someone—or something—is killing Seattle’s gay men.

A creature moves through the darkest night, lit only by the full moon, taking them, one by one, from the rain city’s gay gathering areas.

Someone—or something—is falling in love with Thad Matthews.

Against a backdrop of horror and fear, young Thad finds his first true love in the most unlikely of places—a new Italian restaurant called The Blue Moon Cafe. Sam is everything Thad has ever dreamed of in a man: compassionate, giving, handsome, and with brown eyes Thad feels he could sink into. And Sam can cook! But as the pair’s love begins to grow, so do the questions and uncertainties, the main one being, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

Prepare yourself for a unique blend of dark suspense and erotic romance with The Blue Moon Cafe, written by the author Unzipped magazine called, “the Stephen King of gay horror.” You’re guaranteed an unforgettable reading experience, one that skillfully blends the hottest romance with the most chilling terror...

To read an excerpt and make your own reservation at The Blue Moon Cafe, click here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


For one week only, Amber Allure is offering my latest release, How I Met My Man, at a 35% discount (that's only $3.25). The ebook is available in all popular formats, including Kindle-ready (Mobi/prc). Get your copy of How I Met My Man here.

This story blends my passion for marrying dark suspense with romance...

How I Met My Man
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-070-2
Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Suspense / Thriller
Heat Level: 2
Length: Novella (18k words)
New Release 35% Discount (One Week Only)

 How a guy meets his man can happen in a dozen different ways: online, at a bar, through friends, at a masquerade party...or even at the scene of a murder...

The road to love is seldom straight, and for Stephen Embert, that road couldn't possibly be more crooked. First, he arrives home to find an anonymous card in his mailbox that says, "I've been inside your house," then comes the midnight home invasion. But Stephen forgets these disturbing occurrences a month later when he attends a masquerade party and hopes to finally meet Mr. Right.

But who is the stranger in black with the disturbing emotionless mask following him? And why does the stranger always get in the way of Stephen hooking up with Jeffrey, the angelic and nearly naked leather hunk, who wants nothing more than to get Stephen alone for some romance? Appearances are not always what they seem, and discovering true love can sometimes be a matter of life and death.

...The sexual tension in the room was palpable. In one corner, a pair of guys was making out, staying just shy of actual penetration, but their mouths were locked onto each other like they were ready to eat other’s faces. Their bodies, clothed in little more than denim and latex, were grinding into one another as if they were desperate to merge into one human being. I saw many flirtatious glances that I knew, before the night was over, could erupt into something akin to the guys in the corner, or maybe even full-on sex. Remember, Tabby had a scrupulously maintained playroom and, at some point, most of the revelers would wander into it.

I also saw a lot of guys simply having a good time, blowing off steam, dancing, talking to each other, laughing. Tabby had set up Night of the Living Dead to play on his huge plasma screen and several guys watched it absent-mindedly. Even I thought it was interesting how the film and the techno music went together in an eerie way.

I was sort of drifting off into my own little world, mesmerized by the zombies on the screen, when my easy buzz got interrupted. No, it got crushed, slammed to the floor, stomped into little pieces.

All because a new guest had joined the party.

You know that bartender? The one that I thought was just about the most gorgeous hunk of masculinity upon which I had ever laid eyes? Forget him. This new guy made him looked like someone on a par with, I don’t know, Andy Dick, maybe?

When I saw him come into the party and remove his coat, I truly think my adrenalin surged. I felt faint. And let me tell you, honey, I thought that feeling faint at the sight of a hunky man was the exclusive device of writers of bad romances.

But it really did happen. It happened to me.

Apparently, it happened to several other people—maybe most of them—at the party as well. A hush fell over the party and a multitude of heads tried to discreetly swivel toward the newcomer. It almost seemed like an invisible hand turned down the volume on the music, too.

He was glorious. Perfect. An unrivaled specimen of masculinity almost too beautiful to live. He stood about six two and his body was lean, tightly defined, and covered with satiny olive flesh that begged to be touched, if only you could find yourself worthy. His muscles spoke of quiet strength; they were there, visible, but had none of the pumped-up overkill of a gym rat who spent far too much time working on his body (and perhaps far too much money on steroids). He had a thick shock of black hair sticking up from the top of his head, while the sides and back of his head were shaved close. A silver hoop dangled from one ear. Surveying the party, he revealed eyes so dark the pupils were lost within the irises. I felt as though if I were to tumble into those eyes, I could die happy. His lashes—the only feminine thing about him—were long and thick. His lips full and kissable. His face was chiseled, with a very fetching cleft in the middle of his chin. That touchable skin? It was almost hairless, save for thick, coarse dark hair on his forearms and calves.

And, of course, there was a lovely treasure trail leading down, across his flat stomach, and into the black leather briefs he wore as part of his costume.

His costume was simple and inspired. He wore three things: the black leather bikini briefs, a pair of combat boots, and a plain leather harness to the back of which were attached two small wings—jet black and crafted from feathers.

He looked like an angel—but one that would quickly lead you to Hell. You would not protest.

My heart beat a little faster...

Get your copy of How I Met My Man here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Cover for HOMECOMING, Coming in March from Dreamspinner Press

One of the most exciting things about this business is when you get to see, for the first time, the cover of one of your own works of fiction. You've put your "baby" in the hands of an artist/graphic designer and entrusted him or her to put the most compelling and marketable "face" on your story.

Artist Paul Richmond pleased me beyond measure with the cover for Homecoming (releases March 17, Dreamspinner Press). His depiction of the two main characters and the Chicago el platform setting perfectly conveny the theme and mood of the story without giving too much away.

I hope you like the cover as much as I do. Give me some feedback below, if you'd like.

Here's a little taste of what Homecoming is about:
After losing his partner Toby, Chase faces a long, painful road back to life and love. At first, he doesn’t see how he can go on, but then Chase and Toby’s old friend Mike cajoles him into returning to Chicago for the annual International Mr. Leather Competition. There Chase revisits a world of hot, casual sex that he had forgotten existed, meets a friend who cares more for him than he ever realized, and discovers the possibility that he might yet find his way home.
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