Sunday, November 15, 2009

SUPERSTAR Releases Today!

Everything I write affects me emotionally. But there are some stories that do this more than others. Superstar is one such story. Based on the unrequited-groupie-love-song that both Karen Carpenter and Bette Midler made famous, Superstar is a rarity for me: a pure love story about a young man falling for a cad of a rock star.

He told him he loved him. He told him he'd be back.

It's also about the resiliency of life and love and how both can surprise us at the most unlikely of times.

It's the first story I've written that's set in my new home, Seattle and you'll get glimpses of the beauty of the city and the Pacific Northwest as you join my main character on the 180-foot high Aurora Bridge, also known as the "suicide bridge." It's here where Superstar begins and ends as my main character, Leon, reminisces about his love for a grungy rock superstar before taking a fatal plunge. But someone is waiting and watching, and suicides don't always go off as planned...

Hope you'll check out the story, available only in ebook. You can pick up a copy here.

When Leon first saw him singing in a dive bar, he was mesmerized. But he didn’t know he’d be going home with the dangerously sexy lead singer that night. He couldn’t have predicted he’d fall in love. But then, Leon never expected his love to be reciprocated. Yet the hot singer with the gravely voice told Leon he loved him; told him he’d come back.

So, why, three years after that fateful night, is Leon perched at the edge of a bridge, ready to make a fatal leap?

Superstar is the story of a groupie and the rock star he loves. It’s the tale of a man on the edge, both literally and figuratively...and it’s a timeless story of love found and lost lost, all set to a driving rock beat.

Superstar is about promises made, promises broken, and dreams unfulfilled. And, ultimately, it’s about realizing that love can come along when one least expects it—and in the unlikeliest of places...

...I closed Olive’s that night. It wasn’t so much the crowd, or the beer, or even the cute allegedly straight boy in the cargo shorts and Cold Play T-shirt who made eyes at me throughout the night.

No. It was you.

And your music. Back then, you were just the lead singer in a band called Voiles and I was mesmerized by both your look and your sound. A bass guitar and a drummer backed you up, and if I passed either of them on the street today, I would not recognize them. For me, you stood all alone on that tiny plywood stage with a black curtain behind you. When that incredible, melodic, craggy voice emerged, it was as if the physical confines of the room disappeared. I could see only you…and what a view that was. Your tousled auburn hair, streaked through with gold, practically obscured your face. Your rail-thin body, packed into skinny jeans and a Ramones T-shirt, was like some post punk boy’s fantasy. And when you jerked your head to get the hair out of your face, the motion revealed a chiseled face, dark chocolate eyes, and a look that seemed both faraway and incredibly sad.

It made me want to take you in my arms.

I suppose that’s the effect you were after. I hate to think that the mournful gaze and the counter-culture, retro rock star clothes were calculated, just another part of the act as much as the microphone on its stand, the drum kit, the lights, the amps, the electrical cords.

I hate to think that.

But it wasn’t just your look that caught me, entrapping me in a snare that I would find impossible to free myself from for the next three years. It was your song. Your sad, sad song. Your voice was that of a man who had smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for decades: scarred, veering on raspy. It was the voice of a man much older than your years, which appeared to number in the twenties. You were the love child of Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright.

Your lyrics, coal black, smoldered around age-old topics like lost love, loneliness, alienation, and an inability to find home. Cheery stuff.

It had me sobbing into my beer most of the night.

And when I wasn’t sobbing, I was imagining what you’d look like naked.

There was a curious combination pulsing inside me that night: lust, despair, hunger…

But I never had any real hopes that I would actually be meeting you that night. No idea that I would actually see what the wiry body under those clothes looked like. No clue that I would come to know the feel of those swollen lips on my own...

Get your copy of Superstar here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trannies and Psychos and Bears...Oh My!

Hey Kids!

Just wanted to let you know that my ebook short, NO PLACE LIKE HOME, is out today and yours for only $2.25. It's a gay romance twist on THE WIZARD OF OZ and, like me, is a little different.

And when you visit the AmberAllure site today (November 8) only, you'll find that my EPPIE-Award winning novel ORIENTATION, is the daily deal...75% off the regular price!


Burl is horny. And his lover, AJ, is in the kind of sleep that approaches comatose. What’s a boy to do? In the middle of the night, Burl slips away from the house he shares with AJ, looking for just a little release for his pent-up passion. AJ won’t mind; after all, he says he doesn’t care where Burl gets his tires pumped, as long as he gets to ride.

But what Burl finds in straying from his own backyard is not quite the kind of excitement he had in mind. From boxer-shorted bears, to men who aren’t quite what they seem, to homicidal ebony gods, Burl doesn’t know quite what to make of the bizarre world outside...and the people in it. From the snow-capped peaks of the Adirondack Mountains (and the Sodom Sin Mountain Ski Resort), to the dangerous streets of the lower east side of Manhattan, Burl discovers that it isn’t always easy—or safe—when you go looking for love in all the wrong places.

What lessons does Burl learn on his quest? Does he discover, really, that there’s no place like home? There’s only one way to find out—start reading!

Check out more details and get your copy here:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Exclusive Excerpt from My Werewolf Novel, THE BLUE MOON CAFE

I have written lots of horror, lots of stuff about vampires, serial killers, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. I have never written a werewolf story.

Until now.

I am hard at work on a new book called The Blue Moon Cafe. Set in my current home, Seattle, it's part horror, part romance, part erotica, and all can't-put-it-down. I hope it will be a draw not only for readers who like my horror, but for ones who like a good love story as well.

Here's a little taste. I hope you'll leave a comment and let me know what you think. Intrigued? Want to read more?

He’s hungry. He eyes a full moon above him through a caul of blood red. Its light is like the illumination of the sun: warming and energizing, heightening his senses. He sees with all of his senses and smell predominates. Before him, the streets of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood stand out in sharp detail, silvery and shimmering from the moon’s light. Crisp; easy to track. And in the air, everywhere, are scents: the smell of beer, cigarette smoke, the pale fishy tang of Elliot Bay to the west, car exhaust. But what underlies all of this is sheer bliss—he lifts his snout to savor it: the smell of human flesh…and blood. Blood pulsing in the bodies of hundreds of carousers out for a Friday night revel, coursing in and out of bars, heedless and unwary, celebrating the beginning of the weekend. Their heat, movement, voices, and—most of all—aromas give him a paradoxically hungry and deliciously tingling feeling of anticipation deep in the pit of his gut.

His leathery black nose quivers, pulling the scent inside him, where he can savor it. His pale gray-furred ears point up to the moon, alert, listening for the sound of one alone, one that’s ripe. He wants to howl, but knows that such displays will draw attention to him as he sits, panting, in an alley behind a Vietnamese restaurant, shuttered for the night. Already a pair of men clad in jeans and tight T-shirts have wandered by and peered into the shadows the alley provides for him, wondering about him.

“Jesus!” One of them said. “Would you look at that? What is that? Some kind of dog? It’s huge!”

His friend had leaned over, further into the alley, far enough for the creature to catch the scent of the man’s sweat underlying the cologne with which he polluted himself. It had made his mouth water, his stomach growl, eager to pounce… But he knows he must be patient. The night affords plenty of time to hunt. Reward must always be balanced by a careful calculation of risk.

“Yeah, dude. I think it’s a German Shepherd…or a Husky. Somethin’ like that. Come on, let’s get to the Cuff.”

“I thought we were going to Neighbours.”

“The Cuff has hotter guys.”

The men had hurried off, unaware of how appetizing they were, how close they edged to their own demise. He licks his chops and stares up at the moon as a cloud passed over, partially obscuring its radiance.

But he has time to wait. Time to let the scents, sounds, and sights of the lively August night ramp up his hunger, his need, making the resulting feast all that much more succulent. There are practical reasons too for his patience. In the wee small hours of the morning (as the song went), there would be fewer witnesses to his impromptu al fresco supper of flesh and blood. The few people out—his prey—were more likely to be intoxicated and careless of heading down an alley just like the one in which he now crouched, waiting, every sense on alert.

Intoxicated…before dawn crept up over the Cascade Mountains, he knew that would be what he would feel. That, and a sense of utter satisfaction.

He circled a few times and lay down beside a Dumpster.


He has dozed off. When he awakens, the air is cooler and the night is quieter. The sounds of traffic, laughter, and voices have diminished to almost nothing. The rush of wind ruffles his fur as he gets to all fours, raising his snout to test the air.

Yes. There are humans close by. Two of them. He smells their perspiration and beneath that, their blood. Their warmth rides to him like a delicious current on the night breeze. He stands quietly, heart rate quickening, muscles tensing, tracking them. They are just outside the alley in which he waits and they are making noises, not talking. But there are definite sounds. He moves forward, silent on black paws, to the alley’s mouth. What is going in, a darkened doorway, is the sound of some kind of human mating. There are grunts, groans, and sighs. He sniffs, calculating: there are two men, one of them older, not as healthy, one young, vigorous.

Boldly, he trots out of the alley and crosses the street to watch from between two parked cars. The men do not even notice, they are so absorbed in what they’re doing and he’s so full of stealth that he might as well be a shadow gliding through the night.

The pair occupies the doorway of a storefront, cloaked in shadow. Human eyes, passing by, would not even register their existence. But he can see them: the younger one, the healthy one, the one he for whom he is already licking his chops, stands before the older one, jeans pushed down to his knees. His shirt is pulled up over his shoulders and behind his neck, exposing exquisite musculature and a constellation of inked skin. Throwing his head back, he whispers rapidly how “fuckin’ good” it all feels, while the older man kneels in front of him, his head bobbing up and down at his crotch.

The act takes fewer than ten minutes. The scent of sweat and semen hang in the air. The older man rises, looks around himself and stuffs himself back inside his pants and zips. He glances around again, although the creature can’t imagine why; there’s no one else to witness anything, and takes his wallet out. He digs in it, pulls out a few bills, and hands it to the younger man, the one with the shaved head, the bulging muscles, and the tattoos. The younger man snatches the money away and smiles. “Thanks.” He stuffs the money into his jeans pocket.

The older man begins to walk away and the younger one grabs his arm. “No kiss goodbye?”

They both laugh. The older man pecks the younger on his mouth. At the same time, the younger man pulls him closer as if to embrace him and reaches back, smoothly pulling the wallet from the older man’s pants. The other man, unaware, hurries off into the night, toward downtown.

“Muscles” counts the money, chuckling, then rifles through the wallet. He hears him whisper, “What story will you make up for wifey about how you lost your wallet?” He throws back his head and laughs out loud at the thought. He pulls the remaining cash from the wallet, extracts a couple of credit cards, and tosses the wallet to the ground.

The monster takes him in with all of his senses. He’s perfect.

He tracks him through the streets, uphill. He is beginning to question whether luck will be on his side when his prey ducks into an alley. He follows, amused that, after all these blocks, he has never once noticed the creature behind him. He watches as he pulls out his dick and sprays a bright yellow stream on the brick wall before him. He can smell the piss, ammonia-like, but it’s part of the man's essence and his heat. Mixed in with the smell of it is also the scent of his semen, left over from his prior business transaction.

Drool runs from the creature's mouth. He can wait no longer. He pounces, and without a howl, without a growl, without even a bark, he is upon him.


The man doesn’t even have time to scream.