Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Story Tour: Dakota's Gift



*dusts off the old blog*

Hi everyone! Thanks for joining me for this fabulous Christmas Stories Tour created by the fabulous RJ Scott. Here's a short story from my Southern Charm series with Totally Bound!

Dakota's Gift: A Southern Charm Christmas

Dakota Mitchell & Samuel Ashford


Leaning against the counter in the quiet, darkened kitchen, Dakota Mitchell studied the small binder he created for the Christmas feast. It would be the first time in a while when the Southern Charm, a restored antebellum B&B, would be comfortably full of families and guests wanting something different for the holidays. Since the Charm reopened in early November under his partner's careful watch, most of the rooms remained booked solid for weeks. His restaurant, Southern Delights, saw a surge of customers since the extravagant grand reopening.

With the holidays upon them, his lover, Samuel Ashford, went all out with the decorations, highlighting the beauty of the building with festive lights, garland, and a grand procession of luminary bags along the main paths. Dakota teased him about getting a fake snow machine to blow around the grounds. Samuel gave him a perfect 'stink eye' and trounced off with another box of decorations.

After months of work restoring and renovating the Charm and the grounds, Dakota couldn't believe the results of his friends' work. The contractor and landscaper were long-time friends and put everything into bringing the Charm back to its glory days. All they needed to finish was the old owner's cabin. The original structure deemed beyond repair, they made the difficult decision to tear it down and start anew.

As the Charm and the restaurant filled with guests, Dakota left the rest of the planning and design to his partner, Samuel. More than six months ago, he didn't think he would be here, ready to enjoy the first Christmas in a committed, loving relationship. Let alone with the determined northerner who swept into a small town and changed everything.

Tapping his pen against the pages as his mind drifted away, Dakota lifted his head when he heard footsteps behind him. The woodsy cologne of his lover had hit his senses before Samuel wrapped his arms around his waist. Dakota pressed a hand against the slender hands clasped above his belly button. He felt Samuel lean against his back, nuzzling him with his cheek.

"Is everything ready for tomorrow?" Samuel asked.

"We did about as much as we could. You missed Malcolm and Dorian. I sent them home to enjoy Christmas Eve."

"Then it's time for your surprise."

"My surprise?"

Samuel moved around to the side and held up a red silk scarf. "I need to cover your eyes with this."

"Ooh. When did we get into the kinky stuff?"

Samuel slugged his shoulder with a playful punch. He lifted on his toes and wrapped the warmed silk around Dakota's face. He tied it with a secure knot.

Blinded by the cloth, Dakota felt Samuel check the mask.

"Can you see?"

"Nope. Nothing but red."

"Good. Do I need to bring a binder with us?"

"It can stay."

"Perfect. I'll guide you."

After a gentle push from Samuel, Dakota walked with his lover, guided somewhere through the old building. "Are all of the guests settled in and comfortable?"

"Yes. Elise and Marilyn are keeping an eye on everyone. Some enjoy the fire in the living room with books, games, hot chocolate, and an ample supply of your cookies. Others are watching holiday movies."

"Anyone watching out for Santa?"

"A couple of kids are watching the NORAD tracker for his progress."

"You know Marilyn was a good find of yours to help Elise in the day-to-day managing of the guests."

"I'm pleased she took a chance with us. Watch your step down," Samuel said and counted the steps as he guided Dakota.

"Why are we going outside?"

"You'll find out."

Dakota pulled to a stop and breathed in the cool air, catching the hint of the ocean and sand along with Samuel's cologne. "What is the sky like on this Christmas Eve?"

"A beautiful deep blue velvet with thousands of sparkling stars. A few wispy clouds. It's perfect for Santa's trek."

"Santa already gave me his gift," Dakota said.

"How did you get an early present?"

Dakota chuckled when Samuel poke him in his ribs, knowing he was ticklish. He wiggled away from Samuel's attack, chuckles turned into laughter. "You!" He paused for breath. "He brought me your love."

"Aww… Sniff…"

"Jerk. Get this blindfold off me."

"Not yet," Samuel said as he placed his hands on Dakota's hips and marched him toward some unknown destination.

Dakota pled, begged, and cajoled Samuel to remove the covering. Samuel resisted all of his efforts. Even when he offered extra decadent dark chocolate mousse, the blindfold remained in place.

They stopped and Samuel wrapped one arm around his waist.

"Surprise, my love, and Merry Christmas," Samuel whispered in his ear as he yanked off the blindfold.

Blinking, Dakota stared at the elegant sight ahead of him. It was a cabin. The owner's cabin was finished.

"How? When…"

"Sully handed over the keys two weeks ago and we've kept it a secret. Everyone helped put it together," Samuel said as he took Dakota by the hand and led him up the stairs to the wraparound porch.

Dakota stopped to trace his fingers along the etched glass panels in the doors. "Our initials are entwined. Did Wyatt create this?"

"I asked him for something like the Charm, but personalized for us."

"It's beautiful. The decorations are fabulous, just like the Charm."

"I love the twinkle of white lights with a bit of the blue. Nothing outrageous," Samuel said as he touched a thick evergreen garland entwined with lights and a simple red ribbon he hung around the door and front windows. He placed his hand on the handle and opened the door. "Welcome to our home, Dakota."

"Our home for our first Christmas together."

"First of many," Samuel said as they entered together.

The open concept had been a brilliant idea between Samuel and the architect when they realized they needed to build from scratch. A massive natural stone fireplace rose along one side, crackling with a warm fire, and bookshelves surrounded it to fill the rest of the wall. Samuel placed a long sofa with loungers nearby and mounted a flat panel TV with all the electronics nearby for hours to cuddle together. The fresh Balsam pine tree filled the room with the scents of the holiday.

Beyond the main room, Dakota found the eating area next to an expansive kitchen. He glanced back at Samuel.

"Even with a kitchen in the Charm, I thought you would rather spend time and experiment here. Especially as the Charm fills with guests and Mal takes over more duties concerning the B&B side of dining. A chef should always have a personalized kitchen," Samuel said as he followed him.

"You filled it with everything I would need, didn't you?"

Samuel shrugged. "I went shopping with Mal and an inventory."

Dakota strolled back, cupped Samuel's face between his hands, and lifted the shorter man into a deep loving kiss. He felt Samuel clutch his shoulders as the kiss continued.

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you," Dakota whispered against Samuel's lips. "No matter whatever else is wrapped and hiding under the tree. I'll cherish this gift forever."

"I know you wanted a home, a kitchen, and an end to your wanderings. You started to find it when you stopped at the Charm and built Delights. I only helped to complete your dream."

"How did you know…"

"I have my ways," Samuel said and stepped back. He took Dakota by his hands and led him to the rest of the first floor to the guest room and bath, another bathroom, and a furnished office for two. He took him up the winding staircase to the expansive master suite taking up the entire second floor.

"Oh wow," Dakota said as he stared.

The bed was placed on a low platform and massive. Only a headboard completed the structure, but it wasn't a regular headboard. Dakota noticed the 3-D design of the painted shapes. He checked it from a different angle.

"It's the shoreline around the Charm and Shore Breeze on our wall. I saw it done on one of the DIY shows and asked Sully if he could recreate it. He did. Isn't it cool?" Samuel traced the edge of one of the boards.

"It's so damn cool. Are the nightstands made from driftwood?"

"Sully made the bases, but the tops came from Driftwood Gifts. I found the dressers at Secondhand."
Walking across the room, Samuel slid the sliding louvered doors to reveal dual walk-in closets, organized and filled with their clothes. He opened another hidden door to show the large master bathroom with a walk-in shower with all the gadgets, a Jacuzzi tub, and a dual sink.

"I don't think I'm going to want to leave our safe haven up here."

"Safe Haven. A good name for our cabin."

"A name?"

"We need one. I'll ask Wyatt to create a sign for the front."

Agreeing with Samuel, Dakota returned to the main bedroom and studied another fresh Christmas tree. Leaning closer, he found an ornament. "Where did you get these?"

"Elise and I went hunting for the old ornaments. I found a couple of boxes with your name on them. Is it okay if I used them up here? I figure we could create a new tradition of a personal tree. We'll add special ornaments."

Reaching around Dakota, Samuel removed one from a branch and placed it on Dakota's palm. "I chose this one."
Created out of driftwood, shells, and coral, a little plaque read: 1st Christmas – Dakota and Samuel.

Dakota looked at his lover, his partner, and smiled. "It's perfect."

"Merry Christmas, my love."

"Merry Christmas," Dakota said, hanging the ornament back and enclosed Samuel in an embrace.

As promised, neither one left the safe haven for the rest of their first Christmas Eve together.

For more fabulous stories, click here to follow the links!


I hope everyone has a wonderful 
Happy Holiday season!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Another update

Hello to everyone

 

A cute smiling fox face to help lighten up my website. I have plenty more of these adorable but fierce animals.

** Hope to do a series soon with foxes. They deserve a series **

Anyways..

Southern Charm Update

Book 2 - By the Numbers - has been submitted and approved by Totally Bound. *prances around on happy paws*


This book will be released in May!

Book 3 - On the Green - I have about 5k words left, need a clean-up, and will submit to publisher.

Book 4 - By the Law - this is next up to write.

---

Dragon Serials

There are 5 books planned - around 15k each story - and will have magik, dragons, and shifters.

---

My Anti-Valentines Day short story - Stupid Cupid - will be released on February 14th with MLR Press. I hope you enjoy this twist on a romantic holiday from a point-of-view of someone who hates the holiday.

That's it for now!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

An Overdue Update


I'm sorry. Please forgive me for being so late with an update. I admit, I'm not a blogger.

Does the cute kitteh help? I hope so...

I've been a good little writer while I've been away.

New Publisher & Story!!
I wrote, submitted, and signed a contract with MLR Press for my Anti-Valentine's Day story - Stupid Cupid. Final edits are done. Cover is being finalized. And should be available for sale in February at MLR. There are many more submission calls from MLR which I hope to submit more stories.

Update for Totally Bound & Southern Charm!!
Southern Charm - Book 2 By the Numbers - is finished and submitted. It was accepted by my editor and I'm awaiting further info on release dates.

Southern Charm - Book 3 On the Green - is progressing and almost 27k words. Malcolm and Reece are dancing around one another, one fella screwing up, another trying to hard. Sigh...

Potential Stories in the Mix!!
Skylar - There is a plan in progress to extend this short story to a novel well over 75k and in multiple parts. I felt Ben and Skylar needed more of their story told and some of it from Skylar's POV.

Dragons - I promised a M/M series with dragons. I'm working on creating a fantasy world filled with these beautiful creatures, some unusual shifters, and magik abound.

Other stories are knocking around in my head. I hope to update as more things happen.

Where can you find me?
Oh.. You can see me in person! Meet and chit-chat with me for days. I'll be in Tampa from April 16-20th for the Rainbow Conference, a wonderful new QUILTBAG conference for readers/writers of this fabulous genre.

In October, I hope to once more attend GRL as a Feature Author. The conference is moving to the windy city of Chicago this year. There will be an open signing for all authors. Keep an eye out for more news.

Hugs to all!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of 2013 and New Year


Goodbye 2013!!

I'm sure we all want to wish 2013 goodbye and good riddance. Lots of good and bad things happening throughout the year. Some we wish to forget. Others we want to remember forever.

Good stuff:

Books out in 2013:

       Luna Moon Dance (Fire Jaguars 2)
       Dark Moon Dance (Fire Jaguars 3)
       Grant's Mechanic (Blue Collar Lovers 1)
       Christmas Promise (Part of Love Lane's Christmas Anthology)
       Magical Kiss at Gay Days (Part of Burning First Kiss Anthology)

Free Blog Stories in 2013:

       Captain of the Manor (October)
       Turkey Jerky (November)

Met Lori Foster & others at the LF Readers and Authors Event
Supporting Author @ GRL

Bad stuff:

Broke all connection with a publisher. :(


Hello New Year 2014!

What am I looking forward to in 2014??

Starting a new connection/relationship with Totally Bound.
     New M/M Contemporary Series - Southern Charm
            Book 1 - Rules of the Chef  comes out in April 2014
     Potential reprint/write of Skylar's Salvation into a longer book.

Additions to Fire Jaguars, McDrakken Warriors, Blue Collar Lovers

Creation of new series - something with M/M Dragons

Submission of multiple new stories, short stories, and expansion of overall writing.

Where can you find me in person??
      April - Rainbow Con in Tampa, FL
      Oct - GayRomLit in Chicago, IL

Looking to do more promo, blog tours, and chats with readers. Anyone interested to help me out, create a tour, or anything, please contact me.

Hugs and purrs from Fat Cat and me! I hope 2014 brings you wonderful news and changes.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Available Dec 25th - Dark Moon Dance - Fire Jaguars3

The latest in Fire Moon Jaguars 3 - Dark Moon Dance - is available Dec 25th!!

Dark Moon Dance
Fire Jaguars 3

Menage (MMF) Erotic Romance w Jaguar Shifters
Coming Wed, Dec 25th!

This title is offered at a 15% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, January 1st.
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Paranormal Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, with M/M elements, shape-shifters, sex toys, HEA]

Sixty years in a secret organization, Etienne de la Fontaine returns to the valley home of the Fire Moon clan after a disastrous mission left him recovering. Forced to rebuild, he recoils from nightmares, panic attacks, and a broken body. His family home is dusty and neglected. When he requests to return, he's rejected and confronts an old lover in the darkness.

One of the poisoned jaguars, Isaac Deforrest returns to security patrol. He searches the home of a lover who disappeared when they were young. He finds the same lover, returning without a word and ragged around the edges. The connection between them remains powerful.

Searching for her kidnapped sister, Ekaterina Lilyana Brankovich of the Sand Moon clan remains under her father's restrictions. Her inner sand jaguar responds to the two guardians assign to her protection. With their support, she finds her inner power to rebel against her father and search for the truth.

A Siren Erotic Romance - Purchase HERE!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cover Art - Rules of the Chef

Hello!!

My very first cover art from the fabulous Emmy Ellis and my wonderful new publisher, Totally Bound.

This is a new 7-Book M/M Contemporary Series set in a rundown B&B on the Florida Panhandle. The series is called Southern Charm and the first book is called Rules of the Chef.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cover Art & Update - Dark Moon Dance

Hello everyone!

Enjoying the holidays so far? How's the shopping coming along?
Did the Christmas Delights Anthology get you in the mood for Christmas?

Here's another gift from me. From the Cover Art team at Siren BookStrand.

Fire Jaguars Book 3 - Dark Moon Dance


First round of big edits are done and returned to Siren along with some yummy excerpts. I hope to have those back for you soon!

Hugs and purrs!