No WIPW today, folks, but you can catch an exclusive excerpt of Settling Down, sequel to Shaken Up, on M/M Good Book Reviews for the beginning of my whirlwind blog tour!
…that stops today and continues next week. 🙂
I have dates, I have blogs to post, I have the jitters.
But below are the places where I’ll be posting to from July 26th to August 1st. Please join me as I release exclusive content and yap about the Little Earthquakes series!
July 20 – MM Good Book Reviews
July 26 – My Fiction Nook
July 27 – Divine Magazine
July 27 – Long and Short Reviews
July 28 – Open Skye Book Reviews
July 30 – Love Bytes
August 1 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
Can’t wait to see you there!
Did you know that I wrote a story based at a geek convention?
I did it for a NanoWriMo when I didn’t have access to a computer (*gasp* I know. How I kept sane is a mystery to me). Every time I look around when I’m at CONvergence, I remember it clearly.
Maybe one day I’ll clean it up, update it, and see if y’all will like it.
Anyway, I have a bunch of promos coming up for Settling Down coming up soon and I can’t wait to share the dates and blogs with you.
…once I’m back home.
…and have slept for like a whole week.
Last stop, everyone, and it’s two interviews in one! Come join me on Brynn Stein’s site for a Monday Meeting! First I talk about my writing influences, and then I step back and let my two leading men interview each other. It’s sweet, funny, and a little surprising!
Here’s a little extra surprise, Andrew Q Gordon does a New Release post every Monday, and This Little Whatever‘s on it, along with other awesome new releases. Check it out and add to your to-read list!
Hope you’ve got your nicest getup on, because today’s blog tour stop is at Charlie Cochet’s Purple Prose Tea House! There I talk about my inspiration for This Little Whatever and there’s some hot examples of what a male belly dancer can do! The excerpt at the end of my post is a little on the N-A-U-G-H-T-Y side! Go check it out!
And as promised on the Blog Tour post, here’s a deleted scene from This Little Whatever. I wrote this last April, when I was pretty sure that it was going to be a 3rd person POV deal (ha ha!), so it’s from Dean’s point of view of the first night he met Jonathan.
Here it is in it’s unedited glory. Of course, details have changed, and there’s probably more typos that I want to admit and little notes to myself. Enjoy!
“Opa!” A very blushed young woman cried out as the waitress sat the plate of flaming cheese down in the middle of the table. “This is the best place ever!”
Dean chuckled, looking over the flames at the young woman, Bette from accounting, already a few glasses of wine in her tiny body and it took her cohort, Dani, also from accounting, grabbing her wrist to keep her from trying to dip a piece of warm pita into the still flaming appeitizer. “Whoa there, girl, you’re going to set yourself on fire if you don’t slow down.”
“Now there’s a reason to call in sick on Monday,” said the man sitting to Dean’s left. Richard, from the same mail room where he logged his hours, lifted his voice to a girly pitch, “Sorry Mr. Anderson, but I set my arm on fire…”
Dean had to laugh at that, swirling his own glass of wine. The other three employees of Trenton Enterprises seem pretty decent company, and they were nice enough to drag him along on a Friday night to Adonis’ Kitchen for their monthly ‘diner’s club’ gathering. Richard had been talking it up to him for a while, that a few of the lower cogs liked exploring the different restaurants in the city, but since the good ones tended to be costly, they could only meet up once a month. He hinted to Dean that if he played his cards right, he could even see about taking one of the lovely ladies that came along back home if the drinks were good, and it took Dean outright stating that he was gay to get the man off that particular subject.
Granted it had been a very, very long time since he’d gotten laid, but he wasn’t quite desperate enough to bat for the other team just yet. Hell, he was well on his way to getting settled in town after a whole year. (huh?)
Dani finally let Bette go so she could dive into the gooey stringy cheese, now no longer flaring, and turned to Dean. “I read really great reviews of this place and so far, so good. Decent wine, Bette’s all over the cheese, and apparently they have belly dancers performing on Friday nights.”
Richard whistled with a grin. “Well, well I think I like this place already. Bring on the jiggling.”
Dani rolled her eyes. “Color me not surprised. I’m sure you know that you can’t touch, right?”
“I’ll have just as much fun looking.”
Bette was throughly enjoying herself, and the mention of dancers made her way too bright blue eye dance. “Have you seen belly dancers before, guys? They’re so beautiful and poised and controlled and…and..”
Richard reached out to refill his and Bette’s glasses from the bottle of surprisingly good merlot. “And jiggly.”
She nodded and took a huge sip from her glass. “Yep, and jiggly. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen that belly roll thing they do. I would kill to be able to do something like that.”
Dean listened to the trio gab on as he finished chewing a bit of pita before speaking up. “I’ve never seen belly dancers live before. Actually, this is my first time in a Greek restaurant.” He’d kept that bit of info to himself while they were perusing the menu, and was actually looking forward to eating something more authentic than mall gyros. He hoped he was sounding properly personable.
“Well, since the dancers probably won’t hold your interest,” Richard smirked, giving Dean’s shoulder a nudge. “You’ll have all the time to enjoy your kret-kreato…what the hell did you order again?”
“Kreatopita, it said it was some sort of meat pie.”
“I hope we get it before the show starts, actually.” Dean moved to stand from his chair, looking around the darkened restaurant. “Anyone see where the bathroom was?”
A passing waitress pointed him in the right direction and he slid his way around tables and diners until he reached the appropriate door. Instead of going for the urinal or the stalls, he stopped at the mirror to have a look at himself and take a deep breath. Now that he was alone, he could pay closer attention to the shuddering of his heart and the slight sheen of sweat starting to form on his neck. Fuck, so much for being fine around familiar faces of co-workers.
Take it easy, Dean, he told himself. Even with the easy conversation and the help of the wine, he couldn’t keep his eyes off the remaining crowd enough to relax. He knew it would be important to be seen as friendly and personable around the office, but swallowing the ever present anxiety was a series of battles, and he feared he’d never win this war. (His first outing with other people since he moved into town? He used to do this before – berate himself more)
Two sheets of paper towels, briefly moistened in the wink, took care of the sweat and the warmth in his face. A dry one took care of his glasses, removing the dust he was certain lived to hop on the lenses the second he put them on every day. Another deep breath, and the door of the bathroom swung open. A figure, long dark hair and dark green cloth and silver bangles and jingling like a sleigh on Christmas eve, bounded towards the nearest stall so quickly that Dean couldn’t even tell if it was male or female, just in a huge hurry. Instantly he heard the sound of a stream hitting the bowl and a long deep masculine sigh, and he knew that maybe he shouldn’t be standing in the bathroom wondering so much about a complete stranger who really needed a piss. It was a far sight better activity than braving the crowded restaurant again, but his dinner was out there, and he was starving.
Shortly after their meals arrived, the lights of the place dimmed a bit more, allowing the tea candles on everyone’s tables to carry most of the light, save for the cleared off section of the dining room floor, presumably a stage. Dean was enjoying his second forkful of lamb, cheese and flaky pastry when a curvaous woman stepped from the back of that section, clad in purple top, silks, and sashes all detailed with gold coins. Bette clapped her hands with glee, barely holding back a squeal as the woman graced the audience with a big smile, all teeth. (Make this Rachel?)
“Good evening everyone, are we ready to have some fun?” she asked, and the smile somehow got wider at the claps and whoops that earned her. “Alright! Adonis’ Kitchen proudly presents Crimson Dream!”
She opened her mouth and let out what could only be described as a war whoop, a high pitched trilling howl that was quickly joined by other trilling voices surrounding the entire room. (Freaking Dean out maybe?) Music started to play, a recorded drum beat that the woman on stage started rolling her hips to the tune. Dean could then see the owner of all those other voice, other dancers in various colored costumes, swaying through around the tables on their way to the stage. There were so many bared stomaches and undulations going on that he was almost overwhelmed.
Richard leaned in and whispered loud enough for them to hear, “Dani, you’re so getting chocolates on your desk come Monday for this.” His eyes were glued to the swaying bodies before blinking and shaking his head. “Whoa….wait. Is that one a dude?”
That got Dean’s attention quicker than he would ever admit, his eyes moving over each dancer to see what had gotten Richard’s attention. At that point, all of them had their backs to the audience, hips snapping back and forth to the beat of the drums and now flute. Coins and tassels on sashes tied around waists swayed, adding their sound to the music.
“That one,” Dani points. “Either a guy or we’re going to get seriously flashed when they turn around.”
“Aww man, I didn’t even know dudes did this,” Richard moaned.
Dean followed Dani’s finger to the figure in dark green, with long black hair running down his back. Unlike “his” companions, who wore skirts with wide slits for their legs, the man had loose pants, and even the looseness of the pants hid the nice round ass (Didn’t or did? Also, new outfit?) that was currently jigging at a ridiculously fast rate. How the hell was moving that fast even possible?
The memory of the harried patron running into the bathroom came back to him as the dancers started twisting their hips into circles, turning their bodies around to to face everyone properly. He had to be one and the same, and if Dean could have gotten a better look at the man’s face in the bathroom, he probably would have just fell down and begged to worship him. Or just offered to help hold his dick to take that leak. His face, that body, both glorious. Smooth golden skin stretched over lithe muscles that rippled with each motion. The man wasn’t skinny by any stretch, and only wore two sequined bands around his biceps for anything decoration above the waist, save for the tattoo that circled his navel. It was too far away for Dean to get a better look at what exactly it was, but for now there was much more to look over. (Jonathan: earrings? Multiple? – Yes)
Like his face, for example. He could concentrate on those thick dark lashes that framed eyes of molten honey, or the man’s sharply delicate nose, or those full lips curled into a serene smile, surrounded by dark facial hair that left no doubt about his gender. He couldn’t forget the hair on his head either, swishing behind him, dark as night and making Dean’s hands itch to touch it. Now his heart raced and the skin on the back of his neck damped with sweat for a completely different reason.
A small hand reached to shut a mouth he didn’t even know was hanging open. Bette smiled at him in understanding, and murmured softly, “You were starting to pant.”
Fuck, it had been a very long time since he’d gotten any. Thank God the table was hiding the beginning of an erection or Bette would have probably have made notice of that too.
The raw need churning in his gut got decidedly worse when the dancers started moving towards the tables, leaving two on the stage to dance in tandem. The man was moving closer to right where Dean was seated and he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the gyrating hips, even when the man stopped near enough for Dean to touch. The dancer started up another round of whooping cries that drew Dean’s attention to the long line of his neck, then those eyes that looked down at him directly. The man actually blinked at him for a moment, his sway stuttering for just a second before he turned around and moved to the next table, ass shimmying behind him. That one extended glance, the full weight and unexpected heat of those eyes, made him ache. While the view from behind was lovely, he regretted not getting a closer look at the ink on his belly, and he missed it completely when the dancers returned to the stage. The pattern continued, dancing all together, then heading back into the crowd leaving two different dancers behind until it was the man’s turn and Dean couldn’t bother to give the young girl swaying near him a single look.
The man and his partner clad in red silk moved (Purple sliks – Rachel) together, feet shuffling in a circle, arms extended before stopping, facing each other. At once, their stomachs began to quake and ripple, causing the audience to roar in appreciation at the sight.
“It’s the belly flutter thing!” Bette managed to squeal, clapping madly.
“I still can’t believe a guy can do that!” Richard replied, looking two parts disturbed and one part amazed. “How is that fucking possible?”
Dani rolled her eyes and took the last of the wine for herself. “Men have ab muscles too, and his are lovely, right Dean?”
It took Dean a moment to realize he was being spoken to. “Oh, yes. He’s…lovely.”
He barely noticed what he said or the chuckles of his companions before the view was obscured by the entire trope returning once more to end the routine in perfect formation, standing to the side, one arm up, the other curled at their waists. That got the loudest applause that even Dean joined in. His joy turned into dismay as they started filing off stage and away from view. He’d seen heaven on earth and now it was gone. It was like waking up from a really good dream. A really good wet dream.
“So, Dean,” Dani drawled, taking a hunk of feta in her fork and gesturing with it. “Do I know how to pick these places or what?” She then popped the piece of cheese into her mouth. Dani, he’d noticed, had a thing for praise.
And he had to hand it to her this time. “Oh, this place is great. That was…really something else.”
Richard laughed out loud, with Bette joining in. “Something else? Man I thought I’d have to drop a napkin in your lap to keep you from drooling on your pants. And here I thought the whole ‘I’m gay’ thing was just a ruse to keep me from setting you up with someone from the office.”
Dean’s neck got rather prickly with heat at the laughter, and he had to remind himself that it wasn’t malicious, and willed his heart to stop that stupid skipping. “Sorry to disappoint?”
“Nah, man, that means there’s more for me…”
Dani rolled her eyes and threw a piece of pita at Richard. “Gross and creepy, Rich. How’d you managed that twofer?”
As the others continued with speaking and eating, Dean looked over at the stage as one of the dancers stepped out to retrieve a CD and returned just as quickly. It got him thinking that maybe, after two years of self-imposed denial, he could be ready to perhaps give actually going out and dating a go. Probably not with the hazel-eyed beauty that would headline his private fantasies from tonight until he actually gotten someone into his bed, as he sure he’d never see him again. (Work on this – is he just horny or thoughtful?)
Check it out, ya’ll, I’m on Micheal Rupred’s blog today with an interview with Jonathan, the POV character in the book. Click away to hear about his views on life, love, bellydancing and chainmail!
…and I thought writing this book was hard! I gotta pimp it too?
Okay, confession time: I’m really bad at talking myself up. I agonize over writing an resume. Job interviews terrify me. I WISH I had half of Jonathan’s ego.
Thankfully, the community of M/M writers and reviewers are awesome people, and some have reached out to me, offering me spaces on their blogs and all that good stuff, so I am proud to present:
This Little Whatever: The Blog Tour!
September 4th: Zen gardening, insane cats and the written word
September 5th: Michael Rupured’s Blog
September 6th: Release Day! Come back here for an exclusive deleted scene!
September 9th: The Purple Rose Tea House
September 10th: Attention is Arbitrary
September 16th: Brynn Stein’s Blog