Rainbow Snippets

I don’t even know how it’s the weekend. I’m behind on everything so I’ll keep this short. I’m picking right up with These Haunted Hills right where we left off. Brendan and Joshua are outside the murder hotel and saw something moving in the second story window.

“Look to see if there’s anything in the trees that would be casting a shadow that direction,” he ordered.

Brendan spun in a slow circle, head canted back as he obeyed. “Nothing. I don’t think it could just be leaves. It’s too solid.”

“Damn, it’s gone.” Josh kept the camera trained on the window. “There’s no way of getting up there from the inside.”

“Doesn’t look safe to bring a ladder and try from out here. We’d probably end up going through what’s left of the floor.”

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Rainbow Snippets

The semester is over. I can delve into my research now. Or I could watch crap off my DVR which is 97% full. But lately what I’ve been doing is listening to Murder Squad, Morbid, Mountain Murders, My Favorite Murder and This Podcast Will Kill You, podcasts….

Picking up where I left off with These Haunted Hills Josh and Brendan are headed back to the haunted murder hotel.

Josh thrilled every time Brendan brought the book up. He’d never been there for the birth of a novel and there was something contagious about Brendan’s excitement. They were within the shadow of the ruins, staring into the broken windows. Brendan jumped, grabbing Josh’s arm.

“Did you see that?” he pointed up at the remains of the second story window.

“No.”

“There.”

Brendan gesticulated wildly. Something dark moved across the window as if pacing. It was too tall to be a raccoons or other animal. It didn’t move like one. If there was anything Josh knew, it was how the local wildlife moved. He whipped up his camera, trying to capture the movement.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Rainbow Snippets

I almost didn’t play along this week as I’m in the middle of grading all the things and didn’t get time to read last week. I’ll have to play catch up.

Still with These Haunted Hills

Joshua couldn’t be more aware of someone being in his orbit than he was of Brendan at this very moment. They trucked along the trail from the hotel, hopefully having some good evidence on their recordings. They had explored the grounds more, trying to see if they could get a hint as to where Diana had buried many of her kills. They didn’t want to go back inside until he could assemble the team to really document the haunts systemically but it stood to reason that the ghosts would be lingering on the grounds.

Brendan loved the idea. It sounded like something his characters would do and would probably be menaced as they did it

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Rainbow Snippets

Still working on the house clean up but I did finish camp nano but not the actual project. Ah well.

Picking up from last week’s bit for These Haunted Hills where Josh and Brendan are fire side talking about his new novel’s first draft.

So, you made mention of reading to me.” Josh beamed.

“So I did.” Brendan put his messenger bag in his lap and extracted the computer. “Keep in mind it’s super rough.”

“I’ve been warned.”

Brendan pulled up the file. He hadn’t read a story in this state out loud to anyone but Kristen in years. Somehow it felt right. With the glow of the computer bright in the night, Brendan started to read.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

New Release -Dream Weaver by Dez Schwartz

Title: Dream Weaver

Series: Roam, Book Three

Author: Dez Schwartz

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 27, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 45400

Genre: Paranormal, celestials, death, dream world, dreams, Elementals, ghosts, magic, MM Romance, sandman, witches

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Synopsis

Ethan Roam has faced a lot of nightmarish challenges—finding out he’s a sandman, falling in love with the man who once hunted him, and thwarting attacks from The Order of Azoth, a secret occult organization set on using his bloodline to conquer the universe by controlling immortality. And the battle is far from over.

To defeat The Order and its leader, Phantom, Ethan must first find the original Sandman and then bring the fight to the Dream World. Saving the universe might be too tall an order for one dream creature, but with the help of his friends and some Celestial beings with questionable motives, Ethan just might be able to weave a trap of surreal proportions.

Excerpt

Dream Weaver
Dez Schwartz © 2020
All Rights Reserved

The Misguided Travelers

“Maybe it’s broken.” Ethan Roam, the sandman, shook the orb as though giving the device the magic-eight-ball treatment would bring it pulsing back to life.

“It had better not be. Technical support doesn’t exist for magical artifacts,” Mercury said.

Unsuccessful at reviving the device, Ethan set the orb down on the flattened surface of a nearby stalagmite. “I’m surprised to say it, but I really wish Chris was here. If anyone could fix this, it would probably be him.”

“The Sandman Orb doesn’t need to be fixed. You’re just a bad driver,” Mercury, the former vampire, Dacey, who was now transformed into a celestial entity, chided. Guarded, he turned a one-eighty to view what little he could make out about their dark cavernous surroundings. This wasn’t the first alien planet Ethan had transported them to. But without the Sandman Orb working to give them a proper idea of where they physically were, it was becoming the most foreboding.

“Well, it would help if I had the driver’s manual,” Ethan defended, referring to the Codex, which had been left behind in Grady Hunter’s study during the battle with the Hunters of Azoth, forcing them all to escape to the Dream World. “My driving doesn’t explain why the orb just stopped working all together.”

“Of course, it does. You took a wrong turn into an uncharted dimension. You’re off the grid, darling.”

“Sorry I didn’t pull over to ask for directions,” Ethan snipped.

Before he could add anything else to his sarcastic rebuttal, Mercury grabbed his arm in a protective manner and whispered, “Hide the orb. We’re not alone.”

Ethan scooped the archaic device up and stowed the orb away inside his jacket’s inner lining, thankful Grady had bestowed the hand-me-down to him. His boyfriend’s wardrobe had all sorts of custom pockets and restraints for portable weaponry, which Ethan found to be more and more a necessity.

A cluster of glowing eyes appeared in the darkness, followed by the sound of grunts. Ethan released a pulse of glowing blue dream energy from his palm to light up the space. The alien animal let out an annoyed squawk. Now that Ethan could get a good peek at the creature, he wished he hadn’t.

The alien matched the murky gray sediment of the walls around them and appeared just as bulky. Its long body reminded Ethan of a salamander, only several feet longer and the size of a large crocodile. Once its gaggle of eyes adjusted to the light, the creature used six legs to propel itself rapidly toward them.

“Ball play is over. Back to basics,” Mercury instructed. Mercury had no reason to worry for his own life, seeing as he currently held the title of Death. Instead, he’d be more interested in protecting Ethan’s.

Picking up on his meaning, Ethan opened a portal back to the Dream World. In the blink of an eye, he and Mercury left behind a confused, angry, and hungry alien life-form.

*

Luckily, Mercury noted, Ethan has mastered the art of landing on his feet and not on his face when traveling between worlds.

Mercury grinned his approval. “You’re improving.”

“Not nearly fast enough,” Ethan reminded him, producing the orb once again. At least now they knew for certain the device wasn’t broken since the orb glowed back to working order with the atmosphere of the Dream World to energize it. “And this thing is basically useless without the Codex.”

“There’s more than one way to navigate foreign waters. Might I refer you to the Age of Exploration?” Mercury patted him on the shoulder in encouragement.

“No need to ask if you had any luck. I see Vincent still isn’t with you.”

They turned to see Marcus von Rottal, the vampire, standing nearby, his hands casually resting in his pockets.

Mercury had reason to be wary of Marcus’s extreme interest. They were all in limbo until they could find Vincent Roam, Ethan’s father—the original Sandman. Unbeknownst to the others, Marcus was the reason for Vincent’s disappearance. He’d pushed Vincent into a portal out of unfounded jealousy. Mercury had guarded their secret in order to protect Marcus. However, the truth seemed destined to come out. Especially if they were successful in finding Vincent alive. Mercury imagined Marcus would want to put all his efforts into doing whatever he could to prevent that from happening.

As long as Mercury had known him, Marcus had put his own interests above everyone else’s. Nothing could stop him or deter him once he set his mind on something. Mercury would have to play his hand very close to keep Marcus from interfering or suspecting he mistrusted his intentions. And as unrealistic as his desire was, a part of him also hoped the others never would know the truth. Regardless of everything which had transpired to drive them apart in the last century, and as much as he’d shed the coil of his past life as Dacey, Mercury still felt protective over him. Or at least responsible for him.

“Marcus, darling! I’m so glad you’re here,” he lied. “Would you be a doll and fetch Grady and perhaps even the portly fellow? What’s his name again?”

“Arthur,” Ethan helped.

Mercury snapped his fingers in confirmation. “Yes! I have an ever-growing list of questions needing answers from those bookish occultist blokes.”

“Hunter wandered into the dream forest,” Marcus informed them. He often referred to Grady by his surname to slight him. “I was quite hoping he’d lose himself in there, but I suppose I’ll go fetch him out if I must. Must I?”

Mercury nodded.

Marcus pursed his lips in response before making his way into the fluorescent-hued woods surrounding them.

Knowing full well Ethan would question the need to interrogate the other men, Mercury went ahead and answered. “Who has read the Mechanics of Sleep Travel more times than anyone else, and even better, who helped write the damned thing?”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Dez Schwartz is a LGBTQ, Dreampunk, & Gothic Romance author and artist based in San Angelo, Texas. She holds a BFA in Studio Art and worked as a graphic artist, and a Director’s Assistant at a fine arts museum, before transitioning to writing full-time.

Her longtime love of Victorian spiritualism, gay literary fiction, and romantic comedies inspired her to begin writing all of the stories she wished existed.

When she’s not passionately crafting tales, she can be found drawing, researching, or traveling with loved ones.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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New Release – Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed

Title: Legally Wed

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 27, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68600

Genre: Contemporary, elementary teacher, gay marriage, grief, Lake Union, men with pets, receptionist, romance, same-sex marriage, Seattle, second chances, Washington State, wedding planner

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Synopsis

Love comes along when you least expect it.

That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants―a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life―and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.

Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?

Excerpt

Legally Wed
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Same-sex marriage had just become legal in Washington State, and Duncan Taylor didn’t plan on wasting any time. He had been dating Tucker McBride for more than three years, and ever since the possibility of marriage had become more than just a pipe dream, it was all Duncan could think of. He thought of it as he gazed out the windows of his houseboat on Lake Union on days both sunny and gray (since it was late autumn, there were a lot more of the latter); he thought of it as he stood before his classroom of fourth graders at Cascade Elementary School. He thought of it when he woke up in the morning and before he fell asleep at night.

For Duncan, marriage was the peak, the happy ending, the icing on the cake, the culmination of one’s heart’s desire, a commitment of a lifetime, the joining of two souls. For Duncan, it was landing among the stars.

And for Duncan, who would turn thirty-eight on his next birthday, it was also something he had never dared dream would be possible for him.

Now, too excited to sleep, he was thinking about it—hard—once again. It was just past midnight on December 6, 2012, and the local TV news had preempted its regular programming to take viewers live to Seattle City Hall, where couples were forming a serpentine line to be among the first in the state to be issued their marriage licenses—couples who had also for far too long believed this right would be one they would never be afforded. Many clung close together to ward off the chill, but Duncan knew their reasons for canoodling went far deeper than that.

The mood, in spite of the darkness pressing in all around, was festive. There was a group serenading the couples in line, singing “Going to the Chapel.” Champagne corks popped in the background. Laughter.

Duncan couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he watched all the male-male and female-female couples in the line, their moods of jubilation, of love, of triumph, traveling through to him even here on his houseboat only a couple of miles north of downtown. Duncan wiped tears from his eyes as he saw not only the couples but also all the supporters, city workers, and volunteers who had crowded together outside city hall to wish the new couples well, to share in the happiness of the historic moment.

And then Duncan couldn’t help it; he fell into all-out blubbering as the first couple to get their license emerged from city hall. Eighty-five-year-old Pete-e Petersen and her partner and soon-to-be-wife, Jane Abbott Lighty, were all smiles when a reporter asked them how they felt.

“We waited a long time. We’ve been together thirty-five years never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can’t hardly stand it,” Pete-e said.

It was such a special moment, and it was all Duncan could do not to pick up the phone and call Tucker and casually say something like, “Hey honey, you want to get married?”

But he knew he had to wait even if patience was a virtue Duncan had in short supply. On Sunday, when the first marriages would take place, he planned on bringing Tucker to their favorite restaurant, an unpretentious little joint on Capitol Hill called Olympia Pizza. There, amid the darkened and—for them—romantic interior with the smells of garlic, basil, and tomato sauce surrounding them, Duncan would propose, saying something clever like:

“I’m thinking about changing my Facebook relationship status to ‘engaged.’ Would you mind?”

In his mind, Tucker would chuckle and then rub at the tuft of blond hair that grew from his chin, regarding Duncan with his dark-blue eyes. Duncan could see the flicker of the candle lighting up his man’s features as he held the silence for a few moments, building the suspense. Then he would say something like, “I think I’ll change mine too.”

That would be one way it could play out—very twenty-first century.

Duncan would then imagine all his friends and family congratulating the newly minted fiancés with “Likes” and words of encouragement and shared happiness. Maybe he could get their waiter to take a picture of them, holding hands over a sausage and mushroom pie, right after the moment when they went from two guys dating to two guys anticipating…marriage.

Duncan found himself wiping yet another tear from his eye. Sunday was going to be perfect.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Find him at http://www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Rainbow Snippets

The school work is ramping up again now that we’re down to the last two weeks. I’m rather drowning in it.

Still with These Haunted Hills. Brendan has consented to read a little of the new book to Josh fire-side.

Josh practically bounced out of the cabin. Grinning to himself, Brendan slipped his computer into the messenger bag then fetched his Thomas Tew rum to whip up the dark and stormies.

Josh had the fire pit roaring when Brendan got outside. It had gotten dark enough for the stars to come out. Brendan sat in the lawn chair after handing over one of the drinks. He tilted his head back and sipped the richly spiced drink. He always chose the spiciest ginger beer brands he could find. “Damn, the sky is really crystalline isn’t it? I love it out here. I didn’t think I would. I was terrified to come out here.”

“I did get that vibe from you. You didn’t seem like a country kind of guy.”

“No, not really but I am loving this way more than I thought. I haven’t seen this many stars in forever. I can see why you’d like to head out into the desert for some stargazing. You know, Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas has some nice star gazing and then you can also have all the fun of the Vegas strip too. Are there foxes to research out there?”

“Hmmm I’m not sure. There is the Sierra Nevada or High Sierra fox. It’s a subspecies of red fox and it highly endangered but I think its range is the California desert.”

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!