Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sink or Swim Teaser

Recently the M/M group began the plans for "Hot July Days," a series of short stories based on pictures posted by group members. The stories will be released throughout July and part of August. One of my writing buddies kept saying, "You're going to participate, right?" I hesitated, mostly because I have a hard time keeping things short. She said she's co-write with me and from that we've developed a piece titled Sink or Swim for the HJDs.

Beau has always been the center of attention, the first responder, dive master, and all around life-saver. When he gets a job overseas, Abram feels that he has to follow his lover, but he still harbors doubts of his own worthiness.

Those doubts come to a head during the long flight to begin their new lives. How far is Abram willing to go to keep Beau to himself? Sometimes in matters of the heart, you just have to dive in and sink or swim.

Teaser from Sink or Swim by Lissa Kasey and Xara X. Xanakas:

Beau woke me up before dawn that morning, shoved a travel cup of coffee at me, and practically dragged me to the car. He hadn’t even given me time to grab a shirt, which I guessed was okay since he wasn’t wearing one either. A cooler sat between our seats, a beach towel draped across the backseat, and Beau wore a crazy grin.

That smile of his had always been infectious. That day it hit me hard, and I couldn’t keep my heart from swelling. Obviously we were going to the beach, that wasn’t new. We went there often, and that was where we met. But when he turned away from the highway that would take us to the beach, I shifted to watch him and tried to determine what he had planned.

“Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.”

“It’s not my birthday, or our anniversary.” It wasn’t his birthday either.

“You want cake? We can go get cake.”

“I don’t want cake. At least not right now. I’m just wondering what has you grinning like a villain.”

“Grinning like a villain? Does anyone still say that?” Beau’s smile was teasing.

“Did you win the lottery?”


Okay, now I was really curious. He didn’t buy lottery tickets. Beau was a planner. He always knew where he was going, and he never dove with filing a plan. “What’s that mean?”
He shook his head, happy expression remaining firm.

I scratched my very prickly jaw. “Are other people going to see us? Couldn’t you have let me shave first?”

He reached over and stroked my chin, the sensation shooting right to my cock. “I like you scruffy. And no, it’s just us.”

“In that case maybe you could take that hand a little further south.” And he did, but only to rest his warm palm on my thigh. “Not exactly what I had in mind.”

“Plenty of time for that later. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.”

We drove for almost an hour up to a hiking trail we hadn’t used since the summer we met. In fact, we’d come here on our first date. I’d been so nervous that day. Beau had been so far out of my league, I’d nearly had a heart attack when he asked me out. We’d hiked up to the top, taking it slow because I had been still recovering from an accident, and sat there, making out on the rocks overlooking the ocean. Best first date ever.

That morning the rich salty air brought strength and warmth to my heart. Beau grabbed the cooler, towel and my hand before dragging me up the path. I dug in my heels a little to get him to walk slower. He only had three inches on me, but I swear he was all legs. I nearly had to jog to keep up with his long strides. He pulled my hand up and kissed the back of it, softly, that heavenly smile still on his face.

We moved in silence, two parts of the whole, until we reached the top. The view was the same. Beautiful blue-green water, white waves crashing, and blue sky meeting water as far as the eye could see. I knew what he saw in the water, why he loved it so much. I knew he loved me, but sometimes I just wished he would look at me with that same glint of joy in his gaze.

He tugged me along with him. “Little further, Abe.”

“We’re not hanging here?”

“Nope. Got a better plan.”

I followed him over the rise of rocks and down a slight incline until a little valley came into view. The ground was littered with red pops of color. Flowers, much like the ones on his arm, decorated the open area. And though I couldn’t see the waves, I heard them crashing nearby in that peaceful swoosh-shoo sound.

Beau set the cooler and blanket down then pulled out a huge breakfast: California rolls, fruit, cinnamon raisin bagels, and honey nut cream cheese. He even had more coffee in a thermos.

I spread out the blanket, trying not to squish too many flowers and patted the seat beside me. “That was a long drive for breakfast on the beach.”

He plopped down and used a set of chopsticks to hold up a roll for me to bite into then took the other half for himself. “Anything for you, baby.”

I fed him a strawberry, letting him lick the juice off my fingers. We ate until I was ready to burst and lay down on the blanket. The scent of the flowers mixed with the salty air was oddly soothing. He rested his face on my shoulder, staring at me like he was trying to memorize the moment. I watched his eyes close in peaceful calm, his scruff tickling my shoulder.

After fishing my cell out of my pocket I tried to maneuver around Beau to get a picture of him sleeping so sweetly. But since my arm was half trapped under his head, the angle turned out a little weird. He must have heard the click because he smiled at me.

“You faking it?” I nudged him.

“Never with you, baby.”


I hope this inspires you to read more. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In a Character’s Head

Since I write mostly in first person point of view, I spend a lot of time getting into my character’s brains. Seiran being one of the most vocal of my characters is pretty easy to get inside. And no it’s not because we are alike, we aren’t.

Sometimes even he won’t talk to me. So I often use profiling and character interviews to get back into the zone. There are a few characters that really just don’t like to talk about themselves. Like Jamie from Conviction, and Thomas from my WIP ghost piece.

Right now I’m working on Sam’s book and while he’s fairly vocal, he’s not giving me the events as easily as Seiran did. Profiling him doesn’t help. I know him inside and out. But I think he’s just tired. I did put him through a lot in the last two books. Sadly that seems to make him resistant to getting his HEA or even a HFN.

I just need to sit down and write and make him talk to me. Resistant as he is. I know he is mad that I turned him, but I gotta go with the flow. Maybe tonight we’ll get chapter two done.