Tag Archive: Undertow


Hello, Snippetteers! — I’m having SO MUCH FUN typing this, because Her Majesty Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen of Ireland has decided my hands are the only place in this apartment fit for her to sit… this week’s Snippet is from STONE COLD, my WIP and the eighth book in the SoulShares series. This snippet stars Kevin Almstead, the human MC from HARD AS STONE (SoulShares #1), arriving at the Purgatory construction site just after sunset.


Kevin eased his Mercedes into the gap between buildings that was eventually going to be the new Purgatory’s valet parking area. Letting the steering wheel glide back to center under his palms, he was happy to see that his hands had finally stopped shaking.

Fuck premonitions.

Switching off the headlights, he eased out of the car, quietly closing the door and locking it behind himself. Conall’s ward masked sound at least as well as it did sight, but it was a bare-bones, low-wattage affair, and Kevin didn’t trust it entirely. And some of the subcontractors occasionally had people on the construction site at night, to whom it would be awkward to explain the invisible back door into Purgatory.


My usual couple of links is being expanded to four today, to cover a Very Special Occasion *grins*

First, Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

Order links for UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7), coming out July 19 (this Tuesday!!):

Amazon e-book: http://ow.ly/zJum302jq5T
Amazon paperback: http://ow.ly/xTJz302jq7R

And, finally, I’m throwing a party on Facebook, on release day, July 19, from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, Central US time, and I would LOVE to have y’all come! https://www.facebook.com/events/252662915117937/


Hello, Snippetteers! — I’ve just come up for air after plowing through edits for the latest SoulShares, so I thought I’d do a bit of a look back today. My six lines for this weekend are from DEEP PLUNGE (SoulShares #3). Tiernan (pictured above, as rendered by the incomparable Mike Grell) and Lochlann are in Tiernan’s office at Purgatory — and one of these six lines is my original editor’s favorite line from the first four books. Points if you can guess which one. *winks*


“Sit down.” Tiernan motioned toward the chair in front of the desk as he dropped into his own.

“Thanks, I prefer to stand.” Lochlann arched a brow, looking pointedly down at the other Fae.

“I am sprung from the loins of an entire race of assholes.” Tiernan rolled his eyes, turning in his chair to check out the monitors before swinging back to look narrowly up at Lochlann. “Although without the attitude, I have to admit, I’d have a hard time believing you’re Fae.”


My usual couple of links:

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, the home of more LGBTQIA goodies — https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And the pre-order link (at last!) for UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7) — it’s here, it’s here, it’s finally (gonna be) real! — http://ow.ly/HOeR3026Cil


Hello, Snippetteers! — sorry I’m late, I just got back this afternoon from CONvergence, a science fiction/fantasy/specfic/media convention I attend with my son every Fourth of July weekend. But here’s a bit from STONE COLD, the eighth SoulShares book. The book opens with Maelduin fighting for his life — I strongly believe in starting things in medias res


His opponent blurred into motion, leaping to the high ground, his sword raised despite his own evident exhaustion. Not to parry or defend, but to attack. And even at the limit of exhaustion, after a day and a night and a dawn of fighting for his life, Maelduin was breathless, in awe of the beauty of the other male’s lethal purpose.

His own purpose. His own face, his own form.

His opponent was a mage’s creation, a comhrac-scátha — a magickal ghost, a living mirror, with all Maelduin’s skill with a blade, all his grace, both natural and learned, as well as the wiles and unpredictability of living magick.


And a couple of links for y’all —

Rainbow Snippets, on Facebook — home of more LGBTQIA delights: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And to get you ready for UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7), currently scheduled to debut on July 19, here’s a buy link for SoulShares #6, MANTLED IN MIST (in which you’ll meet Mac and Lucien, two-thirds of UNDERTOW’s main characters): http://ow.ly/5G3M301TgZd


June is a very special month around here – Pride, and my birthday, and the anniversary of the signing of my very first novel contract! So in honor of all that momentousness (I’m not sure that’s even a word, but if it wasn’t before, it is now, so there), and by way of special welcome to everyone I met, or am going to be meeting, at Twin Cities Pride and CONvergence, I thought I’d gather all the buy links for all the SoulShares novels and my oboroten’ novella together in one place, in all the formats in which they’re available. However you like your m/m romance (provided you like it mythical, legendary, paranormal, and monitor-melting HOT) there’s a link for that. (And scroll all the way to the end for a FREE read, “Obsidian,” originally written for the Facebook MM Romance Group’s Love Is an Open Road project in the summer of 2015 and available on their Web site in .epub, .mobi, and .pdf. For freakin’ free. Go on, grab your copy, I’ll wait right here.

Back? Yay!

A lot has been going on over the last few months in my writing world – in particular, I’ve gotten the rights back to the two Gille Dubh novellas I had with Ellora’s Cave, HEART OF THE OAK and TEMPTED FROM THE OAK, and hopefully you’ll be seeing those two (and their younger and as yet unpublished sibling, BOUND IN OAK), sometime in 2017. I have short stories scheduled to come out in a charity Shakespeare m/m romance anthology and a 12 Days of Christmas anthology – check back here for more details on both as I get them. And I’m scheduled to be at CONvergence (Bloomington, Minnesota, June 30-July 1), Gaylaxicon (World LGBT SFF Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 7-9), and GRL (GayRomLit Retreat, Featured Author, October 20-23, Kansas City, Missouri). C’mon up and see me sometime!

Oh, and if you’re new to my blog, please do subscribe, and come find me on Facebook –

And now *drum roll* THE BUY LINKS!

Hard as Stone Final

HARD AS STONE (SoulShares #1)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/6puW301xGCC
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/rZb1301xJtu
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/CV9n301xGEO

Gale Force Final

GALE FORCE (SoulShares #2)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/BfqJ301xIpz
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/HPmO301xJwL
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/qPJs301xItz

Deep Plunge Final

DEEP PLUNGE (SoulShares #3)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/vSYn301xI4p
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/8CW7301xJyQ
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/OH4q301xI7g

Firestorm Final

FIRESTORM (SoulShares #4)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/QoMW301xIcV
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/IaeV301xJC5
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/K3bw301xIhU

Blowing Smoke Final

BLOWING SMOKE (SoulShares #5)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/hFNQ301xIwo
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/Wgjo301xJHs
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/7h3n301xIEr

Mantled in Mist Final

MANTLED IN MIST (SoulShares #6)

Amazon (Kindle): http://ow.ly/V9fx301xIJI
Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi or .pdf): http://ow.ly/Sck1301xJKz
Amazon (paperback): http://ow.ly/yGJl301xINr


Undertow from Amazon

UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7)

Amazon (Kindle):  http://ow.ly/qQ0E302oPfL

All Romance eBooks:  http://ow.ly/5IUX302oYBc

Riverdale Avenue Books (.epub, .mobi, or .pdf):  http://riverdaleavebooks.com/books/5267/undertow

Amazon (paperback):  http://ow.ly/Seok302oPlc

Coming in 2017: STONE COLD (SoulShares #8) and BACK DOOR INTO PURGATORY (SoulShares #9 and the end of the series)


WOLF, BECOMING (Russian wolf shapeshifter novella)

Amazon (Kindle only): http://ow.ly/US2D301xGzj
Dreamspinner Press (.epub. .mobi, or .pdf): http://ow.ly/ItKU301xITW


FREE READ – “Obsidian” — http://ow.ly/yBTa301xNqI




Welcome to my little corner of the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality (formerly known as the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia)! I’m thrilled with the name change, and the mission change, for reasons I’ll get to in a minute, but a quick introduction first: I’m an author of what I call mythic and legendary m/m erotic romance (I’ve been told by several judges over the years that I’m too mythic/legendary and not enough romance for the RITA Awards, so I figure I’m getting the balance right about where I want it!) And personally, I identify as asexual in casual conversation, autochorissexual if you feel like talking tech. (http://asexuals.wikia.com/wiki/Autochorissexual) I even have it tattooed on my leg. (See above.)

A few housekeeping details, before I get started –

I’m going to see if this works — our tech guru tells me that this ought to be a working link back to the rest of the Hop, to let y’all find (more) wonderful stuff to read! (and if this doesn’t work, there’s a link in the second comment to the blog, down below.)

*crosses fingers tightly*

Also, for every comment at the end of this blog, I’m going to be donating a dollar at the end of the Hop to Lambda Legal, to help with their coordinated response to the flood of “religious liberty” bills we’re currently seeing. Please put me on the hook for as much as possible. Seriously. Feel free.

And finally, every comment will enter you to win an autographed copy of the first edition of HARD AS STONE, the first book in my SoulShares series, if you’re in the US or Canada, or electronic copies of HARD AS STONE and GALE FORCE (SoulShares 1 and 2) if you’re elsewhere.

Now, with that out of the way –

Why I Love the Hop’s Mission Change

I’d like to begin with a very important caveat – in what follows, I am absolutely not purporting to speak for everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community. Or even everyone in that community who wants to make a change in the current political/social climate. There are as many ways to effect change as there are people who want to change things. And no one response to provocation is always the right answer. I’m just making a few observations about the path I’m on. And if anyone finds anything here that resonates, you’re welcome to join me!

It’s very easy, especially in the current, um, highly emotionally charged political climate, to define ourselves in terms of what we’re against, instead of what we’re for. Sometimes, in some contexts, it’s necessary to do that – when you’re standing up to speak out against a specific injustice, for example, or speaking truth to power. But we need to be aware that when we go beyond the needs of the present situation, and turn our opposition into part of what we see ourselves as, into part of our own being, there’s almost always a side effect. Consciously or unconsciously, our world turns into “us vs. them”. And “us” is always better than “them” – if it weren’t, we’d be on the “them” side. And unless we’re very, very careful, we look down on “them”. We turn “them” into “other,” and “less than.” And we turn “them” into a faceless mass, every one of “them” the same. One obstacle to be overcome, a single hateful voice to be silenced.

My native Minnesota was the first state to vote down a “one-man-one-woman” marriage amendment. We didn’t do it through advertising, or fiery speeches, or political rhetoric. We did it mindfully, deliberately, one conversation at a time. And by “conversation,” I mean telling our stories, yes. But also listening to the stories of those we engaged with. Refusing to believe that those who disagreed with us were “other.” Sure, some of our opponents were angry, bitter, hateful people. But a great many weren’t. A great many were genuinely afraid of a changing world they didn’t understand and didn’t feel like a part of. We talked to those people. We put our faces, and the faces of the people we loved, and the faces of the people our opponents loved, on their faceless concept of “them”.

And we made a difference. Not only did Minnesota vote down “one-man-one-woman”, but just a year later we went to the polls and made Minnesota the 12th state in the country to legislate marriage equality.

We don’t need unanimity before we can have equality. Hells to the no. Equality before the law isn’t something that’s up for a popular vote – and believe me, I’m as militant as the next red-haired Irish lawyer when it comes to standing up for the legal rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, and opposing the ridiculous and harmful legislation that seems to be assailing us at every turn these days. But at the same time, genuine equality, the kind we don’t have to be terrified of losing every time the winds of politics sweep another party into power or some demagogue decides to accumulate political capital by playing on a frightened minority’s fear of “the other,” isn’t a destination we can reach as a society by dragging the people who are afraid of it along behind us to some imaginary finish line. As wonderful as it would have been to be able to say the job was done when Obergefell became the law of the land, we still need to be having those conversations. Having the courage to put our faces on the faceless fears of those of our brothers and sisters who will listen. My priest made this point very succinctly in her sermon this Sunday – we need to have these conversations “with those who are willing to have them, and as we are able.” I’ve decided that what I want most give to this fight, even more than my Olympic-caliber snark and occasionally eloquent indignation, is my love. As much as I can, I want to come from a place of love. Because, ultimately, love wins. I truly believe that.


A bit of a P.S. here, as long as I’m revising to add the link back to the Hop — I had an interesting experience the other night, a run-in with one of those folks who apparently ISN’T willing to have the Minnesota Nice conversation. One of my fellow students in an Irish song class, whose business card lists him as “author and Anointed Minister of God,” gave saving my soul the old college try after class. “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Well, then, surely you understand that — even though I’m sure he loves …homosexuals… you can’t possibly be a Christian and approve of the homosexual lifestyle.” I’m afraid I have a ways to go before I can respond to people like that with the kind of love and patience I hope to achieve. *sighs* At least no one had to bail me out of anyplace…

Here’s a taste of my just-completed (like, yesterday) WIP, UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7). Rhoann Callte, my shape-shifter Fae protagonist for this book (he’s presently a salmon), is something of a rarity among Fae – he’s demisexual. And it’s been a wonderful experience writing him!


The water was full of light. Moonlight, and the strange orange light the humans created and hung from metal poles. For a while, Rhoann used the brightness to explore the boundaries of his new home, gliding along the uneven shore, letting the water from a small waterfall drum on his shining back, diving to test the depth of the water in a double hand of places.

The lake the other Fae had called the Pool was small for a salmon Rhoann’s size, but it would do for now. Just a little larger than a trap.

Aine was wrong. The other Loremasters were wrong. Rhoann swam in circles, in looped figures, out in the deeper center of the lake, his powerful tail sending him speeding through the water and scattering smaller fish. She took me — they took me — they stole me for nothing.

Rhoann dove, seeking cooler water, a clearer head. They were so sure. Two who needed my help, two who would not be whole without me. Bryce, with his stubborn refusal to be helped while there was still help he himself could give; Cuinn, his voice lost to a magick Rhoann could not comprehend.

Maybe Aine was right. Rhoann would have sighed, if this body allowed such. As far as she could see, at least. Maybe they will never be whole without me… so maybe they will never be whole.

The thought made Rhoann sad.

I am not whole, either. Though I am not sure I know what the difference feels like, between whole and not.

He broke out of his circle, swimming parallel to the shore, learning the shape of the lake with his body. Half his soul had left him, somewhere in the agony between two worlds. But was the emptiness he felt the echo of a missing soul? Or simple loneliness?

Loneliness. The word was strange, almost foreign. How could he be lonely, when all he had ever wanted was to be alone?

A massive willow tree arched out over the water, the tips of its branches trailing in the water. There was darkness of a sort in the shelter of the branches, and a gentle flow of cool water from a nearby spring, a human-made thing. Exhausted at last, Rhoann set himself in the flow, fins rippling just enough to keep him in place. His half-Royal magick touched the water, and called darkness into it, true darkness touched only by starlight.

The eyes of his salmon form never closed. But Rhoann the salmon could sleep. He went within himself, and he dreamed.
Dreamed of a lost world, and a lost soul.

And a human, with the hair of an ancient, a leg of bound magick, and eyes overflowing with utterly unFae tears.



Hello, Snippetteers! — I took a day off work this week in an attempt to finish UNDERTOW (which was technically due, um, Sunday). Didn’t quite get there — but some very wonderful things happened to our lads. And one of my favorite passages was touched off by nothing more than Lucien’s smile. (Just remember — Lucien was the head bouncer at Purgatory, and Mac was the lead bartender.) Enjoy!


Mac had overheard guys at the club calling Lucien’s smile ‘ugly-handsome’. “That bouncer – he smiles at you, and you don’t care what he looks like any more.” He’d schooled the shit out of the more obnoxious patrons, and just shrugged afterward when Lucien asked why he’d been doing his job for him. And the rest… well, he’d just smiled, and kept his thoughts to himself. Lucien was Lucien. He was Mac’s light, and his love, and his life.


And a couple of links to round out the week —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for many more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And WOLF, BECOMING, where old Russia meets new, and wolves are not what they seem: http://ow.ly/Fzal3000Jil


Welcome to this week’s Rainbow Snippet! *winks* Just had to give a little bit of a shout-out to one of my personal heroes, the Notorious RBG.

This week’s Snippet goes all the way back to the beginning of UNDERTOW, the first time Rhoann sees Mac. Mac’s in the ruins of Purgatory, which is where Lucien was injured (Lucien was the head bouncer at the club, before it was destroyed at the end of MANTLED IN MIST, and Mac was the lead bartender); he’s just found the duffel bag Lucien used to keep a change of clothes in, and he’s in tears over a t-shirt he found in the bag. “Feel safe at night – sleep with a Marine.” And Rhoann is watching from hiding.


The scent of salt water, human tears, struck Rhoann like the crash of a storm-wave.

“Lucien…” The human’s voice broke.

Rhoann watched, rapt, heedless of his own tears. Wanting to heal the human’s heart. But that was no Fae desire, and no Fae could give the gift of such a healing.


And, as always, a couple of links for you!

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA+ goodies — https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And WOLF, BECOMING — where mythic fantasy meets modern Russia — http://ow.ly/4nhmV8


And, finally, a look at my muse for Mac. Mac is, of course, older than the amazing BT Urruela (and I claim no copyright in this images, that would be the equally amazing Michael Stokes) — but apart from a few years’ difference in age, this is definitely how I picture Mac. Enjoy!



Hello, Snippetteers! This week’s seven sentences (maybe I ought to write fewer two-word sentences…) take place right before Rhoann (a half-Royal Water Fae, for those of you new to the SoulShares) starts healing Lucien, who’s been in a magickally-induced coma for months. Thing is, his healing only works in water – which means he’s had to change Lucien, enable him to breathe water. Which meant changing Mac, Lucien’s partner and Rhoann’s SoulShare, so Mac could be with Lucien during the healing. At the moment, all three of them are at the bottom of the Pool, in Central Park; Mac is holding on to Lucien, while Rhoann has moved off a little way to get some privacy, to prepare for the healing.


Mac looked up – he couldn’t help himself – to where Rhoann hung motionless in the water, arms wrapped around himself, his blond crest of hair waving gently in the water like a fin. The most gorgeous man Mac had ever seen in his life. Magical, which for some reason that was beyond him made perfect sense instead of being something out of the X-Files. Shy – but he kissed like there would never be another kiss to say what needed to be said. And he looks cold. Or lonely. Or scared.


And here are my usual couple of links for y’all:

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook – the place to hook up for more LGBTQIA+ goodies, this week and every week: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And if you’d like to meet Mac and Lucien, here’s a link to MANTLED IN MIST (SoulShares #6) on Amazon: http://ow.ly/4n1fv3 or at the publisher’s Web site: http://ow.ly/4n1fA9


Good morning, Snippetteers! — I’m afraid this morning’s Snippet requires a bit of setup, and once again I’ve gone over my sentence limit. But I wrote this last night — it’s from UNDERTOW — and as I was writing it, I knew I had to share it with y’all. *winks*

So, the setup… The first speaker in this snippet is Rhoann, the half=Royal Water Fae. He’s preparing to heal Lucien, Mac’s partner, who has been in a coma for several months. But Rhoann’s healing powers require water to work — in fact, he and Lucien are going to have to be under water the whole time. So he’s had to change Lucien, so that Lucien can breathe water the way a Water Fae can. But Lucien is water-phobic, so Mac has insisted he has to come along, so he can be there for Lucien. (Truth be told, he’s also more than a little nervous about his partner waking up from a coma in the arms of a drop-dead-gorgeous naked Fae.) In the snippet, Rhoann is getting the three of them ready to be taken to the bottom of the Pool, a small lake in Central Park in New York City, where he’s taken up residence. (The second speaker is Mac.)


“You will wish to remove your clothes. And Lucien’s…”

“Hospital gown.”

Rhoann arched a brow. “I have seen gowns. My mother wore beautiful gowns. That –” He gestured at the faded scrap of wet fabric bunched around Lucien’s extremely hairy barrel chest. “That is not a gown.”


And, to conclude, my usual coupla links —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook — for more LGBTQIA goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And WOLF, BECOMING, my Russian shape-shifter novella from Dreamspinner. (I just had an idea for another related story — if you’ve read WOLF, and would like to see something else set in that same world, please let me know!): http://ow.ly/4mLkyA


Hello, Snippetteers! — things don’t get much more WIP-ish than this. Here’s a snippet I wrote last night. Seven sentences instead of six — my apologies, but I think you’ll see why I needed the extra sentence. All I’m going to say by way of a lead-in is that the first speaker is Rhoann, the half-Royal Water Fae. And that this is Rhoann’s first kiss.


“Am I doing this right?” Mac felt Rhoann’s lips moving, breathed in Rhoann’s breath.

And Mac laughed. Even knowing these few moments were all he was ever going to have of the Fae, he laughed. Joy fizzed under his skin, all through him, in a way it hadn’t in months. “You’re doing it perfect.”

“Show me how to make it better than perfect.”


And a couple of links for y’all —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/
MANTLED IN MIST, SoulShares # 6 (in which we become much better acquainted with Mac and Lucien): http://ow.ly/ZXcCQ