So today I was over at EM Lynley’s blog and left a sneak peak of Requiem in Leather: Deputy Joe Book 4. No, the book’s not finished yet, but I thought I’d tease everyone.
With an unusual hero, great characters, and an interesting storyline, Laying Ghosts is a great read. Anyone who hasn’t read this series ought to pick up the first book ASAP.
A nice review over at Mrs. Condit by Lucky that the reviewer gave me a heads up on. Retro Read Review: The Good Thief by James Buchanan
The story itself is pretty tight. Crossing the thin blue line gets Nate in trouble with his fellow officers, Caesar can’t help admit he’s got it bad for the cop, but where could they possibly end up together? When it comes down to it, which would Nate rather be a part of – some bad cops or with The Good Thief?
First review for Laying Ghosts and its a 5++
There are some changes in the lives of these two men as the story comes to an end and, although I know the author has a very busy work life, I can’t wait for the next story to come out.
Has been released as a stand alone eBook!
and it has a new cover.
James introduces us to Alad and Hirah, both out searching for something when they meet, are they the end of searching for each other?
|ISBN#||978-1-60820-7398 (ebook) $5.99|
|Length: (*)||49,000 words|
Nealgalt, Xuyi Sector
Quad Cycle 4, Pay Cycle 6, Patrol 4, Day 36
Gray mist undulated around him and Alad hunkered into his greatcoat, cursing the government, the military, the enemy, religion and pretty much anyone else he could blame for stranding him on this rock in the skanky armpit of the far side of the universe. He’d beg for sun, but none existed here, at least not in this season. Perpetual overcast served up with sides of absolute darkness and intermittent twilight haunted his days. He’d be so stoked when he found a ride off this shit-pit.
Alad stepped from slick twisted root to twisted root, a winding, treacherous and living shortcut from one ramshackle walkway to another. Things slithered through the oily water below. Tumbledown bars, whorehouses and low rent lodgings twisted off in dizzying directions, their location due more to where infrequent patches of solid land could be found than actual planning. All of it castoff MDU and MTO prefabs destined for the scrap heap, salvaged and pressed into service to make up the eyesore known as Desperation Alley-the no-man’s land between base and the up-rank civilian settlements. Missing panels patched by biopolymer sheets added off-color dissonance to the grays and muted blue buildings. Shadows flitted behind window openings covered with NatuResin tarps. Here and there, outmoded and damaged shipping containers served as pod barracks: racks of one-bod and two-bod bunks bracketed floor to ceiling for those too drunk or burning to stumble back to base.
Above him, a canopy of steel blue foliage almost three stadion deep hid the makers of all the various scurrying sounds. Large trunks, bleached white by the salts sucked up through the water, supported networks of vines and explosions of flora in colors the human eye couldn’t even register. The whole planet washed out into a charcoal rendering of actual living things. Rotting organic material tainted the air with an ever present miasma of decay. Yesterday was spent searching for companies that would have him and his men. The standard hours akin to daylight today dwindled away in the same futile quest and Alad figured tomorrow would dawn on him humping his ass to various commands. Not even a hint of a future appointment graced his horizon. If he didn’t land something soon, well he’d have no choice but to tell his men to split up, try to find a rack on their own with some squad down a couple of grunts. Trying to place an entire patrol… hard didn’t begin to encompass the problem. Xosh, at this point if some other sergeant expressed interest in his boys, Alad would have gladly let them go on without him.
He’d traded half a month’s pay off the bar-code scan in his forearm for a third of a month’s pay in local trade chits on the black-market. Alad needed them to buy off information brokers in the cumshaw data pool. Really, if he hadn’t needed any lead possible, there was no way he’d step into Desperation Alley right now. All the good tips though, they came out of the scuttlebutt haze floating through taprooms, dice dens and sex parlors.
Alad stepped onto the plank walkway that comprised the misnamed Mandera Blossom Highway and huffed. Various beings, each more disreputable than the next, passed him. Alad debated whether to start the search first or fortify himself with the local version of rot-gut to file the edge off the eventual disappointment. Shoving his hands into the pocket of his greatcoat, he stepped into the flow of traffic and let it sweep him towards the quasi-legal establishments.
Heading toward him and away from Desperation Alley, Alad caught sight of another human. Not that humans were uncommon in this area-pisk, they made up sixty percent of the military troops in the region-but by now most were stationed on bar stools or slop shop benches and planning the night’s entertainment.
This guy seemed different. Tall, whip crack lean, his shoulders rolled in a resigned, but still defiant, manner. Black hair shorn in military fashion, longish on top, but buzzed so short it barely rated as fuzz in a halo from above his ears to his neck line, marked him as infantry-what they called the collar cut so that neck armor wouldn’t rub. It set off features so sharp a man could cut himself on his chin. His eyes damn near glowed blue-white like eons old ice flows. All the more striking when contrasted with the cinnamon tones of his skin. A cold and reserved air blew off the man… must have been what kept his pupils from melting.
Alad hadn’t seen anything that enticing in six patrols.
Waffling, unsure, he paused. He couldn’t let his troops down, but xosh, it’d been almost a cycle since Alad allowed himself any real R&R. A little booze-up followed by a little naked bust-up, Alad got hard just working the possibility. The man approached, completely absorbed in whatever drove him from the Alley. Three steps. Two steps. If Alad didn’t act soon opportunity would pass him up. As the man started to walk by, Alad decided; he jerked to the side and bumped the man’s shoulder. The man stumbled on the slick planks, running up onto the roots of one of the many Handoatoa trees.
“Sorry,” Alad mumbled, even though he wasn’t a bit remorseful, and offered a hand.
The indignation boiling through those ice blue eyes radiated such frost it burned. After glaring for a moment, the man took the proffered grip and allowed Alad to help him back onto the walkway. Everything from about mid-thigh down dripped water. Shudo! Alad had forgotten that Handoatoa tended to act like sponges and purged sucked up swamp at the slightest bruise.
“You need to watch where you walk,” the man spat, “subin!”
No telling who this man was. His bearing, even under insufferable circumstances of being knocked into morass of vomited up swamp water, spoke to rank. Nobody however, except the greenest of the green, wore their confetti into Desperation Alley. Too much of a chance someone would roll you for the decorations. Unwritten protocol dictated that no one asked who was who, either. The most anyone traded over was a first name.
“Yeah, I’m clumsy.” He grimaced in mock apology. “Alad,” offering up his name as greeting equaled the first tentative step. “Let me buy you a drink to apologize for the damp boots,” made up the second.
A hard once over ran up and down Alad’s body, those ice colored eyes somehow burning into his gut. “A drink?” This time the words sounded more incredulous than antagonistic. The guy’s nostrils flared as if taking in Alad’s scent. As the air moved, a slight fluttering of the skin on the right side of the man’s nose caught his attention. Xosh, a notch had been cut out of the nasal fold. Alad shivered despite the greatcoat.
Still, the black haired soldier-Alad knew he was a soldier-reeked sex… or maybe fight-lust. Both equaled about the same to Alad. “Yeah, a drink.” Pretending indifference, Alad turned his eyes away. He drew in a deep breath, touched his index finger to his left cheek and slowly brushed it toward his ear. “To apologize for being… clumsy.” The thumb up the bridge of your nose meant you were indiscriminate about your choice of partners. Pinky on your right eye and you wanted the opposite sex. Alad had indicated he wouldn’t be opposed to a hookup with this man, in a way that let everyone pretend nobody suggested anything about sex. Nobody cared about your choice in partners. Saving face in the event of a refusal though, everybody cared about that.
Slowly he eased his gaze back toward the man with the thick black hair. The guy huffed. Alad waited for a signal. Yeah, the guy was leaving Desperation Alley, but hope sprung eternal. Alad also realized he shouldn’t be putting his dick ahead of his boys. Pisk, though, he’d been stumping for days to get placements. Blowing off some juice would help his concentration.
As Black Hair raised his left hand, Alad stepped back and sucked in his breath. The correct hand, but xosh, the man’s pinky and ring finger both were severed at the first joint. Not that Alad hadn’t seen a freighter load of combat wounds. These seemed different somehow; clean cuts, but like they hadn’t healed right. And something that could take off the first joint of the pinky would have clipped the other finger off at the knuckle, so it wasn’t a frag grenade, spinner round or other mechanical mayhem.
Black Hair’s eyes went wide and Alad blinked. He didn’t even have time to register why when a large form slammed into him from the side. His boot skidded on the wet walk despite its grip treads. Alad stumbled. Twisting, he lurched away from the massive ungulate before it ran him over completely. Alad jumped again to avoid a tail swipe, and bumped into another being.
He looked up. Just blast him back to last pay cycle and let him start over. Hazy blue mottled skin, receding thick lipped jaw and nasal folds that covered half the face in snot: Nofre. A yanked, insulted Nofre at that. Of course Nofre were insulted that other beings existed-running into one boded well for a fight.
The Nofre’s two tongues wandered out from between his lips and explored each nostril. He reached out with a thick fingered paw and thumped Alad in the center of his chest. “You pushed me.” The thing’s accent fell so thick Alad could hardly understand it.
Alad stepped back, hands held forward in pacifying manner. “A thousand apologies.” Not that he thought that he owed the Nofre one apology much less a thousand. But reasoning with them was like wanking off to Hesloid porn, never did you a bit of good. “Didn’t mean to.” Nofre were easy to anger, always up for a brawl and harder to put down than an armored transport.
One of the Nofre’s companions, with a deep blue stripe tattooed across his epicanthic ridges and, if anything, bigger than the first, shuffled around towards Alad’s flank. “You did it on purpose.” Another, with a ragged scar cutting across an already flayed face moved off to the right. Xosh, damn creatures were trying to circle and pin him.
“Accident,” Alad gave up a few steps to keep the big oafs from getting behind him, “I swear.” With fists the size of his face, Alad wouldn’t last long in a pummeling by them.
Somehow I missed this article. It was a blast even if we were melting into the pavement.
Get Booked! Romance Reading at Las Vegas Pride
Get Booked, one of the few remaining independent LGBT bookstores in the country right here in my hometown of choice, Las Vegas, celebrated Las Vegas Pride in September with a reading by three leading m/m romance authors, J. P. Bowie, James Buchanan, and Marshall Thornton.
“This was my first Vegas Pride,” said Southwest m/m romance writer James Buchanan. “All I can say is that it was flipping hot.”