“I’m wavering. I’m sinkin’ into the abyss with you,” Dale Mooney strummed his acoustic guitar on the steps of the Down Home lounge. Because he was good friends with the owner, he was allowed to use it as his stage while the place was closed. Dale wished he could get some kind of big time deal to support himself and his mother in her time of need. The money from his brother, Waylon, only went so far.
As he continued to wail, a small crowd gathered around him, clapping to his melodies and moving to the beat with him and his background band. They did pretty well with the change, bus cards, and food from onlookers, but it was never enough. Dale really hated taking money from his more successful brother all the time. He paid his rent, gave him cash anytime he asked for it, and Dale was starting to feel like a burden. Still, Dale knew his sibling didn’t mind. The kind-hearted Waylon Mooney would never say no.
Besides that, much of Waylon’s money went to taking care of their sick mother. The insurance she had only went so far, and the bills had gotten out of control. Dale knew he had to do something, so robbing the old lady he’d been helping over the last couple of months was necessary. Sure, he felt guilty, but she was too rich to even notice the three thousand he’d taken.
“My, my, my…little sister…can’t stop thinkin’ about your love.” Dale rolled his eyes at the lyrics his bandmate had written. Dale could care less about a woman, but his drummer, Dave, didn’t think any tunes about man love would go over well with the masses. Dale mentioned artists like Adam Lambert, but David balked, saying he wouldn’t be singing any “faggot” songs. At times, Dale wished he could ask David to leave the band, but he was by far the best drummer they’d played with.
“Sing it, babe.” Interrupting him, a pretty young woman yelled out to Dale, dancing to the beat and snapping her fingers in front of the small crowd. As if on stage, she twirled around and maneuvered her body, much to everyone’s enjoyment.
Despite not being attracted to the ladies, he took pleasure in seeing someone dance to one of their tunes. “Go on, baby… go for it now.” Dale continued to strum, looking away from the woman to concentrate on his notes. He loved the interaction of the crowds and wished his band could land regular gigs to make extra money. Of course, if that happened, there would have to be changes in order to be successful. The question was how far Dale was willing to go to get to the top. This was the reason Dale’s Nola Connection Band stayed in the shadows even here in their own state. Dale was too headstrong to change and too lazy to do more than what he had to. If only he had the same drive as his brother, Waylon, then he might not be in this situation.
One more lyric, a few picks of the strings, and Nola Connection was done with this set. At the close of the song, people cheered and applauded, leaving change and dollar bills in the small case before them. Much to Dale’s chagrin the song his drummer wrote seemed to be a hit every time they sung it. Too bad he couldn’t change the words around to fit his sexual preference.
“Hey, see there, man… see…” David ran up behind him, clapping him on the back. “Told ya that song would be a crowd pleaser.” Smiling wide, he crouched down, picking up the wads of money in the guitar case.
“Yeah, yeah, all right, you told me… still, it don’t mean nothin’, dude. When we get some kind of regular gig or a deal then come talk to me.” Dale glared at David and the other guitarist, Sid, who were grabbing handfuls of the cash. Yeah, he liked the money a whole lot but could care less about this chump change. The fact remained, he was still broke and living off of his brother when as the older of the two, he shouldn’t be a moocher. Dale knew he should be setting the example, not following it.
David looked up from his kneeling position with discerning eyes. “Well, when you gonna get that for us, Dale? I mean, we been waiting for your lazy ass to come through with something. Unlike you, me and Sid got day jobs and families to feed. We don’t need this as much as you do, yet you ain’t done a whole lot to make things happen.”
Dale’s brows furrowed, and he tossed his guitar pick away. “Fuck you, man! I’ve been making calls to get things going, right? I talked with a couple of bars in Metairie about playing there and in Mississippi.”
“Yeah, at the same tired places we’d been to, man. What about deals, what about sending our shit to some companies or having people come check us out here? I thought that was your main focus?”
Dale grimaced when David spewed the same idiotic nonsense he’d heard before. “Dude, people don’t do that shit anymore; they DIY every fucking thing. You put your shit on Facebook, upload on YouTube, which I’ve done. We got over six hundred thousand hits on some of our street performances, man. Just hoping to get noticed by someone, that’s all. It will happen too…mark my words.”
David held his hands up. “All right. Don’t forget, this is mostly your dream. And again, you won’t get very far singin’ songs about boys when you are one. That guy Lambert got lucky…” He stuffed a few bills in his pockets, as did Sid. “Left most for you, dude. Why dontcha buy some new duds with it or something?” I gotta get to work.”
“Yeah, me too. See ya tomorrow night, then?” Sid snapped his case closed and slung it over his back.
“Yeah, later, dudes.” Dale waved them away and dropped to his knees, taking the rest of the money for himself. As much as he wanted to buy some clothes, he couldn’t, knowing tonight’s money would be for groceries for the next three days. Too bad because many of the pairs of jeans he owned were starting to show wear and tear. Perhaps Waylon would take pity on him and take Dale shopping when he arrived back in town in the next few weeks. Waylon hardly ever said no to his brother, and Dale was mighty grateful.
Sighing, he loaded his own jean pockets with the last of the money and placed his guitar in the case. The Down Home was due to open any minute, and he needed to move before the masses made their way inside. Perhaps he’d stick around a moment, especially to meet the hot man he ogled a few days ago.
That creature, that man, was strikingly beautiful. He was so damn shy he refused to come out of the shadows. The poor man must’ve been so afraid; he hid behind a car, trying to stay away. Dale wished he hadn’t. Someone so beautiful shouldn’t be hiding themselves. But before he could react or introduce himself, he was gone and hadn’t come back to this spot since.
“Where are you, sexy man?” Dale tilted his head to the side, peering at the people gathering at the entrance to get into the club. This was one of the best places in the Quarter for people to enjoy cheap drinks and great music. Tourists flocked to the Down Home because of its favorable reputation. Dale lifted his case and nodded at the onlookers. “Have fun, ladies and gents, and when you come out don’t forget to tip your friendly street performer.” Dale yanked his pack of cigs out of his pocket and headed to the corner.
Dale’s daily routine was to play on the steps with the band then on the sidewalk alone. Here, he’d be able to do his own songs without worrying about David or Sid.
With a Marlboro hanging from his mouth, he pulled out his guitar and popped a squat on the blanket he used as a seat. Softly, he stroked the strings, thinking about the gorgeous stranger who ran away
Hey, good looking man, why dontcha come back and see me play.
Michael’s taboo series, N’awlins Exotica paranormal is on book four with 2 to go for Ryland and Ryder. This is the latest boook. Mon Frere, Facing Our Fears featuring my twins finding out more about their deceased maker and the demon that wants to kill them.
Ryland and Ryder are in danger…
Celebrating their 298th birthday, the Durand brothers are still at an impasse over their third, Dale Mooney, and the cause of their maker Gren DuMont’s death. As they battle personality clashes, Ryland and Ryder set out to slay Gren’s killer as well as conquer their own fears; Ryder’s fear of losing Ryland to Dale and Ryland’s fear of the unknown lurking around their safe haven in New Orleans.
With little help from the demon Valios, the twins travel to Paris to meet the murderer face to face but will their own insecurities impede their goal of slaying the killer? At this point they only have each other to rely on and the fate of all vampires lies in their hands.
“Ah, damnit Gren, you were a terrible note keeper.” Ryder slammed the book closed and shoved it away. “I learned a little but nothing that will help me to get into the soul sucker’s head. I need an advantage, you know? And Valios says he’s done helping me for now.” Ryder raked his nails through his black hair and tied it back in a ponytail. “Shi…” Not liking his change, he tore the holder out of his hair and tossed it. “No, I don’t like my hair like that, damnit. We really need some answers from the council and fast. How are we gonna stop all these switches and shit? I don’t wanna be timid or write books or tie my hair back. I like my shit flowing in the wind behind me.” Ryder twirled his strands around his fingertips. “Shi…I’m not learning anything down here; might as well join the party upstairs.” Ryder forced himself up from the chair but stopped when he tapped into his brother’s subconscious. “Oh, so you’re topping, huh? I wanted to do you, bro, but I guess…” Ryder dragged his feet to the door. “You’re busy then. I wanted you and you alone, Ry, but you couldn’t wait to get your hands back on your human.” Ryder clenched his fists, feeling his anger rise by the minute. Why, just why couldn’t his brother hold off on being with Dale; at least until they’d finished the night. Bearing his incisors, he growled, and his eyes shifted in color. “I’m your lover and your brother, Ryland. I should be first and foremost in your mind and in your bed!” Ryder held onto his temples to try keeping the change from happening, but it didn’t work. Within moments he was the fearful vamp that needed to kill in order to be satisfied. Ryder roared and ran towards the door, dashing into the hallway before making his way out of the house. The heat surrounded him, and his chest burned from the amount of air he took into his lungs. “Arggh!” Wanting blood, Ryder scoped the streets for anyone who could fulfill his desire for sexual contact and blood all at the same time.
Who will be my victim tonight?
Ready to strike, Ryder hid behind a parked car and watched a couple making out on the doorstep not more than fifty feet away. “Yes, you both shall be my partners tonight.” Ryder rubbed his hands together and swiped his thick tongue across his lips. “And then you’ll be a very hearty dinner for me and my brother.”
Check out the 2nd book in N’awlins Exotica
Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…
Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end.
To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.
Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.
Kajika laughed, moving forward into Frankie’s touches. He traced the lines of his face as well as his newly trimmed mustache and beard. “Well, enough about them. What’s on the agenda for our first night alone in a while, hmm? I’m not real hungry…for food, anyway. We had a quickie in the shower this morning−”
“Which ain’t enough, lover.” Frankie gripped Kajika’s ass and lifted him from the floor, licking his lips like a tasty treat. He flashed a wicked grin. “I’m ready to go all night if we have to, sweetheart. I’ve been resting up for you all damn day.”
Kajika chuckled and shifted, wrapping his legs around Frankie’s waist. “Then show me, babe. I’m not too tired to get it on into the wee hours, Frankie.” Kajika caressed Frankie’s lips with his fingertips, pushing one into his mouth.
Frankie hungrily accepted, taking Kajika’s entire finger in, sucking it to the knuckle. “With pleasure−”
Before Frankie could finish his sentence, his phone buzzed in his pocket, disturbing him from further thought.
Frankie grimaced but continued to hold onto Kajika. “Damn! I knew I should’ve switched this fucking thing off!”
“Ugh!” Kajika forced himself out of Frankie’s grip and frowned, petulantly crossing his arms over his chest. “Should I go to the bedroom and wait for you or expect to be eating a late night snack alone, watching I Love Lucy re-runs?”
Frankie glanced at the screen and held his finger up to wait.
Of course the station was calling to interrupt his special moment. “Hello?”
“Frankie, Kenie here. I need you in here now, man. Orrin and Vance are on another case, and I need backup. There’s been a murder near Louis Three again.”
Frankie cursed silently and shook his head.
“Erg!” Kajika stomped out of the room, not bothering to look back.
“Seriously? Goddamnit, I…” Frankie ran his hand over his head, thinking of an excuse not to go in. “Damn, Kenie, I was trying to enjoy my night off, and low and behold we gotta case on your first night back.”
Frankie could hear her grin through the phone. “Yeah, just your dumb luck, huh, beloved? Come on, boy, don’t make me come and get you, right? I’m sorry I might be spoiling the evening with your pretty boy lovah, but−”
Frankie rolled his eyes and sighed, knowing his man would be very upset. “No, you’re really not, but whatever. What’s the address?”
“Thirty Seven, Seventeen Orleans is the address. We’ll−”
Frankie’s eyes bulged, and his heart stopped.
Could it be? Oh hell!
“Kenie, you said a murder at that address?”
Kenina cleared her throat. “Yes, sir, can we…”
“I’ll see you in about twenty.” Frankie’s heart sped up not knowing what the heck to say to his man who was already upset about their plans being interrupted. Just how the hell would he say that his fellow dancer might be a victim of murder?
Blurb: New Orleans is supposed to be the big easy. One night changes everything for Frankie Choteau.
Shots rang out in the darkness, causing dogs in this normally quiet part of the Garden District to howl. Within this small community inside of New Orleans, violence was truly a rarity.
“Bob… ohh, shi—” Kajika Fortier stared at the slumped, pale body in front of him and tears fell from his eyes. Clothed in only a white robe, he backed up and leaned against the wall to keep from fainting. A chill shot up his back, making his teeth chatter. He slid downward, still mesmerized by the sight of his lover with the gun in his hand and the single gunshot wound to the head. “I could’ve helped you, Bob! H−how could you? I thought you—” Tightness increased in his chest and he punched it once to calm himself. His clammy hands stuck to the floor and dry mouth prevented him from thinking coherently. Beads of sweat trickled down the side of his head.
“What the—oh shit, I need to call the fucking cops!” Kajika fumbled inside the housecoat pocket, searching for his cell. His eyes were still affixed to the wound, to the blood seeping from Bob’s head, staining his silver hair. “Jesus Bob, what the hell? I swear—” He feverishly punched the digits on the phone —911. “Um, uh, hello? Yeah, um, I… my… oh shit, please help! My fucking boyfriend… uh fiancée… is dead! Yeah, um, we had a fight and damn, he pulled the trigger! I swear I did nothing wrong, ma’am! Can you hurry over here, puleeze? This shit’s freaking me out!” Kajika’s hands shook and he bit his lip while he waited for the operator to say she’d dispatch an ambulance and the police. “Yeah, it sure looks like he’s dead. With a single bullet to the head? Well, I don’t know, what do you think? I’m pretty sure he’s singing with the angels right now, honey!”
Is he dead? Well shit, looks that way to me!
“Can you just send help, please? He’s dead and I can’t be in here with him right now. It’s just creepy…his eyes are open and ughh… just hurry!” Kajika pulled the receiver away from his ear and brought his knees up to his chest. “Yes, 613 Garden Way—in the District! Uh huh, I won’t touch anything, and tell them just to bust in. I’m not sure I can move right now!”
“Do you need medical attention?” The voice on the other end spoke and attempted to calm Kajika’s nerves.
“I don’t think so. Just get the police here. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep a wink after tonight. Yeah, all right! Hurry!” Kajika dropped the phone, not bothering to push the disconnect button. His heart continually thumped in his chest as he watched Bob, his lover, slumped over in the chair, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the temple. What the hell would he do now? No one to love and care for him with Bob gone. Going back home to the small town of Gore, Oklahoma—where being gay wasn’t accepted— was out of the question.
If I leave, they’ll think I did it. If I stay, they’ll still think I did it. Either way I’m screwed.
Today celebrates National Day against homophobia and transphobia
Several bloggers, authors, and pubs are taking part in a bloghop organized by Erika Pike.
Check out the whole list here
2 of the muses are posting on their blogs
We’re giving away 2 books and 2 10ARe GC
Today is release day for Something About Jayden
Blurb: Isaac Bridges, married, closeted account executive for Denton & Associates is waiting to take over the company from CEO Silas Denton Senior after he forced Isaac’s father to sign the company over while on his deathbed. Standing in the way is Silas Junior and upstart intern Jayden DeMario. Jayden’s beauty, intelligence, and commitment to excellence has wowed Isaac so much that Isaac changed his mind about the importance of vengeance for his dad into the vow to win Jayden’s heart. Will Isaac’s decision backfire, leaving him lonely and thus destroying his career?
BL loves to write about military men as well as rockstars. This short is a glimpse into a longer work called You Don’t Ask We Don’t Tell which will be revised and re-released later this year. Here’s a snippet from the story.
Fall 2009 Fort Jackson, South Carolina, pre repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
“Left right, left right, c’mon Darios, move your ass now! C’mon, move, move it!”
Darios Bright woke up in a cold sweat, thrashing about when he heard the drill sergeant’s voice like a loud alarm in his brain. At times, he’d have nightmares about basic training because the leader was a total ass wipe. Thankfully he’d made it through and now he was on his way to a budding military career. Darios’ eyes flung open, and he yanked the covers from off himself to get some air.
Whew, glad that’s over.
However, there were other things to worry about now like the fear of deployment to Iraq, Darios’ next career move in the service, and most importantly, keeping his sexuality secret. Yeah, the other men in his brigade acted as if they didn’t care about a gay boy being in their platoon, but what if the word got past them? Would someone squeal and make him subject to the punishments of don’t ask, don’t tell?
The wretched policy that kept gays and lesbians from being open about their sexuality was clearly a thorn in any homosexual being’s side. Darios hoped the new President would have a heart and get rid of it.
Hopefully that would occur sooner than later. Nothing worse than keeping everything secret when he wanted so badly to date a new man. Loneliness was getting the best of him right now, and he felt the definite cure was to start seeing somebody But how under these kind of circumstances? If he began dating, what would prevent anyone who didn’t know the deal like his friends from squealing to his superiors? This worried Darios and sometimes made him wish he hadn’t joined the Army in the first place.
Still, he never acted on that. After all, it paid for college and med school. His parents couldn’t afford it, and the only way they’d stay off his ass about being gay was by joining the Army. They hoped Darios enlisting in the service “got the gay out” as his father said. Such bullshit but nevertheless he loved his folks just the same.
If only they, the government, and the armed forces could understand being gay wasn’t a life style. Instead, all gay people were born that way. Loving your own gender shouldn’t matter when it came to your job performance. As long as you were a good person why should anyone care?
I know I’m good enough to be an officer and a doctor! No one can tell me otherwise even if I am gay!