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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursdy Pimping: Temptations of Desire by Tempeste O'Riley

I'm very happy to welcome back to the Purple Fantasy Den: Tempeste O'Riley for this week's Thursday Pimping! Tempe is here to talk about her newest release Temptations of Desire. I'm UBER excited about this book and I'm very honored that TPFD is hosting Tempe to talk about it. So, without further ado...

Good morning Vicktor and friends! I’m dropping by to share a little about “Temptations of Desire”! 
ToD is my newest release and is rather special to me. Dal (whom we met in Designs of Desire and Desires’ Guardian) is a cop in Milwaukee, bi, and never seems to be able to find the “one”. He’s dated men and women over the years, but as he hates pickups and can’t seem to pick the right partner for the long term, he’s lonely. Alex is a chef in Milwaukee, one who donates time, food, and all the cooking for said food, every Saturday at the GBLT Center. He’s also not so great with finding love... between being shy, gender fluid, and well, scared of rejection, his entire life focuses on work and his very small circle of friends.
I’ll let you in on a secret... I’d never intended to write a full book about Dal. LOL. Rhys? Yes. His brother? Nope. It didn’t occur to me that he would need his story told until part way through writing Desires’ Guardian. Dal isn’t at all what he seems on the surface and he’s not happy with how his life it, which leads him to both ask Alex out and to take risks he usually wouldn’t ever do.
Last year, as my NANO project, Dal and Alex’s story became reality! Each story an author write is precious to them but I have to say, ToD is currently in a tie with Designs of Desire for my favorite story written. The characters are very special to me, as I hope they will be to you. I had to wait that long to write ToD because it took a lot to research. I spent hours and hours, days and weeks talking to, emailing with, and IMing  with different gender fluid people about their experiences, their ‘finding their way’, and more. In the end, I’m thrilled with Alex and hope you will be too!
This story is dedicated to all those who are still searching to find a place where they fit in.


ALEX NOBLE stared out his windshield as he pulled around to the back of the center and frowned. He hated not having help for deliveries like this, but since this was a personal donation, not a work-related one, he had to get along without. Of course, if his employer knew what he did every Saturday, Alex was certain he would support him, if not actually assist in some way. However, this was his gift to the center—a place he wished had existed when he was younger. Despite prejudice and the threat of limited funds, he hoped the center Cynthia Jazz and Kyle Corbin fought to build would make it.
Alex hopped out of the van, noting the teens over on the court playing three-on-three. Deciding not to interrupt their game, he opened the van’s sliding side door and started unloading items for the kitchen in the shelter part of the center. On his third trip, he was startled when a police cruiser pulled up next to his van. He hadn’t noticed any commotion, so he wondered what a cop was doing there, especially on an otherwise quiet Saturday morning.
With a shrug, Alex decided to brush off the cop’s presence and finish moving his supplies into the kitchen. Then he would begin the colossal task of creating a “home-cooked meal” for all the teens, young adults, and adults that would flow into the dining hall later that day. Gathering up the last few bags, Alex turned and shoved the sliding door shut with a nudge of one slender hip.
Again hip checking the button that would open the door without the use of his hands, Alex heard the thud and jingling of someone running up behind him. Tensing—the instinctive fear of who it was and what they wanted unnerving him completely—Alex spun around to confront the unknown person coming up on him fast. Instead of an attacker or one of the teens he had seen playing ball, it was the most gorgeous man, cop, Alex had ever laid eyes on. The stranger came to a halt in front of him.
Alex gasped, both frightened and entranced. His heart raced as he tried not to stare or shrink back. Neither option seemed wise right then.
The handsome man took a quick step backward, though, raising his hands up in a gesture Alex assumed was meant to calm. A small smile touched his lips, and what luscious lips they were. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you, but I think you’re who I’m supposed to be meeting here today.”
Alex tilted his head to the side as he took in the man before him. The sea-green eyes held such sincerity that he was intrigued, though the beefy arms, nearly half a foot in height he had on Alex, dark auburn hair, and adorable freckles dusted across his nose and upper cheeks nearly distracted him from what the man said.
“Why are you hunting for me?” Alex straightened up, trying not to let his lust show through in tone or stance. He knew most male cops were not appreciative of being hit on by other men, and he didn’t need any problems, though he was sure he could just stand there and stare for days and not get tired of gazing at the one before him.
“Are you Alex?”
An odd look passed over the cop’s chiseled face as he continued to stare. “Um, Alexander James Noble?”
“Yes, but I don’t know why I need a cop,” Alex snapped. Being rude usually wasn’t his thing, but cops worried him. In his experience, they always seemed to back the wrong people. Unbidden, his thoughts flashed back to the last time he was attacked for being gay—they let the attackers go and took him in instead. They’d released him immediately, but still….
“My name is Dal Sayer, and Mrs. Jazz wanted me to speak with you about the big dance next month. My brother and I are volunteering as security. She said you had keys and could show me the layout and such,” the cop explained, his words rushing out, his cheeks flushing lightly. Too freaking adorable!
“Oh, um, sure. Here, let me set this stuff down inside, and I’ll show you around a little.”
Alex turned and led Dal into the large stainless steel kitchen. “Cops as security? Here? What is she thinking?” he groused under his breath as he sat the last of the bags on one of the long wooden counters.
“Take it you don’t like cops much,” Dal said, an odd note in his deep, yet gentle, voice. He almost sounded sad, or maybe disappointed.
“Sorry,” Alex said, hating how easily his face flushed. Being a light-skinned black person meant it was always very obvious. “I. It. Um, never mind. Please forget I said that.” Giving Dal his best smile, he cleared his throat and tried again. “I’m glad they’re going to have security for the dance. Chaperones are great, but someone a little more butch and beefy might do well to stop any potential problems before they can even start.”
Dal’s booming laugh startled him out of his daydreams of winning such a man’s interest.
Alex realized that not only was he flirting, but he had been staring again. Quickly averting his eyes, he focused on where the keys sat and on not stumbling.
“Give me a min, ’kay?” He put the cold things away in the large industrial fridge before wiping his hands down the thighs of his dark jeans as he fought a serious case of nerves. Alex looked back up to face Dal, swallowing hard as he struggled to keep his voice even and firm. “Officer, let me show you the main areas, and then I’ll leave you to do whatever it is you need to do for party planning and security things while I get ready for later.”
“Dal, please. I’m not here in an official capacity.” The gentle curve of his sensual lips drew Alex’s eyes and held him captive until Dal cleared his throat.
“Thanks, Alex.”
He simply nodded, not trusting himself not to make a fool of himself right then.
Showing Dal around didn’t take long. The large gym area they intended to use for the dance already held some of the decorations—they were all set to one side. The area had wood floors and high ceilings. Once decorated and with the music going, Alex was certain the kids would have a blast.
“The restrooms are down the hall here. You might have issues with smoking and, well, kids getting a little too friendly in there or out back. All the side rooms will be locked, so you won’t have to worry about those. Cynthia and Kyle are very strict about the kids respecting not only each other, but themselves too, so I doubt you should have too much trouble to handle.”
“Yes, she explained that, but something as simple as an ex trying to interfere with a new relationship can cause more than just hurt feelings. But don’t worry, we’re not here to cause problems or pass judgment. Rhys and I will only step in if it’s truly needed. All right?”
Alex nodded slowly. “Oh, okay.”
“I’ll have a look around and stop back by on my way out, if that works for you.”
“Cool. I’ll be, um, cooking. Bye.” Alex fled back to the kitchen, desperate to calm his heart and steady his nerves.
Once he put in his favorite mix and turned on the CD player, he got to work. Cooking always calmed him. Alex pulled out the pots, pans, and trays he would need. Setting the large mixing bowls down in his chosen baking area, he started measuring the ingredients for both cheddar-garlic biscuits and the crusty herbed garlic bread to go with the salad, pork and pot roasts, and various veggie dishes he planned for the day’s meal. After placing the tea towels over the bowls and setting them aside to rise, Alex cleaned up and headed toward the fridge to pull out the roasts. Each one got a dry rub before he put them back in the refrigerator to wait. He then danced over to the sink, washing his hands again, before heading for the baskets of fresh carrots, asparagus, onions, potatoes, greens, apples, and portabellas he’d brought.
A deep chuckle brought Alex out of his dancing and chopping. He spun around with a soft gasp, dropping the knife on the counter in the process, to find Dal, arms folded across his chest, resting against the doorframe, smirking at him. “Oh, no-no. Please don’t hold back on my account!”
Confused by the mix of lust and mortification running through him, Alex gaped at Dal. Snapping his mouth shut, he squinted his eyes, hands going to his slender hips. He huffed. “It’s my kitchen, and I can dance if I wanna.”
“Yes, you certainly may.” Dal winked and chuckled again. “I didn’t mean to disturb you. Just wanted to let you know I was done and heading out.”
“Oh,” Alex sighed, completely captivated by the sweet smile Dal was giving him. “Thank you. Did you find everything you needed?” Alex smiled, hoping it appeared flirtatious instead of nervous.
“I think I just might have,” Dal replied, voice deepening, eyes not moving from Alex’s.
Somehow the heat in that green stare made Alex wonder if there might be more to the simple statement than the specific words implied.
“Good. I’m glad, Officer.”
“Dal, please. And thank you, Alex.”
“Dal,” he barely got out. It sounded more like a whisper than anything. “You, you’re welcome.”
Dal opened his mouth to speak again, but the radio on his shoulder crackled to life, effectively cutting him off. He motioned Alex to keep quiet while he answered. Alex watched, fascinated at the change from shy, possibly flirting man to towering powerhouse as Dal became Officer Sayer in front of him. Alex bit his bottom lip, thinking unsexy thoughts to try to stave off his erection thanks to how hot Dal, both as a sexy man and delicious officer, made him.
Pulled out of his thoughts when Dal cleared this throat, Alex watched the sexy cop again. “I’ve got to go for now, Alex, but thanks for the tour. I hope to see you again. Soon,” Dal called to Alex as he looked back at him before hustling out the door.
Alex stood there staring at the spot where his fantasy man had just been, wishing he knew the man better or had some way to know how to run into him again.
Well, he thought, there’s always the dance…. 

Temptations of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #3
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 22, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages

Dreamspinner Press All Romance Amazon

Add to: Goodreads


Alexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.

At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.

From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.

Resource Links:
MKE LGBT Community Center

About the Author:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook Google + DSP Blog




I’m giving a choice of ebook from my backlist to two winners and a $10 Gift Certificate from DSP!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Groom of Convenience Cover Reveal Tour Locations

Wanna know all the stops for the cover reveal for Groom of Convenience? Here they are below:

And after you enter the giveaway, don't forget to pre-order the book! (Ebook) (paperback)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Groom of Convenience Cover Reveal


Tomorrow is the BIG Groom of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm) cover reveal!!!

I. Am. So. EXCITED!!!!

There's even a giveaway going on as well!!! So awesome!

Here are the stops for the reveal, make sure you go and check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday Pimping: Zee Kensington's Finally Home

Sorry this post is late all! I got extremely sick (still am actually) and then we moved into a new house but I'm glad Zee contacted me! Here it is! Your Thursday Pimping... On a FRIDAY!

Take it away Zee!

We’ll Always Have Bangkok

The thrill of travel romance is in its fleeting nature. Its transience adds urgency, making lust burn hotteremotions run deeperEvery shared experience becomes a bit more meaningful, whether it’s feeding each other in a hole-in-the-wall noodle joint, or standing crushed chest-to-chest in a sweltering Skytrain car.

What happens, though, when you get home and you can’t put your feelings away as easily as your luggage? Your memories of the adventure are so intimately entwined with your short, sweet romance you can’t disentangle them. A bite of take-out noodles reminds you of the tenderness of your lover’s kiss, and your next crowded subway commute has you unconsciously looking around for a traveling companion who isn’t there. You’re officially obsessed.

It’s that obsession that first drives novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris—the protagonists of Finally Home—to reunite again. After the adventures they began in my short story, Krung Thep, City of Angels, Marco and Chris formed a bond that wasn’easily left behind at the customs desk at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

Three months later they’re still thinking of each other, separately trying to move on. Chris, who’s used to drifting from place to place—and person to person—decides it’s time to “get Marco out of his system” when a change in writing assignment lands him in Marco’s hometown of Los AngelesAs for Marco, he’s just thrilled to have his friend, confidant, and first real lover back, even if only for a few days.

Reunion’s not as simple as boarding a plane, though, as Marco and Chris are quick to discover. Sure, there’s the joy of being together again, the fun of remembering the good times, and the scorching hot sex. But, vacation is over and there’s the real world to deal with, full of career woes, family drama, and personal doubts. Not to mention, the question lurking in the back of their minds: Is this relationship just a fun little romp, or do we have something real?

Can a fiery, ephemeral travel romance burn down into the steady flame of commitment? Or will it loose its heat, guttering out when the winds of reality blow their hardest?    


Marco swore quietly as a triangular yellow bird sailed far above the rickety wooden structure filling his smartphone screen, making the tiny green pigs inside snicker. He wasn’t very good at this dumb game, and his jitters didn’t help.


He kept looking up every few seconds, scouring the steady stream of travelers trickling into the cavernous greeting area of LAX’s international terminal. Marco felt like he was waiting in the bowels of a spaceship, with the ring of lights hovering above and the panels of cobalt light lining the wall. In a place like this, it seemed more likely that little green men would materialize than Chris would actually show up.


He still couldn’t believe this was really happening. Up until a few days ago, Marco had been sure he’d never see Chris again. It wasn’t even until he’d gotten the flight itinerary e-mailed to him that Marco truly let himself believe that his wildest wish was coming true. Since then, he’d barely been able to eat or sleep, and he’d been a downright space cadet at work.


Marco sighed and gave up on the game. Leaning back in his chair, he checked the time again before pocketing his smartphone: 2:47 p.m. Chris’s plane had landed about thirty-seven minutes ago. Give him about ten to get off the plane, then ten more to walk the terminal, then who knew how long it would take him to clear immigration, baggage, and customs.


Anticipation squeezed Marco’s heart as his eye caught a man with an unruly mop of blond hair appear over the barrier separating the guests from the travelers. He tried to calm himself. This had happened twice already, and neither time had it been Chris. But then a familiar—albeit tired—face appeared as its owner climbed up the ramp, and Marco’s stomach lurched with excitement. At long last, Chris was here.


“Chris!” Marco called out, leaning as far over the wall as he dared.


Chris’s head whipped around at the sound, and a deadly grin lit up his weary face. The butterflies in Marco’s belly became dragonflies, buffeting madly around inside him. His knees quavered as he stepped back from the barrier to meet Chris as soon as he crossed the invisible threshold that separated the terminal from the waiting area.


Marco licked his lips nervously as Chris approached him. He had forgotten how much more mature-looking Chris was than him. Chris looked every inch the seasoned travel journalist, with his scruffy laptop satchel slung casually over one shoulder and his roller bag stuttering behind him on three wheels.


Marco’s doubts faded, though, when he saw the glint of gold from the open collar of Chris’s black shirt.


All these months later, Chris was still wearing the amulet Marco had given him.


“Hey,” Chris said softly as he brought his suitcase to a stop beside him. His eyes were slightly bloodshot, and his skin had gone pallid from being trapped inside a plane for too long, but he was still every bit as handsome as Marco remembered.


“Hey,” Marco said, just as quietly. He had imagined this scene a thousand times. In his mind, he went flying into Chris’s arms, scattering baggage everywhere as Chris enveloped him, their lips meeting in a fiery kiss. Reality was a very different thing, though, and nervousness gnawed at the edges of Marco’s elation.


All these people… if I were to kiss Chris here, would they stare? Would they get angry? What if someone recognizes me?


Chris extended a friendly hand. “It’s good to see you, man.”


“Yeah. Good to see you, too.” Marco took the offered hand, feeling an odd mixture of disappointment and relief. After all this time, this was their reunion? Perhaps it had been foolish of him to hope for more. Three months was a long time, and who knew how Chris’s feelings may have changed. Perhaps Marco was nothing more than a friend to him, a casual travel romance that had ended on Marco’s departure date.


Marco felt Chris’s eyes boring into him. He looked up to meet the azure gaze, and his breath caught as he saw the roguish glint cutting through the caution in the ice blue.


“C’mere, you,” Chris murmured, and pulled Marco into tight embrace.


This close, Marco could practically feel Chris’s heart thundering against his chest, giving away the depth of emotion simmering just under Chris’s cool exterior. Marco buried his face in the crook of Chris’s lean neck, breathing in deep. The spicy, sweaty smell rocketed him back in time, and suddenly he was back in Thailand, nestled against Chris’s hard body, a feeling of deep satisfaction saturating him to the core.


At long last, Marco was home.


“Careful,” Chris chuckled, “I haven’t had a chance to shower all day.”


“I don’t care,” Marco said, his words muffled in Chris’s hair. “You smell perfect.”


“You have a funny idea of perfect.”


Chris gently extracted himself, though he didn’t let go of one of Marco’s biceps. His eyebrow raised, and he took another squeeze before fixing Marco with a look that turned his insides to liquid. “Goddamn, kid, you look even better than when you left!”


Marco shrugged, a pleased flush crossing his face. He’d added weights to his daily swimming routine, trying to hold on to the backpacker’s physique he’d earned by trekking in Thailand’s tropical heat. Though he’d never been able to bulk up like his construction-working cousins, he was still pleased with the definition he’d chiseled out of his lean muscles.


“Thanks,” Marco said shyly. “You’re looking pretty good yourself.”


Chris rolled his eyes, though Marco didn’t miss the hint of red that blossomed on his cheeks.


“Mexico made me soft, man. Every taco I ate went straight here.”


Chris let go of Marco to slap his perfectly flat stomach. Marco remembered the lean taper of Chris’s waist, his abdomen decorated with a sparse trail of golden curls that led down from his navel to that tantalizing nexus of flesh….


“Um.” Marco closed his eyes, forcing himself to clear the image of naked Chris from his mind. “Speaking of food, are you hungry?”


Marco opened his eyes, and found Chris grinning at him wolfishly, as if he’d plucked the dirty thoughts from Marco’s mind. Marco flushed even deeper, but he didn’t miss the eager gleam in Chris’s eyes.


“Yeah, I could eat.

Finally Home
A novel about family, identity, and finding one’s way back home.

by Zee Kensington

About the Book

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 29, 2014

Length: 206 pages

 eBook: 978-1-62798-907-7Paperback: 978-1-62798-906-0
 categoriescontemporary, M/M, erotic, romance
A novel about family, identity, and finding one’s way back home.

Short Synopsis

When novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways in Bangkok, they thought it was the end of theirsummer romance. Three months later, though, a change ofassignment reunites Chris and Marco, and the pair embarks on an adventure greater than ten days trekking through Thailand—forming a real relationship amid family drama, coming out fears, career woes, and personal demons.


After one night in Bangkok turned into ten days trekking together, novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways thinking they’d never see each other again. Three months later, Marco still can’t forget the greatest adventure of his life—or the gorgeous guy he shared it with. Too afraid to come out to his family, Marco is suffocating in his suburban Southern California life, until Chris announces he’s coming to LA.

Chris has spent the past four years wandering alone, rebuilding himself from the ashes of a failed journalism career. He arrives in Los Angeles eager to eat, write, and resume the sexy, casual fun he had enjoyed with Marco. But when Chris finds his friend is a terrified closet-case at home, he’s determined to help Marco confront his fears.

Priorities change when Chris’s father suffers a stroke, and Chris rushes to New York City to face a harsh homecoming with the family he abandoned. When Marco defies his parents to be at Chris’s side, Chris begins to realize there may be more to their relationship than just work and play, and that Marco may be the one to show Chris what it means to finally be home.

Purchasing Information
Dreamspinner Press eBook:

Dreamspinner Press paperback:


Author Information


Zee Kensington discovered a passion for writing erotica in her freshman year of college, and has been crafting sweet and sexy stories ever since. Inspired by her years working and playing in San Francisco’s LGBT community, she is especially drawn to tales that explore the joys and challenges of queer identities.

An almost-native Californian and a card-carrying geek, she currently lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and toddler. When she’s not writing or catching up on her sleep she enjoys watching films, playing video games, experimenting in her kitchen, and dreaming of the day her son is old enough to travel the world with her.

Author Links





Dreamspinner Press author page:

Amazon author page:


Blog Tour and Giveaway Information

Blog Tour Dates

Also available online:

August 29:
 Dreamspinner Press Blog Party

August 29: MM Good Book Reviews

September 1: Allison Cassatta

September 2: The Novel Approach

September 3: Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House

September 4: Cup o’ Porn

September 7: LIVE Facebook Chat with Dreamspinner Press

September 8: Prism Book Alliance

September 10: Guys Like Romance, Too

September 11: Vicktor Alexander’s Purple Fantasy Den

September 12: Zee Kensington (home blog)–Giveaway winner reveal



Blog tour-wide giveaway (August 29-September 12) for an autographed book bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

M-o-M: Man-oh-Man Monday with Andrea Speed: Now Voyager?

So I have decided to devote Mondays back to Man-oh-Man Mondays, but I have decided to get some author friends involved.

Every Monday I will have either guest authors, or myself writing short flash fiction pieces based on pictures sent to them, the week before.

Fun, right?

I think so.

So to kick it off, our first author in the hot seat is: ANDREA SPEED!

Here are the pictures sent to Andrea:

Picture 1

Picture 2

Now, Voyager? 
Copyright©  2014 by Andrea Speed. All Rights Reserved.

“Rift in fifty five seconds,” Tad announced. Today he was trying on a British accent, which made him seem extra ridiculous.

“I got it, okay? I can’t go any faster than I’m going,” Alex said, pausing to take a breath. He did the thing you weren’t supposed to do, he looked down, and he saw he was maybe ten feet up the tree at most. Goddamn it, how could he be this out of shape? Alex had been running around dimensions for … well, at least a week now, at least as he knew time. In some of these dimensions, time ran faster or slower, so gauging time was a tricky proposition at best.

As he brushed bark off his hands, and looked up towards the tree’s thickest branch, he tried to remember what he’d been doing a week ago, before all of this. Probably cleaning out some pipes, and no, that wasn’t a euphemism. Alex was a plumber, and maybe he still was, although he felt scrambled, discombobulated, and otherwise out of sorts, like he’d contracted some form of dimensional jet lag. All he’d done was met this cute guy at the bar and gone home with him, that’s it. In retrospect, he should have paid more attention to what the guy was saying, instead of being distracted by his sleepy brown eyes and really nice ass.

Having had time to go over it all in his mind, Alex recalled the guy, Sanjay, telling him he was an experimental engineer. He should have known that was a nice way of saying mad scientist. Alex also knew he should have looked more closely while getting dressed, because he grabbed a watch that he thought was his, but turned out to be this talking, annoying little machine, that told him when and where dimensional anomalies would be showing up. Dimensional anomalies were random, but the watch – that insisted its name was Tad Pi (standing for Time and Dimensional Position Indicator)- could predict them with about a half hour or fifteen seconds to spare, because it wasn’t a precise science. Alex had simply been walking out of Sanjay’s apartment building when he heard a voice (then Tad was playing around with an Iranian accent) announce something, but since it was in his pocket instead of on his wrist, he just heard the voice and not the words. When he stopped, he pulled out his phone first, thinking someone had called him. But since his phone was off, he pulled out the watch as it said, “Dimensional rift here, one point five seconds.”

Alex had time to realize that this watch wasn’t his, and also, probably not a watch, a millisecond before he was swallowed by light, and spit out in a patch of weeds by the side of a road in what may have been Turkmenistan. Since he only stayed twenty minutes, he had no idea what the people of that dimension called it, but that was okay, as he couldn’t have talked to the populace anyways. It looked like that dimension was peopled by bipedal, six foot tall lobsters.

From what Tad had told him, the watch was actually an attempt at a time machine, although it got that wrong. What it got right was dimensional travel, which was apparently possible, due to … oh hell, Alex didn’t know. Tad had used lots of polysyllabic words and physics terms Alex may or may not have heard used in the occasional Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. He was a plumber. He didn’t do quantum mechanics, just regular mechanics.

Dimensional rifts moved around, and were open for a very limited amount of time. Tad could detect them (something something tachyons, something something molecular displacement), but he couldn’t tell him where these rifts led, which had led to Alex hop-scotching around dimensions like a tourist with a major case of ADD and several different standing warrants. Sometimes he could stay a day in another dimension, sometimes only a couple of minutes, but the one good thing he’d learned was dimensional rifts had a tendency to recur around the same general area. Whatever caused them to happen was generally localized, as if dimensional fibers developed worn spots. (Which may have been the case. Tad never said anything he couldn’t complicate with excessive verbiage.) Right now, the search for dimensional rifts had him climbing a tree, as this rift was, of course, in mid-air. It wasn’t always easy.

He’d been to at least a dozen dimensions by now, but not yet the Earth he remembered. Tad said the chance of this happening was slim, but still probable. Unless the “infinite universes” theory was correct, then he was screwed. But he had to keep trying. Mainly because, as cute as he was, he was so going to kick Sanjay’s ass over this when he saw him again.

Finally, Alex hauled himself up onto the thickest branch, and saw a multicolor swirl of energy out of the corner of his eye. Technically, dimensional rifts were not visible to the naked eye, but Tad had said he’d accumulated enough … something something tachyon particles, and could kind of be aware of them. Not as well as Tad, but maybe, if he did this a million times, he could. And frankly he’d be kind of happy, because more than once he’d dreamed of taking a hammer to Tad. “Twenty two seconds,” Tad reminded him.

“Could you please knock it off with the accents?” Yesterday he’s tried a Chinese one, and it sounded vaguely racist, even though Alex would hope that no artificial intelligence could actually be racist. According to Tad, that was impossible, because “all humans are meat sacks”. Which seemed racist in a new, uncomfortable way.

“Hey, I have to keep it fun for me, mate,” Tad said, his accent thicker than ever. Alex had no idea artificial intelligence had increased to the point where it could deliberately annoy people. Yaay technology?

Tad shot out a beam of ultraviolet light, which caused the dimensional rift to flare to visible light, a rainbow of swirling energy around a void that somehow seemed deeper than black. It wasn’t just an absence of light, but an absence of everything.

Alex stood on the branch, took a shaky deep breath, and then jumped forward, heading for the hovering rift a foot below him. He was scared as he always was, but the light embraced him like an old friend.

Maybe one of these days, he’d return home for good.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Pimping: The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds by Charley Descoteaux

The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds by Charley Descoteaux


All he ever wanted was to be a normal guy….

Phil Brask spends his days in the basement of his mentor's Victorian home, converting legal documents into electronic format. When the pipe feeding the water heater bursts, Lee Redding arrives in the plumber’s truck and draws Phil away from the narrow focus of his computer and camera lens. Lee gives Phil hope for a life beyond the walls he’s constructed using the nesting habits of migratory birds and dense legal files, a guided tour through a world filled with romance and music…maybe even family. But there’s a reason Phil retreated behind those walls, why he panics at a simple touch.

Lee has a good life—working with his uncle and on his mother’s farm, playing bass in a horrible metal band, and hooking up when he pleases—but he’s always suspected something was missing. When he meets the hot photographer with the icy-blue eyes, he knows exactly what that something is. Phil isn’t like other guys, but neither is Lee beneath his carefree exterior. Maybe Lee's the perfect guy to show Phil that everything doesn’t have to be done the hard way and "home" isn't a four-letter word.


LEE CALLED early Sunday morning. Phil was still in bed while he listened to Lee say his Uncle Lenny called him in to work—at double time—on an emergency job in a church basement.

“Do you have any plans for next weekend?”

Phil smiled. He didn’t even have any plans for breakfast. “No.”

“How about if I pick you up and we head out to my mom’s place?”

Phil’s stomach shivered. Meet his mom? Phil barely remembered his own mother. Among the things that had survived the sixteen years since he’d last seen her were that she had red hair and called him Phillip Anthony.

A car door slammed in Phil’s ear and brought his mind back to the present. He had no idea what Lee expected him to say and panic licked at his heels.

“Um, I kind of wanted to ask you a favor.” Lee’s car started, the familiar rattling of the engine helped Phil relax.


“Don’t you want to know what it is first?”

Phil shrugged but then remembered Lee couldn’t see. It didn’t really matter, though. Whatever it was, he wanted to do it. “O-okay.”

“Well, two of the restaurants she sells herbs to have closed in the past few weeks. She thinks she doesn’t need to advertise, but I think if you could get some good pictures of the herbs and her place, then Heidi could design some flyers or ads or whatever.”

Traffic sounds and honking disturbed Phil’s enjoyment of listening to Lee’s voice while he lounged in bed. Sunshine streamed though they wouldn’t be spending the day together—Lee had thought of him. The day was off to a good start.

“S-sure, just let me know what time. You need to hang up now before you get in an accident. Jerry doesn’t handle p-personal injury cases, so you’d be left to the whims of f-fate.”

Lee chuckled and Phil’s lips tingled in response.

“I’ll call you later. Have a good day, Phil.”

“Y-you too. Lee.”

Phil dropped his phone and hugged his pillow. He had plans for next weekend. With Lee. He’d never been to a farm before—he’d seen them alongside Highway 26, but it still seemed like farms belonged to another era. Still, the prospect of taking pictures in a completely new place—for Lee—wiped away all but the tiniest bit of his fear that Lee’s mom would hate the idea of some strange guy messing around on her property, taking pictures of her plants.

That would take even longer than the heron-watching expedition. And it would probably be chaste. It was his mom’s place, and he had a little sister who lived there, so they wouldn’t be alone. Phil was surprised to realize he was disappointed.

Buy The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds



Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough.  In exchange, they let her sleep once in a while. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear.  As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.

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