Guarding January

Book Cover: Guarding January

Lord January is at the top of the charts, only comes out at night, and is usually covered in blood. Say what you will, but the man knows how to put on a great show. But when the Vampire King is let out of rehab, the last thing he expects is someone forcing him to eat real food, hang out in the sun, and generally be a human being.

Rye Sommers, the best bodyguard in the business, has been hired to babysit a rock star whose biggest threat surprisingly isn't all the hard drugs, desperate groupies, and crazy fans—it's Lord January himself. But the closer Rye gets, the more LJ turns into sweet, gentle, caring Jeff Smart. He may still be the super-skinny, pierced and inked genius Lord January, but he is slowly shaking his death wish as he sheds the loneliness and exhaustion his stage persona saddled him with.

But as Rye falls in love with the real Jeff, he finds himself in over his head. He knows he can keep Lord January away from the drugs and the groupies, but saving Jeff might force Jeff to choose between his career as Lord January and his very life.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artists:

DO I have to go?” Jeff stood at the door of the room he’d been living in for eight months. Eight months he’d been safe and happy in there. Eight months he’d been able to be just Jeff, instead of Lord January. “Jim, can’t I just stay?”

Oh, honey, you know you can’t. You have all the tools to do this. You do.” His sponsor and the man who had become a friend stared at him, smiled.

You look like Santa Claus when you do that.”


Shut up.”

They looked at each other, and then they cracked up, leaning together, and if he cried a bit, Jim didn’t say a word.

Come on. Donna sent a car for you, to take you home.”

She sent a babysitter.”

He couldn’t even complain—he probably needed one—but couldn’t it be Jim? Couldn’t he stay there where he was safe?

You have my number, Jeff. Use it if you need it, okay? I mean that.”

He nodded, wrapped his hoodie around him, iPod in the pocket, put his sunglasses on, and hunched inside the fabric.

Jim gave him a short, hard hug, then walked him out the front door. Out into the world.

He winced away from the sunlight, tugging his hood down farther. “My things?”

Already in the car, sir.” A mountain of a man threw him into shadow, and a huge paw was held out. “I’m Rye.”

I don’t shake hands. Sorry.” Jesus, Donna had hired a giant. “I’ll call, Jim, okay? Soon?”

Anytime, Jeff. I promise.”

The giant waited until he started down the walk, then paced him. “We’re the dark gray SUV to the right of the gate.”

Okay.” He kept his head down, making sure the light and the long-range lenses couldn’t get to him.

He had to admit, having the Hulk walking next to him gave him some cover to hide behind, made him feel less exposed. Didn’t mean he suddenly wanted the babysitter, mind you.

The walk down the path seemed to take for-fucking-ever, but at last they were at the car, his minder opening the door for him and bundling him in. The door shut with a very final sounding click, and in seconds they were driving away from the one place he knew was safe.

Jeff put his earphones in and turned the music up loud, the noise pounding in his head.

He stayed in his cocoon until the door opened, his new bodyguard’s hand touching his arm. Aside from really tall and really built, the guy had short brown hair, like military cut almost, and a square jaw you’d expect some tough bodyguard to have. His new bodyguard’s eyes were surprisingly blue, like bright and alive. Jeff slid his gaze from the guy to the house.

Home sweet home. Goodie. He stood, the garage quiet and still. There were two doors down there—one to his rooms, one to the rest of the house where everyone else was. He grabbed his guitar, then headed to the door on the left, heading upstairs without a word.

Rye—that was what the guy had said his name was, right?—kept up with him, right behind him on the stairs like a shadow.

These are my rooms.” He knew Donna would have had them searched, emptied of anything—uppers or downers.

I know. Hell, the whole house is yours, LJ.”

He didn’t bother to argue, but he knew better. The guys in the band came and went, the groupies, people who called themselves friends. Technically his money had paid for the house, but it was a part of Lord January’s image and had very little to do with him.

Following him right to his bedroom, Rye put his bag from rehab down at the end of his bed.

So…. Are you hungry?”

No.” He moved to sit in the huge overstuffed chair in the corner. “I think I’m just going to sleep. I’m not sure what Donna wants you to do, but I’m going to just rest for a couple of days. I don’t want company.”

I’m not company. I’m your bodyguard. Whither thou goest, there shall I go.”

I’m not going anywhere.” He was never leaving this room.


And even though he knew that was a lie, it was the one he was sticking with right now.

Then neither am I.” Rye, the giant, smiled down at him. “Except maybe to make you a sandwich. Are you sure you’re not hungry?”

I’m not hungry. Make yourself at home. I assume someone got you a room?”

Somebody who? It’s just you and me.” Rye sat on his bed.

There’s staff—a cook, housekeeper, all the people. Someone let you in.”

The housekeeper comes in once a week now, and everyone else has been sent away. Ms. Heard didn’t feel you needed the distractions.” Rye dug into his pocket and pulled out a little ring of keys. “I let myself in.”

Oh.” Jeff pulled the hoodie down farther, found another playlist on his phone, and put the earphones in, the music battering him, drowning out the world.

He wanted to go back to rehab.

He wanted to be safe.

I’m going to make a sandwich and bring a chair in to sit with you. I won’t be long.”

He nodded and waited for Rye to leave. Then he went to the closet, took his shoes off, and grabbed a blanket. His stashbox was in the safe, right there, and he didn’t look at it. He just needed to have it in case.

He curled up in his chair, hid under his blanket, and went to sleep.

Once today was over, he could work on tomorrow being over too. One day at a time, and all that bullshit. Still, it was all he had.



Book Cover: Golden

After winning Olympic gold four years ago, Justin retired from swimming, and he’s been floundering ever since. The Fourth of July finds him contemplating doing something stupid, so Justin calls up his former coach, Chris Jarvis. To his surprise, Coach answers.

When Justin retired, Chris cut all ties with the swimmer he’d fallen in love with. He never wanted Justin to love him just because it was easy. But he’s been waiting for Justin to reach out, and he’ll gladly take Justin back into his life.

When he finds out Justin is drowning in a pool of self-doubt and the belief that his happy years are behind him, Chris realizes he made a mistake letting go so suddenly, and that Justin needs structure and a firm, dominant hand to keep him on the right track. It’s time to remedy that error—as long as he can convince Justin that it’s really love.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2013.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artists:

JUSTIN SAT on the edge of his balcony, feet swinging, a half-drunk bottle of bourbon in one hand, his gold medal in the other. He could see the swimming pool two stories down, and he wondered, not for the first time, if he would hit the water if he jumped.

A party was going on behind him, people dancing and laughing, celebrating the Fourth of July. Fireworks blossomed in the night sky, blue and red and green and white and….


God, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. It wasn’t supposed to be empty and lonely and…. He wasn’t supposed to be worthless, wasn’t supposed to be sitting on his balcony and thinking about jumping. Was he?

Just? Honey? You okay?” A girl whose name he didn’t remember came out, smiling at him.

No. No. I’m just watching.” Go away and leave me alone. Let me sit here.

He let the medal swing, the gold catching the light from the tiny explosions. It took a minute, but the girl disappeared back into the apartment. He was so tired of lying. So tired of fucking everything.

He tugged his phone out of his pocket, opened it, and hit 1 on speed dial. Please, Coach. Just answer the phone. I know you don’t have to, but please….

Chris Jarvis.”

His eyes closed at the familiar voice, and suddenly he couldn’t speak.

Hello?” He could picture Coach frowning as he said it, moving to check the call display—which Coach never did when he first answered. “Just, that you?”

Yeah. Yeah. I…. Hey, Coach.” I miss you.

Hey, Justin.” Was it his imagination, or did Coach’s voice get warmer? “How’s it going?”

It’s….” He contemplated the pool again. He could probably make it. “It’s going. Happy July.”

Coach chuckled. “Happy July, kid. Feels odd, doesn’t it?”

Yeah. Yeah, it does.” Everything did. Everything. “I didn’t mean to bother you.”

If it was a bother, I wouldn’t have answered the phone.”

Yeah.” Coach hadn’t answered the phone for the better part of a year, really, telling Justin it was time to move on. Justin had retired with four gold medals, two silvers, and a bronze, and after two Olympic Games, hundreds of competitions, thousands of races, and five shoulder surgeries, he was done.

No more sponsors. No more early-morning practices. No more someone worrying about him. It was just this apartment and a job designing websites for a shoe company.

You watching the fireworks?” At least Coach wasn’t in a hurry to get him off the phone.

I’m on my balcony. You?”

On the TV, over the Capitol.” He could almost hear Coach’s self-deprecating smile. “I was thinking of heading out for a midnight snack.”

You always loved midnight pancakes.” They’d eaten more syrup at 1:00 a.m.….

Like you hated our midnight snack attacks. The Denny’s on Maple is open all night.”

I’m…. I’ve been drinking, Coach. I can’t drive down.” Wait. Had Coach invited him?

I’ll swing by and get you. Those pancakes are calling my name.”

I… I’ll be downstairs.”

See you in ten.” Coach cut the line.

Justin slipped off the balcony ledge and walked through the crowd in his apartment without a word. His roommate would deal. He was all the way downstairs and waiting before he thought to wonder how Coach knew where he lived.



Book Cover: Amnesia

Who wouldn’t want a do over?

When Thaine wakes up in the hospital after a bull-riding injury, he immediately asks for his lover, Jerry. He has no idea who this man next to his bed is, despite the fact Drew insists they have been an item for the last five years.

Thaine’s best friend, Jesse, calls Jerry. He thinks it’s a pretty crappy thing to do to the new boyfriend, but tells himself it’s unlikely Jerry will come after so many years. He also doesn’t get why Thaine would pass up the opportunity to be with Drew since he’s young, optimistic, and hardworking. In short, everything Jesse ever wanted in a man.

Jerry still carries a torch for his cowboy, so when Thaine asks to go home with him to recover, Jerry agrees. At first they pick up their intense physical relationship right where they left it before the breakup. Jesse, in turn, consoles the now homeless Drew and offers him quite a bit more than a shoulder to cry on. But in the back of all the men’s minds loom Thaine’s lost five years.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artists:

JERRY WAS working late. He looked at his watch and flipped on the eleven o’clock news. Okay, so he was working very late. He glanced up at the gray-haired anchor giving a brief overview of the top stories and then went back to his research, reading through the reports on Stiller Inc.’s assets.

The floor was empty aside from his office. Hell, the whole building was probably empty—there weren’t many who burned the midnight oil these days. Of course that gave him an advantage, and he wasn’t one to pass up an advantage.


He took notes as he read and managed to time it perfectly—he dotted his last i just as the sports came on. The Astros had won their game, three—zip. Cool. They were on their way to a pennant this year if they kept winning like they were. He was about to pick up the next report when a sports news segment caught his eye.

Also, today at the Mesquite Rodeo, Houston native Thaine Russell was riding Destiny’s Son when he was thrown and trampled. Mr. Russell is in critical condition at Mesquite Medical Center. His sponsor, Wayne Leathers, says their prayers are with the family, and they hope to see Thaine back on the circuit next year.”

Thaine Russell. Lord, lord, there was a name he hadn’t heard in… well, it had to be five years. Not since they’d gone their separate ways.

He waited to see if there’d be more, but the anchor went on to talk about football scores around the country, and Jerry turned off the TV.

Jerry stood and went over to the little wet bar and poured himself a finger of whiskey before going to the window and looking out over the bright lights of the city.

Thaine Russell.

Well, if anyone could recover from getting trampled it would be Thaine. He was the most stubborn, ornery man Jerry knew. Gave those bulls a run for their money.

Jerry chuckled and sipped at his drink.

Good luck, T. You come back and get that bull next year.”

He shot back the rest of his whiskey and returned to his desk, picked up the next report. If he worked hard he could have a plan in place to take over Stiller Inc. by morning.