I couldn’t wait to share this! It’s the cover of my new novel, “The Long Way Home”, coming soon from Aspen Mountain Press…
Isn’t that cool? My daughter is making me a book trailer for it, which will debut RIGHT HERE on my blog as soon as she gets it done.
In the meantime, here’s an excerpt:
The Long Way Home
Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane.
Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing ten years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him.
These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.
“Wait, back up… Carl wants to see me at the office? Again? Crap, that can only mean one thing.” He sighed, knowing it was the beginning of the end for him. Carl would have him brief the investigators and he’d be mocked and ridiculed, “What’s the Mary Liz?”
“My dad’s boat. You know, you’re not very observant. It’s written right there on the stern. We’re going to spend New Year’s Eve in the harbor, and probably hook up with other like-minded water-enthusiasts and party.” He got the cheesiest chili fry seconds before Kevin grabbed it.
“I’ll have you know I was on that boat, not looking at it from behind,” he slapped Connor’s hand when he went for the next one Kevin wanted.
“I thought you had the all-seeing eye though, Kev.” Connor smirked.
“You’re trying to distract me from the sure and certain knowledge that I’m going to be the main course at the unbeliever’s buffet Carl is holding tomorrow.”
“You don’t know that for a fact. Anyway,” Connor slid his now shoeless foot up Kevin’s bare ankle. “Is it working?”
“Not yet,” said Kevin, “but I’ll bet you’ll escalate if I resist, so I’m resisting with every fiber of my being.”
“Ooh, then let the games begin.” Connor smiled a wolfish smile and took a large bite of his burger. The man did have lips, Kevin thought, that were to die for. Connor licked them as if he heard Kevin’s thought out loud.
“You live here, let’s go dancing,” Kevin said suddenly.
“What?” Connor asked around the straw in his shake.
“Let’s go dancing, someplace we can touch in public and get all hot and bothered. You know anyplace? I haven’t lived here in a while.” He watched the flush creep up on Connor’s cheeks.
“Do I get to drive your car?”
“What?” said Kevin. “My car?”
“Well, you know, I do know of some places… but I’d only take you if you let me drive your car.”
“Well, you are a sworn officer of the law,” said Kevin.
“And, I have two eyes, which almost makes it seem like I could drive better, doesn’t it?”
“I am going to let that go… if you don’t let me go for the rest of the night,” he said, finishing up the last of his shake.
“What will happen to my career, I wonder, when my brethren in blue see me with you, tomorrow, blushing like a schoolboy.” He dropped a napkin by his plate.
“Connor, I’m so sorry,” Kevin said, “I didn’t think. Maybe we should just call it a night, huh?”
“And miss the coolest ride in town? And an opportunity to drive your car?” He picked up the tab, leaving money and a nice tip. “Not a chance.”
* * *
Lights flickered and the boom-boom of the dance music blasted away all conversation in the club Zigazig when Connor and Kevin entered. The cover was light on a Thursday, which was good, but apparently since it was the winter break at most schools and universities, the place was crowded with college age boys and more than a few half-dressed young women.
Connor, he noticed, appeared breathless and uncertain, so Kevin muscled his way to the bar for two Coronas, and handed him one. It wasn’t like he could reassure him with words, he couldn’t hear himself think, so he took him to one of the tall tables, and just stood by him, brushing him with his body lightly in time to the music while they drank and checked the place out.
It didn’t take long watching the other couples dance for Kevin to realize that they weren’t doing the Texas two-step. Not long after that, his body was reacting, asking him to jump into the pile of people rubbing each other and playing in the throbbing, shifting, and anonymous crowd. He took his time finishing his beer, and let Connor watch the dancers, wondering if the eroticism of their movements was having an effect on him too.
Kevin was standing behind Connor a little to one side, when he lightly slipped an arm around his chest and moved in to sway behind him. Connor put an arm up over his shoulder to cup Kevin’s head and moved with him, rocking back against him to the beat. Kevin pulled him to the dance floor and they continued their dance there.
Kevin held Connor close to his body, noticing the minute changes in his breathing, the rapid heart rate, the hint of a flush that was stealing over his cheeks. Connor seemed sensitive to touch, to the heat radiating between them as they circled slowly together. Kevin liked the taste of Connor’s skin, the way his hair smelled, and the way he sighed and leaned in, presenting his neck. Kevin could see the pulse ticking on the long column of Connor’s throat, and wished he could mark him there.
“Mmn,” Connor moaned as Kevin grasped his hand, interlacing their fingers. They left the dance floor and found a small table away from the speakers where they could almost hear each other.
“You dance even better than you cook,” said Connor, accepting another beer. “It’s been forever since I danced in a club.”
“Me too, people didn’t always dance this nasty did they?” he asked, earning a double take from Connor.
“Where’ve you been?”
“I don’t know, I used to think of these places as more of a means to an end, you know? I spent more time out in the parking lot. I guess that’s bad, huh”
“Well, not good, really.”
“If it’s any consolation, I’ve spent the last five years playing ball with my dog. Tonight I just wanted to go somewhere with you where I could look at you and want you. Someplace we could flirt.”
“So you brought me to this den of iniquity?” asked Connor. “With all these dry-humping barely post-pubescent hotties?”
“Um, as I recall, you brought me here,” Kevin reminded him.
“Right. I forgot. Well, be that as it may, Kevin,” Connor looked stern, “this may backfire on you.”
“Why?” Kevin was almost afraid to find out the answer. He took a sip of Connor’s beer, just to wet his lips. He hadn’t ordered a second so he could drive.
“Because I don’t want to be arrested for sucking you off in an open car,” said Connor, and Kevin did a classic spit-take.
“My car has a top,” Kevin said. “It does. Have a top.”
Connor laughed at him, and pulled him back on the dance floor, “You, I’m afraid, aren’t going anywhere soon,” He wrapped both of Kevin’s arms around him. “You have mad skills, and I am only now discovering what they are. We are here to dance until one of us caves and throws the other against an alley wall.”
Kevin practically had to shout for Connor to hear him. “Are you issuing a challenge?”
“Sucks to be you tonight, little man,” said Kevin tossing his jacket onto a chair next to the bar. He didn’t care if he ever saw it again. His man wanted to understand the power of dance, and it was well within his ability to show him. “Just don’t blame me if you can’t walk out of here, and know up front, that I don’t do bathroom stalls.”
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