My first m/m romance, Giving Thanks, is out now as a solo ebook from Aspen Mountain Press. It's been #1 on the All Romance eBooks Top 10 Best Seller list for 5 days now! (see, watch me jinx myself).
You can find the buy links on my website:
It’s another Thanksgiving for lovers Derek and Troy. Another holiday to pretend they are merely platonic roommates in the chaos of Derek’s family celebration. When Derek snaps after one too many confrontations and admits he’s gay, his father disowns him on the spot. It’s going to be a quiet Thanksgiving…or is it?
Troy turned down the street, bone-deep exhaustion warring with anticipation. Tired as he was, the double-shift before Thanksgiving was worth it so he and Derek could have two days free. Thanksgiving for Derek’s family and the day after for just the two of them. Even after two years together, he still couldn’t believe how happy he was. How eager to come home to Derek. How thankful he was they’d found each other.
He caught sight of Derek’s Toyota in the driveway as he pulled near the house. Derek shouldn’t be home. He’d been scheduled to work at his family’s restaurant until early evening and that was still hours away. Derek’s schedule had never run unexpectedly early.
His stomach clenched. He had a bad feeling about this. A very bad feeling.
As soon as he’d parked, he grabbed his duffle bag and hopped out, barely tugging his coat from the car before the door shut. He trotted up the walkway to the front porch.
Gut still roiling, he paused for a long deep breath before he slowly opened the door, unsure of just what he would find. He was sure it wouldn’t be good, though.
He heard a loud clatter from the direction of the kitchen, followed by a snarled curse. Oh yeah, not good at all.
Nothing in the kitchen ever fazed Derek, not even the time they’d gotten too distracted by the recreational uses of clarified butter and their dinner had caught on fire. Troy had been the one who’d almost fallen over when he rushed to get the fire extinguisher from the pantry, forgetting his pants were around his ankles. Derek laughed hysterically at
Troy’s shuffling hop, but still managed to put out the fire with a pan lid and even retained the presence of mind to silence the smoke detectors before a neighbor called the fire department.
It had still taken him three tries to get the oily spots out of his favorite jeans and to this day Derek persisted in cracking jokes about the perils of buttering him up. At least he’d not hurt himself and had to explain that to his co-workers.
He quietly set down his duffle bag near the stairs, took off his coat and hung it and his keys on their respective hooks.
It only took a moment to sit on the wrought iron bench and take off his work boots to set them next to Derek’s chef’s clogs before padding toward the kitchen.
The kitchen island had several grocery store bags on it. Why had Derek gone shopping when they were eating at Derek’s parents’ house tomorrow and would have leftovers enough for a week?
Turning the corner, he spotted Derek standing in front of the large stainless double sinks. He was still dressed for work his white chef’s coat and a pair of his tacky baggy pants, this pair with brightly printed chili peppers on them.
A big tub sat on the floor near the sink, half-full of some liquid and he seemed to be vigorously washing a rather large turkey with the spray nozzle.
Still no response and the sick feeling in the pit of Troy’s stomach only got worse. He walked over to Derek and ran his hands up his lover’s back, slowly and firmly. Then back down Derek’s sides and around his waist.
Tense. So tense. Derek felt almost brittle to the touch. Not something he was used to feeling in his lover.
“What’s wrong, Derek? Why are you home already?”
No answer. He just continued to scrub at the poor abused turkey. Then a tell-tale catch in his breath. A sob. Derek never cried, he just got angry and yelled a bit. What the hell had happened?
Troy reached over and shut off the water, then coaxed Derek to release the very clean turkey and the sprayer. His lover grasped the edge of the sink so tightly his knuckles were white through the thin latex gloves he was wearing. Tiny, not quite stifled sobs shook his body. “I’m here for you, love. What’s wrong? What’s happened?”
Troy rested his cheek briefly on Derek’s back, then pulled Derek’s wet hands off the sink and overcame his token resistance to turn him around. Troy caught sight of his face. “What the fuck? Who did this?”
Rage burned through Troy at the sight of the bandage below Derek’s right eye and the bruise that was blooming around it, the skin already swollen and a dusky purple. “What happened, Derek? Tell me what happened.”
Derek’s beautiful blue eyes swam with tears, his blonde lashes clumped and dark from those he’d already shed. He attempted a weak smile.
“Well, we don’t have to hide the fact I’m gay from my family anymore.”