Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #17 (5.3)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Last week, we found Dustin with Jordan, which is getting to be a regular thing. Has Dustin found someone he can really hold onto? And what's with the visitors? Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they're up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #17 (5.3)

“Hey, sweet cheeks, mind letting the boys in?”

Dustin refrained from barking out something stupid, like why don’t you let the boys in? That attitude would get him nowhere. Hadn’t done him much good in the past either, if he recalled. So he grabbed his jeans from the spot on the floor where he’d tossed them the night before and yanked them on.

He was still buttoning them as he hurried through the living room. The doorbell continued to clamor insistently. “Hold your damn horses, I’m coming,” Dustin muttered under his breath just before he threw the door open.

“Hey Lenny, look who’s here.”

Rusty had all the charm of a rabid weasel, Dustin thought, as he tried not to snarl at the two men. Thin almost to the point of emaciation, he wore his reddish brown hair slicked back most of the time, and he had tattoos over every inch of flesh Dustin could see or wanted to see. He seemed to think he was a comedian, and most of his jokes were either pointless or made at someone else’s expense. Dustin had no idea what Jordan saw in him.

He stepped back before Rusty could run him over as he bulldozed his way into the apartment, Lenny just behind him. The two seemed to be inseparable, at least from what Dustin had seen of them. Which was too much, in his opinion.  Not that he thought they were a couple, or even gay. Probably couldn’t find anyone else who could stand being around them. Even Jordan had his limits when it came to that.

Lenny was a chunky brunet cowboy with a full beard that he liked to comb a lot. He claimed to have spent years cooking for chuck wagons, and he swore the cowboys all loved his food.  He’d pat his overhanging belly and brag about his culinary skills. Dustin suspected most of that gut came from lifting beers, rather than cooking utensils.

“Hiya Dustin.” Lenny gave him a huge grin. “How’s it hanging?” He glanced pointedly at Dustin’s crotch, which drew a guffaw from Rusty.

“From what I hear, it hangs pretty well,” Rusty said.

Dustin’s cheeks heated at the too obvious implication. He didn’t like the idea that Jordan discussed their sex life with these two lowlifes, but what could he do about it? Anything he said was likely to come out wrong and sound more than a little jealous. He wasn’t jealous of either one of these rejects from  clown college—he just didn’t like them.

But they were Jordan’s friends, and sometimes, in a relationship, you had to take the good with the bad. He badly wanted a relationship like Marshall and Lee had, so he’d do what it took to get it.

“Hey, hey, watch that tongue.”

Dustin spun about at the unexpected defense. Jordan stood thee,  lounging against the wall closest to the hall, looking completely put together and gorgeous, not like he’d just rolled out of bed a few moments ago. Staring at him, Dustin felt his enmity begin to drain away, caught up in the familiar thrall that Jordan held over him.

“Don’t talk about Dusty that way, have some respect for my man.”

Dustin tingled inside at that. Why could just a few words from Jordan make everything so very right again? Even if he didn’t care for that nickname.

“You know I respect the hell out of him,” Rusty insisted. “Just playing with him. No offense taken, I hope, Dusty?”

Dustin gritted his teeth at the familiarity but decided not to make an issue of it. “None taken,” he managed to get out. He decided he should finish dressing. That would give him a few moments to calm down more completely. Jordan could entertain those two for the minute or two that would take.

As he passed by him, Jordan surprised him once again. He grabbed Dustin around the waist, and pulled him close, laying a major liplock on him. Dustin felt the rest of his residual anger dissipate, replaced by pure horniness, futile though that was. Not with those two there.

“Don’t worry, baby, they won’t stay too long. And then we can take care of that.” He laid the flat of his hand against Dustin’s crotch, eliciting a moan. All Dustin could see and feel was Jordan. No one else existed. With great effort, he pulled back and nodded, before continuing to the bedroom. He could still hear the three men in the other room through the open door.

“I got that stuff you wanted,” he heard Lenny say.

Stuff? What stuff?

“Good. Glad to hear it.” That from Jordan.

Dustin quickly pulled on his T-shirt, followed by his boots. He gave his semi-hard cock a quick smack to remind it to behave. Now was not the time for it to rear its head. Thinking of Lenny and Rusty waiting in the living room helped throw water on Dustin’s raging libido. Well, at least they were good for something.

He hurried back out to Jordan, who was sitting at one end of the couch, the two meatheads taking up the rest of the available space, relegating Dustin either to a chair or the floor. He tried not to glare his displeasure at them, but it was hard.

“Babe, grab us some brews, willya?” Jordan asked, softening the request with one of his killer smiles.
Jordan always kept his refrigerator filled with good beer, Dustin had to give him that. He pulled out four bottles, kicked the fridge shut, then carried them back to the living room, two in each hand. To his surprise, he noticed the seating arrangement had changed during his brief absence. Now Lenny and Rusty occupied the chairs, and the couch beside Jordan was invitingly open.


Well, things were looking up at last.

to be continued

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Monday, June 19, 2017

A game of spies during the American Revolution - Kinda, sorta

I'm not sure if I mentioned this here, but I went back to college this past spring, and am working to finish my associate's degree at Florissant Valley Community College, despite the fact it's been thirty years since I was last in school. I took a US History course through 1865 and got 106%, which was pleasing. Now, for the summer semester, I am taking Stress Management and Speech (all online, by the way). Not loving the Speech, but that's irrelevant.

This is all by means of explaining why my blogging has fallen behind, but I intend to at least try to do better in the future. For those who don't know, my first love is history, and I hope to move on to UMSL, after I get my associate's degree, and work on my BA with a major in history. Of course I'll write too, hopefully combining both loves in some of my writing.

I've been doing a lot of reading about the US Revolution, which has become my particular field of emphasis. Those who know me know I am obsessed with a certain musical (*coughcoughHamiltoncoughcough*), but it's more than that, and I am a huge fan of Aaron Burr. I've also been watching documentaries and series of historical interest, and that's how I discovered Turn.


Turn is based on a book by Alexander Rose called Washington's Spies. I have just begun to read the book a couple of days ago, but I am on season 3 of the AMC series. Prior to this, I read Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, on the same subject. While interesting, it's what I would call History Lite, aimed more at people who might not have an interest in history, which is fine.

Washington's Spies has been meticulously researched and I'm enjoying it. But, having been doing all this reading I've been doing, and watching documentaries and such, I know enough to know Turn is less than accurate in many ways, which is hard to countenance in a program that is actually about history. Granted, I'm no expert in this area, but I did some a couple of things that I am finding hard to overlook. Much like Hamilton, you have to take Turn with a grain of salt.

By the way, I'm not giving a spoiler alert, since season 4 just started, so everything I am writing about has already been shown, plus it's history.

The story is about the Culper spy ring which passed information to General Washington at a critical
time during the American Revolution. The members of the ring were given fake names and referred to by numbers, operating behind the scenes, unobtrusively. The hero of Turn is Abraham Woodhull, played by Jamie Bell. He's married to his late brother's fiance, and they have a son. They live in Setauket, a small town on Long Island.




Abraham's father is Judge Richard Woodhull, the local magistrate (side note, he's played by Kevin J. McNally, who is also Joshamee Gibbs, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame). They've selected to make the father a Tory sympathizer, which isn't true (some of my info, I found on the Internet, some I realized myself).

Then there is Abraham's former fiance Anna, now married to Selah Strong, proprietors of the local tavern. My understanding is that they didn't own this tavern, and that Anna never had an affair with Abraham.

My first inkling that all wasn't as it should be came when I saw General Charles Lee being interrogated by Major John Andre. Say what?  When did that happen, you ask. To my knowledge, never. While he was captured by the British, in a dressing gown and slippers, I don't think he met Andre, and was later ransomed back to Washington (although one has to wonder why they didn't just let the British keep him).

Then, they tried to make Lee out to be a mole! Maybe he was an unpleasant man, and maybe he "shit the bed at the Battle of Monmouth" (okay, those are Lin-Manuel's words, not mine), but a traitor? I'm not buying that one.

The villain of the story is a British soldier who becomes head of a group of Queen's Rangers by the
name of John Simcoe. To know him is to hate him, and I do. So does Abraham. He is thoroughly reprehensible, starting with his attempts to get into Anna Strong's knickers when he is billeted at her house (colonists were forced to let British soldiers live with them), not to mention his enmity toward Abraham and even toward his own commanding officer, Major Hewlett. I don't know enough about the man to know if this is what he was like, as I'm still reading, but he does make a great villain.

Major Hewlett, the head of the British forces in Setauket, is played by Burn Gorman. If you watched
Torchwood, you'll remember him. I disliked his character intensely on Torchwood, but the major has grown on me, surprisingly. He's endured shit from Simcoe and hates him as much as I do lol








A couple other of Abraham's friends and colleagues are Caleb Brewster, the smuggler

and Benjamin Tallmadge, an intelligence officer under General Washington



The storyline that is making me piss and moan the loudest, though, has to do with Major John Andre, General Benedict Arnold, and Margaret "Peggy" Shippen. They are literally rewriting history and it makes me want to scream!

Their timeline is skewed, and so are the events themselves.

My first complaint has to do with Peggy Shippen. The real Peggy was 18 when she met Arnold, and they had this instant attraction, even though he was 36. Not a big deal back then. She had known Major Andre previously, when she was a few years younger, when the British held Philadelphia. But I don't believe there was anything between them other than perhaps light flirtation considering her age and his position. But if you believe Turn, they were having an affair.

Then, also according to Turn, it is Major Andre's idea, before he leaves Philadelphia, to possibly recruit Benedict Arnold, and learning that Peggy knew him at one time, set the wheels in motion for her to contact him. (If I was Arnold, I would have been more concerned that her family had Tory leanings). They show Andre and Peggy having sex, and when the British evacuate Philadelphia, he leaves her with a token of his love - namely the single blond braid which dangles from his head (and which there is no historical basis for). (He's a looker, anyway, just fyi)



So Shippen, heartbroken, meets up with Benedict Arnold and plays him, all the time pining for Andre, who she is convinced will still marry her (wtf people?) There is a scene where she and Arnold have sex for the first time, and we see her face, which is like tragic mask as she thinks of Andre even while Arnold is porking her, and she clutches the sheets in one hand, and Andre's braid in the other). Okay, make me gag.

Let's go back to reality. She and Andre were NOT an item. I repeat NOT. They make it sound like they're virtual Romeo and Juliet, which is so much bullshit. Plus, Andre did not approach Arnold, Arnold approached Andre. And by the time he did, he was already married to Peggy. In this, you see her trying to delay the marriage, in hopes of Andre carrying her off or something.

Oh, can't forget to show you General Washington!



Okay, enough about that. I'll talk about the new season of Food Network Star later, and how Comeback Kitchen went!  Later

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Stygian by Santino Hassell

Stygian
Author: Santino Hassell      

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
American release date: October 26, 2015
Format/Genre/Length: E-book/M/M Erotic Romance/204 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

As the newest member of up-and-coming rock band Stygian, drummer Jeremy is a little insecure about his place in the band with the other three members of the group. Despite his misgivings, he agrees to take off work to accompany them to a Southern mansion in Louisiana which front-man Watts has rented for a musical retreat, so they can work on their music, and each other, as well as come up with new tunes.

The trouble is Jeremy has a thing for Kennedy, but that’s a lost hope, because Kennedy barely knows he’s alive. And Watts is banging Quince like a screen door in a windstorm, but does he even give a hoot about the guy, or is he just using him?

Out in the middle of nowhere, Jeremy finds the mansion beautiful, yet unsettling, for reasons he can’t put his fingers on. And then there are the owners, who live nearby—siblings Hunter and Laurel Caroway. Hunter isn’t shy about letting Jeremy know he’s interested, which is balm to Jeremy’s aching soul, frustrated at being ignored by Kennedy. And Laurel has a way with Watts and Quince that is downright…creepy.

Is Jeremy imagining things, or is it just his own past catching up with him in ways he doesn’t want to think about? Will this musical retreat be the boost Stygian needs to catapult them to stardom, or a horrible mistake?

I loved this book from the beginning, drawn in by Jeremy, both as narrator and character. His desire for the standoffish Kennedy broke my heart, and I kept wishing he’d reveal the truth about the misery he keeps inside. The setting is pure southern gothic melodrama, and the story unfolds as the characters try to get their act together out in the middle of nowhere. I kept trying to guess where the story was going, but it wasn’t until nearly the end that I caught on. I have one criticism, which I can’t make, because it involves a spoiler, but all in all it’s a minor point.

I would recommend this book, especially if you enjoy being scared. There is plenty of heat to go around too!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #16 (5.2)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Last week we saw Roy meet with the Sheriff of Tucker Falls for police business. This week, we'll see how Dustin is doing, and if he's still with Jordan. Find out in this week's chapter of The Sheriff. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they are up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #16 (5.2)

Dustin raised a groggy head and eyed the alarm clock on Jordan’s side of the bed through slitted eyes, then lay back down. Still early. He didn’t have to be at work for hours. He could spend more time with Jordan.  Maybe even go another round before he had to take a shower and get dressed.

Ever since they started dating, Dustin spent more nights at Jordan’s place than he did at home. Every time he talked about going back to the apartment he shared with Denver, Jordan would turn big puppy dog eyes on him, and his lower lip would quiver slightly… and then there were his hands. Jordan had the most amazing touch, and he seemed to like to touch Dustin whenever and wherever possible.

Who was Dustin to complain about being treated like someone of value, for a change? Jordan was balm to Dustin’s aching soul. He found it hard to say no when Jordan entreated him to stay, so he usually didn’t.

He glanced at Jordan, who was sound asleep. Dustin had quickly found out that Jordan was not a morning person, and he learned to be quiet until he knew Jordan was awake and ready for conversation. He didn’t mind having to lie there quietly and admire the view, for that was quite a view. And Jordan was not shy about displaying his body in any way. Some days it was hard for Dustin to keep his hands off that luscious curved rump. He wanted to kiss Jordan all over, but regretfully that would entail waking him, so he kept his lascivious thoughts to him and contented himself with playing voyeur.

Just then Jordan rolled over, facing Dustin. “Hey, handsome,” he greeted him around a lazy yawn. “Good morning.”

“Morning,” Dustin replied just before Jordan pulled him close and kissed him, his hand on the back of Dustin’s head.

Dustin felt a familiar heat rising inside of him. He moaned into Jordan’s mouth as he pressed against him, their mutual morning wood rubbing together with great familiarity. Taking advantage of Jordan being awake, Dustin ran his fingers down Jordan’s smooth back. His skin was so soft and supple, like he used some kind of lotion on it or something.  Dustin wanted more from him than this. He had an ache for Jordan that just wouldn’t quit.

He wanted Jordan to fuck him and fill him, so badly he could taste it. Their first time together had been a little painful, but Dustin had learned. He’d gotten into the habit of asking to be allowed to lube Jordan’s cock before they had sex, and Jordan didn’t seem to mind. Things had run more smoothly after that.

He ground needily against Jordan, taking advantage of their proximity to increase the friction between them. Jordan’s growing desire matched his own. This would be a great way to start the day, and take the sting out of having to go to work. Not for the first time, he wondered how Jordan made his money, as he never talked about where he worked or what he did. But right this moment, it didn’t matter a damn bit.

Never breaking their kiss, Jordan rolled on top of Dustin and began to rut against him. Dustin spread his legs in encouragement, waiting for just the right moment to reach for the lube.

The sound of the doorbell broke the moment, to Dustin’s intense annoyance. Who the fuck had such terrible timing? Jordan didn’t seem perturbed, though. He rolled off of Dustin and sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. A terrible suspicion entered Dustin’s head.

“You expecting someone?”

“Yeah. “

Shit.

“Rusty and Lenny said something about stopping by.”

Dustin refrained from groaning. Rusty and Lenny were two of Jordan’s friends. He seemed to be pretty tight with them, so Dustin tried not to complain when they showed up at inconvenient hours. He guessed putting up with your partner’s friends was part of being in a relationship, something he had no real familiarity with.

Still, their timing did leave something to be desired. He had a feeling he’d have to go to work without that tender loving he was so looking forward to.

Thanks to Rusty and Lenny, Dustin wasn’t gonna get any satisfaction any time soon.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: The Sheriff #15 (5.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Two weeks have passed since Roy's blind date. See how the world is treating him and what he's up to in this week's The Sheriff. Don't forget to see what the other Briefers are up to! Their links follow my tale! And if anyone is interested in becoming a part of the group, the more the merrier, give me a shout! Enjoy!

The Sheriff #15 (5.1)

Two weeks after the ill-fated blind date at Partners, Roy found himself in Tucker Falls again, but this time for business reasons. He’d received an unexpected call from the sheriff requesting he meet him for breakfast. The invitation had piqued Roy’s interest, as well as his curiosity. He had a good working relationship with nearby law enforcement , both local and state, but the officer he was most in contact with was the sheriff of Tucker Falls, Harlan Sinclair. Their meetings were mostly held in the sheriff’s office, though, so this was unusual.

Harlan was in his late forties, and had been sheriff for some twenty years.  His chestnut hair, which he kept cut just below the ears, was starting to get a little gray, and maybe he had a bit of a belly, thanks to his pretty wife’s good home cooking, but he still cut quite the figure. He was popular with the people he served, but he was also known for being a no-nonsense kind of guy who didn’t tolerate inappropriate behavior from anyone. Roy appreciated that in him, which was one reason they got along so well.

They met in a small diner situated within walking distance of the sheriff’s office. The d├ęcor wasn’t fancy, but the food was good old-fashioned home cooking, and the service was great. Everyone there knew Harlan, it seemed to Roy. They made a point of saying hey as they walked past the booth where the two men sat.

“Morning, Sheriff,” a young woman with a two-toned blue-and-brown hairdo greeted him. She turned a bright smile on Roy, then noticed his uniform. “I stand corrected. Two sheriffs this morning.” She seemed very chipper for so early in the morning, but Roy figured that was better than having someone bite his head off at the crack of dawn. “Start you out with coffee?”

“Works for me, Callie,” Harlan responded, turning an inquiring glance to Roy. “You?”

“Coffee would be great,” Roy agreed.

“Awesome! Be right back, take your time looking over the menu.” She laid a plastic-coated menu in front of each man, then turned and sashayed toward the waitress station across the room.

The two men made professional small talk until they received their coffee. Once Callie took their breakfast orders and sauntered away, Harlan got down to business.

“Tell me something, Roy,” he began. “You having any problem with drugs in your neck of the woods?”

If Harlan hadn’t looked so serious, Roy would have laughed. Drugs? In Burnham? The only people he’d ever taken drugs off of were people passing through the small town, not any of the residents. And not very often at that.  He supposed it was possible someone in town smoked pot, but he seriously doubted even that. So obviously it wasn’t a problem.

“Not that I’ve noticed,” he said at last. “Why do you ask? Is something up?”

“Maybe,” Harlan said. “Well, something is, I just haven’t figured out what.”

“What do you mean?” Roy reached for his cup and took a long drink of the hot brew, letting it warm his insides.

“There’s been a string of burglaries lately. At least I think there is. A string, I mean. Definite burglaries. People’s houses being broke into, a few small businesses too. Most of what’s being taken is stuff that’s easily sold and not very traceable, you know? I just wondered if someone was feeding a drug habit. Or maybe some hot shot dealer from one of the big cities decided to hang his hat in Tucker Falls.”

Roy frowned. That could be a problem, not just for Tucker Falls, but for Burnham too. He didn’t like the sound of that one little bit. Although Tucker Falls was a bigger town, and had more deputies, cooperation between the various sheriffs’ departments was instrumental in enforcing the law.

“What can I do?” Roy asked.

“I appreciate the offer.” Harlan gave him a smile of relief. Obviously the subject was one he’d been wrestling with. “To be honest, I’m not quite sure what I need help with. I really wanted to apprise you of the situation, ask you to keep a special eye out. I know you patrol between here and Burnham, and I know you see things. I really respect you as a lawman, Roy, and I trust your judgment.”

“I’m very flattered, Harlan,” Roy said sincerely. “I will definitely keep an eye out when I’m on patrol.”

“That’s all I can ask,” Harlan said gratefully.

Just then their food arrived. Callie set their dishes on the table, refilled their coffee, then left.

“How’s them kids doing?” Roy asked as they ate.

“Growing like weeds.” Harlan laughed. “We got little Harlan his own bike, and he thinks that’s the best thing since sliced white bread. Missy’s already reading now, and she’s only three years old. By the time she gets to school, she’s gonna be the smartest kid there.” The sheriff’s pride in his children was obvious as he spoke. “So, when you gonna settle down and have some young’uns of your own, Roy?”

Roy snorted. “At the rate I’m going, never,” he said. “I’ve just about given about on meeting Miss Right. Lately, it seems like all I can find is Miss Wrong, and I’ve seen enough of them to last me a lifetime.”

“Well, never say never,” Harland said, punctuating his words with his fork. “When the time’s right, you’ll find the perfect woman for you.”

“Yeah, sure,” Roy said agreeably. “Maybe someday.”

When pigs fly.

to be continued

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