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Where There’s Smoke is now live!

Those who’ve read Sleeping with Danger, the fourth and latest Nevada Highlander novel, will no doubt remember Aidan Williamson—the young, tousle-haired, competent, and smart constable in a tiny Police Scotland office in Ballater.

In that novel, he rushes to what he thinks is the aid of Rory and Alex, only to find that they’ve blown off his help and have stirred up a hornet’s next. And he’s deeply pissed.

snippet cop copy

Far from a cartoon, Aidan is a stand-out cop, much more so than he realizes. In my newest work, he takes center stage. The Chief Inspector calls on him for an important undercover assignment, as Sergeant Detective in the UK’s prestigious Criminal Investigation Department.

Here’s the intro to the novella:

Aidan Williamson, just another Police Scotland constable in a tiny Highlands hamlet, is plucked from his routine life into a case of murder most foul. Still wincing from the wounds of a recent separation, Aidan keeps his emotional life tucked in his trousers, out of sight. Until he encounters Kenneth Logan—a man in self-isolation at Devil’s Point. There’s a secret buried in those soul-deep eyes.

How long before the rookie detective gives in to his almost sensual attraction to all that’s profoundly mystifying? And who will survive the killing field in a place Scots call The Demon’s Penis?

The novel is a police procedural…but (“big but,” as the CI would say)…the reclusive Logan is a force to reckon with, and not just his size. Aidan’s attraction to him is strong, and immediate. Here are two different promos I’ll be running, and maybe you ‘ll get the idea.

WTS granite use

Yes, he’s built like the proverbial brick house. And Aidan appreciates a well put together case, um, individual…

WS odyssey

I like this novella (around 30K words, so not too brief), and I hope you, the reader, will too. If the response warrants, this will be the start of a series I’ll call “Aidan Undercover.”

Here are your sales links, and thanks for your interest in the writing of Erin O’Quinn.

Amazon (kindle mobi) https://amzn.to/2Io45dK

SeaToSky (epub or pdf) https://bit.ly/2Z4wKeu  

Smashwords (epub) https://bit.ly/2HYByfz

QueeRomanceInk (links, excerpt, etc.) https://bit.ly/31iqNMM 

 

WTS zon 1 copy

Beltane, a day for lovers. The day Michael met Simon: May 1, 1923. Get hooked on noir with a sexy attitude—gay retro with a twist!
Have you read the acclaimed gay romance mystery series?
htoh anniversary

❤️HEART TO HART ❤️ A roustabout with a secret falls arse-over-bollocks for a surly, angry PI. Together, they solve a mystery but start their own, much deeper one.

 

👥SPARRING WITH SHADOWS 👥 A man fights his inner demons while confronting his horny flat-mate, a determined swordsman, and a dangerous criminal.

 

☠️TO THE BONE ☠️ A pesky newcomer burrows like a tick between the two PIs even as they struggle to fight crime and to understand each other’s most secret desires.

 

🕵️‍♂️THIN AS SMOKE 🕵️‍♂️ Hollow-chested Dashiell Hammett stands between Michael and Simon like a blunt revolver, and his presence in a Mafia-hunt threatens to dead-end their edgy relationship.

 

😈 MASTERS OF CANE 😈 Usually the handsome Michael relies on his fists and his wits. But he’s more than willing to allow his sensuous PI partner Simon to show him a few secrets with a trusty cane….

 

Best read in order for the evolving relationship. Heat level: high

 

~The Gaslight Mysteries

http://amzn.to/2CZsBxm 🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️

Follow this link to a blogsite devoted to the Gaslight Mysteries.

https://caitlinfire.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/grow-a-set-michael-and-simon/

 

~The Gaslight Mysteries
http://amzn.to/2CZsBxm 🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️
Follow this link to a blogsite devoted to the Gaslight Mysteries.
All five covers, my design:
GL full covers.png

Readers who’ve followed Erin O’Quinn’s *Nevada Highlander series may remember a certain constable from the most recent novel **Sleeping with Danger…a tousle-haired young man named Aidan Williamson out of Ballater’s small Police Scotland office.

ballater ps

This Google Maps photo captures the small building where two of Scotland’s finest hang out, fighting crime and boredom…

I keep wondering about Aidan… Why does a Scot have a name like Williamson? What keeps a vigorous, inquisitive young man behind a desk in a tiny hamlet in the Highlands? Was he telling Rory the truth when he admitted to loving his unnamed mate—and if so, who’s the lucky partner? Male, or female?

Recently I sat at my keyboard and began to wonder with my fingers. Here’s the result: about 800 words of a new work. Novel, or novella? Not sure. Probably a novella, with a new love interest who may (or may not) show up in another book. We’ll see.

Here’s a make-believe promo, using models whose images I’ll need to purchase if I decide to use them.

wts smoky coll

Chapter 1
From the Ashes

Pain rode like a surly hitch-hiker in the small of his back.

Aidan leaned back in the creaky swivel chair, his long legs crossed on the splintered desk, trying to ease a distant ache.

Almost five o’clock. Time for the night shift to appear in the form of Michael Murphy. He lifted his reluctant feet off the scarred surface, careful not to scrape the shine off his PS-issued brogans, pretending he wasn’t bored to fucking death and in desperate need of a cigar and a bed, in any order.

His reports were complete. Check. He’d scanned the latest Police Scotland bulletins on his desktop computer. Check. He’d gone to the rescue of a tabby cat on a roof and an elderly man who’d lost his way in Ballater’s only bus station. Check. He’d answered the phone fifty times, at least, and only half of them wrong numbers.

Now what?

He tried not to think about the four walls waiting for him in his bland flat, or saying goodbye to Justin. Not “see you later,” or “be good, man.” Saying goodbye, farewell, sayonara.

The parting had been a year in the making. Justin’s work day getting longer…his own shift needing more scrupulous attention…their days off never seeming to coincide…their sex life  as routine as the Ballater Community W.A.T.C.H. he wrote up each week for the website.

We Are The Community Helpers.

Ha.

So. Justin was now a clerk in the Aberdeen office of the Regional Judge. 

He sighed. Not exactly a life filled with excitement and danger, like his own—the thrill-a-minute existence of an underpaid Sergeant Constable in the tiny Ballater office of Police Scotland.

At the sound of a vehicle pulling into the cramped concrete parking lot, he stood and pretended to scan the bulletins pinned to the cork board. Lost pets, alerts on suspected stalkers, a lonely man reported lurking in petrol stations, reminders to call in any sighting of a 2009 gray grocery getter, commendations of model citizens, and even a few random constables in other towns who’d earned a promotion…

He turned to greet his office mate, and found another man altogether.

Chief Inspector Grant McDowell was no longer young, but he was a match for any officer on the force. Aidan didn’t know him, except to stand straighter and make eye contact on the few occasions their paths had crossed—one commemorative dinner, two funerals, and a parking lot somewhere, maybe a year ago.

It was either a talent or a curse that Aiden could read character in someone’s eyes and body language. That hidden skill had served him well during the four years he’d toiled for Police Scotland. It had won a few friends…he thought about his ex, of course, and his recent acquaintance with the faux-Constables Alex and Rory…and the same ability had also earned more than his share of arrests.

Even with his cap under his arm, the inspector stood over six feet, a shade under his own height. The sandy-gray hair, worn straight back from his forehead, lent him an almost leonine air, a feral animal trapped in a cage. His eyes, pale blue behind the black-rimmed glasses, hinted at an ancestry well beyond the Highlands and Islands. They were steel-hard, intelligent, restless, hungry…

CI

McDowell didn’t wait for Aidan to approach him. He strode the few paces to the bulletin board and held out his bear’s paw of a hand.

“Sergeant Williamson. Nice to see you again.”

Since his superior had chosen to see him here, in his own tiny office late on a Friday afternoon, Aidan ungraciously thought it was hardly nice, but a surprise nonetheless. He liked McDowell, but he hated rude awakenings.

What had he done wrong?

Fuck, Aidan, think positive. What have you done right?

He shook the proffered hand and smiled with his mouth and his eyes too. The man’s grasp was strong and honest.

“The pleasure is mine, sir. Um, have a seat? Or…”

“Or not, Sergeant. I’ve come to whisk you away for an hour, tops. Your second-shift man Murphy should be here—” he glanced at his watch—“any minute now.”

How did someone from the echelons of power know the name of his five-to-dawn partner? He’d done his homework, obviously. “Yes, sir. So you want to…”

“To take you somewhere with a bar top and a nodding acquaintance with a wee dram. Know any place close by?” The ironic tone wasn’t even necessary. The inspector wasn’t testing him. He already knew Aidan liked his whisky and cigar. 

aidan cigar h:s

He grinned at the older man. “I recommend the Black Boar. Five minutes from here—but isn’t every place in Ballater?”

McDowell laughed outright. “This burg is a favorite of mine, but yes, ’tis not over-populated with pubs. I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes.”

 

 

Stay tuned for the rest of chapter one, if I decide to write this new one, Where there’s Smoke.

bristlecone 4 use

*The Nevada Highlander Series (4 novels) is here: http://amzn.to/2kZE8VU 

**Sleeping with Danger is the fourth of the series

 

In my current promo, I’ve lifted a line from the novel Unbroken, one that sums up Grier’s pent up desire, and my own remorse at ending this brief book series.

R&R color shot italic correx

In this scene, Grier (Gregory MacGregor) has been severely wounded by a knife attack. He’s just now beginning his recovery, in David’s little cabin aboard the trader Arend.

“I’ve never spread my legs for any man.”

… Grier was still an invalid, but he’d claimed a bed he could tolerate. It was the floor of David’s room, a cubby-hole the sailors called a “cabin” where David changed his bandage. He noted with a wry expression that the lad kept his eyes averted from his groin; yet he said nothing. He could wait.

He clenched his jaw but didnae resist when his host sent him into a corner carrying a privy—a large chipped basin—and had stood like a soldier while the lad cleaned his verra personal places with a cloth dipped in water.

Well, he bore it no’ so muckle like a soldier. More like a wounded bear, back turned, leaning against a wall, his thigh throbbing and his cock too, cursing under his breath.

“Am I clean now, lad?”

“Shush, Grier. Spread your legs a little. Careful of that wound.”

“I’ve never spread my legs for any man.”

David was kneeling behind him, gently cleansing his buttocks. “I need you to be still.”

“And I need you, David. Still—or any way at all. Kiss my arse, lad, and use your tongue…”

David’s hand stopped, but he didnae remove it.

“What…did you say?”

“You heard me. The training you wanted, ’tis trembling before you. My arse is on fire for you. Lick my crack, lift me to the sky.”

A hesitation, a soft touch. A finger…or a wet tongue…something stroked his cleft, and his hungry cock shook, heavy with desire.

He moaned like a bairn and spread wider.

“More, David. More. Put it inside…”

“Put…what, Grier?”

“Your finger, or ten of them, your tongue, your cock. I want it all…”

RY&R release use correx jpg

David gripped his buttocks, hard…and now he could feel the heat of the man’s breath and the scalding sucks first next to his hole, then almost on the balls, a back-and-forth, an in-and-out, a flaring of the muscles deep inside his core, a rush of his own hot fluids.

He let it go on forever, shaking and crying, loving the release, hating the end, wanting more.

Finally he turned, clumsy, his wound making him lame.

He rested his hands on David’s flaxen head while the lad, still kneeling, looked up at him with his ocean-blue eyes.

“I couldnae wait. Och, lad, I’m sorry.”

David’s eyes lit in response. “Giving you pleasure—making your forget your pain even for a few seconds—I think I’ve never been so fulfilled.”

He eased himself to his knees in front of David and took the lad’s face into his hands. “Leaving you was the worst day of my life.”

“No. The worst day is years past, Mister MacGregor. Turning from me was only a…a pirouette. Another step in the dance…”

You’ll find this two novel series here:

R&R yellow ribbon

 https://amzn.to/2JXjDcv

~and~ 

SeaToSky (epub or pdf) https://bit.ly/2UQYsJL  

Smashwords (epub) https://bit.ly/2TsCBal  

QRI (all links, excerpt, reviews, more) https://bit.ly/2HEKjwD

What’s the spark that started the fire?

flame on whte

This is the second in a series, my retrospective on how Erin O’Quinn’s men first met.

“The Gaslight Mysteries” is a five-novel series starring a hard-fisted, hard-drinking Irishman named Michael McCree; and a surly, angry PI named Simon Hart. The tag line for this best-selling series is  “Gay Retro with a Twist.”

These two men, unlikely mates, take five novels to “come together,” in every way. The series is full of fun, cat-and-mouse sexual tension, and “retro” atmosphere.

heart fingerprints

When Michael Meets Simon… Heart to Hart
May 1, Beltane, 1923. From ch 1, Michael’s pov, “A New Dawn”

Michael’s life began all over again on Monday. The rain that had been threatening for weeks finally banged Dun Linden with bare fists just as dawn broke, pummeling and pounding, leaving everyone a little off balance. Setting the banner line for the day’s newspaper edition, he’d looked up from the linotype into the most arresting pair of eyes he’d ever seen. They were soulful and tormented, of a color somewhere between teal and turquoise, like a rare metal seen once in a lifetime. Or an undiscovered ocean on the edge of a wet dream. He stared in spite of himself at the man behind the eyes.

He was tall—all of six feet, almost as tall as Michael. A black felt bowler hat covered his hair. But Michael knew it had to be as dark as the eyebrows and the growing shadow around his upper lip and chin. Had the man even slept last night? The mouth itself was sulky, arrogant, almost angry.

simon suit copy

Michael’s cock set up a slow hammering beneath the stiff leather apron.

He grinned and shifted a wooden match between his teeth. “’Tis help ye need, now?”

Under a fine woolen greatcoat, invitingly open, the man was wearing an impeccably smooth silk brocade jacket, with a neck scarf to reflect the unusual blue of his eyes.

“Yes.” His voice was as clipped and rude as his mouth. “You may place this obituary in the newspaper. And you may insert an advert as well.”

I may, may I? Maybe I’ll insert something else, lad. To himself, Michael mimicked the other’s tone of voice. He knew the man had been educated at a few up-yer-arse schools, probably Eton, then Cambridge. He barely moved his mouth when he articulated every syllable. Here was a man who wouldn’t know a back-alley expression if it slid up his bunghole.

heart fingerprints

But Simon’s impression of that first meeting, as one would expect from a closeted man, is a world apart.

When Simon meets Michael…Thin as Smoke
(May 1, Beltane, 1924: a year later. From Simon’s pov, ch 2, “A New Client”

He’d awakened yesterday with the instant knowledge it was Beltane eve. An anniversary of sorts. A date his new partner had obliquely referred to several times as though it called for some kind of romantic celebration. Their first meeting, in the newspaper shop.

Simon still had a hard time piecing together those fevered days one year ago after he’d discovered the murdered body of his business partner. Try as he might, he could not remember even dressing on that long-ago morning, much less composing an obit notice and an advert for a new flat-mate. Had he perhaps slept in his suit and greatcoat? It was possible. What he did remember was the rain. After weeks of unnatural drought, the deluge seemed to be wreaking punishment on saint and sinner alike.

fedora crop

Has it really been one entire year? He remembered taking his Bushmills bottle to bed each night for several days after he found Sargent sprawled across the surface of their old mahogany desk. He’d avoided the flat they’d shared, seeking the knotted bedding at his gentleman’s club where his old friend’s ghost was a little dimmer. He later remembered the cheeky fellow in the New Dawn anteroom because the bastard had extorted a prince’s ransom for his newspaper’s services and had the gall to pound on his door a few days later to extract even more.

For Simon, Beltane eve was the day he’d tried to soak the blood of his foxhole friend from a desk blotter. And Beltane was not the day he’d met Michael McCree. It was the day he’d set down another man’s death in indelible India ink.

flame on whte

GL full covers

The series has its own Kindle Series page.

THE GASLIGHT MYSTERIES 5 novels

http://amzn.to/2CZsBxm

Giuliland

For this week’s poem, and in honor of #NaPoWriMo, I wanted to share Emily Dickinson’s “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.”

I like to believe I live a life for Truth and in Truth even though we live, unfortunately, in a world of Lies. I came across this poem a few days ago, and it seemed perfect at the time, particularly because one of the overarching themes of my WIP is…DRUMROLL… Truth. I’ve been examining the consequences of what living in a world constructed of lies does to a person and how they will act and/or react when faced with Truth.

But the truth is, I’ve been having quite the dilemma with this poem. First of all, I’m interpreting it as Dickinson telling us to always tell the absolute truth–the only one there is. However, she claims we should do it in snippets—gradually and indirectly so others…

View original post 108 more words

flame on whteWhat was the spark that started the fire?

This is the first of a series of short articles/excerpts showing the meeting of main characters from Erin O’Quinn’s M/M work.

I’ll begin with my latest work, a series called “The Renegade and the Runaway.”

Grier Black (Gregory MacGregor) is a Highland outlaw, one of the clan whose name has been forbidden by royal law…and one who’s been stripped of his tartan and weapon too.

David Campbell is a young Quaker-trained lad from Philadelphia who’s been drugged and kidnapped.

Chapter One (Unkilted) is from the pov of the Scot. Here’s their first meeting. Grier has no way to know who the outlander is, why he’s being kept in the basement, and why he seems to be in trouble. The grabbing of the arm is repeated, subtly, in the next installment of this two-novel series, when—ironic reversal—Grier lies in a drugged state, awakened by David.

From Chapter One:

hands wheat

Grier knelt, letting his eyes grow accustomed to the almost-darkness. Needing to see the figure better, he grasped the candle-holder and brought it close to the pallet.

He saw a pale face under a massive woolen cap…a man of eighteen or twenty…eyelids closed, long dark lashes…high cheeks and a full mouth…a lad dressed in a strange over-shirt that seemed to conceal some kind of flat bundle…

He was immediately captivated. Why would a young man lie in foul-smelling and stained clothing, yet arrive in a coach-and-four? Was he, like the old man, a prisoner—or a poppet? His slender body and handsome face hinted at stories he wanted to hear. And what was he protecting under the tunic?

He reached to lift the shirt. A swift, strong hand burst from the darkness like a thunderclap and grasped his wrist.

“Kill me now. Or if it please Christ, do not touch me at all.”

In the next and last novel of the series (Unbroken), Grier is the victim of a knife attack. He finally wakes from the opium-based laudanum the ship’s doctor has given him. From Chapter Eleven:

hands oblivion

The devil that was never far away told him to reach out and grasp the speaker, in the way this same stranger had seized his own arm…verra long ago, in another place and another time.

“Ye’ve taken it from me.”

A halting voice came, nearer now. “Taken what, Gregory MacGregor?”

“My heart, damn ye. Sit me upright.”

“Then release my arm. And do not curse me.”

Strangely, it took no effort at all to smile. He loosed his grip, letting his arm drop back onto the surface of the bluidy hard bed.

“How long?”

“Not quite a week.”

“Someone stood me up to take a piss. Someone…tore me from the hard stone.”

“The doctor, mostly.”

He opened his eyes and looked up at David. “Liar.”

The series is here, on Amazon’s series page. You may click one or both to buy!

THE RENEGADE AND THE RUNAWAY (2 novels)

✅  Slow Burn Gay Romance

✅  Slow Reveal

✅  Family Secrets

✅  Action and Adventure

✅  Humor

https://amzn.to/2JXjDcv

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