Sunday, 13 May 2018

Double Dutch Courage – Out Now




If you follow me on Facebook (or Twitter, or MeWe) you may have noticed that I released my new book, Double Dutch Courage, two days ago.

Unlike my previous full-length novels, this book was self-published, which turned out to be both a terrifying and exhilarating experience. And, for the first time I’ve set my story in Amsterdam, the city where I was born and raised. Exciting times indeed. J

Below you’ll find all you might want to know about Double Dutch Courage as well as a new, never before shared, excerpt.


Word count: 63k approx
Cover images: Dan Skinner & Stephen Cassidy
Cover design: Stephen Cassidy

Blurb

Ronan Collins has spent most of his life in Dublin hiding who he really is. Coming out would hurt his mother, and Ronan isn’t going to be the second gay man to do that. When he receives news the father he has never known has died, leaving him both a house and a business in Amsterdam, he jumps on the opportunity to get to know the man who fathered him and to discover what he’s been denying himself for years.

Lucas Brandt thought he had it all when Paul Kelly offered him a job and rooms to live in. With Paul deceased he fears he may be about to lose both. He didn’t even know Paul had a son, and now this stranger is on his way from Dublin to pull the rug out from under Lucas’s feet.

The two men don’t expect to like each other, never mind feel attraction. With numerous reasons why hooking up would be a bad idea, why does giving in feel so much better? And is Ronan’s back story really as he’s always imagined it to be?

Sudden changes require great bravery. Can both men find the courage to be true to themselves and each other?


Excerpt

Lucas checked how late it was for the sixth time in the space of twenty minutes. He hated waiting. He detested it more now than he’d ever done before. The next hour, day, week — he’d no idea how long it would take — would decide his immediate future. Everything was up in the air. All he knew for sure was that his life was no longer in his own hands. Some stranger was about to arrive and, depending on what that man decided, Lucas’s existence could change beyond recognition. If it wasn’t for the horrific reality of it he could have been persuaded it was some cruel April Fool’s Day stunt.
He picked up his mobile again and cursed when he saw no more than four minutes had passed since the last time he’d done so. He pushed his phone into his pocket, hoping that keeping it out of sight would make it easier to stop checking the screen every few minutes. He needed to keep busy. It would be at least another hour before his visitor would arrive. Except that he couldn’t think of the man — Ronan Collins — in those terms, of course. As soon as the Irishman walked through the door, Lucas would be reduced to the status of a, more than likely, unwanted guest.
He went to the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee. No! I’m not a visitor here either. Paul named me in his will, he gave me part of his business. This Ronan will need my cooperation almost as much as I’ll depend on him.
Carrying the coffee with him, he made his way to his bright and spacious studio. He stopped on the threshold and studied the room in detail for the first time since he’d furnished it almost three years ago.
This is mine! Everything from the clean lines, to the white walls, and the bright splashes of color had been his idea, his design and his execution. Paul had allowed him to get on with it, not putting any restrictions or expectations on him.
‘You do exactly what you want, lad. These will be your rooms and if you bring clients to your studio it should show them what your style is, give them an idea of what to expect if they work with you.’ A lump formed in his throat and he lowered himself into his comfy chair. He missed Paul, and the big hole in his life didn’t appear to be shrinking. Three weeks had passed since the cremation and he hadn’t even come close to getting used to the idea that the man who’d been so much more than his mentor for the past three years was no longer around.
Blowing on his still too-hot-to-drink coffee, he surrendered to the memories surging through his mind. He’d been so lucky. He’d met Paul when he was in his last year of college. Paul had been a guest lecturer and had given a month’s worth of lessons. Even now, almost four years later, Lucas couldn’t believe that Paul had been so impressed with his ideas that he’d offered him not only a job but also a place to stay once he’d discovered Lucas’s predicament. Lucas had moved in and started working two weeks after he’d received his diploma.
He stared at the mug in his hands as the loneliness that had been his constant companion ever since Paul died, tried to engulf him again. The house wasn’t the same without Paul in it. It was too big for him on his own. At least once a day he’d find himself halfway up the stairs before remembering that nobody awaited him in the rooms at the top. No more shared coffee breaks, no more discussions of designs and clients, no more…
He forced himself to not get trapped in that particular vortex of painful thoughts again. It hurt too much. There were moments he feared he would drown in the loneliness, when he had to talk out loud to himself to break the silence surrounding him. He missed Paul. He hadn’t realized how used to his company he’d become until he was no longer around. Forty-nine was too young for anyone to die. Lucas still had so much to learn, so many unanswered questions, and now he’d never know.
I can’t believe he never told me he had a son.               


Early Reviews

“Trust me, with writing like this you won’t want to miss a phenomenal story!” – OJ He Say

“One of the things I really liked about this book was its setting. Amsterdam and the Netherlands become almost a character in the book. I loved reading about the cultural items throughout the book: the travel, the food, the holidays, etc. It was like I was actually there touring the country with Ronan and Lucas. I've read a lot of books set in other countries that could be anywhere. Ms. Stone made the location a part of her book!Eric McDermott

“I enjoyed this smooth-moving story of discovery, redemption, and restoration so much I hardly know where to begin. […] Romance novels are usually so predictable. Everyone seems to follow the same script to attract and titillate the reader. This is where Ms. Stone steps away from the pack. Her characters are delightfully unpredictable. The surprises are artfully dispersed throughout the story, using charm, humor, and emotion in such a way as to enhance your reading pleasure.” – Sharon

“This was such a lovely story. Sweet, fun, and charming. Low on sex, but high on feelings.  […]This book is for everyone who loves a well-written story with great characters, who loves a laugh and sweetness without being sappy.” - Tanja





Monday, 19 February 2018

A Month of Firsts or With a Lot of Help From My Friends


Two days ago I uploaded my new Valentine’s Day story to Amazon. This is my first foray into self-publishing, but publishing the book was also the last in a long line of firsts. To say I’ve been on a very steep learning curve for the past three weeks would be the understatement of the century, and if it hadn’t been for the people I’ll mention below, Valentine’s Love would never have seen the light of day.

Adira, Tanja, Dermot, Elin, Paul, and Lily are not only worth their weight in gold when it comes to their beta reading powers, they also proved to be speed readers extraordinaire. Sally Hopkinson managed to pull off what I deemed impossible when she edited the full story over the course of a few days. And without Theo Fenraven my book wouldn’t have had its gorgeous cover.

Let’s just say that there’s nothing like trying to get my own story ready for publication to make me appreciate all the work my publishers have done for me in the past. If I ever wondered why I had to split my royalties, I know fully understand.

I’m immensely grateful for and in awe of the patience displayed by Isobel Starling, K.C. Wells, Posy Roberts and Brigham Vaughn. They helped me with formatting the Word document, creating an Instafreebie account, setting up a newsletter, and publishing the book on Amazon without ever losing their patience or telling me how very useless I am when it comes to all matters IT.

If I needed proof that the writing/reading community I’m part of is a very supportive and loving place, my journey to producing this book provided it in spades. I can’t begin to express how incredibly grateful I am for all the help and hand-holding I received.

As for the book: It will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only is it the first title I self-published, it is also the story that proved once and for all that I’m a very lucky writer to have found so many invaluable friends.


Blurb

Ty O’Malley loves Spoilt for Choice, his gift shop. He enjoys nothing more than helping his customers find the perfect present. The only exception is Valentine’s Day. Ever since his partner left him, three years previously, Ty hasn’t been able to enjoy the love-themed holiday, and goes out of his way to avoid dealing with it. This year will be no different — until his assistant interferes.

When Ben Cronin walks into his premises, looking for presents for a man he doesn’t know but has been admiring from afar, Ty can’t deny Ben is everything he would look for in a man — if he happened to be looking, which he isn’t. Besides, Ben has obviously set his sights on someone else.

As Ty instructs Ben in the art of finding the perfect gift, the two men grow closer. But there are only four weeks until Valentine’s Day. After February fourteenth, Ty will probably never see Ben again … Or will he?


Valentine’s Love can be found on Amazon for $.99/£.99/€.99 or through KU.



Saturday, 10 February 2018

Valentine's Love - An M/M Romance Valentines Giveaway

Valentine’s Love



Yes, it’s that time of year again where we get to celebrate love (even more than we do every other day of the year).

In order to bring new love to your E-reader, eighteen authors, including yours truly, got together to organise a Valentine’s Day MM Giveaway. All of us have created new stories for the occasion, and there’s a nice variety of sub-genres so everybody should be able to find at least a few books to their taste. The participating authors are: Isobel Starling, Jackie Keswick, Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt, Dale Cameron Lowry, Chris McHart, Frank W. Butterfield, Alina Popescu, A.M. Arthur, Sue Brown, Tanya Chris, Teodora Kostova, April Kelley, C.L. Mustafic, B.L. Morticia, Bronwyn Heeley, Lillian Francis, Kate Pavelle, and Leona Windwalker. 

You can find all titles included here: Valentine Giveaway Clicking on the covers will take you to the relevant Instafreebie giveaway pages.

For the curious, here’s the information on my story.


Blurb

Ty O’Malley loves Spoilt for Choice, his gift shop. He enjoys nothing more than helping his customers find the perfect present. The only exception is Valentine’s Day. Ever since his partner left him, three years previously, Ty hasn’t been able to enjoy the love-themed holiday, and goes out of his way to avoid dealing with it. This year will be no different — until his assistant interferes.

When Ben Cronin walks into his premises, looking for presents for a man he doesn’t know but has been admiring from afar, Ty can’t deny Ben is everything he would look for in a man — if he happened to be looking, which he isn’t. Besides, Ben has obviously set his sights on someone else.

As Ty instructs Ben in the art of finding the perfect gift, the two men grow closer. But there are only four weeks until Valentine’s Day. After February fourteenth, Ty will probably never see Ben again … Or will he?


This giveaway and my participation in it wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for the enthusiasm, patience, and fabulous organisational skills of Isobel Starling, who also has a wonderful sounding story included in the giveaway. 

Happy reading! And, Happy Valentine’s Day!




Monday, 5 February 2018

Monday Flash Fics - The Reality of Love


The Reality of Love

I watch as the ropes drop from the helicopter hovering high above my hide-out, unsure how I feel about the fact that my journey has come to an end.

I wonder about the fact that they’ve lowered two lines. What if he hasn’t come alone? I don’t want to pursue that line of thought. It’s out of my hands now anyway. I made my move and left him with a choice. His decision will be the answer to all the questions I wasn’t brave enough to ask.

I squint at the tiny shapes, slowly making their way down. One of them is obviously human. Whether or not it’s him I can’t tell. I don’t know what’s attached to the other line though. If it’s also a person he or she has no idea what they’re doing and I fear for what might happen when they reach the ground without straightening up.

As they descend, the little chip implanted in the back of my neck, starts to tingle, providing me with the answer to one of my questions. The human coming down is almost certainly him. He’s found me. Did he come to extract his revenge or... I refuse to finish the thought as my mind flashes back to our last encounter.


“My need for you has nothing to do with the fact that I own you.” Darius, my Master sounded almost angry.

“Maybe not,” I replied. “But you can’t deny the bond between us is artificial; only established and maintained by the chips.”

“I refuse to believe that.”

I didn’t want to believe it either. I wanted him to yearn for me the way I longed for him because of real feelings, not an electronically generated emotion, created by the technology that’s supposed to keep Masters happy and slaves obedient. But I knew better than to get my hopes up. I had no doubt that only proximity kept us bound together. As soon as the distance between us was bigger than the chips’ range, any such feelings would evaporate.

“You’re wrong. You have to be.” The combination of hope and desperation in his voice decided me. When he left me alone, I fled. Not the smartest decision I’d ever made, considering that running from my Master is punishable by death, but I couldn’t take the conflicted emotions we were exchanging any longer.


The person and the object disappear from view, swallowed by the forest. I close my eyes as common sense reasserts itself, killing any hopeful fantasies I might entertain. It won’t be him; chances are he’s already replaced me and has given my electronic tag to a hunter. My punishment would arrive soon.

I close my eyes and try to prepare myself for what’s to come. I don’t want to die, but can’t help feeling it has to be better than the lie I’ve been forced to live for the four years since I was sent to his house. I understand why the Rulers decided that it was better, more peaceful, to have Masters and slaves love each other. And maybe it works for others. For me it has been hell. Knowing our feelings are artificial hurts more than I can bear.

I recognise the sound instantly. No two engines sound exactly the same and I’ve been a passenger on that one often enough to identify this machine instantly. He brought his bike? I try to figure out what this development means, coming up with nothing.

“Sam?”

I bite back the sigh wanting to escape. “Yes, Master.”

“No!” For the first time in years his voice holds the authority I would expect from a Master. “My name is Darius.”

My mind reels, but before I try to establish what this development means I need the answer to one, very important, question. “You came looking for me. Why?”

He stares at me for a few moments, a smile tugging at his lips. “Because I love you.”

“But I was too far away.” I’d made sure of that, studying how big the chip’s range was and travelling well beyond that distance.

“Did your feelings change?”

Such a simple question, and yet I never asked it. Only now do I fully realise that the miles between us failed to lessen my love for him too.

“But how?”

He shrugs. “Who cares?” He pulls me to his chest and I surrender. “Maybe one day we’ll figure it out,” he continues. “But even if we don’t. These feelings are real, whether they’re supposed to be or not. And you —" He plants a kiss on my lips. “You belong with me.”

He said “with” and not “to”. My last doubts evaporate. “I do.”

****

760 words
I’m not sure where this flash came from. Except that it’s loosely related to a longer story I’ve been playing with for over a year now. Maybe it’s time to open that document again?

More stories, inspired by the same image, can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook. Since I’ve already read a few of them, I can safely say they’re well worth a few minutes of your time. Enjoy!


Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday Flash Fics: In the Dark



In the Dark

The door had been left unlocked, just as I they’d told me it would be. The hallway behind it was narrow and dark. Squinting my eyes, I searched in vain for a light switch. I suppressed a curse; I hated being in the dark.

Moving slowly, I made my way to the staircase I could vaguely make out in front of me, and carefully climbed towards the top floor. My orders had been clear and I’d followed them to a T. This was the last part of my journey, even if I wasn’t entirely sure what I would encounter at the end of it. I knew what I hoped to find though.

It was even darker, when I reached the top, but I could see there was only one door on the small landing. Disturbingly, no light shone from the gap between the door and the threshold, but I knew what I had to do, so I knocked. Once.

“Enter.”

The voice was deep, somewhat hoarse, and not completely unfamiliar. My heartbeat, already accelerated after the climb, picked up more speed as I grabbed the handle and pushed it down.

If possible, the interior of the room was more devoid of light than the hall and staircase had been, and I hesitated.

“What are you waiting for? Was there any part of your instructions you didn’t understand?” The voice came from somewhere straight ahead of me. “Come in and close the door.”

Still I waited, wondering whether whatever might come next would be worth the risk.

“Now!”

I couldn’t ignore the command in that voice and obeyed.

“That’s more like it.” His voice — because I was now sure it belonged to a man — had lost some of the aggressive note it had held before.

“Tell me about your journey here.”

I swallowed. I didn’t want to talk about what I’d experienced as a long walk of shame. But I’d come that far, giving up then would have been stupid.

“It was horrific,” I confessed. “People pointed at me, laughed and jeered.” My mouth was dry, and I swallowed hard before continuing. “Little kids followed me, shouting insults, asking me what I was supposed to be, and …”

“And what?” He sounded almost kind now.

“A little girl, about four years old, burst out crying. She asked her mother why Little Red Riding Hood had a beard.”

“But you came anyway. You didn’t turn around and go back.”

It wasn’t a question so I didn’t react.

“I’m proud of you.” Affection had slipped into his voice.

Suddenly a light came on and I blinked, momentarily blinded. Then I saw him, sitting in a big armchair, dressed all in black with his long hair flowing to his broad shoulders, and his smile almost feral.

“Thank you, Master Wolf.”

“Well done, Red. Now come here.” He pointed to the floor space next to his feet.

I closed this distance, knelt, and relished the moment when he pulled me close, until my head rested against his knee.

“Now you’re mine.”

My heart soared. After hoping he would notice me for over six months, he’d at last accepted me.

“And for me,” he continued, “you’ll learn to love making a show of yourself. Before too long you’ll cherish the dark. For me you’ll overcome all your fears and boundaries.”


He was right.

Today he brought me to the promenade and took this photo. He made me wear a coat this time. I didn’t want to put it on. Because I couldn’t be prouder of being Little Red for my Master Wolf. 

****

*sighs* 610 words. 

I wasn't going to write a story for this picture and then I not only changed my mind, but also went way over the 500 word target. Just as well the Monday Flash Fics group members don't take that rule too seriously. 

Talking about the group, more stories based on this image can be found here: Flash Enjoy!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Monday Flash Fics: Through the Keyhole


Through the Keyhole

This is wrong.

Not for the first time I ask myself how on earth I ended up in this, potentially very embarrassing, situation. I don’t do shit like this. I don’t peek through keyholes. I don’t spy on others.

Liar.

Of course, if all of that were true, I wouldn’t be here right now, watching these two men as they engage in what has to rank among the sweetest sexual exchanges I have ever seen.

I wonder how long I’ve been crouching here. Far too long, if the pinching feeling in my lower back is anything to go by. Still, no amount of discomfort can make me take my eyes off the spectacle on the other side of the door.

I was here, shortly after I heard the door slam closed, as if one of them used the other to push it to. I’ve watched them as they kissed and undressed each other, caressing each other’s bodies with an on reference bordering amount of attention for every single inch of naked skin.

Their first kiss made me hard. By the time they’d positioned themselves on the bed, sucking each other’s cock, my arousal had turned painful. The urge to open my trousers and take myself in hand has been close to overwhelming, but I resist. I’m in a hallway. Being caught spying on them would be bad enough without me also jacking off.

“So good.” 

I’m not sure but I think it’s the darker of the two men who moans the words. They’re fucking now, slow and easy, as if they have all the time in the world. I lose myself in the arse of the one I’ve nicknamed Blondie, moving up and down as he rides both of them to the heights of ecstasy.

“Almost, Jasper. I’m almost there.” Blondie sounds breathless as his movements turn erratic.

“Yes! Ohhhh,” the one called Jasper responds inarticulately.

A few frantic moments later they climax … at the same time … as if instructed to do so.

“I’ll get something to clean us up.” The blond man’s words are muffled since his mouth is pressed to his partner’s neck. He gets up and disappears from sight, heading, I assume, to the bathroom.

I should leave now. The action has obviously reached its end and the longer I stay, the bigger the chance I’ll be caught. And yet, I can’t take my eyes off the beautiful man on the bed as he slowly trails a finger through the, probably drying, mess on his belly before putting it in his mouth and moaning softly as he sucks it clean.

I rest my head against the door, closing my eyes for a moment as the ‘if only’ scenarios rush through my mind. Next thing I know, my support disappears and find myself on my knees, staring up into the eyes of Blondie.

“Are you okay, Sir?” He tries to hide it but there’s no mistaking that expression for anything but a smirk.

“So much for you giving us a night of freedom.” The voice coming from the bed is all too obviously trying not to laugh at me.

I slowly raise myself to my feet as I ponder the truth in his words. It had seemed like a wonderful idea once I'd figured out how attracted my two subs are to each other. I figured it would be good for them to have a night of passion without me calling the shots. Everything I’ve just seen tells me it was the right decision to make. And yet…

As Blondie, also known as Pascal, drops to his knees and frees my throbbing cock from its confides before swallowing it whole, I decide to make sure this won’t be the last time I give them this freedom. Until then …

I re-establish my position as their Dom the moment I shoot my load down Pascal’s throat.   

****

649 words.

It has been way too long since I wrote flash fiction and I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I am to have written something this week. I fully intend to resume regular postings but … Best laid plans being what they are, whether or not I’ll succeed, remains to be seen.

Please visit the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook for more stories inspired by this picture.


Monday, 1 January 2018

Going Back To My Roots

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

What better date than the first of January to start a new adventure?

Back in March 2015  — OMG, that’s almost three years ago —  my first novel was published by Totally Bound Publishing.



Unlike my subsequent titles, Little Rainbows was an MF romance.

When an experienced Dom loses his drive, can an old flame reignite his fire?

When Jason and Heather first meet they are young and sure they are wrong for each other. As a result they spend a summer admiring each other from a safe distance.
Twenty years later Heather is coming out of mourning, having lost her husband and Dom eighteen months earlier. Jason, now the owner of an exclusive sex resort on the west coast of Ireland, struggles with the loss of his desire to dominate.

Jason’s resort is about to celebrate its first anniversary and party planner Heather has been hired to create the perfect celebration. Their reunion comes as a big surprise to both of them.

Old and familiar attraction, battles with new and conflicting emotions as Jason and Heather work together to organize the ultimate BDSM event.

Overcoming the issues between them isn’t the only obstacle Jason and Heather face. In the background lurks a threat both to Heather’s independence and Jason’s livelihood. 


One of the secondary couples in this book has been begging me to tell their full story almost from the start, and one or two readers have since informed me that they’d love to know more about Hector and Amber. It took me a while, but I have, at long last, managed to commit their story to paper (or should that be screen?).

It is with pride and about a million butterflies doing summersaults in my stomach that I can now announce the launch of All or Nothing, a full-length prequel to Little Rainbows, the first Blowhole novel as published by and available from Totally Bound Publishing.

Designed by Brigham Vaughn

All or Nothing takes place about three years before the events in Little Rainbows. I think and hope that I’ve written the story in such a way that it can be read and enjoyed whether or not you’re familiar with the earlier publication.

If she’s not good enough to have all of him, she’d rather have none.

When an experienced Dom intercedes during an open night at a BDSM club, it is the beginning of change for both him and the beautiful young woman who has no idea what she was about to get herself into. Hector Kelly isn’t convinced he’s doing the right thing: Amber Sommerville is too young for him, for one thing. Or maybe it’s his own fears that keep him from fully investing in the developing relationship.

Amber may have come to BDSM through a love of fictional dominant men and submissive women, but now that her eyes have been opened, she wants to explore her own desires and submissive natureand Hector is the man to show her the way. But when she realizes he’s been holding back, Amber sets him an ultimatum: commit fully, or she walks.

If Hector wants to hang on to the woman who has taken over his heart, he’ll have to reassess his preconceived notions.


From today, All or Nothing will be published in instalments on Wattpad where it can be read for free. My intention is to stick to a weekly posting schedule.

The introduction and first chapter can be found here: All or Nothing.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about Amber and Hector’s story. 

Ps: For those who worry that I’ve now abandoned the MM genre, allow me to reassure you. Later in 2018 I’ll be publishing a new gay romance and while I am working on yet another book in the Blowhole Series, that story will once again feature two men as the main characters.