Sweethearts and Seduction

SweetheartsandSeductionSweethearts and Seduction
my contribution: A Time Traveler’s Valentine
M/M | contemporary | humor| science fiction | Valentine’s Day theme
31,000 words | 59 pages (pdf) | anthology
Published by Storm Moon Press
Cover by ThinkSentient Ltd
Release Date: February 14, 2014

Lineup:
The Best Thing on Eight Wheels by D.K. Jernigan & K. Piet
A Time Traveler’s Valentine by Blaine D. Arden
Tattoo Day by Raven de Hart
Nights Burned Up in Flame by Emily Moreton
Dogged by D.K. Jernigan
Sold! by Erik Moore

goodreads

BLURB
Who doesn’t love love? From a shyly romantic first date to the settled delight between two long-time partners, these are stories of men falling head over heels in love and riding off into the sunset. What happens between first kisses and strolls off into the sunset? These authors are happy to show us!

Ever since Troy inherited the family roller skating rink, he’s been struggling to keep it successful, both for his own sake and in memory of his parents. But on the eve of a loan that will allow him to revitalize the aging rink, his relationship with his boyfriend, Zane, is struggling. It’s time for him to prove to Zane once and for all that he’s The Best Thing on Eight Wheels, and their relationship comes first. Then, Ish, an archaeologist, and Kabal, a cop, live in different times and on different worlds, but a couple of times a year they can steal some small measure of time together, and their love only continues to grow despite the long silences. So it’s with eager joy Ish journeys to meet his lover for A Time Traveler’s Valentine, at least until Kabal announces that the nature of their relationship is about to change, forever. Nolan isn’t expecting more than a normal date, so when his boyfriend, Sean, goes all out with an open bar and mysterious plans, he’s intrigued. Turns out it’s Tattoo Day—the anniversary of Sean’s tattoo in honor of their relationship—and Sean has big plans to make the day forever memorable.

Jeremy and Bobby have a relationship that is stressed to the max. Working opposite schedules, the two barely have a chance to kiss hello and goodbye as they drop off to sleep or rush out to work. When their days off finally sync up, the two long-time lovers will spend Nights Burned Up in Flame as they reignite their romance and rediscover each others’ hot spots. Thomas has the hots for fellow dog owner, Anton, but he’s Dogged by insecurity, and outing himself to acknowledge his feelings seems like too big a risk. At least until Anton invites him out for coffee, where their bond has a chance to grow. As their dogs Biscuit and Muffin play, Thomas is ready to put himself on the line in the hopes that his friendship with Anton could be so much more. Finally, Phillip, CEO of the company BookTrader, may be openly gay, but he’s also not above donating himself to a bachelor auction in the name of a good cause. But when he puts himself on the auction block, the person who seizes the moment is the last one Phillip expects. When the gavel drops, Phillip is Sold! in more ways than one.

EXCERPT

Knees on a soft pad, left upper hand clasping the edge of the scaffolding surrounding my section, both right hands resting on the supports to the side, I carefully brushed sand away from the lonely skull with my lower left hand. It stuck upright out of the sand, cradled in between the feet of the body lying beneath it, and I was close to uncovering the jaw. The rest of the skeleton was comets-knew-where. All the bodies we’d found so far had been complete, except this one. And we were all eager to find out what was so special about this skull.

As the LEDs placed around my work area brightened to compensate for the retreating daylight, I moved my lower right hand to cradle the skull while I brushed sand away from the jaw. I could do this for hours. I did do this for hours, even with the whole site in scaffolds to keep the porous ground from collapsing beneath us. Aura ordered me to take longer breaks at least once a day, but for me, breaks were going home at night or gobbling up a quick sandwich for lunch. Nothing was more fun than spending my days on my knees on the strangest surfaces digging for history. An image of Kabal’s pale skin and inquisitive, violet eyes flitted through my mind. Well, maybe not nothing.

My time chip chimed. Half an hour before I needed to leave. I smiled, but kept brushing. I could finish this. If I dug the skull out before lights out, Aura could catalog it before she left.

A shrill whistle echoed across the site. “Ish. Get out of that section and clear off. Now!”

Or maybe not. With a sigh, I gathered my tools and secured my section. “Sorry,” I whispered to the skull as I pulled the netting across it. “Guess you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”

Aura was leaning against her desk as I entered the tent, pointing at her time chip. “As much as I hate losing a bet to Ziggy, I promised your boyfriend I’d kick you out in time.” She glared at me when I huffed. “Your boyfriend is scary when he’s angry.”

Scarily hot, that was, but I didn’t say that out loud. “Ziggy’ll be thrilled,” I said instead. “Bless his romantic heart for still believing I’d ever leave a dig on time.” Good thing I always reserved a forty-minute slot at the station. “The skull budged, Aura. I could have gotten it out.”

Aura raised her eyebrow. “In half an hour? I doubt it. Now, scoot. Change into your fuck me outfit and get your black arse over to the station.”

 

REVIEWS
Note: These reviews apply to the overall anthology.

Lucy at Hearts on Fire Reviews
"As always with an anthology, there are some I like better than others. These are pretty even for me because they are connected by the theme of sweetness, something I love to read about."

Shayla at Read the Rainbow
"This was a wonderful anthology. … all stories were really cute, perfect for Valentine’s day … this book proves best that you can have sweetness and sex mixed together in a delicious result for the senses."

 

A Time Traveler’s Valentine © 2014 Blaine D. Arden. All rights reserved