A Little Announcement or Two :)

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies is now up! These four shorts appeared on different blog pages throughout the Butterflies are Free blog tour. You can find them all in their original posts on the blogs below:

“A Day in the Life” originally posted up at Carly’s Book Reviews on 12 September 2014

“Interlude– Nowaki” originally posted up at The Kimi-Chan Experience on 14 September 2014

“Somewhere” originally posted up at Prism Book Alliance on 16 September 2014

“For Now” originally posted up at MM Good Book Reviews on 18 September 2014

A huge thank you again to all blog owners that helped me out this tour! To those of you that did reviews for Butterflies, thank you as well.

My second announcement– my Queer Romance Month date is this weekend!!! October 18th!!! Come check me out!!! 😀

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies: For Now

He stared out at the water, remembering with an intense pain how he’d watched a mirror image of himself dressed in clothes from the late 1700’s, carry Kiyoshi into the waves. He recalled the joy in Kiyoshi’s laughter as he chattered on, his rapt attention focused on the man who was not him.

The waves crashed onto the shore and Emrys Marlowe growled, knowing that the inbound tide would soon roll over his bare feet… and that it would be cold.

Stepping into the chilly water, he sucked in his breath, his voice quiet when he used it. “I know that I didn’t dream all of those months with you, Ki… I know I didn’t.”

I can’t stay here and live, and he can’t stay here at all… Emrys, I belong with him.

“Don’t I bloody well know it,” he answered the phantom voice of the man he’d fallen so hard for.

Our home is not of this world.

Fishing in his jacket pocket for his cigarettes and lighter, he vaguely realized that he couldn’t feel the temperature of the water.

Find World’s End and you will find us.

Agitatedly, he puffed on the smoke, muttering, “Find a place that I cannot figure how to get to, ’ey? I don’t even know where to begin looking for that place. Everywhere I’ve looked, Ki, I’ve not found anything that sounds like the place you described!”

Should you need me, remember always that you can find me in your dreams… I’m certain that I’ll be there.

“But I’ve tried—” Emrys broke off as a thought entered his mind, One owes respect to the living. To the dead one owes only truth. “Voltaire, once again ye slay me, mate.” Tears slipped down his cheeks. “You speak of death, but he’s not dead. He’s in a different world…” Emrys finished the cigarette, pinching the cherry off as he walked up the beach to stuff the butt into the can of cat litter he’d dragged down from his porch, and he continued to ponder aloud. “He’s in a different world… it’s not death if you refuse it.

Whirling on his heel, he looked out at the tide, the waves nearly black in color with the fading sunlight… and he recalled that the sun had sunk beneath the horizon when Shelly, Cam and Kiyoshi disappeared from sight.

“It’s not death if you refuse it,” he recited, the memorable lines belonging to a much beloved graphic novel about a man who returned from death to right terrible wrongs. Emrys nodded to himself and stripped his jacket from his body, dropping it in the sand next to the makeshift ashtray and his cigarettes and lighter. “It’s not death if you refuse it,” he said a third time as he headed for the water, his stride filled with purpose as he stepped into the frigid waves.

His mind set on Kiyoshi, Emrys waded further out into the water, not hearing his name called from behind, not hearing the shriek of some impending danger. He focused on not accepting death, on seeing Kiyoshi again.

It has to work! This is where they came to us and this is where they then left with him—

His feet lost purchase on the shifting sand and the undertow caught him in its wicked grip. The ocean swallowed him whole and he watched as the light danced on the surface of the water as he held his breath.

Is this how it happened? Is this where they slipped through time and space? Is this—

Something hard hit his head and startled him, causing him to expel all his air and he thrashed, concentration broken. The light was leaving him and it was so far up! Emrys knew that he wouldn’t make it—something hard hit his side and then his legs—

He came to choking and sputtering, and his lungs angrily expelled the saltwater over and over again. Looking up, he found a shivering Xavier sitting over him, wrapped in a thick blanket, green eyes bright with fear and pain.

“What were you thinking?! What were you bloody well thinking, you fucking prat!” Grabbing him up, he clutched him close and Emrys held tightly to him. “The water can’t be more than fifty degrees and don’t you pay attention to the signs? Hello, sea turtles! Migration! You were almost out of sight! Damn you, Em!”

Emrys looked up as a blanket wrapped tight around him. The realtor that had come to take photos of his home, gave him a small smile and he returned it before he pushed his face into Xavier’s shoulder, whispering, “I have to find him.”

“No, Em… what you have to do is find where he’s at. There’s a difference. Say your goodbyes to him and renew your research—for World’s End.” Xavier’s arms tightened around him. “And never scare me like that again!”

All right, Ki… but I’m not saying goodbye. I’m saying for now. For now, you’re lost to me, but I will find you.

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies: Somewhere (A Behind the Scenes Look with Thad)

“I’m coming! I’m coming! Don’t beat in my new door!” Thaddeus Blythe cried as he struggled to tie his towel at his hip, his skin covered in goosebumps as a result of being interrupted in getting out of the shower. “I said, I’m coming!

Unlocking the deadbolt and the chain lock, he yanked the door open, his large blue eyes widening when he found his best friend Emrys Marlowe on his stoop. Thaddeus blinked, but moved aside to let Emrys in as he shut and locked the door back up, asking, “You and Linds on the outs?”

“Sort of,” his friend snapped.

“Oi!” Thaddeus growled, running his hands through his still-dripping brown hair. “I’m being nice enough to invite you into my home and to call to cancel my plans because you look like someone just ran over your puppy. The very least you could do—”

Emrys lifted wide mocha eyes to Thaddeus’ sparkling blue ones. “I’ve met someone, Thad.”

“You—you have? That’s—”

Emrys slid out of his jacket, and he let his satchel slide off his shoulder to the floor. “His name is Ísarr. He’s Lindsay’s brother.”

Thaddeus blinked again, nodding as he pointed to the bathroom. “Make yourself at home. I’m gonna go put on some clothes.”

“Did you hear me?” Emrys queried, his brow furrowing. “Did you hear what I said, Thad?”

“I heard you, but I’ve never heard you talk about liking men before, so it startled me.” Thaddeus shrugged. “It’s not like it bothers me, dude. I’m good friends with Carlisle and Rumi and that guy, man, that guy can make anybody uncomfortable with his lack of inhibitions. You liking a guy ain’t gonna scare me.” He made a face at Emrys. “Now go get us a couple of beers and let me put some clothes on.”

Emrys nodded and headed towards the living room as Thaddeus returned to the bathroom, his mind awhirl with his friend’s news.

I’ve met someone. His name is Ísarr. He’s Lindsay’s brother.

When the heck had Emrys started liking guys? More to the point, wasn’t he supposed to be staying with Lindsay? What the hell had he done to now be crashing at Thaddeus’ home? As he furiously toweled his short hair, Thaddeus set his jaw.

Did he do something to get his ass kicked out of Lindsay’s house?

The thought of them fighting to that extent was immensely sobering and he shoved his legs into his jeans and yanked a tee-shirt over his head. Tossing the towel over the shower rod, he hit the lights on his way out the door before jogging down the hall to the living room. He found the sliding glass door open as cigarette smoke and seawater tickled his nose. Going over to lean against the doorjamb, he looked out to see his buddy leaning on the deck railing, gazing out at the fading sunset over the ocean. A lit cigarette dangled from his left hand, the light breeze catching the smoke and the loose russet curls of Emrys’ hair.

“You wanna talk about it, Em?” Thaddeus finally asked from the door.

“He’s beautiful… he’s absolutely beautiful… and he’s mine… he’s—” Emrys’ shoulders slumped and he ducked his head. “Did you know that I still remember most of my lines from when I played Romeo at Guildhall?”

Thaddeus nodded, folding his arms over his chest. “I remember you said that you very rarely forgot your lines. You did all of the Queen Mab speech for me, Nowaki and Xavier one night.”

“I played Romeo and it was bloody well the highlight of me career, but I didn’t know how it would feel to be Romeo,” Emrys murmured. “I know what the words mean when he first sees Juliet across the party. I know what they mean because I’ve lived it.”

“Remind me, can you?” Thaddeus replied, his voice quiet.

Emrys smiled, nodding as he turned to look over at him for a brief moment before returning his gaze to the ocean, reciting, “The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand, and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

Turning his muted, yet dreamy gaze back to Thaddeus, he whispered, “Act 1, Scene 5, lines 50-53. Entirely applicable in my current circumstances… and gods, but he does kiss by th’ book.”

Arching an eyebrow, Thaddeus chuckled and joined him at the railing. “You kissed him already?”

“Best kiss I’ve ever had. I could feel it in my toes.” Emrys gave a dry laugh at his forgotten smoke, tossing it in the coffee can of cat litter that Thaddeus kept just for him. “And I just…”

“Linds is mad, then?” Thaddeus interjected.

“In both definitions of the word, both Hatter and she got out the Chevelle,” Emrys answered, hugging his arms. “Mum always told me that I’d know it when I met my match. He is my match, Thad. I know it in me soul. Ísarr and I belong together… I just don’t know how to make Lindsay see it!”

“Persistence has always won in the past.” Thaddeus arched an eyebrow as he hip-checked Emrys. He smiled as he met his friend’s rueful gaze. “Perhaps it will win again?”

“I can but try.” He leaned his temple to Thaddeus’ own, murmuring, “Did I mention that he is the god of my idolatry?”

Thaddeus laughed loudly as he shook his head. “Ah, god, Em! Too far!”

“Too far?”

He pressed a kiss to Emrys’ hair, snorting, “Yeah. Way too much Shakespeare for this dude.”

“Ah, cor… you’re so American, Thad!” Emrys whined.

“And yet… I’m one of the Welshman’s bestest buds.”

“Arsehole.”

“Bitch.”

“Twatwaffle.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“It means you’re a twat—”

“And that I like waffles?”

The two of them dissolved into peals of laughter, and Thaddeus knew that whatever had happened to Emrys and Lindsay would resolve itself. After all, how could Lindsay deny herself a friend like Emrys Marlowe? He hugged Emrys tightly, whispering, “Whatever happens, mate, I’m here and you’ll always have me. We’ll see this through, Em, and no matter what happens, I will never leave your side.”

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies: Interlude (A Behind the Scenes Look with Nowaki)

Nowaki watched Ísarr cross the floor to the Emrys and smiled when his young friend jumped as Lindsay’s brother’s hand fell to his shoulder. Ísarr deftly caught the phone that Emrys had dropped before stepping in to cover Emrys’ lips in a deep kiss as he wrapped the Welshman in a worshipful embrace. Nowaki’s expression softened and he folded his arms over his chest as he remembered the morning’s explosive conversation and its surprising end.

Tetsuo jogged into the room, divebombing Nowaki’s side of the bed as he giggled. “Chichi, Emrys is here and he and Lindsay are not happy right now.”

“No, Linds is hurt, remember?” Nowaki murmured, snuggling his son. “Her brother and Emrys like each other.” He buried his nose in Tetsuo’s wavy jet hair. “She loves Emrys, though, which is why it hurts.”

“Emrys likes boys.” Tetsuo’s simple statement made him smile. “He likes boys like you like Papa. He likes boys like you liked PX. He likes boys like I like boys.”

“Oh, so you’re admitting you like boys?” Nowaki laughed. “Not a certain boy?”

“Chiiichiiiii…!”

“Emrys, that is not fair!”

Both Shimazu-Blairs sat up at Lindsay’s shout.

“Lindsay, it’s not about fair! I didn’t make it happen, it just did!”

Both Shimazu-Blairs bolted for the bedroom door and down the hall to the kitchen, where they found Emrys leaning against the table, arms folded over his chest, facing Lindsay’s back, hands on the counter, breathing. Nowaki touched Emrys’ shoulder, furrowing his brow. His friend shook his head as Lindsay turned around, snarling, “Well, then you can make it stop, Em! Ís is my brother! My brother! And you are not gay!”

Nowaki stepped between them, one hand out to each of his quarreling friends. “Wait. Just wait a minute. Wait a minute before something gets said that cannot be unsaid. All right?” He arched an eyebrow as he looked first at Lindsay, then at Emrys. When he received a nod from each of them, he continued. “Now… I am going to take a chance and assume we are dealing with the events of yesterday evening, Emrys?”

Emrys nodded. “Aye. Ísarr and I met and… and our meeting was reminiscent of yours and Xav’s, if I were to compare. The spark was there and it’s all I can think about. We kissed and it was… the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me, Nowaki.”

Nowaki turned his face to Lindsay. “In regards to your remark about Emrys’ sexuality, it’s not that simple, nor is it an easy topic to discuss. You know of his research on the afterlife?”

Lindsay nodded. “He seeks a place that he only refers to as World’s End.”

Nowaki looked at Emrys. “May I?” At his friend’s nod, he went on. “Emrys fell in love with a man named Kiyoshi Gwynne in 2007. Kiyoshi was a gentle soul, a beautiful man, and already spoken for by a pirate named Shelly Gwynne. To say the odds were against Emrys would be an understatement, but he had no way of knowing that as Kiyoshi was in one place while Shelly was in another. Long story short, Kiyoshi was meant for Shelly, and nothing could keep them apart, not worlds, not time, not anything.”

He moved over to Lindsay, whispering, “The hardest place in the world to be is one in which you isolate yourself from everyone you love. You are not the only one that will hurt if you proceed along this path. Your hurt feelings will be the bomb that takes out everything, Em and Ís included, if you’re not careful.” He tipped up her chin. “Can you live without either of them?”

Nowaki’s lips curled up towards his ears as he watched Emrys climb Ísarr’s hips, his face cracking in a smile as he wound his arms around Ísarr’s shoulders. When their mouths met again in a hungry kiss, Nowaki turned away to give the two men privacy, and he glanced down to grab his phone when it buzzed in his pocket. Withdrawing it, Nowaki’s smile softened as he read a text from his own love. Thinking of you, Arashi… and longing for the home we will make! Aishiteiru!

“Well… we made it, and Oto-san thought we never would.” Lifting his gaze to Lindsay’s profile, he watched as she slid the spatula under the thick slices of the French toast to flip them. “They’ll make it.”

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies: A Day in the Life

Find It Here
Los Angeles, California

Ísarr yawned and stretched as he rolled out of bed and dragged a shirt over his head. Running his hands through sleep-tousled sun-streaked chestnut locks, he tugged them back into the hairtie ever kept on his left wrist. Soon, a haphazard tousled bun sat loosely on the back of his head as he washed his face with warm water and soap, then took a straight razor to his chin and upper lip. Jogging down the stairs, he turned on the kettle and got out his favorite mug—We’re All Stories in the End—before heading over to the CD player and putting on The White Album. As “Dear Prudence” filled the bookstore and Ísarr sang along while making a proper cuppa and it was when he put two slices of bread in the toaster, that he noticed the date on the calendar.

“Today’s the fifth.” His words were soft, and if anyone had been in the room, they’d have barely been audible over the music. “Fuck.”

His heart sank as his mind centered on a time long ago and the toast, momentarily forgotten, popped, startling him back to the present. Spreading orange marmalade on the slices, he placed them on a purple plate and grabbed his mug of tea on the way out to the threadbare wingback that often housed his lean frame. As he set his breakfast down on the table, the phone rang and he jogged over to grab it off the charger, answering, “Y’ello!”

“Ís?”

He smiled a little forlornly. “Hey there, Liv. How does the day find you? It seems like forever since we’ve spoken.” Walking back over to plop down in his chair, Ísarr reached out for his tea as he continued, “I remember a time when you and I once couldn’t stand to go a day without three conversations, not including the hour long good mornings and good nights.”

Olivia Wells—now Jones since August 1, when her divorce became final—had been his friend since Ísarr’s freshman year in high school. Back then, she’d been Livvie, but nowadays, she went by Liv or Olivia… and nowadays, she only called once a week if he was lucky.

Everyone always leaves. Lesson I should’ve learned from The Doctor.

Ísarr noticed then that Olivia hadn’t said anything in response to his greeting. “Liv?”

“Ísarr, we need to talk and I’m not sure that I could hold it together for an in person thing, but I need to talk to you.” She took a rattling breath, and he heard a sound over the line he’d not heard in six years: the flick of a lighter and the slight suck of air that meant Olivia Jones was smoking.

“Then talk to me. Tell me what you need to tell me, Liv, but end the torment exploding in my mind, sweet lady.” Ísarr sat up straight, toast forgotten a second time, and sipped his tea.

“When I picked up Lochlan from school yesterday, he asked me why he had two mommies, but didn’t have a daddy. I told him he was special. He said that his teacher informed him that yes, he’d had a daddy, because two women alone could not a baby make. So he asked where he came from.” She sighed heavily, or exhaled smoke, he wasn’t sure which. “So I told him.”

Ísarr paused for a long moment, waiting for her to continue, and when she didn’t, he laughed dryly. “All right, Liv, enlighten me, too, then. Where did you get Lochlan?”

“I can’t believe you’re asking me this! Ís, you’re the only man I’ve ever slept with!” she cried.

His eyes nearly popped out of his skull. “Darlin’, I hate to burst your bubble, but we never slept together. Ever. You were drunk quite a bit during our time at college, and I always got you to your dorm, but Livvie, we never slept together. Ever. I’m not that kind of guy, and I don’t drink so I never was drunk.”

“Ísarr… I’m a lesbian—”

“And I’m your friend, Liv. Nothing more. I’d never take advantage of you, and while you’re a beautiful soul, I’ve never been attracted to you in that way, because I know it’s a lost cause. Now, I love Lochlan to death, he’s a beautiful child, but he doesn’t look a thing like me, and with good reason: I’m not his dad.” He grimaced. “On a more personal note, I can’t have kids. A medical condition from childhood took away any chance of that.”

“Ísarr, I know it was you. I remember—”

“Olivia!” He got to his feet, his jaw tensing. “I have never lied to you, my friend, not once. I wouldn’t start now. I’m sorry that it’s not me that made him, because if I could’ve done it, I would have, but I can’t, so I didn’t. Now stop this conversation now. I’m done speak—”

The line went dead in his ear and when he looked down at the screen, it had her contact information. Furrowing his brow, he sat down in the wingback again, staring at her name as the screen dimmed. “She hung up on me. I can’t believe she hung up on me.”

A text message lit up the screen as the TARDIS sounded in the quiet between tracks from the Fab Four. One line of text from Olivia telling him the connection had been lost on purpose: He’s your son, Ísarr, and if I have to, I’ll take you to court over it.

Setting his jaw, he tossed the phone onto the table and picked up his cold toast. “Try it, Livvie. All you will get is wasted money on a case that’ll get thrown out with a paternity test.”

The TARDIS sounded again, but this time the text was from his sister, Lindsay, and it was in all caps, which meant she was excited: HE’S COMING TO L.A.!!!

Munching quietly, he told the shop, “Well… I guess I might actually get to meet Mr. Marlowe!”

BLOG TOUR Day 6: Butterflies are Free

Tour Poster

The grand finale: Rainbow Gold Reviews! Here you will find a honest review from an awesome review site! 😀 And it’s a good review, too! 🙂 Dana gave Butterflies are Free an 8.5/10 pots of gold and she said that she’d recommend it, too! Her words: “The story is short, and bittersweet, but I would recommend it. It has an important message and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.”

*dances* I ❤ getting good reviews (who doesn’t, right?), and it seems like every single time I send away one of my books to be reviewed, I get this nervous knot in my belly… and then I get the review back and it releases into this super-crazy-happy-mental happy dance! 😀

So… the grand finale here at Rainbow Gold Reviews brings us a super review of Butterflies, an excerpt from the novel, annnnnd in case you’ve not been following it, promo for Never See the Light, the free serial posted up on this very blog! (Chapters 1-3 are up thus far.)

Go check it out for yourself! 😀

And, gentle friends, a last gentle reminder: Butterflies are Free is only on Amazon until December! You can buy it there or check it out from the lending library for free if you are an Amazon Prime member!

BLOG TOUR Day 5: Butterflies are Free

Tour Poster

Today finds us at MM Good Book Reviews, hosted by the gracious Pixie, who also took the time to give Butterflies are Free a review! 😀 World’s End first introduced us to Pixie, and so when I started up the tour for Butterflies, she was also one I wanted to go to again, and thankfully, she had a spot just for us! 😀

Here you’ll find her awesome review… and a bonus insight into Emrys called “For Now.” So come on down to MM Good Book Reviews and check it out!!!

Again, a reminder that we’re only on Amazon for three months so that we can try out the lending library, so here’s where you can find Butterflies are Free.