Wishing on a Blue Star
A Special Project by Dreamspinner Press & ManLoveRomance Press. Edited by Kris Jacen.
How much impact can someone have on your life if you’ve never met them face to face?
In this electronic age of E-mails, electronic publishing, and social networks, quite a lot.
Through his emails, stories and blog, author Patric Michael has touched numerous hearts, minds and lives from the start of his career and further as he now takes us along on his journey to battle cancer.
Along the way, Patric shows us a side of life that not many truly see-- how we are all a part of something larger than just ourselves, and how we are each touched by others for the betterment of all.
Now, those that have been touched by Patric and his words have joined together to give something back, to him and to us all through something he values highly – words.
In this compilation, gay short stories, poems, and anecdotes combined with excerpts from Patric's blog and a few entertaining, educational group posts reveal, and celebrate, the man who has touched so many hearts and minds.
This collection, sometimes erotic, sometimes irreverent, and always poignant, is a gift from all our hearts to celebrate Patric and give strength (and a little levity) to others. The price reflects this; no one is receiving royalties or payment from the sales. Use it to celebrate life, celebrate words, and possibly inspire someone who needs it.
Paying the Piper
One Man who doesn’t see a problem, and one who can’t live with it another day
Michael isn’t used to casino blackjack dealers telling him to cash in, but that’s what Daniel Aldaine does, recognizing the group of men waiting to collect what Michael owes them. He even fronts Michael the money he’s short to get the goons off his back. It’s the beginning of the best relationship Michael’s ever known, but a problem he doesn’t even recognize he has could end it all.
A Dom, a sub, a painful past and a questionable future.
Until now, Drew and Garrett have been playing at dominance, but things have to change. Drew is already losing himself to the implacable will of his new Master and they have yet to make anything official. That’s what this weekend is supposed to be about—Garrett making Drew his—unless the memories from Garrett’s past are too strong to let him meet Drew’s ultimatum of the real thing or nothing at all.
Strong futures depend on laying the past to rest forever.
After filing charges that put his abusive ex-Dom behind bars, Jesse Turbul relocates halfway across the country, hoping to escape his past—but, of course, it's never that easy. When Jesse meets third-year law student Aadon at the library where he works, their mutual attraction is instant and obvious.
Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him and any hope of a happy future.
The only way to move forward is for Jesse to acknowledge he’s broken and for Aadon to accept he can’t make him better.
Space is a very unforgiving mistress.
Spaceship captain Tom lost copilot and lover to a slipstream accident, but he refuses to accept Briak is dead. As he loses himself to his obsession, his ship begins to exhibit technical glitches and personality traits not normal for a shipboard computer. It gets worse as Tom finds a new pilot and decides to manipulate the slipstream to go back in time and stop the accident from happening. But if Tom can’t figure out the problem, the space-time jumps may tear the ship—and his dreams of reunion with Briak—apart.
Getting lost in the bottle will never help a person find his own soul.
The violent implosion of Lawrence McKenna’s last relationship left him floundering at the bottom of a bottle. Recently unemployed and struggling with his newly discovered submissive tendencies, Laurie needs his best friend, Jeff, more than ever. One sleepless night of detox and a desperate kiss convince him that the attraction they’ve battled all their lives has become too hard to ignore, but Jeff has other responsibilities that take him far away from Laurie and his self-destructive behavior.
When Jeff leaves, all Laurie wants is to be left alone to wallow. Instead, he finds himself riding herd on his friends who have quit their jobs to achieve their dream of starting their own manga publisher. Those same friends return the favor by riding him: about the booze, talking about what happened, seeing a doctor—and about Jeff, whose abandonment left Laurie bitter and resentful. Laurie knows they can’t have a relationship without forgiveness, but when Jeff returns, can he be what Laurie needs?
Off Stage Book One: Right
What happens on stage is only half the story.
Damian Learner and his grunge band, Firefly, are on a meteoric rise to success. If they get the right break, fame awaits. Seeking more professional management, Damian independently strikes a bargain with the best agent in the business, Stanley Krane. Unable to afford the penalty for breaking old contracts, Damian agrees when Stan’s best friend, country and Western megastar Vance Ashcroft, offers to buy him out of his old contract.
Overwhelmed by a crippling loan, secretive guilt, Stanley’s expectations, and a volatile relationship with Lenny, Firefly’s lead guitarist, Damian disintegrates. Bad habits of too much sex, booze, and drugs create a rift in the band. Finally Vance, with his understanding of Dominant/submissive behavior, sees that submissives Damian and Lenny are falling into chaos, clinging to each other to try to avoid the inevitable crash.
When the pressure to perform becomes too much and the unthinkable happens, Damian and Lenny have to decide: accept that they need something they can’t get from each other, or burn out and take Firefly with them. Vance is ready to claim Lenny, but even Stan’s hesitant agreement to give Damian the direction he needs might not be enough for Damian—or the band—if he loses Lenny.
Off Stage Book Two: In the Wings
Fame and Fortune are only half the battle.
Lenny Stevens was the lead guitarist of the up-and-coming grunge band Firefly until he crossed the line with the band’s lead singer. Now he’s faced with the impossible task of rebuilding his life without the music that had kept him together. Struggling with his fear and rage, he creates the same damaging patterns in his relationship with his lover, Vance Ashcroft.
Vance knows that Lenny is the submissive meant for him. He is convinced he can save Lenny from his demons and puts faith in his ability. But when Len’s temper leads to him physically hurting Vance and destroying property, both men realize Len’s issues are too big for them to work through alone.
Seeking the help of the people who know Len best, Vance invites his former bandmates to the ranch for Len’s belated birthday party. Together, they try to create a safe haven for Len to come apart and, hopefully, rearrange himself into a man who can live with his past and create a future worth having.
Off Stage: Sets One and Two
The grunge band Firefly was Trevor “Damian” Learner and Lenny Stevens’s dream since they were boys growing up in rural Ontario. They found the right people to live the dream with them, even landed the best representation in the business, but the higher their star rose, the harder it became to ignore their issues.
Now, needing guidance beyond what each other and their bandmates can offer, Damian and Lenny must let go of a relationship that’s hurting everyone around them and accept support from men who know what they need better than they do. Two submissives will never make each other happy without the dominance they both crave but can’t find in each other.
First Damian needs to get his life on the right path and accept the rules Stan sets forth for him. Then Lenny will have to step into the wings, leave the spotlight, and concentrate on his own well-being—and Vance’s guiding hand—before they can help the band reach its potential.
Wings of Faith Short: Angel Requiem
Saving Angels might be a calling, but that doesn’t make it easy.
In a world without hope that kills what it can't understand, a solitary priest who has lost all he ever loved may be the last man to still believe in Angels. In the end, his belief may be all that can safeguard the fate of two Angel lovers—and restore his own faith in the power of love.
Wings of Faith Book One: Angel Elegy
Sometimes, breaking a thing completely is the only way to salvage what’s at the heart of it.
Twin Angels Jophiel and Ariel are servants of Heaven bound to help the humans of a world headed for ruin. But for them to become the independent Angels they need to be, their bond must first be broken.
Jophiel takes his duties seriously, answering a call from an artist struggling with his dominant, sadistic nature. But Ariel, embittered after being tortured and killed by human captors and returning to Heaven in shame, hesitates. The choice is taken from his hands when he is sent to Earth, wingless and without any memory of who or what he is. Until he regains the faith in the humans he’s meant to help, he’ll never reach his full potential and be readmitted into Heaven. From somewhere within himself, Jophiel must find the courage to let go of his twin and trust Ariel to be strong enough to Rise again… or they will never be together.
When Allan Song’s ex, Mac, shows up to model for the life drawing class Allan teaches, he turns everything upside-down. Mac is still as infuriatingly attractive as when Allan first met him—and still trying to figure out where he fits on the gender spectrum. He’s more than a little out of control, and he’s taken some stupid risks that have come back to haunt him. If they’re going to get back together, Allan wants a real relationship—but for that, he and Mac will need to look below the surface.
Not As Easy As It Looks
Nothing worthwhile ever is.
Don Jenkins will do anything for a happy, thriving family and home, but keeping his farm going is a constant challenge. He’s always depended on Griff McAllister, his partner and first love, to support him in his work and in his need to submit in the bedroom. When he discovers Griff might be losing faith in him, he’s at a loss for how to mend the relationship. Then Howard Campbell—a man Don and Griff both love beyond words—is added to the mix. With jealousy threatening their bond and the viability of the farm in question, Don’s dreams begin to crumble.
Nearly losing Howard in an accident serves as a wakeup call. They begin to pull their relationship out of the muck and work to remember why they came together in the first place. If they can figure out how to help one another and balance the dynamics of dominance and submission between them so each man gets what he needs, the trio might build the loving future they’ve dared to hope for. They must be brave enough to commit every resource they can muster—especially trust, understanding, and acceptance—and realize true love is never as easy as it looks.
My Rugby Playing Twink
At what point does self image give way to believing love is deserved just because?
Out and uninhibited Ian McVeigh has been playing the field for years, so he can't fathom the unexpected desire and feeling of protectiveness he experiences when he first sees rugby playing, unemployed David, his boss's newest and most delicious-looking squeeze. David Kelly is a hustler, and he’s way out of Ian's league. He’d never look twice at a guy like Ian, a guy with little means to woo the needy but to-die-for David.
Yet one day, David not only looks, but touches, flirts, and all but invites Ian to lure him away from his sugar daddy. But David can’t let anything break his carefully constructed walls. Ian doesn’t know much about David’s past, and what he doesn't know could hurt them both.
Ian says David's past doesn't matter, but when he sees David with another older gentleman, he immediately thinks the worst. Both men must embrace honesty or lose each other for good.
1st Edition published as Irish Lovers: Ian and David 1-3 by Loveyoudivine Alterotica, January 2011.
The Foster Family
Three Men. One Love. One Family.
Growing up in foster care has left Kerry Grey with little self-esteem or hope for his future. A college dropout, Kerry scrapes by on a part-time job at a garden nursery. His friendship with his boss and working with the plants are the only high points in Kerry’s life. He’s been dating the man who bullied him at school, but when his boyfriend abandons him at a party, Kerry wanders down the beach to drown his sorrows in a bottle of scotch.
Malcolm Holmes and Charlie Stone have been together for fifteen years. Despite Charlie's willingness to accept Malcolm's unspoken domination in bed,something is missing from their relationship. Early one morning, they rescue a passed out Kerry from being washed away by the tide and Charlie immediately senses a kindred spirit in the lost younger man. When Kerry’s roommate kicks him out, Malcolm and Charlie invite him into their home. As Charlie and Kerry bond over Charlie’s garden, Malcolm sees Kerry may be just who they have been looking for to complete their lives. All they have to do is show Kerry, and each other, that Kerry's submissive tendencies will fit their dynamic.
But someone is sabotaging Kerry at every turn. As he struggles to discover the culprit, he fears for the safety of his new friends. If Malcolm and Charlie cannot help, their lifelong search for their perfect third may not end with the happily ever after they imagined.
Community rejoicing in the love two men have found together. In real life. The beauty of this adventure is that it really isn’t fiction this time.
On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, "...it's not about the ending, it's about the journey..." in a review of Eric Arvin's Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.
The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric's continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.
Scars On His Heart
Coming home might be logical, but that doesn’t make it easy.
After a disastrous five years away at college, Joe returns to his aunt's farm and finds his childhood sweetheart Cameron eager to rekindle their relationship. Joe has a hard time confessing that he didn't come home until now because he's only just managed to leave Andre, his controlling boyfriend, and has a harder time renewing his submissive role in his affair with Cam. Cam thinks he has to find a way to remind Joe how to be strong. But what Cam doesn't realize is that Joe is strong, strong enough to leave behind a life of shame—though he's terrified his past will catch up to him. Joe must confront his ex and take back his own life, on his own terms, before he's able to give Cam everything they both desire.
Fame and Fortune come with a double-edged sword that might be impossible to find protection from.
Singer Coby Kennedy and his drummer twin, Bruce, have a band called Patchwork Heaven. They have been rising steadily up the country music charts, but unfortunately, that rise has attracted unwanted attention. Faced with anonymous letters, sinister gifts, and the wanton destruction of their personal space, they hire The Detail, a specialized security firm. Coby never anticipated Gregor, The Detail's owner and his personal guard, would be quite so intriguing.
As the stalker gets closer and more violent and questions pile up, Gregor fears his past might get in the way of him finding who is threatening his client when he becomes suspect number one. Even though Coby is convinced Gregor is not behind the threat, Gregor is not sure he's the right man to keep Coby safe, either from the stalker, or from his own interest in the singer.
Bound to Fall
With so many fences between them and happily ever after, two men wonder if it’s worth opening the gate.
With so many fences between them and happily ever after, two men wonder if it’s worth opening the gate.
Ten years ago Eddie Crane, an actor on the rise, loved his costar and dreamed of the day they could be together. But his love, with his submissive nature, couldn’t handle fame, and before Eddie could help him, he died in a car accident—with Eddie at the wheel.
Now, guilt-ridden, Eddie buries himself in bad decisions and prays that a stunt—on or off camera—will go wrong.
Teenaged fantasies about the actor on his wall distracted Arthur Pike from real life—his dead father, runaway mother, gruff grandparents, and his unrequited love for his cousin’s straight husband. Now grown and off the farm, Pike is a horse stuntman hired to teach a reluctant Eddie to ride.
Pike is drawn to Eddie’s dominant nature despite the sadness clinging to the actor. Eddie let one lover down, but in Pike’s submissiveness, he sees the possibility for redemption.
Dance, Love, Live Book One: Like No One is Watching
Dusty has finally landed a job he thinks he’ll be able to keep long-term, even with his broken brain and bum knee. He didn’t anticipate that cleaning a dance studio would reawaken his yearning to dance—even though he is no longer capable—or that meeting the studio’s director would rouse his dormant libido. Or his sleeping heart.
Conrad thinks his life is finally complete with his successful dance studio and a steady stream of students. When Dusty arrives, he rediscovers his thirst for a man who will let him hand over control and give him the undivided attention he’s never had. The trouble is, Dusty isn’t sure he’s worthy of the studio director’s submission.
To make their relationship work, Dusty will have to trust his ability to dominate the powerful and beautiful dancer, and Conrad will have to stop talking long enough to hear Dusty’s promises.
Dance, Love, Live Book Two: Live Like You've Never Been Hurt
About to lose the only thing he ever loved, Adam Pittaluga is at a crossroads in a dancing career that has hardly begun. He has always wanted to be a ballet dancer, but now that it’s impossible, he turns to Peridot for comfort. Peridot has been rebuilding his life after losing his ability to dance professionally, his marriage, and very nearly his daughter. He has a lot of reasons to be leery of starting something new, especially with a man as young as Adam.
Adam and Peridot have to believe that starting again can lead to love and success and that sometimes, the strength needed to love like you’ve never been hurt can be borrowed from unexpected places for a while. But ultimately, they must find it inside themselves to be each other’s happy ending.
Dance, Love, Live Book Three: Live Heaven on Earth
Cobalt Winslow lost two loves when his ex-boyfriend, Calvin Denvers, infected him with HIV, taking his health and his place as principal danseur in their New York ballet company when Cobalt became too weak. Now dealing with the aftermath as best he can, Cobalt teaches dance in Toronto with the support of his oldest friends, Conrad and Peridot. The one bright spot in his life is Malory Preston, his brother’s driver and a man who is always there when Cobalt needs him. Kind and attentive, Preston embodies everything Calvin lacks, but Cobalt can’t let go of his unhealthy, long-distance relationship with his ex.
Calvin brings a messy and violent end to their affair, but offers a chance for Cobalt to return to New York—as Calvin's understudy—just when he's on the verge of a real and lasting relationship with Preston. Now Cobalt faces a choice between two loves: dancing and Preston. Preston must show Cobalt that he has the power and support to make the life he wants and deserves, no matter what he decides.
Dance, Love, Live: The Print Anthology
To dance is to put one’s heart and soul on display for the world to see and judge. Conrad, Peridot, and Cobalt always knew this. For years, this small group of friends has danced in and out of the spotlight and one another’s lives. Now, settling in one place, one studio, they all have to find a place on the stage—or behind the scenes—and find the even greater strength to once more dance like no one is watching. To love like they can’t be hurt again. But most of all, to live their lives like they have found their heaven, both in the music and in the eyes of those who love them.
These are the stories of how they find that courage and the men who stand beside them, from the glow of the spotlight to the darkness of their most difficult struggles.
This special edition includes three never-before-released short stories.
Out of Step is the story of how Adam and Landry spent their summer and created one of the studio's most memorable ballet pieces.
Dusy's Dance tells the tale of Dusty's rocky road to recovery after his knee surgery. Through a tense few weeks for Dusty and Conrad, they learn there is something to be said for the strength of love and the capacity it has to help heal.
In Choreographing Calvin, Calvin Denvers starts down the road to redemption. It's a tough trek, but he has help in choreographer Holland, who is more than willing to hold his hand and pass his meds as Calvin learns how to live a kinder, gentler life.
Available for purchase here
Beauty is only skin deep, but some marks—and what they represent—are impossible to escape.
Eric resents his comfortable college life and the restrictions his family’s expectations put on him. Dwayne, his best friend Angel’s cousin, is a pierced and tattooed ex-con trying to rebuild his life. Eric sees only the tattoos and the way Dwayne’s upbringing have dictated his future. It takes a surprising revelation from Angel to force Eric to see past Dwayne’s defenses to the generous heart beneath and to realize it’s time for him to break free of his own instilled beliefs. The men can’t keep apart, and they gradually learn that everything they thought they knew about each other might be wrong.
Opposites attract as two men from very different backgrounds move from enemies to lovers in a story of understanding, compassion, and redemption.
First Edition published by Pink Petal Books, 2011.