Beach Balls and Fast Balls

A Balls to the Wall Paperback Anthology

Beach Balls (book 3)

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. As an attorney for the homophobic WMA Development, he can’t come out without risking the million-dollar paycheck waiting for him once they push their big land development deal through the city council—money that will finally allow Adam to live according to his own terms. Then, on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to hug a tree.

Sky Sea Mickeljohn stands for the environment, world peace, and being openly gay. He won’t compromise his principles for anyone—even the damned lying developer lawyer he can’t help lusting after. True, the WMA land development deal could put thousands of people at risk, but Sky still wants to risk his heart. In the fight between freedom and integrity, is there a place for love?

Fast Balls (book 4)

Firefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded.  On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?

Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known.  Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.

Other Information

Published November 6, 2017
80,162 Words 
254 Pages
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-63533-789-1)

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Beach Balls Excerpt

 

When they reached the sand, Sky stuck out his hand. Adam looked at it. The sun was nearly down, but if they were holding hands and ran into someone he knew, he couldn’t say he was just with a friend.

He sucked in a deep breath and took Sky’s hand anyway.

Sky glanced at him. “That seemed harder than it should have been.”

“It’s complicated.”

His hand stiffened. “Are you partnered?”

“Hell, no. I play the field, and I’m not a cheater.”

He relaxed. They walked a few more steps.

“Just a coward,” he added. “I’m pretty far in the closet.”

“Sorry.”

“Yeah.”

God, he actually wanted to tell this guy why. Adam wanted to pour out his whole story. The work, the clients. Even the family. But that was a crappy idea.

The narrow sand beach walled by high rocks opened to a small cove. Two runners jogged past near the water, but the area at the back of the cove was vacant with just the evidence of earlier sunbathers—flattened areas—on the sand. Sky led Adam there, then released his hand and sat.

Adam gave a quick thought to his very expensive slacks, then sat beside Sky, who nodded back toward Carly’s. “That’s why you’re at the party. Only chance you have to be gay?”

Adam nodded. He was chickenshit, and this guy saw it all. “Carly’s a good friend. He understands. Most of the guys are in similar positions. Not all. Some of them just like Carly’s mai tais. He’s kind of the lonely-hearts club for closeted business executives. He does it because he loves to party, and it gives him a lot of clout when the chips are down.”

“He knows where the bodies are buried?”

“Literally, but he never seems to take advantage of his knowledge.”

“So you get to be gay once a month.”

“Something like that. I guess you’re out and proud?”

The curls bounced. “It doesn’t come up much. I’m just gay.” Silence. “I appreciate you spending some of your precious gay time with me.”

Adam laughed, but Sky’s face was serious. He meant it.

Adam shrugged. “I don’t know why, I just like you.” He shook his head. “That didn’t come out well. I mean, there are lots of reasons to like you, but this isn’t quite my usual scene. Long walks on the beach. World peace. You know?”

Sky smiled. “I’m into world peace too.”

Adam grinned. “I was afraid of that.”

The waves pounded, birds chirped, gulls squawked, breezes blew, the sun set. He barely paid attention to these things normally, but right now they seemed a part of Sky. Like his curls were one with the wind, and his eyes a part of the darkening horizon.

Poetry? What the hell did this guy do to him?

Sky looked at him. Adam felt the heat of his gaze and turned toward the angel face. Sky’s lips were barely parted. Full and wet. So beautiful.

He leaned toward Adam. Adam closed the rest of the distance.

Their lips touched.

Fast Balls Excerpt

 

The band got into the spirit and segued from the cha cha into a meringue. Jerry didn’t know this one as well but he mimicked Andres and pretty soon had the rhythm. Some people were standing around watching them while others joined in and danced. Andres was so gorgeous and so great at dancing. He even spun a couple of the women around as he danced by them and they squealed. What a charmer.

The musicians worked up to a big finish. Andres pulled Jerry in close then spun him out in a twirl. He circled twice, laughed, and…stopped dead.

Holy crap. Standing on the edge of the dance floor staring at the dancers with big green eyes was the yummiest thing he’d ever seen. Mick Cassidy, tall, straight and strong in a dress blue uniform, the light from the ballroom chandeliers shining off his pale gold hair.

Jerry stared.

Mick stared.

Jerry glanced at the girl standing next to Mick. Really pretty in a blue dress. But nothing, underline nothing, he had seen in a long time was as pretty as that big, hunky homophobe. Mick might be mean as piss, as Hunter said, but he stood there proving that sometimes things that were bad for you are the ones you want most.

A hand on his shoulder woke him up. “You okay, Jerry?”

“Oh, sorry.” He turned and smiled at Andres, but man, it was hard tearing his eyes away. “I just saw someone I know.”

He headed back to the table and Andres stepped up beside him. “Was the person you know that golden dreamboat in blue by any chance?”

He wasn’t going to pretend he didn’t know who Andres meant. “Yeah, that’s the guy I was telling Rod and Hunter about. The one who was nice to me.”

“Oh guapo, he can be nice to me anytime.”

Jerry laughed. “Yeah. Too bad he’s a raging fag hater.”

“So why was he nice?”

“I still haven’t figured that out.”

He’d been turned to stone. Hell, he had to move. This was stupid. Mick watched Jerry’s retreating back moving off the dance floor and saw him guiding a beautiful Mexican with him. Who the hell was that? Jerry had said his boyfriend had left him. He’d sure moved on fast.

“You know that guy?”

He glanced at Jezebel. Oh right, she was with him. “Yes, he works on my shift a lot of the time.”

“Sure is a good dancer. He a fag? Must be, if he’s dancing with a guy, right.”

Whoa. He used that word all the time but it sounded bad when she said it about Jerry. “Yeah, he’s gay.”

“Must be like your father says. You see a lot of gay guys in Laguna.”

“Yes.” It felt weird to have his father’s ideas dragged into his work life.

She looked out at the dancers. “I always figured what your father says is a load of crap. Gay people are born that way so it has to be God’s will and if it’s not then God’s a load of crap.”

Mick gasped and looked at her. Really looked. “I don’t believe you just said that.”

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