Title: The Well-Adjusted Household
Word Count: 87,000
Genre: Adult Upmarket Fiction
Ben has been called a lot of things: doctor, husband, father, deviant, liar. His wife Alena calls him friend and her brother Iain calls him lover.
They live in Prohibition-era Pittsburgh and booze isn't the only thing that's illegal. Homosexuality is a felony and Ben and Iain don't care to spend the next ten years behind bars. Luckily, their sham marriages to Alena and her paramour Margaux are the perfect cover.
In public, they are the wealthy and powerful Blackburn family, heirs to a steel fortune. But behind closed doors, they are an improvised household of artificially conceived children and secret passageways between bedrooms. Everything is orchestrated. Nothing is as it seems.
When a conniving maid discovers their secret, Iain and Ben are arrested on charges of sodomy and homosexual behavior. The men and their constructed family are put on trial and it is up to their wives to convince the world of their “innocence.”
“On your right!”
The bicycle appeared from around the corner while Ben was lost in thoughts of covalent bonds and chemical reactions. There was no time to avoid impact. His beakers hit the pavement first, followed by his face.
“Jesus Christ, I've killed him. Hello? Can you hear me?”
As Ben regained consciousness, he assessed his injuries. Pain, but no broken bones. He rolled to his back. “Left. You were on my left.”
“Pardon?” The offending cyclist hovered over him, surveying the damage. “Goodness. You're bleeding.”
Ben sat up slowly, his ears ringing and his vision blurry. He poked at his cheek where a shard of beaker glass had lodged. “Shit.”
“Here, let me help you,” the young man said. He grabbed Ben's arm and pulled him to his feet. “I do apologize. I've never run over anyone before.”
Ben wobbled slightly. “I find that hard to believe.”
“My apartment is just there,” he offered, disregarding Ben's comment and pointing to a building across the street. “Would you care to come up? Use the washroom? That gash is quite a sight.” The young man leaned in closer, inspecting the wound. He was beautiful and smelled like Eau de Quinine.
Ben exhaled sharply. “I, um, don't think–”
“Please. It's the least I can do.”
“Well...if you insist.”
“I insist,” he said, grinning. “I'm Iain, by the way.”
“Iain. Pleased to meet you. I'm afraid I can't say the same for your bike.”
Entry Nickname: #droolworthy Landry
Title: Piece of Your Soul
Word Count: 57,000
Genre: New Adult Romance
It’s the late 90’s and times are different. There wasn’t any real use of cell phones yet, certainly not by college kids. They couldn’t afford them and were stuck with pagers. People still wore watches. MTV still played music videos. Lots of things were different. Social media wasn’t even invented. But, some things will always remain true. Flips flops will always be cool. Tattoos will always be sexy on the hot, chiseled bodies of the “boys of summer”. And the first painful break up with a boy you’ve only just now realized never loved you at all, will inevitably try to smother your spirit.
Emily Thymer is trying to break free from this very kind of assault on her spirit. She is at her breaking point with cocky, self-absorbed, heartless guys. And is desperately ready to find a way to start over, and put an end to the pain of allowing one particular arrogant boy to use her and her body. Little does she know that she is already set on a collision course to crash smack into drool-worthy Landry McMann.
Landry is the polar opposite of any guy Emily’s ever met, and she realizes her brokenness begins to heal with every second spent with this man.
But, summer’s at its end already. Fate must be playing a sick joke. They have exactly two weeks together before fall arrives, and Landry leaves. Will their relationship be over before it really begins?
First 250 words:
“Chad, Emily. Can I see you both in the hall please?” Mrs. Bowman, our British Lit. teacher, snapped me out of my daydream, and addressed us from her desk.
I glanced at Chad and it seemed that he avoided my eyes. “Sure.” I spoke up, getting out of my seat and heading over to the door while Mrs. Bowman gathered up some papers and gestured for me to go on out to the hall.
Once we were all out there, she shut the door, like all the way, so we could all talk in private. When she began her reprimand, her words left me in a complete state of shock. If anyone passed us in the hall right then, I know they’d see my mouth hanging open. I knew Mrs. Bowman was lecturing us, but I couldn’t really hear what she was saying. I could only focus on the tears that had welled up in her eyes, threatening to break free and stream down her face.
Besides being my Lit. teacher, she was also my Varsity cheerleading coach. She had quickly become my favorite teacher. And now she was on the verge of tears over of something I’d done. Or, rather, something she’d thought I’d done.
“So, what kind of excuse do you both have for turning in the exact same final essay?” Mrs. Bowman could barely ask us.