Peter Mitchell walked away with from his marriage with two things: a suitcase and Hairy Harry, the family pet.
When Harry becomes ill, Peter is faced with one of the hardest decisions he's ever had to make... saying goodbye to his best friend.
Evan Wells is the locum vet who attends to Harry and Peter is surprised at how quickly they become friends. Peter finds himself looking forward to Evan's nightly phone calls and the meals they share together. He knows Evan is gay but it doesn't bother him until Evan confesses his attraction to him. Peter has to admit to himself that he's not as adverse to the possibility as he thought he would be, and that does bother him.
Harry is a beautifully touching story of love lost and found, and one you will want to read over and over again.
I also have a double give-away of my own today... so if you'd like to win a copy of The Perfect Gift (#2 in the Mr Popsalos Series) and a copy of my brand new release, Westford Hall... read on.
Jamie and Luke’s first anniversary is fast approach and Jamie knows exactly what he wants to give Luke. The platinum wedding bands have been burning a hole in his suitcase in the attic for two months. But before he can say those four life-changing words, an accident throws their well-ordered lives into disarray.
Jamie stared at the TV screen. Not that he was paying attention to the movie, not really. He was too preoccupied to latch onto the storyline, although he was pretty sure the guy with the beard and the Uzi was up to no good. Then again, Luke wasn't watching it either. Lying stretched out on the couch, Luke snuffled quietly in his sleep, his head in Jamie's lap. Jamie smiled fondly, his gaze tracing the curve of Luke's cheek, the square jaw and the perfect bow of full lips. Lips that were slightly parted with a tiny river of drool escaping from the corner and wetting Jamie's sweatpants. Which should, of course, be completely gross but they were supposedly still in the honeymoon phase where drool, bed head, and even eye bogies seemed the epitome of adorable.
Sighing heavily, Jamie rubbed a hand over his face. Their first anniversary was fast approaching. Well… the one they'd agreed on as their official anniversary, anyway. Jamie chuckled softly to himself, the sound louder than he'd meant it to be in the semi-quiet of the room. He held his breath when Luke murmured in his slumber—letting it go after Luke didn't wake. Their anniversary was a particular bone Luke liked to chew on and Jamie could hear his reasoning now. "Christmas Day is our official anniversary, but our first coffee was the week before, although we actually met three weeks before that." If Luke had his way, they'd probably celebrate a milestone in their relationship on a weekly basis, from the first time Jamie farted, to the first time Luke found a pair of Jamie's underpants in the laundry basket. Not that Luke would be impressed if Jamie pointed that out. He would probably grumble about the lack of romance in Jamie's soul. Staring down at Luke, his heart bloomed in his chest and he grinned.
He had bucket loads of romance in his soul, especially when it came to Luke Fisher. Hence the shiny platinum bands sitting in a small square box in the pocket of his suitcase in the attic. They'd been there for a couple of months, ever since Jamie had moved in, but he wanted to wait until Christmas night, when they were alone, to ask the sleeping man on his lap that all important question.
Westford Hall lies back from the quad, quiet and empty. A dark reminder of the horrific murder of six members of the Tri Delta brotherhood thirty years ago, and the subject of Ethan's thesis.
Ethan Reece is in his second year of Professor Allen's paranormal psychology class, and is hoping to be the first to establish documented proof that Westford Hall is haunted. Hiring the university's best photography student to help with the investigation, Ethan is disappointed when he has to be replaced after an accident. Which is how he finds himself saddled with the university's best stoner instead.
Daniel Cartwright comes from money. He won't deny it. Why should he? More than aware of the reputation he has on campus, he ambles through life with the help of his parents. At least that's what everyone thinks. When his friend breaks his leg and volunteers him to assist the biggest nerd on campus with his spooky investigation, Dan is not exactly ecstatic.
Thrown together by fate; to their surprise the two young men find they are drawn together by mutual attraction, but that's not the only surprise awaiting them in Westford Hall. Coming face to face with an actual ghost, they uncover a story of murder, deceit and despair that leaves them facing a danger they were not prepared for.
The building stood in the far north corner of the campus like a dark specter. The moonlight bounced off the dirty glass of the windows, the half-closed shutters giving them the appearance of heavy-lidded eyes staring down on the quad.
For thirty years it had stood empty and unloved. The accounts of the night the members of Tri-Delta lost their lives had grown as murky as the windows themselves. Truth had become distorted, embellished and changed beyond all recognition with each telling. So much so, that no one could recall what really happened in the dark. Nor that it was their own vicious, cruel prank which resulted in their deaths. Somewhere along the way that fact had been forgotten in the extolling of their virtues and the outpouring of grief from students and faculty alike. Only the long dead Tri-Delta frat boys knew the true story, but they weren’t talking.
An unseen figure stood at the dirt-streaked glass, staring down at the two young men approaching the neglected pile that had once been Westford Hall. He could see the electrical equipment they carried and the heavy bags they toted across their chests in true college style. They were bickering, that much was clear from his vantage point, but he couldn’t hear what was said. Sighing, he watched them mount the first steps and then disappear under the porch awning as they entered the house. He’d seen it all before. Seen versions of them before, eager to be the first to claim they had proof the empty house on campus was haunted. That the spirits of those brutally murdered that night still walked the hallowed halls, unable to rest until justice had been served.
He shook his head as he thought of their stupidity. True… Westford Hall was haunted, but not by a team of frat boys plotting their revenge. They’d all moved on… gone into the light… crossed over, whatever the hell you wanted to call it. Only he couldn’t let go. Wouldn’t let go. He sighed heavily. Not that that was strictly true either. He wasn’t alone. He could feel him. He’d never shown himself, not once in thirty years… but he knew he was there. Watching, hiding with his guilt and shame wrapped around him as tightly as the shroud he was buried in.
Turning from the window, he listened to the noise the two intruders were making, his lips twitching as ‘loud enough to wake the dead’ skittered across his mind. He gathered all his energy and concentrated his efforts in anticipation of making a connection, hoping this time he would be heard.
Ethan sighed heavily when Dan tripped over his own feet, yet again. “What the hell is wrong with you? That’s the third time you’ve tripped since we walked through the door. If you drop that camera, I will rip your leg off with my bare hands and beat you to death with it.”
“Bite me,” was Dan’s eloquent response. “You try carrying all this shit and look where you’re going in the pitch black, cock-hole.”
“I’m carrying my share, you hophead,” Ethan ground out. “Is that the problem? Are you still high?”
“No, I am not fucking high,” Dan huffed, obviously affronted. “Although I must have been above the clouds last night to agree to this shit!”
“Must every other word be a curse?”
“When I’m in a supposedly haunted house with you?” Dan's frown was exaggerated as if he were thinking deeply about his answer. “Hell, fucking, yeah!” He ignored Ethan’s glare and muttered not quite under his breath. “How the fuck do I get myself talked into these things?”
“Blame Corey,” Ethan retorted. “He’s your friend. If he wasn’t such a stone-headed flaker he’d be here instead of you.”
“He didn’t break his fucking leg on purpose, you unsympathetic asshole,” Dan snapped.
“No,” Ethan replied, “but the eight shots and six beers he drank, causing him to be so shitfaced that he didn’t look where he was going and broke said leg, were. I booked him weeks ago for tonight, because he’s the best photography student on campus and now, because he’s a waster, I’m stuck with you. The best hophead on campus.”
Dan stopped in his tracks and put the equipment he was carrying down on the dusty floor. “Hey, man, you don’t have to be stuck with anyone,” he said, raising his hands and turning around to walk out the door.
“Wait!” Ethan yelled. He couldn’t manage this on his own. There were too many rooms and too much equipment to keep an eye on, that’s why he’d needed a second person. Biting back the urge to tell the annoying, freakishly tall stoner to fuck off, Ethan sighed. “I’m sorry, okay, I’m sorry. Come on, man, you wouldn’t leave me alone here, would you? The most haunted building on campus?”
“Say please,” Dan replied, turning around to face Ethan.
Ethan swallowed and ran a hand over his face. “Please,” he hissed out through clenched teeth.
“Say it like you mean it.”
“Or I’m gone.”
“Fucking dammit,” Ethan spat, taking deep breaths to control his temper. You can do it, Reece. He mentally rubbed down his shoulders. You can do it. “Dan, would you please stay here and help me with my experiment?” He kept his tone as even as he could without rushing across the room and beating the asshole to death, and thought he’d done a pretty good job.
Dan sighed dramatically and unfolded the beanie he’d removed from his pocket. He pulled it down on his head, leaving wisps of chocolate colored hair peeking out from underneath the wool. “Alright, since you asked so nicely an’ all. And one more thing,” he added, bending to pick up the camera that was at Ethan’s feet. “Do you have to curse?”
Biting back his retort, Ethan closed his eyes and counted to ten in his head before following Dan up the stairs and into, what his Professor liked to call, the heart of the house. Ethan had been in Professor Allen’s paranormal psychology class for the last two years and as far as he was concerned, the man was just one step down from God, or the Devil, he wasn’t entirely sure which. It had taken Ethan point two of a second to decide he wanted to do his thesis on Westford Hall. Allen hadn't seemed particularly pleased at the prospect, indicating that the house wasn't safe and should probably be condemned. If the professor had been trying to put him off, it hadn't worked. He was still freezing to death inside the allegedly genuinely haunted house on campus, hoping to document actual paranormal activity.
“Ewww. What the hell is that?” Dan asked, lifting his gloved fingers to touch the dark stain on the wall.
“Blood,” Ethan replied, positioning the three cameras to give him different views of the room.
“Blood?” Dan spat. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“Why would I kid about blood?” Ethan muttered, lost in the task of attaching wires.
“Ethan, stop for one minute and tell me what the hell I’ve actually walked into,” Dan huffed, gripping Ethan’s shoulders and turning him to face him. “What happened here?”
Ethan frowned, looking up into shadowed blue eyes. “Are you serious? Everyone knows the story of Westford Hall.”
“Do I look like I know the story?” Dan bit out, his grip on Ethan’s shoulders tightening. “Why is there blood on the walls?”
Ethan slapped at Dan’s hands and squinted at the other man in the semi-darkness. “Jesus. You really should cut back on the weed, Dan. Only you could not know the skinny on one of the darkest moments of the university’s history.”
“The skinny?” Dan drawled sarcastically. “You do know the Seventies are over, right?"
“Help me get the rest of these cameras set up and the EMF recorder, and then I’ll tell you while we wait for the action to start,” Ethan retorted, ignoring Dan’s comment completely and turning his attention back to wiring up the camera.
Ten agonizing minutes later, Dan snapped. “Will you stop fiddling with those cameras and tell me what the hell happened here?” He demanded, his voice filled with frustration as he waited for Ethan to finish what he was doing.
“Stop bitching at me,” Ethan huffed, adjusting the position of the camera he was working on for the tenth time. Satisfied that everything was exactly where he wanted it, he grabbed his notepad and torch, and shone the beam of light onto the stains on the wall. “Spending the evening with you is going to be a joy. I’m all aglow with anticipation,” he deadpanned, sitting down on one of the fold-up camping chairs he had brought with him.
The dark patches on the wall took on a deep rusty brown color in the light of the torch and Ethan pulled his jacket closer around his body. “Those are blood stains. Travis Stockwell was a junior at the college, pledging to Tri Delta house. Apparently he had a big crush on the captain of the football team, Brad Newton, who was also the head of Tri Delta.
“Unfortunately for Travis, the other Tri Delta’s found out how he felt and he was the victim of an assault of rather vicious pranks. One of which culminated in him being humiliated in front of pretty much the whole school.” Ethan leaned back in the chair and sighed, barely being able to imagine the young man’s despair all those years ago. “They stripped him and strapped him to the flagpole for all to see. After that, Travis disappeared off the map for a while, only to return in the early hours of the morning on November seventeenth, nineteen seventy-four to get a little payback.”
“Payback?” Dan said softly, his gaze flitting around the room.
Ethan nodded, blowing on his hands to warm them. “He murdered every Tri Delta in the house, starting with Brad Newton. This was Brad’s room.”
So... if you want a copy of these two, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your all time favourite horror movie is - AND DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL! I will get my glamorous assistant (my daughter) to pick a winner on Sunday 27 January - have fun!