Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Taste of You Makes Me Weak


 * This story started out as a short story that you can find on Circlet Press (I've posted it here but it, unlike this particular story, is an erotica story, so consume responsibly). After I finished that story, I loved the characters so much that I really wanted to know more about them, so I expanded it into a full length novella.  I hope you enjoy their story as much as I do!

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains a humanoid spider, allegorical prejudice, and hate-based violence and terror, but is ultimately about community, belonging, and building your own happy endings. Again, consume responsibly.

Listen to an Excerpt

My human father told me once to be careful; that people will rise and fall to my expectations of them, so I should set them wisely. If I expect people to act their best, they’re more likely to do so than if I go in expecting their worst. But that was, of course, before my arachne aunts ate him, so I’ve always taken that advice with a grain of salt.

As you and I walk down the crowded, dinner-time streets, I can't help but think about that particular piece of parental advice as I see you frown at the gasps and the stares of the people around us scuttling away. I wonder, if he'd lived with my mother long enough to...well, live in this world — to walk in it, the way we have — if he'd still believe that.

Juggling armfuls of boxes and bags, we both turn when we hear a choked cry. A slicked-back guy in a nice suit shields his girlfriend, her tiny fists clutching and crushing his lapels’ crisp lines. He glares at us. At me. As if it’s my fault his date scares too easily. Gripping the box I’m carrying, I smile tightly, flashing my fangs fully, the long curved lengths sharp against my bottom lip, and blink innocently. All six, pitch black eyes. I can practically see the breath leave his lungs as the boyfriend’s peach-colored skin pales and his arms grip vice-like around the shivering girl even as his knock-kneed legs wobble in the finely woven linen.

Believe it or not, I’m not the scariest thing walking around the world. But it’s better for everyone if that’s what the world believes. It’s not openly talked about — not in polite company, anyway; certainly never in mixed — but the real reason the government restricts the sale of glamours to magical creatures with a history of...shall we say, appetites that run counter to human interests is that it makes the rest of humanity feel more in control of their world, if they think they can see the danger coming.

And, you know? That’s fine. I’ll be the boogeyman paraded out into the light that makes the children feel safer, in order to keep the truth in the shadows where it belongs. It doesn’t bother me.

But it bothers you. I can see that it does. Your pretty hazel eyes dull as you try to block it all out. With an indignant sniff, you tip your head back so your blunt-cut bangs part like a black curtain as you look past the pedestrian-packed streets and up at the smog-hidden sky.

I try to do the same. I really do try to ignore it and pretend my father's pretty advice could somehow — like magic words — re-shape me in the eyes of others but, scenting the couple's fear combine and swell, my joints inevitably shake. The sensitive hairs along all my limbs raise at attention as my articulated legs and arms twitch as if to pounce. I lick my lips and feel my heart race.

“Aida, don’t.”

I look to you, the corners of my lips uncurling. My face flushes hot at your censure. I hate the smug looks on the faces of people in our earshot. They think you’re putting me in my place. Keeping the monster on its leash.

I know you’re not.

As if you could. You’re strong enough. For a human. Broad-shouldered with sleek muscles over a slim yet sturdy frame, you look tougher than you should be. Like life beat you down, until you learned to beat it back. It’s one of the things I love most about you, Frey.

So, yes, I understand what you’re saying, even if no one else does.

Don’t. Such a small word that can mean so many things. Right now, it means Don’t be the monster they want you to be. Don’t prove them right. Don’t reinforce the humanity-first stereotypes these people already hold against arachnes and vampires and gargoyles and gorgons and anyone whose existence, for centuries, has been relegated and reduced to the public’s nightmares. That tone in your voice, that look on your face, it all screams, begs and pleads with me, to not feed their worst fears. Don’t make my own life, the lives of others like me — not to mention your life — worse for a fleeting feeling of pettiness.

No matter how good it might feel.

Fine. For you, Frey. Because it bothers you. And because I love that you’re not bothered by a girl with six eyes and eight limbs. For you, I’ll be the better being.

Besides, you’re right. We have more interesting things to deal with tonight than distressed damsels, stink-eyed suits, and pettiness.

Shifting a garment bag to your other arm, you reach your hand out to me. I pout and fidgetingly tap my fingers against the cardboard between my hands, listening to the jewelry inside jangle with the jostle.

You love public displays of affection. Not just because you like to touch and be touched, part of you loves to flaunt us in front of people. You’re proud to be with me and you don’t care who knows.

I am...less thrilled about it. The way people stare at us. Still more used to living in the shadows, I don’t like being looked at.

But they’re staring already.

So, on a sigh, I juggle my own bags from arm to arm to arm, and reach out a freed hand to clutch yours. I giggle when you, knowing I like it when you act tough and take charge, tug me forward, pulling me closer to you possessively. Like I belong near you. I lift my chin and let you lead me through the crowd, feeling the strength of your grip, being comforted by it, even as I put more sway into my four-legged gait.

The effect would be better if I was wearing anything but the plain, black t-shirt and shorts I threw on to get ready for tonight. I think about all the amazing clothes hanging neatly in the bags we’re carrying, including my own delicate, self-spun lace dress, that had taken months to finish and that I can't wait to show off tonight. I wish I was wearing that. Sauntering away in that would be a statement. Or at least a better one than the rumpled outfit I chose because, when it comes to setting up shop, comfort comes before style.

Whatever. Screw them. All of them. The whole world. I have you, I have my work, I have tonight, and that’s all I need.

We walk to a nondescript building, a blank-faced, barely renovated warehouse, and enter Preyer Service. When the magical community first came out, those who’ve preyed upon humanity under the cover of darkness and in their nightmares for eons, were the first to be targeted. With hate crimes and lynch mobs, with protests and, finally, laws. And, since prey now overwhelmingly outnumber us, monsters made for surprisingly easy marks. Especially now that the shadows where we used to dwell scare them less and less. The timid, little humans of the past were made brave with blindingly brilliant tech and efficiently lethal guns that our fangs and claws and spooky legends can no longer compete with.

Initially, Preyer Service had been created as a way for the government to capture and contain those on predatory lists. For our own protection as well as the public’s, so they said. In reality, with its vague allusion to religion and higher-powered morality, it was the nice, righteous public face for our extermination. We were quarantined and kept in captivity, those of us lucky enough to survive the raids, all in the name of national security and safety. And we stayed that way until the magical community, joined by non-magical legal support, were able to strike a compromise.

Conditional amnesty was granted for those who agreed to reform and conform to society’s laws and norms. And, for those who could not or would not agree...well, mercy is never meant for monsters.

So, even after the official department of Preyer Service was disbanded, those of us who remember keep it alive. We’ve reclaimed it for our own. Built a community in its ashes, where we make our own safety. Where we’re allowed a small space in this new world to be unapologetically ourselves. Where we can gather, for celebration and survival. Where we are protected by each other. And where we protect each other — even from one another and, especially, from ourselves.

There’s a strange accountability in community. We all know each other’s business. We know each other’s partners and practices. We share our joys. We lighten each other’s burdens.

And we call ourselves out, when we see each other slip. We deal with our own. The world can be cruel; no one knows this better than us. We are predators, by nature. But, after being made the modern world’s prey, we won’t be held at anyone’s mercy again.

So we come here. Our safe space.

I look around the building. Once it became ours, we tore down the bureaucratic cubicles and the government-sanctioned cages. We ripped apart the laboratories and gutted the multi-floored warehouse to its original bones. This is our only home — the gathering place of a messy mix of displaced creatures who all need it for countless reasons. This sacred space, like a phoenix, is near nightly built up as required — for pack-led hunts or unholy rituals or orgiastic feasts — only to be torn down again and made new, waiting for its next demand. There is magic in these walls and tested strength in its foundations.

Tonight, it’s bustling with stands and risers. Racks and shelves stand naked and bare, waiting to be dressed and filled for the Night Faire, a seasonal weekend-long market to show off and sell the wares of the monster world. We’re a small community, often with unusual needs, but the one thing that binds us all together with the rest of the world is cold, hard cash.

It used to be we could hunt in the night for what we needed. Pick off varmints or vagrants, those that wouldn’t be missed. We used to live in sprawling forests or hidden caves, haunted places people knew to avoid. Now we pay mortgages and utilities and grocery bills just like everyone else. We, who used to live for the thrill of the hunt and the kill, now barely survive paycheck to paycheck.

Most of us, despite attempts at anti-discrimination laws, are unhirable. We lack the skills and experience and often the bodies for this world. Talons tend to make for poor typists, touch technology tends to not work well with scales, and no one wants to present the face of their company to their clients if it sports fangs or horns.

So, for the most part, we work for ourselves or each other. We employ from and invest into the community. Supporting each other, since no one else will.

I nod to several people as we make our way through the room. Couples and groups huddle together, talking to each other and avoiding everyone else. Even under the best circumstances, predators, by nature, tend to be solitary or pack creatures. We don’t group well. But an awareness hangs heavy in the room. My feelers tingle with it, sending shivers up and down my limbs. I can feel others watching me, even as I indirectly watch them.

“Looks like Jericho brought a new partner.”

I turn to you before eyeing the pretty, young thing hanging on the arm of the vampire in question as the two tally stock. I shake my head. “No, we’ve seen her before. But she lives out of town and only comes to events while on business.”

“Oh yeah.” You nod. “She had blond hair last time; that’s why I didn’t recognize her.”

I shrug, paying less attention to what she looks like — most humans look more or less the same to me — and more to how she appears. Her scent. The sound of her voice. The rhythm of her movements. I turn away, dismissing her as beyond uninteresting.

But there is something interesting here. Someone new. I scan the room, trying to pinpoint the presence.


I see it in the corner. A young yeti in a screen-printed t-shirt for The Smoky Case of Dr. Jerky & Mr. Hide, the local werewolf butcher business, is crouched on the floor, his back up against the wall. Even through the cotton shirt, it’s clear his fur is standing on end. Willem, a werewolf in a matching shirt who recently joined the local pack, is kneeling at the yeti’s side, trying to settle him. “You need to calm down.”

He really does. Poor, sweet yeti; he may be a beast, but he’s no monster. His kind had hid in the most remote caves and mountains, hunting deer and rabbits, more afraid of humans than those humans ought to have been of them.

My gaze flicks around the room and sees other eyes zero in on the couple, drawn by the scent, sound, and promise of fear as it mixes with the savory smell of smoked meats. My own body reacts to it, making my mouth water and my blood heat.

In an age-old dance between hunters and the hunted, the yeti instinctively looks up, his ice blue eyes wide as they take in the room’s collective, dangerous gaze. His eyes meet mine across the room and widen. I can’t help but smile, somewhat proudly. Even in a room full of nightmares, I stand out in the crowd.

I grip my box before it slips from hands that would rather grab at prey that already knows it’s mine. My joints feel weak as the scent of his fear blooms stronger, filling the room. As a low rumble echoes hungrily through the space, I can sense countless claws clench and pointed teeth grind. Everywhere, muscles tense in as much restraint as excitement, and any wrong move could tip the balance.

But, then in a moment — for just a moment — the tension eases as San, one of the Preyer Service moderators and a fearsomely powerful witch, leans down and whispers into Willem’s ear, undoubtedly advising he take the yeti and leave, for their own safety as well as everyone else’s. Willem looks sadly at his friend, but nods resignedly. Uncontrolled fear in a gathering like this is like blood in the water.

Speaking of scary, that woman is truly terrifying. San straightens, her beautiful form the picture of serenity in the face of the thwarted bloodbath. Her flowing jewel-toned clothes and dark hair flutter hypnotically around as if she’s moving through some serene sea as unavoidable waves of soothing peace sweep over the room. It’s hard to believe that she’s one of the deadliest creatures in this room — in existence. But we’ve all heard the legends surrounding her. For all her elegance and grace, the blood on her hands could make a vampire weep. That kind of power, that level of legend, is the only way to make a den of hungry predators bend like this.

Taking advantage of San’s enforced clarity, I subtly shuffle my things to stretch out my limbs, trying to rid my body of any residual strain. Others shake their heads, trying to clear the haze of the hunt’s call. Others still turn back to their business and curl their lips in disappointment, in silent longing for the good old days.

I understand that longing. I do. But, with overpopulation and advancement, the world has become too small. There’s no safety in the shadows anymore. We may be humanity's nightmares but, without the alliance with the humans, they would have been our extinction.

We ought to hate them. Some of us do.

But I look at you. And I can’t. I want to. I want to hate them for everything they’ve done to us. For everything they’ve taken from us. For everything we used to be — creatures of myth and legend to be feared and respected — and now, because of them, can’t.

But here you are, hefting bags filled with my creations as you weave past and wave at inhuman creatures. Walking among us like there’s no difference. Like you’re one of us. As if we’re just like you. How do you do that?


To read the rest of my spider romance novella, please check out Thoughts & Preyers.

If the home is where your heart is, what happens when it’s taken away from you?

Aida, a spider woman, and her human partner, Frey, belong to a community for monsters called Preyer Service, that resides in the middle of a human city. But, after a human child frightened by one of the monsters is injured in an accident, the humans in the neighborhood want to shut it down and push the monsters out of their streets.

As the human and the monster communities clash, Aida and Frey find themselves stuck in an awkward and dangerous middle, facing anti-monster, humanity-first attitudes everywhere they go. Aida and Frey will have to do their best to work with those in their world, human and monster alike, to stay together and rebuild the broken heart of their community.

Spice level: fade to black

Available in eBook on

Amazon & Kindle Unlimited



Wednesday, February 22, 2023

See You As You Are


The Roles We Play
A Donovan's Door Collection
Feeling flush with accomplishment and the alcohol’s warm, soothing effect, Hayato mixed himself a little something. See, he thought as he took another deep and satisfied sip, this socializing thing wasn’t all that hard. He didn’t need Peter to have a good time. He’d done just fine on his own.

He turned, when he felt a tap on his shoulder, just in time to avoid the crowd of conga-ing costumers gyrating to some oddly mixed song that sounded strangely like French reggae. Stumbling a bit as a few of the line’s more enthusiastic — if not most coordinated — members bumped into him, Hayato felt a pair of hands cup his, steadying him and his now sloshing glass.


He secured his grip on his glass as he looked up to see the costumed Zatanna in front of him, her blue eyes smiling — maybe even laughing — at him. The curve of her darkly painted lips seemed somewhere between a smirk and an invitation. Hayato pondered which it could be even as his gaze slipped south, idly tracing the deep vee of her pearl white vest that — while not exactly canon-accurate — lay tantalizingly tight over black lace-covered breasts.

“Mix me a potion?” she asked, calling his gaze back up to her grinning face.

“Sorry,” he mumbled over the loud, culturally eclectic music, blushing at how he’d been caught ogling, as he set his glass aside and wiped his wet hand against his jeans. Maybe that was enough intoxication tonight.

She just continued smiling, seeming oddly and mysteriously omniscient. “Make me a drink?” 

“Uh, sure,” he said, flustered by that gaze. Not knowing what else to do, he turned to start mixing again. His neck prickled as he felt her watch him, her gaze assessing while he grabbed and combined this and that. At first, he thought that she was judging the drink but, the more he mixed, he didn’t think so. 

She was watching him. Not his hands, as the others had, trying to figure out formulas and recipes. She was watching him. The whole of him. And waiting. For something. Something Hayato couldn’t even begin to guess at. 

It was as if she knew him. As if, with so much familiarity from her, he really ought to know her. 

But he didn’t think he did. 

He was sure he would remember a girl like her. With clever, blue eyes that shone sharply with thoughts he could see but not decipher. Like him, she had a very angular face, sculpted in shapes that should have seemed wrong but somehow, together, were stunning. Riding that line between gaunt and gorgeous, the sharp planes of her nose and cheeks, her brow and chin, were as alien as they were alluring. 

Long, dark curls framed her face and flowed down her back and over her shoulders, caressing her body as she leaned against the counter. 
Though he tried — so very hard — not to, his eyes kept drifting to her breasts that were now propped up on her forearms as she rested against the back of a chair. He wondered if she’d done that on purpose. If her arms, that encased and displayed, were a deliberate attempt to draw his gaze down. Judging by her knowing grin, he thought yes.

“Hayato,” she said, tilting her head as he handed her the drink concoction — some grab-bag of booze that he couldn’t have recreated to save his life, “right?”

He looked up a little sheepishly. 

So she did know him.

He nodded, unsure if it was ruder to ask for her name now or pretend like he knew it. Not much for names, he didn’t normally pay much attention, if he could help it. He always figured that sort of thing tended to work itself out in the normal run of things, linking memory and importance in a completely organic way. 

And, looking her over again — Hayato was almost sure — if he’d once known this girl’s name, he would have made a point of remembering it.

“Halloween is the best time of year, isn’t it?” the magician continued, leaning a bit more forward on the chair to reveal the deep vee of her cleavage.

Those pale, round breasts were beautiful, rising — just a bit — with every breath as they pushed against the tight fabric of her vest. He knew it was rude to stare but, try as he might, he couldn’t look at her without staring. “Sure,” he said on a deep swallow as he forced his gaze to focus on hers.

“There’s magic in the air this time of year,” she said breezily, even while studying him as if she could read his every thought, as if she could witch out exactly where his mind had drifted. “One night a year, we all get a chance to be someone else. To be something else.”

Hayato thought about that. About the magic in not being yourself.
Except he liked himself. 

He was honors pre-law at the college of his choice. He’d been on the Dean’s List every semester. He was a National Merit Scholarship Winner, a National Collegiate Scholar, and the youngest member of an elite study group for law students. 

He was on track. He’d been preparing for this, working his ass off, for as long as he could remember. Why would he want to give that up, even if just for one night? 

“With a little makeup and a wig,” she mused, “you can step out of your life and into one of your own imagining. With just a wardrobe change, it’s like being given license to do all the things you normally wouldn’t. It’s like identity alchemy.”

Hayato nodded and shrugged, not really sure what to say. To be honest, Hayato hadn’t had all that much experience with girls outside a classroom. Mostly fumbled fits made in library reading nooks or someone’s dorm room bunk bed. And, while he’d certainly enjoyed himself and — God, he hoped — they’d enjoyed themselves, he wasn’t altogether certain he’d even know what to do with a girl like the magician, who was almost too pretty to look at, much less touch.
“You just can’t beat that,” she sighed almost wistfully.

Not that he was planning to touch her or anything. Hoping, sure. Fantasizing, oh yeah. But she’d only asked him to make her a drink. She was a sorority sorceress and he was an undergrad in a secondhand hat; he couldn’t even imagine what she would want with him beyond a little bartending.

He watched as she tipped the red solo cup back, draining the “Love Potion #9” in one long drink. Even over the party’s strange soundtrack of German punk rock, he heard the definitive crunch of the cup’s plastic as she all but slammed it back on the table. “I want to show you something,” she told him, her face a bit tight but determined. “Upstairs.”

He blinked. Upstairs? “What?” he asked blankly, sure he’d heard her wrong.

“Magic,” she told him, answering a question he hadn’t actually asked but was pretty sure he liked the answer to. “I want to show you some magic.” 

Hayato had to blink for a moment, his brain adjusting to hearing the vaguely porno phrase outside the fantasy. It was weird. Even in the real world, the words sounded like fantasy. Scripted and a little stilted, she’d said them as if she didn’t really mean them.

He wondered what that meant.

Then she held out her hand to him, the gesture so much more convincing than the words.

His gaze swept over the long lengths of her legs, lifted and shaped by the tall heels on her feet, and up the swell of her slim hips. He swallowed hard at the way the tight vest clung to her waist, soft and sweetly curved, before framing — hugging — those breasts.

Meeting her pretty, blue eyes, he saw the briefest flicker in her gaze — a quick break in character. He reached out, that look making him take her hand. There was something so familiar in that look. An uncertainty that he knew well and wished she didn’t.

He watched that crack in her confidence close as her small hand gripped his, tugging him through the party crowd and up the stairs, and wondered why that would make him feel so much better. 

Hayato swallowed hard as the scent of booze, sweat, and over-stimulation struck him. Seeking that surety again, he held tight to her hand and focused on the magician as she snaked her way through the space, sometimes seeming little more than an arm almost swallowed by the mob and a bouncing top hat.

They wove through congested hallways, squeezing tight to couples who’d congregated in and out and around the bedrooms. Some of the doors were wide open, revealing rooms overflowing with too many conversations and even more people. Some doors were shut, quiet dens — pockets of conspicuous silence — or muffled murmurs — music or moans — hidden behind the wood and walls.

They stopped in front of a door, shut and silent. Hayato held his breath as she turned the knob. Letting his hand go, she stepped into the room, flicking on the light. She turned, a dramatic, almost dance-like pivot, with her hands spread in ta-da as she took off her hat in one smooth motion. Standing just inside its entrance, she looked at him, left lingering in the hallway. “Come in.” It was almost a command with just a trace of question touching the performance. 

He stepped into the room, the door shutting behind him. He gave a small laugh and shuffled a bit on her carpet as she reached into her hat. “Don’t tell me there’s a rabbit in there,” he said.

She pulled out a box of cards and waved them at him. “Much as I love a classic hat trick, pretty sure a bunny violates house rules,” she said as she sat down on one of the room’s beds.

“So you actually do magic?” he asked, a little impressed. He’d figured it was just a costume and a line.

“Of course,” she said, an obvious look on her face, as she gestured for him to join her on the crimson comforter covering her bed. “I told you, I’m a fan of magic.”

Hayato looked around what he assumed was her half of the room as he sat down. C.S. Lewis sat spine-bent and well-read next to Tolkien on her bedside. Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey sat stacked on her shelves. Kelley Armstrong kept Kim Harrison company as their corners peeked out from under her bed. And strewn and stuck alongside all those were biographies of Houdini and David Copperfield and how-to books on classic illusions and close-up magic. They were everywhere, tucked away like treasures among her textbooks.

“So what are you going to do?” he asked, nodding to her as she shuffled the deck. “Do I pick a card, any card?”

“Mmm,” she said as she dealt out eight cards, four in front of him and four in front of her, “sort of.” With a flick of her hands, she shuffled the rest of the cards. “We’re going to play a game.”

A game? “Okay,” he said, even parts wary and intrigued. “What kind of game?”

She flipped the top card in the deck and flashed the eight of hearts. “Basic high card, low card,” she said. “Beat my card,” she said, flipping the next to reveal the jack of spades, “and I’ll take something off.”

He swallowed hard as his gaze shifted south. He liked those rules. “And if I don’t?” he asked.

“Then you do,” she answered simply.

That was a magic trick?

Looking at her, sitting cross-legged across from him, her soft thighs parted and her posture welcoming. 

Yeah, maybe it was a kind of magic. 

“Sure,” he agreed, shifting to mirror her position on the bed...

Check out this Donovan's Door Collection filled with stories that explores roles, identity, and pleasure.

Witness some of this series' favorite characters' first forays into kinks, from bondage to bargaining. Explore the thrilling joys and sometimes intense complexities of power dynamics, role play, and negotiating games in this collection of short stories.

Join these kinksters as they discover who they are, both within and together, both in-scene and out.

Available Now in

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

What You Really Want


Small Magic
A Faere Trade Novella

Louis Williams stared at the lamp in his hands, the tarnished copper heavy and almost iridescent against his darker, sepele-shaded skin. It really was a beautiful piece, catching his eye amid the mounds of memories left in his Aunt Dottie’s old attic, now that she’d moved to her new assisted living apartment.

But nothing compared to the man now standing with his arms crossed over his broad chest.

No. Not a man.

“Genie?” Louis eyed him up and down, his skin as brilliant and multi-hued as his lamp — flashing copper, gold, bronze, and even burnished green in the low light. “Do you mean a djinn?”

The genie rolled his shoulders and looked at Louis, his eyes dark as night. “Nah, my magic’s not that old. Not of that time or place. ” He shrugged casually, his shoulder-length black hair falling into his eyes. “Magic is always born out of belief. Mine’s only a few decades old. Born right here in the states, because of some 1960’s sitcom,” he said, nodding at the old, rotary dial television sitting dust-covered and broken in the corner, “but made strong from a 1990’s cartoon.

Louis arched an eyebrow. “A sitcom gave birth to you?”

The genie huffed. “Do I look sixty to you?”

Louis blinked, unsure of what to say. How was he supposed to know what a sixty-year-old genie looked like?

“Strictly speaking, I’m ageless; I was born this way and will die this way. But I’ve been around for about forty years. At least according to the date you told me.” He waved that off dismissively. “My magic — or species, if that’s easier to understand — is around sixty years old.”
“Birthed by belief?” Louis tried not to smirk.

The genie shot Louis a smug, superior look. “Everything, not just magic, exists because someone believed it should, willed it to be so. My kind is just young enough to remember it.”

“People were willed into existence?” Louis shook his head. “By whom?”

The genie shrugged. “I couldn’t tell you; I wasn’t there. But creation is always an act of magic, wouldn’t you say?”

Louis didn’t know what to say to that, so he just pressed his lips together and thought about it.

The genie studied Louis and frowned. “Usually, my magic only works on children; adults tend to have a hard time believing.” He shook his head. “You have no idea how many perfect stray puppies, kittens, and ponies I’ve magicked up in my time.” He raised a curious, arched eyebrow. “How is it that my magic works on you?”

Louis gave a musing grin. “I’ve seen some weird things in my life. Rags to riches stories. Men on the moon. Devices that can both fit in your pocket and connect people halfway across the globe.” He held up his hands, mystified. “None of it makes sense to me; who am I to judge what’s possible or not?”

The genie narrowed his dark eyes. “So you believe anything’s possible?”

Louis just chuckled. “Well, you’re here, so it would seem so.” He tilted his head and jutted his chin at him. “So what do I call you?”
He bowed his head. “We don’t really get names. What would be the point? It’s not exactly a long-term relationship. You get three wishes, then it’s back to the lamp for me.”

“Well, until then, I’ve got to call you something.” And he couldn’t call him Genie, not without thinking of Robin Williams. “I know you said you weren’t one, but what about Genn.”

Jen?” He lifted an eyebrow. “Like Jennifer?”

Louis flushed. “No, like Genn, as in short for genie.”

“I don’t think that’s how abbreviations work,” the man said with a confused look. “Aren’t you changing the letter’s sound?”

Louis shrugged. “English is weird and malleable. Think of it like gif.” Louis frowned. Did that even mean anything to a man — a genie — like him? He shook his head. “If you prefer something else…”

“Whatever you want.” He stretched out his arms and cracked his knuckles. “Speaking of which, it’s wish time. What do you wish, Master?”

Louis frowned. “Yeah,” he said with a grimace, “not that.” He knew there were people out there who did — and, hey, Louis always figured you do you — but it was hard to be a black man in this country and play those kinds of Master/slave power games. “Let’s stick with Louis and Genn.”

He bowed his head. “Very well, Louis.” He waved his hand dramatically. “What is your wish?”

“Oh no.” Louis shook his head and turned to pace the attic. “I’ve read this story before. Genies are tricksters by nature. Quintessential be careful what you wish for creatures.”

Genn lifted a noncommittal shoulder and gave a small, but intriguing smile. “Don’t believe everything you read.”

Louis snorted. “Like I said, I’m a believer.”

Genn rolled his eyes and flopped down on the antique fainting couch, a cloud of dust kicking up under his weight. “Well, you’re the Mast—” He caught himself on a cough. “You’re in charge. I’ll just enjoy stretching my legs until you decide.”

Louis shot him a skeptical look. “You’re really going to follow me around until I make a wish?”

Genn kicked his feet up on the cushions and put his arms behind his head, the corded muscles stretching and flexing, causing the light to play across the man’s burnished skin. “That is the deal.”

“You must have something better to do.”

“Really don’t.”

Louis paused. His gaze narrowed and his nose wrinkled. “That’s sad.”

Genn blinked before staring off at the plank wood ceiling, the cocky light in his dark eyes dimming a bit. “Kinda is.”

Sounded pretty lonely too. “What if I wish you free?” Wasn’t that what the heroes did in those stories?

He shrugged. “Genies and our lamps are intertwined; our stories — the magic and belief that keeps us alive — rely on them. Like turtles and their shells, we can’t really survive without them. Wish me free and there’ll be a lot of flash and sparkle from all the noble, warm fuzzies you’ll have, all so I can wait for the next person to rub-a-dub-dub and start the whole story over again.”

Louis sighed and sat down on the wood floor. “So we’re stuck together until I make a wish?”

Genn held up his fingers and waved them. “Three, to be exact.”

“So, if it’s not to be free,” Louis asked, “what would you wish for, if you were me?”

“Telling feels like cheating.”

“Think of it more as a consult.” After all, who would be better to ask? The genie had to be an expert by now, after decades of seeing what made a good wish and what didn’t. “Or I could just ask for some stray pets and be done with it.”

“Anything but that.” Genn chuckled before thinking about it. “Don’t ask for things. We aren’t conjurers by nature.” He gave a sly smile. “Tricksters. Thieves. Liars. Our power is great, but it’s far easier to steal than to create.”

“No things.” Gottcha. “What else?”

He tilted his head one way and then the other, his loose, black locks swaying around his face. “Nothing big. Nothing world-changing. Or even life-changing; things can get complicated and run astray. The bigger the ask — the more I have to tinker with or alter the wider world — the more likely it is for things to veer off path and go places neither of us intended. Wishes are changes; and change is always hard and not always good.”

Louis bit his lip and nodded. Wise words. “Okay, then what should I ask for?”

“An experience.” Genn looked off into the sunlit afternoon through the tiny attic window. “That’s what I’d ask for. Some fleeting moment that can’t last, but that you can keep forever.” He turned to face Louis. “I’ll let you in on an insider secret.” He smiled mischievously. “The shortest-lived magic is always the hardest to screw up.”

An experience. “What kind?”

Genn shrugged. “Whatever. Ever want to skydive over the Gold Coast? Or trek through the Amazon? Or be in the middle of an orgy of Hollywood starlets? Whatever your little heart desires.”

Louis shook his head. “I hate heights. And leaving home. And starlets...” He gave a small laugh, feeling his face flush. “Not, uh, really my thing.”

Genn raised an eyebrow and held out his hands in the universal sign of indifferent neutrality. “Whatever your heart desires.”

Louis hung his head and gave a tense chuckle. “I wouldn’t even know what to do in the Amazon or the Gold Coast.” Or at an orgy. Knowing what to do with only one other partner never came terribly naturally to him, much less multiple ones. Hell, he’d only ever had the one.

It wasn’t always easy being the only openly gay person in a small town. It’d been, by far, harder when he’d been younger. When neither he nor anyone around him had really had the words to talk about it. But Louis knew, because of those more brave and prominent than he was and the shift in culture they’d moved like a mountain or a miracle, that he’d been lucky. His aunt may not have always understood him, but she’d always loved him enough to try. To find the words and ways to let him know that he mattered more to her than beliefs that helped no one and hurt people like him. And the same was true of most of the people in town. His friends. His neighbors.

It hadn’t always been easy and might never be perfect, but this was and would always be his home. It was where he belonged.

But it could be lonely too sometimes. To watch his friends date and marry and have kids. To know that wasn’t and might never be possible for him here.

His aunt had told him, when she’d decided to move into the assisted living home, that he should leave. Live. Go to some metropolitan hub and find a life — and a love — that, no matter how amazingly accepting this town was, he could never find in such a remote place.
But he was, by nature, a homebody; how did someone like that leave his hometown? And did he even really want to?

Louis scrunched his nose in thought. What did he really, really want? Sighing, he looked about the room. Well, if he was honest with himself. “What I really want is help cleaning up this place.”

Genn smiled and leapt to his feet. “Is that your wish?”

“Sure.” Louis shrugged. “I guess.”

Genn’s dark eyes sparkled impishly. “Then say it...”

Louis tilted his head one way and then the other thoughtfully. It was just a little housecleaning. What could go wrong? “I wish for your help to clean up my aunt’s house.”

Genn clapped his hands excitedly before giving a little whoop. He crossed his arms over his chest dramatically and bowed his head. “Your wish,” he said with a gleeful nod, “my command...”
To read the rest, check out my genie romance novella “Small Magic.”

Be careful what you wish.

When Louis Williams finds an old genie lamp in his aunt’s old stuff, he knows better than to mess with magic. But that won’t stop this handsome trickster from messing back!

Genn’s been stuck in that stuffy lamp for so long, all he wants is to do a little magic and have a little fun. But what’s a genie to do with a Master that literally wants nothing from him? And why does that make him even more determined to grant his every happiness, sure that in doing so maybe—just maybe—Genn can find his own.

Spice level: slow-burn to a kiss at the end

Available Now as an eBook on

Monday, December 12, 2022

Getting Wet and Wild


Check out my cosplay, sex toy, hot tub erotica story “Squeaky Clean Get Away” that plays with all the fun ways to get absolutely drenched.

Sinclair Sexsmith is back with the seventh volume of Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year!

Who doesn't love some tantalizing erotica through which they can live vicariously? In the seventh volume of Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, editor Sinclair Sexsmith has included stories exploring extraordinary fantasies. Including authors and characters from a multiplicity of backgrounds, communities, genders, and points of view, these stories are sure to heighten and satisfy your appetite for variety and add a spark of the extraordinary.

This volume is sure to enliven readers and rekindle the exciting feeling of pursuing a new flirtation. From the butterflies to the excruciating tension that builds overtime, Sexsmith invites you to join these characters as they take a leap and explore an undiscovered side of themselves.

Dive into these 19 varied stories and experience a first time after a gender confirming surgery, transport to another time for a sexy heist with a forbidden lover, or even have one last hoorah with some swingers on the night before everything changes. Keep reading—you may just discover something new about yourself, or see yourself reflected in these provocative stories.

Available Now in
Listen to an Excerpt

Fake Dating for Christmas


Check out my geeky, holiday novella Checking It Twice

Fake dating for Christmas? What a perfect plan!

The holidays are hard enough without life throwing snowy curveballs. Freshly dumped, Elena Torres is too busy to find a new date to all her holiday events. There just isn't enough time to find someone new for her office party, her family gathering, and her friends' get-together. So she strikes a deal with her roleplaying buddy, Collin Werther, to pretend to be her ex.

What could possibly go wrong?

Spice level: slow-burn to a kiss at the end

Available Now in eBook on

More Than Meets the Eye


Check out my monster love novella A Thing of Beauty

If it looks like a monster & moves like a monster, it must be one, right?

Then why does the human world seem so much more frightening to Brindle? Built like a beast, she never felt like she fit in the world she was born in.

Until Bloom.

Can she and Bloom find a way to live and love together in a world that refuses to see them as they are?

This wlw Beauty & the Beast story explores the realties of loving a monstrous body, from toxic gossip and body issues to defiantly following your bliss and discovering the joys of pervertable sex toys!

Available Now in eBook on

Monday, August 15, 2022

When You Break


Check out my protest, seamstress, queer, monster story "Darn" in this incredibly unique mix of art, comics, poetry, and stories in this queer horror anthology from Artemisia's Axe.

Welcome weary travelers to the horrifying world of Skulls and Spells.

This is a collection of magical horrors you rarely find in your everyday bookshop. Get lost in a dark forest of stories. Wander the enchanting full colour pages. Be entranced by the artwork within. Listen to the haunting tales of those too often rendered voiceless.

Gruesome tales of love and loss. From flesh eating monsters to vampiric teeth that feed on toxic abusers. Cruel fairy creatures obsessed with wealth and power who crumble empires for joy. The ghosts of witches long burned and old gods reaping their righteous vengeance.

Tales of fire and love crushing the patriarchy.

In Skulls and Spells: An Anthology of Horror by Creators From the LGBTQI2SA+ Community you will find stories that pull at your heart, twist your guts, and make you very glad you are safe on that side of the pages.

The anthology publication brings together 19 creators, including artists, writers and poets from the queer community. Each creator has been inspired by the themes of 'Queer Horror Magic' to pen pieces of horror from their unique perspectives. Of the horror genre and its relationship with the LGBTQIA2S+ community, Jinx Peregrine of Artemisia's Axe said, "It is vitally important marginalized voices have a bigger place in the horror community because so often we are the subject of real life horrors. Horror for us is a cathartic way to express our frustration with the world at large, it is also a tool to bring conversations and actions about the well needed change our world needs." 

This is a limited edition full color hard cover book with inside cover illustrations in the front and back of the book. Page count is around 250 plus pages.

Available Now In

Hardcover  and ebook

To Listen to an Excerpt