What inspires some to reach the pinnacles of virtue while others cannot resist the temptations of vice? Is it something innate, or a result of destiny and circumstance?
Delve into the minds and spirits of saints and sinners alike with a collection of stories that explore the call toward good or evil—and the consequences of answering it. For while rewards certainly await the righteous, there are also pleasures to be found in the darkness. Venture off the expected path with some of the most innovative voices in LGBT speculative fiction as they present their unique takes on the classic vices and virtues.
The Dark of the Sun by Amy Rae Durreson
The Bank Job by Andrea Speed
Prudence for Fools by Sean Michael
The Gate by J.S. Cook
Heirs to Grace and Infinity by Carole Cummings
The Rendering by John Inman
Beyond the Temperance Effect by Serena Yates
Covetous by Pearl Love
Hope by Rick R. Reed
Horseboy by J Tullos Hennig
Train to Sevmash by Jamie Fessenden
Red Light Special by Rhys Ford
Traitor by Clare London
Couches of Fabric and Snow by Brandon Witt
Brett Wright and Finn de Morisco come from vastly different worlds. Disowned by his family for being gay, Brett builds both a life on his own terms and walls around his emotions. But nothing can prepare him for the evil that stalks him in the night or from discovering the dark secrets of his heritage.
The youngest of a doting family, Finn lives a sheltered life that allows him to trust easily and makes him quick to jump to the rescue. While using his knowledge of the supernatural world to help Brett uncover the truth of his ancestry, Finn learns nothing in life is as simple and risk-free as he believed.
New knowledge comes with a price—one that may prove too high for them to pay.
Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption, Noah finds himself face-to-face with his first love—Randall.
While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.
When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat.
Raised by an abusive grandmother, Ben is a recovering addict who has made a family with his construction worker boss, Hershel, and Hershel’s husband, Daniel—drag queen ManDonna. Adding Isaiah to his life gives Ben a glimpse of a future he’d never dreamed possible for himself.
Both Isaiah and Ben are survivors, but when guilt drives a wedge between them, the past threatens to end their relationship.
Ben and Isaiah embark on journeys of self-discovery. Though their path will be difficult at times, humor and love find a way to bring light to the darkness.
Finn de Morisco knows he is walking into a trap when he enters the Vampire Cathedral to rescue his sister Cynthia. Aided by Schwint and his other sister, Caitlin, he intends to free Cynthia and avoid enslavement. But when he confronts the master of the Voice that has tortured him, Finn faces a grim choice: compromise his soul or lose his family.
For centuries members of the Chromis tribe have disappeared, and Brett Wright is on a quest to discover the fate of the captive mers and to stop the abductions. Despite the risk of tribal warfare, he embarks on a dangerous ocean journey to find other mer tribes experiencing the same plight. When destiny brings him back to land, Brett encounters new allies and old dangers while coming to grips with the past.
Heartbroken, angry, and hurting, warlock Finn de Morisco feels darkness growing inside, altering every aspect of his life. There are moments when the man he used to be seems to have been devoured completely. Retreating from his family and everything he once held dear, Finn attempts to escape the despair left in the wake of Brett’s rejection—only to find dangers he never knew existed.
Still struggling with the decision to leave everything he knew behind, Brett Wright is swept into a maelstrom as he searches for his place within his newly discovered family. Life beneath the surface of the ocean should have been unlike anything he’s ever known, yet prejudice over his demon ancestry and homosexuality follows him. Even the existence he begins to build may not last as those he is learning to love face extinction.
Then his buried past drags him back to the Ozarks.
The life Brooke has worked so hard to build is crumbling in his hands in the face of painful memories and past abuse, and his confidence is withering. In El Dorado Springs, where his nightmares come to life, Brooke desperately seeks closure life doesn’t offer. Brooke must find value in himself, in his marriage, and in the world around him—and create the hope and perseverance to keep his past from swallowing him whole.
Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.
Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?
As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him... will Cody accept what is offered?
Steven Conley loves the excitement of owning his own Hamburger Mary’s restaurant in Denver, Colorado, and his chosen family of coworkers makes life even better. Steven never regretted leaving the corporate grind behind until his father’s harsh deathbed words leaves him doubting himself.
Ryan Fuller abandoned a lucrative career to start his own party-planning business, but he keeps afloat by coordinating funerals for the local mortuary. When Ryan bumps into Steven—his best friend’s uncle and the man Ryan has secretly crushed on forever—the attraction explodes into a night of passionate abandon for both men.
Steven is blown away by the care and deep connection he feels for the hot young mortician—until Ryan admits who he really is. Reeling from the recent upheaval in his life, Steven must decide whether to give Ryan a chance. To find love, they must risk it all....
Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away—the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.
Life, it seems, has other plans.
Extensive renovations to the brownstone, an affair with his ex-husband, family drama with his mothers, and the anxiety of significant life changes push Kevin to the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the midst of stress and uncertainty, Casper becomes more than a business partner, a mutual attraction that adds another layer of intensity and risk.
With their dreams on the verge of reality, Kevin and Casper must find the courage to face the stress of managing their attraction, the gamble of a new business venture, and the resurgence of Kevin’s personal demons.
Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.
Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.
The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?
Estes Park native Todd Fleece works hard to honor his obligations to family and the businesses he inherited, but only his friends and the horses at his ranch brighten Todd’s life. In fighting his attraction to his best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Todd has focused solely on his work, leaving little room in his life for finding love.
Matt Abel’s reckless youth put him on a path to a self-destructive life—his most painful failure was being a horrible father. He excels at extreme sports and living on the edge. Now back in Estes Park and teaching white-water rafting, Matt tries to reconnect with his mother and his grown daughter. When he runs into his ex’s friend Todd, Matt longs for more than a fling.
But achieving happiness isn’t simple, not with Todd’s family conflicts and Matt struggling not to slide back into alcoholism. With hurdles threatening to drive them apart, Todd and Matt try to find the courage to brave the rapids and face a future together....
Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.
Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.
Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time... and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?
Happily ever after has no map, but sometimes fate sends a guiding light.
Gabe Rice, a seasonal ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park, can’t seem to get his life on the right trail. He loves the rugged beauty of the land, and there is no place he would rather live than the mountain community of Estes Park. But after six years, Gabe is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever get a full-time position or find love. When Gabe sees Luis—and hears his gorgeous singing—he’s compelled to meet him.
Luis Martinez, the new owner of a hotel and steak ride business in Estes, left California and a career as a therapist for a fresh start in Colorado. But even the beauty of the mountains can’t help him forget the past or move forward. Unprepared for his strong attraction to Gabe, Luis is ready to run and hide from emotions he never thought he’d have again.
Suddenly the path ahead opens to a future that looks brighter for both of them, if they can find the courage to walk forward—together.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package "A Walk on the Wild Side".
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers."
When James Olsen, a gorgeous daddy bear who frequents the bathhouse, notices him, Brian is at a loss. He’s not proud of his own bear status or his struggle with weight. The idea that James has interest in him beyond an easy hookup is more than Brian can fathom. But with a little bit of holiday magic, James might help Brian learn to accept Christmas again—and himself.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Advent Calendar "Bah Humbug."
Wesley Ryan erinnert sich gerne an die kleine Stadt El Dorado in den Ozarks zurück. Er zieht in das alte Haus seiner Großeltern und führt eine Tierarztpraxis, weil er hier seine fehlgeschlagenen Beziehungen vergessen möchte. Eines frühen Morgens kommt Travis mit seinem Hund in die Praxis und weckt in Wesley Gefühle, die ihm alles andere als gelegen kommen. Denn wenn es etwas gibt, was er in seinem neuen Leben nicht brauchen kann, dann ist das ein Mann, der mit sich selbst nicht im Reinen ist und dazu noch drei Kinder am Bein hat.
Aber das Leben, so scheint es, hat andere Pläne.
Dazu sind allerdings umfangreiche Renovierungen nötig. Eine Affäre mit seinem ehemaligen Ehemann, Familiendrama mit seinen Müttern und der Stress, sich ein vollkommen neues Leben aufzubauen, treiben Kevin an den Rand des Zusammenbruchs. Mitten in all dem Chaos und der Unsicherheit wird aus Casper mehr als nur ein Geschäftspartner. Doch die Beziehung, die sich zwischen den beiden Männern entwickelt, birgt ihre eigenen Risiken.
Als der große Tag endlich näher rückt und die Eröffnung kurz bevorsteht, müssen Kevin und Casper den Mut finden, sich ihrer neuen Beziehung zu stellen und unerwartete Hindernisse aus dem Weg zu räumen, die ihre Geschäftsidee gefährden. Und sie müssen die Wiederauferstehung von Kevins persönlichen Dämonen bekämpfen.