Tag Archives: Keith

5 Ravens and a Recommended Read — Crossroads

When a story has been out for a while, it’s a particular thrill to find a review, and when the review is this positive, it’s even better! Kalyko from Blackraven Reviews enjoyed Keith and Dante from On Call: Crossroads so much she hunted down their first two stories. Music to an author’s ears –thank you, Kalyko.

Five ravens and a recommended read — wow!

One delicious part of what she said:

There is a lot that happens in this story, but the end, well suffice it to say that I still get a little teary-eyed…but all in a good—very, very good—way.

Read the entire review here, and get the stories here.

Some love for On Call: Crossroads

Finding out you have a review is an author’s roller coaster — Wonderful to get the attention for your story, but *bites fingernails* what will it say? On Call: Crossroads has picked up two reviews recently, and fortunately for my manicure, both are good.

Literary Nymphs, in the person of Rose Nymph, had this to say, in part:

Tough subjects are dealt with sensitively and the sweet, honest couple of men at the core of the story trying to make sense of their relationship and the world provided a satisfying read.

The rest is here, with a 4 Nymph rating. *big grin*

Cryselle’s Craziness, a new and relatively unknown site, also has a review for Crossroads.

This story stands alone just fine, even if it does have two others in the series. Keith’s and Dante’s work and private lives mix in such a way that I would hope doesn’t happen all the time, but does make a good story. They tend to the bittersweet, someone’s always getting hurt, and this time, killed, which sends Keith just a bit over the edge, and Dante has to reel him back with a reality check.

The rest is here, with a 4 1/2 Marble review. *also big grin*

Crys had a complicated time reviewing this story because she and I have a RL relationship, but her other reviews should get some notice, because she has thoughtful things to say. She just did a review of Lee Benoit’s Smoke:Askari that I hope the author sees, because it would blow me away to have anybody think that deeply about my work.

The proceeds from this story and the others in the Healing Hearts collection benefit Doctors Without Borders. Find them here.

Free Read — Before the Crossroads

This little ficlet started out as an extra for the release of On Call: Crossroads, my short story that benefits Doctors Without Borders. Keith and Dante have a sad mission that opens the story; this is how Dante sees what is to come.


Keith hadn’t moved in front of the mirror for several minutes, not because he was vain. He wasn’t even looking at himself — he was holding the ends of his tie, but his head was bowed and his eyes closed. Dante shrugged into the charcoal gray suit coat and came to help his lover.

“Let me get that,” Dante told him, and took the silk from his unresisting hands. “Chin up,” he almost said, but stopped, not wanting the request to sound like a demand for a changed attitude. Keith was grieving, and if he hadn’t said why, Dante could guess some of it. With a gentle finger, he tipped Keith’s head enough to tie a four-in-hand at his throat.

“I’ll drive.”

Their destination was a small church a few miles distant, a ceremony for a young man whose name Dante had never heard before, but who clearly meant something to Keith. He’d explain when he was ready, Dante knew; sooner or later Keith would be willing to talk. What little he’d said — “A patient” — was the only clue to why he was so torn up.

Dante pulled his small SUV, the back equipped with the animal cages he needed professionally, into the church parking lot, careful to avoid the streams of people, many of them young, all of them solemn. He glanced up at the steeple and kept his wish to himself; he wanted to drive a smiling Keith to church, with flowers pinned to their lapels, to make some binding promises in front of people who’d shed happy tears. That wasn’t going to happen today, or maybe any day ever. Dante dragged his head out of the clouds and turned to Keith.

“We’re here.”

Keith nodded without looking up, but didn’t reach for the door handle. Reaching across the console, Dante took one of Keith’s hands, lying slackly in his lap, and squeezed. “I’m here for you.”

Keith squeezed back. “I know you are.” That brought the corners of his mouth up just a smidgen, before they dropped again.

Dante squeezed again. “Keith, I will always be here for you.”

Binding promises didn’t have to be made inside the church.

Charity Sip Blitz — On Call: Crossroads

Torquere Press has a wonderful annual tradition of releasing a multitude of stories themed to a cause — this year, it’s Healing Hearts, and our beneficiary is Doctors Without Borders. The authors donate their royalties and the publisher matches, so that every Healing Hearts story will provide support to this wonderful organization that provides medical care in over sixty developing nations. Read some hot m/m, do some good in the world — can it get any better than that?

So many of your favorite Torquere authors have contributed stories – I am watching that page as all twenty-eight of the Healing Hearts stories go up. By this afternoon, there will be a wide array of offerings from such favorites as Eden Winters, Mara Ismine, Lee Benoit, and Kara Larson, and from new to us all authors like Gabriel West and JM Cartwright. I’m really watching for that button that says “Buy All”  — that should save some wear and tear on my clicking finger, and then to settle in for twenty-seven excellent reads.

The twenty-eighth story is mine; you might say I’ve already seen it. 😉    On Call: Crossroads brings my doctor/vet couple, Keith and Dante, back, at a cusp of their lives.

Dr. Keith Hoyer has lost patients before but never like this, not at sixteen and not by intent.  Certain that he could have prevented the tragedy with some word or deed that he left unsaid or undone, Keith is desperate for a way to redeem his failure.

If he’s going to practice medicine in a Third World country, Keith’s lover, veterinarian Dante James says, he needs time to sell the practice and brush up on diseases of goats. “Whither thou goest, I go,” Dante tells Keith, but where will those words take them?

This link will take you to twenty-eight stories that will touch you in twenty-eight different ways.

When Prompts Call

I rather enjoy writing to a prompt. The days I drive the Live Journal for the Torquere Social, I might ask for prompt words, although lately I’ve been asking for prompt scenarios. When one is doing stunt writing, producing a small story on command, that helps rev up the juices. Those fun little ficlets are scattered here and there through the blog, tagged “free read.”

Some of the prompts have caught my imagination in a big way and needed more treatment than a stunt-fic can get. My newest published story, 8 Seconds on the Mountain, had that kind of start. “A rodeo and a beautiful bucking horse named Midnight Kid” turned into a look at Kurt’s past and Jake’s present, with a glimpse to their mutual future. Another prompt will end as a scene in a larger work. A lot more came out of that LJ day than I quite expected.

The Torquere Charity Sip blitz is not exactly a prompt story scenario. The designated charity this year, which will receive all the proceeds from the short stories donated by the authors, is Doctors Without Borders, and a medical theme was requested but not required. That’s pretty broad, and only narrowed down slightly by having two obvious candidates for characters: Keith and Dante, the doctor and vet couple from the On Call stories.

There are two On Call shorts, and I hadn’t planned on any more, but never say never, because this sort of situation arises. So I sat down to write, and was really startled by the results. It’s like pulling that fateful thread on the sweater: pretty soon you have a ball of yarn and a cold back. I followed the thoughts where they led, and — well, let’s just say that story isn’t seeing the light of day any time soon.

Start over.

This time, I gave Keith the sort of patient encounter that caused him to re-evaluate everything he was doing, and let him and Dante work out the changes that would inevitably result. The story starts dark, which is not my usual, but ends on a much more hopeful note, and incidentally let me revisit a couple of my favorite venues.

Now the story is in the marinating stage, and when it’s had another set of rewrites, I shall send it off to what I hope will be its new home. It’s been a busy and productive few days; this plot bunny bit hard and fast.