Blurb: Words hold the power to hurt as well as heal, and choosing them is a complicated and delicate process. No one knows this better than the men who work with them every day. Authors, reporters, reviewers, and publishers struggle to balance truth, art, long hours, and stressful jobs. Whether they’re trying to write a novel or advance a career, it can leave little time for love. The men in this anthology are seeking romance on and off the job, in print and online, against backdrops of fact, fiction, and even fantasy. Their tales are different but have one thing in common—there’s a happy ending waiting on the last page.
Role Model by Becky Black
Perfect Bound by Jack Byrne
Author’s Note by Kim Dias
Compulsion by Emma Jane
McAvoy Made by Dawn Kimberly Johnson
The Geometry of the Circle by Rhidian Brenig Jones
The Fully Lit Review by Elle Katie Lune
On the Shelf by Eliza Maszar
Imp by Emily Moreton
Love in the Time of Magics by Fil Preis
Jester Hinkel and the Thrust of Destiny by Madeleine Ribbon
A Perfect Ending by Anne Robins
Secret of the Specter by S.S. Skye
Late Edition by Jamie Sullivan
Java Rocks by Julia Talbot
Pagan Moon by Nikki West
Excerpt from Perfect Bound by Jack Byrne: “How do you do?” said Tegan and Daniel at the same time, and then both laughed. Daniel looked a bit edgy, though, and Michael said, “Waiting for someone?”
He could have kicked himself as Daniel blushed. It was nearly time for the movie to start, and if Daniel was waiting for anyone, they were obviously late or not coming at all. Daniel said, “Ah… I-”
Tegan interrupted, “Come on you. Stop chatting up boys. You’re with me this evening.”
Daniel shot her a grateful but quizzical look and said, “Might see you afterwards.”
Michael nodded, and said, “Sure,” with a tight smile. He waited until they had bought their tickets and popcorn and found seats, then whispered to Tegan, “Did you have to say that? ‘Chatting up boys’? Good one, Teegs. How do you know he’s even-”
She shot him a look, “Oh, come on.”
“Yeah, well, he might be.”
“Is the Pope Catholic? Of course he’s gay. It’s no wonder you don’t have a boyfriend,” she said with a soft laugh. “He looked like all his Christmases had come at once when you climbed off the bike. Didn’t you see that?”
“I thought he was looking at you.”
“No, you were the one looking at me, you twisted little puppy. He was just being an ordinary gay guy.”
Michael was taken aback, and she laughed again, and said, “Shut up, I want to watch this trailer.”
Michael had no trouble shutting up. He snuck a peek around, but could not see Daniel anywhere in the small, modern theatre. There were other movies on, he realized suddenly. Maybe Daniel hadn’t been stood up at all. Maybe he was just watching another movie with a later start time. Michael went over the conversation outside the theatre in his mind and cringed as he realized he had made assumptions and probably made an idiot of himself, at best seemed rude.
A quiet voice beside him said, “So, you do like him.”
“How do you do that? Get inside my head?”
She tapped her head. “Got a brain, remember?”
“Love you too, big bro.”
They settled down to watch the movie, in that state of amiable hostility which only close siblings can achieve.
After the movie, Michael looked around the foyer. There were people from both movies milling around, and another crowd waiting to come in. He could not see Daniel, but that did not mean he was not somewhere in the crowd.
“You’ve got it bad!” laughed Tegan, and he grumbled at her as they left.
Excerpt From McAvoy Made by Dawn Kimberly Johnson: Duvall smiled and went back to watching his stranger.
“Ask me how our vacation was,” Mug said.
“How was your vacation?” Duvall never took his eyes from his target.
“Try to sound a bit more interested…. What are you staring at?”
“You know him?”
“There, in front of the windows overlooking the courtyard.” He pointed. “Little blond guy.”
Mug adjusted his glasses and squinted in that direction. “He wasn’t here when I left.”
Duvall turned to him. “You don’t know everyone in this complex.”
“No, you don’t know everyone in this complex. I make it my business, dear.” Mug shook his bottle of tea, popped the top, and took a swig. “He’s cute. I’ll give you that,” he said over the racket of removing the wax paper from his sandwich.
“Yes, yes he is.” Duvall smiled.
“Oh, I get it.”
“You’ve run through all the hot gay guys in the complex, even some of the ‘straight’ ones, so blondie over there is just the new meat.”
Duvall snorted but didn’t deny his friend’s assessment. It was accurate. He had been a busy bad boy, and a new game piece on the board was tantalizing.