For this Tuesday Teaser, I am excited to be sharing excerpts from my latest work, “White Oak, Black Mahogany”. Below you find the excerpts, as well as the book cover and buy links. Happy reading!
Excerpt from “Black Mahogany”:
Before whoever stood on the porch could ring the bell again, Mike yanked the door open. “Yeah? Do you have any idea what time it is?” His mouth dropped open at the half-naked spectacle waiting outside the door.
Aidan Kelly laughed as though he could see Mike’s expression. He resettled the quiver of arrows on his bare back. “Mind if I come in?” he asked sotto voce. “It’s damn cold out here.” He pinched one of his hard nipples as if for emphasis.
Mike stepped back. “Yeah… Damn! Did you walk here like that? Without your white cane?” He tweaked Aidan’s other chill-hardened nipple. “Not to mention without a coat?”
Aidan stooped and caught up a small bag that had been hidden by a convenient pile of snow. A winter coat peeked out of the top.
Mike’s father — or Mike in recent years — always kept the porch snow-free whenever possible. Mike snorted. “Come in, you sneaky pain in the ass.”
Once Aidan was inside with the door closed behind him, Mike took the backpack and set it out of the way. He spotted Aidan’s white cane tucked into a loop on the bag’s side, and his smile grew. “Do you want a blanket, Cupid? You’re going to freeze your diaper off.” He tugged at the sheet tied around Aidan’s waist and up between his legs. It would have been a passable costume, especially with the authentic bow and the crepe-paper-tipped arrows… if the pseudodiaper hadn’t featured a well-known superhero.
Excerpt from “White Oak”:
A deep voice shattered the serenity of the early afternoon. The rich, rolling baritone was like polished redwood, somehow a delight Mike could feel and see as well as hear.
The song wallowed at the beginning: “Oh man. Go home. Your husband, he is ill.”
Here the song leaped free of its muddy start and danced on marble in a falsetto so ridiculously high and thin that Mike stifled a laugh. “Is he ill? Well, give him a pill! Oh, my dear Franz, just one more dance! Then I’ll go home to my poor husband. Then I’ll go home to my old husband.”
The singer’s voice came from both ahead of him and above. Mike followed as the dialogue continued: the deep voice said the husband was worse; the falsetto replied that he wasn’t a nurse. So the first replied, “Your husband is dead!”
“Well,” returned the other, “then there’s no more to be said!”
Mike stood below a large oak. Between the ancient tree’s height and the eroding bank, he could just spot the singer a good eighteen feet above him. He stepped back, shaded his eyes, and listened to the final verse.
“Oh man, go home. Your husband’s will is to be read.
“Well, now that he’s dead, the Lord rest his head. No, my dear Franz, this is no time to dance. I must go home to my poor old man. I go to we-e-e-e-ep for my poor husband.”
Mike laughed outright, applauding. It wasn’t the raunchiest thing he’d ever heard sung or spoken, but definitely the crassest thing he’d heard at that volume. Whoever the singer was, he had balls.
“Thank you,” called the singer. The baritone was his natural speaking voice. “And who admires my talents?”
“Mike. And who are you?”
“Climb up here, if you can, and find out.”
If he could? He eyed the bank, spotted a root, and grabbed it. There wasn’t another close, but he caught hold of a stone, dug his heels in, and hoisted himself up until he was on what passed for solid ground again. Now the real work began. He could see the singer, a guy about his age, sitting about a quarter of the way up the tree, but there wasn’t a rope in evidence. How had he gotten up there?
Mike circled the tree. He wasn’t the tallest guy in town and had despaired of ever filling out like one of the linebackers. He’d been a running back in high school. A great player, quick and smart, but small compared to the rest of the team.
Someone had cut chinks into the wood on the far side of the tree. Grinning, he dug his fingers into the lowest one, which was almost out of his reach, and yanked himself up. With a grunt he settled on a branch roughly parallel to the singer’s.
“I see you made it,” the red-haired man said. He turned his head toward Mike and then away.
Holy fuck. It’s him. Aidan Kelly. How did the young man manage to look twenty-five at the board of education office and nineteen here? Besides that, the guy had to be only sixteen or seventeen if he was still in high school. Just how old was he? Where did he find the courage to sing about a couple of… Mike swallowed as Aidan shifted, muscles pushing at his dark T-shirt. His red hair, so neatly combed before, spilled down his neck and over his ears like frosting waiting to be lapped up.
What the hell am I thinking? Maybe he’s gay, singing a song like that, but I’m sure as hell not, and there’s no two ways about that. Frosting? Jeez!
Want more? Buy here:
Changeling Press: https://www.changelingpress.com/white-oak-black-mahogany-duet-heartwood-1-b-3007