Greetings Loved Ones!
I am happy to announce the release of Dark Chocolate and Raspberries with Extasy Books!Its taken a while to find a new home for my work and I know many of you are more familiar with my paranormal stories than my m/m contemporary romance. But I got started by writing m/m contemporary romance before I ever sold my first paranormal novel. Dark Chocolate and Raspberries wasn't the first, but it is one of my absolute favorites. It tells a story of masks. How the persona we put on for the general public, if nobody cares to look deeper, rarely is the person we really are deep inside.
These young men have dealt with and are still dealing with adversity in their lives. While trying to discover who they are and create a future for themselves, they are dealing with a past full of hidden mysteries and misunderstandings. There are so many times in our lives that our point of view colors our understanding of what is going on around us, and so too in this story Dylan and Taj each have their own point of view of the events of a past they must discover together. Of course, they do this among a cast of college characters who are all just trying to find their place in the world and have fun while they're doing it.
[On a side note - the game Raspberries - is completely fictitious. Nobody I know would ever do anything like that. I never drank before I was legally 21 years old. I never kissed boys in closets. I never played spin the bottle. I never kissed girls in closets. I never did anything I wasn't suppose to. I was a virgin before I was married. (And if you believe all that I'm sure there's a bridge somewhere I can sell ya dirt cheap!)]
So now that I'm completely off topic... Dark Chocolate and Raspberries... LOL!
Coming of age has never been so sweet.
18-year-old Dylan’s talent for music almost equals his diva persona. Everyone knows Dylan enjoys pushing people around, but does he really? When Taj is charged with taking Dylan under his wing, he discovers the shy boy behind the diva mask.
When Dylan walks in on Taj kissing Ben, their budding feelings may not be able to withstand the blow. Stunned, Dylan runs from the room. Taj gives chase, trying to catch him to tell him the kiss he saw was the result of a game played in the dorm called Raspberries. Will their love blossom into kisses, drown in drunken chocolates, or erupt in raucous raspberries in Dark Chocolate and Raspberries?
The real Dylan, the shy, quiet, careful young man, was a surprise, and so unlike what Taj had expected. He’d spoken very little, seeming to prefer to listen and watch everything going on around him intently. Most performers Taj had known were outgoing and gregarious, striving for more attention and flourishing in the spotlight. Dylan’s diva pose screamed extrovert, but when pushed, the persona folded and the real Dylan appeared, so timid Taj wouldn’t have believed him to be the same person. He wondered which one would be coming to dinner, the diva or the speechless freshman.
College often changed people; they would grow and develop. Maybe away from those who expected him to behave like a spoiled brat, the façade would fade and Dylan’s real personality could mature and flourish. Taj found Dylan fascinating. His silent attentiveness made Taj wonder what went on beneath the surface, in the depths of those deep brown eyes, eyes the color of dark chocolate.
Taj felt a challenge in Dylan he found hard to define. The diva screamed catch me if you can, and something in Taj intensely hoped to see him cry, yet at the same time Taj wanted to protect the shy, attentive young man. He had no idea how to reconcile such conflicting feelings towards one person, but maybe if he got to know Dylan, he’d learn.
The door to his room hung open to the hall; as he approached, he could hear boisterous laughter and recognized the voices of his friends. They were scattered about the room, already engaged in their favorite pastime, Raspberries.
“Go…Go…Go!” they chanted.
Taj stood in the door and watched. Justin leaned over to Paul, lifted his shirt, and blew a raspberry against his bare stomach. A fresh bout of laughter broke loose and Taj joined them. Justin stood and gasped for air, Paul yanked his shirt back down over his bare stomach, squirming and shivering uncontrollably, shoving Justin away.
“God damn! That always gives me goose bumps.” Paul quivered all over. “Ehhh—” he shivered and rubbed his hands up and down, over his arms.
“I want to play!” Taj slapped Paul on the back in greeting.
“Okay, since you’re late, you spin.” Paul nodded towards the desk.
Taj dumped his bag on his bed and leaned over. There sat a game spinner, divided into nine sections decorated in three colors; red, brown, and purple. Grinning, Taj flicked the pointer, spinning it rapidly around to slow and finally stop on red.
A couple of the guys ooh’d, while Tom wolf- whistled. Taj abruptly grabbed Paul’s head and planted a kiss firmly on his lips while the rest of the guys hooted and hollered.
“Tom, you’re next since you’re making the most fuss.” Taj jeered and passed the spinner to Tom.