Hump Day Humps – SIZZLED!


SizzledCoverFinalWarning! SIZZLING M/M Excerpt!

Heat pounded down onto the black sand, radiating up to put a sexy sheen over Falen’s golden skin. The vibrant ball of light in the sky painted golden highlights in the Marshal’s wavy, auburn hair and brought out a sexy spray of freckles on his skin. Cliff’s fingertips nearly sizzled from the heat his lover was putting off as he rubbed him down. Despite his relaxed posture, Falen’s muscles quivered under Cliff’s hands, taut with expectation. His big hands clutched the edges of his over-sized towel, his toes dug into the dense, heated sand.

Cliff skimmed his palm down Falen’s long, lean back, sliding it over the golden mounds of his lover’s perfect, naked buttocks. Falen sucked in a breath as Cliff’s fingers slipped into the delicious valley between them. The towel tore under his grip.

Cliff smiled, his hand sliding even deeper, to cup the warm sac between Falen’s legs.

The Marshal widened his legs, giving Cliff room to play. Cliff moved between those strong legs, his hands skimming out of the inviting crack to glide across muscular thighs.

“You’re killin’ me, Blood.”

Cliff’s chuckle was husky with prolonged need. “I’m killing myself.” He reached down to stroke his rock-hard dick, groaning softly at the delicious wave of pleasure that spun through him.

Falen stirred, lifting his head to grin over his shoulder. “I can help you with that.” He lifted to his knees and spread his legs farther, exposing the rock-hard heft of his big cock hanging between them. Cliff took a deep breath, grabbing the sunscreen from the sand and coating his fingertips with it. He slathered the enticing pucker Falen had opened to him with the sweet-smelling lotion and slipped a finger deep.

Available August 8th!

 

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Monday Musings – What Makes a Character Too Stupid to Live?


What makes a character too stupid to live? I’m sure everybody has a unique list of traits that make them root for the bad buy to succeed in taking out the hero/heroine. Since I write adventurous paranormal and romantic suspense/mystery, I tend to couch my TSTL descriptions in thriller/horror movie terms. Here are the traits that might make me pick up a chainsaw and join the killer in the hunt:

  1. A total disregard for the intelligence of walking into that dark, spooky house alone and unarmed…or out of the house into the shadow-drenched yard where a guy holding a chainsaw and wearing a hockey goalie’s mask awaits. Yeah, nice guys always lurk around holding chainsaws and wearing masks. Yeesh!
  2. The proclivity to do the same things over and over and yet be surprised by the result. Let’s see, I’ll just go down these basement stairs and see what’s making that thumping noise. Yikes! A horrifying killer…ack…he sliced off my arm! Retreat…Oh, I wonder what’s making that scraping noise in the attic? I’ll just climb the attic stairs and… Argh! A terrifying slasher…ugh…he sliced off my leg! Retreat… Is it really too much to ask for the hero to figure out it’s not a great idea to pursue the cause of the latest scary noise before he looks like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. ‘Tis but a scratch.
  3. The oh-so-obvious ploy for attention—such as wearing a sleeveless black dress with half her boobs hanging out to go ice skating. Mm hmm. Or four-inch, spiked heels in a chase scene. Really? Actually I blame producers for this. Please stop insulting my intelligence!
  4. Then there’s the whiny, emotionally weak character. All that angst and whining puts my teeth on edge. Give me Vampire Pam in True Blood any day. At least she does something about what hacks her off, rather than just sitting around her apartment, whining about how horrible her life is, and eating Ben and Jerry’s in her bathrobe. Ugh!
  5. The judgmental yet hypocritical character. I’m all for expecting the people we care about to be the best they can be, but let’s not expect perfection. I can’t stand the character who is continually judging her love interest for real or perceived flaws while amping up her own flaw tally with abandon. “I can’t believe you forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste…it’s over between us.” “But honey, you slept with the grocery delivery guy yesterday.” “Don’t deflect, we’re talking about you right now.”
  6. The clueless lover. Have you ever read a book with this character? Everybody in the story knows that the guy who lives down the street adores her. Everybody but her. Somehow she misses the constant, love-sick vibes he sends her way…or the way he’s always there almost before she needs him and will do anything for her—anything—including losing his job/health/mind to keep her safe. Don’t you just want to smack this clueless wonder upside the head? Gack!

I could probably go on and on and on…but you get the idea. Characters like these are enough to turn me off a book/movie and the author who created them for a long, long time. What characteristic(s) make a character TSTL for you?

Monday Musings – Blockbuster Bust


A couple of times a year you can expect Hollywood to release a slew of movies they expect to be blockbusters. Summer is one of those times. With some movies they hit the mark and with others…not so much.

One of the most anticipated movies of the year was The Lone Ranger. I have one word for this movie…ugh. I was REALLY looking forward to the  movie. Johnny Depp is always entertaining and the trailer for the film made it look hysterical. But, alas, the mish-mash that survived the cutting room floor was more than bad. It was painful to watch. The story line (if you can call it that) was dark, weird, and illogical. The characters were pretty much unlikeable. The obvious political message was irritating. It’s really too bad. The movie had so much potential. But the only bright spot in the film was the horse. I really liked the horse.

The rest of the mess you can keep. Sorry Johnny, bad business decision on this one. Your career’s just been scalped.

Hump Day Hunk – Bright City Lights


Book 1: City of Lights Series

Book 1: City of Lights Series

Sometimes it’s harder to be together than it is to be apart.

Rabb is an alpha shifter, a werewolf, who likes to defy both the odds and authority. He prefers the city lights over the open spaces most shifters enjoy.

Brant is a politician with a secret that’s becoming harder and harder to contain. As mayor of Bright City, he’s determined to keep the city free of shifters to protect his secret.

The two men share a fair amount of distrust, along with a smoldering history that threatens to drag them under again. But when shifters begin to die in Bright City, Rabb and Brant need to find a way to work together again. Especially when one of them inadvertently steps right into the murderer’s deadly path.

 ~~*~~

Redz World Reviews gave Bright City Lights 5 Shooting Stars!  “The wonderful story telling and heat between Brant and Rabb made this a book I just couldn’t put down. This is my first book I have read by Declan Sands, but I look forward to reading many more in the future. If they are anything like Bright City Lights, I know they will be stories to remember.” 

~~*~~

The bike’s single headlight swung over trees and flared against open land as Rabb turned onto the dirt road leading to the running grounds. The trip to the forest had taken two hours. Two hours of feeling Brant pressed against him. Two hours of smelling the other man’s incredible scent—the scent that still permeated his dreams every single night.

Two hours of a raging hard-on he couldn’t possibly ignore.

Brant’s hands resting lightly on his thighs didn’t help. Or the soft wash of his breath bathing the back of Rabb’s neck. At least Brant couldn’t hear the embarrassing thud of Rabb’s heart beneath his ribs. The husky roar of the bike saved Rabb some serious embarrassment on that score.

He pulled the bike alongside a line of cars, trucks, and bikes and stopped. The silence that met their ears when he killed the engine seemed almost louder than the throaty rumble of his Yamaha.

Cricket song throbbed through the velvet black night, driven past on a soft breeze that carried the scent of shifters. Lots of them. Rabb looked at Brant. “Whatever happens, stay close to me.”

Brant’s handsome face looked ghostly in the moonlight. “That isn’t exactly reassuring.”

Rabb shrugged, grinning wickedly. “Maybe I’m trying to keep you close for other reasons.”

Brant laughed. “Yeah, I wouldn’t put it past you.”

“Come on.”

They left the small spot of flattened grass that served as the parking area and moved into the trees. Though dense and claustrophobic, the forest wasn’t as uniform as it appeared from the road. They followed a narrow, path worn into dirt by shifters and their prey. Looking close, Rabb could see small signs of the packs’ passing. Small, broken limbs and mashed vegetation told a story only the most observant would recognize.

The night enveloped them. The woods seemed empty until Rabb tuned his senses to it, tapping into an entire ecosystem that was replete with warm and cold blooded inhabitants of all shapes and sizes.

The air between the trees was cool and damp and the earth beneath their shoes was rich with the scent of all the decades that had passed before.

Rabb focused on all of it, while keeping one ear on Brant, making sure he stayed close. He hadn’t been teasing the other man, or trying to score, he was worried about bringing him there. The pack wouldn’t appreciate his bringing an enemy to their most sacred place. In fact it was a pretty sure bet they’d be royally pissed. Rabb would be the only thing standing between Brant and a painful eviction.

Or worse.

Secrets lived long and prospered in the running grounds. Enemies were extinguished, soul and body, there. Mistakes were permanently obscured. And grudges were laid to rest, along with the losers.

Rabb would have his hands full keeping Brant from becoming a permanent part of the landscape.

They hadn’t gone far before Rabb smelled wood smoke. He stopped, throwing out a hand to halt Brant. “Stay behind me and keep your mouth shut. No matter what.” He turned and fixed the other man with a warning look. “Understand?”

Brant nodded but his expression held far too much arrogance for Rabb’s comfort. “I mean it, Brant. There are no laws here except pack law. You’re in our territory now. I’m the only insurance you have that you’ll walk out of here tonight.”

Brant crossed arms over chest, belligerent. “Which totally explains why you insisted I bring no guards.”

“I had no choice, fang. One look at your conglomeration of black suited thugs and this would have been a blood bath.”

Brant glared at him. Rabb could deal with that. It was the pinpoint of fear in the icy gaze that did him in. “Look, you’re just going to have to trust me. The pack is understandably jumpy right now. Someone is targeting us and when that happens we tend to contract and isolate. You’re not pack so you’ll be suspect. They aren’t going to care that we slept together once. A long time ago.”

“It was a hell of a lot more than once,” Brant offered.

“You know what I mean.”

They stared hard at each other for another minute and then Brant finally sighed. “Okay. I’m trusting you with my life, wolf. Let’s see if you can take better care of it than you took with my heart.”

Rabb felt the sting of that remark all the way to his gut. But it wasn’t the time or place to get into it. “I’ll do as well as you’ll let me. Just like last time.”

He turned away and started forward, not wanting to give Brant the chance to say anything else. Their past was their past and he really didn’t want to rehash it—now or ever. Some relationships just weren’t meant to be.

Theirs was apparently one of them.

Golden firelight danced through the trees as Rabb emerged into a small clearing. The fire raged at the center of the space, filling the sky with soft, gray smoke. Dozens of people stood around the flame, their faces blank and their muscles taut with anger.

On the ground next to the blaze was a slim form, wrapped in a blanket. Kneeling on the ground next to the woman was her mate, his head bowed. He was covered in blood, most likely some of it hers, and his big hands were clenched in tight fists at his sides.

As Rabb stepped out all heads turned in his direction. Almost immediately, faces softened, legs buckled, and several shifters hit the ground, prostrate with grief. A soft keening sound filled the night. One of the women sobbed, her head dropping back on the heartfelt sound.

Rabb was their alpha. Pack law said they showed no emotion until the time was right. Until all was in place. With Rabb’s arrival the pack could begin the grieving process. They wasted no time.

Brant stepped out behind him and the mood changed with the swiftness of a hatchet slamming into wood. Tension pulsed across the space, hitting Rabb with the fierceness of actual violence.

Slowly, in movements borne of exquisite pain, the mate of the slain woman stood and turned. His bloodied face was purple with rage, his hard eyes bright with it. His gaze found Brant and his jaw worked, the vein at the side of his throat throbbing with rage. “Good. You brought us a sacrifice. Let the blood feast begin.” He turned to the waiting shifters. “Tonight, let the woods fill with the sound of screams and the scent of death as we avenge our fallen packmate.”

Rabb’s muscles tightened, ready to fight if he had to. He’d known it was coming but even he was shocked by the swiftness with which it occurred. As the entire pack moved forward, all eyes fixed on Brant, the only sound Rabb heard was the startled gulp of the vampire standing at his back.

 

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Monday Musings – Why All the Cops?


Book 2: Hoale Construction Mysteries

Book 2: Hoale Construction Mysteries

Have you ever noticed that MM romance is thick with cops as heroes? I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because I gravitate toward mystery/suspense stories and it’s natural in that genre for one of the main characters to be a cop. But there are so many other roles a strong hero can play. And an amateur sleuth can be a ton of fun! Which is why, in my Hoale Construction Mysteries series, I made one hero a construction business owner and the other a movie actor.  It may seem a strange pairing but it works. While it’s always useful to have a cop on the fictional payroll, so to speak, the cop in my series is an accessory character, which comes in handy when my amateurs need somebody to clean up the mess they’ve made with their sleuthing. hehehe

The other reason I chose such different roles for my main characters is that I just like to be different. No following the crowd for me! In fact, one reviewer said this of me as my alter ego: “Author Sam Cheever doesn’t do boring. Sam Cheever doesn’t do ordinary.”   I smiled when I read this, because that reviewer gets me. I don’t like to do what everybody else is doing.  That is boring. I like reading and writing unique stories with out-of-the-ordinary characters.  In my opinion, characters who are cops have become the vampires and werewolves of paranormal fiction, which is not good. While still popular, it’s getting harder and harder to come up with a unique premise using vampires and werewolves.

So let’s hear it for cute, self-deprecating construction guys and sexually confused Hollywood actors! Trust me, their pairings are just as incendiary. And their exploits are twice the fun!

Happy reading, everybody!

Monday Musings – Small Bites, Large Appetite


I have a problem. I guess it’s a small problem in the scheme of things, but it feels kind of big to me.

I’m impatient.  I want things to happen now and of course real life rarely accommodates my urgent timetable.

It’s a constant source of frustration for me. And I’m not sure how to deal with it. I keep thinking that I’ll eventually grow patience like I’ve grown slightly thicker skin over the years. But it doesn’t seem to be happening. I don’t feel any more patient now than I did ten years ago. In fact I might be worse.

So I ask myself, how does one deal with the tight chest feeling and anger that comes from wanting something to happen quickly and realizing that it isn’t going to, no matter how hard you try to make it so? I try to distract myself. I try being proactive, looking for ways to beat the system. I try gritting my teeth and stomping my feet.  Alas, none of that works (so surprising). The universe has its own timetable and it could give a flying frog about mine. Telling myself I’m impatient because I have goals helps a little. It turns a negative into a partial positive. I mean, having goals is important and good. It gives every day meaning and offers many opportunities for success. Goals are good. But the journey to meeting them can’t be fraught with frustration or it takes away from the healthy aspect of setting the goals.

So how do I deal?

I’ve decided to set smaller goals. That’s all smoke and mirrors, you say? I don’t think so. Meeting a goal is a real accomplishment. Even if the goal is a small one. Meeting a small goal along the way to a big one gives you the energy to keep slogging and fighting toward the ultimate objective, turning frustration into positive energy.

No matter how you look at it, that’s all good.