Monday Musings – Post Christmas Let Down?


Maybe a little.

The inimitable Grinch aside, those of us who enjoy the sparkle and magic of Christmas are generally a little sad when Christmas is over. There’s no denying it’s a busy time of year, filled with obligations as well as fun, but when it’s all over it’s hard not to worry that you could have done it all better. Or is that just my Type A personality speaking? Regardless, whether you end the Christmas season with regrets or satisfaction, taking the lights and decorations down is a whole lot less fun than putting them up. It also seems to take longer somehow, and the stuff I’m repacking never quite manages to occupy the same amount of space it did when I unpacked it a few weeks earlier!

So most of the decorations are once again tucked away in their dark and dusty corner of the garage and I’m feeling just a little sad right now. On the bright side, I’ve definitely reclaimed my house from a plethora of trees, wreaths, reindeer, poinsettias and Santas. Things are definitely tidier…less cluttered. But something warm and wonderful is now gone from those cluttered rooms…something that felt like promise…tasted just a little bit like magic…and I’ll look forward fondly, to its return in about ten months.

Until then, at least I don’t have to worry about getting a stocking full of coal from Santa for a while! Yee ha, here comes the naughty express!

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Monday Musings – ‘Twas the Weekend before Christmas


Twas the weekend before Christmas, and all through the place
The relatives were snoring, with drool on their face.
The stockings were flung o’er the furniture with care,
Because sloppy cousin Roger had thrown them all there.

The invaders were snuggled in couches and chairs,
While visions of beer margaritas danced ’round in their heads.
And weird Uncle Mike wore a stained Santa cap,
Having settled his brains for a long winter’s nap.

When down in the basement there arose such a clatter,
We all sprang from our beds to see what was the matter.
Away down the stairs we flew like a flash,
To see which drunk relative had fallen on his ass.

We flipped on the light switch and sucked in a gasp,
Our ears picking up a strange strangle and rasp,
‘Cause old Mother Haggard was sprawled near the door,
A beer-stained bent dixie cup rolled ‘cross the floor.

She was dressed all in fur, from her head to her foot,
Her extremities burnished with ashes and soot.
A bag full of bottles was flung o’er her back,
And she looked like a peddler, bent ‘over her sack.

Her eyes — how they wrinkled, their surface so bleery!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her lips were turned down ’cause she’d set herself low,
And the hairs on her chin were as white as the snow.

Our eyes all agoggle, we stared down at the sight,
As she rolled on the concrete, her makeup a fright,
Mom Haggard looked up and wiped beer off her chin,
Sweeping an arm ’round the room with a beer-soaked grin.

“Now Basher! now, Cancer! now, Prissy and Vixen!
On, Vomit! On, Stupid! on Domler and Glitzen!
To the top of the stairs! to the edge of the wall!
Get the hell away from me, get the hell away all!”

And away we all flew  as she stomped up the stairs,
A glistening cobweb draped over her hairs,
And I heard her exclaim, ‘ere she stomped out of sight,
“Kiss my ass Father Christmas, I’m bein’ naughty tonight!”

Monday Musings – ‘Tis the Season… Huh? Oh, right… Where am I?


Is anybody else having trouble focusing on work right now?  Gawd!!! I don’t even really like Facebook and I keep finding myself scrolling through the posts. LOL I have a deadline looming and fifteen people coming to my house next weekend. There are presents to be bought and wrapped…meals to be planned…and a house to be spiffed. Christmas is only 9 bleeping days away!

My heart is palpitating…

Where was I?

Oh yeah. I’m Monday Musing.

Blink.

Blink.

Huh?

Did I mention I have presents to make? My daughter’s birthday is this week. I have workmen coming to the house today to fix…I don’t know…things.

Whoever knew musing could be so hard.

Blink.

Okay, I give up. Consider yourself mused.

I’ll see you next week. Wherein we’ll be only two short days from Christmas.

I might need Valium.

Merry Christmas…or…yeah…I’ll say that next week.

Next week would be better, right?

Happy Reading? Yeah. that works.

Ta!

Character Interview Blog Hop – Rabb (Shifter) from Bright City Lights


Today I’m thrilled to be speaking with Rabb Miller, alpha of the City of Lights pack, a rare breed of city-dwelling shifters. I absolutely LOVE this series and I’m so excited to be talking to one of my favorite (hottest!) alphas. So find a fan and grab some ice water. Here we go!

Reporter:  Hello, Rabb. Thanks for stopping by to answer a few questions. I hope you don’t mind if they get a bit personal. (smiles coyly)

Rabb: (shrugs) As long as you don’t mind if I tell you it’s none of your business.

Reporter: Deal. What do you do for a living?

Rabb: I own a bar called Bright City Lights. It’s a shifter bar with a surprise room in the back that only shifters can fully appreciate.

Reporter:  Come on, tell me what’s in the room, Rabb.

Rabb: I can’t tell you that, because if you ever decided to get curious and sneak in there…well…let’s just say there’d be extra protein on the menu for my pack that night.

Reporter:  (blinks) You wouldn’t!

Rabb: I probably wouldn’t…  But I can’t promise that all the members of my pack would resist a gift horse in the mouth.

Reporter: Okay, well, anyway…on to safer topics. Boxers, briefs, or commando?

Rabb: (lifts eyebrow) You have to ask? I have a wolf living under my skin. You think wolves do boxers? (laughs) Only if there isn’t a poodle available.  That’s a little shifter humor.

Reporter: (glares at him) Yeah. Very little. I have a poodle.

Rabb: They’re very tasty.

Reporter: Oh my god!

Rabb: That was a joke. Lighten up.

Reporter: (giving him the stink eye) So, Rabb,  give it up, what is it about sexy Brant South that makes you crazy in a good way?

Rabb: He’s very intense and brooding. I find that sexy in a man. He also has a damn fine ass.

Reporter: (fans self) Ooh, I know exactly what you mean. But what about Brant makes you crazy in a bad way?

Rabb: He’s very intense and brooding.  And he’s all about denying himself stuff.

Reporter: What kind of stuff?

Rabb: Me mostly. (frowns) But there’s other stuff too.

Reporter: Come on, tell us.

Rabb: Nope. You’ll have to read the book.

Reporter: Dangit! (smiles) okay, now for some fun questions. In your shifted form, have you ever gotten flees?

Rabb: Har, de, har, har. Like I haven’t heard that one before.

Reporter: (chuckling) Are you more comfortable in fur or skin?

Rabb: Define, in.

Reporter: Hooboy! Okay, that’s all the time we have for today. Rabb, thanks again for stopping by. I hope next time you’ll bring that sexy, brooding lover of yours along with?

Rabb: (shrugs) I’ll see what I can do.

Rabb Miller, readers. Isn’t he something? Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss him and the sexy Brant in Bright City Lights. What’s that? You’ve never heard of the book? OMG! Okay, here’s a little taste. Enjoy!

BCL WEB smallSometimes 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.” 

4.5 Stars from Sensualreads.com! “Exciting and passionate, Bright City Lights will capture your imagination and have you dreaming of two very sexy alphas.”

Rainbow Book Reviews gives Bright City Lights 4 Stars!  “This was a very exciting story that I enjoyed immensely! The love story between Rabb and Brant was mysterious, sexy and very, very hot.”

~~*~~

Brant slammed the hard, rubber ball against the wall and flipped around to hit it with his other hand, sending it slamming back. Sweat dripped from his head and he swiped at it with the band around his wrist. The rubber ball hit the corner and skewed off course, sailing past him toward the back of the room.

He turned to catch it when it came sailing back.

It never hit the wall.

Rabb Miller stood just inside the door of the court, his big body seeming to fill the small, glass-enclosed room. Brant’s first thought was that the man looked characteristically delicious. He wore tight, well-worn jeans and a pecs-hugging, round-necked t-shirt. His chin-length wavy, dark brown hair was combed back, away from his face, showcasing his strong features.  Rabb’s hostile gaze was locked on Brant, his eyes glowing with golden lights. His wide, sensual lips pressed together, the big shifter’s jaw was tight with anger. Without a word, Rabb lifted his hand and opened his fingers, dropping the ball to the floor, where it dribbled a few feet and bumped up against Brant’s sneaker.

Unable to stop himself, Brant’s gaze slipped upward, to the row of windows along the top of the court.

“They won’t get here in time,” Rabb told him in a voice that was mostly growl. His hands clenched in fists at his sides, the werewolf vibrated with rage.

“What’s wrong?”

Rabb’s eyes glowed with unmistakable magic. “You dare to ask me that?”

The pain in Rabb’s gaze was palpable and fear for the other man made Brant lose his temper. “I have to ask you that because I don’t know, dammit!”

Rabb’s gaze lost some of its unearthly power and his stance softened slightly. “You expect me to believe that you had nothing to do with Mica?”

Brant stared at Rabb, squaring his shoulders to show he wasn’t intimidated, though he’d be an idiot not to be. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Rabb. What’s happened to Mica?”

Rabb’s mouth twisted as if he’d bitten into a lemon. “He’s dead. Along with a young pup who’d been brutalized before she was killed. Is this your way of running us out of Bright City, mayor? Because if you want a war we’ll be happy to indulge you. What we won’t do is back down or leave. You’ll have to kill every last one of us if you want us gone.”

Brant felt sick. His pulse picked up and his mouth watered from the nausea roiling in his gut. “Oh my god.” His legs weakened and he let his knees bend, crouching on the floor and supporting himself with one hand. He’d gone too long without eating and the strenuous workout hadn’t helped. But the picture Rabb’s words played across his mind was the last straw on his already weakened system.

Rabb didn’t say anything, but he moved closer. As usual, Brant was amazed at how silently the big man could move. He didn’t look up but jerked a little when Rabb’s hand landed on his shoulder, heavy and so deliciously warm. “Are you okay?”

The words were spoken in the husky murmur Brant remembered all too well. His eyes closed under the pain engendered by the memory. “Yeah. I’m fine. I just need to eat.”

Rabb’s hand lifted and he took a step back, making Brant see red. “I see your compassion is still limited by your capacity for self protection.” He pushed himself off the floor, his anger helping him ride out the dizziness that followed.

Rabb’s impossibly handsome face turned hard again. “Someone’s killing my people, Brant. If it isn’t you then we have an even bigger problem. You have as much to lose as I do.”

Brant scraped a hand over his face, the dizziness turning to something far more troublesome as Rabb’s delightful scent infused the air he breathed. “I agree.” He frowned, realizing where they were headed and terrified. “You’ll keep me apprised?”

Rabb laughed but there was no humor in it. “Nice try cowardly lion. We’ll need to work together on this one. I don’t trust you and you don’t trust me. So we’ll have to keep each other close.”

Brant closed his eyes, despair washing through him. Finally he sighed, nodding. “You’re right. Okay, how do you want to do this?”

Rabb’s sexy mouth turned up in a tight smile. “I don’t think you’d pass for my new bartender, so I guess I’m gonna have to play on your field for a while.”

Brant blinked at him, unwilling to understand what he’d just been told. Finally he opened his mouth, not sure how he was going to say no, hell no without getting about three hundred pounds of werewolf down his throat.

The visual his traitorous mind played at the thought brought sudden heat to his face—and other places. “Oh hell no, Rabb.”

Rabb’s smile widened. “Mr. Mayor, meet your new assistant.”

“God help me,” Brant murmured weakly.

Rabb turned away. “I’ll start on Monday. Tomorrow we need to put our fallen pack members to rest…” His voice shuddered and trailed off, telling Brant more than words how much Mica’s loss meant to the big shifter.

“Can I do anything? Where will the funeral be?”

Rabb grasped the door handle. “No funeral. We’ll take them to the running grounds. I’ll see you on Monday, fang.” He opened the door and walked out, leaving behind an aura of pain so thick Brant suddenly found it hard to breathe.

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Now back to the Character Interview Blog Hop!

Monday Musings – Can you Still Write Your Name?


When was the last time you actually picked up a pen or pencil and wrote something? Did you find that your once-tidy handwriting looked a lot like a chicken with poop on its claws walked over the piece of paper? Mine does. After decades of punching everything out on keyboards, the dexterity needed to neatly sign or write something has nearly left me. Think about it, we don’t even write checks anymore like we used to. Everything is done online or with debit cards. The closest I come anymore to signing my name is using that fat, black stylus on a debit card machine. Those signatures are like the headless horseman, missing the first letter because the machine rarely picks it up. LOL (Let me introduce myself, I’m eclan Sands. #:0)

Do you know that educational professionals are currently considering not teaching cursive writing anymore? I think that would be a huge mistake because handwriting skills are part of our history and if we don’t teach handwriting we’ll also lose the ability to read it. Future students of history would be dependent on scholars (who are all too often led astray in their historical representations by their own personal biases) for information regarding what went on a decade, two decades, a century ago in the world. If you aren’t aware of past mistakes in history, you’re destined to repeat them.

Besides, who’s to say that current technology will always exist? Have you seen the show Revolution? I love that show! You’re probably chuckling now, thinking I’m being silly but trust me, our enemies abroad are looking at EMP weaponry as I write these words. What’s an EMP, you ask?  An electromagnetic pulse is a surge of energy that destroys anything electronic. Lightning is a form of EMP and you know how much destruction a single lightning strike causes. Think about spreading that destruction over a much wider area. In a nutshell that’s what an EMP weapon would do. It would knock out electricity in a wide area. All of it. Cars wouldn’t start, computers wouldn’t work. Cell phones would be dead. Nothing you think you need to survive would work. There’d be nothing. And we’re not talking about waiting an hour for the power company to fix a downed cable, folks. We’re talking major outages that could potentially last weeks or months.

Not good. And if we don’t know how to write how will we communicate in an electricity free world? You certainly won’t be reading books on your Kindle anymore! How will news be spread? Strictly by word of mouth? That’s pretty limiting.

Anyway, that’s a lot deeper than I intended to get on this. I just wanted to say that, until I started addressing my Christmas cards a while ago, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that my fingers were forgetting how to write. And I realized how bad that would be. I used to have really nice handwriting. Now I write like a doctor and all my stuff looks like prescriptions. So, take one Christmas card and call me in the morning. Or just wait for the digital version. LOL

Happy writing, everybody!  Use it or lose it.

Tuesday Taste – Number 5 Fallic Circle: Apartment 3C: Darrell and Bob


Fallic Circle 1_cvrEnjoy this fun taste of one of my 2014 releases! Apartment 3C: Darrell and Bob – June 2014

Love means never having to say I killed you by mistake!

Residents of a gay apartment complex struggle to find love and harmony in a chaotic environment. Book 1 focuses on Darrell and Bob, residents of Apartment 3C.

~~*~~

“Honey, I’m home.”

Darrell quickly spit toothpaste into the sink and dried his mouth. “Coming.” He grinned as he headed toward the bedroom door. Bob was gonna be so pleased. He pumped his already-hard dick a few times as he walked toward the door and stopped, leaning against the frame.

Bob settled his keys into the dish on the table by the door and scrubbed a hand over his face. Poor baby, Darrel thought. He worked so hard. It was time he had some fun. “Hi, lover.”

Bob’s head came around and a tired smile spread on his face until he spotted Darrell, buck naked, his steely erection wrapped in Bob’s favorite treat. “I made snacks.”

“Is that prosciutto wrapped around your dick?”

Darrel couldn’t help noticing that Bob was less than enthusiastic. “It is. I thought you might be hungry.” Was it Darrel’s imagination or did Bob look like he wanted to cry? Poor dear was just so touched.

“Yummy. Let me just get a shower first, okay?”

Darrell felt his smile droop. “Oh. Sure. You want a beer?”

“No. Just a shower.” Bob moved past him, avoiding his gaze as he hurried toward the bathroom. Darrell frowned, watching the other man start to pull off his clothes. Something was wrong. Darrell had been feeling it for weeks. They’d been so happy together, their lives busy and satisfying and their sex life amazing. And then, one day Bob had come home early from work, depressed and angry, and he’d been cool toward Darrell ever since.

Darrell was really starting to get worried. What if Bob was seeing someone else? Terror wrapped cold fingers around his heart and spurred him to movement. Before he knew what he was doing, Darrell was grabbing Bob around the slim waist and pulling him into a kiss. Bob’s lips were hot, his taste salty, and his breath… Darrell broke the kiss. “You’ve been drinking.”

Bob’s pretty blue eyes shifted away and he reached to turn the shower on. “I stopped for a drink after work. Just one.”

Darrell tried not to panic. He tried not to jump to conclusions. But there was more than beer on Bob’s tongue. Much more. He snapped his lips closed and nodded, watching Bob climb into the shower and stand under the hot water, head down and eyes closed. His hands were clenched at his sides.

Desperate for something to talk about that wasn’t an accusation of infidelity, Darrell leaned against the vanity and pulled a piece of ham off his dick, nibbling it nervously. He’d always eaten too much when he was nervous or upset. He’d been a veritable blimp after his last break up. “So I met our new neighbor today.”

Bob dropped the bar of soap he’d been rubbing over his adorable brown nipples. He bent to pick it up before responding. “Oh?”

“Yeah. If you can believe it he was naked in the hallway, with this enormous chubby.”

Bob’s mouth came open and he scrubbed water off his face. “Seriously?”

Darrell laughed, lifting a hand. “Scout’s honor.”

Bob snorted. “You were never a boy scout, Dare.”

“Okay, juvenile delinquent’s honor then.”

“What the hell was he doing naked in the hallway?”

“I don’t have any idea. But Klein was there and he was fixing the guy’s shower.” Darrell let his eyebrows dance.

Bob snorted again. “Yeah. Right.” He turned the water off and stepped out of the shower. Darrell handed him a towel. “Thanks. So… I guess Klein is on the roster of the house team?”

“It certainly looks that way. Who would have guessed? Third string though. He must be offering the guy a break in the rent or something.”

Bob shook his head. “It’s the only explanation. Otherwise, what would a young, good-looking guy want with Klein.”

Darrell’s smile fell. “Oh. Did I tell you Stud was good-looking?”

Bob stopped in the middle of drying off and looked at Darrell, something unhappy skittering through his gaze. “You must have, babe. Otherwise how would I know?”

“Right. Yeah.” Darrell laughed. “Of course.”

Bob stepped closer, running a finger over one of Darrell’s nipples. When Darrell shivered with pleasure, the finger started south, taking a tantalizing trail over Darrell’s slightly rounded belly, toward the dancing hard-on between them. The finger stopped and Bob looked up, humor flickering through his gaze. “Where’s my snack?”

Darrell glanced down. All the ham was gone. “Oh, whoops. I guess I nibbled while you showered.”

Bob grabbed his hand, pulling him toward the bed. “You can make it up to me later. Right now, I don’t think I need the snack. I’ve got something even better to taste.”

And just like that, Darrell’s world righted itself. At least for the moment.

Stay tuned for more!