The Mercenary’s Tale – Drake is a mercenary for hire. He values little other than his sword and his skill. Fighting his attraction to the young men he trains, he refuses to take any on.
When Ansel walks into his life, Drake breaks all his rules.
But life for mercenaries is hard, brutal and deadly.
Can Drake take a chance on finding the love he’s denied himself for so long?
Can he have a second chance?
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Jackson’s Pride – Jackson has been called to attend his father, Lord Baymore. The man has never claimed Jackson as his son and Jackson believes this might be his father’s intent. He’s left the Duke of Marden’s employ to discover his destiny—to remain a nameless bastard or to claim his father’s name.
When Jackson stumbles across a man, stripped, beaten, and left in a field to die a slow death, Jackson rescues the man. After all, he’s guilty of the same thing—wanting a man.
Will Holcombe gambled and lost. His meeting with a young, willing man went horribly wrong, and now he must pay for it with his life.
Until a man walks up to him in a frozen field and cuts him down.
Jackson is like no one Will has ever met before—a man strong enough to stand with him, perhaps forever.
But Jackson’s on a mission. Will his pride blind him to what his life could be if he chose Will and not his father?
Or will his pride lead him to a fate worse than death?
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Baymore’s Heir – Duke Jackson of Baymore finally has all he’s ever wanted—his name, a title, and the man he loves by his side. Lord Will Holcombe couldn’t be happier. He’s Jackson’s lover, best friend, and manages all of Jackson’s affairs. For two years, their life together, although deadly if anyone knew of their forbidden love, has been perfect.
Until Jackson the day when decides the one thing he needs is an heir.
And the one person to find him a wife is Will.
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His Duke’s Gift – In this Yuletide story, Duke Logan is preparing the keep for the holiday. Twelve nights of feasting and gift giving to those in his favor. Gifts must be made or bought. Once mercenary Drake struggles to think of just the right gift for his love and liege, and for their sons.
Something isn’t right. A stranger has arrived at the keep and Logan refuses to let Drake into his bedroom at night. Angry and frustrated, Drake fears Logan has lost his love for the mercenary.
When the Twelfth night arrives, and Drake has received no gift, he begins to think he might need to take his son and leave what has become his home.
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Silent Lodge – Drake and Logan are worried about their friend and captain of the guard, Peter. After the death in childbirth of Peter’s wife, he’s a changed man. Unfocused, lonely, and devastated, Peter needs a new challenge, instead of going through the motions of living.
Logan sends Peter on a mission – to discover Duke Weathersby’s plans for invasion. Logan’s father has a small hunting lodge near the border of their lands, and it has a caretaker. Peter sets off alone, to make camp at the lodge and do some scouting.
But what he finds at the lodge just may be his future. Arvel is a fascinating young man. Red haired, deaf and mute from a fever as a child, he’s been living in the lodge and caring for it for years. It’s a safe haven for him. But he’s not alone. He has a protector, Gareth.
When Gareth, Arvel and Peter are together, sparks fly. Arvel belongs to Gareth, but he wants Peter too. Can Peter join their small family? And if he does, will he always be the third to their couple?
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Excerpt from Silent Lodge: Arvel sighed, stretched, and opened his eyes. He looked around, saw Peter, and smiled. It lit his face and went to his eyes, a sincere joy that took his breath away.
Peter had returned to him.
Again, the little bird’s wings danced in his belly and sent a warm rush of happiness through Arvel.
He hushed them and told himself to not be a fool.
Of course Peter came back. He had to come back, but not for Arvel. He’d returned to sleep in the bed, to keep his horse, to eat his meals.
Time to get to work and stop his wild thoughts.
Arvel brought his hand to his mouth, head tilted.
“Aye, I’m hungry.”
Nodding, he hurried to the sideboard and began pulling vegetables and dried meat from the larder. He swept down a knife from the shelf and began chopping. Once done, he came back to the hearth, pushed the logs around with the poker, arranging the fire to cook over, then swung out the iron cook pot and took it to the table.
Peter sat mesmerized by the dance, the lithe form swaying and gliding, moving to some unseen rhythm.
All the pieces were added to the pot, and then brought back to the fire, hung on the hook, and pushed over the flames.
Arvel went back to the table, brought out flour, and started making bread.
Peter relaxed, watching the younger man prepare the evening meal. Lost himself in the push and pull of Arvel’s hands on the dough, working it into the right consistency, twisting it and then kneading again. Peter lost track of the time; the lodge had no windows, only the front door and a side door that led to the stables.
Arvel finished kneading the bread, formed it into a loaf, and placed it on a wide, flat wooden paddle with a handle. Then he carried it to the side of the hearth. An oven had been built just to the side. He opened the door with the metal poker, slid the bread in, and jerked the paddle out. After shutting the door, he returned to the table to finish cleaning.
In no time, the bread’s smell and the aroma of the stew blended to fill the lodge and make Peter’s mouth water.
Arvel could cook, no doubt about that. And bake. And keep the lodge tidy, the stables clean and ready. Was there nothing the young caretaker couldn’t do?
Peter laughed. Arvel turned and caught him. His brow furrowed and head tilted.
“Pardon.” Peter stood and clapped Arvel on the shoulder. “You’re a right treat, Arvel.”
Arvel smiled, staring at Peter’s mouth.
Peter sobered and leaned in closer. “Is that how you do it? Do you see the words on my lips?” He reached out and touched Arvel’s mouth.
Arvel placed his hand over Peter’s, trapping it against Arvel’s lips, and nodded.
“So in a way, you can hear me.” Peter’s lips moved against Arvel’s fingers as he spoke. Arvel chuckled soundlessly and dropped his hand.
Peter let his hand linger for just a moment on those soft, pink lips, then removed it.
They stared at each other.
Little birds danced every time he looked into Peter’s eyes, just as with his Heart.
Arvel waited. It was best to wait; less painful also.
Peter leaned forward as Arvel’s lips parted. The birds took to the sky, rising up from his belly, through his throat.
Arvel swayed toward Peter, his lips parting, ready for the kiss.
Peter pulled back.
“My wife died.”
Arvel frowned and motioned at his mouth, making a circle that landed on his lips.
Slower, he said, “My wife died.”
Dead? Ah, there’s the source of his pain. So much pain in his bark-colored eyes. They matched his bark-colored hair. Peter reminded Arvel of a tree, strong limbs that would hold him safe and secure.
Arvel wanted to help Peter by taking away the pain. Wanted to make him feel happy and see him smile again. He liked when Peter smiled.
No doubt about it, Peter needed Arvel.
Arvel’s mouth formed a large circle, and his brows shot up. Then he frowned and stepped forward, encircling Peter’s waist. He leaned into Peter and squeezed, resting his head on Peter’s shoulder.
Peter’s breath caught, and he wrapped his arms around Arvel, holding the smaller man tight to him.
“I miss her so much,” Peter whispered. “So, so much.” His voice trembled, and he shook with the effort to keep the pain inside.
Arvel leaned back, looked up at him with tear-filled eyes as if he felt the same pain Peter felt, then nodded and buried his face against Peter again. He moved his arm up to Peter’s neck and clung to him.
Peter broke, coughing up great sobs, tremors shaking his body, as he held tight to the caretaker.
Arvel kneaded Peter’s shoulders, his neck, easing him, bringing him down from the tension-filled shudders, until Peter inhaled, exhaled, and steadied. He stepped back, releasing Peter, giving a shy smile, and wiping away his own tears.
Peter cupped Arvel’s face, ran his thumb over that plump bottom lip, then let him go.
“Shall we eat?” Peter gave the same signal he’d seen Arvel make before, fingers to his mouth.
Arvel grinned and nodded, then rushed to the table.
Peter pulled out the bench and sat, drying his face on his sleeve. He poured a goblet of water, drank it down, and poured another. Arvel placed the simmering pot of stew on the table and went back for the bread.
The hot loaf danced in his hands as he juggled it to the table, then speared it with the knife. Peter sliced it for them and took one piece as Arvel dished out the meal.
Lynn, tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
I never find pictures of what I think they look like. I know some authors find pics and say, “Ohh, this is X!” I like to keep my physical descriptions a little vague and concentrate on their personalities.
So when the cover artist finds a picture of a guy, I’m like, “Hey, that looks like him!” because I don’t have his image set in my head, other than like hair color or eye color.
Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
No. My motto is never sit down in front of a computer to write unless you know exactly what you’re going to write. I believe in thinking about a story, character, even a what if situation, and creating something from that first, then writing it down. So when I sit down to write, I write.
What I have experienced is disenchantment, sort of an ennui about writing. I believe when I get this way, it’s best to stay away, to do other things that refill the well of creativity. Sometimes it’s just catching up on my reading, or listening to music, or watching NetFlix. I take my mind off writing.
Inevitably, an idea hits me and I’m off again, thinking about a new book! And once I’ve thought through the story, the character, the what if, I’m off and writing.
What book you’ve written would you like to see made into a movie?
I guess to say all of them is sort of wrong, right? Actually, I’d love to see this series made into a BBC series – historical, costume, swashbuckling drama of these incredible gay men set in a deadly time, fighting for their love and lovers.
Do you work on an outline or plot or just let the story takes you where it wants to go?
I use a method that allows me to loosely plot, yet still not feel tied down to a plot. Here’s a spoiler – my stories end in a happily ever after. So yeah, the two main characters will be together in the end. It’s a romance. We all know how it’s supposed to end. That’s not the point, is it?
The fun, the excitement, is in the telling of the tale – how do they do it? How do they survive the hardship of life and love? How do they start off enemies, or best friends, or total strangers, and get together?
I know the end, but since I know the character inside and out, his/her goals, motivations, and conflicts, the plot builds itself. I discover the one thing the character wants most in the world, and I take it from them. Then he/she has to fight to get it back.
Rapid fire questions:
1 – Favorite meal – a Parkway roast beef po’boy, mayo, plenty gravy, on French bread, a Barq’s rootbeer, and an orchid cream vanilla snow ball from Plum Street. (only to be had in New Orleans)
2 – Favorite color – I love chocolate brown.
3 – Favorite ice cream flavor – Blue Bell’s Pralines ‘n Cream, or their Southern Blackberry Cobbler, or their Strawberry ‘n Cream
About the Author: Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and best-selling author of over 30 gay romances. She lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.
Where to find the author: Website || Facebook || Twitter: @lynnlorenz
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