Short stories

A Thousand Goodbyes by Zahra Owens - Dreamspinner Press June 2012 History is written by the biased victors, leaving only their view intact. Future civilizations are now trying to learn from the past, sending agents Niall and Dafydd to record lost perspectives from destroyed cultures. To achieve this, they keep Dafydd in the dark, and it takes a thousand lifetimes of love and loss before he sees the light.

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Twenty years before You Can’t Choose Your Family, Jay Molenski saved Fran Galloway’s life.

Franklyn Galloway is the youngest son of a conservative Evangelical minister, and it goes without saying that he is stuck in the closet. He dreams of being an architect, but his father puts a stop to that faster than Fran can say “Frank Lloyd Wright.” So when Fran meets popular, laid-back Jay Molenski, he does everything he can to deny the sparks flying all around them. It only works for so long.
After a brutal trip home, Fran finds himself staring down a fifth of vodka and a bottle of sleeping pills. How can Jay and his family make Fran see that he deserves not just love, but the freedom to be himself?

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Diplomat and linguist Everett leads a quiet life on an Earth colony outpost until he’s called on to translate for a strange creature discovered on a crashed ship. Despite the magnetic attraction he feels to it, Everett can’t communicate well enough to resolve the apparent murder of the ship’s pilot. At least not until Isali, the survivor, shows up in Everett’s dreams.

Isali is on the run from a supreme being hellbent on destroying him, and Everett soon finds himself caught up in a fight for their lives. The increased intimacy between them triggers memories for Everett, but can he put the pieces together before Isali’s nemesis destroys them both?

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Jesse harbored a crush on his TV series costar, Kaye, for more than eight years, but when the show was canceled and he realized those years of playing gay hadn’t convinced Kaye to leave the straight and narrow, Jesse turned his back on acting for good. Ten years later, Kaye is back in Jesse’s life, on Christmas Eve—and the eve of his third divorce. Jesse’s not sure his heart can take another beating, but Kaye has a few tricks up his sleeve—and a few truths from his own heart—that might just convince Jesse that the gifts of love and happiness are not just for Christmas.

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Jay and Fran have been a couple for twenty years. They have a great relationship with only one minor bone of contention: while Fran is very much a member of Jay’s extended family, to Fran’s family, Jay is just “his business partner.” It’s not that Fran doesn’t want to come out to his family; it’s more that they don’t want to hear it.

When Fran’s father, an evangelical minister, dies, Fran hopes the rest of his family will be more accepting. This hope is nipped in the bud by his very conservative older brother, so Jay’s mother steps in and invites Fran’s mother over for Christmas… but will joining Fran’s happy-go-lucky in-laws be too much for Fran’s mother, or will they help her see the truth of just how much Jay means to Fran?

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By day Cooper Miller is a bland paper pusher, a health and safety inspector who does everything by the book. Deciding he needs some excitement in his life, he sheds his off-the-rack suit and tan raincoat and signs up for an introductory session at a BDSM club.

His welcome mat turns out to be Nando Arenas, the man who owns the new tattoo shop Cooper inspected just that morning. At first glance, Nando seems like forbidden territory, but when Cooper discovers a taste for being tied up and dominated, the enterprising tattoo artist delivers all the excitement Cooper could want.

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When Lander’s Great Aunt Angie is shipped off to a convalescent home, she asks him to house-sit. Soon enough he finds out why: she wants him to keep James, a rather attractive and benevolent Victorian ghost, company. Their new friendship is threatened when a not-so-benevolent and very menacing burglar breaks into the house, threatening Lander-and the last thing he expects is for James to come to the rescue.

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During the Christmas holidays, the affluent Haden knocks on the door of Quinn’s homeless shelter with a proposition: he wants to help make Christmas a little brighter for the shelter’s residents. But Quinn is suspicious of Haden’s motives and money. The fact that their worlds are miles apart is painfully clear, and although Quinn finds he just might be able to love Haden, his own prejudices might block the way to a future together.

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For As Long As We Both Shall Live

When TJ seeks comfort in the hospital chapel, Helen is there with a supportive ear. TJ’s longtime lover Joe is very ill and facing a risky operation. So Helen makes a very special offer of help, hoping the power of love will be enough for a happy ending.

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Santa’s Littlest Helper

Little Tegan wants nothing more than for her Daddies to get back together for Christmas. For the two men who don’’t know how to mend fences, Santa’’s help is the little bit of Christmas magic they need.

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Fine Line

There’s a fine line between sex therapy and something more, especially when your heart gets involved. Dr. Jaydin Ellis finds out the hard way when his patient, Mack, sues him for sexual harassment. Jay knew he’d gone too far by falling in love, but when Mack asks to talk with him, he hopes they might just find some middle ground.

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The Postman Always Rings Thrice

Newly arrived in St. John’s Wood, Alex Nielsen is having trouble getting his creative juices flowing – until a gorgeous postman knocks at his front door. Then Oliver Bassett shows up on Alex’s doorstep with a parcel – on Christmas Day.

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