My m/m sci fi vampire short "Cultural Hospitality" is now available from Torquere Books! This was one of the most straightforwardly fun stories I’ve written in quite a while — the submissions call wanted vampires and masquerade balls, both of which already felt like deeply self-indulgent ideas for me to play with. So I piled on some interspecies romance, a bit of literal intoxication, and the sweetness of “I didn’t think I could have this happy ending, but I was wrong,” and basked in the entire writing process.
Here, have an excerpt:
Karam swallows the temptation and pays attention to the dancing as best he can. The mummy's steps are just slightly stiff, like the wrappings are too tight to move in. They still dance together until the first break in the music, then Karam bows and the mummy blows him a kiss before disappearing into the crowd.
Before he can catch his breath, someone else is at his side, touching his elbow in invitation. Karam looks over, then looks up: his new partner is an Aquarian in formal eveningwear, a red-lined cloak, and a blank white mask. Dracula, hmm? Karam bares his teeth and hopes it looks like a smile. This is entirely too appropriate.
Karam takes Dracula's hand -- white gloves, too; nothing to give away the blue of Aquarian skin -- and leads him into a dance. The Aquarian is about a head taller than he is, so he's just the right height for Karam to tuck his head into the hollow of the man's shoulder. The faint tang of Aquarian flesh makes his mouth water as they move. It's that morning in the office with Eel all over again, that strange and tantalizing scent.
The smart thing would be to just leave, before he starts risking his self-control. Karam knows that. But this party was his project and he wants to see it through, and so help him he's starting to enjoy the dancing. He hasn't let himself be this close to people for the last two years, and the warmth of a strong male body against his feels even better than he remembered.
The publisher and I both make the most money per copy with direct sales from their website, so they put up new releases on their own site first. If you don't want to create an account there to buy, though, it should be available through the major ebook retailers within the next week.
And if the vampires-in-masquerade theme is as much catnip for you as it is for me, you can always pick up the entire anthology's worth of the theme. ;)