Inktober 20th – WOLVES!

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hEY, I happen to like naif-art kindergarten scrawls…

Extract: Wolf Runaway by Alex Ankarr, gay werewolf romance FREE and downloadable via link

They’re on the loose, out on the heaths and fields and moors, now. Still on Hotstaat land, but waving a goodbye to the pruned and tended and civilized parts, that are kept within bounds and given the same semblance of civilization as the wolves themselves. With all of the wildness and the rawness up close beneath the surface. Although he’s going to feel the bumps and the bruises tomorrow, it’s at least a bit easier to keep himself upright and along for the ride, as long as he doesn’t get cocky about it and stop clinging on for dear life. As long as he doesn’t do anything crazy, like it would be to fling his arms up in the air, to just leave go of Ree’s scruff – which is at least a good third of what has him anchored in place, and not flying off Ree’s back for a bumpy landing and a broken bone or two – and to whoop and holler with the exhilaration of this wild midnight ride.

That would be crazy. And impulsive. And childish. Not to mention fulfilling all of Ree’s most cherished and dearly-held fantasies, about their sacred boyhood and the perfect lawless joyful amity they would have lived in together as adolescents. Before, presumably, falling head over heels for each other in a tragic doomed Romeo and Juliet style romance. Which in Ree’s head also translates to a happy ever after, Penn rather thinks. The inside of his head has to be a mysterious maze in itself, more so than any conglomeration of hedges and gravel on Hotstaat land.

He isn’t enjoying this exercise in idiocy, this skylarking and play-acting at Cathy and Heathcliff, at Jane and Mr Rochester? He can’t be.

Penn presses down closer into Ree’s back, holds tighter and squeezes his eyes shut as the dark world bumps and bounds past him, socking the breath out of his lungs. The tip of his nose is buried in rough thick black pelt, as it shines green-black and blue-black, and it scratches like needles against his cheeks. The world heaves past like he’s a seasick sailor on a boat in a storm, and he won’t enjoy this, won’t revel and participate and collude. Why should he give Ree the satisfaction of being actually right, as well as the wolf’s privilege he has already, of being right even when he’s wrong?

© Alex Ankarr, all rights reserved.

 

The Entomologist and No-Spiders Man, chapter 7

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That only earned a quick smirk, that cute pretty/ugly, joli-laid face quirking into a sly sweetness.  “You didn’t spot me on ‘America’s Most Wanted’?” he asked, an innocent quirk to one ginger-brown eyebrow.  “The bank-robber episode, eighteen months ago?”

Oh, he was damn cute.  In fact, almost as cute as he thought he was.  Adam swept past him with his face held rigid.  Partly so as not to be too easy a mark, clearly gagging for it.  But, mostly, because the hallway was draughty, and he was fucking freezing.

He went straight for the sofa in the living-room.  Through the tiny reception room/holding cell.  (His apartment was affordable: decent area x atom-sized = half his erratic income.)  The sofa had a throw spread over it.  Or it did until a moment later, when it was wrapped around Adam’s shivering ass, instead.

“Well, you’re home and dry, and, um, warm,” Markov said, from behind him.  He was just on the threshold of the open door, hadn’t even taken a step inside.

 

 

image – Roman Vanur https://www.flickr.com/photos/80272075@N02/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 6

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 6

Markov pursed his lips and nodded slightly.  But it was more as if he felt Adam seemed to need the acknowledgement, and he politely offered it, rather than actually being interested. Then he bent to pick up his shopping bags, nodded again and said, “Well, must be getting along. I’ve got some frozen berries in there as well as lamb chops, the heat won’t be doing ’em any good.” And he pulled a key out of his pocket, and turned towards his own apartment door.

What the hell? “What?” Adam asked incredulously. Well, it was a bit of a yelp, actually. “You’re just going to leave me here…stranded?” Maybe he sounded a bit pathetic. But he was practically stranded on a desert island, with nothing but a palm tree and a couple of coconuts to keep him company, here.  Figuratively.

Markov’s shoulders sagged, a little. And he stood a moment, with his key in the lock, and his shopping bags hanging off his arm. “I could call the supervisor for you?” he offered, without even the courtesy of turning around.

“And leave me out here? I’ll freeze! Even if you’re new, you should have realised it takes him hours to respond to a call by now!” Adam whined. It wasn’t that warm anymore, and the chilly breeze was giving him goosebumps. He hardly knew where to put his hands to keep himself decent, and try to keep warm too.

“I’ll fetch you a blanket while you wait?” Markov offered hopefully, turning his head a bit at least. He had to know that Adam was angling for an invite into his apartment while he waited. It would at least be one interesting upside to this whole trauma.

Adam pouted, and Markov caved. Not as far as issuing an invite, but…

Well, a minute and thirty seconds later, Adam was wondering if what he ought to be worrying about was living opposite someone with such impressive lock-picking skills. “I thought you were an entomologist,” he asked, slightly accusing, as Markov pushed open Adam’s front door and gestured to him.  (Much as if to say, ‘Voilà, all yours!’) “Not a locksmith.” (‘Locksmith’ seemed more polite than ‘potential burglar’.) “Where did you get your ‘breaking and entering’ chops?”

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

YAY!  6th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 5

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 5

Something about it unfroze Adam’s vocal cords, at least. “I was in the shower,” he blurted out, explaining the inexplicable.

Milo nodded, the way you might nod to any naked lunatic. And Adam continued, annoyed – because who liked being humoured? “There was a spider in there,” he said. “I only noticed it once I was already in there, up in the corner out of the way of the showerhead.”

It didn’t get the big reaction he’d been aiming for. Markov just looked at him a moment longer, like there had to be more explanation coming that that. For nudity, and being still bedewed with shower-raindrops, and suchlike.

“It was a really big one,” Adam added. He was getting annoyed, now.

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

YAY!  5th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 4

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 4

 

Adam couldn’t speak, himself. He’d have choked on a word. It was impossible to come up with even a fumbled, ‘um, hi’. What was he going to do, affect nonchalance, act like he just walked around the building in the buff all the time?

After the awkwardest brief pause in the world, though, Markov saved him. He stood a little straighter – making the most of his diminutive height.  And he looked Adam right in the eye – because anywhere else would have been awkward.  “’Evening, there, neighbour,” was how he opened the conversation.  He folded his arms, and there might have been a twitch of amusement round the pretty curl of his lips. “Interesting weather we’ve been having, right? Warm,” he emphasized.

His gaze traveled and lingered over Adam’s shoulder, arm, hip – suggesting, wordlessly, that a spot of naturism was a perfectly reasonable response to the heat. Or that maybe Adam thought so, at least.

 

 

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  4th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 3

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 3

They’d nodded at each other in the mornings and evenings and in the utility room in the basement, the rare occasions Adam had spotted the smooth handsome newcomer, so far. He’d been biding his time. Waiting for the perfect moment.

And here it was, their meet-cute. It wasn’t remotely how Adam had imagined it, though. Not sans his slickest new duds, sans towel, sans a shred or scrap of clothing to cover him. Damp and flushed and sweaty, in fact, gasping for breath with the slam of the door still echoing through the hallway. And with his hand over his masculine parts, no sang-froid whatsoever.  (Like a kid whose swimming trunks had come off when he surged up out of the pool, and gave the hotel swimmers and sunbathers a laugh. He half-expected a catcall, a whistle, a round of mocking applause.)

 

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  3rd installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

Buy Even A God Of War Pays Overdue Fees by Alex Ankarr! Greek God Gay Romance…

Alexiares, literal Greek god and playboy, is also Alex, when he’s slumming in the mortal earthly realm. But when he falls in love with adorable human librarian Rob, how long can he keep the mortal mask in place – especially when his mother, the goddess Hebe, does not approve? Novelette, approximately 14000 words, adult language.

The Daily Bookcover – Thursday!

Wolf Slave

image – Internet Archive Book images https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/ licence https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

Here, a daily book-cover for one of my titles, just like I promised, in the holy names of Pam Grout and creativity!  Or, er, not very daily at all.  And this book cover could only be classed as creative by a very, very generous soul.  Seeing as it’s an image sourced on Flickr and a pretty font, and, er, that’s about it.

In my defence:-

a) I tried to draw a wolf yesterday and, oh my Lord.  It’s been a long time, but I used to at least be halfway competent at getting a likeness.  This is going to be a long, long row to hoe…

and b) I think I’m coming down with the flu, or at least a flu-type bug of some type.  So yah boo *snivels* I want ginger tea and liquorice and *sneezes* a cheerful cry of sweet sodding buggery to actual writing and drawing and all that palaver.

Not, mind you, that I am going to be hiding my half-hearted scribbles of the lupine sort permanently away from the universe.  No – I will post at least the least-worst one, though that’s not saying much.  Not today, though.  Dear reader, you might be able to take it, but me, I’m in a delicate state, and today I can’t.

So have a pretty picture by some long-dead geezer’s hand, with some curly writing on it, instead.

 

 

What I’ve been reading – In Catcher’s Box Or Batter’s Box? by Gayle Keo

In Catcher's Box or Batter's Box?In Catcher’s Box or Batter’s Box? by Gayle Keo

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I might have rated this three stars, except that it really needs an intensive edit to fix persistent grammar issues, especially a problem with constant tense switching throughout the main story and the additional free stories in the edition I read. It’s a pity because the characters in the main story are engaging and have credible chemistry. I was a bit baffled by their early interactions, and had difficulty deducing their motivations sometimes from the information the reader was given, but their attraction was strong and clear enough to override that. I would quibble a bit that the story ends a bit abruptly, and reads more like an intro to a longer book. (Which the characters could probably justify.)

Out of the additional free stories, the one with the fairy threesome was cute with some interesting ideas. But really the standout besides the primary story was ‘Jasmine – Life Is Hip, Love Is A Gift’. The charismatic and determined heroine engages the attention and sympathy of the reader, and the credibly sympathetic beta hero is unusual and interesting. (Although given his stated personality and history, his level of sexual experience is a bit of a mystery.)

Overall the tense issue really does detract from the reading experience, and a professional edit might be justified.

View all my reviews

it’s just a joke, bitch

wolf slave

Ehhh… you see… right…

It’s this Pam Grout ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded’ ongoing project I’m doing!  No, it’s not specifically a part of the tasks set on a weekly basis, but…  Well.  Daily creativity, right?  And I thought… the thing that I thought, was, ‘Well!  It’d totally be in the spirit of the challenge, to produce a new bookcover for one of my titles, on a daily or weekly basis, right?”

Now.  My talents are not in the visual realm, as is abundantly obvious.  That don’t hurt!  That’s in the spirit of the book, too.  Well, so what?  ‘I’ll just bang out a cover, never mind if it’s an eyesore, have fun, make something new, fantastic!’  

That’s what I thought.  So that’s what I did.  And I totally thought that a white circle on a black background, plus some minimalist lettering, would be hugely damn amusing.  A moon, right?  Satellites.  Wolves. Running with the pack, howling at the moon, all the clichés.  It would be sort of terrible.  But funny.  Humorously, good-naturedly in the spirit of the thing.  But…

Hey, I’m not saying it’s, er, Michelangelo or something.  (Or a renowned book-cover designer, names of whom I am clearly unfamiliar with.)  But…

Eh.  I sort of like it.