Farewell from the Bookshelf!
Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.
All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.
Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!
In The Three Lands – a fantasy series on friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace – three stories tell the tale of a character trying to find his identity in a world that is already sure what that identity is.
RE-CREATION – a free novelette
"He could not leave this room without his father's permission. And he could not imagine going to his father and saying, 'Please let me go gather moss so that my slave can have a proper New Year for once.'"
What can you give a slave who, by law, can own nothing? That is the question faced by Peter, the fourteen-year-old heir to the throne of an empire. Despite his father's desire that the imperial heir maintain a formal distance from servants, Peter finds himself drawn in friendship to the eleven-year-old boy who serves as his slave.
But a shocking revelation on the eve of the New Year forces Peter to confront his own motives for keeping the slave close by. And that in turn will help him understand the deeper meaning of the gift-giving festival.
BLOOD VOW – a novel
"I had come to tell him, in the cheerful manner boys have, that our world was about to be destroyed."
He has taken a blood vow to the Jackal God to bring freedom to his land by killing Koretia's greatest enemy. But what will he do when the enemy becomes his friend?
Thrust into exile and pain, young Andrew has no choice but to accept the friendship of the very person he had vowed to kill. When he returns with his friend to his homeland fifteen years later, though, he finds himself in a land of conflicting loyalties . . . where a vengeful god awaits him.
LAW OF VENGEANCE – a novel honored in the Rainbow Awards 2012
"For many years, I have wished to make a memoir of my life to pass on to future generations of Emorians who desire to learn what it means to have complete dedication to the Chara and his law. This is not to be the memoir I intended, but I find the time passing slowly here in the Chara's dungeon . . ."
For over twenty years, Lord Carle has told the heir to the Emorian throne that vengeance is only the other side of mercy, and that disobedience and treachery should never be forgiven. Finally it seems that his message has been received. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that Carle should have chosen this moment to break the law.
As war threatens and the foundations of his life crumble, his only hope for rescue lies with a man who has every reason to hate Carle.
"So do you still dream about girls?"
Again that look out of the corner of the eye. "Occasionally." Then: "Quite a lot, actually."
Peter sighed as he rested his chin upon the back of his hands, which were flat against the blanket. "I only started dreaming about them this year. Do you . . ." He licked his lips in a nervous twitch before asking, "Do you dream about mating with them?"
"Sometimes." Andrew's voice was still cautious, but he was looking straight at Peter now.
"I dream about that a lot," Peter confessed. "I wondered whether anyone else did."
Andrew seemed absorbed in the conversation now; he turned his body to face Peter. "I suppose lots of people dream about things they can't have."
"Yes." Peter sighed. He would have to wait until he was married, and that might be years from now. Just getting the council's permission to marry would take him months, he had been told. "Well, at least there's the dreams. That's something. Do you ever . . . I mean, do you discover, after you've dreamt . . ." He hesitated again, and then, girding up his courage as though he were ordering his first execution, he asked the question he had not dared ask his father.
Thankfully, Andrew's reply was matter-of-fact. "No, but it doesn't signify in my case. It's different for me."
Peter nodded. He forgot sometimes that Andrew was three years younger than himself. Even being mature for his age, Andrew would not have yet reached that stage, Peter supposed. "But for me . . ." he prompted.
"For you, it means you're ready to beget children." Andrew, as always, had the information Peter needed.
"Oh." He thought about this. He had always assumed that he would not be ready to sire children until he came of age, but he supposed that was why his father had decided to hold the discussion now, rather than wait until Peter was sixteen. "I think I can manage that."
His voice must have sounded doubtful, for Andrew laughed. Peter grinned up at him. "You know what I mean. I don't mean giving my wife a child, but . . . all the rest of it. The mating part. It doesn't sound as though it would be difficult. Actually . . ." He felt his cheeks begin to grow warm. "I'm actually looking forward to it. Does that make me precocious too?"
"It makes you ready to marry." Andrew smiled at him.
"Oh, no." Peter shook his head. "No, not at all. Not till I can figure out what the pattern is to when girls giggle. I don't suppose there's a law which covers that, is there?"
Andrew laughed again, and Peter, relieved that the hard part of the conversation was over, sat up. He had other questions, but he no longer feared that Andrew would be scandalized by having the Chara To Be consult him on such matters. After all, Andrew must have thought about such matters himself, since he was a boy too. Placing both their plates onto the sideboard, Peter said, "I suppose that you'll marry as soon as you can?"
Andrew went rigid.
It was like seeing a soft clay ornament suddenly turn into the diamond-hard Sword of Vengeance. Every bone in his body, every piece of flesh, turned adamantine. All the laughter had fled from his face.
Peter remembered, too late, that slaves were not permitted to marry. "I meant . . . I didn't mean marry, of course. But I know that some of the slave-men mate with slave-women, so I thought, since you're dreaming about girls . . ."
Andrew's eyes were as dark now as a night-shadowed pit. Peter was just trying to figure out whether he had cast a slur on Andrew's honor by suggesting that the boy would sleep with a girl outside marriage when Andrew leapt up from the bed, so vigorously that the bed shook against the sideboard. Peter's goblet, still filled with the sugar-laden wild-berry wine, tipped over and spilled onto the blanket.
Peter was trying to determine where his face-cloth had gone, so that he could hastily wipe up the liquid, when he became aware that Andrew was no longer standing by the bed. The slave was backing up slowly, his eyes fastened upon Peter in the same horrified expression a man might show if faced with the Sword of Vengeance.
"Andrew!" Peter jumped up from the bed, the ruined blanket forgotten. "What's wrong?"
Andrew did not reply. He had reached the wall next to the hearth now, and he flattened himself against it, as though trying to hide from danger.
"Andrew, what—?" Peter had reached the other side of the room. On the point of stretching out to touch Andrew, he let his hand fall. His slave was staring at him, as dumb and aghast as a farmyard animal faced with some terrible fate.
"What is it?" whispered Peter.
"I thought you knew."
¶ Available as individual e-books (HTML, PDF, Kindle, ePub) with an online sample, or combined in an omnibus volume for the series: The Three Lands.