A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat
My first full-length novel. Do I dare to say this is an important book? It’s important to me. Simon has been my friend and companion for more than three years. Simon and I had many long conversations over the time, but he deemed many of them superfluous—at one point, the book had over 95k words. It became ”only” 63k. The time I spent writing and re-writing Simon surpasses the time I invested in all my other stories together. Simon was with me when I wrote Ondro and Alex, and he’s still with me these days, mostly raising his skeptical eyebrow when I’m trying to write Gabriel. I’m not sure anyone can love Simon as much as I do. But I’m not going to stop you from trying.
Release day: December 15, 2017
Beaten Track Publishing
Simon had always expected love to feel different than this. Whether it was his Catholic upbringing or the poetry he’d read—Simon had thought that true love would be uplifting, fulfilling, that it would give a meaning to his loitering, and add joy to his leisure. But not this kind of love. This love was a flesh-eating monster, sharp-clawed and evil-eyed, ravishing his mind with medieval cruelty.
MUDr. Simon Mráz, PhD, assistant professor at the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, sat at the center table in the lecture hall, drawing stick figures on his notepad. Instead of his usual white coat, he wore a dark gray jacket that itched uncomfortably around his neck. He squinted at the paper, fighting drowsiness.
Four minutes to half past seven.
It was still mostly dark outside. Who the hell came up with the idiotic notion doctors should learn to rise early? They were no fucking bakers. He felt last night’s long run in his thighs and calves. Even his shoulders ached. He’d overdone it again.
A stick figure scratching its ass. A stick figure showing a middle finger to the public.
It’s dangerous and fickle. It’s very private, but it’s everywhere. We’re surrounded by it while we’re desperately trying to conceal it. Because we still feel it’s somehow…dirty. Dirty Mind it’s not filled with sex, but it’s definitely about sex. My fluffy take on intimacy and pornography.
Coming September 1st, 2017.
Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career and travels alone—his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex—the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.
When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.
However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He’s a grown man of twenty-one, clever and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.
Lighthearted contemporary romance novella.
#1 It’s a love story, but…
… the facts matter. I won’t pretend that The Layover is anything more than a love story. Two people who like each other, fall in love and find happiness. But the happiness would be impossible without certain legal circumstances like the level of protection of LGBT+ folks in Great Britain, or free movement of persons within the Schengen area. If I’d moved the story ten years into the past, Jamie & Ondro would end up in tragedy. That’s why I wanted all the background information on LGBT+ rights in Slovakia to be correct. It’s grim. It matters. And it needs to change.
I got my first ever review this morning, and it was lovely. Sigh.
Anyway, The Layover is now available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press. I’m still waiting for Amazon & Kobo.
You can find Ondro on GoodReads for the time being. I even managed to set up an author profile there, and I’ve become a member of these wonderful organizations: Queeromanceink.com & Paranormal Romance Guild. So much to do! No time to do it!
FLASH FICTION: SILVER DUST.
THIS SHORT STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON HTTP://LEXCHASE.COM.
Jens slapped at the shower handle to stop the water. He strained to listen. Tap. Tap. Tap. Only water dripping down. Silence. And then a dull thud. From inside of the apartment. A squeak of a chair on linoleum. Jens popped the shower door open quietly, sticking his head out. He’d left the door to the bathroom ajar. The bedroom window was open, too. It had been another hot August day, and the apartment was stuffy.
Reaching for the towel, he clutched it to his chest and stilled. Another quiet squeak. His heart beating wildly, Jens scrubbed the towel down his torso perfunctorily and wrapped it around his waist. In his mind, he searched for a weapon. His gaze swept his surroundings. A hamper, four shampoo and shower gel bottles, a tube of hair product. Henry’s shaving kit. The rail holding the towels was screwed tightly to the wall. The electric toothbrush had a sharp steel shaft sticking up, maybe one inch long? He grimaced at that thought. A toilet brush? God, he was hopeless.
Flash Fiction: I need sixteen large pizzas. Eight with pepperoni, eight with extra cheese.
This short story was first published on http://lexchase.com.
The original prompt by Lex Chase.
I stripped off the hoodie I was wearing over my apron. It smelled like old cheese. This place was home, but tonight, I felt stretched thin. It was closing time on a Tuesday, the slowest night of the week. I’d sent Mia away half an hour ago. There were only three tables left to be wiped clean, I’d already taken care of the ovens, and I was craving fresh air, a lazy walk home, and the longest, steamiest of showers. My back hurt and my feet burned after running around in the heat of the kitchen all day. Not the best day. Not the best week. Hell, I was having a shitty summer.
Then the phone rang.
“Manny’s. How can I help you?” I asked into the receiver, trying to unknot the apron with my left hand. No dice. I switched hands, holding the phone to my left ear. The voice in the phone crackled.
“…and I need sixteen large pizzas. Eight with pepperoni, eight with extra cheese.”
Fucking jokers. The knot gave away, and I chucked the apron into the hamper behind the counter.
“Dude, it’s ten minutes to closing time. I’m not making sixteen pizzas. Unless you are feeding a busload of refugee kids, I can’t help you.”
Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful.
Jaded Ondro would never have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation.