Saturday, March 20, 2021

 Available Now!

Title: Slingin' Ink

Series: By Degrees

Le Blurb:

Samuel Shaughnessy is convinced that a five-day getaway in South Beach with Machlan O’Bannon, his friend with benefits, would have zero effect on their agreement. They’re all about casual sex and, the way Sam sees it, they’ll just be able to spend more time than usual in bed.

But living in close quarters with a man he likes in more ways than he cares to admit has sparked a sense of intimacy he wasn’t expecting. Forced to confront needs and fears deeply buried, Sam is in for a rude awakening.

Author's Note:


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

For Readers of 'By Degrees'

Hey, all!

Just a quick reminder I'll be releasing an interlude. Below are the cover and the blurb. Make sure you sign up for my newsletter in the next few days so that you can get it delivered to you. 


Note: This interlude focuses on Sam and Mac and is set within the ‘Six Degrees of Lust’ timeline.

Samuel Shaughnessy is convinced that a five-day getaway in South Beach with Machlan O’Bannon, his friend with benefits, would have zero effect on their agreement. They are all about casual sex and the way he sees it, they’ll just be able to spend more time than usual in bed.

But living in close quarters with a man he likes in more ways than he cares to admit has sparked a sense of intimacy and a dog in the manger attitude he wasn’t expecting. Forced to confront needs and fears deeply buried, Sam is in for a rude awakening.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


If you are not part of my Facebook readers group then you probably haven't heard there's a new publisher of gay romantic fiction in town. It is small, very exclusive, and it only has a logo so far, and, okay, it is my own and will only be releasing my work, but that's great cause I'll have full control of my release schedule now that I'm coming back full force. 

Speaking of, make sure to sign up for my newsletter.  I'll have some goodies to share soon!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Teaser Tuesday

From Slingin' Ink


Lime juice, pineapple juice, maraschino cherry juice, white rum, dark rum, orgeat syrup, and Curaçao.

That was it.

A list of ingredients Sam had consumed either mixed up or by themselves hundreds of times in the past and knew for a fact his body could process. But there must have been something different in this Mai Tai blend because, after having only three of the refreshingly fruity cocktails in the past two and a half hours, he was definitely feeling strange.

At six-foot-three and 215 pounds, his level of intoxication should’ve been nonexistent. He should have been reacting like his normal broody, aloof, assholish self. Tonight, though, he was chatty, thoughtful, attentive, affectionate, delighted to be doing couple things, engulfed in a world that only included him and the hottest man in the entire universe, making out like a teenager behind a fern grotto, and fucking aflame.

Had he been in full possession of his faculties he wouldn’t have been caught dead in this place. Clearly, the alcohol had simultaneously ignited his bloodstream and mutated his brain. Otherwise he’d be reminding Mac not to read too much into their date as he rushed him to their hotel so that they could have sex.

And go back to familiar ground.

And keep Mac from evaluating Sam’s body language and behavior, not to mention decoding nuances, slips, and perceived hidden symbolism of every damn thing he’d said and done from the moment they left their room to come to the restaurant earlier that day, preferably by kneeling in front of the kitten’s huge cock and sucking him off.

But he didn’t want to leave yet.

When he looked up restaurants that could provide the type of Tiki culture experience he’d wanted to give Mac, he made sure to go for the most beautiful location. Now that he was here, he had to say reality had surpassed his expectations. Five stars all around—the food and drinks, the show with fire dancers, and the ambiance. Plus, the company was great. That Mac was a fantastic kisser didn’t hurt.

Fingers buried in silky blond hair, Sam wrapped his other arm around Mac’s waist, plastering himself closer to his guy as he licked, tasted, and sucked on his warm, juicy tongue. And, as Mac’s hum of pleasure reverberated in Sam’s chest, he admitted he was nowhere near ready for the night to end.

Shit, he thought as an influx of tenderness triggered by Mac’s playful nipping and nuzzling rushed through his veins. What’s the matter with me?

No time—or interest—to find out.

He was too busy worshiping at the altar of Mac’s mouth.

Interestingly enough, swapping spit with strangers had never been part of Sam’s foreplay repertoire; not until he met Mac, and to say he’d taken to it like a duck to water would be an understatement. But it wasn’t until he arrived in South Beach that he discovered there was something truly special about them locking lips just for the simple joy of it whenever they wanted. It happened time and again. Mac’s sheer essence tempted him and pulled him in no matter how hard Sam fought to resist. Yet it wasn’t the teasing, the constant reminder of what would happen next, or the memories of how incredibly good sex was between them that did it for Sam. It was the growing intimacy—the feeling of ever-tightening…connectedness between him and Mac.

That Sam wasn’t packing his bags and running for the airport at the thought of bonding with a guy that was supposed to be only a fuck buddy was additional proof those Mai Tais had messed him up but good. Some sort of alcohol poisoning, for sure, with symptoms including but not limited to hallucinations like rainbows in a starry sky, chirping birds, and walks on cloud nine. Then there was the dizziness, the butterflies in his stomach, and the paranoia.

There was no reason to be fearful of what he couldn’t identify. No one was conspiring against his singlehood. His way of life wasn’t under threat from anything or anyone. Then why was he on pins and needles, waiting for the other shoe to drop? It made no sense!

He had to be delirious. Hadto. No other way around it.

Why else would he be acting so out of character? Why else would he be incapable to stop looking at Mac through rose-colored glasses? Why would he have concluded that the smart-ass he wanted to kick in the balls for overstepping his boundaries was near perfect? Why would he be experiencing an almost overwhelming sense of happiness? Why would he be thinking that, in another life, he would’ve done everything in his power to claim and belong to this man?


He had to snap out of it at once.


For reasons related to Sam’s personal hang-ups—and preferences—Mac had never been, could never be, and would never be his boyfriend, and he couldn’t forget this wasn’t a real date! He was just showing Mac what it was like because he had never been on one before, and Sam wanted him to know what he could demand and expect when the time came. End of story. He had no business succumbing to a fantasy he had created for very practical purposes.

Whatever he thought was happening here was nothing but an illusion. He was playing a part. Taking one for the team in the name of a friendship that shouldn’t even exist. Doing Mac a solid because he was a good man who’d been treated like shit by a guy Sam wanted to punch in the face. Showing Mac that, even though he was manipulative as fuck and insisted on reading Sam’s thoughts, he deserved to be spoiled. Putting it out there that, while he chose not to wine and dine anyone on the regular, he wasn’t a total jerk. Setting the bar sky-high for whoever came next.

So, yeah. He needed to snap out of it regardless of how comfortable he currently felt, because nothing had changed. ‘No attachments’ was still the main, most important, unbreakable rule in their FWB agreement—an agreement Sam had drafted himself, for fuck’s sake. You’d think he would be perfectly adept at sticking to it, but no. Epic fail.

He would get there, though. Somehow. Faster if he avoided drinking Mai Tais, but not while his guard was down.

Truth be told, Sam couldn’t be bothered to worry about any of that in that moment because this was also his first date, both as a divorced man and as an adult, and dammit all to hell, he wanted to enjoy himself. He wanted to take advantage of the fact that he was already here, with a man that kept him breathless and fantasizing all day long, on a mini vacation that could’ve passed as a honeymoon, to boot.

He wasn’t leaving. Neither was Mac, and there was no changing their romantic room nor any of Sam’s plans. So why not give in? Why not live in this parallel universe for as long as possible, then blame actions he couldn’t own up to or control on the alcohol? Sounded like the perfect solution, right? In fact, why not call their time together in South Beach what it really was—a blip in time? So long as he remembered that, everything would be fine.

“Do you want to find a table?” he asked softly against Mac’s lips. “Have another drink?”

“Let’s,” Mac promptly agreed, pecking him on his nose and cheek, his hands roaming slowly over Sam’s back, pecs, and shoulders, stirring needs and emotions he was determined not to feel. “I’d love to hang out and talk for a bit.”

Monday, October 15, 2018

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate the contributions, histories, and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. This originated back in 1968. First it was only a week, then it was extended to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, a year before I graduated from high school. I was seventeen at the time. I was American, having been born and raised in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States. Yet the first time I heard about Hispanic Heritage Month was around 2010, a full nine years after moving to New York, and it got me thinking about my own heritage and my country’s past.

Puerto Rico’s diaspora in the mainland USA is huge. We represent ten percent of the Latino population and are the second largest Hispanic group after Mexican-Americans. Our guaranteed citizenship allows us to travel back and forth on a whim, which most of us do, making migration an everyday thing. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who didn’t have family members ‘allá afuera,’ meaning living here in the U.S., or serving in the Armed Forces. As a result, there are 3.5 million of us back home and 5 million of us here, and, let me tell you, when I arrived in NYC, I could’ve sworn all of us lived in this place.

The first thing that caught my attention was the flags. Sure, there were almost as many ‘restaurantes de comida criolla’ (Puerto Rican food restaurants) as there were Starbucks. I could also hear our very particular version of Spanish spoken wherever I went, and I heard salsa and reggaetton music blasting from cars often enough. But it was the constant display of Puerto Rican flags that got me emotional and made me wonder the reasons behind the passionate, over-the-top need my people have to let everyone know where we are from. Not for too long, though. I was busy getting settled, so I just assumed it was national pride and brushed it off.

Fast-forward to 2010 and the moment my daughters had to bring a traditional dish to school for the Hispanic Heritage Month potluck. They had to write essays on what our country of origin has contributed to American society as well.

The kiddos immediately mentioned what most people here are familiar with—famous Puerto Rican singers and entertainers like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and Marc Anthony, who have contributed to the arts. They knew about Nydia Velázquez and Luis Gutierrez, Puerto Ricans serving in Congress…about Sonia Sotomayor, born to Puerto Rican parents and the first and only Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic American heritage. They knew about Roberto Clemente, a Hall of Famer and one of the most celebrated and renowned baseball players in the world…about all the boxers hailing from Puerto Rico, and even Gigi Fernández, who won two Olympic gold medals representing the United States, and is the first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

So I told them about our very own Dr. Antonia Novello, the only Hispanic woman to serve as Surgeon General of the United States. About Rita Moreno of ‘West Side Story’ fame, one of the few performers to have won all four of the major entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. About astronaut Joseph Michael Acaba, one of the most distinguished members of the American space crew with a few missions under his belt, and Anthony Romero, the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization promoting freedom and justice for all American citizens, no matter where we live. And let me tell you, the more I taught my daughters about all these wonderful people, their accomplishments, the fields they have impacted, and all their contributions to American society, the prouder I felt about Puerto Rico’s ability to produce so much talent despite its size, and the more I thought about that flag.

And, me being me, I needed to read on it. I had to find out why my people are so emotionally attached to our flag, and why our anthem, ‘La Borinqueña,’ and songs like ‘Que Bonita Bandera’ and ‘Preciosa’ always bring tears to our eyes. I did, and now I’m going to share some of our history with you.

As you may or may not know, Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since the end of the Spanish American War in 1898, and we were made citizens in 1917. We are a hybrid society with a unique ethnic and cultural fabric that comes from our Taíno, Spaniard, African American, and European heritage and traditions that’s quite different from mainstream American culture, yet we are very much Americanized. Worth noting is the fact that this applies to both mainland and Puerto Ricans on the island. Recounting everything that has happened since we were colonized then ‘gifted’ to the U.S. would take months. Suffice it to say, the United States government considered us inferior—almost savages, and incapable of governing ourselves. So they decided to do it for us, and they did their best to turn us around and make us like ‘you.’

No Spanish. No Catholicism. No National anthem. No flag.

Public Law 53, the Gag Law, was passed in 1948, forbidding us from owning a flag, uttering a word in favor of independence, and singing ‘La Borinqueña’ on top of everything else. For a long time, owning a flag was a felony, and any Puerto Rican who dared do so would go to jail for ten years. Every day, the FBI and the Insular Police would raid people’s homes, searching for flags. In November of 1950, 3,000 Puerto Ricans were hauled off to jail in one week alone. Some of them weren’t even ten-years-old.

It took nine years to repeal Public Law 53. The very next year, the first Puerto Rican Day Parade was held in New York City. It was 1958. Puerto Ricans took to the streets en masse, marching through Manhattan, singing Bomba and Plena songs and, you guessed it, waving those flags with pride. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that we haven’t stopped.

A hundred years after becoming American citizens, Puerto Rico remains a colony of the United States, and, albeit fighting tooth and nail to preserve our culture and traditions, we are loyal to the mainland. As previously mentioned, we have contributed musicians, athletes, chefs, scientists, politicians…the list goes on and on, but that’s not all.

Puerto Rico is a crucial part of the United States economy. It produces biotech products and thirteen of the world’s top-selling brand name pharmaceutical drugs. Our territory also defends what’s known as America’s third border, aids hindering drug trafficking incoming from South America, houses several military facilities, and is home to parts of the nation’s ‘Over the Horizon’ radar system, which allows the Unites States to maintain control over a wide range of aerial and marine areas of the Western Hemisphere. And last but not least, we have ‘contributed’ our men.

Thousands of Puerto Rican soldiers have fought for the mainland’s ideals. The 65th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed Borinqueneers after the indigenous Taíno name for Puerto Rico, Borinquén, was the first Hispanic segregated group in U.S. history. The soldiers couldn’t vote for the president, but they fought during World War I, World War II, and in the Korean War, for which they received a Congressional Gold Medal. Needless to say, we honor the American flag along with ours, and bury our troops along with yours.

I can’t speak for other Hispanic people living in the United States but I can tell you that being Puerto Rican here isn’t easy these days. I work, I contribute to society, and I am proud of all the ways in which we have helped this nation being what it is, all while trying to understand why my people are treated the way we are.

My name is Taylor V. Donovan. I am Puerto Rican. I am American. And, just like every Boricua, born here or on the island, I’m neither from here nor from there in most people’s eyes. Ni de aquí, ni de allá, but both places hold my heart.