Author: James Brock
Publisher: LaVation Publishing
Release date: April 5, 2019
Cover artist: Joleen Naylor
Genre: m/m romance
Tropes: enemies to friends
Length: approx. 73,200 words
Warnings: Some explicit M/M sex, mention of a sexual assault
When fate sends Kodiak DePaul from his home in Alaska to a new world in a big city it is a move equal to going from Manhattan to Mars.
His wild success as a model is quickly followed by tragedy and heartbreak, sending the young Alaskan running back to his home in the north to hide and heal. Intrusion in his now notable life continues in the forty-ninth state, sending Kodiak deeper into the bush to his grandfather's homestead in one of the most remote parts of the state.
But soon even that place of solitude and refuge loses sanctuary status.
Mucklucked, an adventure with loss and love set against the beauty and danger of the Alaskan wilderness.
Sometimes the Prince kisses another Prince!
How I longed to read that tag line (which was written by me, btw) when reading fairy tales growing up!
When I never did, I began writing my own stories in which the Prince gets to kiss another Prince. And I am in good company! Patricia Nell Warren, Gordon Merrick, Lance Horner and Kyle Onstatt, Armistead Maupin, Chris Kenry, Peter Lefcourt, Stephen McCauley, Joe Keenan, John Reachy, Rick Copp, James Baldwin. All, thankfully, shared the same idea and created worlds in which Princes kiss other Princes (and Princesses, of course, get to kiss other Princesses).
Mucklucked is a novel set on a remote Alaskan homestead similar to the one I spent my childhood on. Moose, salmon, bear, beaver; float planes, dog sleds and supplies are all as vital to main character Kodiak DePaul as they were to the survival of my family. If you needed something, you built it or made do with what you had.
Innocent and handsome, Kodiak is spotted by a scout who takes him to the city, where he is enrolled as a contestant on a reality television program where models compete.
While he finds a degree of fame, more importantly, Kodiak also finds love for the first time.
When a vicious, organized attack leaves him both broken and brokenhearted, the young model escapes back to his remote family homestead land north of the Brooks Range, yet even in that hard-to-reach place he is hounded by a (hot!) for-profit, photo seeking, snake-in-the-grass and they are both trailed by a rouge giant bear.
When the situation becomes life and death, Kodiak has to grudgingly admit his attraction to the intruder in this enemies to friends love story set in the vast wilderness of the forty-ninth state.
A writing pantser, this story came easy to me as the seeds had been sewn early. I had the setting so just needed to involve a romance—and figure a way to get the hero back to Alaska and keep him there.
The great bear was a help in that department….
Mucklucked, an HEA story with a Prince-kissing-a-Prince ending.
“Look!” Kodiak, exclaimed, his voice suddenly trembling with excitement.
Rising Hunter looked out of the window, Kodiak brushing by him. The homesteader grabbed his outer coat, sliding his arms into it as he re crossed the room, throwing the cabin door open.
“Hey!” It took forever for me to get this place warm! Now you are trying to heat up the great outdoors!” Hunter bellowed
“Just look.” Kodiak said without looking back into the cabin.
“I don’t know what you are doing,” Hunter said, teeth clenched as he buttoned his shirt all the way up, grabbing his own coat and zipping it up while pulling his gloves on over his fingers, “but I’m freezing again.”
Stepping out of the cabin door he closed it and looked up, gasping in awe.
The sky was ablaze with color; emerald green, azure blue shot with ribbons of pale yellow moving in slow, lazy streaks like a symphony across the vast sky.
“This. This is why I’m here.” Kodiak whispered as the Aurora Borealis played lazily above them, vibrant colors stretching as far as their eyes could see, dotted from behind with glistening white stars. That far north in the crystal-clear skies the colors were deep and crisp as they moved in long, easy waves under the stars, the galaxy looking like a black velvet backdrop.
The two young men stood silently side by side, huffing plumes of the cold air out as they breathed, transfixed by the curving colors moving slowly around night sky.
“It’s like a Georgia O’Keefe painting,” Hunter whispered, his right arm raising he traced a finger to outline a ribbon of green rimmed with electric yellow. “I’ve seen a lot of night sky shows but never anything like this.”
“O’Keefe used almost these exact colors. She painted music just like Picasso painted light in the air. It’s ethereal.” Kodiak whispered in return, as if a raised voice might break the spell.
Shoulder to shoulder the pair stood quietly for some time watching the colors move languidly across the sky, the cold night air seeming to crackle around them. They likely would have remained transfixed had Hunter not suddenly shuddered violently.
Kodiak’s left arm rose, involuntarily he wrapped his fingers around Hunter’s thick bicep, pulling him in close against his body as the trespasser again shuddered in the cold.
Kodiak had made the move to pull Hunter in against him involuntarily. He was cold as well but he was not ready to go back into the cabin.
“Aquarius is there, Pegasus over there,” Kodiak said in a low voice as he pointed out the constellations visible at that time of year. “Cancer and Orion are right over there,” the homesteader used his index finger as a pointer to trace the stars with his finger.
Reaching up with his own hand Hunter pointed at the big dipper which was standing out clearly, with the North star looking big and bright as the moon.
Moving a hand over to Kodiak, Hunter reached over and traced a finger over the area of Kodiak’s jacket where the constellation was tattooed on his chest then turned his face up toward the handsome homesteader.
“I like where it is there better,” he whispered.
Kodiak turned just as Hunter was speaking to say something more about the amazing light show of the Northern Lights being displayed above them, their lips meeting accidentally, but the resulting kiss was far more than just an un planned moment.
The kiss was the result of passion held in on both of their parts since the first time they had looked into each other’s eyes on the riverbank with the great bear thankfully galloping away from them.
As their mouths met under the gently moving lights of soft yellow, green, blue and blush of pink in the sky the men turned, bodies pressing together, thickening erections pushing at their heavy winter gear as their gloved hands began to rove up and down over each other’s backs. The tentative meeting of lips became a passionate kiss. After the impromptu strip tease a short time earlier even Kodiak’s Fort Knox like defenses were down. The romance of making out under the multi colored natural lights moving lazily across the sky would have tempted the most rigid mother Superior to break her vow of chastity.
Kodiak did not want to be involved in the kiss, but it was as natural and easy as the involuntary sex had been earlier. Something he could not control and in the deepest part of his mind did not want to control.
Hunter’s lips were soft, he still tasted of the liquor, but Kodiak didn’t mind. He allowed his body to melt in against the phony game warden, his hands roving slowly up and down over the young man’s muscular back as they ground against each other with the brilliant, soft Northern lights lazily wavering back and forth above them.
The moment was the first in a long time that made Kodiak feel whole. He was in that brief time with his lips firmly pressed against Hunter’s, complete again. There was no before or after the incident. No missing Charles or Jimmy, just the delicious feel of being lost in the wonderful feeling of the moment.
The kiss ended slowly, naturally. Hunter was smiling from ear to ear, trying to get Kodiak to look him in the eye but the young homesteader only coughed and shuffled his feet, turning away and averting his eyes back to the sky before he finally spoke again.
“Show’s over, back inside,” Kodiak mumbled, suddenly feeling guilty over the un intended kiss even though he enjoyed every second of it. “Last thing we need is you getting sick.”
Deciding to accept a half-loaf accidental kiss rather than no kisses at all from the homesteader, Hunter silently followed Kodiak back into the cabin where the pair settled in front of the fireplace.
“If I promise to behave could I have another shot of that booze?” Hunter pled.
About the author:
James Brock spent the first part of his life on a remote Alaskan homestead in a cabin lined with books and a dreaded outhouse.
An Amazon #1 best selling author with Tailor Made, James has sold comedy one line material to Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller, had essays published with the late Alyson Publications and sold erotic gay stories (Ok, porn) to every gay men's magazine until they all folded in the 2000's. His other novels are available at JamesBrockBooks.com.
James lives in Seattle with very appreciated indoor plumbing.
James is giving away a $50 Amazon gift certificate with this post. Enter via Rafflecopter.