Welcome to the official website of author Jayson James!

Finding Our Way Series Collection

Read the books that have made up this popular series!

Pieces of Us

Jesse is an average teenage boy making his way through living in 1988 with the help of his best friend, a girl named Dylan.

Read My Story…

As I share my experiences in "Tormented Discovery" with my best friend Ryan who continues the story in "Drifting."


TIM is being bullied. ERIC is frustrated with life. DELSIN is gay and ready to come out.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Cover Art Process

I've been asked many times to write a blog post about creating the cover art for my books.  Although I am sure I am not the only author who designs their own book covers, I know of no other that creates the images for their covers.  It has been encouraging being I still get more compliments, feedback and praise for my artwork.

The idea of doing this I have always thought was great, however by the time it has been suggested, I'd already completed the artwork.  With Pieces of Us, I intended to stop and take pictures along the way, however I ended up getting into the painting and the idea was lost.  With this cover I used wet watercolors and did the images in layers, thus forcing me to wait for each layer to dry and giving me a few opportunities to take a few pictures along the way.

Knowing they were going to be eventually put into puzzle pieces, I started with the smaller images a few at a time.

They were eventually made into puzzle pieces as was originally planned.

Not being happy with the smaller puzzle images I decided that I was going to go a different direction with the cover and came up with the following idea.  It was not well received by the feedback panel and to my disappointment I was back to the original idea.

I knew what I wanted to the cover image to look like, but I was not sure about the medium I wanted to use, so I messed around with water color pencil, oil pastels, crayon and pencil.  None of them captured the look I had envisioned in my head.

Water Color Pencil Concept

Oil Pastel Concept

Then my art therapist friend introduced me to wet water colors.  I was reluctant to use them at first, because I was not able to control them as I could other mediums I used and this frustrated me.  Within a few weeks, I went out and bought me my own set of wet water colors and set forth on the cover, learning to be patient or end up having to redo the cover.

Here is a progression of my painting.  I was more into creating that I often forgot to snap shots of the process.  This give you an idea of the layers.  The sky, followed by the water came first.

The finished product was finished.  As I was cleaning up the sun disappeared and out of no where it began to rain.


Once the cover image was drawn, it is scanned into the computer and manipulated until I have what I had envisioned.  Sometimes I get some crazy ideas as you can see.

Once all the images were created and manipulated, came the time to put them together.  Here are what the layers looked like before they were put all together.

After a few more tweaks (and tears) the cover is complete!

I hope that you enjoy my sharing of the process. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with their loved ones as I am.  Yesterday, I didn't time decorating the gingerbread house my mom bought me at the beginning of the holiday season. I'd committed to getting it decorated before Christmas, which I managed to accomplish in the nick of time. It's been nice to have time off.  So far I've been relaxing and lounging for the most part.
Although I have not done any writing over the last couple of months or much drawing either, I am working on striking a balance in my day to day life. This means getting back into doing some writing and drawing, even if it is only an hour a week or so. I also want to get back into reading. I've noticed over the last couple of months that I just keep piling up books. If I guess my big goal for 2015 is to get balance back in my life.
I'm happy to be busy and have so much going on. 2014 has really shaped up to be a great year for me I feel truly blessed.
My new book,  How It Was Supposed To Be is going through edits.  The cover has been finalized and everything is on track for a release some time in 2015.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Oregon Coast Vacation

Beverly Beach, Pacific Ocean
Since returning from my trip over a week ago, I have both wanted to do a post, sharing the pictures and I keep getting requests to do so.  Being that I finally have had a moment to do so, I thought I would sit down and do a post sharing (only a few of) the pictures I took as well as give a brief recap of the trip.
Beverly Beach, Oregon

This was our main destination and where we stayed most of our nights.  After only getting to spend one night here last year, I was glad to have several days here to explore and enjoy. As I promised Cooper and myself, we did go for at least one walk a day.

Oceanside Houses

Tillamook Cheese Factory & Oceanside Beach

Although Tillamook was crowded and nowhere near fun as it has been in the past, I was happy with the decision to drive out and check out Oceanside.  This place was such a beautiful sandy beach.  It was not crowded at all, even though the weather was warm, with lots of sunbathers, swimmer and surfers using the beach.  I was easily able to get several pictures of the beach and ocean without the obstacles of people.

Oceanside Beach

Miniature Golf - Florence

Miniature Golf Course
We were able to get in a round of miniature golf on perhaps my favorite course.  Last year the “green” was blue, which I thought looked much better.  I still favor this course.   There were several groups of six people playing and we spent more time waiting for the two large groups in front of us than playing.  After lunch in town, we were able to get in another round of golf.  I did horribly on both games, but was glad to get a chance to play the course.


Sand Dunes - Florence

The sand dunes are always so much fun!  It is amazing to see so much sand so near to the Pacific Ocean.  The view the whole way was so magnificent.  I took more pictures on the tour than I had any other day of the trip.  The ride was a blast and I am seriously thinking about taking the faster one next time I go.

Dunes with forest in the distance

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

Food, Delicious Food

Dunes & Pacific Ocean
Each and every place we ate at was a great experience.  Ocean Locals I had perhaps the best bacon cheeseburger on a Ciabatta bun along with crispy fries and a tartar sauce with horseradish in it.  When I am going through, I always like to stop at the original Izzy’s in Newport with the best food out of any of the restaurants and the most beautiful view.  We do not have any A&W standalone restaurants and the combo few with KFC are pure crap.  The food was okay, but having a diet A&W root beer in a chilled mug was refreshing.  The hit place we at was called Mo’s, going twice for dinner. Both times, I had clam chowder and the house salad with fish and chips the first evening and chicken strips the second evening. 


New Port

For the most part, we ate dinner in Newport.  Yet our time there seemed to go by fast.  We explored parts we never had been before.  We even got to spend time watching a bunch of sea lions on a dock, close up.


Devil’s Punch Bowl
Pacific Ocean

We timed our visit to coincide with the high tide, hoping to see the bowl fill up.  The water never ended up rising very high.  The view was beautiful and we had two great spots to watch.

Pacific Ocean standing above bowl
Devil's Punch Bowl
Pacific Ocean & Beach


At Beverly Beach Park there were a series of trails along the outside of the park.  Cooper  and I explored one during the day with the everyone else.   Cooper and I were at the lead.  One direction of the trailed ended up going through a swamp and ended up at a dead end, while the longer took us in a roundabout way down to the beach. 

Devil's Punch Bowl
Another hike was one I insisted on doing, as it was getting dark our last night.  Cooper kept on stopping and wanted to turn back.  It did not take me long to start thinking about Friday the 13th and getting spooked.  The third time Cooper was quite insistent we head back the direction we came, I decided that it was a good idea.  We high tailed it out of the woods.


Taidnapam Park, Washington

Riffe Lake at Taidnapam
Riffe Lake at Taidnapam
With our reservation being one day shorter than we had planned, we decided to see if we could find another place to spend one more night.  Fort Stevens Park in Warrington, Oregon was our first choice, however it was completely full, so after stopping for lunch we headed back to Washington state.  We were able to find a few openings at Tainapam, Park on a first-come, first-serve basis.  After several hours in the car I was torn on simply continuing the drive home or getting a place to stay for another night.  Fortunately, when we arrived the spot we wanted was still available.  I wasn’t appreciative of this until we got into the park.  I was glad we made this extra stop.  All of us liked it so much that we decided to stay two nights, extending our trip by one whole day.



Riffe Lake at Taidnapam
In short, this was my Oregon vacation down through Tillamook to Florence.  The weather was perfect, not to hot, not too cold. 
All of the pictures I took were with my Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone.

Riffe Lake at Taidnapam

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome Dylan Sterling from PIECES OF US

My name is Dylan Sterling.  I am one of the main characters in Jayson James’ upcoming book Pieces of Us.  With a name like Dylan, you might be inclined to think that I’m a boy, but let me assure you that I am a true 100% girl.  It is also imperative that I share with you, the reader that I am only writing this so Jesse will quit nagging me about doing a promo spot.

Let me share a little bit about myself.  I love books.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to read.  I always have a few books with me at all times.  Nothing is worse than getting through a book and not having something else to read for me.  Books give me a chance to let my mind wander off to another place. I am trying to rub my love of reading off on Jesse, so far, well he’s just not that into it unless I read them to him.  Which leads me to my other favorite past time, hanging out at the lake.  The dock in particular.  Sanders Lake is beautiful.  Whether sitting or lying on the dock, dangling my feet it, it is mine and Jesse’s spot to be.  Three to four months out of the year we spend a lot of time at or in the lake.

Set in the summer of 1988, pop culture is prevalent and life was different than it is today.  Pieces of Us is about two best friends, Jesse Stetson and myself and the summer when our lives both changed.  For me, after a series of dating I finally find a boyfriend, who is sweet, charming and an all-around nice guy.  Yes, and as Jesse wants me to include he has a hot body.  For Jesse, he is dealing with an internal turmoil that he is afraid to admit to himself and furthermore makes it impossible for him to share with anyone else. Lucky for him, he has me. I make sure to be there for him and try to help him as much as I can. We are like two peas in a pod. Being a teenager can suck a lot at times, but friends and boyfriends can make it a little easier.
A few interesting facts about Pieces of Us

·         All of the businesses named in the book were all quite popular and at their heyday during the time this book takes place, yet all of them are out of business or were bought out by another company and the names changed.  The exception to this are the places of business that are used in most of Jayson James’ other books.

·         The font that is used on the front cover of the book is named Cooper.  The name of the font wasn’t noticed until after it was determined to be used.

·         All the movies and songs that are mentioned in this book were actual ones the author was interested in at the time.  They were also cross-referenced to make sure the timing, dates and popularity were remembered correctly.

Be sure to keep a watch out for Pieces of Us, which will release on September 20, 2014, which also  is Jayson James’ birthday!

Pieces of Us is available for preorder now from both Amazon and Smashwords.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

What’s Next? Fabulous Five Blog Hop

I was invited to the Fabulous Five Bog Hop by the oh-so- tantalizing Gillian St. Kevern, who is an author of mystery, vampire and paranormal romance.  These are a few topics I would like to attempt with my own writing.
What am I working on?
I am getting ready to start back to work on a book that features the twins, Tyler and Tyson Hensley from the Finding Our Way series.  The book actually takes place before the books in my series.  Tyler and Tyson are middle school age and have not moved to Chandler, Washington yet.  However they are the double trouble duo with a different set of friends.  The story starts out in their hometown of Ashville, Oregon and follows them until they move to Chandler, Washington where they connect with some familiar characters from a few of my previous books.  The book itself I started a few years back and never finished.  The characters, Tyler and Tyson I liked so much that I included them in my first three books.  The few people who read the one chapter I wrote of this book have been asking me to finish it for quite some time.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
As with all my previous books, I write a story, not giving any thought to what genre it fits into.  My only concern ever, has been to write the book I have in my head.  This will definitely be a young adult book, however I am not going to pander to what to deemed social norms are as in regards to content.  Working with this age of kids, I am more apt to keep it real, connecting my readers to believable kids in believable situations.  Currently, I am trying to decide if I want to keep the content geared towards young adults or do my own thing.
Why do I write what I do?
Because these seem to be the stories that pop into my head and I am able to put into a book.  As I get my ideas out of my head and published, I am finding others ae popping into it.  It is always an adventure to see where my inspiration lies.
How does my writing process work?
These stories pop into my head and I get thinking and putting them together.  As I am thinking of them, I end up talking with a friend or two about them.  It is interesting, some people I know will simply listen, while others (for better or worse) will have suggestions for me on what I should include.  In both situations, I work out the details further in my mind until I have a book I want to write or it becomes an idea I jot down and file away.
I will sit down and start writing for a bit (an undetermined amount of time) and then when I reach a stopping point, I will reflect.  During this reflection time, I decide whether I am going to continue writing the story I’d begun or if I am going to save what I’ve written and wait.  If I’m going to wait I will type in whatever notes I have in my head or written down at the end of the document, close it and think about what big f—king waste of time that was.  I either will fume over it or immediately move onto something else.
If what I started writing is going to be something I am going to turn into a book, I will write out the characters on my board.  This is when I spend too much time fretting over each character’s name, debating if I like how they sound and if the name will match the personality, as well as making sure no one I cannot stand comes to mind having the same name.

Continuing with the board, I outline the chapters in my head.  This always seems to be the first four chapters, a gap proceeded by what will end up being chapters eight and nine, several more gaps, a chapter, several more gaps, a chapter, several more gaps, and then the final four to five chapters.  If I play it smart, I type these into my document, so I can easily move them around about every third time I sit down to write.  Otherwise, I put them onto Post-It Notes, so that I can move them around on my board or at least think about it as I write.
 Who’s Next on the Blog Hop?
Jenna Galicki - The ever popular author of adult contemporary romances and someone I am proud to call a friend.
Jennivie Wirries - A talented writer, reader and reviewer.
Lily Lamb - A fan, a friend and fairly new author.
J. Scott Coatsworth - Sci-fi and paranormal author who has welcomed me to take part with his group of authors although I have yet to publish anything in the genre. 
Alina Popescu - A wonderful person, great author and someone I can always count on when I'm in need.




Friday, August 8, 2014

My Guilty Pleasure Movies

Anyone who has ever been around me or read my books knows I love movies (and music).  They are both perhaps as equally represented in my writing as they are in my daily life.  A friend of mine has been asking me for a few months now to do a post about some of my favorite guilty pleasure movies.  After them inquiring about them again, I found myself thinking of what movies I would put on my list.  I’ve decided that I am not going to go look at the movies I own, but instead putting together a list from what I could think of in my head.

The ‘Burbs
This was the first movie that came to mind when I thought about creating this list.  Although this is one of my most favorite movies, it is a movie I’ve seen the beginning of much more often than I’ve seen the end, being when I cannot fall asleep I will play the movie and end up eventually crashing out to the comfort of the plot unfolding.

Told from three different points of view, the events after a drug deal are played out.  I ordered this movie by mistake and arrived home late one evening unable to unwind.  I liked the stars that were in it and decided that I would check it out.  Whenever I am trying to get into working on a project and cannot free my mind to get focused, this movie always seems to put my head into a better place.  The Adam and Zack scenes are my favorite, with the others a very close second.

Foul Play
In this 1978 movie, a shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.  From the beginning with Goldie Hawn driving down the coast back into San Francisco to the old ladies playing scrabble this movie hooks me every time.  If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in her apartment and know exactly how I would decorate it.  The story is great and the movie does a great job of capturing the time.  It also has a few songs that stick in my head for days later!

Jurassic Park
The premise of the movie makes the idea of dinosaurs roaming the earth a reality.  A theme park suffers a major power breakdown during a preview tour, which allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.  This is also one of my all-time favorite books and although the movie only includes about a third of the book, it is a wonderful movie. 

The top of my list for a movie to stay home on a cold day and watch list.  Another movie where I imagine myself being in the position of the various characters and think about what I would do.  A pregnant police chief is investigating a series of homicides across the frozen tundra. Against a sprawling Minnesota landscape, a car sales man hires two criminals to kidnap his wife. But when the scheme goes sour, and wood chippers get involved, the haphazard kidnapping plot turns deadly serious.

Gran Torino
A racist Korean War veteran living in a crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood is forced to confront his own lingering prejudice when a troubled Hmong teen from his neighborhood attempts to steal his prized Gran Torino.  I love how the message of overcoming diversity is presented in this movie.  Walt is a flawed, but well likeable character.

The Covenant
These four young guys who belong to a supernatural legacy are forced to battle a fifth power that was long thought to have died out. Another great force they must contend with is the jealousy and suspicion that threatens to tear them apart.  Witches have never been something to interest me.  Put together some hot looking guys who are witches with a great storyline and I’m hooked.

Fight Club
Although the book was great, I think the movie is way better!   I don’t even know how to describe this movie.  Something for those of you have watched the movie may have noticed there is a Starbucks cup visible in almost every scene of the movie.  This was not something I noticed on my own, but ever since it was pointed out to me, I have been looking for the Starbucks cups anytime I’m tired and watching the movie.

White Frog
High-school freshman, Nick is a neglected teen with mild Asperger's syndrome whose life is challenged and ultimately changed forever when tragedy hits his family.  A friend suggested this movie to me by back when it came out, but when I checked it out I had no interest in watching it.  Then they brought up again.  One evening I was working on some stuff and needed something to occupy my mind so I went to look for something on Netflix and there it was.  I turned the movie on and thought I would watch it and have it out of the way for checking out.  Immediately I was sucked into the storyline and adored the characters.  When the movie ended I had gotten so into it that I completely stopped what I was working on.  Then I put the movie on again, intending to have it play in the background, instead I watched the whole movie. 

The Goonies
No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, which is too numerous to count, when it comes on I am immediately sucked into it.  About a group of teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon.  They are attempting to save their homes from demolition, and in doing so, discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary 17th-century pirate.  This is perhaps the one movie I will stop and watch each and every time I come across it and always makes me feel like a kid again.  Every time I visit Astoria I feel like I am coming to a familiar place, being most of the settings in the movie still can be visited.

Easy A
This one definitely tops my list.  so much so that I have a copy in my DVD player in my car (the only movie I have in it) as well as a copy at home.  Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is re-imagined as a contemporary high school comedy in this tale of a scheming student who plots to give her popularity a boost by painting herself the easiest lay in school.

Now that I’ve finished writing my list I know I will see several movies that I will have wished I would have included.  I am sure of this because I’ve spent about as much time as I had writing this post debating on whether to take a quick peak at my movies.  With that in mind, keep an eye out for a follow up post.

What are some of your guilty pleasure movies?  Are some of mine, some of yours?  Please leave a comment below!

Monday, August 4, 2014

All Covered

My intentions this summer was to have guest blogger’s in order to give my author friends a chance to lure my reader’s into reading their books and to give myself a break while having new content on my blog.  The guest blogger’s did a wonderful job of getting their stuff to me and I was glad to have the posts all set up for them.  I've dropped the ball when it comes to posting myself.  This time of year is typically quite crazy for me and this year has been especially so.  I feel as if I am going constantly.  Being there is so much I have to catch up on, I suppose I’d better get to it.

Finding Our Way, Tormented Discover, Drifting and the Finding Our Way Series Collection all finally have their new covers.  This has been a change I’ve wanted to make for too long.  As promised to my friends and readers, I kept my artwork on the cover.  I’m delighted with how they turned out.  If you have not seen them, please check them out!  They look sharp.  They can be found at most major retailers, as well as my website.  Almost daily when I’m in the car I’ve been thinking about the characters from the books, where the storyline left off and where I want the story to go.  As is the process for most of my works in progress, the next book in the series has been on my mind. 

Speaking of cover art, I’ve been quite creative of getting the ideas for my covers out of my head and created.  I’m happy to have all of my covers done!  Currently, I have two new books going through editing.  Pieces of Us is on track for the end of summer release as planned.  Now I need to get organized and start setting up a blog tour.  Promoting my books has never been one of my strong points.  Slowly, but surely I’ve been seeking out help to get the ball rolling on this.  Especially with the release of Pieces of Us being mere weeks away!

The other new book is titled How It Was Supposed To Be will most likely be out around early October.  When I started on this, I’d planned on writing down some ideas that were in my head.  Then I found myself writing the ideas out.  More ideas came and I wrote them out.  As the book progressed along and got to the halfway point, I thought about stopping work on it, but decided it was important for me to finish writing it.

The final cover was for my free story Awakenings that now has a cover of its own now.  The idea for it has been in my head since I finished the book, but I just recently got around to putting it together.  As I was lounging around the other night, I had intended on relaxing and not doing much of anything.  With having this completed.  Awakenings is now available through most major book retailers.   I’m hoping people will report the story being free elsewhere so that Amazon will make it free as well.  I’ve been trying to get a available for free ever since I published my first book.  That being said, I am not holding my breath.

After much prompting and pushing from my friends, I have finally put together a collection of drawings into a book to sale called This Author’s Drawings.  The cover is one of my early watercolors I’ve modified and brightened up the colors for the cover.  I do not think I’ve been as nervous about a book as I have been with this one. This is funny because I’ve never had anyone be mean about my drawings.  Even critics who’ve hated my writing have liked my drawings.  We’ll see how it goes.  As it stands right now, I’ve quietly published it.

My little 40-pound four-legged personal trainer has been assuring I’m getting out and getting exercise.  Most days we are out walking.  When it’s really hot, I try and get her to swim.  Typically she will swim and then insist on us going for a walk. That’s fine by me.  I need a  push to get out and exercise.  It gives us time together.

That’s about all I have the time right now to share. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Guest Blogger = TM Smith

Hello everyone, Tams here (TM Smith) let me start by saying thank you to all the bloggers that are hosting me today for this special event! 

Welcome to the Appearances pre-release blog hop, sneak peak and giveaway! Today I'm going to share the first two chapters of Appearances with you, a little behind the scenes while writing this book as well as going over my process for choosing some of the names in the series. And, there might be a little giveaway, maybe. The best part is, this is an all day event on Facebook as well, so be sure to join the event and check back throughout the day as I've lined up some pretty amazing authors and bloggers to help me host who will be having giveaways of their own. {click here to join the event!}

Schedule (all times are CST central standard time zone)
Author TM Smith: 8-10AM CST
Charlie Cochet: 10-11AM CST
Alina Popescu: 11AM-1PM CST
Angel Martinez: 1-2PM CST
Author TM Smith: 2-3PM CST
Lucien/Raven: 3-4PM CST
J. Scott Coatsworth: 4-5PM CST
Crystal Marie: 5-6PM CST
Author TM Smith: 6-7PM CST
Carly Rose: 7-8PM CST

Lets start with the book that started it all, Opposites.
Opposites is an adult dystopian majorly M/M series set a few centuries in the future in a society where to be gay/lesbian is the norm. To be straight labels you an Opposite and makes you the outkast. 

Opposites, book 1 is available now through Amazon, ARe and Smashwords.
The Library, an Opposites novella, is available now through Amazon, ARe and Smashwords.

*WARNING* Opposites is an Adult Dystopian series that contains explicit sexual content and relationships between gay, lesbian and straight couples.

Something that I've been asked a lot over these last couple years, "How did you come up with the names for your characters?" I knew straight away that this was going to be an epic sort of story, even an author friend that read an early draft commented it was like a gay Game Of Thrones. So I knew that with all the names I'd have to remember already, I did not want to use last names as well. In that aspect, I took on a Dune quality where as everyone is known by their name and their house. 

Another question I've gotten is why so similar. I thought I was helping readers with that as well, but it may not have come across accurately. Take House Gaeland for instance. Fathers; Rian and Cirian. Mothers; Amaya and Amelia. Children; Aiya and Aiyan. There is a similarity in the names that made me think, these are all from the same house. I guess it didn't translate as well to some of my readers, sorry about that. 

I also tried to use names that were specific to that culture for certain characters. I researched popular and historic names of each culture and that is how I came up with Nadi, Kaden, Theresa, Taryn, Tanis and a few others. There were some names I knew I wanted to use before I even started outlining the story. I chose the name Aiya after hearing it on a sci-fi movie many years ago, it always stuck with me. Adding the 'n' to it for her twin brother was easy. Rian was a spelling I'd read in a book and I loved the uniqueness of it. One of my favorite movies is 'In A Child's Name'. The mom in that movie was Theresa, with an 'h', no one ever really spells Theresa with the 'h' anymore and I've always liked that more classic spelling. 

I wanted to pay respect to my family name, grandparents things like that somewhere as well. Gilley was my late Irish grandmother's maiden name, so it was a given that the house in Ireland or that part of the country would be called House Gilley. Dr. Anthony Smith... my grandfathers, Robert Antony and William Smith. I write under the name TM Smith not because I don't want people to know that Tammy Middleton is the author, but because it's the name my parents gave me. Tammy Michelle Smith is way to long to print out so I shortened it. 

{For a listing of names, Houses and their meaning, head over to TTC Books and more}

And now, meet the guest of honor today, Appearances...

Appearances, can be deceiving.

Raven and Tanis are trying very hard to merge their vastly different lifestyles, but Tanis's issues with his own past could prove to be more than their fragile relationship can handle. Is their love for each other strong enough to weather the oncoming storm?

Aiya and Sawyer have fought hard to be together in a world where Opposite relationships are generally forbidden. Yet, they are still forced to keep their relationship a secret while they are outside the walls of House Gaeland.

Everyone assumes that the only threat lies outside their walls, the group of rebels led by Cillian. But something is happening within House Gaeland, something that hasn’t happened since GWI. And with all the attention focused on that, their guard is down. An evil that was under their nose all along strikes, and someone will make the ultimate sacrifice to save another.

At the end of Opposites Cirian shared a secret with his children, the identity of the person known to them as Gorilla Man. Everyone was coming to terms with the relationship that was developing between Aiya and Sawyer, and Tanis proposed to Raven. 

Now it is time for Aiya and Aiyan to travel to their spouses homes and meet their people. But that is more the backdrop of this story, as this book concentrates more on the ever growing relationship between Raven and Tanis. The Priest from House Gaeland and his warrior from House Orion. Raven is wise but slightly naive. He never gave much thought to a family or a husband, not that it's forbidden, he just never thought he'd share his heart with anyone but God. But the inked upped, muscled upped man from Greece that Raven describes as all attitude, muscles and ink... well he rooted his way in there under the radar.

While the relationship between Raven and Tanis doesn't seem to be moving any faster than the twins, in actuality it is. Aiya and Aiyan have known about their matches for years, they know them even if only on paper. These two young men are learning about each other as they go. And once they get to Greece, Raven learns that the description of his fiance from before they met, "A man in every port", well there wasn't ever a truer statement. Tanis had always been promiscuous, and now it may come back to bite him in the ass, so to speak.

More secrets will be revealed and a new threat will emerge. But the root of everything that keeps these people and these relationships strong, their love and faith in one another, is the constant that will keep them all alive. 

I'm still hoping to release Appearances on August 31st, but right now that is a tentative date. I've had some personal issues these last several months, one of those being Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I've now had the surgery on both hands, but it has set me back quite a bit with my writing. So I wanted to let you all know that I am moving forward as fast as my body will allow, and also share the first two chapters with you. An appetizer, if you will. Do remember that this is still a work in progress and while it has gone through BETA and a round of editing, there is still some clean up to do before release. So ignore any mistakes and enjoy this exclusive look into Appearances. 

~ 1 ~
Aiyan walked through the garden, violin case in hand, heading toward the bench that sat in the center. Sitting, he removed his violin and stroked the strings. He hadn’t played in days and needed to feel the instrument in his hands as he poured his pain into the music. It was the only outlet he could think of at the moment that wouldn’t cause someone else bodily harm.
His life had changed drastically over the past several months. He met and married his match who, thankfully, turned out to be his soul mate. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved Kaden like no other almost from the minute he laid eyes on him. He realized just how much and how much he stood to lose when Kaden was kidnapped by his uncle. An uncle he didn’t even know he had until after they’d rescued Kaden and brought him back home where he belonged.
He heaved in a deep breath and brought the instrument up to rest on his shoulder, running the bow across the strings a few times to adjust the tone. Then he closed his eyes and let it all go, let all of the pain and anger flow out of his body and into the music. He thought of Kaden inside the palace, in their room packing for their impending trip to House Devi. He thought back to the first time they’d made love after the incident. How loving, tender and gentle he was with his husband; who was still broken and bruised from his captivity.
For a moment he felt the anger seeping back into him as his thoughts strayed to Gorilla man, his uncle, and the violin screamed out a note in agony. He released a breath and regained his composure, moving his thoughts back to Kaden and how they’d leaned on each other in those days and weeks when they first returned to the palace. The melody leveled out as Aiyan stopped trying to control the emotions and just let them flow freely, the insanely beautiful whine of music filled the night air.
Kaden closed the last suit case and lifted it off the bed, carrying it over and sitting it by the door with the others. He stood upright when he thought he heard a shrill cry coming from outside their bedroom window. Their bedroom was just off one side of the garden when you looked out the window, which made sense as the garden was Aiyan’s favorite place to be. Kaden walked over and threw the window open, closing his eyes and smiling when he realized what it was he’d heard.
Kaden quickly made his way out of the palace and out into the garden, hell, he would have just jumped out the window to make the trip quicker if he thought he could do it without hurting himself. Kaden rounded the corner and stopped, soaking in the sight of his husband, completely oblivious and completely sexy.
Aiyan’s eyes were closed and the tip of his tongue just barely escaped his mouth, as his head jerked to the side occasionally with certain notes of the song. Kaden could see how relaxed he was surrounded by the things he loved most. The garden that captured so much color and beauty, and his violin that shared not only the color and beauty inside of Aiyan, but the talent he held as well.
Every emotion Aiyan was feeling played across his face as he felt them, Kaden just stood still and watched. The emotions blended flawlessly with the notes; anger brought on a loud shrill note and a scrunched up face; happiness brought on a flowing, sharp squeal and a slight smile; and then sadness was the lightest note of all as a tear trickled down Aiyan’s cheek.
Aiyan’s eyes opened when he heard a low crack as Kaden moved toward him, stepping on a twig. “Oh, sorry, I was just letting off some steam.” Aiyan said, moving to put away his violin.
Kaden moved quickly over to him, “No, please... don’t stop. It was beautiful my prince, please play more for me.” Kaden slid onto the far corner of the bench, smiling slightly as Aiyan smiled back at him.
“You like to beg, don’t you?” Aiyan said playfully, that crooked grin taking over his face. It was true, Kaden had said those exact words to him the night they met, here in the garden, the first time Aiyan kissed him. “No, please... don’t  stop.” Aiyan put his instrument away and then just sat there, silent, staring at the ground. Kaden could not only see, but feel the war of emotions raging inside him. The bond they had seemed to have been there since that first meeting, when they saw the same vision of them kissing on the bed. And it only grew stronger when they were separated. Truth be told, their bond had saved Kaden’s life when Gorilla man had thrown him down that well.
Kaden reached up and pushed Aiyan’s hair back behind his ear, stroking the lobe with his fingers softly as he did. “My prince, tell me what troubles you.” Aiyan didn’t speak, didn’t look up at him, he didn’t even flinch. Kaden scooted a little closer and ran his hand down Aiyan’s arm, joining their fingers together. Still, Aiyan didn’t so much as squeeze his hand back, not even acknowledging Kaden’s attempt to placate him. Kaden brought himself around in front of Aiyan, wedging himself on his knees on the ground between Aiyan’s legs, staring up at him, refusing to be ignored.
They stared into each other’s eyes for several long, intense moments. Kaden toyed with the right words to say, and decided words weren’t what was needed right now. He leaned up and kissed his husband. He just held his lips to Aiyan’s briefly, not attempting to deepen the kiss. When he pulled back Aiyan’s eyes remained closed and he took a few shallow breaths.
“Don’t shut me out Aiyan, not now, we’ve been through too much for you to give me the silent treatment.” That crooked grin was trying to make an appearance Kaden thought, as the corner of Aiyan’s mouth twitched slightly. “There is nothing you can’t tell me. I know you want to deal with these emotions and this anger you feel on your own, but that is the problem Aiyan. Have you thought that the reason you can’t get past this is because you are trying to do it alone? You aren’t alone Aiyan, I am here, right here in front of you, begging you to…….” Kaden didn’t get the rest of his sentence out before he was grabbed and hauled up into Aiyan’s lap. Aiyan’s lips came down on his hard and fierce as Aiyan attempted to tongue fuck him right there on the bench.
Aiyans fingers dug into Kaden’s shoulders and he poured everything he was feeling into the kiss. Kaden moaned into his mouth and melted into his touch as the kiss ignited a fire inside him. The combination of his own hunger coupled with Aiyan’s left his head spinning. Aiyan pulled back, gasping for breath, when he opened his eyes Kaden saw that they’d turned gold around the rims and he smiled. Aiyan leaned forward until their foreheads were touching, still breathing heavy.
“Okay Kaden, okay. Let’s go back to our room and talk.” He panted out between breaths.
“Just talk?” Kaden whispered. Aiyan barked out a laugh and smacked his ass, which caused Kaden to yelp.
They barely made it into their room before Kaden quickly divested them of their clothing. He pushed Aiyan back against the door and climbed up him, devouring his mouth. Aiyan spun them around as he lifted Kaden up off the floor, and slammed him up against the unyielding wooden door. Kaden wrapped both legs around Aiyan’s waist and thrust his hips up. Aiyan threw his head back and gasped when Kadens thick, hard cock rubbed up against his own. Aiyan kissed him again, his lips as unyielding and hard as the door Kaden was pressed up against. Then he proceeded to fuck Kaden into oblivion, right there up against the bedroom door.
Kaden woke in their bed with the soft touch of Aiyan’s fingers, trailing down his back and over his ass, then tracing back up the path they’d just taken. “Are you awake?” Aiyan whispered.
“I am now.” Kaden just chuckled.
Aiyan didn’t speak again for a while. He just ran his hands along Kaden’s skin, setting it on fire. Finally, he let out a ragged sigh, “I’ve never felt the kind of anger I feel toward him Kaden, and it scares me. I swear sometimes I feel like the hatred will consume me. I want to kill him, I want him to suffer. What does that say about me Kaden, for Christ sake, he’s my uncle?!” Even if the touch of Aiyan’s fingers on his skin hadn’t gone from gentle to rough, Kaden could feel Aiyan’s anger inside him through the bond they shared.
Kaden rolled over onto his back and Aiyan laid his head on his chest, he ran his fingers through Aiyan’s hair comforting and calming him all at the same time. “It says that you are my husband, my partner and you will do anything to make sure I’m safe. I would do the same for you. Do you feel better, now that you told me this?” Aiyan nodded but didn’t speak. “Then that is enough for now. I love you Aiyan and we will deal with this together. Everything, always together.” Aiyan smiled and Kaden could feel the curve of his husbands lips on his skin, which made him smile in turn, remembering.
Those three words took Aiyan back to the past, to the night they decided to get their named tattoos. When Aiyan first broached the subject just days before their Mehndi ceremony, Kaden had balked at the idea. But then when Aiyan and Raven showed Kaden drawings of what Aiyan was suggesting they do, Kaden couldn’t deny the sentiment in the gesture.
“I want to get our names tattooed on our arms, here.” Aiyan spoke softly to Kaden as he withdrew his fingers from where they’d been wrapped in Kaden’s and rolled up his sleeve, showing the spot on his upper arm.
Kaden scowled at him, “Don’t you think that is a little grandious, my prince? And what would they say? Aiyan and Kaden, respectively. Or M’anam and My Prince?” Aiyan turned that wickedly sexy crooked grin on his partner before he answered.
“I think our given names, and in a calligraphy style of writing with maybe a celtic border?” Aiyan presented his answer as a question, it would seem he had put a lot of thought into this venture. Kaden still wasn’t convinced, until the next day after lunch, when Raven found him and Aiyan in the library and showed them the drawings he’d made in a likeness of what Aiyan wanted the tattoo’s to show.
“Wow, that’s really simplistic. I was expecting something more… just, more.” Kaden was pleasantly surprised with the simple, uniqueness of the designs. He had no ink anywhere on his body, having never found anything he wanted to permanently place on his skin. But this, this was a representation of his commitment to Aiyan, a way to show everyone he belonged to this man. So when Raven told them he could do the tattoos right then, Kaden didn’t allow himself time to reconsider, he just nodded in agreement and followed Aiyan and Raven.
It was a given that Aiyan’s tattoo would be placed on his left upper arm as he already had a large eagle, and a dragonfly on his right upper arm. Kaden thought his should go on his left arm as well, not only to mirror where his future husbands ink would go, but it was also the hand where their wedding rings would be.
Kaden followed as Raven led them to the area of the palace where the guards slept. “The Guardai and The Order are housed in this wing of the palace. And while Raven’s room is in the main area of the palace with the family, he still keeps a room here as well. He has artwork, instruments, some swords he’s collected and his tattoo equipment here.” Aiyan told Kaden as they walked through the never ending hallways within House Gaeland.
“Oh, and the collection of bibles.” Aiyan stopped mid stride and turned to face Kaden. “There are bibles dating back to before Anthony’s time, Raven has, what a dozen or so?” Aiyan turned to Raven who just nodded his response, before turning back to Kaden. “I’ve read several of them. It’s so interesting to see the different translations, how they are all different, and yet… the same.”
Raven entered the room they’d stopped at and Aiyan and Kaden followed him in. The walls were covered almost floor to ceiling with art and drawings, some of which Kaden was certain Raven had created himself. There was a small bookshelf that indeed held a dozen or so bibles, a rack that held several swords and in the corner sat the oddly made chair that could be molded and shaped to hold a person’s body in the correct position for whatever ink they would be getting at the time. Raven motioned for Aiyan to sit as he opened the case with the tools, “You first Aiyan, so Kaden can see what I’m doing and how, since this is his first tattoo.”
Kaden watched as Raven took the wax paper he had drawn the design on and held it over Aiyan’s arm. His gaze continued to roam over Aiyan’s bare chest, those hard muscles and defined abs, up to his adams apple and then landed on that crooked grin. When their eyes met, Aiyan’s dominate brown eyes sparkled, full of love for only Kaden.
“All done!” Raven stated, turning and grabbing a towel from the table next to him. He ran the towel over the design and then applied some type of ointment from a jar. He noticed Kaden watching his every move, a question in his glare. “It’s just a precaution, some healing herbs mixed with the oils from the allive plant. Can you believe they used to apply tattoos with needles, driving the ink into the skin, and there was so much blood. The risk of infection then was much higher than now, the laser pretty much cordarizes the skin as I draw the image, so no risk of infection. But, better safe than sorry, right.”
Aiyan smiled up at him and twisted his body, holding his arm out for Kaden to see. There on his lovers arm was his name, Kaden, in a fancy script with a border across the top and bottom of the words that was somewhere between the design of barbed wire and a trinity knot.
“Your turn.” Raven waved his hand motioning Aiyan out of the chair and all but pushed Kaden into it. Kaden closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the chair. He felt the tight grip of Raven’s fingers, digging into his arm to hold it still, the heat from the laser as it traced each letter into his skin. A.I.Y.A.N and then the faint trace of the border, but it was never uncomfortable or painful. He opened his eyes when he felt the brush of the towel on his skin.
Aiyan pulled him up and into his body and they were chest to chest, Kaden had to hold in a gasp when their naked nipples brushed together. Aiyan leaned down and kissed him, running his fingers over his name that was now permanently inked on Kadens arm, keeping time with his tongue that brushed over Kaden’s bottom lip. Aiyan pulled back but kept his hand on Kaden’s arm, gently tracing the letters of his name, “Everything, always together.” He whispered.
Aiyan raised his head and smiled down at him, moving his body up and over Kaden’s. His smile widened when Kaden groaned and thrust his hips up, rubbing their groins together. They were both already impossibly hard, again. “Ready for round two? Want me to fuck you into the mattress this time?” Aiyan said, leaning down and running his tongue along Kaden’s collar bone. Kaden just laughed and rolled them on the bed where he was on top of Aiyan.
“Oh no my prince, I’m going to fuck you into the mattress.”

~ 2 ~
Cillian sat at the table pushing the food on his plate around in circles, more interested in reinforcing his men than eating. The encampment he’d found shelter in wasn’t much more than a stones throw away from the palace, but in hind sight, he thought this would be the last place his family would look for him anyway.
He sat and listened to one of the elders telling some of the other’s of how proud he was of the man one of their own had become. This Sawyer, son of Adam and Anna who were proud Outkasts. Apparently Sawyer’s mother died during child birth, and then his father died in a fire here on the grounds just over a dozen years ago. Sawyer was basically adopted by the Ambassador’s of House Devi, the house of that bastard Indian filth that his nephew had wed.
Apparently his niece who was wed to the feisty little bitch from the greek house was, in fact, in love with Sawyer. He tucked that little morsel of information into the back of his mind for a later date. Soon, Cillian would have to weed out how many followers he had here, and if it was even worth staying or moving on to the next group of Outkasts.
Cillian held his knife in a tight grip, jaw clenched, drawing on every ounce of reserve he had to stop from climbing over the table and cutting the old man’s tongue out of his mouth. If for no other reason than to see him bleed. A gruff voice to his right drew Cillian out of his murderous thoughts.
“If you ask me, the whole lot of them should be burned at the stake. I mean, who are they to tell us who we should love. That I can’t have the same liberties, freedoms and opportunities they have because I’m a man that likes women.”
Cillian stole a glance at the stranger beside him. He was a big man, with arms the size of tree trunks, long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail with a weathered grin plastered on his rugged featured face. Next to him sat a smaller but toned younger man with redder hair than Cillian had ever seen in his life. “And who’s that, your girlfriend?” Cillian nodded in the red heads direction, drawing a snarl and a glare from the smaller man.
The big man threw his head back and bellowed, a full laugh that was so loud and boisterous, it shook the table. “No, Augie here is my best mate, a damn fine lad, even if he does prefer the company of a man to that of a large breasted female.”
“You know who I am?” Cillian questioned.
“Ah, yes, the bastard child of Kiernan and Gabriel. The former Ambassador’s to House Gaeland, and the current Ambassador’s to House Gilley. Dumped off here with the outkasts just hours after your birth when you failed your mapping test. Does that about sum it up?” the big man stated in a gleeful tone.
“Well, it seems you have me at a disadvantage. You are?”
“Hell’s Bell’s, how rude of me, names Robert!” the big man thrust his hand toward Cillian, who grudgingly shook, then reached over and shook the red head’s hand as well.
“So what can I do for you fine gentlemen today?” the clipped tone Cillian spoke in assuredly shown his patience was wearing thin.
“Word travels fast among those that are loyal to your cause Cillian. We should talk, but not here, somewhere more private. A group of us have a place a mile or so north of here where we prefer to spend our time, we just come here to the main camp for food, supplies and occasional company. Meet us at the stables in an hour and you can follow us there, meet the rest of our group, and… get to know us a little better.” Robert stole a glance at Augie and Cillian couldn’t help but be curious at what they were offering. He also had a niggling feeling of recognition in the back of his mind every time he met Augie’s green gaze.
Cillian simply nodded once in reply, to which Robert nodded in agreement before he and Augie stood and left the tent. What harm could come from hearing them out, Cillain thought. His mind ever wary of trusting anyone played out the various scenarios. Perhaps they were allies to his cause, but perhaps they weren’t and they meant to capture him for his brother. Just the thought of Cirian and his charmed life made Cillian’s blood boil.
No, Cillian brushed the thought aside, there was something in the red headed mans stare, an anger that swayed Cillian. His gut told him the men were sincere and that he could at least trust their intent. Appetite renewed, he quickly downed his food before leaving the tent virtually unseen, to go and meet his new friends at the stable.

Did that wet your whistle? Anticipating the full story? Well just you wait! As it is right now I'm at 26 chapters (52000 words aprox) and there is still a bit more to add. So, again, I'm hopeful I can still bring this to you on August 31st, but I will definitely keep you all up to date on the official release date. 

Thank you all for stopping by today and continuing to support my efforts with this series. And a huge thank you to all the bloggers that are posting this today, I couldn't do it without all of you! Be sure to stop by the event today on facebook, I've lined up some pretty amazing authors and bloggers to help me celebrate and they are giving away some goodies throughout the day as well. And above all, remember, Love is Love!

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