Today I am so pleased to welcome the fabulous Michael Kudo to Joyfully Jay. Michael has come to share an exclusive excerpt from his latest release, Red Rose (Blood). He has also brought along a great giveaway! Please join me in giving Michael a big welcome!

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I’m so happy to be back at Joyfully Jay to share an exclusive excerpt of Red Rose (Blood). I hope you guys enjoy! =)

Excerpt

I finished my water and stared at the table grimly. It was completely devoid of food, which no table in any restaurant should be. I didn’t see myself coming back to the restaurant in any foreseeable future.

“Well, to be honest, I’m not even in the mood to eat anymore.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out my wallet. I fished out a twenty-dollar bill: enough to pay for Lance’s two rum and cokes and I threw it down on the table.

“What, you’re leaving already?” he asked.

I could smell the alcohol on his breath from across the table. I knew he wasn’t drunk but he was probably bordering somewhere on the tipsy-line. It was amusing. “Well, there’s really nothing else for us to discuss, so I figured I’d leave now before I die of malnourishment.”

Lance glanced at his watch and then back up at me. “Well, it’s not too late. You don’t have to go home right now. We can go outside and…you know, talk about stuff.”

I had to stifle a laugh. “Talk about stuff, huh,” I repeated with a questioning lilt at the end. “I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar on the topic of this stuff you speak of. Can you extrapolate a bit?”

“Come on, Alex, don’t be a douche. You know what I’m trying to say…I mean we could talk about us.”

“Oh,” I said. It was such an abrupt change of topic. I didn’t know how to feel. I was too scared to be excited. Normally, I would have been more than thrilled to go down that road. I always had the strange idea if Lance and I sat down and talked about things in full, there would still be a chance we could make things work. And here he was offering the very thing I wanted. So why wasn’t I hopping around like a frog on LSD? Well, for one, I wasn’t exactly sure how genuine his offer was, given his current state of mind. He wasn’t drunk. I knew that. But he wasn’t fully sober, either. So it was a tricky thing. Was this offer just the byproduct of an alcohol-induced euphoria? Or was it him actually being him. I had no fucking idea and it was frustrating.

“It’s okay, we don’t have to talk if you don’t want to,” he said, standing up abruptly. “I understand. I mean, it’s understandable.” He started towards the door.

It seemed as though he was now at the sad puppy stage and he was hurt because he thought I had rebuffed him. Damn it. I got up and grabbed him as he was exiting and led him over to the nearby alleyway, where I knew we wouldn’t be bothered. “Can you wait a minute and tell me what the hell your problem is?”

Lance looked annoyed. Welcome to the club. “I don’t have a problem, Alex. It’s just I know I ended things romantically between us but that doesn’t mean I wanted to lose you as my friend.”

I had to take a breath. I went to speak but stopped, feeling a drop of water smack into my forehead. I looked up and a few more drops splattered on my face. It was raining, wonderful. I pointed over to an area of the alley. It was covered by an archway type thing and we walked over to stand under it. “It’s not that I don’t want to be around you, it’s that it fucking hurts. Okay? Do you have any idea how much it hurts to see you and know we’re not allowed to be together?”

“Do you honestly think I don’t hurt, too? You’re not the only one suffering here, Alex. Maybe it would hurt less if you would actually talk to me about things.”

“It’s not that simple,” I replied.

“What do you mean?”

“I just mean you’re the one who didn’t want us together anymore. Not me. I would have been fucking golden with us being in a relationship because you make me happy.”

Lance’s eyes widened a smidgen. He licked his lips in what appeared to be a nervous fashion and took a step towards me. “You make me happy too, Alex.”

I took a step towards him. “Then why did you give up so easily? Why couldn’t you fight for what we had?”

“I have never given up on us,” Lance said matter-of-factly. “And if you want proof, I’m more than willing to give you some.”

I looked at him questioningly. He brought his hand up and caressed my check. I learned into it and his touch sent goose bumps down my arms. I closed my eyes and nuzzled his hand. He took the opportunity to move his hand down to my chin and lift my head up slightly.

I opened my eyes and saw him lean forward and press his sexy lips against mine. I tensed when our lips met, I didn’t know how to react or what to do. His other hand was at the back of my neck, fingers dancing around the top of my spine.

I absolutely melted as he touched the back of my neck. It was as though his touch stripped away the last of my resolve. He knew it was my weak spot. Damn him. I leaned into the kiss and wrapped my arms around him as though he were the last solid thing in the world.

I felt his tongue working at my lips. It was like he was begging for me to open my mouth and give him entry. I did. I hadn’t expected him to be so eager. One second we were standing there, the next he had grabbed me by my shirt and threw me up against the side building. It had been so hard I gasped out in pain and it seemed to excite him. His tongue swirled around mine like a whirlwind. He fell into his usual pattern of kissing: two quick, chaste kisses, and then pulling away a tiny bit to nibble on my bottom lip, before coming back in with full-force tongue action. It felt amazing.

I removed one hand from around his body and slowly slid it down his chest to where I knew he’d be the most excited to be touched. I rubbed the front of his pants and I could feel the erection through them.

Cupping my hand around the length, even through the cloth, turned me on so much. I wanted him so badly. It had been almost two years since we last rolled around on top of each other naked and basked in the musky, yet sweet scent of sweat and passion. It had been far too long. I had to have him. Right fucking now.


Blurb

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“I don’t like to be called an Assassin, I prefer the term problem solver.”

My name’s Alex. I’m an average guy. I kill people for a living. But don’t judge me.

I don’t take jobs on just anybody though. I only kill the really annoying people, like cheaters or abusers. So if you think about it, I’m actually doing God’s work—okay, maybe that’s stretching things a bit.

Other than the whole committing murder and trying to get away with it thing, my life is simple.

Well… except for the fact I’m in love with a fellow assassin who happens to be my mentor. I also have to make sure I’m careful when I’m on the job because if I ever fail a hit, I’ll be considered a “liability” and be executed promptly. Oh, and there’s a small chance someone in the organization is trying to have me killed. But I’ll figure that out, eventually. Did I mention I’m gay?

Okay, maybe my life isn’t so simple.


Bio

unnamed-1Michael was born and raised on the Jersey Shore – the geographical location, not the TV show. As such, he cannot boast having tanned skin, a rock-hard body, or being BFFs with Snooki. His version of GTL is gaming, Tumblr, and Lounging. He didn’t know what to do for a living until he wrote a couple of fun short stories as an English class project and made people laugh, something he’s always enjoyed doing and decided that’s what he wanted in his future.

A self-described “Otaku” (person with obsessive interests in manga, anime, and/or video games) Michael spends most of his time enjoying those things, becoming emotionally attached to fictional characters and collecting every bit of My Little Pony merchandise available.

He lives with his fiancé of five years in the heart of NJ.


Giveaway

Michael has brought a copy of his first release, The Descending Darkness, to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, October 11 at 11:59 pm EST.

P.S. Michael wants to know an awkward sexual memory/story with your comment. Any takers?

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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