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Out in Colorado

Anthology

Out of Print

This collection brings six talented authors from the Centennial State together under one title, all offering their take on what it means to be Out in Colorado. These stories explore the cultures and mores of the state as only native authors can, each bringing a unique perspective on the diverse peoples and changing attitudes that are quickly coming to define this state in transition.

First, in Something Old, Something Blue, Justin Pauldino, the adopted son of Denver's Italian mob boss, is a one night stand kind of guy and likes it that way, until his latest bed partner, Michael Blu, upsets his applecart world enough to make him consider settling down. When Justin decides to put his best foot forward with Michael—a third generation attorney, whose father and grandfather have an unpleasant history with Justin's adoptive father—Justin's world is turned upside down when his good intentions set in motion a series of events that will change his life forever. Then, Joey Graham has demonstrated his Casual Brilliance and landed the job of his dreams out of school; the only catch is that he has to move to Colorado to do it. Fortunately, Joey's got a new coworker who's more than happy to introduce him to everything his new home has to offer. Next, in a yearly tradition, five friends had gotten together in a cabin in the winter mountains of Colorado, but one of them has been lost for years. This year, all five friends will be back together and discover secrets that will change their lives forever, in Spirit's Fire.

In Take a Bow, Brandon's daughter's wedding is approaching quickly, and the nervous father realizes that if he is to keep from embarrassing his little girl during the father-daughter dance, he needs some lessons pronto. But the gorgeous and charismatic dance instructor, Crispin, has Brandon too distracted to learn when all he can think of is dragging the man down for some dancing of a more horizontal sort. Next, stuck in an abusive relationship with the cultured and sophisticated (and closeted) Ethan, a relationship that is quickly spiraling downward, Trevor feels Frozen, lost and left behind as everything spins on around him. When a sudden turn of violence forces Trevor to face the tragedy that his life has become and make a hard choice, it could be the awakening he needs, or it could be the last decision he ever makes. Finally, being an otter shifter, though fun, comes with its own set of problems for Lon, not the least of which is the need to be in his shifted form for at least a few hours every week. This biological imperative threatens his budding romance with University of Colorado adjunct professor Corey when an accident in the back country leaves Lon unable to make his shift without revealing his furry secret, in Slip/Slide/Snow.

Justin had spent enough time in bars before working in one to know that part of any patron's bar experience was watching the help do what they do, especially the young barbacks. Patrons often either shared their fanciful intentions upon the bodies of those hunks with their drinking buddies, or, in the alternative, if they were alone, just took the sweet images of the young things, bare torsos, pouty lips, gorgeous asses, cock bulges, back home for a more intimate relationship with the fantasies previously conjured at the bar. Justin had gone home alone himself a few times with those images, had then said to himself, "Fuck this," and had thereafter pursued the reality of his desires in the flesh within his Lodo loft just off Larimer Square, more times than he really wanted to admit.

The night Justin had seen Michael staring at him, he understood the underlying intent of the stare. On one of his treks to roundup errant glasses left on tables, window sills, and other surfaces not meant for the safe storage of glassware, he'd sidled up to the backside of what he knew was an admirer, gently placed his hand on Michael's shoulder, and whispered in his ear, "I'd love to fuck you." Michael, feigning incredulity at such a robust articulation of desire, had turned toward Justin, smiled into his eyes, eased his hand to Justin's dick (free-hanging beneath the denim), squeezed, nodded, and said, "Fine." Justin had bought Michael a drink just before closing, and their first intimacies sans clothes had ensued in Justin's loft at precisely 3:42 that morning, ending with a quick shower for both at 7:10. Michael had hurriedly dressed, suggested they get together again, saying, "Here's my number," placing his business card on the rosewood table next to the door, and, as he'd rushed out the door, added, "I've really got to get to work." And that had been that.

Justin was not one to pursue anyone after a first rodeo, believing the performance of the fuck more important, more ultimately meaningful than sitting over spinach quiche and mimosas, sharing inane quips about one thing or another after a satisfying debauch. He did, though, find the lingering image of Michael, his skin, his eyes, his voice, unsettling to the point of a second thought, and had actually considered calling the number on the card left untouched for two days on the rosewood table. After another day, he'd finally picked up the card, examined the words, "Michael Blu Esq. – Criminal and Contract Law," and made the decision that he would indeed seek a second encounter. And supping on pasta e fagioli and sipping Chianti would be just the ticket to commence a further understanding of what it was that made Michael tick, so to speak, with the certainty another fuck would follow. Not really knowing but suspecting Michael would be enchanted with a little gift upon their second meeting he'd determined (not really knowing why, as he'd never been particularly romantic in the noun sense of the word) that something old, perhaps something blue would be just fine for Michael Blu. To that end, he'd pulled his Z4 sDrive28i, silver metallic BMW top-down roadster, out of the underground parking garage of the four-loft building and headed for Antique Row on South Broadway Avenue.

---

"Jack Torrance." The middle-aged proprietor of The Dazzling Oldies Antique Nook and Emporium held his hand out before the door had fully closed behind Justin. Justin, just slightly startled, looked first at the pale almost gray hand held inches from his face, saw the pale almost gray head beaming a smile from too red lips, grabbed the hand, and felt the moist squeeze of it against his own.

"Did you say Jack Torrance?" Justin smiled, cocked his head a bit, and noticed that the man was dressed entirely in gray—suite, tie, and shirt.

Still grasping Justin's hand, and still staring into Justin's eyes as if he'd be delighted to just crawl into those lovely brown orbs and gobble them up from the inside out, Jack said, "Yes. Jack Torrance."

Justin pulled his hand from the slimy grip, wiped it on his pants, and said, "That was the caretaker in The Shining."

"Don't believe I know what the shining is."

"The movie? Stephen King? Family goes up in the Colorado mountains to a resort that's closed for the winter and..." Justin waited for Jack to provide some little hint that, yes, he understood the connection with the movie, and what a happy-crappy coincidence that was. When no such acknowledgment was forthcoming, he turned from Jack's creepy stare and looked into the shop's interior. "I'm looking for something small, old, nice, maybe blue, because the last name of the person I'm going to give it to is Blu..."

"Oh!" Jack very lightly clapped his hands together six times, gently stomped his foot once, added, "How perfect is that! Something blue for a Miss Blue! Or is that Blu, without the e?"

Justin inched down the narrow walkway between two floor-to-ceiling bookcases that held, as far as he could see was anybody's unsellable crap from about a thousand failed yard sales. "Actually," Justin said, reaching for a blue figurine depicting an upside-down cow with pierced teats (a salt shaker?) and thinking better of touching it, not knowing where it'd been, "I wanted something masculine. And, yeah, without the 'e'."

"Well now..." Jack said, having somehow silently managed to place himself inches from Justin. "Dare I even ask if we're talking about a mister instead of a miss?"

Taking a step away from what he perceived to be the aroma of mothballs wafting from Jack's gray presence, Justin continued his inspection, nodded, and said, "You can dare."

"Puts things in a whole different perspective, I don't mind saying."

-- from "Something Old, Something Blue" by George Seaton

5 - J Steel at Book Whores United
" I really enjoyed the concept on this. You are taking stories all about one particular place written by authors who are native to that state. I dig it! Because no matter how many times you visit somewhere, only those that live there can truly describe their homelands. A great job around for all of the authors in this anthology. I loved every bit of it! **Note: this rating applies to the anthology as a whole."

5 - Gabbi at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"Out in Colorado is a multi-authored anthology with all of the stories set in the beautiful state of Colorado. What I really loved about this anthology was that each story really brought something special to the overall feel of the book. For me, reading anthologies can be tricky. I’ve read many of them that will have just a couple of stories that I liked or even loved, while the others somehow end up falling flat. This is definitely not the case with this book! Out in Colorado is a highly addictive, romantic, freshly written and thought provoking read that will most likely please the pickiest of readers. I loved this book and look forward to reading more stories by all of the authors featured in it."

Series

Out in Colorado

Length

76,000 words
173 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Anthology

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-62757-010-7

Cover Art

Tabatha Heart

Keywords

M/M, abuse themes, contemporary, crime, shifter, urban fantasy

Contributors

Caitlin Ricci
Cari Z
George Seaton
Lichen Craig
P.D. Singer
Tabatha Heart