The Art of Dying

The Art of Dying

Jordan Castillo Price Josh Lanyon

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Lovers and Other Strangers by Josh Lanyon

Recovering from a near fatal accident, artist Finn Barret returns to Seal Island in Maine to rest and recuperate. But Seal Island is haunted with memories, some sweet, some sad; three years ago Finn found his lover in the arms of Fitch, Finn's twin brother. Since that day, Finn has seen neither Conlan nor Fitch. In fact, no one has seen Fitch. To put the past to rest Finn must discover the truth. But the deeper he digs, the more reason he has to fear Con is the only one who knows what truly happened to Fitch.

Body Art by Jordan Castillo Price

His lover has betrayed and swindled Ray Carlucci out of everything he valued, including a tattoo business. Hounded by creditors, weary of heart, he accepts the job of chauffeur and body man for the dying owner of a remote Michigan estate. The island, minus its wealthy summer colony, is colorless in winter and Ray thinks he understands why staff on the estate periodically desert. But, he's baffled by, then drawn to, Anton, the eccentric artist who haunts the forest, bringing strange life to bizarre and disquieting sculptures amidst the ice and trees. When the body of a man who once held Ray's job rises from the frosty earth, Ray wonders what part Anton's wildness has in the escalating violence.

 
PUBLISHED BY: Aspen Mountain Press
ISBN: 978-1-60168-232-1
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 68000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 3 3 3
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: ManLove, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Romantic Suspense
KEYWORDS: Murder, Mystery, GBLT, Contemporary, Romance
 

EBOOKS BY Aspen Mountain Press

EBOOKS BY Josh Lanyon

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Josh Lanyon/2009

Lovers and Other Strangers by Josh Lanyon

Finn raised his brows but kept drinking. It was good. Martha’s version of an Irish coffee perhaps. All at once he was so tired he thought he might fall asleep at the fireside wrapped like an ancient granny in cedar-scented blankets. Martha chattered comfortably on about this and that person, the changes he would soon see in the island - and of course in Martha’s view none of the changes were for the better.

He smiled to himself and sipped his coffee.

His smiled faded as she said, \\"Mr. Carlyle has a new book coming out.\\"

She was not looking at him, which was just as well since he couldn’t think of anything to say.

\\"He’s not here now. He was in England for the six months doing research for the one he’s writing now. It’s supposed to be a murder mystery about the princes in the Tower. And then he went on a book tour for the last one. It’s hard to keep ‘em all straight. I don’t expect we’ll see him back till next month sometime.\\"

That was a relief. More than he wanted to concede. \\"I’ll be long gone by then.\\" His voice came out flat.

Martha still didn’t look at him. \\"Well...that’s all right so long as you don’t take three years to visit again.\\"

She spoke cheerfully, but he could hear the strain, and knew that he had to make the effort. For his own sake, if nothing else. Had to prove that he could say it and not...well, what? That he had moved past it. That it was over and done with, chapter closed. Not forgiven, not forgotten...but old history. Con should appreciate that.

So he said, \\"How’s Fitch?\\"

And after a funny little pause, Martha said as though the name were unfamiliar to her, \\"Fitch?\\"

\\"Is he...?\\" He tried to make his voice light, but he was never good at that kind of thing. Fitch was the old pro at games and deceiving. \\"Are he and Con...did they...are they still together?\\"

\\"Fitch and...Mr. Carlyle?\\" She said it almost wonderingly.

Finn remembered belatedly that this was a small island, a backwoods sort of place really, and that while a romantic relationship between two men might be silently tolerated and civilly ignored, it was never going to be openly acknowledged and condoned. But his nerves were on edge, he was tired and much more raw than he had realized; he simply blurted out, \\"Or did he split?\\"

Martha said, \\"Didn’t Fitch come to you in New York?\\"

\\"Come to me?\\" That made him blink. What a funny idea - but maybe not so funny because Fitch wouldn’t see what he had done wrong, would he? He would expect to be forgiven as he always was by - his words - better half.

\\"Didn’t Fitch follow you to New York?\\" asked Martha again and she was staring at him hard now, as though only realizing that something was very wrong. But Fitch had always been her favorite. Fitch was everyone’s favorite for all he shocked and appalled people with his outrageous - but God, yes, funny - antics. The things he did and said. It was impossible not to love Fitch.

Even when you hated him.

Finn said, \\"He didn’t follow me to New York.\\"

Had that been Fitch’s intention? Had better sense prevailed? It must have hurt Fitch too; he must have felt the same persistent ache that was almost physical pain, the pain of being cut off from your other half. A phantom pain, like losing a limb. It had never happened to them before; a break so deep, so wide there was no bridging it. Oh, they had fought, fallen out - what brothers didn’t quarrel? Finn had always forgiven Fitch because...he loved him. And he couldn’t do without him. Until he could.

Until Con.

Because there was no forgiving that. Con had been different.

Not that Con wasn’t every bit as much to blame.

But then Finn hadn’t forgiven Con either. Never would

 
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