Editor’s Note: I’m a part of a new anthology that just came out on 8/18 from Dreamspinner Press: A Taste of Honey. And while the book is not Fantasy, Sci Fi or Paranormal per se, some of the stories in it include magical realism or present-day fantasy. Here’s the final excerpt. :) –Scott
Just from Dreamspinner Press – A Taste of Honey – the ultimate bear romance anthology. Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies–and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more–all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.
We’ve got a bear-a-day this week – the intro to each of these stories to whet your appetite for more.
Today’s Excerpt: “Banyan Court” by Samuel Scott Preston
“I shouldn’t complain,” Dan Kumagai said, setting his coffee cup down with a clatter. “She means well. She just can’t stop fussing. She seems to think I’m going to turn into a lonely old misanthrope as soon as I hit sixty.”
“She couldn’t be more wrong,” replied Ann Burleson. “You were already that when I met you, and you were only thirty-two then. But you may turn into Pantalone, perhaps,” she added thoughtfully. Kumagai had known he could count on Ann to cheer him up. She was good at putting things, and people, in their proper places. Her tidiness was what made her such a good papyrologist and departmental colleague. He made a harrumphing noise. “Pantalone indeed,” he muttered, feigning indignation.
The “she” Kumagai meant was his older sister. Like her brother, Kazuko was a college professor, of Japanese language and literature at the University of Hawai’i at M\0x0101noa. Kazuko had chosen the path well traveled, staying in Honolulu, marrying, teaching her ancestral language–which, however, as with most Hawai’i sansei or third-generation Japanese-Americans, their war-generation parents had refused to teach them at home. Kumagai, on the other hand, couldn’t get away soon enough. He went to college on the mainland and stayed there, earning his PhD in classics and taking a very satisfying job at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. He was more Roman than Japanese. He even affected a Hadrianic beard that Ann always teased him about. He secretly agreed it didn’t look exactly Roman on him, but at least it hid his face, and it most definitely distanced him from most people’s mental image of an Asian.
Kumagai wasn’t ashamed of his Japanese heritage, but he’d never been attracted to Asian men. Accordingly, he assumed that few men could be attracted to him, and did what he could to counter the stereotype of effeminacy. He considered himself lucky to be hairy, although he hated that it cast him as a “bear,” another type of man he was not attracted to. He knew facial and body hair was more common among Japanese than most people realized. So he used his fur–or, rather, he had when he had still been on the prowl. That had stopped in his early fifties, when, he had told himself, it was time to admit his chances were going from slim to none–past time he should get used to being single.