QSFer Erin O’Quinn has a new MM fantasy/time travel book out:
Step back for a moment to September 30, 1788. At eight o’clock on the following morning, a man is to be hanged for the crime of burglary. The culprit, well known in the annals of Edinburgh history, is Deacon William Brodie. He’s so well known that there are at least two popular tourist spots on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile dedicated to his memory. He was also the model for Stevenson’s immortal novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
History says he died on the gallows on October 1, 1788. But what is the real story? And how do two contemporary men fit into this re-telling of history?
The reticent undercover detective Thomas Fitzgerald is already deeply in love…with a man who has just met him in an “alternate reality.” Tight-lipped and uptight as he is, a confession is out of the question. And Burns, not quite the same man he fell in love with, is afraid that his caped hero may misunderstand his own “insta-love.”
How can two stubborn men find that elusive, mythical Rainbow Bridge that spans then and now and tomorrow? This is where quantum entanglement, a kind of time-travel, enters the story—the bridge that connects past, present and future.
Follow two lovers across a bridge spanning more than two centuries as they struggle to reconcile not just the convenient lies of history, but also the truth about their own conflicted relationship.
The novella Burns Too Deep, one of O’Quinn’s favorites, is the beginning of the Burns! Mystery series that finally culminates in the novel A Rainbow Bridge. All are standalones but of course are weaved tight as threads in a tapestry. From the onset, the stories tiptoed to the edge of the paranormal and finally tipped into the abyss.
For a chance to win an eBook copy of Burns Too Deep, comment on this post below.
(From Chapter 1, “Yesterday and Today”
Thomas woke slowly, from a dream of such sweetness he smiled. A young boy, squatting on a low bridge, was playing with model airplanes. One was floating near the edge of the slow, shallow river. Another, tied with a grubby string, lay abandoned in the mud. He imagined that one, caked with dried clay, was his prize. He’d shot it down, and he would claim right of ownership later. For now, the lad squinted up through the canopy of rowan leaves, grinning at a figure who was standing near. “Look, Uncle Sean…”
A familiar hand tousled his blond hair, and his slow, warm voice blended with the cries of ravens feasting on blood-red rowan berries. “Good boy, Thomas. I’m glad you like them.”
He lay cradling his bed mate, whose soft breath fanned his cheek, and when he remembered the reality he stopped breathing for several heartbeats.
The man hurt the boy.
He felt a tear begin but blinked to clear his eyes and his mind. The past is just that, Thomas. Let it be. It can never return.
He drew Burns closer, into his skin, and exhaled. Burns had helped him escape the manacles of the past. Maybe that’s why his vision of an old hurt was now a sweet-sad memory, nothing more.
“I love you,” he whispered into the man’s soft mustache, knowing he would not hear it. There’d be time enough for vows, if their strange pairing had any meaning at all in this new crazy-ass world, where yesterday and today had become a whole new twisted reality.
Only a few days ago, he’d awakened on the slab of an infirmary bed, his face ravaged by tears and his heart empty of all emotions except grief. His mate, his beloved, his husband-to-be was dead. He’d tried to follow him to the pit of a grave-site along the Antonine Wall near Stirling. But when he opened his eyes he was lying drugged somewhere in Dundee.
A car crash, they said. What he needed was rest, they said.
Even now, the rational side of his cop-trained mind told him the Burns he knew was not dead, because the man had never existed. And those ten months of rapture and love and wonder had been merely seven hours under the influence of some vile pain med injected into his aching body.
So how could he explain Burns lying here next to him, the lump of his cock ready to stroke or be stroked, even in sleep? Why was he here, in Burns’ old Victorian brownstone, a place he’d already visited in his fantasy? And if his phantom lover had never existed, how in hell could he possess those gray-and-ebony eyes, the deep dimples, the voice, the very intonation, of Burns his spontaneous poet?
Being a trained investigator, Thomas had been trying to divorce his strong emotion from the dry facts.
He’d met Burns on February Third, 2014. They’d become lovers through ten months of passion, interrupted by long spells of separation, until Hogmanay evening…New Year’s Eve…when Burns had walked into the high winds somewhere near Stirling Castle.
Blindly following his lover into the night, he’d collided with an oncoming car. His entire world had narrowed to a pinpoint of blackness and pain, and then oblivion.
And when Thomas had opened his eyes, it was just after midnight February Fourth, 2014, his mind brimming with a million memories of what had never been.
He’d tracked down this man named Burns by means of a business card, one the “original” scholar had given him—but something this reclusive man had emphatically not—and he’d met him two days ago.
What the bloody hell? What had become of ten long months?
More important, how could the man in his arms be the same as the man in his heart? That man who’d just met him, who had no reason to feel the stab of love that often choked off his very breath—how could he possibly expect Burns to return any more than the ache of arousal?
Thomas thought back to yesterday, when Burns had gripped the flesh of his buttocks and whispered a line of love poetry.
“And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.”
Thomas Fitzgerald was a detective, not a dreamer. He put facts together, and he was good enough at his job to earn the respect of his superior. He knew well enough that Burns’ murmurings of love were born of a swollen cock and years of abstinence.
He was also pretty sure his newfound mate was giving too much credit to Thomas for escaping certain death. The cockamamie bastard who’d tried to hurt him would never again walk out of prison, after Burns had faced him like a mighty warrior. So if his man whispered love words, they were no doubt part of a misplaced rush of gratitude.
Burns stirred in his arms.
The burr of his voice, fuzzed with sleep, was enough to send an immediate message to a cock still starved for satisfaction.
“Sleep now. You’ve been through a lot.” My Luve, my Bobbie Burns.
Burns’ mouth sought his ear. “And you have not? The adventure has roused my blood, Thomas. I need you.”
Here in the darkness of the room, lit only by moon-glow on the high ceiling, he felt emboldened. This Burns pretended to be no poet, but every word he uttered seemed to Thomas to hold a lyrical cadence and the sensuous promise of reaching some impossible heaven.
“Tell me…tell me more.”
“I’ve lived long enough without you, lad. I need to cross over.”
“Over what, Burns?”
He fully expected his poet to talk about the Rainbow Bridge, the link between the Norse gods and the realm of mortals.
“Over your ass. Over your deepest love spot.”
Their tongues met, and Thomas felt the thrust of a too-large weapon. The man’s cock, the mythic horn, stabbed his thighs and burned his groin.
“What, ah God…what spot is that?”
And then his lover was biting his mouth, drawing blood.
“Och, love spot, damn ye, Thomas. Turn over.”
Burns had no way to know, the word love in his poet’s mouth was sweet and sexy, the one dream he desperately needed to hold onto, in case he awoke again alone.
“Say it again…”
“Then let me tell you secrets while my cock strikes deep.”
He turned onto his stomach, welcomed Burns riding his back like a jockey wedded to his horse.
“Like hooves to a racehorse, Thomas Fitzgerald.”
Hearing those words, his rectum flared and caught hold.
The voice in his ear was laced with frantic need.
“I never forget words of love. Squeeze tighter, tighter, I want to blow my cum up inside you. I want to love your impossibly tight ass.”
As if the words were not enough, the strokes on his sweet spot…his love-starved prostate…made him gasp and clutch the covers.
“Forever, forever, please Bobbie Burns…”
“Aye, forever. Let my cock love you.”
They came together, in a welling of inarticulate howls and a ballet of arching bodies.
He lay gasping into the bed linens, desperate to tell his poet, I love you, Bobbie Burns.
“Thomas, Thomas, don’t ever let me go.”
Erin O’Quinn sprang from the high desert hills of Nevada, from a tiny town which no longer exists. A truant officer dragged her kicking and screaming to grade school, too late to attend kindergarten; and since that time her best education has come from the ground she’s walked and the people she’s met.
O’Quinn publishes most of her work with her own New Dawn Press. She currently confesses to 25 M/M titles centered on ancient, retro, and contemporary locales in Scotland, Ireland and Nevada.
Those interested in the Burns! Mystery series will find these titles:
Burns Too Deep
The Dundee Law
Red, Red Rose
The Devil in Falkirk
The Unicorn’s Secret
The Burns Enigma
The first four novellas and the final two are also published as money-saving box sets. Thank you for your interest.