Author Noel York – Exploring complex relationships one controversial book at a time.

February 17, 2013


I haven’t posted any updated recently because I’ve made some changes to my career plans. The bad news (well, it’s not bad to me, but I guess some people might not be happy about it), I won’t be publishing anything with Noble Romance Publishing. The good news? I’ll get to keep my cover, but I’ll obviously have to remove the Noble banner across the top.

So, I’ll be looking for a new publisher soon. Can anyone recommend a good publisher for gay erotic romance? I’m going to research the top three, once I discover who the top three are. 🙂

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from Birds of a Feather – Randy & Edward. It’s the first chapter, which introduces you to all the major players – who will all have their own book/story to tell. 🙂

Chapter One

Birds of a feather flock together. At least, that’s how Randy Horvath always explained the fact that he and his best friends, Jimmy and Alex—both of whom he’d hung out with since the eighth grade—had so much in common. All three of them preferred beer over liquor, comedies over action flicks, beef (medium-rare) over chicken, and cheese pizza. Not to mention, they were all gay.

What were the chances?

“I just don’t get it,” Kat, Randy’s kid sister, said. “You’re all so close. You get along so well; I don’t think I’ve ever seen you argue. You’d be great for each other.”

“What are you suggesting?” Randy teased her. “That Jimmy, Alex and I form a threesome?”

Kat shrugged, too damned worldly for her own good. “Whatever makes you happy, brother dearest.”

“I’ve explained this to you, what? Six or seven hundred times? If I hooked up with either one of those guys, it would be like dating my brother.” And while Randy didn’t mind a little kink now and then, he definitely didn’t go for that kind of kink.

A door slammed, followed by the sound of raucous laughter and clattering footsteps on the ceramic tile coming down the hallway.

“Speak of the devils, and they shall appear,” Kat murmured. She slid from her perch on the barstool and turned, just as Jimmy and Alex entered the kitchen.

“Kitten!” Alex pulled her into his arms and hugged her close. “I didn’t know you were in town.”

“Yes,” Jimmy said and gave Randy a pointed look. “Someone failed to inform us you’d be here tonight. How are you, Katharine?”

Randy grinned and watched his friends greet his sister. Despite everything the three of them had in common, physically, they were completely different. Alex—although shorter than average—had a nice build, especially for a guy who’d never seen the inside of a gym. He had sun-kissed skin, dark hair, and coal black eyes. He sported more tattoos than a Hell’s Angel and had the outgoing, outspoken, wide-open personality to match. Jimmy, on the other hand, stood over six feet tall, and he spoke like a Wall Street broker. The golden boy of their group, he had blond, curly locks—neatly trimmed—and bright blue eyes. And if Randy remembered correctly from the time the guidance counselor tested them all in junior high, Jimmy’s IQ hovered somewhere around 165. A genius plumber. No one who talked to him could ever guess what he did for a living.

“What brings you to San Diego?” Alex asked Kat. “Are you staying long?”

“A girlfriend of mine is getting married.” She took a step back and straightened her blouse, smoothing out the wrinkles caused by Alex’s bear hug. “You remember Denise, don’t you?”

“Nope. Can’t say as I do.” Alex ambled over to the refrigerator. He opened the door and leaned against it as he gazed inside.

“Yes, you do,” Jimmy said. He rested one hip against the center island and crossed his arms. “She’s the woman Katharine brought with her to my son’s kindergarten graduation last year.”

“Oh, yeah!” Alex looked back over his shoulder and grinned. “The one Joey kept hanging on and calling Neesie. How could I forget? She’s gettin’ hitched?”

“She is.” Kat smiled and slid back onto a barstool. “And my darling brother here has offered to give away the bride.”

Randy met his friends’ enquiring looks, shrugged, and smiled. “She doesn’t have any family. Kat offered my services. What was I going to do, say no?”

“Hell, I think that’s terrific, although I never imagined you in the role of father of the bride. Besides, I love weddings.” Alex grabbed the jug of O.J. and finally shut the refrigerator door.

Randy shook his head. No wonder his electric bills were through the roof.

“You love wedding receptions,” Jimmy said. He turned to Kat. “When’s the happy day?”

“Saturday. And you’re all invited, of course. I told Denise you guys were a package deal.” Kat cast Randy a sideways glance. “How come you didn’t tell them?”

Randy shrugged. “Slipped my mind. I’ve been a little bit distracted lately.”

“Yes,” Jimmy said. “Distracted by that hot tech support guy you met.”

Randy’s cheeks grew hot.

“What’s this?” Kat turned to him and raised a brow. “You’ve got a new love interest, and you didn’t tell me?”

“No, he was never a love interest. I just found him attractive, that’s all. I still find him attractive, but he’s straight as an arrow. Kat, didn’t you say Denise would be here to pick you up soon?” Randy made an effort to change the subject. He had zero desire to talk about his love life—or lack thereof. Not with Kat . . . not with anyone.

“She’ll be here when she gets here, Randall.” Kat turned to Jimmy. “What are we going to do with him? He hasn’t been on a date in more than a year. That’s not normal.”

“Kat, please. Not tonight. Can’t we have one conversation that doesn’t revolve around my romantic life?”

What romantic life?” She shook her head. “Alex, you’re not involved at the moment. Don’t you think you and Randy—?”

“Enough!” Randy hated taking a hard line with his baby sister, but the situation was quickly spiraling out of control. “Please. Can we talk about something else? Tell me about the wedding.”

Kat heaved a dramatic sigh, her shoulders drooping. “Have it your way. I just think—”


“Fine. The wedding. What do you want to know?”

“Well, shouldn’t we have a rehearsal or something?”

“Yes, the dress rehearsal is Friday evening.”


“At the Hilton down on Mission Bay near the visitors’ center. Randall, I sent you an email last week with all this information. Didn’t you read it?” She tossed her head, and her long, dark hair spread about her shoulders in a messy, curly array.

“Kitten, your impatience is showing,” Alex said. He stepped around the island and laid a hand on Kat’s shoulder. “Cut him some slack. He’s had a rough few weeks.”

Damn it. Randy took a deep breath and braced himself for the worst.

Really?” Kat swiveled on her stool, faced Randy, and pinned him with her gaze.

Randy closed his eyes and wished to God he could disappear. He knew the look on his sister’s face, had seen it a million times. Sheer determination. She’d have the truth, even if she had to sit there all night. Realizing God wasn’t listening or possibly had better things to do than protect Randy from his little sister’s inquisition, he opened his eyes, shot Alex a thanks a lot, asshole glare, then looked to Kat.

“It’s nothing—”


“Okay, okay. I had a little health scare, that’s all. But it turned out to be nothing.”

“A health scare? What kind of health scare? And why am I always the last fucking person to know when something important happens in your life?”

“Kat, I would have told you . . . eventually. And like I said, the tests came back negative, so there’s nothing to worry about.” Now. But for almost two weeks, he’d lived a nightmare, waiting, wondering, worrying. Just thinking about the possibilities he’d faced made his stomach clench.

Tests. You had medical tests done, and you didn’t discuss them with me?”

Kat worked as a plastic surgeon at a large hospital near Seattle, Washington, and she was friends with some of the best physicians on the west coast. When his doctor had found the lump under his left arm, Randy had immediately thought about discussing everything with Kat—the tests he faced, his fears he may have cancer, the possibility he’d need to go through radiation and chemotherapy. But he’d just as quickly dismissed the idea of telling her anything. Kat lived over 1200 miles away. She had responsibilities and a life. If Randy had even hinted he might be sick, she’d have dropped everything and been on a plane the same day.

“There wasn’t any point in telling you; I didn’t have the test results back yet, and I knew you’d be here this week, anyway. Why worry you for nothing? The tumor is benign, and I’ve got surgery scheduled for next week.”

“Tumor! Jesus, Randy.” Kat’s black eyes went wide. “You have a tumor, and you didn’t tell me because you didn’t want to worry me?”

“It’s benign, Kat!” Randy took a step back. His hands shook and his chest tightened. “Look, I can’t do this right now. Seriously. I haven’t slept more than a few hours in the last week. I don’t have the energy for verbal sparring.”

Kat went from livid lion to caring kitten in the blink of an eye. She jumped up from her stool and pulled him into her arms. “I’m sorry.”

“Group hug!” Max stepped in and wrapped his arms around both Randy and Kat.

After a moment’s hesitation, Jimmy moved to join them, albeit stiffly.

In the back of his mind, Randy knew how ridiculous they would look to an outside observer—how silly. But after everything he’d been through, and as crazy as it might seem, the warmth he felt surrounding him at that moment was exactly what he needed. He soaked up the love and caring, and his tortured psyche began to heal.

The doorbell rang, the chimes overly loud in the silence. Randy gently extracted himself from his friends’ embraces.

Kat sniffled and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. “That’s probably Denise.”

“I’ll get it.” Jimmy left the kitchen and headed toward the front foyer.

Randy nodded at his sister. “You go. We have all week to talk. And I’m sorry, Kat. Really. I didn’t intend to hide anything from you.”

“It’s okay. I understand. But we will talk about this. I love you, Randy. You’re my only family, and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“I don’t know what any of us would do without him,” Max said. “But lucky for us, we won’t have to find out anytime soon.”

“Kat!” Denise preceded Jimmy into the kitchen. She threw her arms around Kat and hugged her tightly. “God, it’s so good to see you.”

Kat returned her friend’s embrace, and Randy took the opportunity to get himself together. By the time Denise pulled away to greet the rest of the group, he’d plastered a smile on his face and managed to act the role of gracious host and surrogate father of the bride. He mostly stayed in the background, listening while the others talked about Jimmy’s adopted son, Joey, and Jimmy and Kat teased one another about “exchanging services.” Kat had a master bathroom that needed totally revamped, and Jimmy had talked about getting a nose job for as long as Randy’d known him. Randy shook his head. He couldn’t imagine anyone going under the knife like that, just because they thought they had a too-big schnoz . . . .

* * * * *

Thirty minutes later, Randy found himself alone in his now-empty kitchen. Kat had taken off with Denise, after extracting a promise from him that he wouldn’t wait up for her, and that they’d talk over breakfast in the morning. Max and Jimmy had gone home to their respective houses, both of them having to work early in the morning.

Randy moved around on automatic pilot, putting away the orange juice, straightening up the small messes. His mind was on other things—on one thing, actually. The one thing he’d been dwelling on since what he’d come to call his “near brush-with-death experience.”

His lack of a life partner.

Coming face-to-face with your own mortality was a sobering experience. No doubt, everyone handled the situation differently. For Randy, the thought he might not have long to live had him thinking about what he’d done with his life so far and what he wanted to do with the rest of it. His career satisfied him. He worked as a freelance web developer for several major corporations—one of which employed the “hottie” Jimmy’d mentioned earlier. Randy had creative freedom, and he made more than enough money to pay the bills. He owned a tiny condo in Hillcrest—one of San Diego’s nicer neighborhoods, not to mention one of the most gay-centric areas in the country. He’d done a little traveling, had two of the best friends a man could ask for, and a sister who’d supported and loved him unconditionally his entire life. There was only one thing missing, but to Randy, it was a big thing. He wanted someone to share his life. Someone to come home to at night, to plan vacations with, to lay on the couch with on a lazy Sunday afternoon and watch old movies.

Nothing most other people didn’t want, really—but for Randy, those thoughts were foreign. He’d always been perfectly satisfied living alone. After all, if he needed a buddy, he had Jimmy or Alex. If he needed sex . . . well, a man could always find a ready and willing partner, if he knew where to look for him. A month ago, if anyone had asked Randy if he was satisfied with his life, as is, he would have responded with a resounding, “Hell, yeah!”

But something happened during those four days while he’d waited for his test results to come back, while he’d trolled the Internet until all hours of the night, scaring himself half to death by researching all the “what ifs” regarding the tumor. Suddenly, his life wasn’t so perfect, so full. In fact, when he really thought about it, his life seemed rather empty. Kind of shallow.

And the fact he’d been spared the worst—this time—hadn’t changed his feelings any. In fact, if anything, the second chance cemented his decision. Randy wanted someone to love, and someone to love him.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have a clue where to find him.


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