I’m delighted to welcome Dylan McEwan to my site today as part of my ‘Opening Lines’ blog series.
The idea for this series is that- once a fortnight- a different erotica writer will drop by to share the first 500 words (exactly) from one of their novels or novella.
Over to you Dylan…
I could have chosen a more current work or coming-soon book to feature here but I have chosen One Last Christmas simply because I enjoy reading it myself. The setting is both a contemporary British city and a futuristic post-apocalyptic domed super-city. When I first wrote the story some years ago I had no intention of submitting it for publication. After having several very successful erotic novellas and a full-length fantasy novel published under a pseudonymn, I had taken a long hiatus due both to serious ill health and a family bereavement and was easing myself back into writing with short stories just for my own entertainment. I was just writing what I wanted to read. The story came to me in a brief flash of inspiration – one of those times when it’s the early hours, you’re trying to sleep, but suddenly your brain decides instead to throw a story at you and you have to write down the plotline before you forget it. Most of my stories are fairly strong on the BDSM side but this turned out to be a sweet gentle romance that actually caused me to well up on re-reading. I am now working on a full-length novel based on the short story.
The Opening Lines
Jace stared at the sea of whiteness before him. In realistic terms, it was a pre-primed cotton canvas adhered to a tempered hardboard core. To Jace, it was an invitation, a beckoning opportunity, with the possibility to become anything at all in all the world that he could imagine and create, with a spectrum of acrylic and tempera. He never felt so alive as when he was giving birth to a work of art. Each brush stroke was a little piece of his soul, each finished painting his offspring. Right now, however, he was sterile. There was no spark of inspiration, no vision clamoring to escape his mind’s eye.
He sighed, raked a hand through his shoulder-length sandy colored hair, and put down the hog bristle brush he had been holding for the last fifteen minutes. It was time to give up for now. While this was frustrating, he wasn’t overly concerned. It happened sometimes. He knew there would come that moment of clarity when he would see so clearly the image in his mind that he wanted, needed, to bring to life. He just had to wait.
Jace left the bedroom he’d turned into an artist’s studio and went to the kitchen to make himself a mug of tea. He poured the hot water onto the bag of Darjeeling, then while it was brewing went downstairs to check if there had been any post. He picked up the pile of letters from the doormat and sorted through them, leaving those for other tenants on the shelf. Back upstairs, he sat down to open them at the small breakfast table. Most were white envelopes, hand addressed, obviously Christmas cards, but one was a brown windowed envelope, and he opened that first. He swore under his breath after reading it, screwed it up and threw it into the paper recycling bin. Great! The bank had refused an extension on his overdraft. What was he supposed to do for money now? There certainly weren’t going to be any luxuries like a turkey for Christmas. He’d be lucky if he could afford to have the central heating on. He couldn’t work any more hours and continue to paint. He was burning the candle at both ends now as it was. No one on minimum wage could afford to rent this place on their own. It was a real struggle since Alan and Dean had left. If someone didn’t answer his ad for a new roomate soon, then he was going to be in real trouble.
Jace decided to go for a walk to clear his head and take his mind off his worries for a short while. He wandered aimlessly along the sidewalk, sprinkled with the first fall of snow, occasionally glancing up at some of the wintry scenes decorating the shop windows. When he reached the town center with its department stores and street markets, he had to steer his way through the milling crowds of Christmas shoppers, laden with bags and…
Barnes & Noble:
If it’s true love, then even Time and Space cannot be an obstacle.
Struggling artist Jace Hamilton needs to find a new roommate to help make ends meet. He has no idea that posting that advert will change his life. Discovering a tall, dark and mysterious stranger on one’s doorstep is the stuff of cliché romance novels, but that’s exactly what happens when Jace meets Daniel Philips—a tall, dark stranger who oozes sex appeal and is hiding a fantastical secret!
Despite the obvious chemistry between them—and several fun romps between the sheets—it seems that this is nothing more than a holiday fling because Daniel is only in town for two weeks and is very evasive about his travel plans. But Daniel has fallen hard and isn’t going to let a little thing like a 500-year age gap stop him from being with the man he loves.
An emotionally-charged gay romance with a twist.
Dylan asked for a typewriter for his seventh birthday and has been writing ever since. He had his first short story published in a children’s comic when he was 12 when his main inspiration was Enid Blyton!
Dylan has played with lions, lived in an Iron Age round-hut, slept in a 5000-year-old rock tomb and kayaked white water rapids but now lives a quiet family life in the north of England with his daughter and youngest son. He enjoys hiking, camping, ancient history, archaeology, reading, writing poetry, vegan cookery, ancient crafts, LARP costume making, pagan/spiritual activities, and watching yaoi anime.
Dylan writes fantasy, sci-fi, fairy-tale, historical, BDSM, and contemporary gay romance stories and novellas, most with happy endings or at least happy-for-now endings and publishes under several pen-names.
Thanks again Dylan, a great starter!
Happy reading everyone!
PS- Come back in 2 weeks for Liv Honeywell’s 500 words.