Can you hear it? The bell is ringing.

Finally, Cock Fight can step into the ring and fight for itself.

I feel like a gym-mother, a woman who’s spent all her time preparing her son to step into the ring to floor the competition and kick some royal publishing ass…

Yes, well, moving on…

As my final act as doting gym-mother, I offer the hungry crowd a summary of the chapters and excerpts of my 11th novel. Consider it the program to the main event… a main event I sincerely hope you will all enjoy.

And with one final tweak to my boy’s boxing gloves and a kiss to the tip of his most adorable nose, I push my baby out into the ring.

Until next time…

Chloe Stowe

http://www.ravenousromance.com/modern-love/cock-fight.php

Prologue: The Cage

“The air was thick with sweat and beer.” (page 1)

Chapter One: Blue Crab and Cold Beer

Leverage.” Mitchell didn’t bother sugarcoating it. “That’s what runs my world. You have got to grab it whenever you’re given the chance.” (page 17)

Chapter Two: The Love Story of Isadora

“Back and forth he kicked his loafer clad feet under the table, looking all the world like a boy who’d just gotten out of his cereal box a new riddle to solve.” (page 37)

Chapter Three: Clooney, Newman and Grant

“He wasn’t Rocky, no matter how many times Aldo played that damned “Eye of the Tiger” song.” (page 54)

Chapter Four: Arrhichion of Phigalia

“All he wanted to do was to make this man, this beautiful soul, crest in uncontrolled ecstasy.” (page 80)

Chapter Five: Morning Delights

“Pacing back and forth in front of a spectacularly naked man was another new experience for him. Hell, he was popping cherries all over the damned place.” (page 94)

Chapter Six: A Gentleman Caller

“With a slow turn of the knob, Darian peeked out of the slit of an opening. He frowned. “Did they send you to tell me that he was dead, Mr. Christianson?” (page 99)

Chapter Seven: Sticky Dick

“Finally, the honey fell from Mitchell’s thigh, dripping slowly down to the inner curve of Carr’s hip.” (page 121)

Chapter Eight: Galas and Other Such Albatrosses

“The anxious yearning for approval in his eyes reminded Mitchell of a cat who’d just dumped a headless squirrel at its master’s feet. Mitchell didn’t know whether to offer Carr a warm bowl of cream or to swat him silly with a broom.” (page 126)

Chapter Nine: Soft Drink-Tinted Lights

“Neither man knew it, but it was the only goodbye they would be allowed that day.” (page 142)

Chapter Ten: Overheard Lullabies

“Maybe he could borrow the boy’s peace just for a minute, just long enough for him to remember how to breathe again? He’d give the boy his peace right back. He didn’t want to steal it. He just wanted to share.” (page 147)

Chapter Eleven: On the Back of a Dolphin

“Reeking of foul cigarette smoke, Carr limped determinedly down the long, third floor hospital corridor.” (page 157)

Epilogue: The Banana Man

“The waves were fickle, wanton in their desire to be nothing less than maddeningly unpredictable.” (page 164)

 
 
As promised, Cock Fight fans, here is your nice, long and thick excerpt from my 11th novel out tomorrow!  Enjoy!

Chapter Five: Morning Delights

Carr roused to the stuttering whirr of an old window fan. At first he thought the sound was the death throes of some monstrous wasp that was not going quietly into the proverbial light. That theory was eventually squashed as Carr realized the warm air hitting his naked body rode the stuttering whirr like the waves rode the tides. Still too lost to the vestiges of a deep, fucked-out sleep, Carr only peeked out from his leaden lids long enough to affirm the fan hypothesis. Satisfied now that he wasn’t about to be the last meal to some mutant insect, he let his eyes close once again and beckoned sleep to return with every limp fiber of his being.

It was not to be.

A new sound soon joined the electric tides. The slapping of bare feet against the cement floor of the bedroom became insistent and steady and quickly maddening.

“What the hell are you doing?” Carr mumbled out with a woolen tongue. It was slurred and was rushed out in a single breath so even to his sex-soaked brain it was clear that the jumble of sounds was nothing less than completely incomprehensible. He sighed at his communications failure but didn’t have the oomph to try it again. Hopefully, his lover would get the general idea from the Cro-Magnon grunt and would answer in actual words.

It was too much to hope for.

The pounding of feet only sped up with tiny, measured whooshes of breath now added to the mix. Carr had a sinking suspicion as to what the noise was. With a groan he was sure wouldn’t be heard over the pounding and whooshing, Carr opened his eyes. He found exactly what he had feared.

“You’re running,” Carr stated drily. Thankfully his tongue felt confident enough to string together intelligibly those few words.

Unfortunately, marathon man was too busy running fucking nowhere to notice.

After scrubbing a hand across his face a couple of dozen times, Carr finally felt it safe enough to try to sit up. With a painful wince the reminder of the previous night’s activities let itself be known. “Ow!” he gasped as his asshole throbbed in utter disagreement with his plans of sitting himself up on his butt.

Of course, Mitchell heard the stupid “Ow!” and whipped his head around to the bed. He did not, however, stop running. “Are you okay?” he asked in place of the measured whooshes of breath.

With a flap of his hand, Carr waved off his concern immediately. His fucking ass be damned, Carr forced himself up into a proper seat on the bed. “I’m fine,” he huffed behind a grimace. “Just getting used to the new lay of the land.” Yeah, he was fairly sure that didn’t make much sense, but hell at least he wasn’t the one running his ass off in place.

A crinkle of Mitchell’s brow was the only response Carr got before his lover returned to his focused stare out the old fire station’s window.

Now that he had been stripped from his sleep, however, Carr wasn’t about to let Mitchell just run on in his merry way. Behind a yawn that turned into three, Carr asked, “Is this a thing?”

“What?” Mitchell spared Carr a confused glance before returning to his thing.

“That.” Carr pointed with both his hands at the activity in question.

“What?” Mitchell asked again with no less confusion on his face.

“That!” Carr snapped because if this kid thought for a second that this was normal, there was going to be some post-coital rules laid out.

“I’m running.” The bastard shrugged as he picked up his pace. “It’s a workout… not a thing.”

At least the man was no longer able to speak in complete sentences without stealing a breath between every few words. The speculation that Carr had just been fucked by some kind of government-sponsored robot technology had been disturbing, to say the least. “How long have you been awake?”

Mitchell squinted at the clock hanging above his plywood dresser. “Seven minutes.”

Carr shook his head, disappointed he didn’t get a damned seconds count. “You do this every morning?” Because, really, if that was the case, there should have been some kind of release form for Carr to sign before he’d been given the go-ahead to fuck “Running Feet.”

“Every… other… morning,” Mitchell corrected between measured gulps of breath.

Carr thought it best not to congratulate him on the Lamaze classes just yet. He’d leave that piece of smart-assery for a time when there was more than one thin sheet and one wickedly supportive jock strap between them. Not that Carr was about to complain about the chosen athletic support his lover was so fashionably sporting. It highlighted the bulk and sheer girth of the goods without secreting away any of those hard, pounding muscles.

Carr watched for a minute as the play of muscle and skin and sweat roused Carr’s dick from its morning-after hangover. Maybe he shouldn’t complain about the running. In fact, maybe he should ask, “Uh, what do you do the other mornings?” If it was anything as hot as this, Carr was moving in.

Cutting the pace down to a jog from a full-out sprint, Mitchell again looked over his shoulder at his lover and squinted in an approximation of “What the fuck’s with you?”

Carr laughed. “You’ve got to know how pornographically beautiful you are doing that, right?”

Mitchell screwed up his face at the compliment. “You’re crazy, Christianson.”

Flinging the sheet that had been halfheartedly covering his dick off the bed, Carr looked pointedly down at his goofily bobbing dick. “This is the kind of crazy junior goes for. You should know that and adapt accordingly.”

Mitchell finally came to a stop. His breathing was hard but controlled. His sweat-coated skin glistened in the early morning light from the window. His eyes still held the laser focus gleam of a man in an intense workout. In short, Mitchell Boyd looked like he’d just been caught in the middle of a slow but dirty fuck. “Are you always this weird in the mornings?” Mitchell asked with a cocky-assed grin on his face.

“No, this is new.” Carr stopped and considered his partying penis once again. Coming to a conclusion, he looked back up at his lover. “I blame you.”

Mitchell laughed as he grabbed a towel from the window sill, scrubbing his face with it. “I got to shower.” He peeked out from behind the terry cloth and smirked. “Does your little friend there want to wash or dry?”

Said little friend twitched happily. Carr beamed, “I’m not thinking he cares right now as long as he gets some one-on-one action with that fine ass of yours.”

Mitchell grinned as he snapped the band of his jock strap against his hip. “You like my ass?”

Carr shrugged. “Junior’s fond of it, yeah.”

With a put-upon sigh, Mitchell relented, “Okay, wash, dry, then fuck. How does that sound?”

“Efficient,” Carr answered with a dirty smirk.

Mitchell smirked back. “Not if you don’t get your own ass out of bed.”

“Yes, sir!” Carr snapped off a crisp salute. Then, with a spryness Carr hadn’t felt since he was ten, he jumped off of the mattress and jogged obediently right past his lover. Only after he reached the shower did he call back, “Last one in blows the other!”

The hot water ran out way before the men lost their steam.



Did you like? I really hope it tickled you in all the good spots.

So, until tomorrow, when Cock Fight will be available at all the usual suspects (Amazon, AllRomance Ebooks, my publisher www.ravenousromance.com, etc.) I will leave you with a smile and a thank you for always reading.

Until release day (Wednesday, April 11)…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
A quick and exciting note for all my -Cock Fight- Dailies blog followers…

A release date for my 11th novel Cock Fight has been announced! This Wednesday, April 11, the latest Chloe Stowe original will be available from all the usual suspects (Amazon, AllRomance Ebooks, and my publisher www.ravenousromance.com).

To spur you into dusting off a space on your electronic bookshelf for my latest I include here the blurb/synopsis for Cock Fight…. 

 
For some, life is a fight, a struggle to succeed and thrive.

For Mitchell Boyd, life is a cage fight, a struggle to merely survive.

Twenty-six years old and with an elderly father to support, for the last two years illegal cage fighting has offered Mitchell the answer to many of his problems. It’s a dangerous game and one that has just gotten more dangerous. Mysterious attacks have been made on Mitchell’s life, each one worse than the last. It is only a matter of time before they turn deadly.

Thirty-year old Carr Christianson owns one of Baltimore’s most respected security firms. As a favor to a friend, he offers to play “bodyguard” to the young fighter while both men work to discover who is behind the attacks.

A fierce, dazzling love is found along the way, a love that forever anchors the men’s wandering souls to each other. 

But when one final attempt is made on Mitchell’s life, not only is the present shattered but the men’s very future is put in doubt.

For some, life is a fight.

For Mitchell and Carr, life is a dare.


As promised, I will post a nice, lengthy excerpt here for you tomorrow. Hopefully, it will tantalize, scintillate and entice your romantic hearts to lean my way.

Thanks again for all your loyalty, patience and grit. Following me and my wobbly psyche can’t be easy.

Please, spread the word and drop by tomorrow!

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“The waves were fickle, wanton in their desire to be nothing less than maddeningly unpredictable.” (page 164)

So, one and all, we have reached the epilogue’s blog. The end, as always, is bittersweet for me. This is the fourth or fifth preview blogging event I’ve done for a novel, and I humbly think this one was by far the best. Thank you all for stopping by every day and sharing a bit of the madness that is my world.

The ocean. It is a siren to the author in me. My characters are drawn to it; my storylines beg to have their scenes played out in its salt air. I have to drag my novels away from its sandy and rocky shores.

Why does my imagination yearn for the sea?

Why do I?

Mental illness is a furious and frenetic fraying of the mind. Imagine a thousand little mice gnawing and unraveling the tightly weaved fibers of your brain. Yes, it’s a disgusting image, but it’s apropos. There is nothing pretty about mental disorder.

Perhaps one of the worst things about the disease is its unpredictability. No matter how well you know the condition from which you’re suffering, its course is never clear. The thousand little mice have disturbing minds of their own. They follow no plan, no diagnosis. You never know what part of you they will turn to next… not until you feel their jagged little teeth sink in.

The ocean is constant. For all its potential destructiveness, for all its deadliness, its waves may falter but they will never disappear.

Gnaw and tear and rip with their yellowed teeth as they will, the mice can never pick apart the will of the sea.

Perhaps I drift toward the ocean because I am jealous of it?

Perhaps.

Or maybe, like a  mother’s heartbeat, I lean toward it because I know it will always be there?

Perhaps.

Well, that’s it, folks. The end of the Cock Fight Dailies. I hope they brought a few unexpected smiles to your world.

When the release date for Cock Fight is finalized (later this week or early next week, the publishing gods have told me), I will announce it here on my blog. And to celebrate its release, a lengthy excerpt will also be found here that day.

I thank you again for joining me on this previewing journey. I hope you will consider making Cock Fight a part of your library, just as you have made this blog a part of your life.

Until next time…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“Reeking of foul cigarette smoke, Carr limped determinedly down the long, third floor hospital corridor.” (page 157)

 

Ah, Day Twelve! The penultimate blog of this preview blogging event!

I still can’t believe that I have had eleven novels published. Wow! (I’m allowing myself a little giddiness over the accomplishment. Please feel free to grab a handful of giddiness for yourself. *grins*)

Enough of the self-aggrandizing bluster. On to the blog!

*Sighs*

I have apparently tied myself up in a big, old blog knot again. To continue with my goal of keeping the blog related to either the chapter title (the post’s title) or the day’s excerpt, let’s see what we’ve got for possible subject matters today… dolphins, cigarettes or hospitals.

Anybody care to jump in and make something out of that? Perhaps a public service announcement warning marine life about the dangers of smoking? Or a cautionary children’s tale about associating with dolphins who puff?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Ok! *rubbing hands together like a mad scientist with Boris Karloff and a few bolts laying on her table* I can do this. It may not be pretty. It may limp and drag a bad leg behind it, but it will be done!

Here we go…

Dolphins.

A savvy reader might ask: How the hell did dolphins end up in a story about underground cage fighting?

Good question. In fact, it’s an intriguing one, isn’t it? It kind of makes you read the chapter title a couple of times before finally giving up and going “Huh?”

I never understood authors who didn’t use chapter titles. It’s like you’ve gone through all this trouble to cook up this magnificent feast for your readers only to serve it to them without a plate. Yeah, the food’s still good but the presentation sucks.

It’s a small thing, I know. Miniscule, even. But I like going whole hog for my readers. I’m not going to just pull out the Sunday china and slop my wordy goodiness on the pretty plate and send them on their way.

No. I’m going to the antique store. I’m going to the consignment shop. I’m going to the quirky artist down the street who makes pottery in a rainbow of colors. I’m going to find the perfect platter for each dish. I want each title, each serving dish, to be unique, enticing and curious… a dolphin-shaped plate does that to a meal.

Just wait until you see the banana-shaped bowl the epilogue is served in. *winks*

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“Maybe he could borrow the boy’s peace just for a minute, just long enough for him to remember how to breathe again? He’d give the boy his peace right back. He didn’t want to steal it. He just wanted to share.” (page 147)

Upon April’s first breath, Day Eleven arrives. Welcome.

Peace is a wondrous gift. A brief, fleeting moment of peace can see you through years of hell.

It is a mouthful of cool, refreshing water in the middle of a desert…And often souls crippled from mental illness die from the very thirst for it.

Parched for that lull in the madness, desperate for that heartbeat of calm, we ache for just a single drop of that water.

For twenty years now I’ve battled a chronic panic disorder.

I have found peace only once.

It lasted three innings.

A Chicago Cubs fan since the age of ten, I had always dreamed of a trip to Wrigley Field, a baseball mecca for many die-hard fans. It had held the top spot on my “Must do” list for decades.

I got there once.

I sat down in that seat on the first base side of Wrigley Field just as Wayne Messmer finished singing the national anthem.

Peace found me at that moment.

Surrounded by thirty thousand rabid Cubs supporters and with my sister by my side, for those first three innings all the parts of my mind that are constantly warring with each other, well, they all simply went still.

It’s silly, I suppose. I know I can’t explain it.

It was as if God bent down and gave me a peek of heaven… a heaven where I am normal, where my nervousness is not only gone, it never even existed.

By the fourth inning, the peace had slipped away and I’ve never known it since.

But I can still taste that water in my mouth.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“Neither man knew it, but it was the only goodbye they would be allowed that day.” (page 142)

Day Ten of the Cock Fight Dailies crests the hill with the sound of a thousand thundering hoof beats… or am I lost in a delusion of grandeur again?

Well, either way, welcome!

Goodbyes. They are many things to a writer.

They are often the lynchpin to a hardy, robust romance.

They are a surefire fix to any dragging storyline.

And they’re usually guaranteed to up a scraggly word count by at least twenty-five percent.

Goodbyes are an author’s finest weapon. The threat of them alone casts an uncertain pallor to every romance, be it historic, contemporary or paranormal. I’ve heard them described once as a guillotine writers force their readers to walk through for the privilege of joining the party.

The blade could fall at any time… and on anyone.

In the best suspenseful yarns of romance, it’s like sitting in the room with a ticking bomb. There’s no nifty timer, however, to tell you when or if it’s ever going to blow. The constant tick-tick-tick may fade into the background behind sexual “Oh!”s and “More!”s, but the tick-tick-tick is still ticking away in the afterglow.

Is it a power trip? Do we feel like the Greek gods of old javelining thunderbolts at our mortal characters at our every whim?

Well, no.

At least, I don’t. Once I’ve spent the time, energy, emotion and imagination to create a character the very last thing I want to do is kill them.

Does that mean I won’t?

Of course I will. The storyline must come first.

But does it mean I won’t miss him or her?

Of course I’ll miss them. I’ll mourn them right alongside my readers. Perhaps, even more since I will know sides to them that the audience has never seen… and now, thanks to me, will never have a hope of seeing.

If the guillotine falls, it always falls for a purpose.

Bottom line to all of today’s rambling?

I much prefer hellos to goodbyes.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“The anxious yearning for approval in his eyes reminded Mitchell of a cat who’d just dumped a headless squirrel at its master’s feet. Mitchell didn’t know whether to offer Carr a warm bowl of cream or to swat him silly with a broom.” (page 126)

In lieu of a decapitated rodent, I offer you my warm welcome to Day Nine of the -Cock Fight- Dailies. Hello.

Approval. We all want it. Whether it’s from our parents, our peers, our friends or our readers, we all strive for that pat on the head that says “Well done, lass.” (Um, doesn’t everyone’s approving voice in their head sound like an old Scottish grandfather in a kilt with a set of bagpipes on his shoulders… or is it just me?)

Moving on…

Approval is a hard thing to come by. It’s rare. It’s usually precious. And you’d pay a fortune for it on the black market if you ever came across a worthy scrap of it for sale.

But what is it worth really?

A town’s approval of you rarely means nothing unless you’re running for political office or your staring down a lynch mob split fifty-fifty over whether to hang you or not (and in that instance I suggest not standing around waiting for the vote, either.)

A parent’s approval you’ve most likely already got, even if it does take you half a lifetime to realize it.

The approval of friends is often as fickle as the spring wind. Right when you’ve gotten it all figured out which way it’s coming from for you to catch it, it turns on its head and scampers away right out of your reach. You’re not only left empty-handed, you’re left out of breath and usually feeling like a fool. (If you’ve gotten the feeling that we’ve drifted into bitter waters, you just might be right. Let’s say we all move to higher ground, shall we?)

Approval is something we’ve got to earn from ourselves before we can rightfully expect it from anybody else, or so says the wise man.

Me? I’ll offer you a fair trade. I’ll give you mine, if you all give me yours.

And see? Not a squirrel lost his head in the deal.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“Pacing back and forth in front of a spectacularly naked man was another new experience for him. Hell, he was popping cherries all over the damned place.” (page 94)

Welcome to Day Six of the –Cock Fight- Dailies and to the one chapter title I’m just not happy with. There’s no pizzazz to “Morning Delights.” It’s almost mundane. *sighs*

To compensate, how about I throw some kindling on the fire and heat this blog up a couple hundred degrees?

Alright, ladies and gents, let’s put on the potholders and dive into… Chloe Stowe’s Naked Man Facts!

1.) A naked man making me pancakes in the middle of the night can turn me on faster than anything labeled XXX and running on batteries ever could. Even if he’s a lousy cook, cleaning off the batter splattered on his body with my tongue is well worth having to choke down a couple of rubbery hot cakes. Besides, you’ve got to admire a man who puts his “manhood” so close to an open flame just for his woman (or man, whatever the flavor the day may be).

2.) A naked man holding a screwdriver is, for some reason, catastrophically hot. Yes, we’re talking “BOOM!”, folks. A thousand little bits of aroused Chloe is all the poor guy would be left with. (Note to self: Is there such a thing as a hardware fetish? And what is the marketability of such a kink in the publishing world?)

3.) A man who sleeps in the nude will always get a big gold star on his dick from me. Just saying.

4.) A man sunbathing in the nude is just asking to be eaten. He better bring a stack of napkins with him. Things could get messy.

And finally a Chloe Stowe Naked Man Fantasy… Playing the Dukes of Hazzard with my matchbox cars on his ass. Yeehaw!

Ok, silliness is now over. Everybody can return to their normal lives. *grins*

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe

 
 
“All he wanted to do was to make this man, this beautiful soul, crest in uncontrolled ecstasy.” (page 80)

Yes, you read that right. “Arrhichion of Phigalia” is the title of Chapter Four of the upcoming Cock Fight. I bet you’ve never read a blog entitled that before? Either you’re intrigued or you’re reliving school nightmares…

School nightmares.

They are the bane of my existence, the thorn in my every side, and my constant companion for the last sixteen years. I kid you not. Every freaking night they crawl up onto my pillow and bore themselves right into my head.

“Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the school nightmares… err, bed bugs bite.”

I should embroider me a pillow.

I’ve always dreamed. I’ve always remembered my dreams. Before being cold-cocked by my panic disorder, however, I only viewed them as a usually pleasant distraction from the dark. Kind of like television with a really screwy cable plan.

Now, it’s different.

Now, it’s real… or it was real. I get confused sometimes.

There was a lot of crap I went through at school when mental illness first took its hungry little nibbles out of my brain. I had no idea what was going on.

It was like waking up underwater. It’s a whole new reality you’re met with, a reality where there is no obvious up. And breathing like you’ve done your whole life doesn’t work anymore. It just makes you drown faster.

Yeah, it sucked.

But, really, does it have to suck again in 3D and surround sound every single night?

Apparently it does.

I know there must be a reason behind these dreams, a reason God makes me relive my greatest failure again and again.

There has to be.

But I’ll be the first to admit that my faith takes a heck of a beating with this one.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe