Friday, January 13, 2017


Starting Over
By Maggie Walsh

  Barney sat in the hard plastic chair of Gate 12 at LAX as he waited for them to call for him to board his flight to Hobart, Tasmania. From there, he would pick up the car that was waiting for him, and drive north up the East coast to Bicheno. His final destination. Butterflies fluttered in his stomach and Barney thought he would be sick, but he knew it was just nerves. It wasn’t easy starting your life over. Especially in a new town, in a new Country, but Barney was excited about it, too. As scared as he was, he still felt like this was the right thing to do for him.
  “Qantas Air Flight 2457 to Hobart, Tasmania now boarding at gate 12…”
  Barney listened to the instructions from the woman’s voice on the overhead and stood to get in line. He dug out his boarding pass, and his wallet fell from his pocket. Barney bent to pick it up and bumped heads with another person. He placed a hand on the bump and straightened. “Ouch.”
  The person he banged into also straightened, rubbing their head, and Barney damn near swallowed his tongue. The man before him was the sexiest thing he had ever seen. He had to be a good 8-9 inches taller than Barney’s own 5’-7”, and the man looked like he worked out. He wasn’t muscle bound, but he was definitely in great shape. Barney could see some nice bulging muscles of his biceps pressed against the rolled up sleeves of his blue dress shirt.
  The Adonis also had the softest looking chestnut brown hair. It was a bit shaggy, reached the collar of his shirt, and a lock fell over his brow, almost covering his right eye. Barney had a desire to reach out and brush the lock back, exposing the deepest blue eyes he had ever seen. The man smiled at him and those eyes sparkled. The Adonis’s lips parted slightly and perfect white teeth dazzled him. “Crikey. Sorry, mate,” Adonis said and Barney’s knees went weak.
  The sound of the man’s deep voice, along with the accent had Barney’s heart fluttering and he just wanted to hear more. “You okay there?”
  “Um..what? Um..I mean, excuse me?” Barney asked.
  The man gave him a bright smile. “Are you o-k?” he said slowly and pronounced the o and the k.
  “Oh, yes. Thank you. Are you?” Barney asked and pointed towards the man’s head.
  “I’m cool bananas,” he said and nodded.
  Barney gave him a weird look, then shook it off and bent again to retrieve his wallet at the same time gorgeous man did and before they banged heads again, Adonis stopped and placed a hand on his arm, halting him. Barney straightened and watched as the gorgeous man bent and picked up his wallet, then handed it to him.
  “Thank you.”
  “No worries,” the man answered, lifted his duffle from the floor, and slung it over his shoulder before he turned and walked away.
  Barney stared after him for a moment, but was brought out of his lust by the overhead announcements calling his group to board. Barney got in line and handed his boarding pass to the woman at the terminal door, then headed down the jetway, and onto the plane. He couldn’t afford First-class but he wanted to be somewhat comfortable on the long flight, so Barney had splurged and bought a seat in Business Class. It wasn’t as cushy as First-class, but it was nice. There was definitely more room. He found his row and stowed his carry-on in the upper bin, then slid into his seat by the window. With it going to be a long sixteen and a half hour flight, Barney had made sure he got the window seat so that he could not only look out the window, but also use the planes wall to lean on when he fell asleep.
  Barney placed his laptop bag under the seat in front of him, then grabbed his seatbelt and clasped it over his lap. Barney looked up and met those beautiful blue eyes of the Adonis. The man was standing in the aisle behind a pretty woman, who was trying to stow her over-sized bag in the overhead. The flight attendant came forward and helped the woman, then they moved out of the way.
  The whole time, he and Adonis had locked gazes. The aisle seat next to him was still open and Barney found himself doing something he hadn’t done since he came out of the closet when he was sixteen and his parents threw him out and told him God didn’t love him anymore, he prayed. He prayed for Mr. Goodbar to be assigned to the seat next to him.
  The man moved closer and passed his aisle, and Barney deflated. He looked down at his lap, then out the window, waiting for everyone to get boarded and the plane to leave. Someone sat in the seat next to him and he heard the snap of the seatbelt, then that sexy voice with that even sexier accent. “Do ya like nutties?”
  Barney’s head turned and he looked at the man with a raised brow. “Excuse me?”
  The Adonis smiled. “Do ya like nutties? I know some blokes are allergic and I wondered if I had some nutties, if they would bother you,” the man explained.
  Barney looked at the man in confusion for a moment before what he said dawned on him and he smiled. “No. I’m okay with nuts.” Now it was the man’s turn to raise a brow as he smirked.
  Barney felt heat rise up his cheeks from his blush and he softly laughed nervously. “I mean peanuts. I like peanuts,” he quickly corrected.
  “Bonza. G’day, I’m Asher Copland,” he introduced himself and held out a hand.
  Barney reached out and clasped Asher’s hand, shaking it, as he answered, “Barney Wilde.”
  Asher’s smile widened and Barney saw the twinkle in his eyes. “Tell me, Barney. Do you live up to your name?”
  Again, Barney looked at Asher in confusion, until what the man was asking dawned on him and again he felt the heat of a blush rise over his cheeks. There was no denying it, Asher was flirting with him and Barney couldn’t be more happy about that.
  After the introduction were out of the way, they both settled into their seats and a comfortable silence came over them. The plane was loaded and the doors closed. Barney watched as the flight attendants went through the emergency procedures should there be one, and the pilot made a few announcements. Then finally they were heading down the runway. Barney’s body was pressed back against the seat as the plane picked up speed, then he felt the front of the plane rise, lifting off the ground. He held onto the armrests with a death grip as the plane climbed, once they made it to the proper altitude and the plane evened out, Barney relaxed. He was on his way to his new life.
  Barney was surprised to find that he and Asher had so much in common. They had talked non-stop for over five hours learning so much about each other. Once he started telling Asher about how much he loved music and what he liked to listen to, Asher told him that he needed to try some of the music of Australia once they reached their destination. Then Asher gave him the names of some groups like Sticky Fingers, The Choirboys, and Safia. Barney laughed at the names and thought Asher was pulling his leg, until the man pulled out his phone and pressed a few buttons, then handed Barney a set of earbuds.
  He never expected to hear the reggae sound that came to his ears, from an Australian band. He didn’t know why he was surprised, he just was. Asher told him that it was a song called “Australia Street”, by Sticky Fingers.
  Time on the 747, talking with this handsome man, that only a few hours ago had been a stranger, seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye. After talking with Asher for eight hours, they both had taken a nap. Barney was embarrassed to find himself with his head on Asher’s shoulder, cuddling up against the man, when he had awakened three hours later. Bur Asher seemed to enjoy waking up with him.
  The flight attendant came around with their meals and the conversation continued as if they had never stopped. Barney had never felt so connected to another person before. It was nice having someone he could talk to that was interested in what he said, and Asher seemed to hold on to every word that came out of his mouth, which only endeared the man to him more.
  Asher was everything he wanted in a man. He was all the things Barney’s ex was not. Kurt had been closed off and closed minded. He had a hatred for everything. He walked around thinking the world owed him and was pissed that it wasn’t paying him. He hardly ever listened to anything Barney had to say, and when he did listen, Kurt usually berated Barney, telling him that he was too naive for the world and need to toughen up or be spit out. Kurt has also been a cheater, and Barney couldn’t handle that. He wanted a man that only wanted him. Someone he could share his life with.
  When Barney was contacted by his grandfathers attorney and called into the man's office, he had been shocked to find out that his grandpa had left him a house in Bicheno, Tasmania. Barney really loved his grandpa, and they were very close. Especially after his parents threw him out at 16. His grandpa had taken him in and gave him a place to live, supported him emotionally, and gave Barney love. He never once treated Barney differently or like now that he was gay he was less of a man.
  He remembered his grandpa going off to his other home in Bicheno six months out of a year as Barney was growing up. It was a normal thing in his life and he never questioned it. And when his grandpa returned to the states ten years ago, when Barney was 16, and never returned to Tasmania, Barney had wondered why, but all his grandpa would tell him was that he had more important things to do in California. Barney had assumed his grandpa had sold the house in Bicheno. But when the attorney called six months ago, a month after his grandpa died, Barney couldn’t believe the man had not only kept the house all these years, but had left it to him.
  With his relationship with Kurt being so unstable, and hm being so unhappy, then losing his grandpa, Barney felt lost and didn’t know what to do with his life. That’s when he found the letter from his grandpa, telling him to leave that loser of a boyfriend, and his homophobic parents, and his crappy job as a customer service rep for a vitamin company, behind and to start a new life. The letter had told him all about the house in Bicheno and how his grandpa wanted him to go there and give it 1 year. If after the year was over and he didn’t like it, then he should leave, but that Barney needed to not settle and find the life he wanted. But if after the year was over and he did like it, then Barney should stay and make Bicheno his home. So here he was, off to see if his life was about to begin.
  When he told Asher all of this, Asher had smiled and told him that his grandpa sounded like a smart man. Barney couldn’t agree more. Grandpa was a special man, and Barney knew he had stayed in California because of him and what his parents had done to him. So to thank his grandpa for all he had done for him, Barney would do what his grandpa asked. He couldn’t wait to get to the place his grandpa loved so much. His whole life his grandpa had told him stories about Bicheno and Barney was excited to finally see the place of all those stories.
  Asher told him that he was originally from Sydney, but had moved to Seymour, Tasmania about fifteen years ago and that he managed a hotel there. He was returning home after being on a business trip to the states. Barney had no idea where Seymour was in relation to Bicheno, but he hoped it wasn’t too far.
  “When you land in Hobart, what are your plans from there, Barney?” Asher asked, and Barney just melted from listening to the man talk. Even though he had been listening to Asher talk for hours, that sexy voice still ignited heat inside him.
  “I have a car waiting for me, then I am going to spend a few days driving up the coast, checking out all the sights. In grandpa’s letter he left me a map and marked off a few places he wanted me to see.”
  “That sounds like a crash-hot idea. I think you’ll love the drive. There are some beaut sights. Lots of beaches. You should stop in at Dolphin Sands along the way. It’s one of my favorite places,” Asher recommended.
  “Thanks, I’ll do that,” Barney replied and brushed a stray strand of his blond hair from his face. As he did, Asher reached out to do the same thing and their hands touched briefly before Asher pulled his back slightly, but it remained hovered in the air, close to Barney’s face. So close that he could feel the warmth coming from it.
  “Has anyone ever told you what a stunning bloke you are, Barney?” Asher asked and Barney could see desire in his eyes.
  Barney gave Asher a soft smile, then answered, “No, not really.”
  “Then they are fucking idiots, because you are gorgeous,” Asher stated.
  Barney blushed and looked down, but his head snapped up quickly when Asher asked, “May I pash you?”
  Barney didn’t know what the hell the man was talking about. “May you what?”
  Asher’s smile widened. “May I kiss you?”
  Now Barney really didn’t know what to say, so he just nodded. Asher leaned closer and as he cupped Barney cheek. Their lips met and it was a soft gentle kiss at first. Asher pulled back slightly, but then leaned in again and pressed his lips to Barney’s, but this time the kiss was more heated. Asher slid his tongue across the seam of Barney’s lips and Barney opened to give Asher more access.
  Asher slid his tongue against Barbey’s and he felt a bolt of excitement shot through him and settle in his groin. Barney’s cock got harder than a rock and pressed painfully against his zipper. Barney was desperate to release his shaft, but knew he couldn’t. Asher tilted his face, deepening the kiss and Barney moved closer, grabbing the front of Asher’s shirt. The kiss morphed and became more passionate, almost feral, and Barney wanted more.
  A noise of disgust broke through his sexual haze and Barney pulled back just as Asher did. They slowly broke the kiss and the sound came again from behind Asher. Asher turned to look over his shoulder and Barney gazed across the aisle. A man sat there glowering at them. “So disgusting,” he sneered.
  “So stop looking in the mirror, cobber if the sight disturbs you. Wish we had the same option when looking at ya. Maybe the stewardess can get you ‘n’ extra pillow case. That should yakka,” Asher replied, and the two elderly women sitting in the seat’s a head of the man snickered.
  “Don’t mind him. Douches always squirt out nasty stuff. Just grit and bare it, then toss it away,” one of the women said in her American accent.
  Barney laughed and the man grunted, then turned away from them and opened a magazine, burying his nose in it. Asher turned back to him wearing a big smile, then kissed him again.
  After that the last few hours of the flight flew by and before Barney knew it, they were landing. He hadn’t even been nervous during the landing with Asher squeezing his hand. Asher helped him get his bag from the overhead and they left the plane together. Once they made it to through customs and into the terminal, Asher turned to him.
  “May I call you?” he asked.
  “I would like that,” Barney answered and Asher kissed him again.
  “Enjoy your trip north, ‘n’ don’t forget to stop at Dolphin Sands. I’m sorry I have to run off so quick, but my hq is waiting ‘n’ I have a meeting to get to.”
 “It’s fine. Go. I’ll be okay,” Barney promised.
  Asher squeezed his hand one last time, then released him and stepped back, turned and walked away. Barney watched him go, then headed toward the car rental counter.

  A week later, Barney stood on the front deck of the house, sipping his coffee as he watched the sun come up over Tasman Sea. He wanted his first morning here to be special so he set his alarm to wake him early. The sunrise was beautiful as it pained the sky with golden light and reflected off the water, making it appear to hold an endless amount of twinkling diamonds.
  Movement to his right grabbed Barney’s attention and he turned his head to see a long jogger coming up the beach. He watched in fascination and wondered how anyone could up so early and go jogging. Then thought, it was the perfect time. There was no one else around, the weather was warm, and the sunrise was breathtaking.
  The runner got closer and Barney could make out that it was a man, but not just any man, but a man who was familiar to him. Barney smiled when he realized it was Asher, and he straightened, waiting for the man to notice him. He shouldn’t have worried, because Asher jogged straight for him. When he reached the spot just below Barney at the edge of the deck, Asher stopped and gave him one of those amazing smiles of his, that made Barney’s heart beat faster. Barney returned the smile.
  “Well, g’day handsome. How was your trip?” Asher asked.
  “It was great. How did you know where I was?” Barney asked.
  “I have been jogging up this beach every morning for the past three days watching to see when you would arrive. I wasn’t sure this was the right place, but I figured it was seeing as it’s the only one that has sat unoccupied for the past ten years.”
  Barney’s eyes opened wide from Asher’s confession. “How did you…”
  “I live 2 kilometers back that way. When you mentioned where you were going, then who your grandfather was, I knew exactly where you would be.”
  “You knew my grandpa?” Barney asked in surprise.
  “Yes. He was a bonza bloke. Many of us missed him around here ‘n’ always wondered why he hadn’t returned. But knowing it was for such a bonza cause makes me happy. So what are your plans for today?” Asher asked.
  “I was just going to make us breakfast so you could tell me more about my grandpa and this amazing place.” Barney flirted.
  Asher flashed him that smile again and made his way to the steps leading up to the deck. Barney met him at the top and Asher wrapped an arm around his waist, pulling him close. “I would love to.”
  Asher leaned down and claimed Barney’s lips. And that’s how he felt, claimed. He was so excited about this new life of his and suddenly wasn’t scared of starting over.

Raven Stone is an almost 500 year old vampire who is next in line for the throne to become the king of not only the vampires, but of the paranormal race as a whole. But to claim the throne he must to complete his Coterie, a circle of five men of different breeds of paranormal who are his destined mates. And he must claim them all before his 500th birthday, or he will lose the throne forever, and for the first time in paranormal history the Stone family will not hold the honor.
Raven has already found and claimed four of his mate’s, but his birthday approaches and forces are against he and his mates from finding their last mate. When Raven smells the scent of their last mate on a greedy vampire who leads the Clearnight Haven coven, he and his mate’s, Lorcan, Ash, Ciro, and Jareth, travel to the small town in upper Washington State in America.
Joel is a human who works at the local newspaper as a junior reporter, but if he can get the story of the century, he hopes it will be enough to convince his boss that he should be promoted to one of the senior reporters.
The town bigwig and major asshole, Malcolm Dean has gone missing, and no one even blinks an eye from his loss, but when the mysterious billionaire Raven Stone comes to town and takes over all of Dean’s business holdings, Joel smells the story he’s been looking for.
As Joel sneaks around trying to uncover what Raven Stone looks like and who he is, an even juicier story, with a bigger fish, an evil man named, Mario Gallo, gets dropped in his lap.
When Joel goes to The Raven Club to do a story on Raven Stone he never expected to find five men that he feels an overwhelming attraction to. After a night of mind blowing pleasure with the five men, Joel is shocked to learn who these men truly are and who they say he is to them. Joel isn’t ready for what they offer him and he runs, concentrating on his story, when suddenly Joel disappears.
When Raven and the others learn that Joel has gone missing, they know he is in danger and they must find him before it’s too late. And if they find him, will they be able to convince Joel that he belongs with them?

  “Why am I here again?” Joel asked himself. “Oh, yeah. Because I’m a stupid turd.” Joel sighed and looked down the alley at the back door to “The Raven” club. He just needed one damn picture to go with his story. If he could get this story, his boss promised him a promotion to reporter for the newspaper he worked for. He had been stuck as a research clerk for five years now and he was tired of getting passed over time and again. He knew Mr. Devlin didn’t think he could get the scoop on the new hotshot in town, but he was hungry for this promotion. So, he would do whatever he had to do to get it.
  The back door to the club opened and Joel held his breath. He raised his camera and got ready. Please let it be Raven Scott. Nobody had been able to get a good shot of the newest mega millionaire to the area since he arrived six months ago. The guy remained a mystery to most people around here. He stayed to himself and never did any interviews. Every paper and news station within a hundred-mile radius was scrambling to get the scoop on him.
  Not that having a rich businessman to the area was new, but the details of Raven Scott’s appearance raised suspicion. Previously the small city of Clearnight Haven, in one of the uppermost parts of Washington State, was basically owned by Malcolm Dean. The man owned about eighty percent of the businesses in and around the area. He was a powerful force around here and everyone feared him. Then one day he just disappeared. No one knows what happened to him and only the city officials seemed to care.
  He was a ruthless prick who thought he was better than everyone else and thought he was above the law. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and spread his money around to make things disappear that could cause trouble for him and his associates. People got out of his way when he walked down the street, afraid he would zero in on them and bring trouble to their lives.
  So, when the man just dropped off the face of the planet, the residents of Clearnight breathed a sigh of relief. Life had been better here since the prick left. That was until a month later when all his properties were bought up by Scott enterprises.
  Very few people in Clearnight Haven even knew what Raven Scott looked like. He was never seen out in public during the day and very rarely at night. From what Joel had heard, the man was a recluse that stayed mostly to his mansion over near Slip Point. It was very secluded and surrounded by a brick wall about ten feet high. The only glimpse you could get of the place was passing the huge main gates. Even then you couldn't really see the house. One could also go out onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca and drive past with a boat, but Joel didn’t have a boat. So, he was stuck here trying to follow the guy.
  The door swung open and four men stepped out into the alley. Three of them were huge with bulging muscles. They all wore black suits, shiny black shoes, and black sunglasses. It reminded Joel of ‘The Men in Black’. They must be bodyguards. But why would they be wearing sunglasses at two in the morning? That wasn’t all that caught his attention. The big dudes looked around as if trying to make sure the coast was clear. They surrounded the fourth man and waited. What were they waiting for? As soon as the thought entered his mind, a long black limousine came toward the group from the far end of the alley.
  “Come on you big blockheads, move so I can get a shot,” Joel whispered under his breath as he aimed the camera at the group. Through the viewfinder of the camera it looked like the man in the middle turned his head in Joel’s direction as if he had heard Joel’s whispered words. But he didn’t turn his head completely, so no clear shot yet. The car pulled to a stop in front of them and one of the guards opened the back door and stepped aside, allowing the guy in the middle to step forward and enter the car. Just before the man entered, his head snapped in Joel’s direction and his eyes stared right at Joel through the camera lens.
  Joel was frozen when those eyes looked at him. His breath caught in his throat and his heart began to beat faster. He was the most stunningly beautiful man that Joel had ever seen. His shoulder length straight black hair was so dark it looked like he had blue highlights running through it. A strong, square jaw with just a slight stubble of dark hair, that surrounded full, pink, kissable lips. A sleek nose that went up to two amazingly beautiful deep cobalt blue eyes, and the longest, thickest, black lashes he had ever seen on a man.
  Joel’s eyes scanned down what he could see of the man's body and what he saw was wide shoulders and maybe a strong chest. He really couldn’t tell under the black dress shirt the man wore under his black suit. Movement through the camera drew his attention back to the man's face and the hottie was still looking at him. But now he wore a smirk on those delicious looking lips and his eyes shone with amusement. Joel’s cock went granite hard in zero point one seconds.
  When the man started to bend to get in the car, Joel quickly snapped off a picture. All heads then turned in his direction. He closed his eyes and cursed his stupidity. He forgot to shut off the damn flash. When he opened his eyes, he saw two of the large men turn and take a step in his direction. He swallowed hard as sweat broke out on his brow. Run, you stupid ass. But Mr. Hot-as-hell’s lips moved and the two guards stopped and turned back. The hottie flashed Joel one more sexy grin and then disappeared into the back of the limousine. The three brutes followed and the door closed. The car headed in his direction and Joel quickly jumped around the corner of the building and pressed his back to the bricks, hoping they wouldn’t see him.
  The car came out of the alley and stopped at the corner, but it didn’t move on. Joel stared at the rear blackout window and he could swear he felt the man’s eyes on him, boring into his soul. A heat started within his chest and his foot moved, taking a step forward. Joel felt like he was being pulled toward the car by an invisible force. Just as his foot was about to hit the pavement he pulled it back and shook the dizzying sensation from his head. Air rushed back into his lungs and he gulped the salty air. The car rolled forward and turned left. Joel stood motionless as he watched the taillights disappear.
Where to find Maggie: 


  1. loved it hope i can buy it in kindle form soon

  2. OMG Maggie Walsh, give me more.

  3. Loved it. Thanks

  4. Maggie great little snippet. Barney and Asher were adorable, that needs to be a full book. Ohhh love me some sexy vampires.

  5. Granddad must be watching from heaven and smiling! So sweet, loved it!

  6. Loved it. Hope it turns into a full story.

  7. Sounds like a great lead for a full story.

  8. That was so nice. I like stories like that. Enjoyed the excerpt as well.

  9. I hope there will be more to starting over. Loved it.

  10. You write it, I'll read it lol

  11. Loved it.

  12. Thanks for another chapter. I liked it.

  13. I loved it. Hope there is a part two

  14. Thank you for the post.


  15. *sigh* my new BBF, Asher!

  16. Loved it. Love all the books you have written hope there is going to be a second to Coterie?

  17. OMG OMG OMG please please tell me there will be more to this story.

  18. Oh, Maggie. Sounds soooo good :)

  19. Hope there's more to the story.

  20. Aww, that's so sweet! A perfect little gem to read with my morning coffee. Thank you. Definitely checking out your backlist.
    j dot stonewright at gmail dot com

  21. Loved it. Would love to know more, but not that's it?!?! Thank you!

  22. This was so cute, but I'd love it if it was longer.

  23. Delicious and cute snippet.

  24. Love the accent.

  25. Cute, is there more???

  26. Loved it! Hope I get to read more soon.

  27. Enjoyed your story.

  28. cute story
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  29. Loved the Aussie.

  30. loved them both!! thanks!!

  31. I loved it. Was so cute!

  32. Omg really short but loved it....

  33. What a fun little story thanks Maggie ... The Vapm one also looks really good <

  34. Now I want more of that sweet story.

  35. I didn't realise it was out yet. I'm certainly going to look up that one!