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A lonely stretch of beach becomes a hiding place for two men who, when their paths cross, are determined not to be ships just passing in the night.
Purlman “Purly” Gates—dark, brooding, mysterious, hiding from his past and the hefty price on his head—is hopelessly attracted to the young man who strolls the beach every morning. At the risk of his own exposure and its deadly consequences, Purly succumbs to his desire and sets out to lure the beautiful enigma into his lair.
Lucky Cleary wants the swarthy stranger who watches him from the shadows of the cottage deck, and his morning promenades finally pay off when the man steps out onto the beach and into Lucky’s life in a move to bring their paths together.
But Lucky has a secret as well—a past mistake following close behind him, promising certain death if it catches up with him.
LS: Here is where you might ordinarily see a bio of the featured author. Vastine Bondurant, however, shall remain cloaked in tantalizing mystery–a bit like her sexy characters… No bio…
Q: How important are character names, to you, and how do you go about naming them? What about titles?
A: Names, to me, are very important, almost as important as plot, because a name can say a lot about the character. Almost all my characters are name after real people, and I love listening to stories of the past from family and friends, and using names I hear. Titles? Oh, yes, crucial. That one little handful of words that have to CATCH a reader’s eyes. Oddly, so far, my titles on published works have been the characters’ names.
Q: In what locale is your most recent book set? How compelling was it to set a story there? Do you choose location the same way every time? How?
A: A secluded beach was my most recent locale for Purly Gates. And I chose it because I patterned my character Lucky after Rudolph Valentino who used to walk his dogs on the same beach every day. Other locales? Very compelling, for me. The scenery, the setting, are characters themselves.
Q: How much power do you give your characters in steering the story line? A: Oh, heck. I never intend to give them very much power, but they always take over.
Q: What is the most satisfying element for you in writing gay relationships, and why?
A: I’ve tried for a long time to answer that for myself. Something about it is so highly sensual, the chemistry between two men. I cannot put my finger on what satisfies me so about it, it just feels right. Maybe simply the mystery of it all, the NOT knowing why, is the beauty for me.
Q: Are readers involved in making your fiction—do they suggest stories or say what they’d like to read?
A: I’ve never been asked that before, but what an interesting question! To date, I don’t recall a reader suggesting anything for me to write. But, honestly, I think I’d enjoy that.
Q: Describe the ideal relationship between author and readers.
A: Oh, wow. What a cool question. I suppose the ideal is for the readers to feel as if they know the author. For them to be comfortable, to feel free to do as the question above stated—to feel free to suggest what they’d like to see in my stories. But, above all—respect, both ways.
Q: What do you find useful about reviews?
A: I’m one of those oddballs who loves reviews, good and bad. Who does not love a good review, a bit of praise, feedback to let the author know what a reader liked and why. But, just the same, a respectful not-so-good review can be valuable. I love using them as meters when I doubt elements in a story. If readers doubt the same things, I give credence to that. And I use it to make the next story better.
Q: I’m well known for demanding to know an author’s opinion about which of their characters is the sexiest, and I’m making no exception for this group. Who, how, and why?
A: Oh, heck, no fair. I only have one book under the Vastine name. (LS: And that book has at least two sexy characters from whom to choose, Vastine. Jus’ Sayin’.)
Q: What are the fifty hottest words (approximate the word count) you’ve ever written, in your opinion. (Be sure to include citation).
A: Oh, no. Thinking, thinking. Have I ever written any hot words? Honestly, the hottest words I ever wrote were under another pen name, and Vastine is the guest today. LOL. And, to date, I’ve not reached a heat level in my writing. (LS: Ahem. I direct the reader’s attention to the excerpt below from Purly Gates. Steamy. Yes, hot and sweet. Right?)
Q: What are you doing now, what do plan to write next?
A: Right now, working between two WIPS (one C. Zampa and one Vastine), and I don’t spill too much about my works-in-progress. I won’t allow myself to think of ‘next’ because my attention span is so short, I’m afraid I’ll just sort of wonder away and not finish the current works if I think very far ahead. Lol…
Excerpt from Purly Gates
Purly’s body felt so right. Warm. Strong. But it was a strength that couldn’t, even if it wanted to, hide its gentle core.
At first Purly stiffened with Lucky’s sudden move to lay against him but, after only a moment, he sighed and wrapped both arms about Lucky and pulled him closer.
Melted so comfortably, so safe, with the surprisingly smooth lines of the man’s body, Lucky realized he wanted—really wanted—this man. Oddly, not only to fuck but to…love? That seemed impossible, yet no other emotion fit the perfect light spreading through his veins at the sound of the even breathing and the steady, robust heartbeat. At the peace in being circled by the man’s embrace.
And, although a very hard-to-ignore erection rested just beneath Lucky’s arm, it touched him that Purly hadn’t made an advance to relieve it. The gentlemanly abstinence did touch Lucky, but it didn’t curb his own desire.
Purposely he pressed his arm a bit more firmly into the tempting hard-on and murmured, “Your music has stopped.”
A delicate chuckle rumbled from Purly’s chest to Lucky’s cheek. “It stopped a long time ago.”
“Hmm.” Shifting in Purly’s arms to intentionally touch his lips to the pulse at the man’s neck, Lucky sighed. “Will you play it again for me?”
The pulse accelerated beneath his lips, the strength of it—so virile, so primal—aroused Lucky.
He unwrapped his arms about Purly’s waist to allow him to rise from the divan and hungrily followed his stride to the phonograph.
Damn, those muscles—the arms, the thighs, the back, the ass—captured in the subtle glow from the lamp.
Lucky stared, devouring every detail of Purly’s body as the man wound the crank on the phonograph and lovingly placed the needle on the shiny black disk.
Purly ambled to the kitchen table, pulled a Chesterfield from its pack and lit it.
His muscles showcased in the pale light teased Lucky’s desire to an unbearable level.
He would make the first move.
Just as Purly turned and made a step to cross the room, Lucky stood and shrugged out of his shirt, allowing it to drop to the floor.
Purly stopped, clearly surprised. Hesitance registered in the dark eyes, but only for a moment as though he’d merely resisted for want of an invitation.
That passionate, brooding piano melody filled the room, stroked Lucky’s senses, taunted him.
Cupping his cock, he fondled the increasing stiffness through the fabric of his trousers.
Purly said nothing, only watched while taking a long drag on the cigarette.
After slowly blowing the smoke into the air, he returned the cigarette to the ashtray. “Lucky, after what’s happened to you…”
A slight, almost indiscernible quaver in the soft, satiny voice was the first sign of any nervousness from Purly.
Lucky smiled. “This is what I came here for.” While his stare locked with the onyx one, Lucky unfastened the belt then the trousers and wriggled out of them. They slid to the floor in a cloud of soft white at his feet.
Under the black gaze, Lucky trembled and smoothed his palms over his chest, lingering over the sensitive flesh of his nipples, kneading the hard buds between his fingers. The exquisite pressure increased in his balls, and he slid his fingers along the line of his belly to his cock. Wrapping it in his fist, he slowly stroked the warm shaft and moaned almost under his breath, “Please.”
He shook, every inch of him—scared, excited, ready—when Purly approached with the purpose and sensual sway of a huge cat that, having found its prey, was going to consume it.
Lucky headed for the small bedroom, the glorious beast following close and quiet.
Sinking onto the bed and reposing on the cool, rumpled covers, Lucky spread his legs and arched his body while massaging his aching erection. “I…want to see you.”
Purly straightened and tugged at the hem of his undershirt, pulled it over his head and dropped it to the floor. Without shifting his gaze from Lucky, he slid the white shorts along his hips and down his legs then stepped out of them.
Glorious. The solid physique of a gladiator, a prizefighter with pride in his posture, pumped for the match. Compact yet perfect proportioning from the imposing chest and shoulders, the tightly chiseled abdomen to the narrow hips.
Purly rested his palm on Lucky’s belly, caressed the lines of it with the awed but unsure touch of one daring to graze a master’s painting. “You are so beautiful.” Yet the words were a kiss, not a condemnation or a curse as it had seemed with Lionel. “But, Lucky, after what you’ve been through—”
“Please.” Reveling in the tiny spears of fire teasing his skin and the wonderful heaviness in his groin, Lucky arched his body into the warm, exploring palms. “I told you. This is what I want.” What I need, what I need so badly. Clutching Purly’s hand and squeezing his fingers, Lucky pleaded. “Please. Oh, God, please don’t be afraid to touch me.” And, until that very moment, Lucky hadn’t realized just what he did seek from this man. “Please make Lionel go away.”