Title: Beastly Businessmen and Guitar Gods
Author: Asta Idonea
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance
Length: Short Story Collection (novel length)
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Fairytales and Myths for the Modern Gay
The modern age is devoid of magic.
Or is it?
How else could a stolen guitar or a lost shoe lead to love?
What but magic could spark romance at a workplace assessment?
Or turn a mean-spirited monster into a man?
Six fairytales and myths are given a contemporary MM twist in this collection of stories, proving that sometimes the mundane can be magical too.
DRAGGED INTO LOVE (Þrymskviða)
When Theo’s landlord steals a prized guitar in lieu of rent owed, he informs Theo he will return the instrument on one condition: he wants a date with Theo’s twin sister.
LOVE’S CODE (Ariadne and Theseus)
Andre must pass the examination if he wants to keep his job.
However, he is distracted by his unspoken love for fellow programmer, Eren.
“How are you finding it now we’ve reached the halfway point?”
The question, directed at the back of his head as he filed into place in the café queue, caused Andre to start and spin around, thumping his questioner’s arm in the process.
“Sorry, I….” Andre’s voice trailed off when he found himself staring into Eren Aksoy’s dark eyes.
“Oh, it’s okay, you can talk to me,” Eren said, clearly misunderstanding Andre’s hesitation. “There’s no rule says we can’t discuss the test in our breaks. It’s just no one tends to do so. Competitive natures and all that.”
Andre didn’t think he’d ever heard Eren speak before, at least not more than a word or two. Since work in their department was mostly solitary, there was little discussion around the office and they never spent their breaks together. He could sometimes go the whole day without exchanging a word with anyone unless he needed to run something by Gavin.
Eren’s voice was mellow and smooth. A natural baritone, with the merest hint of an accent to betray his foreign roots. When Andre’s gaze was drawn to his mouth, Eren’s lips twitched into the shadow of a smile. Beautiful, full lips. Lips Andre wished he could sample, imagining Eren would taste of chocolate and Eastern spices.
“I suppose the SQL posed no difficulty for you. Mine’s a little unpractised and took longer than the others to complete. I’m into the fifth task now.”
“Me too.” Andre’s brain finally caught up with the conversation and he half-turned back toward the counter. Staring at Eren was a can of worms he didn’t wish to open lest his body betray him. This way he was not ignoring Eren, but he could divide his attention to keep his unruly mind occupied.
“Think you’ll make it through?” Andre could have sworn Eren shuffled closer as he asked the question, but no doubt that was merely the product of his overactive imagination.
Andre shrugged. “Depends what the final tasks are like, I guess.”
“My bet? These seven tasks aren’t important. Whatever that final surprise turns out to be will pose the main challenge.”
“Uh, you do know this is a competition, right? Sharing insights with me isn’t exactly advisable. Shouldn’t it be ‘every man for himself’?”
Eren laughed. The happy, bright sound drew the attention of half the café and made Andre twist farther away as his cock gave a jerk of appreciation. “There are ten places, Andre. It’s perfectly acceptable for both of us to succeed.”
GUESSING GAMES (Rumplestiltskin)
Sasha told a little white lie in his job interview and it won him the role.
Only now he is faced with a pile of work he doesn’t know how to complete.
ASSIGNATIONS AND ULTIMATUMS (The Strange Elopement of Tinirau)
Hunter and Ross are in love, but Ross’ father keeps trying to set him up with undesirable, yet powerful, older men, the latest of whom happens to be Ross’ boss.
LOST AND FOUND (Cinderella)
Cillian is dreading the work masquerade ball, but once there he finds himself romanced by a dashing stranger, only to flee when he discovers the man’s identity.
A DEBT IS A DEBT (Beauty and the Beast)
Dunstan Griffin is not a man to let a debt slide, so when debtor Alfred Siskin offers the EA services of his son, Wynn, in lieu of payment, Dunstan accepts.
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Finance & Fairytales—Creating DunGriffinCorp
Considering how central it is to the plot, it may surprise readers to know that I never planned DunGriffinCorp. When I wrote the first story in this collection, I had no idea the tales would all eventually connect to one another. It was only when I commenced the second piece and created the office environment for my characters that I saw the potential it offered. Five of the six stories slotted perfectly into that world, and the sixth could be linked via secondary characters.
Once I had made the decision to move ahead with that idea, it did change my approach to several of the retellings, and DunGriffinCorp began to take on a life of its own. Why a financial investment company? In all honesty, I couldn’t say. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been more arts-orientated myself and find finance dull, but I knew straightaway that it had to be finance, as that seemed about as far from magic and fairytales as one could get.
By the time I completed final edits on all the stories and had the book ready for submission, DunGriffinCorp had become a character in its own right. Like the people within the individual tales, it changes through the course of the book. It’s a living organism that is affected by the events that take place within its walls, and by the end it too has been transformed. So maybe there is magic in finance after all.
Prizes: 2 x $6.99 WIP Gift Card
About the author
NICKI J. MARKUS was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works, including the novella Time Keepers and the fantasy novel The Ragnarök Chronicles.
Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of ASTA IDONEA and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing. She is currently working on her first M/M novella.
Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, and cross stitch. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.