Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Kaje Harper

Kaje Harper has returned to knock your socks off again this year. 


"Hey, Joe. How long's it been since we met?"

Joe squints at me, fiddling with his camera. "Feels like forever, feels like yesterday. Two months, maybe?"

"Mm." I tug my wide leather harness straighter across my chest, rotate my hips to get my black jeans seated low.

Joe bites his lip in appreciation, then laughs. "We're here for a photo shoot. Quit acting sexy."

"I thought that was the point." I sweep my hair further off my forehead.

"Only when I say go." He raises his camera. "Go."

I like posing for him. No, I love it. A hundred reps every day, for ten years, is over three hundred thousand times my biceps worked for this moment. And a shot a week for twenty years is over a thousand needle sticks and worth every one. I like thinking about all the men, and women, who'll see me as Mr. September and wish they knew me, wish they could touch my deltoids, my extensors, my pecs. I've worked damned hard for the appreciative stares I get.

Most of all, I like knowing he finds me worth his art. When he tells me to flex an arm, let out a breath, lift my damned head so my beard doesn't shadow the hollow of my clavicle, I feel his focus as an artist. And yet, I ache for his focus as a man.

Not yet, not yet.

We've danced that slow-building dance in a dozen cafés, at weekly ballgames, at little jazz venues where we share an unexpected common taste. Our eyes often meet and spark, and I look away. His foot bumps mine and I return the bump, but nothing more. His hand brushes my wrist, and I smile, but pull back.

Joe looks up from his camera display. "Those are great. Can we lose the harness now? I want something more… vulnerable."

Vulnerable. Ha.

I turn away, unbuckle, whip the harness off to land on the pile of our stuff, out of the frame.

"Wait," he says. "I want some shots of your back."

I follow his directions, my back to his sharp eyes, as I flex, arch, shift my weight. He murmurs, "Great. Yeah. More of that. Mmm." I have to grit my teeth. I want those words to mean something different. Then he says, "Okay, turn. And maybe start out kneeling?"

I pivot on one boot heel, arm across my chest, casual-like. The floor of the alley's gritty, so I squat instead of kneel. With my elbows on my knees, hands dangling, I try to seem relaxed, waiting.

He sees something else in me because he says, "Brent, are you okay?"

I raise my head to look at him, meeting his eyes. I know this pose shades my chest, highlights my arms. From a hundred helpful mirrors, I know what he sees in this moment. What I don't know is what he'll see when I stand, and the light hits my scars. Those arcs of ridged tissue under my pecs, still pale and red after twenty years, will tell their tale.

When I stand, I will discover if he wants me for me, or only for this body I've built to reflect my true soul.

When I stand, he'll discover the secret that should be the least important thing about me, but has been the rock previous relationships foundered on.

In a moment, just one moment more, I'll stand up in the light.

How's she do that with so few words, right? Be sure to let Kaje know what you thought of her fic in the comments.

About the author:

I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota's a kindly, quiet place and it's home to me now. I've been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers - forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi...) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.

My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submit something, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I've been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.

My first free book became the first story that I actually released - I put it up a month before Life Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.

I now have a decent backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published. A complete list with links can be found on my Books page. This writing thing is addictive. So read, comment, tell me what you like and what you don't, and help me make the upcoming books even better.

You can also email me : kajeharper ~at~ yahoo ~dot~ com


Enter to win an audiobook of The Rebuilding Year narrated by Gomez Pugh! Giveaway ends 11/12 @ Midnight EST. Good luck!

It took losing nearly everything to discover what they can't live without.

A few excruciating minutes pinned under a burning beam cost Ryan Ward his job as a firefighter, the easy camaraderie of his coworkers, his current girlfriend, and damn near cost him his left leg. Giving up, though, wasn't an option. He fought and won the battle back to health, over a painful year. Now, choosing a new profession, going back to school, and renting a room from the college groundskeeper should be simple.

Until he realizes he's falling in love with his housemate and things take a turn for the complicated.

John Barrett knows about loss. After moving twice to stay in touch with his kids, he could only watch as his ex-wife whisked them away to California. Offering Ryan a room seems better than rattling around his empty house alone. But as casual friendship moves to something more, and emotions heat up, the big old house feels like tight quarters.

It's nothing they can't learn to navigate, until life adds in unhappy teen kids, difficult family members, and mysterious deaths on campus. Rebuilding will be far from easy, even for two guys willing to open their minds, and hearts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We Unicorns thank Kaje for helping us celebrate our anniversary again.

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/17!

Trivia Question: Name the paranormal series featuring a constable and clairvoyant. 10 pts 


  1. I need to know how Joe would react!!! Kaje, you're such a tease! :P This little fic was obviously swoon-worthy & has sexual tension written all over it. #Damn ;)

  2. So beautiful. So sexy and tender and heartbreaking at the same time... What will happen next? I need to know...

  3. What an amazing story! Really packed feels into a few paragraphs. Thank you! It is really hard for me to pick a favorite book by Kaje...I'll go with Life Lessons because it is the first book to an wonderful series.

  4. I also put my unicorn haiku on the main anniversary page, but here it is for this entry:

    A magical beast
    You spark imagination
    And share your beauty

  5. OMG. Left me breathless. Love Into Deep Waters and The Rebuilding Year.

  6. So far, I like LIFE LESSONS! My haiku's on the main anniversary page...


  7. That was an amazing ficlet! I have only read a few of Kaje's books so far so I don't have much to base a favorite on. Mine so far is Nor Iron Bars a Cage.

  8. As intense and compact as to be expected from Kaje, thanks!


  9. For the second year in a row, Kaje leaves me holding my breath and darn near crying there isn't more. =) I expect nothing less. I love every Kaje book I've read, but I re-read The Rebuilding Year and The Family We're Born With/Make the most. Thank you!

  10. Thank you for the ficlet. It was wonderful. I haven't read many of Kaje's books but out of the ones I have read i think Possibilities maybe my favorite.