Excerpt – Cowboys’ Christmas by Carol Mckenzie

Cowboys’ Christmas

By Carol McKenzie




As of today, Friday, December 19th, 2008, Cowboys’ Christmas is ranked the #1 best seller at Fictionwise for loveyoudivine, it is the #1 best seller for loveyoudivine at All Romance Ebooks and ranks #15 at AllShortStories.com


It is the first story to be released for the coming print anthology in 2009, Men On Holiday.


Ebook ISBN / Price: 978-1-60054-283-1

Length: 56 pages / 14,400 word count

Genre: M/M

Category: His and His Kisses

Rating: Shooting Star

Price: 3.75

Buy link: http://tinyurl.com/4u2yz8

Video Trailer: http://tinyurl.com/59anuw


Cowboys’ Christmas


The First Release from MEN II: On Holiday from Carol McKenzie – DEC 1st

It’s December and it’s cold. Blake’s back aches from busting broncs and he wants to settle down, maybe do some ranching. Blake loves his sister, who doesn’t know he’s gay. But he loves Riley, too. If he breaks the news, will his sister accept Riley into the family?

Thirty-year-old Blake finishes his obligations on the rodeo circuit for the year. It’s December and it’s cold. He calls his sister, Katy, in Rufus, Oregon, and tells her that he is getting too old to bust broncos. His back and bones ache. He mentions he may come home for Christmas. Katy ís delighted because she needs help with the Kinglsley Ranch; it’s falling apart, and her boyfriend is too much a tenderfoot to help.

Blake can’t wait to meet up with his “friend” in their usual camping area. Katy doesn’t know about his flame, Riley S. Campbell. What will she say or think when she finds he’s taken Riley, a man, as his lover? Will Riley’s family accept Blake?



Blake Kingsley pulled his truck and fifth wheel into a vacant island of Huck’s Gas Mart in downtown Longview, Washington, and stopped the engine. He climbed out and put his gray Stetson on his head. Heavy, cold rain beat down on the overhang and the air smelled of gasoline. He lifted the nozzle, pressed the mid-grade button and pumped forty dollars worth of gas into his tank, mumbling his displeasure the whole time. When he finished, he put handle back and ambled toward the pay station, the soles of his boots smacking in puddles.

A sleepy-eyed, brunette attendant behind a counter looked at him over her gold-rimmed glasses and blinked long, curling lashes.

Tipping onto his toes, he drew a couple of wadded bills from his tight jeans’ pocket and placed them on the steel counter.

The attendant took them without a word.
“Thank you, Ma’am,” he said and returned to his truck.
He climbed into the cab, closed the door and within the minute, drove toward Kalama, Washington, taking the interstate north. Pangs of loneliness entered his system again. He thought about his family; those alive and dead. I need to make a call. He retrieved his cell phone from the center console. Without swerving off the road, he dialed his sister in Rufus, Oregon.
“Katy, this season’s done. Thank God.”
“I hope you come home.” Her voice sounded creaky. He imagined her soft, freckled face and auburn, curly hair. “It’s been quiet here since mom and dad’s died.”

A picture of their parent’s crumpled automobile, with blood on the seats the day after their head on collision in Medford played in his mind. The horrible call from the emergency room had come announcing their demise. He gulped air in his sadness.

His sister sighed, bringing him back to the here and now. “Things are fallin’ apart around this ol’ place. Frank’s not into ranchin’. He can’t even ride a horse.”

Blake wiped a tear from the corner of his eye and the remembrance ended. He clucked his tongue, recalling her tenderfoot boyfriend, Frank. “I’ll bet.” A misplaced smile quirked at the corners of his lips. It’s best I change the subject, or she’ll cry. “What do you want for Christmas, sis?”

“Just get here safely. We’ll have a nice holiday, if you come. I’m invitin’ you, you know.”

“I’ll spring for the turkey, if I was to come,” Blake said and placed his Stetson on the passenger seat.

“So, how are you doin’ otherwise, little brother?'”

“It’s best you not ask, ’cause right now, I’m in a piss poor mood.”

“Why’s that?”

“These friggin’ gas prices suck. They’re high as hell. It costs too much drivin’ the circuit anymore. I’m twenty-eight and gettin’ too old for bustin’ broncs.”

“Get a different job, then. Stay home, settle down. Maybe get a job as, I dunno, be a cop.”

“I’ve done ruint my back.”

“Maybe it’s time to quit.”

“I’ve got to think about it. See you.”

“Tell your buddy hi. Oh, and call when you get close.”

“Will do.”

Once he put the cell phone back in the case and closed the console lid, he took a left onto a different highway and began thinking about what Katy didn’t know—his ideas on sexual preferences. It’d shock her to death. He thought about his job situation, too. Maybe I’ll work the farm. Or become a cop. At a stoplight he lit a cigarette and slid the Bic back into the pocket of his blue western shirt. Right now, all I do is get out there and risk life and limb…for what? To give the audience thrills, and all I get is a few measly dollars. Shit. I must have rocks in my fuckin’ head. What the hell am I goin’ to do? Should I rodeo another year, or quit? Cops’ lives are always in danger. Maybe my back ain’t in good enough shape to do that kind of work.

He coughed, took another drag off his Benson & Hedges and glanced at the speedometer. The dial read he was going five miles per hour over the speed limit. He raised his foot a bit on the gas pedal until the needle stopped just over sixty-five. An elongated sigh left his lips.

He passed several dense, vast forested areas. The dark green fir trees alongside the road forked upward toward a gloomy, cloudy sky. Rain splattered on the windshield as the wipers thump-thump-thumped. When he stopped at a sign, he flicked his cigarette out the window into a mud puddle. He turned the satellite’s radio knob to a country-western station and hummed along with George Strait who sang Easy Come, Easy Go.

As he started driving, his thoughts turned to a better subject. Yeah, I’ll park this thing and take a rest. Gettin’ a mess of Riley will make me feel better. The U-Shine Car Wash caught Blake’s eye. Maybe I should unhook this thing and wash the road dust off my pickup. He decided to keep on trucking, wanting to get to his destination before dark and get a space rented. I’ll wash it tomorrow.

Mid-afternoon, driving along on I-5, he gazed out upon the sparkling Columbia River near his exit. Slow barges made their way north and west; a breathtaking sight.

Once off the interstate and in town, he drove down the main drag looking for the old, peeling sign that read Campground–Marty’s Trailer Spaces–Weekly and Monthly Rates. Blake passed the launderette and the post office. He traveled two blocks past the totem pole, the Lone Pine Cafe and made a right just like he had at previous season’s end.

I’ll rest. Maybe spend part of the winter with my ol’ buddy.

He pictured his pal, Riley S. Campbell, when he last saw him over a year earlier. He stood five ten and had a slim, strong build. Blake never thought to ask his exact age, but he guessed it to be around twenty-eight. He’d worn hand-tooled boots and a belt that sported a silver Texas longhorn buckle. Riley’s onyx gaze seemed to penetrate his soul and mind. Worn jeans, most of the time faded, encased a well-shaped ass. Blake began to feel the slide of him coming inside his body. Damn, I’ve missed him. He’ll be a sight for sore eyes.

City Of Night

This week, I welcome author Mykola “Mick” Dementiuk, a wonderfully gift writer whose real-life experiences create a canvas of discovery…


City of Night




Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk


In the early 1960s I picked up a battered used copy of City of Night by John Rechy, who was to become my ideal of a street-smart hustling writer, one I very much grew to admire. On the cover was the image of a man in a raincoat standing in New York’s nighttime 42nd Street…and I imagined I waited behind him as he crossed the street and made his way to a nearby hotel…Because that’s what was done on 42nd Street, two fairies going after each other, wasn’t it?


Yet until then, before John Rechy, I hardly even glanced into a book, much less tried to read one, having dropped out of high school when I was old enough to do so, but this book had me intrigued. Not only did the cover entice me in, but a few pages into the reading of it I found out that Rechy hustled his way from El Paso to Los Angles to New Orleans and into New York’s Times Square. I wanted to do just that, and boy, was I hooked! Reading it as if spellbound day after day after day…


Because from where I came, New York’s Lower East Side, this book was just typical faggot drivel which lauded the uptown way of life with its wimpy sick Times Square compared to the dangerous gangster streets which I was more accustomed to. But I stole into those same wimpy streets at night and secretly began to prowl through them, entering darkened movie theaters, standing, watching and following stranger after stranger into bathrooms, where for just a little while our fingers would meet and we would share our hardships with each other, then disappear into the darkened softness of the night. Was I looking for a John Rechy in the darkness or someone as good looking as him? In either case, the city of night had become my feast of delirious pleasure…one that I longed for and chased after…


But unfortunately the 1960s fled by much too quickly with its hippies and radicals heralding us into the ‘70s and the ‘80s. Eventually I had to take a break from all the chaos I was dwindling into and try to return back to life, which meant going back to school…and strange, but I did just that. College was a bitch, considering I had never gotten out of high school, but getting an equivalency diploma was a good start and I was on my way. By the end of five years I had become someone who had been a drop-out and now was a Columbia University graduate…big deal, right?


I began dreaming of my old haunts in Times Square, the movie theaters, maybe I could go back to what once had been?…But of course I couldn’t…Though I had avoided those midtown streets during my college years, I dared to enter them now, only to discover that AIDS had decimated and almost erased it all. Had I been destined to live and die as one? How did I avoid the decimation? It could be seen on the men’s thin, gaunt faces as they staggered the streets and slowly dwindled into nothingness — becoming just another name on some forgotten AIDS memorial quilt…


Locked in myself I began to drink heavily and where once it was sex that controlled me, it now was booze that had its hold over me. Sucking up to alcohol one Christmas night in 1986 I picked up a razor and automatically slashed my own wrist…the most natural thing to do…and that night in Bellevue Hospital the other natural thing was to have the shrink say I wasn’t that dangerous to myself or others, which he did…


Drunks are born liars, I’d heard him say, looking at me…and that morning, after being tossed out of Bellevue, I picked a pen and no matter how hard it was to hold one with a freshly slashed wrist, that’s exactly what I did, held a pen and wrote…



Which I’m still doing now…well, with a keyboard…I went through Holy Communion, my first novel, about a little boy facing himself, his past and future, followed by Stallers, Tales of a Masturbating Idiot, a book of interrelated tales about Times Square. But when I came to Vienna Dolorosa, a novel which I wrote every morning for the next three years, it was as if I were possessed by a wonderful spirit that held me until it was done. Vienna had freed me, in a way that alcohol could never do…


That was followed by Baby Doll, about a transvestite teenager who could pass perfectly and almost does, East River Stories and countless other tales. Little by little I was getting published by various small magazines, Paramour, Aphrodite Gone Berserk, Avalon Rising, Eidos and others. With the little money I was making from publication I could treat myself to a dinner…that’s about it. Ha! Typical. Was able to survive with various other jobs as a stagehand, apartment cleaner, gofer, whatever…Just as long as my writing was being done every morning.


Then in May 1997 I had a stroke that knocked me on my ass into a coma for three weeks, waking up to find myself like a little baby boy who didn’t know what was what and becoming so infantile that I was making kaka and pee-pee all over the place…Sure had a hell of a lot of relearning to undergo…


With the stroke I lost the use of my entire right side of my body, my right leg, right arm, right eyeball, with my mouth drooping to the right no matter how many physical exercises I performed. In time my body slowly, very slowly, came back to me and one night I awoke from a dream-filled sleep with the words Times Queer in my consciousness and on my lips. My entire Times Square life had been shown to me in a dream and now 42nd Street was bringing it back…


Though I hadn’t touched a pen or paper since the stroke three years earlier, that morning I sat down at the computer, which I had been using to teach myself to play games on, and started setting that dream down, typing it one letter, one word, one paragraph at a time.


Two years later I was able to renew my friendship with Sally Miller of Synergy Press, who had published one of my stories in the early nineties and who now agreed to publish Times Queer as a chapbook, with my take on Rechy’s novel but with a tragic twist at the end. A few years after that she brought it out as a paperback, along with my other writings:




Next year, 2009, Sally Miller will be publishing 100 Whores, a look at the street smart women and men who had an effect of my life, emotionally and psychologically. And in between, M. Christian, ‘literary streetwalker’, periodically puts one of my stories and tales on his Frequently Felt blog; this is just one of them:




And what about that wonderful Sexual Outlaw, John Rechy? Every now and then I look at City of Night and wonder if I hadn’t picked it up and read it years ago, what would’ve happened then? Interesting question…probably teem myself with the drivel of the working class or force myself to live in the straight necktie world? Who knows?


Ha! Fat chance…Not me, because I found through experience and tears that life isn’t as bad as I expected or had been foretold it would be…


No, life is much better than before…a lot better! And even though I walk with a limp, hold things improperly and see things doubled-vision, change does come about if you let it…and in more ways than one…Just as long as you do it! I did it, you can too…Write, write, write! That’s the most important thing, writing, and more writing! Because what else is there, but writing? Do it whatever hours you chose; I do it from 5am to 7am, it works for me, other hours might work for you. (Of course that doesn’t count the time you put in to your editing.) But you never know…just do it! Anyway, that’s the best way out of this farce and sham of a life…



And the City of Night? Is it still out there? Of course it is, amongst my memories of movie theater rows, darkened bathrooms, up and down various stairs into the bliss of shyness, of touching, of groping, of feeling…


Oh my, it’s beautiful inside of darkened theaters! Just wait till you dream and feel it on your own…And I’ll be standing close to you…drawing nearer…very near…shyly looking and hoping…but nervously approaching…and luring you to follow into the city of night…Oh, my, what darkness! But what a wonderful city! The city of night…



My new novella, ‘My Father’s Semen’, will appear in “Cruising for Bad Boys” edited by Mickey Erlach due out May 2009 from STARbooks Press.


Also you can reach me via: mydem@comcast.net  plus I’m under Amazon.com or take a look at my web pages: