Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nuts, Bolts and Chihauhuas; A New Contemporary Erotic M/M Shifter Romance by Tray Ellis. Part of the Dawg Days Of Summer Anthology!

Hi there!  I’m Tray Ellis and I’ve got a M/M shifter short story coming out August 20th from Torquere Press called “Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas” as part of the Dawg Days of Summer Anthology.  

If you like shifter stories, then this is a great one to check into, because the entire theme is all about wolf and dog shifters.   Shifter stories are fascinating for many (probably innumerable) reasons, but I believe one of the biggest is the ‘reveal’.  

A goodly number of stories deal with the intersection (and often collision) of the shifter world with that of the normal world. In a big way, this intersection is what drives a lot of popular fiction, not just shifter stories. 

That moment where the shifter must explain his (or her) very nature and the society he lives in, that’s where the reader holds their very breath, rushing to get ahead to see how it turns out, and yet savoring each sentence because of the heightened tension.  The reveal is also incalculably important because it is an ultimate expression of trust.  

On so many levels, that’s a defining issue for the human condition.  Can I trust you?    No matter how big, bad and scary you are, there are going to be moments where you’re vulnerable, and no shifter is an island, and all that.   Emotional and  relevant, this moment of revelation can mean all sorts of things when the shifter is something pretty impressive.  A fierce wolf with razor sharp teeth.  A jungle cat, sleek and powerful. 

A Chihuahua with…um…. Right.  Chihuahua.   So, I decided to delve just a little bit into a different sort of shifter story.  Even though there is a Chihuahua aspect to it, it isn’t constantly played for laughs.  

The shifting secret is serious, but there’s also the added nuance that Arlo (my shifter) is trying to live up to expectations in the family business.  He can transform into other, larger canine forms, but he really has more of an affinity for the smaller shapes.  Not to say that smaller doesn’t have advantages.  Bad guys underestimate small opponents, or ignore them altogether.  Small animals can get into places that larger ones couldn’t hope to access.   

Luckily, though, Arlo meets the perfect guy for him – TJ, who is dealing with his own family expectations.  His dad owns a hardware store and he hopes to someday make it “and Son” on the letterhead.    

So, even though each of them is dealing with very different circumstances (a hardware store seems rather ordinary when compared to a family of canine shape-shifters), they are both working through the very same issue of having expectations, and very large shoes to fill.    

Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas Blurb: 

 Both Arlo and TJ are learning their respective family businesses. In TJ’s case, it’s how to run the hardware store. But for Arlo, it is entirely different. His family is responsible for guarding the canine talisman and that means plenty of practice shifting forms. TJ expects another ordinary work day when he stumbles onto a brawl involving Arlo, a frequent customer he’s been flirting with. If TJ survives this fight, he wants an explanation, and it should start with where the extra-smart dog came from.   ~~~   


The would-be thief came after midnight, slinking in like a shadow. He smelled of book-dust, sweat, and the oils used to keep a blade from rusting. His footfalls would have been silent to human ears, but Arlo’s were keener. 

Arlo waited until the thief pulled out a small flashlight, the light shaded and gray. 

It wouldn’t be visible through the windows, but it provided enough illumination for the thief to gain his bearings. He swung the light from side to side, assessing, until it fell on Arlo. Then the thief snickered softly, just under his breath. 

“Are you the guardian?” he said, mirth lifting the words out of his mouth. “The scary thing they all warned me about?” He hooted derisively. 

Arlo tilted his head and blinked his eyes. “All that hype, and I find a Chihuahua napping on a pillow.” The thief laughed again and turned away, intent once more on finding his prize. 

Dressed in black, from head to toe, he caricatured a traditional, devious, light-fingered robber. 

Arlo growled, low and deep in his throat. Then he flexed his front paws, and sprang forward. As he did, his diminutive, sleek form flowed and changed. His teeth grew longer, though no less sharp, and when he landed on the back of the thief, it was with great force and the heft of a much larger body. 

The thief collapsed, swearing and twisting, but Arlo already had hold of the man’s tender, soft throat. Tempted, ever so tempted, he reluctantly changed targets, and bit deeply down just to the side of the neck, scraping his top teeth across the collarbone and sinking his bottom teeth satisfyingly into the mound of muscle. 

Disposing of bodies became tiresome, and besides, a living thief with a gruesome wound told a far more fearsome tale of warning than a quiet as the grave one.


If I’ve caught your interest, then please check out my links! ~~~   Torquere Press can be found here and the link to purchase the Anthology, including “Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas” will be up very soon! ~~~ 


Tray Ellis never learned to whistle and her home is rarely organized, but that just leaves more time for writing, which she adores. Gentle twirls of fate are her specialty and when she writes, she aims for a quiet humor and a satisfying ending.   

She can be found chronicling her writing journey at:

Tray Ellis Dreamwidth, 

Tray Ellis Blog Spot, and Tray Ellis Facebook   

Links to other available fiction by Tray Ellis: 

How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings Pouring a Brick Gray and Burnished Granite Seas (This one is definitely paranormal themed, and a gorgeous heartbreaker with a happily ever after that is quite a different sort.)   

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