Title: Time Cures
Series: Time Adventures Series, #4
Author: Tag Gregory & Lily Marie
Release Date: 2/14/21
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Adventure, LGBTQ
Cocky American Ad Exec, Bradley Connors, and his courageous ex-RAF fighter pilot husband, Janes Garrett, are back in London and once again separated through the power of time.With James stranded in 1956 during a polio outbreak, a world of homophobia threatens to keep him from the man he loves. How will he talk himself out of the trouble he’s unwittingly creating? Who from his past can he rely on to help him get home to Bradley?Will they be able to save their friends from the deadly pandemic or will they too perish in the attempt? And can they do all this while reaffirming that nothing can tear their love apart, not even time itself? Time Cures is a love story like no other. It’s a romance through time.
“Considering the length of time he was unconscious, I feel it imperative that he remain in hospital for at least the next twenty-four hours for observation. Provided no other symptoms manifest, he can be released to his family at that time,” Dr. Donaldson advised.
James was relieved that the diagnosis wasn’t worse. He knew Bradley was still going to be angry at him for getting hurt. Again. At least he would be angry - once Bradley got over being relieved - when James finally got around to calling him.
“Pardon me, Doctor,” the nurse interrupted before the doctor could make his grand exit. “But, before ya came in, the patient was showing signs of confusion and talkin’ all sorts a nonsense. I’m thinking he mighta banged his ‘ead a bit harder than he’s lettin’ on.”
“Confusion?” That got the good doctor’s attention.
“Yes, Doctor. He was spoutin’ some nonsense ‘bout needin’ to ring his husband, an’ seemed to think he had a telephone in that kit bag of ‘is.” The nurse pointed to James’ messenger bag while giving the doctor a knowing look.
“Is that so . . .” The doctor turned back to his patient, one bushy eyebrow raised inquisitively, much more interested in the young blond man now than he had been initially. “Do you remember your name, son?”
“Yes, of course. It’s James Garrett.”
The doctor nodded and asked another question. “Do you remember the accident that gave you that bump on the head?”
James thought about it, but just came up blank. He started to shake his head to indicate ‘no’, only the gesture made the dizziness and nausea worse. He groaned and dropped his head into his hands. “No,” he moaned.
“Well, that’s not a good sign,” Doctor Obvious surmised, his eyebrows knitting together so closely that they now looked like one long, hairy caterpillar creeping across his forehead. “Now, what’s all this chit chat about a telephone and a husband?”
“I just want to call him and let him know where I’m at,” James offered, feeling and sounding pathetic even to his own ears.
“You say you have a . . . Husband ?” The doctor very clearly emphasized the word ‘husband’ in a disbelieving tone of voice.
“Yes! I want to call MY HUSBAND, okay?” James was losing patience with the proceedings and his voice had risen commensurately with his annoyance level. “His name is Bradley Connors. We’re here visiting from the United States; Bradley has business with a big client here. We’re staying at The Strand Palace. He’s probably waiting for me there and, most likely, has already called the police to help find me. If you’d just let me get my cell phone out of my bag I can call him and he’ll come down here and take me to a different hospital where they’ll stop asking me idiotic questions . . .”
The doctor interrupted him before he could continue his rant. “Do you know where you are right now?”
“You mean the hospital? The nurse said it was St. Bart’s. Or do you mean London?”
“Righteo. And what’s the date?”
“Um . . .” James had to think a little about that, his memory going a little fuzzy on him. “I think it’s still Monday, right? August . . . August 14th?”
“Close. You got the date correct but it’s Tuesday. What about the year?”
“2017 . . . ?” James answered, starting to get a funny feeling about where all these questions were leading.
“Hmmmm,” was Donaldson’s only reply. Then he turned to the nurse with more directions. “Clearly, this is a much more serious case than I previously suspected. We could be looking at Traumatic Encephalopathy or, perhaps, some type of advanced psychosis. I’m going to call in Dr. Abbott for a psychiatric evaluation. Change the charge order to note a seventy-two hour hold.” Returning his attention to the patient he added, “never fear, young man. We’re going to take good care of you. Hopefully, by the time we’re done here, you’ll be in tiptop shape once more, back in full possession of all your mental faculties.”
With that proclamation, Dr. Donaldson spun about and started for the door.
“Wait,” James shouted after the departing man before he could exit. “What year is it, really?”
“1956, of course!”
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Coming Out as A M/M Romance Writer
By Tag Gregory
It’s one thing to have a hobby writing on the side. Isn’t that everyone’s dream: to write the great American novel someday, be discovered by a publisher, and rocket to fame and fortune so great you can quit your day job? Walk into any US cafe or coffee shop on the weekend and you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one intent-looking writer intensely hammering away at her or his laptop as they tap out their next chapter. Well, maybe that’s not everyone’s dream, but it’s at least commonplace enough that you meet like-minded, wanna-be novelists pretty much everywhere you go.
I’ve been one of those coffee shop writers for almost a decade now. I took up writing for pleasure - as opposed to the decades I’ve spent writing for work or school - after getting pissed off by the unsatisfying ending of one of my favorite television series. I was so upset by the way the story ended, I just couldn’t let it rest. I ended up online, joining chat groups, discussing the symbolism, pining for more, and just generally grousing. That led, inevitably, to fanfic sites where I, like the thousands of other like-minded, pissed off viewers, could pretend the story hadn’t really ended, or at least, hadn’t ended the way it had.
I lurked and read and watched fan vids and just hung out on the fringes of that world for more than a year until one night, when I couldn’t sleep, I was visited by a plot bunny of my own. It was just this little spark of an idea. It wouldn’t go away though. I was forced to get up at two am, grab an old college notebook, and spend the next two hours scribbling down the whole outline for my new story. I spent the next week writing like mad, finishing a 62,000 word story in record time. And it was a pretty damn good story too, if I do say so myself.
Writing that story was fun. Writing for pleasure was something I hadn’t ever experienced before - at least not in that way. Even better was the reception my baby received when I finally got up the courage to post it on a fanfic site. People liked it. They really liked it. I was accepted.
I was hooked on writing from that moment.
I’m sure my story about how I started writing isn’t all that unusual. A lot of other authors got their start in similar ways. The twist here, I suppose, was that the stories which seem to excite me the most are all stories involving two male characters. I just can’t write straight sex scenes for some reason. I’ve tried. They come off flat and uninspired. They’re boring. Straight sex just doesn’t seem to do it for me. But give me to two hot, male bodies doing unspeakable things to each other and I’m on it. Of course I wound up writing stories with predominantly gay characters.
But romances? If you knew me, you’d realize how odd that is. I’m just not the romantic type. I’m boring and sensible. I’m down to earth. If you saw me you’d think I was the non-fiction type; dry treatises on fungal growth or something like that. Definitely NOT romances.
Confession time, here . . . I grew up secretly reading Harlequin romance novels.
I mean, I’ve always been an avid reader, and I went through a long period of reading all the classics too, but for some reason I can’t explain, I always ended up gravitating back to the blouse-ripping pages of romances. I read my first ‘forbidden’ book when I was in middle school - The Harrad Experiment - a beat up old paperback novel I’d got from a slightly older friend. I was scandalized and intrigued in equal parts. I snuck a lot of those kinds of books into my reading list over the years, to be honest. However, since those kinds of books weren’t easy for a child growing up in rural American to get their hands on, though, most of the time I was relegated to the more tame Harlequin series. I don’t think anyone even wrote gay romances back then, and if they did, I certainly never read one.
The problem is that I was raised to look down on that kind of pulp-fiction nonsense. I was told that Shakespear and Homer are the epitome of literature. In school we were force fed James Joyce and Ernest Hemmingway. I spent one whole summer while travelling slogging through Tolstoy’s War and Peace, cover to cover. And, don’t get me wrong, I loved all those stories (well, except for Joyce - I can’t stand Joyce), but when I was in the mood for something purely entertaining, I would always - ALWAYS - gravitate back towards something romantic. It was my guilty little secret.
Needless to say, once I started writing in earnest, I didn’t run out and tell everyone I knew that I - the former literary snob - was now spending every non-working hour I had writing *gasp* romance stories. Not that I was embarrassed, per se, I just didn’t think anyone other than me and my merry band of internet readers would enjoy my stories. It was a private hobby. I didn’t need to share, right? I only did it for my own pleasure so why would I bother telling anyone else. It wasn’t even that I was writing romance stories, though, but that I was exclusively writing GAY Romance stories.
Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family are all, for the most part, open-minded and liberal. My father was gay back before Stonewall when you didn’t dare come out of the closet no matter what. I’ve been involved with the LGBTQ community for years. It really wasn’t about the gayness of my writing, but rather about the romance-ness of my writing. That’s the part nobody could quite get their heads around. Gay romances just seemed to be one step too far.
So, for the most part, I kept my hobby to myself for the first few years. My family was generally supportive even though they obviously didn’t understand this new obsession. My relatively conservative parents were a little lost by the whole endeavor, but tried to remain positive. My kids basically grew up knowing that their parent was writing smutty romances they weren’t allowed to read. Neither of them read my stuff even today. My daughter once told me that she was happy to see me being passionate about something, even though she didn’t understand it - or really even WANT to understand it - at least back then.
It wasn’t until I decided I was going to write a book that I could actually publish that I finally decided it was time to come out of my literary closet.
In 2017, when Lily and I started writing Time Blitz for the NaNoWriMo competition, we agreed that, if it was good enough, we would publish this story. We’d been talking about the story, researching it, and planning it for several months by that point. It was a good story and we knew it would be even more fun to write than our usual stuff. Maybe it was good that we were publishing neophytes, because it meant we didn’t hold back on any of the sexier parts of the writing even though we were going for a plot-heavy story that went way beyond the typical M/M romance tropes. What did we know about genre limitations? And we couldn’t be more proud of how that story turned out.
When it was done, we knew we wanted to publish it right away, damn the consequences. Only, publishing a book in the real world is a little different than posting your fanfic on a website. There’s marketing involved. You have to tell people about your stories to get them to read them. Plus, I was pretty excited about my new achievement and I finally WANTED to start telling people that I was an author. I had created this amazing thing. I was a published author and I had written a great story that they would all love if only they would give it a try. Lily and I really ARE amazing storytellers. We write the stories that we would want to read, if only someone else had written them first. But since nobody else had, we did it.
So I ‘came out’ - first to my extended family and then even to my real life friends and coworkers - announcing to the world that I write gay romances. Me. The otherwise unremarkable and totally level-headed lawyer/scientist. I write stories filled with wild flights of fantasy, impossible plotlines, unbridled romance, and, yes, totally dirty, nasty, crazy-wild smutty sex scenes. GAY SEX SCENES. I do that. I write all the sex I can and I love doing it.
It was a little scary at first to admit all that in public. I was so worried about how people would see me. I was worried that it would affect the way my co-workers related to me. But, so far, barring the few internet trolls who are summarily blocked and forgotten, I’ve only had positive responses to my coming out. Apparently, it’s okay to write smutty gay romances. Who knew?
My parents still don’t really understand why I’m writing that kind of story. My sister, on the other hand, has been my biggest booster; she is the first to buy every single book and writes wonderful reviews. My friends and co-workers, for the most part have been verbally supportive, although I don’t think very many of them have been brave enough to actually read any of my stories. However a few have and, of the ones courageous enough to try one of my stories, they’ve all said wonderfully nice things. I’ve even gone so far as to ask a few of my straighter friends to beta read a story or two. Even they’ve been supportive, although I’ve been told by one that she just skips over the sex parts. I’m good with that. The rest mostly just say how cool it is to know someone who wrote and published a book, regardless of the genre.
Even my kids are excited and happy for me these days. My kids not only brag on my writing and boost my social media posts on their own pages, but even funnel their friends to my books. I’m the cool parent who writes gay erotica. My kids get a certain amount of street cred from that kind of association. I gotta admit, I rather like being bragged about to my kids’ friends. And now that daughter is an adult, she says that growing up with me and my writing has definitely made it possible for her to express her own sexuality more freely. So I guess I have that going for me at least; my secret gay romance obsession didn’t toally screw up my kids. Yay?
Lily says her family’s reaction was similar. Her friends and family were mostly just confused. Why would she choose to write THAT of all things? Why not write straight romances, since she already had experience with that genre. Or maybe work on that children’s book she’d been planning for years. But once they got over their confusion, they were just as supportive.
So, yeah, I’ve come out as the person who writes gay romances and it’s surprisingly good. I no longer hold back when telling people what I write. I may still blush a little when I explain that my latest book is a gay, time-travel, romance, but I no longer hold back. I put my writing credentials in my bio at work and added it to my professional resume. I even post announcements about my book releases on the company intranet. I’m free to be my crazy, LGBTQ, romance-loving self and it’s all good.
This is me. Bring on the gay romance! I’m gonna go out there and proudly write all the gay kissing I can cram into every story. Let me tell you all about the nights at the bath houses and the hook ups in the back rooms of clubs. The Grindr pickups. The tricking, the threeways, and maybe even an orgy or two. I will not hide behind a polite ‘fade to black’ scene. I will proudly write every single gay sex encounter I see in my imagination and I will give you all the hot and sticky details. And then I’ll crow to the whole world about how great my book turned out.
Because I’m out, baby. I write gay sex books and they’re amazing. You should definitely read them.
Meet the Authors
TAG has been writing for almost a decade, starting out with a hesitant toe in the realm of fanfiction before venturing into the scarier world of self-publishing original works. With an eclectic background as a lawyer, microbiologist, all-around nerd, and adventurer, TAG brings that off-kilter sense of humor, unbounded curiosity, a love of details, and astonishing powers of research to all their writing. If you are looking for a griping story, with compelling characters that deal with real world issues, then you're in the right place.
Lily has been writing close to for twenty years, but has only ever (until recently) dipped her toes into writing fan-fiction. Lily is a born and bred Londoner and loves nothing more than getting lost in a book - whether it be writing one of her own, or reading something from one of her favorite authors. In her spare time, Lily likes to think of herself as somewhat of a disability rights activist, helping to create change for those that may not have a voice to speak up or, like Lily herself, those that may have been too quiet to stand up for themselves.
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