by M. Jay Williams

Book Cover: Ham and Echo: Voyage of the Gordon Lighton
Part of the Ham and Echo series:
  • Ham and Echo: Voyage of the Gordon Lighton
Editions:Kindle: $ 5.49
Pages: 221
Paperback: $ 13.99
ISBN: 979-8880146437
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 251
Hardcover: $ 20.99
ISBN: 979-8876406828
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 251

A gripping tale of love, resilience, and the harsh realities that test the bonds of friendship in this M/M romantic twist of fate tragedy.

Ham and Echo have been buddies since they were ten years old. Ham is drafted into the army at nineteen, and Echo promptly enlists, promising to have his back. Eleven years post-war, Echo is still haunted by what he has seen and done in Vietnam.

Ham, now married with two sons, put the past behind him. Echo did not transition back to civilian life as easily. Determined to help Echo, Ham gets him into an anger management program and a job on the ship he works on, the Gordon Lighton. Echo finds he can no longer deny the intensifying feelings he has for Ham. He wonders if Ham could ever feel the same for him.

One stormy night aboard the Gordon Lighton, Echo unravels a sex trafficking scheme aboard the ship. The weather worsens, and the Gordon Lighton is subjected to the brutal onslaught of nature’s fury. The unthinkable question hangs palpably in the air. Will the Gordon Lighton weather the storm?

 

 

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I search my purse for a cigarette. I found a crumpled package of Virginia Slims on the bottom of my purse. I took the last remaining cigarette from the pack. I put it to my lips and discarded the empty package onto the sidewalk. I carefully stepped over it and lit my cigarette. I took a puff, carrying the smoke deep into my lungs. I walked toward the supermarket with renewed confidence.

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I heard someone hollering my name. It sounded more like a high-pitched squeal. I turned and looked over my shoulder and saw Judy Jefferson running to catch up to me. Her high-heeled shoes clacked with each tiny stride she took. ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ I waved my hand in the air enthusiastically at her. “Hi Judy,” I sang out merrily.

“I thought that was you,” She said breathlessly. Judy’s long brown hair was curled under in a bob. It bounced with every stride she took. 

“It’s me,” I confessed, taking another drag from the cigarette. “It’s nice to see you.” I gave her a quick once over. Admiring her light blue dress, which showed off her ample cleavage, adorned with an expensive pearl necklace. She wore her long mink coat open to show off her expensive outfit. ‘I hate to give it to her, but she wore the hell out of those Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps.’ I fixed a smile on my face to make sure that no trace of jealousy showed. “What brings you across town,” I asked her.

“A shopping spree at Montgomery Wards. I’m looking for a new dress,” She crowed with a big plastic smile spread across her face. 

“That must be nice,” I replied.

“How about you? What are you doing? Dropping off dry cleaning, I suppose.” She said with an heir of superiority in her voice. 

‘I hate that her flippant assumption is right.’ I feigned a smile and took a puff from the cigarette. “No, actually, I’m headed to the bakery to order a special cake for Hudson,” I exhaled cigarette smoke. “His thirtieth birthday is next week, and I’m throwing a big celebration party.” I bragged.

“How fun,” She squeaked. ‘Somehow, she even managed to make that sound insulting.’ She dug into her clutch, pulled out a card, and handed it to me. “If you are throwing a party, you’ll want to use these girls. They work wonders,” She said as she extended her hand with the card fixed between her index and middle finger, showing off her well-manicured nails.

“What’s this?” I asked, taking the small card she handed me.

“It’s a maid service, dear. I wouldn’t conceive of hosting a party without them.” She squawked and quickly looked me up and down. She stared judgingly at me for a moment.  

“Hmm,” I groaned and put the card in my purse without looking at it. “Well, Judy, it was nice seeing you,” I said, trying to extricate myself from her presence. 

“Tell me, dear, isn’t your husband friends with Cole Echo?” She asked with a devilish smile in her voice. “I heard he was arrested again.” She said with a smile on her face. “I can only imagine having to have someone like that in your inner circle,” She snubbed. 

“Oh, we don’t see him socially,” I explained. Although he wasn’t my friend, I felt small and tainted by association. “We hardly have anything to do with him, to be honest.” I clarified, taking a drag from my cigarette.

“Isn’t he Hudson’s best friend?” She pried. Her eyes bore through me like she was a human lie detector.

“They served in the war together a million years ago,” I breezed underplaying their relationship. “I would hardly call Cole Hudson’s best friend.” I lied. Wondering why I was putting on heirs for her. She wasn’t someone I would consider influential. 

“It was Hudson who bailed him out of jail, wasn’t it?” She asked, her head cocked and the hint of a smirk she couldn’t hide.

“Well, the poor thing didn’t have anyone else he could turn to,” I said. I flung my hair over my shoulder and stood straight and tall. “Hudson is a generous and kind individual. That’s why I love him so much,” I bragged, feeling my confidence come back because we both knew her husband, Fowler, couldn’t hold a candle to Hudson. “Hudson gives to the less fortunate. That’s just the man he is. As a matter of fact, he is helping Cole get back on his feet. He got him a job at the Gordon Lighton with our husbands.” I bragged. I am not too proud to admit I enjoyed seeing her superior smile fade.

“I would be careful with that, Olivia.” She warned, her voice lowered, and she stepped closer to me. “From what I understand, he hasn’t been seen with a woman in several years. You should limit the time Hudson spends with that sort.” She urged. Her eyes locked onto mine.

“I’m not worried. As a matter of fact, Hudson is leaving the Northland Cargo Carriers. Cole will be left on the ship with Fowler, seeing that Hudson has taken a better-paying job on land, which means we will see more of him at home,” I gloated, just to twist the knife a little more. I added, “Hudson is an emergency dispatch operator now.” I beamed.

“Oh, how nice, dear. Having Hudson home so much, you may need to buy some new clothes,” she said, and she looked me up and down and smiled graciously. “You wouldn’t want him to see you in the same old things all the time. We mustn’t let them get distracted. And men are so easily distracted.” She cautioned. Now, she wore the shit-eating grin on her face.

“I will keep that in mind,” I said, dropping my cigarette to the ground and stubbing it out with the pointed tip of my shoe. “Well, I better be off, Judy,” I said, turning toward the car. ‘Well, at least she reminded me I needed to order Hudson’s cake.’ 

I heard her holler goodbye as I walked away. I raised my right hand and gave her a wave as I strolled off.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

I was born and raised in Southern New England. I have an interest in history. I am a college graduate, with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. The Hallowed Bloodline series has been with me for a long time. It started as a simple question in the back of my mind. I wondered if I was somehow thrown back in time to Connecticut's 17th century would I warn them of what was about to happen? Should I, knowing any changes to the past could irrevocably change the present? Would I still consider changing the past?

I couldn't find a gay-themed book out there that captured my favorite guilty pleasures, sexy male witches, werewolves, and time travel. I was very fixated on the time travel aspect of the story which drove me to create something I had never found on bookshelves or online. I'd consider my book to be an erotic science fiction/fantasy with elements from actual history sprinkled in.



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