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Sleeping Bears Lie

Introduction / Extract / Reviews

book coverBack in 2005, Torquere published their second anthology of shape shifters, Shifting Too, which contained one of my stories, Sleeping Bears Lie. In 2007 that story was shortlisted for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, just after the anthology went out of print.

Since then the story's been extended - it's now about one-third new material - and it's just been published as a stand-alone Single Shot.

Set in Alaska, Sleeping Bears Lie is a story about how lying to keep secrets can screw things up, but then, so can telling the truth. It's about identity, and what it means to know someone, and if you need to know someone's history to love them in the present. It's about a relationship that's not easy, but might be worth it anyway.

When computer guy Dan met Matt a year ago, things seemed to be going really well. They shared the Alaskan winter, getting to know each other better and better, and Dan thought they really had something going. Until spring, when Matt disappeared. A little digging into Matt's past tells Dan that Matt has been lying to him all along, and he's not sure what to do.

Especially when Matt turns up in his life again, apologizing for hurting him. Matt wants another chance, but he knows he can't tell Dan all of his secrets, even when they start to catch up with him. Finally, though, Matt has to share the truth of what he is. Will Dan be able to accept Matt's true nature, or is it time to let sleeping bears lie?

Sleeping Bears Lie is available in a variety of electronic formats direct from Torquere Press or from various ebook distributors.



Of all the bars in all the… Matt is about the last person I ever expected to run into.

I mean, I spent nearly five months looking for him with no success, and in the process, found out that every single thing he ever told me about himself was a lie, so I really wasn't expecting to see him back behind the bar at my local as though he never left. I've only been back here myself for a few weeks; the stairs down are a bitch with my knee, even now I'm out of the cast.

Hell, this is where I first met him: tending bar in Donnovan's, just shy of a year ago.


He looks so much the same it's almost shocking. Maybe his hair's a little longer, his tan a little darker, his belly a little rounder, but he has the same eyes, the same smile, the same graceful way of  moving as he stows the glass he's wiping and comes around the bar to hug me.

I don't recognize the emotion that flickers across his face when I jerk away.

"Dan? How're you doing?"

He's looking at me like I'm the one being weird. A few months ago, I was flying on his smiles, and now the sight of him makes my stomach turn.

"Better now -- I'm off the crutches and everything."

"Crutches? What happened?" His hand's on my shoulder and, when I flinch away, it covers his mouth, which just leaves his eyes to do all the acting, shocked and hurt.


Something about his tone of voice just hits a nerve, and I'm not normally the kind of guy to cause a scene in a bar, but damn. The gall of him!

"Just -- stop that! Stop pretending like you give a crap, and fuck off, you lying piece of shit."

The silence after that is huge. The ABC news headlines are suddenly very clear in the bar. I don't even have to look around to know that everyone in here is staring at us, and my cheeks are burning. In the half second it takes for me to turn around to make for the door, the chatter starts up again, all with a single focus.

I don't cry until I'm back in my room and I've drunk almost a third of vodka.


4.5 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs: I was captured from the very start of Sleeping Bears Lie, the style of writing drawing me in immediately, intriguing me with little teases of what is to come. Written in Dan's point of view the whole way through, I really felt as if Dan was speaking directly to me, telling me his story and it made me feel like I had to know the outcome; that I couldn't stop until I knew exactly what was going on. I really was left guessing right until the end just what Matt's story was.

3 stars from Rainbow Reviews: Sleeping Bears Lie is interesting story about two men that are trying to maintain a relationship without knowing the full truth about one another. The story was enjoyable and everything drives toward the ending, which is quite different.

2 stars from Romance Book Reviews: Matt comes back into Dan's life after disappearing for months and won't tell Dan where he has been. Dan is reluctant to take him back and accept him. Dan though had fallen in love with Matt and hadn't gotten over him. Matt's afraid to tell Dan who and what he is. Will Matt tell Dan his past or will Matt disappear again leaving Dan devastated? This book needed to have a lot better explanations and a clearer picture of the supposed paranormal side of the story.

Joyfully Reviewed says: Sleeping Bears Lie is an intriguing tale that travels into the land of myths, deftly blending them with reality.