Hello, everyone! Thank you, Nell, for letting me drop by again. Yesterday, A Drop of Moonshine was released. Can you guess which day we’re celebrating? Yes, National Moonshine Day, which is today! Are you having your glasses at the ready?
I’m not much for hard liquor. I could have wine every day, but it’s not often I drink anything stronger than that. I am, however, in the middle of making lilac wine. Yup, you read that right! 😁 Has anyone of you ever made lilac wine??
Years ago, I made elderflower wine, and, to my surprise, it was really good. So now when the apocalypse is approaching, I’m gonna try to make lilac wine.
I’ve made lilac squash/lemonade before, and I used the same recipe for elderflowers and lilacs, so I figured why not use the recipe for the elderflower wine but switch out the elderflowers for lilacs.
In a year or so, we’ll know if it worked 😊
And speaking of the apocalypse… A Drop of Moonshine is set in a world where the government controls everything. They’ve given every person one sanctioned kill. If there is someone they don’t like, they can apply to have that person liquidated. The result is that everyone is terrified, and no one dares to step out of line.
Thorn is a liquidation agent, which means whenever someone applies to have someone terminated, he or one of the other agents has to perform the kill.
Sid is a potato farmer, but it doesn’t keep him from starving, so he’s making moonshine on the side. Making moonshine is illegal, so when he gets a visit from a liquidation agent, he believes his life is over. It isn’t, though. The agent is blackmailing him, and soon Sid is asking Thorn for help.
This is a dark story, and while there is a HEA, it’s not a feel-good tale. There is blood and violence, so know that before going in.
In a world where the government controls everything, and every citizen is given one government-approved kill, Sid Barker is doing his best to keep his head down and not get noticed. At some point, he must have failed. Being a potato farmer doesn’t generate enough income, and Sid is making moonshine on the side to keep himself fed, but one day a liquidation agent shows up at his farm, not to kill him, but to blackmail him into giving away his moonshine for free.
Thorn Hull is a liquidation agent. Every time someone hands in an application to have someone terminated, he or one of the other agents has to perform the kill. It’s a well-paying job, but no money in the world can fill the void in Thorn. He regrets ever becoming an agent, but no one has ever quit the agency and lived to tell the tale.
One night in a bar, Thorn runs into Sid, who’s far from the dirty little kid he’d been the last time Thorn had seen him. Sid remembers Thorn from his childhood and asks him to help him talk sense into the agent who’s blackmailing him. Things soon escalate, and Sid and Thorn find themselves on the run from the liquidation agency. How will they be able to deal with the blackmailer at the same time as they’re on the run from the government’s trained killers?
M/M Romance: 51,713 words
Thorn hurried through the alleys, looking over his shoulder to make sure Kannan wasn’t following him. When The Broken Bottle came into view he opted for the back door. First, he tried the handle, but it was locked, so he knocked. When nothing happened, he knocked again.
The seconds turned into minutes, but no one came to open the door. Thorn walked around the building, out on the street, and to the front door. It was ten minutes to opening time—someone had to be inside.
He tried the door and then knocked on the glass when he couldn’t open it. He looked up and down the street. People were moving around, but he couldn’t see Kannan anywhere. It didn’t soothe him, though. If Kannan followed him, he wouldn’t see him.
The glass disappeared from underneath his knuckles, and Jeb stood in the doorway glaring at him. “You have to wait till opening hours like everyone else.”
“Sid’s in danger.”
“I know. You’re trying to kill him.”
Thorn frowned at him. “No, I’m not. I mean, I was but, not anymore.”
Jeb crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows. “I bet that’s what all serial killers tell the people around them.”
“I’m not a serial killer.” The words sent icy shards through his chest.
“No? How many have you killed? Do you even remember?”
“We shouldn’t be standing here talking. Can I come in?” Thorn looked around the street one more time.
“I don’t know.”
“Oh, come on, Jeb. I’m here to help, I swear.”
“Let him in.” Sid appeared behind Jeb.
Jeb snorted but moved out of the way, and Thorn hurried inside. “You shouldn’t be here.”
Sid shrugged. “I guess not since you found me half an hour after I arrived.”
Thorn ran a hand through his hair. “Kannan has gone crazy. He’ll come to kill you… and perhaps me too.” Thorn didn’t think Kannan would kill him, but things had gotten weird, and he didn’t know if he could trust him anymore.
“I’m on my way out.”
“Out? Where?” He couldn’t let Sid disappear. Kannan could find people; it was their job to find people. “You can’t hide, he’ll find you.”
“I’m not going to hide.” Sid shrugged and walked through the restaurant toward the bar.
“What? You have to hide!” Thorn’s heart was pounding so hard he couldn’t make sense of what Sid and Jeb were doing.
“You said he couldn’t hide.” Jeb grabbed a dishcloth and wiped the already spotless bar.
“Well, we need to go somewhere where we can wait them out.”
“Them?” Sid watched him with narrowed eyes, and Jeb stopped the wiping.
“Or him, I don’t know.”
“What do you know?” Jeb glared at him, and Thorn wondered if he’d misjudged their relationship. It didn’t matter, though—his gut told him it mattered a little since a burning knot of green envy built in there. Thorn tried to push it away.
“Not much, or not enough, at least.”
Jeb motioned for him to continue, so Thorn took a deep breath and continued.
“Kannan told me to kill Sid.” He hurried to add, “I’ve never performed an unauthorized liquidation before.”
“Good to know.” Jeb snorted, but some of the hostility in his eyes bled away.
“Kannan told me Sid was gonna have him terminated, and that I had to stop it before the bureau opened for the day.”
“He doesn’t believe you. It doesn’t matter—”
“I think it matters if he’s gonna kill me for it.”
Thorn slumped on one of the barstools. “What I meant was, he’s decided you need to go.”
“But why? I don’t get how it got from moonshine to killing each other.” Jeb was looking between Sid and Thorn. “If he’d taken the time to talk to Sid, he’d realize killing wasn’t on the table.”
“It’s always on the table.” Thorn couldn’t understand how they didn’t see that.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m not Sid Barker, I’m Sidney Barber.”
“What?” Holy shit! He’d almost killed the wrong guy? “But you said you made the moonshine.”
Jeb groaned. “We don’t have time for this shit. Sid, babe, you need to leave. I talked to Shade, and you’re good to go.”
“Thanks.” Sid stepped in behind the bar and enveloped Jeb in his arms. Thorn stared; he couldn’t help it. It always surprised him when people touched each other in the open. “I’ll grab Cognac, and we’ll be off.”
“I’m coming with you.” Thorn was almost as surprised by his words as Sid and Jeb appeared to be, but someone had to make sure he wouldn’t get killed.
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.
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