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U.M. Lassiter

U.M. Lassiter is the pen name for a gentleman that would prefer his family and friends not know he has a sideline writing books. He really is a very nice fellow, and someday, he may write something mainstream so that he can use his real name. In the mean time, he’ll keep cranking out his novels from an undisclosed location in Southern California.

Email : author@umlassiter.com

Website : http://www.umlassiter.com/

A Growing Lad

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Growing Pains #1
Published By: Extasy Books
Heat Level:

You can’t be a wallflower when you’re bigger than the wall. High School junior Alex Johnson thinks...
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You can’t be a wallflower when you’re bigger than the wall.
High School junior Alex Johnson thinks he finally has his life all arranged to deal with his Asperger’s Syndrome, with the help of a handful of close friends and relatives. Everything threatens to fall apart when he suddenly finds his condition is really due to a one-off genetic treatment he had as an infant. Yes, the treatment saved his life, but now he’s going through incredible changes that threaten to stand all his hard-won relationships on their head. Suddenly, he finds he’s big man on campus—literally!
Price: $4.99
Best Laid Plans

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Growing Pains #4
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

High school senior and muscle- teen-titan Alex Johnson just wants to help a new friend, but he learns it’s n...

As expected, the Bulldogs won the championship. The local paper named Jason MVP, naturally. I was sure that he still hated me, but maybe he was learning that perhaps he didn’t have to be a bully to gain the respect of his friends. Some friends, if you ask me.

By the way, my name’s Alex Johnson, and if you’ve been reading my scribblings so far, you know I’m a senior at Antioch High School in the bustling megalopolis of Antioch, Nebraska. The aforementioned Jason is the school bully, or at least he was until he and I had a little heart-to-heart.

You see, I’m seven-feet six-inches tall, and weigh a touch over seven hundred pounds. Yes, you read that right.

That’s a fairly recent development for me. Up until the middle of last school year, I was pretty average size. I was a scaredy-cat that didn’t interact with hardly anyone, mainly because I had a mild form of autism called Asperger’s.

I didn’t know it, but when I was a baby, my late father and his research partner, Dr. Bob Leonard, cured me of a terrible neuro-muscular disease with an experimental gene-splicing treatment. All seemed to be going well, until last year when something switched the whole process back on and turned me into a teenage version of the Hulk. At least I’m not green, and I don’t get mad. Well, no more than anybody else.

On the plus side, I’m healthy as a horse. Shit, I weigh as much. The reason I’m so heavy is that whatever made me grow also caused my muscles and bones to be much denser than average. As a result, I’m many times stronger than an ordinary person of the same size—that is, if one existed.

You might think that I dealt with Jason by simply pounding the shit out of him or threatening. The truth is, before I grew I’d been on the receiving end of a pounding and I just can’t imagine doing that to another human being.

Instead, I hit him where he lives. I threatened, er, promised him, that if he didn’t lay off the bully stuff, I’d go out for the football team and pretty much eclipse his entire high school career. When Jason realized he was going to have to choose between being the local sports hero or being a bully, he had a Come-To-Jesus moment and chose sports.  This was fine by me, because I never cared much for sports, anyway. Besides, I had an awesomely good-looking boyfriend.

Ryan is Japanese-American, and since last summer, he’s gone from handsome to achingly beautiful. He’s one of the grad students helping Bob with his research, and he’s come up with a compound designed to counteract the muscle wasting that accompanies so many chronic medical problems. It also makes a dandy post-workout supplement for healthy people. It’s not a hormone like steroids, so it doesn’t have all of those nasty side-effects. Ryan has packed on about twenty pounds of solid muscle, and these days I can hardly keep my hands off him.

Because of my refusal to go out for sports since I went all Jumbo, I was relegated to first period gym with all the scrawniest, geekiest freshmen. That hasn’t been all bad, because I’ve struck up friendship with a lot of them—once they realized I wasn’t going to eat them or something.

My favorite little geek is a guy named Courtney. We hit it off right off the bat. I think it’s probably because he immediately took me at face value and never judged me. This meant a lot to me, not just because of my freakish size, but because it’s pretty much common knowledge now that I’m gay.

So when I had a chance to help my buddy, I took it. Court has always hated the fact that he’s so small. Small people have an unfairly hard time in our society, and for Courtney it meant that he was picked on mercilessly.  I sweet-talked my boyfriend into giving me some of his magic muscle elixir and then convinced a reluctant Courtney to start weightlifting.

It was a hard sell at first, but with the beginner's gains helped along by the growth compound, he caught the bug. Once that happened, the change was remarkable; and I don’t just mean physical. Suddenly, little Courtney was brimming with self-confidence. It didn’t hurt that when we started doing strength training in gym class, Court was the one showing everyone how it was done. He even landed a sweet—and pretty darn cute—little girlfriend. Everything seemed to be going well except for one teensy problem…

It had been a week since Courtney’s bottle of Grow Juice had gone missing, and so far, absolutely nothing had happened. I kept expecting at any minute for one or more of the football players to blow up like a balloon, but nothing. Courtney started bringing in just enough compound for the daily dose, and kept it with him until he used it. Why he couldn’t have done that in the first place is beyond me.

High school senior and muscle- teen-titan Alex Johnson just wants to help a new friend, but he learns it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Courtney is a runty little freshman who is tired of being relentlessly bullied. Alex can’t always be around to protect his little friend, so when his scientist boyfriend Ryan comes up with what seems to be the answer to Courtney’s problems, Alex takes action. Unfortunately, the plan has unintended consequences for more than just Courtney.  Meanwhile, Alex is trying to deal with the media attention his incredible size and strength is causing.
Price: $4.99
Big Man on Campus

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Growing Pains #3
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Does size really matter? Whether he likes it or not, Alex is the Big Man on Campus  Muscle teen titan Ale...

I arrived home a few days before the start of school, driving my Checker Marathon taxicab. Well, it’s not really mine, but Bob and Lauren’s farmhand, Farley, owns it. He’s letting me drive it as long as I take care of it and pay for the insurance. It’s a good thing, too. I just don’t fit in a regular car anymore. Did I tell you I was seven foot six? Even so, we had to fiddle with the driver’s seat to make it go back far enough to be comfortable, and I still have to wriggle in and out. Step one, pull my knees up to my chest as far as I can. Step two, point my lower legs to the left. Step three, stick my feet out the door while keeping my knees low enough to pass under the steering wheel. Step four, turn. Step five, lower my left shoulder and duck my head enough to clear the doorframe. Step six, stand up. Didn’t Arthur Murray start this way?

Ryan says you can’t buy entertainment like that.

When I got home from the farm, I pulled into the driveway and parked by the rear house. That’s where my grandmother, Gram, lives. She’s my dad’s mom. I used to wonder why she lived here with us instead of with a blood relative—other than me—but now I see that she wanted to be the pipeline between me and Bob.

“Hello, sweetie,” Gram said as she came out her front door. “You told me how big you are now, but I’m still amazed!”

She put her arms around my waist and gave me a hug. I could hardly see the top of her head over my expansive chest. When she reappeared, she looked up at me with a broad smile.

“I missed you, honey,” she said as she patted my abs. “Your stomach is so hard!”

“I missed you, too,” I replied. “Is anybody else home?”

“Not yet. Why don’t you put your things away and then we’ll have some lemonade.” I leaned over to give her a little kiss and then went to unload my gear.

I didn’t have much. I’d spent the summer wearing a pair or two of overalls and sandals, usually without a shirt—my Farmer John from Hell look, as Ryan calls it. As a result, I only had a couple of shirts and a few pairs of underwear. The rest was my computer, some books, and miscellaneous items.

I opened the back door to the main house and squeezed myself in. I was nearly a foot taller than the doorway and more than a foot wider, so I turned sideways and crouched. I’d become quite adept at the maneuver.

“Hello?” I called out, just to be sure.

I entered the kitchen and as I crossed the room, the floorboards complained mightily. My feet were pretty big and did a good job of spreading the load—think elephant—but I realized that caution was in order. Unlike the farmhouse, this was a modern building and presumably a bit more sturdy. Nevertheless, I proceeded with caution up the stairs to my bedroom.

As I entered my bedroom, I couldn’t get over how much smaller everything seemed. The ceiling was just inches from my head, and I had to be careful and not hit the light fixture. I spread my arms and nearly touched the opposite walls with my fingertips. My twin bed, which had already collapsed before I even got this big, seemed positively tiny. I put my meager belongings away and had a seat.

The bed complained, but it didn’t collapse any further. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry as I lay on the bed with my head propped against the wall, my feet hanging off the end, and both elbows touching the floor. Unless I could talk Phil into it, I was probably going to have to blow the money I’d saved all summer on the biggest bed I could find. Until then, I’d have to be careful not to roll over.

I went back down and out to the back house to see Gram again. She’d been helping me with my back-to-school clothes, and I wanted to see how she was doing.

“Gram?” I called as I squeezed into the front room. She entered from the kitchen with a pitcher of lemonade.

“Sit down, sweetie,” she said. I looked around trying to select a chair that I wouldn’t flatten.

“I need to get my chair,” I said. I went back out to my car and got my old library chair out of the back seat. I took it back in the house and made myself comfortable. It occurred to me just then that I might need to take it with me to school. The thought of carrying a ratty old wooden chair around campus to all my classes didn’t sound very appealing.

“I’ve been shopping for your clothes,” she said as she handed me a glass of lemonade. “And I’ve had some success.” She sat down with a couple of large plastic shopping bags. “The people at the shop were very helpful. They all said to say hello, and hope you’ll visit them soon. I think you’re a little bit of a celebrity.” Gram pulled several t-shirts out of one bag.

“These are the largest tees they make. If you haven’t gotten any bigger since you sent me your measurements, you should be okay,” she said as she handed me the shirts. “I’m a little concerned about the sleeves,” she added.

The shirts were plain, basic tees, no printing, no pockets and just solid colors. I unhooked my overalls and pulled on a red one. It was nearly skin-tight, but at least it fit.

“What do you think?” I asked Gram.

“My, it’s certainly, well, impressive,” she said. The sleeves were indeed very tight, and they rode up on my biceps. “Here, try one of these jerseys.”

More of the old reliable football jerseys. I put one on over the t-shirt, and it was much looser.

“This is good,” I said.

Does size really matter? Whether he likes it or not, Alex is the Big Man on Campus
 Muscle teen titan Alex Johnson is starting his senior year in High School. Alex has spent most of his life seemingly invisible, but since an experimental genetic treatment to save his life, he’s literally Big Man on Campus. His friends think that Alex is large and in charge, so the school bullies won’t be a problem anymore, but the bullies have other ideas. Meanwhile, Alex is just trying to cope with the usual problems—peer pressure, sports, grades—and a suddenly rocky relationship with his first real boyfriend. Along the way, Alex reaches out to some of the geekiest freshmen in school-- something no one ever did for him-- and his plan to help them produces some startling results.
Price: $4.99
Big Man, Big Trouble

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Growing Pains #6
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It’s not nice to play with Mother Nature—especially if she’s with the mob.   In the...

Monday came around and there was still no word about Jason. Some of the comments I heard at school weren’t too flattering, but I guess that was to be expected. It was a little disturbing to hear that for some people the important thing was that this happened after the end of the season. All I could do was shake my head.

Ron had told me over the phone the night before that Jason’s parents wouldn’t even remotely consider the fact that their son was anything other than a red-blooded, one-hundred-percent he-man heterosexual, and that they weren’t particularly helpful. He was getting more cooperation from people that Jason beat up than he was from the parents.

I was chowing down on my mid-morning snack when I spotted Frank across the quad. He had Sammy with him, and it looked like he was back in Frank’s good graces. By that, I mean Sammy was animatedly speaking to Frank, and Frank wasn’t pushing him away. Frank saw me and made a beeline to where I was sitting.

“Have you heard anything, Alex?” he said as Sammy struggled to keep up. Frank still had the same worried expression.

“I’m sorry, Frank, but no.” I still hadn't told him about finding the GPS thing on Jason's car.

“It’s going to be okay, Frankie,” Sammy said, clutching Frank’s bulging forearm.

“Sammy, could you excuse us for a moment?” I said.

“Well, I don’t see why Sammy can’t hear...”

“Fine.” I started gathering up my things to go back to class.

“Wait, wait...” Frank said. He looked down at Sammy. “I’ll catch up with you,” he told him. Sammy shot me an icy look, turned and left.

“You do know something,” Frank continued.

“No, I don’t. I just wanted to talk to you about Sammy.” Frank’s eyes narrowed and he pursed his lips. I’d have to talk fast or I’d lose him.

“I want to apologize,” I said. Frank’s features softened. “You’re right. It’s none of my business who you hang out with.”

Frank cocked his head to one side like a dog that heard a funny noise. He looked down at his feet for a moment and then looked back up. “Apology accepted,” he said.

I stood up and pulled Frank in for a hug. “Thank you.”

 Frank leaned his head against my massive chest. “I’m just so overwhelmed,” he continued. “Things have been changing so fast.”

“Tell me about it,” I replied.

We stood there silently for a couple of moments. We must have been quite the sight—two freakishly muscular behemoths holding each other tight in the middle of the school yard.

“You can let go now, Frank,” I said.

“Your body is like steel,” Frank said dreamily.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” I replied. “Wait—are you hard?” Frank looked up at me with a slightly embarrassed expression. He stepped back abruptly.

“I’m always hard when I look at you,” he said, suddenly lowering his voice. “How could I not be? The gigantic pecs, the boulder shoulders, the veins running everywhere. And let’s not forget that giant basket you’re carrying around now. Hell, I’ve been whacking off to the image of you for the last nine months. Sometimes I don’t even have to touch myself!”

“But you have a boyfriend,” I said slightly incredulously. “Two boyfriends!”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“I just...I mean...oh, never mind. About Sammy...”


“Can’t you see how he’s working you?”

“Oh, that. Nah, I’m on to him.”

Now it was my turn to **** my head. I even put my hands on my hips for good measure.

“I really don’t understand.”

“Alex, don’t worry about it. These days, Sammy’s more like a pet than a boyfriend.”

“Isn’t that leading him on?”

“Now you’re getting it.”

“Oh, Frank...”

“Don’t you dare feel sorry for him. You’re the one that called him a weasel. He’s getting plenty out of this relationship.”

“Like what?”

“Just look at me!” Frank held his giant arms wide. “I’m the school uber-stud! Well, after you.”

I stood there slack-jawed. I thought I had this relationship stuff figured out.

It’s not nice to play with Mother Nature—especially if she’s with the mob.
In the exciting conclusion to the Growing Boy series, teen muscle titan Alex Johnson has just returned from the time of his life on Spring Break with his boyfriend Ryan and is stunned to learn that the school football star is missing—but that’s not as shocking as who tells him—and why. Things take an even darker turn when two more of his friends go missing and Alex is followed by a mysterious man with a Taser gun. Meanwhile, Alex has good reason to think that the experimental treatment that made him what he is might be affecting his mind. Alex may no longer be the biggest thing to hit the small Midwestern town of Antioch, Nebraska, what with kidnappings, Russian mobsters and a cliff-hanging conclusion. Will Alex be rendered non-compus-mentis? Will he save the day? Will Bugs Bunny be dashed to bits on the rocks below?
Price: $4.99
Brainiac and the Yolo Bro

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Berkley Daze #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Ryan really likes the new guy Tanner—except for when he wants to kill him. High school sophomore Ryan Mi...

“What are you looking at?”

I’d been caught gawking, and my stomach did a little flip-flop.

“Oh, uh, did you notice the vending machines over there?”

Elaine gave a little smile. I was in deep shit.

“What about them?” She glanced over in the direction of the machines against the administration building. Right where that new guy was standing.

“They have Flamin’ Hot Cheetos now,” I said unconvincingly. “The question, again?” Elaine’s smile became a smirk. She paused just long enough to make me really uncomfortable.

“I’m going to ask Daddy for a car when I turn sixteen next month, and wanted to know if I should hold out for something sportier than a Prius.”

“Ask him for a Ferrari!” Thomas blurted. I was grateful for outburst—it diverted Elaine’s attention from my discomfort.

Being a girl, Elaine was of course was the most mature among us. In the last couple of years, she’d developed a nice figure, and I thought she could snag a pretty nice boyfriend if she tried. She had red hair and freckles that I thought were kind of cute, too. When she was younger, she looked just like the character at Wendy’s. These days, she’d gotten contacts and stopped wearing her hair in pigtails and had morphed into an attractive young woman. It sometimes made me wonder why she still hung out with the likes of us. Make no mistake, I was grateful—but it still boggled my mind. It was a long time later I came to realize it was simply because she was kind and loving and didn’t give up on old friends because of new ones.

“Don’t be a dork,” Serge said. “They’re not that rich.”

“Who said we were rich?”

“Are you kidding?” Thomas asked earnestly. “Look at the car her dad drives!”

If Elaine was the most mature, Thomas was the least—physically and emotionally. He was the only fourteen-year-old I knew that still wore pajamas with feet. He had his D&D action figures and he was good to go. His round little face and thick glasses completed the picture. He was always wound-up and interrupting.

“You’re an idiot,” Serge replied. Lanky and tall, at least when he stood up straight, Serge was already shaving every day and could probably pass for a senior. I guess it was his Armenian ancestry.

“I was thinking more like a Lexus,” Elaine said.

“See? What did I tell you?” Thomas retorted.

“Not a new one, stupid. Daddy wouldn’t go for that. Something a couple of years old. Gently used.”

As the discussion went on, my eye was irresistibly drawn back to the new hunk. He was tall and blond and perfect—at least six feet. He was wearing jeans and a plain red t-shirt that showed off his athletic build. He had a thick neck, broad shoulders and thick, vein-covered forearms with just the lightest dusting of blond hair.

And he had guns. The sleeves of his shirt rode up on the most beautifully shaped biceps I’d ever seen (up to that time—sorry, Alex). They were perfectly proportioned, with a broad, sweeping arc that peaked deliciously when he bent his arm. When it straightened out, the vein that ran its length popped dramatically into view.

Below the waist, he was no less beautiful. His slim-cut blue jeans clung to his muscular ass. His pant-legs seemed barely able to contain powerful thighs that were like tightly-wound springs, ready to instantly release massive energy on command. His calves likewise called out a ready willingness to serve their godly master.

Everything seemed to slow down as I beheld this angel incarnate. The chatter and chaos of the schoolyard receded from my consciousness as I watched those powerful, masculine hands put coins in the slot of the soda machine. He withdrew his purchase and straightened up and I drew in a sharp breath as he absent-mindedly reached down with his other hand and adjusted his crotch. Someone—I couldn’t be sure who, as my brain could no longer register the image of anything else—must have spoken to this vision of male beauty, because he turned his head. And then…

He smiled. The vision was suddenly too intense. Had I been standing, I would have fainted dead away. As it was, my head swam and my vision clouded. I was…I was…

“Ryan? Ryan!”

The sights and sounds of the school yard crashed down on me like an avalanche.


Ryan really likes the new guy Tanner—except for when he wants to kill him.
High school sophomore Ryan Miyashi doesn’t know what to think—he’s completely taken with a handsome, strapping transfer student from Texas named Tanner. Ryan is a long way from the self-confidant adult we know from the Growing Lad series. His problem is that despite being a gifted student, he’s painfully shy and he hasn’t told anyone but his brother that he likes boys. Ryan is secretly crushing on Tanner big time, and watching the way Tanner effortlessly makes friends with everyone including gay students ties his heart up in knots. Ryan starts to hope that maybe they have something in common, but Tanner is erratic and moody and is driving Ryan crazy.
Price: $4.99
Living Large

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Growing Pains #5
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Growth takes a holiday.   It’s not easy being big enough to have your own zip-code, but it help...

“You should count your blessings, Alex.”

It was early Sunday evening and I’d just gotten back from the farm, and was sitting in Gram’s living room with a cup of cocoa and a plate of cookies.

“Easy for you to say,” I mumbled with a mouthful of Pecan Sandies.

“Oh, Alex,” Gram scolded, “with all you’ve been through, this is just a little bump in the road.”

She was right, of course. Since Saturday evening, everyone at the farm had been trying to convince me to go ahead with the Florida trip, but so far, I wasn’t convinced.

I had a long discussion with Bob about the issue and finally confessed my fears about mental illness.  He thought that if it was indeed a panic attack, that it could probably be controlled with medication. That just depressed me further, because I thought that I was finished with all those drugs. Before I literally outgrew it, I was taking some twenty pills a day, just to be functional. Not having to take them anymore was extremely satisfying. It reminded me of the old bible verse and the scales fell from my eyes.

In the meantime, I’d just have to hope that the lab results came back with some kind of useful information.

“It was all just so frighteningly real,” I told Gram.

“That doesn’t surprise me, dear,” she said. “You remember when I had my hip replacement?”


“I had the most dreadful hallucinations afterward from the anesthetic. I thought there were strangers prowling around my room.”

“That’s creepy,” I said.

“It certainly was. But they went away.”

“But I don’t think that’s really the same, Gram,” I said.

“Well, the point is that once I recognized what was happening, I wasn’t afraid anymore. It’ll be the same for you.”

“I hope so.”

Growth takes a holiday.
It’s not easy being big enough to have your own zip-code, but it helps if you’re as strong as an ox—or three. Muscle teen titan Alex Johnson not only has to adapt to his new size, but has to cope with finishing his senior year in high school. So far, Alex has managed to keep the school bullies in check, but couldn’t salvage his oldest friendship. Alex is also worried that some of his old developmental problems might be coming back to haunt him and nearly cancels a spring break trip with his hunky boyfriend Ryan, who turns out to be maybe not as mature as Alex thought. Can Alex patch it up with his friend? Can he keep his boyfriend from getting him into any more trouble? Can he really fit into those teeny-tiny swim trunks?
Price: $4.99
Secrets Kept, Promises Broken

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Berkley Daze #4
Published By: Extasy Books

Nerdy Ryan Miyashi has just had his first romance and his first break-up, and he’s an emotional wreck. His h...
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Nerdy Ryan Miyashi has just had his first romance and his first break-up, and he’s an emotional wreck. His hunky boyfriend Tanner has shut him out. Is it his fault? Everyone seems to have advice for the gifted young scholar—his brother, his parents, but most especially another handsome young man named Elliot Camden.
Nerdy Ryan Miyashi is about to start college at Cal State Berkeley at the tender age of sixteen. This should be an exciting and happy time for the bright young man, especially since his first boyfriend, Tanner Cruz, is a total hunk, even if he’s a bit self-centered. Things were going great until Ryan accidently lets it slip to Tanner’s dad that Tanner’s childhood seizures have started to reoccur, costing the promising young athlete his chance at a football scholarship. Almost faster than it started, Ryan’s first romance is over. Or is it? At the same time, another handsome young man seems to be especially friendly…
Price: $4.99
Small Farm Big Farm Boy

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Growing Pains #2
Published By: Extasy Books
Heat Level:

Just because you’re large, doesn’t mean you want to be in charge.   High schooler Alex Jo...
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Just because you’re large, doesn’t mean you want to be in charge.
High schooler Alex Johnson suddenly finds himself a muscle teen titan, thanks to a strange genetic treatment his late father gave him to save his life as an infant. As a shy, often awkward young man with Aspergers, can he adjust to now being likely the biggest, strongest man alive? Perhaps ever? Fortunately, Alex has a hot new boyfriend to stand by him as he tries to navigate quickly changing relationships with his friends. What  Alex and Ryan don’t know is that their lives are about to take an ominous turn. Will Alex be able to take the bull by the horns?
Price: $4.99
The Summer of Our Disconnect

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Berkley Daze #3
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Nerdy Ryan Miyashi’s life has been turned upside down by the reckless and erratic jock Tanner Cruz, but now...

Tanner produced a trash bag from out of his back pack and we collected up the remnants of our targets and the spent shell casings.

“What about all the other shells?” I asked.

“What are you, some kind of Boy Scout?”

“Well, no, but I just thought…”

“Look around! We’d be here for two days,” Tanner said. “We’re already doing more than most people.”

“I see your point.”

We took our refuse and returned to the truck. Tanner tossed the trash bag in the back of the truck and then stowed the guns. We were about to leave when Tanner said “uh-oh,” pulled me close to him and started exploring the inside of my mouth with his tongue. While slightly stunned by this sudden show of passion, I decided that there was no point in resisting. That’s when I heard the other vehicle pull up.

I opened my eye to see mint-green Forest Service truck pull up in front of us with a disgusted-looking expression on the face of the driver that was kind of like what you’d expect to see on a teenager accidently walking in on his parents fucking like bunnies.

Nonetheless, the ranger got out of his truck, walked over and tapped on Tanner’s window. Tanner broke our lip-lock, turned around and made a big show of being surprised. He rolled down the window and smiled broadly.

“Howdy, sheriff!” he said brightly. “Shore is beautiful out here, isn’t it?”

“I’m with the Forest Service, sir,” he said. “I’m not the sheriff.”

Tanner did his best Gomer Pyle. He looked over at the green truck with the Forest Service emblem and his eyes got wide.

“Why, you must be a forest ranger!” he said with just the right tinge of awe in his voice. I was trying to sink through the floor of the truck.

“Yes, sir,” the ranger said. If Tanner was Gomer Pyle, the ranger was now Joe Friday. “May I ask what you gentlemen are doing?”

Tanner looked down at the floor bashfully, but his smile never waned. “Shucks,” he said. “We were just lookin’ for a little privacy. We were comin’ back from the shootin’ range, and it was such a beautiful day, we thought we’d take the scenic route.” Tanner took my hand and turned toward me. “Shootin’ irons always make me a little… frisky.”

I wanted to die. Tanner leaned in toward the ranger conspiratorially.

“Don’t worry officer—we were just parking. We weren’t gonna go… all the way.”

Tanner winked at the officer, and I think I briefly lost consciousness.

“It’s ranger sir. I need to remind you that you need a recreational day pass for any activity within the national forest.” He looked over at me. “Any activity.”

“Oh, gosh,” Tanner said. “We musta missed a sign or something! We’d better get moving…”

“And I’d like to remind you that the discharge of firearms within the national forest is strictly prohibited.”

“Perish the thought!” Tanner said earnestly. “You won’t find one single shell out there that belongs to us.” I was sure we were headed for jail. Again.

Instead, the ranger stared at us for a couple of seconds before he spoke again.

“You gentlemen should probably move along,” he said.

“Oh, yes officer!” Tanner said heartily as he started the truck.

“Drive safely.”

Tanner put the truck in gear and carefully pulled away and back down the gravel track to the road. He signaled, looked both ways extra-carefully and started back down the hill. I sat stock still until we were safely out of reach of law enforcement

“You shithead!” I erupted, and started wailing in Tanner with my fists. “Idiot! Jackass! Moron!” I emphasized each epithet with one of the blows that Tanner taught me.

“Hey, Watch it!” The truck weaved back and forth across the yellow line as Tanner expertly fended off my attack. I got in a couple of good licks before he reached over and pinned me against the seat with one of his gorilla arms.

“You wanna get us killed?” he asked as he straightened out the truck on the winding road.

“Why didn’t you tell me what we were doing was against the law,” I seethed.

“Well, then you wouldn’t have come. Duh!”



Nerdy Ryan Miyashi’s life has been turned upside down by the reckless and erratic jock Tanner Cruz, but now that he’s accepted that they’re boyfriends and have started dating, you’d think that with the summer started, things would settle back into Ryan’s preferred and predictable rut. You’d be wrong.

Things finally seem to be working out for gifted high-schooler Ryan Miyashi. He came out to his friends and family earlier in the year and they’re okay with it. In the fall, he’ll be starting at Cal State Berkeley at the tender age of sixteen, and he’ll be starting graduate-level summer classes at Cal in another week or so. Best of all, he’s settling into his first relationship. Tanner Cruz’ outsized ego and cowboy personality used to turn off Ryan, but now that he knows Tanner’s secret and seen the kindness the big lug is capable of, their love has started to blossom. As they get to know each other and their families, Ryan and Tanner really start to connect—until Tanner’s hidden past and Ryan’s inability to deal with the fallout threaten to pull them apart.
Price: $4.99
The Tanner Effect

Written By: U.M. Lassiter
Series: Berkley Daze #2
Published By: Devine Destinies

When you’re drawn into Typhoon Tanner, hang on tight and hope for the best. Shy, hapless High School Sop...

“Ryan! Your ride is here!”

Dad was calling to me from downstairs. It was Monday morning, I was still fretting over my clothes, and Tanner Cruz was downstairs in his pickup. I was wearing a long-sleeved, light yellow button-down, and a pair of khakis. The blaring of the horn told me I’d run out of time to change my mind.

Looking in the mirror, I saw that the zit on my chin had pretty well run its course, but a new one seemed to be getting started on my cheek, just to the left of my nose. I ran a comb through my hair, trying to smooth down my bed-head, picked up my back-pack, took a deep breath and started downstairs.

Hurrying down the stairs, I checked my pockets. House key? Check. Wallet? Check. Phone? Check. Obnoxious idiot jock, laying on the horn? Double-check.

Which brings me to the subject of Tanner Cruz. Tanner was an absolute stud-muffin. Seventeen, a junior, a little over six-feet, he was a blond-haired, blue-eyed, ripped-to-shreds one-hundred-eighty-pound walking wet dream. And he seemed to like me.

So, what’s the problem, right? For starters, I was an immature, hopelessly shy, nerdy fifteen-year-old sophomore. What’s more, I was still way in the closet. Aside from my brother Arnie, Tanner was the only one who knew.

As you might imagine, it made me a little panicky whenever he hovered around me at school. I finally relented and agreed to let him drive me to school.

I darted through the kitchen, grabbed my sack lunch, and headed through the living room to the front entry hall.

“G’bye!” I shouted as I went out the front door. I heard muffled replies from other parts of the house. Heading down the walk, I saw Tanner turn and flash his megawatt smile through the passenger window of the truck.

“Hey, bud,” he said in his Texas twang as I pulled open the door.

“Hey, Tanner.”

As I climbed in, he turned down the shit-kicker station he had on the radio. And yes, there are shit-kicker stations in the Bay Area.

“Nice shirt,” he said. My stomach did a little flip-flop.


“Buckle up,” he said, way too cheerfully.

Tanner turned the radio back up and tapped his fingers on the wheel in time to the music. He was wearing his usual outfit—boot-cut jeans over his cowboy boots and a designer t-shirt. Today it was Holliston, and I tried to keep from staring at his magnificent biceps and the way they bounced and twitched as he drove. He left his t-shirts untucked, and every time he’d make a turn, I’d be rewarded with a peek of skin just above the waist. Occasionally, he’d look over and catch me staring and instantly flash all two thousand teeth. Flip-flop.

Nothing more was said until we pulled into a space in the school lot. Tanner turned off the engine, twisted in my direction and placed his long arm on the seat-back behind me.


“I been thinkin’,” he said.


Tanner grinned and playfully squeezed the back of my neck with his big hand.

“You’re funny,” he said. “But seriously, I was thinking about how I might be making you a little uncomfortable.”

This was stunning—Tanner was actually considering the feelings of someone else.

“What do you mean?”

“C’mon, Ry-Ry, I know how hard it was for you to let me drive you to school.”

“No, it wasn’t…”

Tanner cocked his head and gave me a serious look.

“Okay, it was,” I admitted. Damn those baby-blues.

“Like I said, I was thinking,” he continued, “until you’re ready, why don’t we tell everyone that you’re tutoring this big, dumb jock? That shouldn’t be hard for people to believe, you being like this mega-genius and all.”

I had to think about that for a moment—this was much cleverer than anything I’d expected from Tanner. He cocked his head one more time and fluttered his eyelashes, and before I could stop myself, it just slipped out.

“Okay,” I said.

No, no, no. This wouldn’t do. I had to stay away from this guy. Get ahold of yourself, Ryan. Think!

“Except,” I began. Tanner furrowed his brow. “You have to stop bugging me at school.”

Tanner turned away for a moment and pursed his lips, obviously straining what few brain cells he had.

“And you’ll let me keep driving you to school every day?” More eyelash fluttering.



Tanner turned to get out of the truck, but before he did, he reached down patted my knee, his smile getting even more impossibly brilliant.



When you’re drawn into Typhoon Tanner, hang on tight and hope for the best.
Shy, hapless High School Sophomore Ryan Miyashi seems to be caught in the orbit of a true force of nature—his new boyfriend, Tanner Cruz. It seems that wherever Tanner goes, tumult and good-natured chaos follow and Ryan is pulled along for the ride, yet Tanner always seems to come up smelling like a rose. Despite the trouble that the pair get into, Ryan is starting to realize that maybe he’s just a little better off with a bit more spontaneity in his life—even if it does involve the occasional night in jail or getting thrown out of bars. There is something unusual about the hunky, charismatic jock, but until Ryan can figure it out, he simply calls it the Tanner Effect. What’s the worst that could happen?
Price: $4.99