One thing I can count on with Julie Lynn Hayes is that her imagination will take me somewhere I have never been before. Her new release Dallas in Wonderland takes readers right down the... well, let's hear what Julie has to say about it!
I have always been fascinated by the story of Alice in Wonderland, and have re-read it many times over the years. Both Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, and the chronicles of her trip through the Looking Glass. I read the books to my kids when they were little, too. What an imagination the Reverend Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, must have had. One could even say of the psychedelic variety! Caterpillars with hookahs, food and drink that made you grow or shrink, depending on what you ingested. A horrible creature known as the Jabberwock. Dodos and talking rabbits. And a great deal of poetry that is now inextricably tied up with my memories of this book. To this day, I can still recite Jabberwock, which I memorized back in grade school. (Trust me, that was a very long time ago!)
I’m also very fond of some of the movies that have come from the stories. Two, in particular, that caught my fancy were SyFy Alice, which features a very handsome Mad Hatter, and Malice in Wonderland. In the Sy Fy version, we have Colm Meaney as the Red King, and guest appearances by Tim Curry and Harry Dean Stanton. In this, Alice is a very independent young woman who, because of her fiancé, tries to save him and ends up going into Wonderland, where people are drained of their emotions in the Red Queen’s casino. It’s a fascinating twist.
So is Malice in Wonderland, which starts out with Alice almost being run down by a cabby in the streets of London. He turns out to be the Rabbit, and the adventure begins. The Rabbit is the cute one in this version. I watched it with a friend of mine and we seriously wondered if the writer was tripping when he wrote it. Especially the Cheshire Cat, driving around in his pot smoke-filled car, and speaking in rhymes.
There’ve been a couple of manga made from the stories, one of which is also a video game—Alice in the Country of Hearts. In the manga, Alice falls asleep while waiting for her sister, and finds herself a player in a strange game in a strange land, and the only way she can get out is to play. I haven’t finished reading the series yet, but I love it, and the Mad Hatter, aka Blood Dupre, is very easy on the eyes!
Having this great love for Alice, is it so surprising that I decided to write my own twist on the tale? In the m/m genre, of course. No surprise there! Alice became Dallas, and I wrote it as part of a series on my flash fiction group, the Wednesday Briefs. I never knew from week to week what the prompts would induce! It was a fun trip, though, and I enjoyed it. I self-published it briefly, when it was done, but then I pulled it from the market when I subbed it to eXtasy Books and they accepted it.
The rest is history! Dallas was released on May 1st and is available at eXtasy here.
Going down the rabbit hole has never been so sexy!
After finding his lover in the arms of another man, Dallas Crosby moves to a Victorian-style apartment building to begin a new life. A chance encounter with the mysterious and sexy Dr. Samuel Levi has Dallas in a tailspin. But the man comes and goes unexpectedly and Dallas doesn’t know what to make of him. Just when he thinks he’s getting somewhere with the unusual man, he finds himself in an unbelievable situation, and he has to struggle both to find the man he’s fallen for, and to get back to where he belongs.
Can Dallas find a way to leave Wonderland or will he be lost forever?
The apartment building was conveniently located near the bus line, the grocery store, and the park. School, food and relaxation all within walking distance. What more could a guy ask for? Moving off campus was the best decision Dallas Crosby had ever made. Well, second best decision. The first had been getting rid of his lying cheating boyfriend. Right after he caught him in their dorm room with the RA’s cock rammed up his ass.
And then he’d had the nerve to claim nothing had happened. How stupid did he think Dallas was?
The last thing the jerk had said, as Dallas had removed every last trace of himself from their shared bedroom, was, “Dallas, please, don’t go breakin’ my heart. You can’t do this to me.”
He was so very wrong. Dallas could and he did. Right after he broke the cheating bastard’s nose.
The building was old, a converted Victorian mansion whose owner had fallen on hard times; she’d had to divide it into six units, two per floor. Dallas lived on the third floor, just beneath the attic. Sometimes he swore he heard rats scrabbling about, and he’d offered to place traps there for the landlady, but Mrs. Persepolis had laughed off his concerns. He was hearing things, she said. There was nothing there, she insisted. Hadn’t been rats in the building for many years.
Although Dallas wanted to believe her, one time he decided to see for himself that the attic was indeed rat-free, as she claimed. When he dropped the stairs leading to the attic, and then mounted them, broom in hand, he’d found the door at the top locked, and he gave it up as a lost cause, all the while thinking that rats didn’t use keys, so who was she locking out?
The basement contained limited amounts of storage space, as well as laundry facilities for the use of the tenants. Only two washers and two dryers, but that was enough to cover the needs of those that lived there. With their disparate schedules, there never seemed to be a conflict among the residents over the use of the facilities, for which Dallas was grateful. He juggled culinary classes during the day with working in the restaurant of a four star hotel at night. Usually the only time he had to do his laundry was in the wee hours, when the house was still, and there was no competition for the few machines.
Dallas would bring down either whatever Stephen King novel he was currently reading, or one of his cooking textbooks. While the washing machine agitated and rinsed, he’d prop his feet against it, his chair tilted back on two legs, the back of his head scraping the wall, the rhythm of life vibrating through his soles. It was a comforting feeling, and more than a little sensual. He sometimes daydreamed about what it would like to be fucked there, while the machine was going, either leaning against it or lying on top of it, while a big strong hotter than hell guy rammed into him.
With an imagination like that, he could have chosen to write porn for a living.
One of his favorite Stephen King novels was the Shining. He didn’t even care that they’d fucked up the movie, he loved them both. Jack Nicholson was sure hot. In a totally crazy kind of way. Maybe that was Dallas’ problem. He had an irresistible attraction to psychopaths. Or was that sociopaths? To paraphrase Doctor McCoy, I’m a chef, Jim, not a psychiatrist.
Dallas was also a big Star Trek fan.
What was that? He cocked his head, listening. Although, to be fair, with the washing machine thrumming the way it was, hearing anything outside of this room was rather difficult. Plus he had his iPod blasting in his ear. Bach. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Phantom of the Opera music. The movie, not the musical.
He turned the page, losing himself in Jack Torrance’s troubles. All work and no play…
He heard it again. This time he was sure. Footsteps. Coming his way. He hastily brought the chair back onto all four legs, placed his bookmark inside and closed the book. The hairs on the back of his neck began to bristle, in the way that they sometimes did just before a storm, when the air’s full of static electricity and mischief.
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
If he didn’t get his mind off of men with axes, he’d never be able to go to sleep tonight, and then he sure as shit wouldn’t be able to function tomorrow. Probably one of the other tenants coming home. Maybe wanting something out of storage. The storage area was separate. Each tenant had a key to the room. Dallas didn’t keep very much there himself. He didn’t have very much.
Slipping back into his book, he was very much surprised to hear a cultured voice ask, “Pardon me, but is that seat taken?”
A slender figure stood in the doorway. At first glance, Dallas made his age to be somewhere in the forty-five to fifty range, not from his appearance, which was completely toned and fit, but something in his eyes seemed to hold the wisdom of the ages. Startling eyes they were. He wasn’t aware that copper existed in the palette of the human eye. But here it was. Copper with hints of green. Hair of a muted red, pulled back from his forehead, and tied into a long plait which fell over his shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
“Um… um… no, you didn’t.” Too late, Dallas realized he’d inadvertently dropped his book onto the floor. Guess he was more rattled than he let on. With a deft movement, the newcomer bent to retrieve it, his movements sure and graceful. He presented the volume to Dallas with a smile.
“Allow me to introduce myself. Dr. Samuel Levi, at your service.” He made a slight obeisance with his hand, rolling it from his forehead to his chin, in a graceful gesture.
“Oh, a medical doctor?”
“Alas, nothing quite so useful.” His laughter was soft, cultured. “An honorary title given to those whom the world cannot decide what it wants to do with.”
Dallas thought this man looked more than useful. The back of his neck was tingling again.
“I’ll bid you good night, Dallas, I hope we meet again.”
Only after he’d gone did Dallas wonder how he knew his name.
Thanks for having me, Tali! This is like my home away from home lol