Here are the other stories that will be in the Higher Learning anthology from Dreamspinner Press out October 17th. Four days!
Rainy Days and Star Charts by Ellen Holiday
College freshman Joel is admiring Andy’s freckles from the seat behind him in their shared Astronomy lecture. Overwhelmed by all of the math involved, Andy turns around one day to bemoan the lack of star-gazing he’d expected when he signed up for the class. When Joel tells him about the astronomy club’s \"star parties\" on Monday nights it seems like a match made in heaven. But every Monday night it seems to rain, so instead they end up spending the time getting to know each other, sharing their stories, each learning how to take a risk and reach out into the universe—at college or in the cosmos—and make discoveries in unexpected places.
Tutor Me, Love by Ellee Hill
Zach is a college sophomore with no time for fun and games. He’s at school on scholarships and is determined to not let anything distract him from proving to his parents he can make it on his own. He earns extra money by working as a tutor, and so far he’s successfully kept on track without losing his focus—until he meets Deacon. Deacon is a guitarist in a band and a flirt and he’s evidently been interested in Zach since Orientation. Zach doesn\'t want to think beyond his next homework assignment, but Deacon is a delicious temptation who won’t give up.
Inspiration by Claire Russett
Physics professor Dr. Eric Hardiman is working late one evening on a research project that’s causing him problems—there’s an error somewhere in his equations, but he just can’t find it. He’s distracted and frustrated when Matt Wilkinson, an engineering professor, arrives on the scene. Buzzing with energy from his own night’s work, Matt inspires Eric in more ways than one.
Second Beginnings by Leora Stark
History professor Braydon Rothfuss has been alone since his long-time lover was killed almost a year ago. He’d thought his heart had stopped for good that day, but then Jay Mitchum walked into his classroom and took his breath away. Jay, recently discharged from the army after being wounded, is still struggling with his sexuality. Forced to spend time together both in class and in tutorial, their mutual attraction grows stronger and, after a series of heated looks, some lust-loaded moments, and a few misinterpretations, the two find themselves at an off-campus bar talking things over.
Bug Boy by Jeanette Grey
Dan Holbrook remembers Jesse Milner as the social misfit from his third grade class—the quiet boy in the glasses who liked to play with bugs. When he encounters Jesse again as a junior in college, the glasses and the bugs are still there, but in every other way he’s changed. Handsome and self-assured, Jesse is exactly Dan’s type, but a decade of resentment over past rejections has made Jesse wary. Dan resolves to do whatever he has to in order to crack that prickly exoskeleton and get close to Jesse, no matter how hard Jesse tries to push him away.
Accismus by Cooper West
Charlie Harper has had a crush on handsome, popular, straight frat boy Lance Milton since they were both undergrads. Lance graduated first, and in the following two years Charlie thought he had recovered from his hopeless crush. He was wrong: when starting graduate studies in Rhetoric and Composition, Charlie runs into Lance once again. Lance remembers Charlie, and starts up a friendship that is fueled by a shared love of a local coffee shop. Charlie doesn\'t hide the fact he\'s gay, but he does hide his attraction to Lance, knowing it would be unreciprocated. Or would it?
Men’s Shirts, Short Skirts by Amberly Smith
My goal at the party was to win the costume contest, but when Roger hit on me I thought—when I could unravel my brain—that he’d make a great prize. Until I learned that the cute guy from my psych class wasn’t a closet case I could lure out, but a pledging frat boy with something to prove. His talented tongue might have made me flush with heat, but the only action Roger was going to get would be me teaching him the error of his ways. Except I got it all wrong, and I\'m going to need to quick-step it before I lose any chance to win him back.
Learning After Hours by Jamie Lowe
Greg is a standoffish junior who works in the writing tutoring lab. One day Jordan, the popular pretty-boy from his history class, asks him for help with a paper. Greg refuses—they’re not friends—but Jordan won’t be dissuaded, and when he comes in to the writing lab, Greg can’t turn him away. The situation gets complicated as Greg discovers that Jordan likes historical trivia... and that maybe he’s not a moron after all. But when Greg realizes their encounters might not be coincidences, tensions rise between them, and Greg might not be the only person at risk of being hurt
Universally Gay by M. Lee
Eighteen-year old Mark is leaving behind a repressive home for the freedom that college offers. Determined to be true to himself, Mark weathers the ups and downs of being out for the first time, finding a refuge in his roommate’s acceptance and the university’s gay student community. There he sees Seth, blond and glittery and full of courage. Their shared lit class gives Mark the excuse he needs to talk to his crush and maybe to let himself fall in love for the first time.
Literature and Lust by J.J. Levesque
When Jamie signs up for the “Vice in Literature” course with his friend Sadie, he doesn’t expect to find anything other than a few good books to sink his teeth into and analyze. But when Ethan appears at his side at the bookstore, looking for the same course materials, he finds the man of his dreams. The two students quickly discover shared interests, but nothing romantic seems to come of their friendship. It isn’t until another chance encounter in the library late one night that things heat up between them, nearly setting the pages of the books on fire.
Statistical Outliers by G.P. Keith
Opposites often attract, as Ben—a post-doctoral researcher teaching a course in statistics for a group of football jocks—discovers when he finds himself drawn to one of his students. Tom is a big, quiet young man, but not as innocent as he first appears. When Ben is inadvertently “outed” by another of his students during a lecture, a bond of support begins to develop that is furthered when Tom injures himself during practice. Ben must teach Tom other ways to feel good about himself, such as by mastering the difficult subject of statistics, and Tom in turn teaches Ben to feel good about a more physical education.
Surprise Me by Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Each fleeing heartbreak from opposite ends of the country, Biz and Tock both wind up in tiny Marcia, Texas. There the professor and campus security guard find themselves thrust into the even tinier space of a utility closet in the college’s science building. Gun-wielding thugs are on the other side of the door, and Tock wants to protect the cute civilian at his side, while Biz just wants to survive the night and have the chance to love again.
Close Distance Education by Dar Mavison
Cassidy is a young student taking distance education courses along with his full course load to speed his graduation. He is beautiful and sensual and poses semi-nude to help pay the rent. Gavril Dalcro is his mysterious older classmate— a foreign businessman with no real need for a distance education course on business writing. Cass is intrigued by Gavril before they even meet at the library to work on their group project. Both are both pleasantly surprised at how attractive they find each other, and when Gavril asks Cass out for dinner, Cass begins to suspect he’s being seduced. He’s not wrong, though Gavril prefers to call it “wooing”.
Brazos Mud and Horn-Rimmed Glasses by Eve Ocotillo
TJ is an easy-going and affable native Texan who frames houses for a living and picks up odd jobs to make ends meet. While moonlighting as a university janitor, he meets Daniel, a young chemistry professor newly transplanted from Michigan. Daniel is everything TJ is not—soft spoken, elegant and intense—and TJ is instantly attracted to him. Over the course of several weeks, TJ woos Daniel, chewing nails wondering whether a professor could be interested in a mere janitor and trying to interpret the mixed signals he seems to be getting.