Glitter and be gay! This is the title for one of the September book giveaway groups I’m in. How can you argue with that? I can’t and don’t want to. The Glitter and Be Gay Giveaway lasts the whole month and features free books with LGBTQIA+ characters. Check it out!
Here’s a few of the novels that caught my attention.
While the title of this blog is Hella Gay YA, I’ve never been good at staying on topic. And as an author of gay romances, I figure the important part is ‘gay’ anyway. So I’m going to share my thoughts on the novellaRealignedby Becca Seymour.
The cover needs a special shout-out. GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS COVER. Yes, I needed to say it three times because it can’t be said enough. BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS COVER. Especially in the gay romance genre, this is one of my favorite covers ever.
Quick Summary: When Shaun returns home to the Australian outback, he must decide what to do when his vacation ends, either go back to his life in the United States or stay and start a relationship with police officer Mitch.
Tropes and Book Details: best friends, friends to lovers, small town romance, second chance, short story, contemporary, sweet, steamy
My thoughts: Realigned is fun, fast novella if you want a cute read with a little steam. This is one of the books I picked up in a giveaway and I’m glad I got the opportunity as I hadn’t ready any Becca Seymour before, but it won’t be the last book I read from her.
Plot: Some old author guy once said ‘you can’t go home again,’ but eight years is a pretty long time to stay away. So Shaun returns to the small-town he left behind, his loving family, and the best friend he’s always wanted more from. And if their relationship evolves, can he be convinced to turn his vacation into a permanent change of address?
This is the question the plot revolves around, but it’s more there in the background while the focus is on the relationship between the guys. And their relationship is the best part, so this works out just fine. There is some drama about how Shaun left and revelations from the past, but most of the angst is in the past.
Characters: When people say it’s not rocket science, they aren’t talking to Shaun because he is a rocket scientist. Yet it’s the heart he has trouble with. Isn’t that the way it goes? And also, I am not a rocket scientist, so I’m not totally sure about his job. He works for NASA and does something with the earth, but I’m rounding to ‘rocket scientist’ anyway.
Shaun’s childhood best friend Mitch is a sexy sweetheart who put Shaun’s own happiness first in the past, but now thinks they can be happy together. What else could you want from a fictional boyfriend?
Both grew up in a small Australian community that feels authentic to me and will to you too, unless you are actually from a small Australian community, and then I can’t say whether the experience will ring true for you, but it’s probably close enough for a short story.
Final thoughts: For me, this story is super interesting, very cute, and even a bit steamy. It’s an entertaining read from start to finish. If you enjoy reading standalone novellas about sexy dudes with Australian accents, best friends becoming more, or gay romance in general, you’re good to go and will love every second.
I’m the person who finds something good and wants more of it, so I wish the book was longer, but I also think that’s the mark of a quality story when you’re left wanting more. And as someone who takes forever to read, I do see the value of shorter fiction, though this one felt more like a snippet than totally complete to me. So the perfect time to read this is when you’re in the mood for a quick, feel-good read.
In Instalove, a love spell is only the beginning of Avery Ward’s problems when strange things start happening at his school and he can’t get the guy he isn’t dating out of his head… or his heart.
This is a quote from the novel where Avery looks at a pretty boy, Chris Reyes, and thinks about their respective places in the world of high school.
If this square-shaped room had its edges sanded away and became a world onto itself, which it pretty much was even without more circular dimensions, then the table Chris sat at was probably North America. Flashy, the biggest and best, and pretty great all things considered. Just not exactly as great as many of the inhabitants believed. All the popular, attractive athletes sat there.
If this school were a world, my table would be, I don’t know, somewhere in Europe probably, but not the whole continent. Or if it were a continent, probably Australia. It seemed like a neat enough place, maybe even somewhere to visit, but not the center of attention.
For self-published authors like me, hiring a cover designer is crucial. Unless I want to make everything myself with my questionable design skills. I do not want this in the slightest, but I’ve paid various prices for results of varying quality and sometimes it’s very hit and miss.
So some of my covers are unfortunately made by me. But I’ve found a designer I like and am slowly updating my catalogue. This is the new cover for One Little Lie,and there’s also an excerpt from the book that is probably more appealing than my brief discussion of cover woes.
And here’s a small hint that you may want to buy this book now. You may want to buy this book now. Hint, hint. Because with this spiffy cover and an upcoming box set, I’ll eventually change the price back to $2.99. Once the box set for the first four books in this series is out, this one is going back to regular price. Though I guess you could also wait and get the boxset. Because then you get more books for less. You have options, I guess that’s the point.
Here’s the new cover:
In this scene, boyfriends Ryan and Luke are getting ready for a double date.
Luke acted like a contestant in a beauty pageant, obsessing over his outfit.
He faced away from me but glared through the mirror in front of him. “Ryan, stop laughing and tell me which one of these shirts makes my eyes pop!”
I giggled helplessly while Luke directed his gaze to the two shirts in question. He held them up to his chest one at a time while deciding.
“Baby, you look good in anything.” Sure, my tone still sounded at least 20% sarcastic but that was my baseline.
He scoffed, unimpressed with my answer. “Stop being a weirdo.”
“I’m a weirdo for you,” I cooed. Teasing was the only option to avoid combusting into a puddle of hormones and fondness.
“You do realize this might be the only time I ask you for fashion advice?”
Well played. “Wear the red one.”
Luke frowned. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, moron, I’m sure.”
Hey, could moron be Luke’s pet name?
He held the chosen shirt up in front of the mirror and nodded decisively. “Thank you.” A serious look crossed his face and he turned to me. “Your pet name for me is not going to be moron.” He turned towards the mirror again to fuss with his hair.
Wow, had we become so in sync we thought alike? Maybe we developed a psychic connection. Probably the first one. Just to be sure, I should double check.
I concentrated on thoughts of Luke’s ass. “What am I thinking about?”
“My ass,” he answered without hesitation.
“You are psychic,” I marveled.
“I can feel and see you staring at my ass.” He met my eyes in the mirror with a laugh.
Luke has some important choices to make when it comes to the fate of his relationship inOne Big Decision.This is the hilarious and heartwarming final novel in the One More Thing series which follows a small-town couple as they navigate fake relationships, first loves, high school, and making everything more difficult than it needs to be.
If you aren’t aware, Luke is a high school senior who is dating a loudmouth he loves, but they aren’t sure where their relationship is heading. Especially when… well, this is a romance novel, so there’s conflict and secrets. In this part, he’s trying to decide whether to walk away or not.
What’s Luke going to decide? I can’t tell you that, obviously, but here’s what he’s thinking about.
Ryan could become a footnote, a point of reference, the first guy I ever dated or was even attracted to. I might not even remember what went wrong, only that we went our separate ways for college. Our saga would end at the point where all failed loved stories did, the part where we loved each other and it wasn’t enough.
Maybe the question wasn’t what should I do, what would be best for both of us, or should we give this another chance. Did I want it to end here? That’s the question. Did I want him to become my past?
Ryan and Luke must figure out their plans for the future separately and together while enjoying the remaining days of senior year and having an amazing prom. How likely is this to go smoothly? Well with friends breaking up, graduation getting closer every day, and even a few secrets… Not very likely.
In this quote Ryan explains the difficulties he and Luke face. They love each other a lot, but it’s hard to expect a high school relationship to last. Though Ryan phrases it a little more creatively.
“Here me out here,” he said as though anything else were possible. “This is big and scary, and lots of high school couples think they’re in it together forever, and it never works out.” He scowled and I predicted he was about to get carried aw—”We don’t want to be like those dumb idiots, those stupid dumb idiots who probably dress bad and—”
The newest book from me is called Instalove, a magical YA LGBTQ novel. This book is about Avery Ward, a regular 17-year-old who thinks he’s falling in love for the first time. But when your family has magic and your younger sister is a stubborn little witch, nothing is as simple as it seems.
This is from the beginning of the book where Avery talks about his family and his connection to magic.
When given the choice, most people would rather learn about my sister than me. Stella Ward is the Witch, the girl wonder who can move objects with her mind and turn the laws of the natural world inside out.
Avery Ward is the junior who runs track, the guy who gets supporting roles in the school plays with a good audition. Enough about him, let’s hear more about this sister. Yeah, yeah. I get it.
I’m normal. My sister isn’t.
Witchcraft seems so cool and interesting to people who grew up without it. When someone close to you has powers and you don’t, it’s mostly extremely annoying. But siblings can be that way.
However, there are always reminders that she’s not an ordinary little sister. It’s not fun to pull eye of newt or wing of bat out of the refrigerator when needing ketchup. Instead of listening to me on the phone or snooping in my text messages, she can cast a spell to read my mind.
Aside from the lesson to always know what you’re grabbing before putting it on food, Stella’s magic barely impacted my life. It intersected with me like a cold or a mild fever. There are a few days of congestion and mild discomfort and then the inconvenience goes away without any lasting damage.
At least that’s what I wanted to believe. It worked for a while. Her magic didn’t make a big impression on my life.
Small confession time. This novel is about a guy who is crazy about another guy, but I’ve been using a tool called Bookbrush lately to make graphics like the above. And there’s lots of pre-made options involving ladies, so since Stella and her magic play a big role in making everything happen, I look at this as one of my few chances to actually use the templates with females.