Invisi-bi-lity: New YA M/M Romance!

My newest novel is up on Kindle Vella right now!

When a teen’s attempts to come out of the closet are influenced by a vengeful witch’s hex, bisexual erasure takes on a whole new meaning in Invisi-bi-lity.

Vella is a new way for authors to post stories on Amazon, and it works in episodic format. An author I follow had this plan, probably much more thought out than my own, to have five stories published by the new year. Pretty ambitious, considering they possibly wanted the novels to be complete too. For some reason I thought I could do the same thing, so I guess I’ll look on the bright side and praise my confidence.

I have three works currently on Vella and one soon to be published. Of these four, two are finished. So I actually didn’t do too bad and am going to give myself an A for effort. I tried and I tell myself that’s the important part.

Here is a scene from the beginning of the book. The main character John has some trouble pinning down his sexuality because a certain boy always gets in the way.

~

Figuring out my sexuality is difficult enough without Cody O’Keefe screwing everything up.

The high school halls are filled with attractive people. From the cute girl with amazing legs in my English class to the washboard abs of the football quarterback. Then Cody smiles at me, his eyes crinkling at the corners, and I only see him.

Intelligent, funny, and gorgeous, Cody O’Keefe has it all. My favorite thing about him? When people talk, he listens. He makes people feel important. It’s basically a superpower in a boring city where nothing ever happens like Buffalo, New York… though his warm brown eyes are also nice.

Cody’s gay. And he always knew. Back in kindergarten, he told his parents he’d rather marry me than Ella Hopkins and no amount of her sharing Rice Krispy treats would change that. Girls? Not gonna happen.

Me? I’ve sometimes been pretty sure I may not be straight. Occasionally. Much less definitive.

Sometimes I think I’m not bisexual, I’m just a little in love with my best friend. Or am I bi but only fixating on the nearest and best queer guy and not really in love with him? These questions swirl in my brain constantly these days. How do I gain clarity? The answers won’t just slap me in the face with the truth.

“Ah!”

Tuning back into the world around me, I stand on the sidewalk, staring incredulously at the guy who just slapped me in the face.

“Sorry, did I hit too hard?” Cody pats my cheek this time, an affectionate sort of slap. “My bad, but you were pretty far away.”

About a head taller, he stands there with an easy smile, all up in my business without the slightest hesitation. Comfortable in our friendship and totally unaware of the thirsty thoughts in my brain.

Cody O’Keefe has amazingly soft chocolate-brown hair that gets mussed if you so much as look at it wrong. With peach skin and the most enticing slightly chubby cheeks, his beautifully open face is nearly as expressive as the song lyrics, affirmations, and notes he always writes on his arms in black or blue pen.

-check out the rest of the novel here on Vella!

Shameless Flirting

In One Little Lie, a clueless athlete learns the world is more than just gay or straight in this coming of age love story about secret relationships, friendship, and bisexuality. This scene involves two boyfriends snarking at each other before they go out for the night. I don’t believe more context is necessary, this is mostly shameless flirting.

Oh, expect some helpful information to know is that One Little Lie is on sale. Get a discount now by grabbing the book for 99 cents while you still can! This is the second sweet and snarky M/M romance in the One More Thing series of contemporary YA novels.

~

Luke

“Wait, your parents weren’t home?” Ryan asked. “Shoulda mentioned that earlier, Chambers.”

I had no idea. Also, I blamed him. “You’re supposed to be the smart one, Miller.

Ryan squawked in outrage. “Sorry, I was distracted by someone trying to pick out the right nail polish and dress to wear.”

“Are you implying I wear a dress because I’m gay?” I managed not to add an ‘or something’ on the end and ruin the joke. I continued with, “That’s homophobic and I’m offended.”

Ryan rolled his eyes. “Don’t even try that with me.”

“I’ll do what I want with you,” I muttered darkly, moving into his personal space.

He batted his lashes at me. “Promises, promises.”

–You can also grab the book here as part of the One Crazy Love Story Boxset, which features the first four books in the One More Thing Series.

Glitter and sales

What you always wanted for Christmas, One Little Lie is on sale. Or maybe what you didn’t know you always wanted for Christmas. Yeah, that works. And because in my mind it’s appropriate, I picked part of the book to share where they talk about glitter because glitter is a vital part of Christmas. Not as celebrated as Santa but totally there in every shiny present and tacky decoration.

The book is about Luke, a popular athlete at his small town high school who just did the unthinkable by falling for another guy. His journey to figure out his sexuality will test everything he knows about his relationships and himself. In this scene, Luke and friends are going out to a gay bar and he’s trying not to freak out.

I wrote this book so long ago I barely remember writing it, but I do know this part was really fun. Luke and his boyfriend were both panicking for different reasons, and there is glitter, moody drunk girls, snark, and cuteness, which is apparently everything I adore.

~

Glitter!

Luke

As Ryan’s really good at being a spaz, I should leave that to him. Me? I’m awesome. I had to remember that. So what if I was going to a gay bar for the first time and couldn’t even get drunk? Without alcohol to help, I was a terrible dancer.

Did I belong at a gay bar? As a couple, yeah, I guess. But me? No idea. What if everyone looked at me and knew I didn’t belong? What if they didn’t? Did that mean I did belong?

I went simple with my clothes, a red shirt that hugged my muscles and tight jeans. Ryan… did the opposite. He looked good, a little ridiculous with all the glitter, but also like himself. Also super gay.

 “What do you think?” Ryan asked coyly while preening, batting his eyes in a way he thought was flirtatious but was actually excessive.

Dragging my eyes away from their current focus, I managed to reply nonchalantly. “Are you sure that’s the most obnoxious glitter you could find? Because I can barely even see it when I close my eyes.”

-This is from One Little Lie, the second sweet and snarky M/M romance in the One More Thing series of contemporary YA novels. Grab this gay romance for 99 cents right now! The deal lasts from the 26th-31, for those in the US and UK.

If you miss the sale, you can still get a great deal! Grab the book here as part of the One Crazy Love Story Boxset, which features the first four books in the One More Thing Series.

Secrets, secrets

High school is complicated. Especially when you start pretending to date a guy in secret, for totally legitimate reasons, and then just when the whole thing might blow over, the secret is out and then you have to keep pretending to date the guy for… slightly less legitimate reasons.

This is a moment from One Little Word, part of the One Crazy Love Story Box Set.

~

Ryan

“I guess our secret fake relationship is now just a regular old fake relationship.” I said instead. I sighed dramatically. “We’re losing the magic already, darling.”

Luke laughed. He changed the subject to something else. I allowed his happy voice to cast away my doubts.

My second kiss with the blond had been no less surprising than the first. I never had time to prepare, so that’s why his lips always caught me off guard and stole my breath away.

The setting for this embrace had been even less ideal than the first. There had been many people watching us and we were both super tense. Yet the moment still made me want to do nothing but kiss him over and over again. Crap.

Make the Yuletide Gay

Have you ever wondered how to make Christmas gayer? I haven’t, which is weird because I always think everything should be gayer. Fortunately, Norway took care of it.  

Norway’s postal service does a holiday advertisement and this year’s is called When Harry Met Santa.

I am assuming most people who see my blog speak English, so this one has English subtitles. Combined with the original, this already has over two million views. Yes, it’s a love story involving Santa. It’s really sweet too!

So, I saw this earlier on Queerty and bookmarked it for later. I thought, ‘hey, I’m a gay romance author and I’m gay—bi if you wanna get technical about it—this will be on-topic and something fun for Christmastime. This will be fun!’

True story though, the commercial is a bit of a tear-jerker? I literally choked up and was not ready for all the feelings. (No spoilers, but don’t worry, there’s a happy ending.)

Full disclosure… when I actually watched, yes, I’d been offered limoncello and was a tad tipsy, so the video, which has nice production values and is almost a mini movie trailer, was a lot more emotional than I was expecting. Though I’d argue a little tipsy is the perfect way to watch this because then you’ll tear up and be invested in the ending and think, ‘OMG santa/this guy, it’s totally great, I hope they end up together!!!’

An actual queer Norwegian person said this about the video, “For many of us, Christmas is a time we spend with those we love, and it’s nice to see Norway Post show that love belongs to everyone, regardless of orientation, age, or whether you live at the North Pole.”

Happy holidays!

P.S. if you’ve never experienced limoncello before, try it! It will change your life. I rarely drink much lately, but I always say yes to limoncello.

A picture is worth…

No matter how many times I paint the feelings, he doesn’t understand. The canvas displays the buttery yellow curtains of his room, the wide-open window and all the hope there painted in shades of pink and possibilities, but he never understands my message. He never hears my love for him.

The Boy Next Door

Hunter Cruse

Here’s a quote from Hunter Cruse, a main character from my YA M/M Kindle Vella novel, The Boy Next Door.

“Hey, losers,” says a voice from the side. Whoa, I was too busy agonizing about the new girlfriend to notice Hunter’s here, leaning against his car. “We can chat while we eat. Let’s go.”

“In a hurry?” Dylan teases.

The older brother looks around with contempt. “I’m done standing in the parking lot of my old high school wondering if maybe I just applied myself like all those teachers begged, I wouldn’t have ended up back here.”

“You can take Sam, right?” Dyl asks as he heads to his car hand-in-hand with Renee. No, no, no.

“Sure, we definitely need two cars for four people.” Hunter tosses me a dry look over his shoulder as he walks to the driver’s side, though it seems more at their expense than mine.

-The Boy Next Door

In the garden

Despite a lack of fence or other divider line, it’s still obvious where our property ends and the Cruse yard begins. Our yard is sparse while the side closest to us on the Cruse property has a pond and archway that leads back into a vibrant garden. Flowers bursting with color perfume the air with an intoxicating aroma as I walk into the backyard.

Mrs. French might call their garden an artist’s dream, a place to stimulate the senses and inspire creativity. Even in the fall, their garden flourishes, and some flowers are always blooming until the first frost.

Plus, their pond kicks ass.

-from young adult romance novel The Boy Next Door

Love & Spite, the best of both worlds

Ryan is a brainy overachiever with ivy league dreams. Luke is a bi athlete whose whole future is up in the air since he decided he’s not going to give up the first part for the second. Their love story is perfect for them, queer, overly competitive, snarky, and sweet.

But all good things must come to an end, right? Maybe.

It’s the end of senior year, and the odds are good they’ll be in different places for college. Ryan’s friends don’t want him to do anything rash that he’ll regret while he contemplates a long-distance relationship. So his friends are checking if they need to talk some sense into him in the scene down below from One Big Decision.



Ryan

“This is… a pep talk?” I asked.

“Um.” They faltered, glancing to each other unsurely. Pep? Not exactly their strength.

“Okay, not pep.” I tried again. “A crushing reality talk?”

They conferred silently, nodding. “Yeah, we’ve got this.”

They were both wearing dark clothes, looking vaguely like enforcers in some old-timey gangster movie thanks to Zach’s slicked back hair and Lydia’s general face and attitude.

“There’s no need,” I said, attempting to put myself out of my misery. “I understand. I can’t change my mind now just because Luke isn’t sure he can go to the same city. I need to think of my future and what’s best for me, not what’s best for my relationship. Right?”

That’s what they wanted to impart, albeit with more ‘dumbass,’ ‘moron,’ and ‘pathetic loser.’

“Uh. Yes.” They conferred silently again, suspicious and unsure. “This was easy,” Lydia admitted.

“I mean, I’m still convinced we’re living happily ever after and you especially,” I told Zach. “Can suck it because we’re so gonna be together, we so are. Not only do I want to be happy with Luke in general for love reasons, I also want the same for spite reasons, so double reasons.” I narrowed my eyes at him, challenging. “You just watch us, you—”

“Fine, you and Luke will be together forever and ever,” Lydia humored me, realizing I’d gotten carried away and forgot what we were talking about. “You’ll ride unicorns down the aisle to a wedding officiated by Tim Gunn and Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

“Weird combo,” I provided my opinion obligatorily. “I dig it.”

“Even in your happily ever after love story, you and Luke still go to college in different cities,” she finished the hypothetical. “Are you okay with that?”

“Yes,” I asserted immediately. “Maybe,” I amended when met with their disbelief and slightly evil faces. “Where I go to school is about me, not him. I know that.” I whispered, “Part of me wants to not know that.”

I wished I didn’t know. I wished for a lot of things.