A real romance?

Luke keeps getting put in gay situations. And now his fake boyfriend Ryan has a real suitor. Luke’s best friend is Zach. Those last two sentences aren’t related to each other… right? Right?

Here’s an excerpt from One Little Word.

Luke

Lunch was awkward. Of course it would be awkward. I had just sucked face with a guy in front of our table. The seniors had gotten up and left, something they usually did when Ryan sat with us, but it felt different now. This wasn’t a video or a rumor. I had just kissed a guy in the cafeteria. I thought the stares were bad before.

“This isn’t right,” Ted said, and some of the guys nodded.

“Come on, man—” I started.

“No, it’s not that,” he interrupted, gesturing between me and Ryan. “I mean, I’m not thrilled about that,” he admitted, looking at us distastefully. Yeah, that was quite obvious I wanted to snap but managed to hold my tongue. “It just seemed like…” Ted looked at Zach and the other guys followed suit.

I looked at him, not getting it. What, Zach had the biggest problem? We were best friends. I’d have thought he’d at least try to be supportive, or pretend to be. Okay, Zach didn’t really do supportive, but I didn’t think he’d go out of his way to be a bigger asshole than he already was. That was true friendship for him.

“Uh, we thought you and Ryan were just pretending,” Joey said carefully. “And just a second ago, we were pretty sure Zach liked Ryan.”

God, Joey was so dumb. The catcher obviously took too many fastballs to the head, even with a helmet. “It must have been a misunderstanding,” I said easily.

“No, he’s right,” Ted said. What? The rest of the guys nodded.

“Zach’s straight,” I informed them. Was that something I even needed to say? He seemed to have a new girl every week.

“Well, actually,” he piped up.

“What?” No, no way. I stared between him and Ryan. Ryan looked down, not saying anything or meeting my eye, and he removed his hand from mine. Shit, I didn’t even realize we were still holding hands.

“Nothing’s going on between Ryan and I,” Zach chimed in when it was clear me and Ryan weren’t going to say anything, “As obviously he and Luke are so in love, but I was inspired by your PDA to come out.”

“How is this even possible? Is there something in the water?” Ted asked sarcastically. Joey put down the bottle of water he was about to bring to his lips, staring at it like it was poison.

Zach looked at Ryan, and the two traded a warm look, like they were in on a secret. What the hell? I suddenly felt annoyed for some reason. I wanted to grab Ryan’s hand again but that felt too petulant.

“Nope, no way,” Ted said. Joey was looking at everyone who passed by our table with suspicion and distrust, trying to see if there was someone with a rainbow sign around their neck reading ‘I’M GAY’ that he missed somehow.

“You’re gay?” is what I asked Zach. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like the rest of us were freaking out, fidgeting and staring at Zach like there was still a hope he could be joking, but Zach just sat there calmly.

“Bi actually,” he said simply, examining his nails like he was bored. He always had neat, even nails. Was that a sign?

“We’re, uh, supportive?” Ted tried to say but asked instead.

Zach sent him a bitch please look. He was always so good at that expression, just like Ryan. Was that a sign I missed? “You don’t have to say that,” Zach informed him.

“No… we totally accept you,” he said in a flat tone.

“I don’t give a shit,” Zach said easily.

The rest of the guys seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. “Thank god,” Joey said. “It’s already enough with those two.” He pointed at me and Ryan. “But apparently you’re also a fa—”

Ted elbowed him, and he stopped talking while Principal Simmons walked by. “I mean, uh. It’s fine. I’m…”

“Supportive,” Zach filled in, amused.

“Yeah, that.”

~~~

The Five W’s

Here’s what you need to know about my book What Love Means using the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.

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Who: Finn Manning. Me! That one was easy enough. And I’m not an egomaniac by putting that one first, it’s just how the list goes.

If you want to know a little more about me: I’m a queer author who writes queer fiction. I’m in my early 20’s and I live on the West Coast in North Carolina. I have two nephews I adore, a dog I spoil, and my interests include Zumba, going to the beach, and working my way through a giant queue of books and TV shows. I’m currently reading Reasons to Love a Nerd Like Me by Becky Jerams and just got done watching the latest season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I planned on watching season five of Arrow next but started Wild, Wild Country instead because Netflix told me to.

What: What Love Means is a gay YA romance. Without falling back on my fancy synopsis, it’s about two old friends who parted on bad terms. Max and Cal are about as opposite as can be. One is rich and the other is poor, one is an uptight academic and the other is a bad boy with a motorcycle, one is brunette and the other is blonde. You get the idea. Aside from mutual lust, the only other thing they have in common is that they both have younger siblings. When the kids both start competing in spelling bees, Max and Cal must confront their past and find out whether they could have a future together.

When: It’s contemporary, so it takes place now. The main characters are beginning their senior year of high school.

Where: New Jersey. Let’s see, the action takes place in many locations. There’s a party at an abandoned warehouse where our heroes have a chance encounter that makes sparks fly. There’s one tiny apartment and one fancy ass mansion. Max has two uncomfortable conversations in two coffee shops. A sexy scenario happens in the least appealing place Cal can think of: his old middle school. An emotional conversation happens in what Max considers the worst place for a serious discussion: the parking lot behind the auto shop where he works.

 Why: My previous work, One Little Word, involves the classic jock-nerd dynamic. I wanted a similar opposites attract scenario without doing the same thing, and I love spelling bees. That led to the concept of two old friends meeting again years after their last bee. One of them is the studious, hardworking teen one might expect would come from the spelling bee (i.e. an uptight nerd for those who aren’t familiar with spelling bees) and the other has gone through a complete transformation and become the dangerous, carefree rebel that first character really shouldn’t be attracted to, but dammit, he is anyway.

What Love Means is available now on Amazon.

Queer Books Galore

If you like queer books and free stuff, then you’re in luck. Is it too much of a stretch to say this is St. Patrick’s Day related? It’s March and leprechauns are supposed to be lucky, so… I don’t know. What I do know is that there are TONs of free novels and samples available as part of the March Queer Your Heart Out Event.

I think, technically, a ton is 200 pounds. There’s more than 30 books, so maybe if the weight of all the paperbacks were combined, it would be a ton. Anyway, not all the books are YA but they seem to span the gauntlet of queer fiction. There’s bad boys, alphas, harems, lesbians, and more. Go check it out and find your next book to read! 56c9fe7e74f3594d0b69c4fafbca7ec4