Tag Archives: gay romance

New Release! Small Town Sonata is now available for pre-order!


My Dreamspun Desires title, Small Town Sonata, will be hitting the stores on August 6th, and is already available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press and Amazon!

This is a return to light, fun romance, after spending so much time writing dark stories. I spent a lot of time lovingly describing the town I grew up in, until I was about eleven, making everything vivid and brightly colored, full of the scents of lilacs and cut grass and warm coffee. It was a wonderful experience for me, and I hope it will be for you as well!

Can the trusted town handyman rebuild a broken pianist’s heart?

When a freak accident ends Aiden’s career as a world-renowned classical pianist, he retreats to his New Hampshire hometown, where he finds the boy he liked growing up is even more appealing as a man.

Dean Cooper’s life as handyman to the people of Springhaven might not be glamorous, but he’s well-liked and happy. When Aiden drifts back into town, Dean is surprised to find the bond between them as strong as ever. But Aiden is distraught over the loss of his career and determined to get back on the international stage.

Seventeen years ago Dean made a sacrifice and let Aiden walk away. Now, with their romance rekindling, he knows he’ll have to make the sacrifice all over again. This time it may be more than he can bear.

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/small-town-sonata-by-jamie-fessenden-10674-b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Town-Sonata-Dreamspun-Desires-ebook/dp/B07QXQYH8X/

Excerpt:

Dean was unaccountably nervous as he followed Aiden around to the backyard. It wasn’t as if they were going to fuck in the gazebo or anything. Aiden had already vetoed making out, which was reasonable. But Dean had thought about him a lot over the years. After a couple of years had gone by with no sign of Aiden returning to Springhaven, even for just a summer, any delusions Dean had had about them running off together had died a painful death. But, yeah. Dean had still thought about him. And his thoughts hadn’t always been pure.

Now, Aiden was walking just a few feet ahead of him, and he’d grown up to be sexier than Dean’s most lurid fantasies. My God, look at that ass!

The gazebo was octagonal, with one side open and the other seven enclosed by a waist-high white wooden railing. Three curved benches formed a semicircle in the center, underneath a conical roof. The gazebo rested in the center of the lawn surrounded on all sides by a small, artificial frog pond, and that was surrounded by more of Mrs. Scott’s rosebushes. The scent of the flowers hung heavy in the warm evening air, and a chorus of crickets and spring peepers serenaded the men as they crossed the small, arched bridge and climbed the short flight of wooden steps.

As a boy, Dean had thought the Scotts must be millionaires. He knew that wasn’t the case, now, but they were certainly well-off.

“I’m tempted to light the TIKI torches,” Aiden said, grinning. “But I suppose Dad would come barreling out of the house, demanding to know who was screwing around in his yard. Either that, or Mom would be worried I was out here moping.”

“Moping about what?”

The shadows inside the gazebo were deep, so Dean couldn’t see Aiden’s face clearly, but there was a sadness in his voice. “Nothing. I guess I miss New York a bit.”

Dean could tell that wasn’t the real reason, but he doubted he’d get much more out of Aiden by prying.

A firefly drifted into the gazebo and they watched its slow flight until it landed on the railing. It sat there, blinking a soft greenish-yellow.

“You really liked it there?” Dean asked at last.

“I guess so. It was busy. Exciting. And people treated me like….” He trailed off.

“Like what?”

Aiden gave out a faint, wistful little laugh. “Like a movie star.”

“Just because you play piano?” Dean realized he was probably being insulting. “Sorry. I mean… you play great. I love listening to you. But are you saying people wanted your autograph and shit like that?”

Aiden was silent for a long time, and Dean was afraid he was going to turn around, go back inside, and that would be the last time Aiden ever bothered to talk to him. Why the fuck did I have to say it like that?

Eventually, Aiden said, “Sometimes.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know shit about stuff like that.”

Another long silence. Then Aiden said, “Mom tells me you play clarinet now.”

“Uh… yeah. I’m not that good, though.”

Aiden sat down on one of the benches. “You play in the town fair?”

“Sort of.” Dean sat beside him, praying Aiden wouldn’t immediately get up again. The bench was small, so they were forced to sit close together. Dean could feel the heat of Aiden’s arm against his own, but Aiden made no move to put distance between them. “Remember Bart Robinson?”

“The math teacher?”

“Well, he was when you and I were in high school. He retired ages ago. And he put the Springhaven Septet—that’s what we called the band—together. We played every summer, until he passed away a couple of years ago.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah.” Dean sighed. “So this year, they’re making me do it.”

“The band? Who’s making you do it?”

Dean held his hands out in front of him in a gesture of surrender. “The Ladies of Lilac Lane.”

“The… what?”

That was right. The ladies hadn’t formed their little cabal before Aiden left. “Well, they’re kind of a… bunch of old women who boss people around a lot. Especially me.”

Aiden laughed and nudged him with his arm. “I didn’t think anyone could boss you around.”

“Yeah, well… I guess I let them.”

Dean shifted uncomfortably. He wasn’t sure if he could explain it in any way that made sense to anyone else. “Do you remember Mr. Whitaker?”

Aiden sighed, a wistful sound. “Oh, yeah. I was thinking about him this afternoon, when I went uptown.”

“He kind of saved my life.”

Aiden huffed out a breath. “By making you mop his floor?”

“He told me that night, ‘Springhaven is a small community. A place where people still trust their neighbors. A lot of us don’t even lock our doors. But you’ve got the power to change that. If you want to live in a town where people always have to lock up and keep their eye on each other, well… all you gotta do is keep stealin’ people’s stuff. You’ll make it happen.’”

Aiden seemed to think about that for a while. Then he said, “Not that I’m saying you should have kept on stealing, but even if you didn’t, somebody else could.”

“Yeah,” Dean replied, nodding. “But I decided it wasn’t gonna be me. I liked the fact that everybody could trust their neighbors here, and I wasn’t gonna be the one to destroy that. I never stole another thing after that day. A while later Mr. Whitaker hired me for some yard work and started recommending me to his friends. That’s how I got started doing handyman stuff. And the old people in this town? They’re the best friends I ever had.” Then, without thinking, he added, “’Cept for you. But you left.”

He hadn’t meant to say that last part. It had just sort of slipped out. He knew then that, as much as he thought he’d gotten over that brief teenage romance between them, he hadn’t. Not really. The memory of how alone he’d been during the last years of high school was still painful to think about.

God, I’m pathetic.

To his surprise, Aiden reached out and covered Dean’s hand with his. He didn’t say “I’m sorry” or anything else. He just quietly took Dean’s hand and held it. They sat in silence for a long time, and Dean was grateful he didn’t have to speak, because a lump had formed in his throat. If he tried to say anything, he’d probably embarrass himself.

 

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Filed under Contemporary, Cover, Excerpt, gay, Jamie Fessenden, LGBT, New Release, Romance

Guest Blog: Meet the Men of “Town Man, Country Man” by Jessica Sky Davies

TownManCountryManFSFirst off, thanks to Jamie for hosting today, it’s an honor!

Now, about these boys….  Characters tend to be the thing that pulls me into a story more than anything.  I blame my Anglo-Celt background for this.  As one fellow literati friend has put it, “Brits are the best when it comes to character studies.”  While the initial “seed” of Town Man, Country Man was the settings (as mentioned in my July 29 posting on Jana Denardo’s blog http://www.janadenardo.com/2016/07/29/guest-blogger-writing-your-own-backyard-jessica-skye-davies/ here), it was the characters which made the seed germinate and grow into a full story.

TMCM has been described as “opposites-attract”, and it is, but Josh and Ben have a lot in common, too.  It’s just that the things that are different between them are things which are deeply ingrained parts of them, things which are not always easy to examine in oneself, let alone change.

Josh, the town man, is immediately attracted to Ben, our country man, when he spots him in the crowd at a wedding.  Apparently, Ben is just as interested, as it’s Ben who strikes up a conversation then asks Josh to dance.  For either of them, it could have been just like any Saturday night at a bar or club.  Maybe it was the inherently romantic setting, but Josh and Ben both saw something more than a one-nighter in one another.

Josh finds himself surprised by wanting to date Ben, primarily because Josh hasn’t seen any of his lovers twice ever since getting out of a relationship that got steadily more emotionally abusive as it went.  Until meeting Ben, Josh felt no need to change what was working just fine for him.

TownManCountryManFSBen, on the other hand, has spent a long time looking for love in all the wrong places.  His home is much more rural (though still not far from the city), and he’s not out in his community the way Josh is.  Most of the guys Ben has met aren’t looking for any kind of commitment or strings-attached, some are even married and don’t consider themselves anything but straight.  So when Ben meets Josh, and Josh accepts his offer of a dinner-date, Ben begins to let his guard down more than he has in a while.

The passion burns fast and bright between them and it kindles a giddy, I-thought-I-was-too-old-for-this-feeling romance in both of them in very short order.  Both a bit love-drunk, neither of them pause to consider that wanting a relationship to become long-term and making that happen are two different things.  Lasting relationships necessitate sacrifice, which is a bit difficult to think through when you’re all loved up on romantic weekends together.

For Josh, the biggest problem is having to wait till the weekends to get together with Ben because of the distance between their homes (50 miles might as well be 500 to most Pittsburghers!)  When Josh finds out that his best friend, Dante, has been dealing with a personal crisis all alone, Josh realizes that the time he’s been spending with Ben has come at the sacrifice of making time for a lifelong friendship.  It knocks him for a loop and causes him to do some real soul-searching.

With Josh suddenly putting off Ben’s invitations but not opening up about what’s going on, Ben gets the feeling something is wrong and finally decides to stop by Josh’s place on a Sunday morning and talk about things.  Well, that lasts only until Ben finds out that Josh had a friend staying with him overnight.  Having been down that road before, Ben assumes the worst and doesn’t want to hear Josh’s ‘it’s not what it looks like!’  And yet… Ben has never had anything like what he’s had with Josh, and now it’s Ben’s turn to do the serious introspection and decide what’s important in his life.

Both of them are going to have to decide if what they have in common outweighs the differences in their personalities, and if finding a way to go forward is likely to be worth it.

TownManCountryMan_headerbanner

Town Man, Country Man

“Town man” Josh Douglass meets “country man” Ben Bauer at a mutual friend’s wedding, and passion kindles immediately. As urbanite wedding planner Josh and closeted contractor Ben spend more time together, they develop a deep, comfortable romance despite the fifty miles between their homes—and despite the drastic differences in their lifestyles. But as they grow closer, it becomes apparent that Josh and Ben have been enjoying the first flush of love without giving much thought to longer-term logistics.

A crisis leads Josh to ask himself serious questions about how his relationship with Ben can realistically work. But just as Josh is feeling ready to talk about the next step with Ben, a misunderstanding threatens to put an end to their love affair. Compromise is the key to any relationship, but it isn’t always easy to balance careers, friendships, and family expectations. Josh and Ben just need to see that bringing together the best of both their worlds is well worth the sacrifices they’ll have to make to remain in each other’s lives.

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/town-man-country-man-by-jessica-skye-davies-7273-b

Jessica Skye Davies

Author page: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/jessica-skye-davies-264

Blog: http://jessicaskyedavies.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaSkyeAuthor

 

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Filed under Contemporary, gay, New Release, Romance

Guest Blogger: Sue Brown

It’s a first!  I’m hosting a guest blogger this week — fellow author and long-distance friend (she lives in the UK), Sue Brown.  I could say wonderful things about her (I certainly enjoy her writing!), but I’ll let her speak for herself.  After the blog, she’s been kind enough to supply us with a short bio and an excerpt from her current novel, The Isle of… Where?, which is available through Dreamspinner Press.

I am asked on a regular basis how I can write gay romance. Actually what they normally say is gay porn and that’s the point I roll my eyes and contemplate tearing their heads off.

Let me say this slooooowly.

I don’t write gay porn. Ro-mance. Re-la-tion-ships.  Okay?

With men.

Yes, with men.

Two men.

You’re on the ball today. Yes, with two men.  Sometimes more. Otherwise it would be het or femme fiction.

But why men? You’re a woman.

So good of you to notice. What gave it away?

Why don’t you write about a man and a woman?

Because I don’t want to.

But…

Yes?

They’re men. Isn’t that icky?

Did you mean sticky? Hopefully.

There’s usually a horrified face at this point. I’m good. I don’t point out that het sex is icky too. Still have bodily fluids, chaps.

So… how do you know what happens?

What happens?

You know…

Is this twenty questions? You’re an adult. Ask a bloody straight question.

You know, between two men?

Are we back to sex again?

*whispers* How do you know what they do?

Me. I can keep a straight face now. IKEA produce a guide. Stick cock A in hole B. It’s a fantastic guide. Not in English of course and the diagrams are bizarre but you can still recognize the…

You’re taking the piss, aren’t you?

Oh yeah.

I was only asking. No need to be sarky.

At this point my companion used to stop, but now, oh no, the torture doesn’t stop there. It carries on… and on.

You write sex?

Haven’t we just been there? Yes I write sex.

Why don’t you write…

Please don’t say it, please, please, please don’t  say it…

Fifty Shades of Grey.

You had to frigging say it, didn’t you?

Well?

Because it’s been written already.

But you could make millions.

Plagiarism. Heard of that?

But…

Look, I don’t write het and I don’t write BDSM.

But…

And if you say Brokeback I am going to kill you. Slowly, painfully and you are going to wish you’d never brought the subject up. Do you understand?

You’re very touchy, aren’t you?

Yes, yes I am.

So there we are, folks. Identikit questions. Identikit answers.

The next topic of conversation is the book that is burning inside of every person who discovers I’m a writer. I have a very short answer to that.

Author Bio: Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

She can be found at her website, her Facebook, and twitter.

The Isle of… Where?

Blurb:

When Liam Marshall’s best friend, Alex, loses his fight with colon cancer, he leaves Liam one final request: buy a ticket to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and scatter Alex’s ashes off the pier. Liam is tired, worn out, and in desperate need of a vacation, but instead of sun, sea, sand, and hot cabana boys, he gets a rickety old train, revolting kids, and no Ewan MacGregor.

Liam would have done anything for his friend, but fulfilling Alex’s final wish means letting go of the only family Liam had left. Lost, he freezes on the pier… until Sam Owens comes to his rescue.

Sam’s family has vacationed on the Isle of Wight every year for as long as he can remember, but he’s never met anyone like Liam. Determined to make Liam’s vacation one to remember, Sam looks after him—in and out of the bedroom. He even introduces Liam to his entire family. But as Sam helps Liam let go, he’s forced to admit that he wants Liam to hang on—not to his old life, but to Sam and what they have together.

Excerpt:

The beach was empty, miles of golden sand laid out for them to dig up. It was also freezing, and Liam shivered. It hadn’t occurred to him to bring a jacket, and the wind whipping off the sparkling waves sucked any heat from the sun.

“You’re shivering,” Sam said unnecessarily. “Here.” He slipped off the hoodie he was wearing, holding it out so that Liam could slip it over his head.

“Then you’ll get cold,” Liam pointed out.

“Put it on,” Sam insisted.

Giving in, because he was fucking freezing, Liam tugged on the soft gray hoodie. It drowned him a little, but it was warm and Liam didn’t care. He cared even less when he looked up and saw the open lust in Sam’s eyes.

“You like me wearing your clothes, huh?”

Sam swallowed and Liam had the feeling that if they weren’t in the open, Sam would have jumped him. As it was, he got up close, too close.

“I wanna fuck you wearing that hoodie and nothing else,” Sam whispered in Liam’s ear, his hot breath ghosting over Sam’s neck. There was no need to whisper, no one was in earshot, but it was hot as hell, and Liam couldn’t help the hitch of breath or the moan that escaped him. But because Sam was talking about fucking, Liam had to retort.

“Just remember, I do the fucking.”

“If you wear this hoodie and your arse is bare, I don’t care who fucks who.”

Liam swallowed hard. Sam chuckled and brushed a quick kiss over his lips.

“Sandcastles.”

“Huh?” Liam was soaking up the way Sam filled his senses. Words took a while longer to process.

To his regret, Sam took a step back. “Sandcastles,” he repeated. “Otherwise things could get interesting out here, and much as people like me, I don’t think they’d forgive a display of bare-arsed man-loving in a hurry.”

Sadly, Sam was probably right, and Liam had to postpone the thought of throwing Sam down on the sand for another time. It didn’t occur to him until much later that he was already planning to spend more time with Sam.

Sam jogged back to Molly and picked up the kids’ buckets and spades from the pea-sized trunk. Liam had been firmly corrected and told it was the boot. Whatever. It was still miniscule.

He handed Liam the purple spade and the orange bucket, keeping rainbow ones for himself. When Liam protested, Sam just gave him a look.

“You got my hoodie. Now stop complaining.”

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Romance, Writing

“By That Sin Fell the Angels” ready to go out the door!

The problem, as I’ve been lamenting in past posts, is where to send it.  As I finished the final draft, I found myself with tears in my eyes at the end.  This is a good sign.  I definitely think I have something that needs to get out there, so others can read it.  But who would publish it?

I got a couple suggestions from other writers.  One, sadly, turned out to be a dead end:  that publisher is no longer accepting novel-length manuscripts from writers, unless they have agents or are previously published through that publisher.  Perhaps if I send them a short story, I can get my foot in the door for future submissions, but finding an agent for gay romance is…challenging.  More challenging than finding a publisher for it, frankly.

The problem is that it doesn’t quite fit the category of “romance.”  There are two gay relationships in the story — one between two adult characters that doesn’t really change much, and one that gradually develops between two of the teenagers.  Since the most romantic relationship in the story is between teenagers, my first instinct was to consider the story to be a YA gay romance.

But it’s not really about that romance, and two of the main characters are adults.  Ultimately, it’s about the descent into (metaphorical) Hell and eventual redemption of Isaac, the fundamentalist father of the boy who kills himself at the beginning of the novel.  That character isn’t gay, so there’s my problem:  I have a novel that revolves around gay issues and even has a bit of (very mild) gay sexual content, but the character who is really at the center is not gay himself.  It’s about a father dealing with his son’s suicide.

It’s been suggested that I might not want to avoid sending it to Dreamspinner Press, since they often surprise us (in good ways) with what they’re willing to publish.  Their editors are all very friendly, so if they decide the novel isn’t for them, I’m sure they’ll be nice about it.  With all that in mind, I’ve decided to give Dreamspinner a look and let them decide for themselves if it fits their catalog.

If they don’t want it, then I have one other option that somebody suggested.  Hopefully, I’ll have more, after doing some research.

I considered self-publishing, but my one foray into that — my novella, Finding Love Through Bigfoot — utterly failed to reach readers.  Well, perhaps not utterly.  I have had a few people read it and tell me they liked it.  But for the most part, I haven’t been able to give it away.  (And, in fact, that’s what I’ve been trying to do, since it’s FREE!)  By That Sin Fell the Angels is, I think, good enough to warrant better distribution than I can manage on my own, so I’ll try to find a publisher for it.

 

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Filed under Drama, Romance, Writing, Young Adult