Today, we have Holly Day here to celebrate the release of her story, Be Still, My Heart. She’s put together a giveaway so make sure to read to the end of the post. Welcome, Holly!
Thank you for inviting me again, Ofelia, it’s always a pleasure to be here. I wrote a Valentine Story, can you imagine? I can’t *shakes head* LOL. It was one of those occasions when I was powerless of where the story was going.
I had been up early in the morning as most days, and I’d been writing with Nell Iris, talking about this voice in my head. To clear my mind – not easy when your mind is full of voices – I went on a walk.
The walk didn’t help at all. Instead, I came home with an entire scene painted in my mind. It was of this eccentric man walking into a dating agency looking for a last-minute date, not realising it wasn’t a rent-a-date-by-the-hour kind of place.
I knew how I wanted the story to be, but when I sat down to write, the words didn’t come. Elian Hubert – my eccentric professor – was clear in my mind, and yet I couldn’t find a flow. Dimitri Petrov, the guy behind the desk when Elian entered the dating agency was easy to write, but I struggled with Elian.
The next morning I talked it over with Nell, and she asked if I had to have both Elian’s and Dimitri’s POV. I didn’t. So this story is entirely from Dimitri’s point of view.
“I… eh… am not a people person.”
The man barked a laugh. “Me either, hence my coming here for a date. Okay, I don’t care if she’s interesting or not, but please don’t give me one of those who look fit for the catwalk. I want her to be shorter than me, and I like a person who enjoys a good meal. Can I pick her up at six-thirty on the fourteenth? Or maybe we should make it six, so we aren’t late. She needs to be in a dress; it’s a formal dress code.” He scrunched his face again.
“Erm… I think you’ve misunderstood what we do.” They helped people find their true match, or, it was what the flyers claimed. “We don’t set people up with dates. It’s not an escort service.”
The man widened his eyes, took a step back, and looked around. “Where’s your sign? I could’ve sworn I read date somewhere on it.”
“Look… What’s your name?”
The man neared the counter again. “Elian Hubert.” He grinned and offered Dimitri his hand. Dimitri shook it, mostly because of this man’s odd behavior, and he didn’t know what else to do. Elian had long, slim fingers, not a callus in sight.
“I can write you down for an appointment with one of our matchmakers.”
Elian frowned. “What good would it do? I’m not picky. All I need is a plus one for dinner.”
“We’re here to help you find your true match, your soulmate.”
Elian rolled his eyes. “I don’t have time for a soulmate. I need a date for one night—one. It’s to make me look good.” He popped his hip out and made a swishy motion with his hand.
“I would look better next to a big strong man, but a woman will do. I’m not paying for sex, it’s a dinner date.”
Dimitri blinked, unable to decide if he should be offended or laugh. “This is not a bordello. Men come to us to find a wife or a steady girlfriend. They go through a lot of… screening.” It was a million questions. Dimitri had seen the forms. “And our dating agents find them the best match and then set them up on a date.”
Elian rolled his eyes again. “Look. Do you want to go on a date with me?”
Dimitri couldn’t breathe. A date? He hadn’t been on a date in years. Hadn’t touched a person other than doctors and nurses in longer than he could remember. He would avoid crowds for as long as he lived. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“I’ll pay you.”
“I’m not a whore.” He kept a stony expression on his face, but part of him was amused by this vibrant creature being willing to pay him to go on a date.
Elian sighed. “I didn’t mean that you’d have to sleep with me.”
“But you want to pay me to dress up nice for you and act as arm candy.” He gestured at himself. “I’m not a pretty man.”
Elian’s eyes widened. “I beg to differ.”
“I’m not dating material.” Dimitri crossed his arms over his chest. He should stop talking.
“I’m not asking you to date me for more than one night.” Elian placed his hands on the counter and leaned in closer.
Dimitri narrowed his eyes. “What kind of date are we talking about?” He wouldn’t go.
“I wrote this—” He waved his hands, “—thing. And now they want me to speak at a dinner.”
Dimitri blinked. “You wrote a thing?”
“I teach history of literature at the university.” He motioned in the direction of the old stone building that had always fascinated Dimitri, but where he’d never dared set foot. He didn’t think of himself as stupid, but he wasn’t cut out for academics. Especially not now.
“And I wrote this piece for a magazine; it’s about love through time. They published it and, apparently, some know-it-all deemed it interesting and invited me to talk about it.”
“That’s great. Congratulations.”
Panic shone in Elian’s eyes as he shook his head. “No, I made it up.”
“I… I’ve read a lot of books, you know, and in the old ones there is this pining, letter writing, rules—but in contemporary literature there’s a drunken text, a hook-up in an alley, or a werewolf fucking a zombie in a graveyard.”
Dimitri spluttered. Elian clearly read other books than he did.
Elian grinned. “I still haven’t found the last one, but I’m sure it’s out there.”
“So you didn’t write about zombies?”
“I can’t remember what I wrote.” He widened his eyes. “Which is why I don’t have time to find a date, I need to spend the following days coming up with something to support my theory. If I have a theory.” He shook his head. “It was a night of too much wine and a reverse harem, Mpreg erotica book.”
Dimitri looked around, hoping no one was listening to them. “I know what erotica is, but the rest… I have no idea what those mean.”
“Neither did I.” His chuckle did funny things to Dimitri’s heart. “So, can I pick you up at six?”
Shaking his head, Dimitri took a step back. “I don’t do well in crowds.” His hand slowly slid down to where his gun should have been.
I have put together a rafflecopter giveaway. I’m giving away an ebook copy of Be Still, My Heart + an ebook copy of Hop Hop, Carrot Top that was published last month. Click the link and you’ll be taken to the giveaway. If you’re up for a game, you can increase your chances of winning by counting hearts. How many hearts do you see in this post? Answer in the giveaway, and to increase your chances more visit Nell Iris’, A.L. Lester’s, and my blog and count the hearts there too ❤
About Holly Day
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.
Connect with Holly @ https://lnk.bio/xpae or visit her website @ hollydaywrites.wordpress.com