Today fellow JMS Books writer, Mere Rain, is on a visit. Welcome, Mere!
My first attempt at writing romance was a gay holiday paranormal.
An author for whom I’d done some non-fiction editing said that she also wrote romance, and would I be willing to proof-read a holiday story anthology. The authors involved had a chat group, and they were all friendly and fun and encouraged me to try writing in the genre myself.
I didn’t finish that first Christmas story — romance is harder than it looks! — but I published two winter holiday stories the following year, 2018, and another in 2019 that was finally about Christmas and New Year’s. That was “Stealing Gifts,” a contemporary novella about a burglar who falls in love with a bibliophile whose book he stole. That’s currently 25% off, along with the rest of Mischief Corner’s holiday collection.
This year I published my first full-length m/m romance, a college story about a neurodivergent scholarship winner who has never relationshipped before and jumps in feet first. Luckily, he picks someone solid enough to cushion his landing!
“Tonight and Every Night” is currently 50% off via Smashwords end of year sale.
There are a lot of excerpts available from those (I consolidate them in goodreads reviews), so I’ll close instead with a snippet from a story that is releasing in February, as part of JMS Books’ “Sugar or Spice” series. Happy Holidays!
A funny, sexy, opposites-attract romance between two college students — one an anxious, autistic virgin who has never been away from home before, and the other an easy-going hockey player with some well-concealed self-doubts. As long as you don’t call it a relationship, you don’t have to talk about your feelings, right?
PJ is socially awkward to the degree that he never expects to have a relationship or “normal” life. Everything other than math makes him feel stupid, and trying to fit in with the party crowd only results in him getting embarrassingly drunk at Giant’s apartment. He doesn’t have the first idea how to ask someone out — especially not someone popular and hot.
Giant is having lots of fun but doesn’t know what he’s doing with his life. A working-class kid with an unexpected athletic scholarship, he feels stupid and low-class compared to most of his classmates. He’s had plenty of one-night-stands but none of them ever seem to see him as boyfriend material. When the cute nerd who somehow ends up in his bed asks to see him again, he can’t think of any reason to say no.
As they spend more time together, not all of it in bed, both men start to fall in love, but neither wants to risk ending what they have by asking questions about their relationship. Then they go home for Thanksgiving and familial opposition forces them to put their feelings about each other, and themselves, into words, and make choices about their future together.
But do they want the same things?
Harlan led Apolo inside, grateful not to be seated on the dais with the newlyweds, their parents and grandparents, and the best man and maid of honor. Probably his mother hadn’t trusted Harlan to be sufficiently ingratiating to Elina’s family.
Or, he suspected when he was shown to his table, she had placed him near a suitable future wife or three.
He smirked at the disappointed candidates as he pulled out Apolo’s chair and bent to kiss his cheek.
Apolo turned his face in time to make it passionate and sloppy instead of the ironically chaste peck Harlan had been intending. Harlan had no complaints, although someone doubtless would.
Apolo’s teeth tugged at Harlan’s lower lip for a moment as he pulled away, and he considered dragging him back to the men’s room, but the server was approaching with wine and a drink also sounded great.
Although a drink in his hotel room sounded even better. Maybe he could talk Apolo into a sex marathon.
“Red or white, sir?”
“Both,” Harlan told the server. “He’ll have both, too.”
Apolo grinned at him. “Are you trying to get me drunk, sir?”
“Just being a good provider, darling. I don’t want you to suffer from unwanted sobriety.”
“I haven’t been sober since I met you.”