When Lisa invited me over I was going to blog about names and the subconscious assumptions readers can have about a character, based on their name. (Names like Joe and Zander conjure up two very different reader expectations.) But thanks to Mother Nature I’ve changed my mind. Since it’s Waffling Wednesday that’s okay. Right?
Here in western Canada summer came late this year. We had a soggy June and a dreary July.
I’m not ready for summer to end so I was dismayed to see the leaves on the tree in my front yard. They’re already changing color. Noooo! I feel cheated. I want a summer like the one in my story, Dog Days of Summer.
I wrote that story for the Goodreads’ M/M Romance Group for their Hot Summer Days Anthology. It’s a free read and it’s available over at ARe. For those that might want it, I’ll include the link.
I intended the story as a one-off, ending just as Shea and Levi start dating. But while basking in the sun a couple of weeks ago I started thinking about them and some of the problems they’d face in their new relationship. Inspiration hit and I wrote a rough outline, right then and there.
The sequel, if I ever get it finished, will take place in the winter. I’ve been working on the edits for my Halloween short story, Right Street, Wrong House so the transition to writing about winter is not as difficult as I’d thought. I’m just not ready for the real thing.
Right Street, Wrong House will be released by Silver Publishing on October 29th. Lisa and I share a Halloween cover and release date. It’s an eye-catching cover! This is my first attempt to write a BDSM themed story. Here’s the blurb and excerpt:
Right Street, Wrong House Blurb:
Lewis is in love with his best friend Dylan and if those looks the other man keeps throwing his way are anything to go by, Dylan feels something too. So why does he refuse every advance Lewis has ever made? Does it have something to do with those mysterious evenings he's so tight-lipped about?
After six years of waiting and hoping, Lewis reluctantly decides it’s time to move on. An invitation to a Halloween party is the perfect opportunity to try to meet someone new and maybe get over his unrequited feelings for Dylan.
Lewis realizes he's ended up at a very different kind of party and inadvertently discovers that Dylan may have a secret that is keeping them apart.
But Lewis has secrets too, and maybe the two of them are more compatible than Dylan thinks. Now all he has to do is convince Dylan to give them a chance and let Lewis show him just how good they can be together.
Lewis looked at himself in the mirror. He was showered and shaved and wore a clean, neatly pressed golf shirt and jeans. He frowned at his reflection, frustrated. He looked so damned…nice.
Except for his sandy blond hair, which was a little too long, he looked like the typical boy-next-door. Maybe he shouldn't have shaved, but he didn't have enough facial hair to pull off the rugged look. He tried a sexy smile then grimaced. He'd only managed to look pleasant.
Lewis pulled the golf shirt over his head and put on a tight, silky black t-shirt, enjoying the sensuous brush of the fabric against his skin and nipples. He swapped the comfortable jeans for a pair that was much more form-fitting. The outfit was new and not a style he usually wore, but he was trying to make a statement.
With his blue eyes and wholesome, clean-cut looks he still looked like the kind of guy that would help his neighbors carry their groceries, but at least he didn't look like he'd forgotten his pocket protector at the office.
His cell phone buzzed. Lewis grabbed the phone from his dresser and checked the message.
Where are u? U are missing all the fun.
Lewis typed rapidly. On my way.
He took one last look at his reflection then headed to the kitchen to grab the cookies he'd made for the party.
Tonight's Halloween party was being hosted by a coworker's friend. Lewis had purposely waited 'til the party had started before leaving home. That way, his coworker Rob, the only other guest he knew, would already be there. Thank God costumes were optional. If he'd had to dress up in a costume he wouldn't have gone.
He wasn't shy. His dad always said he could talk the hind leg off a donkey—whatever the hell that meant—but he didn't normally go to parties. Hanging around some stranger's house, watching people getting drunk and acting stupid wasn't his thing, but tonight was different.
Tonight he would go to the party and if he saw someone interesting, he was going to flirt.
Rob had told him everyone was bringing snacks and that there'd be soft drinks provided, but if he wanted alcohol he should bring his own.
Lewis had considered taking some beer, but he'd decided to stick to soft drinks. When it came to alcohol he was a lightweight, plus he was driving.
He hadn't been sure what to bring for snacks so he'd made sugar cookies and decorated them with orange and black icing. He'd taken some to work and they'd been a big hit at the office. His best friend Dylan had eaten three or four, one right after the other.
Lewis laid the cookies on a large plastic plate shaped like a pumpkin. He frowned as he wrapped them with cling wrap. Dylan was the reason he'd agreed to go to the stupid party in the first place, damn it.
He'd known Dylan had been invited, but after Lewis had already accepted, he'd found out Dylan had other plans and couldn't make it.
He wondered what Dylan was doing instead. He'd asked when they were eating lunch in the break room, but Dylan had looked at Lewis, and shrugged. "Just stuff."
Lewis had been frustrated but he'd known he wouldn't get anything else out of him. Even though they were best friends, Dylan could be secretive.
"Come on, Dylan. I already said I'd go and if you don't come too, I won't know anyone but Rob," he'd complained.
"Oh, please. You make friends everywhere you go. Within half an hour you'll be on everyone's Christmas card list."
Lewis had rolled his eyes. "No one has Christmas card lists anymore."
Dylan had thrown his balled-up napkin at him.
Lewis grumbled to himself as he grabbed the cookies and his keys from the kitchen counter. He was disappointed Dylan wasn't going to be there, but if he had some place he'd rather be than at the Halloween party with Lewis, that was fine. Lewis squared his shoulders. In fact, that was all the more reason to go.
It was time to meet some new people and try to get over his feelings for Dylan. They'd known each other for six years, but no matter what he did or said, Dylan refused to see him as anything other than a good friend.
Lewis had been attracted to Dylan since they'd met in their late teens, the summer after high school. They'd both had a summer job at the same grocery store, stocking shelves early in the morning or late at night. They'd horsed around and swapped friendly insults, and traded secrets.
They liked the same types of music and movies, and they were both planning on getting business degrees at the local college. If they'd gone to the same high school they would have already been best friends, but Dylan lived on the other side of town and had attended a different school.
Lewis had fallen hard for Dylan but he'd kept his crush to himself. When Dylan confided that he was gay, Lewis was ecstatic. Since they had so much in common and they were both gay, he'd thought it must be fate. They were meant to be together.
But when he'd made his move, Dylan hadn't seen it that way.
All summer long they'd had an on-going game of trying to sneak up on and startle each other. Late one night Lewis had seen Dylan kneeling, his head down as he stocked canned vegetables on one of the lower shelves. Dylan hadn't seen him yet. The store was almost empty and there was no one else in their part of the store.
Lewis crept down the aisle. He stayed close to the far shelf, out of Dylan's line of sight until he was directly behind him. At the last minute instead of tackling Dylan or poking him to make him jump, Lewis leaned over and bussed his lips against the back of Dylan's neck, tasting warm skin and salt.
It wasn't one of his better ideas.
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. I’ll post the link on my blog as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, here’s the link for Dog Days of Summer.
Thanks for letting me waffle, Lisa.
Loved it Pender :) It's always a blast having you on the sofa with me xxx