My next book isn’t out! But you know what is? All sorts of exciting stories featuring characters you’re bound to fall in love with and plots that will drive you bonkers in the best way possible. Confession time: I don’t read a lot in the gay romance genre. It’s not that I don’t love it, but working on my own stories is a full-time job. Imagine completing a shift at Burger King only to head over to McDonald’s for dinner. After flipping burgers all day, the last thing you want is to eat them. So usually I entertain myself with comic books or nonfiction or anything as separated from my work as possible. That way I can recharge and be ready to get super gay and romantic the next day. All that having been said, occasionally when I’m between projects, I get to enjoy another author’s vision of men loving men. That’s why I’ve created a new page with books I’ve enjoyed, and others I’m hoping to eventually read. You can access this from the “What to Read” menu option above, or by clicking right here. Hopefully you’ll find something there to entertain you. If not, there’s also a comment section where you can share those hidden gems you feel more people should read. Have fun!
Like and Subscribe is now available as an audio book. Or perhaps “audio short story” is more apt, since this a quick and easy tale about a guy who has a crush on a hot YouTuber. They say you should never meet your heroes, but our main character does and his life is better because of it. Or maybe it’s worse. Depends how you look at it really. Since Like and Subscribe is so short, it’s much less of an investment—both in regards to time and money—than your average audio book. In fact it’s around the length of a movie, which is fun, since you can kick back, close your eyes, and picture everything as it happens. Sound good? Could be worth a try! You can get the audio book from Audible, the iTunes store, or Amazon. Or, if you’d rather give your eyes a workout, you can grab the text version from Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Have fun!
Thunder and Lightning are the next two entries in the Something Like… saga. What do you think? Feels a little strange moving on from the seasons theme, eh? It does to me, although when originally trying to find the right title for Something Like Summer, the word thunder kept popping up. I’ve always felt it’s a nice metaphor for how love can feel. Or as the wonderfully-eccentric Kate Bush once sang:
“You don’t want to hurt me
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware I’m tearing you asunder.
There is thunder in our hearts.”
Geez, those lyrics are crazy-appropriate for the sixth book, but as in nature, thunder comes second. Something Like Lightning will be the fifth book in the Something Like… saga, or if you prefer, the first book in the Storms Series. So what’s it all about? In Spring we met Kelly Phillips, William’s boyfriend who is embittered by life’s hardships and eager to lash out at anyone who gets in his way. But of course there’s so much more to his character than that. You know I love turning the villain of one story into the hero of the next. I won’t reveal more than that at the moment, but rest assured that this book fits in well with the rest; Falling in love, finding one’s place in the world, making a few friends along the way—all that good stuff. It’s way too soon to talk release dates, but as always, I’ll work my hardest to make this story special and available as soon as humanly possible. In the meantime, why not pull the curtains closed and do a weird interpretive dance while listening to Kate Bush’s ghostly wailing? That’s what I plan on doing. Then it’s straight back to work for me, I swear!
While at a concert last night, it struck me just how gripping music can be. All the trappings of storytelling are there in the lyrics, but there’s another element too, an extra edge. A book has to talk you into feeling emotional, but audio can instantly transport you to anywhere in the emotional spectrum. What power! I contemplated giving up writing to become a rock star, but I don’t know how to play guitar and my singing voice sounds like a stoned frog on his deathbed. Luckily there’s a happy medium. Hearing a story read out loud—especially by someone talented enough to infuse it with drama and humor—can also take a book to the next level. That’s what I feel Kevin R. Free, narrator extraordinaire, accomplishes with my Something Like… series. Speaking of which, the latest installment is now available!
If you haven’t listened to Something Like Summer yet, please check out a free sample below. Confession time; I’m not a regular audio book listener, but this narrator in particular makes the experience more like a fun play rather than someone simply droning out text. I was very excited to have Winter performed in this way, since this book introduces characters like Eric and Marcello for the first time. And of course Ben, Tim, and Jace are there as well. You can buy Winter or listen to free samples from Audible, Amazon, or iTunes. There are also beefier samples of both books below. If you’re already an audio book listener, I really hope you enjoy hearing the second book brought to life. More is on the way!
Something Like Summer is now available in Italian! How appropriate, since our favorite flight attendant was nearly fluent in this language. Italy is also the first international trip Jace takes Ben on. That’s no coincidence, since Rome just happens to be one of my favorite places in the world. Some years back, my parents invited Andreas and I on a tri-city vacation. We hit Venice—which was beautiful, Florence—which was interesting, and Rome… oh man, Rome! Like Ben, my first night there was a little rocky. The story of the unscrupulous taxi driver is very much based in reality, but Rome was way too awesome for that to bring me down. I fell in love with the history, the architecture, the culture, and of course the cats. I loved Rome so much that I headed back a year or two later for more. So I’m thrilled that Something Like Summer is making its debut there. Or should I say Come se fosse estate, which I believe translates to As if it Were Summer. That’s pretty. Heck, it might even be better than the original title. Anyway, if any of you Italian-tongued people out there read this book, please tell me what you think of the translation. And if you happened to take a different language elective in school, there are more foreign editions on the way. I recently signed with MxM Bookmark to have the Something Like… series released in French. There are some other exciting prospects on the horizon as well, so brush off those language skills and stay tuned!
Come se fosse estate is available from Amazon Italy and a variety of other bookstores. The publisher is Playground Libri. And just for the heck of it, here’s a photo of me sitting on Andreas’s lap during a bus ride through Florence. It was bouncy.
Forget gay romance! Throw it out the window, bury it in the backyard, or stick it where the sun don’t shine. I’m finished with it, but the blood of an author still courses through these veins. Never fear, a new Jay Bell book is here! I’d like to invite you to take a moment, click on the cover art to the left, and read the text there. Too lazy to do so? No problem, because I’ll sum it all up in three little words. In. Your. Face. This book’s got attitude! I’m not sure you can handle it. I barely could while writing it. I’d describe All I Can Get as a tour de force, but those are weird foreign words, and this book is all about being an American. Like me! The story centers around a guy named J. B. … Hey, those are my initials too! What a coincidence! Anyway, you’re probably dying to know what J.B. gets up to. Well, here’s a little taste of his life. I’m about to hit you with the first three sentences of the book FOR FREE! Here goes:
It was 1951. It was raining in New York, and I stood in the bus depot working a kink out of my back from the long ride. The khaki jacket I’d bought in Houston had split down the back the first time I stretched, my fly edges were soiled from lots of beer drinking in Beaumont and too much dirty-handed peeing across the country.
That’s right. Dirty-handed peeing. Do you know what that is? I sure don’t. Anyway, let’s not get too caught up on details or silly things like beginnings. Let’s cut strait to the meat and look at an honest-to-goodness excerpt from somewhere in the middle.
We made love like bandits, but afterwards she seemed depressed.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she said. “I was just thinking, I’d like to have a big bust. I look funny undressed, don’t I?”
“I think you look great.”
“No, tell me the truth. I’m skinny and flat-chested. God, I’m a mess.”
“Stop it, will you. You’re fine.”
She lay silent for awhile, then suddenly asked, “Honey, have you ever slept with a girl who had really gigantic breasts?”
“A woman in Mexico.”
“Did you pay her?”
“But wasn’t it degrading to pay?”
“I was young and in a hurry.”
“Will you pay me?”
“Pay? What for?”
“I don’t know. Just once. There must be something special, a feeling when you’re paid. Promise you’ll pay me. Just once.”
“How much will you charge?”
“What’s it worth?”
I smiled slowly and put my hand on her. “I can’t afford it.”
Do I know women or do I know women?!? This is EXACTLY how they think and talk. Oh man. You’re so lucky that you get to read this book! I almost wish I could get amnesia and forget having written it, just so I could read it like the first time ever. But no. I’m not a reader. I’m an author. If you have any doubt of that, just look at the photo on the back cover. Am I clutching an invisible phone to my ear? Staring with horror at a giant spider on the wall? I don’t know. I’m no actor, but I have been a steeplejack before. Just one of the many qualifications that makes me awesome.
Okay, okay… Obviously all of the above is an April Fools’ Day joke. If you live in a country that doesn’t have this holiday, it’s basically a day when people try to trick you by lying or getting your hopes up or generally just screwing with your head. It’s pretty twisted, now that I think about it, but this little joke has roots in the truth. The above book was written by Jay Bell a good decade before I was born. And yes, the excerpts are real. Jay Bell went on to write a second book featuring J.B. called One More Time. The author seemed to have kept his promise, because as far as I know, that was the grand finale. I don’t know anything about him or even if he’s still alive, but I’m sort of glad he didn’t become a household name. Otherwise I’d probably have to use Jimmy Bell as my nom de plume or something goofy like that. But I still think it’s cool that another Jay Bell was out there writing books, one who is just as obsessed with dames as I am dudes. Right on, man!