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Self-Doubt, Contests, & Validation

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on May 17, 2017 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (1)

Call it insecurity or imposter syndrome, whatever, but sometimes it’s a huge part of an author’s psyche. We create something that we think is brilliant one minute, and the next minute we’re sure it’s the tritest piece of cliché-filled junk ever to be written. And even when we get a little validation (book deal! 5-star review! etc.) we think it’s a fluke or that someone made a mistake. Because, of course, for every 5-star review, there’s a 2-star review. For everyone who says the book is genius, there’s someone who thinks it’s been done a million times. We read a book that is so brilliant, we are tempted to sit in the corner sucking our thumbs because we will never, ever, ever be able to create a book so amazing, so why bother wasting our time. Then we read a book—an award-winning, best-selling book—and want to tear our hair out because we don’t understand WHY… why that book that had X problems or broke Y rules made it when our book, which does not have X problems or break Y rules, floats in obscurity.

 

We are especially prone to this need for validation when we’re a little newer to the game. 

 

It’s easy to get discouraged sometimes.

 

The last few weeks have gone a long way to alleviate some my self-doubt. Oh, it’s still there, lurking in my subconscious, but a little less front-of-mind.

 

I entered GUYLINER in a handful of RWA contests for published books and it is a finalist in all three of them:

* WisRWA Write Touch contest for Young Adult
*  Desert Rose Golden Quill contest for Young Adult
* YARWA Athena contest for Young Adult Contemporary

 

Yes, GUYLINER is a finalist in ALL THREE! I’m giddy.

 

I wish I were the type of person who didn’t need anyone else’s opinion to justify or validate what I write. Yes, I would write anyway—it’s part of who I am. But when sales are relatively low, or someone posts a bad review (yes, I KNOW I need to stay off of Goodreads…I know), it’s hard to maintain the discipline and focus to keep working. But then there are these moments that remind me that my words and my characters are not a waste of space, and it keeps me trudging along. It doesn’t matter if don’t “win” these contests…just being selected from a larger pool of entries, is validation enough.

 

Please note: I DO NOT THINK you have to be a contest finalist/winner or best-seller or get the world’s largest book deal to be considered a success, or to feel like what you are doing is worthwhile. My need for reassurance and validation is a weakness on my part, and in no way should color anyone’s perception of their own career.

  

  



 

 

#showmeyourguyliner Contest Event!

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on December 5, 2016 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

#showmeyourguyliner contest event!

In my book GUYLINER, the use of guyliner is symbolic of Graham’s determination to be true to himself, to show the world he is not ashamed, and will not let others define him. Makeup doesn’t always have to be that meaningful, though. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it expresses a mood or a feeling. Sometimes it’s habit or expectation. But almost always it says something.

Which leads me to…

I want to know how you GUYLINER…

• Is your style artistic like James Charles, Covergirl’s first male Covergirl?

• Is your style glam rocker like Adam Lambert?

• Is your style subtly grunge, like Jared Leto or Pete Wentz?

• Is your style more Kahl Drogo or Captain Jack Sparrow?

There are so many options! It’s not just for the guys, though. (Okay, yes, Guyliner by definition is eyeliner worn by males, but I want to see what the girls and the gender fluid/ gender non-conforming folks have going on, too!) Show me your smoky eyes, your punk rocker look, or your best out-on-the-town look!

Not a make-up person? Create a picture of how you would, if you could, guyliner. (See that? I’m using guyliner as a verb… I’m a rebel like that!) Graphic designs (please, only designs YOU create) will be entered into a separate contest pool, and the highest ranked image will receive a special prize!

How the contest works:

1. Share a picture of your best Guyliner look on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) with the #showmeyourguyliner tag from Monday, November 28- Friday, December 30.

2. Each day of the contest you can share a *unique* Guyliner look for a chance to win.

3. The more people who enter the contest, the more chances there are to win! Be sure to share!

4. A panel of 5 judges (not me!) will rank their favorites.

5. Prizes will be awarded to the top three favorites

a. 1st Place—An eye makeup kit, a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of GUYLINER (paperback), and a digital (epub, pdf, or mobi format) copy of GUYLINER

b. 2nd Place—An eye makeup kit, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a digital (epub, pdf, or mobi format) copy of any of my books (Guyliner, Do-Gooder, Nobody’s Hero, Reckless Hope, Fight to forgive) or anthology to which I’ve contributed (Myth & Magic, Queer Fairy Tales or First Time for Everything)

c. 3rd Place—A $10 Amazon gift card and a digital (epub, pdf, or mobi format) copy of any of my books (Guyliner, Do-Gooder, Nobody’s Hero, Reckless Hope, Fight to forgive) or anthology to which I’ve contributed (Myth & Magic, Queer Fairy Tales or First Time for Everything)

6. For every 100 entrants, additional winners will be chosen. Prize for additional winners will be: a digital (epub, pdf, or mobi format) copy of any of my books (Guyliner, Do-Gooder, Nobody’s Hero, Reckless Hope, Fight to forgive) or anthology to which I’ve contributed (Myth & Magic, Queer Fairy Tales or First Time for Everything)

7. Winners will be notified, and the winning images showcased on social media and on www.jleighbailey.net , the week of January 8, 2017

 

GUYLINER Release Week Activities

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on October 4, 2016 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

GUYLINER Blog Tour!

Help celebrate the release of GUYLINER by stopping at each of these amazing sites for exclusive content, excerpts, and a chance to win prizes!




LOVE IS LOVE Poetry Anthology Blast

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on July 16, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

 

A collection of poems composed by over fifty authors

 

 

in aid of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Attack.

 

 

 

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On June 12, 2016, the most horrendous mass shooting in US history and an unfathomable act of hate was directed at the LGBT community in Orlando. The horror of this tragedy reverberated around the world, leaving millions shocked and appalled at the senseless violence that destroyed so many innocent lives.

 

In a display of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a group of LGBTQ+ and straight allies, from all across the globe, came together to produce a collection of poems in celebration of love and acceptance.

 

The resulting Love is Love Poetry Anthology is dedicated to the families and victims of the shooting and all proceeds of this work will be donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.

 

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In this small way, the authors, along with the readers who purchase this work, seek to contribute to the lives of those who still suffer from the consequences of the malice directed toward them, and offer some positivity and compassion in the face of such bigotry.

 

Contributing Authors:

 

AC Benus, Aditus, Andrew Jericho, Ann Anderson, Ash Marie, Asta Idonea, Betti Gefecht, Cam Kennedy, Cynus Eldranai, Darren White, dughlas, Eddy LeFey, Eden Winters, EmiGS Em, F.E. Feeley Jr., Gelybi , Headstall, Jack L. Pyke, Jana Denardo, Jason Frazier, Jay Rookwood, J.L. Merrow, Karina Rye, Kathy Griffith, Kay Ellis, Kaye P. Hallows, Kit Loffstadt, Laura B. Damone, Layla Dorine, Lily G. Blunt, L.J. Harris, L.M. Somerton, Louis Stevens, L.S.K Harris, L.V. Lloyd, Lynn Michaels, Maggie Chatterton, Maria Siopis, Monika De Giorgi, Parker Owens, Patricia Nelson, Pelaam, Petra Howard, Ravyn Bryce, Rick R. Reed, Ruski, Valik and Addy, S.J. Davis, Skylar M. Cates, Star Brady, Steve Baldry, Susan Crane, Tamara Miles, Tash Hatzipetrou, Tim Landon, Tracy Gee, Vicki Tubridy, Victoria Kinnaird, and Wendy Rathbone.

 

 

 

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ebook

 

 

Amazon Universal Link

 

 

Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUS | Amazon FR

 

 

Smashwords | ARe | PayHip

 

 

iTunes | Kobo

 

 

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Paperback

 

 

Amazon.com | Amazon UK | CreateSpace

 

 

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Add on Goodreads

 

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Sincere thanks go to everyone who contributed their time, energy, and skills in the making of this beautiful anthology.

 

 

Special thanks also go to Jay Aheer (Simply Defined Art) for the fabulous cover art,

 

 

Kelly O’Brien for the 'Love Wins’ artwork,

 

 

and Petra Howard and Tash Hatzipetrou for proofreading the final document.

 

 

 

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Many thanks to Kelly O'Brien for contributing the

 

 

"Love Wins' artwork.

 

 

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

 

ENTER TO WIN A PAPERBACK COPY OF THE ANTHOLOGY

 

 

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You're Lucky (a.k.a. my response to "bathroom bill" internet memes)

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on May 11, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (8)

I really do try to keep from going on all political on my author page. Part of it is it to keep my public persona free from some of the drama. But sometimes, I have to speak up.

 

I’ve seen a number of posts (some by people I love) ridiculing the North Carolina bathroom bill (HB2) controversy. I can accept (sort of) people who support the law (I don’t understand it, I don’t agree with it, but I can accept people will have different views than my own). What I cannot accept is willful ignorance.

 


 

There is a difference between being transgender, a transvestite, or even gender non-conforming. Someone who is transgender is not Klinger from M.A.S.H. He was a man trying to find a way out of his military service by dressing as a woman. Many of the contestants on Ru Paul’s Drag Race are transvestites (men who enjoy dressing as women), which is distinctly different than someone who is transgender. Someone who does not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look/dress/act based on the gender they were assigned at birth is gender non-conforming, they are not necessarily transgender.

 

So when I see an internet meme about how Klinger dressed as a woman but still used the men’s bathroom, or how our president is too busy catering to “men who want to wear a dress so they can use the women’s room” to combat the “real” issues (issues that center around racist BS…but that’s a rant for another day), it ticks me off. It’s willful ignorance.

 

The people who post these memes, who denigrate a population that they deliberately misunderstand and misrepresent, don’t understand the damage they are doing. For every “funny” picture ridiculing transgender people and their concerns, there is a kid out there struggling for understanding and acceptance. For every callous comment and paranoid rant equaling transgender bathroom rights to pedophilia, a child is one step closer to suicide.

 

Most of us will never understand what it is like to be born in a body that does not match who we are. I’m not talking about being born short with dreams of playing basketball. Or a size four mentality in a size fourteen body. I mean being born with a male soul, a male brain, and a male personality into a body with female genitalia. Most of us will never understand the struggle of living in the wrong body in a cisgender society with gender-specific expectations and roles.

 

If you don’t understand that sort of identity crisis, you’re lucky.

 

If you’ve never felt unsafe in a bathroom because people leer, ridicule, bully, or threaten you because of the way you dress, you’re lucky.

 

If your eight-year-old son doesn’t take a pair of nail clippers to his penis because it, and what it represents, is making him miserable enough that self-mutilation feels like the only option, you’re lucky.

 

But please, please, please remember—just because you’re lucky, doesn’t mean everyone else is. And some of those who are unlucky enough to face these trials need your support and understanding more than the internet needs another “funny” meme. 

  

Here's a link to GLAAD's Transgender Resource page. It includes several links to educate people about transgender issues, and organizations and information to help transgender individuals. 

  


 

Cover Reveal--THE POWER by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on June 10, 2015 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

 

We are over the moon about this Cover Reveal for Jennifer L. Armentrout's THE POWER!! THE POWER is a New Adult Paranormal being published by Spencer Hill Press, and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Titan Series. It is being released on February 23rd, 2016!!

 

 

 

The Power - Cover

 

 

“You don’t know what I’m capable of.”

 

 

Official Description To Come…

 

 

 

 

 

Don't miss THE RETURN, the first book in the Titan Series....

 

 

 

The Return - Cover

 

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Booksamillion

 

THE RETURN Synopsis:

 

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off...

 

It's been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they've given him have been violent and bloody--which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He's got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

 

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy's deal might be, but it's a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

 

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

 

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

 

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Booksamillion

 

 

 

Author PhotoJennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

 

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

 

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

 

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads ** THE POWER Goodreads ** THE RETURN Goodreads

 

 

 

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NOBODY'S HERO Release Day!

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on April 26, 2015 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

O.M.G.!! The day has finally arrived! NOBODY'S HERO, my debut novel, a M/M NA romance from Carina Press, releases today!

  

I still have trouble believing that it's true. Me. I have a book. Ack!

  

 

BLURB:

Bradley Greene’s family all but discarded him when his brother caught him fooling around with another boy. Now Bradley has seventeen dollars and a gas card, and he’s sleeping in his car. He’s an emotional mess and if he doesn't land a job soon, he’s up the proverbial creek.

  

Danny Ortega can take care of himself…most of the time. When what started as a date turns into sexual assault in a dark parking lot, he’s grateful for Brad’s help—and an instant admirer of Brad’s military school-honed muscles. He certainly doesn't expect to see him again, and definitely not as the newest hire at Ortega Construction.

  

As Brad and Danny’s quiet attraction turns into more, things start to go sour before they've even started. Danny grows frustrated that Brad won’t open up emotionally. And Brad is terrified of being responsible for someone else’s feelings. When Brad’s family makes one last attempt to turn him into an “acceptable” son, all bets are off—he and Danny will need to decide if they’re in this together…or apart.

 

 

  


  

HERE'S A SNEAK-PEEK OF CHAPTER 1

  

Wouldn’t his parents freak to see their trust-fund baby now?

   

Brad had eighty-two dollars on a gas card and seventeen in cash in his wallet, neither of which would get him a room for the night. He had one option left—sleeping in his small pickup truck, parked in the back of a twenty-four-hour truck stop in Northfield, Minnesota. His interview was scheduled for ten the next morning, which left him with eleven hours to kill. He shifted, trying to avoid the poking springs in the old bench seat. The roar of eighteen-wheelers thundering past and the squeal of tires and conversations from the convenience store’s customers kept sleep away.

  

A car door slammed shut, followed by another loud thunk as someone else closed theirs. “C’mon, baby, don’t be that way.”

  

The whiny male voice made Brad smile. Someone had pissed off his girlfriend.

  

“Oh, I will be that way. I told you to keep your damn hands to yourself,” a second voice, a male voice, snapped, hot with irritation.

  

Brad tucked his hands behind his head, stretching out, ready to enjoy the drama. He couldn’t sleep anyway, so why not eavesdrop?

  

“I didn’t mean to push, baby. You’re so damn hot, I couldn’t help myself.”

  

Brad snorted. Only an idiot would buy such a cheesy excuse.

  

Baby snorted too. Apparently Baby wasn’t an idiot.

  

“Rob, you’re full of shit. First you pull into the trucker lot at the Flying J—despite my objections, I might add—and then you shove my head at your lap. That’s not romance, that’s rude.”

  

“Hey, I paid for dinner.”

  

Brad rolled his eyes. The guy was a walking cliché.

  

“It takes more than greasy burgers from the Goal Post to put me in the mood. Second, dinner doesn’t guarantee a blow job.”

  

You tell him, Baby! It was nice to know some people could stick up for themselves.

  

“I paid good money for tonight. You owe me.”

  

“I’m not some rent boy you picked up in Minneapolis. I don’t owe you shit.” As he got angrier, Baby’s voice changed, taking on the softer consonants and lyrical cadence of a Spanish accent.

  

“I should have known you’d be a tease.”

  

The words, which had only moments ago sounded like a bad movie script, now carried an edge of violence. Asphalt crunched as someone moved closer. Brad tensed, then slowly sat upright.

  
“Get your fucking hands off me.”

  

He should stay out of it. It wasn’t his business. He would probably make things worse. Besides, Baby seemed to be holding his own.

  

“Get your ass into the car. Suck me off. After you’re done, I don’t give a fuck what you do or where you go.” The cold insistence in Rob’s voice made Brad feel sick.

  

You’re a freakin’ idiot, Greene. He took a deep breath, then pushed his door open and slid out of his truck.

  

Highlighted by the dingy neon light from the convenience store side of the truck stop, two guys about his age struggled for possession of the smaller one’s right arm. The bigger dude, presumably Rob, gripped a wiry Latino above the elbow and pulled him toward a gleaming Mustang. Baby dug his heels into the cracking surface of the parking lot, trying to jerk free.

  

“Hey!” Brad strode forward, using his military school posture to convey a confidence he didn’t feel. It didn’t matter how scared he was on the inside, as long as the outside looked powerful and in control.

  

Rob stilled, gaze darting to Brad before he turned back to Baby. His voice softened, almost purred, when he spoke. “Come on, babe, get back in the car. What’s the big deal? We’ll have a good time. I’ll take you somewhere better, somewhere nicer, if you want.”

  

“I want you to let me go and leave me alone.” Baby pulled at his arm again.

  

Brad reached Baby’s side. “He told you to let him go.”

  

“This isn’t any of your business. Turn around and walk away.” Rob’s white-blond hair and tall, narrow build gave him the look of a Nordic skier. He was tall but not too bulky. Brad had faced worse at school.

  

With a disgusted grunt, Baby stomped down on Rob’s foot. When Rob relaxed his hold, Baby jerked away, swung his freed arm back and let it fly, punching the taller man straight in his narrow nose.

  

Rob yelped and cupped his hands over his nose and mouth, hunching so the blood spilled to the asphalt rather than on his white polo shirt. “Shit, Danny, you broke my fucking nose.”

  

Baby stood back, arms crossed over his chest. “You’re lucky I didn’t kick you in the balls! Hijo de puta!”

  

“Ungrateful prick.” Rob lunged forward, reaching for Danny.

  

“I think you need to leave.” Brad stepped forward, putting himself between them. He tucked his thumbs into the front pockets of his jeans, hiding his shaking hands.

  

Rob swiped his arm under his nose and then poked at the already swollen bridge. “Fine. You can walk home for all I care.”

  

“Don’t worry about me. I can make it home fine without you.” Danny’s voice made the word you sound more like asshole.

  

With a last glare, Rob spun in place, a perfect basketball pivot, and stalked the few steps to his car. The Mustang’s engine roared and the car squealed out of the truck stop.

  

“That’s the last time I let my brother set me up on a date.” Danny tucked his hands into his back pockets. “Thanks for the rescue, by the way. I could have handled it, but it might have gotten ugly if you hadn’t been here.”'

  

Brad nodded, too surprised to answer. His brother had set him up?

  

“So,” Danny said, flashing a smile, “can I buy you a cup of coffee? I’ll have to wait a while before my brother can get here.”

  

“Nah, I’m good.” Brad stepped back and turned toward his truck. “But be more careful, yeah?”

  

“Oh, come on. Don’t make me hang out in there by myself at this time of night. You wouldn’t want to waste the rescue by letting me get accosted again right away, would you?”

  

“I’m not responsible for anyone but myself,” Brad snapped. The idea of it, of anyone counting on him, had waves of terror and shame rolling over him.

  

“I’m not looking for a nanny. I’m looking for company.” Danny raised an eyebrow, clearly not intimidated by Brad’s extreme reaction.

  

Brad swallowed back the surge of panic and tried to slow his rapidly beating pulse. Things were okay. No one was hurt, and no doubt Danny could take care of himself, but just on the off chance… Besides, it wasn’t like he had anything better to do. He shrugged. “Fine. We can go in.”

  

“Cool. Let me call my brother to come and get me, and we can head inside.”

  

Brad opened the door of his truck and pulled the keys from the ignition while Danny fished out his phone. As Brad pressed the little button on the fob to lock his door, Danny said, “I don’t care what you’ve got going, bro. You’re the one who tried to hook me up with the asshole. Now you can come and get me.” He paused for a minute. The attitude Brad had heard in his voice earlier was back when he replied to something his brother said. “Don’t make me call Mamá for the ride.” Pause. “That’s what I thought.” Danny ended the call.

  

“He’s on the way?” Brad tucked his hands in his pockets while they walked to the diner attached to the truck stop.

  

“Yeah. He’s not happy about it, but come on, what was he thinking? That dude was a creep.”

  

“No doubt.” Brad held the door to the diner open and let Danny step through.

  

Danny turned his head, bringing them nearly face to face. He shifted closer, almost touching. Brad’s pulse jumped and suddenly his insides jittered.

  

“I’m Danny, by the way.” Danny smiled. Nearly all of his teeth were perfectly straight, perfectly white, but one incisor was a touch crooked, overlapping the next tooth by the tiniest bit.

  

Shaking away the useless thought—caught up in some dude’s teeth, for God’s sake!—Brad nodded. “Yeah, I got that.”

  

Danny waited a moment. “And you are?”

  

“Brad.”

  

Danny looked up at him under lowered lids. “Well, Brad, it’s nice to meet you.” He slid past and led the way into the diner.

  

Brad waited a second before following. Jesus, Greene, pull yourself together. Yeah, the guy was hot, but sweaty palms? Not good. And the timing absolutely sucked. He needed to get a handle on this, drink a cup of coffee or whatever, and move on.

  

Danny led him to a table along the window facing the parking lot. “This way I can watch for my brother,” Danny said as he slid into the burnt-orange booth, then flipped open a menu.

  

Brad leaned back and watched Danny scan the menu. He had a straight nose, lean features. His wide mouth looked as though it smiled more often than not, and deep dimples bracketed his lips. His hair—a dark coffee color that couldn’t decide whether it was brown or black—waved around his head in a shaggy look he probably paid good money to achieve.

  

Danny met his gaze over the top of the menu. “You know what you want?” He glanced down at Brad’s empty hands.

  

Brad thought about his seventeen bucks and the pay-shower he planned on for the next day. “I’m good.”

  

“You have to at least let me buy you a cup of coffee or a piece of pie or something. Pay you back for coming to the rescue.”

  

“I got out of my car. I didn’t slay any dragons.” Brad reached over and started to roll the sugar jar between his hands.

  

“And I’m not a damsel in distress. But still, you kept things from blowing up. Let me buy you a shake or something. I’m not going to take no for an answer. Mi mamá would skin me alive.” Danny grinned and arched his brows, clearly waiting for Brad’s agreement.

  

Maybe somebody somewhere could tell this guy no, but Brad wasn’t up to the task. “Fine. I guess I’ll have a shake, if you’re sure. Thanks.”

  

Danny smiled with satisfaction. Yeah, the guy was totally used to getting what he wanted. Why in the hell did he find the smug expression on Danny’s face so adorable?

  

The server came and went, taking their orders. After she’d gone, Danny turned sideways in the booth, resting one arm along the back of the faded fabric. “So, what brings you to the Flying J on this fine evening? Usually it’s only truckers this time of night. Are you driving through?”

  

“No. I got in earlier than I expected, that’s all.” It wasn’t exactly the truth, but Brad didn’t feel up to explaining he’d spent the last two nights sleeping in his vehicle and, unless his interview the next day went very, very well, he might be sleeping there for the foreseeable future. What this moment needed was a distraction. “What’s the deal with Romeo? Did your brother really set you up with him?”

  

Eyes narrowed, Danny said, “Yeah, and when I get my hands on Ray, he’ll think twice before doing something like that again.”

  

“Yeah?”

  

“Oh, yeah. Having to leave a party early to pick me up will be the least of it.”

  

Brad leaned forward. “What are you going to do?”

  

“Bleach his jeans.”

  

“What?”


“He’s damned proud of his jeans. Cost a fortune too. Ray thinks he’s a model or something. He irons his T-shirts and spends a half hour in the bathroom making sure every last hair is positioned perfectly. So, yeah, he’ll completely freak out.”

  

Brad tried to imagine what his brother would do if he tried something like that. Dread coiled in his belly. “He won’t get violent or anything, will he?” 

  

Danny waved the question aside. “Nah. I’m the baby. He’ll holler, but mi mamá will tell him to quit whining and that it was his own fault.” He winked at Brad. “Sometimes being the baby is a good thing.”

  

The waitress arrived with Brad’s shake and Danny’s apple pie a la mode, saving Brad from having to say anything.

  

Brad picked up his spoon and dipped it into the frosty glass. His stomach let out a low rumble. In an effort to save his cash, for the last three days he’d been eating one meal a day from whatever fast food value menu he could find. The sound must have been loud enough to hear, because Danny looked up at him over a forkful of piecrust.

  

“Are you okay?”

  

“I’m fine,” Brad bit out. No way was he going to tell this guy about his limited cash. “You’re the youngest, huh? Do you come from a big family?”

  

“Huge.” Danny rolled his eyes dramatically and spread his arms wide in a sweeping gesture. “I’ve got two older sisters and an older brother and four nephews and two nieces, and I’ve got more cousins and second cousins than I can count. When we get together with the whole family it’s crazy. There’s, like, forty people when we have a barbecue.”

  

“Forty?” The only time there were forty people at Brad’s house growing up was when his father had some kind of cocktail party or brunch, and the kids were certainly not invited. Brad tried to imagine so many people running around his parents’ carefully maintained grounds but couldn’t do it. “Damn. That’s a lot of people.”

  

“Tell me about it. But it’s mostly a good time. My family tends to meddle, poke their noses into my business. They mean well, usually.”

  

“Is that how you ended up with Romeo tonight?”

  

Danny made a disgusted noise. “Now there’s a story. You’d think being gay would save me from the family meddling in my love life. But no.”

  

Brad straightened in his seat and looked around. Nobody looked their way. Nobody to overhear. Still, he kept his voice quiet. “Your whole family knows, not just your brother? And they’re okay with it?”

  

“I know, right? Huge Hispanic family, a Catholic family, and no one bats an eye? Of course, I never hid it, so they’ve probably known as long as I have. Abuela in Mexico prays for my soul, but here they say I was born this way and if God had a problem with it, He wouldn’t have allowed it.”

  

“They can’t all be cool about it,” Brad said. “It doesn’t seem possible.”

  

“Well, there might be a few who grumble and give me fish eyes, but they’ve never said anything to my face. But, yeah, for the most part, I think they’re cool with it.”

  

“And they, what, regularly set you up on dates?” Brad couldn’t wrap his mind around it.

  

Danny shook his head and took another bite of pie and ice cream. “This was something different,” he said after he’d swallowed. “Most of the family got together last weekend and Tía Maria was lecturing me about how I was nineteen now and needed to find someone special to settle down with, give my life some purpose.”

  

“At nineteen?”

  

“Well, even with the colleges, this is a pretty white town, and the family sticks out a bit. I swear, if you meet a Hispanic person around here, he’s probably a relative of mine. Anyway, some of the older generation work extra hard to battle the stereotypes, you know? I think they watch too much cable. I figure they’re worried people will think gay means I’m a hard-partying sex fiend or something. They want to see me settled into a loving, committed relationship.”

  

“They don’t try to, you know, subdue you?”

  

“Nope.” Danny took another bite of his pie. “They want me to be happy. I can’t say I’m all set on the forever-and-always thing, at least not yet, but at least I know they aren’t trying to change me.”

  

“I can’t even imagine,” Brad said. What would it be like to be accepted like that? To have so much support?

  

“Yeah, well, it has its moments. Like the one where my brother says to me and Tía that he knows this gay guy and wouldn’t it be cool if he set us up. Tía thought it was a great idea. Which landed me here with a douche with cheesy lines and roaming hands. My family accepts I’m gay, but apparently thinks all two gay guys need to have in common to form a lasting relationship is a fondness for dick.”

  

Brad choked, spraying melted ice cream halfway across the table.

  

Danny jerked back with a laugh, shoving his pie plate out of the line of fire.  

  

“Shit, sorry.” Brad snatched the rolled silverware and fought with the paper strip holding the napkin in place. His eyes darted around the room again. Was that trucker watching them? Had he overheard? Brad mopped up the tabletop while trying to catch his breath. “Jesus,” he croaked, setting the sticky napkin aside.

  

“You okay?” Danny smirked at him from across the table.

  

Brad wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Fine. Didn’t expect you to say that.” He couldn’t believe Danny was so comfortable talking openly—publicly—about being gay and dicks.

  

“You know it’s true. For a het guy, people will set him up with mutual friends or girls with similar interests or ideals. But for a gay guy, it’s like being gay is all that matters.”

  

“I guess I’ve never thought about it.”

  

Danny gestured with his fork. “Well, it’s true.”

  

Brad had never met anyone so comfortable with who and what he was. Had never been able to simply be. This had to be what going on a date should be like, right? Maybe tonight, here, where no one knew him and where no one paid any attention to him, he could find out what it felt like to hang out with a boyfriend, eating dessert and flirting. This was his chance. He’d never see Danny again, so the timing was perfect. Brad gave himself this one night.

  

One night without hiding.

  

One night to pretend.

   

_________________________________________


I hope you enjoyed this peek into NOBODY'S HERO. 

  

If you did, feel free to pick up a copy of your own!


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Carina Press | Goodreads

 

 


Book Blitz! MORE THAN COMICS (Chasing the Dream Series, #2) by Elizabeth Briggs

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on February 25, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Join me in celebrating the release of Elizabeth Brigg's new novel, More Than Comics (Chasing The Dream, #2)!

 

Release Date: February 23, 2015

 

Blurb:

 

They're friends online - but can they be more in real life?

 

Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

 

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

 

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.

 
 

 

 

Author bio:

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

 

Author links:

Website: http://www.elizabethbriggs.net/

Facebook fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ElizabethBriggsFans/" target="_blank">http://https://www.facebook.com/groups/ElizabethBriggsFans/

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/elizabethbriggs

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lizwrites

 

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QZT8016

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/more-than-comics-elizabeth-briggs/1121224108

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id951539816

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=hcLVBQAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/more-than-comics

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-morethancomicschasingthedream2-1701853-149.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/521248

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22434327-more-than-comics

 

 

Release Day Blitz! SURF & SURRENDER by Riley Edgewood

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on February 23, 2015 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)
Join me in congratulating Riley Edgewood on her release of the second book in her Summer Love series, SURF & SURRENDER! 
  

Here's what it's about:
  

 

She wants to forget he ever existed. He'd never give up her memory.

  

 

Quinn Westwood is completely over Sawyer Carson. He broke her heart years ago and disappeared from her life without a word. So yeah. She's over him. Never even thinks of him. In fact, she's spending her college summer break surfing and lifeguarding in the Outer Banks, while nursing a bruised heart from a different relationship gone wrong. She doesn't have room in her mind or heart for Sawyer--until she runs into him at a beach bonfire and the sparks that fly between them are way hotter than the flames heating the sand.

  

 

Sawyer never got over Quinn. The only thing stronger than the way he feels for her is the secret keeping them apart, but sharing it would destroy more than just his life--it'd ruin hers, as well. Still, he can't seem to keep away from her, can't seem to keep his hands off of her soft, tempting skin. Especially since she has even less self-control when it comes to reigniting the physical side of what made them perfect together.

  

 

But secrets have a way of slipping out, and when Sawyer's is revealed, it threatens to shatter everyone involved. He'll have to face walking away a second time, and Quinn will have to decide if fighting for him is worth it when the fallout could affect more than just her heart, but also those of the people she loves most.

  

 

Surf & Surrender is the second book in Riley Edgewood's Summer Love series, but can be read as a standalone!

  

 

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | https://www.facebook.com/groups/RileyEdgewoodFans/" target="_blank">iBooks | https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/surf-surrender-1" target="_blank">Kobo

  

  


Here's an excerpt!

Whatever Danny's response was, it's drowned out by the sound of glass shattering and a loud shriek. We all turn toward the bonfire as a girl with long brown hair sprints in our direction, laughing as she passes us.

   

And behind her?

  

Sawyer Carson.

  

Shock is an iron collar tightening around my neck.

  

No. It's Novocain, making my face completely numb.

  

I recognize his stance before my gaze even gets to his face, and the sudden understanding of his shape is an electric cannonball slamming into my chest, where it sits still for a moment, ticking, ticking… The enormity of it is too heavy to leave room for breath.

  

Then we catch eyes, and the damn thing explodes in my veins.

  

The entirety of me buzzes. Under my skin. Vibrations. Jolts. They hurt.

  

They burn.

  

They thrill.

  

* 3 Things More Shocking Than Seeing Sawyer Again *

1. A strike of lightning.

2. A live electrical appliance dropped in water.

3. Nothing. Sawyer's face in front of me is the third most shocking thing there is.

It even beats out a defibrillator.

Though if my heart doesn't start beating again soon, I ma y need one.

 

 

  

 

 

 

  


  

About the Author:

  

 

Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two.

 

 

 

Links: Website | Twitter | https://www.facebook.com/groups/RileyEdgewoodFans/" target="_blank">Facebook | Newsletter


Cover Reveal! BECKON ME by Cindy Thomas

Posted by J. Leigh Bailey on February 20, 2015 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

BECKON ME by Cindy Thomas

 

Available April 13, 2015

 

Everything nineteen-year-old Karina Mitchell knows about death changes the instant that she and her best friend, Rainey, are shot. For one, souls don’t die. They cross over. Only, Rainey’s soul hasn’t, and her ghost is hell bent on haunting Karina.

 

When Karina begins her sophomore year of college and moves into the apartment that she was supposed to share with Rainey, she learns a few shocking truths from her mysterious and gorgeous blue-eyed neighbor, Eli.

 

One: Karina has been chosen to become a Beckoner—an immortal conduit of the dead who helps safely guide souls to the other side.

 

Two: She’s the reason that Rainey’s soul can’t cross over—Rainey followed her back from death and missed her window to be at peace.

 

Three: Eli is hot. As in swoon-worthy, to-die-for, will-make-you-forget-yourself hot. And it turns out, Eli is a Beckoner, too.

 

Despite her attraction to Eli, the decision to become a Beckoner isn’t an easy one—it would mean giving up her own mortality … her own soul. But if she doesn’t, her best friend will be left to suffer an eternity at the hands of the evil Ceptors, dark creatures that feed on the souls left behind. After all, it’s her fault Rainey is haunting her.

 

Time is running out, and Karina needs to decide: Are love and loyalty worth sacrificing her soul?

 

BECKON ME is a dark but sweet NA paranormal romance for both NA and upper YA readers, ages 16 and up.

 

Available April 13, 2015

Pre-Order BECKON ME on Amazon

Add BECKON ME to Goodreads

 

About the Author:

tmF9mt0L

 

Cindy has dreamed of being an author since third grade when she won a writing contest for a story she wrote about her deceased great aunt. She hasn’t been able to ignore that dream since and chooses to spend most of her free time listening to the voices in her head and writing their stories.

 

Outside of her writing and working for Spencer Hill Press, Cindy is happily married and has three young boys. She lives in PA, but was born and raised in NC. Even though she’s lived in the northern half of the US for ten years, she still very much misses grits for breakfast and every now and then goes on a country music binge.

 

You can find her online in these places:

 

Website / Newsletter / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

 

P.S. Sign up for Cindy's newsletter and you'll receive the first four chapters of BECKON ME for free!


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