j. leigh bailey

...because everyone deserves a happy ending

Contact Information

About the Author

j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She's a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. 

She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character's name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.

Now she writes Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance. 

Possible Topics for Interview/Blogging

  • Show vs. Tell workshop for young or new writers 
  • Using short stories to develop craft, challenge yourself and explore genres 
  • Using writing to overcome/work through depression, anxiety and other mental illness

Author Photo


Guyliner, Dreamspinner Press, October, 2016

E-Book ISBN:  978-1-63477-726-1

Paperback ISBN:  978-1-63477-725-4

(Connor, Graham) Seventeen-year-old Connor works his butt off to maintain the golden-boy persona he’s created. He has the grades, the extracurriculars, the athletics, and a part-time job at his dad’s shop… every detail specifically chosen to ensure the college scholarships he needs to get the hell out of the Podunk town where he lives. The last thing he needs is an unexpected attraction to Graham, an eyeliner-wearing soccer phenom from St. Louis, who makes him question his goals and his sexuality. Sure, he’s noticed good-looking boys before—that doesn’t have to mean anything, right?—but he’s got a girlfriend. There’s no room on the agenda for hooking up with Graham, but the heart doesn’t always follow the rules.

As he and Graham grow close, other aspects of Connor’s life fall apart. Family pressure, bad luck, and rumors threaten to derail his carefully laid plans. Suddenly the future he’s fighting for doesn’t seem quite as alluring, especially if he has to deny who he really is to achieve it .(Contemporary Young Adult Male/Male Romance Novel) 

Do-Gooder, Harmony Ink Press, September, 2016

E-Book ISBN:  978-1-63477-290-7

Paperback ISBN:  978-1-63477-289-1

(Isaiah, Henry) No good deed goes unpunished, and for seventeen-year-old Isaiah Martin, that’s certainly the case. The gun he was caught with wasn’t even his, for God’s sake. He only had it to keep a friend from doing something stupid. No one wants to hear it, though, and Isaiah is banished—or so it seems to him—to live with his missionary father in politically conflicted Cameroon, Africa.

However, when he arrives, his father is so busy doing his good deeds that he sends Henry, the young, surprisingly hot do-gooder with a mysterious past, to pick up Isaiah and keep him out of trouble. Even while Isaiah is counting down the days until he can go home, he and Henry get caught in the political unrest of the region. Kidnapped by militant forces, the two have to work together to survive until they are rescued—unless they manage to find a way to save each other first. (Contemporary Young Adult Male/Male Romance Novel)

Fight to Forgive (Letting Go, book 3), Carina Press, March, 2016

ISBN:  9781459290310

(Aaron, Freddie) Recent college grad Aaron Elliott is a pro when it comes to avoiding conflict. So when he hears his mother and stepfather plan to sell the family’s rambling summer retreat, it takes everything in him to object. The lake house is where he feels closest to his late father. It’s where he fell in love with his best friend…and it’s where he let family pressure decide his future rather than following his heart.

A combat injury has naval officer James “Freddie” Fredrick dry-docked, possibly for good. But the pain in his shoulder is nothing like the hurt he feels when he sees Aaron back in town. It’s been four years since the love of his life left without a word—and though Freddie would give anything to deny it, the heat between them hasn’t faded.

Once upon a time, Aaron let Freddie go without a fight. He won’t screw up their second chance to have a happy ending. But unless he makes peace with the past, Freddie won’t be able to face their future.

Book three of Letting Go (Contemporary New Adult M/M Romance Novel)

Reckless Hope (Letting Go book 2), Carina Press, August, 2015

ISBN:  9781459290068

(Micah, Sebastian) What's life without a little risk?

Or a lot of risk, if you're Sebastian Carlisle. He'll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.

Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.

Micah's got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can't let them down. Or at least that's what he tells himself.

A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah's family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he'll let him. Book two of Letting Go (Contemporary New Adult M/M Romance, Novel)

Nobody's Hero (Letting Go book 1), Carina Press, April, 2015

ISBN: 9781426899744

(Bradley, Danny) 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. (Contemporary New Adult, M/M Romance, Novel)

"A Hero in Hot Pink Boots," Myth & Magic: Queer Fairy Tales anthology, Bold Strokes Books, December, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62639-225-0

A modern-day gay YA retelling of the Puss in Boots fairy tale, set in Chicago. An exotic stranger helps insecure Charlie find his way out of the city at night, and leads him to his inner bad-ass. (Contemporary YA M/M Short Story)

"Midnight in the Maze," First Time for Everything anthology, Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press), September, 2014

ISBN:  978-1-63216-447-6

(Joey)  Joey misses the dreaded “Sweet Sixteen And Never Been Kissed” stigma by minutes. The night before his birthday, a mysterious boy kisses him in the Halloween corn maze. Thanks to the darkness and shadows, he has no idea who the anonymous kisser is. He whittles the list down to two possibilities. Is it Blake, the maze attendant Joey’s had a crush on for absolutely forever? Or is it Jared, the hot artist who leads the school’s GSA chapter? (Contemporary YA M/M Short Story)

"Nachos on Saturday,"  Snow on the Roof anthology, Dreamspinner Press, February, 2013

ISBN:  978-1-61372-266-4

(Duncan, Felix) When Duncan rushes out of his apartment on the night of his forty-third birthday, his plan is to go anywhere there are people so he doesn’t have to spend the evening alone. He doesn't expect to run into his neighbor Felix. Felix is everything Duncan is not—young, fit and all that is bright and exciting. Duncan, on the other hand, is boring and dependable, rather like oatmeal. Felix tempts Duncan with a different option for his birthday—binging on nachos and a Firefly marathon. Tired of his oatmeal existence, Duncan wonders if he and Felix just might be like Felix’s nachos recipe: if Duncan is the boring old tortilla chips and Felix is the spicy jalapenos, together they could be the perfect combination. (Contemporary M/M, short story)