Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing
Our final post features the Johnnies series and our author interview. There's also one more chance to win one of Amy's books.
First up, Chase In Shadow
Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.
Nobody knows the real Chase.
Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.
Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.
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Book 2, Dex In Blue
Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.
Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?
Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.
Kane followed Dex down the hall, where Dex made a surprise right into the guest room and turned on the light. He bent down and grabbed the new turtle terrarium—probably the smallest of the cages—yanked the plug out of the wall, and brushed past Kane into the hallway.
Kane was at a loss.
“What in the fuck are you doing?”
“I’m moving half of them into my room,” Dex said shortly, his back toward Kane, and Kane managed to pass him in the hallway and put his hands on the tank.
“Well, don’t. You’re upsetting them,” he said. He looked carefully into the terrarium at the box turtles, who were still fast asleep. “Why are you moving them at nine o’clock at night?”
Dex gave the tank, which was pretty heavy, a solid yank, but Kane held on. “’Cause if I move half of them into my room, we can put up the bed, and you can sleep in the guest room,” he said.
His eyes were narrow—and red, like he was on the verge of crying—and his mouth was pushed together and pouty, and his jaw was squared and surprisingly stubborn. Kane wasn’t any of those things.
“Why in the fuck are you going to do that?” he asked, hearing the thread of panic in his voice and not caring. “Why? We’re good in the bed together. Why would you want to move the guys and fuck that up?”
He kept his arms locked on the terrarium, thinking that his one saving grace was that he could bench press about 150 pounds more than Dex, so he would be able to keep this from happening, even if it was by main strength.
Dex looked up at him and spoke, and for the first time since that moment in the kitchen, Kane saw the real Dex—and the real Dex was in pain.
“I can’t do this,” Dex said.
“But we’re good—”
“Yeah! We’re good! We’re great in bed! Don’t you see? That’s all we are! You… you don’t even know you’re in a relationship, Kane! You spent all night flirting with that girl because you don’t think you’re gay! Well, that’s fine! You flirt with girls. You sleep with them. That’s great! But leave my heart out of it, okay? I know I’m a guy, so I’m just a piece of ass to you, but that’s not what’s happening to me, all right? I’m getting feelings. I’m getting attached. But all that shit you’re doing that’s making me fall for you, that’s just boy-sex stuff to you, and it’s killing me. I just got out of a relationship where I was in love with the guy who used me for a booty call. I’m not doing it again! It fucking hurts!”
Oh Jesus. Oh fucking Jesus. Kane looked at him in horror. Oh Christ. He’d done this. Kane had done this. Kane had let Dex think that he was booty call.
“You’re not booty call,” Kane muttered, halfway to himself.
“I know that’s not what you’re trying to do—” Dex started patiently, and Kane’s panic snapped.
“Put the fuckin’ terrarium down!” he yelled, pulling at it. “Put it down, Dex, and let me fuckin’ talk!”
Dex let go of the terrarium and Kane stumbled backward, running into the wall (fortunately) and grunting as he took the full weight of the tank. He put it down right at his feet, ignoring the fact that it was still cold in the house because neither one of them had turned on the heater, and pulled out the phone.
“Turn on the heater, wouldja?” he asked absently, because Dex was the one next to the thermostat, and Dex did, still staring at him while he scrolled through his phone for Chelle’s number and then punched it in over Chelle’s smiling face.
She answered on the first ring. “Hullo, Unca Kane,” she said, her voice all silky and liquid, and Kane wanted to groan. Oh fuck. He’d been having fun, dammit, and she’d been picking up a guy. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. No wonder he was better off with men. God, he just wasn’t smart enough to deal with women.
“Hey,” he said and looked at Dex from under his brows. Dex’s eyes were still red, but now they were spilling over a little, and Kane felt like shit. He reached out then and used his finger to brush some of the wetness off Dex’s cheek. Dex looked back at him, and suddenly Kane saw how tired he was. This had been eating at him, hadn’t it? Just like that fear had been eating at Kane. Oh God. Dex had worried too! The knowledge gave Kane some confidence when he started talking to Chelle.
“Yeah?” She sounded amused.
“Look, I know we had a real good time tonight, and I’d love to go to the movies with you sometime like we talked about but”—Kane made sure Dex was looking him in the eyes when he said it—“but really, only as friends, okay? I’m sort of in a relationship right now.”
“Oh,” she said, and he heard the disappointment in her voice and wanted to kick himself.
“I’m sorry. Yeah. I didn’t really think about how all that could be… how it could… fuck, what’s the fuckin’ word?”
“Misconstrued,” she said gently. “Or mistaken.”
Kane swallowed, thanking God she wasn’t a bad person either. “Yeah. The way I was acting, it could be misconstakened. I had a lot of fun tonight, but I got somebody, and I didn’t want to waste your time, okay?”
“Thank you,” she said softly. “Most guys would be okay just leading me on.”
Kane reached out and brushed another tear off Dex’s cheek with his thumb. “Yeah, well, most guys would be smart enough to know they were doing it when they were really just looking for a quiet place to sit in a noisy house. Thanks for not bein’ mad. I gotta go.”
“Bye, Kane. Don’t forget to call me about the movies. I promise I won’t misconstrue anything. We’ll just go as friends.”
“Bye. I’ll call later.”
He hit End Call and put the phone in his jacket pocket, and he and Dex regarded each other levelly over the turtle terrarium.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Dex said after a moment that was so quiet, Kane could swear he heard the November fog settle and the turtles breathe.
Kane snorted. “The fuck I didn’t!” Dex arched his eyebrows, and another tear plopped down on the carpet. Kane reached out to brush the next one away, and Dex caught his hand.
“Why did you?”
“’Cause.” Kane swallowed and turned his hand so they could clasp fingers. “Anything that ends up with us in separate beds, that’s the wrong thing. You hear me? Whatever I have to give up or stop doing to keep us in the same bed, that’s the right thing. I’m not smart. I’m not. But right now, that’s the only thing I know.”
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Third in the series, Ethan In Gold
Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies, he gets exactly what he wants—comradeship and physical contact on trade—and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He’s sure of it.
Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He’s had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn’t see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who—against the odds—seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.
Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won’t violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan’s pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package—the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he’s still gold with promise and the ability to love.
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Book 4, Black John
John Carey is just out of rehab and dying inside when he gets word that Tory, the guy who loved him and broke him, has removed himself from the world in the most bitter way possible—and left John to clean up his mess.
Forced back to his hometown in Florida, John's craving a hit with every memory when he meets Tory's neighbor. Spacey and judgmental, Galen Henderson has been rotting in his crappy apartment since a motorcycle accident robbed him of his mobility, his looks, and his boyfriend all in one mistake. Galen's been hiding at the bottom of an oxy bottle, but when John shows up, he feels obligated to help wade through the wreckage of Tory's life.
The last thing John needs is another relationship with an addict, and the last thing Galen wants is a conscience. Both of them are shocked when they find that their battered souls can learn from and heal one another. It doesn't hurt that they're both getting a crash course on how growing up and getting past your worst mistakes sure beats the alternative—and that true love is something to fight to keep if your lover is fighting to love you back.
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And the last book, so far, Bobby Green
Vern Roberts couldn’t wait to turn eighteen and get the hell out of Dogpatch, California. But city living is expensive, and he’s damned desperate when Dex from Johnnies spots him bussing tables.
As “Bobby,” he's a natural at gay porn. Soon he’s surrounded by hot guys and sex for the taking, but it’s not just his girlfriend back in Dogpatch—or her blackmailing brother—that keeps him from taking it. It's the sweet guy who held the lights for his first solo scene, who showed him decency, kindness, and a smile.
Reg Williams likes to think he's too stupid to realize what a shitty hand life dealt him, but Bobby knows better. What Reg lacks in family, opportunity, education, and money, he makes up for in heart. One fumbling step at a time, they connect, not just in their hearts but in their bodies, where sex that’s not on camera, casual, or meaningless, becomes the most important thing in the world.
But Reg is hampered by an inescapable family burden, and he and Bobby will never fly unless he can find a way to manage it. Can he break the painful link to his unrealized childhood and grow into the love Bobby wants to give?
He hurried outside into the chill air, noting that the fog had come out in a thick blanket. He saw Reg getting into his car, looking around for Trey probably, and called out, “Reg! Wait!”
Reg paused for a moment, a look of such agony on his face that Bobby almost stopped.
“We can’t be friends anymore,” Reg said, his throat thick. “I can’t do it.”
Bobby’s heart stuttered. “Reg, I—”
“They spent the night on the couch. They did. And I ain’t had sex in two months because you didn’t like it, and you just went and hit up Ethan, right in front of me, and that wasn’t—”
Bobby swallowed. “That was shitty,” he said, feeling regret in his bones. “Sorry, Reg. That was… that was a shitty thing to do to you.” He took a deep breath. “I was hurt. I… I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I—”
“What kind of friend does that?” Reg demanded, and Bobby realized he was crying, faint tear tracks gleaming in the porch light from the house.
“A bad one,” Bobby told him back. He held his palms up to Reg’s chilled face gently and wiped the tears with his thumbs. “A really crappy friend. But I think that’s the problem. That’s why everything’s felt so awful and wonderful these last two months.”
“Being my friend is awful?” Reg asked, the sob in his chest making his voice shrill.
“No, no,” Bobby soothed, pulling him close and kissing his forehead. Reg was small but built powerfully. Bobby had a heartbeat to give thanks that Reg wanted to be kissed. “Being your friend is wonderful. I’m so glad—every day I’m glad—that you were in the office that first day. That you got to see me, that you ran your hands through my hair. I’m so grateful. You made me feel so special.”
Reg rested his head against Bobby’s shoulder. “I want to be mad at you,” he said, voice muffled. “But I missed how you used to hold me like this. I don’t know why you stopped. I mean, I know it was because I hooked up with Trey, but I don’t know why this had to stop.”
Bobby held him tighter, and his own eyes burned—and to his mortification, spilled over.
“I didn’t understand at first, myself,” he said, shaking, he was so glad to be holding Reg again. “But then tonight, I was talking to Ethan, and… and he said no. And I was glad. I was glad he said no. Because I didn’t really want to be with him. I just… I couldn’t watch you be with someone else either.”
“But you got a girlfriend!” Reg snapped—and God, this was justified. Bobby knew it was, but he was going to follow through anyway.
“Not for long,” he said with feeling. “I shouldn’t have let it go on this long. I don’t want a girlfriend. And I don’t want Ethan. And I don’t want you to hook up with anyone else.”
Oh, he couldn’t have asked for a better line.
“This,” Bobby said, grasping his chin and tilting his head up. Reg’s mouth was open and vulnerable and ripe for the taking, and Bobby took. Bobby lowered his head and drank from Reg’s mouth like a man dying of thirst, and Reg kissed back, eagerly, hard, giving for every kiss Bobby stole, and Bobby kept taking. Ah! Gods! He tasted so good!
And again, and again, until Reg raised his hands to Bobby’s hair and yanked tight, urging him closer. Bobby wrapped his hands around Reg’s bottom and hauled him up, until Reg wrapped his legs around Bobby’s waist and clenched him tight, and still the kiss went on. Reg moaned, grinding against Bobby in frustration, and Bobby pressed him tight, tighter, until Reg pulled away and shuddered before burying his face against Bobby’s throat and letting out a long groan.
He was jerking against Bobby, hips twitching, and with one last heave, he bit Bobby’s neck hard, and Bobby realized Reg’d just come, right there, in his pants.
Bobby groaned and kissed him again, only moving away when Reg’s legs started to shake. Gently, Bobby lowered him until his feet touched the ground and then wrapped him tight against his chest.
“I came in my shorts,” Reg moaned, sounding dazed.
“Yeah, well, lucky you,” Bobby muttered. “’Cause I’m spending the night on Dex and Kane’s couch and I didn’t. That’s gonna be fun.”
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What inspires you? What gets you writing?
Music, books, TV, movies, a smell, a smile, two people looking at each other funny, a joke someone tells an adventure, talking to someone fun… lots of things : -)
What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?
I start at the beginning with a few basic elements—setting, characters, central conflicts—and there’s a sort of awareness of what how your character archetypes behave when presented with certain sorts of conflicts. So as the story progresses, each action or behavior is sort of predestined by the character and the conflict and what the character has to do to grow. It’s not that there are always right answers—it’s that character growth takes certain predictable human courses, if you’re invested in a happy-ever-after.
Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?
From my more current books, it would have to be Jackson. Because he’s broken, irrevocably, and he will never be fixed. But he can be functional, and still happy and finding that balance is fascinating.
Which character is your least favorite, and why?
Jack from the Green’s Hill Werewolves. I mean, I knew he was going to be a challenge because I enjoy people being loyal to Lady Cory, and Jack wasn’t going to get the appeal at first. So as much as I loved Teague, it was SO hard watching Jack learn to be part of a larger whole. He failed stuff time and again—watching him let go of his essential selfishness was hard to watch.
If you could go back into one of your books and change one thing, what would that be? And why?
I would go back and let Teyth and Diarmuid live at the end of Immortal—and then die at a ripe old age, so they could be spirits in the forest in the shape of hale young men. As much as *I* loved the poetry of the ending, I know a lot of people were devastated and didn’t see some of the essential beauty of that story because of the pain at the end. Also, I would have thinned the dialect even more. I could just hear the rhythm of their speech so very clearly—it was a simple thing that would have gained the book a larger audience.
What's next for you? What amazing book are you working on?
I’m working on a sequel to Familiar Angel titled Familiar Demon—and enjoying it very much. After that I’ve got a standalone book called String Boys, and I think another Dreamspun Desires series—Search and Rescue. And a flirty little paranormal series about hedgewitch’s curse gone wrong. And a sequel Beneath the Stain titled Paint it Black, and… well, there’s always a dozen things asking for my attention, but I usually only work one at a time.
Anything else you'd like to share with your readers?
Well, as always there’s fun stuff coming out—the rest of the year has some awesome goodies (I hope) lined up for you! I’ve got the last Mannies book coming out in July, and the third Fish in September—and a companion book to the third Fish, called Hiding the Moon out in October. Hiding the Moon is sort of weird. It’s a standalone—it can totally be read by itself—but it’s also a crossover into Fish AND Racing for the Sun. I hope people enjoy it. After Hiding the Moon I’ve got a bunch of Christmas RE-releases—Freckles and Christmas Kitsch will be re-released by Dreamspinner Press, and Forget Me Not will be re-released with 20K added to the end. The extra parts of the story didn’t really fit into the arc, but they just sort of begged to be written so I posted them on my blog. Because they put the book up to a certain page count, the book can be released as a paperback, and I’m excited. And THEN I’ve got my original Christmas story, HomeBird coming out in December. So Christmas—it’s sort of going to be action packed!
That's a whole bunch of books to look forward to. Thank you!
About Amy Lane:
Amy Lane has kids, cats, a computer and an indeterminate number of Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
You can find out more on her website and her blog. Amy's also on Twitter.
One lucky winner will receive an e-copy of any one of the five Johnnies books,
Thank you for celebrating this fabulous author with us all month long. We hope you found a few new books to put on your TBR and learned some interesting facts about Amy Lane.
Until next time, happy reading!