Thank you, The Novel Approach, for giving me yet another guest spot! I was here less than a month ago to talk up Project Fierce Chicago. It was easy to tell everyone to buy it, because all the proceeds go to Project Fierce Chicago, an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth. This time, I’m slinking in, asking you to check out Bedtime Stories, another anthology, but this time I’m selfishly taking all the proceeds. Well, me, six other authors, and Wilde City Press. :)
When Anna Martin sent me a message on Facebook asking if I’d be interested in doing an anthology with her and some other authors, I thought she’d sent the note to the wrong person. Easy mistake to make on Facebook, right? The only thing I’d had published at that point was a story in the Cross Bones anthology from Dreamspinner Press. But it turned out that Anna had read that story and liked it, and really did mean to ask me. “The theme is bedtime stories,” she said, and left the rest up to us.
Somewhere in my head was a story idea about a guy who falls in love with the babysitter. But if you have a babysitter, that means you have a kid, and probably a wife, and if that’s the case, why am I writing about you? I may commit hetat some point, but that day is not today.
So combine the kid and the wife with the not-gay husband-and-father, and you get Miles To Go, about Joe, who doesn’t know he’s gay. How is that possible, I hear you ask? Well, we have a family friend who didn’t know he was gay until he was an adult (fortunately, not married). “Oh, he was just deeply closeted,” you say. “Living in denial,”you say. Well….no.
I don’t know the specifics of his story. He came out a long time ago and if I ask now, he’ll think I want his story for a novel, which really, he might be okay with. But I don’t want to pry. I mean, I do want to pry, of course I do! Who doesn’t like to pry? But I really shouldn’t. So instead of asking, I thought and imagined and did some google searches and tried to see if there were other men out there who really didn’t know they were gay when they got married to women.
I couldn’t find any. Most gay men who had married women really were in the closet and/or in denial and/or hoping that marriage would somehow turn them straight, or at least keep them from being attracted to dudes. SoI had to come up with a backstory for the character that would make sense, at least to me.
The character is not in denial so much as in a fog, not recognizing the clues in his life for what they are. (Which reminds me of my story for Don’t Read In The Closet 2012, The Idiots’ Tango. (It’s a free read but you must be a member of the M/M group at Goodreads, at least until I can figure out how to upload it to Amazon.) That story annoyed a lot of readers because of how clueless the main characters were. (But it was right there in the title!! But back to Joe….) There may be a bit of that cluelessness going on in Miles To Go as well, but Joe has good reason to ignore the signs: he’s trying to keep his marriage together.
The problems he and Marty are having aren’t about money or the long hours she has to work as a resident at the county hospital; she thinks he’s gay. He doesn’t agree with her. So they strike a deal: Joeagrees to go on seven dates – with men – to see if anything sparks. If he feels no sexual or emotional connection to any of the men Marty fixes him up with, she’ll drop the whole gay theory and go to marriage counseling with him.
Marty hires a student to babysit their son while Joe goes on these dates. Danny tells stories to the little boy at bedtime, and he tells very different stories to Joe when he gets home from his dates. Here’s an excerpt from one of Danny’s (adult) stories:
Excerpt: “Okay, close your eyes—no, seriously, close your eyes.”
“And imagine me at nineteen, confident, adventurous. A skinny little twink with frosted tips and eyeliner just strutting his way into the butchest, hard-ass-est club in the city. I was lucky they didn’t throw me out on my ass. Even as, um, happy as I was, I remember the guys around me—huge, muscular, hairy-chested, beards and mustaches and shaved heads. Pierced nipples, leather bondage straps, leather pants, motorcycle boots.”
Joe opened his eyes and raised his eyebrows.
Danny’s smirk was back. “I see that look of disbelief, but yes, all those men were as gay as a Pride float loaded with Cher impersonators.” He took a sip of his beer, then sat back on the sofa. “The guy that grabbed me when I lost my balance had tattoos across his knuckles. I apologized for falling on him, I mean, I was babbling, really.” Danny’s eyes glazed over a little. “The guy shuts me up by shoving a couple of those tattooed fingers into my mouth. You don’t need to ask me twice.I start sucking on his fingers while he’s feeling me up with his other hand. I’ve got skinny jeans on and my dick’s got nowhere to go, and if I could talk, I’d be begging him to get me off. But then he pulls his fingers out of my mouth and throws me over his shoulder. I grab a couple handfuls of his ass as he’s walking, and I have no idea where we’re going.”
Joe didn’t like the way the story was heading, and he tried to think of some way to make it stop, but Danny kept right on rolling.
“He takes me to the back room, and a couple of other guys follow him, friends of his. They start pawing me, I mean, literally, that’s the only word for it when someone’s got hands that big. Then the kiss, man….So hot when a huge guy grabs you and just shoves his tongue down your throat. But to be honest,” Danny added, “his friends didn’t kiss that great. Not as good as Steve.”
Joe frowned. “They all kissed you?”
“Not every guy in the place, just Steve, Gary, and Simon. But Gary’s lips were too soft, like he was taking it easy on me, and Simon was a little too slobbery. But Steve, he got it just right. Pressure and tongue, and his mustache tickling my lip. One hand on my ass, practically covering the whole thing, the other palming my dick, which I gotta say, made me feel pretty underendowed, when a guy’s hand is that big.” He peered at Joe. “Is something wrong?”
The innocent tone put Joe on alert. “No.”
“You look a little flushed.”
Does Joe go on all seven dates? Is he actually gay? What is Marty hiding? And how big of a slut is Danny? :D For answers to these questions, and more, read Miles to Go in Wilde City Press’ Bedtime Stories anthology, scheduled for release tomorrow, August 20!
About the Author: B. Snow found her way into the magical world of romance writing via fanfiction, and original characters began banging on her brain several years ago. Despite suffering from acute procrastinitus, she has managed to get several anthology stories and one novella published.
Originally from the west coast, B. Snow and her husband now live in the Atlanta area with their cat, who is really the one in charge.
You can find more information (and a free read!) at her woefully neglected blog, and if you’d like to enable her procrastination, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments, or friend her on facebook and send requests from Pet Rescue Saga.