Wordy Wednesday Guest Post and Excerpt from Lex Valentine
This week I'm excited to have Lex Valentine, whose new book Scrambling will be released by Loose Id on September 25th. Take it away, Lex! :)
Lately the NFL and same sex marriage have been all over the news. A Baltimore Ravens player says he’s for same sex marriage. A Maryland legislator sends a letter to the owner of the Ravens asking him to silence the player. The owner of the Ravens refuses to violate his player’s freedom of speech. Lots of media attention ensues.
You’re probably wondering why this author of gay romances has led her guest blog post with this information. Well, it’s because on the 25th of this month, my first novel with Loose Id will be released. Scrambling is a novel about the first two men to come out in the NFL. Seems rather timely in view of the attention the press has given the situation I outlined above. But this book isn’t about controversy. It’s very much a love story.
Love stories are what I do best. I don’t read anything except books with HEA’s and HFN’s. Honestly, I even limit how much I read HFN’s because to me, the happy ending is my favorite part of a book. I love a story where the author drags you into the lives and minds of the heroes and makes you wonder if these guys will ever find each other and be truly happy. I like a little bit of nail biting and angst in my gay rom. I want the guys to have issues to overcome and I love it when something happens that really hits one of them like a ton of bricks and makes them realize OMG. I love this guy and if I don’t get my shit together, I could lose him!
All my favorite gay roms make me cry when that happens or when one of the two completely loses it because he thinks he’s lost the man he loves. My favorite authors are the ones who can write emotional fear and pain in such a way that it has me sobbing and wrung out at the end. Yes, I know. It’s a little weird to say that my favorite books and authors are the ones that left me crying like a baby.
In Scrambling, I’ve paired two best friends who are afraid to tell each other the truth of their feelings. It’s a novel filled with angst and sexual tension. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that the HEA made me cry when I wrote it. After all, everyone knows I always have a HEA. That’s no secret!
Here’s an excerpt and some info on Scrambling.
Scrambling, an Out in the NFL novel by Lex Valentine Release Date: September 25 Publisher: Loose Id Trailer: http://youtu.be/DKf9I3q7Ei8/
Evan McAdam has two constants in his life—football and his friendship with Reed Matthews. From the age of six, Evan’s played football alongside Reed. In his teens, he realized he was gay and loved Reed, but fear kept him from confiding his deepest emotions to his best friend. When he and Reed are drafted to the L.A. Stars, Evan decides to come out. His decision impacts Reed who’s been in the closet too. The two men struggle with secrets of unrequited love while facing the world as the first two openly gay NFL players. When injury forces Evan to retire, the love he bears Reed can no longer be hidden. But will Reed be able to reciprocate? Or will Evan lose both football and the man he’s always loved?
Evan didn’t think his career would end this way. He also never thought he’d hear Reed call him babe or speak to him in that intimate tone. All his defenses evaporated, and he ached for Reed in a way that hurt far more than his leg. He wanted Reed so badly he was a hairbreadth away from breaking down.
"I love you too," Evan blurted out, the morphine and the pain giving him the sense that he was floating in a world where only the truth—the whole truth and nothing but the truth—should ever be spoken between him and Reed. He hurt like hell, and half the pain was because he needed Reed and Reed wasn't there. Except he was. On the phone. The lifeline of his voice in Evan's ear making everything better.
"I know you do."
Reed's words and tone held warmth, caring, and relief. Evan figured Reed had panicked when he'd seen the late hit. He would have been frantic to reach Evan by phone since he couldn't just drive to the hospital from clear across the country. He also figured Reed didn't know what he meant when he said he loved him.
Irritation washed over Evan. How many fucking years had he said the words without Reed knowing the truth. "No, you don't know. I'm in love with you."
Silence met Evan's ears. And then he heard a muffled sound. A sound that could easily have been a sob. Evan’s heart thundered. Everything he’d locked away inside his heart burst free, racing toward his lips as a full confession of the emotions he’d suppressed for half his life, but a very thin thread of control stopped the words. He needed to know if Reed really was crying, if he really felt the emotions Evan thought he could hear coming through the phone.
"My God, Evan. How long? How long have you been in love with me?" Reed's voice was hoarse, heavily tinged with tears and emotion.
Evan couldn't hold anything back now that the morphine, the broken leg, and too many years away from Reed had made him confess the truth of his heart. "Forever. Since I knew what romantic love was."
The sob came again, but this time it wasn't muffled. Evan knew in an instant that Reed was crying, and he somehow knew why. Reed loved him. Had always loved him. All the years that he’d held back, hiding his love from Reed, seemed stupid now. Confessing his love would never have driven Reed from him, but hiding it had caused them to end up thousands of miles apart. Fear had caused them both years of pain and suffering.
Reed’s voice came through the phone then, speaking the words Evan had longed to hear from the moment he'd left California, colored with the distinctive broken tones of begging.
"Come home, Evan. Please come home."
For a chance to win a copy of Scrambling check my Facebook page on release day September 25.
Many thanks to Kerry for having me on her blog this week!