Nick Jones can’t remember a time when he wasn’t part of the in crowd. Everywhere he goes, he stands out as the best looking guy in the room, and women practically fall into bed with him. Then, after kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on many occasions, Nick’s “screw anything” reputation escalated, but he didn’t care.
When Nick meets RC at the restaurant where he works, it throws his whole life out of whack. Overweight, always sweaty, gay, and hairy like a bear, RC lives up to his dubbed nickname “Scruffy Dude.” He seems Nick’s complete opposite, but Nick can’t get him out of his head.
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Nick Jones life changes after just one kiss. He doesn’t realize it at the time, he’s actually always been gay, but he’s hidden behind a string of girlfriends and that one boyfriend that lights him up like none of the girls can. He refuses to be gay though, in fact, if he had a mantra it would be “I’m not gay!” for as often as he says it. Me thinks thou doth protest too much!
A year later and Nick is just going through the motions in his mundane life. The only bright sparks are his friend and sometimes lover Corey, and the strange man that eats where he works all the time, RC. He’s broken up with another girl, and jumps straight into a relationship with yet another girl, trying to convince himself that getting laid on a regular basis makes him happy. But getting to know RC more with each conversation they have is making Nick take stock, and reconsider some things about himself.
RC is not an easy man to get to know. He is always on guard and doesn’t let anyone close. He has no friends and no social skills to speak of. But there is something about the cute guy that works at the Diner. It takes a lot of effort and time, but the two become friends, best friends in fact. Both men appreciate that they can just be themselves around each other. But as Nick starts to open himself up to the feelings he’s having, he starts to want more from RC than just friendship. RC is adamant that he is not going there! His past is way too painful and Nick is way too much like a lot of the people that made that past painful. Nick is about to find out what he wouldn’t do for the right guy, which is nothing.
This was very a much coming of age and finding yourself story. Not just for Nick who is trying to decide his sexuality, but for RC as well as he’s never actually been in love or been loved. Nick was raised with so much love, and the entire time he’s wrestling with his emotions over what his parents will say when they find out, he doesn’t realize they already know. What Nick has to learn is restraint, patience and unconditional love. So what if RC is a little overweight, and big, and burly. The way he makes him feel safe, protected and loved regardless is what Nick comes to realize are the important things. He fell in love with someone, the wrapping doesn’t matter.
This book was an emotionally charged and endearing story about a very slow building love between two unlikely men. Trust and communication are what is at the root of their relationship, that is built before anything else, and it’s what makes them so strong. At first it looked like this was going to be another ‘gay for you’ story, but as the story played itself out, it wasn’t that at all. And these characters were far from perfect, if anything, they were perfectly flawed. Another thing that only added to the depth of the story. And it was refreshing to read a character that was surrounded by love and acceptance, his demons were the ones he created himself by his actions, and only he can change that.
I devoured this book in one long setting. I was so intrigued by the dynamics of the characters, and the way they bounced off of each other. Sexy, romantic, endearing and realistic are just a few words to describe this book. Definitely a must read.
Guest Post with Author Wade Kelly...
Inspiration and Motivation
One question that always comes up when people chat with writers is, “What keeps you motivated or inspires your writing?” For me, I like to watch people. I observe. And maybe I could be seen like the creepy Stanley White from My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! because I do sense people and I probably notice more about folks as I observe them than they would like to think. LOL…. Yes, I’m a creeper. (Not really.)
So when I catch a social stigma or cultural discrepancy, I like to explore my opinions about it. Like bullying, or suicide, or hate crimes. I want to take what people really experience and write them into characters who can find hope in the end. I want to write characters who can inspire hope and peace in my readers. I want to give people a reason to fight.
Sometimes my inspiration comes from music. I already wrote about Ryan Amador’s video for “Define Me.” It was very gripping and made me think about the “names” people get called. But along with that initial song are several others that I added to a “play list” for NAMES.
“I Kissed A Boy” by Slipstream
“Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simon
“Linus And Lucy” from A Charlie Brown Christmas
“Kissing You” from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack
“Sugar Town” by Zooey Deschanel
“You Get Me” by Michele Branch
“The Promise” by Tracy Chapman
“Conversations With My 13 Year Old Self” by P!nk
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
“Can’t Be Tamed” by Miley Cyrus
“Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman
“Kiss” by Venke Knutson
I make “play lists” for most of my books. I find that certain songs remind me of the characters or the scenes. Do I write with music playing? Sometimes. Depending on the scene. If I am energized and flowing with the action, then I have no problem blaring Nickelback for inspiration! But most of the time I like the quiet because I need to talk it out. I need to picture the setting and GET IN THE HEAD of my character. I can’t always do that if I am singing along with Tracy Chapman or Avril Lavigne.
When I was thinking of what I could talk about on Tammy’s blog, she wondered if I had ever thought of a “dream cast” for the movie if it was ever made. Well, sometimes I often get inspiration from watching a film and thinking, “THAT GUY is perfect for _____!” In fact, when I watched the movie Jitters last year, I thought that Atli Óskar Fjalarsson would be perfect as Flynn Brewer. A dream cast for my work in progress would certainly have Alti in the lead role, but what about my other books? And more importantly, what about Names Can Never Hurt Me?
I refer to RC as Joey Fatone from *NYSNC. I did this because I had a really hard time finding picture of a hot actor that was overweight and hairy. Joey’s older photos were close enough. In my mind though, RC has a lot more hair. Long black curly hair that he often pulls back into a pony tail.
But what about Nick Jones. I found a picture of Mitch Hewer online where he had dyed his hair brown. He was still adorable, even though I like the blond better and I could see him as Nick. Or possibly one of the Carver twins from Teen Wolf could play Nick. Ethan had the personality I could handle. Aiden was too aggressive.
What about Corey? Hmm, Tyler Oakley? Lol….
I would have to spend a lot of time looking at the Internet to think about individual characters and the type of actor needed to perfect the role.
But I can say I do get inspiration from pictures of actors or of singers. Not as hugly popular as some authors maybe. I don’t look at photos and come up with a plot. It is more the other way around. I think of something, possibly from music references, and then later I try to visualize a person who could represent my character if I made a movie. And even that thought came only after I had to fill out forms for the cover artist as to what my characters looked like! LOL
So what do you think? Are there movie actors you could see playing to roles in my “film”? Let me know.
The excerpt for the day will have to be from NAMES where I use my inspiration from singers and actors to try and help the reader see what I do when I write....
“I heard what you did the other day. That was nice,” Paul commented as he put on his apron.
I was in the back by the timesheets, jotting down next week’s schedule, when he clocked in. “Oh yeah? What’d I do?” I honestly had no clue so there was little point pretending. I didn’t pretend with Paul.
“The way you apologized to that customer.” He smiled warmly at me and patted my shoulder. “You know, the one who looks like Joey Fatone.”
“You know, one of the guys from that ’90s boy band *NSYNC. I swear that guy looks just like him except with longer hair. Anyway, that was really caring of you to apologize for Marcy. She doesn’t always think before she speaks.” He winked.
I liked Paul, but sometimes I felt like he was flirting with me. And I wasn’t sure I’d mind if he did. Good thing we worked together because I had a difficult enough time with Marcy. Shit, these two had to get together or I was going to get caught in the middle, and I rarely did threesomes. “Thanks,” I replied. He nodded and turned away. Maybe my instincts were wrong. He didn’t look interested now. In fact, as soon as I answered, he went back to working his station. Hmm. I scratched my head. Perhaps I didn’t know anything about anything? One minute Paul looked flirtatious, then the next, detached. But Corey was like that too, only with sex in the middle somewhere. I didn’t know what to think; guys were as much a mystery to me as girls.
“That’s it!” Julie declared to the befuddlement of all those around her. She was standing near the heat lamp, head cocked to the side, pointing up.
“What’s it?” Paul asked, thinking for the rest of us.
“This song, ding-dong. ‘Crazy For You’.”
Marcy asked, “What about it? Isn’t it really old?”
Paul giggled. “Yeah, I guess. It’s from 1997. *NSYNC.”
“Exactly!” Julie proclaimed excitedly. “That’s who RC looks like! Joey Fatone. It’s been bothering me for months.”
“Oh my God,” I groaned, my head falling backward.
And Paul started laughing so hard he tripped over his own feet and landed on the floor. Clenching his sides and laughing to beat the band.
“What’s happened to him?” Marcy asked.
“I told Nick… the same thing….” Paul kept laughing; however, I did not.
I didn’t know who this guy was, but I figured I would be him as soon as I went on break. Joey Fatone. Oh my gosh.
Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it is not easy to live free and open in one's beliefs. She writes passionately about the controversial issues witnessed in real life and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing "taxi driver" for her three children. She likes snakes, and has a tegu (lizard) living in her bathroom.
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Contact Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org
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