Thanks for hosting me today, Parker – I really appreciate it, especially at such short notice!
I’m here to talk about my new novel, Not Just Friends. It’s a coming of age/first love story about young man discovering his sexuality. It’s also a story of friendship and fun and student life. When Lewis leaves home to go to uni, he falls hard for his out-and-proud flatmate, Max, and is surprised by his feelings.
In the extract below, Lewis is already aware that his feelings for Max go beyond friendship but he’s still confused by them. Max has hooked up with someone else and Lewis isn’t too happy about it. He heard them having sex through their adjoining walls the night before and doesn’t understand why it bothered him so much. There’s nothing like a little jealousy to kick start the road to self-discovery, poor Lewis!
Lewis heard Max’s door open and close, and the sound of voices in the corridor. He strained to listen, trying to work out if Max’s mystery guest was leaving, but he couldn’t tell.
Curiosity got the better of him, and Lewis got back out of bed, pulled a dressing gown on over his boxers and T-shirt, and carried his plate and mug back to the kitchen. He could do with another piece of toast and some more tea anyway, as the traces of a hangover were still pounding at his temples and making his throat dry.
He walked into the kitchen and stopped in his tracks at the sight of Max perched half on the kitchen surface, with a dark-haired guy standing between his parted thighs. They were kissing, utterly lost in each other, and oblivious to Lewis standing there. The guy’s hands were in Max’s hair and as Lewis watched, Max gave a little moan and moved his hands from the other boy’s hips to his arse, hauling him closer. Max changed the angle of the kiss; the wet sounds of their mouths were shockingly loud in the silent kitchen. Max’s eyes fluttered open, and Lewis tried to back away but it was too late. Max’s lust-filled gaze locked on him and his eyes flew wide open. He broke the kiss, and pushed the other boy away.
“Oops. Sorry, Lew.” His face was flushed and his lips were pink and swollen as he smiled, looking a bit shamefaced. “Got a bit carried away.”
Heat flooded Lewis at being caught watching. “No, it’s fine. I’ll just… um… go… elsewhere….” Somewhere, anywhere rather than here.
Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.
When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends.
Not Just Friends is available at Dreamspinner Press
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/dellamere
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Jay’s books: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_953
Giveaway – Jay’s offering an ebook copy of Not Just Friends to one lucky reader etc…Contest ends on Monday night, February 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm.
Leave a comment to enter!