Today I am very excited to welcome J.L. Merrow to Joyfully Jay.  J.L. is here to share more about her new book, Hard Tail, which I reviewed earlier today and just loved. I especially enjoyed revisiting two of my favorite of J.L.’s characters, Luke and Russell from Pricks and Pragmatism, so I am very excited that J.L. is sharing more about their role in the book here today.  Welcome J.L.! 

My new contemporary m/m novel Hard Tail features a cameo appearance from Luke and Russell, the lovers from Pricks and Pragmatism. I think it’s the first time I’ve done this—brought back major characters from one book to be minor characters in another—although I know some authors write whole series with this idea.

It was, to be honest, a bit of an eye-opener. Because Luke Corbin, the narrator of Pricks and Pragmatism, is my darling, blue-eyed boy—and I realised immediately that Tim, my narrator in Hard Tail, wasn’t going to like him.

How many mothers are happy when their kids don’t get on with each other?

But Luke is just the kind of guy to rub Tim up the wrong way (no innuendo intended!) He’s young, good-looking, confident in himself both professionally and as a gay man. Tim, by contrast, is a fish out of water both in the bike shop he’s managing for his brother—and in the world of dating men. Luke, frankly, intimidates him. The non-threatening Russell, on the other hand, Tim takes to immediately—which is a lot more than Luke did!

So why did I bring Luke and Russell into Tim’s story? Well, first and foremost, for plot reasons that, heh, I’m not going to go into—you wouldn’t want any spoilers, would you? But also, I think, for the same reason writers bring out Christmas specials featuring old characters. Because although I finished writing Luke and Russell’s story a long time ago, it doesn’t mean they’re not still living their happy ever after, in the back of my mind.

And sometimes, a writer just wants to share that happy ever after with her readers.

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Giveaway

What do readers think about this? Should authors revisit old characters—or do you think that once a story’s ended, it’s finished?

All commenters will be entered into a draw for winner’s choice of an e-book from my backlist, PLUS a gift certificate for $25 from Amazon (or the e-book retailer of your choice). The more blog tour posts you comment on, the more chances you get! See my website here for full itinerary.

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Book Blurb

Finding love can be a bumpy ride.

His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: dead in the water. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon.

The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob.

There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.

Product Warnings: Contains an out-and-proud klutz, a closeted, karate-loving accountant—and a cat who thinks it’s all about him. Watch for a cameo appearance from the Pricks and Pragmatism lovers. May inspire yearnings for fresh air, exercise, and a fit, tanned bike mechanic of your very own.

Hard Tail is available from Samhain Publishing at a reduced price for a limited time only. 

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