Today I am so pleased to welcome Whitley Gray to Joyfully Jay. Whitley has come to talk to us about her latest release, Artistic Endeavor. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Whitley a big welcome!
Thank you Joyfully Jay for hosting me today.
Artistic Endeavor is the story of an unlikely romance. Cobey is an art professor at Cathia University. Due to his strict religious upbringing and education at a church-related college, he’s been forcibly closeted. Fearing loss of financial support and retribution, he bided his time until after he finished his Master’s degree.
When Cobey finally gets out into the real world, he discovers at age twenty-five he’s woefully inexperienced and has no skills for dating. The clientele at the local gay bars intimidate him. When Cobey learns fellow professor Eli is gay, Cobey confides his problem to Eli and his partner Burke. The two set Cobey up with their friend Michael.
Michael is a graphic artist. In the past, he’s loved and lost big. Last Christmas found him at the altar with two rings and no groom. Since then, he’s resolved to stick to sex, not love. Michael has become the king of the one-night stand.
When Eli and Burke tell Michael about Cobey, Michael wants to run. He likes guys with lots of experience and no strings attached. What does he know about introducing an inexperienced guy to sex? But at Eli’s urging, Michael agrees to meet Cobey. The two of them make a deal: sex only, at Cobey’s speed.
It’s all fun and games—unless someone falls in love.
When I was invited to participate in writing a story for a M/M collection set at a university, it sounded like a winning proposition. I wanted to explore the theme of a guy who knew himself and accepted his orientation, but couldn’t reveal it until well into adulthood because he was trapped by circumstance. Juxtaposing this character with a man who is very experienced in bed but avoiding emotional intimacy worked well. The combination allowed me to point up each character’s shortcoming and strengths and made for some interesting situations along the way.
Between a religious family and college, Cobey couldn’t act until well past the usual age of introduction to intimacy. Michael enjoys sex but won’t risk heartbreak. Each of them has a lot to learn.
The title of the story is derived from the two artists coming together with a common goal: an artistic endeavor. The college setting gives a lot of flexibility to bring in other characters in a natural way. The setting provides a number of locations to carry the story, including Sunshine’s Café, an art supply store, and Eclipse, an establishment catering to intimate needs.
This story is a contemporary romance set in the current day—it’s a modern courtship of sorts, taking place at a liberal arts college in a gay-friendly town. As you might expect, the encounters start off chaste but heat up—it’s a four-flame book. There are occasional humorous elements in addition to the more serious theme of establishing identity. In this story, Michael is changed just as much as Cobey—maybe more. Artistic Endeavor is a feel-good read with a happy ending.
When friends ask one-night stand connoisseur Michael Esteban to introduce college professor and virgin Cobey Miller to the joys of sex, Michael balks. Lust is his thing, not leading a twenty-five year old novice. But shy Cobey has problems meeting men, and their introduction fuels Michael’s decision to help Cobey become a gay-sex-loving guy. It’ll all be fun and games—unless someone falls in love.
Once upon a misspent youth, Whitley read and wrote stories under the covers at night. At some point, real life intervened, bringing with it responsibilities and a career in the medical field. After years of technical writing, Whitley became enamored of romance and took on the challenge of giving it a try. Inventing characters and putting them through paces in interesting ways turned out to be addictive, and along the way, Whitley discovered having two heroes is twice as nice. A pot of coffee, quiet, and a storyline featuring a couple of guys makes for a perfect day.
Whitley is offering a giveaway for four lucky readers. One winner will get at $20 Amazon gift card and three winners will get an e-copy of Artistic Endeavor. Just follow the Rafflecopter link to enter.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Void where prohibited by law.
I loved this when I read CAMPUS CRAVINGS…great to hear the story behind it!
Enjoyed the post! Love me some artists… looking forward to reading this, apparently I somehow missed the antho!
This sounds really good. I love the idea of the experienced guy teaching the other, and learning a little something himself. 🙂
Sounds like a great story. Thanks for the post and giveaway chance!
SOunds interesting. New to me author. Thanks for the giveaway
Sounds great! I still haven’t read Campus Craving even though I own the anthology. Love the cover for Whitley’s story =)