Today I am so pleased to welcome A.M. Arthur to Joyfully Jay. A.M. has come to share an excerpt from her latest release, The Truth As He Knows It. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Excerpt

Noel had told Shane he’d call once he woke up on Monday so they could hammer out their plans. He took his time in the shower, lingering when he would normally power through the motions. He ate cold Chinese takeout from the fridge, along with a root beer.

He wasn’t avoiding the call. Not exactly. He wanted to see Shane again, but Saturday night’s half-drunk phone call had left him unsettled. Instinct told him that Shane was hiding something important, and Shane was proving himself to be incredibly stubborn. Noel hadn’t known him long enough to know which buttons to push and which to leave alone. One date also didn’t give him the right to press the subject. They weren’t boyfriends.

He could see them going there one day, though. Noel was tired of going out and finding a hookup so he could scratch an itch. He wanted something real, someone to make a life with. And he liked Shane enough to be patient with him. Not everyone handed out total trust easily, especially when they’d been hurt.

Winning Shane’s trust was the first step, and he couldn’t do that by avoiding their plans.

Noel sat on the edge of his bed and made the call.

“Hey.” Shane sounded bright and cheerful, so different from two days ago.

“Hey, cowboy. Feeling better?”

“Better? Oh, yeah. I’m good.”

“Would you believe me if I said that was the first time I’ve ever been drunk dialed?”

“No.”

Noel laughed. “Well, it was.”

“I don’t think that counted as drunk. I was fully aware of calling you and why.”

“Half-drunk dialing, then.”

“I can live with that.”

“Can you also live with spending a couple of hours with me tonight?”

“Definitely,” Shane said with a silken purr. “Any ideas on how we can spend it?”

“We could always hit the gym.”

The snarfing noise Shane made was somehow both sexy and childlike. “I was thinking along the lines of something differently aerobic.”

“Running?”

“Not even close. Aren’t cops supposed to be better at gathering clues and solving things?”

“Does this aerobic exercise require clothing?”

“It’s much more fun when all clothing is removed, however leaving certain articles on can certainly increase the pleasure of said activity.”

“Swimming.”

“Nope.”

Noel wished he could see Shane’s face, sure that wicked, feral smile was in place. He knew exactly what Shane had in mind, but teasing it out of him was way more fun than coming out and saying he wanted to fuck. “Well, I’m having trouble figuring this one out, cowboy.”

“Then why don’t you come over, and I’ll demonstrate.”

Oh yes, this was the forceful Shane that attracted him so strongly. “When does your brother come home?”

“They got a late shipment at the feed store, so seven at the earliest.” A pause. “I don’t mind if you meet him.”

Noel grinned at the wall. “I’m glad you don’t want to hide me away, but I was thinking about thin walls and being polite. I’ve lived with roommates who had active sex lives.”

Shane snickered. “I bet you have stories.”

“You have no idea.”

“You’ll have to tell me sometime. Like in twenty minutes or so?”

“Sounds like a plan. Text me your address.”

“Sure. See you soon.”

Noel put the address into his phone’s GPS on his walk to the car. Anticipation curled warmly in his gut and kept him company on the drive across town.

The moment Shane hung up with Noel, he grabbed a dishrag and started dusting. The trailer wasn’t dirty, exactly. Shane did most of the housekeeping by silent agreement, but Noel was seeing the place for the first time, and he wanted to make a good impression. He never brought tricks home. He’d never had a boyfriend to introduce to Jason. Noel was neither a trick, nor his boyfriend, so what the hell was he doing frantically wiping down the front of the TV?

Making up for the fact that you’re a mess, and you don’t want to tell Noel or Jason what you did to earn that fat paycheck on Saturday.

Yeah, pretty much.

He cleaned so he didn’t have to panic. He hadn’t mentioned his weekend deposit to Jason that morning, and he hoped to avoid it in the brief time period during which he’d see his brother tonight. Maybe tomorrow. He’d figure out what to say by tomorrow for sure.

No shift at the deli had given him all day to think, and he’d yet to come up with an answer. The only real thing he’d managed was grocery shopping. He’d stocked up with some of Jason’s favorite things: hot dogs, canned chili, French fries, frozen garlic bread. It felt good to do something nice for his brother, even if he still had to explain where the money came from.

He took a few minutes to make sure his bedroom was tidy and the sheets didn’t smell. He tucked the dildo into his underwear drawer, but left the lube and condoms accessible. Hopefully Noel was in the mood to switch things up tonight, because Shane’s ass was still tender. He didn’t want sex with Noel to be something he had to endure. Not ever.

He had enough other shit to endure.

Tires crunched in the little gravel lot. Shane practically ran to the door. He yanked it open before Noel had a chance to knock, and he took in his fill. Noel looked fantastic in cargo shorts and a black polo, his sun-kissed hair in slight disarray.

“I see you found the place,” Shane said.

“I’ve been out here a few times on calls,” Noel replied. Sheepish, which was adorable. “It’s an active neighborhood.”

“It’s a dump. People don’t have anything to do except work and drink, and they don’t work here.”

“So they drink.”

“And fight. I’ve heard the sirens.”

“Well, I haven’t been out this way in at least six weeks.”

The deadpan way Noel said that poked Shane in the funny bone. Noel grinned at his insane laughter, and Shane stepped aside so Noel could come inside the trailer. His chuckles died off as Noel observed the place, doing his cop thing of taking in details, eyeballing everything. The carpet was twenty years out of date, and the couch had two busted springs, but the place was clean. No bugs, no spiders, no strange smells. It had been home since Shane was thirteen.

Noel seemed puzzled.

“What’s wrong?” Shane asked.

“Nothing’s wrong. It isn’t what I expected.”

“What did you expect?”

“I’m not sure. Two single guys in one space? I guess I expected more clutter. Or at least more pizza boxes.”

Shane snorted. “You’re too used to college guys living together. Delivery pizza’s way out of our budget anyway.” He needed a distraction from the reminder that he was poor as hell. “You want something to drink?”

“What do you have?”

“Water, some Pepsi, orange juice.”

“Pepsi?”

“Okay.”

Shane poured two glasses from the nearly depleted two-liter. Noel had overtaken the sofa, one arm draped across the back, his legs slightly spread. Inviting. So fucking sexy. Noel sipped at his soda while Shane occupied the cushion closest to Noel without touching. The second he touched Noel he’d be all over him. Kissing him. Dragging him into his bedroom.

And that’s a bad idea why?

Not a single reason he could figure. Noel hadn’t dragged himself over here to watch television, and Shane really, really wanted to fuck him.

He put his mostly flat soda down, then stole Noel’s away. Noel’s lips quirked, eyes narrowing a fraction. The expression was almost a dare. “One of these days I’d like to go out and do something with you,” Shane said. “But we’re on a time crunch, and I really want to know what your ass feels like around my dick.”

Noel inhaled a sharp breath. His cheeks flushed. He tackled Shane to the couch in a dizzying burst of energy, and then Noel’s mouth was attacking his. Fuck yeah, this was the kissing Shane remembered. Hard and demanding, like nothing else was more important than tasting every part of his mouth. Shane wrapped his legs around Noel’s hips. Noel rubbed his growing erection against Shane’s, creating a sublime wave of pleasure that spread to all parts of him.
Shane had never responded to another guy so quickly, and his intense attraction to Noel should have scared him, but it didn’t. He craved it—that connection to another person that went deeper than sex. The chance to have something real with another guy. To prove to himself and the world that he wasn’t a hopeless wreck.


Blurb

The Truth As He Knows ItPerspectives, Book 1

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.


Bio

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland.  She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop.  She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder.  She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Contact her at am_arthur@yahoo.com with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.


Giveaway

A.M. has brought a copy The Truth as He Knows It, along with a backlist book, to give away on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter. 

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