Today I am so pleased to welcome the fabulous Jay Bell back to Joyfully Jay. Jay has come to an exclusive excerpt with us his latest release, Something Like Thunder. He has also brought along a FABULOUS giveaway (seriously guys, I wish I could enter).  Please join me in giving Jay a big welcome!


The lawnmower rumbled, the vibrations coursing along Nathaniel’s arms. He freed one to wipe the sweat from his brow, glancing up at a perfectly blue sky and wishing for one small cloud to block the sun so he could cool off. After crossing the yard back and forth a few more times he stopped, let the engine sputter into silence, and stripped off his shirt.

“Now we’re talking!”

Nathaniel spun around to see Caesar approaching from the house. He reached out a finger, like someone wanting to swipe frosting from a beater to taste it. Or sweat from a bare chest. Nathaniel knocked his hand away, shooting a glance toward the house.

Caesar rolled his eyes. “Nobody’s home. They’re still out shopping. Let’s go.”

“Go where?” Nathaniel asked.

“Anywhere you want!” Caesar said with a lewd grin. “Pick a room.”

“We talked about this,” Nathaniel said with a shake of his head. “No more risks.”

“Awww, come on! It’s been weeks!”

Nathaniel raised an eyebrow. “More like four days. I woke up in the middle of the night to find you sucking my—”

“That doesn’t count.”

“Sure felt like it counted to me! And it went against the rules.”

“Oh, the rules!” Caesar said, waving his hands sarcastically. “Scary! I meant it’s been weeks since… You know.”

Since their pseudo-honeymoon. Nathaniel looked at the house again, feeling a longing before he steeled his resolve. He tossed his sweaty shirt at Caesar, then yanked the ripcord to start the mower again, steadfastly ignoring his boyfriend. Even when he stood in the way, Nathaniel plowed on, forcing

Caesar to leap aside. When the grass was thoroughly tamed and the air free from the engine’s growl, Caesar wasted no time in continuing his plea.

“Just think how good it’ll feel. How good it felt the first time.”

Nathaniel worked on removing the canvas bag full of clippings. “Why don’t you go think about it in the bathroom. By yourself.”

Caesar sighed. “I’ve done plenty of that lately, believe me. Besides, I wanted to return the favor.”

Nathaniel glanced up sharply. “Uh. No.”

“Uh. Yes. It’s only fair.”

“That’s not how this works. There are roles.”

Caesar shook his head. “No there aren’t.”

Nathaniel furrowed his brow in confusion. “I thought you liked it.”

“I did, but that’s like visiting London, loving it there, and never going anywhere else. I want to try new things. Visit new places. Paris. Moscow. Vienna.” Caesar grinned. “Bangkok.”

Nathaniel considered him carefully. “You need more from me. Something fresh.”

Caesar shrugged. “Yeah. Exactly.”

“Fine.” Nathaniel thrust his hand into the bag of grass, grabbed a fist full, and pulled it out again.

“Not that kind of fresh!” Caesar said, taking a step back.

Before he could escape, Nathaniel flung the clippings at him, picturing the grass swirling around his head like confetti. Instead the clump hit him square in the face with a wet smack, spreading across his nose before falling to the ground. “Sorry!” Nathaniel said hurriedly. “I thought—”

“You’re sorry?” Caesar said incredulously. “Like that was an accident?”

He came closer, so Nathaniel grabbed another fistful of grass in self-defense. Caesar, with nothing to lose, lunged for the canvas bag to arm himself. Nathaniel pelted him with another clump, this time hitting his shoulder, but Caesar wouldn’t be dissuaded. He thrust both hands into the grass clippings, pulling out two huge bundles.

“Oh, come on!” Nathaniel pleaded. “That’s too much!”

“An eye for an eye,” Caesar said.

“But I’m all sweaty and—”

Nathaniel didn’t need to continue. Grass splattered against his chest and stuck there. He tried wiping it off, but that only spread it around. He looked up, ready to complain, when the next batch hit him in the face. For a moment, all he could see was green. Once he wiped his eyes clean, all he could see was red. He grabbed the entire bag of grass, hoisting it into the air. Then he moved forward.

“No!” Caesar said, hands raised to ward him off. “We’re done!”

“We’re not done,” Nathaniel snarled. “Not by far. After I dump this over your head, I’m going next door and mowing the neighbor’s lawn for more.”

Caesar took off running, Nathaniel giving chase. They zigzagged across the yard, much of the grass spilling out on the way, but Nathaniel still had enough to get revenge. Caesar stumbled and fell, rolling onto his back, eyes wide with terror when he found Nathaniel standing over him. “I’ll do anything!”

Nathaniel’s grin was vicious. “Anything?”

“I swear!”

“So the next time we’re alone. Really alone. Who’s going to be on top?”

“You,” Caesar said instantly.

Nathaniel tilted the bag slightly, a few blades spilling out. “I have your word?”


Satisfied, he tossed aside the bag and offered his hand. Caesar allowed himself to be pulled to his feet.

“You’ll be on top,” Caesar said. Then with a wicked gleam he added, “Bouncing up and down on my cock.”

Nathaniel shook his head. “You’re hopeless.”

“I know.” Caesar came close, reducing the space between them.

“I’m disgusting,” Nathaniel said, pulling back.

“I don’t care. I love you.”

Nathaniel kept his eyes locked with Caesar’s as they wrapped their arms around each other. “Say it again.”

“I love you.” Caesar said this with his head held high, proud of the fact.

Nathaniel swallowed. “If you ever want to get me in the mood, that’s all you’ve got to do. Just keep saying those words.”

“I love you, I love you, I love you.”

“I don’t mean now!” Nathaniel said with a laugh.

Caesar’s eyes were pleading. “Then when? Give me something to look forward to.”

Nathaniel leaned forward and kissed him. “Soon. I promise.”

Caesar squeezed him tight. Then he hopped up and wrapped his legs around Nathaniel’s waist. Nathaniel stumbled forward, but regained his balance. He spun around a few times, then lurched around the yard like a drunk. After one more kiss he fell to his knees and bent forward, lowering Caesar to the ground.

“Let’s go get clean.”

Caesar nodded. “Okay.”


Something Like Thunder coverThis isn’t a coming out story. Nor is it the tale of a lonely heart seeking companionship. This is about how I learned to fight.

My name is Nathaniel Courtney and I’m a survivor. I didn’t let the cruelty of others wear me down, and I’ve weathered the more subtle hardships of the heart. Love is a Trojan horse, slipping past your guard and leaving you ransacked and vulnerable. I emerged from that war not unscathed but as a new man. The only mistake I ever made was letting the right guy get away. Now I’ve got one more chance. This is the final battle, because if I fail now… I won’t. You’ll see. Just listen to my story, Kelly Phillips, and when I’m done, please don’t walk away. Take this weary soldier into your arms so we can find peace together.

Something Like Thunder is the sixth book in the ongoing Something Like… series, shedding light on past events while leading the reader toward an exciting new future.


Jay Bell author photoJay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of love and alienation that surrounded this decision. He’s been mashing laptop keys ever since.

Jay is a Lambda Literary Award winner and a fairly bad dancer. He also thinks that you’re really cool. Seriously.


Image demonstrating what the art cards areJay has brought an amazing prize pack which includes a $25 Amazon gift certificate, an Audible download code, one copy of any of his previous books (doesn’t include Thunder) in either paperback or eBook, and a set of signed art cards to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday May 17th at at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
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  • 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.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway