Today I am so pleased to welcome JL Merrow to Joyfully Jay. JL has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her release, Spun!. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
They ate their succession of sweet, syrupy pancakes standing up in the kitchen. Not all of them ended up as successful as the first—some decided to fold themselves in half when tossed, like an Olympic diver but without the graceful exit—but David had no complaints. He was still rather in awe of Rory’s unexpected mastery of the frying pan, and said so.
“Didn’t your mum used to let you help on Pancake Day?” Rory asked, spooning some syrup out of the tin. He twiddled the spoon until all the drips were caught and then drizzled it on his pancake. “I thought you and her were pretty close.”
“Hen doesn’t believe in pancakes. Too unhealthy. And Pancake Day itself is nothing more than a relic of an outmoded set of dietary restrictions.” David dug into his forbidden fruit with only moderately guilty gusto.
“Mm. Apparently medieval Christians were required to give up eggs and milk for Lent. Hence using them all up on Shrove Tuesday.”
Rory frowned. “So what did farmers do with them while no one was eating them? Chuck ’em away? Or did all the cows and chickens have to keep their legs crossed till Easter?”
“You know, I never thought of that.” David licked a syrupy finger. “Maybe they were allowed to make the milk into cheese? Not sure about the eggs. How long do eggs keep for, anyway?”
“Keep ’em long enough, they turn into chickens. If the cock’s been doing his job.”
“I suppose it’s one way to find out if your cock is shooting blanks. So to speak.”
Rory chuckled. “Yeah. You gonna eat that last one?”
“If I eat any more now, I’ll be fasting for forty days and nights to make up for it. It’s all yours.” David paused. “So do you have family close by?”
“Nah. I grew up local, but Mum and Dad moved down to Sussex when they retired. Got a little place near the sea.”
“Handy for the Brighton gay scene.”
“Yeah, I don’t reckon that was what they were thinking about when they chose it. The other half of their semi’s got a gay family in it.” Rory’s brow furrowed. “Uh, you know what I mean. Dunno about the kids, but the dads are definitely gay. They’re married and everything. Mum babysits their kids sometimes.”
“Missing the grandchildren?”
“Yeah, maybe. They visit, but it’s a long way to come in the car. Especially in summer when the traffic’s a mare.”
“Must have been hard, not having them nearby when the marriage ended.”
“Yeah. Wasn’t an easy time.” Rory gave David a heartbreakingly twisted smile. “Could’ve done with a few more of my mum’s roast dinners around then.”
David couldn’t stand the pain writ large on Rory’s face. “Ooh, I know,” he said with forced brightness. “That’s what we should do at the weekend—roast dinner with all the trimmings. Children like roast dinners, don’t they?”
“My two do. If you’re sure we can pull it off.”
“Meh. All you have to do is shove a lump of meat in the oven and leave it there for a few hours. How hard can it be?”
“Yeah, and the trimmings? I dunno, veg, roast spuds, and stuffing or whatever?”
“That’s why God gave us Waitrose, and preprepared everything. So when are we going shopping?”
Rory shrugged. “Tomorrow after work? I ain’t got anything planned. Been trying to get an evening out with Barry to make up for missing Saturday, but he reckons his missus has got something on every night this week and she won’t let him off of babysitting the kids.”
Oh. David hadn’t known about Saturday. “Did you have big plans? Painting the town in the colour of your choosing? You know, I could have looked after the children,” he made himself add, because the sudden stab of jealousy that pierced him was clearly some kind of anomaly caused by too little sleep. He’d undoubtedly be over it in the morning. Even if he couldn’t for the life of him see what Rory saw in the Neanderthal, which was his new pet name for Barry.
“Nah, we was only going down the pub. But I can do the shopping after work. No need for you to use up your evening. You ain’t had a night out since you got here.”
David gave him a sidelong look. “It’s been less than a week. I don’t think I’m in any danger of becoming a hermit just yet. If I grow a beard down to my ankles and start sitting on poles instead of dancing on them, that’ll be the time to worry. Anyway, shopping is far more fun in company.”
“Right, then. Tomorrow, after tea. My turn to cook, innit?”
“But you did the pancakes.”
“You helped. Tell you what—takeaway?”
“It’s a date.” David beamed.
And wondered why the words felt hollow, somehow.
With friends like these . . .
An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.
Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?
Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.
She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella <em>Muscling Through</em> is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
Connect with JL:
- Website: www.jlmerrow.com
- Twitter: @jlmerrow
- Facebook: facebook.com/jl.merrow
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/.J_L_Merrow
To celebrate the release of Spun!, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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