Today I am so pleased to welcome Isabelle Peterson to Joyfully Jay. Isabelle has come to talk to us about her latest release, The New Neighbor. She has also brought along copies to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Yes… I’m a woman. (I know. With a name like Isabelle, you’re shocked!) When it comes to my gay romances, I’m often asked if I’m really a woman and not a gay man or man transitioning. I’m not. I’m female. Birthed two amazing humans. And married to their father for 25 years now.
So now that that’s out of the way… I’d like to tell you how I came to write gay romance and my newest M/M release – The New Neighbor…
PART 1 – HOW I CAME TO WRITE GAY ROMANCE…
I started my writing career as a screenplay writer. With a dare from two romance novelists, I wrote my first novel, Ditching the Dream. It was a straight romance, as was the next book fans begged for, Not in My Wildest Dreams. (Let it be known that after that first ‘dare’ book, I didn’t intend to continue as a novelist… and yes, I’m still writing screenplays.) That second book launched a full six book series. The third book in that initial series was also M/F (Chasing the Dream)…
But then—while writing that third book—I woke up at 2 a.m. with a sentence that triggered the fourth book in that series, Unexpected Dreams: “I can’t be gay. I’m a Republican.” (Inserting here that I’m not a Republican nor a Democrat. I’m an independent voter and proud of it.) This 2 a.m. inspiration literally pushed me out of bed and I wrote for 3 hours straight (…or did I write gay? yes… definitely gay. LOL)
Furthermore, Unexpected Dreams, practically wrote itself. Unexpected Dreams was written in just two months and all of it was so… easy. And turned a character everyone… everyone… (okay, of those who read books 1-3) HATED into someone they loved!
My biggest compliment from writing that 4th book, my first M/M romance book, came from my (then) 63-year-old mother. “I kept forgetting I was reading a gay romance! It just felt like a love story!” (And I was afraid of my mother reading any of my novels! Pfft!)
Once Book 4 of my Dream Series was done, I was getting daily requests to write more gay romances—even from gay men, which to me is the highest compliment I could receive.
After The Dream Series (6 books with M/F romance, BDSM, Young Adult, M/M romance, Cougar Romance, M/M/F romance… whew!) I decided to give what fans of Book 4 were after… another M/M romance. I wrote a standalone M/M, Student-Teacher Romance: 245 Days.
PART 2: THE NEW NEIGHBOR (The Juniper Court Series)
Last summer, I had this idea for a series. A cul-de-sac of neighbors, all interacting as neighbors do, but secrets behind everyone’s doors. The idea came to me when I was walking my dog one morning and heard a couple loudly making love near an open window. Couldn’t see anything – just heard them. Most of my neighbors don’t know I write erotic contemporary romance. Got me to thinking – everyone has secrets behind closed doors.
I’d considered writing all the books myself, but then thought, “How much fun would it be if each house were written by a different author, with a different voice?” And, (hopefully) having different authors might bring new eyes to my work, and my readers would hopefully find the neighbor interactions intriguing enough to read a new author, too! Since I’m always looking for ways to bring M/M romances to new readers, this sounded like the best course of action! So, I reached out to fellow author friends who have success in writing certain types of romances… They all said, “Yes!”
So, from Sweet to Mature, from Rom-com and Swingers, and BDSM—well, and mine, in the LGBT genre, you’ll find it all on Juniper Court.
Hello, Neighbor! Welcome to Juniper Court.
You can learn more about the other authors and their homes on Juniper Court at www.junipercourtseries.com
Going into this exclusive excerpt, you should know 2 things:
(1) Erik is divorced for 6+ months and Kyle convinced him to move out of the condo he shared with his husband. He’s just moved in…
(2) Kyle has been pining over Erik for, oh – since the day they met, so… 2 years.
With that – please let me share with you… their first kiss!! ONLY seen here, on Joyfully Jay’s!
(okay – may be more than just a kiss… what can I say? I’m a giver.)
We stood silent for a moment and I noticed Kyle had already drained half of his beer. If his picking at the label on his bottle of beer were any indication, he was still nervous. Shit! If I could somehow put this friendship back on track.
“So, hey,” I said, remembering that Kyle seemed interested in the renovation ideas I had and brought him back to the kitchen. “I was thinking of replacing these upper cabinets here with glass-front doors on both the front and back, and busting out this upper half of wall, so the kitchen flows better into the family room and extending this counter like a breakfast bar or something. What do you think?”
“Do you think this is a load-bearing wall?”
“Not sure,” I said and went on to explain why I thought that and saw Kyle relax. We started talking as if last week hadn’t happened.
In the family room, I pointed out the fireplace. “Thinking of converting this into a gas fireplace.”
“So much cleaner than hauling logs in,” he added.
“This banister heading upstairs, I’m looking at replacing the turned oak spindles with something more appropriate. Maybe scrolled iron or something.”
“Yeah,” Kyle laughed. “Who puts oak spindles in a Mediterranean-style home?”
Getting excited sharing all my ideas with Kyle, I gestured to the front room. “The living room is fine,” I said breezing past the opening for the formal area and down the hallway to my bedroom.
“The problem in here is the closet. It’s way too small.” When I realized I was talking about closets, I was mortified—being that Kyle was virtually in one—but he didn’t seem to notice.
“Well, the garage is on the other side of this wall, right?” he asked, now fully into the designing mindset.
“And it’s an extra deep garage, right? So you could borrow space from there. It’d be a simple fix.”
“That’s brilliant,” I agreed and turned to see Kyle standing close.
So close I noticed tiny little flecks of gold and green in his eyes I thought were only brown. And the tiny little scar in his eyebrow. Momentarily, I wondered where that scar came from, but then he licked his full lips and… fuck the scar. Those pink lips and that full lower lip. My heart was pounding so hard it was bruising my ribs. My head spun, and my knees nearly gave out.
Distinctly feeling that I wasn’t alone here, I leaned in slightly letting Kyle know I was okay if he was. That I wanted something more than just friends. It was something I hadn’t been able to shake since our game of one-on-one barely a week ago. When Kyle didn’t back away, I leaned in again, but so did Kyle, and the both of us moving caused our mouths to crash into each other rather harshly and our teeth bashed.
“Oh, shit! Sorry. Fuck!” Kyle muttered under his breath.
We both let out a half chuckle and then calmed right the fuck down.
This time, we both moved confidently reading each other’s movements, and our lips met.
An electrical charge surged through my body directly from Kyle’s lips. My hand went to the back of his neck, and I held him to me for dear life. I was not going to let this end so quickly. Not when it felt so right.
If I’d had any doubt that Kyle was gay for whatever reason, all doubt fled my mind now. Kyle was an incredible kisser sliding an arm around my waist and pulling our bodies together, not the least bit freaked out by kissing a guy. I’d kissed bi-curious men before, and there was lots of hesitation and insecurity from them. Kyle knew just what he wanted and what he was doing.
Tenderly, we learned each other’s mouths, and our hands roamed as we tasted each other, our tongues not dueling, rather dancing. At times, Kyle would follow me, then with the smoothest of transitions, Kyle would establish his dominance in the dance. As we learned more about each other, the kiss became more urgent… more hungry.
Suddenly, it was as if neither of us could get naked fast enough. I was yanking his T-shirt from the waistband of his jeans and then over his head while he was furiously unbuttoning my shirt. Once our chests were bare, I was pushing Kyle backward until I had him pinned against the wall.
I was drunk on Kyle’s scent of soap and musk… his taste mixed with beer. I kissed along his scruffy jaw until I got to his neck, and flattening my tongue, I licked up to behind his ear. Not the tip of my tongue, the whole broad width of it, tasting everything.
Kyle’s guttural and primal groan told me I was spot on. His eyes were dilated, and the way his breath hitched only spurred me onward.
As he stood in front of me, his magnificent form waiting… for me… I realized I still had the T-shirt in my hand and dropped it before my hands flew to his smooth chest. I ran my thumbs over the pebbled nubs and watched Kyle’s face as he bit down on his lower lip. Kyle trembled under my fingers as I let my hand travel down over his incredible abs.
No longer was I satisfied with kissing or touching. I felt out of control. It had been way too long. The dozen or so palm sessions I’d had over the past week—with Kyle as the main attraction—having him here now, actually touching him, was too much.
But I wasn’t allowed to continue. Kyle stepped into me and flipped us so that my back was up against the wall. His lips landed on mine as he established dominance, his hard-on pressed firmly against mine.
From that point on, we both struggled to dominate yet enjoyed being dominated. Never had I felt so perfectly matched to another man.
Six months after Erik Beckett’s short-lived marriage from his husband, he’s found it hard to move on. Erik’s colleague, Kyle Murphy, convinces him that he should move out of the condo he shared with his ex. Erik takes Kyle’s advice and finds the perfect house in a quiet neighborhood on Juniper Court.
Kyle Murphy isn’t proud of it, but he’s in the closet to everyone, even his family. In fact, he’s always portrayed himself as a ladies man. However, Kyle has had a thing for Erik since they first met. He’s just been waiting for the right time. When Kyle comes out to Erik, Erik doesn’t know what to make of it.
With Erik in his new home and away from the memories of his failed marriage, is the time now? But, with their history, would Erik ever think of Kyle in ‘that way’? And what would the neighbors think?
The New Neighbor is part of The Juniper Court Series. Learn more about the books and their authors on our website: www.junipercourtseries.com.
**This book is intended for mature audiences 18+
Isabelle Peterson is a Chicago suburbs girl living in Connecticut enjoying days in New York City. Her Dream Series was never intended to exist. Thanks to a couple authors who dared her to a write book (when she typically wrote screenplays), we got the book Ditching the Dream, which then evolved into the Dream Series. This first book didn’t take more than 8 months to complete the dare from rough draft to published, with several times rescuing the draft from the Deleted file.
Isabelle has brought FIVE copies of The New Neighbor to give away to five lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, February 11th at 11:59 pm ET.
- 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.
- 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.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- 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.
- Void where prohibited by law.