Today I am so pleased to welcome G.R. Lyons to Joyfully Jay. G.R. has come to talk to us about Ice On Fire (Treble and the Lost Boys #1). G.R. has also brought along and exclusive excerpt and a giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!
Here Comes Treble
After releasing the Matchmakers trilogy in 2016, I was itching to write and release another m/m story. With so many other works-in-progress, it took me a lot longer to get around to them than I wanted, but we’re finally here. The Treble and the Lost Boys trilogy is a set of three connected m/m romances set in my fictional world of the Shifting Isles. The stories feature the three musicians in a classical fusion band, Treble, and the three “lost boys” they rescue.
With this trilogy, I wanted to write stories of opposites attract, and I also wanted them to be a bit more raw and dark than anything I’d written before.
We begin with Ice on Fire, featuring Zac Cinder, who is a guitarist, a violinist, a college student, and one of eight kids. He meets Adrian Frost, an only child with extreme social anxiety issues. Adrian deals with his mental health by way of medication as well as self-harm, and thinks there’s no way he’ll ever be able to have a relationship, until Zac convinces him otherwise. Zac is very energetic and social while Adrian would prefer to hide out in isolation.
In August, I’ll be releasing the second book in the trilogy, Heavens Aground. That story will feature Ryley Skye, one of Zac’s bandmates. Ryley is a forensic specialist for an insurance company, mostly dealing with crime scenes and dead bodies. Despite the gravity of his career, Ryley can’t take anything seriously. Until he accidentally harms someone close to him and finally has to face the demons he’s been avoiding all his life.
And in December, the trilogy will wrap up with Illumined Shadows, featuring the third Treble member, Vic Lucius. Vic works at the same insurance company as Ryley, but Vic’s specialty is in tracking down and rescuing kids who have either been disowned from their families or kidnapped. He’s driven by trying to make up for the biggest mistake of his life, and in doing so, he manages to find and save a boy who has the darkest case of his career.
The stories will deal with issues such as infidelity, murder, and severe trauma, but all will have happy endings.
For now, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Ice on Fire, introducing our lost boy, Adrian, and his anxiety issues—as well as how he deals with them.
CLUTCHING HIS books to his chest, Adrian stepped out of the bookstore and slipped on his sunglasses, ducking his head as he hurried away from campus.
He sucked in a breath, held it for a moment, then let it out shakily, never slowing his pace as he crossed the street and headed back toward his apartment on foot. At least the bookstore hadn’t been too busy when he’d arrived. Now if he could just make it back home through the crowds…
Adrian took another deep breath, trying to focus on just putting one foot in front of the other rather than thinking about all the other people around him. He’d done alright in the bookstore, until he felt someone come up behind him.
Then it had been all he could do not to run out of there.
It was even worse when he finally grabbed his books and turned to leave. He only caught a glimpse of the guy who stood in line behind him, but it was enough. Too much. The long, dark hair violently streaked with bright red, as well as the studded and torn black clothes and accessories, just screamed trouble. The guy must have been one of those goth, punk types who always harassed Adrian and called him names as he walked across campus.
Having one stand so close was just too much for his nerves.
Thank gods the guy hadn’t said anything. With only one anti-anxiety pill in his system, Adrian knew he wouldn’t have been able to handle any face-to-face taunts like that kind of guy typically threw at him.
Safely back in his apartment, Adrian shut and locked the door, then leaned back against it with a sigh. He took a moment to compose himself, then crossed the main room, set his new textbooks on his desk, and kicked off his shoes, trying to get comfortable.
What he really needed was a distraction, something to take his mind off the anxiety. His thoughts immediately turned to the violinist, and Adrian felt the anxiety melt away as he closed his eyes and pictured the beautiful young man up on that stage at Underground: that sexy body merely hinted at beneath the dress clothes, the long, dark braid, the passionate expression.
Gods, what Adrian would give to put that look on that man’s face. Up close and in private.
But that would never happen. Adrian let out a sigh. There was no way he could ever get close enough to any man—let alone his gorgeous fantasy—to be able to experience that blissful connection for himself.
Maybe if he ever managed to endure a simple hookup, but–
No. That was one thing he’d never survive. Too many pills would be necessary to get him into a nightclub, and that would mean a guaranteed inability to achieve an erection.
Adrian glanced up at a decorative mirror that hung on the wall, something his father’s interior designer had put up and Adrian was constantly tempted to throw out. He cringed at his reflection. He was handsome enough, he supposed, but it took more than that to gain someone’s interest.
Adrian Frost, perpetual virgin.
Not that there was much he could do about it. Either the crippling anxiety or the arousal-dampening meds would constantly stop him from ever getting close to anyone.
But it certainly couldn’t stop him from wishing. Dreaming. Craving.
Adrian closed his eyes as a groan escaped him. He could easily picture it: the violinist naked, tied up, and begging while Adrian indulged the needs of his own touch-starved body.
“Fuck,” Adrian breathed. If only.
Feeling his cock harden at the mere thought of having that man on display before him, Adrian reached for the button on his slacks and yanked it open. He got the zipper halfway down when his phone rang.
“Fuck,” he spat.
Adrian squeezed his eyes shut, fighting off arousal while he dug his mobile out of his pocket and answered without looking.
He only ever had one caller, after all.
“Your books are cheaper this term,” his father said without so much as a greeting. “Are you sure you got them all?”
Clenching his jaw, Adrian answered, “Yes, sir.”
“I wouldn’t want you going into class unprepared.”
“I got them all, sir,” Adrian assured his father, pressing the heel of his hand against his crotch while he tried to force his fantasies out of his head.
“And how does the material look?”
Adrian opened his eyes and stared blankly at the wall, just managing to stop himself from letting out a curse. For the gods’ sakes, he’d only just gotten back from the bookstore.
“I haven’t had a chance to look them over yet. Sir,” he quickly added.
“You will be doing so now, I take it.”
Not a question. Never a fucking question with him. Arousal fully gone, Adrian sank to the floor and leaned back against the wall.
“Yes, sir,” he mumbled.
“What was that?”
“I said, yes, sir,” Adrian repeated in a firmer voice.
“Very well. By the way, the company is having its annual gala next week. I don’t suppose I can count on you to find a suitable date by then.”
Adrian cringed. He was half-tempted to blurt out that he was gay, just to save himself from this conversation, but he could only imagine how all seven hells would break loose if Sebastian Frost ever discovered that little detail about his only son’s identity.
And a ‘suitable’ date would most certainly mean a woman. Though, not just any woman. A woman with enough poise and class to be seen on the arm of the son of the great Sebastian Frost.
When Adrian hesitated to answer, his father let out a sigh. “Never mind. I shall handle it. As usual.” He paused. “Perhaps we should reconsider the option to alter your medication.”
Adrian froze, his heart thudding in his chest. He’d tried different drugs before, and they had turned him into something like a robot, unable to feel any emotion whatsoever. Somehow, that was worse than the ever-present nerves, stripping him of part of his humanity. Of course, talk of his medication inevitably led to–
“Or perhaps it is time to try some other…methods.”
Adrian squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his free hand into a fist, sucking in a breath and holding it while his heart galloped away, the nightmare of the psych ward, invasive counseling sessions, and shock therapy coming back to haunt him.
He gasped out a breath. “Father,” he begged, then sucked in another breath and held it, unable to speak, his entire body breaking out in a cold sweat and shaking uncontrollably.
“I haven’t time to discuss this now,” Sebastian Frost said. “I shall arrange your date for the gala, and I expect you to attend. Black tie, of course. I shall send the car for you.” He paused. “But we will continue this discussion at another time.”
Adrian couldn’t reply. Couldn’t even breathe.
“Now I must go to a meeting. Be sure to get a start on your studies today.”
His father rang off without saying goodbye.
Still shaking, Adrian forced his fingers to loosen just enough to drop his phone, then he scrambled up onto his hands and knees and raced for the washroom. Hyperventilating, Adrian threw open the washroom door, darted inside, and started yanking open drawers and cabinets, searching frantically as he tried to remember where he’d last hidden his razor.
He had to constantly change the hiding place so neither his father nor the maids would ever find it. In his panicked state, Adrian couldn’t remember where he’d last put it.
A sharp pain startled him out of his panic just long enough to realize he’d found the razor. Adrian drew his hand back, and felt a momentary relief at the sight of a single drop of blood oozing its way out of the pad of his middle finger, then snatched up the razor, dropped it on the floor beside himself, and ripped his pants open before shoving them down to his knees.
Leaning back against the wall, Adrian picked up the razor, pressed the blade to the inside of his left thigh, and dragged it across his skin.
He gasped with relief as a red line appeared. Taking in a deep breath, Adrian did it again, harder this time, making a deeper cut next to the first. Then another, and another, cutting deeper every time until the blood ran down his leg and dripped onto the floor beneath him.
Trembling all over, Adrian dropped the razor and watched as the blood oozed from his skin, feeling all the pain and fear fade away along with it.
Zac Cinder is on the verge of making his dream come true. His punk rock band, Inferno, might have a shot at an audition for a record deal. Fame and fortune would mean he could finally help his parents. They’d raised eight kids in a loving household while barely scraping by, so Zac is determined to give back in any way he can.
Keeping Inferno together, though, means keeping his biggest secret. His bigoted bandmates would drop him in an instant if they found out Zac was gay.
Then he meets Adrian Frost, and Zac can’t resist the shy man. Adrian gives up everything to be with Zac, but Zac can’t bring himself to do the same. He doesn’t want to lose Adrian, but he can’t give up Inferno, either. Not when he’s so close to realizing his dream.
When one cruel decision rips Adrian from his life, Zac will have to decide if ambition is worth the price of the greatest happiness he’s ever known.
(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)
WARNING: Contains scenes of self-harm that may be disturbing for some readers.
While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.
Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.
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