Today I am so pleased to welcome Felice Stevens to Joyfully Jay. Felice has come to talk to us about her latest release, Frankie—Unforgettable. She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I thought it might be interesting for you to know the background history of the Man Up series. When I first delved into the writing world I met many authors on line and became friendly with some. One of them, Sandra Owens became a very close friend. She writes MF, romantic suspense and contemporary romance. She and I were chatting and we thought it would be fun to co-wrote a series one day. We went back and forth about what might be interesting and came up with the idea of male strippers.
We each thought to take a character and write his story. Mine was supposed to be a guy who didn’t get along with his father and after getting kicked out, got drunk at his best friends bachelor party. He jumped on stage to dance with the strippers and decided it was an easy way to make lots of money. His costume would be a man in a black cape, like Zorro.
We wanted a fireman, a cowboy and I can’t remember who else. But we had fun with the costumes for sure. One guy had fluorescent pink condoms all over his body leotard.
I did some research on strip clubs in New York and we came up with the name, Man Up. That was fun research I will admit! :-;
Now around the same time as Sandy and I were thinking about Man Up, I started writing Rescued, my first book, and while Sandy and I shelved the idea of the series, it always remained in my mind. Earlier this year, for some reason, the idea for the Man Up series popped into my head again and I contacted Sandy, asking her if she wouldn’t mind me reviving the idea of Man Up but for MM romance. She laughed at me and asked “What took you so long?”
I’d had the idea in my head of writing a book about Austin, who appeared briefly at the end of Second to None as Tyler’s flighty dance instructor. I even had people sending me photos of guys they thought looked like Austin. It’s always fun, to see readers ideas vs. what I had in mind when I wrote the character. But pictures or not, for a year, Austin didn’t speak to me.
Worlds collided when Austin’s story popped into my head the same time as the idea for using the old Man Up series arose and I finally had my premise for the new Man Up series. I borrowed the idea for Zorro-who was reincarnated as the mysterious Tristan-but have yet to have that man speak to me. Austin had no gimmick, Cort was the cowboy and Frankie, the King of the Club, danced with his crown.
I loved writing Frankie’s story-it embodies the elements of family relationships, friend dynamics and struggle, but most of all it’s a love so necessary and deep-seated to the characters they risk everything to make it work. Frankie and Aaron go through such a profound change in their story I, as their creator, almost didn’t recognize them from where they began And Frankie certainly changed from the flighty dancer boy in the first book, Austin.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the history of the series and you enjoy the books!
No one understands why I love him.
Why I need him.
Why I took him back.
But they don’t have to.
Despite the hurt and the heartache, I see beneath his skin.
And I’m different now.
No more Flirty Frankie. I’m done with being King of the club.
My dreams have changed, and so have I.
I believe in myself.
And I’m a hell of a lot smarter than a year ago.
Now it’s his turn to show me the man he really is.
To prove it.
I’ve always loved him.
But that’s not enough.
I need to learn to trust him.
No more excuses.
No more chances.
I make this right or lose him for good.
I have to do this.
No one has ever believed in me but him.
No one has ever wanted me but him.
I can’t let him down.
I can’t let myself down.
I’m trying, but it’s so damn hard.
No matter what they throw at me, I’m stronger.
And I’m going to make it.
I’m on my way.
With Frankie by my side.
I can see the future.
I have a future.
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
Felice has brought a copy of Frankie — Unforgettable to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, June 23rd at 11:59 pm ET.
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