Today I am so pleased to welcome DJ Jamison to Joyfully Jay. DJ has come to talk to us about her latest release, Surprise Groom (Marital Bliss #1). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Faking it isn’t easy: Adventures in writing to trope
When I came up with the idea to write an entire series with marriage tropes, I thought: This is going to be so much fun! And I am super excited at the great response I’ve had from advance readers of Surprise Groom, my new release and Book 1 of a series called Marital Bliss. This first release in the series is a marriage contract story, with a good dose of fake relationship tossed in as my two main characters, Caleb and Julien, have to convince people their engagement and upcoming marriage are legit.
As it turns out, though, faking it wasn’t easy. With a fake relationship book, you’ve got a lot of themes to tackle. You’ve got the crazy premise: Why do these people need to fake it, and how can I give it an original spin? You’ve got, in some cases, an outlandish plot and obstacles to overcome as part of that premise. And then there’s the relationships … two of them. You have the fake relationship, the pressure of keeping up appearances and the rushed intimacy that comes with that. And you’ve also got the real relationship — which could be anything from enemies to friends to secretly pining admirers — that happens behind closed doors when your characters don’t have to pretend. If you do it right, they’ll start pining at some point, and the line between fake and real will blur, and that’s when all the heart fluttering starts, right?
I enjoy a good fake boyfriend romance. I’ve read several, of course. But I’d never written one before, and I was not in any way prepared for the challenge that awaited me! I wrote and rewrote and rewrote again. Anyone who follows me on Facebook probably saw my angsty posts about how many revisions I was doing. At times, I wondered if I could really pull it off. And all the while, I’m thinking in the back of my mind, this is just BOOK ONE!!! I have three more of these babies to write.
Thankfully, I did finish the book, and after feedback from beta readers, proofers, and ARC readers, I’ve gotten some confidence back. I’ve already started writing the second book, a full-on Fake Husband book. Let me tell you now: Fake Husband? Little bit trickier than fake boyfriend. But hey… that’s how I roll. I like to take tropes, twist them into more complicated versions, and then torture myself.
I sincerely hope you enjoy my masochistic tendencies at work in Surprise Groom. Despite the many challenges while writing it, I’m proud of the outcome. I think Caleb and Julien might be one of my most beloved couples yet.
Can two men fake their way to marital bliss?
Caleb Taylor is shocked to learn his family could lose Bliss Island Resort — their home and livelihood — unless he makes use of a clause to marry the child of investor Louis Chastain. Sofia Chastain is more like a sister than a love interest, and Caleb isn’t ready to sign over his future. But Sofia has a brother, and Caleb has a plan …
Julien Chastain was disowned at fifteen and has made a life as a go-go dancer in Miami, but he lives paycheck to paycheck. When his childhood friend proposes an outlandish marriage contract, he thinks he’s crazy. But it’s a chance at a future that’s tough to pass up.
Caleb and Julien must present themselves as an authentic couple for the legal loophole to work, but the lines between “fake” and “real” keep shifting as they navigate intimacy, public scrutiny, and sabotage.
Love isn’t part of the plan, but plans change. If they can outsmart Julien’s father and prove their love is worth more than a transaction, they just might find a true happily-ever-after.
DJ Jamison is the author of more than a dozen m/m romances, including the Ashe Sentinel series and the Hearts and Health series. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that, and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, two fish and, regrettably, one snake.
DJ has brought a $15 Amazon gift to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
- 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. In order to facilitate prize distribution, the winner name’s and email may be provided to a third party awarding the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Void where prohibited by law.