Today I am so pleased to welcome Jay Bell to Joyfully Jay. Jay has come to talk to us about his latest release, Something Like Stories: Volume Three. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Jay a big welcome!

 

I once saw Ozzy Osbourne drunk and slumped over a table. This was back in the early nineties. Ozzy was signing autographs at a Best Buy somewhere in Kansas, when conscious enough to do so. My best friend dragged me there to see him, which we only managed from a distance, because the place was packed. Why? It was his final tour—the last time anyone would have a chance to see the man perform live! As you can probably guess, Ozzy would tour again. He’s still touring, even though he announced—yet again—that his final tour would be last year. He’s not the first artist to repeatedly announce the end, only to continue on.

Why does this happen? I always assumed it was a need for money until recent events made me think otherwise. Over two years ago, I announced the end of the Something Like… series. My precious baby had run its course and it was time to let go. So I did, even though it nearly broke my heart. I consoled myself on occasion by writing little stories to share with the hardcore fans, who like me, were eager for any excuse to revisit their old friends again. This continued until the stories weren’t so little anymore, and well, Something Like Stories: Volume Three is the result. Eighteen stories, one-hundred and sixty thousand words, and the final book in a series of twelve. I mean it this time. The feeling is different. I’m not clutching my chest in emotional pain. Instead I feel like I’ve given the characters the best send-off possible. As cheesy as it might sound, I am at peace.

There’s always the chance that, like so many artists before me, I’ll rest and recoup only to discover that I’m not actually finished. I’d be surprised though. I feel like I achieved my goal with this series. I managed to depict the lives of queer people in a way that is optimistic without pulling any punches. Perhaps most important of all, because the story is authentic, it can help those who are going through the same struggles as the characters, promising that they too can find happiness further down the road. I wish I had that when growing up. With one exception, I only had access to what straight people perceived my kind to be, and that did more damage than good, no matter the intention. So I hope that this series will continue to be a big rainbow beacon of hope for those who are feeling lost. Not driving it into the ground with endless releases seems the best way of ensuring that.

I realize that, while I am saying goodbye, many of you might not be familiar with the books at all. Or maybe you started the series some years ago and never finished. If so, no problem! I’m here to give away three copies of any installment from the series. You can choose eBook, paperback, or audiobook. Up to you! Cast your eyes down the long list of titles, and if one of them catches your eye, toss your name in the hat. This might just be your lucky day!

Each Something Like… book follows the life of a different character, usually from the end of high school and well into their adult lives. While the series doesn’t shy away from sexual content, it also focuses deeply on emotion, resulting in an experience that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.

The Something Like… series:

01: Something Like Summer
02: Something Like Autumn
03: Something Like Winter
04: Something Like Spring
05: Something Like Lightning
06: Something Like Thunder
07: Something Like Stories – Volume One
08: Something Like Hail
09: Something Like Rain
10: Something Like Stories – Volume Two
11: Something Like Forever
12: Something Like Stories – Volume Three


Blurb

Embark on a final trip through the Something Like… universe with this special collection of stories that promises heartwarming reunions and gut-wrenching closure.

Something Like Stars playfully explores what would happen if a movie was made about Ben’s love for Tim and Jace. Harold attempts to befriend Noah and Felix in Something Like Us, causing unrequited feelings to challenge their relationship. Marcello prepares for the inevitable while revealing secrets from his past in Something Like Goodbye. And in Something Like Heaven, Ben must decide once and for all who his heart—and his future—belongs to.

Eighteen stories await you, some short and sweet, others lengthy and dramatic, all of them emotional. Say farewell to old friends in this ultimate epilogue to the Something Like… series!


Bio

Jay Bell led a quiet life in Kansas until the day he met a handsome foreign exchange student who swept him off his feet and carried him all the way to Germany. Much to their delight, marriage awaited them when they got there. While living so distant from friends and family, Jay began writing in an effort to reconcile the mixture of devotion and alienation he felt. This resulted in a Lambda Literary Award and a film option for his best-selling novel Something Like Summer. Jay and his family have since relocated to Chicago where their adventures continue, as do those of the characters in their emotionally driven Something Like… series. Jay pens the stories and his husband provides the cover art, making them books about love, forged by love.


Giveaway

Jay has brought a copy of any Something Like… book, any format (eBook, paperback, audio book) to give away to three lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, June 2nd 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.
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