Today I am so pleased to welcome Brandon Witt to Joyfully Jay. Brandon has come to talk to us about Men of Myth series. He has also brought along books to give away. Please join me in giving Brandon a big welcome!

 

Thank so much to Joyfully Jay for allowing me to stop by an celebrate my re-releases this year. There are so many books that I’ve written that I love dearly and that I’m so very proud of that I can never pick a favorite.

However…

You know that meme or question or whatever… where if you had one movie, one tv series, or one album to take to a dessert island, what would it be? Well… if you changed that a bit and asked me what of my Brandon Witt writing I’d re-read over and over again, or, better yet, which of the worlds I’ve created would I dive into… it’s my Men of Myth series. Hands down, every time.

Here’s where I’m brutally honest—

This series was never well received. I mapped it all out and wrote the first book WAY before ever being published. Way before being part of the MM community. I’d never heard about gay romance, much less knew the rules, or even that there were rules. Men of Myth breaks every single one. As a result, it got a bit crucified.

Here’s what you’ll hate if you are a die-hard stickler for the ‘romance’ rules—

  • The first three books are a trilogy, with the first two ending in cliffhangers.
  • I do not guarantee every character a HEA. In fact, you’ll go through at least one huge breakup in this series.
  • I’m not monogamous, neither are many of these characters.
  • People die.
  • People are fallible, selfish, cruel. People are brave, loving, and will sacrifice themselves for others. Often, these are the same people.
  • A grown man experiences his first heartache and cries and cries and cries like a pathetic loser, and you’ll roll your eyes and say, ‘grow up, quit acting like you’re twelve.’ (In truth, this character and this experience of the breakup was autobiographical for me when I was 30, so…)
  • These books are LONG with a shit-ton of descriptive world building, fantasy, and magic. All of which is typical rough and brutal.
  • They are full of love and romance. They, I’ve learned the hard way, are NOT romances.

There, you’ve been warned. Don’t read these books.

That said, I can’t say how thrilled I am they’re back in the world again, even if no-one reads them. They are the stories, the books, the world that I want to wrap myself in.

There’s another saying you’ll hear… That writers should write the books they are dying to read but can’t find. These books are that to me. And I love them.  If you decide to ignore the warnings and give them a try, I hope you’re utterly swept away, and find a new world is disappear into.

(And if you like the behind the scenes inspiration of characters, here’s a spoiler.

Brett, is my ex, Chad, who I thought I’d marry.

Finn, is me.

Schwint, is Stephen, the man who has walked by my side and loved me for nearly  a decade.)

The first, Submerging Inferno, arrives on September 22, 2020. The rest follow, one every two weeks. Submerging, Rising, and Clashing are the cliffhanger filled trilogy. Shifting and Emerging are two stand-alone novellas written in the same world (hundreds of years before the trilogy—I still recommend reading them after).

Submerging Inferno: https://bit.ly/MenOfMythOne

As ever, thank you so, so much!

Much love, Brandon

RELEASE SCHEDULE

  • April 7-            Then the Stars Fall
  • April 21-          Imperfection of Swans
  • May 5-             Under a Sky of Ash
  • May 19-           Nachos & Hash
  • June 2-            Vodka & Handcuffs
  • June 16-          Mascara & Bandages
  • June 30-          Deeds & Confetti
  • July 14-            Mapping the Forest
  • July 28-            Braving the Rapids
  • August 11-      Son of Money
  • August 25-       The Shattered Door
  • September 8-  Second Helpings
  • September 22-Submerging Inferno
  • October 6-       Rising Frenzy
  • October 20-     Clashing Tempest
  • November 3-   Shifting Silver
  • November 11- Emerging Rebellion
  • December 1-   Short Story Collection 12/1
  • December 15- Fan Boy

Excerpt

We’re almost equals, Sonia and I. Truth be told, I’m prettier than she is, and we both know it. Pretty isn’t the right word. We’re polar opposites. She is a stunning Asian woman with curves a supermodel would envy. She dresses the part. Every eye follows her as she glides from table to table, taking orders and delivering both accelerated heart rates and food. She is the definition of femininity, and not in the “afraid to touch worms” way.

Likewise, no matter what my grandpa said, I am the quintessential male. At six feet, three inches, I tower over most men. There’s not an ounce of fat on my body, never has been. The muscles that encase every inch of me make it seem like I spend all day, every day, in the gym. Looks can be deceiving. I never work out, never have. I swim constantly, but that’s not for exercise; that’s just because I love it. I’m sure most people who know me secretly hate me. I can eat whatever I want, however much I want, and the only change that can be seen is an increase in the amount of muscle mass.

Due to my accelerated metabolism, even alcohol never affects me. The few times I intentionally set out to get drunk with friends in high school, I discovered that no matter how much I drank, I was never able to get wasted or even buzzed like everyone else.

I’m not sure where I got the genes I have. Both of my grandparents have dark hair and eyes and are tiny and sort of mousy in appearance. In all honesty, they are unattractive in almost every aspect. I saw a few pictures of my grandmother before my mom was born. While she wasn’t beautiful, she had some attractiveness about her, which she rapidly lost. I’ve only seen two pictures of my mother. One where she was a raven-haired little girl, looking extremely uncomfortable in an Easter dress. The other, she was no more than twelve or thirteen. While pictures can be deceiving, she appeared twice as gorgeous as Sonia is at nearly twenty-five years old. However, even she had dark hair and eyes, in contrast to my blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin.

Sonia always gives me a hard time about being a prude. I hardly think I deserve that title. Although, compared to Sonia’s standards… I’m an insatiable flirt, and I like sex as much as the next guy. However, it almost always comes with complications. Why didn’t I call the next day? Do I want to go out again? What do you mean you don’t want a relationship? It’s not you, it’s me… blah, blah, blah. Just makes life too complicated. Something I don’t need any more help with. I might have the slightest tendency to be moody and indecisive. Maybe. The last thing I needed or wanted was a relationship, even the illusion of one. However, after the insanity-inducing swim and the funeral from afar, I couldn’t help but think Sonia’s plan was pretty good.

Somehow Sonia managed to miss seeing me come in and take a seat in her section, allowing me to settle back and enjoy watching her work the room. Rascals was a bright, colorful, loud restaurant and bar combo, most of which opened up to the outside. Combining that with the tiki torches and the décor made it seem like every night was a party at the beach even though the beach was miles away.

When she finally saw me, her bright smile increased to brilliant as it became genuine. She waved and delivered meals to a couple more tables before she came over. “Hey! I was beginning to think you were gonna bail. It’s almost ten.”

“Yeah, sorry, Sone. I fell asleep. Just woke up twenty minutes ago.”

“Well, sweetie, you’ve had a rough day. If I were you, I probably wouldn’t wake up till next week.” Her voice already seemed strained. Between the music and everyone talking, it was loud enough you had to yell everything in order to be heard.

“You gonna make it? You’ve still got four more hours to go. Your voice sounds painful.”

“Five hours, actually.” She rolled her eyes dramatically. “Remember that new kid, Troy, we hired a couple of weeks back? Well, he came in stoned off his ass tonight. Who do you think they made fire him? And who do you think has to stay late to clean up?”

“Aw, I’m sorry. I was thinking we could watch a scary movie when you got off work.”

She shook her head and gave me a crooked grin. “No, you weren’t. I know that look in your eye. You didn’t come here for a cheeseburger.”

I dipped my head sheepishly. “You know me well. But while you’re at it, a double cheeseburger sounds great. And a Cherry Coke. Oh, make it a triple, actually, and throw on some cheese fries, ’kay?”

“You make me sick. You know that?”

“Nah, you love me.”

“Well, duh!” She waltzed over to a table on the other side of the room, somehow managing to give a smile, friendly word, or flirtatious wink to every person on the way.

Close to midnight, I finished the burger, five Cherry Cokes, and a second large order of cheese fries. Sonia hugged me good-bye, shoving the tip I left her back into my pocket, as she always did.

“Why still alone? Most of the good ones are gone already. Want me to go pick one out for ya?” She started to point openly to a table by the front door.

I jerked her arm down. “Cool it, Sone. We don’t all have to be as outwardly inviting as you are.” She threw up her hands in mock offense as I leaned closer and lowered my voice. “Eye contact’s been made. We’ll just have to see how it plays out. You picked the right one, though. Good job.”

She patted my cheek. “I know what my baby likes. Give me a second to get the check over there before you go. You don’t wanna make it where I don’t get paid, right?”

“Okay. See ya at home?”

“Of course.” She gave me one of her trademark winks. “If you make it home tonight, that is.”

I waited until I saw Sonia take the credit card receipt and a pen back to the table, then got up and walked out the door, making sure to keep my gaze straight ahead. I was already starting to regret this, even though my mind was made up. The last thing I needed was a random hookup to worry about in the morning.

I made a show of staring up at the stars on my way to the car, trying to slow my gait. My car was only a block away, and even with my stargazing, it didn’t take much time before I had put my key into the car door.

The tap on my shoulder didn’t startle me. I’d heard the footsteps following behind. I managed to make my voice sound casually surprised as I turned around. “Oh, hi.”

“Hi.” He looked down nervously, his voice wavering with insecurity. “I, uh, thought we had a moment back in the bar.” He glanced up at me, then lowered his gaze again. “Sorry if I misread you.”

He was rather adorable. I could tell he was a lot younger now that he was away from the noise and lights of Rascals. I had thought he was older than me, but now I guessed he had to be barely twenty-one. He ran a hand over his military-cut dark hair as he turned sheepishly away.

I reached out to grab his elbow faster than I meant to. More desperately. “No, no. You didn’t misread things. I thought you were cute.”

He turned back around, daring to meet my eyes this time, a shy smile breaking across his face. “You did?”

“Yeah.” I let go of his elbow, and he immediately looked doubtful again. “I’m glad you followed me.”

He raised his hands in front of his chest. “Oh, I wasn’t trying to follow you. I’m not trying to stalk you or anything crazy like that. I was just—”

I interrupted him. “I know. I didn’t mean it like that. I’m glad you’re here.”

“Oh.” He smiled again. He really was a beautiful boy. “Sorry. I’m a little nervous. I’m new at this.”

Great. Apparently, my luck at picking guys hadn’t changed in the past five months. I liked to flirt, nearly as much as Sonia, but most of the time, I’d rather let the other guy make the majority of the moves, at least in the beginning. It seemed this time was going to have to be different. “So were you wanting to get together or something?”

He might have been shocked at my bluntness, but to his credit, it didn’t scare him off. He just nodded.

“Cool. You got some place we can go?” I never bring guys back to the house, at least not those I’m only planning on seeing once.

His gaze fell to the ground again. “I… um, live with my parents.”

Kiss of death. Maybe it was that he seemed so vulnerable. Maybe it was my five months of celibacy. “Well. We could go swimming.”

He looked up at me in surprise. “Swimming?”

I offered my most innocent smile and shrugged. “Yeah. Swimming. The beach is really beautiful this time of night.”

The boy peered over his shoulder as if expecting to see his parents running down the street toward us. “Won’t the water be cold?”

“Nah, not with me there.”

He just nodded.

I motioned to the passenger side of the car. “Get in.”

He only hesitated a moment. At first I thought he was going to change his mind, do the smart thing. His gaze roamed over my shoulders and up to my lips before he dashed to the other door.

He didn’t say anything all the way to the beach. I put my hand on his knee, and that seemed to calm his nerves. Even so, I was fairly certain he was trembling the entire way. By the time I turned off the car and slid my keys under the visor, he had managed to stop sounding like he was going to hyperventilate.

A warm breeze met us as we got out of the car and started walking toward the beach. It was an unusually clear night, and stars filled the sky. I couldn’t have planned it better if I had been trying.

We stopped a few yards from the shore. His voice sounded shaky again. “There’s nobody else here.”

“That’s the idea. That okay?”

His tongue darted out and licked his lips. It was too dark to see his eyes. “Yeah. I guess so.”

I tried to make my voice sound soothing. I don’t think I succeeded. “I won’t hurt you. We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

He just nodded. I took a few more steps toward the incoming surf, then turned back around when I realized he wasn’t following. “You coming?”

His hands were shoved deep into his cargo shorts, making him appear even younger. “Where are we going?”

“Well, we came for a swim. I’m going to the water.”

“I didn’t bring any trunks.”

I hated having to do this much work. “Me neither.”

I turned away from him and started to walk toward the ocean. I kicked off my flip-flops, pulled my shirt over my head, and dropped it to the ground. The moon was behind us, and I knew it was lighting up my back. I couldn’t help but feel pleasure knowing he was watching me. A few feet from the reach of the waves, I let my pants fall. I stepped out of them and kept walking without turning back to him. As soon as my toes slid beneath the water, I felt all the emotions of the day start to drain out of me. I kept going until the water was just above the tops of my thighs. I turned to face him, crossing my arms in front of my chest.

He was still where I had left him. He waited a few moments before finally taking tentative steps in my direction. He had almost made it to the edge of the water before he stopped to slip off his shoes and shirt.

“Are you sure it’s safe out there?”

I thought I heard his voice catch. “Yeah. Trust me.” I let my arms fall to my side and dipped my fingertips into the water.

He glanced around before finally sliding his shorts over his hips and stepping out of them. I couldn’t see his features with the moon behind him, but his silhouette looked skinnier than I was expecting.

He gasped and jumped back like a little kid when the waves hit his feet. “It’s freezing!”

“You can do it. It’s not cold out here.”

To my surprise, he only hesitated a second or so before he launched himself toward me. He made it a couple of steps before falling and disappearing below the surface.

I started to move forward, but he came up, sputtering and gasping. He stood there in shock, the gentle waves lapping just above his knees.

With a sigh, I closed the distance between us and put my hands on his arms. “You okay?”

I could hear his teeth chatter. I took a step closer, and when he didn’t draw away, I wrapped my arms around his back.

“Oh, it’s weird.” He sounded more himself. “The water almost feels warm now.”

“Told ya.” Although he was thin, I was pleased by how firm he was. I let my hands fall across the smooth muscles of his back and gradually came to a stop below his waist, resting on the curve of his ass.

“Wow.” He traced his right hand reverently across my chest. From the feel of him against me, he wasn’t cold any longer.

We stood there for several minutes, our hands exploring and breaths quickening.

When his fingers moved from running across my chest hair to following the path below my belly button, I took his hand and pulled him toward the shore.

We made it nearly out of the water before I fell on top of him in the sand. The waves caressed our ankles. He pulled me down to him, our stomachs slick against each other. My mouth met his. His lips were warm, and I could faintly taste the beer he’d had at dinner. As I slipped my tongue into his mouth, I let myself get lost in the sensations, the feel of him lightly throbbing against me, his fingers sliding over the curve of my ass, the embrace of the waves as they traveled up to our hips.

I pushed away the doubt. It didn’t matter if I would regret this later. His back arched, pushing his body closer. My worries about Grandma being alone dissipated as I sank my tongue deeper into his mouth. All I felt was his skin, the water steaming around us, the pressure of my hips on his. The feel of him writhing against me.

It took several seconds for the sounds to register, for them to break through the trance of the moment. It wasn’t until I felt his teeth clamp around my tongue that I realized something was wrong.

With a flash of anger, I yanked my head back from the pain. He was pounding his fists on my chest. His face was bluish gray, his eyes bulging, nearly rolling back into his skull. His body convulsed as he gasped, trying desperately to suck in air. I threw myself off him and rolled him over onto his side toward me. His skin seemed on fire. When I lifted my hand from his arm, it left a white indentation, which quickly flushed to a pink, then to a scalding red that matched the skin around it.

His choking gave way to a flood of seawater rushing out of his mouth. Every convulsion brought with it a new gush of fluid. Again and again his body caved in on itself, a never-ending torrent emptying from him. I watched in stunned terror as his body finally slowed and came to rest. I reached out and touched my fingers to his throat, afraid he was dead. He screamed in agony as I felt for his pulse. He managed to jerk himself backward.

“Get the fuck away from me!” His raspy voice sounded like his throat had been torn to pieces. “What the hell are you trying to do to me?” As he scurried backward on his elbows, I could see that blisters were starting to form all over his body—even as some of them were ripped open by the sand and began to ooze.

I reached out toward him and started to move closer but stopped when his frenzy increased, the pitch of his hysteria hurting my ears.

“Stay the fuck away, you psycho! Trying to drown me! Fuck!” He winced as he raked himself over the sand. He glanced down at his skin, just now taking in the welts forming over him. He looked up at me, the fury in his eyes replaced by fear. “What did you do? What the fuck are you?”

I leaned closer to him. “I’m sorry. I don’t… I don’t know what happened. Here, let me—”

“Stay the fuck away!”

I started to stand so I could go over to him.

“Get away!” His screaming was unbearable. “Go away!”

I hesitated, uncertain. Then ran.


Blurb

Brett Wright and Finn de Morisco come from vastly different worlds. Disowned by his family for being gay, Brett builds both a life on his own terms and walls around his heart. But nothing can prepare him for the evil that stalks him in the night or from discovering the dark secrets of his heritage.

The youngest of a doting family, Finn lives a sheltered life that allows him to trust easily and makes him quick to jump to the rescue. While using his knowledge of the supernatural world to help Brett uncover the truth of his ancestry, Finn learns neither his magical life nor falling in love is as simple and risk-free as he believed.

New knowledge comes with a price—one that may prove too high for them to pay.


Bio

Brandon Witt received his roots in the Ozark, grew wings in Denver, and is learning to fly in New Orleans. When not snuggled on the couch with his two dogs and his partner, Stephen, he is more than likely in front of his computer, nose inches from the screen, fingers pounding the keys.


Giveaway

Three winners can choose a book from any of Brandon’s pen names (Brandon Witt, Rosalind Abel, or Mildred Abbott). Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday, September 23rd 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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