Today I am so pleased to welcome Lisa Henry to Joyfully Jay. Lisa has come to talk to us about her latest release, Because of Ben. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Ben slid into his seat.

“Here.” Dion passed his phone across the table to Rachel. “His band is called Static.”

Rachel’s nose wrinkled as she held the phone so Ben could see it too. The volume on the phone was off, so all he could see were flashing strobe lights as the music video played. The man from the dining room was hanging off a microphone stand. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and Ben felt a strange thrill as he saw the man’s nipple piercings. He’d thought that’s what they were at breakfast! In the video clip the man was moving his hips sinuously. His dark hair was tousled and messy, and his eyes were circled with smudged black eyeliner. He had tattoos on his sweaty chest and arms, and when he lifted his arm, a thatch of dark matted hair in his pit matched the trail that led from his bellybutton into his tighter-than-tight jeans. Even without the volume, Ben could feel the intensity of the beat just by the way the man moved. There was something blatantly carnal about it, and Ben felt his face heating as the man straddled the microphone stand and thrust his bulging groin against it.

How could anyone act like that with a microphone stand? Like it was something sexual? He would have been horrified to do something like that, let alone on video where anyone could see it. Rachel’s roommate had a sign up in their room that said, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” but he didn’t think that was what it meant. The man’s dance wasn’t joyful—it was obscene— but he couldn’t pull his gaze from the way his hips moved.

“Oh, wow.” Rachel hit the button to make the screen go black. “That’s definitely the same guy.”

“Marco Chase,” Dion said. “He’s the lead singer.”

“Is he…is he famous?” Ben asked.

“Uh, yeah.” Dion hid a laugh. “Yeah, he’s really famous.”

“Oh.” Ben flushed again. He’d been homeschooled until college, and he still sometimes got embarrassed by not knowing the same things that most his college friends did.

“I mean, not that I’ve ever listened to his music.” Dion darted a worried glance in Rachel’s direction.

“It doesn’t matter if you have,” Rachel said with a bright smile. “Which ones are your favorites?”

“Oh. Um, no, I haven’t.” Dion blushed to the roots of his sandy blond hair.

Ben was pretty sure he was lying, but he decided to save him from his embarrassment. “Who’s the keynote speaker this morning?”

“Oh.” Rachel reached for her information packet. “Dr. Alderson. It’s Principles of the Ecumenical Movement.”

Dion made a face, and Ben hid a smile.

“I’m sure it will be very interesting,” Rachel said, but her eyes danced.

Their table was full of liars this morning, and Ben worried that he was the worst of them. He looked down at Dion’s phone and saw his own wide-eyed reflection staring back at him from the black screen. He wanted to watch the video again, to see what it was that scared him about it. He’d seen people dance before, but never like that. Marco Chase didn’t move like he was trying to seduce his audience—he moved like he was already in bed with them.

If Ben had been holding another glass of orange juice, he would have tipped this one down his front too. Just by witnessing the way the man had licked his lips at breakfast, Ben’s entire body had suddenly overheated, his skin had felt three sizes too small, and the blood had roared in his skull like a thundering river. How in that instant—at least before the cold juice had literally put a dampener on everything—he had wanted. All his wants in the past had been strange, nebulous things, shameful lusts and desires born in the darkness of his bedroom and exorcised there too, eyes squeezed shut as his hand worked under the blankets. But today, in a sunlit hotel dining room, while all around him people chatted over breakfast, he’d been struck with a bolt of want deeper than any he’d ever felt before.


because of ben coverStar Crossed, Book 2

Marco Chase is the lead singer for Static, one of the world’s most famous and successful rock bands. Marco’s bad boy rock star image isn’t just one he’s cultivated for his fans—it’s Marco all over. Marco’s past is full of one night stands, bad decisions, and blackouts. Marco never saw a cage he didn’t want to rattle—and from the moment he lays eyes on him, he really wants to rattle sweet, innocent Ben Selden’s cage.

Ben Selden comes from a fundamentalist Baptist family. Ben is struggling under the weight of knowing that he’s gay, and a lifetime’s teachings that tell him that his God will condemn him, and his family reject him, if they ever find out. With a future he doesn’t want already mapped out for him, Ben’s at a breaking point when he meets Marco.

Marco’s teasing, flirting, and obvious interest awakens a hunger in Ben, and he knows this might be his only chance to act on his attraction to a man—if he’s brave enough to risk his future, and his family, to take it. He doesn’t expect Marco to be his savior, but maybe a savior isn’t what Ben needs—maybe he just needs someone to believe in him enough that he’s willing to save himself.

Because of Ben is the second book in the Star Crossed series, where regular guys meet famous ones, and sparks fly.


lisa henry avatarLisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

To connect with Lisa on social media, you can find her here:

She also has a Facebook group where you’ll be kept in the loop with updates on releases, have a chance to win prizes, and probably see lots of lots of pictures of her dog and cats. You can find it here: Lisa Henry’s Hangout.


To celebrate the release of Because of Ben, Lisa is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post