Today I am so pleased to welcome Mere Rain to Joyfully Jay. Mere has come to talk to us about Until We Sort This Out. Mere has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!
Thanks for having me, Jay!
I’m really excited about my new fake-relationship romance, Until We Sort This Out.
Well, I’m excited about every release, haha. I love writing and I love sharing my stories and hoping that they make someone somewhere feel better — but I’m especially excited about this one, first because it’s longer than the short stories I’d mostly been writing last year, and because I got great feedback from beta readers and did lots of revision to improve the book. I find the more time I spend with characters the more attached to them I become. I’d initially intended for Cato to be kind of annoying, but by the time I finished writing his story, I liked him just as much as his sensible pretend fiancé, Roy! So far readers seem to have liked him, too. I hope you will as well!
“Okay.” Cato whispered. He was still pale.
“Hey.” Roy caught his arm. “This all sucks, but we’ll get everything figured out. Your sister will be fine.”
“Do you really think so?” Cato’s eyes were wide and imploring.
Like he trusted Roy and would believe whatever he said.
You’re his RA. That’s the only reason. “Yes, of course I do. I’ll stay until you get things sorted with your sister.”
Cato clutched his shirt. “But you have class in the morning!”
“It’s Friday, Cato.”
“Which unfortunately means no paperwork is getting processed until Monday. But we’ll get in touch with your mom and sister, and clean the house. Do you want to call your grandparents?”
Cato chewed his lip. “Not yet. I’ll see whether my mom thinks I should. They’re pretty bossy.”
“And you hate bossy.”
Roy chuckled. “Honesty over tact, huh?”
“What?” Cato stared in confusion. “Oh! I didn’t mean you. You’re not bossy.”
Roy laughed. “Since when?”
“Always. If you were bossy you’d have made me stop being such a brat.”
“Oh, I would have?” Roy grinned. “What do you hate about me, then?”
Cato blinked. “Nothing. I don’t hate you. Do, uh, do you hate me?”
“Of course I don’t hate you, Cato. An RA isn’t allowed to hate residents. Also, you may have noticed that I just spent the afternoon cleaning your house and being your fiancé.”
“Oh, right.” Cato looked up at the ceiling. “It figures my best boyfriend ever would be the fake one.”
“Hey,” Roy said, tugging Cato’s head down for eye contact. “First of all, you’re twenty and you have years to get dating right. Secondly, you’ve never had a boyfriend.”
“Hey! You don’t know that!”
“We’ve lived in the same dorm since we started college, Cato. I’d have heard if you had a boyfriend.”
“I had Todd!”
“Todd was cheating with you while his girlfriend was out with mono. That doesn’t make him your boyfriend.”
Cato scowled, looking like a petulant toddler. “He told me she wasn’t coming back. I wouldn’t have cheated on purpose.”
Roy put an arm around him and patted the back of his head. “Okay.”
“You believe me, right?”
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I?”
“You don’t usually believe me.”
“That’s because you’re usually telling me ridiculous lies.”
“The one about the squirrel jumping in my window with the joint wasn’t that ridiculous. Squirrels steal stuff.”
“You’re ridiculous,” Roy told Cato affectionately.
Cato and Roy have lived in the same dorm all through college. They know each other, but they’re not quite friends. Roy is hard-working and responsible. Cato likes parties, pranks, and skipping class. Now, in their junior year, Roy is the dorm RA and is supposed to keep everyone else out of trouble. Half his job seems to be telling Cato to be quiet.
When Cato is faced with a family emergency, Roy is the first to offer to help. And when a social worker is reluctant to assign Cato custody of his minor sister, Roy finds himself claiming to be Cato’s fiancé. It’s a harmless lie, but as the bureaucratic process unfolds, Roy and Cato realize they’ll have to keep up the pretense of being a couple for a while.
Roy thinks they can be convincing.
Cato isn’t sure he’s still pretending.
Mere Rain writes romance and speculative fiction with queer characters. The subgenres vary, but the positivity is a constant! Mere’s previous release was a slightly-scary Halloween haunted house romance, Tricks with Cats and Dogs. What’s coming next? That’s a surprise, but expect a higher heat level. Follow Mere Rain on Facebook or Twitter to hear about new releases, or just chat.
Mere has brought a copy of Until We Sort This Out to give away to one lucky reader (or Mere’s Christmas romance, Nice and Vicious, to those who already have Until We Sort This Out). Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, January 27th at 11:59 pm ET.
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