Today I am so pleased to welcome Dawn Cutler-Tran to Joyfully Jay. Dawn has come to talk to us about their latest release, They Were Roommates. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Dawn a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

Diego pulled out his laptop and began reading through his notes. Almost a full hour elapsed with neither of them saying anything. Diego should have known something was off because Frankie typically interrupted them every five to ten minutes with random thoughts and commentary. He glanced up and saw Frankie gazing off into space with a surprisingly open expression on his face. While Frankie was unabashedly the class clown and the life of every party, there was something closed off about him, or at least Diego thought so. Frankie never seemed to show his true self to any one person, instead revealing bits and pieces to different people. Diego had been lucky enough to be around him in a few different settings, so he’d gotten to know a few sides of him. Still Diego wondered how much more there was to this handsome man. 

¿Estás soñando despierto?” Diego asked on instinct, nudging Frankie lightly with his toes. 

Frankie glanced over in surprise. His expression clued Diego in that he’d spoken in Spanish. 

“Do you speak fluent Spanish?” Frankie asked before Diego could translate. 

“I do. Mostly just back when I lived at home, but I have a few friends I see on occasion who also speak fluently, and we tend to lapse into a bit of Spanglish when we’re together. I spent some time with them over winter break, so I guess it’s still top of mind.” 

Frankie cocked his head. “Would you teach me?” 

Diego smirked. “Do you think you could sit still long enough to learn?” 

Frankie grimaced and looked away. “Probably not. But you can at least teach me what you just said?” 

Diego made a conscious effort to lighten his tone. He seemed to be hitting Frankie’s buttons in a bad way tonight. “Estás means—” 

“Sorry, I should have specified. I was in a French immersion program all through grade school, so I know about ‘to be’ verbs, conjugations, gender, past participle and all that jazz. I just don’t know a lot of Spanish vocab.” 

Diego paused. He had no idea Frankie spoke French. Had he taken it in college too? Diego had never thought to ask about Frankie’s other classes. 

“So, the question basically means are you daydreaming, but it literally translates to are you dreaming awake.” 

Frankie smiled, flashing Diego his pearly white, slightly crooked teeth. “Perfect. I’m absolutely going to ask Jaden if he’s dreaming awake the next time he dozes off mid-hand job.” 

Ah, yes. Jaden. Frankie’s latest conquest, a third year PhD student who was taking an overload of classes and had a propensity to fall asleep mid-coitus with Frankie. Frankie had told Diego this not out of spite, but a mixture of sympathy and jest. He’d even told the story with Jaden there, the only time they’d all ended up at the same bar together. Jaden had taken the teasing in stride and had dished back a fair amount of his own jabs. Diego knew Frankie wasn’t looking for a partner, but if he was, Jaden seemed like a pretty good prospect. Maybe Diego really should consider starting to date. If he could meet someone like Jaden, maybe there was hope. 

Unfortunately, the ball of anxiety and jealousy churning in his belly shut down the idea pretty quickly. 


they were roommates coverNot so Normative, Prequel

Dive into the captivating Not so Normative world with this exciting prequel, featuring Frankie and Diego.

Being the fun-loving, good time not a long time guy was going great for Frankie until he met the ruggedly handsome yet aloof Diego. At first, he thought meeting Diego could be the start to his enemies-to-lovers romance – except he doesn’t do romance. After Diego opens up to him about being trans, they become fast friends and eventually decide to open a business together. Frankie is sure he can be a mature business partner, but does that mean that’s all they can ever be?

Diego has spent a long time working towards becoming the man he is today, but he still has a long way to go, and a lot of goals he wants to achieve. The last thing he needs is the class flirt distracting him. But when Frankie proves to be a lot more than he seems, kind, intelligent and impossible to shake, Diego wonders if he can settle for starting a business together and just being roommates. What could possibly go wrong?

They Were Roommates is a cute MM romance that celebrates the rich diversity of trans-masculine, gay, demi, and omni characters. Explore the sweet and spicy moments these two roommates share as they open an inclusive cafe and form an affirming queer community together.


dawn cutler-tran bio imageDawn Cutler-Tran is an avid board gamer and rock climber who lives on the East Coast of the United States but loves to travel to places near and far as often as they can. Dawn has always identified as queer, but during the pandemic they finally discovered they were nonbinary and came out to family and friends. This book series was part of that process, and they’ve loved exploring different genderqueer identities like their own through their writing, reading, research, and countless hours watching reels and videos on social media.

When they’re not reading or writing, or reading about writing, they dabble in boxing, scrapbooking, cooking, and eating lots of new foods.

They love food so much that during the pandemic they wrote a cookbook with their spouse and best friends. This was what started Dawn down the path of writing and helped them get through the long dark days of the pandemic.

Their biggest hope in writing queer fiction is to provide at least one other person out there with characters and story lines that they can recognize themselves, or their friends and loved ones in.

Follow Dawn on Instagram at @dawncutlertranwrites


To celebrate the release of They Were Roommates, Dawn is giving away a Signed Paperback of the release, some swag, and an e-copy of the release! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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