Today I am so pleased to welcome Evie McGlynn to Joyfully Jay. Evie has come as part of the Rainbow Readers Cruise Blog Tour to talk to us about her latest release, Moonlight. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

 

Hi and thank you to Joyful Jay for having me today. It’s a special day for me because it’s my one-year publiversary for my debut novel, Moonlight.

Although I am a newly published author, I have been writing in some form or fashion for many years. As a late blooming college student (I started my undergrad when I was 37 and got my master’s when I was 46) I did A LOT of writing. But writing psychology papers isn’t very exciting, so I started to write an epic hero’s journey fantasy series to satisfy my creative side. The story was based on the Dungeons and Dragons game my husband and I played for several years.

evie mcglynn rainbow readers cruise badgeYou might be wondering what that has to do with MM romance–well I’ll tell you. The fantasy series was expansive and included many, many side characters. I was about to bring a side character into the main story. He happened to gay and, as part of my writing process, I wanted to write a backstory for him that included how he met his current partner. I started to write the backstory and realized I didn’t know anything about gay romance or how two men interacted with each other romantically. So, I went in search of gay romance. I didn’t know if that was a thing or what I would find when I searched. And oh boy, a whole new world opened up for me. This was in 2019 so the genre hadn’t exploded just yet. I did a deep dive into the MM romance world and found so many wonderful, new to me authors. I never looked back.
By the way, that backstory turned into a 100k word novel. It’s pretty rough and not published. I’ve learned a lot about writing since then.

The more MM romance I read, the more I thought I would like to try my hand at writing a contemporary romance. The seed of the idea for Moonlight came from a conversation I had with a friend who is in recovery. He described what it felt like to be the only person not drinking at a wedding reception. He is also a musician, which is where the musical component came in. From that conversation Moonlight was born.

It took me a long time to finish Moonlight. I think I was intimidated by the idea of actually publishing something I wrote. I didn’t know much at all about the world of self-publishing, so I got myself signed up in a bunch of author groups on Facebook and absorbed all the information I could. Then in 2021 I saw an announcement about GRL, and I had to go. There I met authors whose books I’d read, including Kelly Fox, who gave me some great advice about writing. I also met the woman who would become my editor and frankly my guide through this process. Abbie Nicole is such an amazing person. She cheerfully answered all my newbie questions and held my hand all the way to clicking publish.

Since Moonlight’s release I have published one short story, Sunset, and another novel, Starlight. I work full-time as a trauma therapist, so my writing time is limited. I’ve gotten better about keeping myself on a writing schedule with the help of my writers’ group. Next year I hope to publish another two novels and expand Sunset from a short story to a novel. My goal is to have all four novels of my Down the Shore series finished and the next series started by the time I go on the Rainbow Readers Cruise. I am so excited to be going on this cruise. I can’t wait to meet more authors and readers.
Thank again for having me here today.

The Rainbow Readers Cruise celebrates the readers and creators of LGBTQ+ fiction and romance. The cruise departs from the Port of Fort Lauderdale on August 19, 2024 and returns August 23, 2024, with stops at Key West and Coco Cay (Celebrity’s private island). Along the way, meet and mingle with some of your favorite LGBTQ+ fiction and romance authors and creators, as well as attend panels, meet and greets, small group social activities, and the Signing at Sea. Plus, the cruise itself, with fabulous destinations, food and drinks, entertainment, and more. You can find all the details about the Rainbow Readers Cruise on our website: https://rainbowreaderscruise.com.

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Excerpt

Sean

I pulled out my cell phone to check the time. Twelve-twenty. Mr. Fitzgerald was up late. Well, maybe it was time I met the man. I turned and headed toward the dining room. As I got closer, I realized I recognized the piece he was playing. It was one of my favorites—Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. My brother used to play it for me all the time. I wasn’t one to listen to piano music regularly—I just liked listening to my brother play. Everything I knew about piano music, I learned from him. Liam was good on the piano, but what I was hearing now was…magic.

I opened the door as quietly as possible and slipped into the dining room, sitting at the table closest to the door. I could only see his profile in silhouette in the moonlight, although something about him was familiar. He seemed to be younger than I expected. It was hard to tell. After a few minutes, I stopped trying to get a look at him and just sat back and allowed myself to enjoy the music. God, he was good. Better than good. I guess you didn’t get called the best in the world for nothing. I forgot about my feet being cold. I forgot about my brother being in danger on the other side of the world. I just sank into the enchantment Jeremy Fitzgerald wove. When he began the dynamic third movement of the piece, I leaned forward to watch as his hands flew over the keys. He barely seemed to touch them as he created the cascading sound that marked the ending passages. When the final chords sounded, I leaned back in my chair and breathed out, “Wow.”

Jeremy was startled and gasped, “Who’s there?”

I rose and turned the dimmer switch for the lights so he could see me. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare…” I stopped, and I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped as I stared at him. “You?” I walked toward him. “You’re Jeremy Fitzgerald?”

He stood and swallowed, that adorable blush appearing again. “You’re the hot bartender.” He groaned and put his face in his hands. “I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

I chuckled. “I’m glad you think I’m hot. But I’m mostly not the bartender.” I was close enough now to hold out my hand. “Sean O’Neil.”

Now it was his turn to be surprised. He shook my hand seemingly automatically but didn’t let go right away—which I was totally okay with. “You’re Sean O’Neil, the owner of the hotel?”

I nodded. “And you’re Jeremy Fitzgerald, the famous concert pianist.”

“I thought you’d be older,” we said simultaneously.

We both burst out laughing. “It’s nice to meet you, Jeremy,” I said, still holding his hand in mine. I wanted to cup his face and kiss those perfect lips, but that probably wasn’t polite at this point. Hopefully, I’d get a chance later. “So,” I began somewhat awkwardly, “how do you like the piano?”

He finally let go of my hand and smiled warmly as he ran his over the top of the piano like he was caressing a lover. “It’s beautiful. The sound is fantastic.”

I moved closer to him, drawn by his passion. “You make it sound fantastic.”

I almost rolled my eyes at myself. He must have heard that about ten million times. Even still, he smiled shyly and said, “Thank you.”

I wanted to wrap him up, cuddle him, protect him…I caught myself. Holy hell, where had all that come from? I kind of froze, but he, thankfully, didn’t seem to notice. His cheeks turned pink, and he reached out and touched my arm. “Um, I wanted to apologize for before.”

I blinked stupidly. “Before?”

He moved his hand off me and shifted uncomfortably. “At the bar. I left without saying goodbye.”

“Oh.” I scrambled for something comforting to say so I wouldn’t scare him off or make him feel bad. “It got pretty busy.”

He nodded. “Yeah. That’s why I had to leave. I…don’t do well with crowds of people anymore. I didn’t want to have a panic attack around all those people or…” He stopped speaking and blushed again.

I gave him a sexy smile. “Or in front of the hot bartender?”

He laughed softly. “Yeah.”

“Well, my brother’s a nurse practitioner, so I’ve got some pretty good first aid skills.” I stepped in closer to him. I was only a couple of inches taller than him but definitely broader in the shoulders. I couldn’t see much of his upper body under the Juilliard hoodie, but his workout pants clung to his nicely toned legs and backside. I hadn’t gotten permission to touch him yet, but I could certainly let him know I was interested. “I’m pretty good at mouth-to-mouth.”

Jeremy’s brows rose, and he laughed softly. “Does that line usually work for you?”

I felt myself blush this time. I smiled and said, “I don’t know. Did it?”

He moved well into my personal space, looked up at me with those gorgeous brown eyes, and replied, “I guess it did.”

I cupped his face in my hands, moving slowly to give him a chance to pull back if he wanted. He put his hands on my chest and slid them up until they clasped behind my neck. I pressed my lips against his. They were as soft as I had imagined. Jeremy made a quiet sound, like a sigh mixed with a moan. I kept the kiss slow and tender, something telling me I needed to hold back with him, let him set the pace. A moment later, his tongue traced my upper lip, and that was all the invitation I needed. I wove the fingers of one hand through his silky hair and wrapped my other arm around his waist to pull him close. My tongue tangled with his and moved in farther. His mouth was warm and welcoming as I sank fully into the kiss.

Our bodies were flush against each other, and I felt the length of his hard cock against my thigh. I shifted my hips so our straining erections lined up perfectly, then put my hands on his ass and started a slow grind. Jeremy threw back his head and moaned. “God, that’s so good.”

I crushed my mouth against his, eager to taste him again. I wanted more, so much more. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been so turned on. I lifted my head and looked down at him. My voice was hoarse when I asked, “Want to move this up to your room?”


Blurb

I was the most sought-after concert pianist in the world. Now I barely leave my apartment. Injury and addiction have taken their toll, and I can’t seem to get my life back on track.

My best friend wants to send me on a month-long vacation to the Moonlight Inn to get ready to play for his wedding. In New Jersey. The place where I almost died. My friends think I should get “hot and heavy” at the Jersey shore, but I just want to be able to perform again.

I didn’t anticipate meeting someone like Sean O’Neil, the owner of Moonlight Inn. He’s down-to-earth and kind, and when I’m with him, I feel unaccountably safe. His quiet encouragement helps me conquer my fears and get back in front of an audience.

As my confidence grows, the world I thought closed to me, opens once more. Word spreads of my return, and people from around the globe are asking me to play for them. At last, I can get back to doing what I love most.

But the luster of touring dulls when a tragedy in Sean’s life prevents him from joining me. Will I have to choose between the career I love and the man who holds my heart?


Bio

Evie is a newish author who has always been an avid reader, mostly fantasy, science fiction and, of course, romance. After raising three children into adulthood, acquiring a master’s degree, and opening a counseling practice, she figured she didn’t have enough to do, so she decided to write books. Evie lives “down the shore” in New Jersey with her husband, her youngest son, his fiancée, and her goofy Rottweiler. Every summer she complains about “the bennies” coming down and snarling up the traffic, but she’s a Jersey Girl through and through.


Giveaway

Evie has brought a direct to Kindle copy of Moonlight to give away to three lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, December 30th 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.