Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Jaycee Edward for taking the time to talk with us today.
Author: Jaycee Edward
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Gay
A chance encounter in a hospital waiting room between twenty-two year old Will Messina and sixteen year old Josiah Pinkerton ends with a gift of a stuffed dragon off the hospital gift cart and a memory neither of them can shake.
Five years later, when a lonely, buttoned-up Will ventures into a gay club, he spots a pale, leather-clad specter with violet eyes tracking his every move. Will realizes he’s being watched by the grown version of the boy who’s haunted his thoughts for years.
Joey recognizes Will, but he’s no longer the sweet, brown-eyed boy worthy of Will’s attention. He’s damaged and defective and lives in a different world than Will now. When his childhood crush makes his way across the bar, Joey doesn’t have time to decide whether to be enchanted or dismayed because, unless he turns and runs, those worlds are about to collide.
We are here today to talk about Dragons. What can you tell us about it?
Dragons is part of Evernight Publishing’s Romance On The Go imprint, which means it’s a short story, perfect for when you just want something to entertain for you an hour or two. It’s a sweet, angsty story about a young boy with cancer (Joey) who meets an older boy (Will) who is volunteering at the hospital where Joey gets his treatments. Will gives Joey a stuffed Dragon as an afterthought, but it becomes the tie that binds them. Neither boy can forget the other and when they meet again five years later, there’s instant chemistry, but Joey is quite different than he was before. That doesn’t deter Will though. *wink*
Tell us more about Will and Joey?
Will is a sweetheart. He’s a good-hearted, boy-next-door with parents who adore him. He lives a very traditional, buttoned-up life. Joey is a little more complex. He’s beautiful and fragile, on the outside anyway. When we meet him the second time in the story, he’s changed quite a bit from the boy in the hospital. I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s decked out in leather, wearing violet contacts and living above a bar.
What about In the story Dragons makes you the proudest?
Just the fact that it got published! Ha ha! This story came to life because of a teasing conversation on Facebook about sparkling penis bookends. No lie. You know how things can take on a life of their own on Facebook, right? Well, somehow the idea came up to do an anthology about sparkle peens. I was tagged to write a story for it. I obediently obeyed. The anthology never came to fruition, but I had this cute little story. I subbed it to Evernight on a whim and they accepted it! As far as I know, mine is the only sparkle peen story that’s seen the light of day. I think what I’m most proud of though, really, is how Joey took my hand and turned my original idea into something a lot deeper.
What is next for Will & Joey?
Ummm. Nothing? Ha ha! I don’t have plans for anything else with them, which is okay, really. I’m pretty busy with all my other guys. Joey might have other ideas. If he does, I have no doubt he’ll tell me. He may be shy with Will, but he’s never been shy with me.
What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Reading, obviously. In nice weather, my husband and I enjoy day trips on the motorcycle. I’ve been taking a ceramics glass with my grand-daughter and that’s been fun. Need I even say shipping Larry? Obviously that’s been crazy lately and I’ve been falling behind on keeping up with all the latest theories. (Crosses fingers and toes and hopes that Zayn is coming back.)
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Write. I know…groan. I hated hearing that, but it’s true. Just write. There will be time to worry about chapter size, formatting, all that stuff, later. Get yourself the most honest beta reader(s) you can find. Probably not someone who likes you and will worry about hurting your feelings.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I just started The Bells Of Times Square by Amy Lane. Not sure what’s next. It will depend on how badly Amy destroys me and how well she puts me back together. I love angst, but she is one author that can make me want to take a break from it. I love her. <3
Rapid Fire Time
- Larry or Sterek? Really?
- Swift or Perry? Swift. (I know – It goes against the Larry-shipping, but I think she’s an amazing young woman. She has no business ever having dated Harry, but she’s one heck of a talent.)
- England or Australia? Up until a year ago I’d have said Australia, hands down. Now, England*cough*HolmesChapel.
- Think before you talk or talk before you think? Think first.
- Tax Audit or Enema? Umm. Neither?
- Trees or Flowers? Trees
- Handcuffs or Rope? Am I wearing or using? Makes a difference.
- Jocks or Nerds? Nerds. I love nerds. Always have.
- Disney or Nick? DISNEY!!!!! WOOT!!! I even own stock!
- Tattoos or piercings? Neither for me, but find other people’s tats fascinating. (Some more than others. Heh. Like the new one on Harry’s thigh? What is it??? A doe? A whale?)
What are you working on? What is next?
I’m working with Helena Stone on the sequel to Strangers In The Night. I’m also working on bits and pieces of my two homeless boys, Tommy and Shane. That’s not a headspace I can stay in very long. And…unfortunately, the thing I want to work on more than anything keeps taking a back burner and that is my novel and it’s sequel. The novel needs one more self-edit and then I’ll sub it. If it kills me. I may have to finally learn how to say ‘no’ – that’s not something I’ve ever been very good at doing.
The teenage boy sitting in the ugly vinyl chairs against the far wall drew Will’s attention. He’d seen him here before. Same boy, same chair. The radiation department waiting room was always full on Saturday mornings – the only morning Will volunteered – but the boy seemed out of place, too young to be here. Will pushed the gift cart on his way to the elevators that would take him to the Palliative Care wing, which is where he was supposed to be today. He’d started volunteering here when in he was in high school to fulfill their community service requirement, but liked it enough to stay on through four years of college. With graduation looming, Will made a mental note to talk to the hospital about adding a few more hours to his schedule. He’d have more free time now – at least until he found a full-time job. He punched the ‘up’ button and waited for the next car to arrive.
His gaze rested on the boy again. The kid looked old enough to drive. That must be it. He probably drew the short straw and got stuck driving Grandma or Grandpa to their radiation treatments. Will nodded to himself, pacified with his conclusion and determined to block out the alternate reason someone so young would be here week after week. He backed his cart into the elevator and hit the button for the fifth floor, smiling at the woman in teal green scrubs who shifted to make room for him and his cart. As the door began to close, the boy looked up and the fear on his young face shattered the happy ending Will had constructed for him.
“Wait!” His hand shot out to hold the door, but he couldn’t reach. The woman grabbed it for him and the door rolled back open. Will shot her an appreciative glance. “Thanks.” He pushed the cart back into the waiting room.
Once there, he stood, frozen in place. A few people looked at him expectantly. What was it he planned on doing, anyway? The boy looked his way and their eyes met. Something reached right into Will’s soul and squeezed until it hurt, but he gathered himself despite it and pushed the cart until he was standing in front of the dark-haired teenager.
“Hi.” Will smiled at him.
The boy practically cowered in his chair, looking at Will with suspicion. Okay, this is awkward. It probably did look kind of creepy from the kid’s point of view. Will had made a bee-line right for him.
“Uh, would you like something from the gift cart? Magazine? Deck of cards?” He grabbed a stuffed purple dragon and waggled it, grinning. “Dragon?”
The kid didn’t crack. With the same, sad expression, he shook his head. “No. Thanks.” He bent his head and diverted his entire focus to the invisible spot on the leg of his black jeans he picked and rubbed at with his finger.
Normally, Will would be feeling pretty stupid about now, but something about this kid…. He sat in the chair next to him. The kid cringed and leaned away, looking sideways at Will. Will held back a laugh. He probably had no idea his body language was screaming: “Dude! WTF?”
Or… maybe he did. Huh.
Will was undeterred.
“My name’s Will. I volunteer here. Just on Saturday, though, because I don’t have class on Saturday. What’s your name?”
“Wow. That’s… biblical.” Will chuckled and the kid just scowled more. “So, do people call you Joey?”
“No.” He shot a nervous glance at the registration desk. “My mom doesn’t like it. She hates nicknames.”
Will looked at the prim woman standing at the desk, chatting to the secretary. “That her?”
Will studied the short, mousy, brown-haired woman but, other than the frail bone structure, he couldn’t see any resemblance to the beautiful boy sitting next to him. Josiah had ink-black hair and big, dark eyes set into the palest, most porcelain skin he’d ever seen. He was striking – more pretty than handsome. Even curled in on himself as he was, Will could tell Josiah was tall and lean.
The woman turned and headed their way. Josiah retracted even more, like one of those gray bugs that curl up the moment anything comes near.
“You’re next, sweetheart. They overbooked or something,” she said.
Will swallowed. Shit. He is the patient. Damn.
Josiah nodded but didn’t look up. His mom looked questioningly at Will. He leapt to his feet.
“Hi. I’m… I’m Will. A volunteer here. I, uh… I just came over to see if your son wanted something from the gift cart.” He grabbed the purple dragon and handed it to Josiah, tapping it against his arm to get his attention. Josiah took it, but shook his head and handed it back.
“But… but I don’t want…”
Will cut him off mid-sentence. “Compliments of the hospital.” Their eyes met and in that moment, Will wanted nothing more than to hit rewind, make Mom go away, and get to know this kid and his story, but real life had no such button. “You take care, Joey, okay?”
This time, as the elevator door closed, he saw Josiah look at the stupid stuffed dragon and smile.
About the Author:
Jaycee Edward is no longer seventeen years old but don’t tell her that. She’s actually a tad older and lives in northeast Ohio with her handsome husband and one, big gorgeous dog. She has two grown stepdaughters and is proud to be the ultra-cool Nana to two amazingly incredible grand-teens. Jaycee loves pistol shooting and is has earned her Bar 7 Sharpshooter status in the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and hopes to someday reach the level of Expert Marksman. She is proud to be the token liberal at her gun range. Jaycee knows way too much about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and anything related to One Direction. She’d love to pull you into the rabbit hole with her. All you have to do is ask. Find her there or contact her through social media.
Jaycee Edward has kindly offered 1 lucky commenter an eCopy of Dragons.
Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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