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Author: JP Barnaby
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance
Release Date: 06/27/2016
A Survivor Story
Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.
Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.
Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.
Anthony Downing is the invisible boy. It doesn’t seem to matter where he goes, the only time anyone pays attention to him is when they’re yelling at him. Guys at school, his parents, anyone. So, Anthony hits the road looking, more than anything, to be seen.
I understand what that feels like—to sit in my cubicle while other people get invited to lunch, to wave a hand as people head off to a concert as I sit home watching TV, to have a guy hold the door for a leggy blond in front of me, but let it fall closed after her. I get that and I wanted to express that through one of my characters because I know other people get that too. We readers and writers are a pretty non-social bunch. We like our books. We like quiet. We like to be left alone.
Well, until I have to be JP in front of a crowded room.
It’s interesting the shift that takes place in my head when JP comes to the fore. The meek little girl who writes all those books you like to read recedes into the background and the badass takes over. JP hangs out with porn stars, she goes to cool events, she can stand up in front of a standing room only crowd and talk BDSM—while Trish remains invisible, hidden behind her.
JP has her corsets and her flogger and her boys, but you’d walk right past Trish sitting in the corner with her Hulk T-shirt and her glasses, hair up in a ponytail, watching the world go by. JP walks through events hitting every table—flirty and fun. But after the party is over, Trish goes back to her room too overstimulated to think and relies on her friends, William or Jodi, to calm her anxiety and let her freak out quietly.
So, see, JP may be the one everyone meets—but Trish is the wallflower. She blends into the crowd, and for many years was often overlooked. I have a better handle on my social anxiety now—only taking the Xanax when I’ve worked myself up into a tizzy. Most situations I can handle now, and I’m becoming less and less invisible as my confidence grows. A lot of that has to do with my boyfriend and his flattering, if not biased view of me. It’s empowering to know that someone is just as excited to see you as you are to see them, it’s a novel concept to me.
Anthony also figures out how to come out from under the invisibility cloak when he meets Patrick and Bren, brothers just as different as Anthony is from Aaron. He finds good friends, as I have here in Atlanta. He also finds that person who looks at him like no one else exists. I’ve found that too.
In a lot of ways, Anthony is a reflection of my move to Atlanta—scary, empowering, and ultimately, the best decision either of us has ever made.
About the Author
JP Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over two dozen books, including Aaron and the Little Boy Lost Series. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance, but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not hanging out with hot guys in leather, she binge watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix. A physics geek, she likes the science side of Sci-Fi, and wants to grow up to be Reed Richards.
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