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INTERVIEW: Artistic Endeavor by Whitley Gray

Today we are delighted to be joined by Whitley Gray to talk about Artistic Endeavor. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Author Interview

Thanks for joining us today, Whitley. We are excited to have you here as you celebrate the upcoming release of your new book, Artistic Endeavor.

I love the sound of the characters in this book, particularly Michael. Can you tell us exactly what being a ‘one-night stand connoisseur’ means and why Michael lives a life of lust over a life of love?

Whitley: Michael believes in single encounters—that way there’s virtually no chance of any emotional attachments forming. As far as living a life of lust…Michael has loved and lost—lost big—before. Being left at the altar does that to a guy.

Can you tell us a little about Cobey and his past problems meeting men?

Whitley: Cobey was raised in a strict Catholic family. He was dependent on his family to help pay for his education—which had to be at a conservative Catholic university. Cobey finished a Master’s degree, and finally got away from that influence. He wants to embrace being gay, but at age twenty-five is not having any luck. The patrons of the local gay bars seem like wolves—aggressive and carnivorous. He wants—needs—a gentler approach.

Can you share any secrets about Michael and Cobey? Anything you’d like to tease your readers with? 🙂

Whitley: Michael and Cobey are planning a summer vacation. It’ll involve a beach, with hot days spent in the sun and hot nights beneath cool sheets. Could there be “I do?” Tune in… 🙂

What inspired the story and the characters?

Whitley: The story started as part of an anthology—nine stories revolving around the fictional Cathia University. I wanted to explore a character whose circumstances had caused him to miss the usual adolescent introduction to intimacy. Pairing him with a character who was opposite—promiscuous—made for a nice contrast.

The fine art aspect allowed me to have some fun. There is this scene with a parrot in the art room… 🙂

When I got the story back from the anthology, I added bonus scenes before self-publishing it. This is my first go at self-publishing.

We’ve just started a new year and I’ve seen lots of posts about new years’ resolutions. Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year?

Whitley: Exercise. Finishing writing projects.

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Blurb

When friends ask one-night stand connoisseur Michael Esteban to introduce college professor and virgin Cobey Miller to the joys of sex, Michael balks. Lust is his thing, not leading a twenty-five year old novice. But shy Cobey has problems meeting men, and their introduction fuels Michael’s decision to help Cobey become a gay-sex-loving guy. It’ll all be fun and games—unless someone falls in love.

Excerpt

In the dimly lit bar, Michael drummed his fingers on the table. “Maybe you should have let me meet him somewhere without you two along as chaperones.”

Eli chuckled. “It took me a week to convince him to meet you. He’d never go for the blind date thing.”

“Well, he’s late. Sure he’ll show?”

“Relax.” Burke massaged Eli’s neck. “He’ll be here.”

Ordinarily Michael looked forward to sizing up a new man. In fact, he’d already taken stock of every guy in the room. If Cobey didn’t show, the bartender looked like a good prospect. Prolonged eye contact, a big grin, and a wink when serving Michael’s beer. Yep, good prospect. Someone new.

Of course, Cobey would be new. Too new. Michael sighed. How was he supposed to introduce himself? Hello. I’m the guy our mutual friends have asked to be your sex instructor. How’s it hangin’?  Yippee.

“There.” Eli nodded at the entrance. “Just coming in.”

For a moment it was too crowded to see much, but the herd of patrons parted. Michael licked his lips. Well, well, well. The picture hadn’t done Cobey justice. Nicely wide shoulders, narrow hips, hair a man could get a grip on. Dark eyes. A perfect mouth—full but not too full. How was it possible this gorgeous male specimen had never been intimate with another guy? And Michael had the opportunity to be the first one.

I can certainly sacrifice myself for the greater good by teaching him.

What did I think?

I enjoyed this book. What I liked most about this story was the pairing of Cobey and Michael. I had preconceived ideas of what the characters would be like, based on reading the blurb but they surprised me. I loved the journey both men took, the slow sexual exploration and of course, the emotional entanglement that followed.

I actually read the whole anthology – Campus Cravings – but didn’t read Artistic Endeavor until the end (I waited and read this version with the additional scene). Obviously Artistic Endeavor can be read very much stand-alone but it was sort of nice to read the story in the context of the familiar setting of Cathia University.

Giveaway

A Rafflecopter giveaway has been set up through which four lucky winners will be chosen-

  • 1 Winner will take away a $20 Amazon Gift Card.
  • 3 Winners will get a free e-copy of “Artistic Endeavor”

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter.

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About the Author

Once upon a misspent youth, Whitley read and wrote stories under the covers at night. At some point, real life intervened, bringing with it responsibilities and a career in the medical field. After years of technical writing, Whitley became enamored of romance and took on the challenge of giving it a try. Inventing characters and putting them through paces in interesting ways turned out to be addictive, and along the way, Whitley discovered having two heroes is twice as nice. A pot of coffee, quiet, and a storyline featuring a couple of guys makes for a perfect day.

Author Links

Website: Stop by www.whitleygray.com and feed your fix for heat between the sheets with erotica and M/M romance.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitley.gray

Blog: www.whitleygray.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/whitleygray

Buy Links

Amazon

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-artisticendeavor-1718070-149.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-artistic-endeavor-whitley-gray-bonus-added-whitley-gray/1121024072?ean=2940150179554

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Godsend by Sloan Johnson

Isn’t this cover totally gorgeous?

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Blurb

You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death. After nearly a year of watching Scott fade away, Shelly’s father forces him to start living again.

As much as Chris loathes the idea of attending a bereavement group week after week, it’s one of the only places he can go in this town, other than the bar, to not feel so alone. When there’s nothing to distract him or dull his senses, he spends too much time obsessing over how he should have been able to help his sister. When Scott shows up at his group session, Chris decides that maybe some good can come out of his sister’s death.

There’s no denying that Chris is the first man to catch Scott’s attention in a long time, but how can he move on when just thinking of Shelly sends him to his dark place?

The road to recovery won’t be an easy one, but Chris is determined to help Scott see that life is still worth living. But before Scott can allow himself to admit what he feels for Chris, he knows he has to reveal the full truth about Shelly’s death. 

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Expected release date: 9th February 2015.

Sloan will be visiting us during February to share more about her new release, Godsend.