A warm welcome to friend and author, Jay Northcote
Thanks for having me to visit your blog today. It was hard choosing which prompts to answer—great questions! But there are the ones I ended up with:
The film you can watch time and time again…
Dirty Dancing. It’s the ultimate feelgood cheesy movie. I’ve loved it since I was a teenager and it still works to cheer me up if I’m feeling blue. I love everything about it: the characters, the dancing, the shameless romance of it. I never felt to melt into a pile of goo when they finally kiss!
Your early recollections of writing fiction…
I know that I always loved writing stories when I was at school. I used to write a lot of adventure stories and time travel and dragons and stuff. But as a teenager I gradually lost interest in writing my own stories and by the time I was an adult I firmly believed that I wasn’t the creative type, so I never tried. It’s funny how you define yourself in these ways, and your beliefs about yourself determine the choices you make. If it hadn’t been for discovering fanfiction I doubt I would ever have started writing again.
The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…
Okay I’m going to cheat a little and combine this with a second prompt because this is fantasy, right? I’m combining it with this one!
The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…
I’d teleport to Acadia National Park and do the Precipice Trail (a really steep scary half climbing/half walking trail). I was there this summer and really wanted to do it, but I couldn’t fit it around family stuff and the kids wouldn’t have managed it. I wouldn’t need to be invisible for that obviously.
The invisible part of the day would be for me to swing by the locker room of the Chicago Blackhawks for a quick ogle because I’m shameless like that.
After that I’d head somewhere secluded with a really beautiful beach where I could swim naked (shark-free please). I guess I could use my invisibility shield again if I got disturbed!
Tell me about your new release…
When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.
Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.
Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.
My 5* Review of NOTHING VENTURED
FABULOUS! I LOVED IT!
Aiden and Matt have agreed to enter a charity race as part of a team and will have to face a rather wet and soggy challenge course. They have twelve weeks to train and get in shape. Or rather, Aiden is the one who reluctantly admits he needs to get fit. Fortunately, the thought of a super hot fitness instructor helping him every step of the way is the right incentive to build up his stamina and strength and to get Aiden back into his shorts and running shoes.
Aiden, a self-professed couch potato, and Matt, a fitness fanatic, seem unfairly matched at the start, but as the story unfolds, it is clear the two men make ideal training partners. They become gym buddies and progress to ‘friends with benefits’. Matt and Aiden enjoy the physical connection in and out of the shower after working out together, and are both perfectly happy to steer clear of any commitment. But as the weeks pass, it becomes apparent there is more to their friendship than sex and training.
Don’t you just love a story that makes you smile and feel warm and fuzzy inside as you read? Jay admits she writes “fluffy” romance and that is what you get with this story. No major angst and lots of “feelz”!
I loved the banter between Aiden and Matt from the start and empathized with Aiden each time he went out in the cold, rain and mud. I’m sure I was panting and stretching out my muscles alongside him. The build up of their relationship was perfect and I was willing the guys to kiss and get down to some serious loving. You’ll be pleased to know that Jay delivers! She writes smoking hot and frequent sex scenes—always a plus for me!
Nothing Ventured is a well-rounded and thoroughly enjoyable story with sexy main characters. You will end up cheering Matt and Aiden along as they undertake the challenge course, not just in the race itself, but also as they confront the many obstacles in their developing relationship.
If you enjoyed reading Nothing Serious and Nothing Special you will, without a doubt, love this book. For me, this is Jay’s best story so far.
They moved on to discuss training more specifically. Liv, of course, had already planned out her schedule and suggested the rest of them do the same.
“It helps me focus if I make a plan and stick to it,” she was saying. “I’ll be running four days a week and going to the gym for weight training twice. That gives me one day of complete rest a week.”
“One whole day!” Aiden shook his head as he picked up his now nearly empty pint. “Careful, your muscles might atrophy or something.”
He drained the last dregs and wiped the foam from his lip with the back of his hand. He caught Matt watching him as he did it, and he licked his lips deliberately. He couldn’t resist flirting with the man even though his interest was completely unreciprocated. The bloke looked as though he had a stick up his arse, and Aiden couldn’t imagine he’d like anything more interesting up there. Shame. Aiden wouldn’t have minded trying.
Liv’s voice snapped him out of daydreams about Matt’s arse and back to the here and now. “So how many times a week will you be aiming to run, Aiden?”
“Oh… um, yeah. Three or four, I guess,” he said vaguely. “That sounds about right. And I’ve got some weights at home, so I can use those if I don’t make it to the gym.” They were at the back of a cupboard, gathering dust.
“Matt lives near you. Maybe you could train together?” Liv had a wicked glint in her eye. “It’s always motivating training with someone else. It’s so easy to wimp out on a rainy day if you’re not answering to anyone, isn’t it?”
“I suppose,” Aiden replied warily. “But I don’t think it’s necessary. I wouldn’t want to slow Matt down.”
He expected Matt to agree. Why the hell would Matt want to train with him? Aiden hadn’t exactly made a great first impression. There was no way he’d want Aiden tagging along behind him and cramping his style.
But surprisingly, Matt grinned at him. The evil, slightly too knowing look in his eye was familiar, and for the first time Aiden could see the family resemblance between him and Liv. “I think that’s a great idea.”
Aiden opened his mouth, but for once he was at a loss for words. He closed it again and swallowed.
“Brilliant,” said Liv. “Make sure you swap numbers, then, so you can arrange something.”
Matt got out his phone. “We can start tomorrow after work. What’s your number?”
Aiden knew when he was beaten. It seemed he’d acquired a training partner. An annoying, bossy, sexy but tragically straight training partner. But at least the view of Matt’s arse would be nice while Aiden was trying to keep up with him.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
Many thanks for stopping by on your blog tour, Jay.
CONGRATS ON THE SUCCESS OF THIS BOOK SO FAR!