A warm welcome to my guest author,
Interview with Amy
The temptation you wish you could resist…
Sweets. They’re so delicious I can’t resist, even though I know I probably should.
The book that holds everlasting resonance…
Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann. It was the first time I ever read a book with a gay romance subplot. It’s what got me reading m/m romance until, one day, I finally allowed myself to start writing it.
The film you can watch time and time again…
Twister. Don’t ask me why; it’s not even my favourite movie (The Sounds of Music takes that award), but for some reason I love Twister and I can watch it over and over again.
The person who influenced you the most…
My mom. She is truly the strongest person I know.
The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…
I don’t know if it’s unlikely, but I love astronomy. If I could do that kind of math and physics, I would’ve majored in it in university, but alas, it was not to be.
Your early recollections of writing fiction…
Fourth grade recess, when we had to stay inside because it was raining. I started writing an adventure tale about my classmates: we went on a treasure hunt! I can’t remember if we ever found the treasure…I can’t even remember if I finished writing that story. I think that was the first time I ever put a story to paper, and I’ve been writing ever since.
The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…
Oh wow, hmmm. There are so many options. I’m torn between two: renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and doing nothing but reading, or renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and invite my family along for a get-together (BBQ, games, s’mores, you name it!).
The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…
When I was a kid, maybe nine or ten, my parents gave me a beautiful silver ring with a unicorn on it. A few years ago, when I started wearing rings again, I wore it to work. I took it off in the bathroom because the unicorn horn kept getting caught in my clothes when I was pulling up my pants (sorry for the visual!)…and I forgot it in the bathroom. It wasn’t there the next day; nobody brought it to lost and found. It was just gone. I’m still upset about it. I hate losing things with sentimental value.
The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…
Something that would get me a billion dollars.
Title: The Play of His Life
Author: Amy Aislin
Cover Art: Kris Jacen
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: Novella/143 pages
Release Date: 28th April, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?
The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)
Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…
In the middle of their neighborhood, about halfway between their houses, was a small pond that froze over every winter. Riley was already there when Christian arrived at three o’clock on Christmas Eve, lugging his very, very old hockey gear and a tiny dog.
“Trevor!” The dog took off at Riley’s greeting, making a beeline for him. Already wearing his gear, Riley couldn’t crouch to greet the little shih tzu, so he bent at the waist and gave the dog a pat on the head.
Christian stopped at the edge of the pond and admired the way Riley’s jeans molded to his deliciously tight ass. Riley may not play in the pros anymore, but he still had an incredible goalie butt.
“I see you two know each other,” Christian said, mildly offended at the dog’s abandonment. Trevor clearly preferred Riley over Christian.
“Your mom brings him into the shop all the time.”
Christian grimaced. “You still see my mom?” Riley had mentioned something of the sort the other day, too.
“All the time. I see her more than I see you.”
Riley stiffened for a second as he seemed to realize what he’d said. Christian stood looking at him, unimpressed. Because really, who was it that ran out after they’d hooked up the last time, after his dad’s funeral?
Riley gave him a tight smile that said something like, Yeah, well, the phone works both ways, dude.
They’d have to talk about it sometime, but today wasn’t that day.
“You gonna stand there all day,” Riley joked, “or are we gonna play?”
The twinkle in his eyes told Christian that yes, Riley was aware of the double entendre he’d just uttered.
Oh, they were going to play, all right.
They didn’t bother with skates; the frozen pond was too bumpy for it to be safe. But Riley had brought his old hockey net, so at least they had a real goal.
Christian put on his gear — it was a bit of a tight fit, but it’d do — grabbed his hockey stick and a puck and moved to center ice.
“Trevor,” Christian said, and pointed with his stick. Trevor moved off the ice to nose at some dead plants poking through the snow against a fence.
“Think you’ll finally get one past me?” Riley asked, pulling on his mask. Christian would not call that smirk sexy.
“Finally? You must be forgetting all the previous times I scored on you.”
Now there he went with the double entendres.
“Ha! If by ‘all’ you mean ‘never.’ Bring it, Dufresne. Bet you can’t get one past me.”
“Bet? Okay.” Christian nodded once decisively. “If I get one past you I get to try a shot of Shimmer.”
Riley shrugged, all casual-like. “Fine.”
“And if I don’t get one past you?”
Christian could see Riley contemplating his answer, and even through the cage of Riley’s goalie mask Christian could tell Riley’s ocean eyes were on him, assessing. They swept Christian up and down. Christian could almost feel the heat in his gaze like a physical touch. He obviously had been wrong a few days ago…Riley was just as affected by him as he was by Riley. The heat shimmering between them, even from ten feet apart…. Like he could reach out and grab it. He was sure Riley was going to bet him a blowjob or something and his cock started to stiffen in his jeans.
“I want to know the reason you haven’t moved back here,” Riley said.
Instant boner-killer. No way was he telling Riley shit. Meant he’d have to work his ass off to get the puck past him. Riley hadn’t played pro in two years. He was probably out of practice, right?
Wrong. The fucker stopped all twenty-six shots — yes, Christian counted — with seeming ease.
This is a lovely, sweet story from a newly published author. You can check out some of Amy’s other writing on her website as there’s a couple of free reads there.
What I like most about this story is that it is a second chance romance. Riley and Christian had already gone through the friends to lovers transition, but had split six years previously because they couldn’t cope with a long distance relationship when they’d started different colleges. And that’s where this story starts. They’ve already got loads of history behind them and were clearly still in love with each other. Yes, there’s a lack of trust on Christian’s part because Riley had left him without a word to continue his hockey career when they’d hooked up again one night and he feared Riley would do the same to him again. And Riley was thinking Christian didn’t care for him because he had no intention of moving back to Ontario. God, if only these boys talked and said exactly how they felt and what they wanted life would have been so much easier for them. But then, us readers wouldn’t have gotten all the lovely angst and anticipation about what was going to happen when Christian returned home after the Christmas holidays. It was great they still got along so well and had fun together despite all their doubts and uncertainties. It was how it used to be between them. The scrapbook and necklaces were lovely touches to their story.
My one main grumble is what appears to be a couple of inconsistencies in the story that should have been picked up by the editing team. The main one being that Christian didn’t know he was entering Riley’s new bakery when he was sent by his mother to buy a loaf of bread. He wasn’t expecting to see Riley, nor did the possibility even cross his mind. Yet in chapter four we see that Christian had saved a newspaper cutting about the opening of the bakery and so was well aware of Riley’s new career and the location of the building. I hardly think this could have slipped his mind, nor did he comment on the fact at the time.
If you overlook these few issues, this enjoyable story is well written, with a distinct voice for each character. There are some touching moments and some great scenes between these guys. Although originally published in April, I can see this becoming a popular Christmas/holiday read for many, and I look forward to more stories from Amy in the future.
Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.
Why I write m/m romance
I started writing traditional m/f (male/female) romance many years ago, but it never went anywhere. And by “never went anywhere” I mean I never wrote more than a few thousand words in any given story because I was bored out of my skull by own stories. Not exactly a good sign, amirite?
If you’ve read Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooters series, you know all about Jules and Robin. I’ve been a fan of that series since the beginning. When Jules was introduced, I fell in love. And then there was Robin. And then there was Jules and Robin. And I thought this was the greatest freakin’ thing ever and I wanted more m/m (male/male) romance and I wanted it now. But I didn’t know where to find it. So I started Googling and lo and behold! Gay romance everywhere! And I do mean everywhere; it’s a huge niche market I hadn’t even been aware of, and I gobbled it up as if it was going to disappear when I wasn’t looking.
Less than two years ago I tried my hand at writing m/m romance and finally felt like I’d fallen into the genre I was supposed to write in. It’s what I’ve been writing ever since and will continue to write.
Within the m/m romance community, I’ve found a network of other m/m authors who not only support each other, but who also support LGBTQ rights and activism. Writing in this genre makes me feel at home, even more so than when I wrote traditional m/f romance.
I write because I love it. Because there are people in my head who need a voice. I write the stories I want to write the way I want to write them, in a way that speaks of the characters and their struggles, yet also speaks to me, too. I hope my stories speak to you as well.