Hi, I’m Jamie Dean, author of Not Just Passing Through.
I’m really excited for release day, I have to tell you. Even more so than I was when my first book came out. I just love this story so much. Every character in it (well, almost), every moment between our leads… it just all means so much to me. Ever since this idea arrived in my head almost fully formed and ready to be typed up, I’ve been excited to share with people, and now that moment has come.
It’s exhilarating and also just a tiny bit terrifying. I expect this is a bit like sending your child off to school for the first time. You want them to be liked. You want the bullies to leave them alone. You want them to go out into the world and make it a better place. That’s exactly how I feel about NJPT. Chase and most especially Avery are my little babies. Be good to them, won’t you?
All right, now I’ve got a couple of exciting things for you. First, I’m going to share an excerpt from the book. And you should read it carefully because there’ll be a pop quiz at the end, with a chance for you to win a copy of my first novel, The Story of Jax and Dylan! Details after the excerpt.
The next morning, Avery went on his housekeeping rounds. He had heard Chase get in very late, so he saved his room for last. The idea of having to be in the close quarters of a bedroom that probably reeked of him might have been part of the equation. Regardless, he was out of time now, even though it was barely ten, because all the other rooms were finished. He wasn’t dragging this cart back a second time.
He took a deep breath and knocked. “Housekeeping!”
He heard movement from inside, including what sounded like things falling and a rough voice swearing. Then the door inched open to reveal a puffy-faced, squinty-eyed, half-asleep Chase Lancaster leaning against the doorjamb like he might take a nap there, brown hair sticking out in all directions as if it were trying to escape.
“S’rry,” he mumbled. “Forgot to tell you yes’erday. No housekeeping. I’ll get towels and stuff from th’office.”
“Oh, okay,” Avery told him brightly, half-relieved and half-disappointed. “Do you need anything now? Extra coffee? More towels?”
Chase nodded, eyes closed now, and held out a hand. Avery took a moment to stare at him. Even sleep-rumpled and grumpy like this, the guy was gorgeous, and Avery wanted to reach out and touch his long, velvety-looking lashes and the freckled and chiseled cheekbones beneath. Instead he sighed and started grabbing things from the cart. He gingerly balanced them on Chase’s hand until the sleepy man woke up enough to use his other hand. Chase gave Avery a weak half-smile and went back inside.
Avery rolled the cart back down to the laundry room and put the sheets and towels into the washer. Then he scrubbed his hands and started restocking the cart for the next day. Not that he would need most of it. Everyone except Chase and two others had already checked out. From the previous days, he knew those two would be gone most of the day and were unlikely to use much more than maybe towels and soap before they left the next morning.
When he was done with that, he cleaned the ice machine and checked on the vending stock to make sure it would last until the vendor’s next visit. Then he gathered up the few bits of trash he found around the breezeway and parking lot. By the time he had watered the plants, it was nearly lunchtime. He was feeling lazy, so he decided to order his lunch in, instead of making it in his tiny kitchen.
He spent a few minutes debating his food options. There were only a couple of choices open to him, since the diner didn’t deliver for less than a thirty-dollar minimum. There was Mario’s, the pizza place, which was good but a little more pricey. Then there was the Wander In, a local bar and grill that specialized in meat and potatoes and all things fried.
He wasn’t really in the mood for pizza, but if he ordered something else from the Wander In, his day might get more complicated than he wanted. The Wander In was owned and run by a woman named Rachel, whom Avery had known practically since birth. She had two daughters, twenty-year-old Lana and Kelly, who was not quite seventeen. They both worked as waitresses, along with their cousin Buck. If he bought his lunch from there, when Lana delivered it she was going to want to gossip about “the new guy” and what he’d been up to at the bar. And while Avery was well aware that Chase had probably gone home with some woman the previous night before riding back here in the wee hours, that didn’t mean he wanted to hear the details.
On the other hand, he didn’t get paid for another few days and a Wander In burger was cheaper than a Mario’s pizza, especially since the bar didn’t charge him a delivery fee. He decided he’d put up with it for the money savings. He called in and placed his order with Rachel.
“How’ve you been, Avery? Haven’t spoken to you in a while,” Rachel said after he’d ordered his burger. “And how’s Nicole? I haven’t seen her around lately, either.”
Apparently, she didn’t know his aunt had moved out of the Red Ram.
“Oh, I thought everyone knew. She’s actually living in Beaverton now. I’m running the Ram by myself right now.”
“No, I hadn’t realized,” Rachel said, but she didn’t sound particularly displeased to hear it. That only made sense, since Rachel was everything Nicole was not and vice versa. “How are you holding up on your own?”
“I’m enjoying the solitude. Can’t complain,” he said, using a response he’d heard Rachel herself give on many occasions.
“Avery Malcolm, you take care of yourself out there all alone, you hear?” she chastised as she wound down the conversation at last. “Oh, before I forget, Lana’s off today, so Buck’s gonna be the one bringing your food over, all right? Bye now!”
Avery was relieved, even though Buck made him slightly uncomfortable. He always felt like he was being scrutinized when the man was around. Like he was a puzzle Buck was trying to solve. Of course, the guy was kind of an odd duck who probably needed some intense scrutiny himself. Probably by a psychiatric professional. Avery snorted. Then again, who was he to judge?
Not long after, he heard the sputter of Buck’s bizarre truck come up the road and pull into the lot, so he stepped outside to greet him. Buck was kind of a genius, if a little crazy, and he’d rigged some sort of diesel motor for his truck, purportedly out of lawn mower parts. The result was a very loud engine that barely used any of the biodiesel Buck put in it. He said what he was doing for the environment was worth all the noise.
“Whoa, nice ride, mystery man,” Buck said, seemingly to Chase’s bike. “Hey there, Aviary, what’s shakin’?” That was the other thing about Buck. He spoke like he was making up the purpose of words as he went along. “How’s this bungalow boppin’ for you?”
“I’m fine, Buck. How’ve you been?”
“I have been, like, so choice, man. Got a new lady friend. Upgraded part of my rig there so it’s even cleaner. It’s a beautiful day in this neighborly wood, my fine unfeathered friend.” He handed over the bag with Avery’s food. “That there will cost you five pounds, twenty-three ounces, friend.”
Avery handed him seven dollars. “Thanks, Buck. Keep the change.”
“Mucho grass-in-the-ass, man. Much grass. You should come by the Wander In this weekend. We’ve got us a wild a trivia night on Sundays now—win a free beer!” He sauntered back to his truck, shaggy curls blowing in the ever-present breeze. Without another word, he drove away, leaving Avery alone with his food.
I hope you enjoyed that little preview! Now, I’m going to ask a couple of questions about the book, including one about the excerpt you just read and another that can be found in the excerpt on the buy link.
RULES: You’ll need to sign up for a free account at www.DreamspinnerPress.com first because that is how your free book will be delivered, if you win. Then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers, from the same email address you used to sign up at DSP. In 72 hours, I will pick a winner at random from the correct responses and announce it on my website and social media accounts (jamiedeanwrites is my handle for all) and someone from DSP will contact you directly with instructions on how to claim your prize. Good luck!
Okay, here’s the first question: What is the name of the bar in Avery’s town?
And here’s question two: What color are Chase’s eyes?
And that’s it! Send your answers in within the next 3 days for a chance to win a copy of TSOJAD. Even if you don’t want to participate, feel free to look me up on social media and say hello! I almost never bite. Happy reading!
Socially awkward, closeted virgin Avery Malcolm passes his days and nights running his bigoted aunt’s motel in rural New Mexico. He dreams of getting away and hitting the road, but with one friend, a few acquaintances, and no real life to speak of outside his duties as front desk clerk, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get a chance.
Fate sends hot drifter Chase Lancaster to the Red Ram Motel, riding in on his sexy black motorcycle. Within twenty-four hours, Avery’s life is turned upside down. Before long, even though Chase’s sexual interests seem to run exclusively toward women in bars, Avery finds himself falling for the beautiful biker with no permanent address. Chase is much more than his bad boy persona, so while it’s nice to have another friend, Avery doesn’t know how he’ll survive with his heart intact when Chase inevitably moves on.
Jamie Dean is passionate about food, beer, and hot men wading together through a sea of angst, sarcasm and sexy times. When he is not reading or writing gay erotic fiction from his front porch swing, he might be painting, playing with his dogs and cats, or cooking experimental meals for (or drinking beer with) Jay, his husband and muse. He loves old cars, science fiction, road trips, and spending time with family and friends. He came to terms with his sexuality only later in life, so that struggle is a frequent theme in his work. He has since embraced it with pride and considers himself an LGBT* activist, a feminist, and a champion for equal rights.