Don’t Be Afraid
by Wade Kelly
I think that starting out with gay suicide as my topic in When Love Is Not Enough, I may have scared readers away. Maybe my stuff seems too angsty? I don’t know. What I want to say is please don’t be scared away forever. Maybe don’t read the one with the suicide. At least I started out telling you he died so it was not a shock and that one DID end with a “happy for now.” What I know, is that readers seem shy and reluctant to chance my books because of the emotional content. (I surmise this from comments.) And while they are emotional, I think you will find that for the most part you are glad for the tears. I think readers connect with the characters and that is why many cry.
Don’t be afraid. Come on over and experience the pain, the sadness, and the joy. I strive to always produce a happy ending! When Love Is Not Enough was a happy for now, but it also had a sequel. (And book 3 planned.) My other books do end well! I promise. Names Can Never Hurt Me was a beautiful love story and once readers get past the controversial cover, they fall in love with Scruffy Dude!
Misplaced Affection is much the same. Yes, there is some pain, and sadness, but the tears are worth it when you see the romantic end. I do always write about contentious subjects, because I think they are realistic, but I try to weave the romance in and give readers hope that life can work out for the good. That love triumphs over all. Isn’t that what “happily ever after” means? Even Disney films have some sort of big bad trying to thwart the princess. But love triumphs.
In Misplaced Affection we have a sort of love triangle, since there are three main characters. The tug and pull between them creates some angst, but I think the struggle is worth it. In the end, the tears are good ones.
About Misplaced Affection
Clichés are overrated and loving the boy next door may not be as genuine as the love Flynn sacrifices along the way.
Knowing he’s gay and acting on it were two separate notions to Flynn Brewer until he’d met Keith, his first boyfriend, in high school. Before then, being gay wasn’t as real as the pain of living day-to-day. Flynn’s fear of coming out to his religious best friend Zach in their conservative community destroyed his relationship with Keith, but Flynn rationalized his avoidance and bottled up the truth until it was regrettably too late.
Zachary Mitchell was the perfect son and role model as far as the outside world could tell. Active in his church while attending college, Zach had a personality that could sell anything, do anything, or be anything. Except, he couldn’t sell the truth to himself. Just when he was ready to reveal his internal conflict to Flynn and expose the darkness lurking in his heart, and in his “perfect” family, Zach met a girl and got sucked deeper into his chasm of deception.
Caught in a living Newton’s Cradle of his own design, Flynn must choose between idealistic childhood fantasy, or a tempestuous passion that could ignite the very air he breathes.
An Excerpt from Misplaced Affection
I laid a slice of cheese over the tuna and put the plate in the microwave for ten seconds, and then I glanced at Keith and gave him a wink, testing my bravery.
I chuckled and said, “Come here.” I knew I could be myself around Keith, but until now it had only been harmless flirting. Acting on my physical desires meant confronting my fears surrounding coming out. I didn’t want to be bullied, but I hated hiding. At what point would I have to choose?
He didn’t hesitate. Keith walked over to me and came right up in my personal space. He placed his hands on my hips and looked into my eyes as he licked his lips. “I’ve never kissed anyone before. Have you?” I shifted my eyes away momentarily, and he picked up on my thoughts. “Oh, that’s right—Zach, but you haven’t kissed anybody else?”
Our many conversations over the last couple months did make it around to the topic of my best friend who lived next door, and was now in college. I also told Keith about the kiss. We’d talked about being virgins sex-wise, but I had felt wrong letting him think I’d never kissed a boy, so I spilled the gory details over trigonometry homework.
“No,” I said. We gazed into one another’s eyes again and my heartbeat quickened. I felt his fingers caressing me through my shirt just above my belt. He leaned closer and our stomachs touched. Then the word “boyfriend” hit me somewhere between lust and logic. “So, should this be an official thing?” I asked, curiously, throwing him off as he blinked away his hormone-induced daze.
“Official?” He wasn’t getting my drift.
I explained, “Like, it’s the first time we’re messing around as boyfriends. If I kiss you, then are we officially official or are we open to dating other people?”
Keith’s grip loosened and I thought he was about to pull away, but he didn’t. He hung his head as if scared to answer.
“Keith?” I prompted.
He was looking away when he finally answered me. “I don’t really want an open relationship. I kinda want a boyfriend. One boyfriend.”
He looked up sharply. “Don’t make fun of me.”
“I’m not,” I said.
“Then why are you smirking at me?”
Keith’s irritation was adorable as hell. “I’m not,” I repeated.
“Yes, you are!”
He tried pulling away, but I held him firmly in my grasp. “Stop. I’m sorry. I promise I’m not laughing. I think you’re adorable. I’m glad you want a boyfriend, because I do too. Really.”
“Then why’d you ask that as if you wanted the freedom to go out with someone else? Someone like Zach.”
“Zach? It has nothing to do with Zach. I don’t want anybody else. I just wanted to find out if you did.”
Keith relaxed. “Promise?”
I nodded. “Promise.” I was suddenly acutely aware of our groins touching and how rapidly he was breathing. “Nervous?”
Keith nodded and swallowed hard.
I licked my lips and whispered, “Then I better make it good.”
After Keith closed his eyes, I leaned in and seductively licked his lips right before pressing my mouth to his. He shivered in my embrace, not expecting me to be so bold. I tilted my head and licked his lips before kissing him again. I wasn’t trying to coax him into using his tongue right away; I was teasing him, hoping he’d shake with anticipation. As soon as he opened his mouth, I backed away.
He made a little whining noise and I chuckled wickedly. “Don’t worry, that’s just the first taste.” I grabbed a hold of his hand and brought his fingers to my mouth. I kissed his knuckles before releasing his hand. “We agreed on slow, remember?”
His look of disappointment thrilled me because he had no idea what I was thinking. I planned on exploring his mouth and neck for hours.
Kissing Zach years ago felt like a dying ember compared to the sensation of Keith’s lips on mine. Maybe it was because I was so much younger then, and I’d had no clue what I was doing.
Keith, on the other hand, was warm flesh, and sensitive eyes, and his kiss kindled the spark I had felt years ago with Zach into a roaring furnace. I’d had to step away when I kissed Keith, because suddenly I was feeling new, unexpected things. Kind of like when I heard the word “virgin” from his lips and I suddenly couldn’t stop thinking about his ass. Keith did things to me. I could feel my dick throbbing in my jeans, but I played it off as being devilish and teasingly making him wait. No, the waiting was for me so I could get myself under control. I didn’t want to rip his clothes off, but I knew if we had kept on kissing, that’s exactly what I would have done—he revved me up that much.
About Wade Kelly
Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her three children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.