Preorder today for download on Tuesday, March 26!
🌟 Please welcome author Andy Gallo to Stories That Make You Smile. Andy is here today celebrating the release of his fabulous new novel, Better Be Sure. Read on to find out about the history of this story, and what happens “When Characters Won’t Leave You Alone.” 🌟
Better Be Sure by Andy Gallo
When the stakes are this high, you better be sure you can win.
Series: Harrison Campus (book #1)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Release Date: March 26, 2019
Length: Novel / 65,022 words / 206 pages
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, Out for You, Jock, College, New Adult, Light Hearted, Gay Males
When the stakes are this high, you better be sure you can win.
Jackson Murphy lost his parents to a boating accident, but they’re never far from his thoughts. He attends the same university as his parents, joined the same fraternity as his dad, and even lives in his father’s old room, along with his adopted brother Marcus. Life brightens when he meets the man of his dreams.
Edward Knowles trades full-time college for working during the day and community college at night when his father’s factory closes. He intends to stay deep in the closet to keep his job in heating and cooling. But Jack pushes all his buttons.
Jack’s college rival challenges him to bring a date to the upcoming dance. He goads Jack into accepting even though failure means he and Marcus will lose their room and Jack must leave the fraternity.
Jack is falling hard for Ed, but Ed will never agree to go the dance. Ed—not knowing the stakes of the wager—has also made it clear that Jack taking another man will end their romance.
With pressure from friends and enemies alike, will Jack hold on to his legacy… or his heart?
☆ Guest Post ☆
When Characters Won’t Leave You Alone
First, thank you Addison for being the first stop on my blog tour. To kick things off I thought I’d give a bit of history to the book and the series.
About eight years ago, Anyta Sunday and I decided to enter a writing contest on the Gay Authors website. Our entry, Bettor to Lose, won first prize. It was a nice story, but it needed work. Then both of us went on to different things—Anyta to becoming a fantastic full-time author with more than a dozen books, and I detoured to writing fantasy. But the story and the characters stuck with us. So we reworked the story, changed the title to Better Be Sure and sent it off into the world.
But it is the characters’ refusal to leave us alone that brings me here today. The process of coming up with Jack & Ed, Marcus & Nessa, Brittany, Billy, Seth, Harper and everyone else, involved a lot of back and forth between us. Unlike writing alone, collaboration requires you to tell someone else about your character before you write them. The back and forth anchored these characters firmly in my head. I felt like I knew them as well as the characters in my fantasy series that is about ten times longer.
Anyta and I also had to defend our vision of characters to each on several occasions. One or the other would say, “I don’t see Jack doing that.” Or “Ed would say something like that.” And we’d have to discuss who they were and how they’d react. Much like a thesis or dissertation, being forced to defend your position requires you be intimately connected to your subject. Once you have that connection, it doesn’t disappear, even when you’ve moved on to other characters.
Another reason I feel more connected to these characters is they grew up with Anyta and me. As we evolved as writers, so too did our characters. They might not have aged, but they certainly grew. And they also had to grow in a way that worked for two writers with strong opinions. Anyta and I ended up leaving little bits of ourselves in each. With each addition, I felt my character mature and became closer to them.
The end result are people I wouldn’t recognize when we started the story. I still have the original character sheets for Jack and Ed, and while they are at their core the same two people, they are much different now than when they were “born.” And that’s for the best. The people you’ll meet in Better Be Sure are better for their (and our) journey. They feel more alive and have more depth. At least I think so. Hopefully you will too.
In addition to the tour wide contest, at each stop on the blog tour, Anyta and I are giving away eBook copies of (Un)Masked—which we co-wrote—and Leo Love Aries—the first book in Anyta’s Signs of Love series. To be eligible, leave a comment below and tell us whether it pulls you from the story if the characters act ‘out of character.’ We’ll pick one winner for each book.*
*Readers are eligible to win one eBook during the tour and one of the three grand prizes.
Meet the Author
Andy Gallo prefers mountains over the beach, coffee over tea, and regardless if you shake it or stir it, he isn’t drinking a martini. He remembers his “good old days” as filled with mullets, disco music, too-short shorts, and too-high socks. Thanks to good shredders and a lack of social media, there is no proof he ever descended into any of those evils.
Andy does not write about personal experiences and no living or deceased ex-boyfriends appear on the pages of his stories. He might subconsciously infuse his characters with some of their less noble qualities, but that is entirely coincidental even if their names are the same. And while Andy leaves the hard sci-fi/fantasy for his alter ego, Andrew, in his mind a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good relationship.
Married and living his own happy every after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty years spend their days raising their daughter and rubbing elbows with other parents. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.
Andy is giving away a $25 Dreamspinner gift certificate, two audio codes, and 3 $5 Amazon gift cards with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.
In addition to the tour wide contest, at each stop on the blog tour, Anyta and Andy are giving away eBook copies of (Un)Masked— which they co-wrote—and Leo Love Aries—the first book in Anyta’s Signs of Love series. To be eligible, leave a comment below and tell them whether it pulls you from the story if the characters act ‘out of character.’ They’ll pick one winner for each book.*
*Readers are eligible to win one eBook during the tour and one of the three grand prizes.a Rafflecopter giveaway