Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Julie Lynn Hayes

Welcome Guest Blogger Julie Lynn Hayes

I am very honored to have on my blog today Julie Lynn Hayes.    She is discussing her latest book "It Started With a Dare."


Top of Form

Boredom at the Junior Prom leads to a dare that leads to a kiss between two seventeen year old boys. Being gay in rural Georgia is no picnic. As circumstances force them together, Mark and Blake uncover truths about themselves, embarking on a daring relationship. But they’ve got one major strike against them already—Mark is unwilling to come out about his sexuality, and Blake doesn’t want to live in a closet. 

Can they fan the flames of their relationship, or will it sputter and die?


"If you want to dance closer, I won't bite. Honest." The perky brunette flashed him a smile. She took a step closer to Blake; he instinctively stepped back. She pouted at him, although she'd honestly expected nothing less.

Blake freed one hand, pushed his wire glasses back up his nose—they had a disconcerting habit of sliding down, especially when his nose was sweating, like now. He didn't know if it was the heat from all the moving bodies packed into a relatively small space or because it was his first formal dance, even if it was just the Junior Prom.  If this smaller version was stressful, he already dreaded next year's event.

Blake's entrance into puberty was slow, much to his chagrin. Where other boys were shooting up like proverbial weeds, he'd only managed to reach five foot seven, and he still had traces of his baby fat. He kept his dirty blond hair short on the sides, with a little more length on top. His hazel eyes viewed the world myopically, through the glasses he'd worn since a bout of lazy eye at the age of five left his vision in need of aid. He thought his nose was altogether too fat for his face, and he thought his cupid lips made him appear too feminine, while the dimple in his chin was something he could do nothing about.

"Do you want me to dance closer?" he asked Violet. True to her name, she wore a purple dress which came up above her knees and matching stockings. He thought she looked cute in it, like the flower she'd been named for.  One wrist was decorated with a corsage of birdfoot violet. Blake had made it for her. He enjoyed making things. The flowers were in bloom this time of year, and he knew where to find them.

"Never mind, Blake, I was just teasing." She offered him a small smile, and he relaxed. Besides, he reasoned, the slow music wouldn't last long, and it didn't, suddenly belting out another faster, louder tune. One that made his temples throb.

"Want some punch?" he asked. He really wanted to get away from all this noise. It seemed to be quieter by the refreshment table, and he could use something to drink himself. She nodded, and he gratefully took her arm in order to escort her. They'd taken but a few steps when he felt himself violently jarred by someone. He was forced to relinquish his hold on Violet as he attempted to keep from falling.

Blake's eyes traveled upward, as the person he'd collided with was taller than he was.  He caught a glimpse of blue-green eyes and bright red hair. He knew who the boy was—Mark Wittington. They'd been going to the same schools ever since grade school, but he honestly couldn't say he knew Mark, other than to recognize him. He started to apologize, sure that the collision had been his fault, caused by his innate clumsiness.

But he never got the chance.

He suddenly found himself gripped by strong hands, one on either arm, and nearly lifted the few inches of height which separated them. His lips were ground almost mercilessly against Mark's. Blake was too surprised to even think to push him away or to protest.

All too soon, the kiss had ended and Blake found himself back on his feet, reeling slightly. His head was swirling and his lips tingling from the contact. It wasn't that Blake hadn't been kissed before—he had—but nothing like this.

He touched his finger to his lips, trying to comprehend what had just happened and why. But his thoughts were disrupted by braying laughter. He shook himself out of his daze.  Mark stood there, a vicious grin upon his face and his index finger pointed directly at Blake. He was laughing. So was the smaller guy that stood beside him. Blake thought his name was Dylan, but he didn't know him either. Not just them, but everyone in the gym seemed to be staring and laughing. At him.

Blake's face flamed scarlet. He was unused to being the center of attention, especially not a situation such as this. His eyes frantically moved about the circle of laughing people. His peers. His classmates. Even Violet seemed to wear a knowing grin.

It was too much. He felt tears threatening to cloud his vision. No way would he let them see him cry. He had to get out of here, had to go. Now. Turning toward the point in the crowd which seemed the thinnest, he stumbled through it. The bass of the current musical selection pounded in his brain while the hoots and hollers and catcalls of the other students followed him as he found his way out of the brick building and into the parking lot.

He followed the line of the building until he was out of sight of everyone and everything. Then he turned his face toward the comfort offered by the silent edifice and began to cry, his shoulders heaving. Great sobs racked his body; he was sure he was going to be sick.

Blake squeezed his eyes shut, trying to stem the tears. His glasses were useless now until he wiped them off.  Why? Why? Why? What was the point of that? To make fun of him? Mark didn't even really know him, so why bother?

 But more importantly, why did his kiss feel so good?

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. Currently unemployed,  she continues to write her books and stories  and reviews which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Romance First Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Silver Publishing.  

Buy Links

Bottom of Form


  1. Thanks for having me, Lily! I welcome any and all comments! Go to my blog at Full Moon Dreaming to find out how to win a copy of It Started With a Dare!

  2. Poor Blake. I want to give him a hug right now.

    Definitely want to read more of the story. :)

  3. I cant wait to read. :D Great blurb and excerpt