I’d like to welcome back Morticia as my guest! She’s here to tell us about Hollywood Bound: book 1 in the Gin & Jazz series today, so please give her a warm welcome and feel free to leave a comment or two! 🙂
Take it away, Morticia!
Two Men Struggling With Their Desires in the Gin & Jazz Era
Hi Jennifer – thanks for having me at your blog today! I have been on a whirlwind with the Gin & Jazz series. Hollywood Bound is the first of a four book serialization, with three additional spin-off stories that demanded to be told. I couldn’t leave all those other hot men in the series without their own happily-ever-after now could I? That just wouldn’t be right. But the first one just came out, and since it is a part of the focus on firsts promotion at Totally Bound – you can grab your copy for only 99 cents! Wow!
Hollywood Bound begins in America in 1924. Today I’m going to share with you a little bit about my two main characters for this first book. Jack is a sweet, innocent nineteen year-old man who has had a rough beginning in life. He came to New York at sixteen after being beaten up at the orphanage for messing around with one of the guys there. There’s a lot of fear in him, but he is surprisingly strong. He just doesn’t know it yet. The first four books are really about Jack’s journey into true adulthood, discovering who he really is, and who and what is really important to him. Of course, getting to that Happily-Ever-After is a big part of that process.
He meets Nick upon his arrival in New York at the train station. Nick is a few years older, and more streetwise. He feels bad for the lost and scared kid at the station, so he offers to get him a job with his uncle who owns a vaudeville theatre off-Broadway. Eventually, the two become best friends. Nick not only helps Jack out, he ends up protecting him as well.
Now that they have been together for a while, Jack has fallen deeply in love with Nick, and wonders what it would be like if Nick wanted to be with him like a woman. But he’s certain that will never happen. Nick is engaged to a gal back in Philly, and he’s never said anything about wanting a man. However, once in a while Jack thinks he can see something in the way Nick looks at him, so he still holds on to hope.
The two men are united in one thing – and that’s their desire to get to Hollywood where they are sure they can make a great living working at the studios as set builders. They both love silent films, and want to start over somewhere new. But lately, Nick’s thoughts have been straying to how he really feels about Jack. In the following excerpt, Nick is on the verge of admitting the truth to himself.
Jack and Nick seek fortune and adventure in the silent film era of Hollywood. But their newly-expressed love is threatened by the heady allure of fame, gin and easy money.
Nick wiped the sweat off his brow for what felt like the hundredth time. It was after midnight, and they’d been working under the hot stage lights for several hours. They had to get everything just right before they could leave, otherwise their boss Pearson would have a fit and use that as yet another excuse not to give them their past due wages. He was down to his last Chesterfield. They weren’t his favourite brand of cigarette, but at five cents for ten sticks, he couldn’t complain. When they got to Hollywood and were making the big bucks, he would only smoke Luckys from then on.
He checked his pocket. Thirty cents left. They were going to be in real trouble if Pearson didn’t come through the next day. He had to wash his and Jack’s shirts, and he’d have to feed the kid tomorrow. He’d only had coffee and a cheese sandwich all day. Nick still felt guilty about getting the hamburger. That had been another fifteen cents they could have saved, but Jack had insisted.
“You have to do all of the heavy stuff at the theatre. You need to eat something good.”
I could always dip into the Hollywood money. There’s close to fifty dollars in there.
Nick winced. It was so tempting when his belly was grumbling and their clothes smelled like an old hobo in Central Park, but they had to stay strong. Once they got to Hollywood they would be okay. Things would be different.
“Hey, Nicky, whaddya think?” Oscar yelled from the front of the stage. “I think it looks great and that we should get the fuck outta here.”
Nick went around the curtains that were pulled open to the side of the stage and hopped off the front into the orchestra pit. He surveyed the backdrop and the other sliding set pieces that had been arranged for Act One. Jack came down the aisle and stopped next to him.
“I think it’s okay. Whaddya say Nick?”
Nick looked down at Jack’s innocent smiling face. Nick was about a half a foot taller than the blond-haired, blue-eyed kid, and sometimes he felt so protective of him that he thought it would crush his heart. No one should ever be abused the way Jack had been. He was such a sweet guy, and he didn’t even have any family. No one to care for him. No one except Nick.
At times it felt like a burden—like Nick had taken on a responsibility that wasn’t his. But they had always looked out for each other, and it was great not to have to be alone in the city, to have someone he could rely on.
And there was the other thing. At first, Nick had thought it was just sympathy that made him feel so soft about Jack. Like the same way he might feel if a little puppy was lost and left in the cold. He’d want to take it in and feed it and hold it close. But lately he’d been wrestling with the idea that it might be something more than that.
I ain’t no queer. I’m engaged and everything.
He and Penelope had only ever kissed and done a little petting. It hadn’t particularly excited him, so he thought maybe he was just one of those guys who wasn’t that much into sex. Or maybe when he was a little older he’d like it more.
So maybe it’s just that I’m older now and Penelope’s not here, but Jack is. Maybe that’s all it is.
He wasn’t so sure that was it either. Because when he thought about Penelope he had a sinking feeling in his stomach that seemed more like feeling trapped that he had to marry her. But when he thought about Jack, his dick got hard.
I ain’t no queer. That’s all I have to remind myself of.
But it was getting more and more difficult every day.
Get your copy of Hollywood Bound for only 99 cents!
M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.
When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.
She is currently working on the Gin & Jazz series about the glitz and glamour of 1920’s Hollywood – with more naughtiness to follow in 2014.