The Novel Approach welcomes author J.R. Gray today, with a shared excerpt and giveaway of their latest novel, Veil of Scars, just released by Evernight Publishing. Enjoy the tease, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of the book.
Thank you so much for having me on The Novel Approach to talk about my new release Veil Of Scars.
This one was an emotional roller coaster for me to write. I brought a lot of personal experience to it, and I wrote it as an intermix of current scenes and flashbacks to give the readers an in-depth connection to Steve. This isn’t a typical type of romance novel, and I was reluctant to publish it at first because I was worried there wasn’t a market for alternative love stories. I’m so glad my beta pushed me to finish Steve’s book because everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.
There was so much emotion that went into this scene because Steve feels he’s not good enough for Sam, who he’s just realizing he’s been in love with for years. I was going through a rough patch myself at the time, and I really channeled my emotions into the piece, which has made it not only an emotional book for me, but also a piece that holds a special place in my heart.
He loved them both, but he was too damaged to make either of them happy.
Here is a sneak peek from Veil of Scars:
I paced the living room, making rounds around the worn coffee table. It had been three days since the yard. My books were strewn about the room, but I couldn’t focus on anything. My mind couldn’t—no, wouldn’t—hold any more information. The scene with Sam kept playing over and over in my head. My feelings bottled inside me were like a dam about to burst. He was going to be home in the next five minutes. I either had to gather my things and make a run for the library as I had been doing for days, or suck it up and confront him.
I owed it to Sam to be honest. I pressed a hand into my chest, steadying myself as the handle of the door turned and it swung open. Sam walked in, and his shoulders dropped. He tossed his bag down before he looked up and saw me. The shock was written on his face.
“I told Char this morning I thought you had moved out on us. You’ve been a ghost.”
I took a hard seat on the sofa, which sent stacks of papers flying in every direction. “Been a little stressed.”
He shrugged out of his coat and hung it up on the hook, closing the door behind him. “School or…” He trailed off.
“I need to tell you something.” I balled and un-balled my fists to stop my hands from shaking.
“Okay.” He took a seat next to me and looked over expectantly. Wednesdays he got home an hour before Charlie, and we had taken to using that time to watch his favorite reality shows. It usually ended up with his arms around me or my head in his lap.
But not today. I held my ground. I knew I’d lose my edge if he touched me.
“You’re acting like you’ve killed someone.” His brow creased in the center, and he scooted towards me.
I shrank back and didn’t speak. My throat was dry.
“Spill already,” he growled. “You’re scaring me.” I could see the truth in his words in his gaze.
I blew a breath. “I love you, Sam.”
I waited. He didn’t react.
“Well duh.” He reached up to grab me by the shirt pulling me closer, but I held back.
“No.” I pushed him back so I could look at him. “I’m in love with you.”
His eyes went a little wider, and he didn’t say anything. The air between us was thick, and bile rose in my throat. His mouth opened as if he was going to speak, but he closed it again as he knit his brow.
I could see it written all over him. The pity. I hated that look. It wasn’t often I saw it from Sam, which might have been half the reason I let him in. Everyone kept their distance because of the protective walls I had built around myself. He’d ignored them from day one. Not even when I showed up on his doorstep with two black eyes and a swollen lip did he look at me like he was now, but it was there, written clearly across his face. Pain lanced out across my chest, and I dropped my gaze to the floor.
“How can you know that, Steven?” He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “You’ve never even been with anyone.”
Blurb: Steven is tall, dark and damaged. He doesn’t let anyone close, comfortable on the outside of normal life where he can hide his scars behind a wall so high that nothing gets through…except them. Despite a childhood marred with black and blue, he’s survived and moved in with his two best friends, Sam and Charlie.
Life should get better, but it was Sam who held him when the dark threatened to swallow him whole, Sam who gave him a place that felt like home, and Sam who knew every scar and every broken place.
And it’s all been taken away with Charlie sharing Sam’s bed.
Without his former comfort, Steven realizes what’s been hiding in the deep corners of his heart, and the truth sinks him like a weight. He’s in love with one or maybe both of his roommates. Navigating unrequited love tears Steven apart and brings him to the precipice, and he has to choose: his feelings or Sam’s…and Charlie’s?
Categories: Menage, M/F/M, New Adult, Gay Romance
Author Bio: When not staying up all night writing, J.R Gray can be found basking in the warm glow of the Miami sun, or at the gym where it’s half assumed Gray is a permanent resident. A dominant, pilot, and sword fighting enthusiast, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. Gray frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns, to jot down nonsense. The bane of Gray’s existence are commas, and even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder.
If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The build up of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave or possibly a mental institution where the tales would end up on the walls in crayon and finger paint.
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