They say good things come to those who wait and I have a very sweet treat for those of you who have been patiently waiting for my *ahem* Valentine’s Day book.
After Hank Edwards and I finished our respective winter holiday stories set in the Williamsville Inn universe, he mentioned he had an idea for Carter, the best friend of the main character in his book Snowflakes and Song Lyrics. He wanted to write a Valentine’s Day book. I considered the idea of writing one but didn’t immediately have any ideas and I really didn’t have time to add it to my schedule. But then one day, it hit me.
I immediately sent a message to Hank: “Aww crap. I have an idea for a Valentine’s Day story.”
He responded with: “Yay! I mean, ahem, oh no!”
I said, “When Seth and Erik from Snowstorms and Second Chances move in together, Seth’s brother Adrian helps him move from NYC to Philly and he meets Seth’s roommate …”
Off I went with the story. Unfortunately, in January, we both stalled. Hank had things in his life he was dealing with, I had a weird case of writer’s block. While I love Seth’s roommate, Ajay Sunagar, he was a complicated character to write. His parents are from India and he had a complicated relationship with them and with his heritage. As Jay told Adrian in the story, “I straddled this weird line of being too brown and Indian for white people and too white and American for the Desi community.”
I wasn’t sure how to write that. I wanted to do justice to how complicated and multi-layered his relationship with his family and his culture was but I was afraid of messing it up. I think somewhere along the line, I psyched myself out of writing completely, afraid I’d screw it up completely. But connecting with a lovely reader from one of the M/M Facebook groups who pointed me in the direction of where to research and answer questions about what it’s like being Indian-American, I made some progress. I sent it off to Hank for some early feedback, which broke through the rest of the block.
I can’t promise I got every aspect of what it’s like to be a second-generation Indian-American gay man perfectly right, and every individual’s experience varies so widely, but I worked very hard to do my best by Jay. And I love him for all of his snarky, sexy sweetness. Adrian is a lovely character too, a single dad who messed up his first shot at a relationship with Jay and who has to make amends for what he did.
While I’m about three months past the Valentine’s Day released I’d hoped to have, I am very happy with the way The Cupcake Conundrum turned out. Getting Adrian and Jay where they needed to be was tough but in the end, I love how it all came together and I hope you’ll enjoy reading the book as much as I love it now!
Buy The Cupcake Conundrum at Amazon or read free through Kindle Unlimited!
The Cupcake Conundrum blurb:
What could be worse than having to spend a week with the man you ghosted?
When Adrian Cobb arrives in New York to help his brother move, he comes face to face with the biggest mistake of his past—a baking conference hookup he rudely ditched a year ago. Now, he’s sharing a guest room with Ajay Sunagar, who looks as tasty as the pastries he bakes, and Adrian desperately wants to prove he can handle the heat this time.
But Jay makes it clear he isn’t ready to forgive and forget Adrian’s bad behavior. None of Adrian’s repeated apologies seem to make a dent in the walls Jay’s put up and Adrian can’t tell if Jay would rather make him grovel or cover Adrian in frosting and lick him all over. Adrian’s afraid that this time, Jay will be the one to walk away—unless Adrian can find a way to make him believe in second chances.
The Cupcake Conundrum” is a sweet-treat story about a single dad, instant attraction, and falling in love all over again that takes place in the Williamsville Inn series world. It features characters from Brigham Vaughn’s Snowstorms and Second Chances, along with Snowflakes and Song Lyrics and The Cupid Crawl by Hank Edwards.
Excerpt from The Cupcake Conundrum:
“Jay?” Adrian said hoarsely.
“Adrian.” The blood had drained from Jay’s face, making his normally rich brown skin tone look almost chalky. But he looked every bit as handsome as he had when Adrian had first seen him a little over a year ago.
“Wait, you two know each other?” Seth’s voice snapped Adrian out of the daze he’d been immersed in.
“Yeah, you could say that,” Jay said. His jaw was clenched and he’d gone completely stone-faced. The warm brown eyes Adrian had loved looking into as Jay fucked him sent an icy shiver down his back now. Double shit.
“What? How?” Seth asked.
“The baking expo!” Adrian blurted out. Seth blinked at his loud tone, and Adrian winced, then cleared his throat. “You remember that international baking expo I went to last year?”
“Here in New York? Yeah. I was mad because you said you were going to visit me while you were here but you punked out on me.”
Adrian had punked out on him because he’d been in bed with Jay. He just hadn’t mentioned that part to his brother. He’d never mentioned Jay at all until today.
“Yeah, you’ll apparently never let me forget it either.”
“Nope. But so … what does that have to do with Jay?” Seth’s puzzled expression smoothed out. “Oh, you met there, huh? Well, that makes sense. Cool. What a small world!”
“Yeah, sure is,” Jay said with a scowl as he brushed past.
Grab your copy of The Cupcake Conundrum now!