Monday, May 6, 2019

Kiwi Passion - #mmromance #writinglgbt #loveislove #giveaway @JayHoganAuthor

Crossing the Touchline cover

By Jay Hogan (Guest Blogger)

I am so delighted to be here today and talk to you a bit about me and the background of my new release, Crossing the Touchline. It can be hard living in a small country on the other side of the world and writing regional mm romance for an audience that largely doesn’t know your country very well. You are kind of cut off from the day to day life of the larger US and UK readership and there is the differing world views and life experiences that make writing mm romance from a distinctly kiwi point of view very different in lots of ways.

In Crossing the Touchline this was even more obvious because of the sport of rugby. Most US readers would have little idea about the sport, whereas most UK, Australian, South African and even Canadian have much more familiarity. So in writing this book, I needed to give enough information to make the story credible, and yet not too much to lose the attention of those unfamiliar with it. A little like a kiwi reading an mm romance about ice-hockey!

Crossing the Touchline is a book that has been in my head for a long time. It was the book I wanted to write first, but I had the feeling that it wasn’t a ‘first book’ kind of story as it is a sub-genre of a sub-genrea sports mm romance within in the genre of mm romance. Not everyone likes sports themes. And so I wrote First Impressions instead, the first of the Auckland Med Stories, and which was released January 2018 through Blackout Books. I was really surprised and delighted by how well that book did, especially as it was my first published work. It is due to be re-released this year through Dreamspinner, for those of you who might have wondered where it disappeared to.

Rugby is my country’s passion. My Dad and my three brothers all played and coached. Before televised games, our family would get up in the wee hours of the morning to listen to the radio playing the game live from England or South Africa. When my dad was coaching rugby and the games had by then moved to television, his whole team slept in our lounge so everyone could get up and watch an overseas test.

So the idea of an out gay All Black is a big thing for NZ, and as the pre-eminent international rugby nation, it will also be a huge thing internationally, regardless of whether any others come out in other teams first. The media response will be massive, and I think that is the most significant reason why it hasn’t yet happened. No one wants to be that guy and deal with all that attention. The All Blacks are ready for it, in fact they are very vocally inclusive and walk the talk. Their management is ready and also vocal about being so, and Rugby NZ is ready, or so they say… but are the fans ready?

I hope you enjoy Crossing the Touchline. Let me know!

In fact, to encourage you to share your thoughts, I’m giving away a $10 bookstore gift certificate to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment – but be sure to include your email so I can find you if you win!


What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks?

What if that dream is so close you can smell it?
What if you meet someone?
What if you fall in love?
What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart?
And what if the dream changes?

Reuben Taylor has a choice to make.
Cameron Wano is that choice.

-Part of the Auckland Med. series that includes First Impressions, but can be read as a standalone.


The beach wasn’t too busy for a Sunday. The heavy cloud layer and a cool early-winter breeze had swept families away from the sand and into the shopping malls. I tugged a ball cap onto my head in an attempt to avoid any rugby-fan attention and spied an empty piece of wind-protected real estate under a large pōhutukawa. Setting Cory down on the rug, I placed his toy bag close. He might enjoy the beach, but he hated the sand. Noise and bright lights hit that sensitive spot too. On the plus side, he wouldn’t move from the rug if his life depended on it. No chasing him around.

A soft whine hummed in his throat as he sat stiff and unmoving. My gut tensed reactively, but I began to unpack his bag and did my best to ignore him. It was Cory’s default, I’m-not-really-happy-with-this warning signal, dammit. It would be just my luck for today to be one of the times he spat the dummy.

Keeping a sideways eye on his activity, I fiddled with his snacks while softly picking up the chorus to “Dancing Queen.” It was his alltime favourite song—quirky for a kid who didn’t like noise, I know, but I guess it was the rhythmic beat. All I knew was it worked. He’d even been known to crack a dance to it, though dance was perhaps too strong a word. Move jerkily but enthusiastically was perhaps more accurate. He was never gonna give Usher a run for his money, but I freaking loved watching him in those moments. Craig, however, found the spectacle of his son dancing hugely embarrassing and discouraged it. Eventually Cory learned to keep it just for us.

The whining calmed, and I stole a glance, reassured to find him watching me whilst nodding his head vigorously to the lyrics. I smiledand reached a hand out to stroke his hair, then stretched out on the rug beside him, gazing out to sea, tracing the lilac-and-green hills of Waiheke Island in the distance. And when I saw Cory’s hand reach into his pocket for his truck, I toned my volume down and relaxed. We were golden.

I wouldn’t give up your day job,” a familiar voice interrupted, and Cam sank cross-legged beside me.

I accepted the coffee he held out and my pulse lifted as our knees and fingers brushed and his eyes grazed my body with appreciation. I reeled in the kiss I instinctively wanted to plant on those damn glossed lips and settled for a smile instead. Gloss?

Thanks.” I raised my coffee to his.

He gave me a long look that damn near scorched my eyeballs, before tapping our paper cups together. “You’re welcome.”

Under the guise of sipping my coffee, I took a few seconds to drink him in instead and…. Lord help me, he looked good enough to eat. Appetiser, main, dessert, cheese plate, and after-dinner mint all rolled into one—a smorgasbord of sensual flesh, apparently cooked just how I liked. He shouldn’t have looked as sexy as he did, wearing a pair of relaxed, faded Levi’s, black sneakers, a plain baby-blue tee under a loose black jacket and not a scrap of makeup or hair gel.

Huh. That deserved a second look but, nope, no makeup bar the gloss. It was the first time I’d seen his face au naturel. Straight from the shower, hair freshly washed, smelling clean and vaguely apple-like, face scrubbed and shiny, he looked relaxed and casual, and I decided… I liked it. Liked it and wanted to lick every square inch of it, preferably naked. Oh dear God.

I cleared my throat and gave him some room, but not too much. “It was a good idea,” I said thickly. “The beach, I mean. Cory should be good for a half hour or so at least, but no promises.”

Cam shrugged. “No matter. We’ll take what we can get, right?”

I eyed him sideways. “Right. Though I think that was my line last time we talked.”

He held my gaze for a bit before dropping his eyes to the three paper bags he held in his free hand. “Muffin?” He held them out. “Wasn’t sure what you guys liked so I got chocolate chip, berry and white chocolate, and apricot. I’m easy.” He added the last with a wink.

I arched my brows at the double entendre. Evil bastard. And yeah, my crush crushed a little more. He was playing his advantage and clearly amused by it. I wasn’t. My dick had no room to grow and needed a timeout. And he needed to put up or shut up. He couldn’t have it both ways.

Like hell you are,” I countered. “If you’re easy, I’ll take difficult any day of the week and still come out on top. And you can take that any way you want.” Two could play that game.

His eyes went wide for a second, then he laughed. “A bit presumptuous without knowing the rules, I’d say. You’re telling me you’re a—”

Nothing,” I interrupted. “I’m telling you nothing. That information is on a need-to-know basis. Friends, remember? Your choice, I recall. And fucking with my head isn’t cool, just so you know.” I winced and glanced to Cory playing with his truck, but he apparently hadn’t caught the swearing.

Focusing back on Cam, I saw he looked somewhat startled. Good. Fuck him. I was sick of feeling half a page behind the damn story all the time. I might be less experienced, but hell if I was going to snivel around anyone, making puppy eyes, and it was about time he knew it. If this was going to be a friendship, it was going to be an equal one. I hadn’t got where I was in rugby by playing soft. I wanted him, but I didn’t need him, and I could match him in a bluff any day of the week. I did it for a fucking living, after all. Make them think you’re running one way and hedge the other—rugby fullback playbook 101.

He stared at me, saying nothing, and I tried to gauge what was going on in his head, but there was a guardedness to his expression I hadn’t seen since the wedding. Then just before the tension tipped over into awkward, he nodded.

Fair enough. It was my choice. And I apologise.” He held the bag out. “So, name your poison…?”

Huh. I slowly let out the breath I hadn’t realised I was holding as Cam rattled the bags again. “Oh, right. Um, I’ll take chocolate chip, and Cory will have the berry—minus the paper bag,” I cautioned.

Cam cocked his head, and I shrugged.

It’s a noise thing,” I explained. “Just tear the muffin in half and put it on the rug. He’ll take it from there.”

He did precisely as I’d said, and Cory stared at the torn muffin for a few seconds before reaching for a half.

Should I introduce myself?” Cam asked.

I shook my head, grateful for him not leaping all over the little guy. “Let me. We’ll give him a minute to get used to you first. He’ll let you know.”

We took a few sips of our coffee while Cory ran his truck up and down the rug until I saw he’d settled.

Cory.” I waited for a sign my nephew was listening. He rarely made eye contact, so I took what I could get and… there it was: he held his truck in his palm and went still. “This is Cam. He’s my friend. You can say hello.”

His gaze flicked to Cam, then back to his toy. “Hi, Cam.”

Hello, Cory. Nice to meet you.”

Cory put his truck back on the rug and continued playing. Beside me Cam took a bite of his muffin while I focused on trying to ignore how close we were sitting and the ridiculous furnace of heat radiating off the man’s body. His proximity did all sorts of peculiar things to my stomach, not to mention other geographically related appendages a little farther south.

You played really well yesterday,” Cam said.

I tried not to stare as he bit off a large chunk of muffin and swallowed it down with a contented sigh. I nibbled at my own, not really hungry. “Um, thanks. But you know—team effort.”

He grinned. “Modesty is admirable as long as you know how good you really are. Mathew says you’re the bomb, and friendship demands honesty and full disclosure. So, try again.”

Heat rose in my cheeks and my gaze slid sideways, only to find Cory focussed on the two of us, his truck forgotten in his lap. Something about Cam had caught his interest. Get in line, kid.

Really?” I sighed. “We’re gonna do this now?”

Cam raised his brows but said nothing.

Okay. Well, I played pretty good, then. Satisfied?” I shoved my remaining muffin in my mouth so I couldn’t be asked to add anything, and near choked in the process.

He snorted. “You’re damn cute, you know.”

Not… cute,” I spat muffin crumbs down my jacket. “Cute will get me fucking crucified on the field, arsehole.”

Cory’s head shot up. Shit. “Sorry, kid, bad word.” I rolled my eyes at Cam. “Your fault.”

His grin grew wider. “Not.” He grabbed the empty bag from my lap, brushing my thigh with his fingers in the process and raising the heat level in my jeans to a tick off incendiary. The blush hit my cheeks before I even had a chance to look away. I sent him a withering glance, but all he did was smirk and head for the recycling bins.

Pretty damn cute,” he threw over his shoulder.

About the Author

Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively, living in a number of countries. She’s a cat aficionado especially Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing - pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending on the word count, the deadline, her characters’ moods, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.

You can find Jay at:

jayhoganauthor [at] gmail [dot] com

Don't forget to leave a comment and enter my drawing!


Debby said...

I would enjoy reading this story. It looks amazing.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Barbra said...

I've only read a few m/m sports books, and I know nothing of rugby, but the excerpt
really did the job. Now I NEED to know the rest of the story. It sounds wonderful.

joye said...

This one sounds really good. Would like to read.
I like the cover

Sherry said...

This sounds like it will be a very good book and I look forward to reading it.
strodesherry4 at gmail dot com

ELF said...

I think any story with compelling characters and situations is fun to read and I always enjoy learning about new places. Lovely excerpt (and although I'll have to learn what some of the Kiwi-isms mean, lol, I can infer from the context). Good luck on the release and thanks for the giveaway!

elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

Jamilla said...

Sounds like a good one. Thank you for the excerpt. :)

H.B. said...

LOOKS great. Thank you for the excerpt!
humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

orelukjp0 said...

I have never been to a rugby match but I do enjoy American Football a lot.
Thank you for the great excerpt.

orelukjp0 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

sounds interesting
bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Jen B. said...

I guess I'm clueless because I don't know why someone's sexual orientation makes a difference to their careers even if that career is as a sports figure. It's so weird. Jepeb AT verizon (dot ) NET

Angela Saver said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading more!

Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts! (And if you're having trouble commenting, try enabling third-party cookies in your browser...)