Author: Lily Velden
Genre: gay romance, contemporary
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.
Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery — both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
EXCERPT: ONLY HERE FOR THE SPA AND SAUNA
MY STOMACH muscles clamped down as they fought against the nest of vipers writhing in my belly. I couldn’t decide if they were seeking their freedom via my belly button or my esophagus. All I knew was my body was too small and too rigid to contain them. I wanted them to leave my body. They made me feel ill.
My head was too full and overflowing, my limbs too heavy. I couldn’t hold onto a single thought. Hell, I couldn’t hold on to the smallest of breaths.
I was more nervous, strung tighter than I’d ever been for any exam I’d sat for or job interview I’d attended. What was I thinking? What on earth was I doing? Did I really want to open this can of worms?
While my mind tied me in knots, my legs hastily carried me of their own volition across the road with my head down and shoulders hunched.
While my inhibitions crippled me, my hand acted of its own accord and turned the doorknob that would take me into a foreign world… a gay world.
I hesitated with my hand still on the doorknob, unable to resist, quickly scanning up and down the street, needing to make sure no one I knew was around to witness what I was about to do. Seeing no one I recognized, I gave the door a small push.
After stepping inside the discreet entrance to the bathhouse, I paused and took a deep breath, scanning the room. The first thing that struck me was how quiet it was. Other than some softly playing generic background music, I couldn’t hear a thing. It was only as that information registered that I realized
I had anticipated hearing something.
The room appeared innocent enough, with a rather plain wooden reception desk immediately in front of me and some comfy-looking armchairs and coffee tables to my left. Glancing behind the reception desk, down a long corridor, I could see a sliver of what appeared to be a bar. To my right, beyond the L-shaped desk, was a closed door I assumed led to the rest of the complex—to the areas that made me in equal parts nervous and excited.
The guy at reception wasn’t what I expected, though what I’d expected was somewhat vague—I just knew a six-foot-four hulk of a guy with a shaved head and pierced ear through which he’d hooked a dangling, almost chandelierlike earring, wasn’t it. My gaze traveled down to his thickly muscled chest, covered by a tight white T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “I’m only here for the spa and sauna.”
I smiled, the tension flowing out of my limbs. At least the management had a sense of humor.
Still feeling very unsure of myself, I slowly approached the guy, who watched me with an amused grin on his face. He was, it seemed, an expert at spotting newcomers.
“Let me guess,” he began with a big, rather toothy grin. “You’re only here for the spa and sauna.”
Buy Links:Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K2NT2MW
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K2NT2MW
Amazon AU http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00K2NT2MW
Amazon DE http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00K2NT2MW
About the authorLily Velden lives on the east coast of Australia, her family having emigrated from Holland when she was a child.
She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer… one day.
Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems, and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes… Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.”
Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety—Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers.
There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.
Lily Velden can be found at:
Twitter Name: @LilyVelden