I don’t know about other authors, but I find an incredible serendipity between my book characters and my real life. I’ll give you an example. It’s almost Christmas and I’m listening to the Andrews Sisters singing Silver Bells. Specifically, my mind is trying to wrap itself around the concept of the lyrics, “people laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile…”
Really? I have no idea in which realm these gals did their shopping, but from my point of view, it’s been a little traumatic dealing with the annual return of the dreaded Parking Space Thief.
Oh, yes. You know that special holiday person. The one who thinks he/she is so important they can steal the parking spot you’ve been patiently waiting for.
It happened to me today and I admit, I went bonkers. I really got into it with the thief, even as my thoughts kept whirling: Are you crazy? What if he’s got a gun?
The thief was unrepentant, even when I asked, “Can’t you at least say you’re sorry?”
He countered with, “How about we each say we’re sorry to each other?”
I frowned at him. It’s the kind of thing a mediator would say. Or some maddening therapist viewing this from afar. I wanted to kick the guy in the shins, then I wanted to rear-end his brand new Trans-Am.
I needed a mediator. I really did. A mediator to mediate with the maddening thief, who, I suspected was a mediator.
You see, I know all about them and can spot one a mile off. I didn’t owe the thief an apology, but he apparently thought if he needed to apologize, then so did I.
He didn’t get his apology, and neither did I.
As he took off for his fast-food lunch, and I circled the parking lot yet again, I wondered, what would Icarus Smith do?
He’s the mediator in my new book just released this week from Totally Bound. And it’s called, wait for it, The Mediator.
I should mention that The Mediator was my first solo title at Totally Bound some years ago, but I have revamped and added over 10,000 words to it. So it feels like new!
Icarus mediates more important things than parking spaces, but in creating him, I realize I have come up with the perfect man. Wouldn’t it be nice to be with a guy who can hold your hands, fight your battles, and win them? And love you unconditionally?
I hope somewhere in the real world that guys like Icarus exist, but at least, for me, he does, and for a few moments in a rotten encounter, I called him forth. He told me to calm down, another space would come and deep down, it’s still Christmas.
Here is a blurb and excerpt of The Mediator. Please leave a comment to qualify for the draw to win a free ebook copy!
Icarus Smith has two problems, and they both want him…their Mediator.
Icarus Smith has just landed an unusual assignment. A licensed mediator used to handling squabbling spouses, he’s been hand-picked to negotiate a forty-million-dollar welterweight championship title fight. The problem is, these two world boxing champions hate each other. Worst of all, Icarus has discovered that one of them, Italian superstar Paolo de Luca, is the man with whom he had a passionate affair in Italy the previous summer. Paolo cruelly dumped him, and Icarus realizes he is still devastated. Can he overcome his personal feelings to work with Paolo and the boxer’s arch-nemesis, US champion Adam Wyler?
So far, the fight scheduled to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden is a bust. Fans have bought tickets, and Pay-Per-View sales are through the roof. Just like Lady Di’s face once adorned dishcloths, these guys have their faces on buttons, badges, posters, TV and print ads. And they don’t care.
But Icarus has an even bigger problem. He’s just accepted promoter Thaddeus Halsey’s huge wad of cash to broker this deal and Icarus wants the money for a restoration project in his hometown in Las Vegas. Can Icarus go through with mediation? Can he persuade the man who broke his heart to face the guy who now apparently wants it?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of multiple male ménage.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by Totally Bound under the same title. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for re-release.
“You’re ordering that?” Jerome Curtin scoffed at me.
I looked up from the menu, trying to hide my embarrassment. Ten minutes I’d known the guy, and it was ten minutes too many. Before I could respond, a man in red silk pants and a lime green shirt rushed by me on stilts. Jugglers followed him, then came the singers. The diners around us began to applaud. To my astonishment, the statue of an old man sitting on the bench right opposite me came to life.
The briny smell of St. Mark’s Square and the canal’s waters filled my senses with nostalgia. The singers in their brightly colored costumes gathered near the fountain, gaudy masks held to their faces, and started to sing. The Carnevale di Venezia came beautifully to life. The twilight ambience with its flickering wall sconces put me in a better mood, as did the old Italian folk melody. I recognized it, but didn’t remember how.
I glanced back up at the waiter. Pity flashed in his eyes. I guessed he’d had his share of bad dates, too.
“Sorry.” In a flash of joy it came back to me. “Lu Me Sceccu,” I practically shouted.
My table companion looked startled then he rolled his eyes. “Number one on Billboard, was it?”
Well! No need to be rude. “I know that song!” I tried to place it and it hit me.
I couldn’t believe that almost eighteen months later, I’d buried the memory so deep that it hurt to recall it. It was like a scar on my soul. I spent my whole life counseling people, urging them to forget the past. Me, I’d just submerged the pain in work. I took a deep breath and grabbed my glass of iced water.
“Sir?” The waiter’s eyes were full of sympathy. “Are you okay?”
No. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you.”
Jerome Curtin suddenly leaned across the table and kissed me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he slipped his tongue into my mouth. It was like being invaded by an electric eel.
I pushed him off me. “What are you doing?” I sputtered as iced water ran down my suit and tie. It figured that the one time I’d splurged on new clothes, they’d be ruined.
The waiter produced hand towels out of nowhere and gave them to me, still looking like he felt very bad for me.
“Thank you.” I pressed the towels against my soaking wet shirt.
“You looked like you wanted to be kissed,” Jerome said.
Not by you.
“You had this look in your eye.”
Yeah, I could just imagine. I’d thought I was over it—him, that is. The astonishing man I’d met that summer, when I’d found the love I’d thought would never die. Lu Me Sceccu. I smiled now, recalling that it was an elderly woman’s love song to her dearly departed forty-year-old donkey.
“Icarus, you’re keeping the man waiting!” Jerome blared the words at me over the top of the singers’ voices.
A busboy appeared and deftly replaced the tablecloth, gave me a new napkin, then refilled my water glass. I thanked him. I could feel water seeping into my underpants. Later, I might find this funny. Right now, I wished I’d gone home and caught up on case work, like I usually did.
“I’ll have a dozen oysters,” I said, changing my order. “And the tomato ricotta salad, please.”
The waiter nodded. “Excellent choice, sir.”
As he took Jerome’s order, I grasped for the fleeting moments of sheer happiness I recalled from that magnificent Sunday lunch when Pio had taken me to meet his family. I had never felt so accepted, so…embraced by a family. I’d wanted to be with them forever. And it wasn’t like me, not at all, to fall so quickly, so hard.
To love total strangers so deeply.
About the Author:
A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.
A.J’s passion for the islands have led to writing a play about the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani, plus a non-erotic novel about the overthrow of her kingdom written in diary form from her maid’s point of view.
AJ never lacks inspiration for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasions this happens, pursue other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.
A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.
How to find/friend me:
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