Gay Book Reviews is thrilled to welcome j. leigh baily to the blog today revealing the beautiful cover for her newest book Guyliner!
A HUGE thank you to Gay Book Reviews for allowing me to show off the cover of my upcoming Gay YA romance, GUYLINER.
I am absolutely in love with the cover Alexandria Corza created for me. It is exactly how I pictured the cover in my head as I was writing GUYLINER. This book holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been amazingly lucky to watch the story of Connor and Graham (which came to me while visiting my local Taco Bell and interacting with a young male cashier who had the most amazing blue eyes accented by thick eyeliner) go from a vague idea, to a project, and now to the final project. I love these two boys and I hope readers will too.
Author: j. leigh bailey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Seventeen-year-old Connor works his butt off to maintain the golden-boy persona he’s created. He has the grades, the extracurriculars, the athletics, and a part-time job at his dad’s shop… every detail specifically chosen to ensure the college scholarships he needs to get the hell out of the Podunk town where he lives. The last thing he needs is an unexpected attraction to Graham, an eyeliner-wearing soccer phenom from St. Louis, who makes him question his goals and his sexuality. Sure, he’s noticed good-looking boys before—that doesn’t have to mean anything, right?—but he’s got a girlfriend. There’s no room on the agenda for hooking up with Graham, but the heart doesn’t always follow the rules.
As he and Graham grow close, other aspects of Connor’s life fall apart. Family pressure, bad luck, and rumors threaten to derail his carefully laid plans. Suddenly the future he’s fighting for doesn’t seem quite as alluring, especially if he has to deny who he really is to achieve it.
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Graham Parker certainly wasn’t in St. Louis anymore. He sat in the parking lot of Fitz’s Auto Repair and Service waiting for the song on the satellite radio to finish. As the final note faded, he shut off the engine of the two-year-old BMW. Like the rest of the town, Fitz’s was unpretentious and a little bit grimy around the edges. It was the kind of place that made him think of hardworking blue-collar Americans, and of lazy dogs lounging behind chain-link fences, stuck smack dab in the middle of the Midwest. Green Valley was the kind of place where tofu and fusion cuisine were considered too “citified” for regular folk and meatloaf was on the menu weekly.
A nice change from the trendy St. Louis neighborhood he’d grown up in. He’d gotten enough side-eyed looks since arriving that he was tempted to act a little outrageous. Really give them something to stare at. He’d decided, fun as it would be, to ignore his impulses. This place wasn’t ready for sequins and feather boas. Not that he owned any. No, it was better to focus on making a good impression on the athletics department. Despite the just-this-side-of-hick feel to the town, the high school had one of the highest-ranking soccer programs in the country, and college scouts were known to stop by matches pretty often.
Graham lived for soccer.
Besides, he wasn’t really the in-your-face kind. So if he was going to attract attention, he’d do it by being himself—the eyeliner-wearing new kid who kicked ass on the soccer field.
“I’ll be right with you,” a deep voice called from somewhere in the back.
“No hurry.” Graham looked at the board above the counter listing the services and prices offered at the shop. He tucked his thumbs into the pockets of his tight jeans and rocked on his feet while he waited, trying to picture the face and body that matched the yummy voice.
The guy who walked out of the back room put his imagination to shame. He was tall, broad, and blond. His muscles, revealed by the grease-smeared white tank, gleamed golden with a fine layer of sweat. Graham’s eyebrows winged up in recognition. It was the hot baseball player who had offered him a ride the day before. The worn jeans had seen better days—there were holes at the knees, and they were threadbare along the seams—but they hugged an incredible body. The blond wiped his hands on a towel that was more black than white as he approached the desk.
The guy’s polite smile slipped when his hazel gaze landed on Graham. A quick flash of recognition flickered across his face before the professional mask returned. “What can I do for you?”
Graham held up his key ring. “It’s due for regular maintenance. Oil change, tire rotation, you know, the whole list. My father called yesterday to say I’d be dropping it off this afternoon.”
The blond nodded and tapped at the plastic-covered keyboard of the computer. “Parker, right?” At his nod, the guy printed what Graham assumed was the service order and stuffed it into a blue folder. Another piece of paper spewed out of the printer. This one he pushed at Graham. “I’ll need you to sign here. It should be ready for you by six.”
“All right.” Graham handed over the keys.
He looked at the sign on the wall that read “Fitz’s” and arched his brows. “Family business?”
“Something like that. It’s my dad’s garage.” Connor held out a pen for Graham to sign the form.
Graham reached for it, accidentally brushing his fingers against Connor’s. Connor jerked back, dropping the pen. They both reached for it at the same time. Their gazes met and held over the greasy Bic. Connor cleared his throat. “Sorry.”
Graham’s mind whirled as he signed the form. He didn’t expect to meet another gay student in Green Valley. Despite the size of the high school, the place seemed a little too rural, too conservative for a queer population to flourish. He figured a Gay-Straight Alliance group on campus was too much to hope for, and after spending a few days around his new classmates, he suspected that any student still sitting in the closet would keep it quiet until college. But maybe he’d lucked out. If ever there was a guy to match his personal fantasies, this was the one.
A large man in blue overalls stepped into the office from the garage. He had to be Connor’s father; the resemblance was too close for anything else. He was a bull of a man, broad-shouldered and barrel-chested, with a hint of a beer gut. His blond hair was buzzed close to the scalp. His face showed heavy wear, despite looking fairly young.
“Connor, I need you to—” The man broke off when he saw Graham standing there. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“Not a problem. We were finished up here anyway.” Graham tipped his head to Connor and turned toward the door. “I guess I’ll see you around.”
He fought the urge to look back when Connor’s dad addressed his son again. “I need you to print the invoice for the old Chevy. Mr. Thompson will be in to pick it up later. After that, you’re on your way out, right?”
“Yeah, I’m heading to Marc’s for a couple of hours to help him with physics, and then I’m taking Allyson out. We’re going to the movies and maybe something afterward.”
The door closed behind Graham, cutting off the rest of the Fitzpatricks’ conversation.
Girlfriend. “Shoulda figured, Parker,” he told himself. “You couldn’t be that lucky.”
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBTQ Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships, and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.Facebook Twitter tumblr Google+ Website GoodReads More Reviews