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WIP Spotlight: The ‘A’ Series

I’ve been scrolling through my current Works in Progress, to see what I might be able to share with you.

The ‘A’ Series is a little something special that I came up with by accident. Originally just one short story, it grew and grew until it became the epic novel length collection of related short stories.

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Blurb

It all begins with a carnival that hasn’t been to town in decades.

In ‘The Likely Lads’ Alvin and Javon are about to leave their home town and move to a new high school. The carnival as their last hoorah with their friends, while fate inspires some romance for the unlikely suspects.

‘Lost in a Dream’ is how Sterling feels, after making a wish on a Wishing Machine at the carnival. Waking up in the lake, close to drowning, with no idea how he got into the water, he’s terrified. Rescued by his long term crush Fearghas, who suddenly begins to show interest in him, can it all really be a dream?

Harrison is the epitome of ‘Larger Than Life’, for more than just his weight. When he rescues a stranger from a bang on the head and he appears to thank Harrison for his care, he takes a chance. Can a stranger become more?

After a mysterious note appears in Karsyn’s locker, claiming to know he’s gay – his most closely guarded secret – it drives him nuts to know he can’t pinpoint who is ‘Anonymous’.

‘Cinder, Smoke and Ash’ is all that’s left of Ryder, after he accidentally rescues another student at his most vulnerable. Saving his life, the sweet kid, Donald, is actually a catalyst for a life changing epiphany that inspires Ryder that a chance is coming. One that he can’t turn his back on, even if it means stepping out of his closet.

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Extract

The Likely Lads

Chapter 1

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“Watch out!” Tracy called out, just in time for Alvin to duck and avoid the flying frisbee coming his way.

It was hot under the early summer sun, but the rays and the almost magical golden hue of the unexpected afternoon mist did nothing to improve Alvin’s mood. The frisbee didn’t help either, nor the fact that two teens came running to collect it, giggling and holding hands. He was so sick of loved up idiots surrounding him.

“Please?” Tracy asked, grasping Digby’s biceps with a pleading look, while fluttering his thick eyelashes.

The most feminine of their group and the stereotypical blonde, Tracy found no shame in using whatever tactics were necessary to grab his next man. It only made Alvin’s teeth itch, thinking about how many he’d worked through this month alone. Yet, once again, he was here as the mediator.

Begging, pleading and hounding him for nearly eleven days, Javon had finally worn down his resistance and convinced him to tag alone. To a carnival, of all things.

All because Tracy was a blind fool.

Why did any person in a relationship think that a carnival full of screaming kids, loud machines and sugar that kept everyone on a constant high was a good idea? Worse still, his friends – his idiotic, lovesick friends – had a nasty tendency to say whatever popped into their heads whenever sugar and excitement were involved. So, of course, a trip to the carnival was a brilliant idea.

He rolled his eyes and turned up his nose, as Vito and Rook lined up for a boat ride under the pavilion on the pier. The holding hands thing was kind of gross and unappreciated, especially in mixed company. Hell, there were kids walking about and a healthy mix of doe eyed and disgusted adults each forming their own opinion of the Homosexual Crew who had turned up.

Though, Alvin would be the first to admit that was kind of what they were – a group of misfit gay lads that were so weird and geek fuelled, expanding the entire register of gay men, that they should have been at some convention or club for under-age teens who thought they could sneak in on fake ID’s.

Tracy was their femme boy, Vito and Rook the butch, muscled guys. Alvin and Javon were the normal two, both looking like macho jocks in high school should, while Digby was full a blown geek. Looking at them, Alvin heaved a sigh and rubbed the bridge of his nose. They were truly pathetic. Each and every one of them.

“Oh, fine.” Digby finally gave in to Tracy’s pleading, leading him over to the stall to buy him some candy floss, as though he wasn’t old enough to go buy it himself.

Rook and Vito were the lucky ones; they’d escaped this Hell, by choosing to go off on their own. Not that anyone cared. It was as much of a relief to be away from their lovesick coos as it was for Tracy to finally shut up.

At only fifteen, the steady couple were sickeningly lovely. The toughest, most butch guys of their group of friends, they were also as loved up as any other pair of gag-worthy teenage couples wandering this place. Twittering about the sparkling lights, how the mist made everything look ‘magical’ and ‘romantic’, despite it only being four in the afternoon.

Alvin watched them climb into their boat, with Rook steadying it with one hand and holding the other out to take Vito’s hand. It was sweet and ridiculous at the same time. Two well built bodies squeezing side by side in the middle of the boat, to offset the balance, while gazing adoringly at each other and grinning like fools.

For a moment, he almost envied them. Almost.

To his far left, at the candy floss stall, the boys weren’t doing much better. Digby was completely oblivious, while Tracy stood by his side, holding onto his arm and yattering on about a million different things. Invisible, on Tracy’s right hand side, was Javon. The one guy of their mismatched group of friends that really meant something to Alvin.

His little brother.

“And I swear,” Tracy continued, as Alvin moved closer. “it was the cutest puppy I’d ever seen. I have to have one.”

“I’m allergic to dogs,” Digby muttered, almost absently.

The look of horror and disappointment that flickered over Tracy’s face would have been comical, if not for the way he was jerking Javon around.

“Well,” Tracy cleared his throat and plastered on a grin. “I’ve never cared much for pets anyway. I mean, what happens when you bring someone over? It seems rude to kick the dog out, just because you want company, but I wouldn’t want any kind of–” He stopped again and coughed, flushing red as he second guessed his choice of words. “block, getting in the way.”

Alvin smirked this time, enjoying the scene before him, as Tracy squirmed and tried in vain to grab Digby’s attention. His almost-slip of admitting just what kind of block he meant wouldn’t have gone down well. Digby blushed like a beetroot whenever anyone talked about relationships, sex or used swear words or obscenities. And the guy had a skewered idea of what ‘obscenities’ actually were, for being seventeen and the oldest of their group.

The way Javon sighed heavily and looked at the ground made his stomach flip uncomfortably. He was supposed to be supportive, acting as the very block Tracy talked about, just until Javon had gathered his courage to take a risk. And what was he doing? Whining that he was stuck with a bunch of relationship-wannabes. That was no way for a big brother to act.

In a way, their little group dramas all made perfect sense. Tracy was sixteen, the same age as Alvin, drooling over a guy one year older than him. Digby, as the most mature of them, was completely oblivious and probably wouldn’t have taken it seriously if he did know. Tracy’s femme nature often showed itself in the same way as flirting; lots of talking, gesticulating all over the place, fluttering eyelashes and handsy gestures. This whole act right now, to grab Digby’s attention, wouldn’t seem like anything untoward to the big lug who was more than a little clueless.

Javon, on the other hand, was the innocent fifteen year old, pining after his big brother’s best friend. Typical lovesick story, really. A teenage love triangle for three gay guys in the midst of chaotic emotions, trying times and a lot of indecision. It didn’t help that he and Javon were moving away, in the next three weeks.

This carnival was the most exciting and unexpected thing that had happened in the sleeply little Scottish town of Chance Harbour for decades, but it was also their last chance to be with their friends, before things got complicated. It was the reason Javon had decided to use this night as inspiration for his confession; he was going to tell Tracy how he felt, to take this last risk.

Alvin’s heart broke for him, standing here at a stupid candy floss stall, watching him drool over Tracy, who was too busy fawning over Digby to notice or care. God, life was so cruel sometimes. Cruel and unfair.

This carnival was a one off. It was an opportunity to go crazy, to spin that wheel of fortune and hope to Hell it went in their favour. And what were they doing? Javon was pussyfooting about, too scared to see his plan through; Alvin was locked inside his own head and not doing what he was supposed to be doing. Rook and Vito were the only ones taking the opportunity for what it was; spending their time together and not letting anyone else waste it.

Tracy? Well, Tracy was trying his luck with Digby, which technically counted as making the most of what time he had. Digby was his usual self, uninterested in everyone else and only caring about seeing everything in sight and playing every game they came across.

“Javon?” Digby asked, turning to glance at his brother as he pulled out his wallet. “Do you want candy floss?”

“No, thanks,” he replied, toeing the ground with his trainer and not looking at anyone.

The stunningly beautiful boy, nearly six foot at just fifteen, and with the smoothest dark skin he’d ever seen, was head over heels in love with someone who didn’t even notice him.

Tracy was an idiot and it made Alvin furious that he could be his best friend for ten years and never once notice Javon the way he deserved to be noticed. He should be happy to be the centre of Javon’s constant attention. Instead, he was too locked inside his own head, too caring of his own needs and wants to notice anyone else.

Shaking his head, Alvin ignored his friends and looked around, trying to formulate a plan. The carnival wasn’t his ideal location for a Saturday night, but there weren’t many other options in this one-horse town. There were no movies at the only cinema within a thirty minute drive and no clubs outside of the city. Sometimes it sucked to live in a small village.

So just how was he going to get Tracy to finally notice Javon?

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About the Author

Elaine White is the author of multi-genre romance, covering everything from paranormal, crime and contemporary. Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. Living vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, she lives comfortably at home with a pack of wolves cleverly disguised as one standard poodle.

The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016’s Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) she has explored the worlds of multiple genres, but remains a romantic at heart. A self-professed geek, Elaine has fallen in love with reading and writing LGBT romance, offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.

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You can keep in touch with Elaine on the following sites:

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