I wrote EVERY TIME A BELL RINGS last year in response to a call from one publisher for unconventional Christmas stories. The definition of “unconventional” was left wide open, but the deadline was too soon for me to get anything written in time. Brian Bailey sitting in a living room not his own and watching Christmas shows on TV while trying hard not to give in to depression wouldn’t leave my head, though. Deadlines be damned, I had to write him back to happiness again and see if another publisher would accept his story. (They did!)
Even without losing your parent, your job, and your home, the holidays have a way of bringing out depression in even the most jolly people. I succumb to some pretty dark moods then too, but the one thing that helps is having just one person be glad to see me. So Brian got a very good friend in Mike, who then got Brian a little Christmas hook-up in the form of his sweet and supportive (and artistic!) neighbor Trent. Add a cute kitten with a possible agenda of her own and there was no way Brian could avoid finding some holiday cheer.
Meanwhile, in Arkansas… The main reason I wrote AN ANGEL GETS HIS WINGS was because readers of Brian’s story now wanted more about Mike. And, really, I wanted more about Mike too...and his cousin. I just had to play with that idea! Enter George Whitlock, a little caramel-skinned “godlet” as Mike calls him, who has his own set of devastating problems he’s still trying to overcome.
See, Mike’s had it kind of easy because he lives his life on his own terms, though he does do so far away from his family. He does love that crazy bunch, but he believes he can’t be out around them or he’ll lose them completely. He’s also worried about what he’d do to appease and keep them if they did find out he’s gay. So, he’s got issues, but not like George does.
George lost his mother to illness, then his father and home to hate, and then thought he wanted to die to escape the pain of his so called life. I’ve read about way too many young LGBT people thinking suicide is the only thing they can do to end how much they hurt, so this little story was my way of saving one of them. Maybe it’s simplistic and silly of me, but yeah, that’s why.
So Mike is overwhelmed by George’s strength and it’s what gives Mike the strength to come out too. Though their ending is HFN, I imagine them slowly building their life together, Mike making sure George smiles a lot every day. Honestly, I have this scene of George running through the baggage claim area of an airport with a giant smile on his face before he tackles Mike to the ground where they roll around laughing and kissing. Maybe their story isn’t done being written… ;-)
EVERY TIME A BELL RINGS — Brian dropped everything last year when his mother became ill so he could take care of her until the day she died. People he thought were friends didn’t stick with him and he’s somehow become kind of a recluse without meaning to be. Only Mike, his best friend since they were kids, has stuck by him and is now saving him from homelessness after a fire destroys Brian’s apartment building days before Christmas. Though Mike has to go down South for the holiday, Brian stays in Mike’s apartment with his slightly singed kitten Oreo.
Brian’s only goal is to set his affairs back in order before everything shuts down for the holidays and then make it through those holidays in one piece. He’s lost so much–his only real possession is a photo album of his mom that he risked death to save from the fire–and he’s feeling lost and very alone…until Mike, his hot neighbor Trent, and even little Oreo conspire to give Brian the best Christmas possible and a future that looks a lot brighter.
AN ANGEL GETS HIS WINGS — Mike Sharp is in Little Rock, Arkansas, visiting his family for Christmas while his best friend Brian Bailey’s up north walking right into Mike’s plans to hook him up with his neighbor Trent.
Unfortunately, it seems like someone’s conspiring to get Mike panting after his third cousin, twice removed (or something like that) named George Whitlock. George who keeps sneaking up on him, being all shy and cute, and then having the audacity to give Mike great big calf eyes that are just begging Mike to drop to his knees.
Mike will not give in because, if he does, he could lose his entire family when they discover he’s gay.
Romance has always been the main theme of Missy Welsh’s writing, even when she was twelve and concocting little tales for her friends. She grew up watching tough-guy action movies with her dad and stealing her mom’s romance novels, so it seemed perfectly normal to pair up the two and see what happened. As long as there are men being brave and falling love, Missy plans to fantasize about them— Um, she means write about them. Visit Missy at http://missywelsh.com, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Would you like a copy of Brian’s and Mike’s Christmas stories? Well, you’re in luck because I’m offering a GIVEAWAY! :-D
I’m giving away BOTH stories in this little series to one lucky commenter! Just leave a message below with your preferred file type, and I’ll randomly choose one person. (If you already have Brian’s book from last December, you can choose any individual short story from my backlist instead.)
Want one additional entry to increase your chances? Tweet the link to this post and include @MissyWelsh81010. The giveaway closes Midnight tomorrow night (12/20/12 EST)
So get those comments in and tweets out now! I’ll contact Friday morning and then leave a comment here announcing who it is. Good luck!