Hi guys, we have j. leigh bailey stopping by today with her upcoming release Guyliner, we have a fantastic guest post, a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
j. leigh bailey
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.
j. leigh bailey
First, a huge thank you to MM Good Book Reviews for letting me celebrate the release of GUYLINER here!
Now let’s talk about guyliner (the concept, not my book!).
I’ve discovered over the last year or two that there are those who have never heard the term guyliner in the same context I use in this book. So, let me clarify. This book is not about the guy line of a tent (as my step-father believes). This book is about a boy (a “guy”) who wears eyeliner. Thus: guyliner.
Even dictionary.com has been updated to include this as a real term. “Noun: (informal) eyeliner worn by a man or boy.”
I have to admit, I have always been intrigued by guys in eyeliner. It’s kind of sexy, kind of rebellious. In GUYLINER, the eyeliner becomes a symbol of being true to oneself, and of not hiding behind social or family expectation. Graham is the character who wears guyliner. He’s not a rocker, not emo. He’s gifted soccer player with some trauma in his past. Eyeliner is his way of telling the world he is who he is and he won’t apologize for it or pander to anyone’s expectations of who he should be. This is the aspect of Graham that Connor admires most, because Connor is trapped in the role of the golden boy—reliable, responsible, ambitious—and the pressure and obligations that comes with it.
Here’s a video I found called Guyliner (how to) that seemed appropriate.
What I’d like to know from the readers: who is your favorite guyliner-wearing celebrity? Adam Lambert? Johnny Depp? Someone else? We’ll call this a virtual version of “who wore it best.” One lucky commenter will win a free digital copy of GUYLINER.
Hair putty, a comb, and hairspray took care of creating the punk look he liked for his hair. The pants he pulled on were skintight leather that had cost a small fortune but were absolutely worth the money. He paired them with a thin, long-sleeve T-shirt he’d picked up at a thrift shop for pennies. The vibrant cerulean blue made his eyes positively glow. Which reminded him. He grabbed the eyeliner out of his bathroom bag. It was one thing to go without when attending a baseball game, but for a night out in the city, the more glam the better.
He was leaning over the sink when a knock sounded at the door.
“Come on in.” Keeping his gaze fixed on the mirror, he traced the black pencil along his lash line.
The door cracked open, and Connor peered through the gap. “Hey. Do you have any hair gel I can use?”
Graham glanced at Connor from the corner of his eye, and his mouth went dry. Oh yeah, Connor in a tight white tank top was a sight to behold.
Realizing he was gaping at Connor—and the mirror provided up close and personal proof—Graham lowered the eyeliner. “I’m sorry. What?”
“Oh, yeah. Here.” Graham fished in his bag and withdrew the tube.
“Thanks.” Connor dabbed a bit of the sticky stuff in the palm of his hand and raked his fingers through his blond hair.
“Here, let me do that.”
Graham brushed Connor’s hands aside and used his own. It was strangely intimate, styling someone else’s hair. Maybe that’s why he did it. Torturing himself with thoughts of what he couldn’t have seemed to be Graham’s newest pastime. He tunneled his fingers through Connor’s blond curls, slicking the sides up and back, and spiking the top.
“Hey, that looks great.” Connor twisted his head side to side, checking out the full effect.
“It does.” Graham repacked his bag and grabbed his wallet off the counter. “Ready?”
“I am.” The smile Connor flashed was so wide that his dimples made an appearance. “I don’t think you are, though. You either need to color in the other eye or erase that one.”
Crap. Graham closed his eyes and blew out a breath. He’d only lined one eye. “It’s a new style I’m inventing.”
“I’m not sure the world is ready for your vision.”
“You may be right. I guess I’ll do the standard two-eye makeup look.” He picked up the eyeliner again and leaned toward the mirror to finish up. His hand shook a little, making it take longer than usual. It would have helped if Connor didn’t scrutinize the process as though he’d be tested on it later. With a final swipe of a finger to create the perfect smudge, Graham called it good.
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT 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.