Hi guys, we have Robert P. Rowe popping in with his upcoming release The Outfielders, we have a brilliant guest post and a great excerpt for you to check out, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Robert P. Rowe
Sometimes love can come out of left field.
Tony was waiting until he went away to college to come out to his parents and start his new gay life. Unfortunately, at twenty-four, it doesn’t look like college is going to happen after all. Stuck in a dead-end job in a small town and still living at home, with all the arrested development that entails, he finds escape in playing for the company baseball team and lusting after his straight outfielder crush, Alex. But Tony’s best friend, Jennifer, thinks she’s found a plan in the pages of gay romance novels. All Tony has to do is convince Alex he’s gay for you… or for Tony. It’s easy—just find some excuse to be alone in bed together and let nature take its course. What could possibly go wrong?
You can’t get to first base if you don’t take a chance and step up to the plate.
Robert P. Rowe
Hi. I’m Robert P. Rowe and I’ve just finished my latest novel for Dreamspinner Press entitled: The Outfielders. Unlike my first novel, Second-Story Man, this book is intentionally light.
People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. In this case I was looking for characters that would be average all-American guys. Well, what’s more all-American than baseball? And it doesn’t hurt that baseball players happen to be hot.
Speaking of average, I also like characters that lead average lives and face the same struggles as the rest of us. One of the major struggles in a bad economy is the fact that too many adult children can’t afford to move out on their own, or go away to college. This generation finds themselves still living with parents and too often still acting like children. The struggle becomes one of truly growing up and facing the challenges of the world. But as I mentioned, this story is light. The struggles remain a backdrop to the real challenges of romance.
After I wrote The Outfielders I knew that someone would catch me if I messed up on any of the baseball rules or jargon. It’s not like I’ve never played the game, but there are all sorts of nuances that can’t be overlooked when you’re writing a book—and one can’t expect the editors to find sports related errors. I needed another kind of editor to help me out. I sent excerpts from the book off to a young sports writer. I was pleased to learn that most the ball field scenes I’d written were accurate but he added words and phrases that gave the story the right kind of color. “Down the middle,” “popup,” and “tricky offspeed pitching” are not terms that come up in my everyday vocabulary. My favorite added word was “bobbled.”
I’m considering writing a few more stories centered in the fictional town of Groverville. In The Outfielders readers are introduced to an interesting cast of characters. It would be a shame if we never had a chance to learn more about them.
My various story interests are more endless than my time. I’ve just started a new job that has me pretty busy art directing theme park attractions. Still, I’m determined to find some time to tell a few more tales.
In The Outfielders my main character, Tony, is not the brightest. He’s been hiding his secret crush, and the fact that he’s gay, for years. He hides another secret too. He really likes to bake cookies. With that in mind I’ve included one of Tony’s favorite recipes here. There’s no better way to curl up with a good book than to have a batch of fresh baked cookies nearby. Enjoy.
Tony’s Famous Oatmeal Cookies
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Creme butter and sugars together.
- Add eggs, vanilla and water, mix thoroughly.
- In separate bowl, add dry ingredients (except oatmeal) and combine.
- Add dry ingredients to butter and egg mixture. Combine thoroughly.
- Add oatmeal and raisins. Mix well.
- Drop by rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
“IT’S SO easy for guys. All guys are horny all the time. Just find some excuse to share the same bed, and let nature take its course.”
I looked at Jennifer like she was crazy.
“Where do you get crap like this?”
“From books, Tony. I read, you know.”
“Books? What kind of books say that if a gay guy shares a bed with a straight guy, it will end in love instead of a black eye?”
Jennifer exhaled a heavy sigh. She humored me with her condescending smile. “From gay romance books, of course.”
I let out an exasperated groan. “Of course”—I tried to sound as sarcastic as possible while she kept nodding and smiling—“not!”
Jennifer was unfazed. “Give me your phone.”
Her fingers were wiggling, and her palm was open in anticipation. I was glad no one else was in the break room to see how easily she manipulated me. I handed my phone over. She pressed the Home button, and the password screen came up.
“Give me your thumb.”
I’m such an idiot, I held out my thumb, and she stuck it on the button until the home screen appeared.
“Do you think you have enough video games on here?”
“I don’t have that many,” I defended.
She was about three screens in before she gave up. “Don’t you have the Kindle app?”
“Tony Bruno, how do you expect to ever learn anything if you don’t read?” Her fingers were flying. She was still looking at the screen when she reached out her grasping hand again, fingers wiggling. “Give me your credit card.”
“I don’t have a credit card.”
She looked up. “Well, then your debit card will do.”
“I’m not buying anything.”
“Don’t worry. I’m buying. I just need a card to set up your account. Then I’ll use my gift card to pick some things out for you.”
I handed her my wallet without thinking. I was too busy trying to figure out what she was doing with my phone. She kept typing and changing screens. I don’t know why I trusted her so much. Maybe it’s because she’s been my best friend ever since we met on our first day at Groverville High? We were both brand-new freshmen and scared to death. I don’t know why I was scared. These were mostly the same kids I’d started kindergarten with. But Jennifer Swain was the new Catholic schoolgirl. Anyway, she asked me if I had a girlfriend. I said, “No,” and she said, “You do now.” She grabbed my hand, and she’s been leading me around ever since.
Being a freshman was easier with a girlfriend. It was especially easier since I had no clue how to get a girlfriend, and it would be a few years before I figured out that I didn’t want a girlfriend, I wanted a boyfriend… maybe one like Alex?
I probably sound like some pathetic loser. Well, I’m not. I’m a twenty-four-year-old grown man. I make my own decisions—I lead my own life. I get to do whatever I want—as long as I keep my room clean. I suppose I should mention that I still live with my parents. Life is tough out here in the real world.
“Done.” Jennifer was triumphant. She showed me my phone and pointed out a new app on my first screen. “All your books are here.”
“Books? Like more than one.”
Jennifer rolled her eyes. “These are some of my favorites. They’re all GFY.”
“Gay for you. It’s when a straight guy figures out that he’s really gay for his gay best friend—usually after they have a sleepover or go camping or something where they share a bed. Two horny guys and nature takes its course.”
“Right. And the gay guy ends up with a black eye and loses his best friend. I’d be totally screwed, and not in a good way.” I’d never take a chance of losing Alex as my friend. He wasn’t exactly my best friend—even if I wanted him to be. He was more reserved—with adorable dimples.
“You just need to give it a chance. Read a few of these books and you’ll see how easy it is.”
“I’ll see how stupid it is. I’ll bet you also read the SFY books.”
Finally I knew something she didn’t. “Yeah, straight for you. It’s where the gay best friend falls for his manipulative blonde best girlfriend and decides he’s really straight for her.”
Jennifer flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder the way she does when she’s trying to seduce some victim, and without looking at me, she declared, “It could happen.”
“Right.” I looked at all the books she had loaded on. Well, there were only four, but they all had covers with hot guys. “What if someone sees all this crap on my phone?”
“Who’s going to go through your phone, Tony?”
My phone alarm went off. “Break’s over. C’mon, let’s go.” I got up to toss my empty cup and nearly got whacked by the door. Then in came the object of my desire. I didn’t dare turn around to see Jennifer’s face, but that left me staring at Alex Parker. He was nearly six foot tall, just like me. He was about my size only with lean, fair-skinned muscles. You know, the swimmer’s body type instead of my muscular body type. And he had short-cropped, light brown hair that he wore in a casual spiky way. I had to look down at his shoes so that he wouldn’t catch me staring into his sparkling green eyes.
“Hey, Tony. You’re going to be at the game tomorrow, right?”
His dimpled smile was accompanied by a friendly, eager sound in his voice that made my stomach do flips.
“Yeah. I had to trade shifts with Mrs. Foster. Kingston had me scheduled to work. He knows when our games are. I even asked for the day off, and he scheduled me anyway.” Our job sucks. We all work for one of those big-box stores—Markdowns. They’re the biggest bullies on the block, and they’ve taken over every small town in the country. They don’t like bad publicity, but they don’t do anything to get good publicity. They thought sponsoring a store baseball team would help. Their idea of sponsoring a team is that the team has to buy all its own equipment, pay for all its own league fees, and even buy our own T-shirts—not uniforms—with the company name on them. After all, they are sponsoring us. Anyway, I still have to fight for game days off. Forget about practice.
“Well, I’m glad you’re going to be there to help me out in the field. I’ve got a new glove I need to break in,” Alex said happily.
Baseball. It’s all we really talk about. I wish Alex were really my best friend—or better yet, my boyfriend. But that’s not going to happen. Well, unless he suddenly turns GFY. I laughed to myself.
“What?” Alex asked.
“Nothing. I was just looking forward to helping you break it in. I’ll try to get to the field early so we can warm up together.”
Jennifer slapped me on the shoulder and shoved me out the door. “C’mon, jock boy. Kingston’s going to dock us if we’re late.”
Robert P. Rowe has spent his entire career as a storyteller making an incredible leap from Disneyland ride operator to show-designer and art director at Walt Disney Imagineering. Immersive storytelling presents a distinctive challenge unlike that of live theater, film, radio, or print media. Although he currently freelances, his work can be found around the world, primarily in Disney and Universal Studios parks. The theme park industry is a very cyclical business where it’s either feast or famine. For Rowe his active imagination can’t seem to take any time off. When he’s not designing fantastic worlds he’s writing about the characters who live there. Additionally his outside interests include all aspects of architecture with a specific fascination for the theatrical design of homes from mid-century movies and television. He has a keen enthusiasm for mid-century science fiction.