Author: Riley Parks
Book: Bleeding Like Me
Page/Word Count: 227 pages
Categories: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance, Dark
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
|Blurb: Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world.
BEAUTIFUL CONTRADICTION He didn’t paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs.
He didn’t paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn’t feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn’t paint people until he painted Jackson.
He’d never been to Humboldt Park before, but he heard it had a pretty good scene. When he was unaffiliated, he could get away with going to the gay spots on the South Side, but now that he was with the KKz, he had to be more careful. He disembarked and walked the short distance to the big rock where guys supposedly met. Sitting down on a bench, he pulled out a cigarette he had bummed off Luis and watched as a couple of queens made a connection and disappeared into the wooded area a few feet behind the boulder. He let the filter rest between his lips as he leaned back to stare up at the moon. It was a waxing crescent that barely glowed against the black expanse of the sky, making the already poorly lit park even darker.
He peered down at a man who took a seat on the bench next to him. They sat quietly, Evan’s head still thrown back and the guy smoking his cigarette as if he hadn’t just propositioned him.
“Nice night,” Evan threw out as if he was telling the moon rather than the guy beside him.
“Are you looking to chitchat or are you trying to fuck?” When Evan finally dropped his head, he noticed that the guy was peering at him with raised eyebrows. They stared for a moment, and without a doubt, a spark arced between them.
“Depends what you’re into I guess,” Evan replied, noticing that the man had a perfectly plump pout. He wanted to see what those lips looked like wrapped around his cock. “I’m not going to bend over.”
“Wouldn’t want you to,” the guy replied with a sniff, blue eyes dropping to momentarily study the grass before returning to Evan’s.
“That right?” he questioned, moderately surprised. Mr. Ready To Hook Up seemed to be tough as fuck, with his sleeve tattoos and muscular biceps that were perfectly displayed in his gray sleeveless shirt. Evan knew it was a stereotype that men who exclusively took cock were soft, but in his experience, more often than not, they had been. He’d fucked a variety of guys, and there was always some negotiating between him and a dude who was versatile. This hot motherfucker was clearly a power bottom, a fact that had Evan’s cock standing up to take notice.
“Need me to spell it out for you, Daywalker?” he huffed, eyebrows raised in challenge.
Evan shook his head and self-consciously ran his fingers through his red hair. “So you want to go—” he began.
The guy interrupted by saying, “Show me what you got.”
Without wasting another second, Evan tossed his cigarette to the ground and unzipped the fly of his jeans, arching his back enough to shimmy them, along with his boxer briefs, down his thighs so his hard cock could spring out. Instinctively, he moved a hand down to the shaft and started to pump it.
Blue eyes observed every stroke as full lips smacked subconsciously. “Yeah, I want to fuck,” the guy stated, seemingly impressed by what Evan was working with. Wordlessly, the hot-as-shit motherfucker stood up and started walking, leaving Evan scrambling to get his pants up so he could follow.
About Riley Parks:
Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.
Interview with Riley Parks:
- As an author myself, I know inspiration is everywhere and can strike at the most inopportune moments (like in the shower, when you don’t have anything to write with!). So, what was the inspiration behind Bleeding Like Me? I was shopping for hoodies and came across one that zipped up like a mask with a skull printed on it to hide a person’s face. The picture featured two male models wearing the sweatshirt, one in black and the other in red. That was it. Welcome to the world, Evan and Jackson.
- What is your writing process? (i.e. plotter or panster, explain) I’m a plotter and a pantser. Before writing, I know the major plot points of the story and note them on an old school plot diagram (think literary hill style). I’ll map out those ‘big’ moments out and let the characters drive us there.
- What is the hardest part of that process for you? No doubt, the hardest part of the writing process for me is the editing. I have an amazing beta reader who reads each chapter as I complete them and I’m very lucky to work with a wonderful editor at Boroughs Publishing Group who is helping me break some bad habits.
- What do you think makes a good story? The characters are paramount. I want to read about characters who make choices I understand, even if I don’t agree with those choices I have to know their motivations.
- Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals? I write on my iPhone notes app… exclusively. That’s probably pretty strange.
- What can readers expect from you next? My next novel will be released in March 2018. Here’s a brief synopsis: Owen Cavanaugh, an idealistic New York City Assistant District Attorney, is tasked with prosecuting a homophobic, hate-mongering televangelist who has been accused of murdering a young man in his congregation. An unlikely, and ethically challenging relationship with the preacher’s jaded and outspoken defense attorney, Nicholas Navarro, opens Owen’s eyes to his own bias, and a break in the otherwise unbreakable case leaves all parties reeling.
- Favorite curse word: Fuck
- You’re auditioning for American Idol, what’s your song? Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.”
- Over or under (toilet paper, of course): Over
- Weapon of choice: Does everyone answer ‘the pen’? The pen.
- Evil mastermind, easily convinced partner in crime, or innocent bystander: I’m the not-so-easily convinced partner in crime, unless you’re my person, then it’s no questions asked, ride or die.
Where to find Riley Parks:
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