I have a birthday treat for all of my loyal followers and readers.
It’s my 23rd birthday today, so I thought it was fitting that I pay it forward and give everyone else a little present for following my blog as it goes onto its third birthday.
For those of you who may not know, for the past two years I have been writing a full-length romance novel and, up until recently, it didn’t have an official name. I had tossed up several titles, including “Jase and Devlin”, “My Best Friend and I” and “Sparks”, but I have settled for its official title: The Heart Wants What It Wants, not to be confused with the Selena Gomez song.
What started as a way to get my creative writing juices flowing into a healthy medium turned out to be a completed novel. I’ve had an editor go through it twice and I have an artist currently designing a sexy cover for it. I’ve decided to go down the self-publishing route for this novel, so my debut book should be available to purchase very soon. As soon as it is, it will be announced on Widow’s Lure.
What is The Heart Wants What It Wants about? Well, I don’t want to give too much away. So I’ll leave you with a few hints:
– It’s a contemporary romance novel, but it isn’t what you’re expecting.
– Set in the fictional city Velvet Springs in New South Wales, Australia, it features two main protagonists: Jase Morgan and Devlin Blackthorn, whom are childhood best friends.
– It is written in first person from the perspective of both Jase and Devlin, so you get to experience both sides of the story.
– Despite being a romance novel, it explores other issues in life, including alcoholism, anxiety, grief and homophobia.
– The most noteworthy point to be made about my novel: it’s not a love story; it’s a story about love.
Just to give you a teaser of my novel – and to also plug it as I encourage you all to BUY IT WHEN IT IS RELEASED – here is the prologue of the story.
I always hated the awkward formalities of passing on to a new grade in primary school: you had to be divided into new classes; your new teacher would go over things you’ve heard about a million times before; you’d have to be sat in girl-boy-girl-boy order as if that was a reasonable punishment for friendly chatter; and the new kids that started the year off would have to introduce themselves in front of their new peers, as if coming to a new school wasn’t humiliating enough.
Being in sixth grade – and my final year at Velvet Springs Public School – I was hoping this would be the last boring introduction speech I would have to hear. Ever.
“And we have a new boy joining us from Melbourne, in Victoria!” Mrs. Palmer said excitedly, like the rest of us didn’t know which state Melbourne was in.
From behind the shadows appeared a tall, lean boy with a natural tanned complexion and an interesting caramel-coloured mop of hair that complimented his skin tone. Contrary to the other deathly awkward introductions I was used to, this boy stood up confidently in front of us and waved his hand.
“Hello, I’m Jase,” he said, his voice surprisingly deep for a 12-year-old boy.
“Welcome to Velvet Springs Public, Jase,” Mrs. Palmer squealed in delight. “Can we all give Jase a Velvet welcome?”
“Welcome to Velvet Spriiiings, Jase,” we all sung in boring, monotone unison.
“We have a girl-boy system here,” explained Mrs. Palmer, “but seeing as we have a gender imbalance in this class, you can take the seat next to Devlin Blackthorn in the back corner there.” She effortlessly gestured in my direction and Jase’s gaze immediately pierced me; he politely smiled at me and walked to the back of the classroom as a couple of the girls turned to watch him.
He took the seat next to me and held his hand out to me.
“Nice to meet you, Devlin,” he said.
Despite thinking it was an odd thing to do, I took his hand and shook it.
“Nice to meet you too, Jase.”
I turned back to face the front as Mrs. Palmer began her boring welcome-to-the-new-year speech and completely zoned her out. This would usually take about half an hour, but with someone as chatty as Mrs. Palmer, it would usually take up until recess, and…
DING DING DING!
Like clockwork, Mrs. Palmer apologised for dragging her speech out and stepped aside as a few of the kids ran out of the classroom with their colourful backpacks slung over their shoulders. Having not unpacked a single thing from my bag, I placed the straps over my shoulders and began to walk out, eager to catch up with some friends who had been placed in other classes.
“Hey Devlin,” Jase’s voice rang from behind me, “wait up.”
I looked over my shoulder at the new boy chasing to catch up with me.
“Could I sit with you? I haven’t really met anyone else.”
“Sure,” I said with a smile.
Jase accompanied me onto the oval where a bunch of other boys and girls from sixth grade sat. The girls usually formed a circle and sat down, talking about the latest music videos they watched on the weekend, while the boys opted to toss a ball around.
A ball soared through the sky towards me and I caught it with relative ease. I placed my bag on the ground and Jase quickly followed suit.
“Hey guys, I’m Jase,” he introduced himself.
He walked around and shook the hands of all the boys while I stood there and wondered what on earth they put in the water down in Melbourne.
“Hey Jase – catch!”
I passed the rugby ball to him over my shoulder, much like an American footballer, and Jase quickly caught it.
“Good throw!” he said.
“I know, I know,” I said, pretending to wave to all of my adoring fans.
Unlike the other boys who didn’t entertain my borderline narcissistic sense of humour, Jase laughed and flashed me a thumbs up. I smiled; I had a feeling that Jase and I were going to be the best of friends.
The Heart Wants What It Wants will be released soon, and you’ll hear it here first.
– by Noah La’ulu