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Archive for April 23rd, 2021

Gabbi Grey: From Erotic to Sweet (Excerpt)
Friday, April 23rd, 2021

I’ve had incredible support from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, to write gay romances.  Stories that have called to me.  Stories that I’ve wanted to tell.  Stories that have been important to me.  Interestingly, my first story was within the shared world of the Deerbourne Inn series.  The Inn is located in the fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont.  By the time my book, My Past, Your Future was published, it fell in as book 18.  The town and its inhabitants were well-known and loved.  Mine was the first gay romance in the series, and I was lucky my diverse story found acceptance.

In that shared world, the character most intriguing to me was the desk clerk at the inn.  Jared appeared in the very first story and just about every subsequent one.  He is, after all, the character who greets all the wayward stragglers who turn up.  He’s seen many romances bloom and has cheerily watched from afar.  He’s gay, and I knew I wanted him to get his happy ending.

Now, pitching to a publisher using an existing character and giving him a happily ever after of his own can be tricky.  All the editors (and other writers) had their view of who he was.  I was proposing expanding him and, gasp, giving him a romantic arc.  I encountered some resistance because my other gay romances have involved pretty explicit sex scenes between two men.  Some editorial staff wondered if I could give Jared the ending he deserved.

Fortunately, my editor was on my side.  She helped me craft a synopsis that demonstrated a clear romantic arc culminating in a true happily ever after.  And I agreed to make this a sweet romance.  I haven’t written one of those in years, but I figured how hard could it be?  I’m a writer.  This is a character I love.  I have a strong hero for him to fall in love with.  Certainly, they can ride off in the sunset together.

I got to work.

And quickly discovered I rely a lot on anatomical descriptions of desire and plenty of expletives.

But I was determined to write the best damn book I could.

I asked writer friends for non-swear swear words.  I sought descriptions more emotionally driven and less about body parts.  In other words, I did what the publisher asked.  And something magical happened.  They liked it.  They really did.  They offered me a contract, and the book is now out in the world.  Another great thing happened – I rediscovered the joy of writing sweet.

My hope with this book is first and foremost to give readers a joyous experience.  I want them to be transported to the wonderful world of Willow Springs and to be immersed in Vermont in springtime.  I’m also hopeful romance readers who haven’t tried a gay romance before will give my book a chance.  There’s a huge subgenre out there with romances of every kind imaginable.  Why not start with something gentle, sweet, and full of love?  And before you think it’s all kittens and roses, both Jared and Xander have some deep emotional wounds they have to work through.  I’m not known for giving my characters a free ride.  And, okay, there might be one kitten.  And a dog.  But I don’t want to give too much away.

Thank you, Delilah, for letting me visit today and wax poetic about my little book.  I hope your readers check it out. 

If Only for Today Synopsis

He came looking for solitude. He might leave after finding love.

Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he’s missing someone special in his life.

Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He’s photographed every major conflict in the world for the last ten years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he’s been living.

Something in Xander’s gruff demeanor calls to Jared’s caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared’s kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?

Excerpt from If Only for Today

“Kiss me.” This time the plea came from Jared.

Xander was happy to oblige. He hooked his fingers under Jared’s jaw and tugged him closer. Such smooth skin. He must’ve shaved before their date because no man went the entire day without a trace of hair. Angling his head, he lowered his lips and pressed them to Jared’s. So, so smooth.

He hadn’t spent a lot of time kissing. Was he was doing it right? Jared threw his arms around his neck and pulled them closer. The other man opened his mouth, demanding reciprocation. And, okay, this was…intimate.

As Xander swept his tongue into Jared’s mouth and their tongues parried, he closed the distance. Xander reacted to the deliciously close contact. What red-blooded man wouldn’t, when he held the perfect partner in his arms? Jared was everything he’d wanted but never allowed himself to dream he might have.

And that realization had him slowly backing away. He ended their intimate exchange and placed a soft kiss to Jared’s forehead.


Jared’s blue eyes were unfocused, and his lips were plump from their kisses. His cheeks were pink—either from arousal or whisker burn.

Unable to resist the urge, Xander pulled him into a tight embrace. “I really like you, but I need to let you go. I have to get back to my room.”

Jared’s body stiffened and when he pulled back, Xander released him. Reluctantly.

Pressing his fingers to his lips, Jared whispered. “It was just a kiss.”

A kiss that meant everything. Words better left unsaid.

“I’ll walk you home.” The least he could do.

Jared shook his head. “Not necessary. Willow Springs is a safe town, and I can manage on my own. I’m quite capable of taking care of myself. Thank you for the offer.” He pointed down the street. “Two blocks that way, and you’ll be back at the inn. Don’t forget you’ll need your key.” Without another word he pivoted and headed back in the direction from which they’d come.

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About the Author

Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.

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