A few years ago, when Max and Finn first hit the shelves, I had a very active blogging life. That was back before Twitter and Facebook became so addictive. When it came time to have a big release party for my autumn Men of Smithfield novella, I invited blog pals, author friends, and random strangers on the street to a blog costume party. I asked well in advance for photo submissions of favorite Halloween costumes and at the end of the day, prizes were given. Some of the pictures were too lewd to re-post, because girls just want to have fun. It was a lovely time, actually, and I’d like to invite you to play along again.
If you haven’t read this fabulous book yet, there’s a scene mid-book where Finn appears in public, as a chaperon, wearing a riff on Scout’s ham costume from To Kill A Mockingbird. I had a blast writing that scene.
I won’t post a picture-that’s a gray area of copyright law I haven’t followed up on– but I have done a quick sketch of the photo inspiration I used when writing Max and Finn.
FYI: my time studying the fine arts was nearly thirty years ago. I was a theatre major.
I realize Finn looks a little squat (and nothing like the rippled abs on the shiny cover of my book) on this Post It, but I moved last week and I couldn’t find any paper, so it’ll have to do. His toast looks phallic as well, but you get the general idea. He’s a toaster. As a writer, everything about Finn’s costume appeals to me–it offered a chance to play on physical comedy, and because framing your face in foam rubber toast is the antithesis of sexy, this moment allows Finn to feel both overdressed and completely exposed. He’s an adult man in toaster costume. He’s miscalculated in front of Max, again. And he’s vulnerable. Again. He just can’t catch a break.
Max thinks Toaster Finn is sexy as hell.
“He scoped me out, wide-eyed. Even from across the room, I could see the tiny shake of his shoulders. His face relaxed. After a second, he shook his head again and a smile surfaced—then he chuckled. At last, full-out laughter transformed him into someone approachable. Someone likable. Someone I craved knowing. I absolutely had to hear the sound of his laughter. I teetered through the crowd of grinding, freaking, sweaty dancers determined to get closer. The kids dodged me.
Music pulsed through my skin, my heart pounded along with it. I was transported back to nights wasted in clubs years ago, alone and needing some indefinable thing that only sex could give me—that same thing I feared I now needed in the grown up version from Max and he could never provide. Love. I moved close enough to hear his deep grumbling laughter. I shouldn’t want to. I should have been insulted to be the source of his amusement. Instead, as ever, he deliciously melted my butter.
I swung my extension cord in a neat arc, twirling it snappily,and he doubled over. I chuckled too and tried to tilt suavely against the wall, but that wasn’t happening. I tipped. He stared at my toast.
I spun around, showing off a little.
“Hey, you’ve got something stuck to your back.”
I visualized his touch. I couldn’t feel it. Fortunately, the bottom of my metallic housing covered my crotch. “I’ll bet. Does it say ‘Kick Me’?’”
“No. It says ‘I Like to Have My Muffin Buttered’.’”
My face flamed and I jerked back around. “Tell me you’re kidding.”
He smiled roguishly. “I’m kidding, Michael. It says ‘Kick Me’. And you’re blushing, kiddo.” Turning to keep an eye on Hemmi, he went ninja, Johnny-on-the-job. But his smile remained.
Still one of my favorite Men of Smithfield scenes.
To celebrate the reappearance of Max and Finn, and to say ‘good bye’ to summer and ‘hello’ back to school, I’m giving away two copies of my book! Just leave a comment-and I’ll select two random entries to receive a copy of my latest Men of Smithfield release from Carina Press–Max and Finn! Contest ends Wednesday Sept 5th at midnight, EST.
L.B. Gregg writes m/m romantic comedies for fun and profit and is deliriously happy to have her Men of Smithfield books coming out bang, bang, bang, four in a row from Carina Press. You can find L.B. at her preferred social media, Facebook or follow her sporadic appearances on Twitter. Visit her website for more info.