Happy Release Day Bonnie Dee!
We are thrilled to welcome Bonnie Dee to Sinfully today as she celebrates the release of her new book The Mighty Have Fallen.
A Word from Bonnie Dee
I’m Bonnie Dee, appearing for the first time here at Sinfully Gay. I write mostly historical gay fiction, often with my co-writer, Summer Devon. Today I’d like to talk about my new contemporary, The Mighty Have Fallen.
I’ve long been attracted to the idea of someone rising above their disability and perhaps even being strengthened as a person because of it. When Dreamspinner Press had a call for submissions around the theme of fame, my first thought was how the sudden loss of it might affect someone. My protagonist, Trevor Rowland is a London stage headliner who loses everything after a serious illness robs him of his sight and subsequently his lover/financial advisor who drains his accounts.
It’s the writer’s prerogative to throw every terrible thing possible at the hero of the story and then bring in the antidote to help him overcome his troubles. Trevor’s new flat mate, hard-working East Ender, Jack Burrows is the perfect sunny counterpart to gloomy Trevor. Jack not only brings friendship and pleasure into Trevor’s life but suggests he can perform on stage again although in a way he may never have considered.
At a local drag club, Trevor puts on a new persona and dips his toe in the waters of performance once more. He also falls hopelessly in love with Jack, but his fear of trusting someone again threatens to ruin everything.
Once I started Trevor and Jack’s tale, I soon realized it was going to run far beyond the length for that original call for submissions. I expanded the story and submitted to Dreamspinner anyway. I was asked if I’d be interested in their new Perchance to Dream line, staffed by UK editors who would help make my story more authentically British, and I jumped at the chance.
Following is an excerpt from Trevor and Jack’s first night out together, after Trevor stops thinking of his new flat mate as an annoyance.
Trevor rose and the bar spun. He grabbed the corner of the table till he got his balance.
“Sure you can walk?” Jack nudged Trevor’s arm with an elbow, offering himself for support.
“Shut up,” Trevor growled, but he rested a hand on Burrows’s solid forearm, letting his cane dangle uselessly. He could’ve let go of Jack once they got outdoors—he wasn’t that unsteady. Yet he clung to that muscular arm. The life and strength coursing through it reassured him… and aroused his desire again. He really mustn’t drink if it was going to spur fantasies about sliding his hands over Jack Burrows’s naked body.
What made it harder was Trevor guessed such behaviour might not be rejected. At their first introduction, Burrows had mentioned he was gay.
“Fought we’d best ’ave it out in the open before sharin’ a place,” Jack had said. “I’m only interested in findin’ someone I can trust to pay their ’alf of the bills. Nuffin’ more than that. But some blokes might be bovered by it.”
“Oh, Trevor doesn’t mind.” His mother, who’d insisted on being part of the interviewing of potential flatmates, chimed in. “He’s a member of that tribe.”
After he came out, Mum had read everything she could about “the gays” and considered herself an expert. She seemed as pleased by Jack’s announcement as if she were arranging a play date for a toddler and learned the two tots had something in common.
“Mum,” Trevor had protested with a grimace. But she and Jack kept talking, coming to an agreement that she’d gently prodded Trevor to accept.
Not that he regretted it. Jack Burrows was a decent person to share space with. He wasn’t loud, and when he had friends over, it was usually briefly, before they went out. If Jack had sex, it must be at someone else’s place. He didn’t bother Trevor—other than his insistent voice nagging that it was time for Trevor to shake off his inertia. Trevor could admit now it wasn’t the accent or the voice, but the message that had annoyed him. At any rate, it certainly wouldn’t be appropriate to indulge in drunken sex they’d have to live with later.
After inhaling fresh air to clear his head, Trevor removed his hand from Jack’s arm and walked on his own.
“If you don’t mind me askin’,” Jack said. “Not my business, but since I first moved in, I’ve been tryin’ to puzzle out why you’d ’ave to share digs in a crap neighbourhood. You were top of the bill at the Lyceum. Even people who don’t go to the theatre ’ave seen you on talk shows an’ such. You must’ve done pretty well for yourself.”
Trevor was suddenly too exhausted to tell Jack to shove off and keep his questions to himself, so he blurted the truth. “The money’s gone. I didn’t find out until later I had no fluid cash. My financial advisor told me everything was tied up in investments and projects, but in actuality he’d cleaned me out.”
The humiliation Trevor had felt upon learning he’d been so negligent and stupid about his own money washed over him again. He took another breath and let out the rest of it. “My finance guy was also my boyfriend, so, obviously, he cleared out too.”
“Shite,” Jack muttered.
“Indeed. A hailstorm of shite,” Trevor said dryly.
The past year and a half would’ve tried Job. Severe illness followed by blindness was enough for anyone to deal with, but to lose his career, financial security, and lover in one fell swoop was beyond what Trevor had thought he could bear.
Yet, here he was.
Jack added eloquently, “That sucks the devil’s own ’airy balls, as me dad used to say.”
A whoop of laughter seized Trevor. He tried to suppress more, but it gushed out of him like water from a broken pipe. He laughed until he couldn’t breathe, until tears ran down his cheeks. He laughed as if the expression was far funnier than it actually was. He laughed so he couldn’t howl from anger and pain.
“Huge hairy balls,” he wheezed when he could speak again.
“Fuckin’ ’ell, you deserve anuvver round after getting that off yer chest. Let me take you round to a different sort of watering ’ole. I fink you’ll like this place.”
“Sure. Why the hell not?”
Trevor would rather have climbed into bed and curled into a whimpering ball, but since he was out of the flat, why not embrace the evening?
Besides, he wasn’t quite ready for his little jaunt with Jack Burrows to end.
The Mighty Have Fallen by Bonnie Dee
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 18th January 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Theatre headliner Trevor Rowland is at the peak of his career when disaster strikes. In one fell swoop, he loses his eyesight, his fame, and his boyfriend, who absconds with most of his money. Trevor must take on a flatmate, hardworking East Ender Jack Burrows, to afford the rent. Anger and bitterness have taken up residence in his heart—but Jack shines light into the shadowy corners with his relentlessly sunny disposition.
Jack introduces Trevor to a local drag club and convinces him he can enjoy the stage again. Trevor’s defences slowly come down as Jack becomes much more than a barely tolerated roommate.
But will Trevor’s fragile trust be destroyed when it appears he’s been manipulated yet again by a man he’s come to care for? Will he reclaim his life or crawl back into a shell of defeat? Trevor must learn to trust not only a man, but himself, once more.
Meet Bonnie Dee
I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.
I enjoy dabbling in many genres. Whether you're a fan of contemporary historical or fantasy romance, you'll find something to enjoy among my books. I'm interested in flawed, often damaged, people who find the fulfillment they seek in one another.
You can learn more about me, Bonnie Dee, and my back list of many romance books at http://bonniedee.com. Find me on FB at Bonnie Dee Author or Bonnie Dee. My Twitter handle is @Bonnie_Dee. I’m not the most active social media person but I turn up occasionally. Most importantly, please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter to learn of upcoming releases. Newsletter signup form