“If there is a book you want to read, and it hasn’t been written yet, then you must be the one to write it.”–Toni Morrison
It has long been a dream of mine to not only write the books I wished to read, but to write a male/male romance novel. The previous five novels in my Christopher Family Novel series have had LGBT romance elements in them as they pertained to the characters. This upcoming novel in the series, The Right to Be, is the first that is firmly planted in Romancelandia.
I have loved romance novels as recreational reading, from historical Regency romance to contemporary Black Love. When it came to male/male romance, I found it interesting that only 17% of the published books were written by LGBT men. I have enjoyed reading and appreciate authors such as Jayce Ellis, Adriana Herrera, and Christa Tomlinson. At the same time, as a Black gay man, I am happy to bring my unique literary voice to this subgenre. After all, from seeing images of Black male couples in love online, representation matters.
With spring and Black Love in the air, I am excited to announce the launch of The Right to Be: A Christopher Family Novel, in April of this year. In a quote from Dhar Mann, “You are never too old to follow your dream”; I can certainly testify to that. That being said, my brothas and sistahs, the following is an excerpt from this coming-of-age love story:
The very next day, after work, Allan was on his cell phone with Ramsey Arrington, wishing him official birthday greetings. Ronnell and Jermaine, of course, teased him, but he didn’t care. There was something about this guy. The hell with the two-day wait before calling—in Allan’s mind, Ramsey had all the early signs of a keeper, especially if Ronnell’s inside intel was accurate. Besides, before he even made the call, Mickey had walked past him with his own phone, already engaged in deep conversation with Roslyn Arrington.
He had no idea where the time went as they talked and shared, but he could have listened to that baritone voice forever from the moment he heard Ramsey say, “Hey.”
“Allan! Mickey! All y’all! Time for dinner!” Cousin Wayne called out.
“That’s Cousin Wayne, and he holds dinner for no one. Can I call you back later?”
“Sure. I will definitely be looking forward to your call,” Ramsey confirmed.
Allan’s body grew warm and tingly. “Cool. Talk to you later.”
All those years spent on the islands had developed Allan’s love and appreciation for the outdoors, so it was a treat when Ramsey suggested a nature outing. They had only been seeing each other for a couple of weeks; their first date was at Baskin Robbins, where they dared each other to eat a LollaPalooza sundae. For this date, they were walking hand in hand along the nature trails and dunes on the Mississippi River, not far from the east bank campus of the U of M.
“Leave it to you to find a way to combine a date and a workout,” Allan noted, thinking of the steep inclined sidewalk and the wooden steps they took to reach the river. “This is beautiful.”
“I thought you’d like it.” Ramsey squeezed his hand. “It may not be the sea or the ocean, but it has its charms.”
“Do you mind if I tell you that you’re part of the charm?” Allan’s voice was flirtatious.
“Hey, boo. You can tell me that any time.”
“Say that again. I like it.”
“The way you call me ‘boo.’” Allan’s “Beckley eyes” twinkled.
“Well, boo, there’s something I’ve wanted to do for a bit.”
“Really? And what’s that?”
Ramsey gave him a sensuous smile. “Why don’t we go sit by the water and you can find out?”
“I see a spot right now.” Allan led Ramsey to a comfortable area just in front of the dunes. “I can hardly wait.”
The brightness of the sun on that July afternoon only served to reflect the glow within Allan when Ramsey held him for that first kiss. It was gentle at first, feather kisses planted on Allan’s lips. As Ramsey steadily pressed his lips against his, Allan knew he only wanted more. He wrapped his arms around Ramsey’s neck, relaxing into the deepening kiss and the sensation of Ramsey’s tongue meeting his. This was the kind of kiss that could go on forever as far as he was concerned. Even with guys older than he, Allan was usually the one to dominate in these situations. With Ramsey, he knew in that moment that he could enjoy being dominated as well.
The feel of Ramsey’s tongue working his mouth, his hands running through his dreadlocks, was exquisitely passionate for Allan. For the first time, he was experiencing being wanted, desired, on an electrifying level. On an instinctual level, their connection held out a promise of more; for now, this was enough. The kiss was arousing in a way Allan hadn’t experienced with previous boyfriends. Even before the kiss broke, his full-on erection strained at his shorts. Not that Ramsey was unaffected by the passion. Taking a glance downward, there was no mistaking the prominent outline of Ramsey’s throbbing dick in his shorts. Man, he’s big. Allan tasted Ramsey again, fighting the urge to just reach down and cup said dick. I can work with that. But for now, I need to find out more of what’s under the hood. Even as those thoughts ran through his head, the gleam in Ramsey’s eyes as they went in for more kisses told Allan that from now on, July would be his favorite month.
Believe in dreams and never give up.