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Catching Up with…Jon Keys

Today, I’m catching up with Jon Keys  writer of erotic male/male fiction, whose latest release is Showstring.

Hi John, I’m so happy you could join me today.
Hello, Larry. Thanks so much for letting me visit. But, surprise, surprise, this is Ben, not Jon. I’ve taken over the blog hop from Jon. I’m having so much fun that I told Jon I would just take over. He thought that would work.
Showstring is about how Jayden and I met. It’s coming out as part of "Rode Hard" anthology from Torquere Press. It’s about hot cowboys, but not the kind who ride horses across the Montana range. (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) Jayden is a city kid and has a big heart but a lot to learn, about showing cattle, and other things. Since Jayden told his story to Jon, I thought I’d fill in a little on my side.
I thought I’d share something a little more personal this time, my first kiss. Raine asked about an important incident in my life and I told her about figuring out I was gay. But it was a few years later before my first kiss.
I was fifteen, and my dad was getting baler parts and Mom had decided to go along with him to pickup a few things. I was left with a friend of mine to haul the rest of the hay into the barn. It was alfalfa in square bales, and they were heavy! But Blake and I got to the barn with the last bales and started stacking them up. But we were feeling squirrely and started tossing the bales at each other and just generally cutting up. It was one of those adolescent things and we were laughing and cussing at each other more than anything else. It didn’t take too long to end up in a pile of hot sweaty bodies with our tanned chests sliding over each other. I pinned Blake, but this time when our eyes met, there was a spark that flew between us.
I leaned down, closer to his lips. He had one of those cheesy first mustaches that guys grow, but it seemed hot. I paused for a second, I didn’t want to go further if he wasn’t willing. He knew I was gay. I’d told him a long time before. But he looked interested. So I leaned in and our lips hit and it was like 4th of July and Cinco de Mayo all combined. I remember thinking his skin was hot under my hands and his lips were a little dry. We pressed a harder, and it was starting to have its effect on me. But I felt Blake move away, so I pulled back. He smiled, winked, then said we’d better get the rest of the hay up before my folks got back.
That was the only time we kissed. We were great friends through high school, but drifted apart when I went off to college. He’s married now and they just have a baby. A cute little girl. But Blake was my first kiss.
~ Ben ~
Blurb - Shoestring
Jayden Laine has spent his life in the city, dreaming of cowboys and cattle ranches. He looks forward to each fall when his life is exchanged for his dreams when the state fair opens.
This year when he steps into the barns he’s greeted by the sights he’s come to see, and one additional sight of Ben Ramos fighting to move a two-thousand pound bull that’s decided he doesn’t want to move. What happens next starts a juggernaut of emotions in Jayden that turn his world upside down. Now all he has to do is reevaluate his entire life and decide who to believe. And he has only a few days to do it.
Excerpt from Shoestring
Stepping into the barns from the bright sunshine, I paused for a moment to let my eyes adjust. The earthy scent of cattle merged with the sweet odor of hay and the sharp bite of pine shavings to play across my senses while I waited. I lost myself in this world each fall during the state fair. It always took a little sneaking around so my father didn’t know how I was spending my time. If he figured out my desire for cowboys hadn’t changed, he’d send me off for treatment again, or worse. But this was my time to dream I was normal, to pretend I didn’t know I was damaged.
Locking my guilt away, I moved down the aisle, determined to allow myself a few moments of peace. The neat rows of cattle lying contentedly on immaculately groomed beds of wood chips revived the world I lost myself in each time I could. While forming an important part of my fantasy life, the cattle intimidated me. They were huge, but I still dreamed of working with them.
“Sorry, excuse me.”
Startled I glanced up to find myself in the way of a guy who looked only a few years older than me, leading a massive black animal. Scrambling out of the, the heat of my clumsy embarrassment burned across my face. “Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”
The tanned cowboy gave me a bright smile. “If it wasn’t for old fat ass Norman here, it wouldn’t be a problem. But he doesn’t like to be led. So taking him out is a chore.”
He planted his worn boots against the walkway and heaved at the lead rope. The animal took one slow step and stopped again. Exasperation filled the guy’s face. “Holy crap! I’d so make you into hamburger if you weren’t the best bull we’ve had in a while.”
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