Hi! My name is Tucker McCallahan, and I’m the author of The Boys of Summer, the first book in the Dust & Ash Saga. I’m so grateful to Grace R. Duncan for hosting me today! Here’s the blurb for the novel, which officially came out on August 31st.
Lead singer Ash Redvers needs a drummer. When Dustin Davis shows up, ready, willing, and able to play – not to mention gorgeous – Ash thinks it’s going to be the best season yet. But Ash has never had a boyfriend, and Dust isn’t willing to be a quick hook-up. As the summer heats up, they’ll have to decide whether all they can make together is music, or if there’s something more for them after the Boys of Summer are gone.
Of all the themes I used in writing this novel, I think my favorite is nostalgia for days gone by. Don Henley, who recorded the song “The Boys of Summer” in 1984, has spoken many times about that aspect of his lyrics. They evoke a time when things were new and fresh, and in reliving that memory, nostalgia for what was and what might’ve been saturates the song. My goal as I was writing the saga was to recreate a similar series of emotions. In order to accomplish that in the first book, I ended up focusing on a “first time” of sorts.
First love, and the stumbling, bumbling, awkward attempts at forging that first relationship, are pretty powerful memories for almost everyone. Simply stated: we all remember our first boyfriend or girlfriend. My two main characters have completely opposite experiences where first love is concerned. Dustin’s had several serious relationships, while Ash has never had a relationship. It makes for some interesting situations.
From The Boys of Summer:
Practice continued until the set ended, and then the guys left and Dustin went up to shower. The new bed had been delivered that afternoon before practice, so when he got out of the shower, he went into his dark room, shut the door, and dropped his towel, ready to slide between the fresh sheets he’d put on the new bed.
Instead, as Dustin turned around, a light clicked on, and he stood there, buck naked, to discover Ash was already under his sheets.
Dust didn’t bother grabbing for anything; there was no point. Ash’s eyes were very wide, but Dustin was used to that reaction. His body was a work of art; he worked damn hard to make it that way. He walked over to his dresser and pulled out a pair of silky running shorts, which he slipped on, carelessly arranging himself as he turned to face the lead singer who, it seemed, just wouldn’t give up.
“Ash… what are you doing here?”
“Dustin… please… don’t send me away.”
“I am not going to have sex with you.”
“I get that. I do. After what I just saw… I’m not quite as eager as I was before anyway.” Ash grinned. “You’re fucking huge, dude, and that thing’s not even hard yet.”
“Right. Like the size of my dick will make that big a difference while you try to fuck me right through the mattress.”
Ash’s forehead creased as he frowned. “Man, I’m a bottom.”
Dustin threw his head back and laughed. Boy, had he called that one wrong.
Ash was fairly certain Dustin was laughing at him. He didn’t care. The guy was all kinds of hot, and his laugh was gorgeous. He also hadn’t kicked Ash out. Yet.
Dustin finally got his laughter under control. He sauntered over to his bedroom door, where he flipped the lock. Then he stripped his shorts back off, tossed them on the dresser, stalked back over to the bed, and slid in next to Ash.
“You forgot the lights.” Ash felt a little timid now that he had this wholly naked, beautiful, obviously experienced, and suddenly compliant Dustin in a brand-new bed.
“No, I didn’t. I want to look at you, Ashley.”
“Don’t call me that,” Ash said, blushing.
“Why not?” Dustin reached out and pulled Ash to him, pressing their bodies together. Ash was hot and hard, his erection already weeping. “Isn’t that your name?”
“I hate it.”
“I don’t. It’s beautiful.” Dustin sighed. He stroked a gentle hand through Ash’s hair and ran light, teasing fingers down his back.
Ash decided right there if Dust wanted to call him Ashley, he was more than okay with it.
“So what changed your mind?” Ash asked, swallowing hard.
“Nothing,” Dustin said. “I’m still not having sex with you. I just feel far less threatened knowing that you’re not a voracious top with plans to fuck me simple. I meant what I said. I’m not a one-night stand or a summer fling, and I don’t date bi-boys.”
“What’s wrong with bi-boys?”
“You really want to know?” Dustin let go of Ash and sat up. “You’re not just asking to try to change my mind?”
“Yeah, I really want to know.” Ash propped himself up on his elbows, all his long black hair pooling behind him on the pillow. Dust fought to control his reaction to just how perfect Ash looked against his sheets. He focused on Ash’s original question.
“The guy I lost my virginity to was bi. We spent a summer together, and then one night over instant messaging he told me he couldn’t see me for a while.” Dustin locked gazes with Ash. Pain filled Dustin’s eyes. “Want to guess why?”
“He met a girl?” Ash asked softly.
“Oh, worse. He managed to get one pregnant and married her. But he figured in a few weeks we’d be able to go back to the way things were.”
Ash digested that. Dustin’s disgust and betrayal were still evident after all this time. Ash shook his head. “Oh man….”
“But I was young, just starting high school. I tried again. Bi-boy number two told me outright that he had a girlfriend for dating. Boys were for sex because he didn’t want to get his girlfriend pregnant. I thought he’d be better for me, since it seemed like he was at least honest.” Dustin shook his head. He shrugged his broad shoulders, and his nip piercings caught the light, flashing brilliantly. He looked up and locked eyes with Ash, and once again, Dust’s hurt was obvious. “Not so much, as it turned out. I caught him fucking one of my best friends. And that was the end of me having anything to do with pretty bi-boys.” Dust leaned down and lightly brushed his lips over Ash’s. “This is a bad idea, Ash. Find somebody else to play with.”
“I don’t want somebody else. I want you!”
“Well, we don’t always get what we want.” Dustin drew his knees up and clasped his hands around them. “It’ll be better for both of us if nothing happens.”
“You won’t even hear me out? You’re just gonna dump me into the same category as the two assholes who hurt you?”
“Did I invite you into my bed? Did I ask you to take your clothes off and climb between my sheets?” Dustin’s face registered his incredulity. “You’re not out to your best friends. You’ve known me a few days. All you’ve suggested to me is sex. Why do I need you for a boyfriend, Ash? Everything in me is screaming this is a bad idea!”
Ash took a deep breath. He’d done a lot of thinking since Dustin walked out of his bedroom the night before. This wasn’t like any situation Ash had ever been in before, and that was saying something.
“The truth is, you don’t need me for a boyfriend. You’re probably right—it’s probably a bad idea.” Ash scooted around so he faced Dustin. “But I can’t get up and leave without saying everything I came in here to say first.”
They stared at each other for a long moment. Finally, Dustin nodded. “Okay. Go for it.”
“I’ve never had a relationship with anybody. I’ve never wanted one.” Ash flicked his gaze up to stare directly into Dustin’s melting-toffee gaze. “Until now. You say I have to be willing to be out in the open. Well, okay. I will.”
“You’re going to come out.” Skepticism turned Dustin’s elfin features into something harsher. “Why? Why now?”
“Because I can’t go the whole summer living in the same house and being this close to you without knowing if what we felt in my truck is for real. That’s never happened to me before.” Ash took a deep breath. “Give me a chance, Dust.”
Dustin stared at him. Ash stared back.
“We have a whole summer of gigs to play,” Dustin warned.
“Unlike the rest of the guys, you and I are actually classically trained conservatory musicians. You read the contract you signed. I think we’re professional enough to deal if things… don’t work out.”
Dustin seemed to seriously consider Ash’s proposal for a minute. “Get out of bed and stand up.”
“You heard me. Get out of bed and stand right here. You got to see what you were bargaining for. I want to see everything I’m getting. Audition time.”
Ash grinned and slid out of the bed, keeping the sheet around his waist. Dustin’s hot eyes followed Ash as he danced from foot to foot. Dust gripped the sheet in his hands and wound it around his hand and forearm. Ash let Dustin pull the sheet away until Ash either had to let go of the scrap covering him or tumble back onto the bed. At the last minute, Ash let go and spun around, presenting Dustin with what was undoubtedly the most gorgeous, perfectly shaped, edible ass Dust had seen in the last year.
Ash gave Dust a coquettish look over his shoulder and fluttered his long, lacy black eyelashes. “This is the part of me that makes the best impression, right?”
Dustin’s thoughts were very dark. No doubt about it, Ashley’s ass was a feast fit for a king. As he stood there, hip cocked, perfect ass wiggling to a tune only he could hear, Dustin leaned forward and laid a chaste kiss on Ash’s rounded right buttock.
Dustin laughed softly. He kissed the small of Ash’s back, and Ash sucked in a rattling breath. “Turn around, beautiful,” Dustin said. “Show me the rest.”
Ash turned around without another word. He was fully hard, straining, and again… perfect. Dustin couldn’t have been more pleased. Truthfully, he spent most of his time as a top these days, but he always believed when he found the right guy, the one, they’d be equals in the bedroom. Dustin wanted to be able to give the man he loved the whole of himself. Staring at Ash, he knew that wouldn’t be a problem. Not that he was planning on loving Ash, but damn, gazing up at the bronzed man standing nude in front of him, Dustin licked his lips. Falling for this guy would be so easy….
“So….” Ash’s voice was breathy, hesitant, and Dustin realized he’d been staring for an awfully long time, thinking sensual thoughts but not actually voicing any of them.
He reached out and pulled Ash back to the bed.
Ash stopped right at the edge. “Uh, I haven’t been invited into this bed. Nobody asked me to get naked or climb between those sheets yet, so….”
“You’re right. Let’s make sure we both understand exactly what’s happening, and what we want.”
Ash nodded, his eyes so eager in a face that was still uncertain. Dustin had to make an effort to put the brakes on his feelings. He’d been hurt too many times to let an insecure, closeted lead singer—What was he thinking! A lead singer!—into his heart. So he took a deep breath and forced his head into top space.
“I’m inviting you into my nice new bed. I’d like to sleep next to you tonight. I’m offering to hold you and kiss you and touch you. No penetration. And we need to have ‘the talk’ before we do anything.”
“We are talking.”
“The safe sex talk, Ash. The spill-your-guts-about-your-sexual-past talk so we both know what precautions we need to take. STDs are real, you know.”
“That’s cool. I’ll tell you anything you want to know. My student health folder’s in my room somewhere if you want to see it.”
“I might. Depends. Before we get into that… are you sure you’re ready to do this? If you climb between my sheets, you’re choosing to announce your sexuality to the rest of the band. If I hold you and kiss you and touch you tonight, then I’m damn sure going to hold you, kiss you, and touch you whenever it seems appropriate, and if that happens to be in the presence of the band, then so be it.”
“I understand.” Ash’s beautiful voice was so low, Dustin almost didn’t hear him. “For a chance to see if this could be—” Ash stopped and shook his head. His tall frame shivered as gooseflesh rippled across his chest and his nipples hardened to pouting sienna nubs. “I’ll take out a fucking newspaper ad if I have to, Dustin. Just please let me back in the bed.”
Though Dustin knew better, he couldn’t bring himself to say no again. It had been too long since he’d felt anything close to what seemed to happen every time he and Ash touched. He pulled the sheet back. Ash’s breath caught, his pupils dilated, and a slow sexy smile spread across his face. He crawled into bed.
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. The Boys of Summer is the first book in the Dust & Ash Saga and is available now on Amazon and Smashwords. The second book is scheduled to come out in the spring; there are six books in all.
To celebrate the first release in the saga, I’m sponsoring a giveaway! There are three ways to enter: like my author page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or – if you’re already following me on FB and Twitter – leave me a comment about your favorite music to listen to at a wedding reception. I’ll be giving away three gift cards, and the winners will get to choose what they’d like to receive! Winners will be announced on my blog on September 30th.
Once again, I’d like to thank Grace for hosting me and the Boys today. Enjoy the end of summer!
Tucker McCallahan has been lots of places, seen lots of things, and is still learning new stuff on the regular. Multi-published, bisexual, polyamorous, and slave to a big black cat named Emperor Inka, Tucker is also married, a parent, a long-time member of the LGBT community and a proud educator/activist.