Amy Aislin’s new holiday novella, Ballerina Dad , has just been released by NineStar Press and I have Amy visiting the blog to talk about how the story came about. She’s also brought a lovely excerpt, so make sure you check it out.
Thank you so much, Jackie, for hosting me on your blog today to help me celebrate the release of my newest book, Ballerina Dad!
Ballerina Dad is a 15K-word novella about Patrick, a hockey player, and Lee, a ballet teacher. It’s sweet and no-angst. Or, as Sinfully MM Book Reviews put it, “The book is full tenderness and sweet humour that at no point sinks into saccharin or corniness.”
The idea for this story actually came from a family friend. The first scene in Ballerina Dad is a product of a workshop I took a few years ago. The scene in the book is a heavily revised and edited version of the original (which you can read on my website here, if you so desire), and at the time I had no intention of continuing the story. It was simply a writing assignment.
But then I shared the short story with a family friend and she said “Why is Patrick single? Does he get along with his ex? Does he find someone new? How does his daughter take it when he starts dating again?” And a small part of me went “hmm.”
However, it wasn’t until earlier this year, when NineStar Press had a submission call for holiday novellas, that Patrick popped back into my head jumping up and down and waving a sign bordered in bright Broadway lights that said “Me! Me! It’s my turn!”
And his significant other, Lee, was born almost instantly.
I hope you enjoy Ballerina Dad!
Attending his daughter’s holiday dance recital should be easy for pro hockey player Patrick Barnes. Showing up in a tutu, however, wasn’t exactly part of the plan. And yet the holidays get even more interesting when he bumps into Lee, the man he let get away years ago.
Ballet instructor Lee can’t believe who just walked into his studio. He also can’t believe how quickly the flare of attraction between he and Patrick resurfaces, despite the years that have gone by since they last spoke.
Once upon a time, they let opportunities get away. Is it possible they’ll now have the chance to pursue the spark that has come back to life after just one conversation?
Holidays are a time for giving, and neither Patrick nor Lee are about to take this particular gift for granted.
Excerpt from Ballerina Dad by Amy Aislin
The door opened before Patrick had fully mentally prepared himself for his date with Lee, who stood in the doorway wearing a black suit with a black shirt open at the collar.
All Patrick could do was stare.
If the ballet uniform had been liquid sex, the suit was foreplay. Patrick was dying to peel him out of it, layer by layer, taking the time to explore newly revealed skin as he went.
“Gargh,” he cleverly choked out.
Lee smiled at him. “Hi. Come on in. I just need to get my coat.”
Patrick wisely kept his mouth shut, picked up the grocery bags he’d set next to the door when he’d arrived, and entered Lee’s space. He was sure Lee’s house was perfectly lovely, but he didn’t see any of it, too busy admiring the man’s backside as he reached into the hall closet.
“Um.” Patrick cleared his throat. “Actually, you won’t need a coat.”
“Oh? Has it warmed up outside?”
“No, I mean… We can… There’s this, uh…” Jesus, if his nerves could take a hike that would be really fucking awesome. “I thought we could…uh…” Lee’s smile was a mixture of amused and indulgent, and Patrick lost his train of thought. Just fwap! A door closing on his brain.
Lee peered into one of the bags. His bent head was just a couple of inches away, and Patrick had to resist the urge to sidle closer for a surreptitious sniff of his hair.
“Whatcha got there?” Lee asked.
“Oh…well.” Patrick cleared his throat again. “I always had this idea in my head of what our first date would be like and…” And suddenly it seemed like the dumbest idea in the world. “You know what? Never mind. Grab a jacket and we’ll go to…” Shit, where could they go on a Saturday evening without a reservation?
“What?” Lee said through a laugh. “No way. Tell me what you thought our first date would be like.”
About Amy Aislin
Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. Amy loves live theatre (especially musicals), the CW’s DC comic shows, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, anything to do with Scotland and Ireland, and her hometown of Oakville.
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