Earlier this week I submitted the tenth, and last, book in The Virgin Billionaire series. I titled it, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S LITTLE ANGEL, because I wanted to go for something more emotional this time. We’ll see if that title remains. Publishers often decide to change titles and they have the final say. As it turns out, many times they are correct and the author was glad he listened.
Though I’d never planned to write a series, it was an interesting experience to write one. It gave me a chance to show the main characters, Luis and Jase, grow with each book I wrote. In the first book, Jase is a closeted gay virgin who moves to New York to find himself…in his late thirties. He’s already been married and divorced, built a billion dollar empire, and has been around the block a few times. Luis, on the other hand, is a flighty young gay man in his early twenties living in New York as a silly escort who dates much older men. Though Luis never has sex with any of them, his only concern in life is what new shirt he’ll buy for Saturday night and how his hair turns out.
With each book I tried to show how they grow, sometimes in large ways and sometimes in small ways. And by the time I reached the last book, Jase and Luis are starting to think about things like growing older and building a family. They don’t change as people. I don’t believe people can change. We are who we are from birth. But Jase and Luis grow and mature in ways I hope readers will think are viable.
In this series, I had a chance to do a few things I normally wouldn’t do. For example, Jase isn’t the cliched gay man who is a left wing political zealot. He’s more on the conservative side and he’s not ashamed to talk about it. Luis, on the other hand, tends to be more of a cliche in the sense that he follows trends, and he’s not afraid to talk about his liberal values either. It’s this balance that keeps their lives interesting. I’ve always believed opposites do attract…at least from what I’ve seen from my own personal experience it seems to work.
I also wanted to tackle a more serious topic in the final book. As with everyone’s life, Luis and Jase find themselves dealing with something so serious Luis isn’t sure he can get through it. For most people what Luis goes through would leave scars for the rest of their lives. I’m not going to say exactly what I did because I never give spoilers, but it is something that changes almost everyone in the book in one way or another.
I’ll post more about the final installment as I get closer to a publishing date. Right now we haven’t even started edits on it and I’m not certain when we will. It’s also a little longer than most of the other Virgin Billionaire books, with 65,000 words. Most of the romance novels I’m contracted to do are for 50,000 words, which seems to be a standard in e-publishing. I prefer to write novels that are not less than 60,000 words and this time I think I would have done a disservice to the reader if I’d skimped. Thankfully, publishers don’t mind this. If writers go over a word count, they are usually fine with it.
Here’s an unedited raw excerpt from the manuscript I just submitted. It’s a dream/nightmare scene, where Luis dreams that he’s been impregnated and he’s acting as a surrogate. The stress Luis has been under, because Jase insists on building their family through surrogacy, has stressed Luis out so much he actually has nightmares about it.
When Luis opened his eyes again, he was standing in the kitchen at Cider Mill Farm in his bare feet in front of the sink. He was wearing something he would normally never wear, not even to work outside in the garden: a loose baggy T-shirt with a character from Sesame Street on the front and over-sized cut off jeans that had long strings hanging down to his knees. The T-shirt had stains and the jeans hung low on his waist. He glanced through the window and saw Isabelle and Mary sitting on the patio in white dresses, fanning themselves. Hunter was running around on the back lawn with a puppy Luis had never seen before. But it wasn’t a cute puppy. This one had green-gray patchy fur, bugged, lopsided eyes, ears that came down to his paws, and saliva dripping from his mouth. He pressed his palm to his torso and felt something peculiar. When he glanced down at his waist, he saw a huge mound that had to be at least forty-four inches round.
Jase came up from behind, looking sexier and better than he’d ever looked before. He reminded Luis of the young version of Jase he’d once met after he’d dreamed he went back in time to when Jase was eighteen years old.
Jase gave Luis a playful pat on the behind and said, “How’s my chubby little husband doing today? Did I tell you today how much I love all the cellulite on the backs of your legs?”
Luis’s jaw dropped. He pressed his palm to the huge mound that used to be his perfectly thin, flat waist, and said, “I’m not sure how I’m doing.” He remembered being in the clinic and having The Procedure, but nothing in between then and now.
“You’re looking hot this morning,” Jase said, as he grabbed Luis’s ass and squeezed it. “I love the way your ass got so big with this baby. It’s the biggest, fattest, hottest ass I’ve ever seen.”
Luis glanced down at his thighs and gulped. They seemed to have quadrupled in size, to the point where they would rub together if he started to walk. “Hot. You think this is hot. I look like a goddamn whale. My entire body is swollen, my feet are killing me, and there’s a strange, hideous animal creature running around outside with my son. Where did that dog come from? And where is Camp?”