Hi guys! We have Logan Meredith stopping by today with her upcoming release Crossroads, we have a wonderful guest post from Logan and a great exclusive excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Despite the best-laid plans, life sometimes has other ideas.
Ethan Yoder has toiled to escape his small-minded farming community, and he’s finally earned his degree and made it to Indianapolis—where he lands a job at a pharmaceutical company and meets handsome and successful Marcus. Marcus introduces Ethan to the fun-filled life of his dreams—fancy dinners, courtside seats at NBA games, even a trip to the Indianapolis 500. But Marcus’s happy-go-lucky veneer hides a man frustrated with a job he hates and his failure at romance due to factors he’s only beginning to understand. Ethan still has his eyes on the prize—a lucrative career—and he must figure out how to hold on to one opportunity without letting another slip away. If he and Marcus can come to a deeper understanding, their road might lead to a happily ever after.
States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.
Crossroads— a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences.
There are some amazing coming of age stories out there. Those movies, television shows, and books that really captures the angst of adolescence and delivers the character on the other side with a deeper, richer sense of self. As an audience, we cheer for our protagonists. Maybe we related to their story, or maybe they managed to touch our hearts despite their experiences being foreign to us. Regardless, coming-of-age stories have the power to transport us back to a time in our lives when adulthood was basically a blank slate of endless possibilities.
But fast-forward five years, and adulthood isn’t so blank anymore. You’ve made decisions. Chosen a path to follow, whether it’s a college major, a career, a branch of the military, or a decision to not make a choice. Regardless, for better or worse, you’re on a road.
Crossroads is about two men in this stage of life. Marcus and Ethan followed in the well-worn steps of successful, happy people. They worked hard, made good grades, got into college, graduated, but happiness has remained elusive. This stage of life is a delicate balance of self, relationships, and career and the stakes feel much higher than before.
More than adolescence, the early twenties are transformative. You take classroom experiences and transform them into practical use, sometimes with great disappointment. For better or worse, you free yourself from your parents’ financial support. You balance friendships outside the ease of college comradery. You let go of past mistakes and childhood grudges. Romantic relationships lead to lifelong commitments. If you think about it, we all make some consequential decisions in our early twenties, yet many of us barely know ourselves.
Marcus Light already feels like he’s losing in two of three categories, so admitting his dream job has become a nightmare doesn’t hold much appeal. Compared to his best friends, his personal life is a hot mess and he struggles to accept aspects of his sexuality. But he has student debt and bills to pay, and commitments he didn’t sign up for so finding a new job, one that certainly wouldn’t pay as well, isn’t really an option either. He’s stuck on a road that feels like a dead-end.
Ethan, on the other hand, is fresh out of college, and eager to make a life for himself. His dream job has remained elusive, but he has a foot in the door at a great company and eternal optimism that his hard work will be rewarded eventually. He can’t go back to his small town, so he has no choice but to turn his temporary position into something permanent. Unfortunately, the lure of his handsome coworker and a chance at romance is proving very distracting.
Crossroads is a busy novella, and I’m sure some readers will question my choices. The truth is the road for these two boys is packed with personal, professional, and family challenges because this is how I felt during that period. I wanted to give Marcus and Ethan a romance, but I also wanted them to grow separately and learn some things about themselves along the way. I hope in the ened, they touched your hearts as much as they did mine.
Please enjoy this exclusive excerpt from Crossroads.
Marcus pulled up to the restaurant, exited the car, and handed the valet his key and cash that appeared out of nowhere. He moved smoothly, with an enviable confidence. Ethan, on the other hand, stumbled ungracefully trying to find the unlock button while another valet waited outside his door. Marcus jogged around to offer him his hand. The valet took off without a second glance.
“This place is fantastic.” Ethan was awed by the dark-paneled interior and white tablecloths. The vibe was elegant, but not pretentiously so. He stood next to Marcus and brushed his hand as they waited for the host to attend to them. Marcus looked up, acknowledging the public gesture, and intertwined their fingers.
“You look gorgeous.” Marcus leaned in toward him and brushed lips across Ethan’s cheek. “I meant to tell you that at the fountain. I like the shirt.”
“Thanks. Umm… you too.”
Ethan followed Marcus to their table and tried not to feel intimidated by the elaborate place setting. He accepted his menu and as he shuffled items out of the way to allow the server to fill their water glasses, he knocked over an empty wine glass. Blushing, he swiftly straightened it.
“Would you like to see the wine list, sir?” the server offered.
Marcus nodded, rescuing Ethan from having to answer while still flustered.
“I believe you requested to be wined and dined.” He offered Ethan the college-textbook-sized wine menu.
“Umm… yeah.” Ethan straightened in his chair and strategized the best way to review his menu without disturbing the table. There was virtually no way to—
Marcus angled himself to the side to peruse the oversized dinner menu. “I prefer beer myself, but I’ll share a bottle, or you can order by the glass. What kind of wines do you like?”
“Oh, umm….” Ethan hesitated and mirrored Marcus’s position. He’d never tried anything other than the sickly sweet strawberry wine his mother drank on occasion. The wine menu might as well have been written in Greek. And holy shit—some of the bottles cost more than his rent. “Whatever you prefer.” He offered the menu back, but Marcus refused it.
Marcus laughed, and with a hint of chastisement, he said, “Ethan, this isn’t a trick question. Do you want wine?”
“I’ve never actually had it before.”
“Okay. So, first date, right?”
“Yeah.” Ethan felt the heat rise in his cheeks.
“I find that dates work best if you try to be yourself. I’m not a connoisseur, by any stretch. Honestly, if you’d like to try wine, I’d start with a glass of Merlot.”
“Okay. I would like to try it. That’s why I moved here, after all.”
“No wine where you’re from?”
Ethan laughed and fell right back into a comfortable conversation with Marcus as he explained his efforts to relocate to Indianapolis and his desire to branch out from the box he’d been confined to.
“Wow. Just wow. I’m so impressed that you were valedictorian and had a full ride to college. I can’t believe you had to put up with Sullivan. I was so lucky—came out in high school and barely got a minute of flack from anyone. I’m sure my mom wasn’t surprised.”
“Are you two close?”
“Sort of.” Marcus paused when the server returned to take their beverage orders. Ethan pointed to the wine list and selected the cheapest by-the-glass red, which happened to be a Pinot Noir, but he had no clue how to pronounce it. Marcus ordered a beer and the shrimp cocktail. “You have to try their shrimp. It’s the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.”
Ethan choked on his water, and Marcus’s mischievous eyes twinkled. “Well, almost the best thing.”
“So you were saying about your mom?”
“So, Mom is complicated. She had me when she was sixteen and ran off with my dad, who kind of did everything for her. He died in a car accident when I was twelve, and she couldn’t cope. She loves me, but most days it feels like I’m the adult in our relationship.”
“Do you live with her?”
“No,” Marcus laughed. “Thankfully I broke free in college. I went to IU in Bloomington, and she had a boyfriend at the time, so she didn’t fight me on my decision. When they broke up, I helped her move to her own place, and I give her some financial assistance. I live on my own. Have since graduation. I can’t imagine having to live with her again. Don’t get me wrong. She’s not a deadbeat or anything. She works from home as a medical transcriptionist. She’s functional, but she forgets to pay her light bill and then her electricity gets turned off. One time she went out of town and left the water running. The super called me screaming because the apartment below her flooded. She’s gotten her car towed like four times this year because she parks where she’s not supposed to and doesn’t remember to pay her tickets. She’s… I don’t know—flaky. She never learned how to be responsible. How ’bout you? Good folks?”
“Sure. Married thirty years. My dad is a farmer, and my mom is a homemaker, for the most part. She works part-time in the grocery when there’s a bad growing season, but my dad does all right. My family has lived on the same plot of land a long time. Used to be my great-grandparent’s place. I have a little brother, too—Thomas. He’s eighteen.”
“I always wanted a brother. Is he cool with the gay thing?”
“Meh. Thomas is cool with me. We don’t talk about the gay thing.”
“Not once. Thomas knows—my whole family, school, town—everybody does. I was outed rather publicly in tenth grade. Let’s say the ability to pretend bad things aren’t happening is a fine Yoder tradition.”
“Do you see being gay as a bad thing?”
“Not at all. I’ve had an awareness about it for a long time. Not sure I can explain it. I feel like I’ve owned it, but it never felt right expressing myself. I tell Norah, my friend from college, that I’m not faking it or anything, but I only show people the very edge of myself. The masculine edge, I guess you could say.”
“The straight edge?” Marcus cracked up. “Although you can be stereotypically masculine and still be very gay.”
“True. I guess that’s the point. Stereotypically masculine isn’t me. I suppressed aspects of myself in Middleburg—big aspects.”
“A-ha, I see. So a new city and a new you. Is that why the makeup?”
Ethan blushed. “You noticed.”
“I spent some time studying your face. I noticed the difference. It looks good.”
“Thanks. Yes, to answer your question. The makeup is part of it, and the PDA and a few other things—trying new outfits, growing my hair out.”
“Cool. I respect that. God, Paul is going to love you. You’re going to meet him and his husband, Phil, tonight. That’s who hooked us up with the tickets. But unless you want to get roped into shopping, I wouldn’t mention the fashion part. Paul lives for a makeover.”
Their drinks arrived, and they placed their orders. Ethan laid his hand on the white linen tablecloth and hoped Marcus might take the hint to grab it, but he didn’t stop talking long enough to notice. They covered extensive territory, enough to distract Ethan from his still-full wine glass.
“Did you want something else?” Marcus asked when the waiter dropped off their entrees. “Doesn’t look like you love the wine.”
“It’s fine. I’m trying to go slow. Figured we’d have some beers later, and I don’t want to get sloppy.”
“Okay.” Marcus cut into his steak as though the cow had offended him.
Did Marcus resent paying for something Ethan didn’t drink? He took a gulp of his wine and coughed as his mouth flooded with an acidic burn. He coughed again, and his eyes watered as he struggled to avoid aspirating the water he used to rinse his tongue.
Marcus flagged the waiter. “Please, order something else.”
“More water, please,” Ethan requested, horrified by the fact that he couldn’t stop coughing. The waiter nodded, and Ethan caught the flutter of disappointment in Marcus’s eyes as he adjusted his glasses up on his nose. “Sorry,” he whispered and took another sip from his refilled water glass.
“You’re under no obligation to drink the wine.”
“I know,” Ethan said.
“So, is the game going to be like the wine? Cause if so, you can tell me.”
“What? Why would you think I don’t like—is this because of the makeup?”
“No. This is because of… ugh. I sort of have a thing.”
“A thing? About sports?”
“No, a history of dating men who pretend to like what I like. In the past I’ve ignored that because, you know, I get my way and it’s all good. But eventually it becomes a thing because that’s not sustainable for anyone. I’m trying to grow up a little about that kind of stuff. Stop repeating my mistakes.”
“Well, I can’t speak for those other men, and I’ll admit to hating hockey. But basketball, football, and baseball are fun to watch. I like competition in general. I live for the Olympics.”
“Totally. And I think I like wine, but I drank that too fast.”
“Yeah. Honestly. Look, this whole dating thing is new to me. I’m trying to be chill, and you’re paying, so you know, I’m not trying to waste your money. If I drink slowly, I won’t need to order another one.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake. Thank God. I was getting worried that you were going along because. I’m sorry for doubting you. And please don’t worry about the money thing.”
“Okay. Listen. I’m enjoying tonight. The food looks delicious. And I’m looking forward to the game. I’m not a guy who goes along just because. If I don’t like something, I’ll speak up.”
“Okay, good. And I’m sorry if I came off like a jerk. Dave is right. I really don’t make a good impression when I drink.” Marcus pushed his nearly empty beer aside.
Logan Meredith began writing as a teenager when beautiful boys started keeping her company at night. Unfortunately, the voices she heard were imaginary, and their conversations resulted in horrible insomnia. They only let her sleep when she started to type their words down. Thankfully, being awkward as hell and a head taller than anyone else in the school afforded plenty of spare time for writing.
At first she tried to make them play with characters from her favorite television series or books. She found her lost tribe with a ravenous, crazy group of fan-fiction lovers online and started sharing her stories publicly. Then something amazing happened—new characters arrived and demanded their own stories. Only they wanted their own world to play in and they wanted to find their true loves. So, between her day job and making time for her family, she tries to keep up with the demands from her beautiful men for their happily ever afters.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Logan is an accomplished cross-country mover, having honed her skills bouncing between five states. She currently resides in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading and rereading her favorite books, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs, playing Words with Friends, and procrastinating pretty much everything else.
Logan is a proud member of the LGBTQA community and vocal advocate for mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and equality campaigns.
Logan welcomes the chance to interact with readers.
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