Hi guys! We have debut author Roe Horvat stopping in today with the first stop on his blog tour for his debut upcoming release The Layover, we have a short intro from Roe and the fantastic first instalment of the prequel for The Layover, The Swiss Experiment. So guys, check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful.
Jaded Ondro never would have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation. Life has taught Ondro not to hope, but then, he never believed in love at first sight either.
Release date: 19 July 2017
Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Kobo
The Layover is my first-born novella. Therefore, like a typical new parent, I’m anxious, sleep-deprived, uncontrollably happy—and ready to give my baby anything. My brilliant beta-reader, Malin got me thinking when she said she’d like more of Jamie. As a result, the whole blog tour is a short prequel to The Layover—from Jamie’s point of view—in seven parts.
The Swiss Experiment (The Layover prequel) begins below.
The Swiss Experiment Part 1!
Prequel to The Layover #1
Jamie Reid shook his hands above the sink, and some droplets landed on the mirror. He decided it didn’t matter. It was the club’s fault there were no paper towels. The public spaces here in Switzerland were tidier than back home in Scotland, Jamie had noticed. The night life was just as unsanitary, though. He inspected his face in the stained mirror and couldn’t help but find the image unappealing—he looked pale and tired. It matched his mood.
The sounds of two bodies colliding, the rustling of clothes and heavy breath resonated from the stall directly behind him. Pictures of what might be happening in the stall invaded his mind. They made him wildly uncomfortable, and shamefully, inconveniently aroused.
It had been so long since he’d been clubbing. Even longer since he’d hooked up with someone in a club’s bathroom. Seven, maybe eight years? Jaime suddenly felt old, on top of being worn out.
He could hear David’s derisive voice in his head. You are so sedate. So…serious. Later, when Jamie could connect the dots and see their relationship somewhat objectively, he wondered why he’d stayed in it so long. David’s complaints had grown less frequent but more insensitive. As if he hadn’t cared anymore whether Jamie would try to fix it or not. It should have been a clear sign. Still, Jamie had stayed. Because he’d been… serious. And what was he doing now? Trying to prove David wrong? Why? It had been almost a year since the breakup. Jamie could not salvage the relationship and most importantly, he didn’t want to.
It was supposed to be simple. Go out, relax, have fun. Like other people do. Normal people. And because Jamie was far from normal, he had to make it into this thing. This Experiment. The hypothesis was that if forced out of his usual social circle and faced with an engaging atmosphere, Jamie could still enjoy himself and meet people. If successful, the Experiment would prove that Jamie was not doomed to a lifetime of singleness and bi-monthly awkward blind dates. There was a set of different steps—dress up to show off the assets (he was short and slim—some guys like that), pre-medicate with an adequate amount of hard liquor (not so much so his analytical brain got muddled), go out into an average gay club, and engage in conversation and/or other types of contact with strange men. All while feeling comfortable and entertained. The next day, Jamie would evaluate the results.
So far, the Experiment wasn’t going well.
His mouth pinching into an involuntary grimace at his thoughts, Jamie untangled the band from his hair. He slipped it around his wrist and ran his fingers through the messy strands a few times. A guy passed behind his back and headed for the urinals. Jamie avoided looking at the man’s face in the mirror in case it could be interpreted as interest. He snapped the rubber band back in place, tying his hair into a bun. He hated the tickling of wayward locks around his face and almost never wore it loose—short hair was too much fuss with all the product and bed-hair morning crisis. He valued the practicality of a man bun. He snatched his hat from the counter and put in on.
The stall door behind him rattled, and a loud moan echoed through the bathroom. The guy standing by the urinal chuckled. Jamie closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He felt a presence next to him and opened his eyes. The man stood close, looking right into Jamie’s face through the mirror. He was maybe forty, heavy, with broad shoulders and rough features, and he was smirking knowingly.
Unintelligible murmur sounded from the occupied stall, and again, a loud moan. The guy next to Jamie washed his hands slowly, his eyes never leaving Jamie’s. He wasn’t handsome, not classically at least. But he looked interesting, his gaze clever, penetrating. Maybe they could…? Jamie shook his head infinitesimally, nipping the thought in the bud. No. Not in a strange bathroom while listening to other people fuck. Just no.
Jamie exited the club’s bathroom at a determined pace. He made his way through the throngs of men. All those men. Tall, short, large, skinny, sweaty, smelly, clean-shaven, furry, blond, dark, shirtless—he felt a hand brush his hip as he passed but he didn’t look back.
He was tempted to head directly to the exit door. The pull was almost physical. A magnetic force dragging his whole body and mind towards the cool air and empty streets of winter Zürich outside. There was a warm hotel room out there somewhere, his luggage on the floor with his soft cotton pajama bottoms inside. But he persisted. He’d paid nine Swiss francs for the entrance to this place. He would at least have a drink, dammit! It wasn’t like it would cause him a panic attack.
To continue reading, follow: https://www.facebook.com/roe.horvat.98
The Swiss Experiment #2 coming July 17 at My Fiction Nook.
Queer author, storyteller & graphic designer
Roe was born in former Czechoslovakia and endured a miserable adolescence in the post-communist wasteland. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, they left for Germany and later, Spain.
Finally, they settled in Sweden, where the weather is nasty but the freedom great. Roe works as a motion graphics artist, loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams and everything in between, preferably by the fireplace with a strawberry daiquiri in hand. Roe writes contemporary romantic fiction – it conveniently balances out their real-life pragmatism.
When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, Roe can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.
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