Hello and welcome to another round of The Wee Things! This is a new feature where authors spotlight important objects in their books, talk about their origins, and what these objects mean to their characters and themselves.
Today’s guest is Amy Aislin, author of the Stick Side series of m/m hockey romances. She’s here to talk about the latest installment, Book 2, The Nature of the Game, which just came out May 7.
Take it away, Amy!
Thank you for joining me to celebrate the release of my newest m/m romance, The Nature of the Game, and thank you so much to Avery for having me to talk about wee things!
The Nature of the Game, book two in the Stick Side series, is a second chance romance. Six years ago, the main characters—Ash and Dan—were in a relationship that didn’t end well. They haven’t spoken since then and now, all of a sudden, they’re back in each other’s lives.
Today’s wee thing I’m going to talk about? Sun catchers!
In The Nature of the Game, one of the main characters, Dan, works as a financial analyst for a print company. He’s more or less indifferent about his job. What he really loves is working with wood, especially to create whimsical items like sun catchers. The idea for Dan to create sun catchers came while I was writing book one in the series, On the Ice. I had just received this beautiful sun catcher as a gift, and I loved it so much that I had to include it in the book.
The artist behind this beautiful sun catcher is Giolla at Artwood Ireland and I loved his designs so much that most of Dan’s are based off them.
To find out who Dan gifts his sun catchers to, check out The Nature of the Game, available for purchase at:
More about The Nature of the Game
Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.
Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.
When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?
Running a hand over his face, Dan glanced over to the hallway Ash had disappeared down, and then kept staring, waiting for Ash to reappear again like some smitten teenager who couldn’t control his hormones.
He was so very cool.
Tearing his eyes away, he scanned the restaurant, his gaze snagging on a woman sitting with a group of friends. In her early twenties, she had brown hair to her shoulders and purple glasses were perched on her nose. She sunk into her chair with a grimace when Dan caught her ogling him, her lips twitching up in embarrassment. Dan smiled back at her despite the across-the-room flirting doing nothing for him. All he could think about was Ash. Ash’s arms streaked with dust; Ash’s muscles straining as they moved furniture around; Ash’s laughter when Dan nearly swallowed a dust bunny; Ash’s mad scramble to the other side of the apartment when Dan came down the stepladder with the spider colony; Ash’s expression when he talked about hockey; the emotion in Ash’s eyes when Dan had shown up earlier.
It was Ash. It had always been Ash.
Dan’s smile grew when the man himself reappeared next to him.
“Who are you smiling at?” Ash stood next to the booth, hands on his hips. His scowl would scare small children away.
Assuming they were leaving, Dan stood . . . and ran into a wall of muscle when Ash didn’t budge. Ash was warm and big and strong, and Dan forgot all his words. He swallowed hard and told himself the shiver was from the air conditioning.
Ash looked over his shoulder, scowled some more, and growled, “We’re leaving.”
They left. The walk back to Ash’s apartment was silent but for Ash’s stiff shoulders proclaiming his unhappiness with Dan, dinner, or the world at large. Who knew.
“Are you okay?”
“Just…” Ash gestured wildly, arms flying. “I’m trying to sort some stuff out. In my head.”
“O…kay.” Whatever that meant.
Reaching Ash’s apartment, Ash slammed the door behind them and whirled on Dan, hands on his hips. “Do you want to date women?”
“Like, right this second?” I only want to date you. “Not particularly.”
“What about the woman from The Tavern?”
“You know.” Ash gestured. “The one you were smiling at.”
“Why are you being weird?”
“I’m being weird.” Ash huffed and paced away. “You were the one eye-flirting while I took a two-minute bio break.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“No idea what I’m…” He trailed off, jaw ticking, his eyes fire and fury. Pacing back to Dan, he clamped a hand behind Dan’s head, pulled him forward, and kissed him.
Ash kissed him.
Ash kissed him.
Ash kissed him.
Dan stood shocked and immobile.
“Gonna kiss me back?” Ash murmured against Dan’s lips, walking him backward until his back hit the wall next to the door. “Or just stand there like a corpse?”
More about Amy Aislin
Amy 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 the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser 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 travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.