It’s here! The day a group of amazing author’s has been working toward for so long!
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𝑯𝒐𝒕 𝑩𝒐𝒚 𝑺𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓: 𝑨 𝑹𝒐𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝑨𝒏𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒚
𝑻𝒐𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅. 𝑼𝒎𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒂 𝒄𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒔. 𝑺𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒕𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒉𝒐𝒕 𝒃𝒐𝒚𝒔.
𝑶𝒏𝒆 𝒇𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓.
𝑾𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒗𝒆? 𝑺𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒖𝒑!
Hot Boy Summer: A Charity Anthology is a collection of brand new stories from 30 amazingly talented authors. Each brings their own unique take on the connections we form when we live wildly under the guise of momentary fervor. Poolside cocktails with little umbrellas, island vacations, toes in the sand, and the shirtless hot boy making eye contact with you from across the way. Dive in and experience the sizzling passion that erupts in the heat of a fleeting summer.
Hot Boy Summer is a limited time anthology.
All proceeds will be donated to children’s charities.
Thanks for all your support! Feel free to comment on this post with your thoughts on my story and the characters in Alec, my submission to the HBS Anthology. I’d LOVE to hear from you!
CHAPTER 1 OF ALEC:
In theory, weddings are a magical affair. I get it. I do. But they’re a little less than fun when one of your best friends is getting married, and you’re the perpetually single one of the friend group. There’s nothing wrong with being single, but being face to face with all that love is a little like a knife to the heart—especially at a place like the Thalassines Villas in Cyprus.
I’ve never traveled this far in my life. The views are spectacular, the food is terrific, and the drinks are even better. I should be having the time of my life. Instead, I’m sitting by the water with my phone in my hand, thinking about texting any hookup I can find in my phone with a lie like you would love it here. The lie wouldn’t be in that line. Any of the girls who’ve warmed my bed would love it here. But I wouldn’t love them being here; it’s just the loneliness talking.
When it hits me that the band Chace, Andrew, Grayson, and I started years ago will never be together again, I’m overcome with a strange cocktail of melancholy and hope for my future. We all had dreams of moving to Nashville when we were younger. And all three of my friends have followed through. But I can’t. I have obligations back home in Missouri. A comic book store to run. A dream of mine that calls to me in a stronger voice than music.
I pull my notebook from my back pocket as I set my drink in the sand. Everywhere I go, it goes with me, along with a small, worn-down, graphite pencil. The sun is going down, so I have little light left, but I feel the need to draw something, anything to convey how I feel.
Loose papers spill out as I open the notebook, one flying out, skittering across the sand. I curse and sprint after the sketch flying toward the ocean.
The sand slows me down, but I don’t lose sight of the paper. I watch as it smacks onto the back of a woman sitting close to the water, her feet submerged in the sand. She looks over her shoulder when it hits her, instinctively reaching back to grab the paper. “Sorry! That’s mine,” I call out as I reach her.
The woman turns, holding the paper out in front of her, glancing at me briefly before returning her eyes to my sketch. I can’t help but notice the wetness of her eyelashes in the fading light, so I halt my steps a few feet before I reach her. My hand involuntarily reaches out, but I pull it back, letting her look. After a moment, she meets my eyes. “I’m sorry. That was rude of me to…I don’t know. It drew me in.” She holds the paper out tentatively.
I grab my sketch and then take her other hand to pull her up.
“Thank you…” She lingers on the last word, looking up at me, a question in her eyes.
“Alec,” I supply.
“Hi, Alec,” she brushes the sand from her palms, then smooths her hair from her face. Though she has to look up to meet my eyes, she’s tall. My guess is five-foot-nine or so. The slight smile on her face distracts me from her eyes, but only for a second. She’s been crying.
She clears her throat before she speaks again. “Did you draw that?”
“Yes,” I say, pulling my notebook from my pocket again, careful not to lose anything this time. I fold up my sketch and slip it between the pages, then put the notebook in my pocket.
The mystery woman clears her throat. “The red… that’s why I looked. All pencil, but the red. I couldn’t help myself.”
I smile. “It doesn’t bother me. It’s a compliment.” I’ve been sketching, drawing, and creating my whole life. Before music, there was this—my art. Music calms me, but my sketches feed me. The woman in front of me crosses her arms, and before I can speak, she reaches out her hand. “Hi, I’m Soren.”
Her name. God, it’s beautiful. And her green eyes aren’t as sad as they were before.
I wrap my hand around her own; small grains of sand transfer to my palm but I can still detect the softness of her skin.
“Nice to meet you, Soren. What brings you here?”
She smiles and looks past me to the Villas. “A wedding.”