March 12, 2012 by Anne Tenino
I feel like I’ve been neglecting Toppy—a.k.a. Sebastian—in the lead up to the release of Frat Boy & Toppy. The release, by the way, is two weeks from today, March 26th.
When I first started FB&T, I didn’t plan on using Sebastian as a POV character. But he ended up with this weird quirk I didn’t expect, and I not only wanted to explore it more, I needed to show his perspective. The quirk? Sebastian likes to mess with people.
It’s not unusual, of course. Lots of people like to mess with people. My husband, for instance.* Different people do it in different ways, and Sebastian’s way of messing with people is to (playfully, gently) mock them.
To his complete bewilderment, Brad finds this trait not only endearing, but crazily attractive. Instead of going on about it, hows about I give you a little excerpt, hmm?
I’m doing something mildly cruel to you with this excerpt. I was going to give you an excerpt where Sebastian teases Brad, but it had a spoiler in it and I just couldn’t do it. So instead, you get a conversation between Sebastian and his sister Sophie. This is somewhere in the first quarter of the book, and as you’ll be able to tell, it’s before Brad and Sebastian hook up.
Sophie called that night. “I think I’m in love.”
Sebastian smiled into the phone at his sister. “What’ve I told you about that love thing? It’s just a word straight guys use to get girls into bed.”
Sophie sighed. She didn’t go for her usual line, though. “You don’t really believe that.”
“Eh.” Verbal shrug. Sebastian pulled another plate out of the dish rack and started wiping it dry.
“You’re just asking for it. You know that, right?”
Screwing one’s face up in confusion made it hard to hold a phone between one’s shoulder and cheek. He needed one of those dumb headsets, because Sophie had a knack for calling when he didn’t have any free hands. “Asking for what?”
“Asking for Cupid to come and shoot you in the ass with one of his arrows.”
“Then what, I’ll fall in love with my own ass? Already happened. It’s a lovely ass. Well-formed. And you know it’s not Cupid—”
“It’s Eros,” she finished for him in a drone. Then she sighed, “Okay, so let’s get the inquisition over with.”
“What inquisition would that be, dear sister?” He asked, the epitome of surprised innocence.
Sophie snorted. “Puh-lease, just ask me about school.”
“Oh, you want to tell me about your studies? Lovely, go right ahead.”
“It’s fine. It’s the beginning of the semester. I like my classes. I took a few of the ones you suggested. Are we done?”
He put up with her talking about relationships, so she could put up with him talking about her education. Someone had to; Dad wasn’t. “How few of the ones I suggested?” he asked pointedly.
She sighed so loudly he winced. “Three, okay? History of Women in Art, Anthropology, and I continued French.” She said French as if it was a disease.
“French is a beautiful language,” Sebastian said. Then he pulled out his trump card. “Someday, you’ll have a lover who whispers French in your ear and you’ll know if he’s complimenting you or talking about food.”
“Well, there is that . . . ” She sounded more interested. “On that note, maybe it’s time we started discussing relationships. Yours.”
Sebastian leaned against the counter, done with the dishes, and let her start. Sophie believed talking about guys was one of the main benefits of having a gay brother.
“So, who do you have your sights set on now?”
He smiled to himself but kept it out of his voice. “Nobody in particular.”
“There’s noooobody out there you’ve been eyeing and whose person you’ve been making designs upon.”“Hmmm. You sound skeptical.” He drawled it. That always annoyed the shit out of her.
“Sebastian.” Sophie’s teeth were clenched. He could hear it. He smiled wider and snapped the air with the wet dish towel.
“Eyeing? Yeah. Designs on their person? No.”
“What? Why not?”
Sebastian shrugged, almost losing the phone again. He caught it and said, “He’s straight.”
Sophie was momentarily speechless. Score.
“Huh. That’s unlike you.” True. “Are you sure he’s straight?”
“Mmmm. Eighty percent sure, say.”
“All right. We can work with that twenty percent. Tell me about him.”
Sebastian shrugged again, grabbing the phone first this time. He was going to make her work for it. “He’s cute.”
There’s more, of course, but honestly, I want you to read the book. If you want you to read the book, you can preorder it here. When you pre-order from Riptide, you are automatically entered into a Free Books for a Year contest, and you get the book two days before the general release.
So hey, next week I’ll be talking about the details of some giveaways. It will probably be a bit before I do a giveaway of Frat Boy & Toppy, but during my blog tour I’ll be giving away a nice prize package. I’ll start hinting around about it next Monday. Stay tuned. 😉
*I would like to take this moment to say, for the record, that the husband’s little quirk—messing with people, especially me—was amusing and delightful 17 years ago when we met. Now? Not so much. I pity Brad in a few years, when he would just like a straight answer from Sebastian, dammit, but he can’t get the guy to stop messing around.