The Rough Boys

on Mar 13, 2014 by Jay Vaughn

Michael, thanks so much for hosting me. It’s very much appreciated.

I’m here to talk about my Rough Boys trilogy. The final novel, Rough Boys: Revenge, came out in mid-February, and to celebrate I’ve made the first novel, Rough Boys: Runaway, available for free.

roughboys3-RevengeI touch on a lot of themes in this novel, but at it’s heart, it’s a love story. Three different love stories, actually, and as with most true love stories, there are some bumps along the way. Let me introduce you to the couples:

Ty, a runaway, is rescued from freezing to death by Abe, who stumbles across him on the way home from his work as a trauma nurse. The connection is strong from start, but Ty has a lot of self-searching to do before he can accept that he’s sexually attracted to Abe. For Abe, falling in love with Ty is easy, it’s being in love with him that is difficult.

Dani moves to the city from a small town to pursue a career in acting or music. When he meets the favorite local band’s English drummer in person, he can’t help but feel star struck. Nigel is taken with Dani too, but he is used to living a rock-star lifestyle, with a different boy every night. He’ll need to change his wicked ways if he wants to get together with the beautiful, talented young musician, and Dani will need to find forgiveness as well as bolster his courage and confidence before he can take a chance with his heart.

roughboys2-redemptionKaeden didn’t dream his conservative parents hadn’t figured out he was gay until he went over the top with his femininity one day. Give a choice between conforming to his parent’s ideal or moving out, the optimistic Kaeden set forth on his own. He was fortunate to find employment right away with a woman who is running an upscale escort service … or is he? Sean, an Irish musician who likes to live on the wild side, has always had a thing for Asians. He is instantly smitten with the one-of-a-kind Kaeden, but the flamboyant femme can’t see the heart-of-gold hidden behind his rough exterior.

Although Rough Boys could be considered a coming-of-age novel, I did not write it for young adults. Not only are the sex scenes explicit, some parts of the novel are quite gritty, especially the first chapter. There themes of abuse, homelessness, drug addiction, homophobia, and racism, but there are also themes of love, hope, overcoming adversity, forgiveness and healing. I’m also a firm believer in HEA. I’m not sure how often it happens in real life, but as down and dirty as things might sometimes get in my stories, I am writing fiction. And because it’s fiction, I can make my endings however I want, and I want HEAs.

Rough Boys is the first novel I’ve ever written. I got a bit carried away and ended up with three book’s worth of story. I struggled over the decision to break it up, because I wrote it as a single novel and personally hate getting to the end of a story only to discover that it’s not really the end. However, long novels tend not to sell as well in the romance genre, and in order to look credible I would have had to price it pretty high. That seemed like a steep hill to climb for a first-time author, so I did end up breaking it into thirds. I’m happy with that decision because, otherwise I never would have gotten the other two covers that PL Nunn created—the one for Rough Boys: Redemption is absolutely delicious—or the opportunity to give the whole first third away for free.

I hope you’ll check out the novels—links are below. Happy reading!

Rough Boys

Book 3: Runaway

A runaway, a dreamer, a gorgeous femme … are they rough enough to survive the brutal city?

Ty is only seventeen when he flees in terror from his homophobic father, but surviving on the streets is more difficult than he could possibly have imagined. When bad choices send Ty spiraling toward ruin, can he be saved by love?

Dani leaves home with stars in his eyes but his feet on the ground, fully expecting his road to success to be long and difficult. What he doesn’t expect is to fall head-over-heels in love with a gorgeous, self-centered rock star. Can Dani find happiness with the arrogant Englishman or will his heart be broken?

Kaeden is banished by his conservative Asian parents when he comes home with extreme hair, false eyelashes, and glittering fingernails. He naively accepts a position with a male escort service, dreaming of fancy parties and wealthy men. Instead he finds himself playing Russian roulette with his heart.

This gritty urban romance follows the lives of these three young men as they forge strong bonds of friendship in spite of, or maybe because of, the challenges they face.

Publisher’s Notes: This story contains content which may be offensive to some readers: extreme violence, substance abuse, offensive language, and detailed descriptions of M/M sex. No underage sex.

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Excerpt

“Fuck you!” Ty hissed through gritted teeth as his rage got the better of his judgment.

“What did you say?” His father was in his face, blue eyes blazing.

A cold wave of fear crashed over Ty, washing away his anger. He tried desperately to pull his father’s attention away from what he’d just said. “I’m almost eighteen, Dad. I’m old enough to make decisions about my own hair, for God’s sake!”

“That discussion is over.” His father’s voice was tight with barely controlled anger. “What I want to know is what you just said to me.”

“I think you know what I said. I’d rather not say it again.” Ty knew he sounded like a snot. Why do I always bait him? he wondered.

His father’s jaw clenched. “Boy, you need to learn some respect!” He loomed over his son, his paunch almost touching Ty’s taut stomach.

“You can’t beat respect into me,” Ty said, tilting his chin up defiantly. “You have to earn it!” Why the hell can’t I keep my fool mouth shut and pretend to respect him?

“You little shit!” His father grabbed him by the collar with both hands and shook him.

Ty clenched his jaw to keep his teeth from rattling. He has no right to shake me like this! Fury exploded within him. “Fuck you!” This time he yelled the words in his father’s face. Twisting suddenly, he managed to pull out of the older man’s grip. He tried to duck under his arm, but his dad grabbed him by the shoulders and shoved him back into the kitchen counter.

His father drew back his fist and let it fly toward Ty’s face. It seemed like the fist came at him in slow motion, but he still couldn’t avoid it. The punch slammed into his eye, cracking his head into the cupboard behind him.

As Ty’s vision clouded, he gripped the counter to keep from going down. His injured eye immediately started to stream tears. Pain fueled his anger, causing another blinding flare-up. He swung at his father, clipping him in the jaw with a hard knuckle. Ty felt a jolt travel from his fist up his arm and he registered shock. This was the first time he’d ever struck his father.

Oh shit!

Ty’s dad had three inches and at least seventy pounds on him. With a roar, he grabbed him by his hair, dragged him forward several feet, and smashed his face into the doorjamb. Ty’s cheek and nose met the pine with a sickening crunch. He fought to keep his feet under him, blinking rapidly, trying to see through the red haze of pain. Blood gushed from his nose, splattering onto the hardwood floor.

“Richard!” He heard his mother’s cry of shocked protest. She would not save him. She never did.

His father had a death grip on his hair and was on a mission. He dragged him out of the kitchen, down the hall, and up two flights of stairs in their rambling, hundred-year-old house.

Ty stumbled, trying to keep up, wishing he had cut his hair now that his father seemed to be pulling it out by the roots. He didn’t try to fight his father; he knew he couldn’t win.

Rage consumed Richard Iverson. The voice in his head screamed at him in fury. (The fuckin’ little shit hit you! That’s what comes from being too soft on him. He needs to know his place. You need to teach him some respect. You need to show him how to be a man.) 

He was puffing by the time he reached the top of the stairs, dragging his son behind him. The boy had a way of making the voice in his head go crazy.

(He’s far too pretty for a boy. Boys should not be pretty.) With his beautiful eyes, impossibly long lashes, and pale, smooth skin, his son looked just like his wife. To make matters worse, he was too small. He was never going to make it to six feet. He would be lucky if he made it to five-eleven.

Richard dragged his son into his bedroom and pushed him onto his narrow bed.

“You really asked for it today, Tiberius. Take off your pants,” he ordered.

Ty hated to be called by his full name and his dad knew it, but he was not about to argue about that now. It was time for damage control.

“I’m sorry, Dad! I didn’t mean to hit you.”

(He doesn’t mean that apology), the voice said. (He’s just trying to get out of a beating. He is weak, and you’re weak too for letting him get like this.)

“You heard what I said.” Richard’s tone was calm, almost normal. From the speed at which his son flipped onto his stomach and pulled his pants down, the boy was obviously not fooled. A satisfied smile curled the corners of the older man’s mouth.

Ty’s nose was bleeding all over his dark blue comforter. He panted around gritted teeth as he waited for the lashes. This was getting to be a much too familiar scene. Why does he hate me so much? Ty wondered for the thousandth time. The first strike landed with a clink, accompanied by much more pain than he expected.

“Fuck!” he yelled, twisting around and catching the belt in his hands as it came down for the second lash. He hit me with the buckle end of the belt! “What the hell?” he screamed, clutching the belt in self-defense. He hung on for dear life.

His father’s face contorted. His mouth twisted. His eyes burned. With a cry of demented rage, he slammed his fist into Ty’s mouth, splitting his lip.

Ty’s head snapped back. His grip on the belt loosened, and his father snatched it out of his hands. Ty cringed, waiting for the next barrage. Instead his father stormed out of the room, locking the door behind him.

Thank God! He must have realized he was out of control.

Ty heard his mother’s voice, high-pitched—almost hysterical—asking questions. He didn’t hear his father’s reply.

As soon as he started to calm down, he was flooded with sensation: his face throbbed, his head pounded, and his stomach churned.

Why is he so controlling? Why can’t I keep my hair three inches long? Why the hell does he care? It had been such a stupid argument. “That’s two-and-a-half inches too long!” his father had decreed. “You’re getting a haircut on Monday!”

“No, Dad,” he’d replied calmly. “I think I…”

“This is not a topic for discussion!” His father had cut him off. “I want it high and tight by the time I get home on Monday.” He had turned to leave the room—conversation over.

That’s when Ty’s temper had gotten the best of him and he’d let out the “Fuck you!” In retrospect, with his swollen nose making it hard to breathe, he should have just gone along with the haircut again. He wondered if he’d be able to talk his sister into sneaking into the kitchen and getting him some ice for the swelling.

Suddenly his father charged back into the room. Ty took one look at his expression and began to silently pray, Please, God, don’t let him kill me!

Find Me

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About Jay Vaughn

Jay Vaughn lives in sunny Seattle, a clean, progressive city that is way too expensive for a writer’s income. Therefore, Jay holds down a full-time, computer-industry day job, but writing is her passion. It’s a hobby-gone-wild, so much so that her teenage kids accuse her of being an addict.

Jay carries her laptop everywhere and can often be seen combining other favorite activities with writing. For example, you can find Jay sitting at a small table in the back of the gay bar around the corner from her house, drinking wine and writing. Or waking up early while camping, dragging out the laptop, and writing. Or writing in the truck on the way to and from concerts, ski-trips, visits to relatives … wherever.

Jay’s favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, and M/M erotic romance. She discovered M/M quite by accident when she was writing a traditional fantasy novel, and one of her characters ended up in an all-male prison for a bit too long. Whoops!

Michael, thanks so much for hosting me. It’s very much appreciated.

I’m here to talk about my Rough Boys trilogy. The final novel, Rough Boys: Revenge, came out in mid-February, and to celebrate I’ve made the first novel, Rough Boys: Runaway, available for free.

roughboys3-RevengeI touch on a lot of themes in this novel, but at it’s heart, it’s a love story. Three different love stories, actually, and as with most true love stories, there are some bumps along the way. Let me introduce you to the couples:

Ty, a runaway, is rescued from freezing to death by Abe, who stumbles across him on the way home from his work as a trauma nurse. The connection is strong from start, but Ty has a lot of self-searching to do before he can accept that he’s sexually attracted to Abe. For Abe, falling in love with Ty is easy, it’s being in love with him that is difficult.

Dani moves to the city from a small town to pursue a career in acting or music. When he meets the favorite local band’s English drummer in person, he can’t help but feel star struck. Nigel is taken with Dani too, but he is used to living a rock-star lifestyle, with a different boy every night. He’ll need to change his wicked ways if he wants to get together with the beautiful, talented young musician, and Dani will need to find forgiveness as well as bolster his courage and confidence before he can take a chance with his heart.

roughboys2-redemptionKaeden didn’t dream his conservative parents hadn’t figured out he was gay until he went over the top with his femininity one day. Give a choice between conforming to his parent’s ideal or moving out, the optimistic Kaeden set forth on his own. He was fortunate to find employment right away with a woman who is running an upscale escort service … or is he? Sean, an Irish musician who likes to live on the wild side, has always had a thing for Asians. He is instantly smitten with the one-of-a-kind Kaeden, but the flamboyant femme can’t see the heart-of-gold hidden behind his rough exterior.

Although Rough Boys could be considered a coming-of-age novel, I did not write it for young adults. Not only are the sex scenes explicit, some parts of the novel are quite gritty, especially the first chapter. There themes of abuse, homelessness, drug addiction, homophobia, and racism, but there are also themes of love, hope, overcoming adversity, forgiveness and healing. I’m also a firm believer in HEA. I’m not sure how often it happens in real life, but as down and dirty as things might sometimes get in my stories, I am writing fiction. And because it’s fiction, I can make my endings however I want, and I want HEAs.

Rough Boys is the first novel I’ve ever written. I got a bit carried away and ended up with three book’s worth of story. I struggled over the decision to break it up, because I wrote it as a single novel and personally hate getting to the end of a story only to discover that it’s not really the end. However, long novels tend not to sell as well in the romance genre, and in order to look credible I would have had to price it pretty high. That seemed like a steep hill to climb for a first-time author, so I did end up breaking it into thirds. I’m happy with that decision because, otherwise I never would have gotten the other two covers that PL Nunn created—the one for Rough Boys: Redemption is absolutely delicious—or the opportunity to give the whole first third away for free.

I hope you’ll check out the novels—links are below. Happy reading!


Rough Boys

Book 3: Runaway

A runaway, a dreamer, a gorgeous femme … are they rough enough to survive the brutal city?

Ty is only seventeen when he flees in terror from his homophobic father, but surviving on the streets is more difficult than he could possibly have imagined. When bad choices send Ty spiraling toward ruin, can he be saved by love?

Dani leaves home with stars in his eyes but his feet on the ground, fully expecting his road to success to be long and difficult. What he doesn’t expect is to fall head-over-heels in love with a gorgeous, self-centered rock star. Can Dani find happiness with the arrogant Englishman or will his heart be broken?

Kaeden is banished by his conservative Asian parents when he comes home with extreme hair, false eyelashes, and glittering fingernails. He naively accepts a position with a male escort service, dreaming of fancy parties and wealthy men. Instead he finds himself playing Russian roulette with his heart.

This gritty urban romance follows the lives of these three young men as they forge strong bonds of friendship in spite of, or maybe because of, the challenges they face.

Publisher’s Notes: This story contains content which may be offensive to some readers: extreme violence, substance abuse, offensive language, and detailed descriptions of M/M sex. No underage sex.


Excerpt from Rough Boys:

“Fuck you!” Ty hissed through gritted teeth as his rage got the better of his judgment.

“What did you say?” His father was in his face, blue eyes blazing.

A cold wave of fear crashed over Ty, washing away his anger. He tried desperately to pull his father’s attention away from what he’d just said. “I’m almost eighteen, Dad. I’m old enough to make decisions about my own hair, for God’s sake!”

“That discussion is over.” His father’s voice was tight with barely controlled anger. “What I want to know is what you just said to me.”

“I think you know what I said. I’d rather not say it again.” Ty knew he sounded like a snot. Why do I always bait him? he wondered.

His father’s jaw clenched. “Boy, you need to learn some respect!” He loomed over his son, his paunch almost touching Ty’s taut stomach.

“You can’t beat respect into me,” Ty said, tilting his chin up defiantly. “You have to earn it!” Why the hell can’t I keep my fool mouth shut and pretend to respect him?

“You little shit!” His father grabbed him by the collar with both hands and shook him.

Ty clenched his jaw to keep his teeth from rattling. He has no right to shake me like this! Fury exploded within him. “Fuck you!” This time he yelled the words in his father’s face. Twisting suddenly, he managed to pull out of the older man’s grip. He tried to duck under his arm, but his dad grabbed him by the shoulders and shoved him back into the kitchen counter.

His father drew back his fist and let it fly toward Ty’s face. It seemed like the fist came at him in slow motion, but he still couldn’t avoid it. The punch slammed into his eye, cracking his head into the cupboard behind him.

As Ty’s vision clouded, he gripped the counter to keep from going down. His injured eye immediately started to stream tears. Pain fueled his anger, causing another blinding flare-up. He swung at his father, clipping him in the jaw with a hard knuckle. Ty felt a jolt travel from his fist up his arm and he registered shock. This was the first time he’d ever struck his father.

Oh shit!

Ty’s dad had three inches and at least seventy pounds on him. With a roar, he grabbed him by his hair, dragged him forward several feet, and smashed his face into the doorjamb. Ty’s cheek and nose met the pine with a sickening crunch. He fought to keep his feet under him, blinking rapidly, trying to see through the red haze of pain. Blood gushed from his nose, splattering onto the hardwood floor.

“Richard!” He heard his mother’s cry of shocked protest. She would not save him. She never did.

His father had a death grip on his hair and was on a mission. He dragged him out of the kitchen, down the hall, and up two flights of stairs in their rambling, hundred-year-old house.

Ty stumbled, trying to keep up, wishing he had cut his hair now that his father seemed to be pulling it out by the roots. He didn’t try to fight his father; he knew he couldn’t win.

Rage consumed Richard Iverson. The voice in his head screamed at him in fury. (The fuckin’ little shit hit you! That’s what comes from being too soft on him. He needs to know his place. You need to teach him some respect. You need to show him how to be a man.) 

He was puffing by the time he reached the top of the stairs, dragging his son behind him. The boy had a way of making the voice in his head go crazy.

(He’s far too pretty for a boy. Boys should not be pretty.) With his beautiful eyes, impossibly long lashes, and pale, smooth skin, his son looked just like his wife. To make matters worse, he was too small. He was never going to make it to six feet. He would be lucky if he made it to five-eleven.

Richard dragged his son into his bedroom and pushed him onto his narrow bed.

“You really asked for it today, Tiberius. Take off your pants,” he ordered.

Ty hated to be called by his full name and his dad knew it, but he was not about to argue about that now. It was time for damage control.

“I’m sorry, Dad! I didn’t mean to hit you.”

(He doesn’t mean that apology), the voice said. (He’s just trying to get out of a beating. He is weak, and you’re weak too for letting him get like this.)

“You heard what I said.” Richard’s tone was calm, almost normal. From the speed at which his son flipped onto his stomach and pulled his pants down, the boy was obviously not fooled. A satisfied smile curled the corners of the older man’s mouth.

Ty’s nose was bleeding all over his dark blue comforter. He panted around gritted teeth as he waited for the lashes. This was getting to be a much too familiar scene. Why does he hate me so much? Ty wondered for the thousandth time. The first strike landed with a clink, accompanied by much more pain than he expected.

“Fuck!” he yelled, twisting around and catching the belt in his hands as it came down for the second lash. He hit me with the buckle end of the belt! “What the hell?” he screamed, clutching the belt in self-defense. He hung on for dear life.

His father’s face contorted. His mouth twisted. His eyes burned. With a cry of demented rage, he slammed his fist into Ty’s mouth, splitting his lip.

Ty’s head snapped back. His grip on the belt loosened, and his father snatched it out of his hands. Ty cringed, waiting for the next barrage. Instead his father stormed out of the room, locking the door behind him.

Thank God! He must have realized he was out of control.

Ty heard his mother’s voice, high-pitched—almost hysterical—asking questions. He didn’t hear his father’s reply.

As soon as he started to calm down, he was flooded with sensation: his face throbbed, his head pounded, and his stomach churned.

Why is he so controlling? Why can’t I keep my hair three inches long? Why the hell does he care? It had been such a stupid argument. “That’s two-and-a-half inches too long!” his father had decreed. “You’re getting a haircut on Monday!”

“No, Dad,” he’d replied calmly. “I think I…”

“This is not a topic for discussion!” His father had cut him off. “I want it high and tight by the time I get home on Monday.” He had turned to leave the room—conversation over.

That’s when Ty’s temper had gotten the best of him and he’d let out the “Fuck you!” In retrospect, with his swollen nose making it hard to breathe, he should have just gone along with the haircut again. He wondered if he’d be able to talk his sister into sneaking into the kitchen and getting him some ice for the swelling.

Suddenly his father charged back into the room. Ty took one look at his expression and began to silently pray, Please, God, don’t let him kill me!

Copyright © 2014 Jay Vaughn. All rights reserved.


Find Rough Boys:


About Jay Vaughn

Jay Vaughn lives in sunny Seattle, a clean, progressive city that is way too expensive for a writer’s income. Therefore, Jay holds down a full-time, computer-industry day job, but writing is her passion. It’s a hobby-gone-wild, so much so that her teenage kids accuse her of being an addict.

Jay carries her laptop everywhere and can often be seen combining other favorite activities with writing. For example, you can find Jay sitting at a small table in the back of the gay bar around the corner from her house, drinking wine and writing. Or waking up early while camping, dragging out the laptop, and writing. Or writing in the truck on the way to and from concerts, ski-trips, visits to relatives … wherever.

Jay’s favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, and M/M erotic romance. She discovered M/M quite by accident when she was writing a traditional fantasy novel, and one of her characters ended up in an all-male prison for a bit too long. Whoops!


Find Jay Vaughn:


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  1. […] blogging today on Michael Rupured’s Blogspot. That, of course, has been scheduled for quite sometime, and I’m very happy to be there […]

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