Thanks, Elisa, for having me back on your blog to talk about the latest installment in the Hat Trick series, a short called Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to read as well. I hope you'll leave some comments, too. I’ll stop by periodically during the next couple days to answer any questions. Plus, one lucky commenter will get a free ebook: you’ll have the choice of either Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp or, in case you’re new to Hat Trick, you can opt to receive the original Hat Trick novel to start at the beginning.
With this fourth story in the Hat Trick series coming out, and work in progress on the fifth, it's odd for me to look back to the fall of 2013 when the first novel came out. Back then I thought Hat Trick was a standalone book. It was a self-contained story and the characters were at a good place in the end.
I did have a glimpse of an idea for some additional closure for Simon, the main character, but I was quite sure it had legs. Then, as the first book came out and readers started connecting with Simon, Alex and their friends, Simon started talking more and more to me with ways the story could continue.
Alternating between novels and short stories has been very enjoyable. It's fun to tell a longer form story, such as the original Hat Trick and Hat Trick 2: Playing the Rebound, to really show how Simon and Alex's relationship starts and how changes/grows as they go through college. The Overtime short stories, meanwhile, take a brief glimpse at something very specific, and not really game changing to the overall story arc. These shorts create a quick visit with friends in between the novels.
In the Summer Camp short, the guys are off on working vacation to coach teens at a summer hockey camp. I loved sending them on this trip because we've never gotten to see Simon and Alex during the summer, or even really away from school for more than a brief holiday break. It's a little bit vacation, work and romance rolled up in a four-week getaway.
I like that this story is coming out in the wintertime, too. With so much cold weather around the U.S. as January starts, it's nice to read something where people are occasionally relaxing in shorts by a lake.
There is more to come with Hat Trick. This summer the final novel, Hat Trick 3: Penalty Shot, will come out. Then in the fall the final Overtime short will publish. Is that the end? It'll be the end for this part of the story. Readers have asked for more of Leo and Matt's story, and that's a possibility. And you never know, Simon may have ideas that he hasn't shared with me yet.
This excerpt is a brief look and Simon, Alex, and best friend Leo, on the road and talking about the adulthood that gets closer and closer for them. I hope you enjoy it and that you'll pick up the story... Or start the series if it's new to you.
Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp by Jeff Adams
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (January 18, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp
Simon and Alex, now between their junior and senior years at The University of Michigan, decide to put their jobs on hold for a month and take the opportunity to coach hockey at a summer camp for teenagers.
They’ve got a cabin full of good players to work with and the focus is to get them ready to win the camp championship. One camper, sixteen-year-old Dylan, requests extra help because he needs to get a scholarship and the guys make it their mission to help him succeed.
With their best friend Leo along for the trip, Simon and Alex are setup for a great time at camp, until another coach tries to seduce them. How they respond to the unwanted advances, while balancing commitments to their campers, will test them both.
We drove in silence for a while as soft music played on the radio. Alex tapped his fingers to the beat on the steering wheel with one hand while I held the other. Leo laid in the back seat, content, humming along to the music.
“I’m glad you got to come hang with us,” I said, looking back at Leo. “We don’t see you nearly enough.”
“This is what it means to be an adult, doesn’t it,” he said. “Hell, I don’t even get to see Matt as much as I want to.”
“You guys are making it work though,” Alex said. “Four years this Christmas, right?”
“Yeah.” You could hear the happiness in his voice. “We know it’s just one more year until I’m out of school. We’ve already started having serious talks about where we want to live.”
“Those are fun,” Alex said, squeezing my hand as he said it. “I’m glad we’re able to do it so easily whenever there’s something important to talk about.”
“For us it gets complicated because it becomes time for a talk.” Leo dropped his voice a couple octaves for emphasis. “It rarely happens organically for us.”
“You’ve got a couple months with him before you have to head back to school, right?” Alex asked.
“Yeah,” Leo said excitedly as he sat up. “Matty snagged me an internship with the trainers at his gym. So I’ll get to shadow them and work with some clients. Plus it gives me some work study credit, just like I got for camp.”
“Nice!” I said.
“Yeah. I’m psyched, especially since it’ll be our first time actually living together, and not like the short bursts we’ve done in the past. Even during the summer we are apart most of the time, preparing resumes or trying to get ahead in school. This should be great, or doom us because we’re going to spend too much time together.”
I twisted in my seat. “You don’t really think that’ll happen do you?”
“We’ve talked about the possibility. This will be the most time we’ve spent in one place since we first hooked up. Who knows what’ll happen.”
I was torn about what to say. It would be okay. It had to be. I’d always felt like Matt and Leo were destined to be together just like Alex and me.
“You guys gonna have any time at home before school kicks in?” Leo asked, changing the topic. “It would be great to double date, or something.”
“We were talking about that last night,” Alex said. “We want to get back at least for a couple weekends to see family and anyone who’s around. A double date would be great. It’s been way too long since we’ve done that with you guys.”
BIO: Jeff Adams caught the writing bug in middle school and finally became a novelist with the Hat Trick series. He’s currently working on the final novel in the series, Hat Trick 3: Penalty Shot, which is due out this summer. He’s also written a number of m/m romance shorts, including the recent re-release of Rivals. Jeff and his husband, Will, live in the peaceful, coastal beauty of Humboldt County, California. He also covers the Detroit Red Wings, as well reviews books that feature LGBT hockey players, for PuckBuddys.com. To learn more about Jeff, visit jeffadamswrites.com and follow him on Twitter at @hockeyguynyc. You can also sign up to receive email updates from Jeff (no more than two per month) at http://eepurl.com/7TJC9.
Find Jeff at:
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4510206.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.