Please welcome JD Martins to my blog...
One Night in Boston is the 22nd novella in the City Nights series. It's the second with a person of colour in it. Number 20, One Night in Charlotte also has a woman of colour. My previous two novellas in the City Nights Series, One Night in Madrid and One Night in Pamplona, have white protagonists, and if I was to do a fourth, I think they would be white as well.
So why a woman of colour now?
One, Tirgearr said they were seeking more diverse characters. As a writer, I also believe we should diversify our characters, both in terms of sexual orientation and origins. Like my own inclination to include biodiversity in my stories, I see it as part of our duty to make art push boundaries in society and bring characters to our readers who they might not ever meet, or think they've met in their real lives. When they do meet them, hopefully as a result of becoming familiar with them in fiction, they'll not feel uncomfortable or strange. Like people who'd never seen a black person in real life first saw them in the cinema and later on Star Trek.
The other reason is that when I thought of a woman from Boston, where I lived for seven years, I thought of a woman of colour. I wasn't sure if she'd be Hispanic, or Haitian, or African, or a descendant of slaves. But I knew my character from Boston would not be Irish American, for example. That would have been a very different story.
But the male protagonist (I hate to use the word hero) was going to be a visitor, so it made sense to make him Irish.
Additionally, interracial couples are quite common in Boston. In a way, it was a case of art catching up with real life. If I'd not had an interracial couple in a story set in Boston, it would have been a wasted opportunity. Perhaps there are some who'd say not having a gay couple in Boston is an equally wasted opportunity, but I wasn't quite ready to write that story.
Do I have the ability to write a woman of colour? Only the readers can tell me that, though I hope I have as much ability to write that character as a gay Irish American man from Southie. I met many such strong women during my time in Boston, and I hope I've done them justice in drawing Amber.
"Feck, feck and fuckin' feck," he yelled at nobody in particular.
"That's all right, Amber. You have your laugh. I'm feckin' drenched."
Amber caught her breath. "I can see."
"So much for finding a restaurant. If we can get a taxi to the hotel we can eat there. I have other clothes, and I can leave these hangin' on a chair. They'll dry before mornin' in that sauna of a room."
Amber stopped laughing and shook her head, though she still smiled broadly, her eyes glowing with mirth. It was like a little sunshine. "No. We can dry them at my house in half an hour and go for dinner later. It's still early; there's still lots to see."
"If you're sure," Colm said.
Amber was sure. She hadn't been until he fell. Well, she'd been sure she'd kiss him, but as to inviting him home, she'd not thought about it. Much. Well, okay, she'd thought about it, a lot; all the time they were holding hands. But she'd believed it was still a decision waiting to be made.
But once she'd said it, she was sure it was the right thing.
Well, maybe it wasn't. He was getting on a plane the next day and flying out of her life, just like Billy had—though that had been after a lot more than one day. She didn't like one-night stands because she felt she was just getting played again. But screw it, she'd made her decision. She didn't go back on decisions; even bad ones. Her mami could attest to that.
Anyway, it wasn't often she could let herself take such a chance. Normally she had the kids in the house and that made it impossible to bring a man home. Nor was it often she met a man who wanted to come home with her—or who was worth bringing back home. Since Billy left she'd only been on a few dates. Men didn't get turned on by the fact she'd two teenage kids.
Colm looked like his ass was cold. The snow stuck to his pants and he pulled at them to keep the wet cloth away from his legs. By the time a cab slowed and stopped for them, the pants were nearly frozen stiff, and sitting in the cab wasn't very comfortable for him. He made no move to lean against her now, so he wouldn't get her wet. At least being frozen, water didn't drip all over the seat, so the driver never knew the pants were damp.
Her flat was a small, two-bedroom walk-up in Mission Hill. She really needed somewhere bigger. But it had a nice deck on the back that looked out over Downtown, and when she got home and kicked back with a beer or a gin and tonic—weather permitting—it was her own little sanctuary. All the bullshit she had to put up with from customers and Billy and the kids and the landlady, and whoever else got in her way that day, just melted away.
Colm seemed to appreciate the view, and didn't say anything about the small size of the apartment. Nor did he mention the fact it was only fifty degrees in the place. Amber supposed it felt warm to him after the cold bath. He looked around for the washing machine in the kitchen while she turned up the thermostat.
"I got a washer-dryer in the bathroom. I used to go to the laundromat, but man, I'm tired of doin' that shit my whole life. Landlady doesn't like it, but she can kiss my big black ass. I ain't taking my laundry through the snow all winter. Not the way my kids change their clothes."
"Have you got a towel or anything? Just to dry myself off a bit."
She laughed. She didn't think he'd be so shy about disrobing, somehow; him a big farmer and all. "You go get in the shower, warm your ass up. When I hear the water runnin', I'll come in and put the clothes in the machine. Then I'll have coffee ready when you're done."
"That's great, thanks a million."
Colm got in the shower and Amber threw his clothes in the dryer. Then she put on some coffee. It would be done percolating when she was done with Colm.
In the bedroom she closed the blinds and turned on Samika's bedside lamp so her own bed was in shadow when she turned off the main light. She didn't want Colm to see her body in the cold brightness, exactly. She was going to have sex with him, but it didn't mean she was completely at ease showing him her body. If she was, she'd have gotten in the shower with him already.
When Amber heard the water stop she went back in the bathroom while Colm was still towelling off. He seemed a little startled, but recovered quickly. He looked at her without speaking. She didn't speak either. What was there to say?
She took him by the hand into her bedroom. He let the towel drop when he got there. She turned around and sat back on the bed, looking up at him. His whole body was extremely pale, his chest and belly covered in thick hair. He had a bit of a paunch, but a wide chest, and his arms and legs were muscular. He looked like he could pick her up and dance across the room—had there been room to stand.
He didn't look like he wanted to stand much, though. She stole a glance at his dick, already rising to the occasion as he climbed on the bed beside her.
When Colm is stranded overnight in Boston, Amber, a hotel receptionist, agrees to give him a personal tour of the cradle of the American Revolution. Colm has loved and lost, and now takes pleasure where he finds it. Amber hasn't quite found her feet again after a recent divorce, nor is she very happy with what she sees in the mirror.
As they drive through the historic streets and stroll along the Freedom Trail, taking in the beautiful architecture of Beacon Hill and Back Bay, their mutual attraction grows and both take a chance on happiness. But can they trust one another? Can Colm convince Amber he's not just playing her, or is his one night in Boston just a fling?
10% of the author's royalties will be donated to WWF, the World Wildlife Fund.
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JD Martins has been called Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Philippine and English and Australian. He is none of these.
He's lived in four cities in three countries on two continents, but he doesn't feel like he's travelled very much. His life in each city was rather mundane and he didn't get out much - tending to move his pen more than his body.
He still aspires to see much more of the world - probably when his wife becomes rich enough to let him retire from day jobs.
He would like to live like Ernest Hemmingway: periodically sending novel manuscripts to his publisher from various far-flung corners of the world, though he's not sure the quality will be quite the same. Until then, he has contented himself with living like Robert Graves - in a pleasant part of Spain with a quiet life - and being able to do some things that Hemmingway did - trout fishing in Spain, game hunting in Africa, watching bullfights and running with the bulls, - and a few that he did not get to do - surfing, skydiving, bungee jumping, and getting erotic stories published.
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