Up in the Alps, a single night can change your life.
Struggling college student and self-taught graphic artist Justin Bennet isn’t the most self-confident guy, but he knows he’s good at two things: snowboarding and sex. Why does Andi, the hot instructor at the Tyrolean ski resort, pretend Justin doesn’t exist?
Justin becomes all but obsessed with the idea of scoring with the young Austrian. Because for all the man’s reserve, he made it quite obvious he likes Justin—at least from the neck down.
When Justin books a private heliboarding trip with Andi as his guide, he thinks he’s one step away from striking gold.
But then the forces of nature take over, trapping the men in a snowstorm, and things get real. What was supposed to be about some freeriding fun and inviting a closeted guy to start exploring his options suddenly becomes about survival—and the hidden truths of the soul.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Hi everybody, I’m Crystel, and I’m so happy to be here at Two Chicks Obsessed today. Thanks for helping me celebrate the release of my m/m romance novella GLACIER GOLD!
I’m going to talk about the fun of looking for beautiful guys to cast for my two main characters, snowboarders Andi and Justin, online.
I love surfing the net on the lookout for cute men who could star in my stories (or be on my covers). I try not to do it before I’ve written the first draft, though: my characters tend to develop in unexpected ways during the writing process, inside and out, and while pictures can be inspiring, I’ve found they can also limit the imagination. And then there’s the problem of procrastination: you can kind of lose track of what you’re supposed to be doing once you embark on that google search for “black-haired blue-eyed actors”…
It’s funny with these searches; sometimes you find a picture of a guy who’s one of your heroes to a T, looking exactly like you dreamt him up. From the cool smirk to the color of his shirt (if minus the glasses, but maybe he just took them off for the photo). It happened to me with Andi from GLACIER GOLD. I’m sharing the picture here, to give you an idea what it was like for Justin to see Andi behind the hotel reception for the first time, looking all sleek and trim and perfect. A little arrogant, a little enigmatic, and his eyes this hypnotic mix of ice and fire… (I’m so in love with Andi!)
Only when I was knee-deep in the process of editing GLACIER GOLD and needed a break from the hunt for stray commas, continuity errors and the like and treated myself to an update on a few celebrities’ private lives did I realize that my protagonist, Justin, actually looks a lot like a younger, shorter Chris Hemsworth in the movie “Thor”.
I love Chris with the long blond hair and the extra twenty pounds of muscle. And the way he plays Thor, the way he lends the character that certain purity, that cheerful energy and charming simplicity of soul? I love that even more. His Thor could be Justin’s older brother any day.
Chris is a lovely sports guy to stalk online too: he does all kinds of sports, including snowboarding, looking great in any gear. It’s a safe guess he’d look nice in the sauna too.
I invite you to lean back and imagine him as Justin relaxing all alone in the vapor bath in this scene from GLACIER GOLD, the moment when it all started…
Leaning my head back against the wet wall, I close my eyes to soak up some warmth and think of the guy from reception for a bit.
A. Fankhauser. That’s what it said on his shirt pocket. It’s A for angel, in all likelihood. Honest to God, this man is the most beautiful guy I have ever laid eyes on, so beautiful I had trouble wrapping my head around it. I had expected a nice Austrian lady in a dirndl to book us in, the kind that was on the hotel home page. Not a supermodel.
God, he looked so damn trim in his black button-down and his horn-rimmed glasses and with his shiny dark hair slicked back over his pretty head.
I’ve moved my hand too close to my cock. It’s what happens when you’re relaxing on your own in a cozy place while being bare-ass naked. And I’ve got to stop this now. I’ve got to think of something else, and quickly.
Opening my eyes, I see another sign mounted to the wall opposite me, right above two bowls on a shelf. Squinting through the vapor wafts, I look for the part in English and learn that this is pine honey and rock salt, and that a honey-and-salt peeling will give me baby-soft skin.
It can never hurt to have baby-soft skin. I get up, slipping a bit on the melting ice cubes, and start slapping generous amounts of honey onto my chest, stomach, and back with a long wooden ladle. For good measure, I sprinkle a couple handfuls of salt onto the mess.
It quickly spreads everywhere, and I mean everywhere, causing a nasty itch where I need it least.
I still sit down and try to hold up for the sake of the promised effects, but after a minute or so I can’t take it anymore. Quickly I get up again, grab for the hose that’s attached to the wall next to the door, and switch on the water. Putting a foot onto the bench, I aim the jet straight at my ass to try and rinse the biting stuff away.
Phew, my blood pressure doesn’t seem to like this. And the tiles are even more slippery now with the honey-salt mix all over the place. Oh man, I need something to hold on to—
The next moment I’ve crashed to the floor in one smooth, curved motion.
As I struggle to process what just happened, I’m hit by a flash of brightness and a cool draft.
Someone is in the doorway.
Through the vapor and the sweat running into my eyes, I can make out a tall figure looming above me. Must be Jay who came to look for me.
I rub at my eyes.
“It’s fine,” I say, looking up at Jay.
Only it isn’t Jay. It’s the angel from reception, without the glasses. …
The first man Crystel fell in love with was Beauty’s Beast. Next came Robin Hood, then Mr. Darcy. Two decades of married life later, she still loves fictional men—especially when there are two of them who are meant to be! She likes it best when she can create their plights and fights herself, and she can always be counted on to throw in some sizzling hotness and a lot of feels. Here’s her author promise: no fade-outs when things get steamy or emotional, and an ending that will leave you smiling.
Crystel is a lawyer by training, a lover of pastry, and a believer in Happy Ever Afters. Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, and a North Sea girl at heart, she lives in the beautiful Austrian Alps with her husband and four kids.
PS She loves reader mail!