DEPENDING ON YOU release party! We’ve got free stuff and some solid best friends.

February 5, 2015


One of the best parts of writing Depending on You was writing Benjy and Kyle’s supporting cast. As you might have noticed from my last post, Benjy and Kyle don’t exactly carry this book themselves. They’re surrounded by people who watch out for them and want what’s best for them—even when good intentions lead to odd outcomes.

One such character is Brett, Benjy’s best friend. Brett and Benjy have that sort of relationship that you only get with a true best friend: someone who knows all of your quirks and calls you on them while still appreciating every single one. Here’s the scene from the book when we’re first introduced to Brett and Benjy’s friendship…and this is only the tip of their iceberg of banter.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering who Brett looks like in my head….DUDE. Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy. All. Day. Long.


Jesse Williams


“BRETT, I feel like a total dumbass. I was sure the guy was gay. But there he was, with this totally gorgeous chick.”

Brett, Benjy’s best friend for almost four years of college, three shared dorms, two attempted-yet-failed make-out sessions, and one night where Benjy had to bail Brett out of jail, was nonplussed. “Maybe he’s bi.”

Benjy pulled one of the throw pillows off Brett’s couch and chucked it at his head. They were supposed to be studying for a test in their statistics class, but Benjy was sure the most statistical analysis they’d done so far was calculating the odds that Kyle was straight.

“You always think everyone is bi.”

“Well, lots of people are.”

Benjy rolled his eyes. Ever since Brett had announced to the world (well, a college party, but that pretty much was their world right now) that he swung both ways, he seemed to have decided that most of the rest of the world must swing the same way.

“Listen, Brett, don’t get me wrong. I’m really glad you’ve finally had this sexual awakening, or whatever, and can now tell the world you like both guys and girls, but just because you like chicks and dicks doesn’t mean the whole world does. The dude’s straight, and I’m a dumbass.”

“Sure you are, but for many other reasons, Benjamin. I mean, you didn’t even call the guy back or anything. That might have qualified you as a dumbass—if you’d been fawning all over him for the last week and then found out he likes pussy. But luckily, you’re a cold and emotionally stunted little shit, no worries.”

“Hey! I’m not emotionally stunted!”

“Benj, you’re my best friend. I love you just the way you are, man. But dude, you are a cold little bastard. Don’t get me wrong—I find it to be an endearing quality. And I actually think it gets you laid far more than you trying to be charming would.” Brett shook his head, feigning sadness. “Luckily for you, I’m happy to be the charming one of the two of us.” 

Benjy glared. “Don’t call me emotionally stunted. Just because I don’t fall down flirting with everyone I meet who has a halfway decent rack or set of guns….”

“Hey, it’s a tough cross to bear, this charm. But seriously, in this case, your emotional unavailability pays off! You never even bothered to text the guy more than once. So why do you feel like a dumbass? Aside,” he added, “from getting in the car with a complete stranger who you’d known for all of two minutes and then letting him bring you to his house.” Brett had already made it quite clear how he felt about the fact that Benjy hadn’t just called Brett when he’d gotten sick at the restaurant but had gotten in a car with a total stranger instead. Benjy had reminded Brett that he’d been out of town with his family, but he had a feeling Brett was going to keep bringing it up until the two of them were at least in grad school.

Benjy shrugged. “I dunno. I mean, I slept over at the guy’s house. He was really nice. I guess I just thought….”

“Benjamin Moreland!” Brett took a long drag of beer and shook his head. “Could it be? Are you actually really into this guy? Has Benjy Moreland, Ice Man of No Committed Relationships, actually gotten completely attached to someone?”

In a comment, share your favorite quality in a best friend. Comment on this or any of the other Depending on You posts before 12 p.m. EST tonight for a chance to win one of two free copies of Depending on You!




It all started with a diabetic kid who wouldn’t stop eating cookies. And a best friend who’d just announced his bisexuality and hit on everything that moved. And a kind pediatric nurse with an amazing rack, a lying ex-boyfriend, and a nasty case of the chicken pox. 

But mostly, it started at table 42.

When Benjy Moreland almost collapses during his restaurant shift, Dr. Kyle Penners wants nothing more than to take care of him… but if there’s one thing former foster kid Benjy values, it’s his independence. A dying man and a sick little boy force Kyle and Benjy to work together, and both of them have to make some important choices about what it means to depend on someone.

16 Responses to “DEPENDING ON YOU release party! We’ve got free stuff and some solid best friends.”

  1. Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing this excerpt. I love the banter between them.
    I think to consider someone as best friend that person has to be loyal so my favorite quality in a best friend is loyalty.

    I´m sorry that i have to leave this “release” party but it´s past midnight here. Thanks again for sharing and i will look at your other posts tommorow.

  2. jebirkwrites says:

    Thank you so much for stopping by, Angela! You’ll definitely appreciate Brett and Benjy–they are loyal to a fault.

    I’ll announce contest winners at 12 EST, so be sure to check for that post tomorrow. Have a fantastic night, and thanks again for being here. :)

  3. Susan says:

    I like a friend who is not too needy, but rather empathetic. I’m probably like Benjy to people who don’t know me well.

  4. jebirkwrites says:

    I know what you mean, Susan! For me it’s very important that all of my friendships are a two-way street and we’re both equally there for each other. If that makes sense. :)

    Benjy’s struggle with letting his walls down was so much fun to write.

  5. Mia Kerick says:

    Your blurb is catchy, J.E.I like this line “And a best friend who’d just announced his bisexuality and hit on everything that moved.” LOL Did you get the idea for this novel from a best friend of yours?

  6. jebirkwrites says:

    Thank you, Mia!! EVERYONE!! Mia Kerick is here!! Have you read Mia’s work? She’s a fantastic writer–and she also has a (beautiful) story in Grand Adventures!

    Actually, Brett is NOTHING like any of my friends…most of my best friends are a little more reserved, like me. I tend to write characters who are completely different from the people I know in life. I think I’m one of those people who write to experience things I’d otherwise never experience.

  7. Denise Dechene says:

    Hi Mia…I have had my best friend for 34 years. He’s loyal but doesn’t let me get away with shit. Same goes for me. I’m constantly calling him out for his crap…lol. Funny thing is I don’t talk to him that often due to life but I know if I needed him he’d be here for me and same for him. I can call him up tomorrow and it’s like we talked yesterday instead of 2 months ago. He’s the loud one and I’m the reserved one but we click

  8. jebirkwrites says:

    Denise, those are my favorite kinds of friends. It’s a special kind of friendship when you can always jump right back into sync no matter what.

    I probably need a few louder friends in my life…so many of my friends are reserved like me! Maybe I need to be brought out of my shell more. :)

  9. Mia Kerick says:

    I think it is really cool that you experience things through your writing. I haven’t really thought of it that way.

  10. jebirkwrites says:

    That’s what I love about your books too, Mia…you cover so many important and different topics. Can’t wait for INCLINATION for exactly that reason! It will so interesting to step into that main character’s shoes.

  11. Mia Kerick says:

    I am always interested in where authors come up with their ideas. So, what was it that inspired you to write Depending on You?

  12. jebirkwrites says:

    Depending on You was inspired completely by Benjy. It felt like every time I read a book about a character who came through the foster care system, they’d always been horribly treated. I wanted to showcase another possibility: the character who had perfectly kind and supportive experiences in foster care, but always felt the lingering loneliness of not having a family that was truly their own. That’s how I first imagined Benjy…and things just went from there. :)

  13. Waxapplelover says:

    Love the excerpt! And so interesting to read in the comments about your inspirations.

    I think the best quality in a friend is the ability to listen. It’s so tempting to share your own experiences or opinions, but being a friend sometimes means leaving all that behind and just listening.

  14. jebirkwrites says:

    Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Ah, listening…I so agree. And it is SUCH a hard quality to deeply develop within oneself. Probably has something to do with the human ego, I guess?

  15. H.B. says:

    Great excerpt. Thank you for sharing it.

    The qualities I look for in a friend is reliability, someone supportive and just sensible.

  16. jebirkwrites says:

    Sensible is such an underrated quality in a friend. Benjy is definitely the sensible one in this friendship…not that he showcases it well in “The Twinkie Ignition.” ;)

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