I always feel like I’m cheating a little celebrating the second edition date of a previously published book, but it seems like the most legit date to celebrate. At least with Cultivation Love, the two bookversary dates are both in June. The expanded second edition was published on June 24, 2017 at JMS Books. The original edition was published at Loose ID on June 9, 2009.
The second edition underwent a serious overhaul. Not only did I update phrasing choices throughout, but I also inserted scenes, expanded the ending, and added an epilogue beyond that expanded ending.
Ed and Joe stuck with me for a while after completing their expanded story, and they ended up with a nice set of bonus scenes. A little bit was expanding on the story, but most of it was geared toward an alternate universe scene that I had quite a bit of fun writing.
In the book, the story begins with Ed inheriting a farm after his father dies. The father he’d thought had died before he’d been born. Ed is an auto mechanic, but his partner, Joe, is a farm hand, so they opt to go check out the farm to see if they want to turn their lives upside down to move out there or sell it (hint: they move out there).
In the alternate universe bonus scene, I thought it would be fun to see how things might have unfolded if the story had started a little earlier, before Ed’s father’s fatal motorcycle accident. What if…Ed and Joe were on a road trip and thought it would be fun to pull into the small town where Ed’s father’d been from to pick up some road snacks? What if they discovered he was actually still alive?
The alternate universe scene unfolds in eight parts and were originally written when I was doing weekly Flash Fiction Friday posts using either randomly-generated or reader-supplied prompt words. I never knew from week to week where the new set of prompt words would take me.
This little snippet is from that bonus scene, not from the published story:
A bushel basket atop a crate held various single serve snack items, but Joe pulled full-sized boxes and bags off the shelves and tossed them in Ed’s basket. Just as well, since they’d want snacks in their motel room in Denver, too.
The woman from the front wasn’t particularly subtle as she kept an eye on them. Maybe they looked like potential shoplifters. More likely it was because they were strangers, and in a town this size, that stood out.
“Hey,” Joe whispered. “Let’s give her something to talk about.”
“What are you planning? I don’t want to get arrested by some backwoods sheriff.”
Joe snorted. “Nothing illegal.” He bounced his eyebrows a couple times and leveled a knowing look at Ed. “Think the old dear will piss herself if I kiss you?”
Ed choked on a laugh, and Joe didn’t wait for an answer—he leaned in, placed a hand on Ed’s jaw, and planted a big smooch right on Ed’s mouth. If Joe had been hoping for an outraged reaction from the woman, he’d be disappointed, because if the smirk that appeared on her face was any indication, she was amused.
Ed added a bag of cheese popcorn to their basket, and they returned to the front to pay for their food. The woman looked them up and down again. “You boys in town visiting relatives?”
“No ma’am,” Joe replied. “Just passing through.”
“Huh.” She turned to Ed. “I would’ve sworn you were a Jamison.”
Ed’s heart skipped a beat and he grabbed Joe’s arm. “I am a Jamison. Ed Jamison.” Maybe his mom had been wrong, and he did have some family still alive. “I didn’t think I had any living relatives here. Are there some? My dad was from Mayfield, but he died before I was born.”
When life throws Ed and Joe a curve ball, can they handle the heat, or will everything they’ve worked for fall apart?
A man of few words, Joe is a hard-working farmhand who likes his simple, uncomplicated life. Ed is satisfied with his existence as an auto mechanic, but thrilled when an unexpected development in his life allows him to help Joe realize a dream.
It forces them, however, to reevaluate the casual, undefined nature of their relationship. They’re too macho to speak of love, and neither would acknowledge he doesn’t really mind when it’s his turn to bottom. When life throws them a curve ball, and the rules of their game get old, Ed tries to take every aspect of their relationship up a notch. Can Joe adapt to the open sentimentality Ed’s injecting into their relationship, let alone the new spice in their bedroom activities?
This is a previously published story that has been rewritten, expanded, and re-edited.