Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – Chap. 16 No. 18

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 16th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 18 (Note: Chapters 1 and 15 did not have flashback scenes).

This one’s a little longer than average, but heavy on the dialogue. It did have a few spots where the POV could make a difference, though.

With a spring in his step, Sam approached the bathroom where Henry was finishing up, sealing the grout on the floor of the master bath. Their final project. At long last, they were finally done.

“You know what we need to do after we finish this bathroom remodel?” Henry asked, looking up.

“Seriously? You want to take on another project after this? There’s nothing left,” Sam replied. His eyes widened, although the role reversal was kind of amusing. Sam was the one who’d wanted to buy the fixer-upper. Henry’d needed to be convinced.

“Well, it won’t be pressing, like this other stuff was. And we can easily drag it out as time and our budget allows.”

Sam squinted. “What do you have in mind?”

“Finish the basement. Build us an awesome game room like Bill has. We could start hosting some of your family gatherings, and it would be great for when we have friends over.”

“You know, that’s not a bad idea. I know my nieces and nephews would love it.”

“Yeah, so would we. My only fear is that we might get distracted by it when we should be grading papers.”

Sam laughed. “Nah, I know you better than that.” While Sam wouldn’t call Henry a workaholic—he loved his leisure time, too—he did have a strong sense of responsibility and always took care of obligations before he played. “You’re right, though. The basic finishing would be simple enough to do, then we can add decorative touches as we go along, like build a bar, maybe, and add cool lighting. We can pick up games and furnishings as we find good deals over time.” The more he thought about it, the better Henry’s idea sounded.

“Exactly, a lifetime project we can enjoy adding to for the next fifty years.”

Sam snickered. “I can just picture us as a couple of eighty-year-old men still competing for the high scores in Dig Dug and Donkey Kong.”

I’ll concede to your greatness in Donkey Kong, but it’s time for you to admit you’ll never beat my Dig Dug score.”

“I admit nothing.”

“Fine, then you’d better watch your back with our future Donkey Kong machine.”

Sam waggled his eyebrows and grinned. Henry had such a fun competitive streak, Sam couldn’t resist teasing him. “I look forward to the next fifty years of watching you try.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | B&N

Promo - Teaser - Promo - Blurb - ’Til Death Do Us Part

Getting a little of Myles’ (Emmitt’s) POV – March 15, 2017

To Love and To Cherish is told entirely from Nash’s point of view, and although I stand by that decision for various reasons, I thought it would be fun to pick some scenes to redo from Myles’ (Emmitt’s) point of view. Here’s a link to the category including all of these alternate POV scenes. Links to other bonus scenes for To Love and To Cherish, as well as from some of my other published works, can be found in the “Bonus Scenes” category in the menu at the top of the page.

So far I’ve rewritten all of Chapter 1 to show it from Myles’/Emmitt’s perspective, as well as a random scene from Chapter 3. Today’s post is a bit longer, and is a scene from Chapter 9 that I thought would be good to see from Myles’/Emmitt’s POV:

Random Scene – Chapter 9

The regular chirping of the heart rate monitor soothed Emmitt’s nerves. Many people might not find it comforting, hating hospitals in general, but to Emmitt it meant Nash was doing well.

Emmitt’s mood had swung sharply from cheery, at the turn his life had recently taken, to alarmed when he’d received Harley’s panicked call using Nash’s phone. As much as he recognized Nash would be facing a difficult next couple of months, at least he now knew his fiancé could expect a full recovery.

Nash stirred on the bed as Clancy stood on the other side of it, checking the IV. Clancy looked down at Nash and smiled one of those jaunty smiles the nurses gave patients to boost their moods. “How are you feeling?”

Emmitt put his hands on the armrests ready to rise, but stilled again when Nash spoke.

“My fiancé,” he croaked. “Was he hurt? Is he okay?”

While it was heartwarming that Nash was concerned about him—all things considered—it was mildly concerning that he didn’t remember the accident enough to know Emmitt hadn’t been involved in it. Not entirely unusual, though.

Clancy glanced at Emmitt. “Oh, no. Don’t worry, Nash, you were the only one hurt. Dr. Burlingham wasn’t even in the car, and Harley and Oliver are both fine.” He paused. “What do you remember?”

Nash paused a moment and stared blankly at Clancy before replying. “No,” he rasped. “I don’t remember the accident.”

Emmitt stood and stepped to the other side of the bed. “You have a mild concussion in addition to your arm injury. Don’t worry. It’s not unusual for people to not be able to remember the accident.”

“Okay,” Nash slurred. He appeared to still be a bit dazed from the anesthetic.

Nash’s left arm was in a cast, so Emmitt picked up Nash’s right hand and held it between his palms. “I’ll go speak to Dr. Beltran. He performed your surgery, so he’ll come in and assess you. I can’t…obviously…but between the concussion and the infection risk from the compound fracture, you’ll probably be spending a night here in the hospital.”

Poor Nash appeared so pale, muddled, and in obvious pain, Emmitt wanted desperately to be able to ease all of it instantly. If only such a thing were possible. He raised Nash’s hand to his lips and kissed the back of it, then patted it gently and carefully laid it back on the bed.

Nash stared blankly, then gave a weak smile. Emmitt turned and left the room to find his partner, Dr. Jordan Beltran.

When they returned, Nash seemed more wakeful, but also seemed further distressed. Emmitt took a deep breath to calm his nerves. Jordan glanced at the Patient Controlled Anesthesia pump and asked, “How’s your pain level, Nash, on the comparative pain scale from one to ten?”

Nash opened his mouth, then paused, as if thinking before he replied, “Eight. At least. It’s pretty bad.”

Jordan nodded. “Use your PCA as needed. I’ll repeat all this tomorrow, after your anesthesia has completely worn off, but to ease your mind for now I’ll tell you that your prognosis is good. For an open fracture, this one was minor. The debridement and irrigation went smoothly, and internal fixation was successful. You’re all closed up.

“Antibiotics were started promptly in the ER, and we’ll continue an antibiotic regimen until you’re released, possibly tomorrow. You did require a transfusion in the ER…three units. This cast will come off in about three weeks so we can remove the stitches, then you’ll get a fresh cast for the remainder.”

He pulled out his mini light to check Nash’s eye dilation, then used an ophthalmoscope to look inside the fundi. He proceeded to check eye movement for a more thorough concussion check than he’d been able to accomplish when Nash was unconscious.

“I’d still call this concussion on the mild end of the scale. Myles said you don’t remember the accident, is that right?”

“Right,” Nash replied. “And Clancy said no one else was hurt?”

“Correct. It wasn’t a car accident, although you were in the backseat of a Jeep when it happened. Apparently you had your arms in the air enjoying the feel of the rushing air, and a large bird swooped down and slammed into your arm.”

“Huh. Well, leave it to me to find such a crazy was to end up in the ER.” Nash reached up to touch the bandage on his forehead.

“You’ve got some bruising and a few sutures there. Nothing major. Tell me about the last thing you do remember,” Jordan asked. “Do you remember what you did this morning?”

“Uh, had breakfast and went for a ride with Harley and Oliver.”

Emmitt narrowed his eyes. Did Nash not remember that they’d been transferring the last of his belongings to Emmitt’s apartment? “Where were you going?”

“I…uh…don’t remember that part.”

Emmitt stilled, and Nash’s panicked mein began to make sense. “What did you do yesterday?”

“It’s…a little fuzzy. I’m sure it’ll come back to me soon. That’s not a big deal, is it?”

It was a huge deal. Colossal. Emmitt’s heart sank. If Nash didn’t remember yesterday, there was a good chance he was missing a couple months, at least. “I think it might be.”

“What’s the last thing you do remember?” Jordan asked.

“Coming home from work. Hanging out before dinner.”

Emmitt willed himself not to fidget, and tried not to project the apprehension that flowed through him at Nash’s evasive words. “One more question.” He took a deep breath, fearing the reply, but he had to know. “When you woke up here a few minutes ago, you asked Clancy if your fiancé was okay. To whom were you referring?”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

dont-forget-the-old-ones-1200x700

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb: To Love and To Cherish

Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual manner? Now that’s another story entirely.

Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex…that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.

When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. Matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Links: To Love and To Cherish

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Links

(Read it for FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription)

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand | Blio

Print Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal | Barnes & Noble

Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – No. 15, Chap. 17

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 15th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 17 (Note: Chapters 1 and 15 did not have flashback scenes).

This one’s short and minimalist. I didn’t go adding bonus thoughts for Sam except to replace corresponding thoughts Henry had in the original.

Sam bounced in place and smiled reflexively as Henry hurried toward baggage claim. It had been seven longs weeks since they’d seen each other—in person, anyway, not counting Skype. When he arrived at the empty luggage carousel, Henry tapped his foot and stared at the backs of the people in front of him.

Clearly, he hadn’t noticed Sam waiting. Sam snuck up behind him and took a deep breath of Henry’s scent before murmuring, “How was Greenland?”

Henry jumped, but his smile was wide when he spun and threw his arms around Sam’s waist.

“Damn, I missed you!” he said. “And the answer to your question is ‘cold.’ So how was India?”

“Hot.”

Henry tightened his arms, giving Sam a big squeeze. “Much as I appreciated being able to see and talk to you every day, thanks to modern technology, nothing quite beats getting a big hug from you in person.”

“Nothing? At all?”

Henry smirked. “Well, I’ll think about it on the drive home and let you know if I come up with any ideas.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | B&N

Promo - Teaser - Promo - Blurb - ’Til Death Do Us Part

#RainbowSnippets March 11, 2017 – Okay, Then

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Rainbow

Today I’m giving another snippet from Okay, Then, a short story that’s in the timeline of the flashback scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, detailing Henry and Sam’s first date. This story is included in my collection, Snapshots.

The story is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV, and the first speaker (“he”) is Sam. For context, Henry and Sam are in the Solomon Islands on their first date. Sam has just tried Vegemite and coaxed Henry to do the same, prompting this discussion:

“I’m trying to expand my horizons. My New Year’s resolution was to try ten new foods this year. This makes five, so I guess I’m on target.”

“Any regrets among them?”

He winced. “Grasshoppers.”

“Gross. Apparently my resolution was to give up sex.”

#RainbowSnippets


placeit-teaser-snapshots

Click here for buy-links and details about the Snapshots boxed set.

Sale - Smashwords

Today is the final day of the sale at Smashwords where you can get Snapshots (as well as the rest of my books that are published at JMS Books, LLC) for 50% off the retail price. Use code RAE50 at checkout to receive the discount.

Kindle Unlimited

The books are also all available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Rainbow Snippets

#RainbowSnippets – March 4, 2017 – Snapshots – Okay, Then

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Rainbow

Today I’m giving another snippet from Snapshots, my collection/box set of 11 short stories. This one’s from Okay, Then, a short story that’s in the timeline of the flashback scenes from ’Til Death Do Us Part, detailing Henry and Sam’s first date. My apologies…many of my sentences here are very short, and I blew the sentence count out of the water to complete the mini-scene (word-count is on par with the average, I think). Further context isn’t needed.

This is from Henry’s 1st-person POV, and “he” is Sam:

He cocked his head to the side and stared curiously at me as I attempted a reassuring smile. His stance relaxed.

“You’re—” He cut off whatever he’d planned to say. His eyes widened and I got the distinct impression he’d been thinking aloud, and hadn’t meant to say anything.

“You’re what?” Because, really, it was better to find out now, before we fucked up our professional relationship beyond any hope of repair by, well…fucking…if there was something about me that bothered him. We’d been colleagues in the university’s biology department in Seattle for ten months, so we knew each other fairly well. I hoped to hell he wasn’t having second thoughts about dating me.

“You’re…you’re actually trying to impress me, just as much as I’m trying to do the same with you.”

I laughed and pressed a palm to my heart. I was so relieved to hear those words. “You’re damned right I am!”

His Henry-melting grin appeared, and I was lost.

#RainbowSnippets


placeit-teaser-snapshots

About Snapshots

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories: Cow Pie Bingo,  King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate (also available as a FREE single), Born to Be Wild, The Straggler, Now and Forever, Moving On, Moving Along, Dropping Quarters, Nevermore, Photo Shoot, Okay, Then (Vows Series, 1.5)

Okay, Then

Revisiting the main characters from ’Til Death Do Us Part, this short story takes place within the timeline of the flashback scenes from that novel, detailing Sam & Henry’s first date/encounter after Sam tells Henry “Okay, then” while they’re together on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands. It a short story written to be able to stand alone, with its own HFN.

Click here for more information on the Snapshots boxed set.

❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜

Purchase Links

eBook

JMS Books, LLC | Smashwords | Amazon Kindle – Universal Link
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand
Blio | Google Play | ScribdBAM! – Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books, LLC | Createspace | Amazon – Universal Link
Barnes & Noble – BAM! – Books-a-Million – Book Depository

Flash Fiction Friday – To Love and To Cherish – Bonus Scene

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m back to using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (patriarchy) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (level – cleanwaitcrimeapparelrocktestyagreeableunhealthyhangchannelbackrelyisland) from a random word generator (got them in three batches, otherwise they’re blocked by ads—screenshots below).

2017-02-24-words-400x221

I should get bonus points this week for getting the word “island” and not using it for a scene from ’Til Death Do Us Part. 😇

“Oh, please. Don’t even try to tell me patriarchy isn’t alive and well.” Nash’s head snapped up as Angela’s voice carried over to where he and Emmitt were arranging a tray of fruit and vegetables to offer their company. “Did you read that idiotic letter to the editor some fool politician in Utah wrote?”

“No need to get testy with me.” Harley put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t say it wasn’t still a concern, only that my company doesn’t discriminate or pay women less. I run a clean business.”

“Misogyny should be a crime,” Angela grumbled. “And don’t get me started on the sexism rampant in children’s apparel, either.”

“Lock ’em all up,” Harley prodded. “Send ’em all to ‘The Rock.’ Lower level, in solitary.”

Angela’s eyes narrowed. “I can always rely on you to stir in a little hyperbole.”

“I don’t suppose,” Emmitt whispered, “that it would be a good idea to inform her the Utah guy resigned two days later due to the backlash, would it?”

“Go ahead,” Nash snickered. “I’ll hang back here and wait while you go over and point that out.”

Emmitt chuckled and picked up the tray. “Not on your life.”

Nash grabbed a bag of chips out of the pantry since Harley had requested “something unhealthy” to go along with the nutritious stuff he’d known Emmitt would select.

“Or better yet,” Harley said, “ship the offenders off to that little island where Nash’s—“

“How about we change the channel,” Angela’s husband, interjected, “to something more agreeable than the news?”

“Good plan.” Harley’s fiancé, Oliver, picked up the remote and switched to a music channel. “Get us in the right frame of mind before we head out to Winterfest.”

Nash sat next to Emmitt on a sofa, and snuggled up under his husband’s arm with a spontaneous smile on his lips.

Harley raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Honeymoon’s still not over?”

Emmitt’s body shook with restrained laughter. Nash said, “Never. Is yours?”

“We’re not even married yet!”

“But you live together.”

“Not for that long. Not alone, anyway.” Harley waggled his eyebrows at Oliver, then pointed his finger at Nash. “It’s only been a few months since you moved out.”

Nash shuddered. “That was a fateful day.” The injury he’d sustained during the drive to move the last of his belongings to Emmitt’s condo had affected his life in so many bizarre ways.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,” Harley declared. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to you.”

Nash wouldn’t have accepted that statement while enduring the pain and confusion of his recovery, but as Emmitt’s arm tightened around his shoulders, pulling him in for a hug, that familiar warmth spread through his chest, and he knew Harley was right.

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

vows-promo-w-kkvtsp-1247-x-675

Click here for more information, review snips, and  purchase-links for To Love and To Cherish. Information on all my publications can be found in the menu at the top of the page.

Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – No. 14 – Chap. 16

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 14th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 16 (Note: Chapters 1 and 15 did not have flashback scenes).

Sam bit his lip at the sight of Henry’s exaggerated wince as they pulled up outside the house on Lake Sammamish. “Let’s just look inside. We’ve driven all the way out here and all.”

“Sure.” Henry nodded, and they joined the real estate agent at the front door.

“It looks bad, I know,” she said. “The inside is a wreck, too, but the bones are solid, and you’ve got to consider the location.”

They’d already agreed that a commute into work was a small price to pay for a peaceful setting in the suburbs, and the proximity of this listing to Sam’s parent’s home was a huge plus. Wandering through the house, Sam had to remind himself to breathe. Yes, to say it was a “fixer-upper” would be putting it mildly, but the condition was the reason it fell within their budget. This house was likely to be their only chance at a home right on the lake.

The layout was great, the amount of space was just what they were looking for, and there were so many charming architectural features they could salvage to turn this house into a beautiful home. Sturdy built-in shelving, crown molding…

“None of the fixtures or appliances have been updated in thirty years, at least,” Henry remarked. “the bathroom and kitchen need a total remodel, everything needs to be painted, this popcorn ceiling shit would have to go, the carpets stink of dog piss, and the yard is a weed-filled jungle.”

Sam calmly ran his hand over the stone wall. It was gorgeous. “Look at this, Henry. It’s amazing.”

Henry turned slowly, studying the room, his brows drawn together. A dog barked in the distance, and the faint sounds of happy children’s voices floated through the open patio door. Sam stood, unruffled, certain Henry would make the right decision. He just needed to process all the data.

Henry expelled a deep breath and turned to Sam. “We won’t be able to afford the kitchen and bathroom remodels for a year or two, but if we spend every waking minute of the summer working on it, I think we can find the money to update the rest.”

A slow smile stretched across Sam’s face. “We need to add replacement windows to the list, too. But can’t you just picture how beautiful this place could be with a little TLC?”

Henry’s nod was barely perceptible, but his smile was just Sam wanted to see. “Let’s make an offer.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | B&N

promo-tddup-kkvtsp-1200x628

I Made a Video: Me Reading the Prologue and Chap. 1 of ’Til Death Do Us Part

I’ve seen a few authors post videos of themselves reading from their books, and I thought that was a pretty good idea. Here’s one of me reading the prologue and first chapter from my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part:

Check out my fat cat waddling by during the prologue. 😏


Info | Goodreads

EBOOK BUY LINKS

’Til Death Do Us Part is in the Kindle Unlimited program!

JMS Books, LLC | Smashwords | Kindle Universal Link | iBookstore

Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand | Blio | Google Play | Scribd

PRINT BUY LINKS

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | Barnes & Noble

BAM! – Books-a-Million | Book Depository

15 Random Prompt Words – Flash Fiction Friday – ’Til Death Do Us Part

2017-02-10-words-400-x-310

For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:

tadpole

mix – vegetable – disagreeable – immense – aboard – invincible – food – intend – old – hand – alike – romantic – muscle – bad

Above are screen prints of the words it gave me (I got them in 3 batches because otherwise they were covered by ads).

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I went with an alternate POV scene from ’Til Death Do Us Part. It won’t be obvious from the start, but this is a scene that occurs in the story. This time it’s told from Devon’s 1st-person POV.

At the same time, it seemed like only yesterday and yet forever ago that I’d felt invincible. I frowned, remembering how the lyrics of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” had run through my mind aboard that damned plane. I’d been flying high, both figuratively and literally, having just completed a successful freshman year as a linebacker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and was on my way to a fun-in-the-sun vacation with a couple buddies. I’d felt on top of the world…right up until we’d dropped out of the sky. Being one of only four survivors of a plane crash should arguably reinforce that feeling of invulnerability, but it didn’t.

Sitting in the shade, a few yards into the northern tree line, I looked out over the immense expanse of ocean and shivered despite the heat. I used to think of myself as a romantic, but now, sometimes if felt as if the only thing keeping me from acting like a disagreeable old man in a perpetual bad mood was the kid, “Buddy.”

I didn’t intend to be difficult, and mostly I kept the ever-lurking hopelessness that triggered the occasional outburst at bay.  I rolled my shoulders and shook out my hands to metaphorically push the threatening melancholy away.

I sighed and stood, listening for Buddy, then cut through the interior toward the large rock where we tended to gather. It was our “table” for meals, and it was where Henry kept a basket with extra food for snacking. Fish, fruit, nuts, seeds, and seaweed…day after day after day. Henry tried to mix it up with his meal prep, but after a while, they all seemed alike. Maybe, not entirely, but the menu was short. What I wouldn’t give for a big juicy steak, or a piece of fried chicken, or a hamburger. I even craved vegetables—the non-seaweed variety.

The thought of food reminded me I was thirsty, so I detoured by the Papaya tree grove where our little fresh water “spring” was located. It was little more than a deep puddle that slowly but continually refilled itself, but it was one of the key reasons we’d survived all these years.

With my hands cupped, I scooped a couple mouthfuls before noticing a batch of tadpoles had hatched. We would have to be careful with the water for the next couple months so we didn’t harm them. Henry had schooled us early on about how the tree frogs on the island kept the fruit flies in check. Without the frogs, the flies could easily decimate our fruit supply.

Startled, I jumped to my feet when a scream pierced through the background noise of the ocean’s waves. Buddy! Something had happened. Something bad. My gut twisted with fear as I took off running toward the heart-rending sound, then spun, because Buddy was apparently darting around the corner of the island as he shrieked.

I turned to take the path that led to where the screams had come to an abrupt halt, but now Garrett was hollering my name. Like Buddy, his voice was a moving target so I kept going in the direction I was already headed.

When I burst out onto the beach, Buddy’s arms and legs were wrapped around Henry, with his face buried in the man’s neck, and Garrett’s head spun back and forth. He turned and ran back in my direction, then veered toward the water’s edge with his arms waving. I ground to a halt with my heart in my throat, confused, until I saw it.

A plane—no, it was close, silent, and too small to be manned—a drone was flying past us. I chased it, screaming, “Stop! Stop!” and waved my arms like a lunatic until it was out of sight. But it circled and returned from the other direction.

Circling meant we’d been spotted. The drone operator knew we were here. It couldn’t actually stop, as I’d reflexively yelled, but did he (or she) realize we needed help—that we were stranded? Probably. Our general appearance would make that apparent, and if not, our hysterical chasing and arm waving would’ve put any doubts to rest.

The three of us came together in a huddle on the beach. Henry patted Buddy’s back, but his ragged breathing and wide eyes belied his own fears for the future, mixed with his obvious excitement. Garrett panted. “Sticks. We need sticks so we can write in the sand.”

“Of course,” I said. “I’ll get some.” I brushed my hand across my eyes to clear the tears of relief that welled up as I ran down the path to our wood-stand. When I arrived, the muscles in my legs gave out, and I stumbled to a stop and leaned against a tree for support.

“I’m going home,” I whispered to the universe. I pictured the look of shock that would appear on my parents’ faces when they got the news. My brothers—after five years they wouldn’t look the same. I snickered, remembering how I’d just been thinking about the foods I missed as if they were what was important. No, that craving was overpowered by the yearning to see my family—a longing I’d suppressed for too long to keep despair at bay. I’ll see you, soon, I added silently, then I grabbed three sticks from the kindling pile and dashed back to the beach.

As always, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using a random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.

ku-raru-1200x700

Quick links to my website pages with buy-links, blurbs, excerpts, review snippets/links:

’Til Death Do Us Part | From This Day Forward | To Love and To Cherish


2017-02-10-words-400-x-310

Flashback Scene from Sam’s POV – No. 13, Chap. 14

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 13th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 14. I’ve got a little flashback within the flashback going here since most of the original scene was Henry’s thoughts. This harkens back to what Henry was thinking about.

After the first verse of the song finished, Sam and Henry waved Sam’s parents onto the dance floor to join them. Sam’s mom wiped a tear from her eye as his dad led her out. Henry squeezed Sam’s hand and snuggled into his chest. Sam tightened the arm holding his brand-new husband, and they swayed to the slow melody. Henry’s eyes closed, a soft smile on his lips.

When Sam’s parents married back in 1977, they’d danced the first dance at their wedding reception to Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” Henry had asked about it back when their wedding was still in the planning stages. His eyes had widened when Sam told him the name of the song.

“Your parents mean the world to me,” Henry had said, “and I want to honor them at our wedding. Do you think they’d mind if we used the same song? As a tribute to them?”

“Mind? No,” Sam had replied. “They’ll love it.”

“The song is perfect.”

Sam had laughed. “Only because you are so beautiful. I’m certainly not.”

Henry’s expression, with one side of his face screwed up, had conveyed sincere confusion at that comment. He’d shaken his head and snorted. “I’m ordinary. You…your grin…wow. It melts me every time you level it in my direction.”

Now, warmth radiated through Sam’s chest knowing they were officially married—that he could proudly introduce Henry as his husband. Thinking back to Henry’s comment he had to agree with Henry’s assessment. Objectively, they were each probably fairly “ordinary,” appearance-wise. But the song emphasized the words “to me.” To Sam, Henry was stunningly beautiful, and apparently, Henry thought the same of him. There was no better feeling in the world.

When the song ended, Sam landed a feather-light kiss on Henry’s temple, and Henry whispered, “I love you so much.” Nuzzling at Henry’s ear, Sam repeated those words back to him.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | B&N

ku-promo-661x661

15 Random Prompt Words – Flash Fiction Friday – Vows Series

2017-02-03-words-400-x-249

For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:

sudoku

carrot

lighten – level – self – language – wistful – warn – precede – end – weak – stiff – simple – wobble – fine

Above are screen prints of the words it gave me (I got them in 3 batches because otherwise they were covered by ads).

New rule…up until now I’ve used the words exactly as they show up on the random word generator lists. Starting this week I will only promise to use a form of the word. One issue is I write in past tense, and the verbs on the list are always present tense. That can make for some awkward wording if I’m not allowed to modify the form of the word. 15 words is enough of a challenge…I want a little flexibility overall.

This week I went with a bonus missing scene that would be primarily from ’Til Death Do Us Part, but it could also arguably fit in with Nash’s flashback dreams from To Love and To Cherish. I’m going to include it in the bonus scenes links for both since it features an MC from each and is pertinent to both stories. This scene takes place right after Henry has arrived back home, Sam and Nash clash, and Henry and Buddy are leaving to go stay for a short while with Sam’s parents, so Sam and Nash can have their much-needed discussion in private.

I’d originally included a similar scene in ’Til Death Do Us Part, but ended up removing it in favor of keeping the readers in suspense (along with Henry) as to how things would resolve.

It’s told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV.

Flash Fiction Friday

Sam would’ve rather been anywhere, doing anything, than staying where he was, watching Buddy precede Henry as they walked out the front door with Harley. He’d rather stand in front of a classroom full of incoming freshmen and use the words “epic fail” to describe his recent actions—or lack thereof. He’d rather have his career depend upon the outcome of his entry in a timed Sudoku contest against the math department professors. Hell, he’d rather get his balls waxed. In other words…anything.

If he needed a carrot on a stick to motivate him to turn around and face Nash, he supposed it could be the promise of getting Henry back after he’d suffered this long-overdue conversation.

Henry had been correct. Sam needed to do his level best to handle this properly. Much as he’d love to lighten the mood, to do so would be unfair to everyone involved. Sam straightened his shoulders and cast one more wistful glance out the window as Harley’s pickup backed out of the driveway, then turned to face his now-former fiancé.

Nash still stood with his arms stiff at his sides, his fists clenched as if he’d like nothing better than to unleash his admittedly righteous fury on Sam.

“I’m sorry,” Sam said, hoping a simple, sincere declaration would be a good start.

But, Nash’s face grew even redder. “Fuck you!” he shouted. Shrieked, really.

Sam wobbled on weak knees. Where the hell had that come from? Sure he’d known Nash was upset, as he should be, but they’d never raised their voices, let alone shouted at one another. That had come out of nowhere, with no warning. Language deserted Sam as his jaw dropped.

“First you couldn’t make a straightforward decision. Him or me? Do I stay or do I go? Then when you finally fucking did you couldn’t even pick up the goddamned phone and call me? Fuck! You!” At least Nash wasn’t yelling anymore, but his voice was cold and hard as he bit out the words.

What Nash said wasn’t entirely fair. Nash had contributed greatly to Sam’s indecision. He was the one who’d made the point that Henry would certainly have changed in five years and might not even want to get back together with Sam. It was almost as if Nash had seen the writing on the wall and actively lobbied to sway Sam’s decision.

But Sam didn’t want to make this about himself. This needed to be about helping Nash cope with the abrupt end to their engagement.

“I am sorry,” Sam whispered. Tears threated to fall as he ran a hand through his hair. “I do love you. Please remember that. You deserved better than a breakup over the phone, but I should have thought about how that reunion scene was being broadcast on TV.”

Nash stared at him for a moment, then his eyes became unfocused, and his gaze dropped.

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” Sam continued. “I would never have caused you pain deliberately.”

Nash sniffed loudly and lifted his gaze. The torment in Nash’s eyes ripped through Sam’s heart. Sam stepped forward instinctively to offer a hug, but Nash put up a hand, palm out. “No.” Nash shook his head. “That won’t help me anymore. It would hurt.”

Sam stilled, and his arms dropped. “What can I do to help.”

Rolling his shoulders and clearing his throat as if consciously trying to pull himself together, Nash looked around the room and said, “You know what? I’ll be fine. The sooner I clear out of here and move on with my life, the better off I’ll be. If you want to help, take a pass through the house and see if there’s anything I’ve missed packing.”

“Of course.” But Sam couldn’t bring himself to move his legs.

Nash wiped the back of his hand across his wet eyes. “I want to be ready to leave when Harley gets back.”

Stomach clenched, Sam nodded and stepped away. Nash might not want a hug, but Sam needed one desperately.

“Sam?”

Sam turned at the sound of the softly spoken word.

“I…I love you, too. That’s why…” Nash snuffled. “You know.”

“I know,” Sam murmured.

“Maybe…maybe one last hug for the road. I don’t want to end things like this.”

Sam’s hands trembled and one of the tears that had been threatening finally traced down his cheek. He opened his arms, and Nash stepped into them. “Thank you,” Sam whispered into Nash’s hair.

As always, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using a random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.

ku-raru-1200x700

Quick links to my website pages with buy-links, blurbs, excerpts, review snippets/links:

’Til Death Do Us Part

From This Day Forward

To Love and To Cherish

I’m on Kindle Unlimited ❤️💛💚💙💜

Fair warning, I had way too much fun with PhotoScape X preparing for this promotion:

ku-reviews-arrows-raru-1200x628

I’m thrilled to announce that my Vows Series books are all now available on KINDLE UNLIMITED!

Link to my Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2fzO7l5

Link to ’Til Death Do Us Part: Amazon Kindle
Link to From This Day Forward: Amazon Kindle
Link to To Love and To Cherish: Amazon Kindle

Website Info Pages:
’Til Death Do Us Part
From This Day Forward
To Love and To Cherish

With their new ebook aggregator, everything at JMS Books is now available (or will be shortly) on Kindle Unlimited, as well as at their own site, and all the usual distributors. Future releases will be as well.

ku-rainbow-award-raru-02-698x625

 

 

Getting a Little of Myles’ (Emmitt’s) POV – Jan. 25, 2017

To Love and To Cherish is told entirely from Nash’s point of view, and although I stand by that decision for various reasons, I thought it would be fun to pick some scenes to redo from Myles’ (Emmitt’s) point of view. Here’s a link to the category including all of these alternate POV scenes.

So far I’ve rewritten all of Chapter 1 to show it from Myles’/Emmitt’s perspective. Last week I started a random scene from Chapter 3 that I thought would be interesting from Emmitt’s POV. Here is the rest of that scene:

Random Scene – Chapter 3 – Part 2

“Wait. What?” Nash stood, blurting out the words, his usual veneer of professionalism apparently forgotten. “You’re Emmitt? I thought your first name was Myles?”

Emmitt nodded. Nash’s informality sent a pleasant shiver zipping over his skin, raising the hair on his arms, but he schooled his features to remain neutral. “Myles Italus Burlingham. First initial is ‘M,’ middle name starts with ‘It.’ Em-It. Emmitt.”

“Italus?” An adorable blush crept up from Nash’s neck as if he instantly regretted his impulsive reply.

“It means ‘of Italy’ in Latin.”

Grampy added, with a sly grin, “He was conceived there on his parents’ ten-year wedding anniversary trip.”

Emmitt winced at Grampy’s overshare, and Nash nodded distractedly. What was Grampy thinking to say something like that? Obviously he was still in matchmaker mode, maybe trying to get Nash to see him in a more personal light. Grampy’s motives were pure, but he clearly didn’t understand how unprofessional it would be for Emmitt to ask Nash out on a date.

Still, Grampy and Nash got along well. Very well. And that was as important to Emmitt as he searched for an aide to care of his grandfather as the candidate’s professional skills. Nash’s education and expertise far exceeded what would be needed, but Emmitt was willing to pay the right person what they were worth even if it surpassed what was required.

Grampy said, “So you’ll speak to him then, Nash?”

“Speak to whom?” Emmitt squinted at his grandfather. He knew the answer, but had to ask.

“To you, of course!” Grampy replied.

Emmitt bit back a groan but couldn’t repress the sigh. If Nash had missed it earlier, surely he’d realize now what Grampy was up to. He nodded and made a snap decision. “I wanted to have a talk with you anyway, Nash.”

Grampy’s happiness and well-being were too important. Emmitt had managed to conceal his feelings toward Nash for years, and he could continue to do so—assuming he could convince Nash to accept the position, of course. After listening to Nash pour out his heart to Angela in the cafeteria yesterday, that likelihood wasn’t as completely out of the realm of possibilities as he’d once thought.

Nash’s eyebrows shot up. “Sure. Uh, this’ll be a rather personal conversation, so where do you think we should do this, and when’s convenient for you?”

Personal? What nonsense had Grampy been feeding him?

“You’re finishing up your three twelves, aren’t you? So you’ll be off on Saturday?”

Nash nodded.

“It’s Dr. Beltran’s weekend for on-call and rounds, so I’ll be free, too. Would you be willing to meet me at the coffee shop that’s in the lobby at my condo? It’s about ten or fifteen minutes from the hospital and has seating that’s well suited for confidential discussions.”

Emmitt ignored the widening grin on Grampy’s face. It was probably too much to hope that Nash didn’t notice it, too.

“Okay,” Nash replied. “I can do that.”

Emmitt pulled a business card out of his pocket and scribbled his cell phone number on the back before handing it to Nash. “I’ve got more patients to check on. Call me, and we’ll work out the details.”

He leaned down to kiss Grampy’s cheek. “I’ll check on you again later, once you’re settled in your new place.” Then he swept out of the room before Grampy could find some fresh comment to embarrass him in front of Nash.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

dont-forget-the-old-ones-1200x700

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb: To Love and To Cherish

Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual manner? Now that’s another story entirely.

Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex…that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.

When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. Matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Links: To Love and To Cherish

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle US | Kindle UK
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand | Blio

Print Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – No. 12 – Chap. 13

promo-rainbow-award-runner-up-1200x628

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.

This week’s scene is from the 12th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 13. While I’ve come to agree that Sam’s POV might be preferable in most instances, this time I preferred Henry’s. The whole point of this scene was the buildup of Henry’s thoughts to his own statement at the end. Sam’s thoughts, while nice, don’t have the same effect since that closing comment is from Henry. If I was to switch to Henry’s POV for some future/potential 2nd edition, that last line would have to be changed to Sam’s dialogue of what he was thankful for (even so, I think I’d still prefer Henry’s for this one). But, for the purposes of this exercise, dialogue is remaining unchanged.

As they went around his family’s Thanksgiving table, each taking a turn to say what they were thankful for, Sam couldn’t help but think about how wonderfully his life had come together. He was happier than he’d ever imagined possible since Henry’d first asked him out during their joint research trip in the Solomons. His heart skipped a beat as he glanced at Henry. He was over the moon now that he and Henry were engaged to be married.

Sam was thankful his family had embraced his fiancé with open arms. They’d never questioned Sam’s sexuality, and they’d never done or said anything to make him feel less loved because of it. Henry’s family, sadly, was another story.

Henry’s expression was thoughtful as he listened with a studious concentration to each person’s thanks. When his turn came, Henry said, “I am thankful for Sam’s love. I’m thankful that I’ve gained not just a future husband but his whole wonderful family. Thank you all for making me feel so welcomed and loved.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon | B&N