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

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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

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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

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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. 😏


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

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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.

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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


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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

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

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15 Random Prompt Words – Flash Fiction Friday – Vows Series

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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.

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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:

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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.

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

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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

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JMS Books, LLC | Amazon | B&N

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

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

Saturn

rainy – immense – blue – sweet – gorgeous – club – bone – wilderness – jolly – shock – endurable – rail – shaky – muscle

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

This week I went with a sweet little bonus continuation scene for Henry and Sam of ’Til Death Do Us Part. It’s told in Henry’s 3rd-person POV.

Flash Fiction Friday

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.

Henry cracked open one of the French doors leading outside to the patio and whispered, “What are you doing?”

Sam turned from where he stood gazing at the predawn southeastern sky and smiled. “No clouds in this direction. Come look at the stars with me.”

Likely it would be rainy later, but it was nice to get this glimpse for now. Henry slipped out and joined Sam under the large blanket he’d wrapped around himself. Sam’s arm muscle flexed as he pulled Henry close.

Pointing toward the horizon, Sam said, “Mercury’s rising.” Trailing his finger in a line up and to the right he added, “That’s Saturn next, then that bright star is Antares. Just past the moon is Spica, and that’s Jupiter right above it.”

“Back on the island…” Henry’s voice was shaky, and he paused to take a deep breath. They were seeing a therapist together as well as separately to help them deal with this upheaval in their lives, and he’d learned that bottling his feelings was a big no-no. “I, uh, would do that corny thing people make fun of in movies—I’d look up at the moon and wonder if you were doing the same.”

It was such a cliché, but it had helped make the separation more endurable. Then in the daytime sometimes he’d looked out over the immense expanse of wide blue ocean and tried to determine the exact direction that would point to home. Home to Sam with his gorgeous, always-kind eyes and sweet quirky smile.

Sam landed a kiss to Henry’s forehead and held him tighter. Sam was as sensitive and serious as he’d been before their separation, but he was also happy. Not in a boisterous jolly kind of way, but it was clear enough to Henry.

“I did the same in the early days, before giving up hope,” Sam murmured into Henry’s hair.

“I worried so much about how you were managing.”

“It was such a shock. I felt like I was all alone in the wilderness trying to make sense of my life. All I wanted to do was rail against the airline, the bomber, fate…the universe.”

“Welcome to the club.”

Sam snorted, then shivered. “I’m chilled to the bone. Let’s go inside.”

“Aiden should sleep for another couple hours, at least.” Henry waggled his eyebrows.

Sam’s crooked grin appeared. “That sounds much better than the coffee I was planning.”

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Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – No. 11 – Chap. 12

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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 11th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 12. What do you think, do you prefer the original or Sam’s POV?:

Henry sat drumming his fingers against his thigh, with his cell phone pressed lightly against his ear. As pale as Henry appeared, Sam was no longer so optimistic of a positive outcome. Henry’s judgment was usually pretty sound, and he clearly didn’t hold out any hope. Sam rested a hand on Henry’s shoulder and gave it a light squeeze of encouragement.

“Think positive,” Sam whispered. “Maybe they’ll be thrilled to hear from you.”

It was doubtful the words changed Henry’s opinion of what his parents’ response might be, but the hard expression in Henry’s eyes softened as he returned Sam’s gaze.

Henry stiffened at the same time a muffled voice said “Hello?”

“Dad?” Henry replied.

“Who is this?” Either the volume of Henry’s received was cranked up, or the man spoke loudly—maybe both—but Sam could easily hear both sides of the conversation. That query made no sense, though, since Henry’d mentioned he had no brothers.

“It’s Henry.”

“Are you calling because you’ve come to your senses?”

Sam’s gut twisted. He should never have pushed Henry to make this call. Henry remained silent, and the muffled voice added, “No?”

Henry’s jaw tightened. “I’m calling because I’m getting married.” He bit out the words. “I thought you might want to know. Might even want to come.”

“Marrying a woman?”

“No.”

“So you’re still a faggot.” It was a statement, not a question. It was said in a voice dripping with venom. “Do me a favor. Change your name. I don’t want my name associated with a faggot wedding.”

Henry disconnected the call without saying another word and dropped the phone onto the tabletop as if it burned his hand. He turned to face Sam. “I want to hyphenate our names. Will you do that with me?”

I’m sorry. Sam opened his mouth to say the words, but they stuck in his throat. How could he have put his fiancé through that? “Absolutely,” he replied. At this point he’d do whatever Henry wanted, but he hoped it was for the right reasons, and not for revenge. “If you’re sure that’s what you want.”

Henry nodded. “Miller is my name, too, goddammit. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life using that name, so yes, it’s what I want to do.”

Some of the tension left Sam’s shoulders as Henry stood and stepped into Sam’s open arms. “I love you,” Henry whispered.

“I love you, too.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

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Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV No. 10 – Chap. 11

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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 10th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 11. I think I prefer this one from Sam’s POV:

“Do you think it would help if I made the phone call?” Sam’s dad offered.

Henry took a deep breath. His entire body was tense. It was obvious he didn’t want to do this, but it seemed to Sam that not attempting to include Henry’s parents in their wedding would be a slight that would cut off any hope of a reconciliation.

“No,” Henry replied. “I don’t think it would make a difference. I know you have a hard time understanding that parents could be so resolute in rejecting their own child, but they really don’t want anything to do with me. If it means that much to you guys that I try to extend an olive branch with a wedding invitation, I’ll make the call myself. Seriously, though, I don’t hold out any hope.”

Sam’s mom shook her head sadly. “No, I can’t understand it. You’re a wonderful young man. You’re smart and outgoing, you’re kind, you’re witty. I don’t understand a religion that could turn parents against their son simply because he’s attracted to other men—like-minded men—and not to women. It has no effect on how we feel about our son.”

“They’re not like you and Truman, Claire. Their lives revolve around their church. If their church says I’m evil, then to them I’m evil.”

“Is it possible they’ve done some research? Modified their thinking? Some churches have been updating their doctrines regarding homosexuality,” Simon added.

Closing his eyes, Henry’s fingers worked overtime fiddling with the spare button sewn onto the underside hem of his shirt. A sure sign he was stressed.

Henry’s eyes reopened. Maybe it would be better to let this go. Henry didn’t talk much about his family, but what little he’d shared did give the impression that they were unyielding in their convictions—or at least Henry believed they were.

Sam searched Henry’s eyes and resolved to give up the cause, but Henry spoke first. “I’ll give them a call.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

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

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Flashback Scenes From Sam’s POV No. 9 – Chap. 10

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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 9th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 10. It’s a short one that didn’t change much since it was mostly dialogue:

“What about our names?” asked Sam. “Do you want to change yours, or should I change mine?”

“I don’t know. We have our degrees, all the way through doctorate in our birth names. We use them professionally. You don’t think it would be weird or confusing to have two Dr. Greenes or two Dr. Millers in the department?”

Didn’t Henry want to share a name as well as their lives? Sure, it was a paperwork pain in the ass, but wouldn’t it be worth it? Sam would be willing to do it if Henry didn’t want to deal with the hassle. Henry did have a point about their degrees, though. Their birth names were on the certificates hanging in their offices. But still…

“Well, it’s not like we don’t have different first initials. I think university students are smart enough to not get confused over something that simple.”

“I guess. If anything, it should be me changing to match you. Your family rocks, mine disowned me. No point in honoring my name.” Henry heaved a heavy sigh. “I guess maybe I wouldn’t mind ditching the name, closing out that part of my life. I don’t know. I’ll think about it, okay?”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’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

An Interview with Henry

I subjected Nash from To Love and To Cherish to an interview a while back, and I figured it was time Henry from ’Til Death Do Us Part got the same treatment.

An Interview with Henry Miller-Greene

Question: Henry, What is your most treasured possession?

Henry: Oh, my. I recently spent five years on an island with essentially no possessions, so I’ve learned an important truth about “stuff,” which is that people can make do without all the gadgetry we often think of as invaluable. I suppose in a way my fellow-castaways and I were simply exchanging higher tech tools for more primitive self-made implements, but still, as much as I would have loved to get my hands on a paring knife, a sharp saw, or even a good hammer, I’d missed my husband, Sam, more than I’d missed any of those things.

Question: Surely there’s something you can point to. How about if you could pick any item—not person—to keep with you always, what would it be?

Henry: Okay, if you’re going to hold my feet to the fire and make me name something, I’ll go with the fancy Swiss Army Knife that Sam bought for me after my return. It would have been worth its weight in gold on that island. Sadly, with travel security measures being what they must be, it’s not something I could have had with me in that situation anyway.

Question: What is your greatest regret?

Henry: I don’t know if I have one anymore. I had a lot of regrets when that airplane was going down. Mostly about things that had been left unsaid with Sam, or that I wished I’d handled differently. One of the things I’ve done since my return is confess all those things to Sam, because I don’t want to be in a position like that ever again—where I could accept what appeared to be my inevitable fate, but not the lack of closure with Sam

Turns out Sam had had a similar problem. He showed me a goodbye letter he’d written to me as part of a grief therapy group project. Damned thing made me cry. He cried, too, when I told him what I’d thought about when I believed I was going to die…the things I regretted then. We vowed to live our lives going forward openly and honestly both with ourselves and each other so we would have no regrets.

If you mean bigger things, like do I regret getting on that plane? That’s a tough one. Everything I’ve experienced in my life has gone into making me who I am today, and I like the man I’ve become. I wouldn’t want to change that, so I can’t change anything about the journey I’ve taken to get here. Besides, Sam and I wouldn’t have Aiden in our lives now if I hadn’t taken that detour from my carefully planned life.

Question: Which living person do you most despise?

Henry: That’s easy. The man who planted those bombs on TransOceanic Flight 3012. I know it’s not necessarily the worst tragedy that’s occurred in my lifetime, or with the perpetrator still living, but it’s one I witnessed first-hand. I saw terrified people who were doomed to die, and knew it. It was a horrifying experience.

Question: What is it that you most dislike?

Henry: Pettiness and pointless drama. More than ever, there’s no room in my life for that kind of nonsense.

Question: What is your motto?

Henry: Live, laugh, love. Live each day as though it’s your last, because one day you’ll be right.

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