#AtoZChallenge – Z is for Zipped

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


ZZ is for Zipped

Zipped, as in what Henry’s mind did—zipped back and forth between memories as his life flashed before his eyes when he thought he was about to die in a plane crash. This scene is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

I thought of the first time I’d told him I loved him. I sent a renewal of that love out to him and wished him happiness. I thought of a promise we’d once made to each other and hoped Sam would remember it, too, then my mind zipped back to the pathetic marriage proposal I’d made and apologized to him in my mind, because he deserved so much better.

I was hoping the end would be quick and painless, when awareness that the plane was levelling out broke through the trance. My first thought was “damn,” because I figured we were doomed regardless, but the quick and painless prospect was looking less likely if we hit at a shallower angle. I briefly regretted my reflexive grab for the oxygen mask, figuring that passed out might be a better way to go into the crash than fully conscious, but that regret was short-lived because having the opportunity to say my mental goodbyes to Sam was worth whatever I would face.

Hope surged through me as the pilot somehow managed to bring the plane back to a fully horizontal position. The plane rattled and shook alarmingly, so unless we were near land we were still probably screwed, but the realist in me was overpowered by the optimist for now.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge Y is for Yucky

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


YY is for Yucky

The survivors are all in agreement that this particular seaweed salad Henry has dished up is “yucky.” This scene takes place fairly early in their time on the island and is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

“Bleh,” said Devon.

I quirked an eyebrow. “You asked for it.”

He looked at the coconut shell full of acanthorphora, commonly known as spiny sea plant, and shrugged.

“So this should work?” asked Garrett, poking suspiciously at the seaweed.

“Come on,” I said. “We’ve had this in our salads before.”

“Not a whole bowl of it,” protested Devon. “Just a little bit mixed in.”

“You’re exaggerating. There’s papaya mixed in with it. It’s not that bad,” I replied. I took a mouthful of the stuff and grimaced. Damn. Maybe it was that bad.

“Yucky,” announced Buddy.

“Look on the bright side,” said Garrett. “At least we’re all in agreement on something.”

“Eat it,” I told Buddy. “It’ll help you poop.”

Buddy scowled and stared doubtfully at the bowl of spiny greens. Then he rubbed his tummy and sighed. He was hungry, and he was feeling the effects of the constipation from which we were all suffering, so he didn’t put up any more fuss on the subject and just ate it. The silver lining to the problem of not having a pantry full of snack options was that Buddy tended to eat what he was given. It was that or go hungry.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – X is for eXit

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


XX is for eXit

Yeah, I know that’s kind of cheating, but there aren’t really any words that actually start with an X that apply to the story. Sam’s obsession with Henry getting a seat as near as possible to an exit row, though, is pertinent to the story. This is one of the flashback scenes and is told from Henry’s 3rd-person POV:

The student turned and they listened to his footsteps retreat down the hallway. Sam once again peered over Henry’s shoulder. “Have you made your seat selection?”

“Just about to.”

“Are there any exit row seats left?”

Henry smiled to himself at Sam’s concern and clicked on the link to make his selection. “Not available. I could sit toward the front for a faster exit when we land.”

“No, look.” Sam pointed at the wing area. “There’s an aisle seat right behind the exit row. How about that one?”

Henry surrendered without a fight. He knew it would ease Sam’s stress about the trip, and where he sat just wasn’t worth the battle to Henry. “Okay.” He clicked on the seat icon and finalized the purchase.

He gazed at his husband and thought back to the corny pun Sam had made at poor Brandon’s expense. He could easily picture Sam’s dad saying the same thing.

“I’m tired,” Henry had once made the mistake of saying in the man’s presence. “Hello, tired,” Truman had replied. Face meet palm.

But Truman was everything that a father should be. He was responsible, yet didn’t let his other commitments get in the way of what was important to him. He was always there for the family’s milestones. He made time for his family, even family that had been added by marriage, like Henry. Even though he was the man’s son’s husband, not wife.

Henry had noticed as Truman guided his children and grandchildren, never simply lecturing them, the lines of communication were always open. The cheesy dad jokes were part of the deal, and part of what Henry had come to love about the man.

And now they were part of what Henry loved about Sam, too. And out of the blue he could envision the future unfolding with their own little family, with Sam telling tall tales and cracking witticisms while the kids rolled their eyes.

The vision still scared him, and he kept that glimpse to himself. Someday, though. Perhaps someday before long he’d be ready to move forward with that idea. Just not today.

Henry shuddered and cast a grin at his husband. “I love you.”

Sam’s eyes glowed warmly, then crinkled at the corners as a mellow smile curved his mouth. “I love you, too.”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – W is for Weather

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


WW is for Weather

A tropical storm is one of the many challenges faced by the survivors (Henry, Buddy, Devon, and Garrett) on their little uncharted island in the South Pacific. This scene takes place a few years into their ordeal and is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

Buddy held his belly as he bent over laughing. “You’re joking me, Devon.”

“I swear, it’s true! Isn’t it Garrett?”

Garrett grinned and nodded. “Yes, Buddy, it’s true.”

Buddy quit laughing and his demeanor changed to concerned. “But what if I fall in? What if Papa isn’t there to save me again and I get whooshed away?”

“You can’t fall into a toilet, Buddy. It’s not big enough for people to fall into, only big enough for poop and pee to get whooshed away.”

“Huh.”

I didn’t get the feeling that Buddy was particularly impressed with modern technology as we were able to describe it. At more than four and a half years old, he understood basic concepts like toothbrushes, soft beds, blankets, clothes—it helped that we had scraps to show him—furniture, and solid buildings. He even seemed to understand when we talked about abstract things like customs that were different from how we lived on the island. But mechanical concepts, large numbers, and vast distances tended to stump him.

Garrett drew our attention to the clouds piling up in the distance. “That’s heading our way. Looks ugly.”

It did. My brow furrowed with concern as the wind picked up.

“Dammit,” Devon said. “I thought we’d seen the last of the wet season storms.”

“Climate change,” I replied. “The wet and dry seasons aren’t as distinct as they once were.”

“Let’s head to the shelter and batten down the hatches,” said Garrett. “I don’t like the looks of this storm.”

We hurriedly gathered our supplies from the food prep rock and headed inland. The waves were already strengthening, and we could all feel the wind doing the same.

“It’s going to blow me over,” said Buddy.

“We won’t let it blow you over,” I reassured him, because that’s what parents did. Or parent figures. We reassured our kids whether we believed it or not.

This storm looked worse than anything we’d faced so far, and we’d faced some wicked thunderstorms. I shuddered, thinking about the next few hours—or night, if it lasted that long.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – V is for Valentine’s Day

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


VV is for Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, several years into Henry’s ordeal, and Sam has moved on with his life, thinking his beloved Henry is dead. As you can probably tell, although Sam has good intentions, and does love Nash, he’s approaching this with a more practical frame of mind than the head-over-heels approach he’d fallen into with Henry. It is told from Nash’s 3rd-person POV:

Nash hummed as he approached the door to his new home. Even after three months, he was still chuffed every time he walked up the path. He put his key in the lock and opened the door.

Sam was standing at the gorgeous stone wall, gazing at the photos displayed on the mantel over the fireplace. He smiled when Nash walked in. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

“Thank you.” Nash approached and stretched up to give Sam a kiss. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.”

Sam gave him a squeeze and turned back to the photos. “Does this bother you?”

Nash considered the picture Sam was looking at, one of Sam with his first husband. The man had died in a tragic accident almost five years earlier. “No. Henry was an important part of your life. I wouldn’t ask you to erase all evidence of his existence.”

“Thank you. It took me a long time to get over losing him.”

“I know. I’m not going to let a ghost be a threat to our relationship. I’m actually gratified you’re capable of such a commitment. My experiences in the past left me disillusioned that I’d ever find a man who wanted the same things I did.”

“I want kids,” Sam said.

“Good. Monogamy and family are what I want, too.”

“I love you. You’re intelligent, kind, and loyal. We’re certainly physically compatible.”

Hope surged through Nash. Sam was in an oddly serious mood. Blurting out that he wanted kids? On Valentine’s Day? Making an effort to keep his voice calm and steady, he smiled and said, “I love you, too. And that smells wonderful, by the way. You really don’t mind cooking today?”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – U is for Underwear

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


UU is for Underwear

Because, why not? This scene takes place early in the morning after Henry and the other survivors washed up on their small island. They’d been exhausted, drenched, and shivering from shock when they’d first crawled up the beach the night before, and they’d dumped their sodden clothes in a pile. They haven’t even exchanged names, yet. It is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

In my peripheral vision I glimpsed my rescuers about fifteen feet away on either side of me taking care of their own morning bladder needs. I turned and stumbled back up the sand toward the pile of clothes near the threshold between the beach and the foliage of the small island’s interior. They were still in the pile where we’d left them when we’d collapsed last night.

Hopefully this nightmare would be over within a few hours and the four of us would never have to resort to eating the seaweed. With any luck our biggest worry would be not having dry clothes to put on before the Coast Guard swooped in to rescue us.

The “businessman” appeared beside me and sighed as he looked at the wet mound, then began to shake out the clothes and hang them on low-hanging branches. All that was left was three pairs of underpants—my black Levi’s linen briefs, the “businessman’s” plaid Calvin Klein boxers, and the “college kid’s” gray Under Armour boxer briefs—the baby’s green and yellow shorts and shirt, the now button-less pale blue dress shirt and darker socks the “businessman” had been wearing, the “college kid’s” red tee shirt, and my own torn up blue checked button-down.

“There’s bound to be puddles of fresh water in there after that rain,” I said, inclining my head toward the island’s interior. “We should drink what we can before it evaporates.”

The “businessman” nodded in agreement. “Yeah.” Apparently he was a man of few words.

The “college kid” came up behind us. “We don’t want to miss flagging down a rescue boat or plane, though. We have to stay visible.”

“Yes,” I agreed, “but we have to stay alive long enough to be rescued. We won’t last more than three days without water.”

“Three days!” he yelped. “You think we’ll be here three days?”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – T is for TransOceanic Flight 3012

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


TT is for TransOceanic Flight 3012

TransOceanic Flight 3012 is the (fictional) ill-fated flight that crashed and began Henry and Sam’s saga. Unbeknownst to Sam (and the rest of the world), Henry and three others have survived and are stranded on a small uncharted island in the South Pacific. Meanwhile, Sam has been grieving and had joined a grief therapy group to help him deal with his loss. This scene is told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV:

Sam took a deep breath and looked at the other forlorn faces in the circle. He was the last to make his introduction speech and he’d been dazed by the variety of stories told by the others.

He continued his story. “At my family’s insistence I saw a personal grief counselor a couple months after it happened. I guess it helped. I was able to function again, but I think it was just too early, too fresh. I wasn’t ready to let go of things, so I still have a lot of issues dealing with this. I have trouble moving on. I think about Henry all the time.” Sam wiped at a tear, sniffed and took a deep breath before continuing.

“Losing him was terrible. No matter the circumstances it was going to crush me. But it’s those circumstances that are making it extra difficult for me to progress. There’s no closure, you see. Officially, he was declared dead about nine months later, but there’s just no direct proof, no body, and there never will be. Logically I know he’s dead. I do know it. I accept that as a fact. But still, a small piece of me can’t let go of that glimmer of hope, that tiny possibility that maybe, just maybe, he’s alive out there somewhere.

“Henry was on TransOceanic Airlines Flight 3012 that went down in the Pacific more than a year and a half ago. Even accepting that he died, I’ll never stop wondering how. What happened up there? Was it immediate with no forewarning, no fear, no pain? Did they know they were crashing and have a terrifying stretch of time falling to their doom? Was death painful and drawn out? Was he drowned, trapped, helpless, and terrified?

“I slept through it, oblivious to what he was going through.” Sam’s voice broke with a sob. “Did he think of me?”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – S is for Sam

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


SS is for Sam

Sam is one of the two main characters in this story. At the beginning of most of the chapters where Henry and Sam are separated, there is a flashback scene chronicling their lives together right up until the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated trip. This is the first of those flashback scenes, before Henry and Sam have even started dating, and is told from Henry’s 3rd-person POV:

Dr. Henry Miller plopped down in the window seat and grinned widely as he stretched out his legs. “I’m glad you thought to ask for exit row seats,” he told Dr. Sam Greene. “The leg room is great.”

“Yes,” Sam replied absently. “That’s nice, too.”

Too? Henry lifted an eyebrow, inquiringly.
 Sam’s cheeks reddened. “I hate flying. I feel better in an exit row.”

“You know, if the plane goes down we’re all goners anyway.”

The color left Sam’s cheeks and Henry felt obliged to add, “It’s not going to go down, Sam. Flying is safer than driving, and you drive every day.”

“I know. It’s just one of those things. Don’t you have anything you’re irrational about?”

Henry thought about the infatuation he harbored for his blue-eyed, sandy blond-haired coworker, sitting obliviously beside him. That was undoubtedly irrational, but Henry opted to ignore the question. Instead he replied, “Before you know it we’ll be on the beach in Honiara collecting data and soaking up the sun. I promise.”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – R is for Regina

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


RR is for Regina

Regina is Sam’s sister. She’s a relatively minor character, but plays parts in a number of scenes. This scene is from the early chapter where Sam discovers Henry’s plane has gone down. He’s seen the news report on TV and is frantically getting himself ready to go to the airport. This scene is told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV:

Sam mechanically rushed through his morning prep, skipping the shower and just giving himself a surface clean with a wash cloth and running wet hands through his hair. The recorded voice at his ear kept reassuring him that a live person would eventually answer the call.

Back in the living room, he picked up a frame holding his favorite photo from their wedding. In it, Henry’s expressive brown eyes shone as he gazed up into Sam’s. Sam choked back a sob. They had to find him. They just had to.

He hurried into the attached garage and saw his sister, Regina, pull into the driveway as he opened the garage door. He went out to meet her. She stepped out of the car, took one look at his face, and apparently recognized that he knew.

“Are you heading to the airport?” she asked.

“Yes.” He pointed to the Bluetooth device at his ear. “I’m still on hold waiting for info.”

“Get in. You’re in no condition to drive.”

He closed the garage door and did as instructed because she was right, he wasn’t. He shut his eyes and tried to concentrate on his breathing. His right leg jiggled uncontrollably.

He felt his sister’s hand touch his arm. “Sam, I’m so sorry.”

“He’s not dead. He’s not.”

She didn’t reply. She just put the car in gear and drove.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – Q is for Quivering Lips

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


QQ is for Quivering Lips

Poor little Buddy’s quivering lips, to be more specific. The action in this scene takes place immediately after where the “Be is for Buddy” post ends. It’s Henry, Buddy, Garrett, and Devon’s first morning on the island, and Henry has taken Buddy into the island’s interior in search of puddles left from the prior night’s rain. Garrett and Devon are circling the island keeping an eye our for rescue crews. Buddy has attached himself to Henry, but Henry isn’t sure he’ll be able to handle a young child. This scene is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

One thing I did remember about kids was my sister-in-law saying that was the best way to talk to them. Just use your “matter-of-fact” voice, she’d told me. Don’t use a coaxing tone or they’ll think it’s something they wouldn’t want to do. Apparently it was as good as challenging the kid to resist or argue with you about it. I never heard her use the wheedling voice I’d heard random parents in public use when trying to get their kids to behave, and I never heard her raise her voice in anger at the kids, either. She just used a no-nonsense tone. I had to admit, she has some great kids.

Could I pull it off? Would Buddy be able to tell I was a poser who had no real experience being responsible for a child?

He actually let go with one hand as I maneuvered to shift us into position. I lowered my face to the puddle and drank first, to give him a demonstration. The water was tepid, but still tasted wonderful. I forced myself to back off so the kid could have a go.

“Your turn, Buddy,” I told him, and motioned for him to try. He seemed to understand and lowered his pale blond head toward the puddle. He made some slurping sounds so I figured he was getting something out of it.

“You’re doing great.” I laid a hand on his back to encourage him. Perhaps it also made him feel more secure since he let go of me with his remaining hand and slithered forward to improve his angle on the water.

There wasn’t much there, and when it became too low for him to get any more water, he pushed up and maneuvered his legs until he was sitting on his little rump looking up at me with woeful hazel eyes and quivering lips. I quickly reassured him. “There’s more, Buddy. We’ll find another one.”

It wasn’t exactly a lie. There were more puddles for the time being, but what about when it hadn’t been raining? Technically the wet season was over. That didn’t mean there wouldn’t be any at all, but not as much.

It was my turn to hold the baby to my chest for reassurance. I tried not to think of the wretched end we’d all have if dehydration was to be our fate. Perhaps we’d have been better off sinking with the others. I’d heard drowning was peaceful after the initial gasping intake of water. I didn’t know from personal experience, of course, and I didn’t want to die at all, but wouldn’t anything quick be better than drawn-out pain and suffering?

The idea of Buddy going through that depressed me more than for myself. I didn’t want to watch this trusting child who’d latched onto me as a surrogate parent, naively putting his innocent life in my hands, die a painful death because I couldn’t figure out how to help him survive. But worse, I didn’t want him to additionally have the fear of dying alone, the last of us to succumb.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – P is for Parents

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


PP is for Parents

P is for parents—Henry’s parents and Sam’s parents. If you’ve been following along you’ll know that the chapters in this book (mostly) alternate between Henry’s 1st-person POV and Sam’s 3rd-person POV (although I’ve mostly been sharing from Henry’s chapters). But, because Henry and Sam are separated for the first sizable chunk of the book, and it is a love story, there are flashback scenes at the the beginning of each of the chapters where they are separated chronicling the highlights of their lives together from the time they first started dating to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated trip. Today’s scene is one of those flashbacks, and is told from Henry’s 3rd-person POV:

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

Henry took a deep breath and counted to ten while he considered Truman’s suggestion.

“No, I don’t think it would make a difference,” replied Henry. “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,” added Simon.

Henry closed his eyes and deliberated. He really didn’t want to call his parents. When he reopened his eyes, Sam’s family members were all still gazing thoughtfully at him.

He surrendered. “I’ll give them a call.”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – O is for Older Couple

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


OO is for Older Couple

This scene takes us back to chapter one when Henry is on the airplane. The older couple mentioned here will get another small role in a later scene. Needless to say, if you’ve been following along, they won’t be among the four survivors of the upcoming plane crash. FYI, the young man next to the window in front of Henry is Devon, and the businessman sitting across the aisle from Henry is Garrett. Devon and Garrett will become two the survivors. This scene is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

No problem. I stood to let an older couple into my row, then turned my attention to people watching and concocting stories about why they were on this flight to Fiji.

I decided the businessman was a tropical produce importer and was meeting with suppliers on the islands. I imagined that the older couple who’d sat next to me was enjoying an anniversary trip to their original honeymoon spot. I could have asked them, but, like the businessman, I didn’t want to open the door to a conversation that might end up being more than I bargained for.

I pretended the two women in front of me, who were clearly traveling with each other since they had their heads together giggling, were celebrating their respective divorce settlements with the dream vacation their ex-husbands never took with them. Then I admonished myself for creating such a mean-spirited history and changed it to fancying them as a lesbian couple on their own honeymoon.

The young man next to the window sitting by the “lesbian couple” seemed to be traveling alone, although he glanced around the plane a few times like he was searching for certain people, so I concluded he was traveling with others who’d bought their tickets separately. His story, I originally decided, was that he was a rich kid traveling on a whim with his trust-fund buddies. He just didn’t give off that vibe, though, so I changed it to being a college kid on an athletic scholarship, still traveling with his buddies, but using money he’d saved over the years from part- time jobs, and maybe some birthday and graduation gift cash.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – N is for Nash

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


NN is for Nash

Poor Nash. He eventually becomes Sam’s new love interest after Henry is presumed dead in a plane crash. I say “poor Nash” because when a book’s blurb ends with the line, “Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?” we all know what the answer to the question is, right? But, it doesn’t matter that we already know in our hearts how it’ll turn out—it’s all about the journey getting there. 💕 This scene is Nash’s introduction to the story. It is told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV:

When Sam reopened his eyes, he saw a blond man with short spiky hair and wearing a nurse’s uniform two tables away, gazing straight at him.

The man jumped when he saw he’d been busted staring. “Sorry. Tough morning. It was cheering me up seeing you sit there with that smile.”

“No problem.” Sam made an uncharacteristic snap decision and kicked the chair opposite him out in invitation. “You’re welcome to join me if you want the company.”

The man cocked an eyebrow and watched him for another moment. Then he shrugged, stood, and walked over. “Okay. Company is good.”

“I’m Sam.”

“Hi Sam, my name is Nash.” He gestured to his name tag. “But I guess you can see that.”

“Nice to meet you, Nash.”

“Got called in early today. Been standing in the OR since four A.M. I’m beat.”

“I should think so.” Sam nodded toward Nash’s ice cream. “You earned your Chubby Hubby, today.”

“You’re not so chubby.” Nash blushed. “Sorry. Again. Sometimes my brain takes a while to catch up to my mouth.” Sam laughed. He found himself drawn to Nash’s lively

personality. He smiled and made a point of drawing out his eye contact, hoping to convey his interest. Nash took the bait.

“I take it you’re not totally commitment phobic since you haven’t taken off running after that crack.”

“Commitments are a good thing, although perhaps not so much on first sight. I like to at least disclose last names before pledging undying love and all.”

“Marino.” Nash’s grin had an element of challenge in it.

Sam paused a moment before replying. “Greene.” He’d already started going by that again at the university. His degrees were in that name, after all. Legally it was still Miller-Greene, but that wouldn’t change unless he remarried. It was a step he couldn’t bring himself to make, although he told himself it was just because changing one’s name was a paperwork pain in the ass.

“So, Sam Greene, are you busy tonight?”

“I think I have dinner plans with a nurse named Nash Marino.”

Nash’s grin widened. “I think you do, too.”

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – M is for Missing

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


MM is for Missing

“Missing” is how the downed plane if first described in news reports. This scene takes place in chapter two, when Sam first discovers that Henry’s plane has disappeared. It is told from Sam’s 3rd-person POV:

The summer semester was beginning, and being relatively low on the food chain at the university meant Sam Miller-Greene was teaching an Introduction to Biology class. His alarm woke him bright and early, and the first thing he did after using the bathroom was look up the status of Henry’s flight on the airline’s website. Apparently it was delayed, otherwise Henry would have called already.

He expected to see a landing time, or possibly delay information. Instead he saw something he’d never seen before: instructions to call a given number for more information. Sam tried not to panic and assume the worst as he turned on the TV and switched to CNN, then reached for his iPhone and dialed the number from the website.

The line rang, then went into a holding pattern while a recorded voice assured him that his call would be handled in the order in which it had been received. He switched to his Bluetooth to free up his hands while he waited.

He was pacing when CNN came out of the commercial, and he felt his life spin out of control when the first thing he saw, before the anchor even began speaking, was an image of a TransOceanic airplane being shown in the background. The anchor began talking about flight 3012, saying it was missing. Missing. What the fuck did that even mean? Had it crashed? Apparently, the deadpan anchor intoned, that was assumed. The last signal received from the airplane’s transponder had been somewhere north of the Cook Islands, and south of the equator, and there’d been no sign or transmission from it since.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

#AtoZChallenge – L is for Life Vests

A2Z-BADGE-300 [2017]

I’m participating in the A to Z blogger challenge this year. Since April also is the anniversary month for the release of my novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part, I thought I’d use that for the theme of my posts. For each letter I will come up with a word that is pertinent to the story, and post a short excerpt featuring it.

In general these excerpts will bounce around the timeline (after all, the story isn’t told in alphabetical order). No worries, I’ll give a little context leading into each scene so it won’t be necessary to read the others to enjoy the snippet-of-the-day.


LL is for Life Vests

Life vests, as you might imagine, are an important detail in a story that involves an airplane crash landing in the South Pacific ocean. This scene takes place in chapter one and takes place after the plane has leveled out after a steep nosedive, but before it ditches in the ocean. It is told from Henry’s 1st-person POV:

The screams lessoned, then stopped, although several babies still howled. I held my hands together against my belly to stop their shaking. Whiny moans of various pitches and volumes still arose from all directions, punctuated occasionally by hysterical shouts to shut up. As grating as all of these reactions were—making an already stressful situation even more so—I wasn’t going to judge anyone’s natural response in such extraordinary circumstances.

No instructions came over the speaker system, but the flight attendants yelled from their seats, basically telling us to remain in our seats with our seatbelts fastened, and to put on— but not inflate yet—the inflatable life vests that were under the seats in front of us.

Blurb

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes, and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

Anniversary Promo 600x600

Info & Links: ’Til Death Do Us Part

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]