I would like to thank LE Franks for taking the time to talk to us about Can This Be Real, which was released yesterday by MLR Press. There is also a giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
Location as Character
I’m not sure when I decided to exile Christian to Portland.
It makes sense – Oregon was a second home to me growing up, the place my mother was raised along with her five siblings. The place I spent summers at my grandparent’s house on the Rogue River surfing the wake left from the Jet Boats taking tourists up to Agnes. Or hot days in Eugene and Salem on visits to the Aunts picking and canning fruit, or lingering in the Portland area homes of my Uncles.
Portland is also a place that loves its food, its wine, its produce.
So when I threw my chef out of his NYC kitchen, driving him into the wilds—dumping him in Portland seemed to be the obvious choice. Even though my memories of her neighborhoods were faded I knew the city had everything I needed to make this story work.
I’d like to think it was intuition, or psychic genius, but when I sprinkled the story’s key locations throughout the city it was most probably sheer dumb luck that planted them within walking distance of each other once I plotted them on a map. The Central Police Department is located just blocks away from the Powell’s bookstore location where Andy gets his daily coffee and used book fix. It was a call to the bookstore information line that got me a virtual tour of Andy’s progress through the store from door front all the way to his confrontation with Christian on the next floor.
The farmer’s market Christian frequents is on the Portland State University campus blocks away from the actual green condo tower I pegged for his state of the art kitchen. And it was Anne Tenino – a local – who helped identify the neighborhoods that matched the descriptions I’d originally used for Zack’s bar (now on Mississippi Avenue) and the new restaurant we plunked down in St. John’s Bridge neighborhood.
And it was equally important to find cover images that anchored the story firmly in the Pacific Northwest generally, and Portland specifically, by picking photos depicting Mt. Hood and the Portland steel bridge.
My hope is that I’ve been able to capture enough of the real heart of the city to give you a taste – the rest you’ll have to explore for yourself. Portland is waiting.
From the Publisher:
Chef Christian De Guisse can’t trust a man who doesn’t love his food, while Detective Andrew Simmons won’t let any man close who thinks he’s broken—somewhere between these two points, love is possible, but only if they get real.
When Chef Christian De Guisse accidently outs Celebrity Chef Jordan Slayer during a fight in front of The Times entertainment reporter—it only gets Christian ex-boyfriend status and a one-way plane ticket to culinary exile in Oregon. But a fortuitous meeting with Detective Andrew Simmons at the Portland airport keeps Christian and his collection of exotic herbs out of the hands of Homeland Security, starting the chemistry simmering between them. Andy isn’t much of a foodie and for a chef who communicates love through his cooking this may be one hurdle too high…until they’re finally ready to get real.
About the Author
LE Franks lives in the SF Bay Area, surrounded by inspiration everywhere. After years of ignoring the voices in her head, LE is finally taking off the filters and giving the stories free rein. These days, she can be found frequently writing about sexy men who desperately need a happily ever.
LE writes M/M Romance in a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast paced stories filled with emotion and passion and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated. LE’s men are living in the margins–they’re in the middle of their journey, doing the best they can while searching for a connection to something bigger than themselves. With a little effort and a lot of luck they may actually find their happily-ever-afters.
Published by MLR, DreamSpinner, and WildeCity Presses.
FB: LE Franks
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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