Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Melanie Hansen for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Everything Changes
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow of Natasha Snow Designs
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
Prism recently reviewed Everything Changes. You can find the review here.
Writers get inspiration from many different sources. One of my peripheral characters in Everything Changes, Bill Barkley, was inspired by a real person. I heard this man speak a few years ago, and I’ve never forgotten him.
Dave served in the Navy during Vietnam. During a mission, as he held a phosphorous grenade up next to his head in preparation for throwing it, it was hit by an enemy bullet, causing the grenade to explode prematurely. A phosphorous grenade burns at 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. His right hand and left arm were on fire, and he inhaled the super-heated gas, permanently damaging his lungs and vocal cords. His chest was blown apart by the blast and he could see his own heart beating in the gaping hole left behind. The right side of his head was burned down to the skull.
Despite these horrific and disfiguring injuries, Dave survived. He spent 14 months in the hospital, undergoing countless surgeries and skin grafts, and was left blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. After his recovery, instead of becoming bitter and angry, Dave dedicated his life to helping other wounded veterans. He speaks publicly about his struggle to survive, his constant pain, and his scars.
One thing that struck me when I heard Dave speak was his sense of humor. He joked about how his prosthetic ear has a tendency to fall off at inopportune times, and how he freaks people out when he nonchalantly picks it up and sticks it back on. He was able to turn a devastating experience into an opportunity to help wounded service people, and now he travels around the world speaking at military installations, inspiring countless others.
I wanted my character, Carey, to be that kind of person, one who would take his trauma and use it to help men and women who are dealing with something only one warrior to another could understand. I can think of no finer role model for Carey to have than Dave, aka “Bill Barkley.”
“You keep looking at me like that, this ain’t gonna last long,” Jase growled. Carey smirked, then twirled his finger in a turn-around motion.
“I feel like a piece of meat,” Jase grumbled good-naturedly, but turned in a slow circle. Carey’s mouth watered as he took in Jase’s broad shoulders and muscular back, tapering in a perfect V into slim hips and high, round buttocks. Carey was a little bemused at how looking at another man’s body was revving him up, but it was. It was just… Jase. Carey already knew how beautiful he was on the inside; now he knew how stunning he was on the outside too.
Using his support leg and his arms, he pulled himself to the edge of the bed and sat up, crooking his finger at Jase.
Jase’s eyes flared hot, and he took the few steps necessary to reach the edge of the bed. Carey reached up slowly and moved his hands onto Jase’s hips, stroking over the hipbones lightly before tugging him forward to stand between his legs.
“I just want to touch you,” he said hoarsely. “Is that okay?”
Jase smoothed Carey’s hair back from his forehead, his fingertips achingly gentle. “Touch me,” he said simply.
About the Author:
Melanie Hansen has spent time in both Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
Melanie Hansen has kindly offered a goody bag for 1 lucky commenter
Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
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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