Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Amy Lane for stopping by today.
Title: The Deep of the Sound (A Bluewater Bay Novel)
Author: Amy Lane
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.
Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.
Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.
Amy’s Adventures in the Pacific Northwest, part 2
Brother Bus and the Road
By Amy Lane
In my last blog post I mentioned Brother Bus. I think I need to talk a little more about this amazing, erm, vehicle.
Brother Bus was the quintessential vehicle of the 70’s—a Volkswagen bus with a personalized interior. My dad had, in the course of a year, done the following: Modified the bench seat in the back so that it was part of a fold-out bed; added a small closet with a mirror to the side nook, which held fishing poles and rain slickers; taken out the bench seat that backed the front seat and added a padded pedestal that held our shoes; tacked bathroom tile neatly to the floor. In addition to these modifications, he built a pot and pan box for my stepmom exactly the size of the food box that she inherited form her parents. These boxes were roughly 2’x 3’x 5’, and stacked on top of each other. Now I need you to visualize this for a moment:
The two adults sat in the front seat, where nothing but a quarter inch of metal and a windshield protected the passengers from certain death. Seatbelts were for pussies.
The two boxes stacked on top of each other came to about four feet off the ground. We covered this with a blanket, and a boy of about ten or so could sit up there, lie on there, or dangle from there as the mood seized him. My stepbrother liked that spot.
The boxes created a cozy little space for the person sitting on the pedestal, with their legs stretched out over the ice chest. If you didn’t mind going backwards, this was a good place to read. Once the curves started and the car had gone long enough for the engine to heat, it was carsickness waiting to happen.
Some lucky soul who could bitch loud enough for the adults to think they were put upon got to sit on the bench seat. My stepsister sat there, but she often had to share it with me because if I had to read backwards for five hundred miles in a car with a minor exhaust leak, I’d throw up all over the hundred pound dog.
The dog slept on the floor.
For years I assumed that all families traveled this way. Other families spoke of RV’s and tents and hotels, but no… not us. Back then, when you found a campground, you paid about $15 for a spot, and the ranger entered your license plate number on a registration paper. When we got lost, all of us kids were instructed to do two things—one was respond to my Dad’s whistle, which can still be heard from about a half a mile away. All of my children respond to their Grandpa Pete’s whistle. He really needs to teach one of them how to do that, because I suck at it, and it should be a family thing forever.
The other thing we had to know was our license plate number. MZV 969—see? Nearly forty years later, I still know it. Because if we got lost, we were supposed to find the rangers and tell them our license number, and they would take us back home.
And it was our home. Dad and Stepmom would go sleep under the stars, the three kids would sleep on the fold out bed, and the dog would sleep in the hollow under our feet. We spent our days and nights in it. By the time If it rained, we were fucked, because we all slept in the bus.
This actually happened a couple of times—we were travelling in the Pacific Northwest, remember? Rain, all the time, even in the summer.
The first time it happened, my stepbrother and I were pretty little—seven, maybe—and my stepsister was still a baby. No worries. We all squashed together in the foldout bed in the back, and that was The Night of the Sardine Sandwich—the first installment of the family legend.
The next time it happened was about three years later, and most parents will tell you that their kids grow a lot between seven and ten, and the three of us were no exception. To make matters even more fun, we had the son of a family friend with us, and, yes, the 100 lb. dog.
I’m not sure where we were—somewhere near Vancouver, I think? But wherever it was, forty years ago there wasn’t so much as a strip mall in the area, and definitely not a hotel that my parents could afford. What to do?
Well, we pulled out the bed, and stacked the boxes and the ice chest to create a complete platform. Which fitted almost everybody.
I got to lay lengthwise on the front bench seat, with the steering wheel directly over my head.
I can still remember the relentless rain, and hear the family telling stories about Sasquatch. (Sometimes my family is a real bag of dicks, you know?) And I remember peering into the woods, imagining all sorts of things in the trees.
I didn’t sleep well.
But I was left with the impression that the woods were secretive and wild, terrifying and lovely, all at once. And I was left with the impression that the rain was a presence, a god, a thing that determined our fates.
Coming from California, land of flood and drought, that part about the rain has stuck with me by necessity. But that feeling about the woods in the soft embrace of the earth’s life-giving lover? That is something I’ve never been able to capture-and oh, how I’ve wanted to. When Avery from Deep of the Sound, a self-proclaimed denizen of “the concrete desert”, arrives at the Pacific Northwest and is unfazed by the rain and enchanted by the woods and the ocean and the mountains in the distance?
That is me as a child, and that wonder, that respect and awe—that hasn’t disappeared. It’s only grown. I hope you see it in Avery—he has a big heart. I had fun filling it with the woods and the rain and the ocean—things I still love very much.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an eBook package of all of Amy Lane’s backlist titles with Riptide! (Excludes The Deep of the Sound and anthologies.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!
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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