Join Prism Book Alliance® as Hank Edwards goes Outside the Margins today.
I love to read. That should not come as a shock to any of you, I mean, I’m an author, and so it kind of goes with the territory. Anyway, I’ve loved to read ever since I was very young. When I was a pre-teen and teenager, I read young adult stories from CS Lewis and Tolkien and a host of other writers in a variety of genres. But the magic and fantasy of Lewis and Tolkien always seemed to echo in the back of my mind.
With all the stories I read, however, I never once found a gay character, a young boy struggling with identity, or even just struggling against some outside force. I wanted someone I could really, truly relate to, but I made do with the boys with their crushes on girls and, in a very rare exception, he might have a gay best friend. And so I always felt relegated to being the “best friend” in any story, including my own life story, and not the main character or hero.
Now that I’m an “adult,” I’ve moved on from that identity crisis into all new crises, but somewhere along the way I developed the kernel of a storyline and I kept it there in the back of my mind as I wrote my erotic gay romance. This seed of a story was about a girl who moved in next door to a house surrounded by a tall wooden privacy fence. From her window, she could see a beautiful garden in bloom, but never saw anyone tend to it. Then one night, as she’s trying to get to sleep, she hears someone out in the yard beyond the fence and she peers out her window…
The story always stalled there, and for years I kept it in the back of my mind, giving it some attention now and then but never able to get past the first few scenes when the girl moves into her new house. And then, it hit me. That character wasn’t supposed to be a girl at all. No, that character needed to be a boy, and he would fall in love with the mysterious boy who lived behind the fence.
Once I came to that realization, it was like a giant storybook opened up and I saw everything laid out in my mind. There would be magic, and fairies, and a dragon, and the story would be told over a number of books and not just one. And the gay couple would be the heroes of my story, and they would have straight best friends.
And so came to be The Midnight Gardener – A Town of Superstition Story: Book One.
But, how to publish it? Harmony Ink Press liked it enough to send me a contract, and even though I have a sizable list of friends as Hank Edwards, I didn’t want to mix my erotic gay romance with a Young Adult series. So now, I’d to introduce you to a new side of myself with a brand new name: R. G. Thomas. He’s pretty much just like Hank, but he keeps the dirty stuff to himself.
I have setup a Facebook author page, and am in the beginning stages of working on a website. Until that time, if you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to “Like” my new Facebook author page here: https://www.facebook.com/authorrgthomas.
And now, enjoy a short excerpt from The Midnight Gardener, the first book of my new YA fantasy gay romance series A Town of Superstition, available November 12, 2015 from Harmony Ink Press. To set the scene a bit, Thaddeus Cane is 15 years old and he and his father have moved thirty two times throughout his life. Now they have settled in a small town named Superstition, and Thaddeus has noticed the beautiful gardens next door behind a tall privacy fence. It is the first night in his new home…
Title: The Midnight Gardener
Author: R. G. Thomas
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: 11/12/2015
Cover Artist: Anna Sikoska
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Young Adult
The Midnight Gardener
A Town of Superstition Story: Book One
by R. G. Thomas
Thaddeus had left his windows open a bit to enjoy the night air, and the sound of someone humming drew him to the one that faced west. Thaddeus peered down into their neighbor’s yard where the light of the moon bleached the color from the flowers and the grass. Someone was out in the yard, moving from flowerbed to flowerbed, humming an odd tune. Fireflies danced around the figure, and Thaddeus frowned as he watched them move along with the person. He’d never known fireflies to trail after someone like that. This deserved a closer look.
The grass was wet and cool under his bare feet, sending a shiver up Thaddeus’s legs. He crept along the tall, wooden privacy fence, looking for a space between the boards or a knothole he might be able to peer through.
But the fence was solidly built, and Thaddeus couldn’t find even the smallest crack to try and get a glimpse of the mysterious neighbor.
On the other side of the fence, Thaddeus could hear the humming gardener moving closer to the fence. A few fireflies drifted over the top and circled Thaddeus’s head, their lights flashing in rhythm. He moved a few steps back, and the fireflies spun around the place where he had been standing before rising up and slipping back over the fence.
Just as Thaddeus parted his lips to call a greeting over the fence, the skin at the back of his neck prickled, and he stopped. Someone was watching him.
He turned slowly toward the wooded area at the edge of their property. Just inside the closely spaced trees, Thaddeus saw something standing very still and staring at him. It was an animal of some kind, a big one, but he couldn’t tell if it was a dog or a wolf, or maybe even a cougar, as the moonlight didn’t reach far enough between the trees to illuminate it.
Chills rattled through him, stilling his voice and freezing him in place. He stared at the creature in the woods, trying to decipher form from shadow. It stared back, not moving or making a sound, and that was more frightening to Thaddeus than if the thing charged him.
The humming grew louder as the midnight gardener moved to a flowerbed just on the other side of the fence from Thaddeus. Thaddeus swallowed and tried to find his voice to shout a warning to his neighbor, but decided it would be unnecessary since his yard was completely closed in.
Instead, he willed his legs to move and stepped backward toward the house. The shadowy creature remained standing in place, but it lowered its large head, and moonlight flashed within its eyes.
That sparked a reaction within Thaddeus, a thawing out of his fear, and he turned his back to run to the house, glancing over his shoulder every second step. Nothing pursued him, however, and he stepped through the side door and quickly closed and locked it behind him. Now that he was safe inside, shivers took him, and he stepped up and down in place to get them out of his system.
“Okay, so, no moonlit strolls,” he said to himself with a firm nod. “Got it.”
He crept upstairs, being quiet so as not to wake his father whose room was at the top of the steps. After pausing in the bathroom to wipe the grass and dew from his bare feet, he entered his bedroom and leaned out the window that overlooked the neighbor’s yard. The mysterious gardener was gone, and the fireflies now meandered around both yards, sparking and fading like normal insects. Thaddeus leaned a bit farther out of the window to see the place in the woods where the animal had stood and watched him. He squinted but couldn’t tell if the creature still lurked in the shadows.
With another shiver, he drew back inside and closed the window. After a second’s hesitation, he latched it even though his bedroom was on the second floor. Despite the excitement of his midnight sojourn, or maybe because of it, a yawn crept up on him. He slipped beneath the sheets and curled up on his side. He yawned once more before drifting off to sleep, where he dreamed of walking through a dense wood while a large creature followed him, both of them trying to track down the person who was humming a tune among the trees.
About Hank Edwards
Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer, with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from gay romance to humor, paranormal to suspense, and mystery to time travel romance.
He is also a member of the Story Orgy group (www.facebook.com/SOGroup), a clan of writers who post free gay romance reads to their blogs every Monday morning and self-publish steamy stories based on writing prompts. Find his posts atwww.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.
Like his Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries), favorite his Amazon page (www.amazon.com/author/hankedwards), and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at www.hankedwardsbooks.com or send along an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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