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Title: Like Heaven on Earth
Author: Jaime Samms
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 08/29/2016
Cobalt Winslow lost two loves when his ex-boyfriend, Calvin Denvers, infected him with HIV, taking his health and his place as principal danseur in their New York ballet company when Cobalt became too weak. Now dealing with the aftermath as best he can, Cobalt teaches dance in Toronto with the support of his oldest friends, Conrad and Peridot. The one bright spot in his life is Malory Preston, his brother’s driver and a man who is always there when Cobalt needs him. Kind and attentive, Preston embodies everything Calvin lacks, but Cobalt can’t let go of his unhealthy, long-distance relationship with his ex.
Calvin brings a messy and violent end to their affair, but offers a chance for Cobalt to return to New York—as Calvin’s understudy—just when he’s on the verge of a real and lasting relationship with Preston. Now Cobalt faces a choice between two loves: dancing and Preston. Preston must show Cobalt that he has the power and support to make the life he wants and deserves, no matter what he decides.
The Lure of Cell Phone Games and Reality TV
As a writer and generally creative person, I’d love to say my days are filled with getting words on the page interspersed with sparkling conversations over fine red wine and quiet moments reading things that will help me become a better writer. All of this augmented by pursuits of creative arts that expand my appreciation for beauty and innovation
As a realist, let’s just say…
Some words scribbled down on a used cocktail napkin in the grungy gin-joint of my mind is at least a chance to say I thought about writing today. If you count “feed the dog, pick up your dirty socks and wash the dishes”, said while swilling the last Bud Lite Lime before the other adult in the house gets it as conversation, then win! Also, I read the back of the cereal box this morning. So that’s something.
As for “pursuits of creative arts” I’ve made a few pretty things out string in my time, and people seem to appreciate them. Whether or not that particular pursuit has expanded anything other than my yarn collection is up for debate.
Frankly, life sort of isn’t what any of us imagined it would be, I don’t think. I can’t write all day. Even if I had the creative stamina for such a thing, I have a day job. Thankfully, I like my day job 90% of the time, and love it about 75% of the time, and I am well aware of the fact that those numbers are way higher than average. That doesn’t mean the day job doesn’t wear me out. It does. And at the end of the day, writing seems like a monumental task.
Enter Candy Crush and the undeniable fact that the pretty colours and blingy sounds accompanying a completed level tell the tale of a task well done, however insignificant, and that it wasn’t very hard to do. Just this once, something came pretty easy and that’s not always a bad thing.
And then there’s reality TV with its lure of not having to follow something even as subtle as the clues on a police drama. Nope. I can watch endless episodes of Say Yes to the Dress because sparkly things. I can binge watch Animal Cops and enjoy how my dog’s attention perks up every time an animal comes on the screen or makes a noise in the background. These things are easy and stress free, and I like that about them a whole lot.
Once a writer, always a writer, maybe. Because even though I could turn my brain off as I watch, it seems to always manage to flip itself back on.
You see, I know Animal Cops can get a bit gruesome, but people are gruesome, and I write about people, so the truth of people failing to adult in any reasonable fashion interests me in a dire, unspeakable sort of way. As do the stories of the people who do that job, day after day, seeing the atrocities and the cruelty and the plain indifference, and still managing to reach out and care about creatures weaker than themselves, and not lose all faith in humanity along the way.
Perhaps the show is designed to highlight that contrast. After all, how can there be any appreciation for the good, if you don’t face the bad? How do I write abut a man who finds his way through a shitty existence, screws up and fails, only to get back up and follow his dream, find his heart if there’s no acknowledgement of the fact that people sometimes just don’t do the right, best thing?
The mistakes he’s made make Cobalt the interesting character he is, I think. He’s done some terrible things in his life: been mean to people he loves, taken what he hadn’t earned because he could, and disrespected the very people who gave him life. He’s also learned to forgive the people who have done mean things to him, figured out how to give back something meaningful to the people he took from, and if not respect his parents as people, at least decided to live and let live.
This last book in the Dance, Love, Live series is the story of his journey back from being someone he didn’t much like to the person he feels is worthy of the love shown him by someone he thinks is probably the greatest man he’s ever known.
About the Author
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