Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Lynn Charles for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Beneath the Stars
Author: Lynn Charles
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: CB Messer
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance
Release Date: 02/16/2017
Sid Marneaux puts his fashion career on the line when he returns home to care for his ailing father. When he meets the new fire chief Eddie Garner, their romance sparks hot, but Eddie harbors burdens of his own. Through the wisdom of a child and the connection of mothers-now-gone, the men redefine family, career, and most importantly, love.
My Writing’s a MASH-Up (GUEST POST & EXCERPT)
If I could turn back time and bring back one television show, it would without a doubt be MASH, the Korean War dramedy that has had an impact in how I see and write characters.
The show’s final episode aired just shy of thirty-four years ago, and to this day it remains one of my most, if not my most favorite television show. What began as a book, MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, and then went on to film, MASH, turned into an eleven season television series that followed a team of doctors and staff during the Korean War. Note, the show lasted eleven years. The war? Just over three.
I suppose to say I’d like to “bring it back” is a bit off base—you can still find it in syndication. I’ve been known to kill an entire Sunday in front of the television when I stumble on a marathon. The same jokes land today as they did upon their first airing. Sure, the sexism is rampant—as it was during the time frame the show depicts. But, it was the first television show I remember (save All in the Family, which taught its lessons differently, but still effectively) that had a massively diverse cast and that didn’t celebrate war, patriotism and racism. The character of Hawkeye Pierce was an amazing surgeon, a drunken hero, and a loyal friend, but he also hated everything about the conflict in which he had been forced to work.
They never shied away from that truth at any point in the eleven seasons. Every character had flaws, and yet, the show taught me—a little white girl in a white suburban town—that the world was larger than the one I lived in, that the people outside of my world were just as valuable as those inside of it. That war sucked in every possible way, and that for every hero this country paraded around, there were thousands more unsung heroes that deserved our respect and admiration.
It also taught me to love character, dialogue., and a well-timed comedic note in the midst of drama. And that Charles Emerson Winchester III was not just a stodgy, snobby Boston blue blood, but he was a man of great surgical skill and a deep, compassionate heart. Layers—it taught me layers of character.
Why should it come back? Because honestly, I think the world needs to spend some time with such characters again. With the realities of what our history did in this specific conflict and with the real, diverse, heartfelt and hilarious moments that can happen in the midst of it. We need to laugh and cry and hate and love. MAS*H brought it all.
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Beneath the Stars
The moment the backdraft hit, Captain Harris turned to the engines and spun his forearm round and round. “Get them out of there!” Firemen rushed to their trucks; others moved their hoses closer. Horns sounded three times. Two firemen spilled out of the house as smoke billowed from their bodies. They flagged down the medics and pointed to the burning house.
“Garner, do you copy?” Captain Harris barked into his radio. “Chief! Do you copy?”
Sid stood frozen, willing Eddie to come through the front door or to saunter from the back, as if he’d taken an afternoon stroll and was completely unfazed, saying, “Damn! That’s a hot one!”
Instead, flames billowed from the east side of the house; black smoke filled the sky. Sid sat with Jake in the auxiliary tent. An older gentleman stood watching at the edge of the tent, evaluating the scene, and reporting to other volunteers.
“Sid, he’s on the move,” the man said. “His PASS hasn’t activated.”
“What if it malfunctioned? What if—” It didn’t matter. No technology would help him believe in Eddie’s safety until he saw him moving, breathing, smiling—anything beyond the flames and water and thick, black smoke.
Captain Harris counted his crew and grabbed his radio. The volunteer stepped out of the tent and approached him, but before he was more than two steps out, the captain put up a hand, smiled, and gave him a thumbs-up.
Sid stood, brushing off an offer of water. “Eddie?”
“Yeah,” the man said with a crooked smile. “He’s okay.” He sat Sid down and put the bottle of water into his hand. “Walt Burgess. Retired from the department in oh-seven. Worked a few of these with your dad. How is he?”
“What?” Sid’s mind was centered on one man and it was not his father. “He’s—fine? Where’s Eddie?”
“Making his way out,” Walt said. With a smile, he added, “Is Chief your boy?”
Sid nodded. He nodded as naturally as if they hadn’t spent the summer dancing around each other, testing and retreating from the intimacy that had at first been so easy for them. All cloudy thoughts parted; he believed Chief was his boy as assuredly as the flames snaked outside of the home and up into the sky.
If only Eddie would come out of the fire.
About the Author
Lynn Charles’ love of writing dates to her childhood where thoughts, dreams, frustrations, and joys poured onto the pages of journals and diaries.
She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and adult children where a blind dog and his guardian cat rule the roost. When she’s not writing, Lynn can be found planning a trip to New York or strolling its streets daydreaming about retirement. Her previous novels include Chef’s Table (2014) and Black Dust (2016).
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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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