Hi peeps, we have Lynn Charles popping in with her new release Black Dust, we have a great guest poat, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so enjoy the post and click that giveaway link <3 ~Pixie~
Fifteen years after a tragic car crash claimed a friend’s life and permanently injures his then-boyfriend, Broadway musician Tobias Spence reconnects with his former love. As Emmett and Tobias explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?
A song playlist for your book.
For quite a few weeks, I’ve been sharing specific songs from the book over at my website, lynncharles.net, but this is a fun opportunity to pick some songs that might be more thematic, but not specifically in the book. The men in Black Dust are surrounded by classical music, Broadway show tunes and old standards in their work, the heart of their passions. But when the work clothes are off, when the mask of expectation is removed, they enjoy sounds of their youth, something a little more mainstream. With that in mind, how about a sampling like this?
We “hear” I Belong to You in the story, so I can’t in good conscience skip over that one. Can’t Get You Off Of My Mind is on the nose and sexy. Pull up a full Lenny Kravitz playlist and you’ll be in their bedroom, in the bar they visited in The Village.
Lucky: Almost the entire album speaks to their love, their character, but should you listen and pay special attention to ‘This Moment,’ and ‘Breathe.’ ‘Breathe,’ especially, could be Toby’s theme song.
And I can’t ask for things to be still again
No I can’t ask if I could walk through the world in your eyes
Longing for home again
Home, is a feeling I buried in you
I’m alright, I’m alright
It only hurts when I breathe
You can’t write a book about returning to a love from earlier days, and not included Adele. Her newest album is chock-full of options, and unfortunately not available for streaming, so this is a cover. When We Were Young still brings shivers down my spine, Toby’s thoughts when they’re at the club and he wants so desperately, and doubts so deeply.
I had to stick at least one standard in here. The Way You Look Tonight is a perfect song for a gentle foxtrot, for bringing back their past and dancing into their future.
“I can’t, Emmett. I—can’t go back.”
“Then we are clearly not ready for any sort of commitment.”
“Wait. You won’t agree to—to us—unless I come to Indiana?”
“I won’t,” Emmett said. “It’s all feeling a little one-sided to me, and I’m not okay with that.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I do understand, Toby. I was there for everything that makes you afraid of that place.”
“Yes. You were,” Toby said, taking Emmett’s hand in his. “But my concerns about going back have nothing to do with you.”
“Maybe they should have something to do with me.”
“That’s—” Toby pulled his hand away. “That’s not fair.”
“It really is,” Emmett said. He reached across the table for Toby’s hand again. “Please?” Toby took his hand and Emmett squeezed, holding on as if he might never let go. “We experienced a great tragedy together. And while Scotty’s parents lost their son, no one felt the things we felt. No one else woke up screaming and sweating when we heard the sounds of the crash in our sleep.”
“No one else knew the fear of maybe never walking again. No one else lost weight and a semester of school because he might get thrown in jail. No one else felt the things we felt together. That’s all ours. As much as you want to, you cannot take me out of the equation.”
“But, that’s just it, Em. I don’t want to feel those things again. I cannot walk back into that—that darkness.”
Emmett pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed Toby’s knuckles. “You already have. You have been so enamored—you’ve practically spent this entire week making love to my scars. You’re there. And it’s not so dark anymore.”
“No, because you’re whole again. You’re not broken anymore.”
Emmett saw it, then. He saw in the way Toby had almost obsessed over the ridiculous tattoo and Emmett’s scars, as if begging for them to also bring him the powers that Derek had wished upon Emmett’s body those years ago. He saw it in Toby’s insistence that they start all over as if the accident never happened, as if the years of silence weren’t strung between them like a rope and plank bridge connecting two separate lands.
So he said it. To give it power. To make it a truth they shared—like their shared tragedy. “And you still are. Broken.”
Toby nodded, grasping at Emmett’s fingers like a lifeline. “I’m so—” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m so exhausted making sure no one knows.”
“Oh, Toby.” All the more reason “trying again” was a bad idea. Unready to let go, Emmett kissed Toby’s fingers again. “Then come to my home,” Emmett offered, trite as it sounded in his own ears. “I’ve remodeled the master and made a party room in my basement for the kids.”
“You’ve never told me—”
“It’s beautiful, really. It’s on a couple of acres, and the back of the property is lined with a stream you can hear from the kitchen when the windows are open. It’s very peaceful. It sounds like you need some peace.”
“You deserve a beautiful life.”
“So let me share it with you. At least think about it?”
Toby nodded and began to clean up. “Will you still come see me in San Francisco after school’s out?”
“I don’t know. I’d really like an answer before I agree to see you again.”
“Okay. I’m sorry it’s not as easy as it should be.”
“I am too, Toby. Being with you was always so easy.”
Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.
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