At a turning point for his growing fashion line for transmen and butch women, Sid Marneaux receives a life-altering phone call. His father, who raised his family alone after his wife passed, is in failing health. When he goes home, he fears he could lose the business he has spent most of his adult life building.
What he could not have anticipated was meeting Eddie Garner, the city’s new fire chief. After a heroic rescue, their romance sparks hot, launching into a swift affair. But Eddie is harboring his own burdens: the painful death of his best friend and the responsibility of raising her young son—their son—Adrian.
Through the wisdom of a child and the connection of mothers-now-gone, Sid, Eddie, and Adrian venture and fumble to define family, career, and, most importantly, love.
Today we’re excited to welcome Lynn Charles, author of Beneath the Stars on From Top to Bottom Reviews. We’ve asked her to tell us 10 things we didn’t know about her and she’s also brought an excerpt of Beneath the Stars with her plus an awesome giveaway!
So without further ado: what are 10 things we don’t know about you?
- My first foray into writing happened in 2nd grade where I wrote in a small, locked diary. An early entry: Lisa died. I am sad.
- Lisa was a guppy. What I didn’t know then was that my best friend I’d yet to meet—also named Lisa—would die unexpectedly 35 years later. My diary entry that day was a little more complicated.
- I got married at age 21. While my marriage has been long and happy, I do not recommend doing so at such a young age.
- I majored in music education, graduated cum laude, but in very short order, realized I’d made a huge career mistake.
- I did end up with a part time career in the local church as a music director that I enjoyed. That is, until I accepted that their conservative doctrine could not blend with my more liberal one (among other things) and I left.
- I now consider myself an agnostic.
- Even though I majored in music and passed many a test on the matter, I am not a fan of classical music or opera.
- Much of the background in Beneath the Stars and the “C-DRT” office came from my time working for AmeriCorps and our local Red Cross chapter.
- It was my first job after being a full-time stay-at-home mom for over ten years.
- During those years at home, I discovered, and was able to nurture, my love of storytelling, which led me here.
Sid walked around the center circle and spun around. “It’s smaller than I remember.”
“You’re bigger,” Eddie said, grabbing Sid’s hand. “Does it feel weird being here?”
They sat in the middle of the field. Its size seemed to stretch out, and perspective was restored. “It does. It’s been a long time.” Sid lay on his back and tugged Eddie to join him. “And in all the time I spent on this field,” he said, “I never did this.”
“Did you want to?”
“No offense to present company, but I dreamt it would have been after a winning game with Tyrone Lemmon. Built more for baseball than soccer. Lousy stamina on the field—great ass.”
Eddie laughed. “Jon Marcum. Lousy basketball player. Got cut our senior year. Thighs… for days.”
“Oh, what could have been.”
“Eh, I dated too many exactly like him. We didn’t miss anything.”
Sid looked away from the lights to find Eddie staring at him. “Maybe it wasn’t the right time.”
“Maybe it wasn’t the right guy.”
With a loud pop and a whoosh, the field lights shut off. After laughing at their mutual squeaks of surprise, Sid wiggled closer. They fell silent and refocused on the night sky.
“Is that the North Star?” Eddie asked.
“Yep, Polaris. See? It’s the tip of Little Dipper’s handle. Big Dipper—Ursa Major, my dad would correct—is to the west of it.”
Neither moved or spoke, letting the vastness of the sky rearrange perspective once again.
“I had a nice time tonight,” Sid said.
Eddie reached for Sid’s hand. “So did I.”
The quiet they shared was new for Sid. Everyone had something to say: plans to be organized, money to be made, successes to be touted, or worse, failures to be shamed. As they lay there, the ground cooled on his back; Eddie’s hand rested comfortably in his. Sometimes, silence sang the most beautiful of tunes.
“So,” Sid finally said. “My place isn’t much… but I have fresh peaches. Will you come?”
“I’d love to.” Eddie sat and pulled them up to stand. His cheeks were flushed, his hair was ruffled, but his attention remained on the sky.
“Hey,” Sid said, brushing his finger along Eddie’s cheek. When Eddie turned, Sid caught a sadness in Eddie’s eyes he’d not seen before. Sid knew the sky was for dreaming and melancholy, for longing and love. With his finger at the curve of Eddie’s chin, Sid kissed him, lingering when Eddie’s smile bent beneath his lips. “Thanks for being my first.”
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Beneath the Stars // Five winners receive Beneath the Stars eBook
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).