On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.
The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.
One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.
Foreword by S.A. McAuley
An Unexpected Thing by John Amory (Sequel to Protection)
The Twinkie Ignition by J.E. Birk
When Friendship Becomes More by Sophie Bonaste
Isle of Waiting by Sue Brown (A Missing Moment from Isle of Waves)
The Jogger by KC Burn
Holding Court by Cardeno C.
For Dear Life by Mary Calmes
Under the Full Moon by Ellis Carrington
Stripped by Shae Connor (2nd Edition)
That Place Across the Hall by C.C. Dado
Mistaken MD by Phoenix Emrys
Cops and Comix by Rhys Ford
Last First Kiss by LE Franks
Tomorrow by John Goode
From Fantasy to Friends by CR Guiliano (A Companion to For You)
Witness Protected by Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Water Under the Bridge by Mia Kerick (Sequel to Not Broken, Just Bent)
A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness by Amy Lane
Air (Roads #1.75 million) by Garrett Leigh (A Companion to Slide; Roads: Book 1.75)
An Atheist and a Yoga Instructor Walk into a Bar by Rowan McAllister
Stalking 101 by Moria McCain
Simple Desires by Tempeste O’Riley (A Spin-off of Designs of Desire)
Object of Care by Zahra Owens (A Clouds and Rain Story)
Kid Confusion by Madison Parker (A Companion to Play Me, I’m Yours)
Fall Train by Jaime Samms
The Exhibition by Andrea Speed (An Infected Short; Infected: Roan and Dylan)
What You Will by Tinnean (A Companion to Two Lips, Indifferent Red)
Prologue by Brandon Witt
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Hello everyone! My name is John Amory, and my contribution to the Grand Adventures anthology is titled “An Unexpected Thing.” This short is actually a sequel to a story that Dreamspinner published last June in its Daily Dose compilation called “Protection.” The new story picks up about two years after Jamie and Ben met; both are back from London and traveling the West Coast. Jamie is en route to a shooting competition with Ben in tow, but when their plane is diverted, they are forced to find their own way through the Cascades to Seattle. They, of course, find something else along the way.
I have never met TJ or Eric, but I was struck by their struggle like everyone else. We are all a family of authors and readers in this genre, and it felt like someone in our family had suddenly fallen ill. I wanted to help, especially since TJ’s book Into This River I Drown had such an effect on me. When “Protection” was accepted for publication last year, it was the first book I chose from Dreamspinner’s catalog to read, so that I could get a feel for their audience, their authors, the style of stories they publish, etc. I was blown away by River, which is, in so many ways, a really atypical (but still brilliant) M/M romance. There was so much else going on: grief, redemption, faith, closure, all of these things played into the book’s themes, and they’re all things I think TJ handled beautifully. So I began “An Unexpected Thing” as a sequel to “Protection” that contained a guest appearance by two of TJ’s characters from Roseland, which seemed only appropriate given its ties to River. I eventually re-edited the story to not include TJ’s characters (since, if all the authors did that, it would be taxing on TJ to edit and approve each story), but the essence that those characters brought to the story is still there, as well as some other Easter eggs for fans of TJ’s book. “An Unexpected Thing” is about finding love in places you never thought you would, with people you never thought you would. That’s something I got from Into This River I Drown and from TJ and Eric’s personal story, and I think it’s something universal: keep your eyes and heart open, because The One might be someone you’d never notice otherwise.
Thanks for reading and for supporting Grand Adventures! You can find me on Twitter (@JohnAmory) or on GoodReads. Feel free to drop a line! Happy reading!
About John Amory:
John Amory is and always will be a hopeless romantic, which he blames on watching too many episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 growing up. He began writing stories and poems as a child, continuing through high school. He put writing on the backburner for a number of years, during which time he finished both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English, and is thrilled to be creating again now that he knows what “free time” means.
In another life, John is a newly minted college professor, as well as an actor/director/choreographer/playwright whose work has been performed in New York City and elsewhere. He is also obsessed with television and keeps two blogs on the subject: one for general reviews and comments (faketvcritic.blogspot.com), and one devoted solely to So You Think You Can Dance (cuttingsytycd.blogspot.com).
Feel free to drop a message here or on Twitter to say hi!
Goodreads: John Amory
1. Tell us about your contribution to the anthology.
My short story is called When Friendship Becomes More.
Here’s the official blurb, because it explains the story better than I could:
Despite their differences, Jamie and Roy are not only college roommates, but best friends. What Jamie doesn’t know is that Roy has had a crush on him for years. When Jamie realizes Roy’s feelings during a camping trip with friends, the attraction will either prove mutual, or it will tear their friendship apart.
I’m really proud of this short story. It has moments that will make you laugh and cry. I hope everyone out there loves it as much as I do.
2. What is your favorite TJ and Eric memory?
Well, I haven’t been lucky enough to meet TJ or Eric in person. But I remember reading the news of TJ’s proposal in October of last year. I was instantly touched by the obvious love between the two men. It may not have been a showy proposal like that Home Depot one that went viral a few months ago, but it was one of the most love-filled proposals I’ve ever seen. And isn’t that what’s really important?
3. Why did you choose to participate in the anthology?
When I heard about the anthology it was a no-brainer. I knew I had to help TJ and Eric in any way I could. And since writing is one of my favorite things to do anyway, it was a win-win.
4. Do you have anything to say to TJ and Eric?
I just wanted to say that you two are both some of the strongest people I’ve ever known. I wish you only the best as you go forward. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!!!!!
About Sophie Bonaste:
Sophie Bonaste is a novelist who never set out to be a novelist. As a child, she wanted to be a Broadway actress and spent her childhood in numerous productions. But when adulthood set in and reality took over, Sophie chose to up the theater for a steady paycheck and instead turned to writing as a creative outlet. She stumbled into the M/M genre through fanfiction and never looked back. Sophie is quite happy with her change in artistic expression and doesn’t plan to stop writing for a long time.
A self-proclaimed nerd, Sophie is an avid fan of all things Star Wars and Harry Potter. (Sophie is a member of the Slytherin house, for those who were wondering.) Sophie also spends many hours watching and re-watching nerdy television shows. When she is not obsessing over the latest and greatest in nerdy entertainment, Sophie can be found screaming at her television during American football games. (Go Pack Go!) Sophie currently lives in Pennsylvania, about twenty minutes from her childhood town of The Middle of Nowhere.
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @SophieBonaste
Facebook – Sophie Bonaste
GoodReads – Sophie Bonaste
QueerTown Abbey – Sophie Bonaste
Amazon Author Page – Sophie Bonaste
If you don’t want to talk, but you want to read more about my works, please use these links.
Harmony Ink – Sophie Bonaste
Dreamspinner Press – Sophie Bonaste
20″ x 26″ (image size: 16″ x 24″) signed & matted print of the Grand Adventures cover
Grand Adventures Paperback
$30 Dreamspinner Press Giftcard
Starts: 12:01 AM EDT on 29 Mar 2014
End: 11:59pm EDT on 8 April 2014
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