Long and Short Reviews welcomes Brooke Edwards as she celebrates the release of her newest work When Fate Falls Short. To help her celebrate, she’s giving one lucky commenter a $5 Dreamspinner GC.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here, promoting my new release with Dreamspinner Press “When Fate Falls Short” in their Bittersweet Dreams line.
I’ve been writing for a huge chunk of my life. Most of my writing experience over the years came from lurking in a series of different fandoms and spending a truly staggering amount of time daydreaming about all those iconic characters in ridiculous situations. My first foray into original fiction dates back to sixth grade, (rereading that a few years back was one of the most cringe-worthy hours of my life) but there was a safety net in fanfiction that I spent a solid decade after that clinging to. I couldn’t even tell you how many school assignments got pushed off in favor of the latest story I was either writing or reading for whichever book, movie or TV show had captured my attention that week.
I decided that if I ever wanted to earn the title of ‘author’ then I needed to take that leap and start creating from the ground up rather than playing in sandboxes that didn’t belong to me. I think that I’ll always enjoy writing in already established universes but after writing my first piece for DSP’s 2015 Daily Dose anthology I was hooked. I can’t say that I felt powerful, because I found myself completely at the whim of my imagination but there was definitely a whole new feeling of reward. It took a while for that to settle down into something I could harness and actually use.
I’ve always been lucky enough (also cursed, because it means I’m forever jumping ship and never finishing anything) to have a pretty steady flow of ideas to write about. While my brain’s tendency to run away with any idea or possibility that it comes across can make everyday tasks difficult, like trying to be an adult, it works wonders when it comes to generating new ideas for stories.
This idea of a happily ever after ending is something that a huge majority of books, movies and TV shows deal with. I’m an absolute sucker for a character earning their happily ever after with blood, sweat and tears and sometimes failing to get there in the end. Most of my favorite stories are the ones that move me to tears myself and that has definitely translated to my writing. I have an entire folder worth of emails from one of my dearest writer friends that mostly consist of her ranting in all caps about why I couldn’t just let the latest characters on my radar be happy without putting them through hell first. Sometimes I read through them again for inspiration!
“When Fate Falls Short” was a constantly evolving idea, taking shape over about a year. Sean and Nathan’s relationship sprung to life almost fully formed and after tragedy struck and Jesse became part of the story I realized it was never going to end in a traditionally happy way.
When it came down to it though, I decided that for all the unhappiness and heartbreak I was going to leave the boys with when I signed off, I couldn’t bear to close all the doors on them. I needed to leave at least the possibility for something good to come along.
I know that most romance novels have at least a happy-for-now ending if not a real HEA, but I want to hear from you about your favorite ending to a book, TV show or movie that wasn’t one of those – whether it was an ambiguous, open-ended one or one where love simply didn’t triumph. I’ll be selecting a lucky winner from the comments to receive a $5 DSP voucher! Finally, to finish up, here’s an excerpt showing the very beginning of Sean and Nathan’s story.
Nathan Maxwell and Sean Adams first meet when they’re six and five years old, respectively. They’re both waiting with their mothers in the same ice-cream parlor line.
“I want every flavor,” Sean announces, straining up onto the tips of his toes to see over the pair of older children in front of him, and overbalancing to the point where falling on his face would have been unavoidable if his mother’s grip on his hand wasn’t quite so ironclad. “All of them. Do they have cones that big, Mom?”
Nathan darts a sideways glance, waiting patiently and calmly by his own mother, and silently wonders whether they do have cones that big.
Sean’s mother shakes her head. “I’m afraid not, darling. You’ll have to pick two flavors because that’s as many as you can have in a cone.”
Sean deflates visibly, dramatically and with a heavy sigh, and Nathan is a little disappointed too as he tugs on his mother’s hand. She bends a little, leaning in toward him, and makes a questioning sound.
Nathan stretches up onto his own toes to whisper in her ear. “If he gets two and I get two, we could have four flavors, right?”
She raises an eyebrow at him. “That’s right, yes. Do you want to share?”
Nathan sneaks another sideways glance at Sean and then back to his mother and nods quickly. She reaches over his head, and he watches her touch Sean’s mother’s elbow. The two share a quiet conversation, and Sean turns around. He looks at Nathan, then up at where their mothers are talking and back to Nathan, eyes alight with curiosity.
“Hi,” he says. “I’m Sean. Why are our moms talking? Are they friends? Mom—”
“Two and two make four,” Nathan blurts out instead of his name. “If we both get two, we could have four flavors, and that’s more than two.”
Sean stares at him. “Sharing means we can have more,” he says, and his eyes grow wide. “Sharing means more.” He lunges forward—he’s a little shorter than Nathan but not much—and grabs Nathan’s shoulders with his hands. “That’s the best thing ever!”
Their mothers laugh together while Sean vibrates with excitement and chatters at a mile a minute and Nathan tries desperately to keep up.
“That’s going to be their entire relationship,” Deanna warns Tania when they and their sons part ways a couple of hours later. “Sean only has two speeds. Stop and go.”
Tania laughs and strokes Nathan’s hair where he’s leaning against her hip, yawning. “I think they’ll manage. Nathan’s always been a fast learner, haven’t you?”
He makes a sleepy sound of agreement, and both mothers laugh.
Childhood sweethearts Nathan Maxwell and Sean Adams took ten years to realize they belonged together, followed by ten years of bliss. When it is snatched away, Sean is left alone with the aftermath. Lost and grieving in a world that doesn’t make sense without Nathan by his side, he struggles to keep himself afloat… until he meets Jesse Lawrence.
The shadow of a congenital heart defect has hung over Jesse like a dark cloud all his life. Nathan’s death saves Jesse’s life—providing the heart Jesse needs to survive—and a chance encounter between their best friends plants Jesse in Sean’s orbit. But how well can a love triangle between a dead man, his grieving lover, and the one with his heart beating in his chest possibly turn out? Real feelings and pure intentions might not be enough.
About the Author: Author, dreamer, fangirl and foodie – twenty-something Brooke Edwards will always call Australia home no matter where the wanderlust takes her. Her tertiary education bounced from history and linguistics to criminology and history and even went as far as nutrition and sports/exercise science. Making ends meet through a similarly wide variety of jobs from education, retail, fitness, hospitality and finance means she never has any shortage of inspiration for characters or their adventures. Writing, closely followed by the culinary arts, has been her longest-running and most consistent passion and her greatest dream would be to one day not have to do anything else but write. Until then, she can probably be found in a caffeine-induced haze either behind her computer or in the kitchen.
Buy the book at Dreamspinner.