Virtual Tour ~ Black Dust by Lynn Charles ~ (Review, Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Author Name: Lynn Charles
Book Name: Black Dust
Release Date: April 7, 2016
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?
Pages or Words: 312 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
"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."
Buy the book:
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
Fifteen years have gone by since the accident that claimed their friend's life and injured Tobias's boyfriend. Fifteen years in which he's tried to run from the memories and the guilt. Fifteen years that are wiped away when Emmett contacts Toby again. But is Toby ready to let his ghosts rest and take a second chance at love?
I love books that make me feel, that break me and make me cry, that make me care about the characters and what happens to them and this book is one of those. It's raw, it's emotional and it's heartbreaking.
I adored Tobias and his journey as he finally realized what he needed to do to start living again. I loved that it wasn't an easy path, that while Emmett and Toby loved each other, they had to work for their HEA. That their reactions were so realistic, and that they both needed someone else to point out to them what should've been clear to them, but they were too close to actually see it.
Mac and Malik were awesome, supportive friends and I adored them. And all the other characters really made the story deeper and more meaningful.
All in all, a must read, a book that will tug at your heartstrings and make you better just by reading it. Definitely recommendable!
Rating: 5+ Stars!!!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Black Dust.
Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
I'm happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My first novel, Chef's Table, was published in December 2014 with Interlude Press. Black Dust is about a couple who, fifteen years after a tragic car accident tore them apart, are given a second chance to heal and to love.
- Where did your character(s) grow up?
- Emmett Henderson grew up in the small fictional town of Ridgeview, Indiana. It's a rural town whose claim to fame is a Christian college that has a renown music program. Tobias Spence, a military kid, grew up all over the country with moves every two years. For his senior year in college, he landed in Xavier, Indiana, another small town in the same county as Ridgeview. Toby and Emmett met at Xavier's community theater. Much of Black Dust takes place in this rural area, anchored by Emmett's new home, Morningside, a larger, more suburban town between his rural life and the larger city of Brighton.
- What was life like for them?
- Their childhoods couldn't have been more different. As mentioned above, Toby moved from city to city, from state to state every two years. He never developed deep relationships with people, never really knew what "home" meant because of its constantly changing landscape. Music was his grounding force and his way to not only meet people, but also to keep them at a distance with the piano in between. Emmett lived in the same town all of his life, only moving a few hours away right after college for his first teaching job. His home life was secure, although troubled with his overbearing mother's demands. He too had music as a balancing force—piano, community theater, etc.—and while wanting out of the small town life all of his life, came to find that it indeed was home for him.
- Who were their major influences?
- The community theater directors and music teachers primarily. And then, they met Ms. Lipman, the community theater director at Xavier, who not only taught them their craft on stage, but cradled them and loved them as young gay boys in a town where support might have been hard to find.
- How did they perceive the world as a teen?
- Toby saw the world as a constantly changing, moving entity. A place that required constant motion to keep up. When he met Emmett, solid and sure, grounded in place, he found a new balance. Of course, as the catalyst to Black Dust, there was a tragic accident. And every thing they had come to believe turned upside down. You'll have to read the book to see how that changed their outlook. ☺
- What would they say to themselves in a letter?
I guess it depends when the letter was written. Black Dust covers almost eighteen years' time. If we look into the future, years after we see them in the book, I would think their letters would be kind to themselves. Forgiving of the mistakes they made along the way, even of the years apart before they got all their ducks in a row and could journey together.
Meet the author:
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.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27830185-black-dust
Publisher: Interlude Press
Tour Dates & Stops:
7-Apr: Love Bytes, 3 Chicks After Dark, Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings, Hearts on Fire, Jessie G. Books
20-Apr: Up All Night, Read All Day, Outrageous Heroes, Molly Lolly, Mikky's World of Books, Inked Rainbow Readsa Rafflecopter giveaway