“The Family We Make” released
The Family We Make, the second book in my “Finding Family” series, is now available from All Romance ebooks. I had temporarily taken it off Smashwords and Amazon for a couple of format issues to be resolved. If anyone gets a file with a bad format please let me know. There are new versions up now on Amazon and Smashwords that should be good for all devices including Kindle Keyboards and old Nooks.It should be on other sites like Barnes & Noble in about two weeks. I particularly want to know if anyone buys a copy from 8/16 onward that has format issues.
This is my first venture into real self-pub, and it’s been a bit of a learning experience. (Next time I’ll give myself even more lead time.) But I had fun, and I’m really excited to get this story released. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Rick and Travis, and reconnecting with Sam and the other characters from the previous story.
In the first book, the free novella The Family We’re Born With, we met Sam Albright, as he arrived in Minnesota to spend Christmas with his biological mother, the woman who gave him up for adoption, thirty-one years ago. Although that book is primarily about Sam’s half-brother, Jesse, and Jesse’s boyfriend, Devin, we find out a few important things about Sam as well. If you haven’t read that story, you might want to stop here and go take a look at it. You can get it as a free novella from Smashwords, Amazon, All Romance ebooks, and more.
The Family We Make begins a few hours after the end of the novella – Sam discovers that locating his little brother, Rick, is really just the beginning of the story…
At seventeen, Rick Albright left his home, his parents and even his old name, rather than pretend to be straight. But being on his own was hard. When his big brother Sam found him, and insisted on giving him a place to stay, he didn’t resist too long. Living with Sam is better than fighting just to survive, but it’s not easy to find his balance in a simple, small-town life, after his time on the streets.
Travis Brinkerhoff finally managed to come out in college, his second year anyway. It was the one bright side to losing his baseball scholarship and jock status. But without money for tuition, second year came to an abrupt end. He’s back in his small Minnesota hometown, and back in the closet. Travis feels like he’s trying to fit into a life he’s outgrown. If he’s going to survive, he has to figure out a way to be his own man, maybe even have his own man, without losing the family he loves.
When he left the Marines, Sam Albright wanted nothing more than to find his missing younger brother. Mission accomplished. Now he’s got an independent, possibly traumatized, openly gay young man on his hands, a girlfriend in a war zone overseas, and parents he has to lie to in order to keep the peace. Keeping it all together won’t be easy, but Sam has never backed away from a challenge.
This is a fairly long novel, at 150,000 words. Part of what I want to do with this series is to explore the grey zones of family and acceptance. In my M/M novels, I think it’s too easy sometimes to go for black and white. The totally supportive sister who helps plan a gay wedding. The horrible homophobe who lets a gay colleague get shot. But most of life happens between those two extremes.
Life is about the dad who just wants to pretend he didn’t hear the word “gay.” Or the mom who wonders why their bisexual kid can’t just stick to the nice, easy heterosexual relationships and avoid the hard stuff. Or the brother who grudgingly accepts his brother’s partner of ten years, as long as they never touch in his presence. Being accepted and loved just as you are is the cornerstone of real family, but it’s much easier said than done. In the Finding Family series, I look at unconditional love and conditional love, and the adjustments that people make to have relationships of all kinds. What is reasonable accommodation? What is failing to be true to yourself? There are no easy answers, and sometimes life throws curve-balls that make it even more complicated. I hope you enjoy following my characters on their journey.