If you follow me on social media you probably already know a little bit about the Cheez-It book. Standing in the kitchen one day, stuffing my face with Cheez-Its, I was struck by the idea that having a mouthful of Cheez-Its (and I mean full, with crumbs spilling everywhere) would be a fun and awkward way to meet the love of your life. Or maybe just really awkward. 😀
Inspired, I ran upstairs and wrote 10,000 words in a furious rush. That was two summers ago, and now, finally, Building Forever is finished, covered beautifully, and available for preorder. It even has its first review (5 stars, yay!).
But what is it about? Well, it’s about a talkative science fiction writer named Charlie and a quiet architect named Simon. Charlie is a widower who put aside any curiosity he had regarding his attraction to men about eighteen years ago when his girlfriend told him she was pregnant. He loved her and he married her. Then he lost her. Now, five years later, he finally feels as if he’s getting good at the single dad thing. His science fiction series is doing well, though the last book is proving difficult to plot, and his daughter seems happy–her fondness for post-apocalyptic art aside.
Simon is nursing a broken heart and a bruised ego. He lost his lover and his business last year and moved to Bethlehem to start again. Approaching his fiftieth birthday, he’s not sure if he’s up for rebuilding his career or risking his heart, but to his surprise, finds pleasure in both. Bethlehem and Charlie are exactly what he needed: a fresh perspective and a new challenge.
But Charlie isn’t as far past the loss of his wife as he thinks he is, and Simon isn’t as resilient as he thought he was, and Charlie’s daughter isn’t as happy as she seems.
All of my books feel like a journey, for me and for my characters, but this one was especially so because of some of the themes I tackled: grief, middle-age, parenthood, bisexuality, and being willing to risk your heart again. I loved writing older characters and I loved writing a father. Simon’s gentle stoicism called to me in ways a character hasn’t before and I desperately needed for him to find a happy ever after. Charlie–Charlie sprang from the ether fully formed. All I did was write it down just as he told me to. I didn’t always get it right first try, though, and I relied heavily on beta readers and editors for help with this one. I learned a lot, and I know this is my strongest book yet.
The best part, though? This is only the beginning. In this series, I have reached a little farther and push a little harder with every book. Renewing Forever and Chasing Forever will continue the themes put in place with Building Forever—small towns, close families, and strong friendships—while staying true to my vision of writing super sweet love stories for older men who have already loved and lost, and aren’t sure if they’re ready to try again.
Building Forever (This Time Forever #1)
A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.
Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.
Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.
But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.
Want to read the first couple of chapters? They’re right here!