A warm welcome to author Chrissy Munder joining us today to talk about the Charity Anthology by Dreamspinner Press: “One Pulse”
Hello! I’m Chrissy Munder. Let’s start today’s party by thanking Love Bytes Reviews for helping us celebrate the release of the One Pulse Anthology. Then a big high-five to all of you for reading this post and hopefully, sharing your thoughts.
Today I’m chatting about family. The other “f” word. There’s a lot written on the subject. Everything from Harper Lee’s famous “You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family,”. Robert Frost’s “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Even a popular television show gave us the powerful statement “Family don’t end in blood,”.
This summer Chez Munder experienced more than our share of family visits and interactions. From May all the way to the end of August we had relatives coming and going to the extent we received a discount from the airport shuttle guy.
No. I’m not kidding.
It’s been fine, even fun. Mostly. Like most stereotypical writers I’m a hermit an introvert. I cherish schedules, routines, and all manner of plans I use as a safety net to walk the tenuous tightrope strung between my personal and writing responsibilities. I fail more often than I succeed, but that’s another blog post.
Normally, after this much upheaval I’d be stressing over missed deadlines and unable to get past the giant list of Things-I-did-NOT-get-done. Not this year.
This year, every time I began to feel things fray all I needed to do was remember those who would give anything for five more minutes with their loved ones. Just five more minutes to laugh, hug, even fight. Secure in the knowledge they have plenty of time to do it all again.
But they can’t. And they don’t.
That’s really who we honor with our anthology release, and who I’d like us to take a moment and think about right now. The families—forged by blood or choice—struggling today, and everyday, in the aftermath of this horrific and senseless act.
How will your purchase of this anthology help? I’m glad you asked.
About the Anthology:
Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.
To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.
One Pulse, a Dreamspinner Press Anthology
With stories by: Connie Bailey, Ellis Carrington, Edmond Manning, Chrissy Munder, Caitlin Ricci, Andrea Speed, M.T. Aspen, Jayce Ellis, Sera Kane, Dev Bentham, George Seaton, Renee Stevens, Emery C Walters, Vicktor Alexander, Alicia Nordwell, C.C. Dado, M.A. Church, Troy Storm, Mickie B. Ashling, KC Burn, Jon Keys, John Goode, John Amory, Grace R. Duncan, Felicitas Ivey, Elizabeth Noble, Bree Cariad, Lila Leigh Hunter, Laura Lascarso, J. C. Long
Release Date Sep 19, 2016
Cover art by Paul Richmond
Includes: Everything I Need by Chrissy Munder
Joshua would be happy to run off to Vegas to marry his fiancé, but Michael’s big family expects him to follow tradition with an equally big wedding—even though he’s marrying another guy.
“So what’s at six?”
Alex’s question was muffled by what had to be almost half of his first foot-long sub. His usual lunch order was two sandwiches, a large bag of chips, four cookies, and enough high fructose corn syrup in a cup to send Joshua into a sugar coma. The way he ate, the little rat should weigh well over three hundred pounds instead of staying a thin and wiry buck-sixty-five.
“Cake tasting at the bakery.” Joshua stabbed his plastic fork into his own lunch, a three-meat, all the veggies, and no dressing salad. He made sure to scoop up a couple of the sliced jalapenos to swallow along with his envy. “I guess it’s a big deal.”
Alex answered with an arched Eyebrow of Doom Joshua swore he stole from Michael. He should never have let them bond.
“You guess? Make sure your blushing groom-to-be doesn’t hear you say that. Or his mother.”
‘I know, right?” Joshua swallowed his mouthful of salad and gestured with his fork. “The people who own the bakery have been friends of Michael’s parents for some unbelievable number of dog years. They did the cake for Mr. & Mrs. F.’s wedding back in the Stone Age, and Michael’s sisters had their cakes made there. Supposedly it’s brought them all good luck and is now some bullshit family fertility tradition.”
“That’s a lot of frosting.” Alex whistled. “And fertility.”
Joshua snorted. “No shit.” The Fiorillos and their nine daughters were damn near legendary in the neighborhood. Even before Joshua met Michael, he’d heard all about the family from the obstetricians at the hospital and the truckloads of money lost in the betting pool when their final offspring turned out to be male. The next generation appeared willing and able to carry the tradition forward. “With Michael being gay, and his mother thinking he’d never get married, I guess, yeah, this is a big deal.”
“I think you’re supposed to say it with all caps.” Alex’s lips twitched. “If you want to avoid further castration threats.”
Joshua gingerly crossed his legs and shot his partner a dark glare. “Don’t even joke, man.”
“Michael will protect you.” Alex sipped his soda with a disturbing lack of concern, in Joshua’s opinion.
“I hope,” Joshua said. Then he cringed. No way would Alex miss the pathetic whimper underlying those two lonely words.
“Let’s talk a minute.”
“Come on, man. I’m eating.”
“Okay, I’ll talk, you listen.” Alex leaned back against the door, the drowsy droop of his eyelids a totally misleading shade to the sharpness beneath his laid-back mannerisms. “What’s wrong?”
“I thought I was listening?” Joshua dug his fork into the bottom of his bowl with a particularly vicious stab. “What makes you think something’s wrong?”
“You’re driving shittier than usual this week. Which is cutting into my nap time.”
Damn. Alex’s ability to sleep through, or at least ignore, Joshua’s aggressive road skills had contributed to their successful relationship—the longest of Joshua’s two years with the city service. Joshua appreciated his partner’s placid and unshakeable manner while on a call, but experience had taught Joshua to listen when Alex complained.
“Michael’s been weird lately.” The rush of release following his confession left Joshua light-headed.
“What kind of weird? Replaced by a pod person weird or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids weird?”
“I don’t know. Distant, I guess? Distracted?” The plastic fork snapped under Joshua’s panicked grasp. He dropped the bowl onto the dash. “What if he wants to call the wedding off?” The tangled knot of panic twisted around Joshua’s chest tightened.
“You’re being paranoid.” Alex handed Joshua another fork. “I’m sure he’s just stressed about the planning.”
“Maybe.” Joshua gave himself a two on his mental testicle check. Because that whiny response? Totally ball-less. If he didn’t man up, he would save Mrs. F. the trouble and ruin his own honeymoon.
“You guys work, okay? Whatever is going on with him probably has to do with trying to keep his mother and sisters from making this the wedding of the century.”
Joshua swallowed. Alex’s simple summary made a lot more sense than the panicked mishmash of what-ifs in his head.
Of course, Alex wasn’t done yet. “Can’t say I blame him, because Grace Kelly you’re not. Anything bigger than a Vegas drive-thru ceremony is wasted on you.”
“Talk to him. Tonight. Before this cake tasting. After. Whenever.”
“I can do that.” Joshua nodded. The tight knot of fear loosened, and he took his first full breath in days. “I can totally do that.”
Chrissy Munder writes contemporary M/M romance filled with everyday men and extraordinary passion to transport readers into their personal world of love, laughter, and desire
She is an avid reader, a wanderer of Michigan’s wilderness, and, while not in any particular order, a lover of lists, zombies, and bad sci-fi. She’s also perpetually behind on everything—except feeding the cat. There are those who might tell you she started writing LGBTQ romance as a way to justify her office supply addiction, but shhhhh! don’t listen to them.
After too many jobs in too many states she’s eagerly awaiting a far too distant retirement and the chance to become a full-time Lake Michigan beachcomber. Until then, she’s excited to share her love of romance, laughter, and happy-ever-afters.
To learn more about Chrissy and her work:
Website: http://www.chrissymunder.com Blog: https://chrissymunder.blogspot.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrissymunder Twitter: http://twitter.com/ChrissyMunder At Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_128