A warm welcome to author Lynn Lorenz joining us here today at Love Bytes to talk about her new release “New Orléans: Second Lines”.
Welcome Lynn 🙂
New Orleans Second Lines
When I first wrote this piece, it was actually three novellas, but they ran on a continuous timeline, one fell right behind the other. And that’s sort of how they came to be—one leading to the next.
DSP, in all their loveliness, allowed me to put these stories in the format I had originally seen for them—one novel. The stories belonged together, and with a little editing, the fit was perfect.
In the first story (previously Pinky Swear), I introduced Matt and Lane, childhood best friends who became lovers (briefly), broke up, then reunited to find their HEA. I also introduced a wonderful character—Sebastian, their landlord.
Sebastian was so beloved by readers they asked for a book for him. Now, not many writers will write about a seventy-year-old gay man, and even fewer will give him a romance and a HEA. But I love writing older characters along with younger ones. Many of my heroes are in their thirties, forties and even fifties. Men with experience in live and love. Sebastian had all that and then some.
So I wrote Pioneers, where Matt is doing a film documentary about what it was like to be a gay man in New Orleans in the 50’s and 60’s. And in this story, which starts a few months after Pinky Swear ends, give the reader a glimpse into Sebastian’s life and how he came to be the man he is now. All the ups and downs, the dirty little secrets, and the heartbreak. And at the end of it, I knew Sebastian had more to tell and more to teach Matt and Lane about life and love.
So I wrote C’est La Vie (That’s Life), focusing on a second chance at love for Sebastian. Matt and Lane are firmly planted in their relationship, and completely involved in helping Sebastian navigate the modern day romance.
I love a second chance love story because I believe in redemption and grabbing on to the chance, however slim, of finding happiness when least expected.
For Matt and Lane, it came early in their lives. For Sebastian, it came at seventy, and with a lot of worry and doubt and surprise. And I love to believe that love can come to us at any time and at any age. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we think, but we can’t give up the hope that in the end, we’ll get our HEA.
Anyone who knows my writing, knows I combine humor, emotion and sexytimes in my stories, and always, always, a HEA.
Here’s one of my favorite scenes with Sebastian and Matt and Lane…
“Hold still!” Lane pushed Sebastian’s good hand away from his ascot. “I almost had it.”
“Dear boy, there is a proper way to tie an ascot, and then there is your way.” Sebastian gave his young tenant a sniff, unimpressed with Lane’s current effort. The young man was taking forever, and Sebastian’s date would be there soon.
“Nervous much?” Matt laughed from the chair he lounged in. “You’re acting like this is the first date you’ve ever been on.”
“It is. In this century.” Sebastian sent him a withering glare, then smiled. “It feels like the first time. And blast it all; if not for this wrist of mine, I could dress myself.” He waved his arm, with cast, at Matt.
“The doctor said the cast is coming off in six weeks, not a day sooner. Besides, Matt and I don’t mind helping you out. You’ve done so much for us.” Lane bit his bottom lip as he pulled the silk over and stuck the garnet-studded gold pin through it.
“Who wears ascots anymore?” Matt groused. “Not that I don’t love the burgundy velvet jacket, but isn’t that overkill?”
“I wouldn’t be caught dead at Galatoire’s without one,” Sebastian gasped. “It just isn’t done.”
Lane slipped the black sling over Sebastian’s head and adjusted his arm in it.
Matt chuckled as Lane stood back to present Sebastian. “You look truly dashing, Sebastian. The cast adds a certain something. Think about an eye patch.”
“Incorrigible boy.” Sebastian swatted at Matt’s foot, but he moved out of reach.
“You’re going to knock his socks off,” Lane assured him.
“Don’t give him any ideas, Lanie.” Matt laughed. “You do look handsome. He’s not going to be able to resist you.”
Sebastian stared at his image in the mirror of the small bedroom in his French Quarter cottage. “It’s just a first date. Just dinner.” He waved a perfectly manicured hand, nails buffed to a high shine. The deep garnet-and-gold pinky ring caught the light and flashed in the mirror.
“He’s taking you to Galatoire’s.” Lane sat on the bed. “I’d say the man is seriously wooing you.”
“Where you’re concerned, there is no ‘just dinner,’ dearest.” Matt mimicked Sebastian perfectly, even to the arched eyebrow.
Sebastian tsked at them. “It’s just dinner.” But the butterflies in his stomach told him otherwise. He hadn’t felt this way since Frank, over twenty years ago. He’d thought he’d never feel it again, then last week—poof!—there sat Raymond Chou, across the next table from him, eating fries at the burger place on St. Charles Avenue.
The doorbell rang, and Sebastian jumped. He glanced at his gold Rolex. “Goodness. Right on time.” He took a deep breath, let it out, and headed to the front door.
Matt and Lane rose and followed. “Now, you’ve got cab fare in case he gets fresh, right?” Lane asked.
“Don’t put out on the first date.” Matt winked. “Make him work for it.”
Sebastian choked. “Children!” he muttered as he walked calmly through the front room of the cottage—or the parlor, as he called it—checking to see it was perfect.
“Call us if you need us to pick you up.”
“Have you got your cell phone?”
Sebastian waved his hand at them. “Lambs, please, I’ve got it right here.” He patted his pocket. “We’re going to walk to Galatoire’s from here. Raymond parked his car on Esplanade.”
“He still drives?” Matt asked, eyes twinkling. “Don’t let him get you in the back seat just because he buys you dinner.”
“Of course he still drives. We’re not ancient.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “Look, I know you’re both enjoying this to no end, but I’m going to be fine. It’s going to be fine. It’s just dinner.”
Sebastian reached the door and froze. This was it. His first date in…?
Well, let’s not go there.
The ring of the bell came again, and he opened the door.
“Hello, Raymond.” Sebastian stepped aside and let his date in.
Raymond Chou came in, took Sebastian’s hand in both of his, and gave him a quick peck on each of Sebastian’s blushing cheeks. “You look breathtaking, Sebastian.”
His soft accent made Sebastian’s knees weak. He’d always been a sucker for a man with an accent.
And he was dressed to the nines. Sebastian smiled. “That jacket is to die for.” He placed his hand on the other man’s arm and trailed it down, locking his gaze with Raymond’s.
His date’s dark eyes gleamed, the corners crinkled, and Sebastian melted a little bit more.
I hope with New Orleans Second Line readers will fall in love Matt and Lane, and especially Sebastian, and discover that love can come at any time and any age.
Plubisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 17, 2017
Matt and Lane grew up together, best friends, sharing almost all their secrets. But on the last day of college, those secrets spilled in one night of passion and tore them apart, sending Matt to the West Coast and Lane home to New Orleans.
Now, Hurricane Katrina is set to destroy New Orleans. This might be the worst time to try for a second chance, but nothing can keep Matt from Lane. The man he let get away.
For Lane, no hurricane can pry him from the city, especially without Sebastian. The older man has been a dear friend and his landlord since Lane returned from college. Sebastian refuses to flee, preferring to stay in his Creole cottage in the French Quarter and ride out the storm.
Sebastian’s life becomes intertwined with Lane’s, as Matt finds out when he’s drawn into capturing Sebastian’s memoirs of being gay in New Orleans. The elder gentleman’s stories are full of surprises and lessons for the young men.
The most important ones Sebastian teaches them—and himself—are that second chances don’t come along often, and you’re never too old to fall in love.
Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and best-selling author who grew up in New Orleans but currently lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.