A warm love bytes welcome to author Amy Lane joining us today to talk about new release “Regret Me Not”.
Welcome Amy 🙂
Hiding Christmas By Amy Lane
In Regret Me Not Pierce and Hal end up going shopping together. A lot. But as much as they go shopping for Pierce’s family, and his friends, and for general stuff to just make their lives more interesting, they don’t actually go shopping for each other because A. they’re together and it wouldn’t be a surprise and B. where would they hide the gift if they could make it a surprise?
And it’s true—hiding Christmas is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a parent. Especially as my house gets filled up with crap—there’s no place to put the gifts the kids don’t know about.
Now for a while, Mate had the husk of an old Mustang taking over the garage—that was great. He could store bags in the nonexistent backseat, in the trunk, under the dashboard. That was particularly effective when all four of the kids got really big shit like dolls and stuff that made for a big package. In fact, hiding Christmas gifts was probably the only reason we held on to that thing for so long—it was supposed to be a project car but Mate’s not really a project guy. He spent one afternoon buffing out dents and after that he just looked at it and thought, “I wish I knew where to start.” So seriously—storing Christmas presents was the most love we ever gave that car.
For a while—before the stuff literally took over the damned garage—there were big shelves that we stored my crap yarn on. I’ve been trying to give that away for years, and every now and then I’d get rid of a box of it and that would free up some shelf space. That worked. I was good with that. Go me!
But then the crap took over the garage—right about the time soccer took over our lives—and we haven’t cleared the crap out yet, so that’s not a great place either.
Which brings me to the time Mate and I went shopping together for the kids. Now, in the last seven years, we’ve turned this into an art form, but this was seriously the first time we’d done this activity together for a while. I used to get up at asscrack of dawn and go shopping with a friend on Black Friday—it was our thing, and Mate was grateful when we went because he didn’t have to. But this was a teacher friend, and I sort of lost all those when I lost my teaching job, so he was up.
We did our best—stuff for everybody, trying to make it even, having about sixty big things we had to go back and get when we were done. And the whole time we were shopping I was like, “Uh, where are we going to put this shit?”
“Don’t worry, Amy. We’ll put it in the hall closet.”
Now, our house is notoriously short on closet space. I’m wondering, “Holy shit! Is there a closet that hasn’t been discovered yet? Is it like the room of requirement? Where the hell is he putting this?”
But he seemed to think we had it all in hand.
So we get home and he strides to the closet and opens it, saying, “Here! Here’s where we’ll hide it!”
And I looked at a bulging non-functional space and said, “Uh…”
And he was like, “What the fuck! When’d all this shit get in here!”
And we still had a minivan full of stuff that we had to hide.
“So, uh…” I said, thinking we’d just throw a couple of boxes of dead dinosaur to the four winds and go with it, and suddenly he started hauling shit out of the closet. “What are you doing?”
“We’re gonna clean it!” he crowed.
After staring at him for a minute, I joined in the madness.
Remember—we had to pick the kids up from school that day. We cleaned that closet in twenty minutes. There was a stroller in there—and Squish was years beyond strollers at this point. There was Halloween candy in there—from Halloweens long gone by. There were three bags of kid’s clothes in that closet—including a pair of shorts that fit Chicken when she was eighteen months old, but wouldn’t fit Squish at four.
Oh dear God. The things… the things we pulled out of the closet in twenty minutes. The things I’ve fuckin’ seen.
That closet has never gotten that bad again—not in the last eight years. And one of the funniest things about that moment came about two weeks after Christmas when dad got home and yelled at the kids about leaving their jackets on the couch.
“Where do you want us to put them?” they cried.
Mate smiled smugly. “The closet.”
“You lie! Nothing can fit in there!”
“No, no—it’s clean.”
“Mom and I did it a while back,” he said airily. “We can put stuff in there now.”
He walked away and joined me in the bedroom, where I was rolling on the bed, dying with laughter. Yeah, yeah—we just cleaned it cause cleaning stuff is what we do! There was no other reason on earth for that closet to be clean.
So enjoy Regret Me Not—and when it ends, maybe think about what these guys can get each other for Christmas when they have worlds enough and time.
And closet space!
Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas. Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend. As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.
Amy Lane has two grown children, two half-grown children, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.