We’re so pleased to have author Amy Lane joining us to chat about the release of her new novel, Bonfires.
Kids and Romance
Isn’t it funny how kids act as birth control.
No, wait—grownups can find their own birth control. Kids act as sex deterrent.
It’s a proven fact.
When my youngest child was about two months old, Mate and I took the kids to Target. At the time, that was two middle-schoolers, a toddler, and, yes, the baby in the basket. We had one object in mind.
When we were done, we’d spent over two-hundred dollars on an assortment of things. As chaos broke around us, the kids lost their minds, the toddler screamed, and the baby cried, we bought clothes, cookies, DVD’s, towels, snacks, bread, milk, Sharpies, and, oh yes, the giant box of prophylactics, because we were apparently delusional as hell.
But that didn’t stop the clerk from wading her way through the chaos, getting to the condoms and giving our entire circus the stink-eye. “Oh, yes,” her look seemed to say. “You people had better get right on this, because you don’t need one more clown in your car, you hear what I’m saying?”
Oh yeah. Loud and clear.
And you’d think that after the baby gets big enough to read her own book, find her own cartoons on TV, and make her own sandwich, the situation would improve, but it doesn’t. Because while the older two kids are out of the house, the baby—and her once-toddler brother—are now aware of what sex is, and when people have it, and oh, holy God, don’t let our parents do that or life as we know it may cease to exist!
We literally have to wait until dark-thirty a.m. to do the thing that brought kids into our lives in the first place.
It’s kind of disheartening.
And it’s not just sex!
One of the things Mate and I started doing a couple of years ago was to go on shopping dates. Do we need food? We’ll go get it! There was an older kid at home, we’d only be gone an hour, but thankyoujebus, we could have an entire hour to ourselves to actually talk! (Remember, talking to your Mate? Isn’t that how you decided you wanted to have sex and kids and a house and a life in the first place?)
And when we went on actual dates? Forgeddaboudit. Mate and I have been known to make it to dinner, ditch the movie, and sit in the car so long the cat has been known to jump on top of the hood and bitch at us through the windshield so we will shut the hell up already and let her into the house! (Granted, she’s a very vocal cat who thinks she’s the reincarnation of the Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but I digress…)
So what I’m saying here is that a romance between two men with demanding jobs and a good relationship with their children—even their nearly adult children—isn’t going to be easy.
I mean, if I wanted to do two mercenaries at almost fifty, all they’d really need to do was put rubbers and lube in their pockets, pop a boner pill and go at it like bonobos on Viagra in all the vacant corners of wherever they were running their op. BANG. We’ve got hot guys over forty getting it on.
But working fathers?
They have conversations in cars on their way to and from things, and kisses behind trees when they’re supposed to be running. They have sex when their kids are asleep and they’re not, and they hope they’ve instilled enough respect in their children to have their boundaries respected, even if they have to answer the hard questions before and after.
But just because they’re doing these things on the sly, in the nooks and crannies of life, that doesn’t make them any less in love than the hot mercenaries in the jungle or the twenty-somethings just starting out. It actually means they might be more in love, because they know what they’re getting into, and they know the pitfalls of love when more than one heart is involved. They know that life gets dirty and complicated, and that if they’re in a relationship, they need to depend on the other person to help them keep it straight.
And that they need to pony up when it’s their turn.
So yes. Having kids and a new relationship isn’t easy. But having kids and any relationship is a challenge.
Hopefully with Larx and Aaron, I made it worth the effort to read about. I certainly did enjoy watching them blend their lives together as creatively as they could.
About the Book
Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.
Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.
It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
Follow the Tour
March 17 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 24 – Divine Magazine
March 27 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 27 – The Novel Approach
March 28 – Alpha Book Club
March 29 – Love Bytes
March 30 – Gay Book Reviews
March 31 – My Fiction Nook