We are all born into this world a blank page, a story that’s waiting to be written, one filled with the unexpected and with infinite possibilities. Each new day seamlessly weaves us into its story, each new day’s story becoming a predication of who we are yet to be.
In short, life is indeed filled with Grand Adventures, and there’s a reason Shakespeare observed that “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” It’s a rather poetic and eloquent estimation of the human condition: we, each and every one of us, tread the boards of destiny and free will; and it is drama, comedy, romance all thrown into the cauldron and stirred together, then shaped into the Us-like characters who move through this great production of being. We find our marks on life’s stage, sometimes we parallel and sometimes we intersect, and if we are among the truly fortunate, we, in Time, find someone whose life thread is bright and brilliant and will look most lovely woven into the fabric of our own. As Time unfolds before us, those chapters behind us become our Once Upon a Times, the collected tales that, upon reflection, have been submitted for a life in review: it was an action packed thrill ride; the pacing was uneven and the character interaction lacked chemistry; there were twists and turns on every page; it was an epic journey filled with ordinary heroes; it was heartbreaking and hopeful; the ending was…unexpected.
There is never a Time like right now, at this very moment, to count our blessings that we have paralleled and intersected the lives of Eric Arvin and TJ Klune. Although neither would likely agree with me, they are ordinary heroes; they are the dragon slayers in their own fairy tale love story, brought together by words and imagination and bonded at the soul by a strength and courage few of us will ever be called upon to muster. Theirs is a real life Grand Adventure, filled with twists and turns and heartbreak and hope. Their chemistry is immeasurable, and though their pacing has been, without doubt, more than a little uneven over the course of the last several months, their story is one that has never failed to resonate in the hearts and minds of their literary family.
We who read, who absorb the words of writers, who borrow their creations for a time and fall in love with their characters, are each witnessing a journey and a romance that defies words and imagination. We are the privileged and we, all of us, stand in awe in the face of love.
And this story? Well, it’s only just begun.
We at The Novel Approach would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the authors who gave of their time and talent to this project, to John Goode for taking an idea and running with it, to Elizabeth North and Dreamspinner Press for bringing it to fruition, and most of all, to Eric and TJ for sharing their journey with us.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.
The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.
One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.
Foreword by S.A. McAuley
An Unexpected Thing by John Amory
The Twinkie Ignition by J.E. Birk
When Friendship Becomes More by Sophie Bonaste
Isle of Waiting by Sue Brown
The Jogger by KC Burn
Holding Court by Cardeno C.
For Dear Life by Mary Calmes
Under the Full Moon by Ellis Carrington
Stripped by Shae Connor (2nd Edition)
That Place Across the Hall by C.C. Dado
Mistaken MD by Phoenix Emrys
Cops and Comix by Rhys Ford
Last First Kiss by LE Franks
Tomorrow by John Goode
From Fantasy to Friends by CR Guiliano
Witness Protected by Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Water Under the Bridge by Mia Kerick
A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness by Amy Lane
Air (Roads #1.75 million) by Garrett Leigh
An Atheist and a Yoga Instructor Walk into a Bar by Rowan McAllister
Stalking 101 by Moria McCain
Simple Desires by Tempeste O’Riley
Object of Care by Zahra Owens
Kid Confusion by Madison Parker
Fall Train by Jaime Samms
The Exhibition by Andrea Speed
What You Will by Tinnean
Prologue by Brandon Witt