Please welcome guest author Zee Kensington to my blog today, to talk about autumn and what it means to them!
For me, autumn doesn’t truly begin until October. Sure, Halloween decorations have been up in the stores since August, and I’ve been drinking pumpkin spice lattes since early September, but there’s something magic about flipping the calendar to October. Now the real seasonal fun can begin!
Maybe it has to do with my Southern Californian childhood. The weather down in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas are so consistently temperate that there’s hardly a shift in the season. Outside my childhood home, the leaves on the maple trees would go from green to yellow to brown without the poetic shift to orange or red. The temperature would drop, but never more than a few degrees, and some days could still get as hot as summer. Trick-or-treating was comfortable without a jacket, and I never owned a scarf until I moved up to Northern California.
These are the autumns that Marco—one of the two primary characters in my first novel, Finally Home—has grown up with. Living in the LA area, he’s used to October bonfires on the beach (with maybe a hoodie to cut the ocean breeze), sunny hikes up the chaparral-studded Hollywood Hills, and Friday nights spent at major theme parks decked out for Halloween.
That’s why his first trip to New York City—hometown to his friend and lover, Chris—is such a shock to his system. Heck, it was a shock to my system the first time I visited NYC in October, and I’d been living in the San Francisco area’s cool, foggy hills for years.
In New York, the air was crisp and biting, despite the bright sunshine. It was cold in the middle of the afternoon, and I wore a sweater under a leather jacket everywhere. You could almost smell frost on the breeze, and the nip made me crave sweet, hot beverages like apple cider (with a dash of rum). The leaves in Central Park were still mostly green, but some had begun to dress themselves in copper and scarlet. The ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center was already open, too, and people in scarves and hats were merrily gliding on the ice. I didn’t join in—I’d never really learned how to ice skate! For someone who was so used to static climate, it was almost magical to see such a marked change in the weather. Now this was the autumn I’d only read about in books!
I remembered that wonder when I wrote Marco’s arrival in NYC. I felt it added a bit of gravity to his decision to defy his family and buck his responsibilities to be at Chris’s side in his time of need. It was a concrete reminder that indeed, he wasn’t in Los Angeles anymore, he was out in the world on his own—and he wasn’t even prepared enough to pack a jacket. At least he had Chris to keep him warm!
Those memories of my East Coast autumn bring a smile to my face as I’m sipping my iced pumpkin spice latte in my tank top. These days, NorCal’s weather is starting to feel more like SoCal’s, and I’ve begun to wonder how long it’ll be before I feel the genuine kiss of a cool, crisp autumn breeze. At least I found a place to view some lovely, fiery leaves, and I’m in driving distance to some of the state’s best pumpkin patches. So what if I show up in shorts and sandals instead of a scarf and jacket? It may not be a textbook autumn, but it’s mine.
By Zee Kensington
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 29, 2014
Length: 206 pages
ISBN: eBook: 978-1-62798-907-7, Paperback: 978-1-62798-906-0
Genre categories: contemporary, M/M, erotic, romance
After one night in Bangkok turned into ten days trekking together, novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways thinking they’d never see each other again. Three months later, Marco still can’t forget the greatest adventure of his life—or the gorgeous guy he shared it with. Too afraid to come out to his family, Marco is suffocating in his suburban Southern California life, until Chris announces he’s coming to LA.
Chris has spent the past four years wandering alone, rebuilding himself from the ashes of a failed journalism career. He arrives in Los Angeles eager to eat, write, and resume the sexy, casual fun he had enjoyed with Marco. But when Chris finds his friend is a terrified closet-case at home, he’s determined to help Marco confront his fears.
Priorities change when Chris’s father suffers a stroke, and Chris rushes to New York City to face a harsh homecoming with the family he abandoned. When Marco defies his parents to be at Chris’s side, Chris begins to realize there may be more to their relationship than just work and play, and that Marco may be the one to show Chris what it means to finally be home.
Dreamspinner Press eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5363
Dreamspinner Press paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5364&cPath=55_558
Krung Thep, City of Angels
Prequel to Finally Home
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 22, 2014 (original release date February 2012)
Length: 44 pages
ISBN: eBook: 978-1-63216-829-0
Genre categories: contemporary, erotic, gay, M/M, romance
Marco finds himself in over his head when he chooses Bangkok—Krung Thep to the locals—as his first solo travel destination. Luckily, seasoned travel journalist Chris takes Marco under his wing. Over one whirlwind day, the two Americans realize they have more in common than their homeland. Chris’s role changes from tour guide to mentor as he encourages Marco to embrace his budding identity as a gay man, and their camaraderie blossoms into romance. However, their newly forged connection is threatened by Chris’s career obligations—and unwillingness to change his solitary ways.
1st Edition appeared in Two Tickets to Paradise anthology published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2012.
Available as a FREE download: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5607
Zee Kensington discovered a passion for writing erotica in her freshman year of college, and has been crafting sweet and sexy stories ever since. Inspired by her years working and playing in San Francisco’s LGBT community, she is especially drawn to tales that explore the joys and challenges of queer identities.
An almost-native Californian and a card-carrying geek, she currently lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and toddler. When she’s not writing or catching up on her sleep she enjoys watching films, playing video games, experimenting in her kitchen, and dreaming of the day her son is old enough to travel the world with her.
Dreamspinner Press author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=558