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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In honor of those who risk so much to protect us



My debut novel with Dreamspinner Press, Everything Changes, features two very damaged heroes.  It’s the story of Jase and Carey, close friends who have served alongside each other in a hostile foreign country, fighting a relentless and brutal enemy.  Together they survive, and even though Carey has more visible injuries, Jase is wounded just as badly in his psyche and heart.
Carey Everett is an amputee, having lost his right leg due to an insurgent explosion while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan.  After his injury he endured several surgeries and underwent painful physical therapy, spending months in a wheelchair.  Eventually he was fitted for and learned to walk again on a prosthetic leg.
Jase DeSantis was the combat medic for Carey’s unit, and during the course of his military service he saw and experienced many horrors of war, including seeing his best friend grievously injured right in front of him.  Jase was able to save Carey’s life, but suffered years of guilt for not being able to save his leg.  Added to that was witnessing the brutal deaths of two honorable, brave men during a vicious battle with insurgents.
Carey was scarred on the outside, Jase on the inside.  Jase is fighting an ongoing battle with PTSD – a battle that’s become more debilitating with each passing year.  Carey was able to find emotional healing through helping other wounded veterans, work that gave his life meaning beyond pain and disfigurement. 
What would happen if these intense, life-changing experiences and the feelings that resulted turned friendship into love?  What if one of them had never in a million years imagined himself falling in love with another man?   Living with a disability, coping with PTSD and friendship catching fire are the main themes of Everything Changes. 
As an Air Force brat and Navy wife, I’ve been steeped in military culture almost my entire life.  This background gave me a lot of material to work with, and when I heard this line from a song that I love, “When it’s just me and you, who knows what we could do, if we can just make it through the toughest part of the day,” the story for Everything Changes was born…friends who indeed make it through the toughest part of the day and find love on the other side. 
A little bit more about me:  I’ve been a romance reader almost my entire adult life, a voracious reader of m/f historical romance.  Discovering m/m romance was like coming home, the readers and authors I met at GRL in 2013 and through online interaction feeling like “my people” from day one.  I had never dreamed of writing anything myself until something happened off-page in one of my most beloved m/m book series, something I couldn’t let go of and had to see happen.  So I wrote the story myself, and I posted it on Tumblr.
I won’t say that piece of fanfic was overwhelmingly received or changed my life, but I discovered an outlet for my love of romance and for certain book characters who had become precious to me.  When NaNoWriMo rolled around, I thought, “Why not,” and on November 1, 2013, I opened a Word file and started what eventually became Everything Changes.
Working with Dreamspinner Press has been a wonderful, positive experience, and I can’t speak highly enough of everyone I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, authors and staff alike.  I’m looking forward to GRL 2014, where I will be appearing as a supporting author.  If you are there, please come find me.  I’d love a “hi” and a hug!



Excerpt: (slightly NSFW)
Carey’s mouth fell open, and heat rushed through him as Jase kicked the clothing off, pushing it aside with his foot. He held his arms out to the side, grinning impishly at Carey.

“Well?”

“Damn,” Carey breathed. “You’re beautiful, Jase.” With his eyes he traced Jase’s body from head to toe, the lean muscles, ridged abdomen, pecs topped by prominent brown nipples. His cock was framed by a trimmed mat of pubic hair.

“You keep looking at me like that, this ain’t gonna last long,” Jase growled. Carey smirked, then twirled his finger in a turn-around motion.

“I feel like a piece of meat,” Jase grumbled good-naturedly, but turned in a slow circle. Carey’s mouth watered as he took in Jase's broad shoulders and muscular back, tapering in a perfect V into slim hips and high, round buttocks. Carey was a little bemused at how looking at another man’s body was revving him up, but it was. It was just… Jase. Carey already knew how beautiful he was on the inside; now he knew how stunning he was on the outside too.

Using his support leg and his arms, he pulled himself to the edge of the bed and sat up, crooking his finger at Jase.

“Come here.”

Jase’s eyes flared hot, and he took the few steps necessary to reach the edge of the bed. Carey reached up slowly and moved his hands onto Jase’s hips, stroking over the hipbones lightly before tugging him forward to stand between his legs.

“I just want to touch you,” he said hoarsely. “Is that okay?”

Jase smoothed Carey’s hair back from his forehead, his fingertips achingly gentle. “Touch me,”
he said simply.

Melanie Hansen contact info:

@MelJoyAZ (Twitter)

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4 comments:

  1. I was a huge fan of your fanfic and I'm so excited that you're publishing your own original writing now. I love Carey and Jase's story, and I can't wait for more!

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  2. Thank you so much!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Oh, and apparently I like living in the past a little too much, LOL. No, I won't be trying to teleport back to GRL 2014, but I will be at GRL *2015* so come see me! :)

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  3. I loved reading your book. Corey and Jase always felt very dear to me. And I can't wait to see what comes next. Keep writing! <3

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