Hi everyone! Thanks so much to Delilah for hosting me here on her blog. Delilah and I first “met” (don’t you love the internet, where you can know so many people that you wouldn’t recognize if they bit you?) when I submitted to her Smokin’ Hot Firemen anthology, and since then, have appeared alongside her in Duty & Desire. She was a blast to work with for Firemen, and her work’s both amazing and fun. So, thanks to Delilah again, and it’s lovely to be able to chat with her readers and fans. Thanks for having me.
One of my favorite writers is quoted as saying, “When a man writes a romance, the woman dies. When a woman writes one, it ends all tidy and sweet.”
The Rainbow Connection, a series of novels I have been writing for the last four years, is a romance. Admittedly, it is a gay romance, and until very recently, the likelihood of it ending in legal wedding was up for debate. But it was always meant to end happily.
The truth is, I was inspired to write what started as a short story and grew into a series of novels (three have been, or will be soon, published. One that’s being written, and one — maybe two? — that are in preliminary planning…) from an event that took place shortly before another wedding, many years ago. I had a tumultuous affair planned, for characters who took on a life of their own, ripped my control right out of my hands, and took me on a ride that I’ll never forget.
So, when I offer forth this little short story, I say to you, this is not a true spoiler. You always knew we were going this way. The road has been long, it has been winding, and it has had a great many bumps in it. But you knew the destination when you got in the car with me…
These books were always meant to be a romance, and a romance often needs a good wedding…
Catch up with Roll and Blues
About the Author
Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include geek comedy music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot.
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Free Read: Wedding March
Part One, Wedding March is hosted at VL Locey’s blog, Thoughts from a Yodeling Goatherder.
Part Two, Wedding March is hosted on EM Linley’s blog
Wedding March, Part Three
by Lynn Townsend
A short story, in parts…
“Vin, no,” Beau said. This was becoming almost annoying, and Beau suspected that once it had finished being annoying, it might come around to being funny. But it wasn’t funny just yet.
“Beau, yes, you absolutely have to. It’s a moral imperative.”
Beau looked back down at the glossy page, full of lovely young women all wearing horrible, pink, flouncy lacy dresses. Truth, they probably fell right out of a bad remake of Gone with the Wind. The Bollywood version.
“No. I really, really don’t. And even if I did have to, she would never in a million years agree to something like that.”
“You could convince her, Beau,” Vin said in his best wheedling tones. “She’d do it, if you asked her to.”
“Ann-Marie is my very best friend in the whole world,” Beau said, firmly. He knew Vin was right. If Beau asked, Ann-Marie would say yes. She’d also punch him about forty times in the arm and complain the entire time that he was making her hit him, but she would wear the ugliest dress known to man. If he wanted her to. The point, however, was that she was his very best friend precisely because he would never, ever do such a thing. “She can wear a nice pant-suit that matches with the cumberbunds. And if Mila wants to wear a dress, we can have one of those, made, too. There is absolutely no reason to make everyone unhappy.”
Vin grumbled for a moment, then conceded the point. “Well, can I at least threaten her with the picture?”
“Only if you want to die before the wedding,” Beau cautioned him. “You know how she feels about those sorts of things. And she would not entirely suspect you were joking.”
“That’s because I wouldn’t be,” Vin said. He turned the page, then stretched his legs out under the table, groaning. Vin’s knee injury still pained him, especially if he sat in the same position for too long.
“Let’s take a break, gentlemen,” the wedding planner said. “Walk down and get a cup of coffee?” There was a very nice coffee shop on the ground floor of the business center; they’d walked by it on their way up to the office.
“You said the magic word,” Beau said, as Vin nearly knocked over his chair in his enthusiasm. Beau’d never really gotten into coffee, himself. And the tea they served in Chicago was so unlike home’s “sweet tea” that they might only be loosely related beverages. But he thought he’d seen a deli on the first floor as well, and there was no reason why he couldn’t snag a Pepsi.
“So, Mila and Ann-Marie,” Vin said. “Who else are we actually asking to be in the wedding?”
“I ain’t asking Lee,” Beau said. He scuffed his toe on the carpet. His brother had finally apologized, and Beau had accepted. Family peace had been declared, sort of. But it would never be the same, and while having one’s brothers stand up at the wedding, Beau thought he’d just go ahead and dispense with that tradition. Aside from that, Gerald was still on speaking terms with Lee. Ginny and Lee actually attending the wedding might make things strained for his brother without adding an actual role in the proceedings.
“No? I thought I might ask my dad, though. Since it seems silly to have him give away the groom and all, maybe he’d like to be part of the ceremony.”
“Yeah, Jonah would get a kick out of that,” Beau said. “That’s a good idea.”
Vin suggested LeShelle Ross, one of the artists he worked with and had formed a strange bestgirlfriends sort of relationship with. She frequently called Vin her obligatory gay friend, with annoyed Beau, but didn’t seem to bother Vin in the slightest. To match numbers, Beau paired her up with Kate, his cousin.
“And I’d like to ask Lloyd,” Vin said, as they stepped into the line at the coffee bar. It might take a while to get drinks, based on the length of the queue. Beau chewed his lip for a moment, debating whether or not to continue this conversation at a later time. He hated when people stared at Vin and him as a couple. Hated it. He’d hold hands with his boyfriend and imagine every little snigger was directed at them. Even when he knew it wasn’t. Even when he knew he was being oversensitive and stupid. But sometimes, he’d see someone stare and see the loathing and disgust on their face and he’d be right back in the parking lot that cold, brutal night, and he’d see Chris’s leg coming for his ribs and not a damn thing he could do about it.
Sometimes, it was easier to just pretend he was straight.
I shouldn’t have to, he thought, sudden and angry. He twined his fingers with Vin’s and gave his fiancee his best grin. “That sounds great. Do you think David would stand up with me, if I asked him?”
David was Vin’s bodyguard and driver. He’d been working for the Reyeses as a man-Friday since Vin crashed two cars inside of two months. Vin and David weren’t friends; Vin thought of his driver as an employee — and sometimes a nuisance. David thought of Vin as his boss — and usually an idiot. But both of them would have taken a bullet for Beau without hesitation, and that bond kept them working together long after Vin outgrew the need for a babysitter.
Vin looked over from studying the chalkboard full of elaborate coffee-flavored drinks. “I can’t imagine that he’d say no. And he does look smart in a tux.”