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Ryan Loveless
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message 1: by Dreamspinner (new)

Dreamspinner Press (dreamspinnerpress) | 2637 comments Mod
Join Ryan Loveless, author of Kaden's Colors at 3PM EST for a chat.


message 2: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments I'll actually be talking mostly about Ethan, Who Loved Carter, but we can talk about Kaden some too. :)

Hope to see you back here at 3!


message 3: by Lou (new)

Lou Sylvre | 360 comments Hi Ryan! Just checking in before I go over to the DSP facebook and blatantly enjoy my chat there. I have to say Ethan Who Loved Carter is a fabulous title, I love the cover, and the blurb makes me think I'll love the story, too. Tourette's can be so heartbreaking, but hide such beautiful personalities behind it. Sounds great!


message 4: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Lou wrote: "Hi Ryan! Just checking in before I go over to the DSP facebook and blatantly enjoy my chat there. I have to say Ethan Who Loved Carter is a fabulous title, I love the cover, and the blurb makes me ..."

Thank you so much. I hope you'll have the chance to check it out. Okay, I have to start this thing now. Say hello to everyone over there for me. :)


message 5: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Hello people and welcome to my second GR chat. We had a great time on the last one, so get your lampshades out and let's get this party going!

Today the chat will last from 3pm-6pm est and will mainly focus on Ethan, Who Loved Carter, but feel free to ask about other books I've done as well. I'll post excerpts from Ethan and we'll have a giveaway or 2. And at the end I have a special treat for all of you. :)

Let's start with the blurb from Ethan:

By twenty-four, Carter Stevenson has stuttered and ticced his way to debilitating shyness. Although his friends accuse him of letting his Tourette's dictate his life, Carter moves from Los Angeles to a quiet California town. He'll keep his head down and avoid people. He doesn't anticipate his new neighbor, Ethan Hart, crashing into his solitude and forcing him to get out and live.

From the beginning, Ethan makes his love for Carter clear. But he fears Carter won't see past Ethan's damaged brain, even though it makes Ethan more attuned to his emotions than most people. For Carter, there's a bigger issue: he's been burned by so-called "perfect" matches, and he won't risk his heart again.

One way or another, Ethan's determined to show Carter they belong together. Then Ethan receives tragic news. Suddenly he must turn to Carter for strength and support. Will Carter come through when Ethan needs him most?



message 6: by Diane (new)

Diane (Diall68) | 36 comments Hi Ryan!
Thanks for taking the time for having this chat!

This new book looks like an amazing story - and one where it may be a good idea to keep kleenex nearby? Fortunately, I actually like stories that pull me in emotionally like that!!!

Was there a specific trigger for the inspiration of this story?


message 7: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Excerpt 1 from Ethan, Who Loved Carter


**Shortly after Carter moves to Santa Josephina, he goes to a coffee shop where his and Ethan's first meeting takes place. **

“Cuh cuh cuh-ca—” Carter stopped. He took a breath and lowered his eyes from the barista’s wince. She was a diminutive twenty-something with a logic-defying hairstyle framed by her visor that involved two chopsticks and a few hundred dark brown cornrowed braids twisted on top of her head into a loose bun that had no business staying in place. She had better things to do than listen to Carter make an idiot of himself, but apart from the wince, she didn’t rush him despite the line behind him. Carter tried again. Cafe au lait. The air was hot around him; his throat strangled the consonants and didn’t give the vowels a chance.

“Maybe you could just point,” came a woman’s not unkind voice from behind him. He squeezed his eyes shut. He hadn’t dared a glance behind himself, but he could hear as the rumblings got louder and knew that the line had increased while he’d stood there. The barista drummed her nails against the side of the register. They were three inches long and each painted with a different immaculate flower. He recorded the absent rhythm. Tap scrape tap tap scrape and twitched, neck and shoulder, to it.

“Just give him a coffee,” a guy said. “Come on.”

Carter shook his head. Caffeine, no, bad. That would tighten him up even more, make it impossible to unwind, make the tics worse. “Duh duh de deca—”

“Decaf?” The barista asked.

Carter nodded. He hated having his sentences finished; it reminded him even more that he was the one slowing everything down. Getting stuck on sounds was one of his tics, and also his mind was too fast for his mouth, but no one saw that part of it. They simply thought he was stupid or, if he was lucky, shy, which was another reason for his stuttering.

She held up different sized cups. Humiliated, Carter pointed at the smaller one.

“What are you, a moron?” A different voice this time, the angriest one yet. Carter folded in on himself, shoulders scrunched and head down. Get your money out. Get ready to go. He had it in hand already: a five dollar bill clutched from the start of this debacle. The barista emerged from behind the counter and stormed past him.

“N-no, p-puh please.” He didn’t think he could ever come back here as it was; if she came to his defense—oh God, was there anything more humiliating?—he wouldn’t be able to talk himself into leaving his house. She was five foot tall at a generous guess. What was she going to do? Head-butt the guy in the stomach? He turned around, using the motion to hide a tic that started from his side and jerked up to his shoulder, to watch the carnage.

Carter froze as he took in the tableau. The man who had yelled stood red-faced and arguing with his hands; the barista faced him, pissed off and waving back, and off to the side, Carter’s new neighbor held a dripping towel. His hair wasn’t dark as Carter had concluded the previous night. Rather, it was a deep orange-ish red. It stuck up from his head in thick tousled points that went every which way. Carter was right about him being tall. He was a comfortable six feet at least. He wore an apron that matched the barista’s over a white long-sleeved shirt. Carter followed the trail of drips from his towel to the table that the customer stood beside. The relief he felt when he realized the man’s outburst hadn’t been directed at him ended the moment Carter saw his neighbor’s fragile expression.

“I’m sorry,” Carter’s neighbor said.

“Ethan, do not apologize for someone else being a jackass,” the barista said.

“He knocks my coffee over and I’m the jackass? You get what you pay for when you hire re—”

The barista stepped into the man’s space. “You finish that word, Ned, and I’ll ban you for life.”

Ned closed his mouth.

“For now, you’re banned for today. Get out.”

Ned looked at the overturned cup on the table as if he were considering taking it with him. Glancing at Ethan, who stood squeezing the towel and staring at the floor, he left. For a moment, no one spoke, although everyone pretended not to be looking. The barista had a quiet conversation with Ethan. When they finished, Ethan stepped over to the table and wiped up the mess. People resumed talking.

The barista returned to the counter. She sighed at Carter, as if settling in for another challenge. “You want milk?” she asked.

“Yes,” Carter said. He was too shaken by the distraction of what had happened to notice he hadn’t stuttered until the transaction was over. He started for the door, coffee in hand and change in his pocket, when he switched his course and headed for Ethan.

“Hi.”

Ethan looked up. He’d polished the table to a shine. Now he held the towel in front of him like a shield.

“I’m Carter. I just moved in next door to you.”

“I know,” Ethan said. “I saw you. You have a lot of stuff.” Ethan talked faster than Carter, but each sound seemed selected with care. Instead of making him sound robotic, the effect was musical. He had a warm voice, softer than Carter had expected from his size (and he was big: not only in height but broad-shouldered as well).

Carter laughed in agreement. He’d wanted to leave a portion of his things behind, but Alice and John had frightened him into taking everything. They’d said, “You never know when you’ll need a….” and dropped in the name of the item he wanted to toss. “I saw you too,” Carter said. “You were in the yard with another man. Was that your—?” He hesitated, not wanting to say “boyfriend” in case Ethan was in the closet.

“My dad,” Ethan said. “I was showing him the music in the clouds. But he doesn’t always understand it.”

“Oh.” Carter wasn’t sure what to say. He’d never met anyone who heard music in the sky. “Your name’s Ethan? I heard her—” he pointed at the barista “—call you that.”

“Yes. She’s Vera.” Ethan peered at him. “You’re talking better.”

“I… guess I’m more comfortable with other freaks.” Carter grinned; he felt good and safe talking to Ethan, but Ethan’s smile disappeared. Too late, Carter realized what he’d done. “I didn’t mean—”

“I’m not a freak,” Ethan said.

“No, no, no, I’m sorry.” Carter flailed his hands, trying to catch the words before he tensed up too much to say them.

“You’d better go.” Carter turned to see Vera standing beside him and, again, the line of people oriented toward them. This time, her sharp glare burned into him.

“Yes, I’m sorry, I… Ethan, I didn’t mean….”

But Ethan had already shut down. His face flooded with hurt that Carter couldn’t bear to see.

“Now,” Vera said.

Silent and shamed, Carter retreated. In his car, he took his first sip of coffee. He winced at the sharp taste and stuck it into the cup holder to sit as a bitter reminder of his stupidity.


message 8: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Diane wrote: "This new book looks like an amazing story - and one where it may be a good idea to keep kleenex nearby? Fortunately, I actually like stories that pull me in emotionally like that!!!

Was there a specific trigger for the inspiration of this story?"


Thanks, Diane! Tissues won't be amiss for this, but I don't view it as a tearjerker. It's a really sweet love story between two wonderful young men facing some unique challenges.

What inspired me was just the fact that I've always loved reading stories about people living with brain damage. I can think of Brier's Bargain and Muscling Through as two great examples, but I have to say the real impetus was some of the wonderful fanfiction on the theme that I've read, in particular in the Supernatural and Stargate Atlantis fandoms. I really wanted to try my hand at it, but I didn't know if I could do anything that would be as good as these stories. Then I was out on a walk one day and I thought, "The other boy has Tourette's!" It was an epiphany moment because I've wanted to do a TS story for YEARS, but I never had a plot for it. But after I had this idea, the whole story fell into place. I think it works because both boys have something that they need help with and that they help each other with. It's not a one-sided relationship at all.


message 9: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Do you personally know anyone with Tourette's? I know some authors use aspects of friends to make up characters.


message 10: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "Do you personally know anyone with Tourette's? I know some authors use aspects of friends to make up characters."

Yes, me. :) It's genetic on my dad's side. I have a few cousins with it too. Carter has some of his traits sprinkled in from me and other family members. We all have very different ways of manifesting it, so that all goes in there. (I'm fairly mild on the big tics; one cousin has almost no control over his tics.)

I don't have any close friends who've had a traumatic brain injury, though. I was able to speak to one online friend who shared her experiences and she beta read the book for me and made some great suggestions on Ethan, which I supplemented with a lot of research.


message 11: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments So Juliana has made me curious, how many of you guys know someone with Tourette's or if you don't know anyone, when/how did you first hear about it?

What about knowing someone who suffered a brain injury? What impact has knowing that person had on you?


message 12: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Interesting. So an amalgamation of everyone's tics. Was it difficult to research brain injury?


message 13: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Excerpt 2* from Ethan, Who Loved Carter : Carter at the beach with Ethan's family. (Elliot is Ethan's fifteen year old brother. Liz is Ethan's mother.)

*Edited for length

After dinner, it was back to the sand castle. The tide had washed out part of it, but Ethan simply started over. Carter hauled four more buckets of water from the ocean before he collapsed onto a towel. “I’m done,” he said.

“Okay.” Ethan picked up the bucket and began the slow walk to the water.

“Ethan.”

“Let him go,” Elliot said. It sounded like a warning, so Carter scooted over to help scoop out the moat as he watched Ethan from the corner of his eye. Ethan returned with the bucket three-quarters full, having sloshed out some of it, and beaming with pride.

“Next time you do it,” he said to Elliot.

“Whatever.” But when the time came, Elliot made the trip without being asked.

“The water’s cold,” Ethan said. “See?” From his sprawled position, he held up a pink foot.

Not thinking, Carter pulled it into his lap and rubbed. Ethan jerked like he was ticklish. “Sorry.” Carter let him go, but Ethan plopped the other one down. His toes were painted dark blue. Carter hadn’t noticed them before. He wondered if Ethan had done them himself.

“Do this one.”

Carter put on his best annoyed face, which made Ethan laugh. “Fine,” Carter said. He dug his thumbs into the sole of Ethan’s foot, which was a good three sizes bigger than Carter’s, not that he was thinking about those implications, not even when Ethan tossed his head back and moaned. Carter hurried to switch to another motion… one less loud.

Elliot returned with the water. He cast a glare at Carter. “Ethan. Thought you wanted to do the sandcastle.”

“I’m having my feet rubbed,” Ethan said.

Carter prepared to say that they should stop because Elliot was making him uncomfortable, but Elliot pivoted to put his back to them and continued working on the castle. Carter returned his concentration to Ethan’s feet. Despite his brother being a few inches away, Ethan’s moans didn’t lose any volume. Elliot put his earbuds in and pointedly turned up his music.

“Oh, he loves having his feet rubbed,” Liz said. Carter, already tense from Elliot, almost shoved Ethan’s foot away as she came up behind them like a beach ninja, but she leaned down and ruffled Ethan’s hair. “Hey.”

Ethan looked at her with a dreamy smile. “Want to stay here all day, Mom.”

“It’s getting cold, Buddy. It’s time to get a shower and put your clothes back on.”

“Mom….”

“Dad’s setting up a campfire.” Liz cut off Ethan’s whine. “He has a surprise for you.”

“S’mores?” Ethan asked. He sat up on his elbow, eyes bright and hopeful.

“Maybe.” Liz teased with her smile.


message 14: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "Interesting. So an amalgamation of everyone's tics. Was it difficult to research brain injury?"

No. I'm a research librarian and archivist. Research is what I do. :D I research all of my books, sometimes for months before I start writing.


message 15: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "So Juliana has made me curious, how many of you guys know someone with Tourette's or if you don't know anyone, when/how did you first hear about it?

What about knowing someone who suffered a brain..."


There was a kid in my school, Elementary and Middle, that had it. Sam's tics seemed more repetitive tapping from what I remember. It was barely noticeable, and we had all been in classes with him for years so it stopped registering after a time. He was the only one I have known. No one with brain injury.


message 16: by Diane (new)

Diane (Diall68) | 36 comments Sad to say people still react so strongly when they meet someone with a brain issue, be it damage, disease or disability, when they often see people and life the most purely!
I'm looking forward to reading this story!


message 17: by Panalopy (new)

Panalopy | 17 comments Ethan, Who Loved Carter sounds like a great story. I also liked Brier's Bargain and Muscling Through. The only Supernatural fic I've read was The Doors of Time by Felisblanco and I bawled like a baby :)


message 18: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Panalopy wrote: "Ethan, Who Loved Carter sounds like a great story. I also liked Brier's Bargain and Muscling Through. The only Supernatural fic I've read was The Doors of Time by Felisblanco and I bawled like a b..."

The Doors of Time was amazing. You should check out her other work.


message 19: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "Juliana wrote: "Interesting. So an amalgamation of everyone's tics. Was it difficult to research brain injury?"

No. I'm a research librarian and archivist. Research is what I do. :D I research all..."


I am in my last semester studying art history so research is my bread and butter! I think well researched books are essential to making the story.


message 20: by Diane (new)

Diane (Diall68) | 36 comments Panalopy wrote: "Ethan, Who Loved Carter sounds like a great story. I also liked Brier's Bargain and Muscling Through. The only Supernatural fic I've read was The Doors of Time by Felisblanco and I bawled like a b..."

I've got Muscling Through on my to-read list but I'll have to check out these others too!


message 21: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Diane wrote: "Sad to say people still react so strongly when they meet someone with a brain issue, be it damage, disease or disability, when they often see people and life the most purely!"

That definitely came across in the books I read for research. This one was amazing:
Where Is the Mango Princess?: A Journey Back From Brain Injury

I had to give Ethan that trait, of course!


message 22: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "There was a kid in my school, Elementary and Middle, that had it. Sam's tics seemed more repetitive tapping from what I remember. It was barely noticeable, and we had all been in classes with him for years so it stopped registering after a time. "

I used to get teased for blinking. Not fun.


message 23: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "I am in my last semester studying art history so research is my bread and butter! I think well researched books are essential to making the story."

I agree for books based in reality. Kaden's Colors had virtually no research. LOL

I think of art history as an intimidating major, but then I don't really know how to begin approaching it. It intrigues me, though!


message 24: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments I think Sam was teased mostly by older kids on the playground then by kids in our class. I think he seemed normal to us because we had been in the same class for years and he was just as hyper as everyone else. ;) But the older kids were viscous, I heard them call Sam "retard" and had to ask my mom what it meant. I don't know what happened in High School because I moved away but I think kids that age were probably worse...


message 25: by Diane (new)

Diane (Diall68) | 36 comments Ryan wrote: "Diane wrote: "Sad to say people still react so strongly when they meet someone with a brain issue, be it damage, disease or disability, when they often see people and life the most purely!"

That d..."


Thanks for the reference! I always think of the Depeche Mode song "People are People" as well as believing you treat people with respect, no matter what - although I have had a few "Vera" moments in my life where I've been Vera!!!


message 26: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Morris | 15 comments Hi Ryan!! I'm looking forward to reading Ethan, who loved Carter...the blurb and excerpts look soooo good! Can't wait to finally read it :)


message 27: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Diane wrote: "although I have had a few "Vera" moments in my life where I've been Vera!!! "

Sometimes you just have to stand up for people. It's the right thing to do.


message 28: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "Juliana wrote: "I am in my last semester studying art history so research is my bread and butter! I think well researched books are essential to making the story."

I agree for books based in reali..."


As per Kaden's Colors that is the fun part of making your own world! No research means you can make anything you want.
I know what you mean about art history, it is a lot of information! Thousands of years of art to know!


message 29: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments What do you guys think of the excerpts so far? There are 2 more coming before we're done.


message 30: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Crissy wrote: "Hi Ryan!! I'm looking forward to reading Ethan, who loved Carter...the blurb and excerpts look soooo good! Can't wait to finally read it :)"

It will be available midnight on Monday (Sunday night). I bet I'm more excited about that than you. It's been such a long wait!


message 31: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "What do you guys think of the excerpts so far? There are 2 more coming before we're done."

I really like the second one! A slightly dysfunctional family day at the beach!


message 32: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "Ryan wrote: "What do you guys think of the excerpts so far? There are 2 more coming before we're done."

I really like the second one! A slightly dysfunctional family day at the beach!"


LOL yes, but a very loving one too!


message 33: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Just to let you guys know, everyone who comments today is going into a draw to win a PDF of Ethan, Who Loved Carter. Winner will be notified at the end of the chat, and will get the PDF when the book is released on 9/17.

Yay!!!


message 34: by Panalopy (new)

Panalopy | 17 comments I love the excerpts. It's a good thing I didn't read them before today because now I only have to wait for two days! I'm very impatient :)


message 35: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "Just to let you guys know, everyone who comments today is going into a draw to win a PDF of Ethan, Who Loved Carter. Winner will be notified at the end of the chat, and will get the PDF when the bo..."

Awesome! This has been on my wishlist since the blurb went up!


message 36: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Morris | 15 comments Ryan wrote: It will be available midnight on Monday (Sunday night). I bet I'm more excited about that than you. It's been such a long wait! "

I'll bet you are...it's so completely different from Kaden's Colors (which is last book I read of yours). I'm really looking forward to it :)


message 37: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Panalopy wrote: "I love the excerpts. It's a good thing I didn't read them before today because now I only have to wait for two days! I'm very impatient :)"

They've never been available before today. You guys are getting exclusives!


message 38: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Was it hard writing two such very different books? Was one "easier" than the other?


message 39: by Panalopy (new)

Panalopy | 17 comments Ryan wrote: "Just to let you guys know, everyone who comments today is going into a draw to win a PDF of Ethan, Who Loved Carter. Winner will be notified at the end of the chat, and will get the PDF when the bo..."
Cool! I laughed out loud at the beach ninja.


message 40: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Crissy wrote: "I'll bet you are...it's so completely different from Kaden's Colors"

Never thought about this until now, but... At the outset the 2 stories are different, but when you look at the basic theme of bonding over a need to care for another person and how that can change you, the similarities are pretty strong.


message 41: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "Was it hard writing two such very different books? Was one "easier" than the other?"

See my reply to Crissy. The stories aren't so different. :)


message 42: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Excerpt 3 from Ethan, Who Loved Carter: After teasing drives Carter into seclusion, Ethan takes it upon himself to help him.

The previous afternoon Ethan had pulled him into the backyard. Placing his hands on either side of Carter’s face as he stood behind him, Ethan had tilted Carter’s gaze toward the sky. “Listen.”

Carter couldn’t hear all the things Ethan did—he didn’t have the gift for finding every snippet of music—but he’d tried. He’d concentrated on the grass, the clouds, the wind, and the emptiness between what he could see, where music could rush in and out like a thief.

“I think I... maybe, a whistle?” Carter turned, seeking Ethan’s response to know if he’d listened right.

“Everything’s music,” Ethan had said. He’d put his arm around Carter, so light Carter barely felt the touch. “I’m glad you can hear it too.”

Carter had stepped away from him and looked up.

“Wait until night,” Ethan had said, “when you can hear the stars.”

Carter had gone out again after dark, after Ethan was home. He’d stood in the same place and imagined Ethan guiding him to look at a certain spot in the sky. He’d found the spaces between the distant twinkles and listened. It was harder to hear (or to imagine he heard) without Ethan there, but he did the best he could. It was like rushing, like water, and distant bells, a cat maybe, and, deep, deep in the distance, so far he almost couldn’t reach it, longing like he’d never felt before.

He’d never known need had a sound.


message 43: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "Excerpt 3 from Ethan, Who Loved Carter: After teasing drives Carter into seclusion, Ethan takes it upon himself to help him.

The previous afternoon Ethan had pulled him into the backyard. Placing..."


I love that he went back and tried on his own!


message 44: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Juliana wrote: "I love that he went back and tried on his own!"

Ethan fascinates Carter. Carter learns something from him all the time, not only about how to have a different way of looking at the world, but Ethan also teaches Carter things about himself.


message 45: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Another question for you guys. What drew your interest about this book? If it's because you like reading about characters with special challenges, what are some of your favorite titles with that theme?


message 46: by Panalopy (new)

Panalopy | 17 comments Was it difficult writing a love story that happens right under the nose of Ethan's parents?


message 47: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Ryan wrote: "Another question for you guys. What drew your interest about this book? If it's because you like reading about characters with special challenges, what are some of your favorite titles with that th..."

One of my favorite early M/M reads was Brier's Bargain. I liked that Brier could have a fulfilling life with his partner despite traumatic brain injury (as well as abuse). So I was looking forward to this since Ethan also had brain injuries.


message 48: by Panalopy (new)

Panalopy | 17 comments A note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan, Clear Water by Amy Lane, and One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O'Shea are a few. At first I thought Ethan had synesthesia, I do like reading about characters that overcome their problems.


message 49: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Panalopy wrote: "Was it difficult writing a love story that happens right under the nose of Ethan's parents?"

I hadn't planned on this excerpt, but it gives good insight into Ethan's parents. :)

Carter talks to Ethan's parents after he accidentally kisses Ethan.



“Are you a turkey man or roast beef?” Nolan asked.

“Turkey, please,” Carter said. “With mustard.”

“Coming right up.”

Carter opened up the cabinet door. Each shelf had several typed labels on its edge that delineated the items above it. The chips sat in their appointed spot. Carter pulled the bag down.

“Where’s Ethan?” Liz asked. She took the bag.

“He’s in the bathroom. Um, there’s actually something I wanted to talk to you about.” Liz and Nolan shared a glance. Sometimes the secret language of couples made Carter jealous; sometimes it made him hurt. Carter took a breath. He could get through his embarrassing confession if he dove right in. “Last night when Ethan was over, I was playing my guitar and he started singing and… I kissed him.” Carter stared at the counter, waiting for the justified outrage to come.

“We know,” Nolan said.

Carter looked up. “You do?”

“He told us last night.”

“You aren’t angry?”

Nolan put the butter knife down. “Honestly? We’re glad you came to talk to us. It shows you’re a good person, and we appreciate that. As much as we want to, we can’t control our sons’ lives, so it’s good to know you’re a friend who is concerned for Ethan’s well-being.”

Carter let this sink in. “I didn’t mean to do it. I got carried away. He really was, I mean last night, we were having such a good time, and happy, and I wanted to share it, I guess. I’m so, so sorry. I swear to you it won’t happen again.” Liz and Nolan regarded him with twin expressions of amusement. It was as far away from Carter’s expectations as possible.

“You know, Carter,” Liz said after a beat, “Ethan is a twenty-seven-year-old man. He’s sexually active.”

“But he’s not—” Her expression stopped him from carrying that thought further.

“A lot of people ask what his mental age is, but we don’t like to think in those terms. He looks at situations in black and white, and he needs help finding gray areas and navigating through them. Some physical and mental things he does pretty well, but there are a lot of things he needs assistance with, and some he can’t do at all. He has feelings that are more astute than anyone I know. He deserves to be loved by someone who understands that he lives in a world of absolutes when all around him nothing is certain, because it’s scary for him, and he needs to be cared for. We’ll be honest with you, Carter. He hasn’t had much luck finding the right person yet.”

Nolan nodded as Liz spoke. “We’ve had to lecture him a few times about having sex. He tends to think that if he’s got an erection and the other boy is cute and willing, sex is a good idea. We’ve hammered into him that he has to use condoms and be in a private place, but it’s difficult to make him understand that horniness is not the end-all excuse to have sex.” He paused. “Actually, we have the same problems getting Elliot to understand that. Must be a boy thing.” Nolan and Liz shared a chuckle. Nolan turned back to Carter. “Does Ethan think you’re dating now?”

“He did.”

“I can sit down with him.”

“No, I… I already did. We straightened it out. I think he’s upset with me, but he agreed we could still be friends.”

“He did speak highly of you last night.”

Carter’s hand flew out from his side to smack his shoulder.

“Not about the kiss, although I understand that was quite a moment,” Nolan said.

“Oh God.” Carter buried his face in his hands in a futile attempt to muffle his embarrassment.

Nolan laughed. Liz smacked him on the back of the head. He brushed her away and squeezed her hand. “We’re glad you told us,” Nolan said. “And we are glad that you’re Ethan’s friend, in whatever capacity that might take.”


message 50: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Loveless (ryanloveless) | 129 comments Panalopy wrote: "A note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan, Clear Water by Amy Lane, and One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O'Shea are a few. At first I thought Ethan had synesthesia, I do like reading about cha..."

I don't call it that, but he does have it or something similar as a result of his brain injury.

A loved A Note in the Margin. I haven't read the others.


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