Felice Stevens, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Beyond the Surface Blog Tour with Felice Stevens

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Felice Stevens today, on her Beyond the Surface blog tour. When Felice and I started chatting about topics for her visit, the first thought that came to mind was, “Let’s talk about 9/11 as a New Yorker.” So, that’s what came of our conversation, a New Yorker’s look at that day and the resulting novel that sprang from it all these years later.

Enjoy Felice’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


A 9/11 Day

Many, if not most, people remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the terror attacks of 9/11. For some people it is the seminal moment in their lives.

For those of us who live in NYC, it started out as a beautiful fall day, Primary Day, in New York. I had left for work; it was to be my daughter’s first day of 3rd grade and my son was four years old. She was to go in the afternoon session, and my babysitter was getting them out early to go to the park that overlooked the Manhattan skyline.

By 9 am word had begun to trickle in that a plane had hit the towers. Then a second plane hit, and we knew it wasn’t a weather plane or a lost pilot. We sat, fearful of more attacks, unable to get in touch with our families as our cell signals were blocked. I am lucky enough to work near my home, so my babysitter brought the kids and we sat in my office waiting. For what we didn’t know.

We all know what happened after that. The firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders who died, not to mention the thousands of other innocent people. New York was shattered and brought to its knees. For all that people say it is a cold place where people are strangers, it isn’t, at least for me. New York is a city made up of small towns. Our neighbors know one another and say hello on the street. We all became neighbors that day and for the months afterwards.

Our neighborhood firehouse is very close to the people they serve; my rabbi is a chaplain for the FDNY, and they’re an integral part of our community. They lost 6 firefighters that day, and it broke our collective hearts. We held vigils with them in the firehouse and sang songs of hope, loss and love on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

I never set out to write a 9/11 story specifically; an idea came to me to write about a man suffering from scars, and it somehow morphed into a fireman, 9//11 injuries and the resulting PTSD he endures. I visited our firehouse to talk to the men and get their take on what I was writing, to make sure I got it “right.”

Beyond the Surface is my personal tribute to the 9/11 survivors, the ones who made it out alive, beaten but not broken. Nick Fletcher, the closeted fireman in the book, didn’t believe he had a right to live and punished himself because he survived, while his buddies in his house didn’t. Julian Cornell, his lover, helped him to see that no one knows what will happen in life, that you have to live each day to its fullest and look beyond the pain to what the future holds. This isn’t a book of love conquering all, but how love and the healing powers it represents, can help.


Beyond the SurfaceBlurb: On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

Beyond the Surface is available for purchase at Amazon.com


Author BioAbout the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Social Media Links: Website || Facebook || Facebook Author Page || Twitter || Amazon Author Page



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14 thoughts on “Guest Post and Giveaway: The Beyond the Surface Blog Tour with Felice Stevens

  1. susana says:

    On 9/11 I remember being with my flat mates on the kitchen when the second plane crashed. We were all dumbfounded, unable to talk or to do anything but staring to the screen. That’s what I remember most of that day: spend minutes and minutes staring silently at the screen…


  2. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    I’m from England so it was so strange I put the TV for the normal news and then we all sat and couldn’t believe what was happening. It was such a terrible thing to happen and so many lives ended on that tragic day.


  3. kp says:

    I remember sitting, stunned in front of the tv. Both my kids were in elementary school and I left to bring them home. Just needed to have them with me. My brother was a Marine and was sent to Iraq in that first deployment.


  4. jenf27 says:

    I was in Chicago on a business trip on 9/11. I was in the hotel gym and watched the news unfold as it happened. Then, all flights were grounded and I ended up driving home across the US without stopping except for fuel and food. It was the eeriest drive of my life, but I was so happy to get home.


  5. Judy Stone says:

    Climbing out of the shower and hearing my husband shouting. Dashed dripping wet to the living room and gaped at the TV. It was eerie and horrifying and there wasn’t a damn thing we could do except pray. In a Microsoft training class that day and couldn’t reschedule. The other attendees were as shocked and bewildered as I. MS Publisher didn’t stand a chance…we were focused on the day’s grisly events. I’ll never forget and I can’t imagine what it would be like to have friends and family lost.


  6. Jen CW says:

    I lived near Chicago’s O’Hare airport when it happened. I was totally freaked out about the planes in the air by us, then the fact that there were no planes for days. I was also worried about my in-laws who worked in Washington D.C. since no one could make calls into the area to check on them.


  7. wiccachic2000 says:

    I remember seeing it on tv getting ready for school and it not really making much of an impact,thinking the footage had to be false like a movie trailer as at the time a lot of movie trailers were using news coverage as a lead in, and then it really hitting me driving on the way back from high school after seeing the news footage playing again during school.


  8. I can’t wait to read this book! I love everything of Felice’s that I’ve read. Thanks for a chance in the giveaway.

    On 9/11, I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine. I took my daughter to school then picked up a sausage gravy biscuit from Hardees, hoping food would help somewhat. I sat down in the kitchen, turned on the TV and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I couldn’t turn away from the TV as tears ran down my face, stunned. My daughter had made a friend in New York through Yahoo Chat. We both spoke with him daily. It just made it more of a reality as he had an uncle that was lost.


  9. I was actually in school and had no idea why the teachers were so panicked. Then I heard about what happened and the news coverage was on in every classroom. We were dismissed from school early and I remember worrying about my sister who at the time was away at school In Pittsburgh. She was fine.


  10. REE DEE says:

    I remember I was driving to work when the news came on the radio. At the time all that they reported was that a plane had hit one of the towers. The radio announcers thought it was a small private plane with a daredevil pilot. I didn’t find out the truth until my co-workers who came in later were able to give us a more accurate update (no radios allowed in out workplace). We were sent home and I went to pick up my kids from school.


  11. DJ says:

    I was in North Carolina on vacation, in a souvenir shop, when we started hearing the reports of the first tower being hit. We actually were watching the news, on a small TV in the shop, when the second tower was hit and it was just so sad. It made us feel so helpless, that we couldn’t do anything to help or stop what was happening. It was just a very tragic day.


  12. Denise Dechene says:

    I was working my shift at the hospital. I had just walked into a patient’s room and he told me a plane had hit one of the twin towers. He was switching the TV on and received a call from his dad who worked in DC. He told me the Pentagon had been hit. Shortly after that we watched as the 2nd tower was hit. Our hospital was 3 hours from DC but my bosses husband was supposed to fly to Arlington that day. I remember her trying to phone him and not being able to get through. She finally did by the end of my shift. Apparently there were a lot of stranded travelors and total strangers were offering lodging.


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