We’re so pleased to welcome author AT Weaver on the Old Spark blog tour today. Enjoy the exclusive excerpt we have for you, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.
Blurb: When Kevin loses his job and boyfriend, he has no option but to return home for the first time in over ten years. He packs up his cat, Josie, and heads for Kansas City. Once home he learns the subject of a teenage crush is single. Can a chance encounter in a bar ignite an old spark inside Kevin into a new flame between the two?
Excerpt: …He drove around town for about an hour looking at the changes made in the last ten years. There was the new Kauffman Center. Beautiful in a weird sort of way. He drove through the Power and Light District which was lit up for Christmas. The lights of the Marriot Hotel on 12th Street changed and rotated in various patterns. His stomach reminded him he hadn’t eaten lunch and he went to a restaurant on Broadway that he remembered as having good home-style food. He ordered a hamburger from the waiter and caught the eye of another diner. Maybe that’s what I need. Maybe I need to get laid.
He left the restaurant, drove around the Plaza, and watched the shoppers. Closer to Westport, he pulled into a parking lot next to a building with a rainbow flag. Inside, he walked to the bar, sat down, and ordered a beer. He turned with his back to the bar and looked around. A small dance floor occupied one end of the room with tables on two sides of it. About twenty men and women sat with drinks and cigarettes. An aroma of food and stale smoke hung heavy in the air. Another room held a pool table and two manly dressed women played. A sign on the wall advertised a drag show later that night.
A man rose from one of the tables, walked up to the bar and patted Kevin’s shoulder. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t little Kevin.”
Kevin grinned. “Watch it with the ‘little’. I’m not a kid anymore. How are you Chris? Would you believe we were just talking about you the other night?”
“That must have been why my ears were burning.” Chris motioned to the bartender. “Bring me another beer and one for my friend, Kevin, here.”
“Probably better not,” Kevin said.
“What? Are you too good to drink with me?” Chris raised an eyebrow.
“It isn’t that.” Kevin shrugged. “It’s just that my limit is one when I’m driving. If you insist, how about a Coke?”
Chris nodded. “Good rule.” He ordered the Coke. “I don’t have far to go to get home. In fact, I could walk if I had to.”
The bartender set the bottle of beer and glass of Coke on the bar.
Chris took a drink of his beer. “So what are you doing in here?”
Kevin grinned. “Probably the same thing you are.”
Chris tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. “And that is?”
“Having a beer and checking out the scenery.” Kevin let his gaze roam down Chris’ body and back up. “I must say, the scenery just got a lot better.”
Chris raised his eyebrow. “Careful there, Kid. I’m a bit old for you.”
“You’re closer to my age than Mark was to yours.” He grinned. His heart pounded at his not-so-subtle flirting. I can’t believe I’m talking to Chris like this. He probably thinks I’m crazy.
Chris shook his head. “Are you home for Christmas?”
“Not really. I’ve moved back temporarily.”
“Last I heard, you were in San Francisco working for some big interior design company.”
“Yeah. They went bankrupt due to the economy.”
“That sucks. No one to help you out out there?”
“No. When I lost my job, my boyfriend bailed also.” Kevin rubbed the back of his neck. “He went crying home to his mother.”
Chris frowned. “Must have been ‘true love’.”
Kevin chuckled. “Yeah. He was in love with my paycheck.”
“Didn’t he work?”
“Only part-time jobs. He was too busy with his ‘music career’ to work full-time.” Kevin formed air quotes.
“Ouch. So you were supporting you both?”
“Did you love him?”
“I thought I did. In fact when the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in all fifty states, I almost asked him to marry me.” Kevin ran his fingers through the heavy, blond bangs and pushed them off his forehead. “I’m glad now I didn’t. Toward the end, I was beginning to see how egotistical and self-centered he is.” He chewed on his bottom lip. “He didn’t like to go places with me because his mother, who was also his ‘manager’, thought it would hurt his career if his few fans knew he’s gay.”
“Forget about me. I was sorry to hear about Mark. I didn’t know until Dad said something the other evening. It’s been several years since I’ve been home. I just assumed you still lived next door.”
“Yeah.” Chris rubbed the back of his neck. “It hurt like hell, but the pain is easing.”
A loud blast of music signaled the start of the drag show. A woman came out on the dance floor/stage and announced the first act.
Chris took the last drink of his beer. “How about we get out of here?”
“What do you have in mind?”
About the Author: A.T. Weaver is the pen name of a grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of one. She lives with her cat, Cleopatra, in downtown Kansas City, MO.
When she was growing up, the word gay meant happy and carefree and homosexuals were called queer or ‘one-of-those’. However, she never heard those terms until she was married and a mother.
In 2003, through a TV show called Boy Meets Boy, A.T ‘met’ over 3,000 gay men in a Yahoo group. These men educated her as to the inequalities suffered by the LGBT community and she became a staunch ally. She visited one of the men in San Francisco who lived just up the street from the Castro. As he showed her around, they stopped in front of what was once Harvey Milk’s camera store. Her question, “Who was Harvey Milk?” started her education into Gay history.
A. T.’s aim is to move you in some way. Whether you laugh or cry, love it or hate it, she welcomes all comments, whether good or bad.
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