TCO is so glad to have Amy Lane with us today with an exclusive author guest post, all about traveling with friends. I completely agree with Amy here. Going somewhere once in a while by yourself is fun, but if you don’t have someone to be snarky with, is it really worth going? 🙂 Check out what she has to see about her MC’s from Homebird, her most recent release. Thanks for joining the blog today Amy!
Crispin Henry isn’t an adventurer. He learned early on that the world is a frightening place and that home is rare and precious. If his friends didn’t drag him to sports games and ill-advised trips to Vegas, he wouldn’t get out at all—and his trip to Munich for Oktoberfest is no exception. But it’s there that he meets Luka Gabriel, and he learns to take a chance.
Luka is a free-spirited world traveler, working at Oktoberfest to feed his enchantment with new places and new people. His only possessions fit in his backpack, and he depends on the kindness of strangers for a place to sleep. Crispin should know better—but he takes Luka’s hand anyway, and together they turn three nights in Munich into the relationship neither of them has been brave enough to risk—and neither can let go of.
When Luka turns up on Crispin’s doorstep before the holiday season, Crispin takes him in on hope alone. Yes, he knows the odds are good Luka will flutter out of his life again and leave him bereft, but isn’t it worth it to see if Luka is a homebird after all?
A Little Hope from My Friends By Amy Lane
I’ll be honest here.
While I love a good romance, I’ve never really been big on the “lone tourist” scenario. I mean sure, I love to wander a place—but if someone’s not there to get my jokes about myself dorking about an unfamiliar location, I feel a little adrift.
It’s why I love traveling with my husband or my children. Even the salt flats of Utah are interesting if there’s someone there to go, “Oh my God, is that a SHARK that’s popping out of the salt flats?” And then watch avidly until the Loch Ness Monster appears.
Having a friend, a compadre, a buddy to explore with is, for me, really half the fun.
The inspiration of HomeBird came from my husband’s trip to Germany with his friends. They all sort of fell in love with their waiter—because he was beautiful and fun and single, and they were mostly married and settled and in their forties. So it was natural to put Crispin, our traveler into foreign lands, in the company of friends.
But more than that, the friends were his support system. They were the reason he felt comfortable traveling in the first place. I mean seriously, if this was about a homebody traveling to find an adventurer, there’s only a few ways to get him out of the house as it is. But beyond that, if that homebody is attracted to the adventurer, is he really going to act on that attraction if there’s even a possible nobody’s going to check on him when he disappears?
And besides the physical safety, there’s the emotional reinforcement. Even if your friends are uncertain—“Are you sure you want to spend a night with this virtual stranger?” if they really are your friends, you know they’ll be there in the morning to go, “Okay, do we hate him? Are we going to egg his house? Do we need a witch to curse him? I know someone!”
Or, even better, “I’m so glad you had a good time. Give me details. Not the gross ones. Just tell me why it was good.”
And of course, you need someone when you get home, to say, “Oh, hey, you’re still talking to that guy? That’s great!” and when you tell your friends and family at home that he’s visiting, they can say, “Don’t worry! He’s not a psycho killer, we met him!”
And of course, in a year, you need your friends to say, “Hey, do you want to go on another trip? I mean, you met the love of your life on the last one, right? Let’s see what else we can do!”
Although, you know, all of those scenarios are if you’re Crispin and get hauled away to Germany to meet the love of your life.
But even if you’re not Crispin and getting hauled to Germany to meet the love of your life, it’s still nice traveling with friends.
For one thing, the more people with you, the more likelihood someone’s phone will be working at the end of the day. The more options you have to find a suitcase to stow that last valuable that won’t fit in yours. The better chance you have of someone to talk you into buying that souvenir you really really want but aren’t sure you can afford.
The more people with you, the more conversation, the more appreciation, the more excitement.
So yes—I make a big deal out of Crispin’s friends when he goes traveling. Because his friends take care of him, and when he meets Luka he has a gold standard for which to judge a companion.
And isn’t he delighted when Luka exceeds that standard and brings some perks of his own!
This was a cute little story. Crispin (bravo on the unique name) and his friends go to Germany for a long weekend of Oktoberfest. Although Crispin works with these guys, hangs out with them and goes on vacation with them, he somehow thinks they don’t know he is gay. Mmmhmmm. So when they tell him that, ya, they know, go get laid, it’s kind of cute. You all want to have friends like that.
Crispin was adopted when he was 5 after his parents died. And then as a very young adult, his adopted parents died. Whoa. Besides needing the security of his house, he really isn’t that messed up. His adoptive parents had a daughter soon after he was adopted and they grew up as siblings. He calls her his sister, but never calls his parents his. They are always his sister’s parents. That was odd.
Anyway. Off the boys go on a long weekend to Germany. From California. I’m going to let that go. On their first night, Crispin catches the eye of a waiter in one of the beer tents. And after not having a relationship in forever, says he will go home with him for the night. And basically spends his vacation with Luka.
Luka is the opposite of Crispin though. His parents also died, but he needs to continually travel and not set down roots. He is originally from Fiji, but spent a lot of his childhood in New Zealand, but now travels with world with a backpack. But he does end up on Crispin’s doorstep a few months later.
Except for the sexy times- and they are dirty (not complaining)- this was very much like a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. Sure the first half was Oktoberfest, but Luka shows up in California in time for Christmas.
Even with 3 sets of dead parents between them, there really isn’t much angst at all. Just a sweet book.
3 pieces of eye candy
Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. She’s been nominated for a RITA, has won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.