The love of my life is dead. Is there a reason to live anymore?
I’m a veteran Marine. Terrorists took not only my foot, but also my wife. Recurrent nightmares, a dead-end job, and a painful limp are all I have left. My best friend, Tucker, and my sister, Lizette, keep me afloat. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Tucker… literally. And then, out of nowhere, there are these feelings. The kind I haven’t felt in years. The kind I’m not sure I can handle, or even want to. But they’ve started wrapping around my broken heart, trying to mend it. Only they are not for a woman, but for the man suddenly sharing my bed. I’m not so sure I’m ready to give love another go.
The war took my hearing, but I’m alive. Many of my friends are not. I am building a life with my best friend, Dennis. We have become practically inseparable. And now, we are more than friends. I’ve never had feelings like these for a man. My parents, my brother, my buddy, Duke—will they understand how I feel about Dennis? Can I risk losing my family?
First Edition published as At War by KDP Select, 2015.
Hi Everyone! I’m Andria Large and I’m super excited for my first ever traditionally published book to be released! From War To Forever actually started out as a trilogy that I self-published. By some lucky twist of fate, Dreamspinner picked it up, we reworked it into one book, and are now republishing it with a new title.
I need a visual aid for the main characters when writing a story. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of someone in my head before coming up with a character’s description, while other times, I come up with their description first then go looking for someone to match it. I tend not to use celebrities and veer more towards models.
Having a visual aid is extremely important when writing. It gives you something to help describe your characters. It makes your characters more realistic when you pull from someone in real life. You can pick out little nuances that make a person unique, like highlights in their hair, or different colored flecks in their eyes.
When writing From War To Forever, I had someone in mind for Dennis from the very beginning. He’s a male model and photographer by the name of Justin Clyne. He was perfect for the tall, dark, and handsome look I was going for with Denny. There are pictures of him looking kind of broody and dark and those were the ones I focused the most on.
For Tucker, I chose Gary “Leo” Taylor. He’s a fitness and book cover model who has left the scene but was fairly popular a couple years ago. He’s got that laid back, easy-going personality that I wanted for Tucker. He has a naturally cocky and flirtatious smile the ladies drool over. And piecing light blue eyes that seem to see into your soul.
Now for Duke, I had originally pictured John Cena, but as his character developed it changed to fitness model, Kyle Clark. He’s a veteran like Duke and has that tough as nails look about him that I wanted. I don’t know much about Kyle’s personality, I mostly used him for the looks aspect for Duke. Duke is a ball-buster and says some seriously funny things while keeping a straight face, which I think is more John Cena. So, I guess Duke is a mix of both those guys.
Dennis’ sister, Lizette, is actually a main character in another one of my series called, Renegade. For her, I had pictured Jennifer Lawrence (when she had long blonde hair). The pictures that I had used, she looked kind of uptight and business like, but still gorgeous. Her character changes throughout her story and in From War To Forever, she’s more laid-back and cheerful than she was in her book, Sweet Renegade.
Last but not least, there is Beau, who is Lizette’s husband. He is also in Sweet Renegade, as he is the main male character and it’s the story of how he and Lizette got together. For him, I always pictured fitness and cover model, Colin Wayne. Beau is a sweet, southern guy with the accent to match.
Even though Dennis and Tucker’s character first come about in the Renegade Series, you don’t need to read those books to learn all about them, as I cover everything in From War To Forever. Now, if you want a little extra on them, then you can definitely go back and read that series.
Thank you so much for having me here today! I hope you all enjoyed my post! Please check out From War To Forever! Be sure to leave a review when you’re finished, whether it’s good or bad. Don’t forget to like and follow my Facebook page for updates on what is going on in the world of Andria Large!
The next morning, after I take a shower and get dressed, I walk out into the living room, where I find Duke huffing and puffing to himself as he makes eggs and bacon. I watch him for a minute, an amused smile on my face. I’m only catching a word here and there, but I’m pretty sure he’s talking about me and Dennis.
“Hey, bud, problem?” I ask, making my way over to the coffeemaker as I finish fixing my tie.
Duke shoots me a death glare. “Problem? Why would I have a problem? I’m all fucking unicorns and rainbows here, my man.”
I jerk my chin back and fight off a laugh. “Oookay.”
I grab a mug from the cabinet and move in front of the coffeemaker. “I swear to God, Tuck. If I have to listen to one more night of you and Dennis fucking, I’m going to lose my damn mind.”
I bark out a laugh as I pour myself a cup of coffee.
“Didn’t you find an apartment yet?” I ask.
“Yes, I did, but I can’t move in right away! I need to buy furniture and shit, so I’m stuck here for at least another week or so.”
“You do have a house in Baltimore, you know.” I chuckle.
“No, fuck that. I can’t go back there. Just thinking about it makes me depressed.”
I frown. “You do know you’re going to have to go and pack up all your shit, right?”
He shakes his head. “No, I’m hiring a moving company. They go in, pack the whole place up, and then drive it up here.”
“Hmm,” I hum, impressed. I didn’t know there were companies that did that.
“Is there any way you and Dennis can just give it a rest for a couple of days?” he pleads.
I give him an incredulous look. “Are you insane? There is no way in hell I can resist that tight ass,” I say, knowing full well what the effects on Duke will be.
Duke gags exaggeratedly a few times. I can’t help but laugh.
“I hate you. I hate you and your stupid gay dick,” he grumbles as he stabs at the scrambled eggs he’s making with the spatula.
I almost spit out the coffee I just took a sip of with that last comment.
“Why do you have to buy new furniture? Why not use what you have?” I ask him.
“I’m starting fresh. New apartment, new furniture, new life for Duke,” he mumbles.
I nod. “I like it. Sounds like a good plan.”
“You know what a good plan would be? Keeping your dick in your pants while I’m still here. Now that’s a good plan.”
I laugh. “You do know that you giving me a hard time about this makes me want to do it more, just to fuck with you, right?”
Duke turns his hazel eyes to glare at me. “I will stab you to death with this spatula, Tucker,” he threatens, holding up said spatula, which has egg stuck to it.
I slap a hand over my mouth to stop from bursting out laughing. How he can keep a straight face when he says things like that is beyond me.
“I need to get to work,” I choke and set my half-drunk coffee in the sink before starting for the door.
“Yeah, you better get the hell out of here, fucker,” Duke calls after me. “I’d hate to have to kill my best friend with a spatula.”
Andria Large is a traditionally published and self-published contemporary romance author. She doesn’t always follow the rules, so you will find both M/F and M/M books mixed into some of her series.
Henry from the Beck Brothers Series was the first book she self-published. Not expecting anything to really come of it, she was shocked to find the book caught wind and readers were asking for more. Writing books was not something she had set out to do. She wrote stories for herself, as a hobby. Now that it has become her career, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Andria grew up in Philadelphia, but now lives in New Jersey with her two daughters and wonderfully supportive husband, who frequently accompanies her at signings. The events that she attends every year are one of her favorite things about being an author. She loves meeting and conversing with her readers, but also enjoys finding new ones.
Andria considers herself open and friendly, so feel free to send her a message if you have a question or just want to chat.