Master Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages and numerous unsuccessful relationships, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched megayacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.
After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive résumé, he was quickly offered a position on the private megayacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!
Scotty Cade here. First off I’d like to thank Denise and everyone over at Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy for giving me the opportunity chat with you readers today. You guys have been a great support and that means the world to me. Thank You!
Today I’m here to tell you a little about my latest novel Only Forever, which released from Dreamspinner Press on November 30th and how it came to be.
The inspiration for the book came from a very old song of the same name. I first heard the song last winter while curled up on the couch watching an old black-and-white movie and after the first line, I sat up and listened intently. For some reason the song tugged at my heartstrings and I when it was over I immediately Googled every version and listened to each one. It has been covered by many people, such as Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Dean Martin, to name a few. But my favorite version is by Kay Starr. While listening to her version I could hear the nostalgia. To me, it sounded like something that might be playing as a soldier was going off to war and saying goodbye to a lover. Here’s a link if you care to take a listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOzokJG0jNA. The song appealed so deeply to the romantic in me, I just had to write about it. The lyrics are very simple but very powerful if you allow yourself to really listen to them.
I know most of you have never heard “Only Forever,” but it’s about a love so strong, it will span many lifetimes. I wish I could use the actual lyrics, but because of copyright laws, I cannot. And trust me when I say I contacted the owner many times to license at least one line of the song, but no one ever responded. So in the end, I rewrote just the last line, which is used in the book, and I hope I did it justice.
So now you know the inspiration. But I must warn you, the book happens over a two-week span of time. A lot can happen in two weeks, and in these particular two weeks, two lives are changed forever. I hope the romantics will love the premise, but I’m not naive enough to think everyone will feel the same way. I know I’m gonna get my share of readers calling “instalove” and how absolutely absurd and unrealistic the premise is. And I’m being proven right. As of now, the book is getting mostly four and five star reviews. A couple of three star and one two star review is there as well as I predicted. Damn that “Instalove.” But is it really “instalove” when two souls have reconnected in another lifetime? Two souls who have been unknowingly searching for the other all of their lives? Please, just read it with an open mind and allow yourself to imagine the “what ifs.”
Before I give you the excerpt, let me ask you one question. Have you ever met someone for the first time, had a feeling that maybe you’ve met them before, or even felt like you’ve known them forever? That’s what this story is about. Maybe you have met them before—in another place or time.
If you’ve had an experience like I’ve mentioned above, tell me about in the form of a comment. If you do, you will be entered into a drawing to win any book from my backlist.
First Officer G. Heath Rawlins sat at his desk and stared at the screen of his laptop. For the third time, he read the e-mail he’d crafted. Comfortable everything was in order, he clicked the Send button, sighed, and closed his laptop. Heath folded his arms over his chest, looked around his dimly lit officer’s cabin, and leaned back in his chair. Now all there is to do is wait.
He’d spent the last couple of hours tailoring a handful of e-mails for specific jobs and attaching his résumé and recommendation letters to the megayacht captains who were actively searching for an experienced first officer—or chief mate, as they were often called. Now it was up to the universe to decide what happened next.
The merchant ship Urania Dee had been Heath’s home for the last six years. But the last year had been a restless one. Although he’d struggled with the decision, Heath had resigned his position as first officer thirty days prior, much to the chagrin of the captain. By first light tomorrow morning, the Urania Dee would be docked at the Port of Savannah, Georgia, and Heath’s life aboard a merchant ship would be over. And to say he had mixed emotions about it was certainly an understatement.
Heath kept telling himself he just needed a change. But the problem was he didn’t know what that change should be. In the end he’d decided that maybe the private sector would be a good place to start. Traveling to tropical islands and pleasure ports aboard a megayacht instead of commercial seaports on a merchant ship might do the trick. Experiencing sea life from another perspective—that was always good. Right?
Checking out the suitcases and the cardboard boxes neatly lining the walls of his cabin, Heath realized that pretty much everything he owned was staring back at him. He’d lost his mother, father, and younger sister to carbon monoxide poisoning in his family home two months after he’d left for Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, and he’d been on his own ever since.
Over the years the captain and crew of the Urania Dee had become his family of sorts, and it was going to be extremely hard to say good-bye. But if he were being totally honest, he was also looking forward to the change. A new adventure. Something to reignite his passion for the sea.
Heath turned his gaze to a small porthole above his desk and stared out into the dark skies over the Atlantic Ocean. Tomorrow morning you start a new life.
Through the round glass, Heath saw the reflection of a frame hanging on the opposite wall. He stood, walked across the cabin, and gazed at his diploma from the maritime academy. He thought back to the sunny day of his graduation ceremony. A lump formed in his throat, and he quickly swallowed it down. How bittersweet it had been without his family there to share in his joy.
In an attempt to escape the loneliness that had followed his family’s demise, the day after graduation, Heath joined the crew of a commercial freighter for a three-year contract, and then another when that ended, before finally joining the Urania. He’d been at sea for twelve years straight, which had given him plenty of time to climb up in the ranks and advance his career, but hadn’t afforded him the luxury of putting down roots anywhere.
At the time of his parents’ death, Heath had inherited everything, but he’d never spent a single dime of their hard-earned money. After working twelve years with no real expenses, he had his own money. And quite a lot of it. In fact, his savings were quite impressive.
At one time he’d thought about buying a home, but there was just never the need. The sea had always been his home. But now with no job and no place to live, the need might finally be presenting itself.
Even if I want to put down roots—where? He was never in one place longer than the time required to unload and reload his ship. But at thirty-three years old, he was starting to feel a little differently. He couldn’t imagine not being at sea. Some unknown force had drawn him to it even as a child, and the sea had been his solace. It was where he was most comfortable, where he turned as he grieved the loss of his family. But at the same time, the sea had represented a longing of sorts. It was always as if he were searching for something there. Something just beyond his reach.
Lately he was struggling with a new and unfamiliar restlessness. It had started slowly, as impatience, but over the last year, it had turned into a desperation of sorts. An odd feeling like something else was out there for him, just beyond the horizon. Searching for him. Waiting for him. A yearning for something. But for what? Roots? A relationship? Or maybe even a family?
For some reason he’d never allowed himself to get too close to any one person, so he’d been sort of a loner all his adult life. It could have been the experience of losing his family and the fear of history repeating itself that kept him from ever allowing himself to love. Or it could have been something else. Heath had never been sure. Either way, he’d never had any real interest. A one-night stand here and there was all he ever allowed himself. So these feelings, these emotions, were perplexing at the very least.
Heath lifted the diploma from the wall, carefully wrapped it in Bubble Wrap, and placed it in the only remaining open box. He’d have time to decide what do to or where to go while he waited out the job search. In the meantime, the extended-stay hotel in downtown Savannah would be his new home. If no position presented itself within a couple of weeks, he would decide how to proceed with the rest of his life.
Taping the box shut, Heath added it to the stack, stepped back, and glanced around. That’s the last of it, I guess!
The ding of his computer signaled a new e-mail. He walked over to his desk and opened his laptop. The e-mail was from Master Captain Theodore Gourdin. Could it be? He pulled up his chair, took a seat, and opened the e-mail.
Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication. When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.
Here’s where you can find me: