A. T. Weaver
Genre: M/M romance, paranormal, historical, fiction
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011
Number of pages: 239
Word Count: 73,600
Cover Artist: Brad Shaw and Ken Clark
Although Sunny Nelson was raised in a dual theology family, he doesn’t really believe in reincarnation nor does Jeff Davis. However, the visions and dreams Sunny keeps having lead them to be regressed where they discover they have at least two past lives together.
With Jeff’s sister April, they discover and attempt to dispel the spell cast by Sunny in one of these past lives. Along the way Sunny and Jeff fall in love. Jeff finds Sunny’s Pagan practices and the idea of reincarnation unsettling at first, but eventually decides to accept them if he wants to be with Sunny.
Boonville, Missouri, June 17, 2009
“Granddad, what have you gotten me into now?” I thought as I drove down the gravel driveway lined with majestic oak and walnut trees toward the one-hundred-fifty-year-old, three-story rock mansion.
My name is Sunshine Nelson, thanks to my hippie parents. Actually my first name is Matthew but, since my dad was Matt, I’ve always been called Sunny. I’m almost thirty-five years old and live in Los Angeles, California. My parents have known for nearly twenty years I’m gay. They aren’t really happy with the fact, but have accepted it.
My father’s father died and left me this house my fourth-great grandfather built just prior to the Civil War. My parents insisted I take a few days off work, fly to Missouri and check out the place. In Mom’s words, “Getting away from California and Dan will help you get over him.” After three months, I thought I was over Dan, but seeing him at Dino’s Restaurant last week with his little bear cub hurt more than it should have. After all, you don’t get over eight years of loving someone overnight.
The sticky humid eighty-five degrees made my mood somewhat touchy. I spent last night in Kansas City with my old college roommate, Jack, and his partner, Bret. When Bret suggested he tag along to keep me company, I had no idea what was in store for me. We hadn’t gone twenty miles before I regretted bringing him along. Over the last two hours I’d endured his unending flirty innuendoes and stories about the sex parties he and Jack throw. I’m not one to indulge in sex just for the sake of sex. I believe in monogamous relationships. I know they’re possible. I have friends who’ve been together over forty years.
Driving toward the house, I noticed newly-broken limbs on a few of the trees, but most of them seemed to be healthy and well trimmed. The yard looked as though it could stand to be mowed, but it wasn’t what I’d call overgrown. I stopped the car about fifty yards from the house and studied it. The house stood just off Rocheport Road about five miles outside of Boonville. Made of native stone, it sat in the middle of an expansive lawn. The long drive formed a semi-circle in front of the house.
A wide flat-roofed veranda held up by huge pillars fronted the house and continued around both sides reminiscent of the southern mansions I’d seen in movies. Except for a few missing shingles on the roof and peeling paint on the wooden veranda, it appeared to be in good repair. A sense of calmness settled over me. I felt like I’d come home from a long trip.
Bret’s voice interrupted my thoughts, “That looks more like a hotel than a private residence; it’s huge.”
His words ignited the glimmer of an idea into my head. I put the car into gear and drove the rest of the way down the drive.
As we got out of the car, Bret asked, “Sunny, do you see a shadow in the window to the right of the door? Your grandma didn’t say anything about the place being haunted, did she?”
I removed my sunglasses and looked up. A female-shaped shadow quickly disappeared. “Not to me. But then, she’s never been here. The only member of the family who ever saw the place was Granddad the year he inherited it from a distant cousin. None of us has been back since and no one has lived in it for twenty years. I’m going to look inside. Watch the steps, they might be rotten.”
Bret fanned himself with his scarf. “I think I’ll wait in the car with the air conditioning on if you don’t mind.”
“Be my guest,” I sighed. “If you weren’t wearing that scarf, you wouldn’t be so hot.”
“You’re just like Jack,” Bret whined. “You don’t know anything about fashion.”
“I prefer comfort to fashion.” I retrieved my camera from the car and took several shots of the grounds before entering the house.
* * *
My sister and I were in what everyone called the haunted bedroom when we heard the car pull up. April ran to the window and looked down. “Wow. Dibs on the blond; he’s beautiful.”
I walked up behind her and took a look for myself. The tall blond removed his sunglasses and I felt a déjà vu like stirring deep inside. I knew I’d never seen him before. I’d have remembered. He looked to be a little over six feet tall, athletically built and close to my age. A pair of light blue trousers hung loosely around his legs and a short-sleeved, cream-colored pullover almost the same color of his hair accented his taut abs. Just then a ray of sunlight hit his hair and it shone like silver.
On the other hand, the man who got out of the passenger side was several inches under six feet and stocky with dark hair. His outfit marked him as obviously gay. He wore grey trousers and a coral long-sleeved, button-down shirt. A grey scarf the same shade as his trousers wound around his neck.
“Sorry, sister dear, but judging from his companion you aren’t his type,” I said.
Her voice registered disappointment, “And I suppose you are?”
“More so than you. It seems a shame if he’s taken.”
“I don’t know. They don’t look very well matched if you ask me.” She shrugged, “But there’s no accounting for taste.”
April left the room and I followed.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
When I was in high school I thought about becoming an English Teacher. However, when my mother insisted I take Office Practice as a junior and senior, I changed to a bookkeeper (in those days, girls weren’t accountants). Nineteen years later, I finally went to college and got an accounting degree. I worked as a bookkeeper and accountant for 40 years.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I’m not sure I consider myself a ‘writer’ yet. So why do I write? To keep my mind active. I know I’ll never make enough money to support myself (thank goodness for Social Security and HUD). It also opens new learning opportunities. I believe the day you stop learning, you might as well give up.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Too long. At that time, there was no Create Space or Amazon Kindle. I paid $500 to publish it thinking, like all new authors do, that I was going to make a lot of money. I later re-published it via Create Space.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Not anymore. I retired seven years ago as soon as I turned 65. I had a friend look at my answers before I submitted them. She reminded me that life itself is a job, and I have to agree.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
I guess that would be Travelers that came out the first of August. It’s a different kind of time-travel book.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
Most of my stuff is self-published. Although I am working with Cool Dudes on a couple of projects.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
My last short story took two weeks. It usually takes about a year.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
More gay romance, but no erotica. It bothers me that ‘romance’ and ‘erotica’ have become synonymous.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
When I met 3,000 gay men who started me reading gay novels and watching gay movies. I found that few m/m books had HEA endings at that time.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
I would have to say the two men in See You in the Morning. They were inspired by a couple at my church. Miles and Dean had been together for 34 years when Miles had a stroke. I got to thinking about couples who have been together for so many years and then pass away within days or even hours of each other. Happy ending – Miles recovered and they got legally married on the 33rd anniversary of their Holy Union.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I try to. I consider even a bad review to be helpful. It gives the writer an idea of what not to do the next time.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I usually pick real places and common names. I start with the names of my two main characters and add names as I add characters. The least common character name I’ve had is Sunny’s name in Catriona’s Curse. I just settled on the name Sunshine for a character and went from there.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
As I go along.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I don’t set out to have hidden messages. However, two years after I published First Impressions Don’t Count, it dawned on me that every time Dave and Jesse ran into homophobia, there was at least one straight ally on their side.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
At one time I would have said paperback. That was before Kindle. I had to downsize to a one-bedroom apartment and made six trips to the Half-Price Bookstore. I had over 100 titles by Nora Roberts (not counting the J. D. Robb books.)
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I would have to say Agatha Christie’s ‘Mysterious Mr. Quin’. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it.
Your favorite food is?
FOOD. Just no raw fish or liver.
Your favorite singer/group is?
Considering I’ve seen Neil Diamond in concert twenty times, I’ll let you decide. Current favorites are Matt Alber and Jason and DeMarco.
But I don’t listen to music when I’m writing. I want absolute quiet.
Your favorite color is?
Just look at my hair – purple.
A. T. Weaver is the pen name of a divorced 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. When two men moved in down the street from their mobile home, her husband had to explain they were queer. As far as she was concerned, they were just a couple of men sharing a trailer.
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.