Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Tuesday Tour Stop (Part 4) with Amy Lane
Amy’s Adventures in the Pacific Northwest—Part 4
By Amy Lane
Of course my childhood adventures in Brother Bus (previous posts here, here and here) aren’t the only times I’ve been up to Oregon, Washington, or Canada.
There was a class trip to Vancouver with my high school marching band—not only did we come in third out of seventy-five bands, we also got to visit the Bouchart Gardens, which were astounding, and knock around Victoria. The trip must have made an impression, because I asked my husband to go back for our tenth anniversary, and he must have loved it too, because he took me there while he attended a conference, around ten years later.
Of course, when you convince somebody to go somewhere, you really hope the place is as good as you remember it. One of my best memories of the tenth anniversary trip was the night we arrived in Anacortes, a small town on the tip of Washington, on the ferry route from Seattle to Vancouver. It was still very bright at nine o’clock at night in June, so we took a walk from our hotel to see what this tiny city that was mostly an island had in store.
There is a promontory—don’t ask me where, which part, how we got there, this was sixteen years ago!—but I remember the promontory. We stood up there, feeling a brisk wind, and looking down at two bald eagles playing tag in the air currents. They’re really big birds—but in the vastness of the promontory, they didn’t look quite so huge, or even majestic. They were frolicking, really, flying because they could.
“That,” said Mate, “is so very, very cool.”
And I knew that he loved it too.
When we came back to stay in Vancouver, a little more than ten years later, I got to take a daytrip by myself to Grouse Mountain, where I rode the tram and saw brawny young men with scarred faces do amazing things with axes, and where I found out that the Bald Eagle may look very majestic, but he’s actually a thieving, conniving, nest-wrecking, egg-eating sort of bird with very little integrity. The handsome young ranger who was doing the bird presentation in fact made a stunning case for a certain kind of falcon to be Canada’s national bird, specifically because it tended to kick the shit out of the Bald Eagle on a regular basis, and quite frankly, I was on his side. He was handsome, a little shy, and had a stunning smile—I may or may not have been on his side if he’d told us all to strip down and sunbathe in the overcast day. Well, that, and I’d heard enough locals to complain about the Canadian goose to think that was not necessarily a healthy state bird to have either.
I loved that trip by the way—I got to wander around a walkway that wrapped around a cliff and a tree, I learned that vultures have big holes in their beaks and a special claw that they used to clean the decaying flesh out of the holes so they could breathe, and I got to ogle the young mountain men who sounded exactly as Canadian as someone wearing flannel and suspenders should. They were redheads—I was in lust.
And a lot of that trip—and the others that came before-- must have stuck, because when Riptide asked me to write for the Bluewater Bay series, I could not wait to jump back into that area, even if it was only in my mind. And when I tried to think of an alternate life for my beleaguered young fisherman, Cal, the one thing I kept coming back to was “birds”.
I wanted to see him on that hillside in Grouse Mountain, talking about birds, getting to fly every time he set one free.
If you’ve read Nascha, which is in the Lights, Camera, Cupid collection, Cal gets exposure to majestic predatory birds at a very young age. Although Cal doesn’t have a career locked in his mind at the end of Deep of the Sound, I’m thinking that’s the one we should all wish for him. Cal needs to fly—let’s give him some new friends to show him how.
Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.
Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.
Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
Connect with Amy:
Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an eBook package of all of Amy Lane's backlist titles with Riptide! (Excludes The Deep of the Sound and anthologies.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!