Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Virtual Tour ~ Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles ~ (Giveaway)


Sid Marneaux puts his fashion career on the line when he returns home to care for his ailing father. When he meets the new fire chief Eddie Garner, their romance sparks hot, but Eddie harbors burdens of his own. Through the wisdom of a child and the connection of mothers-now-gone, the men redefine family, career, and most importantly, love.


“How is he doing?”
Sid began with a prepared answer, the one he used for old neighbors and family acquaintances. “He’s doing okay. Day to day, you know,” but when he stopped fidgeting with his food and looked into Eddie’s eyes, his breath caught in his throat. Eddie wasn’t making small talk, wasn’t being generically kind. He was tuned in, with an understanding and patience at peeling away the complicated layers of caring for an elderly parent that went beyond what Sid had felt from anyone—even his closest friends.
And so, with Eddie’s unrushed attention, Sid began to unpack the emotions and frustrations he hadn’t yet allowed himself to express. He talked about Anna’s overbearing control and her lack of understanding as to why that would make Lou lash out and became belligerent. He talked about Anna’s calendars and charts and the daily schedule she kept Lou on. About her refusal to let their dad do much of anything. “It’s like she’s already put him in the ground,” he finally said, feeling almost winded after exposing so much of himself, of his family.
“It’s hard on the caretakers,” Eddie said. “It completely takes over your life.”
“It’s hard on the patient too. Dad lived, you know? Just last year, he rode his bike five miles to the park and back almost every day. This is the man who threw on a backpack with a bunch of college buddies and hiked the fucking Hippie Trail. He didn’t stop until he found what he was looking for. He doesn’t stop. And now he has no choice.”
“What was he looking for?”
Sid grinned with memories of his mom and dad and their great love. “He didn’t know until he saw her.”
Eddie met his smile, and a blush crept up his neck. “Sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking for until it’s sitting across the table from us.”
“No,” Sid said, unable to pull his gaze away from Eddie. “We don’t.”

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Beneath the Stars.

Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

I'm happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My novels, Chef's Table and Black Dust were published with Interlude Press in 2014 and 2016. Beneath the Stars is about man at a major turning point in his career who gets called home to help take care of his elderly father. While there he meets someone, and together, they learn how to define happiness, home and family. 

How do you develop your plots and characters?
I try to develop plot from character, which means I need to know my characters inside out. I’m not always successful though, so I do allow the question, “Why is he doing this?” guide me as well. It can take the story in new and unexpected places, or add layers to the character that I hadn't anticipated. They work together, but I try to have character lead.

Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them?
Sid Marneaux is a man of great focus and drive who gets derailed by the needs of his family back home. He works hard, he plays hard, and we find, even unknown to himself, he loves hard. It is unusual for me to not have some real life inspiration behind the development of a character, but this time that is true. I tossed his circumstances into a pot and played around with how someone might respond to them to get to Sid's essence.

What real-life inspirations do you use when world building?
Since I write in real world settings, I just observe the world around me. I try to take in sights, scents, and sounds and recreate them on the page. My fictional towns are often based off of real places, so I use google maps, community pages, etc. to get a feel for the towns if I’m unfamiliar with them. 

Did you learn anything from this book and what was it?
I learned quite a lot with this book. To start, I wasn’t much of a stargazer and that is an ongoing theme in this book. I got myself a planisphere and learned how to use it to mimic proper constellations with the time and place my characters live. Now I have an app on my phone and can be seen lifting it to the skies when out on walks with my husband to see how I’m doing with recognizing constellations. Sid's mother was Hindu and while he skirts the edges of that religion and culture, I dove in to learning about it, and have subsequently fallen into the rabbit hole and am continuing my study of it for my own spiritual growth. 

It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose?
My answer to this question has changed recently. As a Type II diabetic, there are so many foods that I’ve cut way back on—some to the point of only taking a taste of, or just avoiding altogether because I don’t trust myself to taking only a taste. So, for my final meal, I would carb it up to frightening proportions. I’d devour a vat of truffle mac and cheese (honorably mentioned in Beneath the Stars, it’s such a favorite), I’d finally have fried chicken and waffles. I would eat as many fresh baked cookies—of numerous varieties—I’ll go out with a belly ache. I’d crown it with chocolate cake, loads of jeni’s ice cream and if I had room to spare, I’d eat a succulent, dripping, perfectly ripe peach.

About the Author

Lynn Charles’ love of writing dates to her childhood where thoughts, dreams, frustrations, and joys poured onto the pages of journals and diaries.

She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and adult children where a blind dog and his guardian cat rule the roost. When she’s not writing, Lynn can be found planning a trip to New York or strolling its streets daydreaming about retirement. Her previous novels include Chef’s Table (2014) and Black Dust (2016).

Connect with the author at, on Twitter @lynncharlesnet and on Facebook at

Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold // Five winners receive Beneath the Stars eBook
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