As I had already mentioned, the nice people of the M/m Romance Group over at Goodreads.com organized the Hot July Days event. Members had the opportunity to post a picture and a Dear Author letter, and authors and aspiring authors were able to choose the one they liked the most and committed to write a story inspired by it.
This is the blurb and accompanying picture that caught my attention.
They meet while vacationing on a tropical beach, can their summer romance last?
The picture above inspired a novella, and here's a short excerpt from it.
“Holy… shit…” Michael put the letter down and raked his fingers through his blond hair. “Holy… shit!” He got up from his chair and started pacing around the roof, trying to wrap his mind around everything he had just learned.
Richard Bancroft had not only been gay, but also in a relationship with Manuel Guzman before he’d gone and married Grandma Elizabeth; and there was no way that this Mary mentioned in the letter was not his grandmother. No frigging way. “Holy fucking shit.”
Manuel Guzman had been Latino, and going by what Charlie said, a famous baseball player as well. It didn’t get any more jock than that. Still, he had begged Richard not to get married and just run away with him instead. Michael could only imagine the kind of love he must have felt for Richard, in order to be willing to give up everything for him.
And Richard had gotten married anyway.
Had he not loved Manuel? Had he been experimenting with the guy? Did he ever make it to that game Manuel had invited him to? Because, that had been after his wedding, right? And why did he disappear after getting married? Had he changed his mind?
Michael reached for his backpack and took out the plastic folder he had brought with him from California. It contained everything he had been able to find on Richard Bancroft. There were newspaper articles of his movies, his accomplishments, his wedding and the birth of his son, Richard Lewis Bancroft the Third. Michael even found pictures of him and Manny together at the beach, what seemed to be a concert and a baseball game, but everything was dated prior to 1968.
The few news articles that mentioned the wife Michael kept carefully separated from everything else. There wasn’t much information other than her being from New Jersey and twenty years old when she married Richard. But there were also a few pictures.
Mary Bancroft had been a very pretty lady. She also happened to look an awful lot like Grandma Elizabeth did in the few pictures Michael had seen of her from when she was young.
The first time Michael came across a picture of Mary Bancroft he had been struck stupid, and now that he had found Richard’s stuff in her possession, Michael didn’t have any doubts his grandma had some explaining to do.
Word Count: 31,858
Tags: Family secrets, lies, angst, intolerance, sacrifice, romance, HEA, sad, emotional