Please welcome Amy Lane with
Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.
Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.
Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.
Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.
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The Drafty Cafeteria
By Amy Lane
So I assume most parents have this experience.
Their child develops an interest in, say, an old flute hanging around in a closet, or their friends join choir, or a teacher encourages them to do something, anything, rather than the thing they’re doing at that exact moment which is to drive everyone around them complete and utter batshit.
And somehow, with a few parent permission forms and $10 for a T-shirt, we parents end up in a drafty school cafeteria hearing our perfectly average child performing with his or her peers.
Okay—if I sound bitter it’s because my children mostly have their father’s musical ability. In his words, “My family may be tone deaf, but at least they have no sense of rhythm.”
But that hasn’t stopped the family trip to the school concert—one in the winter, one in the spring—from being a memorable staple. I’ll admit it—after my youngest graduated to middle school, and we no longer had a winter concert to attend, I felt a little sad. Those sorts of moments marked our seasons for much of our lives.
String Boys follows Seth Arnold and Kelly Cruz from their childhood performance days, when Seth learned that if he just closed his eyes and breathed, his violin would sing for him. Kelly is given the same instrument, but, like with 98% of the kids out there, it has nothing to say to him. That doesn’t matter to Kelly though. When he sees Seth close his eyes and breathe, Kelly learns to love the violin, because it makes his dreamy boy into the boy he truly loves.
As a parent of adults and teenagers, I’m always surprised at the parts of childhood that will really stick.
My third child was originally enrolled in gym, because, well, his older brother had no interest in dance. But ZoomBoy saw his sisters dance, and wanted to do be on stage more than anything. We’ve seen him play instruments, sing, and more recently, take as many drama classes as possible, so he can go up on stage and shine. We’ve also seen him stick with dance, and improve, and more and more, even as he keeps up with his growing body, until he’s one of his class’s best dancers.
Those moments stuck.
My youngest, who gave up her time in choir in the sixth grade, has never looked back. And she loathes dance and would prefer soccer. And would rather ride a moose to school than ever pick up an instrument again.
Those moments didn’t stick.
It’s all about that one moment, that one love that grows into a passion that never leaves.
That’s Seth and Kelly’s story as well.
Seth falls in love with the violin. Kelly falls in love with the boy with the violin. How do they stay together when the thing that made their lives magic is also going to tear them apart?
It’s a conundrum—but one that leads to a happy, and I hope satisfying, ending.
About the author:
Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. She's finaled twice in the RITAs, has won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Find Amy on her website, her blog, or on Twitter.
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