Thursday, April 9, 2015

Giveaway! Everything Changes, by Melanie Hansen

Everything Changes was reviewed here a few weeks ago, and received huge praise, as a gripping, romantic read.  Check out the review!

Ms. Hansen is not only providing us with an excerpt and a blurb, she is running a giveaway!  

One of the commenters on this post will win their choice of an Everything Changes bag of goodies, or a $10 Amazon gift card!  The winner will be drawn on 4/17 at 5 PM, so comment away!

Here is a note from Melanie Hansen: I love talking about inspiration for my stories, and for Everything Changes there are so many of them:  The people I’ve met during the course of my husband’s Navy career, the stories they’ve told, the things I’ve witnessed or lived through.
Two of my most vivid memories as a military spouse:    
My husband was on his ship preparing for a normal workday when 9/11 happened, and he only had time for one quick phone call to me before he was gone.  For three weeks I didn’t hear one word from him.  I didn’t know where he was, what he was doing, if he was safe.  After the three weeks he called me and I was able to meet him at the waterfront for one 15-minute conversation and hug, and then he was gone again.  I don’t even remember what we talked about, the only thing that mattered to me was that he was safe and I could hug him.  I gave him a bag of candy and some other comfort items, said goodbye, and sent him back into the unknown.
Then in 2011, a beloved gym teacher at my boys’ elementary school lost her husband in Afghanistan.  Since it was a rather high-profile incident, and the media was going to be all over it, the CACO Team (Casualty Assistance Calls Officer) had to be called out immediately, and they couldn’t wait for after-hours.  They had no choice but to come over to the school to inform her of her husband’s death, and the minute they walked in, in full dress uniform, everyone knew why they were there and who they were there for.  I was volunteering that day and hearts were breaking, especially the school secretary’s, the one who had to go get the teacher from her class, knowing that every step she took toward the gym was one step closer to this woman’s life changing forever.
Both of those events will always be with me, and I knew my first book had to be a military book.  I wanted to explore what might happen between close friends and teammates who had been through hell and back together, who had survived but were forever changed, the deep feelings they already had for each other having been forged by the fires of war into something more.  
Friends to lovers, gay for you, men who have served their country – my favorite tropes, and I hope you enjoy reading Everything Changes as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Read on for a blurb and an exciting excerpt!

What happens when friendship catches fire?

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

Suddenly Carey flashed back to those hazy memories of the aftermath of his injury, Jase gripping his hand and whispering in his ear, “Hang on, Carey. Get through today, dude. If today is all you can give me, that’s okay. I’ll take it. I’ll take today.” He remembered Jase whispering that over and over, “I’ll take today, Carey. I want every second of it, you hang on. You hear me? Give me today, Carey.”
He remembered how he had fought to hang on, to give Jase that day, every second of that day, how it would have been so easy to let go and drift away into the blackness where there was no more pain or blood or agony. But Jase had wanted today, and Carey had wanted to give that to him. He’d focused on that, fought for that. And he was here now, alive, and he had the chance for a lifetime of love and happiness with a man who knew him better than anyone, who understood him better than anyone ever had or ever would. A man Carey desired above all others, a man who, when Carey thought of him, he thought of love and home and acceptance and belonging. The man Carey loved.

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work.   She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met.  After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man.  After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student.  She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
@MelJoyAZ  (Twitter)

Thank you, Melanie!!

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