Beneath the Stars is the story about Sid Marneaux, a man whose fashion design business is at a major turning point, and the call to come home to Pennsylvania and help care for his ailing father. While home, he meets another man, Eddie Garner, and a romance begins.
At its core, Beneath the Stars is a romance: sweeping emotion, grand gestures, simple moments, and lingering kisses. Surrounding that romance, however, is a theme of living life after death, of living through grief. The four leading men of the book: Sid, Eddie, Eddie’s son, Adrian and Sid’s father, Lou, have all experienced death in a personal, deep way. And it’s this theme that led me to the path of this story.
A few years before the seed of this story planted itself in my soul, I lost my best friend to complications from a lifetime of brittle diabetes. We had met when we were eleven years old, and after a few bumpy years of our own growth and maturity—best friends, best enemies and back again—we settled into a friendship that saw thirty two years of life. We stuck it out through sickness, health, babies, marriages, divorce, and yes, death, before her body gave out and she found her final rest.
Beneath the Stars takes a look at grief from multiple perspectives: an adult who experienced grief as a child; an old man whose retained memories rest in the world when his lost loved one is still alive; a man whose grief is raw and new and fresh; and the same grief experienced from the eyes and heart of a child. It also spends time in the instance of death, the immediate moments of grief we must pass through and the following where we begin to pick up the pieces and live again.
It was this in-depth look at grief, at loss, at the love that makes grief so real and all-encompassing, that helped me heal from the loss of my treasured friend. Writing the thoughts and dreams of the surviving, the moments of loss and celebration helped me put words and reason into the emotions that didn’t seem to have sensible expression.
Grief might be peculiar in romance, but if romance is a human condition, and I believe it is, then certainly less joyful aspects of the human condition can be bolstered, healed and found in the midst of it. The love and romance of my spouse helped heal me, and it was a delightful journey to explore in the lives of my fictional characters.
Lynn Charles’ love of writing dates back to her childhood, a road to collect her thoughts and sort out her heart. Creative writing seemed like a natural progression into finding new ways to explore the world around her, and she has been enjoying spinning original stories for over ten years.
She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and adult children where a blind dog and his guardian cat rule the roost. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, worked at her county library, and absolutely never judged you for what books you checked out. She enjoys trips to farmer’s markets where she is always on the hunt for artisanal breads and cheeses, fresh cut flowers and meat from farms that believe a happy animal is a tasty one. And if you can’t find her in Ohio, it’s likely she’s roaming the streets of New York, trying to make money out of wishes to fulfill a retirement dream of a brownstone in Manhattan.
Lynn is the author of the Interlude Press titles, Chef’s Table (2014), Black Dust (2016)—a 2016 nominee for Foreward Reviews Foreward Indies award in romance, and Beneath the Stars (2017). Connect with her at lynncharles.net, twitter, facebook, instagram and tumblr. Her books are available through Interlude Press, amazon, iBook, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Book Depository, Kobo and Indiebound.
I’d like to thank Lynn for stopping by to share her story. I have to agree that love and grief are very much parts of the human condition. So, readers, have you considered the connections of love and grief? Thoughts to share?
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