CONGRATULATIONS, IRELAND! (Oh, and Walking Wounded is back!)

May 23, 2015

Walking Wounded by Lee Rowan

John Hanson joined the military because he wanted to serve his country. Lacking a home and family of his own, the idealistic young man longed to be a part of something bigger than himself. He didn’t expect to find love in officer’s training—so when an assignment took him away from Kevin Kendrick, the love of his life, he sacrificed personal happiness and did his duty.

Kevin has made his own sacrifices. Career came first, and the impressionable Army brat, tired of living in his father’s shadow, pledged his loyalty to his country and followed his ambition.

Now, seven years later, when the Army Kevin so faithfully served has made him the scapegoat for their latest Middle East snafu, he can only think of one place to go, one man who can provide solace and heal his wounds—John.

Reunited, the two war-weary lovers once again discover their passion for life, love, and one another. But Kevin’s past isn’t through with him yet, and when an old enemy surfaces, the two men realize that they must face the nightmares of the past together if they are to have the future they dream of

WalkingWounded

I love synchronicity.

This book marks the last of my stories from Cheyenne that are now being published by Dreamspinner. And, as with Sail Away, this edition has something new in it—something absolutely wonderful–and the timing could not be better, because the change in the book came about because of the change in English law giving same-sex couples the right to marry. Today, Ireland has joined in!

Walking Wounded is my first contemporary; it originally saw print in 2007. I tend not to write contemporary because the world is changing so fast that what’s cutting-edge today might be old tomorrow – or completely turned around. In 2007, marriage equality for same-sex couples existed in Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, and a few US states. The UK had ‘civil unions.’ (Such an odd term; if a couple can’t at least be civil to one another, they should stop cohabiting, no?) So when I joined Alex Beecroft’s “I Do” project as one of the editorial team, I wrote a little missing scene, “Wedding Announcement,” for John and Kevin, in which they were off to be civilly united. At the time, it was as close to a classic romance happy ending as they could have. (Let me put in a plug here for Alex Beecroft and her writing. She’s amazing, and her idea to put together a collection as a fundraiser for marriage equality in the US and worldwide was stellar. Considering my wife and I were married in Canada ourselves, and emigrated here, this issue is important to me both on a social-justice and a personal level.)

The story went in, the book came out. There was a second I Do a year later, with the same beneficiary. The I Do collections never hit a best-seller list, but they did send a few thousand $ to the legal eagles fighting for equality. Prop 8 was overturned. More and more states made equality legal – finally. Some bad news, too, of course – the idiocy in Uganda and other African countries, egged on by religious extremists from the US. But in America, polls show over 60% of the population now recognizes the right to marry the person of one’s choice.

Then .. the rainbow over Parliament. While I was working through the Dreamspinner re-edits for the Royal Navy series and Walking Wounded, England passed a law granting marriage equality to all its citizens, and “Wedding Announcement” became just a little outdated. So that short story was rewritten to fit today’s reality, and is now a part of the novel – a real HEA for the characters.

Another change – not in the story – is Dreamspinner’s editorial decision to let the past-life subtext out of the closet. Kevin Kendrick and John Hanson are two souls who were, a couple of centuries back, Will Marshall and David Archer. They’re still together – but this time, there’s no need to hide.

In “Only Love is Real,” past-life investigator Dr Brian Weiss describes the meeting of eyes as the way soulmates recognize one another. I wrote this story before I read that book, but it was fun to see I got it right.

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6 Responses to “CONGRATULATIONS, IRELAND! (Oh, and Walking Wounded is back!)”

  1. Susan says:

    Isn’t it wonderful that recent events make HEAs available to everyone (if they live in the right countries, hopefully the US soon).

  2. Angela says:

    You forgot The Netherlands ;)
    It was the first country in the world where same sex couples could get married (april 1 2001) :)

    Happy release day.

  3. lee7rowan says:

    Angela, you’re right, and that must’ve been dropped because I got the list from Wikipedia and I knew the Netherlands was on it.

  4. Denise dechene says:

    Congrats to Ireland and hopefully the USA will get itself together also. Yes for HEA and that things are changing so that EVERYONE can have one

  5. PuppyMomma says:

    Loved this! And all of your books I’ve read. I’m a HEA junkie and I SO don’t get the fuss about folks’ bits. I’m not dim, just puzzled at the fuss.

    But the boys! Whew (fans self, like that helps). Write More! SOON!

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