Blogtour: Steven’s Heart by Ashavan Doyon. Guestpost with Giveaway ,)
When a love triangle breaks, Steven Everett is left alone to grieve over a boyfriend lost to someone else. Surrounded by friends too tied to Aidan’s new lover to give advice, Steven turns instead to a broken and beaten man, Aidan’s other ex, Michael Rossier, who also knows the pain of having loved and lost Aidan. Steven’s and Michael’s confessions grow deeper, each confiding in the other until neither can deny an attraction. But being with Michael feels like cheating, and Steven isn’t sure what to do. The connection get stronger every day, and Steven realizes he’s facing an impossible choice.
To make a relationship with Michael work, Steven needs to make peace with Michael’s troubled past. Even more terrifying, he’ll have to tell Michael the secret he’s never told anyone, not even Aidan. With Michael recovering from yet another surgery, Steven leaves to face the ghosts of the past. He has to be certain. This time, Steven knows, the decision means revealing the secrets of his heart and hoping their fragile feelings can survive.
This is Ashavan Doyon and I’d like to take a moment first to thank Rainbow Gold Reviews for hosting this stop on the Steven’s Heart blog tour.
I explore a lot of different themes in Steven’s Heart. There’s the angst of losing a first love. There’s the struggle with coming out. There’s dealing with having a potential partner who was a serious drug user, and the doubts that causes. There’s the aspect of honesty that I dealt with in a previous post on the tour. The wonderful thing about relationships is that they are so complex, and that’s part of what makes them such rich topics for fiction. The story can — and often does — go anywhere.
For both the young men in Steven’s Heart, family is important, for very different reasons. My partner lost his dad this week, and it made me really think about how my own experiences with my father and stepfather and father-in-law all played into the types of parenting we see in my novels. So I’d like to talk about dads a little bit, and what they mean to the characters in the story.
When we look at Michael, we see a young man tormented by his family life. We get glimpses of what that meant from Michael, terrifying pieces. While family is important to Michael, it’s pretty clear that he only really attaches the meaning behind family to one person, his sister Addy. For Michael, I think his father is a symbol of fear and control.
Michael’s reaction when he learns his father is once again going to involve himself in Michael’s life is one of panic:
“Oh, God. Ste, it’s my dad. He’ll scream. He’ll make me go with him. I can’t tell him no. You don’t know what happens when I tell him no!” Michael’s monitors started beeping very fast.
But part of the strength in the relationship that we see in Steven and Michael is that Steven does know. Maybe not all of it, but enough to understand the roots of that terror. And for Steven that idea is unthinkable. Steven has strong ideas about what it means to be a father, ideas that come from a loving home. Steven’s family members all react a little differently to the idea of Steven being gay, to Steven having a boyfriend. But his father’s reaction is one of unquestioned love. When Steven struggles with his mother’s difficulties accepting him, his father is the one to assure him that it comes from love:
“This? Your mom is just out of her depth. And church tells her it means something different. She’s confused. She loves you, and she doesn’t want to be confused about that.”
“Is she going to be okay?” Steven asked. “If I bring Michael here?”
“So his name is Michael?”
“She’ll be nervous. She won’t know what to say. But she won’t embarrass you.”
I don’t think I did this consciously, but really Steven’s father’s reaction is very much what I saw in my father-in-law. While he was concerned always so much about how others would treat his son, his first concern was for his son’s happiness. I like that about him. And I know now I’ll always smile reading those bits and remembering my husband’s father. Of course there are differences, too. But I think it’s so important to show the range of responses, and we really do see that, both in Loving Aidan and in Steven’s Heart. We see Aidan cast out like filth, quietly cut off from his family. We see Steven getting a cautious but supportive and loving response, and we see the extreme of response and denial and sense of ownership and control in Michael’s father.
I hope you all enjoyed this insight into Steven’s Heart. I love to hear from readers and can be reached through my website at www.ashavandoyon.com
Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.
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aug 29 th Love Bytes: http://lovebytesreviews.com
aug 30 thPrism bookalliance: http://www.prismbookalliance.com
aug 31 st Andrew Q Gordon : http://andrewqgordon.com
sept 1st Larry Benjamin : http://larrybenjamin.com
sept 2 nd Kimi-chan Experience : http://www.kimnsarah.co.uk
sept 3 rd The Blogger Girls: http://thebloggergirls.com
sept 4 th GGR- Review :http://www.ggr-review.com
sept 5 th JoyfullyJay : http://joyfullyjay.com
sept 6 th Rainbow Gold Reviews: https://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com
sept 7 th The Novel Approach :http://thenovelapproachreviews.com
I would like to give a great big Thank You to Ashavan Doyon and Dani at LoveBytes for letting us take part in this Blog Tour.