Eight-year-old Howie Evinger is convinced that his dad would be happier if he found a new husband. Howie would be happier, too. And somewhere out there in the city of Vancouver, there’s the right man for his dad to love. But how to find him? That’s a problem, especially if you’re just a kid and your dad says he doesn’t want another husband.
With the help of his quirky aunt, Shanna, who calls herself a Buddhist Wiccan, Howie builds his very own solstice altar with cool symbols to support his search. It has a candle, a feather, and a twisty stick, plus an agate for his dad, and a scallop shell for his new husband. Share Howie’s solstice adventure as he learns how real magic requires courage and patience as well as symbols.
This was such a cute story. I adored how it’s told from Howie’s point of view. He had such a wonderful voice and intriguing way of looking at things. His Solstice altar and intention made me smile. The way he changed the pieces around as things changed with his dad and Mike. I liked Howie’s dad and Mike. They were good together and you could see the romance unfold as Howie worried if his intention would happen how he wanted. I really liked Howie’s aunt Shanna. She was quirky and fun and added a great layer to the story. The ending is in the sweet middle ground between happy for now and happily ever after. I like how we have hope Howie’s dad and Mike are going to make it long term. And Howie is definitely happy with that. The story is a winter holiday story, however it encompasses almost a year of time. Though solstice festivities factor heavily into the story, you don’t have to shelve it after the new year. I really hope there’s a sequel with these characters. I truly enjoyed them and would like to see them again.
Four and a half
Howie was brushing his teeth when he heard his dad come in. Even though the toothbrush hadn’t beeped the right number of times, he went down to sit with him while he ate. Dad and Shanna were talking quietly in the kitchen, which creeped him out a little. It felt like they were talking about him when they talked like that. Maybe it was just some other adult stuff he wasn’t supposed to hear.
“Hi, Dad,” Howie called out so they’d know he was there.
“Hey, buddy!” His father turned, beaming, and bent down to give Howie a hug, wrapping him in his arms and enveloping him in his comforting, warm dad-smell. “Your last day of classes before winter break. How did it go?”
“It was okay. We saved some lasagna for you. And beans. They’re good.”
Dad ruffled Howie’s hair. “Sounds terrific, thanks. I want to eat in the living room and watch some of the Canucks game. Will you sit with me? They’re playing the Kings tonight.”
“Okay.” Howie didn’t think much of the Canucks, but he liked the Kings. Anže Kopitar was awesome, and his name sounded cool, too. He waited for his dad to get settled with his dinner and a TV tray and then sat next to him, close enough to touch. His dad pulled him closer, which was even better.
After a little while, Shanna waved good-bye, saying she’d be over at six tomorrow evening for the big night.
At intermission Dad muted Don Cherry, just like they always did. Howie thought he dressed like a sofa and could never figure out what he was trying to say.
“All ready for the Lantern Festival tomorrow night?” he asked. “It’s not too late to invite Ricky or another friend to come with us, if you want.”
“Nah, I want it to be just us. I hope it’s as cool as last year. That was the best ever.”
“Well, at least the best so far,” his dad said with a laugh and a squeeze on his shoulder. “Maybe this one will be even better.”
Howie thought about his intention. “That would be awesome!” Somewhere in Vancouver right now, a nice man was eating dinner or watching hockey or maybe riding the SkyTrain home or working out. He was Dad’s new partner, even though he didn’t know it yet. Howie knew it, though. All he had to do was find him.
I’m a mystic, writer, healer, lover, cancer survivor, father, friend. I write (mostly) gay fiction featuring all those paths and more.
Having led what can only be described as a checkered life, I can honestly say I’m grateful for all of it. I’ve been a minister, an office worker, a janitor, a drinker, and a software developer on my way to finishing my first novel in 2004.
But basically I’m just a psychic empath, a little weather-beaten and still learning how to live in the world just the way it is. The thing is, I experience the world as so much more than is generally accepted. That’s the challenge. Writing stories is the best way I’ve found to examine and share the questions, the wonders I engage daily.
My husband and I have been together since 2002, married since 2007. Between us we have four children and five grandchildren. We’re based in south Florida, and work hard to keep up with the astonishing life we’ve created for ourselves.
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lloydmeeker
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