TENDER MERCIES: Guest Post - The Appearance of Bennie the Pig

Today is release day for TENDER MERCIES!  I've added a new page to the site -- you can click on it to the right. There are buy links and links to Goodreads, reviews, and an excerpt.

Also, today I'm a guest on My Fiction Nook where I share a scene from the book in which Bennie the pig makes his first appearance.




TENDER MERCIES: The Real Life Bennie the Pig

On with the TENDER MERCIES blog tour.  Today I visit Gay Book Reviews with a special post. One of the characters in TENDER MERICES is Benedict, aka Bennie, a little black potbelly pig that wanders on to Eddie's farm and has a big impact. Bennie is based on a true story of a pig that wandered onto my farm in real life. I share the story and photos in this post. Thanks to Gigi for hosting me!



Desktop: "A Second Harvest"

July 1 2016 is the release day for "A Second Harvest". This is a new contemporary romance featuring a May-Dec couple. It's set in Lancaster County, PA, where I live, and is the first in a new series called "Men of Lancaster County". This is a stand-alone story and doesn't have a cliffhanger ending. Future books in the series will feature different couples and unconnected story lines. SecondHarvest[A]FS

Here's the blurb:

David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm. He married, had two children, and goes to church every Sunday. Now with his kids both in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now that he’s thirty years old, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city and get his life back in order. His aunt left him a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and he heads there to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring, despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s exuberant creativity latches on to cooking, and he started gourmet-ing up a storm, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd-couple find they enjoy spending time together. A lot.

Christie challenges all the boundaries of David's closed world and brings out feelings he’d buried long ago. Can he find the courage to break free of the past and take a second chance at happiness?

Desktop Images:

As is my habit on release day, I'm posting images that inspired me while I was working on this story, or images that just remind me of the story. Here we go.

David Fisher

David, 41, is a Mennonite farmer. He feels much older than he actually is, having been widowed and having two grown kids in college. He lives alone on his Pennsylvania farm and has no idea what to do with the rest of his life. Below is a stock image I found that reminded me of David.


Christie Landon

Christie, 30, is a sophisticated New Yorker and a graphic artist who works for an advertising agency. He's a rather infamous gay party boy in the Manhattan club scene until he relocates to the country temporarily to settle his late aunt's estate--and moves in next to shy, serious David. Christie is fierce, stubborn, and knows his own mind. He's also has a kind heart and is a generous and loyal friend.

The visual I had in mind for Christie is based on Max Carter, a star with Cocky Boys. Max is amazing! Look him up.


David's Farm

Well, once again, I have written our own 20 acre farm into a story. :-) Here it is with snow, like in one of the scenes in the book.


You can see more pictures of our farm in this guest post I wrote for my Amish murder mystery. David's farm is based entirely on our farm, though he has a lot more acreage of fields.

The birth of the calf

I wrote a guest post about this event with photos of me attending at our calf's birth IRL. I'll post the link here when the article goes live.

Bora Bora

David was born and raised on the Pennsylvania farm where he still lives. Being a farmer it was hard to ever get away from home to travel. So he feeds his closeted adventurer with a collection of National Geographic magazines. His favorite place in the world is Bora Bora. And eventually this makes for a rather special evening. Here are some photos from that (fictional) article on Bora Bora in David's magazine.



The Maori Exhibit

During the story, Christie takes David on a surprise trip to Philadelphia to view a travelling exhibit on the Maori of New Zealand. This was based on an actual travelling exhibit. Some pictures below.

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Philadephia Art Museum

Here are some photos of the gazebo at the Philly art museum they visit, and the exterior of the grounds.

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The Duplex in Brooklyn

The end of the book features a duplex in Brooklyn. Here are some reference shots I found online for the duplex.

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That's it for this desktop. "A Second Harvest" is one that came from the heart. It's about finding a second chance for happiness in life. I hope you enjoy it! You can read an excerpt and find purchase links on my page for A Second Harvest.