Once when I was in college I donated blood, bolted my orange juice and cookies, and then ran to class. After class I ran (because I had about a half-an-hour break) to the cafeteria and…
Almost passed out on the stairs to the food court.
A fellow student had to help me to my seat and get me two slices of pizza, because suddenly my vision was black and I was not feeling well at all.
Back in those days I was mildly bulimic and had probably had a caffeine-free diet soda for breakfast and about three hours of sleep after my night job, and I was just sure that I could get everything done including donating blood and bolting my lunch without any side-effects whatsoever.
Because I was young.
And thought I was invincible.
Of course, now that I’m older, every day is a careful balance of food that’s good for my digestion, good for my iron, good for my cholesterol, good for my liver, kidneys, heart, and spleen. I gave up soda—mostly because my children kept treating me like I was injecting heroin into my eyeballs with every can—but also because it made me feel like crap and I had a duty to be there for my kids.
But I still remember—and some days function on—the misguided belief that I am superman and just like and all those people who do a thousand things with their brain and body and stamina. If I’m not cleaning the house and working out and doing my job daily, I am not doing it right.
Bullshit, of course.
But seductive bullshit.
It seduced me—and occasionally we still have a night together that I inevitably regret.
And this is the bullshit that seduces Sammy Lowell in Stand By Your Manny.
Sammy has anemia, which isn’t strictly life threatening on its own, but like all our bodily limitations, it needs to be respected.
But Sammy also has two uncles—Channing and Channing’s husband, Tino—who work and raise kids and buy and trade planets for all he knows, and they seem to do it flawlessly and dressed to kill to boot.
Sammy’s not his uncles. He’s a dreamy kid, who needs quiet time in his own head. He’s effortlessly charming because he likes everybody. He throws himself into possibly dangerous situations because he doesn’t see how other people could possibly turn on him—and because he smiles at the world equally and has never met a stranger, they rarely do.
So he’s a sweetheart, and he’s pretty responsible, and yes, he does have “Captain of the Universe” moments like his Uncle Channing—but he also needs a friend.
Someone who understands that his heart is sometimes more fit than the rest of his body. Someone who reminds him to eat and loves the amazing things he can do with his mind and his music and who thinks he’s awesome just the way he is, no Super Uncle Channing repairs needed.
Someone who’s willing to hold his hand and skip into the future on faith, and to treasure every moment because sometimes life is short and having someone to love isn’t a given.
He needs a friend, a lover, a keeper, a partner…
He needs Cooper Hoskins, who has his own growing up to do, but who will do it double-time if he can seize Sammy’s hand and share a future together.
I never really got a keeper—I got a Mate who cared about me so I needed to care for myself.
That’s what I gave Sammy.
I hope you enjoy them both.
Check out Stand By Your Manny today!
Learning to trust and falling in love.
Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy!
An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy.
Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?
Amy Lane is a mother of two grown kids, two half-grown kids, two small dogs, and half-a-clowder of cats. A compulsive knitter who writes because she can’t silence the voices in her head, she adores fur-babies, knitting socks, and hawt menz, and she dislikes moths, cat boxes, and knuckleheaded macspazzmatrons. She is rarely found cooking, cleaning, or doing domestic chores, but she has been known to knit up an emergency hat/blanket/pair of socks for any occasion whatsoever or sometimes for no reason at all. Her award-winning writing has three flavors: twisty-purple alternative universe, angsty-orange contemporary, and sunshine-yellow happy. By necessity, she has learned to type like the wind. She’s been married for twenty-five-plus years to her beloved Mate and still believes in Twu Wuv, with a capital Twu and a capital Wuv, and she doesn’t see any reason at all for that to change.