Blast From the Past - Not Afraid by Elizabeth Monvey
Raleigh Hewes has known Augustus Rains his whole life, and for the past year they’ve been lovers. They’ve kept it a secret because Gus is afraid of what people will say. Not only are they a gay couple in a small town but he is black and Raleigh is white. Raleigh wants to be out and proud, but Gus is concerned since both their businesses revolve around the local market.
After an argument, Raleigh has doubts that their love can last because he’s tired of hiding their relationship. When a storm sweeps over his farm, he’s caught in the eye of a tornado, and Gus races frantically to find the man he loves.
The danger has put into perspective his fears and Gus decides not to be afraid anymore. He just hopes it’s not too late to lay claim to Raleigh’s heart.
What were your source pictures for this cover?
This is Augustus. I pictured him as the Bear of the partnership. Isn't he just beautiful?
Raleigh is a farmer so I pictured him more wholesome - a flannel shirt kind of guy. These men make the perfect looking couple!
Do you think the story is a realistic portrayal of not only a gay couple, but an inter-racial gay couple living in the Midwest?
Absolutely! I grew up in the Midwest and there was a certain expectation of how "men" should act. Tough, athletic, gun-loving and man whores. Those who weren't in any of those cliques were usually baring the brunt of bullies. There was no way Gus and Raleigh would've been accepted in my hometown. I got out as quickly as I could but I can't imagine that much as changed.
This was part of your "weather disaster" books and Raleigh survived a tornado. Ever have a close encounter?
Oh yes. Whenever we'd have a tornado warning my mom and I had to watch out the windows to see if we were going to be in the path. We had blankets, flashlight, water and food ready to go with us to our safety area which was this carved out spot under our back outdoor steps. I didn't want to go there because there were bugs and spiders.
One time I remember watching a play and the sirens went off so all the students crammed into the hallway since it was made of brick. The tornado jumped us so we were okay.