Title: A Soul Unbroken: A Journey
Author: A.D. Britten
Genre: LGBTQ Fiction
Joey Christopher has never had an easy life. Hustling for over ten years with his close friend Allen, he is used to surviving on the street. Yet he never anticipated being homeless. After Allen is arrested during a drug bust, Joey is forced to enter a homeless shelter for several months. It is here where he meets Mrs. Winston, the kindly older woman who runs the shelter. Just talking to her makes him feel better about things. She's like the mother he never had. The seeds of hope she plants during their casual talks help give him what no one else ever has-a sense of importance. Though he continues to hustle, he ultimately stops, realizing that his life must change, as it does in unimaginable ways.
Joey had been very busy that day; there was a major book sale and a well-known local author had stopped by for a reading and book signing. He was thankful for the distraction, because he was having one of his weak days. Then, toward the end of his shift, Gary showed up suddenly. He had not noticed him until he came up to the counter, being the next customer in line, and Joey happened to be the cashier who was free.
Even before he could turn in his direction, he heard Gary’s voice and recognized it immediately.
“Well, well, well, I’m going to have to come here more often,” Gary said with his characteristic bright and easy smile. “How are you, Joey?”
Joey’s heart stopped for moment, after hearing his name from such a familiar voice. He looked up the cash register and saw Gary smiling brilliantly at him. He was always such an open and friendly person, albeit a little too friendly at times.
“Hi, how are you, Gary?” Joey managed to say. He did not want to repeat the mistake he made with his earlier exchange with Brian and Jason. Besides, Gary was probably there for business-related reasons and not just as a customer.
“I’m good. I had been trying to call you, but your phone was out of service.” Joey had changed his cell phone number for obvious reasons.
“Yeah, my number changed.”
“Well, I never thought I’d see you again. Anyway, some friends are having a party Friday night and well, would you like to come?”
“I don’t know,” Joey said honestly. “I remember what happened the last time.”
“All that’s over. Folks have moved. No more drama.”
That’s all Gary needed to hear. “Here’s my business card. It has my cell number. Call anytime.” Gary carefully placed the card on the counter. To be courteous Joey picked it up and put it in his pocket. Then Gary furtively winked at him and left. The next customer walked up to the register, and Joey started to ring up her purchases.
Joey told himself that he wouldn’t go; he couldn’t go. He meant to take the card out and tear it up before leaving work, but forgot. When he got home later that night he meant to take it out and rip it up, but he was so tired that he just got ready for bed and went to sleep. The end of the week came and the card was still there in his jeans pocket. He happened to wear the same pair of jeans that Friday that he had worn on the day of Gary’s visit. Joey took a deep breath as the last customer left and he went through the store rearranging misplaced books on the shelf and tidying up the store. Mr. Griffin came out of his office and told him that Joey could go home early. He would finish up.
The next day was going to be busy with another book signing and Joey was going to be the only person that morning. The older woman who had worked there last time, Mr. Griffin’s cousin, could not make it there until later in the day.
So Joey left the store and told himself he was going home. He wanted to go home. But somehow he found himself at 7 pm standing on Gary’s porch, one of the first to arrive at his party.
Why is your featured book a must-read?
I have yet to see another fiction book like this which has many, though not exclusively, openly gay characters, but also tries to be inspirational.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 24 books featured in the Canada/America Bookish Event:
Runs July 1 – 4, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on July 11, 2020.
A.D. Britten is a published author who lives on the East Coast.
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