Dawn Over Dayfield, DSP Publications, March 1, 2016
Dawn Over Dayfield won the gold medal in the Mystery category of the 2016 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Choice Awards!
The Novel Approach Reviews gives Dawn Over Dayfield 4.5 stars and says, “The plot has so many twists and turns, it just kept me riveted.”
Love Bytes Reviews gives Dawn Over Dayfield four hearts and says, “I highly recommend this book… I think the story is well written, the characters were well fleshed out, and it was an interesting read.”
Gay Book Reviews gives Dawn Over Dayfield 4.25 stars and says, “The strength of this well-written book is the tight plot that keeps your attention as Andy and Weston learn more about the deaths and the extent to which townsfolk will go to keep their secrets.”
After the death of his adoptive mother, Andy Forrest decides to track down his biological family. The search leads him to the struggling central Massachusetts town of Dayfield—and local historian Weston Thibeault, the town’s only other openly gay man. With the help of Weston, Andy uncovers secrets about his birth father, the youngest son of the Chaffees, the family that once owned Dayfield’s largest employer, a furniture factory that closed thirty years earlier.
As Andy and Weston work together, they find a connection to a scandal that rocked the Chaffee family over 125 years ago. But small towns like to bury their secrets, and many of the older residents of Dayfield will do anything to stop Andy and Weston from discovering the truth about the town and its inhabitants.
Laughing, Andy sat down. “Damn. I didn’t think people like him existed in real life.”
“You had him completely boggled with all the computer talk.” Weston perched on the edge of the table. “I didn’t know you build web sites.”
“We haven’t talked a whole lot about our lives,” Andy said. “And I admit to some bullshitting in what I told him. By the way, I’m sorry about saying they’d be able to cut your hours eventually. I know you need the job. I was trying to shut up Mr. Bluster there.”
“It’s fine,” Weston said. “It isn’t as if I plan to spend the rest of my life working here. I’m in town as long as my parents need me. Sooner or later, they’ll realize the house is too much for them even with my help and will probably go to assisted living or something. And then I can get out.”
His words echoed in his mind. He sounded like he wanted his parents to move into assisted living for the sole reason of freeing him from Dayfield, which wasn’t the case at all. He hoped Andy didn’t take it that way. But he couldn’t deny that would be one hell of a benefit. He didn’t resent his parents, nor did he mind taking care of them, but he couldn’t spend the rest of his life living with Mom and Dad in Dayfield.
“I’m not really a selfish bastard,” he said. “I just play one on TV.”
Andy snorted. “Yeah, well, you don’t do a good job of it. I understand, believe me. If you love your parents, helping them out is a no-brainer, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”
Relieved that Andy understood, Weston nodded. “Exactly. So anyway, it won’t matter a huge amount if they cut my hours months from now. I’ll find work somewhere else. Hell, I’ll do fast food or retail if I have to, until I find another job useless degrees are useful for. With a history degree, about all I’m qualified for is running the historical society. I wouldn’t mind teaching or working as a librarian, but I’d have to go back to school for either of those. Which would still mean finding some other way to earn money until I had the right degree and credentials.”
“So you’re kind of stuck,” Andy said.
“Only for the moment.” Weston shrugged. “The point is, from what you were saying, building the web site and scanning things in, on top of having to sort out all this stuff, would take months at least.”
Weston looked around. The shuffling he’d done so far that morning had improved the space. He’d found homes for some of the folders and several books, which left fewer piles on the floor. He still had a lot to do, and he would have to take out the folders he’d put away to make sure each one contained related information, but it was progress.
He didn’t feel like doing anything more that day.
“Do you want to go to the factory?” he asked.
Andy looked confused. “Um, sure? What about you having to work?”
“I can take a lunch break.” Weston glanced at his watch. “It’s almost noon. Close enough. I’ll take you out there, and then we can do lunch.”
Although he tried to sound casual, he intended the suggestion as anything but. In the amount of time he’d spent with Andy, he’d become intrigued. If nothing else, Andy was someone Weston hadn’t known all his life, and that alone was rare.
He wanted to get to know Andy better. There was no way he would say so, but any amount of time with him was better than the usual work-and-home routine.