Title: Hummingbird House
Author Name: Kenzie Cade
Publication Date & Length: December 1, 2014 – 51 pgs
To honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason.
Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was.
Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.
This short work was a lovely, sweet read, and I was able to finish it in an afternoon. I really enjoyed it.
I like reading stories about realistic, relatable experiences–in this case, loss and grief. I think this is great because it shows that regardless of who the people in the story are, we can all connect with losing a loved one or making poor choices in our youth. Ms. Cade reflected the core humanity of the characters very well.
I also liked that this wasn’t a “magically rescue you from your grief” kind of story. Trent goes into his trip believing he’s alone, but he’s reminded that other people share his loss and care about him. That he also finds romantic love is just a bonus, and I felt this was drawn very well.
The one thing I wasn’t fond of was the way the point of view switched from first to third person, depending on whose perspective we were seeing. I think this is personal preference, though, and not a flaw with the writing. It’s the sort of thing that would probably not bother other readers, and some will even like it better.
Other than that, this was a good read and I definitely want to read more from Ms. Cade.
Barnes & Noble
1. What interested you about writing a holiday story?
I am addicted to holiday tales–short, lengthy, and all those in between. There’s something about the cold weather and holiday time in general that brings people closer. I like the thought of curling up by the fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate, which I do regularly in the winter. We look for warmth in the most common and sometimes uncommon of places. The first place I turn to is a book. Holiday stories especially romances are full of love and warmth that leave me with with a happy smile when I’m finished reading. That was my hope in writing a holiday focused story.
2. What inspired you to write this story?
Hummingbird House is a bit personal to me. There are pieces of me and my life all throughout the story. To date it was one of the most difficult for me to write. When the call came out for Celebrate! I thought long and hard about where I wanted to go with my holiday story because I had no doubt I wanted to write one. I first started off with Trent on his way to Greece after a break up but the joining of he and his counterpart was all wrong, and then I went to visit my grandmother. She is my Astrid. My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007 and we’ve walked a difficult road with her for a long, long time. The less she remembers, the more I find myself wanting to write something down to cement the beautiful, strong, perfect woman she once was. Then there’s Trent. Luckily, I’m not alone in taking care of my grandmother, but a lot of who Trent is and his experiences with Astrid and her memories come from actual conversations with my grandmother. Like I said it was a difficult story to come by, but in the end it is the most rewarding I’ve written so far.
3. What interested you in writing gay fiction?
Oh gosh. I’ve been reading m/m for four years, almost five, now and playing at writing for about two and a half. I’ve been writing on and off for a lot longer, but nothing worth mentioning. I’ve had several ideas for a long time and haven’t had the knowledge as to how to organize them, but I was gifted with a great friend who mentored me and has pretty much encouraged and guided me through everything I’ve done so far. I’m pretty lucky. When it comes to m/m… well, I love the genre. In all things, love is love and it’s my goal, not matter how small or large, to make that message known through my writing, through word of mouth, and by my actions.
4. Is there a special significance to the house? someplace in your own life that it represents or is similar to?
Hummingbird House is significant to Trent in that it’s the one place that feels most like home to him. Astrid was his grandmother, the only mother figure in his life, and his best friend for as long as he could remember. Hummingbird House was the home of her heart and whether Trent wanted to accept it or not, the house was the home of his heart as well. It was also the place where he met Callum for the first time, the place where he shared that first fateful kiss with Callum. There is a lot of significance to Hummingbird House. I think most of all, though, it’s where Trent finds who he is and what he wants.
As for having a place similar in my own life. There is one. I haven’t been in a while and now that I think about it, maybe I’ll write a story set there one day. I have a couple friends who have a family home in Bear Lake, Idaho and while I lived in Utah we spent a few weeks out of the summer and winter at the cabin. It was an amazing place. The history in the walls was apparent. There was such a quiet reverence about it. So yes, I guess, there is a place in my life sort of similar, albeit not exact. Mind you, this is every much after the fact and Hummingbird House is in no way based off of my friends’ family’s cabin.
Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes to fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.
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