Author: Xavier Axelson
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: 7/15/2017
Following the sudden death of his father, Lawrence “Law” Crow must not only comfort his bereaved mother, but also find the strength to continue running the family business, a local and beloved lavender farm in the mountains of northern California. At first, consumed with his own grief and struggling to find meaning in life, Law indulges in his vices, mainly by surrendering to his sexual urges with numerous men, all in a desperate battle to forget his pain and to end the emotional turmoil tearing him apart.
But when a stunningly handsome and passionate Spanish soccer player named Garbi suddenly crosses his path, Law discovers light in the possibility of love. Does Garbi have the ability to heal Law’s shattered heart, provide him with purpose, and help him fully embrace the joy of living once again amidst the beautiful and fragrant lavender fields?
The last time I visited the lavender farm, it was not in bloom. I always miss it. The serenity of the mountains, the gorgeous farm setting and the peace and quiet of the location make it the perfect place to escape and let your imagination run wild. Along the road to the lavender farm there are other farms selling local honey, produce, horse ranches, one in particular with mini horses is definitely enchanting, local wineries and again plenty of silence and spectacular views.
How could I not be inspired? Many of my stories include California. I’ve lived here close to twenty years and can’t imagine living anywhere else. The scenery is spectacular and while I admit, my relationship with the state is usually love-hate, I always appreciate the local beauty.
‘Lavender’ is inspired by my love for the California Mountains, the crazy-dangerous roads zigzagging through them and the myriad local farms dotting the landscape. You can buy everything from local wine and honey to lavender, nuts and beef jerky. Anything and everything is available; fresh and delicious, and always intriguing. There is plenty to be inspired by. I included a winery in my story “From Here to There,” as part of the Best of Gay Erotica collection and a local produce stand in “A Valentine for Evrain”. The weather, the people and the landscape are varied, eclectic and wide open to interpretation. Again, how can you not be inspired?
The way to ‘Lavender’ was my love for veering of the main road. Wanderlust is readily and easily indulged in California, because everything is an adventure and nothing is simple…nothing.
Getting a coffee is usually an ordeal and there are many, many choices funneled through any number of cultural possibilities. This morning I could have hit up Starbucks down the street or gone to have coffee in a Middle eastern café, Thai Coffee, Vietnamese Coffee or my favorite Café D Ollo (Mexican coffee with cinnamon and sometime orange peel) I smile writing this because that is something else I truly love about living here. I need variety, I need the ability to wander and get lost and possibly find some hidden treasure along the way, and fortunately I live in that environment. This of course can be vexing when I wake up an East Coaster (which I am) and just need a damn coffee and not a full-blown experience.
‘Lavender’ is also reflective of what is happening now in the ‘foodie’ scene in L.A. I work in hospitality and can’t tell you how the words “craft,” “local,” and “sustainable,” float around like pollen. Everyone is a celebrity chef, everyone is a food blogger and everyone is a critic. This culture of food and art is exhausting and to me ultimately hilarious. No matter what you do in hospitality, it’s a form of drudgery. So I take it all with a grain of salt and love to poke fun at the pretentiousness of my professional world. I do so lovingly in ‘Lavender’ in the form of Denny a pseudo hipster chef who falls for Law. He is of course, knocked down a couple pegs by Law, because he sees through Denny’s pretenses and bullshit. It’s all in fun and a testament to my love for a state with an ever changing face and my love for pleasure and good dose of harsh fucking and a sprinkle of humor and a handful of heartache.
I hope you enjoy it. Wander off the main road, get lost and get inspired!
About Xavier Axelson
Xavier Axelson is a writer and columnist living in Los Angeles. Axelson’s work has been featured in various erotic and horror anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2016 Volume 2, Best Gay Erotica 2015, Men of The Manor from Cleis Press, The Bears of Winter from Bear Bones Books, Tricks of The Trade from Bold Strokes Books and First Time Dead from May December Publications.