Mended With Gold
Title: Mended With Gold
Author: Lee Welch
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: 11/17/2017
A photographer with post-traumatic stress disorder falls for a comics artist on a wild New Zealand beach, but can he find true love when he feels so wounded by life?
Everything changed when the bomb exploded. Forty-five-year old, Alex Cox worked as an international photographer until a deadly explosion left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotionally wounded, and desperate for a sense of safety, he’s run all the way to wild and remote Kahawai Bay, New Zealand.
Under the worst possible circumstances, Alex meets Joe, a shy young comics artist. Joe lets Alex into his playful, gentle world of comics, and soon Alex is falling for him, hard. Alex longs for more. Joe is reticent. But is it shyness? Or does Joe not want a much older lover with ‘issues’? Or is something else keeping them apart?
This is a tender and uplifting story about creativity, adversity, true love, and comics
Timing is Everything
In love, timing is everything. Lots of us have met that marvellous, funny, sexy person who could be perfect – if only. If only they were ready to settle down. If only they weren’t married. If only they weren’t leaving for Bolivia in the morning.
In Mended with Gold, timing is especially crucial.
If the story had been set a couple of years earlier, and sweet, shy Joe had managed to scrape together enough money for an airfare from New Zealand to London (which is where Alex was living at the time). And if Joe had gone to a glitzy bar (which he wouldn’t, because places like that intimidate him, but just say). And if he’d seen Alex, Joe would certainly have been attracted to him. Alex is handsome, dresses well, and, back then, possessed that self-assurance that comes from being at the top of your profession – and from knowing that if you put your mind to it, you could have just about anyone in the bar.
But there’s no way Joe would have approached Alex. Joe’s way too shy, and would have been even shyer out of his element in a trendy London bar, surrounded by sharp-dressed strangers drinking £20 cocktails.
If Alex had seen Joe (which he wouldn’t, because Joe would have been hiding in a corner, giving off ‘don’t notice me’ vibes) he would have thought Joe was cute, in a scruffy way. But Alex would have had plenty of more forward admirers, and anyway, would have been too busy talking to his friends, to spend the time with someone like Joe back then.
Timing is also crucial for where Alex is in his recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder. If he’d met Joe immediately after the traumatic incident, or during therapy, he wouldn’t have been ready, emotionally, to fall in love. But although it doesn’t always feel like it to Alex, he’s come a long way. He’s reassessed his priorities, and he’s looking for a way of life that complements his ‘new normal’.
In Mended with Gold, the stars have aligned. Alex and Joe are both ready to fall for each other. They’ve come from very different places, but their values are harmonious. They want the same things from life. Now, they have only to meet…
About Lee Welch
Lee Welch wrote her first book aged seven (a pastiche of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and first had an idea for an m/m romance aged twelve. She loves books and comics, and when she’s not writing, she’ll probably be reading. Her favourite authors include Ursula Le Guin, Graham Greene, Linda Medley, Dylan Horrocks and KJ Charles. By day, Lee works as an editor and business communications adviser, mainly persuading people not to say ‘utilise’ when they mean ‘use’. Her job has led her to work in areas as diverse as mental health, nursing, accident prevention and the criminal justice sector.