Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre
Cover art by L.C. Chase
Release Date: December 23, 2016
Available for Purchase at
About Falling Snow on Snow
Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.
Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.
Most of the time, Oleg didn’t like to think that’s what he was. He was a lucky guy; he knew that. He had a big, loving, accepting family, and all of them had more to be thankful for than many. They’d come from cold, hungry, Russia in the 1990s, and unlike most refugees they had what were called by the welfare people they’d had to depend on when they first arrived, “marketable skills.”
What the family had was music, and it had opened so many doors for them. Now they had made their name in early music circles, had regular bookings for concerts and special appearances as a group and individually, and they had a home. Warm, large, but not so much so that it ever felt too spacious. Never empty. Air rich with the smells of stroganoff, borscht, shashik, or honeycake. Ready laughter, flash-in-the-pan tempers, small favors asked or done. And behind it all, in the Abramov home, always the music: scales ad infinitum, students repeating sixteen measures over and over slow to fast and finally tumbling into the following passage. Sometimes, too, whole beautifully sculpted pieces, perilous to the listening—or performing—heart.
Home, for Oleg Andreyevich Abramov was a luck-laden word indeed. For in Russia, beloved though the country might be in some ways, the family had endured cold and hunger and hate—the former because of political and economic collapse, the latter mostly because Andrei, Oleg’s father, was Jewish. Oleg, youngest by nine years, had only faint memories of the old country. A grandmother sang “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.” A tiny room held only a bed, where a faded and frayed diamond quilt of velvet, silk, and wool warded Oleg and his brothers against winter. Snowdrifts loomed taller than a little boy. His mother’s hands gamboled over the keys of a scratched piano. His uncle spun him in circles, smelling of bow rosin and lavender.
But distant and dim as those memories might be, they remained very much a part of Oleg, because the Abramovs had brought the old country with them to Seattle. The mild climate had done nothing to dispel the sense that a family huddled tight together would weather any storm.
One might have expected such a family to resent a child—the youngest and all but a straggler—who was different. But when Oleg had told his mother he was gay, she’d accepted it.
“Yes, I believe I already knew,” she said, her gently accented speech conveying as always a love of life’s surprises. “Or at least I should have.” She laughed and hugged him and set the tone of acceptance for the family. It persisted even now, after her death. He remained their Olejka, a precious member of the family.
Yes, his life was full of home—meaning love and warmth and acceptance.
But that didn’t eliminate the longing. Maybe it changed the shape of the emptiness, made it even harder to fill. Because Oleg wanted more of what he already had.
About the Author
Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. Apparently an English major, he helps a lot, but Lou refuses to put his name on the byline. (Boudreau invites readers to give their feedback as well!) When Lou isn’t writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though—she avoids zombies like the plague unless they have a great sense of humor. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s most often smiling and laughs too much, some say. Among other things and in no particular order, she loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, his sister George, and their little brother Nibbles, a chihuahua named Joe, a dachshund named Chloe, and a slew of chihuahua/dachshund puppies. She takes pleasure in coffee, chocolate, sunshine, gardens, wild roses, and every beautiful thing in the world.
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