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The Hand-me-down – Zahra Owens' Wide Open Spaces

The Hand-me-down

Well, waddayaknow, I have a novel coming out and I get to celebrate it with some great people at the UK Meet in Brighton. They’re all writers and readers of QUILTBAG lit and I couldn’t imagine a better crowd.

The Hand-me-Down by Zahra Owens Cover By Paul Richmond Out in September 2012 From Dreamspinner Press
The Hand-me-Down by Zahra Owens – Cover By Paul Richmond
This new story just had to be written so badly, I pushed aside the fourth installment of my cowboy series and started writing this one. So what inspired me?
Obviously the spewing Icelandic volcano which stopped travel in Western Europe for many days and left a whole slew of people stranded, including some people I knew who were having fun because they could extend their vacations and a few who weren’t so amused because they were losing out on business ventures.
I was also inspired by an acquaintance of mine who left London behind for sunny Barcelona so he could study Spanish with “the natives”.

The rest of the story just grew organically.

For Jez, I liked the idea of a business man who had tattoos underneath his handmade suit and a penchant for frequenting leather clubs because it was a great way to get laid without having to pay for it and without the other guy forming an attachment. For the tattooed suit guys, I blame MenAtPlay. *g*
Jamie was born from my taste for very damaged guys, who somehow manage to function (somewhat).
Nick was a very complex character, and I don’t know if I did him justice. He “rescued” Jamie and took care of him to the best of his ability. When we meet him (and Jamie) we (hopefully) admire him for doing so, for everything he gave up for Jamie, but as the story progresses and Nick disappears from the story, we start seeing Nick in a different light.
Not saying more on the subject of Nick, because I don’t want to spoil it for any of my readers. I simply hope they can read between the lines and understand there is no black and white, only shades of grey (and more than fifty of them!), just like there are no people who are all good or all bad, but we all carry a bit of both inside us.

Now go buy that book!

If you’d like to win a copy of the eBook, tell me, in the comments, what “thing” (trying to be as inclusive as possible) you wouldn’t mind being handed down to you. Comments (especially for first-time commentators) are screened and I have very limited computer time this weekend, but I promise I’ll read them all before picking a winner!


  1. That question certainly leaves a lot of ground to cover, doesn’t it? 🙂

    If talking material things, I wouldn’t mind a nice little hideaway spot somewhere where only the postman and the UPS guy would be able to find me – maybe.

    If immaterial (of a sort)? Then, I wouldn’t mind if it was a somewhat similar situation as in the book – but only if the situation would develop to the point where he would be able to give as good as he was given.

    That may be a little TMI, but……there ya go.

    (Now, if being greedy – wouldn’t want that, really – ultimate scenario would be a combo of the above….)

    1. I did leave it very open, which means you are certainly not being greedy.
      If you get to read the book, you’ll find out it certainly isn’t a one-sided relationship. In fact I think Jez will tell you he gets whatever he gives back tenfold.

  2. My grandmother has a Swiss clock that plays a lovely tune that I’ve always enjoyed. I’d like it to be handed down to me.

    Otherwise, I hate clothes shopping and I’m always glad to get those so I don’t have to shop for myself!

    The book looks great, btw. Looking forward to reading it, but of course I have to try to win!

    1. Doesn’t the little bird popping out every half hour drive you nuts? I guess not. Things with sentimental value are always great to get handed down.
      And I know about the clothes shopping. That’s why I do mine mostly online!

  3. My mothers has is a sci-fi/fantasy nut and has been collecting dragons since I can remember. I hope when she passes I get dibs on them. Although fantasy isn’t my thing, I love looking at them and they bring back lots of antique/flea market memories.

  4. If we’re talking tangible things, I’d love to be handed down my nana’s jigsaw collection, because I have so many happy memories of ‘helping’ her with them when I was little. (I still help her now, on the rare opportunities I get to see her, but I imagine my input is actually constructive now.)

    I’d also love someday to be handed down the portraits hanging in my parents’ dining room of our beloved departed dogs.

    The best thing I’ve already had handed down to me is my late grandfather’s walking boots. I don’t care that they don’t quite fit and they give me blisters: they’re special.

    As far as less tangible things go… Anyone have a TARDIS going spare? I’m about to embark on postgraduate law study, in all likelihood working two jobs, and frantically trying to find time to write. Really looking forward to it, but being handed some extra hours in each day would be perfect!

    The book looks great; I’m looking forward to reading it! (When I find the time and cash…) Though I do have to ask… you’re writing cowboys again now/soon, right? I may have a bit of a fetish…

  5. My grandparents have a lot of my great grandmother’s things that I would love to have! I never met her, and neither did my father, but there was a picture of her sitting on her antique desk my whole childhood and I always wanted it. The picture itself is one I want handed down, it is a black and white that was hand colored, from the early thirties. I always thought she was beautiful as a child but my grandfather never talked about her and I thought if I had the picture I would know about her! Congrats on the new release and thanks for the contest!

  6. Well, my husband will not be disappointed if he is handed down his dad’s restored 1944 Model A. (Which we expect he will be, much to his sister’s dislike. But she wasn’t the one to help him build it.)

    I’ve got several hand-me-down baby items. My mother-in-law gave me her old bassinet, which works quite well for something from the 60s or 70s. A friend gave us their rocking swing, which worked just fine for putting the girls to sleep. And, of course, clothing.

    Congrats on the new book. It sounds like it’ll be a fun read. =)


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