Guest Post: Keira Andrews

We have the lovely Keira Andrews here with us today! She's going to talk San Fran, some #AmishAngst, plus an excerpt from her newest (and amazing, I might add) A Clean Break.

In A Clean Break, the sequel to A Forbidden Rumspringa, young Amish men David and Isaac have left their families and entire way of life to be together. After journeying across the country to San Francisco to live with Isaac’s older brother, they have to assimilate to a new world.

One of the struggles they face is technology. Forget smart phones—a rotary phone would be new for them! The learning curve is steep, and they’re able to figure out new technology with varying degrees of success. As you’ll see in the excerpt below, even having their picture taken is a novel experience.

I was thrilled to visit San Francisco this past summer and really get a feel for the smells and sounds. In this excerpt, David and Isaac go to Fisherman’s Wharf. When they stand at the end of the pier, this is the view to the left leading to the ocean (you can see the Golden Gate Bridge), and the view to the right of Alcatraz.

Hope you enjoy this peek at David and Isaac’s new life. Have you ever been to San Francisco? What was your favorite sight?


David wanted to take Isaac’s hand when they moved away and strolled the rest of the pier, but something still held him back. There were others around, and what if some of them didn’t like gay people? Aaron and Jen said San Francisco was one of the most welcoming cities in the world for people like them, but it didn’t seem possible for everyone to feel like that.

What if they held hands and it offended someone? What if they made someone angry? It didn’t seem worth it. He tried to remember the term Jen had used. Ah yes—PDA. Public display of affection, she’d called it. The notion was absolutely foreign to him even if she said it was okay.

Isaac inhaled deeply. “I love being by the water. The way it smells and feels. It’s so dry back home. And I love how no matter which way I look, there’s something new.”

It was true—Alcatraz rose from the bay to the right, and the Golden Gate Bridge soared to their left with the ocean beyond. Behind them was the city, its buildings seeming to go on forever. “Is the ocean like you’d dreamed it would be?”

Isaac’s eyes shone as they reached the end of the pier and leaned against the thick wooden rail. He nodded to the left, where the bay gave way to the waves of the Pacific. “When I look out there, it’s like how you said you feel when we’re together. That anything is possible. And it is—look at us! Two Amish boys by the ocean. I wish I could jump in and swim.”

A shudder of dread slithered through David as he imagined the depths of the water. They’d have never found Joshua there. He drew Isaac closer with his hand on his elbow, but kept his tone light. “I think it would be a little cold.”

“Just a little, I suppose.” Isaac reached into his coat pocket. “But here, stand with the water behind you. I want to take a photograph.” He pulled out his new phone and tapped the screen. “Can you believe phones are cameras too? They’ve thought of everything.”

David stood with the rail at his back. “I guess this will be my first picture.”

Isaac glanced up from the screen. “Is that okay? I like all the pictures Aaron and Jen have, and the ones hanging in June’s house. It’s nice to look at people. It doesn’t seem wrong, does it?” He bit his lip. “But maybe we shouldn’t.”

“No. We should. It’s forbidden by the Ordnung, but what isn’t? We left that life. We can do what we want now.” He wished he felt as confident as he sounded.

Isaac smiled softly. “I suppose it’s no more wrong than everything else we’re doing. Now I just need to remember what Aaron said about…hold on…”

David waited while Isaac tapped and slid his finger over the screen with his brows drawn together. Aaron had added them to his phone company account, and gotten them Apple phones for free since they were apparently older models. They were plenty new as far as David and Isaac were concerned.

David’s was still in its box in their room since he and Isaac hadn’t gone out without each other yet. The electric appliances in the house were enough for him to navigate at the moment. Even the stove was a mystery of buttons on a screen, and something called induction. Not that he’d used the stove in Zebulon. But at least he could have. He knew how to use electric tools, and the fridge at June’s had just plugged in. Everything else seemed daunting.

“Ready.” Isaac held up his phone, his tongue poking out between his lips in concentration.

With his head up straight, David stood motionless, his hands at his sides. He was wearing one of the new pairs of jeans that were “relaxed,” although with his briefs on he was still rather constricted. Maybe he needed to try the boxers tomorrow.

“You’re supposed to smile. You look as if Deacon Stoltzfus just showed up at your door.”

David did smile at that, even though the pit of his stomach clenched like a fist at the thought of the deacon’s beady eyes and stony face. After they’d pulled Deacon Stoltzfus’s daughter from the river with Joshua, David couldn’t remember ever seeing the man smile. But he vividly recalled his thunderous expression as David had said no to the church.

“Do you want one of the both of you?” an older woman asked. Nodding shyly, Isaac handed her the phone and joined David. Their shoulders brushed together, and they stood still. Holding his breath, David lifted his lips in a smile and waited. Does she think we’re gay? Does she know we are? Does she care? 

The woman raised her eyebrows. “Come on now—try to look like you’re having fun and not lining up for the firing squad. Should I make the faces I do for my grandson?” She stuck out her tongue and went cross-eyed.

They both laughed, and David breathed easily again.

“That’s the ticket.” She handed the phone to Isaac. “Got a good one there.”

After thanking her, they peered at the picture on the screen. They weren’t just smiling--their faces were alight with laughter. David stared at the image. “Wow,” he whispered. “Look at us.” In their English clothes and short haircuts, it was hard to believe it had only been ten days since they’d raced from Samuel Kauffman’s house, past the benches filled with everyone they knew.

The people of Zebulon would hardly recognize them now. David brushed the pad of his finger over the screen, touching their faces. What would Mother say? He shuddered to think. And I still haven’t written. 

He couldn’t change the past, so David shut away the thoughts as though he was sliding home the heavy bolt on the barn door. He smiled. “It’s a good first picture. Maybe one day it’ll be in a frame.”

Copyright © Keira Andrews

They’ve escaped to the outside world—but can they really be free?
David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.

Journey to San Francisco with Isaac and David in A Clean Break
All Romance
Barnes and Noble


After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

Where you can find Keira:

Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting about some of our favorite boys, Keira!

1 comment:

  1. Two AMAZING books, the detailing extrodinary. Loved them both